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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 5, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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we begin tonight keeping them honest. with new revelations in the trayvon martin killing that may pull you into two opposite directions about what happened and whether george zimmerman fired in self-defense. in a moment, a new version of that 911 audiotape that some we did our own enhancements earlier but have used even more sophisticated methods to uncover the truth. also, zimmerman's two attorneys are speaking out about why neither one is actually sat down and looked their client in the eye. they spoke to local station wofl. >> a thorough investigation ongoing in this case, there are cases where i want to hear my client's version, look in his eye and see if i believe him or not. i believe the sanford police have given him a voice stress test. he passed that.
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the evidence seem to support what he told us. i don't need to look him in the eye. >> sanford police won't comment on whether they put him through such a test when they questioned him but do say they use it as do other police departments. how reliable are they? we contacted an expert who did a study of the devices when used to question suspects about drug use. he says their ability to detect deception is, i'm quoting now, no better than flipping a coin. again, we don't know whether the sanford police department subjected zimmerman to such a test nor if they used it as a basis for not charging him. we do know that the lead investigator had suspicions about his story. and now, the mother of a 13-year-old witness to the incident says that same investigator told her so. >> the lead investigator from the sanford police department stood in my family room and told me this was absolutely not
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self-defense and they needed to prove it. he told me, and i'm paraphrasing this quote, but read between the lines. there's some stereotyping going on here. >> that's the mother of a young witness on msnbc. now, the 911 tape of george zimmerman's call as he was pursuing trayvon martin through the gated community he was patrol. we should warn you, right now, you're going to hear some strong language. you might want to send your kids out of the room. the two words you'll hear are an expletive and some believe, a racial slur. 360s gary tuchman worked with one of our top audio experts to enhance the tape. >> can we play the second word, what we think the second word is and see if that sounds any different? >> okay. >> it certainly sounds like that word to me though you can't be
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sure. that sounds even more like the word before that. >> that's correct. >> it seemed pretty clear then. but since then we've been able to use an even higher tech method to isolate what was said that night. here, again, gary tuchman. >> this is brian stone. he's one of our senior audio engineers. >> correct. >> expert in this field. you've enhanced the tape. i have not listened to this tape either. two weeks ago when i listened to this, i didn't listen to it. the second version that's been enhanced i didn't listen to. let's play it. [ playing audio ] >> are you following him? we don did the need you to do that. >> that sounds much clearer than the first tape we listened to. >> it's extremely clear. >> some are accusing george
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zimmerman of using the racial slur coon followed by the "f" word. >> the problem is, this is very short, about 1.6 seconds. >> roughly. >> if we can repeat it a few times so we can hear it clearly. >> okay. [ audio playing ] >> it's apparent the first word is a curse word. we'll bleep it out for the rest of the story. it's the second word that's important to hear. >> i don't want to say what it sounds like, what a lot of people are saying it sounds like, but let's play it a few times so the viewer can make their own conclusion. >> [ bleep ] -- >> [ bleep ] -- >> you can stop. it does sound less like that racial slur last time i
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acknowledged it could have been that slur from listening in this room, a state-of-the-art room, it doesn't sound like that slur anymore. it sounds like, we wanted to leave it up to the viewer, it sounds like we're hearing the swear worse and then cold. that's what some supporters were saying, that he was saying the word cold. that's what it sounds like to you? >> it does to me. >> first time you've heard it? >> yes. >> can we play it a few more times? >> yes. [ audio playing ] >> so the key is the wind, get rid of the wind. >> wind and anything broadband noise. >> that's what we've done this time compared to last time? >> correct. >> you use the plug-in to get rid of the noise you don't want. >> it cleans up a lost the broadband.
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>> can you play it for us one more time? >> sure. [ audio playing ] >> this is the clearest audio we've heard of george zimmerman's 911 call but it's readily apparent there will still be controversy over what he really said. gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. >> joining me now, police veteran lou plum boolumbo, jeff toobin and defense mark geragos. >> that word, if it was a bad word or just saying it was cold, f'ing cold. >> the only way the federal government has jurisdiction over this homicide is if they can prove there was racial hostility
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at the core of it. a simple shooting is purely state matter and that would not -- then the federal government wouldn't be involved. there may be other evidence in the case. this is obviously very important. it's not the only piece of evidence in the case. the justice department presumably will investigate every aspect of this to determine it. certainly if the word is cold, not c-o-o-n, that is highly relevant. >> mark geragos, is there some way this can be cleared up? it's an important point 100%. >> i don't know that anything's ever 100% in the criminal justice system. this is precisely what they do, they go to an audio specialist, try to bring it up or enhance it is the term we use in the courts and once they've enhanced it and they've gone through it, then everybody listens to it and tries to figure out, okay, he either said it or he didn't say it. as jeff says, it's true. if there was a word there that's used that is racially charged,
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that is going to tend to kind of make their decision a lot easier. if there isn't, then they look at the surrounding circumstances and we saw what happened with the nbc, i guess, enhanced tape or edited tape, if that doesn't play out and it looks like it hasn't played out, then it makes it a much tougher decision for them to actually file a case federally. >> today we learned that zimmerman was given what's called this voice stress test. you're familiar with this? >> yes, voice stress analysis. >> tell us about this. is it admissible or useful? >> it's not admissible, the same way a polygraph isn't. they examine microtremors in the messles in your voice in an attempt to determine truthfulness. i don't particularly give it much credence. i think there are some people that do. i think what happened is this attorney opened up a can of worm today's suggest we take a full battery of tests, including a
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polygraph and have itted ministered by someone like the fbi. 43 states have adopted this means of screening or determining a case. the fbi and the cia also use this. i don't think they use it for the purpose of resolution in criminal matters. they probably use it more for the purpose of screening candidates or if they have a confidential informant that's giving them a lead. >> it's not necessarily all that reliable. certainly it's not admissible. mark, let me bring you back into this conversation. we understand in florida when you arrest an individual, the clock starts ticking to bring someone to a speedy trial. you're required to bring them to trial within $180 day. could that explain why charges have not been brought against george zimmerman? >> well, there are speedy trial rights in every state. the thing here, and i haven't
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determined it and i'm not an expert in florida law whatsoever, but what occurred to me at least initially is one of the reasons why they may not have -- mind you, everybody at least was first reporting that he had not been arrested by any stretch of the imagination, that tape shows that he was under arrest. what then triggers it is whether or not you have to take him to a magistrate within a certain period of time, whether you have to take him directly, whether you have to take him within a certain number of hours, because there is u.s. supreme court precedent that says -- and here in california you'd have to get him in front of a magistrate in two to three days, otherwise that case would be rejected. that in this case did not come into play. i think there was a situation from what i can gather and what the prosecutor has indicated that what ended up actually happening is that the police had him under arrest, there was some discussion at least internally within the police department as to whether or not the stand your
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ground law applied. and then now once it goes over to the state's attorney's office, they don't have that pressure and they want to do, frankly, what most criminal defense lawyers would like to see a prosecutor do, analyze the case, interview the witnesses. make sure before you file something that you've actually done all of your home work. they've got the luxury to do that now. >> lou polombu, jeffrey toobin, mark geragos, thank you for coming in. i'll be tweeting tonight. let me know what you think. a day after his three-state primary sweep, mitt romney resumed his attacks on president obama who is giving as good as he's getting. we're keeping them honest, just ahead. ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la
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with victories last night in three more primary races, mitt romney now looks safely on track for the republican presidential nomination. he's talking like a nominee and president obama is treating him like one as well. you could see it in the governor's speech today to newspaper editors and the president's version to the same group yesterday. combined they're like watching a trailer for the fall campaign. but keeping them honest, how true to the facts are they? take this line from governor romney on the recession. >> i've said many times before, the president did not cause the economic crisis. but he did make it worse.
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>> all right. keeping them honest, when president obama took office, the economy was in freefall, 4.5 million jobs lost in president bush's last year and another 4.3 million jobs lost in the early obama administration. but as you can see, job loss has slowed, then gains started to appear and grew. for march, for example, the economy is expected to add about 200,000 jobs on top of the 230,000 jobs in february. that means as of february, the economy under president obama had gained back about 3.2 million of those 4.3 million jobs lost during his administration. and according to a cnn money survey of economists, all 4.3 million jobs lost on his watch could potentially come back by year's end. also on the economy, there's this claim about the administration's economic recovery act. >> the $787 billion stimulus included a grab bag of pet
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projects, that languished in congress for good reason for years. it was less a jobs plan and more the mother of all earmarks. the administration pledged that their stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8%. it has been above 8% every month since. >> governor romney is certainly right about that last part, unemployment is now at 8.3%, up from 8.2% when president obama took office but down sharply from its peak of 10.1% in october of '09. as for the stimulus, the nonpartisan congressional budget office says it increased employment, created jobs anywhere from 1 million to maybe as many as 3 million jobs. as for the claim that the administration pledged to keep the jobs number under 8%, it comes from an estimate, not a pledge, in a report written by two top obama economic advisers during the transition back in
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january 2009 shortly before the president took office. moving on to the president's speech, no outright falsehoods but not always the whole truth. take this on government regulation. >> you'd think they'd say you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. >> it is true governor romney does want to repeal the law tightening regulations on the financial industry. however, he's also said as recently as last night, i'm quoting him now, we, of course, understand in a free market that regulations are necessary and critical. there's also this about health care reform. >> there's a reason why there's a little bit of confusion. in the republican primary about health care and the individual mandate since it originated as a conservative idea to preserve
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the private marketplace and health care while still assuring that everybody got coverage in contrast to a single payor plan. now suddenly this is some socialist overreach. >> on this, president is right, the individual mandate was originally a conservative idea. even had conservative support, by the way, while the obama health bill was being drafted. listen. >> i believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandate. >> that was senator charles grassley of iowa on fox news, a leading conservative supporting the man date at the time it was being drafted. it's a mandate that president obama himself opposed when running for office. here is his drawing a contrast back in the 2008 debate with then presidential candidate hillary clinton who, unlike president obama, supported the mandate. >> clinton's plan and mine is
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the fact that she would force, in some fashion, individuals to purchase health care. >> joining us now, republican strategist and former george w. bush press secretary ari fleischer and democratic poster cornell belscher who works for president obama's re-election campaign. thanks for coming in. cornell, it seems as far as the obama campaign is concern the republican primary is over. at least that's the impression you're giving. what do you think? >> well, i think pennsylvania will have a lot to say about that. it keeps going along, you no he, santorum wins a couple, you know, romney wins a couple. but i think he's not at the magical number yet. however, i think for democrats, it's really about whether it's santorum or whether it's romney. they're all sort of cut from the same radical cloth, from a policy standpoint, the same sort of policies. they're all backing the same policies that undermine the
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middle class. they're all for the ryan budget plan, the amendment that would take power away from women and give it to their employees to make health care decisions for them. whether santorum or romney, they all have to answer for their policies. >> you've seen some of the most recent poll numbers from the swing states, states that would be critical in november. disappointing numbers for romney. here's the question, throughout this process, is he emerging as a weaker or stronger candidate? >> i'll answer that in just a second. first, this saddens me, wolf, when people talk about americans being radicals. we can have political differences left and right, conservative or liberal, i don't call anybody a radical on left. i never used that for barack obama. we're a country that's starting to fray at the seams instead of coming together. we should be cautious of the words we use. >> let me let cornell respond to that. you want to respond to that? >> i responded to him. so we're even. >> well, you know, when you look
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at some of the policies that are being put forth by ryan plan, that really does away with medicare as we know it, something that our seniors have been looking, depending on for years. i would argue that's radical when you try to give powerback to wall street to write their own rules and do the exact same things that got us into that mess. some of us say that's radical. this is not the republican party of a decade ago. this is a different sort of republican. >> ari? >> here's the problem with that, wolf. the barack obama of just eight years ago is the one who said cornell's boss, there is no red america, there's no blue america, there's the united states of america. now he's the one out there calling people who just don't believe in his philosophy radicals. you candice agree and still love this country and not be a radical. that's what is so divisive about the language that president obama and his pollster are now using. that's why this country feels like we're always fighting instead of figuring things out. the president should be the last
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person to engage in that. >> in fairness, ari, the republicans call the president a socialist. the rhetoric on both sides can be intense. >> number one, i haven't. number two, i don't believe mitt romney who is all but the definite republican nominee has. if there's people on the side, i call them out on it, too, wolf. i'm consistent on that. >> good for you. let's talk about romney. is he a stronger candidate or a weaker candidate? >> he's weaker and he's running against a weaker president. one of the factors going on is this republican primary has not strengthened our front-runners. you can make the case it's brought them down in their favorable and unfavorable opinion ratio. the same thing happened to president obama. he began his president says we a10% disapproval. it's increased five times now, just under 50% in disapproval. his presidency hasn't served him well, the republican primary hasn't served republicans well in terms of popularity. the american people are in a bad
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mood to just about everyone. >> you look at some of the exit poll numbers last night, he seems to be making some real progress with a lot of those voters. >> well, i'm going to pull an ari here and respond to ari. when you go back to '08 and look at how, you know, the battle between hillary and then senator obama, as the process went on, voters didn't start to dislike then senator barack obama more. they didn't. they didn't start to dislike him more. you're looking at a nominee in romney who's under water in favorables and unfavorables. he starts off in a weaker position than most candidates and quite frankly you just don't want your candidate starting off under water when by the way, we haven't gone spending money to even attack him. so it is qualitatively different
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than in '08. more people coming into the process wanting to vote this time around like you saw in '08. that's fundamentally different from what we saw in '08. >> ari fleischer, cornell belscher, thanks for coming in. breaking news, the l.a. coroner just released the final autopsy report for whitney houston. dr. drew pinsky joins me, just ahead. he has plenty to say about this. [ male announcer ] if your kid can recognize your sneeze from a crowd... you're probably muddling through allergies.
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the los angeles coroner has released the fine at autopsy report on whitney houston's death. from the preliminary report we already knew the singer's death was ruled an accidental drowning with heart disease and cocaine use cited as contributing factors. the final report says houston drown face down in a tub of hot water about 12 edges deep. it also describes a white substance found on a counter and spoon near her body. doctor drew pinsky, the host of hln's "dr. drew" followed the story from the beginning. he's on the phone. this report is a grim accounting of the final hours of her life. you've gone through it. how serious of a report is this?
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>> wolf, those shocking thing about this report, i want to assure you that i have a completely different interpretation from the preliminary report that was put out that somehow the cocaine had precipitated a cardiac event or that significant heart disease had contributed to her demise. the fact is, this autopsy report shows that she had nominal, nominal heart disease, almost none, not sufficient to explain what happened to her. you also mention she was found face down in water. how do you have a heart attack or take too much medication and slip into the water and drown and end up face down? the way that happens is seizure. i add the entire report up and i get seizure. she had large amounts of xanax found at her side in the bathroom. pill bottles that had been filled with large ams the last two months that were empty, yet she had low amounts of xanax in
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her blood. she had metamorphasis of the liver. moderate amount of native cocaine was found meaning she had used within the last four to six hours prior to her death, maybe even minutes before. >> because that taxology test measured 0.58 micrograms of cocaine per millilite. what is that level of cocaine specifically tell you? >> tells me specifically it's the metabolites of cocaine that is interesting, and the fact she has nonmetabolized cocaine and this idea that it caused a
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cardiac event is an inappropriate and inaccurate conclusion. i think clearly here, there was seizure activity that caused her to flip over and drown and this was actually someone trying not to use certain substances but unfortunately adding a substance that commonly causes seizure and ends up in serious trouble. again, this is the route to demise through chemical dependency is nefarious and here's somebody you never would have predicted this outcome and drowning ends up the result. >> what a sad, sad story. >> yes. >> dr. drew, thanks very much for joining us. still ahead, "360's" groundbreaking study on kids and race. tonight, we hear from 13-year-olds. human rights groups in syria report a new round of government attacks killed at least 61 people today. the assad regime fired on civilian targets across the country, even launching strikes from military jets.
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the regime is facing accusations of escalating violence next week. a united airlines flight hit severe turbulence, injuring 12 people on board that plane. it was flying from tampa to houston. most of the injuries were described as minor. some passengers came off the plane on stretchers and wearing neck braces. yahoo! announcing 2,000 layoffs today. the company's ceo says this may be the first round of cuts as he radically streamlines the company. wolf, back to you. >> susan, thanks. tonight we have new video from north texas shot by a family directly in the path of the tornado. that story is next on "360." >> oh, my goodness. neutrogena® healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% saw improved skin. does your makeup do that? neutrogena® cosmetics.
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up close tonight, we're getting a fuller picture of those terrifying tornadoes that ripped across northern texas. 200 homes destroyed, more than 600 damaged, but not a single person killed. that's nothing short of amazing. timing and sheer luck saved so many lives yesterday. the family you're about to meet is one example. here's gary tuchman. >> you see it coming down? >> yes! >> reporter: the man shooting this video is a husband and father of two. and about to experience the most terrifying moments of his life. >> god, you can see the debris field. look at that. do you see it, michelle? >> yes, i saw it. >> look at it, right above your
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house. look at the debris field. you got the kids in the bathroom? get the kids in the bathroom. >> get in the bathroom! >> it's right there. look, it's touched down. look at the transformers. it is down. >> oh, my god, did you hear that? >> that is a tornado. >> reporter: this is the aftermath of that tornado. here in forney, texas, east of the dallas, the local school, heavily damaged, more than 95 homes damaged or destroyed. this video was shot by brett brown who was standing right here while he shot it, on top of his pickup, trying to pray it away. while you were shooting it, what are you thinking? >> please don't come here. oh, wow. oh, my god. look at this. oh, no! get in the house! get in the house! go! take cover. take cover. >> reporter: brett's wife amber went in the bathroom with two of her children.
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and two neighbor children. >> it's terrifying as a person, for myself and extra because of my children. >> reporter: amber showed us how she put the children in the tub. and then they cried and prayed. >> it's hard to look into the eyes of your children and tell them it'll be okay, when you're not sure you're going to be okay. >> reporter: at around the same time, this is what her husband was saying. >> please keep us safe. oh, my goodness. we've got debris! >> reporter: seven people in forney were hurt from this tornado but nobody was killed. the parents in this neighborhood expressed great relief the tornado hit when it did. because 30 minutes later, their kids were walking home from school. there's a lot of rebuilding to do in this part of texas, but there's great rejoicing that nobody died. brett brown has already been told by his wife amber he's not shooting tornado video the next time. >> it's nothing like you see on natgeo or discovery. it's a whole different animal when it's right in front of you.
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>> gary, it's really amazing that no one was seriously hurt. but how strong was this tornado? >> reporter: this was a very strong tornado, wolf. the weather experts are saying the top winds were between 140 and 160 miles per hour. that makes it an ef-3 tornado. ef-1 is the weakest, ef-5 the strong et. officially an ef-3 can cause severe damage. an ef-4 tornado can cause devastating damage and that's what we saw during the deadly tornadoes in illinois at the end of february. so the video here was very dramatic, but the people are fortunate that mother nature didn't dial it up a little bit more. wolf? >> gary, thanks for the excellent reporting. gary tuchman reporting. coming up, 360 special report on kids and race. it continues tonight. this week we showed you what children as young as 6 told researchers in a groundbreaking study commissioned by "360." tonight a specially appropriate, as we consider the trayvon martin case.
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the focus is on 13-year-olds. >> tell me about that. >> i've been bullied for the way i looked. and the way of my skin at my previous school. and they just kept on bullying me. i tried not to break, but i couldn't hold on anymore. so i asked my mom can i leave? [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
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trayvon martin parents believe their son was a victim of racial profiling by an armed and overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer. the only thing we know for certain at this point is that martin, a black teenager and george zimmerman, who's hispanic crossed paths on a dark and rainy night with tragic results. the role that racial bias may or may not have played in the fatal shooting is the subject of fierce debate which makes "360's" groundbreaking study on kids and race especially timely. here's anderson. >> tonight we're continuing our "ac 360" special report on kids and race, the hidden picture. this project has been over a year in the making and its aim, to study children's attitudes on race and understand how and why they form their opinions. children can be a mirror of society and that is the starting point of this report. to look to the youngest generation and see how far we've come when we talk about racial attitudes. we teamed up with renowned child psychologist dr. melanie killen to design this study. take a look at this. dr. kiln and her team showed
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13-year-old children this picture and asked them questions like what's happening here? are these children friends, would their parents want them to be friends? the picture is designed to be ambiguous. what's happening is in the eye of the beholder. then they showed them this picture and asked them what happened. with the races flipped. both white and african-american kids were tested. and the psychologist showed a similar set of pictures to 6-year-olds. at our request, they were asked open-ended questions about race to understand how it plays into their own lives. the experiences were raw and it some of the experiences they describe were shocking. this is the reality of what kids see, hear, and think about race. listen. >> if you have the same skin, you can play together. but if you don't have the same skin, you can't play together. >> so why can't you play together if you have different color skin? >> because your mom might not want you to play with that friend. >> do you think it would be easy for a kid to convince his parents that it would be okay to have other types of people over?
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>> huh-uh. >> why not? >> probably because you might get in trouble. >> why would a parent want you to get in trouble if you wanted someone to come over to your house who was a different skin color? >> probably because they don't allow. >> why not? why would some parents not allow other skin colored kids to come over? >> probably because they might not like that skin color. >> my friend's mom wanted to be only her daughter's friend because she's only white and i'm black. >> okay. so it happened with your friend's mom. they only wanted him to be friends with people who are the same color? >> uh-huh. >> and so he didn't want you to be friends? >> yes. >> how did that make you feel? >> sad. >> there was more. our cnn study found signs of hope and progress as well. watch. >> it really doesn't matter what skin color they have. it's just their personality. that's what i judge people off of.
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>> i think friendship is important for that reason. because america can grow with different races holding hands and coming together to create one united states. >> last night we told you that when testing 6-year-olds the research showed a majority of white kids were negative about interracial friendships. the majority of black children on the other hand are positive. but we discovered a big difference between childhood and adolescence. take a look. the study found when 6-year-old african-american children were asked about interracial friendships, the majority responded like this. >> she was trying to help her. >> do you think that chris and alex are friends? >> yeah. >> and how much would they like it if the two were friends. >> really like it. >> but watch how they respond by age 13. >> she's a bully. she pushed abby. >> do you think that chris and alex are friends? >> no, not really. >> do you think that abbey's
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parents would like it if she were friends with carrie? >> no. >> the optimism we heard from young black children fades with age. at age 6, 59% of black children think the two kids in the picture are friends. by 13, a total flip. 63% do not think they're friends. which matches white teens' attitudes. our expert says experiences like 13-year-old jimmy's of rejection begin to explain the disappointing trend. he said a white friend's mom forbade her son to be friends with him. >> they said it was because you're black. so you can't hang out with her and her son. >> so she kind of very openly said that the reason why her son could not hang out with you and your family was because you guys were black? >> yeah. >> how did that make your mom feel when she heard that? >> it made her mad. >> what was her response? >> i'm not allowed to say that. >> because of your skin --
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>> daunte was bullied so badly because of his race he had to change schools. >> i've been bullied for like the way i looked, and the way of my skin. at my previous school that i went to. they just kept on bullying me. and i didn't like it. i asked them to stop like over and over again. then i tried to -- i tried not to break, but i couldn't like, hold on anymore. so i asked my mom, can i leave? >> by age 13, african-american kids match the pessimism of white kids when asked if the different races could be friends. >> peer interactions are a way to understand -- >> our expert says the decline happens because they've been given a reality check on race. >> they're getting a lot of negative feedback through elementary school and adolescence. if you have that experience repeatedly over a number of years, your optimism will decline because you've been told, you really don't belong here.
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you're really not part of us. >> dr. killen also says anxiety about interracial dating from black and white parents can have a profound effect on how their kids view friendships. >> parents of young children do often send messages about, we can all be friends, be friends with everybody, you know, they do send positive messages. but by adolescence, they start getting more nervous about this, they start thinking, you should be friends with people like you or like us. >> how are you? i'm soledad. >> soledad o'brien asked some kids about the issue after this came up. >> do you think your parents would be fine if you decided to start dating a black girl and brought her home? >> honestly, my parents probably wouldn't be too happy because if i was to marry a black girl, you're connected to their family now and who knows what her family is really like? >> so they probably wouldn't be that excited about it? >> probably not. >> this girl admitted anxiety and a double standard for
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interracial dating in her family. >> if i were to date a white guy, a lot of people wouldn't have a problem with that. but if my brother were to bring home a white girl, there's definitely going to be some controversy. >> from who? your parents or you? >> from me. from me. really, because i think it's more of a problem for people when a black man brings home a white woman because it's been like that for years. >> so it would matter to you? >> i think it would. unless, of course, she were not to act i guess so quote, unquote, white. >> what does that mean? >> you know, flipping the hair, oh, my god. ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, that's so ghetto. no. no. >> there was some good news in our results as well. the racial balance of the school can make a major positive difference on how white kids view race.
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the study tested kids from majority white, majority black and majority mixed schools. the difference was remarkable. students at majority white schools were the most pessimistic about race. only 47% think their parents would approve of kids from different races being friends. in racially diverse and majority black schools, 71% are positive about it. the reason, according to dr. killen, is friendships. >> there's almost nothing as powerful as having a friend of a different racial ethnic background to reduce prejudice. you have that experience, you can challenge stereotypes. >> these teens go to mixed race and majority black schools. >> the color of your skin doesn't change the personality of who you are. >> we're all people and we can all get along together. >> my grandparents are very very racist against african-americans and other races, but it's 2012, so they
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have to, like, push that aside. and i'll be like, no, that's wrong to be -- you want to stick with your own race and i'm like, no, i'm friends with everyone. >> we're here with dr. killen and soledad o'brien. it was pretty sobering to hear that as black kids age they become as pessimistic as white kids. >> it's really true. we were struck by that. and you have to think about, why is that? why is it that young kids think you can be friends with different people. then they start getting messages. i think part of it is from ages 6 to 13, you get increasing number of messages. if you don't have opportunity for friendships, you don't have that opportunity to challenge the stereotypes, it starts getting more deeply entrenched. by 13, there's other issues, that start coming up, things about dating. so that's when the messages from parents and society start getting much more negative. as we move towards increasing intimacy, that's where people get more uncomfortable and more nervous about it. unfortunately it kind of backfires because that's when kids start to back away. they start to think friendships aren't possible.
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we really have to think about that because having a friend of a different race or ethnicity does enable you to challenge the stereotypes but also create a comfort that you're going to have for the rest of your life. >> it was interesting to see how the notion of intimacy does change the dynamic. 13 is puberty, let's face it. and i think that changes the dynamic for the kids, and it changes the dynamic in a big way for the parents. so what i think you're measuring is at 6, we all get along. isn't the world great because we all get along. at 13, it's, oh, now we're talking about intimate relationships. that really changes the dynamic, i think especially for parents and i think you see that messaging change. >> it does. and it's sort of unfortunate, because parents are already starting to think about, i wouldn't want them to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity. maybe that's true, but the point is these are kids are 13 and it's too early to start worrying about that. if you start worrying about it at 13, you're cutting them off from really valuable, important
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friendship that they can have. >> what do you want people to take away from the study? >> i want everybody to think about their interactions. i want parents, teachers, educators, to think about their interactions with their children and what kind of messages are they conveying. when can they be proactive? if you went to the park and you saw somebody hitting somebody else, you would talk to your child about it. you would say, they really shouldn't hit them, how would you feel? they might get hurt. you would use it as a teaching moment. what we're finding is when issues come up with racism and prejudice, even more benign examples, but when that comes up, parents often get, they step back. they feel they shouldn't say anything about it. if they say something, they'll make it worse. we're saying, treat that as if somebody had hit another child. use it as an opportunity. talk to them. >> it's also not one conversation. some people, some parents say i talked about that, i can check that off. >> one of the biggest problems we have, we look at martin luther king day. so we have one day of the year where we talk about those issues.
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what happens on the other 364 days of the year? we need this to be a daily kind of experience. or a conversation. not every day, but when you're a parent or educator or teacher, that when issues come up, talk about it and talk about it openly and honestly, just as you talked about it. that's really important. very valuable. it will go a long way. we're a global world. we're going to interact with people from different races and ethnicities as adults. these kinds of stereotypes when they start in childhood and become deeply entrenched by adulthood, they're very hard to change. childhood is the time to make a difference. >> dr. kiln, thank you so much for making this happen. appreciate it. soledad, thanks. >> really terrific study. we'll be right back.
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