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tv   The Nineties  CNN  January 21, 2023 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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highly accomplished guy, who at two key inflection points in history, stood up and offered powerful leadership. that man's gone, unfortunately. it's tragic. we have to ask ourselves, when was the last time we talked about race with somebody of another race? and if the answer is never, we're part of the problem.
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>> go home! >> it's like a bomb. we're sitting on a bomb. >> you can have a black person killed with a video, then this is what you'll get. >> this is a revolution. >> should people be frightened? >> i think people should wake up. it's 1991. wake up. >> we have talked at each other and about each other for a long time. it's high time we all began talking with each other. >> no justice, no peace! >> can we all get along? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ in about 20 minutes from now david dinkins, who is now mayor dinkins, is scheduled to step out from city hall and take a public oath of office and become new york city's 106th mayor and the city's first african-american mayor. >> i intend to be the mayor of all the people of new york. >> david dinkins being inaugurated on new year's day in 1990 is an auspicious start to the decade and really a culmination of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. people are starting to see tangible benefits of that struggle. >> a grandson of slaves was sworn in today as the nation's first elected black governor.
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>> did you ever think you'd see the day when a black man would be elected governor of virginia? >> no, indeedy. i was born in the '30s. you know i didn't think nothing like that going to happen. >> after we saw hundreds of black elected officials, the reality set in that we made a step, but we had not gotten all the way to where we wanted. >> last year's mayoral campaign dinkins ran as the candidate who would heal new york's deep racial divisions. now he finds himself scrambling to keep ahead of a situation that is becoming highly volatile. >> an angry crowd roamed through the crown heights section of brooklyn demanding justice after a motorist, a hasidic man, ran a red light and hit two black children, killing one and critically injuring the other. a hasidic student was stabbed to death hours after the accident. >> for several days, there was rioting. blacks attacking jews. i got the blame for that.
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>> we've got to increase the peace. increase the peace. >> when mayor dinkins went to crown heights to try and ease tensions, he was booed and forced to retreat. >> i think that too often, many black elected officials have conned white america telling them what they want to hear and letting them go to bed feeling it's cool. and it's not cool. >> we will come together and do those things necessary to protect everyone. >> there was no one truth. the blacks, of course, called that a murder. the jews called it an accident. there were two completely different realities. >> david dinkins was trying to please everybody, and he was being pulled in all these different directions trying to prove that he wasn't just a black mayor. >> your mayor works for you. you got a commissioner, commissioner brown, working for you. >> similar tensions are simmering in cities across america. legions of young black men and women, unemployed and losing hope, believe they have been abandoned by the larger society, and they are angry.
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>> new york city is symptomatic of what's happening in the nation in the early 1990s and what one writer described as a season of racial tension. it really is complicated by the fact that you have african-americans dealing with stifling poverty and inequality and police injustice that's being perpetrated against people of color. rodney king in 1991 exposed some of that when his beating was captured on camera. >> in los angeles, outrage grows over a videotape of police beating an unarmed motorist. >> explosive case involving white police officers -- >> -- beating a man they had just pulled over -- amateur cameraman recorded it all. >> we here in los angeles was just struck by the maliciousness of what we saw. the inhumane sense of this person struggling on the ground being battered repeatedly. >> this is 1991, and things haven't changed as far as minority is concerned. if you're black and you're
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mexican, you're going to have a problem with law enforcement. >> city officials have received thousands of angry phone calls from across the united states. >> when the rodney king video hit, everybody in the hood was like, okay, finally, they caught them. what's going to happen now? now that they have shown a lynching on tv. >> multiple officers from multiple agencies witnessed this, and not one single officer that night ever reported that anything had gone wrong. that to me suggested there's a deeper problem than just a couple of bad apples. >> another widely publicized incident captured on videotape has become a focus for ethnic tensions between the black and korean communities in los angeles. >> two weeks after the rodney king video goes worldwide, a young girl in south central los angeles walks into a korean american-owned grocery store to get a bottle of organization juice. >> the security camera caught the dispute. store owner soon ja du thought 15-year-old latasha harlins was going to steal some orange juice. there was a scuffle. harlins struck du then turned to leave the store. du produced a handgun and shot harlins in the back of the head. >> that it should come so
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quickly after king and both should be on video i think really had the sense for many people of saying, okay, now we finally have evidence of what we've been complaining about. >> a jury convicted du of voluntary manslaughter. judge joyce carlin sentenced du to parole and community service but no jail time. >> he got away with murder. >> you can have a black person killed with a video with eyewitnesss, and this is what you'll get. >> stop killing our children! we want justice! >> the case has become a symbol of tensions between african americans and the koreans who have become successful merchants in many of the poorest black neighborhoods. >> south los angeles had been kind of abandoned by a lot of commercial entities. there weren't many markets. so liquor stores became like the stand-in, the place that you would go for cigarettes, diapers, milk, whatever. >> why don't you open a market that we can use for our families? >> go back to korea. ♪ every time i want to go ♪
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♪ i got to go down to the store with the gook ♪ ♪ make a mad enough to ♪ >> rapper ice cube continues to draw heavy fire for the scab russ lyrics on his new album "death certificate." on the album, he threatens to burn down the stores of korean grocers if they don't treat black customers with more deference. >> the album was in my headphones for the whole year. cube was reflecting on his experiences with koreans, and a lot of asians didn't have a voice at that time. so there was no way for us to really talk back. ♪ we'll burn your store right down to a crisp ♪ ♪ then we'll see ya ♪ ♪ in the black korea ♪ >> i just tell what's real. if the truth hurts, say ouch. i ain't sorry about it at all. the pepperoni on panera's new toasted baguette. is sliced a little thicker. to hold more flavor. so when fresh mozzarella melts over it...
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supreme court justice thurgood marshall has announced that he will retire. he was the court's most forceful liberal voice and the only black in court history. it is the definitive end of an era. >> thurgood marshall was the lawyer on brown versus board of education. he was on the supreme court to give a voice to black americans. >> i kept my word to the american people and to the senate by picking the best man for the job on the merits. the fact he's minority, so much the better. >> judge, what do you say to critics who say the only reason you're being picked is because you're black? >> i think a lot worse things have been said. i disagree with that, but i'll have to live with it. >> the senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the supreme
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court nomination of clarence thomas. but now some lawmakers are concerned about the accusation of sexual harassment dating back ten years. >> anita hill enters the room now. >> democrats were going to challenge clarence thomas on the basis of his conservative views. his race was not going to be an issue. but i think the anita hill allegations brought race back into the picture. >> the senate judiciary committee is meeting to hear evidence on sexual harassment charges that have been made against judge clarence thomas. >> he spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals. >> this seemingly personal matter is being aired out in front of this jury of all-white men. and it created quite a spectacle. >> this is a circus, and from my standpoint as a black american, as far as i'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks. >> clarence thomas decided to
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fight back by evoking one of the most painful elements of black history, which was designed to point out the burden of being black. >> the final count was 52-48. the closest successful confirmation vote in supreme court history. >> no matter how difficult or how painful the process has been, this is a time for healing in our country. >> it's not exactly a rage, but it's definitely a much noted trend. a whole new wave of black films with black stars by black directors. right now in new york, a new black film is being premiered just about every week. among those drawing impressive reviews is "boys in the hood" directed by john singleton. >> i really wanted to make a film that voiced what i had seen growing up as a black man in los angeles. los angeles police department, i mean, they were kind of occupying force. it really became a war zone. >> i didn't do nothing. >> think you're tough, huh?
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>> the four los angeles police officers who appeared in that videotape of the rodney king beating went on trial today. >> defense attorneys claiming they couldn't get a fair trial in los angeles got the case moved to more conservative neighboring ventura county. >> it felt like these officers were being sent to a very friendly venue and certainly a more friendly venue than a downtown l.a. jury would have been. >> the defense picked apart the videotape, and every image was turned around to say, see where king is threatening the police officers? and it is not about race, it's about king resisting. >> you didn't see him to have a weapon, did you? >> yes, i did see him to have a weapon. >> what kind of a weapon did mr. king have? >> it was his body. >> we're ready. we're well prepared to take care of any eventuality no matter what it might be. >> all right, the clerk will read the verdicts. >> we, the jury, find the defendant, stacy c.koon, not guilty of the crime of assault -- >> this is a stunning verdict.
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i don't think many people were expecting this, certainly not the -- >> it struck us all with great disgust because we thought that by those pictures, even fairminded people would know the injustice of what happened to him. >> there is no justice. >> there is no justice. >> the first and perhaps most spontaneous reaction came from "boys in the hood" director john singleton. >> it's just like a bomb, it's a bomb, we're sitting on a bomb. >> they let these people off from attempted murder of rodney king. i told everybody, listen, it's going to go down. >> no justice, no peace! no justice, no peace! >> i was at parker center, which is the police headquarters at the time, when the verdicts were announced. the crowd began to gather. it began to turn more and more violent. parker center has a glass entrance, and people were throwing rocks at the doors. i was inside with the police commissioners, and they were frantically searching for gates. it turned out this gates was unreachable because he was at a fund-raiser. >> i was standing in front of parker center trying to protect the building, and my wife said,
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"are you watching television? they're beating a guy up in the middle of florence and normandy." >> terrible, terrible pictures. >> in our living rooms, we saw in realtime reginald denny smashed with a big cement block. >> and there's no police presence down here. they will not enter the area. >> it sent a message to everybody else that, this is a free-for-all. there are no police. there's nobody that's going to stop you. so people poured into the streets. and the violence spread from that. >> no justice, no peace! >> where's lapd? what the hell's going on here? once you don't control something like that early on, it explodes and continues to explode. and that's what happened here. >> martin luther king jr. said that riots are the language of the unheard. in the song, they're saying this is how america gonna hear you.
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we're gonna take this thing over, we're gonna put our foot to the pedal, and we're gonna drive this nation in the direction it needs to go in. ♪ bloods and crips on the same squad ♪ ♪ time to rob and mob ♪ >> dusk to dawn city-wide curfew is in effect in los angeles at this hour, and still the fires burn. >> i didn't realize personally the extent of the damage until i went home the next morning. and i couldn't believe how many buildings were burned. it was going on all over the city. >> of 7,000 korean-owned businesses, 1,700 were ruined. >> don't people realize what they're doing is wrong? this is not the way to overcome racism. >> people remember the latasha halni ins shooting and say, you're the ones who come into our community and take our money and don't give anything back to the community. those korean stores were targeted, and in some cases those shop owners were targeted. >> most koreans came in the late '70s and early '80s. you're still dealing with the
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first generation of koreans. in korea, they all have to go through military service. so they just became weekend commandos. >> these korean shopowners defended their property with bullets. >> all the gun shops in korea town lent out all their guns, and they just mobilized. and the young guys, they told us just to patrol the streets. we could make our parents proud and we could stick up for our community. >> it turn into the biggest rebellion riot in the history of the united states of america since the civil war. >> for the first time since the verdict, the world heard from rodney king. >> people, i just want to say, you know, can we all get along? can we get along? >> rodney king is not a public spokesman. he's not an activist. he was a victim of a police beating. clearly, he didn't know what to say. i mean, what is there to say? you beat the shit out of me and i'm still alive. [ bleep ] you. that's what you should say.
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the death toll is now up to 43, equaling the record set by the detroit riots in 1967. now this city tries to recover. >> i grabbed the broom just to sweep, because the ashes were everywhere. all of a sudden coming right at me was channel 9. they go, what are you doing? i say, i'm sweeping. i don't know what else to do. half hour later, there was like
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three, five, 12 people with brooms. "well, we saw you on the news, man, we came out to help you." by 6:00 in the afternoon, there were thousands of people. >> as armed national guard troops deployed, these people armed themselves with trash bags and brooms to begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up what's left of their burned-out neighborhoods. >> we need to get the youth to understand that there's another alternative for venting your anguish and your frustration. >> it took three days to destroy it and it took three days to clean it up. i was very proud. ♪ i am black first ♪ ♪ i am african first i am black first ♪ ♪ i want what's good for me and black people first ♪ >> if my survival means your total destruction, then so be it, you really feel that? >> yes, i feel that way only because i feel america is giving black people no other choice.
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>> sister souljah is a rapper. she's an activist and she does not sanitize her message for the public. >> we all have to come together and find some common ground. >> how do you find a common ground in an all-white united states senate? show me a common ground. >> as she rises in prominence and becomes much more vocally outspoken, a number of her statements are held up of an example of black hatred of white people. >> sister souljah told the "washington post" about a month ago, and i quote, if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week we can kill white people? >> in running for office, the democratic candidate bill clinton decided to seize on that particular sentence and pull it out of context. >> if you took the words white and black and you reversed them, you might think david duke was giving that speech. >> bill clinton denounced sister souljah in front of jesse jackson, so he's signaling to whites that he is not a typical liberal. >> i think that bill clinton is
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like a lot of white politicians. they eat soul food, they party with black women, they play the saxophone, but when it comes to domestic and foreign policy, they make the same decisions that are destructive to african american people in this country and throughout the world. >> the next president of the united states of america, governor bill clinton. >> clinton is the first democrat to be elected since 1976. he's a governor from a southern state, and he was representing himself as someone who could speak to the african american community. >> our diversity can be a source of strength in a world that's ever smaller. where everyone counts and everyone is a part of america's family. >> it's a new day in america. >> six women will serve in the new u.s. senate, including the first black woman. >> most women credit anita hill with starting this political movement. they say the rage they felt at her treatment by the senate
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judiciary committee fueled their campaigns. >> it was a hopeful time when women began seizing some of these offices. it sensitized women and minorities to the fact that our voices have to be heard. and the real way to have them be heard is to be holding the reins of power. >> $2.4 million. that's great box office for a wednesday, and that's what opening day crowds paid out to see "malcolm x." >> it's hard to miss the phenomenon called spike lee. spike lee is a black man who has reached the top of white culture. and he's done it his way. >> "malcolm x's" really impressive achievement in terms of not being one of these small, independent, emergent new voices connected to hip-hop, but instead a big-budget 3 hour 20 minute epic about a very important african american figure.
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>> i asked if he was worried the movie would not appeal to a broad audience. >> if it's good enough, people are going to come. the minute black artists start thinking about crossover, they start diluting the work, watering it down, and the work suffers. >> when we look at the john singletons and the spikes, all the way across the board, this became the era where we took charge of our own culture, our own cultural icons, and telling our own stories expressed either in music or in theater or in cinema. >> in los angeles, one woman is stirring memories and trying to bring about an understanding of the events that tore that city apart a little more than a year ago. her name is anna devear smith. and she has taken the riot and turned it into theater. >> twilight bay, that's my name. >> twilight is one of 26 people deavere smith becomes in this one woman tour de force. >> that was the mexicans over there. that wasn't us.
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>> i thought of the los angeles riots as like this explosion of like a trunk or a house that exploded, and everything's all over the place. then as an artist it's this incredible opportunity to put it together in a way that makes sense. >> there's so many different kinds of us, of americans now, with so many different kinds of ideas about what is just and what is not. >> whenever you have a volatile period of racial strife in america, there's always a big pop culture surge of black voices. >> i'm hopeful and heartened and flattered that people want to come and see this, which is about race, which is this big taboo. it's the uncomfortableness of being different, and that that is being paid attention to makes me happy. ♪ celebrate every kiss. with 20-40% off engagement, wedding and anniversary rings. only at kay. back when i had a working circulatory system,
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>> we thought that the evidence was overwhelming. there is no doubt, this is the man who committed the crime. >> you're looking at a live picture right now. you believe that to be o.j. simpson down there below you? >> o.j. was a guy who felt like he was above race. he became the exceptional hollywood negro. he had a blonde wife. lived in brentwood. he played the role very well. >> o.j. is sitting in the passenger seat with a gun pointed at his own head. >> if the person that had murdered two white people was a street thug, it wouldn't have been this big case. but it was this big icon. >> we understand o.j. is in custody. >> you don't want to believe that this kind of person would have done this. >> how do you plead to counts one and two? >> absolutely, 100% not guilty. >> legal analysts say simpson's demeanor was orchestrated by his newly expanded legal team which now includes johnnie cochran. >> johnnie cochran was a hero to the l.a. black community because
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he had exposed police misconduct to african americans. >> the eyes of the world are focused here in los angeles where the much-anticipated murder trial of o.j. simpson is about to begin. >> that trail of blood through his own ford bronco and into his house in rockingham is devastating proof of his guilt. >> clark shows the jurors pictures of the death scene, bloody footprints, the knit cap, one of the bloody gloves. >> the fact that blood mysteriously appears on vital pieces of evidence is devastating evidence of something far more sinister. >> the notion that the los angeles police department would unfairly treat an african american suspect in 1994 was far from outlandish, and no one knew that better than johnny cochran. >> can you please describe the appearance of the glove, sir? >> a dark leather glove that appeared to be somewhat moist or st sticky. >> we knew early on that detective fuhrman had issues in his background. >> you say on your oath that you have not spoken about black people as niggers in the past ten years? >> that's what i'm saying, sir.
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>> the o.j. simpson trial is in chaos tonight, and today's free-for-all could very well decide the ultimate outcome. >> the fuhrman tapes, a ticking time bomb in the simpson trial, blew up today. >> it becomes evident late in the trial that mark fuhrman has worked with a l.a. screenwriter and made tapes of what police life is like. >> the defense offered 41 examples of fuhrman using the word [ bleep ]. something he swore on the witness stand he has not done in the last ten years. >> the defense wants desperately to prove that fuhrman is capable of manufacturing evidence to bolster their claim that he planted the bloody glove found at o.j. simpson's estate. >> detective fuhrman, would you resume the witness stand. >> was the testimony you gave at the preliminary hearing in this case completely truthful? >> i wish to assert my fifth amendment privilege. >> the defense tried,
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successfully, to turn this case into a referendum on mark fuhrman in particular and the lapd in general. >> absolutely no one would have predicted it, after a trial that has lasted three-quarters of a year, the jury in the o.j. simpson trial has taken less than four hours to reach a verdict. >> mr. simpson, would you please stand and face the jury? >> most people can tell you where they were sitting when that verdict came down. >> we the jury in the above had been entitled action find the defendant orenthal james simpson not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of penal code 187-a, a felony upon nicole brown simpson, a human being, as charged in count one of the information. >> oh, my word. >> the question wasn't whether o.j. was guilty or innocent, the question was whether the jury had been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the prosecution had sustained its burden. at the end, they decided they had not.
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>> nobody's celebrating the fact that this horrific crime occurred. they're celebrating what feels like payback for rodney king, even for latasha harlins, for a system and for conditions that have just ignored them. >> o.j. is innocent! free as a bird. >> in recent weeks, every one of us have been made aware of a simple truth. white americans and black americans often see the same world in drastically different ways. ways that go beyond and beneath the simpson trial and its aftermath which brought these perceptions so starkly into the open. almost 30 years ago, dr. martin luther king took his last march in memphis. today's march is about black men taking renewed responsibility
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for themselves, their families, and their communities. >> welcome to the million man march! >> there are big goings-on in the nation's capital today. this is an enormous crowd of black american men and boys and, yes, even some women. >> i remember the power of stepping out of the d.c. metro and seeing this sea of faces of color on the national mall. >> the million man march was called for by louis farrakhan, who is the head of the nation of islam. >> the basic reason that this was called is for atonement and reconciliation. >> he's always been a controversial figure because of his anti-semitic utterances, but the march becomes bigger than louis farrakhan. >> why do we march? because we're trapped for second-class schools and first-class jails. >> we've been locked up, we've been brutalized.
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this became the first mass expression we could make together that we need to be regarded and respected and heal this racial breach. >> we aren't all drug dealers. you know, run around shooting each other and stuff like that. we can come together and have a positive message. >> when you start standing with our mothers, when you stick it out with your families, when you start mentoring our young, then we can build a new nation of strong people. >> i had to get out of that kind of like time bomb mentality that growing up in south central l.a. gives you. i think the march gave me a sense of hope that things could get better. >> long live the spirit of the million man march!
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it was a show of force on the steps of new york city hall. 10,000 off-duty cops banded together in protest, fed up and angry with the city they claim doesn't back them up. >> income knock them all down! >> david dinkins pisses off the police because he talks about civilian review boards, he talks about accountability for police brutality.
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and so we see predominantly white police officers screaming over racial slurs at the black mayor. >> that kind of language, racial slurs, separate and apart from the destruction of property and whatnot, that is why some people have an absence of confidence in the police department. >> the reason the morale of the police department is so low is one reason and one reason alone -- david dinkins. >> in some ways it was easy to blame david dinkins for things that weren't his fault. and along comes giuliani with his pro-cop stance. there was an audience for this sort of message, as there often is. >> today the new york police are being taught to take a different tack. to clean up the neighborhood aggressively, to visibly improve the quality of life as the first step in crime reduction. >> it's the broken windows theory. this idea that there were small quality of life crimes, and if you could stop that, you would set up a very peaceful and
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orderly society. and that really becomes a process of racial profiling that disproportionally targeted young black men as potential criminals. >> we're out there. they have more foot posts out there. more police officers walking the beat. >> hi. how are you? >> if i were to put police on every corner in america, of course crime would go down. but the question is, at what cost? for black people it was a sense of community, a sense of dignity, a sense of respect from law enforcement. >> with the majority of americans worrying about their quality of life, in california, the easygoing tolerance of earlier decades has frayed. >> at the ballot box, what we see in california, which is the sort of leading edge of this trend, is a whole number of different types of initiatives that are meant to further contain communities of color. >> tens of thousands of californians marched through downtown los angeles today to demonstrate against proposition 187, which would bar illegal
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immigrants from public schools, nonemergency medical services, and welfare rolls. >> we are as american as anybody else and we deserve an education -- >> opponents say the emotionally divisive measure plays on prejudice against latinos. supporters say it will help stanch the flow of illegal immigrants to california. >> pete wilson is pinning his re-election hopes on anti-immigrant sentiment. >> we are going to take back california for the working, taxpaying families of this state. >> the main undercurrent of all of the different measures that were being held from 1994 onward dealt with fear, fear of the other, of an expanding demographic. >> it's that kind of incident that has generated so much heat in california where there's a controversial ballot measure to end preference for minorities -- >> proposition 209 would end all race and gender considerations in public education, government contracts and hiring. >> you begin to see all these policies and all these bills against affirmative action in
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attempting to address crime. and all of it feels like secret agent talk for black people. >> there have been 376 murders so far this year. in washington, many of them gang and drug related. >> another night of gang violence in los angeles. two young men killed.related. >> another night of gang violence in los angeles. two young men killed. >> in chicago, eight people murdered since friday. violent crime is an issue that haunts the president and one he plans to address with new proposals next month. >> you gave me this job, and we're making progress on the things you hired me to do. but unless we deal with the ravages of crime and drug and violence, none of the other things we seek to do will ever take us where we need to go. >> the crime bill became lock 'em up, throw the key away, three strikes you're out. in their zest to govern, that we can stop this, it was an overreach. >> in the bill, the penalties for powdered cocaine and crack were different. >> powder cocaine, a drug of choice among mostly middle and upper-class abusers. crack cocaine, a cheaper, faster
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high for its mostly poor users. chemically the drugs are virtually identical, but not in federal court. an arrest for five grams of crack brings a mandatory five years in federal prison. but you get the same five-year sentence for 500 gram of powder cocaine. the law was designed to help clean up crack-infested communities but instead has become another wedge between blacks and whites. >> all these absurd laws are putting people in prison for lengthy terms, and we all know the imbalances of the way people are imprisoned, who gets incarcerated for the longer periods of time. it's always people of color. suddenly you have this massive group of primarily black men going to prison. >> president clinton had a political strategy of saying, we're going to be tough on crime, but we're going to be socially receptive. and the democratic party started moving to the right, playing the racial political lines. >> welfare as we know it is now history.
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president clinton today signed the legislation that ends a government commitment made 61 years ago of federal aid to the nation's poorest. >> what ultimately happens is that there are the unanticipated consequences. for example, they didn't take into account child care. if you're going to put people back to work, who is ultimately going to take care of the children that are left home? and it was these questions that exposed the weakness of the bill. >> i tried to go to work, but i really didn't have child care. i was in school. i was doing something, not just sitting around doing nothing. >> so you want to work? >> of course. >> welfare becomes racialized in
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do you know? do you know? do you know? do you know? >> these nike sneaker commercials are an example of just how strong black selling power is. >> if i could be like mike. >> black culture had always been influential, but, culturally speaking, the '90s is really the decade when black culture is solidified as the mainstream of american culture. and you have his sharp rising of black superstars making movies and music, from will smith to jay-z. >> so, how does it feel to be number one? >> it's a beautiful thing. like, number one in the whole
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country, that's a major accomplishment. >> there was a lot of people experiencing success, visibly. >> the most prestigious award for literature has gone today to the american novelist toni morrison, the nobel prize. >> i think i am the first african-american to win the nobel prize. >> you are. >> and that is astonishing. >> suddenly, people who we looked to as heroes and as markers of dignity and grace and talent and success, suddenly, america was looking at them, too. this represents a new understanding of diversity, a new understanding of american possibility. >> everybody wanted to be like us. everybody wanted to talk like us. everybody wanted to see our movies. they wanted to listen to our music. they wanted to wear our clothes. and some people felt like we lost that war, that revolution in the early '60s and the '70s, but we won the war in pop culture in the '90s. >> every city has cases of police brutality, but few are as brutal as the alleged attack against haitian immigrant abner louima. >> nearly 2,000 demonstrators marched on the 70th precinct
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yesterday, where abner louima says police beat him and sodomized him. the attack comes at a time when new york has gained new respect for its plummeting crime rate, but complaints about police misconduct are soaring. >> the plastic cups covered the shell casings from 41 bullets fired by police after they confronted amadou diallo, a 22-year-old west african immigrant, who may have been reaching for his keys. >> amadou! amadou! >> in many ways, the '90s ends the way it starts, with a spotlight on violence against black bodies by law enforcement. abner louima, amadou diallo, two people who did not deserve to be on the wrong side of state violence were. >> no justice! >> no peace! >> no justice! >> no peace! >> in our community, we live with that fear that it could be one of our brothers or one of our nephews or one of our sons. and i just wish everyone could understand. >> diallo has become a martyr to
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some, a symbol of a price paid in new york's war against crime. rudolph giuliani has countered the outrage with carefully selected statistics. >> shots fired by police officers has decreased by 50%. >> and steadfast support for the nypd. >> the new york city police department is the most restrained. substantially more restrained. it's among the most restrained police departments in the country. >> many people thought that even though times had progressed, in other ways, some of the images were not that much different than images people might have associated with the '50s and '60s. >> we thought maybe we'd gotten past all this stuff, but it keeps happening. and it was a reminder that while the '90s represented so much growth, so much progress, we still had so much further to go. >> in every society, there is a fragile balance between order and freedom. in new york these days, a number of blacks and hispanics in particular feel that it's their freedom which has been
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sacrificed to achieve order. they are the ones being stopped, frisked, sometimes harassed for no other reason than that they are black or brown and, therefore, suspect. >> although i would not call the '90s the best of times, the worst of times, i see it as two train tracks that dangerously went further and further apart. >> it's the time that america lost its naivety and took the veil off the underlying problems in american society. >> i marched in '63. i marched in '95. and i'm gonna keep on marching for justice and an even playing field for all of the american people. >> it was a decade of realignment. we had some wins, we had some losses, but we redefined the collective culture of america. >> in one generation, we have moved from denying a black man service at a lunch counter to being a serious contender for the presidency. >> it was a seminal decade that paved the way for change in a way that maybe no other one did since the '60s. >> you know, we are part of a
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hybrid culture, and we can't deny that. so, in some ways, the more obvious bi-racial identity that i have to affirm, african-americans also have to affirm. and white americans have to affirm because they partake in the hybrid culture. you know, the truth of the matter is that american culture at this point, what is truly american, is black culture to a large degree. flip on the television set, and it's had a profound influence on this entire nation, and it has to be affirmed. we are at a historic conundrum the likes of which i never thought i would see in my lifetime. >> we still do not know the outcome of yesterday's vote. >> sometimes it seems we share a continent but not a country. today thousands of lives were suen


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