tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle July 26, 2019 11:15am-12:00pm CEST
guardianships just. this is the interview news live from berlin coming up after the break we have our documentary films looking at the divided soul of america don't forget you can always check this out on facebook and twitter i'm brian thomas thanks so much for joining us have a great weekend and read up will be with you at the top of the hour. stand for. lawyers. and language courses. video and audio. anytime anywhere. w. .
welcome to trump's america. the country feels so good to fight it is so. angry at other parts of the so flow of stereotypes and prejudice toward people living on the outer reaches of the country it feels as if it's the 1st time we've heard. what has happened to this country where society appears so irreparably divided so what is america now. and populism is the american way of talking about social class trump punchers. i don't think racism never really want to weigh.
so what is. i do think that i'm. still trying. one out of every 5. says. what is america who are we as. a culture war is raging over the future direction of the nation and party politics has turned into an ideological battle. the rise of fascism in europe. chamber when people thought they had lost control of their economic destiny and in america 90 percent have lost control of their economic destiny so
they're desperately looking around for a savior and donald trump steps toward says i am your savior plays the exact opposite he is the devil incarnate for them but if he tells them this their savior and nobody else says that they're going to turn to him and they have. right wing populists have driven a wedge into the heart of american society which could leave its mark for decades i think the divisions in our country have been very little warrant for a long time but i think that when you have the president himself feels it is racist sexist. it is a. language people in the community feel if the president is to say that i can say and so yes the friend to this point i can't believe this way to so i think this. is now out in the open and it's just courage to call. right wing activists are increasingly visible. marching through the streets void by
the election of donald trump. americas a country that's and i think very very deep trouble and it is possible not likely but possible that would donald trump we are seeing the beginning of the end of america as we know. the election of donald trump has posed one of the biggest challenges in the history of the republic. ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard working men and women who love their country i call this the backlash the great backlash and it's been running since. 1968 is when i would say that it really got got going and it's a backlash against liberalism donald trump is not a new donald trump is a continuation of something that's been going on for a long time you know trump has really achieved what the republican party set out to
do 50 years ago which is he has won over. the by and large you know a huge part of the white working class in this country to the republican party. polling green belongs to a growing group of americans no longer willing to stand idly by as trump pursues his policies a peace activist she lives in the liberal northeast of the country in the town of leverage massachusetts. paula founded the internationally renowned karuna center for peace building and has successfully mediated between warring factions in places such as rwanda bosnia and the middle east. after the 26000 election i wanted to take everything i had learned and apply its or own country because the divides here i thought were just as toxic as they've been any place in a war zone overseas. that paula has launched an initiative aimed at
conservative voters in other states she hopes that opening up a dialogue will help overcome some of the barriers here in chile we didn't understand what had happened to work country and the impulse to bring a little time of whatever together to talk about this was with this puzzle what has happened here what how how did this happen and why did it happen and what do we do about it and i thought one of the things that we should do is see if we can try to understand who the people are voted for trump and what happened that made it possible. donald trump the great divider bringing democratic america back together our community is a bubble of liberal thinking and i was stunned by the lexus by the election results and really wanted to know what i'd missed how did i get that so very wrong i'm still angry. because i have failed to come up with an understanding of how no.
anyone can support a 1000000 of the extraordinary cruelty. and in humanity. and corruption for me i kept thinking that it was the media and the politicians in our country that have vested interests in keeping us divided and if we could meet face to face with what with all along called the other that we would find much more in common than we all have been thinking. the other she's referring to includes people living in the state of kentucky once the greatest coal mining region in the whole country now falling demand for coal has led to the closure of almost all the mines. you're actually looking at while the larger operation that was an electric outlet right here that's if the price they
had when i was still owed out it's not running call that our coal company or growth we were raised on coal. robert was one of those who lost his job in the mine. to the proper authorities. they want someone in office what the will stand up for the ordinary person don't be. in the political realm a lot it's always been i've been watching. from i was a drunk man with. a motive for him but girls need appeared to mean you act he would be the guy that would actually really busts. drop all the regulation that was strangling the country and he's doing the and he's the kind of guy that will.
whether you agree with a minority of speak is not only will speak is not. miners all over the country have put their trust in a president who claims that coal has a future and that climate change is a myth robert pays a visit to his friend kerry at another nearby mine this mine was closed down under president obama but is set to reopen soon. gary is in charge of operations over ground he too is a fervent supporter of trump like almost everybody here who is mightily hood depends on coal mining. but can trump turn back the clock on the energy industry. mark latham. it is this big of
a land of interrupted still. downside of kentucky very few people believe that coal mining has a future but do the liberal coastal elites have any alternatives to offer to the people in the american interland fear for their way of life or undergoing 2 revolutions simultaneously in the united states one is a political populist revolution from below it's driven by class anxiety and kind of tribal feeling on the other hand we're experiencing a cultural revolution having to do with representation and diversity that's being driven by cultural elites. and so what happens is that there's a there's a conflict between these these these 2 projects and the more that american liberals pursue and continue this cultural revolution
the more it leads to a tribal reaction from below and so populism is a combination of tribal resentment plus economic disenfranchisement. the statue of liberty in new york is a symbol of freedom and democracy. but the deep divisions in trump's america are threatening that very democracy. the mutual suspicion hatred and lies form a dangerous mixture that could explode at any time. the fee brazile atmosphere and the dangers of right wing populism have animated the art scene in new york. new york based artist molly crab apple was one of those who took part in the occupy wall street movement she shares
a studio with her boyfriend and illustrator fred harper. it's hard to pigeonhole molly she's a journalist who draws an artist who writes and a political activist who have white americans who both are. suffering declining economic fortunes because of globalization because of automation because of an increasingly rapacious and. inhuman capitalism but who also are feeling their position of supremacy slipping and they're incredibly threatened by the idea of equality. populism is the american way of talking about social class and it's always this idea of the average people working class people against what they call the elite. in the 1980 s. the conservative president and a valid christian ronald reagan left
a lasting legacy in the united states with his policies of deregulation. ronald reagan came along with an empty political vision of america with who would be less government fewer social programs a focus on the economy. for 35 years reagan and vision dominated america. and with the collapse of reaganism and no competing vision from us to get down the drain. the apparently unstoppable march of the populists and the failure of the democrats to combat them pose a threat to american society the country is at a crossroads. if we don't get that real change then i believe that america will over time slip into being a fascist country a country who will have a ruler not a president and to a lot of people you know this is a lot of hard work out an understand the stuff or politics is dirty and i'm going
to do with it imagine someone who comes along who has all of donald trump's charisma and marketing skill but none of his deficits somebody who actually knows how to manage somebody actually understands world history somebody who has real ideas but who also was a power monger and a kleptocrat. well that turns a society into something very very different. in aug 2017 the culture wars escalated to heights not yet seen in one of america's oldest university towns charlottesville virginia thousands of people from various right wing groups gathered to march in the name of white supremacy. the unite the right rally involved self identified members of the far right ultra
right and white supremacy movements many of the marchers were heavily armed and chanted racist or anti semitic slogans at minority groups as they walked past. i don't think racism ever really want to way i think you know there's there is a maybe a resurgence in the way we talk about air the way it's framed. but you know i i think that trump and sort of us happen is actually pretty you know distinctly american and there's definitely a division by respect think you know america is a very tribal country. the march was held in response to a city order to remove a statue of the civil war general robert e. lee leader of the confederate army for many people on the political right in the us
the generals of the southern confederacy remain heroes. the rise of right wing populism in america is deeply connected to the issue of race ever since richard nixon republican politicians realize they can exploit race to get ahead and it's much easier to say it's that black guy it's that guy from mexico that's why you're not doing better than to look at government policies spending taxes investments or lack thereof health care. here the cultural divisions in america are exasperated to unprecedented levels by network television the conservative fox news and the more liberal c.n.n. reflect the ideological fault lines running through the us i think that what. the right wing media does that is different especially under this president and you
see this with fox news and sean hannity's close relationship with president trump they call each other all the time they're constantly in contact and that's different that's more that's more of a media partnership that shouldn't exist propaganda even between a government and a news source that claims its objective when in fact we have all the evidence we need every night from 8 to 11 pm but it's not objective at all. illustrator fred harper designs the cover of the political magazine the week president trump with his frequent scandals and outbursts provides him with an almost bottomless reservoir of material while fred uses comedy and satire to poke fun at the president he takes the shift to the right in american society very seriously. the i think the country is becoming more populous
and it's it's been recovered it's been tapping into something. that has been it's like a lump of clay that hasn't been shaped and then these radical people that have been shouting all this time but ignored they've always been in the fringes are now getting their chance you know to be in the spotlight and it's really scary now . american society seems to have lost its ability to form a consensus the lines being drawn of course into region political allegiance skin color and religious faith are never start. dividing people by race is much much easier. do when people are in economic stress and they're desperately looking around saying why are things worse how can it be
that after 50 years of work i have gotten nowhere and this divide is at the core of what's happening to america some people are doing fabulously well but 90 percent of people are treading water. in. new jersey on the east coast here the american dream seems to be unattainable for the majority throughout the region are signs of dying industry and a white lower middle class that has been left behind. one person for whom the american dream has come true is photographer dan a singer but she has not forgotten her roots which are often reflected in her work . i grew up in a working class neighborhood and a working class family my mother was a. house cleaner my dad was
a bartender an education wasn't really. encouraged it was you know you were meant to find a trade and you go out and you have a family that was basically what everyone in my family dentist spent many years traveling through and documenting this forgotten america. it's a portrait of a community a working class community in my interpretation that the unity of the community where i grew up. a lot of poverty a lot of drives you know a lot of teen pregnancy a lot of drug addiction and so there's this cycle. you know with with lack of money comes lack of education and lack of health care so my work looks at a lot it looks at really. the struggles of a working class community you. know what is that what does that look like.
i do think that a lot of people feel trapped i mean i certainly felt trapped i think there is a undercurrent to those years in america that have and have nots that is definitely present almost every conversation that there is no going to have a sense of things being unfair or not equivalent for in terms of class. and it runs the effort income of a u.s. household has dropped drastically in the last decade. and the brits in the present in the last recently don you know the middle class. and even i have in addition to that i haven't talked to ask for something that i see. your station in life. i think you're awesome on the state right where it takes so long that. it seems like awesome. news today more and more
citizens are asking themselves whether the american dream was ever more than an illusion do. you even though you're in them and. that's why the country is a real crisis point right now because the say that. things are not going in the right direction and that they fear america. will not be a better place for their children as it was for them yeah i just think that. one major contributor to the divisions in society is the notion of american neo liberalism which worships the free market and sees competition as the only legitimate way to organize society. in washington the lobbyists for influential
think tank such as the libertarian cato institute beat the drum for laissez faire capitalism and reject the role of the state involvement in tackling social issues well i think libertarianism is the basic original philosophy of the united states i want much lower taxes much less government spending much less regulation i don't think we should focus on inequality and i don't think wealth created in a free market is taken from the poor or the middle class maybe we've lost our spirit of mobility we've lost our spirit of enterprise that people are not as quick to move to where the opportunities are as they used to be. republican economic orthodoxy places all responsibility on the individual for their own success or failure of intervention by the stages unthinkable the result is a new class of forgotten people right when populists have succeeded in channeling
their fears which manifests itself as anger directed at cultural elites. there's a chance there's a huge divide in this country i think there's no way you can escape if you're living in america you're living in this culture of intense stress. the country is changing faster than you are able to control it that your vision of america and that's really the heart of it because there is no singular american vision or ideal or culture that when you feel that yours is slipping away you are going to try through the political process to stop that and that's why donald trump's appeal was suppose because he told those people i will make america great
again and again that's the most crucial word in that slogan. hearken back to for a lot of people the days when america was not as diverse when they didn't walk around on the street and hear 7 different languages being spoken. to some trump's promise to make america great again was read as make america all white again. the art museum in the east coast city of baltimore remains to demonstrate social issues injustices and discrimination. we know that we are in the black majority city 68 percent african-american it is a segregated city it's a city that's afflicted with poverty gun violence issues with education it's
a fraught circumstance and so the question is how do you make a museum necessary how do you make it useful how do you make of the resource in the gathering place for a new future in a city like this so that means yes the exhibitions we choose are not entirely but largely by black americans who happen to be producing the most relevant work made in the world today in my view. one of these artists according to the museum director is malenko mock whose exhibition addresses the notion of resistance. so i think we're asking why matter is why it's necessary but i think what we're really asking is how can we change society and how can we how can ot be instrumental in doing that that's the real question busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy. bedford seeks to give a bigger platform to works produced by non white artists. busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy african-american artists like how much of their own history has gone into creating modern america busy busy busy busy busy busy
busy busy. i realize that some things. and i experience as a person doesn't have to do with me it has to do with history it has to do with the culture of america so if somebody sees me and they hate me or they feel like i don't deserve to shop in a store where they feel like i don't deserve to stay in their hotel it has nothing to do with me it has to do with the culture american pop american culture that they were brought up busy and. busy busy busy busy busy busy when i think about greece's and i try to think about mostly is not even necessarily the inner personal interactions that everyone likes to focus on but the ways in which these sort of institutions are set up in america in a way and ways in which there are these sort of structures of reason i think the idea of sort of we often frame racism as you know one person being mean to another person and that's kind of where the conversation stops that's me that's where the
structure is. so far no president not even barack obama has succeeded in overcoming america's deeply ingrained racial divisions. so i feel like we're sort of at the candle one point i don't think will be in another civil war but there is a war of ideas and of thoughts and and a war of people wanting to hold on to an old way of life that at some point is going to see the pain away whether by force or whether by some happening why things have to change here in america and i feel like trump has he is a way of showing us who i mean we're all wong. and now we see the ugliness of who we are and we're trying to reckon with that we want to change it we know that we have to change it at some point. in the united states right now.
we're experiencing a crisis of tribal identities. what's lacking is a vision of a political identity that we would share right now we think in terms of racial groups and gender groups and regional groups people in the south against other people religious people but. in part that's because we've lost our identity as as a nation and as a society that we share. and. can civil society find ways to rebuild where political elites have failed. i feel it's incumbent upon all of us to work as hard as we can to make sure that this country doesn't
fall further than it already has the country is so large and so powerful and has the possibility of taking too much of the world with it both in terms of the environment and in terms of the politics so i would say we're in the biggest trouble week big trouble that we never could have imagined much bigger than any of us could have predicted. paula her husband jim and other concerned citizens have built links with a community in the red state of kentucky they hope to engage with each other and offer a forum for views that go beyond the usual cultural full on. when we spend a long time trying to find a community to be our partners and we found that wonderful group of people in eastern kentucky in the coal country i live in it's hallam that voted 90 percent for hillary clinton and they live in a region that voted 90 percent of her trunk so we were a match made in heaven and we thought about a name for quite a while and we both live in the hilly areas in the countryside and we were reaching
out to each other so we called it hand across the hills. there's. nothing it's a kid's. going to hear her. home has already met up with people from kentucky twice in recent months after a 17 hour drive paul and her fellow campaigner arrived in kentucky 1300 kilometers from their home in massachusetts. well this is philadelphia look at this place. still wonderful but a pitiful place. kentucky is one of the poorest states in the u.s. an imp. moment has been running high since most of the coal mines were shut down.
people's discontent is fueled by the conservative fox news america's most watched cable t.v. network it makes frequent use of apocalyptic imagery to evoke threats to american freedom and the so-called god given order of christian supremacy kleck that god please i can see 3 screens for us on the fox news audience and we would never see fox news in our region of the country nobody would watch it and i think it's the only media built in those people here and sometimes i wish that i could tell my kentucky friends what i've read of their times or heard of public radio and what they hear and see is very different so we have 2 completely different interpretations of the news it's it's sharply to fight those and everything that they please if they trust us to. go oh all heard
there. in kentucky more than 80 percent of the population is white conservative and protestant evangelical christians are among the most loyal supporters of donald trump. a little bit where every 5th american identifies as evangelical. which is the last time you seen an american movie with an evangelical character you haven't because arnie they aren't represented on television one other very form merican is lives in the south. if you look at television or movies the only time you see southern characters is if they're racists or they're ignorant. and so there's this whole middle of america that doesn't see itself in the image that if you call it the culture industry gives of the nation instead they see things that.
area has been. in some way sacrificed for the rest of the country you know coal. in the past has provided over 50 percent of the energy in this country at it but has come at a pretty high cost to this area like i mean so i don't think the coal industry is ever going to provide the kind of. economic support for this region that has in the past. jeff is one of a small minority in kentucky who have consistently spoken out against coal mining for environmental reasons. i think what is new is in the last decade or so. we've got to the point where we really can't have a dialogue about things people don't seem to respect each other's point of view. there's much more of an adversarial. attitude towards our differences but ever that then if you don't completely agree with with me then you're completely wrong.
america is a country that was founded on this unbounded optimism this idea in the 18th century that we could govern ourselves and that if we ennobled the human spirit to see how it could flourish we could produce great things unfortunately america now is in a state workhouse to decide whether we're going into decline or we're going to recover that optimism. in kentucky optimism has given way to anger and desperation. when johnson is from a family of coal miners and lives with her mother in their childhood home we've suffered from what we believe is a war. and that was our own industry so we were hard hit man and were
mad and were in despair and so when mr trump came along. with his. 4th rottenness and his willingness to that feel and if he felt the person deserves to be iffy and it. is kind of what we were feeling anyway and i think that spoke to the people because there are some some who want to brawling warrior. population in. america has always maintained that anyone who puts their mind to it can get to the top bus. for many the american dream is just that a dream. americans
need vision with that kind of country america is a project but right now we're in this period where we have no vision we live in a vision free society and when that happens in america all the dark things come out from below what's missing is a vision of the country that would speak to everyone that would get people to look beyond their particular try and recognize the fact that we're country we share a destiny together that decisions are being made and we have to think of the common good is well and both sides the democrats the left on the one hand and conservatives in the right feel that they can play this tribal game and can win. america and incurably divided nation. paul and sharon are hoping to use personal dialogue to hear and understand the other side of america in kentucky they want to
find out what if anything the people of the united states of america have in common i believe in the usa i. am. busy you will. welcome we didn't really come so i was visiting her mouth. and. well it's just so sure fixes being here and be back in hemphill right never thought i'd be in my life i think that was. so one of the questions that we could ask 1st ask ourselves is how deep for these divisions in the country how do you experience them how do you think about them what are your concerns about them i wound up voting for trying. but. hillary clinton said she was for the coal miners
out of days since if we continue to made. them we foul pray to those who want to keep us divided you know orders to control us and now if there is one thing out learned. by going to labor it was a conversation can bring up the common ground the story is not red america versus blue america the story is these divisions in every community the fact is we have been divided by those who benefit from us being divided and that's a lot of what cher and when we're talking about and the fact is that when we are divided we are comparable and that is what is going on the kind of discipline is that we've mostly been talking about today is really flamed by politicians in the media that people aren't as divided as it would seem by the politicians in the
media and that the real. real divide in this country is between the rich and the not rich and that that all of this is kind of a person flush to mask that. in our group dialogue that sounds like just everybody is very aware of the extent of the ins and the harmfulness of the divisions and i certainly am i feel like they're more from they've been any time in my in my life and their therapist really dangerous and. those are not going to get overcome are these little dialogues 300000000 people in the united states and 25 people but what i want to do is to try to set something in motion that gives other community. across the various political
economic social cultural divides racial divides in this country to start talking to each other and the more that talk the more we humanize the more than the visions go down and the compassion goes up and in my ideal world we have a complete would have a politics based on compassion not of politics based on competition hatred that's my hope for a country. president abraham lincoln devoted his efforts to healing the divisions in the united states and reestablishing the union after the bloody civil war today america faces much the same task rebuilding a divided society and developing ideas for a shared way forward what is at stake is no less than the future up democracy and freedom.
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