tv Democracy Now PBS October 14, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
10/14/16 10/14/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! didn't know anything about donald trump until he took out those ads and called for our execution. every time i think about that, i think had this in the 1950's, we would have been modern-day emmet tills. what would have happened? somebody from the darkest places of society would have come to our homes, kicked in our doors, and drug is from our homes and hung us from the trees in central park. that would've been the type of mob justice they were seeking. amy: in 1989, yusef salaam and
four other african-american and latino teenagers were arrested for beating and raping a white woman jogger in new york city's central park. they became know as the central park five. donald trump took out full-page ads in four new york newspapers calling for their execution. then in 2002, their convictions were vacated after the real rapist came forward, confessed to the crime, his dna matched. the central park five served between seven and 13 years in jail each for the assault. new york city ultimately settled with them for $41 million. but as late as last week, donald trump still claimed they were guilty. we will speak with yusef salaam, one of the central park five. he recently wrote in "the washington post," "donald trump won't leave me alone." policies that come allies the personal use of drugs. >> every 25 seconds, someone is
arrested in the united eighth for possessing drugs for the personal use. arrestshe country, more for drug possession than any other crime. over 1.20 5 million arrest for your. amy: human rights watch and the american civil liberties union released the findings wednesday with a call for states and the federal government to decriminalize low-level drug offenses. from poison water in flint to the police deaths of african-americans to hatemongering on the presidential campaign trail, is america at war with itself? we will speak with professor henry giroux who argues just that in his new book. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in election news, republican party leaders are facing pressure to withdraw support for donald trump from the party's
own donors amid a series of accusations from women that trump sexually assaulted or harassed them in cases that stretch back decades. "the new york times" reports republican donors david humphreys, bruce kovner, william oberndorf, and others are all calling on the party to abandon its presidential nominee. kovner, a new york investor who has donated $2.7 million to the republican party since 2012, called trump "a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a united states president." on thursday, first lady michelle obama issued a scathing criticism of donald trump and the recently surfaced 2005 video that shows trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. mrs. obama: because this was not just a lewd conversation, this wasn't just locker room banter, this was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior.
and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so it seemed that many of us were worried about our children hearing it will return on the tv. amy: that was first lady michelle obama -- who never once used trump's name during her scathing speech. donald trump, in response, has denied the accusations of sexual assault, which include women accusing trump of groping them and kissing them without their consent. speaking at a rally in florida on thursday, trump denied he forced himself upon "people" magazine reporter natasha stoynoff in 2005 by implying he didn't attack her because of her looks. mr. trump: take a look. you take a look. look at her. look at her words. you tell me what you think. i don't think so. amy: natasha stoynoff says trump sexually assaulted her at the mar-a-lago in 2005 when she was interviewing him and melania for a story about the first anniversary of their wedding. stoynoff writes trump was giving her a tour of the estate when --
"trump shut the door behind us. i turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat." trump has also lashed out at "the new york times," which this week published the accounts of to the -- to other women who say trump sexually assaulted them. mr. trump: and belting false claims with no witnesses, no nothing. and that supposedly years and years ago. i never met these people. i don't even know who they are. they are made up stories filed right before the election step right before the election. amy: trump has demanded a retraction and threatened to sue "the new york times" over the article. in response, "the times" lawyers have sent a letter to trump's lawyers writing -- "the essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one's reputation. trump has bragged about his non-consensual touching of
women. nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that mr. trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself." the committee to protect journalists has said -- "trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the united states," marking the first time the committee to protect journalists has said a u.s. presidential candidate is a threat to press freedom. meanwhile, fox business network host lou dobbs has apologized after he tweeted the personal phone number and address of jessica leeds, who has accused trump of sexually assaulting her on a plane in the 1980's. this is leeds. >> it was a real shock when all of a sudden, his hands were all over me. he started encroaching on my space. i hesitate to use this expression, but i'm going to, and that is he was like an octopus. it was like yet six arms.
when he started putting his hand up my skirts, that was it. that was it. i was out of there. amy: dobbs tweeted her address and phone number on thursday, then deleted the tweet and apologized saying -- "my retweet, my mistake, my apology to jessica leeds." in more political news, a new jersey judge has issued a criminal summons for new jersey governor chris christie over the 2013 george washington bridge lane closure scandal in which christie's top aides are accused of conspiring to create a traffic jam to punish the mayor of fort lee for failing to endorse christie's re-election. a former ally to christie, david wildstein, has testified that christie knew all about the plan ahead of time. the criminal summons stems from a citizen complaint filed by a retired fireman against governor christie, accusing him of official misconduct. ahmad khan rahami has pled not guilty to charges of attempting to kill police officers amid a shootout in linden, new jersey
, last month as authorities were attempting to arrest rahami on charges of detonating a pressure cooker bomb in chelsea, manhattan, and a pipe bomb in new jersey. the pressure cooker bomb in chelsea injured 31 people. both officers and rahami were wounded in the shootout. on thursday, rahami appeared at court via video from his hospital bed. in charlotte, north carolina, an independent autopsy has revealed african american father keith lamont scott was shot three times by charlotte police officers, including once in the back. the autopsy says the shooting was a homicide. keith lamont scott's killing by police in september sparked massive protests in charlotte as well as across the country. this comes as the u.s. justice department has announced it will begin collecting nationwide data on police shootings and use of force. civil rights groups, however, say the plan is insufficient because it relies on voluntarily submitted data from local police forces. there is currently no comprehensive federal government database of fatal police
shootings and other incidents of police brutality. an ongoing guardian investigation says 847 people have been killed in the united states by police so far this year. in new york city, 10 black employees of the new york fire department have accused the fdny of "systemic, ongoing, continuous and intentional discrimination." in a complaint to the equal employment opportunity commission, they say black employees of the fire department are paid less, passed over for promotions, and are subjected to "workplace harassment and a hostile work environment based upon overt and subtle forms of discrimination." in north dakota, documentary filmmaker deia schlosberg has been charged with three felonies for filming one of five coordinated acts of civil disobedience earlier this week in which climate activists manually turned off the safety valves to stop the flow of tar sands oil through pipelines spanning the u.s. and canada.
the actions took place in miesota, montana, north dakota, and washington state. the award-winning filmmaker schlosberg was filming the -- she was filming the action at a valve station owned by transcanada in walhalla, north dakota. she was arrested along with the activists and her footage was confiscated. on thursday, she was charged with a class a felony and two class c felonies, which combined carry a 45-year maximum sentence. meanwhile, the sheriff of dane county, wisconsin, has pulled his deputies out of north dakota after they were dispatched there one week ago at the request of the morton county sheriff's office in order to police the ongoing resistance to the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline. dane county sheriff dave mahoney said he pulled his deputies out of north dakota because -- "a wide cross-section of the community who all share the
opinion that our deputies should not be involved in this situation." this comes after the morton county sheriff's department rick weston hundreds of out-of-state sheriff deputies come to north dakota. has diedan, a prisoner of unknown causes at a facility. charlie anderson is the third person to die within michigan's prisons within a month. this comes as new information has surfaced about a crack out correctionals facility against prisoners participating in the nationwide prison strike. prisoners say they did not show up to work at the kitchen september 9, the first day of the strike, instead organized a peaceful march of hundreds of prisoners in the yard. they say in armed t storm the yard, and capping business, firing tear gas canisters and said some were left outside in the rain for up to six hours in retaliation.
in minneapolis and st. paul, 600 janitors have won union recognition after a more than seven-year campaign that saw a series of short-term strikes. the janitors work for mega box stores, including target, macy's, and best buy. the campaign was supported by the minneapolis workers center united workers center in struggle. the workers are now joining the local 26 of the service employees international union and start collective bargaining in efforts to win health care and higher wages. and today marks the beginning of the international monsanto tribunal in the hague. organized by activists from across the world, the tribunal will include testimonies from dozens of victims of monsanto on the environmental and health damage caused by the company. this comes as farmers in germany are protesting the merger between monsanto and pharmaceutical company bayer, which has created the largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals in the world. >> the bayer and men cento merger is a declaration of war to the farmers and consumers. if there's a concentration in this eads of pesticide sector,
then there's a concentration of the entire consumer sector. the larger agricultural companies want to get the entire cooper election under their control. we defend ourselves against it. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy, before we get to the rest of the show, you are heading back to north dakota to answer the charges that were lodged against you in connection to the labor day weekend protest over the dakota access pipeline? amy: that's right. i'm going back to north dakota to cover the ongoing standoff that standing rock with the democracy now! team. i will be turning myself into authorities of the morton county jail in north dakota monday morning 8:00 a.m. north dakota time, 9:00 a.m. here. as a result of being charged by the state of north dakota with criminal trespass: the release
of our video showing the dakota access pipeline security guards physically assaulting nonviolent men mainly native american land protectors, pepper spraying them and unleashing attack dogs. i intend to vigorously fight the charge as i see it a direct attack on the first amendment, freedom of the press, and the public's right to know. the prosecutor in the case say he may actually add more charges , so we will see. hopefully, reason will prevail among the authorities. we will be watching it definitely and best of luck to you. well, if donald trump had his way, our next guest would have been executed over two decades ago. in 1989, yusef salaam and four other african-american and latino teenagers were arrested for beating and raping a white woman who was jogging one evening in new york city's central park. they became know as the central park five. amy: media coverage at the time portrayed the teens as guilty and used racially coded terms
like "wolf pack" to refer to the group of boys accused in the attack. donald trump took out full-page ads in four city newspapers. the ad said "bring back the , death penalty. bring back our police!" the ad went on to read in part -- "mayor koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. i do not think so. i want to hate these muggers and murderers." in an interview with cnn later the same year, trump defended the ad. mr. trump: i am strongly in favor of the death penalty and a favor bringing back police forces that can do something instead of just turning their back because every wall the lawyer that represents people in trouble said the first thing they do is start shouting "police brutality" etc.. i am saying if they are found guilty, if the woman died -- which hopefully, she will not be dying -- but if the woman died, i think they should be executed. the problem with our society, the victim has no right and the criminal has unbelievable
rights. unbelievable rights. i say it has to stop. that is why i took the ad. i have never done anything this -- that is been so positively received. juan: yusef salaam and the four others teenagers ended up spending between seven and 13 years in jail for the assault. then in 2002, the convictions in the central park five case were vacated after the real rapist came forward and confessed to the crime. dna evidence confirmed he was the sole attacker. the story of the central park five was chronicled in the 2012 film "the central park 5" directed by famed documentary filmmaker ken burns and his daughter sarah. courts last night a woman jogger unconscious and partially clothed in central park. she was beaten and sexually assaulted full of >> a woman jogging in central park. central park was holy. it was the crime of the century.
five youths arrested between 14 and 15 years of age. >> they got 'em. >> you can only imagine the pressure to have this crime solved and sold quickly. quickly. >> they put us in separate rooms. the tone was very scary. i felt like they might take us back to the back of the precinct and kill as. >> i told my son to go to the park that night. i feel guilty. >> angry. >> he was interrogated for over 24 hours. >> these young men were guilty. it was almost unquestioned. control the story. they created the story. >> they seized on the fear of the people. >> characterization of the black
man. >> there is no dna match whatsoever to any of these boys. >> no blood on the kids. nobody could identify them. but if they confessed, they confessed and that was that. >> our people did not do their jobs. prosecutors, defense lawyers. them andsely convicted we walked away from our crime. sayse ultimate siren that none of us are safe. the trailer to the "central park amy: five" documentary. in 2014, the city of new york agreed to pay $41 million to the five men wrongfully convicted. as for donald trump, he has never apologized. in fact, he still claims they were guilty. in a statement to cnn last week , donald trump said -- "they admitted they were guilty. the police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. the fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.
and the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same." well, we're going now to atlanta to speak with yusef salaam, one of the central park five. his recent piece for "the washington post" is headlined, "i'm one of the central park five. donald trump won't leave me alone." yusef, thank you for joining us. donald trump as early as last thursday continues to say that you are guilty. what the you say to him? >> first, thank you for having me on your show full's top -- show. donald trump has the ultimate ability to fact check everything about this case. in the trailer, one of the things that is surprising, yet one of the jurors saying he was going crazy, there was no evidence, no blood on the guys, but they confessed. so that was that. when you look at the nature of the confessions, when you look at the nature of what happened to get the confessions, how
these confessions did not match anything the other guys were saying, you know, and then all of a sudden, 13 years later the truth comes out and then you have a guy who talks about what happened at the crime scene, talks about when he struck the woman over the head with a tree branch, talks about dragging her into the woods, and key evidence that no one else had mentioned is that she was tied up with her own jogging outfit. donald trump has the ability to look at all of this. and up with the truth out there. but i think it is more attractive to him to be divisive, to be negative, calling it a positive thing that he did in 1989. we're talking about this crime happened april 19, 1989. on may 1, donald trump already taken out the ads. they were being ran in new york city newspapers, calling for the death penalty to be reinstated. what was happening, we were given a social death. we were being tried in the media and they were getting ready to lynch us in public and through
the court system. if i had a show, i would tell donald trump he was fired. all of the things he is exhibiting today is very, very disturbing. nobody who is seeking presidency should even have any kind of shady dark past like donald trump. he is definitely not the man for these united states of america. juan: you refer to come as we have the full page ads, he took out -- you are one of the few accused who was actually able to get out on bail shortly after the arrest. what was your reaction and what was the reaction in the city? i remember it well because i covered the trial of several of you during that time. what was the reaction in the city and the climate, especially fueled by trump's adds? >> it was very negative. if you look at the campaigns donald trump has gone around the country to bolster up the people
to follow him, on one side you have people opposing this in campaigning against donald trump. donald trump's followers have physically assaulted some of these individuals who have been there peacefully protesting donald trump's presidency. in 1989 when i was bailed out, we were the pariahs. negative energy, such a negative place -- i mean, we could not turn anywhere without the exception of our mothers or our parents arms, and find safety. it was one of the most dangerous places to be. when i look back at that time, i mean, we could not do anything other than put one foot in front of the other and continue to live out whatever this life was that we were being given. amy: how many years did you serve? >> seven years in prison.
about seven years in prison. amy: i want to turn to raymond santana when he was on democracy now! in 2012 when we spoke to him. >> i served almost seven years. i tried to get my life back together and put one foot in front of the other, but i did not realize the social death we were given as a sentence. a lifew, this was sentence. a death sentence, in a sense. when i came home, i could not get employment. numerousout applications will stop i had to register as a sex offender. my whole neighborhood looked at me kind of strange. you get the, hi, how are you doing, be always had a bull's-eye in the back that some of the somehow knows i am from the central park five case. amy: i want to play a comment from a juror who served on the 1990 jury that convicted antron
mccray, raymond santana and yusef salaam in the central park jogger case. we interviewed harold brueland, in after new evidence emerged 2002 that prompted him and many others to question if justice was served. this was his response. >> let's put it this way, i don't have a clear notion of what happened. i certainly know you cannot uncertainties for stuff you must let someone go if you reasonable doubt. i have very much reasonable doubt now. amy: that was one of the central park five jurors. yusef, we have spoken about this on a panel. aside from covering this case, confessedo ultimately in prison and his dna matched the dna -- the dna never matched any of the central park five. he ultimately was caught because
he raped a woman in my building, the woman who lived below me. she came out screaming. , asinally -- but his m.o. he went around the upper part of central park, was the same as what happened to the poor show of what happened to the central park jogger. he would rape women, attack them, attack them in front of their children. the police were so intent on getting the five of you, that this man who was committing , who crimes at the time was sent to prison for these crimes, was never in any way linked because of their blindness in this case. >> yes. the worst part about it, like you said, their blindness, the rush to judgment, they're wanting to solve this crime and solved it quickly, they dropped the ball. they dropped it in the worst way. the young woman you speak of that was his last victim, she
was a pregnant, young latina while her toraped learn more in the next room. he raped her and then murdered her. amy: she was the woman before. so he continued his murder and rape spree as the police focused on the five of you. >> yes, indeed. the worst situation in the world. the worst part about it, the way the police went after us and the reports i began to filter from the police department through the media begin to paint a picture that we were the ones that the public needed to hang for this crime. like i said, that same kind of thing plays out today. there is still this murkiness because the truth of the story that was told back then was not really the whole truth. people today still feel like something about that case -- the daf the time said there was dna
evidence. when the dna evidence did not match, they quickly just quieted that and then moved on with the case. the worst part about it, that left a negative residue in the minds of many people because the only thing they remembered was, there was something about dna in this case. the false confessions were even worse because here it was, we were explaining -- eyewitness testimony to what we had seen, but had not dissipated and. they flipped it around and said, well, the reason why they did not rate the central park jogger is because they were beating up other people in other parts of the park. the reality is, there were people who have been arrested and got convicted for assaulting those individuals in central park. they never became known as central park five members. juan: yusef, as you are hearing now in this presidential campaign, all of the allegations
of sexual assault against donald trump himself, women coming forward, and his own caught on tape admissions of participating in sexual assaults -- he then claimed it was just locker room banter -- what is your reaction now to what trump is facing? a he definitely sounds like sexual predator. this is absurd. this is not a 12-year-old hanging out in the locker room talking about something he wants to do -- not even a 20-year-old hanging out in the locker room, so to speak, talking about something that he has done or his sexual exploits are things like that. this is a person on the cusp, if not already, being 60 years old. this is a person who everything about him is part of his fiber, the fiber of his life in the fabric of who he actually is. so for him to come back out and ih, i got caught, how can i spin this and then say, it
is just locker room banter. you mean you were talking about assaulting a woman, sexual depraved acts, going after them in this kind of -- what is the word he said? he said he was a b-i-t-c-h. when you think about what he is saying, it is absurd that people will dismiss it and say, yeah, he was just talking the talk. woment was not only these who have come forward. it seems everyday or every other day now, more women are coming forward. his own wife ivana trump accused him of rape as well. yusef salaam, final comment. are you calling for an apology from donald trump? the city settled with you and the four others who together are called the central park five, for $41 million, new york city?
>> yes. amy: what are you asking from donald trump? >> i don't necessarily know i am asking for an apology from donald trump. white obviously, i really don't believe he will give us an apology. it would be great for him to show the human side of him, more humidity and say, you know what? i was wrong. he tried to say he was wrong with regard to this information they came out about him, but he has continued to harp on this same line and say he was not wrong. the reason why he believes he was correct is because what the police department said. but it was found what they said and how everything was put together was completely un-factual. back in 1989, yet these false confessions that the public had viewed -- it was almost like he would turn on the news and every single day, there was any report about something about the central park jogger case. the best thing that happened was
when ken burns revisited this in 2012, he had raymond santana read his false confession on video. mind you, raymond was 14 years old at the time. in 1989, people absolutely believed what he was saying. here he is middle reading his 14-year-old -- here he is reading his 14-year-old confession. 9:00 p.m.,oximally me and a group of my colleagues began to walks out. he looks up and says, what 14-year-old boy talk like this? fired trump needs to be from this presidency, fired from running for president of the united states, fired -- we need to send him to another planet. , thank you foram being with us. we will link to rpgs in "the washington post," headlines "i'm , one of the central park five.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to a new report that documents the devastating harm of policies that criminalize the personal use and possession of drugs. human rights watch and the american civil liberties union
released the findings wednesday with a call for states and the federal government to decriminalize low-level drug offenses, which it says account for more arrests than any other crime. amy: last year, police booked more people for small-time marijuana charges than for murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined. this comes as four states have legalized recreational marijuana use and five more will vote to do the same next month. this is part of a video that accompanies the new report. >> 27-year-old man they got sentenced to 20 years for half an ounce of weed. arout 18 yearsgets out of risen, old. i was just talking about how you would miss out on the little things up charlie's life.
>> every 25 seconds, someone is arrested in the unit is a simply for possessing drugs for their personal use. around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than any other crime. over 1.20 5 million arrests per year. >> stephen is not here with us because he is in prison. the last time he was arrested, i think it was for drug paraphernalia and eventually they gave him five years. >> stephen at one time was the provider. is not being there has definitely impacted.
amy: that video accompanies the new report by human rights watch and the american civil liberties union titled, "every 25 seconds: the human toll of criminalizing drug use in the united states." its principle author joins us now to discuss its findings. tess borden spent a year visiting with people jailed on drug possession charges, as well as prosecutors and other key players in the system. she focused on the states of louisiana, texas, florida, and new york. welcome to democracy now! layout your findings. >> it is terrific to be here. we undertook this year-long investigation into just how held the law enforcement approach to drug use is. we found the skeleton first man is absolutely massive. every 25 seconds, someone is arrested. that accounts for 1.20 5 million arrests per year, more than any other crimes, three times more
than all violent crimes combined, five times more than drug dealing. we scale is incredible. and devastating. secondly, we found the consequences of those arrest the prosecutions can be sometimes lifelong, not only for individuals, but also for families will stop on any given day in the u.s., some 140,000 people are behind bars just because they possessed a small amount of drugs for their own personal use. each day, tens of thousands more are cycling through jails and prisons struggling to make ends meet on probation and parole. we found a conviction for drug possession often at the felony level -- in 42 states, small amounts of possession can be a felony offense. we found those convictions can keep individuals, and sometimes entire families, out of public benefits shut as food stamps -- such as food stands or section eight housing. it can be hard to get a job, vote. house, for noncitizens, it can result
in deportation. we also found the enforcement laws is disproportionately impacting communities of color and the poor without justification. we know around the country, black and white people use drugs at equivalent rates. is 2.5 times more likely to be arrested person will drug possession than a white person. many states, it is significantly higher. to one.ate is it one a black person is more than five times more likely to be arrested for simple drug possession for personal use than a white person in north dakota, new york, minnesota, montana, iowa, manhattan ae in black person is 11 times more likely to be arrested. ratess despite equivalent of use. these are racial disparities, but more important, under human rights law, this is racial discrimination. juan: one of the interesting things, the core of the report is all of these interviews you did with 149 people.
most people think, well, a person gives arrested on a drug charge, they deserve it. but you look at the entire impact, not just on that person, but on their family, their whole situation, and also on their prospects once they get out of jail in terms of being able to reconstruct their lives. inet 149 people. 64 of whom were in custody when i met them. what i found across the board was that these are mothers and fathers, friends and family members who have been taken out of their lives and for whom it is really hard to move on after the fact a prosecution. i met people like cory ladd in the video, steven's family. cory ladd has a four-year old daughter who will be five. we saw the picture of her. she will be five in january. he was arrested in december before she was born. he has never held her or played with her outside of prison. the first time he held his baby girl was in the infamous angola
prison in louisiana. amy: this is for possessing less than half announce a marijuana? >> yes. his prior convictions were also for drug possession. because he was considered under louisiana law the vigil offender because he had habitual drug use, he was sentenced to 20 years. 20 years. his little daughter charlie now think she visits him at work when they go to prison. she could be a teenager going off to college by the time he comes home. she will know then that prison is not where her dad works. amy: tell us about nicole. >> she is the mother of three young children i met in houston, texas in jail. she was detained pretrial on two charges, but the residue inside familiar. the prosecutors could have prosecuted her for misdemeanors, but they sought felony charges. nicole was to attain for three months away from her gentlemen, away from her newborn. the little babies who i call rose learned to sit up on her own when her mother was inside.
nichols has been brought rose to the jail. when you visit someone in jail, there is glass in front of you. you often have to speak to a telephone. the baby could not reach out and feel her mother and a call could not hug her, could not congratulate her because the baby does not understand how to use the phone. nicole pled guilty. in exchange, the prosecutor dropped one charge and she got a 0.01y charge of possessing grams of heroin. now she will be a "felon" and a drug offender. nicole tells me beyond being beyond bars just behind bars, she was in school, seeking a degree in business a administration. she said she would have to drop out of school because now she would not qualify for student financial aid. .he would lose food stamps
she would no longer be able to rent in her own name. she would no longer be able to feed her children. she said, this is my whole life right there, and for what? juan: you also talk about patricia richardson in florida who was convicted at the age of 18 and has never been able to vote. talk about the impact on voting disenfranchisement. >> three states include in florida disenfranchised people for felony convictions. many other states have some level whether it is for a period of years or while you're finishing her sentence. trisha said she had recalled registering to vote and that it is a relic of the past, a fond memory that she would never be able to capitalize on. people told me across the board they felt as though this conviction, whether it separated them from the voting box or other benefits, meant the voice did not matter, that they were no longer really a citizen who
mattered in the united states. as we look at next month going into an important election, felony disenfranchisement is literally keeping people out of our democracy. arrest drug possession are the number one cause of people entering into the system that could be disenfranchising them. juan: as we're seeing in recent years, red of the her when epidemic, especially in white committees across the country, you are seeing these ads on radio and television with a more sympathetic trail of the impact of drugs. do you think this has a potential to be able to move politicians finally to say, well, maybe we ought to reconsider some of our drug laws? >> this is precisely why human watch and the aclu is intervening at this time, coupling our call for decriminalization with a strong call for investment in public health approach. we know 40 years after the drug war was declared, has now
stopped drug rate or drug dependence as we see with opiate use right now. we need to invest in a stronger public health approach. we need more evidence-based prevention, education around the risks of drug use and dependence, involuntary treatment affordable in the committee. i think there's been a commendable shift and some policies towards public health, but i would caution we do not invest stronger into the failed criminal justice approach. we are afraid of drugs in this country right now and i think what we need to say is most people who use drugs do not become dependent. the opiate epidemic is devastating and tragic and those people deserve a public health approach instead. amy: you're calling for decriminalization of drugs? >> absolutely. for personal use of illicit drugs including marijuana, including heroin, meth amphetamines, cocaine -- all drugs. to be quite clear is not that
everyone should go out and use drugs, what we're saying is for those people who use drugs and do not harm others, the criminal law is inappropriate for those people who use drugs and develop dependence -- they have a right to a health-based approach instead. the state can still use other laws in place if people do put others in harms way. driving criminalize under the influence for alcohol. we can treat personal drug use like we do our all caps on should. amy: thank you for joining us, tess borden, the neier fellow at human rights watch and the american civil liberties union. she is the author of the new aclu-hrw joint report, "every 25 seconds: the human toll of criminalizing drug use in the united states." we will link to it at democracynow.org. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
amy: bandmember is the son of our next guest, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today's show with a look at a new book that argues "america is at war with itself." from poisoned water in flint and other cities, to the police deaths of african-americans including keith lamont scott, eric garner, and sandra bland, to hate-mongering on the presidential campaign trail, henry giroux critiques what he believes is a slide toward authoritarianism and other failings that led to the current political climate. amy: noted scholar robin d.g. kelley writes in the book's foreword -- "these are indeed dark times, but they are dark not merely because we are living in an era of vast inequality, mass incarceration, and crass materialism, or that we face an increasingly precarious future.
they are dark because most americans are living under a cloak of ignorance, a cultivated and imposed state of civic illiteracy that has opened the gates for what giroux correctly sees as an authoritarian turn in the united states. these are dark times because the very fate of democracy is at stake -- a democracy fragile from its birth, always battered on the shoals of racism, patriarchy, and class rule. the rise of donald j. trump is a sign of the times." well, for more we are joined by the author of "america at war with itself." henry giroux is the mcmaster university professor for scholarship in the public interest. he joins us in our new york studio. how is america at war with itself? >> basically, declared war not only on any sense of democratic idealism, but war on all institutions that make democracy possible. we see it with the war on public schools, education, the health
care system. we see it with the war on dissent on the first amendment. we see it in the war on women's reproductive rights. we especially see with the war on youth. it seems you can measure any degree -- any society's insistence on how it takes democracy seriously can in fact be measured by the way it treats its children. if we take the index as a measure of the u.s., it is utterly failing. you have young people basically in schools increasingly modeled after prisons. you have their behavior being increasingly criminalized. -- kids who rise of basically are true and from school are being fined and their parent cannot pay the fine and then they are being put in jail. you have kids whose every behavior is being criminalized. what is it me to be in a public school and all of the sudden you're in danger of a dress code violation? the police come and handcuff
you. they put you in a police car. they put you in the criminal justice system. marked forurself life. entire families are being destroyed around the schools it seems the real question is, how do you understand these isolated incidents? we have a set of categories telling us what is happening. what is happening, the social state is being destroyed in the punishing's is taking its place. a violence now becomes the only tool by which we can actually mediate social problems that should be dealt with in very different ways. juan: you develop an entire chapter to donald trump's america. howspecifically talk about the media coverage of trump has divorced him from any past history of the country in terms of the development of right-wing demagogues and authoritarian figures. >> you live in a country marked by a culture of the media. you live in a country marked by solar -- celebrity country.
it paralyzes them come eliminate all social literacy, schools are bastions of -- no imagination in any fundamental way. with trump, you see something utterly symptomatic of the decline of formative culture that makes democracy possible. you have to have informed citizens to have a democracy. if you don't have people who can think -- remember when hannah was talking about authoritarianism, thoughtlessness is the essence of authoritarianism. emotions become more important than reason. injustice is looked over is simply something that happens on television. the spectacle of violence takes over everything. it seems to me we make a terrible mistake in talking about trump as some kind of essence of evil. he is symptomatic of something much deeper in the culture, whether we're talking about the militarization of everyday life, the criminalization of social
problems, or the way in which money has absolutely corrupted politics. this is a country sliding into authoritarianism. you cannot call this a democracy anymore. we make a terrible mistake when we equate capitalism with democracy. amy: you talk about the ethical bankruptcy of u.s. ruling elites paving the way for donald trump. >> we live in a country separated all economic activity from social cost. from ethical consideration. it has become a liability. i think when people like you and others make that clear that you cannot have a democracy without kind of ethical intervention, without assessing the degree to which people in some way can believe in the public good, believe in justice, you have the heavy hand of the law counting on you. i think with a radical imagination dies, you live in the state of terrorism, fear. you live in a state which people cannot trust each other. shared fears become more important than shared
responsible be's. that is the essence of fascism. juan: what sign of hope do you see? signs.t of thank you for the question. at some level, we see young people mobilizing around different issues. they're doing something i have not seen for a long time, linking these issues together. you cannot talk about police violence without talking about the militarization of society in general. you cannot talk about the assault on public education unless you talk about the way in which the cap -- capitalism defund all goods. you cannot talk about the present system without talking of racism. they are making the connection, but they're reaching with other groups. if you're going to talk about flint -- it seems ferguson, yet the talk palestine. if you're going to talk about repression in the u.s., you have to figure out how -- these modes of repression have become global. something has happened. politics is local and power is
global. the elite float. they don't care about the social contrast getting lost. we see a level of disposability, a level of violence that is unlike anything we have seen -- donald trump talking about the central park five still being guilty. give me a break. is it at about 70 is ignorant and stupid or somebody is now part of a ruling class that is so in different, the questions of justice, that they actually boast about their own racism? amy: let me ask about the issue of education. the debate here is around school choice, vouchers, charter schools. you have been talking about schools for a long time. what is the role of schools? >> they should be places that educate people to be informed, to learn how to govern rather than the government. to spur the radical imagination, to give them the tools needed to be up to both relate to themselves and others in the wider world in a way in which they can imagine that world is a
better place. it seems that the heart of any education that matters is the central question, how can you a future much different than the present in a future that basically runs itself in questions economic, political, and social justice? juan: for instance, the obama administration has been a big promoter of charter schools and these privatization efforts as a school choice model. >> the obama administration is a disgrace on education. basically, an administration that has brought the -- by the neoliberal line. it drinks the orange juice. it does not seize goals as a public good. it does not see them as places were basically we can educate events in a way to take democracy searcy and fight for it. it sees them as kids should be part of the global workforce. as understanding schools democratic public spheres means the only place you can really go is either to knowledge and not do anything about the fact that many of them are now modeled
after prison or secondly, they become places that killed the radical imagination. teaching for the test is a way to kill the radical imagination. a way to make it boring. a way to make them ignorant, a way to shut them off from the world in a way in which they can recognize their agency matters. it matters. you cannot beat in an environment and take education sears lunar education -- agency is under assault. can't do it. anything you begin with a quote. explain >> i will explain in terms of a slogan. donald trump's slogan. let's make a mecca great again. when i hear that, that seems to suggest there was a moment in the past when america really was great. when women knew their places, when we could that dogs all black people of mississippi, assaulted people were at lunch counters by others.
that is about the death of memory. memory being basically suppressed in a way that doesn't allow people to understand there are things that happen in the past that we not only have to remember, we have to prevent from happening again. at another level, it suggests the suppression of memory that can't happen again and we don't have to worry about them. it seems to me a country without a sense of public memory, historical memory, is a country always in crisis. amy: your talked about donald trump also coming about the a failure of the progressive left. how? >> one of the things about the left -- three things disturbed me about the left. one is they have to take education seriously. a think it is about schooling. what they don't realize, forms of domination are not the structural, they're also about changing consciousness, getting people to invest in a language in which they can recognize the
problems we're talking about have something to do with their lives. it means making something meaningful to make a critical, to make it transformative. second, there are too involved in isolated issues. we have to create a mass social movement that in some way really challenges the kind of power we are confronting. amy: only the beginning of the conversation. henry giroux, thank you for being with us. mcmaster university professor for scholarship in the public war with itself." juan, tomorrow is a special day. happy birthday. juan: thank you. you did not need to mention that. we will be broadcasting monday from the standing rock sioux reservation. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.
[announcer] p allen smith's garden to table is brought to you by the berry family of nurseries - growers of edibles, hardy trees and shrubs, and fresh holiday greenery. and by the makers of jobe's organic fertilizer now in spikes, granular and water soluble formulas, easygardener.com > coming up next a show about setting the scene for an easter feast. ♪ hi, i'm allen smith. welcome to garden to table. hey, i'm out here in the garden among these gorgeous wisteria trees setting the table for some easter fun. now we'll get back to this in just a little bit. in today's show i'll show you how to dye easter eggs using elements from the garden and your spice rack.