Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  PBS  August 10, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

12:00 pm
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ from pacifica, this is democracy now! mr. trump: hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. pick, nothing the you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is. amy: donald trump is facing a new crisis after being accused of making an assassination threat against rival hillary clinton months after one of his advisers said clinton should be executed. we will speak with david johnston, author of the new book "the making of donald trump."
12:01 pm
then, it is the most racially diverse u.s. gymnastics women's inm in rio winning team gold a route. we will look at a new documentary about the 18 african-americans who defy jim crow and adolf hitler by participating in the 1936 olympics held in nazi germany. >> this is one of the great telldies of the story you as you have 17 or 18 athletes on the world stage. one of them is remembered. you did something important at a seminal point in human history. not african-american history. not american history. human history. amy: and we look at the shocking story of a 70-year-old new york mackenzie,med john who committed suicide last week, days after being denied parole
12:02 pm
for a tense time. -- 10th time. he first was eligible for parole in 2000, but was denied despite calls for his release by the new york times and prisoner advocates. >> he found his own path to rehabilitation in the face of great adversity. he overcame. he did what was right. the parole board did not. they did not recognize his remorse. they chose to ignore his rehabilitation, and instead, they focused on negativity, punishment, and hate. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. republican presidential nominee donald trump has sparked another firestorm of criticism over his comments at a rally in wilmington, north carolina, tuesday, which many saw as a call to assassinate his rival
12:03 pm
hillary clinton. ,mr. trump: hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the second amendment. by the way, if she gets the pick, her judges, nothing you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. amy: in response to trump's comments, connecticut senator chris murphy tweeted "don't treat this as a political misstep. it's an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis." california congressman eric swalwell, meanwhile, called for a secret service investigation, tweeting "donald trump suggested someone kill sec. clinton. we must take people at their word. @secretservice must investigate #trumpthreat," he wrote. trump has denied the comments were a call to violence. his campaign issued a statement saying he was referring to the
12:04 pm
second amendment supporters' "amazing spirit and great political power." on tuesday night, house speaker paul ryan called on trump to clear up the comments. >> it sounds like a joke gone bad. i hope he clears it up quickly. i did not hear the comments. i heard about the comments. amy: speaker ryan was speaking in janesville, wisconsin, at a victory news conference after he easily won his congressional re-election primary tuesday. donald trump sparked controversy last week when he initially refused to endorse ryan in his race. even before donald trump made his comments, republican lawmakers are coming out against trump. this is maine senator susan collins speaking to cnn's jamie gangel on tuesday. senator collins: donald trump in my judgment would make a careless world even more dangerous -- a perilous world even more dangerous.
12:05 pm
his lashing out and ill-informed comments would cause dangerous events to escalate and possibly spin out of control at a time when our world is beset with conflict. amy: in more campaign news, newly released state department emails are raising questions about the close ties between the clinton foundation and the state department during clinton's time as secretary of state. the 44 emails include communications between top members of the clinton foundation and clinton's top state department advisers, including huma abedin and cheryl mills. one email show a member of the clinton foundation asking abedin and mills for a favor in helping a foundation associate land a job at the state department. abedin responding "we all have him on our radar. personnel has been sending him options." in an other email, a foundation executive wrote to abedin and mills asking for help putting a
12:06 pm
billionaire foundation donor in touch with the u.s. ambassador to lebanon. the emails show abedin responding "i'll talk to jeff," referring to then-us ambassador jeffrey feltman. in response, the clinton campaign said "neither of these emails involve the secretary or relate to the foundation's work." another former fox news host has accused former chairman roger ailes of sexual harassment. andrea tantaros says she repeatedly reported ailes' harassment to senior fox executives last year. she says she was demoted and then taken off air as a result. ailes has now been accused of sexual harassment by more than 20 women, including fox news anchors megyn kelly and gretchen carlson. this comes as "new york magazine" is reporting ailes used fox money to hire private detectives and political operatives who carried out
12:07 pm
ailes' personal campaigns, including targeting journalists. the magazine reports ailes sent private detectives to follow around multiple journalists who had been reporting on him. ailes has denied these allegations. receiveded in july and a $40 million severance package. a justice department investigation has concluded baltimore police have carried out a practice of racially discriminatory policing by systematically stopping, searching, and arresting black residents at a disproportionate rate. the 163-page report said "supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest 'all the black hoodies' in a neighborhood." the report highlights one african american man in his 50 's who was stopped more than 30 times over 4 years. the justice department launched the investigation following the death of freddie gray, who died in 2015 of spinal injuries sustained in police custody. although charges were brought
12:08 pm
against six officers over gray's arrest and death, none has been convicted, and all remaining charges have been dropped. in brazil, senators voted 59 to 21 today to proceed with the impeachment of president dilma rousseff on charges of breaking budget laws. lawmakers voted to suspend rousseff in may in what many consider a coup by her right-wing opponents. leaked transcripts show at least one official plotted to oust rousseff in order to end a corruption investigation targeting him. this comes as the olympics continue in brazil, where the u.s. women's gymnastics team has scored a historic victory, winning the team gold medal by the widest margin of victory since 1960. b vitamin team is the most diverse u.s. domestic steam in history with two african-american athletes and one of puerto rican descent. more on the olympics later in
12:09 pm
the broadcast. in syria, the united nations is warning of a dire humanitarian crisis as increasing fighting in aleppo has left millions without water or electricity. attacks on civilian infrastructure has left the water infrastructure leaving 2 million residents without access to the public water network. the u.s. is externally concerned that consequences will be dire for millions of civilians if the electricity and water levels are not immediately -- amy: in yemen, officials say more than 20 people have been killed by u.s.-backed saudi-led airstrikes, following the collapse of u.n.-sponsored peace talks. health ministry officials say at least 10 civilians were killed in the capital sanaa, which was bombed for the first time in 5 months. with u.s. backing, saudi arabia has been bombing yemen for over a year, causing the majority of the conflict's civilian casualties. this comes as the pentagon has announced the u.s. has approved
12:10 pm
a possible $1 billion weapons deal to saudi arabia. the deal would include more than 150 tanks and hundreds of machine guns. human rights organizations have been pressing congress to block arms sales to saudi arabia over the saudi-led coalition strikes in yemen. in ethiopia, human rights groups say nearly 100 people were killed after government forces opened fire on protesters over the weekend. hundreds of thousands of people attended the nationwide protests, which were denouncing the government of human rights abuses and the suppression of the ethnic oromo community. ethiopia has faced growing anti-government protests over the last two years, sparked initally by the government's plan to lease a forest to private developers. in news on climate change, rapidly melting ice sheets in greenland may unearth hazardous radioactive waste stored at a secret cold war-era u.s. military base. the u.s. deposited the thousands of tons of waste in deep underground tunnels at camp century in northern greenland in the 1960s, expecting it would be secure underneath forever. but a new study published in the
12:11 pm
journal geophysical research letters says rapidly warming temperatures may now unearth the dangerous waste as soon as the end of this century, threatening local ecosystems. meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared in bolivia, amid the worst fires in a decade. there are nearly 25,000 drought-fueled wildfires currently burning across bolivia. this comes as wildfires continue to burn across california, where the uncontrolled pilot fire burning east of los angeles swelled by more than 50% tuesday. nearby school districts and roads have been closed, and more than 5,000 homes are under evacuation orders. on tuesday, cal fire said the blaze is only 6% contained. meanwhile, in mexico, extraordinary rainfall has caused mudslides that have killed nearly 50 people. the director of mexico's national water commission said the rainfall from the single storm was equal to the average amount of rainfall over the entire month of august. it is important to point out these two phenomena accumulated
12:12 pm
265 millimeters, which is almost the amount of rain that falls in the entire month of august on average in this region. the regulation of these rains in areas of slopes caused damage in these areas. it is important to note the rains in this area are torrential and similar to those occurring in a state with the highest rainfall nationwide. amy: and the chancellor of the university of california davis has resigned after an investigation concluded she'd violated multiple university policies. chancellor linda katehi has faced widespread protest over her decision to spend at least $175,000 to try to scrub the internet of criticism following the 2011 pepper-spraying of student protesters by campus police. students have also called on her to resign over her involvement with private corporate boards. in march, students launched a 36-day occupation of her office . despite her resignation as chancellor, katehi will still
12:13 pm
stay at the university as a full-time faculty member. to see our interview with protesting students while democracy now! was at the university of california davis, go to democracynow.org. that is democracy now!, democracynow.org and the world peace report. >> republican presidential nominee donald trump is being accused of inciting violence against his rival hillary clinton following remarks he made tuesday during a rally in north carolina. mr. trump: hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the second amendment, and by the pick,if she gets the or judges, nothing you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. juan: hi trump's remarks were met with outrage. democratic senator chris murphy
12:14 pm
of connecticut tweeted "don't treat this as a political misstep. it's an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis." former arizona congresswoman gabby giffords who survived an assassination attempt in 2011 wrote that trump's rhetoric "may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed." chemi shalev, the u.s. editor of israeli haartez tweeted "people who remember the incitement that led to rabin's assassination will find trump's rhetoric hauntingly familiar." shalev was referencing the 1995 assassination of israeli prime minister yitzhak rabin by a right-wing jewish extremist. "the new york daily news" called for trump to end his campaign. the paper's cover shows a photo of trump next to the words "this isn't a joke anymore. when trump hinted gun-rights supporters shoot hillary, he went from offensive to reckless. he must end his campaign. if he doesn't, the gop needs to abandon him."
12:15 pm
speaking on cnn former, cia chief gen. michael hayden condemned trump's remarks. >> if someone else has said that outside the hall, he would be in the back of a police wagon now with the secret service questioning him. juan: a trump spokesperson said trump was not inciting violence. jason miller said "it's called the power of unification -- 2nd amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. and this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for hillary clinton, it . it will be for donald trump." trump's remarks come one month after one of his advisors, new hampshire state representative al baldasaro, called for hillary clinton to be executed. baldasaro made the comments during a radio interview in july. >> this whole thing disgusts me. hillary clinton should be put on a firing line and shop for treason. amy: to talk more about donald
12:16 pm
trump, we are joined now by david cay johnston, who's followed trump's career for decades. his biography of trump has just been published. it's titled "the making of donald trump" and examines trump's rise to prominence. david cay johnston is a pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter previously with the new york times, now a columnist for the daily beast. welcome back to democracy now! it is nice to have you in studio. why don't we start with your response to what he said yesterday? also to people are saying that goes the liberal media again. that. not say he's at least 72 people who are zealots, deranged, dangerous. that to people whoe said are zealots, deranged, dangerous. he's a bully. he says whatever he thinks is in th his interest in the
12:17 pm
moment is a national interest. juan: you have been following him for decades, going back to when you were a bureau chief when he was beginning to get his casino is going in atlantic city. what has been the main thread you have taken away from years of studying his operations. david: donald does not know anything, and if you listen carefully to what he says, it becomes apparent. he was asked by a right-wing radio talkshow host during one of the debates about the nuclear triad, the capacity of the u.s. to deliver a nuclear bomb from a submarine missile, land-based missile, or airplane. his answer indicated he had no idea. he asked the same question months earlier on his radio show, and donald trump did not learn in between. when human casinos, he did know the games, the come out to customers. on a new to do is take money at the organization. that is why his casinos were among the first to fall. amy: let's go back to the clips
12:18 pm
duringerenced the republican debate last december. he was questioned by here hewitt, who then asked senator marco rubio for his response. >> first of all, i think we need somebody absolutely begin trust to is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing. that is so powerful and so important, and one of the things i am frankly most proud of is i was totally2004 against going into iraq because you are going to destabilize the middle east. i called it. i called it very strongly, and it was very important. we have to be actually vigilant and actually careful when it comes to nuclear. nuclear changes the whole ballgame. >> do you have a priority? thetrump: to me, nuclear, power, the devastation is very important to me. >> the you have a response,
12:19 pm
senator rubio? do, but first let's explain to people at home who the triad is. it is our ability in the united states to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, missiles launched from silos or the ground, and from our nuclear subs. it is important. all three are critical. amy: that was senator rubio. recently, joe scarborough, a former republican conservative congressman, said he heard from an international diplomat who was advising donald trump. trump said to the persons leadtimes, if we have nuclear weapons, why don't we use them? david: this is indicative that donald does not know anything. if marco rubio has to school you want something that is basic, that should have screamed to people in december this man has no qualifications. he is not qualified to be in congress, much less the president of the united states. on the other hand, in his own
12:20 pm
mind, donald is the greatest living person. if you don't appreciate that, donald has a word for you. loser. juan: i wanted to ask you about this issue we discussed earlier with wayne barrett on the issue of donald trump's relationship to the mob and his connections over the years to mobsters. you also looked into that as well. david: it is not just the traditional mafia families in new york. donald trump's family had a business partner. donald has done business with people with the russian mob. he has done business with con artists. the guy who supplied his was a major cocaine trafficker, who actually handled the drugs. after he went to prison, donald wrote a letter pleading for mercy for him. he got 18 months as the head of a ring. the littelfuse got 20 years -- the little fish got 20 years.
12:21 pm
donald continued to do business with him after he was indicted. donald has done business with monsters and criminals because it is a way to make money. amy: can you talk about joseph. david: that is the guy. he is a mob associate. miami andgarettes in the infamous person who ripped out people for $1 billion. he provided helicopters to the donald trump organization even though they were better capitalized and then when companies. toald rented his apartment them under very unusual circumstances. one what's obama was indicted, it was for a drug operation from miami to ohio, and he agreed to plead guilty. the case was mysteriously moved to new jersey. who didn't come before?
12:22 pm
donald's older sister. no one knows how this happened. she removed herself from the case, but imagine that you or one of the listeners are the chief judge, and the judge says i cannot handle this case because i fly in this drug trafficker's helicopters. my children have flown in this drug trafficker's helicopters. it explains how this guy got a light sentence. the question we have to ask is, why did donald trump need to write a letter, which can cost him his casino license? what was going on that donald trump needed a drug trafficker to be his friend and not his enemy? that is a question nobody in the news media has been asking. amy: you got a call from donald trump over this? david: i got a call related to this, yes. i wrote a piece for political magazine in april about donald trump's connections. donald finally called me. he has had my home number for years. he called me at home in the
12:23 pm
past. he said to me, you wrote a lot of things. if i don't like what you write, i will sue you. i said you are a public figure, so in america you have to deliberately prove i told a lie. he said, i know i am a public figure, but i will see you anyway -- sue you anyway. that is why coverage of him is soft. he has threatened to sue everybody. i have never lawyer like i was for that piece, and it did not have anything that had not been published before. he has intimidated news organizations, and they are not willing to talk about that. juan: in your book, you go to a whoy not about his father has been well known and covered previously, but about his grandfather. talk about donald trump's grandfather. david: his grandfather when he turned 16 in 1885 was subject to mandatory military service in germany, so he fled the country, came to america, and he followed
12:24 pm
the advice to go west, young men. he went into the warehouse business, and he ran bordellos in seattle until the royal canadian mounted police showed up. he took his fortune, went to germany, mary a young woman who his mother did not approve of, came back to america. his wife did not like it. they went to germany. he figured with his money, he would buy his way in. they said you are a draft dodger, get out, and sent him to america. amy: talk about his father. david: fred trump was a very industrious guy. when he was 15 years old, he started a business technically owned by his mother because he could not sign contracts building garages in the outer boroughs of new york. when the market collapsed because of the great depression, invented one of the first grocery stores. housing during world
12:25 pm
war ii for shipyard workers and is said to be the first person in line to get federal money to build worker houses. he was a profiteer. dwight d. eisenhower personally went into a rage over what he done, and he had a creative explanation when called before the u.s. senate to justify what he did. he said i did not profiteer. i do not take the money. it is in the bank account. strange way to think about things. they discriminated against anybody who was not white. they did this in the 1950's and 1960's. land," theis your writer wrote a song in the book about one of the all white suburb projects owned by fred trump. amy: that he had an apartment in. david: that's right. that he lived in. amy: you tell a story about fred from's oldest son -- trum oldest
12:26 pm
sonp and what happened after fred trump died. david: keep in mind, he saw sought mercy for a drug trafficker. fred trump died early. there was a great-grandson born a few days later, very sickly child. nearly died several times. everyone in the family gets medical insurance. donald is a big believer in health care. is one of the positive things you can say about him. the line of freddy trump junior when they found out they were cut out from the will file a lawsuit. donald immediately cut off the health care for this child. amy: his grandnephew. david: he asked about this and said i do not like people who sue my father.
12:27 pm
you are putting the life of this child in jeopardy. what else am i to do? that is essential to understanding donald trump. you don't exist, i don't exist as a person. that is why he talks about women the way he does in degrading terms. donald does not see other people as people. he sees them as things to be used. the life of a title in jeopardy, donald thinks there is nothing wrong with that. if you would not do it, what is wrong with you? that would be his answer. juan: the issue of his tax forms, this has continually come up over his campaign. why haven't you released the tax returns? you looked into this whole issue of why he is so reluctant to show what his real returns are. david: tax has been my area of specialty. i am writing a new tax bill for the united states. juan: in your spare time. david: yes. donald trump paid no federal income taxes in 1978, 1979.
12:28 pm
he and i had lunch and talked about it once. 1984 and the 1990's. the 1984 tax return is very revealing. there are laws for real estate people that allow them to be sell property.y that is one reason he will not give it out. i don't think he ianywhere near as wealthy as he claims. not even close. in 1984, he was audited by the state of new york and the city of new york. he filed a tax form, not the whole return, that showed zero income for this category of income and over six $7,000 of deductions. -- over $600,000 of deductions. he was asked to prove it and didn't. under oath, his longtime tax guy was shown the return and goes, um, that is my signature, but i
12:29 pm
did not prepare that document. that is very good evidence of tax fraud. donald engaged in other tax frauds we know about. he was involved in the empty box the scandal, where he claimed he did not live in the state and you have an empty box to avoid sales tax. in that case, there was an investigation. he did what he often does to not be investigated. case, if there84 was evidence of fraud, what happened with that case? david: we only know what happened in the city and state case. there were civil penalties, not criminal. the city, because nobody could find the original, all they had was the federal copy with a signature on it, the judge did not impose the penalties because of the uncertainty. he made it clear this was a very fishy case. what the irs did, i don't know.
12:30 pm
settle theseo cases through threats of litigation. they say we will take pennies on the dollar. get out of here. amy: you write a lot about the dge, the new jersey division of gaming enforcement, which oversees the atlantic city casinos. what can we learn from their dealings with donald trump? david: this shows how masterful donald trump is at minute leading law enforcement. he told the attorney general of new jersey, i will not go through the 18 months these other people have gone through, and demanded he be investigated in 90 days. everybody else, a year and a half. things, including four grand jury investigations. four of them. in new jersey, a woman of life for a blackjack dealer license, a very low license. she was found morally unfit and denied a license because as a teenager, she gave front of her
12:31 pm
discounts at the register. grand withheld from these jury investigations, associations with mobsters and criminals, and he got licensed anyways. when he got licensed, the made surey of the dge donald was never asked a question that would put his license in jeopardy because that would force them to admit they had not done their job. juan: given his history of lying, of fraud, of all of these other screenings of the law, have you been surprised at all about this enormous support that he has gotten among the republican faithful? david: no.i spent more than 20 years of my life documenting inequality. i was showing how government policies are taking from any and given to the view promise of the people in this country living in economic terror, the bottom 50%, i have been there advocate.
12:32 pm
the people who read my books know i am working harder, i am making less. if i lose my job, i don't know how i will pay my rent or keep a roof over my kids's head. donald comes along, i have a solution. it is the mexicans, muslims, chinese. they are not the only ones, but that is a big part of his support. amy: you write about how many of his restaurants, his golf courses have five and six dimon awards. what are these? ,avid: you go to these awards they are awards donald gave to himself. donald and his family were the majority of a board of something invention of a the mob guy, a convicted are the noed jelly nosoc -- joey
12:33 pm
socks, and donald has gone to ceremonies to receive these awards. this is a man who gives awards to himself. amy: what were you most surprised by as we wrap up this interview in writing "the making of donald trump"? david: i do not appreciate until i worked on the book that he puts himself out as a devout christian. no one reads the bible more than me. he has fasters praising him as a great christian man. donald aggressively, thoroughly, and at great length in many forms denounces christianity. as personal motto is always get revenge, whereas the message of jesus christ was turned the other cheek. these ministers, some of whom i have written to, and they have not responded at all, continue to embrace him. i find it very troubling donald has beguiled them with flattery. they are deceiving their flocks, and that is evil. donald himself doesn't care
12:34 pm
about these things. he will tell you any lie. he cannot quote a single line from the bible, not one, and yet he says nobody reads the bible more than donald trump. if you ask them, there are so many. so many i cannot choose. amy: i want to thank you very much, david johnston. previously with "the new york times" now a columnist with "the daily beast." his book is called "the making of donald trump." when we come back, we look back at another olympics and the records being smashed today in brazil. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
12:35 pm
amy: "we are the people darker than blue" by curtis mayfield. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: we turn now to the olympics in brazil, where the u.s. women's gymnastics team has pulled a historic feat winning the team gold medal by the
12:36 pm
widest margin of victory since 1960. "the wall street journal" reports "there is no historical comparison for this rout that doesn't cross over into the absurd." the five-member gymnastics team is the most diverse the u.s. has ever sent to the olympics. simone biles and gabby douglas are african-american. new jersey born lauren hernandez is a puerto rican descent. madison kocian and aly raisman are white. amy: three of them are far from the first american olympians of color to make history. today, we are looking back at another group of groundbreaking american olympians. archie williams. tidye pickett. ralph metcalfe. louise stokes. you probably don't know those names, though you should. they are just some of the african-american athletes who, along with noted track and fielder jesse owens, defied jim crow and adolph hitler to participate in the 1936 olympics held in nazi germany.
12:37 pm
since then, the story of owens' four gold medals has dominated the narrative of african-american achievement in the 1936 games. but a new documentary tells the story of the 17 other black olympians, including two women, whose stories have faded into obscurity. >> this is one of the great tragedies of the story we tell. you have 17 or 18 athletes here on the world stage. one of them is her member. >> by the time 1936 came around, people begin to understand who hit there was and what his goals were. >> it was an opportunity on the world stage against white oupremacy -- ti whiteove wha supremacy. >> there is something so special about what they did and who they did it in front of. >> they did something really
12:38 pm
important at a seminal point in human history. not african-american history. not american history. human history. something incredibly important. >> simply being on the medal stand in 1936 cents a message. -- sent a message. >> the struggle for legitimacy became the struggle for access became integrated into nonviolent action. haveey have stories that not only drama and drive and power and force, but stories that focus on something about the human spirit, the human race, and what it takes to be truly human. amy: that is from the trailer of "olympic pride, american prejudice," which just opened in los angeles and new york. set in racially divided 1930's america, the documentary examines the conflict within black america over whether or not the athletes should boycott
12:39 pm
the 1936 olympics, and how their presence on the world's stage in hitler's germany impacted the modern civil rights movement. for more, we are joined by deborah riley draper, writer and director of "olympic pride, american prejudice." she is joining us from atlanta. welcome to democracy now! talk about why you chose to make this film. deborah: i thought their stories were really important. when we look at african-american history, there are so many stories that can help us understand our struggle for equality, and this one stood out in my mind. you have 18 athletes on the world stage. the fact that they were there in 1936 when america did not consider african-americans anything other than second-class citizens in itself was a big historic moment. the fact that they were there and they won hearts and medals on the world stage in front of adolf hitler makes them the only set of african-american athletes in the history to face and overcome jim crow racism and
12:40 pm
area supremacy racism -- arian supremacy. it is a story of struggle. it is is story of bias. it is a story of triumph. , as: deborah riley draper you point out in the film, there is enormous debate and controversy at the time over their participation because there were jewish groups in the united states and the naacp and other civil rights organizations urging black athletes not to participate in the games. yet, newspapers like the chicago defender and the pittsburgh courier were urging them to participate. could you talk about that? deborah: absolutely. in 1936, the country is coming out of the great depression. there are bills sitting at the white house with the president him and these african-american
12:41 pm
athletes are right in the middle of this political firestorm because there was tremendous pressure to take a moral stand and protest participating in germany because by protesting and not going, that means he did not support the discrimination that was happening in germany, but on the flipside, there was this real push to say if we are there, if we are part of this american team, it demonstrates we are american. we are patriotic. it demonstrates if we win that we are not inferior, that we are capable and quite ready to be a part of america, and fully a part of america. amy: let's go to it within your film about whether or not the athletes should boycott the athletes expressing disappointment participating. the letter was met with concern from leaders of the community. this is another clip from your film. >> walter white replied in a
12:42 pm
letter "i realize how great is sacrificed it would be for you to give up a trip to europe and your the acclaim o athletic prowess will and questionably bring you, but participation would, i firmly believe, do irreparable harm. the issue involved is more greater than immediate benefit. amy: deborah riley draper, your response. deborah: you know, it is a really interesting dynamic when you think about it because going to nazi germany and participating in nazi germany, does that mean you support with that regime is doing? is it better to have a moral protest? i think that is what the letter was trying to communicate, that we can take a stance here by not going, and that is more powerful than being there. on the flip side these athletes wanted to demonstrate the fact that they were ready and
12:43 pm
patriotic, and being it was not necessarily that they supported nazi germany. being there would give them an opportunity to tear down and unpack these greasy m-- crazy myths and misconceptions. that is why they stood up for the opportunity to be there. juan: i want to turn to another clip from the movie. this is ralph metcalfe, jr., talking about his father who would later become a congressman and cofounder of the congressional black caucus. >> a pretty rough early life. when they got here, the discovered the playground was a block from the crib. that is where he picked up his nickname. he had no intention of going to college. his idea was, once i graduate from tillman, i can get more hours at the fish market and help my mom with the family. he was running in a track meet. the athletic director solidly run. he said that is our man right there.
12:44 pm
-- saw him run. he said that is our man right there. she said, boy, if i have to get on my hands and knees and scrub these white people's floors, you are going to college. juan: talk about ralph metcalfe junior and his importance on the team in th even though he is a forgotten member of the team. deborah: his presence on the 1936 team was one of an elder statesman if you will. he encouraged all of the athletes to concentrate on athletics and not necessarily concentrate on the political atmosphere that they were actually entering. he was kind of a coach and father to these athletes. i guess you can see the making of a politician there because he was very charismatic and smart
12:45 pm
and comforting and parental to all of the team, including the two women. amy: let's talk about the women. of the 18 athletes selected, two were women. in this clip from your film, "olympic pride, american prejudice," we hear from one of the daughters. but first, wilfred fraser junior. >> 8 girls and one boy. running, basketball, anything to do with sports. after school, she started raising boys on the railroad track. they would pick on her, tell her she was not fast. what she would do in the morning before school is run the railroad tracks every single time. that is how she developed her quickness. she became quite good at it. after a wild, she started beating the boys.
12:46 pm
after that, they decided to leave her alone. mother did not talk about it. we got bits and pieces of her history. she was one of two children. she had an older brother, two years older. they were born on the south side of chicago. >> we know that her and her brother ar were often competitive, and racing was one of the things they love to do, so it seemed something pretty in inate in-- pretty her. >> she was the star of the basketball team. that takes some doing because she was 5'2" or 5'3". andhe was discovered started running for the park district. juan: talk if you will about the role of the two women during the olympics. one of them got hurt at the
12:47 pm
start of the race, and the other was pulled in favor of a white athlete at the last moment. deborah: we will save a little bit of this film for the audience, but i will talk about the role of these two black women. you have the very first to african-american women in the history of our country to represent our country. they represent the country in 1932, and they did not have the opportunity to compete because they were replaced by white athletes. 1936, one of them had a similar fate, but they laid the groundwork for scores particularly black women, to have the opportunity to be on the world stage and compete. the next couple of olympics, there was war. in 1948, utah alex coachman sawge and win a gold -- you
12:48 pm
one emerge and win a gold. a very diverse team this year in 2016. amy: we want to thank you very much for being with us. remarkable story. what were you most shocked by, deborah? deborah: i was most shocked that tidy and louise existed. i do not know two of them were women, and i did not know one of them was jackie robinson's older brother. those were the most shocking things for me to discover in addition to the fact that there were 17 others. my whole life, i just thought that was jesse owens, so i was proud to bring the story of all 18 for the world to see. i hope people see it in new york , los angeles, or they check it out on amazon. amy: thank you so much for being with us. deborah riley draper, writer and director of "olympic pride, american prejudice," a documentary that explores the
12:49 pm
experiences of african-american athletes who participated in the 1936 not the olympics in berlin, germany. this is democracy now! when we come back, a remarkable story. stay with us. ♪ [music break] amy: "ain't no grave" by johnny cash. here on democracy now!, democracynow.org, war and peace.
12:50 pm
juan: the suspected suicide of a 70-year-old new york prisoner has drawn attention to how the state is failing to release aging prisoners who have a low risk of recidivism. last thursday, john mackenzie reportedly hung himself in his cell at fishkill correctional facility after he was denied parole the previous week. it was his 10th denial since he became eligible in 2000. mackenzie was serving a 25 years-to-life sentence for the murder of a police officer named matthew giglio in 1975. not long after he entered prison, he helped establish a victim awareness program that helped other inmates better understand the impact of their actions by meeting with crime victims. he continued this type of work for decades and had a perfect -- decade. -- decades. amy: in 2014, john mackenzie filed a lawsuit that argued the new york parole board board was violating state law by failing to consider his remorse and achievements, as well as tests that showed he had the lowest risk of returning to crime if released.
12:51 pm
in a major victory, a new york supreme court judge agreed with him and found the board in contempt of court. justice maria rosa issued the unusual ruling after she had ordered the board to give mackenzie a new hearing, and it again denied him parole. she wrote in her may 24 response to the board's denial of parole to mackenzie, "it is undisputed that it is unlawful for the parole board to deny parole solely on the basis of the underlying conviction. yet the court can reach no other conclusion but that this is exactly what the parole board did in this case." judge rosa also ordered the state to pay a $500-per-day fine for each day it delayed giving him a new hearing and demanded to know, "if parole isn't granted to this petitioner, when and under what circumstances would it be granted?" the ruling was under appeal by the state at the time of mackenzie's death. just weeks before his death, "the new york times" wrote in support of his release from prison.
12:52 pm
on monday, dozens rallied outside the parole board headquarters in the state capitol of albany to urge the governor andrew cuomo and attorney general eric shneiderman to direct the board to follow the law. all of this comes as elderly inmates have become the fastest growing part of the prison population in new york and many other states around the country. for more, we go directly to albany and kathy manley. a longtime lawyer and advocate for prisoner rights who represented john mackenzie in his contempt of court case against the new york state parole board. welcome to democracy now! talk about what happened and why you believe he committed suicide after being denied parole. i was approached to do an appeal for john. it was denied. he was the poster boy for the person who should be released on parole. he had an amazing record. he was very successful. he worked with parents of murdered children and other groups.
12:53 pm
expand theo i program. the prison shut it down because they do not want a prisoner program to be so successful. they cared more about that than rehabilitation. i filed an appeal. it was granted by judge rosa. he got a new hearing last december. again, they violated her order, saying they cannot deny parole based on the circumstances of that one day in 1975. so then i filed for content, and she granted that -- comtempt, and she granted that. he could not take it anymore. he could not take it anymore. , what aboutmanley this whole issue of these political issues of parole boards in not granting parole to inmates, especially in cases that may involve the murder of a police officer. kathy manley that is --
12:54 pm
kathy: that is a huge part of it. the judge sentences people to a minimum term. he reached that minimum term in 2000 and then was denied parole 10 times after that. he should have been released then. the parole board reset since his sentences re people and they would go to the parole board and say never let him out. he killed a police officer. end of story. that was not the law. amy: he was in jail for over 40 years. by mujahid farid, now the organizer of rapp. we don't have much time, but you were corresponding with john
12:55 pm
mackenzie until the day before he died. mujahid: we spoke on the phone today before. amy: what did he tell you? mujahid: he told me how he had been to a recent board again and he was denied parole. he was upset about the fact that a commissioner, who had been permitted to sit on a future panel was actually on the panel that deny him parole. the contempt order actually prohibited certain people from sitting on a future parole board. juan: what about this issue of the aging of our prison population? the state has thrown away the key and is letting them wither away in prison. mujahid: one of the reasons our campaign focuses on the elderly is because they present the lowest risk of recidivism. informal boards were really concerned -- if parole boards
12:56 pm
were really concerned with public safety, these are the people that should be released. we are concerned about mass incarceration in general and the whole spectrum, but we thought about focusing on this particular population. it would resent as the voice of reason and show how this punitive policy that is in place has really gone amok. juan: what is it like for elderly prisoners in new york state prisons? mujahid: a lot of them are losing hope. actually losing hope as we see in the case of john mackenzie. i have seen the same thing happen with other individuals. amy: you were denied parole repeatedly. mujahid: nine times. i made the 10th parole board. amy: how? feel? did you
12:57 pm
mujahid: i felt great. amy: when you got it, but before then? it was notunderstand specifically directed at me, and that helped me cope with it that i knew some the was going on that was bigger than the parole board simply denying the release. the say parole act is an act that would pretty much preclude the parole board from focusing on the nature of the crime. it would require them to look at how a person developed over the course of their time in prison. and to base release decisions on that and whether or not they present a risk. only havey manley, we 30 seconds or so, but is your hope that there will be some substantive reform as a result of what happened? kathy: yes. i hope john's death serves as a wake-up call to this broken
12:58 pm
dysfunctional system. that needs to be a presumption that was someone gets to their minimum term and have a good record, they should be released. that should be automatic unless there is something they can point to. there was nothing else they can point to in john's case. he should have been released like so many other people. amy: mujahid, what are you demanding of governor cuomo? mujahid: over the years, we have seen parole board demonstrate contempt, so we are demanding gouverneu governor cuomo get immediately involved and take control of the parole board and direct them to our use public safety concerns when they are considering a person's release. amy: i want to thank you both for joining us. mujahid farid search 33 years on a 15 to life sentence, now leader of rapp. thanks so much to our guest in albany, kathy manley, lawyer for prisoner john mackenzie who committed suicide.
12:59 pm
that does it for our show. thanks for joining us.
1:00 pm
rld turn out the tastiest meals. i'll show you how with some great space saving tricks and one pan meals. beef and many vegetable stew. lemon garlic chicken breast with roasted rosemary potatoes and brussels sprouts. and herbed salmon and orzo casserole with feta. all in one dishes ideal for any size kitchen, and a teeny one i can totally tackle next on ellie's real good food. (lively guitar music) - [voiceover] funding for this series has been provided by.

102 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on