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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 30, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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10/30/18 10/30/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> he -- hate against muslims, refugees, really anyone who is perceived as the other.. it r reinforces all of t the ha. it is really a toxic. amy: it's been a week of hate-fueled violence in the united states, from the mass shooting at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh that left 11 jewish fo worshipers
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dead, to the trump supporter who mailed bombs to more than a dozen critics of the president. but there was another attack that received far less attention. a white man killed two african-american customers at a kentucky g grocery store l lastk after r unsuccessfulully tryingo enter a predominantly black church. >> he e did not realize it was m until l he yet s seen the gun ny inside dust by his side. he said, whitestone kill whites. amy: "whites don't kill whites." we will go to louisville for the latest. then we speak with a guardian reporter who has closely tracked the rise of the far right in the united states. and we speed to the jewish led refugee organization hias, the hebrew immigrant aid society. shortly after saturday's synagogue attack, the gunman wrote on a far right social media site -- "hias likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. i can't sit by and watch my
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people get slaughtered. screw your optics, i'm going in." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump said monday he will sign an executive order ending the constitutional of protected birthright citizenship for children of non-citizens born on u.s. soil. trump was speaking with reporters for the documentary series "axios" on hbo. pres. trump: how ridiculous -- we're the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and baby is essentially a citizen n of the united states for 85 yearsrs wih all of thosose benefits. it is ridiculous. it is ridiculous. it has to end. >> have you talked about that with counsel? pres. trump: it is in the process. it will happen. amy: trump's executive order would violate the 14th amendment of the constitution, which states -- "all persons born or naturalized
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in the united states, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the united states and of the state wherein they reside." this comes as the white house and the right-wing media is continuing to focus at of the midterm elections on the caravan of central american migrants more t than 1000 miles f from te u.s. border. on monday, the white house announced plans to send 5200 active-duty u.s. troops to the border. meanwhile, trump described the caravan as an invasion, echoing language used by robert bowers who attacked the synagogue in pittsburgh, killing 11 jewish worshipers. on monday, white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders was asked if troops of the border would adhere to posse comitatus, meaning armed forces can not be used in a domestic police role. and if trump would suspend suspend hahabeas corpus, or the right of arrested individuals to appear before a judge.
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>> those are options on the table? intom not going to get specific policies we are considerering. there are a number of actions we are looking at taking. amy: this comes as human rights groups are raising concerns over health conditions among the migrants and their conditions. this is oaxaca's human rights ombudsman arturo peimbert. >> many have a fever. they are having acute bronchitis and respspatory proboblems. we estimate there are more or less 2000 children who are traveling with this caravan. some 500 are very, very young. it is not only the p problem wih transportation, but we are making a call to highlight this dimension of the crisis we are racing. in go last week, mexico offered them every work permits if they stayed in arts of mexico. but mexican police are also cracking down on the micros, killing a honduran man on monday. in more immigration news, the truck immigration added 14 more names last week to the list of migrant children still separated from their families. 220 seseparated children rememan
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custody four months after a judge ordered all families be reunited. president trump is slated to visit pittsburgh today with first lady melania trump, his daughter ivanka, and his son-in-law jared kushner in the wake of saturday's mass shooting, which killed 11 jewish worshipers at the tree of life synagogue. some local leaders are opposing trump's visit, including the former leader of the synagogue, lynette lederman, who called trump "the purveyor of hate speech." the comments came as a group of jewishsh leaders also told t the president he is not welclcome in pittsburgh until he "fully denounces white nationalism." pittsburgh mayor bill peduto has called on trump to delay any visit. meanwhile, thehe synagogue's cucurrent rabbbbi has sasaid trs welcome.e. trump has repeatedlyly blamed te media and what he calls fake news reporting for saturday's massacre. this is white house spokesperson sarah huckabee sanders speaking monday. the president is not
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placing g blame. the president is not responsible for these acts. again, the very first action the president did was condemn these heinous acts. the very first thing the media did was condemn t the president and go after him and try to place blalame, not just on the presidenent, but everybody w who works in this administration. amy: meanwhile, white house counselor kellyanne conway blamed anti-religiosity for political violence. she was speaking on fox and frieiends monday. in thisnti-religiousity country that has somehow en vogue and funny, to make fun of anybody of faith, the late-night -funny peoplee un on tv shows. these people were gunned down in their place of worship, as were the people in south carolina several years ago. amy: this comes as the man arrested for saturday's mass shooting at a pittsburgh synagogue appeared in court monday.
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robert bowers faces 29 charges, including 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and two hate crimes. saturday's shooting has been described as the deadliest anti-semitic attack in u.s. history. as vigils are held around the country and tributes for the victims pour in, many in the gay community are remembering dr. jerry rabinowitz, a beloved dr. in pittsburgh who treated gay men with aids at the height of the epidemic in the 1980's and 1990's. we'll have more on the shooting in pittsburgh. we will be speaking with hias later in the broadcacast. as more details s emerge followg the arrest of cesar sayoc, t the 56-year-old man accused of sending mail bombs to prominent democrats and cnn, another suspicious package addressed to cnn headquarters in atlanta -- in atlanta, georgia,, was intercepted by authohorities on monday. so far, 15 p packages have been found. none of them expxploded. a senior law enfororcement officialal told nbc sayoc had a list of over 100 people he hoped to target.
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in turkey, the saudi public prosecutor investigating journalist jamal khashoggi's murder at the hands of saudi hit men, met with istanbul's chief prosecutor monday. the saudi prosecutor is due to inspect the saudi consulate where the killing allegedly took place four weeks agogo today. meanwhile, jamal khashoggi's fifiancee is speaking out. in an intervieiew monday, she sd saudi authorities are responsible and should provide more information. this is an incident, an assassination attempt place inside a saudidi arabian consulate. amy: in gaza, israeli forces shot and killed one man and wounded 25 others, including two medics, monday during ongoing palestinian protests at the heavilyy m militarized separatin barrier with israel. in tunisia, nine people were wounded after a female suicide bomber detonated explosives in the capital tunis. the suicide bomber was the only
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fatality from the explosion. no outside group had claimed responsibility and the bomber's motivation is not yet known. in environmental news, a n new report from the european environment agency finds air pollution causes more than half a million premature deaths in europe each year. this comes as the u.n. released another report monday finding that that 93% of all children live in areas with excessively high levels of fine particulate matter. in itataly, three quarters of te city of venice were under water monday as strong winds caused heavy rainfall to flow over the raised walkways meant to keep water out of the city streets. other parts of italy are also experiencing flooding and strong winds, killing six people across italy. scientists predict that venice could be completely submerged by the end of the century if climate change continues at its current pace. back in the united states, former president jimmy carter wrote a letter calling for georgia republican gubernatorial candidate brian kemp to resign his role in as georgia secretary of state. kemp's democratic opponent
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stacey abrams and civil rights groups have accused brian kemp of putting 53,000 voter applications on hold by using minor discrepancies in voters' registrations and id cards to bar them from casting a ballot. in his letter, president carter wrote -- "popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of georgia's voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate." this comes as brian kemp is under fire for posing for a photo with an anti-muslim extremist at a recent campaign event. far-right conspiracy theorist james stachowiak was wearing a t-shirt that read, "allah is not god, and mohammad is not his prophet," when kemp posed for the photo. kemp can be seen giving a thumbs-up on the picture. meanwhile, president trump called florida democratic gubernatorial candidate andrew gillum a thief in an interview monday with fox.x. pres. trump: the fbi offered him
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tickets at $1800 i it peace ande took thehem. he took the same -- he took k a trip with the samebi agent.. here's a guy y come in n my opi, is a stone cold steve. and his c cy, tallahassee, is known as the most corrupt in florida and one of the most corrupt in the nation. amy: andrew gillum responded by tweeting -- "i heard @realdonaldtrump ran home to @foxnews to lie about me. but as my grandmother told me -- never wrestle with a pig. you both get dirty, but the pig likes it." that is the end of that quote. gillum was targeted by racist robocall. in august from his republican opponent urged voters to not "monkey this up." if andrew gillum wins, he will be the first african-american governor of florida. a new lawsuit filed monday is accusing president trump and his family of misleading investors by promoting sham businesses in exchange for money. "the new york timemes" reports
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that the suit accuses trump and three of his children -- ivanka, eric, and donald jr. -- of endorsing business opportunities that were in fact t schemes designed to defraud people, including the trumump network, a vitamin marketing company, and the trump institute -- which charged for seminars promising to reveal trump's real estate secrets. a memorial for late veteran journalist david wise was held in washington, d.c., monday. wise was an award-winning reporter, served as the chief of the washington bureau of "the new york herald tribune," wrote numerous books and articles on the subject of spies and spying, along with several novels. his book "the politics of lying: government deception, secrecy, and power" written in 1973 won the george polk award and the george orwell award. he died at 88 years old in october 8 washington, d.c. and the pioneering black feminist poet, novelist and playwright ntozake shange has died at the age of 70 in bowie, maryland. shange is best known for writing "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf."
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the story focuses on seven black women dealing with issues including racism, sexism, abortion, and domestic violence. this is shange in an interview from 2010 talking about writing during the early 1970's. >> it was very tumultuous time. the war in vietnam was not over yet. attica had just happened in 1971. the black panthers in chicago. 44 people. and the black panther movement was coming apart at the seams in californiaia. a really furiously .llied community amy: speaking on her work, shange once said -- "when i die, i will not be
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guilty of having left a generation of girls behind thinking that anyone can tend to their emotional health other than themselves." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show looking at the hate-fueled crimes that have swept the nation in the past week. 11 worshipers at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh were killed saturday in what has been described as the deadliliet anti-semitic attack in u.s. history. the attack came just one day after a trump supporter in florida named cesar sayoc was arrested and charged with mailing bombs to more than a dozen of the president's prominent critics, includiding e clintons, the obamas, and george soros. law enforcement officers now say sayoc had a list of over 100 targets. but there was a third hate-fueled crime that received far less coverage last week, the
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murder of two elderly african american cusustomers at a kentuy grocery store on wednesday. gregory bush, a 51 year-old white man, opened fire and killed maurice stallard and vickie lee jones at a kroger's supermarket in jeffersontown, kentucky, outside louisville. after unsuccessfully trying to enter a predominantly black church. now the community is demanding justice for what the louisville chief of police has called a hate crime. capturedory bush was on a surveillance camera trying to force open n the doors of the first baptist church of jeffersontown for several minutes before turning his wednesday attention instead to the nearby supermarket, where he killed maurice stallard and vickie lee jones. ararmed bystander ed harrell confronted bush in the parking lot outside a a grocery ststore after r the killings. this is harrell's son steve zinninger speaking with a local nbc affiliate. >> so your d dad was confronting the e shooter? >> yeah.
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>> did that man say anything? how did your dad figigure out something wasn't right? >> he did not realizize it was m until he h has seen the gun by s side.. he said, don't shoot me, i won't shoot you. whitestone kill whites. amy: "white don't kill whites as gregory bush said. juan: gregory bush has a history of making racist slurs, and a long rap sheet of misdemeanor charges, including domestic violence, menacing, and making terroristic threats. in 2009, a judge ordered bush to surrender his guns and undergo mental health treatment after his parents claimed he had threatened to shoot them. bush's father has said his son "carries a gun wherever he goes." it's not clear whether bush's guns were returned when the court order expired in 2011. amy: gregory bush will face two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment at a court hearing scheduleled for november. for more, we go to louisville where we are joined by two guests. attica scott is a kentucky state representative and a certified
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anti-racism trainer. in 2016, she became the first african american woman to serve in kentucky's state legislature in 20 years. and reverend vincent james is chief of community building for the city of louisville and pastor of elim baptist church. we welcome you both to democracy now! reverend vincent james, you knew one of the murder victims. can you talk about what h happed on wednesday? something that was not paid very much attention to around the country. first, bush's can attempt to get into a predominately black church, then going over to kroger, the grocery store. >> thank you for having us on the show. wednesday was a very somber day. somewhere a little before 3:00, all of us were in the office of the mayor's office and one of our colleagues -- we heard a scream. she was on the phone.
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she was talking with someone. we really did not know what had happened at that point. and then as time continued to proceed, we discover that there was a possibility -- there was a shooting and there was the possibility it was a family member. not really understanding and knowing what had happened, we thediately went out to location. we at several members of our team there. we later discovered that kelly watson, the chief equity officer at metro government, said it was her father maurice stallard who had been murdered. and another woman had been murdered in the parking lot. it was a horrific day. a sad day. we are continuing to grieve through this process. at one of the exciting things is we are a very resilient city. we've been working on things in terms of looking at these very types of issues. juan: i want to ask
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representative attica scott, in terms of the reaction of some public officials in the area about whether this was a hate crime or not, could you talk about that in the judgment people did or did not go through very soon after this crime occurred? >> definitely. when something like this happens, the entire community greaves and is anxious and is stressed out. and often look to elected leaders to provide some direction and guidance. in this situation, we as an afafrican americanan community a were failed by many of our elected officials who r refusedo call this what it was, which is a hate crime. when you kill to black peoeople and you trtry to break i into a blblack church, that is a hate crime. and have people at the local and state level refused even call ii a hate crime sends a message to
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many of us s in the community tt our lilives do not indeeeed matr to some people. we shohould not have to beg youo call this what it is.s. amy: we hope to have the mayor on. reverend vincent james, you work for the mayor. can you talk about -- can you talk about that, why the mayor did not immediately call it a hate crime? >> well i can share with you the mayor did come out and say it was a hate crime. he talked about the fact this situation was drivenen by hate. when you think about -- and i have the privilege of pastoring a local african-american church in the city -- and understanding in terms of what the community needs and the hurt that a community goes through when they experience this. just recently yesterday, mayor greg fisher in several local pastors and faith leaders in our community sat down and talked with the commonwealth attorney and talked about this very issue of a hate crime. it is a iran us hate crime.
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it.r fisher identified with he grieves with the community in the family. and so he is very a wear and very into and and we've been working on these issues for the past several years, working with government alliance for racial equity, gare, putting together plans in terms of our community. one of our tenants only think about our community is a very compassionate community. our mayor's heart was grieved. he is angered. it also we are moving to action. we are put in actionon plans and we are working with community leaders to begin no look at how this can never happen again in our community and how we avoid these types of things. as a community, we are very resilient and we have a plan in place to be able to execute this won't happen again. representative scott, i wawant to see if you agree with the assessment of reverend james
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and also if you could talk about this whole issue of the blue lives matter legislation that went through the l legislature? >> we have to make sure that we have honest conversations about what gotot us here. and when we have a political system that passes hateful legislation, when we have societal issues around comments that are made -- whether you're calling young black itsts plansr thoughts or whether yoyou are passing lelegislation like the blue lives matter bill and changing kentucky's hate crime law to nowow i includede yourr profession, what you choose to do? that sends a clear memessage across kenentucky about whosee lives really do matter. and this year, passing the so-called gagang bill that we sw this itoto be in a year since it has beenen pasassed it has only black people havave received an enhanced from that gang bill too of supupported and then pass tht
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bill herere in kentucky since a message acrosss our black community's and other commodities of color that you are under attack by your own elected officials of the local and state level. and we have to have those honest conversations ththat say, waitia minute, what are we e doing to make sure we are looking to restore people to their full list rather than to incarcerate them so we can justify more prisons. want to correct, we said the st. louis police chief, but it is the jeffersontown police chief sam rogers. we said the louisvilllle police chief, but the jefeffersontown police chief sam rogers who told the first baptist church on sunday that the shooting was motivated by racism was a hate crime. can you talk, reverend james, about the feelings right now inside the church that bush accurately tried to get into? your the reverend of another church. how churches are feeling right now? the one ofhis being
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a series of attacks this week. i mean, you this man allegegedly saying to a white man standing outside with a gun outside kroger's, "whites don't kill whites." bombs,u have the letter now a currently 15 of them sent out to people who were critic's a president trump, then of course, the horrific synagogue massacre that took place at another place of worship in pittsburgh with the funerals beginning today with the anti-semitic shooter who also linked jewish groups helping immigrants and his fierce anti-immigrant hatred. >> yes, it is a very s sad timen our country when we have these types of acts of hatred in our communities and churches and
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synagogues and mosques. we think about all that is taken up lace across the country -- the one thing people of faith recognize is the fact that these challenges are written in the holy word that these things were to come. one of the things in terms of what we find in what we see as faith leaders and community leaders, it is our faith that drives says beyond what we see and d what w expererience to hoe that with people coming together and staying together, we can change. we have to realize and know that this is not a time to turn on each other, but a time to turn to each other. so what i've seen across the faith communitity, talking with alkindnds off faith leaders across our city and across this country, is the fact t that we have a reality that we have to look at and confront will he talk about the rhetoric that is coming from our administration -- all of these types of things that we as a people of faith have to rise above it and take action. the reality is, it takes us as a
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people to recognize what is going on, then we have to go to the polls. next week is going to be a very critical time for our country. we need to send a message that this type of behavior, this type of situation that happened in pittsburgh, that happened in louisville, it is totally unacceptable and we're going to change. the way you change that is going to the polls. james, in the same vein, the president trump after the attack on the synagogue in pittsburgh said that perhaps armed guards were needed at places of worship. he said similar things after the parkland shooting that armed guards -- the arming of teachers -- he suggested the possibility of the arming of teachers. what is your response to the idea that maybe houses of worship should now have armed guards as a means of protecting themselves? >> i don't believe houses of
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faith or schools need to have armed guards. that is not why we attend church. we attend church to be able to connect with our god and to be able to realize that our faith protects us. even whehen challengnges come against us, we know because the word says no weapon will form against us, that means the weapons won't come, but it means it will prosper, that it won't destroy the hope and resilience of the people in spite of what challenges that w we face. that's why in terms of having armed guards, you had to be secure and understand the bible teaches us that we need to be wiser serpents -- wise as serpents and gentle as a dove. that means yet to be alert and awake to things like a potentially happen, but also have a heart of compassion and love and forgiveness. when we recognize these types of things, we move ford with action and faith and hope in knowing these things have the
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possibility of existing and we are prepared in terms from the security standpoint, but not from the standpoint of having armed guards standing at the door. i think that is to the extreme of what we need in our country. we need to talk more about how to live in peace as opposed to living in fear and in violence. >> amy: attica scott, as a political representative in areucky, not so far away the races in georgia and florida right now, taking on extreme racial tones. you have the secretary of state of georgia brian kemp withholding 53,000 registration forms, overwhelmingly african-americican. he is the secretary of state and he is running against stacey abrams. if she were to win, she would become the first african-american woman governor in the country. then andrew gillum running for governor in florida. the president just called him a stone cold thief. kkk-backed some
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-backed white supremacist robo call. and his opponent, desantis, telling voters to -- not to monkey it up right after he became the democratic candidate. your thoughts in this midterm election season, and then what happened this week from kentucky to pittsburgh to the mail bombs that were sent out? >> my thoughts s are that we better n not come in kentucky, t like we are a mean from whatat we're seeing g in georgia and flororida, what t we're h heari. because we hear some of the same and similar sentiment right here in kentucky. we're seeing the mailers that have gone out calling people radicals and trying to shame people and a attack peop,, especialally womomen who are rug for office here in kentucky. so we are not immune. we are also not immune from a tax on our right to vote.
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i serve on the committee in frankfurt that pays attention to the electionons and to our constititution.. and even this legislative sesession, never republican lawmakers asking about how we protect the vote but it was coded link which and the wait was asked about what we can do in the futuree in taking where the right to vote. we better r pay attetention to t -- right here kenentucky. i also have to say we need to be mindful of the environment we create that allows hate to thrive. on martin luther king's we can this year, global allowed a gun show on that we can. this past weekend, , a gun show happened here in louisville after the shootings at kroger. there were christmas ornaments that were being sold with nazi symbols and images on them. we're allowing that climate here in louisville, which is supposed to be a a so-cacalled progressie city. when we allow that, we are nowhere near liberal or progressive. we also need to make sure that wewe are passing policies s thae
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designed to keep guns out of people's hands that should not have guns, and that we are very cautious about claiming their summit to help disorder that justifies hate -- mental health disorder that justifies hate. mental health disorder that justifies hate. what i''ve been heining thesee past t three d days about the shooter and having a diagnosed mental health disorder, that is blalacke to kill two peopople at a grococery store a excuse to try to make ininto a black church to commit crime. and it is all connected, whether it is the mail bombs or the murders at the synagogue or mr. jones o or m mr. stallard. need a system that we all to work to dismantle. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us democratic , state representative attica scott of kentucky, serves on the house education committee. in 2016, she became the first african american woman to serve in kentucky's state legislature in 20 years. and reverend vincent james is
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chief of community building for the city of louisville and pastor of elim baptist church. this is democracy now! when we come back, we will talk about far right violence, its connection to guns, whitee supremacist groups in this country. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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this is democracy now!, democracynow.orgrg, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we continue our coverage of the right-wing terror incidents across the country in the last week. 11 worshipers at the tree of life synagogue were killed saturday in what has been described as the deadliest anti-semitic attack in u.s. history. the pittsburgh attack came a day after an avid trump supporter in florida was arrested and charged with mailing bombs to more than a dozen of the president's prominent critics and three days after two african americans were fatally shot at a grocery store shortly after the gunman tried and failed to get inside a black
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church. a witness told a local newspaper the gunman said to him, "whites don't shoot whites." amy: as prpresident trump prepas to t travel to pittsburgh h tod, pittsburgh's mayor and some jewish leaders are urging him not to come to pittsburgh. a group told the president he is not welcome in pittsburgh until he "fully denounces white nationalism." a former president of the tree of life synagogue described trump as a "purveyor of hate speech." for more, we go to oakland, california, where we're joined by lois beckett, a senior reporter at the guardian covering gun policy, criminal justice, and the far right in the united states. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about what has happened this week, the weapons used, the people behind these attacks? in the discussion we have had over these three incidents, shootings,these two
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one of which the government looks like he initially tried to target a church and another an attack on a synagogue, we often have been talking about this in terms of hate or political rhetoric. what is really important to advance the discussion is to look at the evidence that the shooter in pittsburghh was not just anti-semitic, that he up and radicalized by what's up from assist ideology. we saw in ththe criminal complat against t the pittsburgh shooter that he told a swat officer while in custody that he had wanted to kill jews because jews were trying to commit genocide on his people. this is the conspiracy of the white supremacist movement in the u.s., this idea there is a massive plot to make white people extinct and every thing from immigration to accepting refugees to feminism to multiculturalism, they are all part of this plot. it is really important we condemn hate but hate is too general and this conversation has been really treating some of
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these incidents as if they were just terriblee people separate terrible ideologies. certainly, in the e case of the louisville shooting and in the cocould spark shooting, a sociologisist who studies white supremacy tom and we shall look at both of these shooters as radicalized white supremacists and naming the ideology is an important part of preventing these acts. in many ofbeckett these cases, the folks are fed or nurtured through social media . in fact, many of their thoughts were initially got through checking the social media accounts. "the new york times" has a fascinating story today saying -- justthe shooting since the shooting in pittsburgh on saturday, on instagram, there were over 11,000 posts with the #jewsdid911.
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there is an enormous social media -- social media is still becoming a main organizing form for many of these extremist. i'm wondering if you could comment onon that? >> it is absolutely true thahat social media and online spaces crucialnn becoming places for radicalalization, but also importatant to realize t te social media platforms are tools that white supremacists a are using to try to recruit and radicalilized people. it is not the sort of hate a a seririously blossoming. these are organizezed white supremacist activist or tried to explore platform -- exploit platforms in use them to try to connect with people and finding followers. we can't look at this as sort of aa broader proroblem of how do e fix social media, how do we fixx instagram and twitter. it is important narrow the question and sayay, twitter, instagram, facebook are being exploited by hostile actors and terrorists through crude people
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will commit violence. had we focus on the particular problem and how do these companies take particular responsibility for white supremacist and how those terrorists are using those platforms. they reposted -- if you can talk a about is link, andrs' link between jews jewish groups who are about to speak -- we're about to speak to a representative of hias. he focused on this issue that refugee resettlement organization was bringing what he called the invaders. and brian stelter of cnn just looked at fox news and other right-wing outlets and s saying the level of times they are
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talking about invaders just in the last few weeks has so escalated. and bowers himself said, i like the way they're changing the language of aliens, illegal aliens, to invaders. and it is this link of immigration, as president trump now, even as he goes to pittsburgh, tries to divert attention to the border saying he is sending me 5200 soldiers to the border post up soon on the border there will be more soldiers than in iraq and afghanistan. sending more than 5200 soldiers to the border and also saying he plans, through executive order, to end birthright citizenship. , you're pulling all of these incredibly troubling threads together, and it is really important to recognize that the attack on the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh was an attack on jewish people and
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it is heart-wrenching. but in attack on jewewish people for supporting refugees, and attack specifically targeted at an organization that was helping have shabbat ceremonies in honor of supporting refugees and drawing on the jewiwish historyf persecution typifies how important it is t that people wo are fleeining viololence and ter elsewhere in the w world, that e have the capacity to welcome them and give them a safe place, and that is a moral duty. in talking to a representatitive , an organization that the e shooter named,d, that he d fueled his r rage, that he shard a link to synagogue that were hosting these kinds s of events, you know, she said they y are so wrestling with what it means to be targeted with violence, particularly for fighting for this basic unity, for treating other people with basic humanity.
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and that is what is so incredibly t tragic here, that this congregation and these people were targeted because of their humanitarian impulse, because of their support for jews, refugees, for people of color. it is overwhelming. the anti-defamatition league has found anti-semitic incidents in the u.s. roles by -- rose by 57% in 2017, the largest single year increase since it started recording such statistics. i am wondering your sense -- this is not an isolated situation here in the united states. there's been a rise in anti-semitic incidents across europe as well. i'm wondering if you could talk about the context in which this is occurring as more and more right-wing governments are theng to power across industrial world, and even in
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many parts of asia and latin america as well. so, obviously, the context of rising anti-semitism is very disturbing. what was particularly striking about robert bowers, the pittsburgh shooter, is in looking at his onlnline profilen gab and the post you made, itit was clclear he was challenging a lot of the tropes and hatred that he was shariring are centuries old. it is a very old and dangerous ideology. a robert bowers was also someone who is actively in communication with other white supremacist, someone who is very familiar with the events of , where they were will not jews replace us. his adadjusts he was friendlier- it suggegests he was famamiliarh
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thisis what would be the most effective for advancing his white supremacist bullies, this belief in an all-white country, that the u.s. is only a country for white people and other people should be shut out, don't belong here, or should not be allllowed to have citizenship. you saw him on this platftform interactining, including interactining with other white supremacist activists. i spoke with an acactivist from chararlottesville e who said she constantly monitorors gab the harassment of white supremacists anand she got some of these robt bowers posts. she saw them and had screenshots of a couple of them, but t the kind of hatred he was spewing was so comment on thiss form tht there were so many dozens and hundndreds of men sharing equaly extreme racist propaganda, that nothing about what he had said stood out to her. that this was someone who apparently had harassed her directly as a misogynistic and nasty comments, then appeared to
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go on to commit a massss murdert a jewish synagogue. she said she is still wrestling with the becausese what he saidn that platform, the kind of hate he was expressing was so common, that it did not stand out, did not seem exceptional. amy: pittsburgh mayor bill peduto speaking about what happened on saturday. the synagogue attack, the darkest day of pittsburgh's history but said armed guards are not the solution. oaks i think the approach that we need to be looking at is how we take the guns, which is the common denominator of every mass shooting in america, out of the hands of those that are looking to express hatred through murder. amy: t that is mayor peduto. he also said that president trump should not come today to pittsburgh. they are busy burying the dead. this is president trump right after the masassacre, talking
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about armed guards. pres. trump: if they have protection inside, the results would have been far better. this is a dispute thatt will alwaways exist, suspect. but if they had some kind of a ,rotection inside the temple maybe it could've been a very much different situation. they didn't. and he was able -- he was able to do things t that unfortunanay he should not have been able to do. i hear the police were outstanding. i hear the police did in a. as you know, numerous police were badly injured. amy: so that was president trump calllling for armed guards in te synagogue. lois beckett, if you could talk about this and also -- i mean, as we are talking about this violence, you have greg bush in the louisville area in jeffersontown.n. hehe has numerous weapons, not
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clear whether he has been legally. he had to hand them over because of his violent background. again, so often we see the link to domestic violence in their past. but why these men are able to have these guns, of course, bowers used an ar-15. these linkages to violence -- you might think of this as a stretch, but because you are a guardian reporter, i am thinking about your colleague ben jacobs who was bodyslammed by the montana congress member who had to plead guilty to criminal assault. while a bringing that up now is president trump just last week held a rally in montana where he applauded gianforte for bodyslammed your colleague at the guardian. this in the midst of the investigation into the murder of jamal khashoggi, with president trump taking the side of the saudi leadership -- not to
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mention the cnnmail bombs am a hoot donald trump has not -- mail bombs, who president trump not stopped attacking the media all week. one thing that is important in the amount of violencnce seems overwhelming, being a gun owner in amamerica is not a radical thing. in this country, that everyone may agree with this, but in this country it is a normal thing to be a gun owner. tens of millioions of americans own guns, roughly one third of househeholds are gun owning households. it is important not to indiscriminately lumped together a lot of the different issues, but to say there is a big difffference between being a gun owner in america and even being someone who is skeptical of new regulations wanting to really understand how much they will who isd being someone advocating, for instance, violence against a journalist or
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thininking that it is funny or cute that a politiciann might physicically attacked a journrnt who is trying to ask him a question about health care, that it mightht be appropriatete to , aise or joke about that politician w who thenn went on o make false status to the police spokesperson, -- a politician who then want to make false statements to the police, a spokesman who went on to make false status to the police. there are some issssues and they're so overwhelming, that the chaos is purposeful. one thing to remember is there is tremendous advocacy. if you care about the issue of gun control, the students from parkland, florida, who survived the mass shooting at their school in february have been ,orking since that time trtraveling across the couountry trtrying to get out thehe vote r otheher young people, w workingy hard to mobilize, 18-year-olds,
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19-year-old, 20 euros, to bring this new post-columbine generation that is so frustrated with school shootings, so frustrated with active s shooter drills and trying to get them to the polls. one thing incrediblyly importatt remember is this midterm election, upon some issues seem to be writing, is going to be a refeferendum on the f future ofn control in america. there are many organizations workrking hard to vote out politicians that absolutely refuse to pass any gun-control laws and bring in politicians that support gun safety and some additional regulations. so t this is something, even though i it is not always in the headlines now, there's so much going on, but should remember the parkland kids are out there fighting for t this, and thisiss an issue they're working for a t the polls, an issue that you care aboutut. there's still l time before the election to work on getting out the vote of focusing on making sure people that support the issues you care about get out to the polls. it is really important to remember in the midst of all of this incredible tension andd
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violence, that there is real advocacy were going on and collaborations going on, and the park think it's have collaborated with studenents frm inner cities, students from many backgrounds across the country. they acknowledge the fact it is problematic c that w white subun shootings get more attention than everyday shootings in urban neighborhoods. they're working to left of the voices of students o of color wo maybe don't hahave cnn c come to their doorstep when one of their friends dies. amy: lois beckett -- close we're seeing incredible hatred, but also younger generation working to have more equitable, more inclusive debate and to really lift up the voices of young people who say this is not acceptable. amy: lois beckett, thank you for being with us, senior reporter at the guardian covering gun policy, criminal justice, and the far right in the united states. we will be back with a representative of hias, the group that the pittsburgh shooter cited, hated. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "our town is burning." this i is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today show with a refugee organization that gunman robert bowers repeatedly attacked online for he opened
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fire on the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh on saturday, killing 11 worshipers. just before the shooting rampage, robert bowers wrote on a far right social media site -- "hias likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. i can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. screw your optics, i'm going in." two days later, president trump attacked the migrants on central american caravan tweeting -- "this is an invasion of our country and our military is waiting for you!" amy: heise is committed to a nonprofit that has provided assistance to refugees for more than 130 years, coming into the united states. when hias organized a nationwide shabbat for r refugees, robertt bowers posted a link to thee events directory of synagogues writing -- he appreciated the list." for more, we go to washington,
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d.c., where we're joined by melalanie nezer, senior vice president for hias. our condolences on what has taken place. first, respond to what happened and then this comment he made, he appreciated the list of where shabazz were taking place, one of them in that building where the tree of life synagogue also had their services. >> of course, our first reaction hearing the news of the shooting often repeated, but shocked and not surprised. many of us were in the synagogue when we heard the news. as we were processing that, i received a text from a colleague with a screenshot of the social media posting from the shooter that cited hias. quite honestly, we're still processing that and what that means.
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we have been answering a lot of questions over the last couple of days. the most common question being, what is hias? and starting to think about where we go from here. i will tell you one thing, there is been no indication from any of us and hias staff work all over the uniteted states, we provide services to refugees in the countries were actually 85% of refugees reside, we georgia -- developing countries. there's been no indication by any of the step that any of us want to start doing that. juan: and the significance of bowers using the term "invaders" and also e echoing, to some degree, president t trump's references to the immigrant caravan or the refugee caravan from central america that is coming up through mexico right now? >> well, language is important. is an incendiary term, especially for a group of impoverished and scared men,n,
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women, and children who are thousands of miles i think still from our border. we process asylum-seekers at our southern border every single day most of thousands get processed in a month. this is not something the u.s. government can't handle. we're the strongest, most powerful country in the world. we can fairly and h hanely process if you asylum seekekers- a few thousand asylum-seekers. what hias has called on our government is to assure asylum-seekers when they reach our borders are processed in accordance with our law, our international treaty obligations. and they are treated humanely. the fact this kind of basic you military and approach has become somehow controversial or has made people angry is a real sad commentary of where the debate is in this country right now. amy: has president trump called hias? >> no. no. juan: just lastamy: has presided hias month, your
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organization actually criticize the president for capping the number of refugees allowed into the united states to just 30,000. can you talk about what the impact of that is, a discontinued reduction of the number of refugees officially allowed into the united states? >> sure. i want to explain how the refugee resettlement program works. this is a program officially in place for 40 years. it is a public-private partnership. actually, it is the u.s. government that decides how many refugees come into the country each year. the president makes that determination every year. u.s. government decides who comes in, do all of the security screenings and vetting -- refugees are the most heavily people coming into the country. everyone is interviewed by a homeland secured he officer. the organization like hias and the eight other agencies that partner with the government to do your's refugee resettlement,
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and we're talking about five faith-based organizations, most of which are christian. we're the only jewish one. we don't resettle refugees. we don't bring them here. we welcome them when they get here. so the hatred that is directed at hias and organizations like ours is an organization that through our partners like a jewish family and community service agency in pittsburgh, we are the people who go to the airport and make sure these refugees get home. we filled the refrigerator with food. we make sure their kids get enrolled in school. that is the role we play in refugee resettlement. we do advocate for increased resettlement numbers. in the last five or so years, the average was about 70,000. there were years during the reagan administration were almost 100,000 refugees were coming in every year. given the fact we are experiencing the largest level of displacement in the world in
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recorded history and the fact the u.s. has been the world humaninitarian leader since word war ii in resettling refugees and providing humanitarian protection, we think it is time for the u.s. to step up and share the responsibility with these countries that are struggling to provide services and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of refugees that are in their countries. amy: melanie, we just have 30 seconds. do you have a message to refugees this week with the hate filled violence in the united states, people coming into this country now afraid to come? >> we don't see refugees as anyone different than we are. are a jewish -- we organization and i think this is true of nearly all americans. our relatives also came in as immigrants and refugees. your stories are our stories. we stand with you. amy: melanie nezer, stay with us for a post-show interview that we will post online at democracynow.org.
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we want to ask you about the refugees shabbat and other of the -- activities of your group. melanie nezer the senior vice president for hias. president for hias. i am amy goodman with juan
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