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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  NBC  May 27, 2018 5:00am-5:30am PDT

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announcer: coming up on "matter of fact," an american preacher captured the world's attention at the royal wedding. today he's on a mission to remove partisan politics from the pulpit. >> the truth is we can't go on like this. we have got to find a better way. announcer: meet stacey abrams. she just made history in georgia by winning the democratic primary for governor. >> i would be happy to convince republicans to vote democratic, but what i'm not going to do is pretend to be a republican. announcer: can this african-american woman who is an unapologetic progressive win a general election in the deep south? if you think speaking spanish is "un-american," you might not be in the majority. >> i don't think i had very many
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skills when i got here as a little girl from guatemala, but the debate over america's "official language." plus, how technology is helping veterans honor their fallen comrades without leaving their homes. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ soledad: i am soledad o'brien. welcome to "matter of fact." u.s. customs and border patrol officials are investigating why one of their agents stopped to women for speaking spanish. it happened may 16 at a gas station in northern montana 30 miles from the canadian border. the two women, ana suda and mimi hernandez, both american citizens recorded the stop on a cell phone. >> the reason i asked you for your id is because i came in here, and i saw you guys were speaking spanish. soledad: the incident happened within a day of another video showing an attorney in new york
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city on a rant because restaurant workers were speaking spanish. >> you are speaking spanish to the customers. soledad: the attorney threatened pto contact immigration and have them deported. both videos went viral and are renewing the debate over immigration and assimilation. congresswoman norma torres is a second term representative from california's 35th district. she came to the united states from guatemala at the age of five. it is so nice to have you with us. this isn't a new conversation. i feel like we have it in waves every few years. rep. torres: we absolutely do. anytime there is a downturn in the economy or there is a high profile personality who rants against immigrants, this is the first thing. it is latinos, spanish-speaking people who are first to feel the pain.
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soledad: it's interesting. montana, they are talking about a border with canada, but we aren't talking about the mexican border. the idea that the border patrol agent was worried about spanish, not french, not german -- rep. torres: right. it really gives you an insight into their thinking, and this is racial profiling that the congressional hispanic caucus members continue to push back against. it is incredibly insulting that this border agent felt he could racially profile these two women simply because of the language they were speaking. soledad: john kelly who is the white house chief of staff, as you know, said this not too long ago. this was on may 11. he was talking about latinos coming into the country and not assimilating, and he says, they are not ms-13, but they are also not people who would easily assimilate into the united states come into our modern society.
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ey don't speak english. they don't integrate well. they don't have skills. many people jumped back at him and said that actually the data does not bear out what he is saying. rep. torres: i don't think i had very many skills when i got here as a little girl from guatemala, but look at me. i learned the language. i moved forward with my life. i got involved in my community, got elected to local city council, went to state legislature, and here i am in congress. soledad: usually with second-generation, so maybe the first wave of immigrants comes in, but their children, the problem language-wise is usually the reverse. they don't want to speak their parents' language. my mother spoke spanish. i can barely manage my way through spanish. i wish i spoke more because the second generation, to a large degree, is very fluent in english to the point of forgetting their parents' native tongue.
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rep. torres: i must put myself in that same position. as a child, i wanted to play in the playground, and i wanted to be able to communicate with other kids. i learned english very, very quickly, but i did not teach my children spanish, but my grandbaby is learning spanish, and his primary language right now is spanish. soledad: do you think english is under threat? i mean, there is no official language in the united states. english is a dominant language, but there is no official language, but every time we cycle back to these conversations, one would get the sense of that, my god, english is under threat in america. it is absolutely not under threat. americans, most americans, that is our first language. the reality is that we live in a global economy. we should be celebrating languages, and we should be encouraging our citizens to speak other languages, not just
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spanish but many other linkages. soledad: congresswoman norma torres, thank you for joining us. announcer: next on "matter of fact," fresh off his royal wedding sermon, bishop michael curry has a new assignment. soledad: when you say reclaiming jesus, who are you reclaiming jesus from? announcer: why he is hoping god will perform a miracle in washington, d.c. plus, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again, except in west virginia. soledad: he lost, but he really, really, really wants to get on the ballot this fall. announcer: is don blaship a for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain-health supplement
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take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help. let's talk about haribo goaloha.s. i can't stop eating this orange one. the red one is more gooder to me cos it tastes like berries. my bears are like doing cartwheels and back flips and stuff. and then i'm gonna fly it in to my mouth. [all laughing] kids and grown ups love it so ♪ ♪ the happy world of haribo ♪ now introducing haribo starmix. all your favorite gummies, in one bag. soledad: 30 million americans tuned in last weekend to watch the royal wedding of prince harry and meghan markle. the breakout star of the ceremony was episcopal presiding bishop michael curry. >> imagine this world when love
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is the way, when love is the way, unselfish, sacrificial. when love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry. soledad: now the bishop is in washington, d.c. on a new mission. he's trying to heal the extreme political partisanship that he says is threatening the soul of the nation. he is joining church elders from different and nominations as part of a new movement called "reclaiming jesus." it is so nice to have you with us. we are going to get to the reclaiming jesus movement, but first, i want to ask about the royal wedding. what kind of feedback have you been getting on your sermon? it lasted 14 minutes. some people complained that that was a little long. bishop curry: folk were gracious, really. by and large, people were just kind. i was a parish priest for a long time, and i used to get quick ratings from congregations. it was immediate usually in the
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congregation. you could tell if they were asleep, it wasn't going anywhere. soledad: we loved it. the letter you wrote, we are deeply concerned for the soul of our nation, but also for churches and the integrity of our faith -- the present crisis calls us to go deeper and deeper into our relationship with god, he per into our relationship with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines -- what are you concerned about right now? bishop curry: i'm concerned that we are profoundly divided and dividing at some very deep levels that must find a way to be healed so that we can be in dialogue and in vigorous, false and debate with each other about things we disagree on, but a way to disagree without gthe way toe -- the way to do that is, i've got to be committed to loving you no matter what, even when i disagree with you. i can disagree with you and have
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my perspective, but committed to engaging with you first as a child of god. soledad: you write in this letter about the things you are worried about. you don't mention donald trump has issued -- as the issue, but people could argue that the divisiveness and discord and the tenor that has been part of the dialogue has come from the white house or is certainly part of the conversation. why not mention the president of the united states? bishop curry: what we are talking about are the values. what are the concerns, and what are the values? to some extent, it is probably too easy to point at donald trump. the election, regardless of where you stand, the election opened up and exposed deep divisions that have been there a -- there is a difference between differences and divisions. those divisions are getting deeper and deeper and deeper in our culture.
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a democracy requires relationships between people so we can engage in a public debate . we really see a danger to our very democracy in the divisions that are dividing us profoundly. a house to fight itself cannot stand. i didn't say that. abe lincoln didn't say that. jesus said that first. soledad: how optimistic are you that this can be wildly successful, that you are just not going to reach some christianssomehurches, but you can really move the needle and change what has been a very negative and troubling discourse that is happening in america right now? bishop curry: i am realistic and passionately optimistic. i really do believe most people are dissatisfied with the way we are. i think that is probably true. that is pure instinct.
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i think this kind of approach can help us find the way. sometimes, we just need tools to help us to do it. member dr. king once said, we will learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will perish together as fools. the choice is ours, chaos or commuting. it's that ceople want to find a way to live in community. soledad: bishop curry, it's nice to have you. bishop curry: your wonderful. announcer: when we come back, there are no sore losers in politics. at least, that is what several states are trying to prevent with strict election regulations, but do they help streamline regulations or hurt democracy? plus, bringing a little romance to politics. >> you have all of these books, and you are single. >> i've been busy. announcer:
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soledad: stacey abrams made
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history as the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor, and she could be the first black woman were elected governor in the united states. she ran on what she calls an unapologetically progressive campaign in a red state, georgia, and won the democratic primary by a landslide, 76.5% to 23.5%. we first profiled abrams last year when she announced her candidacy, and her strategy to reach more than one million registered left-leaning voters who just don't show up at the polls. our correspondent jessica gomes has her story. : jessica: democrat stacey abrams, hoping to become georgia's next governor. >> we have a plan that would create 45,000 jobs. jessica: they are doors that have a way of opening where they haven't for those before her.
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>> if she is elected, she will not only be the first african-american female governor in our state's history, but in the history of the united states. jessica: abrams is used to being the first, the first african-american girl to be valedictorian at her high school. she went on to spelman college and the university of texas and got her law degree from yale. raised with six siblings, and still be idea of civic responsibility from an early age. >> they wanted us to be very intentional and thoughtful about the role we played in the world. they used to say, no matter how little we had, there was someone with less. jessica: that sense of service led abrams to the state legislature. she was the first african-american to lead in the georgia house of representatives and the first female leader in the history of the georgia general assembly. >> this is the state to watch. we are further ahead in terms of our demographic changes than people realize. jessica: instead of turning potentially disillusioned republicans, abrams' campaign is
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targeting that changing demographic. some estimate people of color will be the majority in georgia in the next 10 years. >> these are eligible voters. these are people who simply need to be asked to vote. georgia today has more than one million eligible registered voters democratic leaning who simply don't vote. my job is to say, what you want can be achieved by voting. i would be happy to convince republicans to vote democratic, but what i'm not going to do is pretend to be a republican to make that happen. i'm not going to pretend not to believe in labor. i'm not going to pretend that climate change isn't real. jessica: known as aunt stacey to her nieces and nephews, abrams is quickwitted and a self-proclaimed talker. she spends her free time with her family and writing. she has authored eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name "selena montgomery."
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>> i love writing, and i love to write about the men who hopefully one day will find me. hopefully, he will step out of one of these pages. jessica: you have all of these books, and you are single. >> dating is hard. i've been a little busy. jessica: a career of firsts. jessica: when you hear the words "the first black female governor in the united states," what does that mean to you? >> i'm proud, but i'm also excited. it means i'm helping change the face of what we think leadership looks like. i don't expect anyone to vote for me because i'm black. i don't expect anyone to vote for me because i'm a woman. as a black woman, there are experience i have, there are barriers i've overcome that signal to you my resilience, my fortitude, and my ability to be a strong leader. >> you got one. jessica: should she win, abrams says, what would be even more exciting than being the first is
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that she wouldn't be the last. >> i want my nieces in particular to be able to look at their aunt stacy and say, she's in charge of the state of georgia, but more importantly, i want them to say they could be, too. jessica: in georgia for "matter of fact," i am jessica g omez. soledad: some big names endorsed abrams, including hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and senator cory booker. in the general election, abrams will face either lieutenant governor casey cagle or secretary of state brian kemp. neither republican won a majority of votes in the primary, so a runoff vote in july will determine the gop nominee. announcer: coming up next, how states try to keep familiar names off the ballot. soledad: what is called a sore loser law. announcer: why it is a pain for some unlucky candidates. plus, can virtual reality help you chill out
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soledad: now to our weekly feature we like to call "we like to call "we're paying attention even if you're too busy." don blankenship was running in the republican primary in west virginia. he lost, but he really, really, really wants to get on the ballot this fall. blankenship was ceo of massey energy, and he served a year in prison for charges related to a deadly explosion at a coal mine that killed 29. he now plans to run as the nominee of the constitution party. i never heard of that party. sadly for him, west virginia has what is called a sore loser law. it stops candidates who lost in the primary from changing party affiliation to run in the general. all states except for connecticut, iowa, and new york have these laws on the books, butenhip is mounting a campaign to get on the ballot.
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the office of west virginia's secretary of state says the law is clear. some legal experts say though that the wording of the law is ambiguous, and that could help blankenship. democrats see his longshot bid as a gift. they think it could split the republican vote in the fall, which would ensure senator joe manchin keeps his seat. manchin is a democrat in a very red state, and republicans think his seat is vulnerable. announcer: when we return, how technology is helping aging veterans honor their fallen comrades without leaving the comfort of their homes. could this virtual experience someday be a prescription for be
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you could save energy by living off the grid. completely. or... just set the washing machine to cold. do your thing. with energy upgrade california. soledad: many americans will observe memorial day on monday by visiting sara met -- cemeteries or memorials to page review be to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. surviving world war ii vets, many of whom are in their 90's,
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are often physically unable to travel to memorials to honor their fallen comrades. a program called "honor everywhere" has created a sensory experience that anyone, including veterans, and take part in from the comfort of their own homes. veterans pop on a vr headset and take part in the tour. the program started as a way to provide immersive experiences for world war ii veterans, but then the creators began to study if dr could affect the user's mood and physiology. that led to the creation of "story-up," which is therapy using virtual and augmented reality. a team consisting of storytellers, psychologists,nd r users to experience happiness, empathy, and mindfulness. they call it "a portable chill pill," no prescription needed. i am soledad o'brien. that is it for this episode of "matter of fact." we will leave you with images
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from this memorial day weekend from the flags in ceremony at arlington national cemetery. it's in an old tradition dating back to 19 the 48 were soldiers play small american flags at the headstones of fallen heroes. ♪
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♪ robert handa: hello, and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. we have been part of a very active and successful asian pacific american heritage month here in the bay area, and we are ending the month on a very high note. we recently honored community heroes at our asian pacific american heritage month luncheon by aaci, asian americans for community involvement; and asian pacific fund; advocate protima pandey; storyteller caleb jo; historian, activist, and writer connie young yu; and the caretaker from the friends of children with special needs, anna wang. today protima pandey and caleb jo will join us. and then we turn the spotlight on the celebration of our multiethnic community, the rich history of silicon valley and art with the silicon valley asian pacific filmfest.

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