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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  March 30, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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turned out not to be connected to the plane. >> the death toll from protests in venezuela roz to 39. people are angry over soaring crime, hyper inflation. >> those are the headlines, "america tonight" start now. % [ ♪ music ] >> good evening. thanks for joining us for the weekend edition of "america tonight". i'm joie chen. it's hard to believe, but not all that long ago many states had policies in place aimed at creating a super race, eliminating a chance that physically or mentally disabled people could have children the
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the policies were on the books so recently that survivors are alive telling their stories. lori jane glihah meets victims and meets a nurse who admits the role she played was wrong. >> i thought at the time i was doing the right thing. it's what the legislators wanted at the time and my bosses wanted. even the president of the united states, you people. >> 87-year-old celia vandegr. >> ft remembers her time at a hospital for those labelled feeble maintained r minded and epileptic. it housed teens from broken homes, alcoholics and others that the state considered socially inadequate. >> how many sterilizations do
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you think you issued during your career there? >> oh, my goodness, i couldn't begin to tell you. >> during her 40 years. she witnessed thousands of forced sterilisation procedures - kids and adults who had reproductive organs altered so me couldn't have children. >> what do you remember about sterilised? >> they were asleep by the time they got to the operating room. i remember one week we'd do seven male sterilizations and the next only two female sterilizations, because it took longer to do the female than the males. >> this is the first time vandegrift talked publicly. the height of the movement where government leaders were intend
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on creating a super race. in 1924 the jirgeia you genical sterilisation act was passed. the goal - to rid society of people deemed intellectually detective. or mentally detected. >> this is where they were taken from their families. >> mark bold is campaigning for restitution for people of ugen. >> cs. >> now the building displays reminders of the controversial sister-in-law illisation law. every patient here, every person minded. >> feeble minded, epileptic or criminal. >> virginia's law was cited during the nuremberg trials as an eugen. >> c success story. >> it was something established through nazi germany.
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it was founded here. the idea was defects would be passed on to children. to reduce welfare roles and tax burdens, this was the solution. >> at the time idiotic and imbecile were used for the disabled. many were brought here where they lived, worked, and learnt cooking and shoe making. a team of staff members and medical officials held meetings to decide which residents should be sterilised. >> the doctor would talk about their physical condition, the doctor how they did on the psychological testing and what they were doing on the unit. what they could do . everyone had input.
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it was disgusting. >> more than 30 states passed similar law, leading to 65,000 forced sterilizations nationwide over several decades. the virginia law remained on the books until 1979ment. >> it happened, it happened. i was too young to realise what was gown on. 86-year-old louis was sterilised. he suffered from seizures caused by a head injury, making him directive under the law. >> they disrespected my fools. >> at a county court house we found some of reynolds sterilisation records. 5318. >> let's see what it is. >> it's proposed to sterilise said
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louis reynolds under the eugen. >> cal sterilisation act. he has no guardian known to the institution." >> reynolds told us he had parent, aunts and uncle,s a court-appointed guardian acted on his behalf during a hearing. guardian? >> i have no idea. they were meant to represent them and the court. there was no representation, it's a rubber-stamp situation to go ahead and bid their will. >> the so-called defective reynolds served his country in the military, in korea and vietnam. picture? >> in the "50, in quantico virginia. that's where i used to teach the federal bureau of investigation how to shoot a pistol. >> he had a full career as a machine-gunner and fire chief in
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the marines. ♪ yesterday go to jesus ♪ ♪ and tomorrow might never be mine ♪ >> now retired reynolds spends a lot of time singing in the church choir. >> if i had music i'd do better, and tells stories of playing with country lege epd jimmy dean, stories he never had the chance to share with children. >> i wish i had a family. i wonder what kind of daddy would i be if i had children. that's all i want it was years later that celia vandegrift center. >> if you could go back in time and talk to yourself back in the day in the operating room recollects what would you say about the process. >> if i could go back and know what i know now, i'd say, "i'm not going to do this, i'm not
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going to be a part of it." >> why? >> because i didn't thing it would - i knew - if i knew what i know now was wrong. >> celia vandegrift said her change of heart came when she met sisters janet and saidie engram, they bounced from foster home to foster home and in and out of the center where celia vandegrift worked during sterilisation. >> where was the first time you saw me? do you remember that? >> at the train. >> why? >> i was two years old. >> with her daughter hope by her side celia vandegrift told us she remembers the little girls when they came into the if asility. >> i had a special feeling, especially janet.
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she clung like a leech. celia vandegrift doesn't recall if she played a role in the decision, but doctors deemed the 2001s to be feeble minded and sterilised them. >> the lady, i think she was a nurse. she came in with a needle saying, "i'm going to give you a shot, but didn't tell us what she was giving it to us for. and then i went to sleep. i woke up. my stomach was hurting. the nurse came in. i said "what happened?" she said, "you've been sterilised." she said, "you didn't want to have a baby because they are nasty." >> you said you would have liked to have a kid, a child? >> yes, she would have turned out to be pretty. cos i love kids. >> when i think about what their lives could have been and
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knowing what they have done, what they can do and what they are doing now, they could have lived on the outside. >> in an unusual swift, celia vandegrift and her family took the sisters into their homes. janet has lived with them for nearly 50 years, and sadie moved in a few years back. >> besides cream cheese, what goes in here? >> three cups of sugar, three butter. >> both are domestic wizards. saidie made the cake on the player and janet helped to raise hope. >> i have a close bond with janet. she loved to read. she would sit by my bed at night and read me children's stories night. >> they could have been parents. very good. because they helped with my children and my grandchildren. >> they were on opposite sides
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of the eugenics tragedy. there's no bitter innocence. surprisingly celia vandegrift and the sisters never talked about their connection. how do you talk about this, or have you tucked about this with celia vandegrift, andway it was like for her to -- and what it was like for her to be on the other side. have you talked about it? no. much. >> i don't remember what we did. >> after staying silence now all three women want to tell their too. >> i'm glad you are here, and we can tell the story. we did make a big difference in many lives. and not always for the best. >> "america tonight"'s lori jane glihah reporting. >> next, guns and rites. a bold and different firearms campaign putting protection out
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front and in the open. >> this is my country, and we have to protect it. al jazeera america presents a breakthrough television event. borderland a first hand look at the crisis on the border. >> i'm trying to finish this journey for her. >> six strangers with different points of view, take a closer look at the ongoing conflict. kishana, a fashion blogger who doesn't believe in immigration, joins activist lizmarie, the daughter of legal immigrants. >> people didn't come here because we think this country pretty, people come here out of necessity... >> we didn't tell you to come here... >> they re-live the fatal quest of claudette, who died at just 21 years old. >> claudette's decision was heartbreaking... she was a young beautiful girl. >> how will they face the challenges? >> these are my people, this could be my family right now... >> experience illegal immigration up close... and personal... >> the only way to find
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out... is to see it yourselves. on... borderland only on al jazeera america >> this takes guts...
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al jazeera america gives you the total news experience anytime, anywhere. more on every screen. digital, mobile, social. visit aljazeera.com. follow @ajam on twitter. and like aljazeera america on facebook for more stories, more access, more conversations. so you don't just stay on top of the news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare... ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself?
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and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america on a hotly contested gun rites issue, in georgia a bill will allow people to take guns to schools and other public places. all it needs is a government signature. in other parts of the country people are pressing to openly carry their firearms. a view of that from "america tonight"'s sheila mcvicar. >> i feel naked when i have to go somewhere that will not allow me to carry. >> this is lobby day at the virginia state legislature. the open carry movement is here in force and armed. they learnt to affect the political process and are getting better at it.
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>> when you stand in front of the desk saying, "this is me, i'm talking about my family and rights." it speaks volumes. >> i'm a gun owner. >> edis one of the most outspoken proponents. he's been interested in guns all his life. >> i have a shotgun. it has a mounted light. i'm pretty much - pretty much armed 24/7. as i sit in this home, someone could kick in the door, i would have five seconds of warning from my alarm system going off. you never know when that will happen, so you have to be at the ready. levine has no personal experience of crime. >> when i carry, my main goal is to project me. if my family is there, i'll protect my family, i'm not there to protect society. >> sometimes those of us that carry get together and have a dinner.
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we are raffling off an ar 10 that we sold tickets for. i think that the right to carry a firearm is not only a god-given right, but a rite to the constitution. those places that don't let you carry are infringing rites. if someone says "where are you going to dinner, where do you . >> there's a restaurant at inner harbour balt more. >> do i like it. i do not. would i love to carry in washington d.c. >> yes. i feel that there is a level of training required to own a firearm. i don't think the government has to set a level. >> it's a personnel thing you have to do for -- personal yourself. >> i just [ bleep ] shot myself. >> the gun rights movement may
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feel gun owners can regulate themselves, but the statistics on accidental death and injuries are startling. each year around 600 are killed and over 17,000 injured in gun accidents. classeslike this are available all around the country. general? >> it's confusing. until i get my hand on it. >> i'll start with the 22, nothing big. >> my name is judy, i'm a certified firearms instructor and specialise in hand gun. there's the 9mm, 38 and 357. the difference is the length. they are the same diameter. a class like this is required to carry a concealed weapon in the state. not even this basic instruction is required to openly carry a gun in virginia.
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>> technically it's legal to having never held a gun, it's legal to buy it, put it on your hip and walk down the street open carrying. it's not smart, but it legal. >> alex and his stepmum are taking the course toot. they want the option to locally carry a concealed weapon. adam has real-world experience did is cautious about how it affects his mind-set. >> i was a law enforcement officer. i had to carry. i found i would tend to be more emboldened because i had a weapon to defend myself. now that i'm walking around unarmed a feel a little better and i'm good at running away. >> it's been about four hours of basic classroom instruction, and now
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it's time to shoot. the intention of the second amendment based on what i have read and learnt was to be able to defend the country against enemies foreign and domestic. how it transformed to protect an individual, family and community, i'm not sure how that occurred. it's a natural progress. it's an important part to have them close toot. >> yes. >> wanda learnt about guns and found out she's a pretty good shot and learnt something else. >> with training and a couple of rounds of shootings, not enough experience to carry a gun. >> do you want to shoot him in the face? >> i don't believe guns are for everybody or anyone. i think you really have to have certain desire to wear a gun. for my personal protection, i
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don't think i'll carry a weapon. open carriers don't have such doubts. they feel certain it's the best way to protect themselves and families. opinion. >> i encourage these. because law enforcement officers can't be everywhere all the time. i've been in law enforcement for over 24 years. the average ratio, the accepted number is 1.7 per thousand people. is it a responsible choice that a person, if they carry training - absolutely. >> i've been carrying since he's been born. he sees it, he realiseds that it's something his dad wears. at this point in time he can look at it but not touch it. probably when he's six or seven or so, maybe he'll have an
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opportunity to fire it. >> i feel safer carrying a gun. as a woman i feel women are weakness. >> i think it's important. it shows gun owners to be responsible people. i hear in the news media that right wing nut cases, i hear me. >> normal people, but with guns. >> carrying a gun is not a black and white issue. some considered the gravity of the decision that one day they may have to make. thing. i don't want to shoot anyone. when i put the gun on. i say a prayer in my head that i don't have to use it. the last thing i want to do is draw. if it came down to protecting myself from my family, i could do it. i'm confident
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in that. >> looking ahead on the program - licence to track? >> if a licence plate camera picks up your licence plate many times during the week and pinpoint your location and chart your pathway through your life. it can reveal who you associate with, which doctor you are going to, whether you are sleeping in a different house every night. >> the controversial surveillance that is monitoring your every move, and it's up for grabs. adam may gets demand the wheel of a privacy series - "your secret's out", coming up monday. >> and under fire - scandal in the catholic church as an outgoing bishop's expensive taste angers his parishioners. consider this: the news of the
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day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america >> al jazeera has a credibility in international news that's unparalleled. other journalists at every other network in america are looking at al jazeera america are going, i wish we could tell those kind of stories... i wish we could have that kind of time.... the next time you want some news, and the other networks are stuck on the jusin beiber story of the day, turn to al jazeera america to find out what's really happening between new york and los angeles and around the rest of the world. if we can connect america to the rest of the world, we can bring this kinda journalism back to cable news, we can make a real difference here.
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>> al jazzera america presents... documentaries from around the world that inform... >> they were bombarded with shells... >> inspire... >> we can deal with our conflicts... >> and touch our soles... >> it was my dream to get a high school diploma. >> award winning film makers create create unique perspectives. >> everybody's different here... >> just gotta tell ya, it was just a very magical moment... >> al jazzera america presents... on al jazeera america >> last week president obama visited the vatican for a meeting, a first meeting with pope francis, a year after
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taking over as head of the catholic church. pope francis's focus on mod esy and support for the poor. not everyone has fully embraced his example. we report from newark how years of scandal and changing perceptions of rich and poor is changing new battles in the era of francis. [ singing ] >> this is what it looks like when the faithful revolt. >> i think it's absolutely outrageous. outlandish, lavish, extravagant, conspicuous. you've got to be kidding me. >> one parishioner asking others not to donate to the church. another writing to the archbishop himself. >> i think the catholic church does not quite get it. church. >> they are slow learners. >> archbishop myers was
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appointed as a caretaker. >> maybe they are arrogant, self-absorbed, greedy and selfish fen. >> we intend to distribute this letter to many parishioners and parishes that we can meet. >> if you have the nerve to reply it will be welcome. >> thank you for consideration, gym. 7 music ♪ ] >> it's sunday morning in newark a time for family and god. in recent weeks a crisis of faith has been testing the community. the men and women in these pews began to question their leader and the institution that binds them. at age 73 archbishop meyers is two years away from retiring. these images show his retirementment home, myers maption. a 4,500 square foot property with 3,000 square feet under construction.
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this is the house at the end of the controversy, an estate paid for by the archdiocese for one man. the half a billion addition includes an elevator, three fireplace, an indoor wave pool and a hot tub. jim is one of hundreds of kath ligs calling on the church to clean house. he's with holding donations and urging others to do the same. >> building a 3500 square foot eddics to a 4,000 square not home. five bedrooms, swimming pools, elevators - doesn't make sense. >> in a statement a spokesman said: he went on to say: sf
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>> even if archbishop myers were to have paid for the house by himself, the fact, the message that it sends forth is not a good one. it's a garish example of conspicuous consumption. if we are concerned about the homeless, if we are concerned about the hungry, that kind of investment in a retirement home for one person is probably not well-spent money. >> spending money is nothing knew in the clenchy. last year the bishop of lindberg spent 40 million in church funds to renovate his home, among the upgrades a 20,000 bath tub and half a million of college space. media dubbed him the bishop of bridge and it was not long before the vatican removed him. unanimous by pale, but archbishop myerers, say reliable. >> i would like him to be dismissed.
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he's disgraceful for the catholic church, for this matter and other things he has done. this is our church as much as it belongs to the archbishop. we are the leyte, but we all have a stake. >> maria says the church was her world. she was president of the catholic youth organization and became a catholic school social worker. years of scandal and disappointment left her feeling disillusioned and this brought things to a boil. >> i feel they are being hippo crits and it's difficult for me to sit in a pu and listen to someone who i think is a hip crit. i don't need them as an intermediary to speak to god. i'm ashamed i don't go to church, i would like to, but i can't find the good feeling i used to have in going to church
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>> for those in positions of authority, who seek to place the needs of vulnerable before the homeless, unemployed, above lord. >> john is pastor of the st. aloysius church in jackson, more than an hour outside of newark. he said myer's actions carry long-term cost. >> we have eight acres. do we believe he'll live there by himself, he's not going to ride a john deere motor or be out there with a skimmer. he's not going to be there cooking. you're looking at another $500,000 in carrying costs and the arch diocese says he intends to be entertaining a lot of priests and bishops from around the world. he will not serve them chicken legs. there's a high cost to maintaining the one individual. i am sure and certain that a
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single mother in inner city newark would appreciate a slice of that $500,000 to main, pay her rent and buy her kid a pair of shoes at $60 or $70 a pair. i am sure she would appreciate having a slice of that. >> the message that resonates - poverty as a scandal. poverty as a desperate cry for help. they are the tenants that the pond if built his message on. >> pope francis is on the scene and there's something you can believe in, grasp, admire. there's somebody that you know christ. >> i don't know if archbishop myers is, i don't know if he's forgotten the message. >> as a brother priest, reflect
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on the gospel. you have no place to lay down your head. i ask the bishop to think about that, to sell the house and give the money to the work of catholic charities. when you live opulently, there's a cost to someone else. when you live in opulence someone lives in poverty. the the church is about helping the poor not to be more. >> after the break in "america tonight", you know about the dutch and the dope, but did you hear about the netherlands's alternative approach to alcoholism. >> the goal is for more self-respect because they have something to do. >> paying alcoholics for there's more to finical news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, can fracking change what you pay for water each month?
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have you thought about how climate change can effect your grocery bill? could rare minerals in china effect your cell phone bill? or, how a hospital in texas could drive up your health care premium. i'll make the connections from the news to your money real. al jazeera america. we open up your world. >> here on america tonight, an opportunity for all of america to be heard. >> our shows explore the issues that shape our lives. >> new questions are raised about the american intervention. >> from unexpected viewpoints to live changing innovations, dollars and cents to powerful storytelling. >> we are at a tipping point in america's history! >> al jazeera america. there's more to it.
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>> these protestors have decided that today they will be arrested
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>> these people have chased a president from power, they've torn down a state... >> what's clear is that people don't just need protection, they need assistance. the stream is uniquely interactive television. in fact, we depend on you, your ideas, your concerns. >> all these folks are making a whole lot of money. >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> i think you've offended everyone with that kathy. >> hold on, there's some room to offend people, i'm here. >> we have a right to know what's in our food and monsanto do not have the right to hide it from us. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> watch the stream. >> and join the conversation online @ajamstream. >> more states have taken up
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deregulation of marijuana u we look to amsterdam, and their experience of pot. they have a novel approach to alcoholism, one that may be innovative or hard to imagine. lori jane gliha on how amsterdam is paying alcoholics, to help them with their problems. >> this is coen ruijs. several times a week he's canvassing the streets of amsterdam. picturing up tiny scraps of newspaper, empty cans and bottles of booze. >> a few weeks ago i found a very good shirt. >> a former postman he once walked the streets delivering male. coen ruijs, an alcoholic, is cleaning the streets while trying to get clean. he's part of an unlikely crew of garbage collectors, struggling
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addicts who spend half a day on streets picking up trash. in exchange the city offers them beer. five cans to be rationed throughout the day. plus a warm meal, tobacco and 10 euros, it's an u.n. conventional dutch program that keeps adict working instead of loitering in the park, where many get drunk, passers-by. >> does it help or hurt alcoholism? >> if i was home all day i could another. >> when we bet coen ruijs on a cold morning in east amsterdam, he was save ouring is few situation of his first heineken of the day. the former musician and artist explained how hard liquor led him down a difficult past. he took his first taste at 17.
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by age 25 his drinking was out of control. day. >> have you been a person that yelled or got in a fight because of alcohol and while you were sitting there, before getting in the program. >> to be honest, yes. >> i see a big difference from when the people start. people came two, three, four hours too late. now you see everybody is in time, and you see the growing interest in all aspects of their lives, which was not there when they started. >> janet van der noord oversees a total of two groups as they clean the city. she distributes the beer - two in the morning, two in the afternoon and one when the project is complete. she's a supervisor, but a support system, helping those who relapse, need outside assistance or struggle to stay on track.
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>> the goal is that they feel - they have more self respect because they have something to do. they - it gives them something to their lives. >> janet knows what it's like to fight addiction. she battled with drugs for 35 years before getting sober. >> i feel equal to them, and i do have another attitude because of that, that makes - that we feel more safe together, and like a role model. so people don't give up. please don't give up. there's always hope. if i can do it, they can do it. >> she knows there are skeptics but says traditional programs are not the best everyone. >> people say "i want to go to rehab because i want to become clean." i say of course, go ahead. some are not ready, they are afraid, they don't know expect.
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>> coen ruijs has been in and out of clinics and detox the the telephone manufacture proclaimed progress is what the local district mayor hoped for when she agreed her district would fund it in 2012. fatima elatik says problems in the park got bad. even though giving alcohol icts more chom is controversial, she says she was willing to try anything. >> we threw everything we had, every project, law, fine, every opportunity to fine them for disturbances. but, you know, fining them is not curing the problem, it's targetting the symptom. they'd be gone from the park for a week and come back, because they are not strangers, the people that live in the distribute. park. >> city council conservatives call it a waste of money. it's too soon to know if the
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program is working. fatima elatik says she has witnessed changes to some. a man like fred. >> he looked like a bum, someone you wouldn't give any attention. now he walks around, he's proud of himself, he interacts and greets people in the veets. that, to me is the biggest change i have seen in the human being in a period of six months. to me that's a success. underneath his reflective blaze-orange jacket fred is a man dressed for a job interview. he comes to clean the streets in a suit and tie and tries to wear a smile, despite personal tragedies, including the death of an old gifld that offed -- girlfriend that caused him to turn to the bottom. he speaks dutch but told us in english how far he has come. >> do you think the program is helping you? >> yes
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>> why? >> i try for myself. not everybody see it, but i try to stop for myself, but it's not easy. i fighting every day when i wake up, and i standing in front of the mirror. every day i tell to myself fred, do not drink this day. >> only time will tell whether the men can kick their habits. in the meantime they have a job to do, a place to be and a chance to chang, which is enough to bring them a sense of self-respect. >> ahead in our final thoughts, school ties. who is suiting up for the cotton pickers and the arabs much some schools want to get the ball rolling on a sports stereotype.
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real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight. >> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories. >> this is where the typhoon came ashore. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. >> al jazeera, nairobi. >> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. >>
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>> finally we consider the words of the late coach joie p. >> turno - the word on the front of of the jersey is more what you consider than the back. we look at the washington redskins. dan schneider is not looking to change his brand but will support native with a new foundation. sometimes when it comes to sport stereotypes, sometimes accesses fail to speak louder than words. >> washington redskins and
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others are under fire. imagine rooting for these high schools. the idaho mann yacks or the midgets. or the whaps or the illinois shanks around until 1980 - would you be offended? >> we looked at nicknames. offensive one, the ones that get the ire are the native american names, warriors, redskins, indians, tribe - they are the ones that got people the most upset. you can make the argument that braves, indians, you appeal to the nobility of native american culture or the warrior spirit. when you talk about redskins, it strikes a lot of people as being racist. >> it's what every proteam calls its own. sometimes instead of creating harmon i it stirs controversy.
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>> with that in mind we decided to travel the country to talk to people about what's in a name. 2.5 hours east of los angeles sits the cachae valley. it's populated by hispanic families. it's home it the cochella valley high school ar a a name -- arab, and name that has lasted for 80 years, and came under security last year. >> the idea that the mascot is offensive is not farr fetched. ishes they are unhappy with the depiction of the mascot. it was appalling to them and they felt it was stereotyping. that's why we called them. it was never the intent from the community and not something that my board or i would not be sensitive to and be ready to
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resolve. coachela valley he had its nickname through the date industry. >> these are the logos, the "30, "50, updated in the "50, and this from the '80s to the present. you see the hooked nose, the fez taken away. >> the last thing we want to do is hurt someone's feelings because we did something we shouldn't have done. you >> not everyone cease grease. >> it's -- not everyone agrees. >> it's a mascot. we can't to show that we are angry strong. that's all it is. >> i disagree with the whole issue. i don't see why they are getting offended. >> there's a facebook page save the kochela valley mascot. 90% feel we should not give in for pressure for washington, to
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resurface the gym floor, repaint the school. it will be better spent on educating the students instead of controversy. >> community and board meetings have been ongoing. a 5-person committee will make their decision. it will likely make a change. >> i've heard more from arab americans saying don't make the change than those that want it changed. everyone is open to a discussion and consider it. >> separated by 1200 miles of road, but perhaps tens of thousands of history, is robstown texas, a rural farming community. robstown high school is the home of the cotton pickers. cotton pickers conjures up images of slaves in the south leading to the civil war. here the majority view is one we may not have considered until visiting.
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>> what do you think of the team mascot, the cotton pickers. ? >> it's a super name. a survey was ran five years ago asking members of the community through the newspaper, they wanted to change the name. it was like 99% that did not want to change the mascot name. it's named after the cotton picking of the area. i think everyone is proud of it. another prominent attendee is congressman colin. >> you attended robstown hoom. >> yes, sir. >> what do you think now and then of the nickname, the cotton pickers. >> well, i am proud that i was a real cotton picker and when i went to high school i was also a cotton picker. it's a good name, it represents, identifies hard-working people in south texas.
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>> what if a segment of the african american community said they heard about a fam in robstown calling themselves the cotton pickers and that offends us because our ancestors were brought over here as slaves and put to work in the fields, should they be able to air it. >> i understand where they came from. people my age are proud. they were honest workers, paid their bills, paid their taxes and took care of their families. >> if you heard that there was a team that used - i wouldn't say an epithat, a carrick cat tur, a bad part of history, that used that about mexican americans or hispanic minister. >> i would be offended. i can see where people would come from. it merits us speaking about it
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and there are a couple of black athletes. it will be good to visit that and get to the heart of where that comes from. make shame on us for not being sensitive to the issue. it's a good conversation starter. if you woke up and got the letter from the texas department of education saying "we decided to change the name of the cotton pickers to the red raiders", how would you feel. >> i would have mixed emotions. i see where they're coming from and argue this is part of our heritage, our tradition of not using it as a racial slur, that's not how we see it, it's a source of pride for the people in the fields. being a child of the south, having slaves and those that pick cotton, that name - african american, when you say cotton
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picking that's it. it raises concern on my part because i know some people see that. while they may not, please consider the fact that others do, and have the conversation to try to resolve it. >> in the spring of 2014 while daniel schneider and the washington redskins are mulling over their nickname, the superintendent and his board will talk about a decision. >> we have a new mascot, maybe the team is the arabians and the mascot is a horse. the notion that the mascot changes and the name, what do you expect the backlash to that to be if that happens? >> i don't think there will be any. in the end, a year from now, people will look back and say held in the distribute. 20,000 students in the hot desert of southern california made the right decision, the
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right way and we can model off of that and do it too. >> that's al jazeera's michael sure reporting. that's it for us here on "america tonight". if you would like to comment on any stories, log on to the website aljazeera.com/americatonight. you can meet the team, look at the stories we are working on and tell us what you want to see. join the conversation on twitter or at our facebook page. goodnight. special edition for more inside and analysis. >> why did you decide to go... >> it's extremly important for the western audience to know why these people
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keep on fighting... ...it's so seldom you get that access to the other side. >> faultlines: on the front lines with the taliban then an america tonight: special edition, only on al jazeera america >> this is al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz live in new york. slow search, more grim news from the washington mudslide as the number of dead grows. >> can yodiplomatic solution het to be the sort to solve problems. >> east meets west in paris in the struggle to solve ukraine. with time, australia's prime minister promises

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