right now, two storms brewing across the united states. the first, protests nationwide following the decision not to indict the ferguson, missouri, police officer, darren wilson in the shooting death of michael brown. and it's also a mess out there for travelers hitting the road for this thanksgiving holiday. snowy and wet roads in some areas, lots of flights delayed, canceled. and the storm sitting over the east coast. let's get started.
hello. i'm wolf blitzer. 1:00 378 here in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. 9:00 p.m. in moscow. 2:00 a.m. thursday in beijing. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. "i have a clear conscience and i did my job right." that's what the officer darren wilson says in his first television interview since the grand jury's decision not to indict him. right now, the streets are quiet in ferguson after two nights of violent protests. our stephanie elam has more now on the anger in ferguson and the many protests across the united states. >> reporter: sirens ring out in ferguson, missouri, demonstrators facing off with police for the second night in a row. tensions coming to a boil as protesters overturn and set fire to a police cruiser after a day of relatively peaceful protests.
police and national guard responding with a heavier hand than the night before, arresting 44 protesters, using hoses and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. >> we will get justice by any means necessary! >> reporter: this as anger over the grand jury's decision spreads across the country. demonstrators flooding the streets yesterday in about 170 cities nationwide. blocking bridges, tunnels and major highways from coast to coast. thousands of protesters snaked their way through the streets of new york city, jamming traffic, holding signs and chanting loudly. across the country in downtown los angeles, protesters rally, knocking down fences and blocking the 101 freeway with roadblocks and debris. in oakland, protests took a more violent turn. news helicopters capturing footage of vandals smashing
windows, looting local businesses and lighting bonfires. in minneapolis, a moment of rage as a car plows through a group of demonstrators running over a protester's leg. >> he was honking and getting mad that people wouldn't move. then he just plowed through. >> reporter: according to authorities, the woman was taken to the hospital and is being treated for very minor injuries. the incident currently under investigation. in cincinnati, 15 demonstrators arrested after scaling concrete barriers and briefly shutting down interstate 75. denver police also responding to protesters trying to move onto their interstate, using smoke bombs and pepper spray to deter the demonstrators. from atlanta to boston, the nation's capital, protesters taking to the streets and making their voices heard as authorities attempt to contain a growing sense of outrage across the country. >> that report from stephanie
elam from ferguson, missouri. later, our max foster in london has a special report on how the international community is reacting to what's going on here in the united states in the aftermath of the ferguson decision. today, we're also hearing from the officer, darren wilson. he details what he says happened on that day and how he claims michael brown tried to shoot him with his own gun and what is it about the officer, darren wilson, that apparently made him such a standout witness before the grand jury? the former attorney general alberto gonzales standing by to join us. plus, the ferguson reaction is not just limited to the united states. as i noted, people from london to russia to china, all over the world and people are watching us here on cnn right now all over the world. they're reacting to the mayhem in missouri. we'll have a full report. max foster standing by in london. and thanksgiving holiday travel is getting a hefty
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our son doesn't have a history of violence. one image does not paint a person's entire life or their entire past on how they were. we all do have a past. and nixon is one of the ones that came to me and let me know that that shouldn't even be part of this procedure because when he was 18, he did things and if people had known, he wouldn't be governor. that to me was saying this didn't call for you to take my son's life. if something happened in that store -- and that's a big "if,"
that could have been dealt with. but you didn't have to do what you did. he didn't do what he had to do. he did what he wanted to do. >> what he wanted to do? >> yes. >> you think he wanted to kill your son? >> i don't think he wanted to kill my son but he wanted to kill someone. >> strong words from michael brown's mother speaking out this morning about the death of her son and for the first time, we're also now hearing from the police officer, darren wilson, the man who shot michael brown. in an interview with abc news, wilson says he feared for his life. >> i was like this. and i brought my gun up like that. i said, get back or i'm going to shoot you. his response immediately, he grabbed the top of my gun. and he said, you're too much of a [ bleep ] to shoot me. he twisted it, and put it down into my hip and has the barrel dug into the crease of my left hip. i could feel his hand trying to come over my hand and get inside the trigger guard and try and
shoot me with my own gun. >> let's talk about all this, including the officer's interview. we're joined by anthony gray, an attorney for michael brown's family, joining us from new york right now. thanks very much for coming in. >> no problem, wolf. >> you just heard this excerpt from the officer. he describes the encounter, what he recollects happened. what's your reaction? i'm sure you watched that interview on abc news. >> well, my initial reaction when i heard the entire interview, i was really astonished because it deviated so much in detail from what he initially told his supervisor that arrived at the scene. and as i pointed out before, that was a statement he made before he was prepped, before he rehearsed, before he was lawyered up. and so to me, i didn't buy the story -- there's no trust in what he's saying. i could just tell that most of it is just a rehearsed version of events that he is recalling
from memory of the rehearsal and not from the events that happened on canfield. >> what do you say to those who say the forensic evidence, the scientific evidence, the blood splattered, whatever, sort of backs up his side of the story? >> and that's interesting because it backs up a multitude of different scenarios. one in which a gun is out and quite naturally if mike brown is being grabbed by officer darren wilson and officer darren wilson has a grip on him, at the same time he's pulling out a weapon, the question is, would mike brown have the right to keep himself from being shot and killed by an officer who's out of control by trying to divert the pistol? there are different scenarios that would justify that same forensic evidence. it's just not a evidentiary finding that supports darren wilson. you have to look at it in its totality. when you look at it from both ways, he could give a story that
matches the forensic testimony. and i think that the witnesses have given a version of events that match it as well. >> robert mcculloch, the prosecutor, the st. louis county prosecutor, says there were witnesses who said they did, in fact, see michael brown charging the police officer, the police officer darren wilson says he was scared for his life. and he says some of those witnesses were, in fact, african-american. when you heard him say that at the news conference the other night, what was your reaction? >> well, i wanted to wait until i actually got my hands on the transcript to read that. now, there was, in fact, a person who initially in a video said he was coming towards him. now, when he got in front of the grand jury, that spontaneous statement he made on video on the day of the shooting did change into a charge. and i'm not going to question the motive behind that or anything. i can tell you other parts of that same witness's testimony
was inconsistent with the forensic evidence that did not match up in terms of the number of shots that were fired at one point or the other. i just don't want to get into all the different discrepancies. i'm going to leave it up to you guys to figure that out. i don't want to comment too much on it. there's a federal investigation that's still ongoing. but there are parts of that witness's account that doesn't line up. but they didn't threaten to file perjury charges against him. that part was left out. they just took the piece that lined up with what officer wilson had to say and they ran with that part. and that part was highlighted in his testimony and all the inconsistencies were ignored. >> let me ask you about the next steps. you represent the family. we know there are two federal investigations, one into the civil rights of michael brown, one into the police department in ferguson, missouri. but is it on the agenda that you guys, the lawyers for the michael brown family, might file
a wrongful death lawsuit? >> everything is on the table, wolf. and we're going to examine which direction we're going to go in at the appropriate time. we don't want to jump the gun with that. we certainly are hopeful that the other investigations would perhaps dig into this matter a little bit further. we're going to sit back, be hopeful, wait and see and make our decisions based off of the situation as it unfolds. >> anthony gray is an attorney for michael brown's family. mr. gray, thanks very much for joining us. >> no problem. thank you. how well are authorities prepared for the next round of protests if they come? joining us on the phone from baton rouge, louisiana, is the retired u.s. army lieutenant general russell honoree, the author of the book "leadership is a new normal." the national guard, bigger numbers, more than 2,000 deployed last night in the ferguson area, about 700, the
first night. they were sort of invisible. it's pretty important that they have a visibility, right? >> that's correct. that's well-trained, well-equipped national guard unit. both battalions had two deployments overseas. so they have seasoned officers. from what i saw on television last night, they measured themselves very well. very proud of those national guard troops. and the state of missouri has 9,000 national guard troops. if they need more, all they have to do is call for them. >> their mere prerngs i think, is a deterrent. are these national guard troops based on what you know -- i know they have these shields and the batons, but are they armed? >> yes. i saw them last night. they had sidearms. >> with ammunition, as far as you know? >> as far as i know, yes.
that would be normal for m.p.s. they have two battalions of m.p.s in missouri, more than most other states. from what i saw, i would assume that they did have ammunition with them. >> how well-trained are they -- these national guard personnel, for this kind of dealing with protests that potentially could become violent? >> well, they're better trained now than they were in august, i can bet you that, knowing the national guard. they've spent hours. and they're at the ft. leonardwood. so i'm sure between that and what the guard normally does, they're well-trained, well-equipped and they'll do a good job. they are citizen soldiers. they know their mission. most of the time it's doing nothing but going and rescuing people. with a mission like this, they understand and know what they have to do. i just hope that they can keep
the momentum up as well as keep their calm and keep backing up the police so the police don't get too excited as they start the response to the acts of civil disobedience and go after the ones that do the hard crimes. >> general honore, thank you for joining us. magnificent job for the american people in the aftermath of katrina as all of us remember. the grand jury did not hand off on indictment in the shooting death of michael brown. but there is still not one, but two federal investigations under way. is it the federal government's responsibility now to take action? what do they expect to find? the former attorney general of the united states, alberto gonzales, there he is, he's standing by live. we'll assess what's going on. for over a decade,
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there are still two federal investigations ongoing in ferguson, missouri. one into the shooting death of michael brown, the other into the relationship of the ferguson police department with minorities. here's what the attorney general of the united states, eric holder, said about the probes. >> the department's investigations will continue to be thorough. they will continue to be independent and they remain ongoing. they will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so that we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members. additionally, i have instructed department officials to continue to maintain contact with leaders
of the peaceful protesters and to seek their assistance in isolating those individuals who are inclined towards violence. >> joining us now from nashville is alberto gonzales, the former attorney general in the george w. bush administration. attorney general, thanks very much for joining us. you think it's appropriate for the federal government, the justice department to be engaged in these two separate investigations? >> that is their job. their job is to enforce civil rights violations. in august when the shooting occurred, the attorney general announced that they were engaged in these two investigations, one as to whether or not, were the civil rights of michael brown violated and they're also doing this pattern and practice examination of the ferguson police department. so i think it's perfectly appropriate because there are laws on the book that prohibit this kind of conduct. that's the job of the justice department, which is to investigate and prosecute when
it's warranted. >> so the investigation into michael brown's civil rights, what would be the argument there that his civil rights were violated? >> it's going to be pretty high standard, wolf, basically, they'll have to show that the killing was motivated because of michael brown's race, that that was the primary motivation or that there was excessive force based upon race. and so it's a pretty tough standard. when i look at the evidence -- obviously i haven't seen all of it -- i'm not sure that that standard can't be met in this particular case. but the department does have an obligation to look to see whether or not any laws have been violated. >> if they want to file a charge, would that be probable cause they will need? they would need a higher standard beyond a reasonable doubt, right? >> well, of course, the probable cause standard would exist with respect to the pursuing of any indictment. and once you go to trial, the standard becomes higher than probable cause.
>> but you would be surprised if they were to file charges based on a violation of michael brown's civil rights? >> i hope that's the case. again, that's the higher standard. there's additional political pressure now on the department to move forward with some kind of charge. but i hope the department is able to resist that because this should be based upon what the evidence shows. so hopefully the department will resist any kind of political pressure, any kind of personal views about what happened at the state level and follow the evidence and make the right decision here. >> because they would have to prove that the officer, darren wilson, shot and killed michael brown at least in part because he was a black man, right? >> that's correct. and there's certainly no evidence that i've seen that indicates that to be the case. and obviously we've all heard the interview with officer wilson. i think he was asked that specific question, whether or not it -- would it have made a difference in this particular
case? and he said absolutely not. >> the other investigation involving the ferguson police department, it's a small community, ferguson. about 70% of the community is african-american, we're told. there's maybe 50 or 60 police officers in ferguson. all but three of them are white. is that what the justice department is looking into right now, whether there's built-in racism in the ferguson police department? >> well, obviously that in and of itself is not a civil rights violation. i think they're going to examine whether or not there's any kind of discrimination in terms of hiring practices but also in connection with the enforcement of the law. i think that's -- they're going to look to see whether or not, is there a pattern and practice of discrimination based upon race. that's what the department is going to look at. and, again, i'm hopeful that irrespective of what's happened with respect to the state charges, the department of justice is going to move forward with this investigation in a professional, straightforward
way as it would normally do in any case. >> yesterday the president spoke out on what's going on in the aftermath of the ferguson decision. he was in chicago. let me play this little clip. >> next week, we'll bring together state and local officials and law enforcement and community leaders and faith leaders to start identifying very specific steps that we can take to make sure that law enforcement is fair and is being applied equally to every person in this country. >> he's asked eric holder to put together this dialogue, if you will, because he says there is a perception out there that black people in the united states are treated differently by law enforcement than white people. you're the former attorney general of the united states. do you agree that there is that perception out there, two standards, if you will? >> well, i think there's a clear perception. you look at some of the numbers
in terms of the number -- the ratio of blacks to whites that are charged, that are prosecuted in our courts. i remember after the virginia tech shootings, president bush directed me and the secretary of education and secretary of health and human services to go around the country. we had these town hall meetings to try to examine, why are we having school shootings after the virginia tech shootings? and so i support this effort by the president. of course, today we still have shootings. so we obviously still have some challenges. i suspect even after we do this fact-finding the president's called for, we'll continue to have problems. but i think this is a very healthy dialogue and worthy debate to have. >> alberto gonzales, the former attorney general of the united states, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> i hope you and your family have a wonderful, wonderful thanksgiving. coming up, congressional reaction to the ferguson decision. is president obama making the right move by asking for a
closer look from law enforcement? and pictures from ferguson, they're being seen around the world. we'll take a closer look at what the world is saying about the protests, the violence here in the united states. and a very different story we're monitoring right now. rain and snow from here in washington, d.c. up to boston and beyond, could delay a lot of thanksgiving dinner plans. what's expected to be the busiest thanksgiving travel holiday in seven years could be dramatically affected because of this winter weather.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. it's the third day for protests in ferguson, missouri. take a look at this. these are aerials from just moments ago of demonstrators. last night, 2,200 national guardsmen took to the streets of ferguson. the protests remained largely calm compared to monday night. but in one very tense moment, a police car was flipped over, set on fire in front of the ferguson city hall. a total of 44 arrests were made last night. more than 170 protests took place across the united states. in boston, the crowd swelled to around 1,000 people. hundreds gathered in los
angeles, washington, d.c. and atlanta. protesters in new york city stopped traffic in times square and on major highways. police monitored activity from a distance, stepping in only when demonstrators attempted to take over bridges and tunnels in new york. riots, teargas and burned buildings, scenes from ferguson, missouri, that have shocked so many americans. these same pictures are obviously being shown in every part of the world right now. cnn's max foster is in london. he says some countries now see the united states in a different light. >> reporter: so much of how america is portrayed abroad can be undermined by these pictures. land of the free, we shall overcome, the american dream. the pictures have been carried worldwide, including here on the state-owned russia today. >> there's a strong sense here that the justice system has failed not just michael brown but it has failed the whole community.
>> reporter: france's leftist newspaper pointed out plainly that a predominantly white jury chooses not to pursue another white, accused of murdering a black in a predominantly black city. but it wasn't just that an unarmed black teenager could be shot by a white police officer. it was how america erupted in response. as protests spread, a schism appeared across society, exposing a divided america. >> do you agree that this is an american problem and how do we fix it? >> i do agree. it is an american problem. it's ferguson and far beyond. >> reporter: even here in the uk, the closest of american allies, people are asking if america is really the country they thought it was. the president whose election was meant to have ushered in a new period of racial harmony, the uncomfortable question for america is how many other towns
and cities have the same cocktail of problems that one spark could ignite just like has happened in ferguson? america is the most powerful nation on the planet. that puts it under closer scrutiny. and in this case, the world is taking note of what's being revealed. max foster, cnn, london. >> we know there's been huge interest around the world in what is the aftermath of that ferguson decision. up next, some members of the u.s. congress are railing against the grand jury decision in ferguson, missouri. we're going to speak with one new york congressman who calls it a blatant miscarriage of justice. you do a lot of things great.
but it's not just about ferguson. it's about the treatment by police that many communities believe is unfair when it comes to minorities. joining us now from new york is the new york democratic congressman hakeem jeffries, member of the house jewish committee and a member of the congressional black caucus. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you for having me on, wolf. >> i know you issued a statement saying the grand jury decision in ferguson was a miscarriage of justice. why do you say that? >> the entire process from beginning to end was riddled with problems, unfair processes and inequalities. first, another young unarmed african-american man was gunned down by a police bullet. it happens far too often in america. it happened recently in the district i represent. that should disturb us all. and the initial reaction by the ferguson police department where they conducted themselves as if this was a military operation on
american soil could be disturbing and is something for us to look into and correct. then the entire manner in which the county prosecutor conducted himself, whether that was incompetence or intentional indifference or whether there was manipulation of the grand jury, whatever the case was, the outcome was problematic and was brought about as a result of some of the ways in which the prosecutors conducted themselves before that grand jury. michael brown was someone who was unarmed. he had just graduated from high school. he had no criminal record. he was on his way to college. he was shot dead in a manner that left questions to be asked about whether excessive force was used. he was left on the street for 4 1/2 hours to bake in the hot august sun. the ferguson police department overreacted in terms of their military-style conduct. and then you had a grand jury that made a mockery of the system in terms of how the prosecutors conducts themselves. >> but what do you say -- i don't know if you saw it. but the police officer, darren
wilson, he gave an interview to george stephanopoulos on abc news in which he said he felt threatened by michael brown, that in the end, michael brown was charging, running after him in effect. and he says he had no choice but to shoot and kill in order to save his own life. >> this is why there was a breakdown of the grand jury process which should have, in my view, returned at least an indictment based on probable cause that involuntary manslaughter existed and then a trial court could have sorted this all out for the american people. most importantly for the family of michael brown and for the ferguson community. the shots that were fired that ultimately killed michael brown were fired from about 150 feet away. that is what the physical evidence establishes, even though the officer's testimony was very different in terms of what he presented. but the physical evidence suggests that he was 150 feet away. it doesn't seem reasonable to me, to people that i represent
and to a lot of folks across america that his life was in jeopardy at that particular moment in time with such a distance. >> he also argues that additionally when he told michael brown and his friend who were jaywalking to get on the sidewalk, michael brown, he alleges, went over to the car, punched him a few times in the face and tried to get his gun out of his holster. you heard that testimony. >> yes. that's conflicting with witness testimony about that encounter. certainly there was some sort of exchange over the car or in the car. and that should be sorted out in a trial. now, thankfully, wolf, the state process is over. but there is still a federal process -- civil rights investigation by the department of justice that can now take center stage. it's an investigation that has a lot more credibility in my view and hopefully can restore some of the confidence that has been lost in the criminal justice system. >> so you want the justice department to continue its two
separate investigations right now. are you confident they'll come up with some charges or are you not so confident? >> well, i'm confident that the process will be fair, will result in a full and comprehensive investigation. different from what took place by the county prosecutor. so that should give us some measure of comfort as it relates to the process moving forward. but i think we're going to have to deal with systematic policy change in the way police departments interact with communities of color. it's a problem that has been in existence for decades and we continue our failure to confront this problem in a meaningful way. i don't want to find ourselves back having this conversation a month or two from now with a different tragedy in a different community but the same set of facts. that's why we have to confront it. i support the president's initiative -- president obama's initiative to bring folks together. but we really do need legislative action and change in order to turn the situation
around. >> hakeem jeffries, united states congressman from brooklyn and a little bit of queens as well. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. have a wonderful thanksgiving. >> you, too. still ahead, the violence in ferguson is part of a bigger problem here in the united states. race relations, policing. how does everyone go about solving it? we're going to ask the head of the national urban league, who's standing by live. all clear! lookin' good! close it up! got it. ... and then, santa's helpers boarded the train, and off they went. and that's how we got it. wowww ... you guys must've been really good this year. the magic of the season is here, at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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we'll get back to the ferguson decision developments in a few moments. but if you're traveling this thanksgiving holiday, you definitely won't be alone. more people are expected to leave their homes here in the united states this year than any year since 2007. aaa says some 46 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. that's about 90% of those people traveling by car. but nasty winter weather in the northeast and elsewhere around the country could ruin some travel plans. flightaware.com says airlines have already canceled more than 500 flights today alone. that number could dramatically increase. our team is hard at work to show us who will be most affected. our meteorologist chad myers is in atlanta. our meteorologist jennifer gray is at new york's laguardia airport. and brian todd is traveling up i-95, one of the nation's busiest corridors from here in
washington, d.c. up to new york city. he's now on the new jersey turnpike. brian, let's start with you. how's the weather affecting traffic on i-95? >> reporter: wolf, on the turnpike, we cannot say it's too bad right now because it's -- there are no major back-ups here on the turnpike, despite some pretty nasty weather. this i-95, the turnpike, this is the demarcation line. everything east of here is rain. west is snow. it's mostly rain on the turnpike. aaa says nearly 50 million americans are going to travel more than 50 miles from home on this thanksgiving holiday. 90% of them are going by car. we can see if we can show you out the front of our vehicle here and show you some of the rain we're up against. again, the traffic is moving pretty well. we talked to state officials in new jersey, delaware and maryland. they've told us they've been warning people for the past several days, leave for your
destination early. and it looks like for the most part people have done that because the traffic patterns we've seen in delaware, maryland and new jersey have not been too bad. we are about to head west into pennsylvania a little bit where we know that there is some heavy snow starting to fall. and some of those traffic patterns are going to be very complicated as we get into the afternoon hours. but this is a very high-impact storm either way. people on the roads are going to be up against this for the next several hours. >> be careful driving over there, brian. thanks very much. brian is not driving. he's doing the talking. let's go to jennifer gray right now over at laguardia airport in new york city. i take it there is a lot of delays and canceled flights, is that true? >> yes, absolutely, wolf. in fact, this morning, it started out not so bad, p pu what was the problem is the flights coming into new york, because of the low clouds and then it created a ripple effect. looking at the the board behind me, more than half of the flights canceled, and we are
seeing half of the delays and the 500 cancellations and also reporting 2,000 delays across the country, and that number is exexpected to grow, of course, with new york city, and newark and philly and d.c. and the biggest airports imkt pad by this and these flights have to go to system of the smaller cities, so even the if the weather is nice where where you are r you may be delayed, because the flights are caught up here in the northeast, and they can't get to you. and so right now, in new york, we are seeing the mix with snow earlier, and a little bit of the changeover, and it is back and forth, and the rain/snow line is right where the 95 corridor is, and chad will talk more about that, but as we get into the snowier conditions, it is prepared here though at laguardia if people are caught here, they have food and cots, and people are working the 12-hour shifts to make sure that the runways are clear for the holiday travelers. >> and making sure they are
safe, too, jennifer. and chad myers over in the weather center in atlanta, and what are we expecting here in the holiday weather period, chad? >> i expect as soon is as the sun sets at 4:00 or 5:00 or 6:00 and even the one that brian is on going to be icing up. i know because the sun is out, and it is the warmest part of the day, this is when the run/snow mix is going to be more rain now sh, but it is going to more snow. bear creek, pennsylvania, about the same as though to the east or the south, d.c. and annapolis, it is a rain event, and even a thundersnow not far from bergen, new jersey or baltimore, maryland, and it is going to be rumbling a lot, because the sound is trapped. you would think it is quiet because of the snow, but the sound is trapped in inversion which means that the sound stays very crosse to the surface, so you will hear it for a long time and the thund gores a long
distance. it stays back to snow, and at all of the airports, it is going to be a problem. 12% to 13% of the flights are canceled at the main airports, but there are not 12% or 13% of the empty seats on the next plane, so once you are canceled, you may be there for a while. >> and we have viewers around the the world, they are wondering if the planes are coming in internationally into new york or boston or washington, d.c., and will they have problems the if they are coming in from london or pairs or any place else? >> not so far. there has been a big problem in london city airport that has nothing to do with the american airports, but jfk is acting very, very well, and only 2% of the flights there at jfk have gone down can, and so most of the international airports are doing very well, and most of them are not delayed. >> we hope it stays that way, chad. and back to the ferguson decision. the fallout, and what is going on right after this.
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the frustrations that we have seen are not just about a particular incident. they have deep roots in many communities of color who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly. >> the president of the united states talking about race relations in the united states concerning that our deeply concerning to a lot of people right now. joining us, the president and the ceo of the national urban league, the former new orleans league mark more yell, and thank you for joining us. >> happy thanksgiving to you. >> happy thanksgiving to you as well. and are things getting bet ter n the united states or worse? >> i think that we are in one of the periods where some of the progress that we have made is being challenged. i think that we are seeing things that may have been below the surface for many americans, and this tension between police
and communities and the lack of economic opportunity by the fact that the recession is creating jobs for some, but leave manage behind, and the wages are leaving many behind, so it is a fact that economics are challenging this country as well as race. and let me say that it is good that the president is challenging the country, but let me issue a challenge to the mayors and other locally elected officials, because what we see in ferguson is a set of circumstances that exists in a very challenging way in ferguson and not only in ferguson, but in the situation in ferguson certainly has pasparked in ferguson, awe new awareness. >> and for six years, we have had an african-american president in the united states, and african-american attorney general and african-american secretary of homeland security, and this is not supposed to be
going on like this right now, was it? >> well, it is interesting, wolf, because the progress, and those steps, the americans continue to celebrate, but with respect to the president, a nd have said it before, i have been in some ways surprised at the intensity of the opposition in some of the dislike that people expressed toward president obama, and some of it seems to go beyond simple politic, and tread into the tricky waters of race, and that has to be said. so the nation, and the president still enjoys broad racial support in the nation, but there is an element in the nation that seems to be obsteninant in the
fact that in the opportunity for men and women in communities of color, and especially young men of color is one of the great challenges that we face today. >> and employment for african-americans in this country is way, way higher than it is for anybody else in the country. and who is to blame for that? >> well, you can go back to talk about the efforts in the e recovery and the fact that not beat an old horse, but it is my view that the stimulus needed to be larger and more targeted features to it. i think it is easy to have the discussion, wolf about blame, but let's have a joint conversation about the responsibility to make it better for all. so that's not only inside of the beltway as tax extenders and the fiscal plans are discussed, but can we discuss an investment
plan for those in inner city and investment communities and have a crisis for us, there is an ebola crisis, and some thinks that there is a border and immigration crisis and i think that the responsibility to confront it is across the board. >> marc morial, we have to leave it there, but thank you for discussing this with brooke ba us. thank you for joining us. today, we begin with a movement that is gaining movement across the country, the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer in ferguson, and it is igniting protests from los angeles to new york