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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 29, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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02/29/16 02/29/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now. >> i and here at the academy awards, otherwise known as the white people's choice awards. the oscars, things are going to be a little different. things are going to be a little different. this year in the immemorial package it is just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. amy: that is oscars host chris
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rock opening the sunday night ceremony in los angeles. hollywood's biggest night had to share the spotlight with way cuts and a sharp tongued host which all brought the attention to the lack of diversity. we will speak with rashad robinson and hector becerra. his recent article headlined, "in this town, it is as if hollywood tries to not cast latinos." first, the south carolina. >> despite what you hear, we don't need to make america great again. america has never stopped being great. but we do need to make america whole again. walls, we building need to be tearing down barriers. amy: voters in south carolina's democratic primary saturday backed presidential candidate hillary clinton with a
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staggering 73.5% of the vote. african-americans favored clinton over sanders by more than six to one while white voters narrowly preferred her as well. we will get reaction as well as hesitance to disavow david duke. reasons racism is still alive. we will speak with ari berman, author of "give us the ballot." all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in south carolina, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton scored a decisive victory over rival bernie sanders in the primary winning , 73.5% of the vote and picking up 39 additional delegates. african-americans in south
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carolina favored clinton over sanders by more than six to one, while white voters narrowly preferred her as well. in her victory speech, clinton responded to republican presidential frontrunner donald trump's vow to "make america great again." >> despite what you hear, we don't need to make america great again. america has never stopped being great. but we do need to make america whole again. walls, we building need to be tearing down barriers. amy: clinton's victory propels her into this week's critical super tuesday voting where a dozen states go to the polls and about 880 delegates are at stake. meanwhile here in new york, hundreds of supporters of clinton's rival, vermont senator bernie sanders, gathered in union square and marched to zuccotti park, where occupy wall street began. participants said they wanted to disprove clinton supporter gloria steinem, who was forced to apologize after suggesting
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young women support sanders because "that's where the boys are." >> today's march is not here for boys, it response to comments made by lori steinem, saying that women were just here for boys. bernie's program is addressing a lot of fundamental leaves that working-class women have. the single-payer system, the $15 in our minimum wage, are things that really resonate with him people, young women and that is why women are out here today to show that we are supporting bernie, that we are wanting to build a movement that goes the on the presidential campaign. canndependent force that fight for women's rights and also for workers rights, labor's rights. amy: on democratic sunday, representative tulsi gabbard of hawaii resigned as a vice chairwoman of the democratic national committee in order to endorse senator bernie sanders for president. gabbard had clashed with dnc over the number of
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debates seen as favoring clinton over sanders. meanwhile robert reich, who was , labor secretary under president bill clinton also , endorsed sanders, saying he believes "bernie sanders is the agent of change this nation so desperately needs." we'll have more on the latest primary news after headlines. alabama senator jeff sessions has become the first sitting senator to endorse donald trump. the endorsement came two days after new jersey governor chris christie backed trump, despite excoriating him on the campaign trail before christie himself backed out of the race. meanwhile, in an appearance on cnn, trump refused to condemn endorsements from david duke, a prominent white supremacist and former klan leader. in an interview with jake tapper, trump said he didn't know david duke. >> i would have to look. if you would send the a list of the groups, i would do research in no disavow if i thought there was something wrong.
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areyou may have some that totally fine, so it would be unfair. give me a list and i will let you know. >> i'm talking about david duke and the ku klux klan. him.nestly, i don't know i don't believe i've ever met him. amy: despite what he said, trump has actually disavowed david duke in the past; in 2000, trump opted not to launch a presidential bid for the reform party, saying in part that the party, "now includes a klansman, mr. duke. this is not company i wish to keep." later sunday, trump posted a video on twitter of himself disavowing david duke. meanwhile at a rally in madison county, alabama, trump was disrupted by veterans who condemned his vow to ban muslims from entering the united states. the veterans held signs reading, "we stand with our muslim brothers and sisters" and "mr. trump: veterans say end hate speech." as the veterans were roughly forced out of the venue, trump exclaimed "isn't this fun?" ,>> tell me. te me, is is fun tbe at a ump rally isn't this f?
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amy: in iraq, a double suicide bombing claimed by isil has killed at least 70 people in a shiite section of the capital baghdad, marking the deadliest attack in baghdad this year. the attackers blew themselves up inside a crowded cellphone market in the neighborhood of sadr city. outside the capital baghdad, in the suburb of abu ghraib, isil militants attacked iraqi security forces, killing at the 17 of them, and seizing a grain silo and cemetery, before they were largely pushed back. abu ghraib is known as the site of a prison of the same named where u.s. troops abused iraqi prisoners following the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003. in syria, a partial ceasefire brokered by the united states and russia has entered its third day, amid accusations of violations from both sides. airstrikes by either syria or russian warplanes hit a number ofebel-helvillages in what the syrian opposition called a violation of the truce. meanwhile russian officials , accused rebel groups of violations. however, overall the ceasefire, which is the first to be
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attempted in years, appears to have calmed the violence. in yemen, the u.s.-backed, saudi-led coalition fighting houthi rebels has struck a bustling market northeast of the capital sanaa, killing 40 people. about 30 more people were injured. residents said most of the casualties were civilians. the united nations says about 6000 people have been killed since the u.s.-backed coalition began bombing the rebels in march, about half of them civilians. in news from japan, the former ceo and two other former executives of nuclear giant tepco have been indicted for negligence over the disaster at the fukushima nuclear plant nearly five years ago. in a massive earthquake and march 2011, tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown, exposing workers and residents to radiation and forcing a mass evacuation. nearly 15,000 fukushima residents filed a complaint, but prosecutors twice refused to bring charges against the executives. then last year, a citizen's panel ruled the executives
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should face trial, forcing the first criminal action over the disaster to move forward. meanwhile in london, tens of thousands rallied against britain's nuclear weapons program, marking what the guardian called, "britain's biggest anti-nuclear weapons rally in a generation." protesters traveled from as far away as australia to join the protest, which comes as parliament considers whether to spend billions replacing britain's trident nuclear system despite austerity cuts in other , areas. in iran, the first elections since the landmark nuclear deal appear to have dealt a major victory to reformist allies of president hassan rouhani. while final nationwide results appearnclear, in the capital tehran, pro-government parties won all 30 parliamentary seats. rouhani's allies also appear to have blocked a number of key hardline clerics from taking posts on an influential clerical council. the early results are seen as a victory for the nuclear deal after hardliners opposed it.
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in anaheim, california, violets are up to between members of the ku klux klan and counter protesters. 13 people were arrested, including one klan member who is accused of stabbing someone with a flagpole. in the latest on the water crisis in flint, michigan, newly released emails show top aides of michigan governor rick snyder advocated changing the city's water back to the detroit system months after it was switched to the corrosive flint river. the switch, made by an unelected emergency manager, ultimately poisoned the city's water supply after the river water corroded the parts, leaching lead into many people's homes. the e-mail shows snyder 70 legal counsel raised objections to the river water as early as october 2014, citing bacterial contamination and calling it a
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"urgent matter to fix." governor snyder's legal counsel also back to those concerns saying flint should "try to get , back on the detroit system as a stopgap asap before this thing gets too far out of control." but it wasn't until a year later that the water was finally switched back, after 18 months of using theiver water. by then residents had complained of a raft of cognitive and physical impairments from the pooned wat. to see our report fr flint, go to democracynow.org. a group of african-american film makers coming musicians, and other stars held a benefit for flint resident sunday, the night of the oscars. "creed" director ryan coogler who was passed over for his nomination while sylvester stallone was nominated for his role, joined some of director and many more -- joined "selma"
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director and many more as did musicians. made repeated references. in another political moment, director and screenwriter adam mckay warned against big money and politics as he accepted an oscar for best adapted screenplay for "the big short" about the financial crisis. >> if you don't want big money to control government, don't vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil, or weirdo billionaires. stop. the oscar went to "spotlight" for best picture. in the latest mass shooting in the united states, a man in washington state killed his wife and her two teenage children, then shot and killed himself. the identity of a fourth victim has not yet been released yet. police tried for hours to get david wayne campbell to rrender after he killed his family.
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on average, three women are killed by their partners every day in the united states. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as voters went to the polls saturday for south carolina's democratic primary, presidential candidate hillary clinton crushed rival bernie sanders, winning the primary by a staggering 73.5% of the vote and picking up 39 additional delegates, compared to 14 delegates for sanders. african-americans in south carolina favored clinton over sanders by more than six to one, while white voters narrowly preferred her as well. clinton's decisive win propels her into this week's critical super tuesday voting where a dozen states go to the polls and about 880 delegates are at stake. it is the biggest day of the 2016 presidential election. over the weekend, clinton campaigned at two different predominantly african-american churches in memphis, tennessee. >> join me on this journey.
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i know we can do it. tuesday.d your help on the tennessee primary is really important. you will stand up and vote for me, i will stand up and work and fight for you. campaign and into the white house together. amy: meanwhile, bernie sanders vowed to fight on and drew hundreds of supporters to his command rally in oklahoma city. he told a cheering crowd that the current federal minimum wage is a starvation wage and vowed to increase it to $15 an hour. sanders also criticized his opponent, hillary clinton, and reiterated his call for her to release transcripts for speeches paid for by wall street, saying -- "if you're going to get paid $200,000 for a speech, must be a pretty damn good speech and if it's such a good speech you got to release the transcripts let everybody see it." sanders also spoke to supporters at a rally in minnesota. >> and you are a super, super
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pac, and i thank you for that. and i'd rather have you on my side a million times over than all of the money in the world from wall street. now, my opponent has a different position. she has a super pac. and in the last reporting period her majosuper pa receiv 20 finly and dollars, $15 million which came from wall street. received, you know, many millions of dollars in speaker fees. she is a very good speaker, i admit that. for speech220 $5,000 to goldman sachs, yet to be really good. i don't know she is that good. amy: the democratic race now becomes a broader national contest. the 11 states along with american somoa that will vote during super tuesday include six in the south with large non-white populations.
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of the 880 delegates up for grabs, more than one-third of those are needed to win the nomination. well, for more, we go now to columbia, south carolina where we're joined by civil rights activist and community organizer kevin alexander gray. he edited the book "killing , trayvons: an anthology of american violence" and is the "waiting for lightning to strike author of -- the fundamentals of , black politics." kevin alexander gray, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about the primary in south carolina, it's significance, who voted -- well, first, talk democratic primary politics and then we will talk about donald trump and his hesitance to disavow the klan and david duke support. >> well, i am glad all of the candidates are gone. i think people have reached that burnout stage. and obviously, the democratic party side, even expressed by that clip you showed with bernie sanders in minnesota, bernie sanders went to minnesota before
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the votes were counted here in south carolina. -- the friday before the election, cbs news led with aps about the upcoming saturday primary where they showed bernie sanders in minnesota surrounded by an all-white crowd and hillary clinton in two locations itself carolina surrounded by black people, surrounded by -- and that is been the story of bernie sanders campaign, even here in south carolina. it has been a tour of colleges, a tour a black colleges and state colleges, but never any penetration into the black community. not even being able to go a block away from those colleges to actually go out into the community. thatyou look at the mailer bernie sanders and out, one particular one that comes to mind is the one he sent with the behind barsmale with his hands behind bars and one with a diploma. meanwhile, hillary clinton is sending out mailers surrounded
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by black women, in particular. the democratic electorate is 60% black and that the electorate is 60% black women. so if you're going to come down here and you're going to run a northern liberal kind of campaign, if you come down here and talk about revolution and movement but your campaign does not look like the movement you kind represent, i think people go with the devil you know. the other thing that people are not paying attention to in this huge victory that hillary clinton had over bernie sanders is t fact that so many people did not vote from 2008 to 2016. i would say that a lot of those people that did not vote did not vote because of their reticence to the clintons and what happened between them and obama an understanding that history. -- i hateie sanders to say it while he is talked about a moving campaign, he is not running movement campaign, just run a campaign. abuse talking about something the-lasting to build in
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communities, he hurt himself in south carolina. he left south carolina like the first defeat of the north and will run. -- bull run. to not be with his people in defeat that went out and did the best they could, let you know what he thinks about black voters -- and some people's minds. i think it will hurt him to ministry in the south moving forward. amy: according to think progress -- "more than 33,000 people in south carolina are behind bars, and 62% of the prison population is black. most of those people are not eligible to vote. in 2012, the state legislature took voting rights away from state residents on parole and today, more than 48,000 south carolina residents in prison, on parole, and on probation are disenfranchised by felony or misdemeanor convictions. african americans make up 64% of south carolina's disfranchised
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population, even though they comprise only 27% of the state's voting age population. one out of every 27 african american voters is disfranchised in south carolina, compared to one out of 65 south carolina voters." your thoughts? >> let me say this, amy, first of all, that is a problem in and of itself that the discussion on black politics starts talking about criminal justice issues and prisons. like voters want the same thing that white voters want. they want to be able to pay the house payment, paper mortgages, to pay their rent, to pay the utility bills, pay their taxes, to educate their kids. and when you think the whole foundation of black politics is just about talking about criminal justice and crime, that is playing a stereotype in and of itself. while there are a lot of black people and joe, disproportionately, and we understand the effects of structural racism, we still have
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close to one million close -- eligible voters in south carolina and probably close to 600,000 to 700,000 registered voters. when you look at the results 2012, and the number of people that did not vote that are registered to vote, that says something about democratic party. that says something about someone telling them that they are waging a revolution and it is not a revolution. if you want to talk about building and building a progressive movement, build one but do not come into south carolina or anywhere where basically you have the same kind of campaign that hillary clinton got. white man on the top running in and you come into the state and all of your surrogates are men. he of a program in greenville, south carolina with danny glover and everybody on the program is a man. those kinds of things matter. i do start out talking about crime, just talking about police and using black lives matter talking points, the black
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community i believe is more sophisticated than that and if you are running a progressive campaign, you ought to have sense enough to know that you have to talk to people and tease out the issues a whole lot better than you did. hillary clinton is a neoliberal democrat. the purpose of the jackson campaigns in 1984 and 1988 were encountered to bill clinton and hillary clinton and the rise of the dlc, democratic leadership council, which jesse called the democratic leisure class. and bernie sanders is supposedly running a campaign and that tradition. bringing people together, bringing coalitions of people together. i'm not seeing that. i'm not sing the nuclear activist and the peace activist and the arab-american community and the labor community and the black community have a real say in defining a platform that makes some sense. bernie sanders has done some wonderful things in his campaign. he is bright young people into the process. i hope he keeps them energized. but if the only mission is to
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say you push to democratic party to the left at the end of this process, then what have you accomplished? if we're talking about building something long-lasting and changing the nature of politics, which means you have to change it on the local and a level, you have to tackle the state legislatures, be prepared in gerrymandering so you can vote better people into office to move on to congress a you can actually change things. but if you're not going to do -- you have to have agents of change. you cannot simply be an agent of change by yourself. amy: who are you going to be supporting? >> i don't know yet. i support third-party candidates. i could possibly support a third party candidate from the green party the general election. i have not supported the -- since 1992.he i was here in south carolina as
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the southern political director marketin marching with clinton d him a back stab her. i worked with harkin and wrote those ads with adolph reed now supports bernie sanders to call bill clinton out on the execution of a young black man in arkansas. i am not supportive of neoliberal politics of bernie sanders would tell people, explain the difference between what a progressive is and what a neoliberal is, which is what hillary clinton is, someone is supports war, supports wall street, that supports privatization that a lot of things are husbanded like nafta , these are things that almost decimated the middle class and increase the wealth gap so those are things that neoliberals support. some of the things they support of the same things that neoconservative support. it is just about who is running it. but sanders also has to be against the idea of empire. if he is going to raise up the
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marlins are king name and talk about marching with martin luther king, martin luther king set a threat to justice in your is a threat to justice everywhere and that goes for palestine and israel and neither of the candidates, to include the aggressive candidate, has dared step on that rail in this campaign. how am i to think that a so-called progressive candidate is really right on race and ethnicity and the value of all human and respect for human rights if he cannot stand up for palestine? that is important to me. i don't want a so-called progressive campaign -- for me, the foundation of the campaign has to be right. how it is constructed has to be right. if you claim to be a progressive . you can't just be about people at the top line for power within the democratic party. indigo i want to turn to donald trump who refused to condemn endorsements from david duke, the prominent white supremacist and former kkk leader.
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duke has told his radio audience that voting against trump would be "treason to your heritage." speaking on cnn's state of the union with jake tapper, trump refused to disavow duke's support or the support of other white supremacists -- four times. this is a clip. >> i don't know anything about david duke. i don't know anything about what you're even talking about with the white supremacy or white supremacist. i don't know. i don't know -- did he endorse me or what is going on? i know nothing about david duke. i know nothing about white supremacists. when you're asking a question i'm supposed to be talking about, people that i know nothing about. >> i guess the question from the anti-defamation league is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you him it would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support? at the, i have to look
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group. i don't know what group you're talking about. you would not want me to condemn a group i know nothing about. i would have to look all stop if you it's a me a list of the groups, i will do research on them and certainly i would disavow if i thought there was something wrong. but you may have groups that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. give me a list of the groups and i will let you know. >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan. >> honestly, i don't know david duke. i don't believe i've ever met him. amy: donald trump has declined to distance himself from a benito mussolini quote he had retweeted. on sunday, chuck todd of nbc's "meet the press" questioned trump about the tweet. >> right now twitter, there is a trending retweet of yours, you retreated somebody from 2016 that was a mussolini quote but you did not know it was whistling the that said "it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep." that is the famous mussolini quote. do you like it? >> it is located know it is
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mussolini. mussolini was mussolini. it is a very good quote and a very interesting quote and i saw it -- and i know who said it, but what difference does it make whether it is mussolini or somebody else? it is a very interesting quote. that is probably why -- >> [inaudible] associated to be with a fascist? know, i want to be associated with interesting quotes. amy: there's donald trump been question on nbc. kevin alexander gray, can you talk about donald trump? i mean, it was only after tremendous outcry on sunday after being on cnn people speaking out all over the country and marco rubio and others attacking him around not disavowing the plan that he tweeted out -- klan that he tweeted out, ok, he disassociated himself.
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>> donald trump is a narcissistic white supremacist and the people that -- a lot of the people that come to hear him, this whole idea of make america great, that is all about making america great for a small group of people, generally, white males. that is what white male supremacy is about in their mind. they believe they are superior, that america needs to dominate everybody and it is all about chest something. i have not -- i'm not going to vote for donald trump. i think the people that follow donald trump, honestly, don't understand how he has made his money. the idea that someone who is married to an immigrant can stand up and bash immigrants, someone who is made so much money on the backs of the workers can bash workers and disregard workers rights, the people support that? part of the reason people
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support donald trump is the reason they thought one day they might own legs. a lot of people think they may be rich and that is why they play the lottery. they think being rich means you can say and do and get away with anything that you want to get away with. and the networks love it because they're making a lot of money. it is great entertainment. the republican debates -- i watched the republican debates because you never know what they are going to say. all of these campaigns, be at the democrat or republican campaigns, the people making out like bandits on the networks because they're getting all of this advertising money. the media created donald trump. when he was out here questioning barack obama's, the way he was born, and people called him out as a racist, his record is very clear. if the republicans dominate donald trump, they get what they get. it will be true than ever testing about their party for him to stand on the podium whether it is with jefferson beauregard sessions, an old
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southerner who believes this old south supremacy and the myth of -- lost cause. and you go you're talking with the first sitting senator to endorse donald trump, alabama plus sitting senator jeff sessions. >> as you call him, trump and those folks play those dog was a politics i think that is what donald trump is doing going into super tuesday. amy: kevin alexander gray, thank you for being with us civil , rights activist and community organizer in columbia, south carolina. he edited the book, "killing trayvons: an anthology of american violence" and is the author of, "waiting for lightning to strike -- the fundamentals of black politics." when we come back, ari berman joins us, talking about who can vote and who cannot in the biggest -- as we come up t to te biggest voting day outside of , superual election
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tuesday. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "higher ground" the justice r flint ccert, a kind of alternave to th oscars on sunday night raising money for the people of flint, michigan, whose water supply has been poisoned. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we move into super tuesday with 11 states and american samoa voting, we look at voting rights which could become a pivotal issue in the 2016 race. on august 6, 1965, president lyndon johnson signed into law the voting rights act, which has been under attack ever since. in 2013, the supreme court struck down crucial components of the act in a case called shelby county, alabama v. holder
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when it ruled that states with histories of voting-related racial discrimination no longer had to pre-clear changes to their voting laws with the federal government. immediately following the shelby ruling, several states passed laws that made it harder for people to vote. the 2016 race is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the voting rights act. to talk more about the potential impact of voting rights in this election, we're joined now by ari berman who covers voting rights for the nation. his recent piece is headlined, "63,756 reasons racism is still alive in south carolina." his new book "give us the , ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." welcome back to democracy now! so talk about this 63,000 plus reasons racism is still alive in south carolina. >> seven new voter id law, and oft is the number minority voters who could not vote unless they have an excuse of why they do not possess this
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idea. the id law was passed in a very racially charged anti-obama atmosphere. nevers of the south carolina legislative black caucus walked out when this bill was considered. this was passed over by what republicans. one of the authors -- amy: was one of the people walked out rerend clent tang t who was gned down last jun >> i bieve so. one of t bill's sporters reived an mail thasaid if african-ericansere paidor vote id, it would blike "a swarm ofees goinafter a watermel." author of the voter id law, self-care on a republicans, said "amen, thank you for his support of voter id." that was the atmosphere in which the law was passed about 7% of registered voters do not have a government issued id. this is the climate heading into the 2016.
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amy: so that a south carolina. talk about alabama, georgia, arkansas, the states that are now going to be voting on tuesday 02/29/16 02/29/16 five of the states voting on super tuesday have tough new voting restrictions. you look at places like alabama, texas, virginia, they have strict photo id laws in place for the first presidential cycle . many voters could be impacted. look at texas. 600,000 registered voters don't have a government issued id. in texas you can vote with a gun permit, but not a student id. this is a big issue. most of the media is not covering this. it is not come up -- the issue of voting rights has not come up in 16 presidential debates. there is been so much focus on who people are going to vote for, but we haven't been asking, will people be able to vote in the first place will every eligible voter be a bully cast a ballot?
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>> what you feel needs to happen to guarantee the people the right to vote? >> last week, the congress honored the foot soldiers of the selma movement, people like john lewis who fought and nearly died for voting rights, but that same congress will not restore the voting rights act. we're heading into the first presidential cycle in 50 years without the full protections of the voting rights act. what that means in practice, 16 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first presidential cycle in 2016. this critically urgent to restore it and make it easier to vote in different ways, things like early voting and same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, to get a lot more people involved in the political process. right now 50 million people are not even registered to vote and won't be participating in any way in the 2016 election. amy: since this is the first time a lot of this is going into
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effect, how do people know what they're being told at the polls is right? like when they say, i did not need an id before. are they just supposed to walk away? >> in south carolina, they said you need photo id. one of five forms of photo id -- but you didn't. if you did not have the id, you can sign an affidavit casting a provisional ballot and still vote. the problem is, the state was not telling voters that so there was a lot of confusion and people were staying home. you look at the fact 160,000 feared democrats voted in 2016 then in 2008 in the democratic primary. there could be a lot of reasons for that but there are some people that did not show up because of the voter id ls and thought their votes would not be counted. even though they could have passed -- cast a provisional ballot, which could take a while to count. in the florida election in 2000, 537 votes was the margin of overry for george w. bush al gore. we're talking many, many, many
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more people now impacted by these new laws. i am very concerned in the close election these laws can make a difference. talk about the candidates position on voting rights. for example, marco rubio. >> the democrats have been much better than the republicans on this issue. who supposedlye moderate, supported cutbacks to early voting in florida and supported efforts to purge the voting rolls. he is supported strict voter id laws. when he was asked a voter in iowa. six our lives in miami on election day 2012, rubio responded, well, that was only on election day -- which was a crazy comment. yes, the longest lines do occur on election day. but in florida because they cut back on early voting, there were long went off into the process and president obama said on election night 2012 we have to fix that, pointing specifically at florida. rubio has not learned anything from the debacle in 2012 and in 2012 in the past. amy: ted cruz, his state of
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texas? >> he is the one of the worst on the issue of voting rights. he supports strict voter id laws, the gutting of the voting rights act, wants to show proof of citizenship to register to vote. a breath certificate or passport when registering to vote -- which many, many people don't have. i wrote an article for the nation that recently said ted cruz is leading the way when it comes to making it harder to vote but also -- all of the candidates themselves have supported tough structures. look at jeff sessions who just endorsed donald trump. jeff sessions was somebody who was the u.s. attorney in alabama, falsely targeted black activists for voter fraud. he called the naacp a communist organization. he called the u.s. attorney in alabama a boy. this is someone with a long history of not only racially charged remarks, but of supporting things like gutting the voting rights act. this is now the face of the republican party. ted cruz, jeff sessions,
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donald trump, the face of the republican party. amy: donald trump said the voting system is out of control. >> you have to have real security with the voting system. this voting system is out of control. you people, my opinion, voting many, many times. they don't want security, they don't want parts. amy: that is donald trump. >> there is not evidence people are voting many, many times as trump said. you look at voter person nation, there been only 31 cases of voter impersonation since 2000 out of one billion votes cast. this is been a red herring. this narrative of voter fraud has been drummed up to build consensus for policies that make it harder for certain people to vote. a manufactured controversy. the role fraud is the fact all of these voters are going to the polls and facing the restrictions for the first time that are unnecessary, burdensome, and discriminatory. amy: prisoners.
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the rights of people who have been in prison or on parole or probation or who are completely down with the criminal justice system in this country? >> more than 5 million americans cannot vote because a felon laws,ranchisment including one in three african americans. you talk about black lives matter, there's a huge he's in terms of voting rights that relates to all of these issues. voter disenfranchisement is another legacy of jim crow we're still wrestling with today. amy: bernie sanders will be celebrating super tuesday in vermont where prisoners in prison can actually vote. >> vermont has some of the best laws in the country. same-day voter registration, for example, that increases turnout by up to 10%. minnesota, vermont. places like alabama and texas are moving in a different direction. amy: how do people who have a record find out if they are able to vote? >> the laws are different in
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different places. some people have their voting rights restored and don't even know about it. there has to be much better outreach to these communities. maryland just became a state that allows you to vote if you are on parole. that is one of those places where -- the word needs to get out the law has changed. most people cannot follow the inicacies voting ghts. ey' n -- thedon'now li of peop who jusget out of pison in parcular an wrestlg with aumber of issues. i ink woulbe greatf we ha standarzed lawsn this untry wh people rve thei time, ey were le to ve. unfortately, at is th is nothe syst we have amy: a berman, ank you r beinwith us. his latest book "give us the , ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." when we come back, the oscars. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: lady gaga performing "til it happens to you" at last night's oscars, a song from the documentary, "the hunting ground" about sexual assault on college campuses. she was joined on stage by dozens of survivors who had phrases like "not alone" and "not your fault" written on their arms. lady gaga herself is a sexual assault survivor. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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>>hey, well, i'm here at the academy awards. otherwise known as the white people's choice awards. amy: that's how comedian chris rock opened sunday night's oscars ceremony in los angeles. he walked onstage to "fight the power" and hollywood's biggest night had to share the spotlight with protests, boycotts, and the sharp-tongued host, which all brought attention to the lack of diversity and color at the academy awards. rock didn't hold back the jabs during his opening monologue. these are highlights. >> if they nominated hosts, i would not even get this job. you would be watching neil patrick karas right now. there were no black melodies that year, and black people did not protest.
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why? because we had real things to protest at the time. you know? we had real things to protest. too busy being raped alleged to care about who won best similar stalker for -- cinematographer. when your grandmother swinging from a tree, it is really hard to care about best documentary for in short. this year the oscars, things are going to be a little different. things are going to be a little different at the oscars. this year in the in memoriam package, it is just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. amy: chris rock in his opening monologue for the academy awards sunday night. the academy of motion picture arts and sciences, organizer of the oscar awards, pledged to double its membership of women and minorities by 2020 through an ambitious affirmative action plan that includes stripping some older members of voting privileges. the announcement came amid a backlash over the absence of
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actors or filmmakers of color in this year's oscars nominations. several actors and filmmakers boycotted the oscars after no actors of color were nominated for a second year in a row. while movies about african americans like "straight outta compton" and "creed" received nominations, they went to the white writers of "straight outta compton" and white actor sylvester stallone for "creed." he did not win last night. the african-american directors and non-white actors were excluded. while the oscars were being handed out, the reverend al sharpton held a rally that attracted a crowd of around 50 protesters in the shadow of the dolby theater. that is where the oscars were held. the protest in hollywood was one of several taking part across the country. a star-studded cast of african american actors, musicians and filmmakers held a free event in flint, michigan. flint has been in the national spotlight over lead poisoning in their water supply which stemmed , from an unelected emergency manager's decision to switch the city's water to the corrosive , polluted flint river. "creed" director and co-writer ryan coogler and "selma"
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director ava duvarney attended the #justiceforflint event on oscar night. other attendees included "grey's anatomy" star jesse williams, musician janelle monae, and comedian hannibal buress. well for more, we're joined in new york by rashad robinson, executive director of color of change, which supported the justice for flint event. and in los angeles, hector becerra, news and feature reporter and assignment editor at the "los angeles times." his most recent article is, "in this town, it's as if hollywood tries not to cast latinos." we welcome you both to democracy now! rashad robinson, the significance -- you were tweeting what took place, the --nificance of chris rock you heard what he had to say. >> there were pieces that were funny, cringe worthy moments. that is what comedians do. and more than just the problems with not enough actors or actresses being nominated or directors, this is a bigger problem throughout hollywood.
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they goes from the casting agencies to the studios to the hollywood press. all across hollywood we have this problem of lack of diversity that continues to replicate itself in the decisions that are made inside of board and casting agencies around who gets hired and who doesn't. what stories get told and who stories don't get told. who stories get prioritized and not. it creates a culture that we all have to then deal with where some people stories are prioritized and not prioritized. i am glad the oscar address that, but it is a much bigger problem than one actor being nominated or not will stop it is systemic. amy: i want to turn back to chris rock's opening monologue during the ceremony. >> is hollywood racist? is hollywood racist? you got to go at that the right way. is it burning cross racist? no. type ofdifferent racist.
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i was at a fundraiser for president obama most of a lot of you were there. you get a little moment with the president. i'm like, mr. president, you see all of these writers and producers and actors? they don't hire black people. they are thea -- nicest white people on earth. they are liberal. cheese! is hollywood racist? you are damn right, hollywood is racist. racist.d is sorority it's like, we like you, rhonda, but you are not a kappa. amy: chris rock hosting the oscars. rashad robinson. >> i think that was a very funny moment. also as an example of how racism is situated in our current context. yes, we have the racism of police brutality or redlining,
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racism,have this subtle the structural racism that prevents certain people from having opportunities and the work is, prevents people from having access to the voting booth -- the shape shifting of racism over time. i think hollywood reflects that. the fact of the matter is, folks i can be liberal and vote for obama that can bundle and give a lot of money to obama or give money to the right things, can still make these decisions every day that are completely inaccurate in terms of the world we want to see. and this is a clip of chris rock who did a man on the street segment. he spoke to moviegoers outside. he said this is a place yet to go as far away as he could from hollywood, and that was to compton. he asked people if they'd seen any of the oscar-nominated movies. >> did you see any of the oscar-nominated movies? did you see "spotlight"? >> no. that trumboel
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should've been a bigger hit? how about "brooklyn"? did you see "the big short"? how about "the bridge of spies"? >> where are you getting these movies from? you are messing with me, right? >> these are real movies. >> no, it's not. >> these are real movies. >> like in london and stuff? >> that is chris rock doing his person on the street interview. >> i thought that was hilarious. and also an example of a different world we live in. there been a couple of good studies back between 2012 and 2013, the highest box office movies, the top four out of the 10 were movies that had diverse cast. black moviegoers account for a grout -- growing and high number of moviegoers and consistent high moviegoers.
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hollywood is swimming up their own stream of their self-interest financially. we assume examples currently in television where greater diversity has led to sort of more eyeballs, greater diversity has led to a change in sort of representation at the emmys. the oscars still lag behind. they use these old examples, fore out of date excuses why they cannot come into the modern age. amy: i want to go to hector becerra from "the los angeles times." this piece you did on the oscars was a little out of character of writing for you, but you did it. talk about what you found. -- i am not an industry reporter. i'm a news reporter, but i think my impressions are basically just as a mexican who grew up in it l.a. in a city that chris
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rock and the hollywood reporter a few years ago referred to as mexicans.st towards i think one of the things he said, it is heart of your mexican american or latino just to get porting roles even within studios, even though technical roles. what i wrote about was based on talking to people but also the eyeball test. i think hollywood seems to be a little ambivalent about latinos, portraying them, sometimes in different. and take shortcuts. they will cast certain roles like have the word latino or mexican and the lights above, this is a housekeeper, again member, therefore mexican. i think it is a lack of nuance, in the way hollywood betrays latinos and actually sometimes fail superray themt all. amy: i want to the acceptance speech of the mexican war film maker all header gonzalez iñarritu, who won best director
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-- alejandro gonzalez iñarritu, who won best director for a second year in a row. last year it was for "birdman" and this year he won for "the revenant," which stars leonardo dicaprio. this is what he said. am very lofty to be here tonight. and fourthly, many others have not had the same luck. there's a line in the film that they don't listen to you, they just see the color of your skin. so what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from old thisdice and, you know, pride of thinking and make sure once and forever that the color irrelevant ass as the length of our hair. amy: hector becerra, the significance of his win last
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night and the work he does? counterpoint in many ways to sort of the narrative, the political narrative of mexicans in this country were coming into this country. of course we had donald trump's controversial statements about mexico importing rapists. and here it i think this is the third mexican director -- best director award go to a mexican phone maker in a row. thenor "gravity" and alejandro gonzalez iñarritu won two years in a row. i hope people notice it. i hope it presents people with a different view of sort of the talent that is just waiting to be tapped and hollywood. amy: what about whitewashing, what you refer to white actors taking the roles and playing latino care or's? think -- growing up, some
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of my favorite movies were "the good, the bad, and the ugly" in a never bothered me. there isn't a lot -- it doesn't go the other way. i mentioned the show up go through the walking dead" which i enjoyed. there were two characters that could have easily been latino play pai latinos and one was played by an actress from sweden. the other played by in a tiny american actor whose mother is sicilian and he said it kind of gave him the spanish like skin texture. i think hollywood doesn't have to pull a groin or hamstring to have a little more sophisticated for trail of latinos or even include the more, especially set in l.a. i think most of the action was set in the east side, which is where i was born. the ease that is like 95% mexican american.
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amy: hector becerra, thank you for being with us. and thank you to rashad robinson whose executive director of color of change. that does it for our broadcast. we have job openings. go to democracynow.org
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