tv United Shades of America CNN April 25, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
this is jared, he's high on mushrooms. he starts fighting with cops and he grabs the gun and he shoots it. he makes it out alive. this is white privilege. if that idea bothers you, let's just call it benefit s of the doubt. those cops gave jared the benefit of the doubt that his life matters even if he takes his gun. cops killed tami rice within two seconds. in this episode, we are talking about two-minutes and a few
seconds. ♪ >> you want to call the police on him for having a barbecue on a sunday at the lake. >> you see the videos. >> the last couple of years, they have been wsweeping the nation. >> like a beyonce's album, they drop without warning and anybody can talk about it for days. >> which one is your favorite? >> white lady calls the cops for barbecue in the park? white lady won't let black person into the pool. >> get out, get out. >> or, white lady won't let a
black person in the pool. >> it sounds like i am repeating myself but i am not. my personal favorite is. >> white lady calling the cops for a little black girl selling water on a hot day. >> all these videos have a few things in common. the white people harassing the people and end up looking properly ridiculous and this is the king's ingredient. none of the black people ending up dead. this is different featuring the videos of eric garner and philando castile and many more. time and time again, we found out it does not. cops and people acting like cops get away with murdering black people all the time.
so in these new videos, people are not just recording and waiting for cops to show up. they're getting involved. you many cases cops don't have to get involved. >> i am being harassed. it will be okay, becky. >> while these videos may be new for some of you folks. this episode, white folks invite you to the conversation. welcome to the conversation. please don't bring your potato salad with the raisins in it. you can do this in any cities in the united states. kind of what we do best. one city is the most segregated in the country. before you start guessing a bunch of country, i will tell you, milwaukee, wisconsin. yep, the happy days and harley
d davidson is home to a whole lot of races. another viral video just dropped right in our laps. >> today was supposed to be the party. this lady walks right up to me and said you are you don't have a permit today, i need you to take it down. we may have a problem today. >> why do people call the police again and they stand there in a certain stance and they wait on it. >> a twist, we were there just as it was going down. >> so cnn just rolled up. funny how the universe worked. >> we can use these fancy cnn cameras. >> i got a call that i got sent out for. >> i never heard of such a thing. >> they were passing out candy. >> okay, i have to talk to my supervisor to see what's going on. i appreciate your cooperation. >> i am kamau bell, we are doing
an episode of living while black in milwaukee. what happened? >> do you mind talking to us? >> go ahead. >> yeah, we have been working this park since 2016. this lady shows up and trying to tell me i don't have a permit and she proceeds to call the police. >> man, black folks are undefeated. >> it already started. >> are you surprised this would happen? >> absolutely not. >> growing up in mississippi, i can still count in one hand, maybe two or three hands at the most that's racial. here? i was here not even a year and i had my first racial run in at 14 or 15. you will know right away where you are not welcomed or wanted at. >> you just rolled up.
>> now we can get back to why we came to this park in the first place. i came here to speak to reggie jackson. an historian who don't play games. >> we joke about it and we give it hashtags or whatever but it is not funny. it is the relationship between the police department and black people. it is always a bad relationship. there has been a history of things and incidents of unarmed blacks being killed by the police and even this has neighborhood. one of the things that happen is bill smith was shot about two blocks away from the gas station and later that evening basically it just got crazy. >> on august 13th, 2016, the police shot and killed the 23-year-old smith, that night around 100 protesters to be near smith's killing site.
things got hectic. >> thaft was not about smith being shot. that was just the act that led to this explosion. there was an under lying cause that led to people being very upset. the city of milwaukee lost 91,000 manufacturing jobs. 91,000 good jobs left. but, a lot of the manufacturing jobs in and out the suburbs and people don't have access to get out to where those jobs are. as a result of that, you have high rates of poverty and crimes and schools that are not very effective. and under lying cause was related to the history of segregation. so you know we are surrounded by 18 suburbs that are surrounding the city of milwaukee. 86% of the people who live in those suburbs are white.
that's the lowest of any of the most highly segregated cities in the country especially since 40% of the residents are black. >> holdup. a lot of you out there are shocked because you didn't know there were black people in milwaukee. at 40%, milwaukee is black and chicago, oakland, blacker than the city of compton. >> what you have is a very diverse city, a very diverse city surrounded by communities that's not diverse at all. when you look at what segregation had done to milwaukee and in terms of relationships to the police department and black community, black people feel as if they are surveilled everywhere they go. they make up 67% of the people stopped by police. just look at the incident with milwaukee bucks player, sterling brown, who was caught parking in
a handicap spot. >> take your hands out of your pocks now. >> i got stuff in my hands. >> taser, taser, taser. >> there is sort of this idea where you can achieve your way out of it. it does not matter good jobs or any of those things. the police will see you as someone up to no good. >> i heard people coming from the south, man, milwaukee is more like i feel racism deeper in the south. >> that's good.
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the north aor the middle west north buying into the narrative that they are far more superior in terms of character and tolerance, we call it midwest nice. you are doing raciist af. >> it was a series of maps that was produced by the federal government. they did signatureurveys of neighborhoods. everybody black pretty much concentrated in this area. they made a distinction of where the black people live. no other ethnic groups.
the exist of the blackness devalued these spaces. that's what you are seeing. it is by design, this was intentional. so we can point to a legacy of like systematic inequality. >> when you see this on a map like this, racism is not a feeling but it is an institution. >> this seems like good a time as any to define the word racism. racism is hating someone based on their skin color. i have black relatives who are racist. hating someone or treating someone poorly because of skin color is prejudice. to get to racism. >> being racist is not just prejudice, it is prejudice plus power. >> racism is the entire police
department that has that cop's back. if an individual banker does not give a black person home loan, that may be prejudice. in america, racism gets a lot of work. it is embedded in all the structures and the institutions of this country because of how thr c this country is founded. and white people that's making your head swim right now, i imagine all that goes into your head any time you papply for a job. >> here is a problem with white people except for these one, two, three or four or five. every video of eric gardner and
philando castile. white people don't see white people in this video, they can't see themselves. we have enough of these videos now. white women. you must have seen these videos. you were thinking at that moment, wait a minute, am i going to have a hashtag with a name that's not mine. >> white people see groups of color and individuals as white people. that's their mo. that kind of behavior particularly white folks calling like i believe this black body does not belong in this coded white space. therefore i feel threaten and i have the agency to call some sort of authority figure to krek t correct that. >> that's how it is in mil milwaukee. there is actually a workshop across town that's trying to do
just that. >> complete with powerpoint. today's workshop is focused on understanding dignity and antiblackness. we focus on understanding dig dignity. dignity resonates with folks so deeply. this is sort of a deepening and practical application of how we connect on the human level. >> this work is very important going through the real estate people the politicians calling it the renaissance and i went to milwaukee downtown and you can see constructions around it and formally it is buildings or warehouse or whatever. it is going to be high-end real estate and that changes the city.
you have to understand where you are coming from. it is not good for everybody else. what does it mean for us to be in a position to interrupt it. i had this privilege and power and i run this circle. >> so you are like maybe i need to turn this into a workshop. >> so, we talk about history. >> yeah, there is a couple of steps so i entered grad school and i was in the classroom space y'all got me f'ed up. you don't know how to treat black people. >> did you get your phd? >> yes. >> so i should call you doctor? >> yes, you know? my wife has a phd.
she makes me call her doctor around the house. >> i mean, i am not going to fight. it feels like either black people showing up who are like yeah, you know what i mean? it is like white people showing up, oh my god, i never had any of these thoughts. one of them is not being served, you know what i mean? >> a lot of issues of intersection of suppression becomes real here. white people are problematic, black people play into that, too, even you. what does it mean in this space? >> just for the record as i came in here, one of the producers told me that you are related to sonny listed. i am not going to ask any questions because that's not what we are here to talk about. >> okay, i represent though. >> i like that.
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you had chicago or new york or anywhere not milwaukee. according to a study by the university of wisconsin of madison, the state lost an average of 14,000 college graduates per year in 2008 and 2012. that's called brain drain. it hurts milwaukee's ability to innovate or grow economically over the years. there are people trying to keep the brains here. people like a harvard educator
entrepreneur and her brother, producer with a packed resume who you know him by winning an oscar. >> do you believe in injustice? >> i do. >> slavery is evil. >> the feel good movie. >> the thing i have to learn about slavery to execute "12 years" that there is a system that puts in place. to make it work, you have to get so many people involved. that's the thing that hurts the most, we see it still happening. they grew up in milwaukee, like many people they left for career in new york or los angeles. and ours collected that takes people's dreams of show business and show how they can be a reality. >> i remember as a kid to be a
young black guy in milwaukee, thinking about, i want to be a writer or an artist or i want to work in film, it seems like a million miles away. 30 years later to actually accomplish those things and realize there are other young kids, black s and hispanics and asians and gays or straights or whatever. people can do the things they love but do it from milwaukee. >> what if we were to embrace all those talents instead of systemically suppressing it. >> it is a suburb in milwaukee. there were no black folks where we grew up and virtually known. >> even when we moved into that neighborhood as few black people that were in that, we all lived on that block. >> we all lived on that block. >> that block was a black
section. >> you were treated not quite as american as everyone else and you begin to internalize that. >> we had it good by comparisons and my father, he was a serviceman and he volunteered and he was in the air force. he just tells us stories of coming up to milwaukee and stopping in a restaurant and when he came back out of the car with our mom, and he was just approached by this group of white people. he thought if he didn't have a baby with hip,m, he would have
been beaten. he would end up on this board, other, i am the first black man in this committee. he was not saying it in a bragging way but talking about his experience. wow, was it amazing? when you are black and particularly black in milwaukee, you did something, you became that first person and you led by example. our parents fought and stood up. i think the thing that we wanted to do was create a space and let people know that these things are not accidental. part of what we want to do is make people realize that you can be comfortable with anybody. what are the things that we have in common or enjoy. you got to get people working together. that's really the thing. >> i like this. i am about to come back. i am going to get you commit on camera. when this episode is ready to air, can we come back here and do a screening here? >> yeah, we can make it work. >> are you kidding? >> absolutely. >> on camera. >> it is a binding contract.
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i am meeting a ststudent activi. they are part of leaders of transformation or lit for sure which takes on issues of race of milwaukee education system. after i passed the concussion protocol and took a hit for my buffer, it was a time for people of color meeting. >> we feel the need to combine black and young people to not only make our city better and ease tension. >> in milwaukee is a big deal. >> we are all people of color. bringing black and brown youths together. they have like white staffs, how
are you going to do that? we need to throw the whole thing away and start alone. >> the whole thing, what's the thing? >> concept of public education. >> okay. >> all right. tearing it down may not be a bad idea. >> last year lit in the center for democracy showing milwaukee see students making the body. that's double the national rate. not only that, more than 100 black students were expelled for things white students were just sus suspended over. that's the pipeline action. while the system is obviously racist, it would affect the students more which is subtle ways when it comes to race. >> last year we had to pick organizations to work with.
my teachers wanted me to help out foster homes. oh why and she was like oh don't you come from a foster care? and i was like where did you get that from? i just -- you are just what? >> that i was racist? >> i was like when she was just talking about and it just happened this year. it was tacky wednesday. >> i already don't like it. >> i was all crazy. my hair was crazy. and so one of the faculties came into my classroom and she gave me this college letter or something. she continues to say, you know what you remind me of? a doll. i went to google what i thought she said and she said no, that's not how you spell it and she retyped it in and searched it.
>> let me direct you to racism. this is what that doll looks like and nope, she does not look like that. nobody does. >> i will give you all the harry potter magic or whatever you want, what would you do to fix this problem. >> when you meet someone you see a glimpse of their past. it would make us take a step back and think about it. >> i like that, that was deep. >> yeah, yeah. >> so admit it, you knew it was a matter of time before we talk about criminal justice system. milwaukee folks are so caught up in the system that it had the most incarcerated zip codes in the country. 62% and in milwaukee as a whole of blacks at some point been behind bars.
i am meeting with some of the plaintiffs, and david crowley and jerry english. >> have you heard of that? >> i heard it everywhere i went. i went to new york. when i told people i was from wisconsin, they had their eyes opened. >> which part of wisconsin? did you guys have cows? >> no cows, bro. i had the same reaction you just had. i am a celebrity? >> talk about why the aclu got involved in this and stories that's not about black people being killed by cops. it is harder to tell and harder for people to understand the racism. >> it is absolutely pervasive and not just cities like
milwaukee but especially milwaukee and other cities as well. what we ended up finding out is the city of milwaukee and police department own data. we found they stopped 150,000 people unconstitutionally. >> the numbers are ridiculous. what's hard to measure is the emotional toll that you are not doing anything wrong and you can end up dead for nothing. >> listen from steven who was walking home from class and randomly accused of smoking marijuana for no reason. >> he stopped and stared at me. if you make any sudden movement, you can be on the pavement and it is his words against nobody. >> what if you did smell ike weed? >> right? >> you did smell like a robbery. >> if i was a white man walking through that field, i would not have been stopped, maybe given you a ride hope.
>> yeah. >> it was a sunday afternoon and i was driving home and i notice there was a squad car behind and sirens went off, both officers get off the car and they approached. they told me whatever reasons my plates did not match the car. so, the cop that was in the driver's side goes and checks my information and takes my id. the other cop is still staring in the car and he starts playing his holster with his gun. this was after philando castile killed. i tell myself don't say anything and don't get enraged or mad. finally the cops came back and they walked away and i literally
turned around and wait for them to pull off. the rage and anger that i felt in that moment, to know that your life can be on a thread like that is as fine line. to them was just a sniff and that's it. >> there are people who are going to hear you tell that story and go what's the big deal, nothing happened. why are you so angry? that's the crazy part. i remember telling that story to people and it was like when you see a scary movie and the killer is twin. imagine having somebody who has a weapon right in front of you and they are toying with the very thing that's been responsible of neutralization of people's lives. if you don't see the fear in that, i don't know what else to tell you. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> one lady came in, do you get
tired of having these conversations as a black man. you know what, yes. understand this is the only way i am going to make sure my children see something different. we are the ones that have to come world cupup with a solutio. we are the solution to this and understanding that we need some partners. >> that's why we did this, changing the community and changing the way that policing take place. >> you all got the source checked, right? >> i have not gotten mine either.
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take the story of marie hamilton's son. >> i don't go to the cemetery because daunte's blood and life is here. >> the police were actually called on three occasions. the first time they went and spoke with him and they came to t the conclusion that he was not doing anything wrong and involved in anybody so they left. >> the manager called a personal
friend on the force the scene, officer manny, officer manny confronted dontrey. >> dontrey was startled and jumped up. he did a legal pat down and dontrey resisted. dontrey had not been bothering anyone even according to cops at the scene. >> his life was taken because a manager of starbucks profiling him as a homeless man. w 14 bullets in broad daylight,
unimaginable. >> right. >> following the shooting, the milwaukee police said dontrey had a prior arrest and claimed that it connected to his mental health issues. >> was any of that true? >> none of that was true. in 2016 he was diagnosed with paranoia. >> there is a notion that anybody with mental issues can turn violent. that's not the case overwhelmingly. >> why are the cops and first responders and so many -- in
2017, mental illness was a factor of 25% of police shootings. >> a couple of weeks before he died. >> i noticed all these pictures he was smiling. >> that was his uniqueness. >> dontrey smiles all the time. when his life was taken from us, we don't know what to do. >> adding to marie's grief, police did not file criminal charges against officer manny, they said his use of deadly force, 14 shot s all i ever wanted was the truth. so i was poising for a fight, trying to get the truth. >> whenever a black youth or a black person is murdered by a police officer, often we see the moms step up.
>> if we don't save our babies, they're not going to save us. >> maria and the others of eric garner, trayvon martin, jordan davis, michael brown, sandra bland, tamir rice, have joined forces to help each other and fight for police reform. maria has also started her own group, mothers for justice united to support all the moms whose families have been devastated by police violence. it's an indictment of our entire country that we even need these groups. i wish you didn't have to do this work and i wish you don't feel compelled to do that work, but i thank you for that work. >> thank you. whoever's voice i need to be, i will be that voice, until their parent or their loved ones are strong enough to fight for them. >> thank you.
from the videos to the conversations so far, it's clear that at the heart of all these issues is prejudice, but more specifically, racial bias. while some of you may point to extreme examples like the klan or the alt-right and say, hey, that's not me, pal -- i've got bad news. everybody acts on their racial biases all the time without even thinking about it. we just don't all have racism to back us up. acting on racial bias when you don't realize it is called implicit bias, like a white lady in the park seeing a person of color and seeing a threat or criminal, not giving that person a benefit of the doubt as a human who likes to barbecue, and might have contract if you're friendly. >> a lot of the research is focused on racial attitudes and asks in surveys, are you racist? and people say no. so 100% of people aren't racist. >> university of wisconsin madison professor john diamond, an expert on the subject. >> i was not familiar with the term implicit bias until about
four years ago. because something happened to me that was later described as implicit bias. i was calling it racism. >> yeah, so tony greenwald established project implicit about 20 years ago. what they were trying to figure out, what's going on in people's minds before they're able to think about what's the socially responsible answer? so the way to think about implicit bias is you don't have to necessarily dislike people of other races to be affected by it, right? it's in everything that you do. somebody walks through a door and it's a man, you have some assumptions about what that means. we've also been conditioned to not talk about it, right? >> researchers from harvard and the university of virginia have created a test that can measure a person's implicit bias. the idea being, if we can measure it, maybe we can dismantle it what they find is people have a hard time associating good characteristics with black faces. >> is that everybody? >> it's about 80% of white people. >> yeah?
what about black people? >> for black people we're less likely to favor white people, but we tend to favor white people slightly. the challenge is thinking about not just what people's intentions are, but how do you grow up in a world where white supremacy is embedded in everything, and you need it in in a way that gets into your subconscious? >> there's a test? >> there is. >> i feel like i'm hip to this stuff. is it smarter than me i guess is what i'm saying? >> i think it is. >> we ask the question many of you have had for three seasons. how racist is ka how? >> i would accept an invitation to a new year's eve party given by a white couple in my home? if i didn't do that, i wouldn't be able to hang out with my in-laws, strongly agree. >> the first part of the test is situational answers that aren't yes or no. pick the level to which you agree or disagree. most white people can't be trusted to deal honestly with black people? uh -- i'm going to cover this from cnn's eyes. i don't mean my bosses at cnn.
you guys are great with black tv hosts. the second part of the host is a little more tricky. quickly pick black and bite faces and decide if certain words are good or bad. this is what the test looks like. you can find it here. but this is what the test feels like. >> i don't like this. i don't like this at all. all right. your data suggests a moderate automatic preference for confirm confirms over europeans. moderate preference for black people. that's my brand. whether you agree with what the results were, it's the conversations they have after the results. what does it mean? what are the implications of that? it does mean stuff. you connect it to how people react in school, discipline, policing, all those things, it
matters. >> i think we'll make everybody on the crew take it. i already know who on the crew is going to have a strong preference for black people. what's up, duane? this week in milwaukee has featured a bunch of great people black meetings and one people of color meeting. hopefully it gives you a sense of what people of color are coming to and what people of color talk about regularly. we have a homework assignment. go and take the implicit bias test. whether you think you're biased or not, racism is a part of your life, with or without you knowing it. if we measure it, hopefully we can disman it. white folks, if you don't think about your own bias, there's a chance you're going to end up in one of those videos, harassing people who don't deserve it or even worse, getting someone killed. ♪
i'm w. kamau bell. and on this episode of "united shades of america," we're talking all things white supremacy. the obvious stuff and the more subtle, insidious versions. we filmed this before covid-19 hit and months before the police in minneapolis killed george floyd. and before all the protests that followed. before many of us had ever heard of reforming, abolishing or defunding the police. and before the president and his cronies used racism to describe the coronavirus, which led to a rise in hate crimes against aids yan-americans. yep. you don't have to look to history to see racism. just watch the news. but the question is, are we finally ready to do the work it takes to really make america the just, equity and great place it's always claimed to be? ah, the first episode of "united shades of america." such an innocent time.
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