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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 22, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PST

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01/22/19 01/22/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from los angeles and new york, this is democracy now! amy: video has gone viral joined a group of catholic high school students apparently mocking and indigenous elder near the
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lincoln memorial and washington, d.c. the students, many of whom were wearing make america great again hats, had just attended the march for life. omaha elder nathan phillips was attending the indigenous peoples march. the incident that smart dust sparked a national debate. we will speak to elder nathan phillips about what happened as well as chase iron eyes, who helped organize the indigenous peoples march as well as native american writer david treuer come author of the new book "the heartbeat of wounded knee: native america from 1890 until today." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as the partial government enters its 32nd day, lawmakers prepare
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to vote on several bills this week, aimed at ending the impasse over president trump's demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. on saturday, trump proposed a new deal promising to shield deferred action for childhood arrivals, or daca, protections for three years, as well as protections for those who have temporary protected status, or tps, in exchange for funding his border wall. democrats rejected the deal, which would not provide long-term protections or a path to citizenship for affected individuals. despite this, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has said he will bring the proposal up for a vote this week. meanwhile, house democrats are moving forward with their own proposals aimed at ending the shutdown. 800,000 government workers now facece the prospect of missingng their second paycheck sincnce te the government shutdodown startd as they continue to either be furloughed or work without pay. onon friday, thousands of people
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took part in thehe indigenous peoples march in washington, d.c., while another march, the anti-abortion march for life, also took place in the capital. video went viral over the weekend of an interaction between an indigenous elder and a group of catholic high school students from kentucky who had attended the march for life protest. in the video, omaha elder nathan phillips is seen peacefully playing his drum and singing while seemingly being taunted by students, some of whom were wearing red make america great again hats. we'll have more on this story with omaha elder nathan phillips after headadlines. women took to the streets across the country and the world saturday, two years after the historic 2017 women's march protesting president trump's inauguration. in new york city, democracy now spoke to participants at the women's unity rally, one of two separate events held in the city for the women's march.
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>> my name is michelle. this is my daughter sophia. she is 17 months. i'm here to fight for women's equality. i think it is important she sees her mother doing these things so she can feel empowered and grow into an even more confident woman. i am also a teacher. i want my students to be able to know i am also actively fighting for women's rights are they can also feel empowered to do the same thing post up >> i am alexandria ocasio-cortez. i think to be a woman is to be politicized in america today. so really what we need to focus on is the issues we are here to advance, which is social economic and racial justice f fr all people in the united states and abroad. amy: in a rare move, the office of the special counsel issued a statement friday, denying the principal claim of a damning buzzfeed article. it said the special counsel had evidence that trump directed his former personal attorney michael cohen to lie to congress about negotiations to build a trump
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tower in moscow. buzzfeed told cnn sunday it remains 100% behind their reporting. oregon democratic senator jeff merkley has called for an fbi perjury ininvestigation into homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen over lying about the trump administration's family separation policy. senator merkley released a 2017 memo thursday that showed a trump administration policy option involving separate family units. -- "separating family units." secretary nielsen has stated multiple times that there is no policy to separate families, including during congressional testimony last month. a department of health and human services report last week found thousands more children were removed from their parents at the u.s.-mexico border than previously reported. in afghanistan, taliban fighters killed dozens of sececurity fofs at a military intelligence base in wardak province monday. some reports put the number of
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dead as high as 100. the attack came as the taliban and the u.s. are holding peaeace talks in qatar. last month, president trump anannounced the u.s. will wiwitw about half of its troops in afafghanistan. in syria, a car bomb injured members of a joint american-kurdish patrol on monday, days after an isis-claimed attack in the city of manbij killed 19 people, including four americans. meanwhile, israel has confirmed it launched a series of airstrikes against iranian targets in syria sunday night. reports are emerging that the strikes killed at least 21 people, including 12 iranian soldiers. in yemenen, u.s.-backed, saudi-d foforces launchehed air strikesn yemen's capital saana saturday night. local reports sasay that at leat two civilians were killed. the strikes come as the u.n. attempts to broker peace talks with warring parties in yemen. the u.n. has said two shipwrecks in the mediterranean may have
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killed some 170 migrants who were crossing over to europe. one ship reportedly sank off the coast of libya with over people -- with over 100 people on board. the u.n. says that over 2200 migrants eitither died or r were portrted missing w while crossin the mediterranean inin 2018. in serbia, over 10,000 people marchehed through belgrade saturday to protest presenent aleksandar vucic. protesters are demanding p press freedom and reforms to the country's electoral system. this weekend was the 8th consecutive e week olarge-scale anti-government protests in serbia. in venezuela, ththe governrnmenf presidenent nicolas maduduro sad monday it suppressed a military revolt, arresting a group of officers who stole w weapons and kidnapped fourur officials. the attack at a national guard outpost in the capital caracas came s shortly aftfter a social media video circulated showing a
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sergeant calling for venezuelans to support the removal of president maduro. maduro was inaugurated earlier this month to a second six-year term. while some, including the united states, have called last year's election illegitimate, maduro has accused the united states -- along with canada and 12 latin american allies -- of plotting a coup against his socialist government. to see our recent interview with venezuelan foreign minister jorge arreaza, go to our website at in colombia, the national liberation army, known as the eln, claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed at least 21 people and left at least 68 injured in the capital bogota, thursday. in a statement, the group said the attack, which targeted cadets at a police academy, was in response to government forces bombing an eln camp last month, in breach of a proposed ceasefire. colombia's right-wing president, ivan duque, said he is issuing arrest warrants for eln representatives who are currently in cuba for peace
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talks.s. in mexico, the director of community y radio statation radiokashana was found dead in baja, california, sunday -- the first journalist to be killed in mexico this year. rafael murua manriquez had reported receiving death threats and harassment after criticizing the mayor of mulege, felipe prado and had been under federal protection. journalism and free speech advocates are calling for an investigation into the killing. meanwhile in ghana, gunmen shot , and killed journalist and documentary filmmaker ahmed hussein suale in a suburb of the capital accra wednesday. the undercover reporter, who helped expose corruption in soccer, was recently tarteted by a ghanaian lawkeker anmembmber of the ring new patrioti party,ho revead the journalist'ididenti on television and td d views to atatck him. arizonaa judge ndered guty verdis f fr acvists fr the humitarian group more dehs. the volueers weraccused
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crimes rated to eir effos toeave wat and fooin the hah sonoradesert thelp regees andigrants rvive thdeadly jrney acrs the u.s. bder. th now facup to simonths prison. in a stement, more dehs volunteer catherine gaffney said -- "this verdict challenges not only no more deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country. if giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?" five more volunteers with the group are still scheduled to face trial. to see our recent interview about this case, go to in new york city, social leaders gathered at the riverside church in harlelem monday to honor marn luther king, jr. the church is where king delivered his seminal "beyond vietnam" speech in 1967. democracy now! spoke to journalist jemele hill. >> my fear today is that white
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supremacy has become mainstream. the fact that you have a lawmaker, a congressman, who openly asked, what is wrong with white supremacy or were to that term come from, i think that speaks to everything we are seeing in this climate right now. somehow it has become more distasteful to be known as a wise and from assist than the actual practice of white supremacy, where it is more offensive to be labeled a racist as opposed to the actual practice of racism. amy: meanwhile, vice president mike pence came under fire after he compared dr. king to president trump over the weekend on cbs' "face the nation," saying -- "you think of how he changed america. he inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. that's exactly what president trump is calling on the congress to do." on monday, trump and pence paid an unannounced visit to the martin luther king, jr. memorial in washington, wherere they stad for approximatelely two o minut.
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california democratic senator kamala harris has announced she will run for president in 2020. harris, who shared the announcement monday on "good morning america," was previously the district attorney for san francisco and the attorney general of california. >> i feel a sense of responsibility to o stand up and fight for r the best of who we e . and that fight w will alalways of the highest priorities, our national security. amy: senator harris is the child of immigrants, an indian mother and jamaican father. she chose to make her announcement on martin luther king day and reportedly chose a red and yellow color scheme for her official logo as a nod to shirley chisholm, who in 1972 became the first black woman to run for president in the u.s. senator harris is now the fourth woman to enter the 2020 democratic race for president. in more news from the 2020 presidential election, hawaii congressmember tulsi gabbard, who announced her run earlier this month, released an online
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apology for past statements against the lgbtq community. >> in my past, i said and believed things that were wrong. and worse, there were very hurtful l to people in the lgbtq community and your love ones. i'm deeply sorry for having said them. my views have changed significantly since then, and my record in congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart. and ago congress member gabbard has supported progressive legislation during her time in congress, including backing medicare for all and a green new deal. in 2016, the iraq war veteran quit as dnc vice chair and threw her support behind senator bernie sanders's run for president. gabbard has said her candidacy will center around 'war and peace' and will focus on the u.s. foreign wars, though some on the left have criticized some of her foreign policy views, including her relationship with
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india's far right bjp. in chicacago, former police officer jason van dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for the 2014 murder of african-american teenager laquan mcdonald. van dyke fired 16 bullets into mcdonald, even as dash cam video showed the teenager posed no threat. the day before van dyke's sentencing, a judge acquitted officers accused of covering up three the murder. a protest is planned in chicago today over those acquittals. sony-o-owned rcaca records has dropped musician r. kelly from its label amid the fallout from the damning docu-series "surviving r. kelly." last week, activists protested outside of the sony headquarters in new york city to demand they stop working with r kelly. r. kelly has been accused of sexual assault, predatory behavior and pedophilia for two decades but has never been criminally convicted. and a new oxfam report finds that billionaires' wealth increased by 12% in the past
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year, with the 26 richest owning the same amount of money as the world's poorest 50%. economic inequality hits women and girls the hardest, according to the report, which is being released ahead of the world economic forum in davos, switzerland. this is winnie byanyima, executive director of oxfam. >> last year alone, with some billionaire wealth increased by $2.5 billion every day, while the wealth o of the bottom halff billion, was8 dropping by 500 billion dollars a day. i'm here to call on governments to wake up and take up the tax fairly,ty and tax wealthth, and put money in e public services that people need. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the e war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez.
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welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we turn now to a story that received widespread attention over the weekend. on thousands took part in the friday, indigenous peoples march in washington, d.c. the next day, video went viral of an interaction that took place soon after the march ended between an indigenous elder and a group of catholic high school students from kentucky who had attended a march for life protest the same day. amy: in the video, omaha tribe elder nathan phillips is seen peacefully playing his drum and singing while being encircled by the students, some of whom were wearing red maga hats -- make america great again. the video appears to show the students taunting and mocking phillips. some of the students are seen making a tomahawk-chop motion with their arms.
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juan: one student, wearing a red maga hat, is seen standing directly in front of phillips while grinning and smirking. the videos sparked widespread outage. after the video went viral saturday, the catholic conference of kentucky condemned the students' actions saying -- "this behavior is opposed to the church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person." newly elected native american congresswoman deb haaland tweeted -- "the students' display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. heartbreaking." but the story did not end after the first video went viral on saturday. as the weekend progressed, more
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videos were posted online showing a fuller picture of what happened. it was nathan phillips who first approached the students in an attempt to diffuse a tense situation between the students and a small group of black hebrew israelites who were screaming offensive statements at the group of students. amy: but the videos show nathan phillips was soon encircled by the students after he approached them and was drumming. another participant in the indigenous peoples march, hunter hooligan, wrote -- "we were surrounded by the boys, and we were alarmingly outnumbered. as we attempted to continue our path and move through the crowd, the boys closed in around us, until finally, one particular boy stood in front of nathan and refused to let us pass." according to hunter hooligan, some of the students were also chanting "build the wall." the student who faced off with phillips, a high school junior named nick sandmann, said he, too, was trying to diffuse a tense situation.
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sandmann released a statement by a pr firm. it said in part -- "i believed that by remaining motionless and calm, i was helping to diffuse the situation. i said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand." the statement went on to read -- "i was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. i did smile at one point because i wanted him to know that i was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation." the incident has sparked widespread debate on how the media handled the story. some media commentators apologized for criticizing the students. even president trump weighed in by tweeting -- "looking like nick sandman & covington catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false -- smeared by media. not good, but making big comeback! trump then quoted tucker carlson saying -- "new footage shows that media was wrong about teen's encounter with native american."
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but others continued to criticize the actions of the students. deadspin published an article titled "don't doubt what you saw with your own eyes." new york times columnist show goldberg tweeted that did spend piece saying "here the rush to disavow was itself a kind of mob reaction." we are joined now by nathan phillips, the omaha elder who participated in the march on friday. he is a vietnam era veteran and previous director of the native youth alliance. thank you for staying in washington to talk to us. can you start off by telling us, just lay out for us what happened on friday? the march had broken up. you were on the steps of the lincoln memorial, is that right? and then tell us what you saw. >> yes, that is right.
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at the end of the indigenous peoples march. we had already been encountered with the black israelites. they showed up around 1:00, 2:00 in the afternoon while we were still in our process of our rally on the steps. they were hurling all kinds of insults and abuses at us, the indigenous people. was in one ofn the videos is one of the indigenous peoples did go up to them, visit with them, and then turn around and walk away. youth thaten the were done with the march, the protest they were at, started coming through to go meet their bus, encountered the same black
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israelites and took a different route. responding to hate with love, they responded to hate with hate. we thought they're at the march the best thing to do was to ignore the black israelites the best we could come and to pray for them and for their actions there on the mall. we did not realize their presence there in harassing us, but we just went ahead with our rally. then things started escalating between the black israelites and the youth. cap. encountering them, going away, coming back and touting them again. and each time they came back, they came back with larger numbers until -- it shows in the video where it is close to 200 of those young youths out there.
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they got into a mob mentality. that is what a lot of other people have described it as. phillips, the black israelites, you're saying at some point there were as many as 200 of the youths from kentucky, the size of the group of the black israelites that you saw and also what you decided then to try to cocome between them? >> when it got to about 200 youths and the screaming and hollering and images were the same i images that i seen in pictures of young white people tryingding a a black youth to eat at a counter, the same faces that were on the grounds of those youth in d.c. was the same faces of ththe youth that were surrounding the young black woman who was trying to get an
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education, and the scorn and the scales that were on the pictures there from the same pictures of when you see pictures of lynchings, the same faces on the folks that were doing the lynchings, that is what these young people's faces looked like. they were angry. they got to a point was scary. , someolks came up to me of our young indigenous folks came up to me and said, we have to do something. when they said that, my first thought is, this isn't our fight. our business. we're here with a permit to do our event. but as things started getting worse and worse, there was a group that i found out last night that the mocking chant they were doing, apparently, was supposed to be a haka.
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when i seen them doing that, he didn't look like no haka. that is beside the point. the man who led that was mr. sandman. he asked his teacher, can i leave this? can i drown out those people? there's always about best there were only about four black israelites. they got no larger or no smaller, but they did not ever change the rhetoric. but this is america, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, religion. that is what the black israelites were doing. amy: nathan, can you talk about what happened then as you came over and started drumming? you said it was to diffuse the situation. and now you know this young man named sandmann standing in front of you and the group of students behind them -- talk about what you did there.
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the song you chose to sing, how you felt about the students who were there, about how close you were to this young student? asked to help upfuse this moment, i picked . drum, an instrument of prayer so i took that drum and started anting it and singing american indian movement song of unity, a song of honor and -- and that is why i chose that song, to bring unity between what i seen happening to the fabric of america, the racism, the bigotry
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. and as i saying, i was going to stand at the side but i was putting myself in prayer at that time just before i started that song, my prayer was "god, help me. witness what is going on here, god. protect us." amy: why did you say, "god, help me"? were you afraid? >> i was absolutely afraid. there was a group of over 200 young angry white men who were displaying mob entelechy. -- mob mentality. fourwere facing down just black individuals. it was coming to a point where just a snap of the finger could have caused them kids to dissent on those four individuals. i did not agree with the black israelites and what they were saying, but what i do believe is that america is a land of
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freedom. and as much as i disagreed with those black israelites, they had the right to be there. phillips, the young man who was staring you down, did he at any time say anything to you? it is obvious the youth in the background, are either making catcalls or yelling, but he is standing there silently. do you recall what were some of the cap calls that were coming, being didirected by the other youths in the back? >> some of the things that were said, i don't want to repeat. but there were comments of "build that wall" and i've heard these comments so many times in i've just gone to a point where i nor the words --
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ignore the words that come at me. .he derogatory words so when we were there and we came face-to-face with mr. sandmann, right before that when it shows me walking towards the group, the group started spreading apart. that was the moment when we sort of tried to be out of that situation and take more people out of that situation. i seen the higher ground behind them, the lincoln memorial. and as i was in the process, my mind is that "i'm in prayer." this is where my thought is, that i'm not thinking of anything else other than staying in prayer and staying with the thought that i want god to come with us and this is what is happening to my america, the
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racism that is happening. amy: nathan, i want to read the statement of nick sandmann, the covington high school student whose pr firm wrote -- "the protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd. he locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. he played his drum the entire time he was in my face. i never interacted with this protestor. i did not speak to him. i did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. i believed that by remaining motionless and calm, i was helping to diffuse the situation." your response? copycat? -- thatthe first thing is the first statement i made. that i did not go out there when it was asked to do something, and i did not know what it was, and i turned to god to help me.
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the creator put me there. between whited and black racism. and that is where i was at. and that is when i realized where i was at, the dangerous situation i was in. and that is when they surrounded us. and i could not go left. i could not go right. i could not go back without running into this mob. for a moment,ss and then that is when i took my first step in that crowd backed up. and when i took my second step, the crowd broke ranks. by the time i started walking that way, there was a little gap that we could exit in. that is the way we were going. and then when i started walking up there, i wasn't focusing on
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anybody except taking the youth out of there, the indigenous youth with me, out of that situation. stoods when mr. sandmann in front of me and block might have. juan: nathan, you mentioned that the youths kept chanting "build a wall." this is astounding given the fact w was a confrontation thahn initially began between african-american -- a small group of african-americans and white youths and then morphed into them confronting you, native american, yet they are chanting "build the wall" as if that has become basically a catchall was supremacist term that can be applied to anybody who some folks may feel is a threat to them? appreciate that wall"tion of "build that
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statement, because that is exactly what i felt. when i went in front of that mob in what appeared to be their pra angerl that hate and transferred to me. it just came to me. and that is when -- that is what i say, that is when i realized the situation we had gotten into an "build that wall" just surprised me. were, after those four black israelites, and then going to not i was stand by and let this happen, they turned all of that anger on to me. amy: nathan, i would ask you about the song you were singing. i was reading a tweet of nick estes who said, "nate phillips is singing the american india movement song known as the raymond yellow thunder song, which honor the life of an older murdered in
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it is about resistance and remembrance." can you tell us why you chose this song? what i have been saying in when i put that myself in front of that crowd and i sang that song, it was somebody thought that could have stood in front of that crowd that murdered yellow thunder. somebody could have been in front of lieutenant kelly is some time in his life and said, "you're going down the wrong path." if summit it could have stood in front of the seventh calvary before wounded knee and said "this is wrong." bit can you sing a little of it here? >> there is no words to the
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song, just comes from the heart. ♪ when a was ripped away from my family 10 was five years old in nebraska and i returned to my home, to my family when a was a youth in the early 1970's, i met my brother. he taught me that song. that is the first song i ever learned, i was ever taught. amy: were you afraid what would happened when he finished the song? >> yes, i was. and i did not know how to finish that song or where to finish it. if i finished it right there
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surrounded by that mob, then what do i do? andhat is where the thought you know, do -- amy: what broke this up p as someone calling to the students saying their bus was there, that is what pulled them away? >> apparently, but at the same time when they all exited enmasse running away, moments after they ran away, a squad of uniformed officers showed up. , well, yes, they could say they were running to the bus, but if you look at it from another angle, they're running from the police. i want ton phillips, thank you for being with us, omaha elder who participated in the indigenous people's march. many people have seen your face come have seen you chanting, singing and drurumming at the ed of that indigenous march.
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this is democracy now! when we come back, one of the organizers of the indigenous march, native american attorney chase iron eyes will join us. then we will speak with the author of a new book being publblished daday, "e heheareat woundnd knee." stay with us. ♪ [muc brbreak]
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amy: "what if" by india arie. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juanin los angeles with gonzalez in new york. juan: we continue to look at the video that has gone viral showing a group of high school students apparently mocking indigenous tribal leader near the lincoln memorial. the students, many of whom were wearing again hats, i just attended the march for life. omaha elder nathan phillips was attending the indigenous people's march. amy: we're joined now by chase iron eyes anan activist and lead , attorney for the lakota people's law project. he is a spokesperson for the indigenous people's march.
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thank you for joining us from south dakota. you just came back from washington, d.c. you were there. this was the end of the march, well after, but you witnessed what took place. now the world has seen the video . and some of said, well, this whole story changed once the young man in the video, who is smiling in front of omaha elder nathan phillips, once he issued a statement saying that he was not hostile, he was tried to diffuse the situation. chasase, can you describe what u wawatched,d, whereou w wer standingng? >> yes. thank you for covering this , naththan, forryou ofoffering his song today and on friday rightht afterer the indigenousus people's march, the firstt inauguralal. i'm m not quite sure w what timt was whenen thehe whole incidentt
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down because we had d finisheder marshh earlyly we had a permit to be there at the lincolol memorial. it wouould have e ended around , so it would bebe interesting to look at the time frames. nonetheless, where the indigenous singers, including nathan phillips, including raymond kingfisher, and about four other supporters -- they were very small in number -- they were closing of the ceremonies. i was standing right there near them, waiting for my daughter who was at the top of the lincoln memorial. at the top of the more moral is a good 100 meters away -- memorial is a good 100 meters away from where nathan phillips wasn't even where the black israelites were. were justisraelites trying to offend anybody and everybody who came within here shot of them. so we expel them or deny them from our space at the indigenous people's march. they were trying to speak, but we said, no, just go over here.
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as long as you're not trying to exert violence or come into our space any more, we will leave you alone. so that is what we did. you have to realize the black israelites and the native people were at the bottom, the very bottom of the lincoln memorial. the maga group of kids were attending a different rally, of young menr so attending a rally to deny women the right to assert sovereignty over their own bodies. they were brought there by the covington catholic church. they were all donning their little maga swag hats. the truth is, they were roaming around for a long time. i don't know how many minutes, but the new video surfaced of the black israelites doing what they did an offending everybody they possibly could. but other video also surfaced showing the maga swag kids othersy accosting women,
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appropriate in the haka dance, and so forth. if there was drone footage possibly of -- you could be able to see the maga swag kids, the covington kids, invade the space of where nathan and the black israelites are standing. so they come closer to the israelites and are there being .isruptive, being very loud it is a very tense situation. when they get closer, i move away. from they moved away close proximity because i was concerned for my own safety, and at that time i did not know where my daughter was. a pr firm, have people trying to spin as each and every way, even in mainstream media. and people are looking past the there was a racially charged environment. you have young kids who are
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representing the president of the united states, donald trump's campaign slogan, "make america great again" where in a country where native americans were the original civilize her's, tribal nations, however you what to term that, we occupy. we have to occupy a certain space and the american imagination, the western imagination. we are, according to that mythology, that world, we are the savage, we are the primitive, we are uncivilized, we are antithetical to progress. so if you combine that with the the characterization that exists with not only institutions including hollywood and all of the educational materials that are out there that tell us, you know, indians were half naked roaming the plains, they were not civilized, this land was pristine, it was divergent, it was manifest destiny, it was our god-given right to come out here -- in its of showed up at thanksgiving and
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blessed us with the first meal. this is the history that we learn. this is part of our identity, part of our mythology, our cultural mythology as americans. contemplates the genocide of the slaveryindians, of black folks. we're in the nation's capital. you have a president who constantly uses pocahontas as a racial slur and also in denigration against the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women because pocahontas was a victim of child rape and kidnapping. then you have the president making light and being flippantly being dehumanizing about our genocide here in lakota country. my family literally survived wounded knee. when he says the things he does, he gives license to young impressionable minds. after all of this spin, our
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elder nathan phillips sought to offer his song, his prayer for his peace to prevent a violent situation. amy: we don't have much time, but i wanted to ask, you were there. you saw all of the students there from the kentucky covington catholic high school. did you see adults? were you concerned t the situatn was going to get out of hand? >> i was very concerned it was going to get out of hand. it was l like tinderbox wiwith o many youth jumpiping up andd do. it was a mob frenzy. they were e ridiculing. they w were exhibiting nothing t contempt and scocorn for one o f ouour elders who was s offeringa peaceful and p prayerful song. i looked foror adults. if they y re there, theyey were wearing magaga hasas, too, and encouraging this d delinququenc. i will give them that, when i i lookoked at them, i saw young chilildren, impressssionable yog spirits and minds who need right
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now at thitime, rathther than fight over a all of this s spind andes and angles and facts and controverted everything, we need the adults in the room -- that includes our elder nathan phillips, that includes the archdiocese of the covington catholics that could potentially include pope francis, donald trump is tweeting about it. we have a very special and tremendous opportunity to let the spirit guide the political, racial, social discourse that we are engaged in here in the fight for the heart and soul of our country right now. juan: chase iron eyes, i want to askk you, you're talking about the imports of adult stepping up. there were now two native american women in congress who weighed in on what happened. can you talk about the importance of there being in the nenew congress? >> yes, we d don't have to convince them that tribabal sovereignty isis aood thing for that missing and mururdered indigenous wenen need to be
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tracked, they neither voice amplified. we don't have to educate them of how the patriarchy to devevise d oppresses femaleses worldwide. we support t them in ending the government s shutdown. we suppoport aoc, alexandra cauy a alessandra cortez. a green new deal is a million years old and we a are glad to e more t than 100 new women ithe halls of conongress completely changing the energy and the dynamics. as you can see,, s some of those forces are trying to "rein in" alexandria cortez. morere than ever, we hear in trouble natitions, on the s str, at the grarassroots lel, need to be as loudud as we can, projects much as a force as we can so theyey know they can be as bolds we know they want toto be.
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amy: chase iron eyes, we want to thank you for being with us, activist, lead attorney for the lakota people's law project. spokesperson for the indigenous people's march. when we come back in 30 seconds, the heartbeat of wounded knee post up we will speak with the author david treuer. stay with us. ♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!,
8:49 am, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juanin los angeles and gonzalez is in new york. juan: we end today with the heartbeat of wounded knee, stunning new book by david treuer that looks at native to the present90 day. the books powerful mix of memoir , extensive interview, and storytelling presents decades of indigenous history that have been sidelined by the mainstream. bury my its name from heart at wounded knee, the 1970 book that tells the story of the wounded knee massacre. prologue, david treuer writes -- "this book tells the story of what indians in the united states have been up to in the 128 years that have elapsed since the 1890 massacre of at least 150 lakota, sue, at the wounded knee creek in south dakota. what we have done was happen to us, our lives seven like."
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amy: david trereuer is ojibwe fm the leech lake reservation in northern minnesota. he teaches literature and creative writing at the university of southern california. this new book out today "the , heartbeat of wounded knee: native america from 1890 to the present." he joins us here in los angeles. david, welcome to democracy now! before we go into her book am although, i think is very much fits in with what you write about, can you respond to what took place this weekend? and if you feel l with a statemt of the student nick sandmann saying he meant no harm, was try to diffuse the situation, that this changes the image of what the omahavideo of elder nathan phillips as he
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drummed, surrounded by these young high school students from kentucky? i'm sorry, when a herd sandmann's statement, it sounded like that of a pr from not a high school junior. after the initial outrage, of course, we hear cries from the other side about the need for context. there is a need for context. covington, that school l has ben accused of dressing up in blackface during basketball games. let's not forget the context that brought them to d.c. in the first place. yet a bunch of high school boys coming to d.c. to tell grown women what they should or should not do with their bodies. hats.wearing maga we need more context and i'm glad we're getting now.
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juan: david treuer, why do think this incident has touched sucuca nerve e across the country? >> a cououple of reasons. that nerve has been jangling for centuries. partsonly now that maybe of the country are hearing it. of course, that nerve has been further inflamed by the ways in which social media is designed to amplify pain. and that is certainly happening. but hopefully, we can use it to think more carefully and more deeply about what our country is and what we wanted to be like. amy: talk about the title of your book and what you are trtrying to convey as indigenous writer, a native american writer . your book, ojibw "the heartbeatf wounded knee: native america from 1890 to the present." why the title? >> it is something i have
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experienced growing up and going to grade school, middle school, and high school in a border town of minnesota, and something that i think a lot of native people have experienced -- a really profound and punishing way in which people think about us as being dead. when my brother went to university, someone asked him, what are you? were are you from? he said, i'm native, i am ojibwe . the woman he was talking to said, your indian? he said, yeah. she said, you can't beat. he said, why not? she said, because we killed a al of you. she cannot even accept the fact he was standing there living and breathing and excelling and achieving, no less. in her mind, in her imagination, real indians are dead indians. so i wanted to write a book that i could use to show people that not only are we still alive, we are not merely surviving.
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also david treuer, you seek through the book to demolish many of the myths this to prevail without native americans. what are some of those myths you especially tried to hone in on? >> that is one of them. one of them is after 1890 the popular imagination -- and we sharare this imaginanation. native american people, i think we have been trained to learn to see ourselves this way, too. in the popular imagination, 1890 was the end point. d brown says in his book, "i and my story in 1890 at the massacre at wounded knee or the culture and civilization of the american indian was finally destroyed." i remember reading that in college and again, i'm not destroyed, my culture is an destroyed, by community isn't destroyed. after 1890, even though we might have been alive, all we have
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been doing is living some sort of painful afterlife. what i wanted to show was, one, we of been doing incredible things. our strategy survival have been complex and layered and intelligent. that is one thing. the other thing is that not only have we been sort of shaped by america them up with that america has been shaped by us. i really believe this to be true, but i don't ththink we can get a full measure of what this country is or what it is about, much less understand its history without thinking about native people. let's face it. at the boston tea party, it was not just that colonistss through ea in the harbor, they dressed up and face paint and then they threw it in the harbor. america has understood itself as existing in relation to us and it has learned from us as much as we have learned from it. that is the other thing i wanted to do in this book. amy: some of the myths that
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native americans are living in rural areas, much more so than urban. you turn that around. >> yeah. native people live on reservations. we live in border towns. we live in suburbs and we live in cities. we are as spread out across the country and as migratory as anyone else. and finally, david, how you want the media to cover native i mean, native american communities, not just in response to maga hats or how president trump describes elizabeth warren? >> there's a tendency to only think about us or to only read stuff about us or listen to our music or to watch us on the news as a kind of liberal act, almost as a kind of community service.
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the way i want to correct the want is sort of the way a to correct all of us in how we understand our native communities, which is as vital, alive, interesting, and important to the country. juan: o one of the people that u focus in on in your book is helen brian johnson. a 140 70efused to pay taxes on her reservation trailer home due to a landmark supreme court decision. could you talk about her and her importance to the modern native american life? in the 1970's, she was living in a in the 1970's, she was livg in a trailer in my reservation and someone rolled up in her yard and started taking pictures. she could not figure out why. months later, she got a tax bill from the county. she thought, what are they assessing a tax on my trailer? this is indian land and i'm a native person and it doesn't
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feel fair. this does not feel right. the tax bill was for $147, by the way. a mother of i think five or six kids at the time. she worked for head start. she earned minimum wage. she could barely make ins me. for her, $147 tax bill was a massive does a big problem. amy: we have 10 seconds. in court and it went all the to the supreme court. they ruled in her favor and that open the way for indian gaming. amy: we will do part two of this conversation. this book is too important "the , heartbeat of wounded knee: native america from 1890 to the present" by david treuer. that does it for our progrgram. the oscars have been announced. for best documentary -- congratulations. we will be doing a live stream this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. eastern time.
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i will be interviewing laverne cox and jaclyn whitson is a list david to verney stacey abrams. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy no
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