tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! 08/15/16 08/15/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> unlike anything i have ever seen. unlike anything that the police department had seen in their career. every member of the fire department, it was f fun -- unle anything they had seen in their entire career. milwaukee, two days
after an african-american man named sylville smith ignited .ires to police cars 17 people were arrested, four police officers were reportedly injured. wisconsin governor scott walker -- we will go to milwaukee to speak with muhibb dyer. then to the olympic games. whole bunch of people came before me and have been an inspiration. all of the people after me who in't believe they can't just just want to be a demonstration that you can do it. amy: simone manuel has become the first african-american to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event and a prior nearing african-american gymnast simone biles has just won her third gold. we will speak with sports writer
jesse washington and gold medal winning swimmer anthony ervin. all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. continuing in milwaukee two days after police shot dead a 23-year-old african american man named sylville smith. activated the national guard after local residents have fires to police cars and several local businesses, including a gas station saturday night. 17 people were arrested, four police officers were reportedly injured. last night, two police officers were reportedly injured and one person was hospitalized after being shot by an unknown assailant. this is a man who said he is the brother of sylville smith,
spspeaking about the uprising. >> r right now we have a city rt going on. [no audidio] if you don't have a anyone to protect us, t this is what you get. you have riots. you people going crazy. amy: the milwaukee police department is defending its use of force in the case. police say he was shot while trying to flee from an officer who stopped his car. police chief edward flynn said he viewed video and it showed smith had tuturned toward him mh a gun in h his hand after r the traffic s stop.
milwaukee is considered to be one of the most segregated cities in the country. meanwhile, in baltimore, 12 people were arrested in a protest at the opening of maryland's fraternal order of police conference sunday afternoon. members of the group bmore bloc locked themselves together using pvc pipes and chained themselves to a railing to block the escalator leading to the conference at the hyatt. it's the latest in a series of protests in recent weeks against popoce unions,s, which activists say defend officers accused of brutality. in newews from t the campaign t, hillary clininton released her latest tax returns on friday, showing she and her husband bill clinton earning $10.6 million in 2015. more than half the income came from speeches. they paid an effective tax rate of 35%. between 2007 to 2015, the clintons have made $150 million. clinton's running matete, virgia senator tim kaine, also released his returns frfriday.
he and his wife made $313,000 in 2015. this comes as donald trump cocontinues to refuse to release his tax returns, citing an audit. a series of tax experts quoted in a recent "new york times" piece say its possible trump pays no income taxes at all, given the vast array of tax loopholes available to real estate developers. trump's running mate, indiana governor mike pence, suggested in an interview saturday he may soon release his own returns -- in what would be the latest point of disagreement between the two men. meanwhile, divisions are widening between the republican party and donald trump. politico is reporting that republican party leaders are privately talking about cutting off financial support to trump by october, if not earlier. in an editorial published this week, the "wall street journal" called on the republican party
to write off the nominee if he doesn't change his behavior by labor day, which is less than three weeks away. a number of his associates who spoke to the "new york times" have painted trump as being exhausted, you will third, sullen, and erratic. trump has blasted the article, calling the "new york times" a failing newspaper a fiction. reportedly, trump is not asked for retractions. a recent reuters poll shows nearly one-fifth of registered republicans want trump to drop out of the race. in public, however, the republican party is continuing attempts to project unity. on friday, republican national committee chairman reince priebus made a surprise appearance at a trump rally in erie, pennsylvania, where he introduced and hugged trump. at this rally, trump attempted to walk back his recent comments calling president obama the founder of isis. instead, trump said his comments had been sarcastic. "but not that sarcastic."
this comes as trump is slated to release his proposals for fighting isis during a speech in ohio today. he's also expected to further explain his plans to significantly limit immigration, which at times have included calls for a complete ban on all muslims. his campaign is now also suggesting a test intended to vet immigrants' views on issues, such as women's and gay rights. meanwhile, the "new york times" has revealed new details about trump's campaign manager paul manafort's polilitical consultig work in ukraine. the "times" reports that handwritten ledgers unearthed by ukraine's newly formed national anti-corruption bureau show $12.7 million of cash payments slated to go to manafort. it is not known whether manafort actually received the money. he spent years consulting for former president viktor yanukovych. in the 1980's, manafort also did political consulting work for former philippine dictator ferdinand marcos.
the olympics are continuing in rio de janeiro, where stanford swimmer simone manuel has made history, becoming the first african-american female swimmer to win an olympic medal in an individual event. she won the gold. manuel tied canadian swimmer penny oleksiak in the 100-meter freestyle. both womenen won gold medals and set a new olympic record. after winning, manuel said -- "it means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality. this win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. my color just comes with the territory." manuel's win was only one of a number of historic olympic events over the last week. usain bolt of jamaica won thee 100-meter dash in 9.81 seconds, making him the only person to ever win the 100-meter race three times. he is jamaican. american swimmer michael phelps
scored his 23 gold medal when the u.s. won the men's 4x100-meter medley relay. phelps is now the most decorated olympian in all of history. african-american gymnast simone biles has scored her third gold medal when she became the first american woman to win the olympic vault individual. and tennis player monica puig won puerto rico's first gold medal in olympic history. she's the first person representing puerto rico to ever win an olympic medal. this is puig speaking after her victory. thet is a huge achievement, biggest goal i have for my life and it is something historic for puerto rico that is never happened in puerto rico's history. have more on the olympics later in the broadcast. we will be going to rio. meanwhile, the u.s. declared a public health emergency in puerto rico friday after the island reported nearly 2000 new cases of zika in the last week.
more than cases s of zika 10,000 infecection have been reported in puerto rico since december. in new york city, police say they've arrested a suspect in the killing of a revered imam and his friend in queens on saturday. mosque leader maulama akonjee and friend thara uddin were walking home from prayers at the al-furqan jame mosque just before 2:00 p.m. when a man approached them from behind, and shot them each in the back of the head at point-blank range. akonjee wawas a father of three from bangladesh. on saturday, hundreds of people protested the killings. this is zead ramadan, the president of the council on american islamic relations of new york. >> viewed as an assassination. someone came from behind two ima ms and shot them in the head, both of them. they both passed away this afternoon. onedoa and 15 for his life,
unsuccessfully, unfortunate. -- one doa and one fought for his life, unsuccessfully, unfortunately. amy: meanwhile, in chicago, a muslim mother and daughter report being spit on and yelledd at as they were walking to their car on thursday wearing hijabs. they say their harasser yelled repeatedly, "you're isis." siham zahdan blamed the attack on donald trump, saying her message to trump was "to leave the muslim people in america alone, leave us alone." in international news, u.s.-backed saudi-led airstrikes killed at least 19 people on saturday in yemen after the bombs struck a residential area and a school. witnesses say the majority of the victims were children.n. this is one of the fathersrs of one of the children killed. >> this is a crime. my son is dead. he is now with god. we will head to the front lines and take revenge for our sons. amy: this comes less than a week after the u.s. approved a possible $1 billion weapons deal
to saudi arabia. meanwhile, in syria, activists say hundreds of civilians have been killed in fighting across the country in recent days. the local coordination committees say nearly 200 civilians have been killed since friday alone. the majority of the deaths have occurred in and around the city of aleppo. back in the united states in louisiana a at least five people , have died and 20,000 people have been rescued d amid unprecedented flooding. louisisiana governor john bel edwards declared a state of emergency over the weekend, calling the flooding historic. water levels are expected to continue rising. meanwhile, in northern california, more than 1000 people were forced to flee a fast-moving wildfire in the town of l lower lake over t the week. authorities said the california's s fire season has been worsened by the historic climate-fueled drought. and in columbus, ohio, police are investigating the death of 28-year-old rae'lynn thomas, a black transgender woman who was
fatally shot by her mother's ex-boyfriend. family members say the shooter, james allen byrd, frequently made transphobic comments to rae'lynn and sometimes called her the devil. human rights watch says at least 17 transgender people have been killed so far this year in the united states. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. protests are continuing in milwaukee two days after police shot dead a 23-year-old african american man named sylville smith. on sunday, wisconsin governor scott walker activated the national guard after local residents set fire to police cars and several local businesses, including a gas station, saturday night. were arrested, four police officers reportedly injured. last night, to police work reportedly injured -- teedo police were reportedly injured.
milwaukee mayor tom barrett spoke out on sunday. >> last night was the worst i've seen him i don't live in the city. i hope i never see it again. for every member of this police department, it was unlike anything they had seen in their career. for every member of the fire department, it was unlike anything they had seen in their career. amy: the milwaukee police department is defending its use of force in the case of sylville smith. police say he was shot while trying to flee from an officer who had stopped his car. police chief edward flynn said he viewed video from the officer's body camera that has not been released, showing smith had turned toward him with a gun in his hand after the traffic stop, he said. many local residents say the tension between a community and the police have an rising for years. milwaukee is considered to be one of the most segregated cities in the country. on saturday, a man identifying himself as the brother of sylville smith spoke to the
locacal milwaukee s station cbs. >> right now y you have a city ririotoing on. once agagain, the police h have failed to protect us l like they say they was goingng to do. ththey failed to be here to the pepeople like they sworn in to . us as a commmmunity, we not goig to protect ourselves, but if we don't haveve anyone toto protec, then this s is what you get. you know? you u get riotsts. you got people going crcrazy. we lososing loved ones everydayo the people sworn in to protect us. it is otother stuff that is goig on out here, you wonder why -- it i is isis in amamerica. >> w we have got innocent busins owners who are now g going up in flames. what does s it take for you guys to be ok and s stop this chaos? >> it ate me. it's not me. it's nonot as guys, neither. i'm glad to all set up. it is the police. it is the madness debt.t.
this is what they encourage.. this is what they provovo. this is what you g get. eithth you takake a loved one fm sosomeone -- this is what t you. yoyou get a lot of people ththas heard. theheight way.vent we can't depend o on the police be are to protect us like they say they going to do. so this s is what you get. no, it is n not going toend tody or t tomorrow. i don't know whwhen it is goingo end, but it is for y'all to start. we''re not the ones -- dollar killing us. we can't make a change if you all don't change. 'sy: that was sylville brother, the 23 old man killed by milwaukeeee police on saturd. for more we go to milwaukee where we are joined by muhibb dyer, a community activist, a poet, cofounder of the ororganization "flood the hood with dreams." welcome to democracy now! talk is through what happened
saturday night and about the community response. >> it is a pleasure to be on democracy now! today. see, onmean, as you can -- surface level, and i will i had the opportunity to be out there last night, you see what appears to be chaos. buildings burned. you see individuals riding around hanging out of cars. in some cases, gunshots everywhere. police, in some cases, provocative stances, provoking certain instances amongst peaceful demonstrators at times. seeon the other hand, you
anger [no audio] atrocities. beenhas never seemingly held accountable for taking lives [no audio] it is a powder keg. it is an explosioion, metaphororically, you get that s going on in milwaukee today. amy: talk about what you understand took place on saturday night with the police killing of sylville smith. >> what i understand now, i mean, there many vantage points, various stories. the police are saying,
what you reported, is that a stopped in a routine traffic stop, i suppose, and he fled. he fled from an officer. somehat happened was, at point, he turned his pistol toward the officer in the officers say they justifiably shot him. the reports coming out of the the exactis that is opposite. some are saying the young man was unarmed, no gun on him at all. some are saying -- he hopped over a fence and the gun fell and he picked up the gun to throw it over the fence and the officers shot him in the back. in a nutshell, we don't know. we're going to have to wait for the videotape to be released so
everything now is speculation and it is the police word against the community's word. amy: why haven't the police released the video cam of the officer and the officers who were involveved in this killing? >> i don't know, ma'am. they say this is their procedure. that it takes time for them to be able to sort through things while they're doing their own investigation. the reality of the situation in milwaukee and all over the united states of america it is that the community is very frustrated and very upset in terms of what is going on because you always have situation where african-american males are being killed and then
you have the police department taking their time, releasing their facts.. and whether you catch someththig on vidideotape -- this is the sentiment of the community -- where there is videotape or eyewitnesses, we never get our day in court. we never get our day in court. police officers are never held accountable for the murders of african-american males. it is always justifiable homicide. they release these reports talking about the character of an individual, which really i fork creates the condition public opinion. ok, yes, he deserved it. police wreck -- yet a lengthy police record. he was a thug, a criminal. he deserved it. so i think they build public
wheren to such an extent homicide, like i said before, the homicide of police officers on african-american males always seems to be justified. it doesn't really talk about what happened in that actual event. they don't separate the actual event from the person's character, i guess. amy: milwaukee has been described as the most segregated city in america. you grew up there. can you talk about your city? can.s, i i was born and raised in milwaukee, wisconsin. in know, we lead the nation many of what they say the most critical statistics in this country. we have the fourth highghest rae of poverty amomongst all c citin america.
one particular poll said. wewe also are said to have the sesecond highest segregationon e in this country.. we havave one of the highestst incarceratation rates amongst african-americanans in this country. the school dropout rate is off ththe charts. but with all of this going on and the factories are closed and the economic plight of the city has gone down, growing up in like thisalways felt .as a place of extreme despair some good people, very talented individuals who are striving to make a difference, but that is --taposed with the reality accomplishment or prosperity or the sense of upward mobility
amongst the people is -- it is a very difficult place. come a going on, i think being played out in the streets today, is that you have these young people who feel the hopelessness and will feel the despair, and they want something different. luther kingtin junior said, the language of the he said that america is not listening to the yearning of freedom and justice, the desire freedom and justice. and what is america not paying attention to? dr. martin luther king said that white people, for the most part, are so preoccupied with tranquility and status quo, that they are missing the point that freedom and justice and equality are not being met out.
and this is milwaukee. amy: milwaukee's police department has a long history of distrust by the black community. tensions flared in 1991 as milwaukee police were accused of turning a blind eye as serial killer jeffrey dahmer targeted primarily african-american, latino, and asian boys. he was ultimately convicted of 15 murders in wiscononsin. his story chronicled in the documentary, "the jeffrey dahmer files." this is dahmer's former neighbor, pamela bass, talking about the outcry. >> my sister called my mother. she said, look at tv. isn't this family is building in milwaukee? >shshe saw the e swarm of p peoe around me, so she knew i can't get to her.. i remember, i finally got through to her on the phone. she said come a don't watchh tv, pamela, don't read none of this. >> as chief, both i and the
entire department mumust accept respsponsibilityty for the inep > it was just -- i don't kno. i don't eveven know whwhat to sy about thesese things. the cicity of milwaukee, to me, they care nothing about the black k community as a whole.. theyey were not showing up at es up amy: that was pamela bass, the neighbor of jeffrey dahmer, speakiki in the documentary "the , jeffrey dahmer files." muhibb dyer, how does it happen with jeffrey dahmer affect the way people see what happens in milwaukee? then of course, 1981, there was earnestly seek who was put in a -- ernest lazy put in a police car, cruising downtown and he ends up dead in the back of the police car. >> like i said, it just contributes to what we saw saturday night and last night,
sunday night. you have a history, like you , daniel bellacy come all the way up to a couple of years ago withdontre hamilton. you have all of these names of individuals who haven't murdered by the police. to my knowledge, they have never been convicted or held accountable for their actions. all acrossargument america every time a police officer murders and african-american is, well, you all kill each other every night. there's black on black crime every night, like that is the scapegoat argument. ultimately, when black people ,ill black people accountability happens. black people go to jail. whyknow, the thing is,
there is a more writing one violence happens in the african-american community? because black people go to jail. like people are held accountable. like people are given sentences of homicide where they have to be held accountable for their actions that they take. but when you have individuals, like the young man said, who are supposed to protect and serve and they come in and they kill you and there is never any convictions, then the sentiment is is that we can't get justice. we can't get justice. amy: can you tell us what your t-shirt says? >> is says the i will not die young campaign. amy: i want for you to end, because i know you have to go teach, with your poem. you're not only timidity
activists, cofounder of the organization "flood the hood with streams," but you're also a poet. can you share a column with us today -- poem with us today? >> yes, ma'am. i hope this gives the listeners and understanding of the feeling of the despair of a young person that exists in milwaukee. beyond theto see anger and see a young man on his hands and knees looking up to the heavens, not knowing of god exists on a street in milwaukee and he says, it is like i'm sitting in a jail cell, lord, listen to me it is like i'm sitting in a jail cell, god, listen to me sitting in a jail cell, lord, with invisible bars waiting on death wrote counting down the days because i know they coming i know they're coming in police
and do's and chicks from all coming it was not supposed to be like this lord, they never told me you were in may they never told me your always there so in times i believe what i saw and what i saw was a daddy that was never around in a mama that was always crying because we were always broke when there was money outside rats and roaches and pissy mattresses my brother and i slept on teachers tell me i had to wait 12 years to get paid by teachers, had to wait to -- 12 years to get paid while all of them got paid off a me right now whether a learned or not, when there is money outside what else was i supposed to do? they never told me you were in me, god they never told me you were always there how was i supposed to know being created in your image and your likeness meant that if you made the earth, lord, i can make my own business and if you made the sun, i could make more than just babies ut buildings and networks
and shaking these dudes down on the block for this help money was that the only way to get access to your power, lord how was i supposed to know? how was i supposed to know that downing shots of hennessy and smoking weed wasn't the only way to accept and get to heaven, that i could have gotten down on all fours and talk to, lord they never told me you are in me they never told me you are always there how was i supposed to know every time mama was a mistake in school, baby, stay off the streets, that was you, lord? and every misdemeanor charge ever beat, that was you me when those bullets missed when i was on the block doing wrong, that was you, lord when my boy laid in that casket cold and lifeless, that was like you are try to tell me, he would be me if i did not change my time is up i know they coming i don't even if you know you
listen to kids like us, lord do you even care about kids like us, lord? i know now what i should of known then it took me to fall to see the light. you're always in me. you are always there. forgive me, lord, for i knew not what i was doing to myself please, send me somebody. a voice, maybe from across the nation, a sympathetic voice that understands that i need to be taught something that i had never been taught before please, send me someone come anybody, and humidity that can teach me to love me, teach me to love me teach me to love me. thank you. amy: muhibb dyer, thank you for being with us, community activist, poet, and co-founder of the organization "flood the hood with dreams." speaking to us from his hometown that went up in flames this weekend after police killed and african-american man on saturday night. speaking to us from milwaukee,
it was one of the historic events over the last week. usain bolt won the 100-meter dash in 9.81 seconds, making him the only person to ever win the 100-meter race three times. he was jamaican. american swimmer michael phelps scored his 23 gold medal when the u.s. won the men's 4x100-meter medley relay. phelps is now the most decorated olympian in all of history. african-american gymnast simone biles has scored her third gold medal when she became the first american woman to win the olympic vault individual. and tennis player monica puig won puerto rico's first gold medal in olympic history. joining us now is jesse washington senior writer for the , undefeated and is covering the olympic from rio.
thank you so much for being with us. wins.bout the significant why don't you begin with -- begin with simone biles. >> well, she's the greatest gymnast of all-time by popular claim, by the testimonony of the gymnasts who havave come before her. there's a lot of pride i in the black commmmunity ababout that,t the a young black w woman exexcelling g on the world stag. it h has a lot of siifificance r community that still can feel marginalized and forgotten and not appreciated. amy: and she has an amazing life story, simone biles, born in columbus, ohio, is that right? with her connection, both her family being raised by her grandmother and her connection to the lease, which is also celebrating. -- belize, which is also celebrating. >> she has an amazing g story,
overcome a lot of adversity.y. she has a tough relatationship withth her mom, even to this da. so that createtes more o of an underdog spirit. i think it also plays into some of the stereotypes that a lot of the media likes to see about young black athletetes growing p in these t troubled areas, drug, parents, that kind of thing. that has made her story more attractive for a narrative, but at the same time, she had a set of grandparents that to occur in that were prosperous. her grandparents were able to build a million-dollar jim were to train and. that is not something you think about often we see a young black athletete. amy: her mother had drug problems in her four children, simone being one of them, where she was losing them and her granandparents took her and her sibling -- to her and her sibling in and then raised them.
the e country of belize? >> you know, i don't know much about the country of belize with her. i'm not up on that. >> her grandmother was fromm belize. top overall ababout the significancece of the real olympics with the kind of historic wins yoyou have been covering. >> i work for the undefeated, website about racism. we''re attuned to a lot of the racial dynamics going on. our audiences are e interested n first and and successful blalack athletes, black atathletes of color, black women who ovevercoe all odddds to do great things. there been a number of m moments likeke thahat heree needsds real olympics. simone manuel being one ofof the best apples s is the first blalk swimmer to win an individudual gold medal. when you start getting into the firsts, sometimes it is the first black woman to win an individual, to when a relay,
first left in a black summer to win a medal on a tuesday. it shows there is still a hunger fofor these firsts to bebe recognized. the storkuel, indeeeed, congressman, is that simone and her teammate who havave been asd all of these blalack swimmer questions, they're r ready to jt be swimmers. i asked leah when i had a chance to sit down with her, how do you feel about always getting a askd leading g into these olympics, black swimmer, black swimmer, black swimmer? tough.d it cacan be simone manuel said, it weighs me down a little bit. when i got into the pool to win a gold, had to get r rid of the weight of the whwhole black communitity. it is interesting how these narratatives can form will stepe thinink we are praisingg is celebratating thesese athletes,t it can be tough for them. nevertheless, it is been a big deal here in rio and a black wowoman won the first u.s. medal and the shotput ever the first gold-medal ever. the shot diva.
if you have not been on the shot diva's instagram, you have to go on there. there are a lot of moments like that in rio. it is an awewesome. amy: i want to turn to simone manual, the first african-american woman to win an individual swimming gold medal. she was asked about the significance of her victory immediately after the race. she was speaking to nbc. >> you are the first african-american woman to medal in an individual event in swimimming. what does that m mean to you, simone? >> it means a lot. this medal is fofor a whole bunh of people who came before me and have been an inspiration to me. it is for all of the people after me who can't -- still believe they can't do it. i want to say, you can do it amy: after she was awarded the gold medal, she said -- "it means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality. this win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. my color just comes with the territory." she also said -- "just coming into this race i
kind of tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something i carry with me just being in this position. i want to be an inspiration, but i would like there to be a day when it is not 'simone the black swimmer.'" as you said, jesse washihington. >> yes, she did say she would like i it to not be simonene the blblack swimmer. that is bebecause i asked hehere you ready to o move past this?s? toon't we got enough firsts say, we cacan be finished with e race question in swimming? we have had gold medals and world r records in all typesesf swimmers. she isis ready to do that.t. she also said, calling memehe first black swimmerr makeses it seem l like i can't swim fast, that i can't like records. dumbest has this sort of affirmative action -- it almost has this s sort of affirmative action typype feel. i think one e of the reasons ths narrative -- i was a asked after
herr win, there were at t least0 jojournalists therere from aroud with 50, 600hat weree cameras. i was onlyly black journalist in the room. i checked every phase and behind every camera. to me thahat said something. so everyone e is fixated on this first thing becaususe -- in ther minds, justifiably so, they feel like i a am praisingng you, givg yoyou props, recognizing this historic thing.. you haveve to look deeper. you u have to look a at how thee athlhletes feel, t the weight ty carry wiwith them. i'm wearing a shirt right now from the 1960 eight olylympics, one of t the most famous all of the e moments where the 200 metr medalist gave the black power salute on the stand. they were kicked out of t the olympics. theieir careers wewere over bece they took a moment t to say, theirirblack folks need
right to be respected in the united statates. the fact we e are still dealing with this all these years later and that we are still looking for a first in the olympics, still looking to black athletes as a spokesman for black amemera and the spopokeswoman for black americans that of asking, i think it is time to change the narrative. manuel's, after simone the stork win, her mother spoke about simone's role in the sport of swimming. was about 11 years old, she did come to me one day. we were home having casual conversation. she asked me a question about why she did not see many others like her in the sport of swimming. i did not have an answer for her immediately. i said, that is a good question. i don't know. let's look it up. we got on the internet and we looked up information and we kind of old different articles and started reading. i think for her, that was the moment that she realized that she had a bigger role to play in
what she was doing in the sport of swimming. amy: so that is the mother of simone manuel. you mention the shotput gold, michelle carter. what is her story? >> michelle carter, the shot diva. she is the daughghter of a super bowl winner and a shotput gold memedalist michael carter. he won three rings with the 49ers. she is interesting because she says, hey, i'm in a sport here. i asked heher questions and his converts and she said, a lot of people don't even l look at us s women. which is a touough thing to s s. we're athletes getting sweaty. she maintains her beauty at all times. medal, itwon ththe gold appeared briefly she was crying. she was actually reapplying her lipstick. she embraces her femininity. she also embraces her size. on the official l u.s. olympic
websbsite, she is liststed as fe fofoot nine inch, 200 10. that is that the dimensions of woman in mainstream america would consider beautiful. she is a beautiful woman. she embraces that and helplps other women of all s sizes and colors say, hehey, be happy with who you are. do y you and you will do better. i think that is s important thig for women and particularly for black women who have been hit with body image e issues over te yearars. it wasas inspiring to see her wn gold on her final attempmpt when she defeated was someone called the michchael phelps of the shotput who happens to be stephen adamsms from the okemos bibig sister.rs' when i say big sister, this woman was a big sister. but michelle took her out on her final attempt. amy: i want to turn to michelle carter, the first american woman to win a shot put medal at the olympics in 56 years. coached by her dad, as you said who won a silver in the 1984 , games in los angeles.
the first father-daughter to win medals in the same olympic event. this is michelle on sunday. >> we are to have a place on history, i'm just adding to what is already there. i think having that kind of mindset takes pressure off because i am not realllly trying to make my own story, i am adding to a story that is already there. i'm starting a new chapter or the next book or something like that. i can't -- i definitely can't take away anything yes done, because it helped groom me to the athlete i am today. amy: there you are, the shop that winner michelle carter, speaking after the olympics. we're going to go to break. whwhen we come back, we're going to come in addition to being joined by jesse washington, senior writer for the undefeated, we're going to be joined by anthony ervin, who was the oldest swimming champ in olympic history. stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, dedemocracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are in rio de janeiro come at least that is where our guests are. we're joined by jesse washington of the undefeated as well as anththony ervin, u.s. swimming champion and four-time olympic medalist. at 35 years old, he is the oldest-ever individual olympic swimming gold medalist. just wrote the book "chasing , water: elegy of an olympian." anththony, welcome to democracy now! congratulations on your remarkable victory.
tatalk abobout how you feel rigt now and what it means to you. >> thank you foror having me. i feelel good. got some life in me and staring into a a vacuum to talk back to you. amy: talk about how you felt when you realized -- when did you realize you had won? with all of those toddlers in the pool, you at 35? >> they are hardly colors. it was a very competitive field of athletes that i raised frequently over the last four years. but i knew right away. right away -- i turned around and looked at the scoreboard and saw the number one next my name. immediately, it was the sense of almost ridiculousness and's or illness that i was on a lithic champion again. i smililed and kind of laughed r a moment. and i knew my brother, my
friends who came down were up in the stands. i yielded to them as loud as i could. amy: you're being called the usain bolt of swimming or maybe he will be called the anthony ervin of track. that you have come to this through a very unusual journey. you gaveve this all up after the olympics in sydney when you also gold andt, you won auction off the metal to help the people of the tsunami in thailand who suffered. >> the indian ocean tsunami, that's right. yeah, that was a long time ago. i feel like i have come so far, traveled quite a ways to arrive back at this point. the view is quite a bit different. any code that was in t the year 2000. why did you give it up then? and talk about your journey, your conversion.
you became a buddhist. talk about your life in these 16 years. >> oh, man, that takekes a whil. [laughter] i wrote a whole book about it and that seems to have cut it short even. where to begin. let's see. -- the reasonuse i was into it, the reason why i swim is a cocousin i enjoy it. -- the reason n why swim is because i enjoy it. i had the olympic dream. after and in my gold medal and achieving that dream, to me, that was it. that is all i had really considered. that the idea i could be standing here right now talking to whoever may be e listening about itt, that wasn't in the cards initially. that was not part of f my dream. but that was the reality. i i did not want to deal with i. i did not know how to deal with it. i wass scared to deal with it.
i did not feel like i had education to support coming on here and trying to give in such a manner. so having accomplished my goals in the pool, i wanted to go and try to reach out to some other goals i had sacrificed along the waway. i went and did a bunch of other things. yes, i discovered buddhism at one point. i was still swimming then. i was trying to find some kind of balance and i found the practice and meditation to the quite fulfilling for me. morally, e educational. but things changed. it was a long route. a lot of upsps and downs. i dodon't want t to get too much into them, but i was inviteded o new york to teach kidids to swi. it was there i rediscovered my love for the water. i think over the course of time and the competitition, that sene on the kids.s.
initially, t they are afraid of the water -- and for good reason, it can be dangerous. that is white is i important everyone leaearns to swim. -- that is why it is important everyone learns to swim. then y y see them play. they start going under the water. they don't really listen to you anymore. it becomes a challenge to teach because they are immersed in the elements and they y are free is suspended and they can do it be whatatever they want in those moments. that was what i initially loved about it. i have lost that. but afafter rediscovering itt through them, i knew there was more for me to do. i wanted more for myself, s so i wentnt back toto school and find my degree. shortly thereafter, after starting graduate school, actually, i could smoke my last cigarette and take back swimming. i have been in and out of the pool since. amy: anthony, you write and your beautiful book about what it was like about what you will --
after you won in 2000, you won the gold medal, without being promoted as an african-american traiailblazer. we felt at that point as a team, you had not really close -- grown up with a black identity. can you talk about your life in that way, your parents are? >> sure. , she came from new york city. she is a a city gal. she even keepsps around -- her personal history is a mystery, even to me and the rest of us kids, and my dad came from was virginia. his father was a coal miner. and the q question of blackness. it is a a question of authenticity. to be viewed in that way -- swimming is s a very visual spo. you literally are a body in the water wearing close to nothingn, so that body is on d display.
if we're talking about blackness, it is a color. in the eyes of many, it is a skin tone. but t then you see -- you dig go the histstory of it. makes y youblood blacack. it i is allll very complicated. i did not know about any of this. i was not educated on the history of this. if i was, i was snoozing through it in the classroom. i did not know how to answer to it. i had trouble tackling, trying to argue that. i auauthenticacally and this as others say -- am this as others try to pause and identity on me, which i did not trade on myself. it is a question of being able to pursue our personal freedoms huck a all forms s of identity inin order to dodo . amy: your father is african-american native amamerican? >> not native american. he believeves it and a bunch o f
his family belelieves it, but oe of my sisters researched it and apparently it is n not true. [laughter] i read it all the time. it's not t true. if i it is native american, it s just because there is history andng back to slave days fighting the civil war in a revolutionary war and my family. amy: i want to bring jesse washington back into the conversation. but go to a clip of an african-american muslim woman who became the first u.s. athlete to compete at the olympic games wearing a hijab. she won a bronze medal saturday in women's team saber fencing. >> i remember beining a kid and being told therere were things i cocould not do, whether that be because i was a girl or because i was african-american or because i was muslim.. so to be able to stand on top of that podium and represent ouour country and a show, you know, that they canuth
accomplish anything. that is ibtihaj muhammad, an african american muslim woman who competed in the olympics in her hihijab. jesse washington, can you talk about her? >> yes. i wawas really touched by this. but one simple site with thihi american woman. she is out there competing for her country and on the back k of her fencing outfit is her name in big letteters, mohammed, and under that, usa. to me that was p profound,d, especialally in this moment nationally where we are debating , even lettiting muslims into te country, here's a woman who has the most muslim name of f all te and is says muhammad usa, and she is winning medals for america. to m me that i is definitive prf ththat mususlims are a part of r nation, a part of thihis t tape, just l like all of the o other
religions. founded on the principle off freedom and d religious freedom. hijab and the the j name and excelled and won a medal. i wawas touched. that is a powerful lesson that a lot of people should pay attention to. amy: we have to go but we will continue the conversation after. quickly, monica puig, puerto rico's first gold medal winner. she chose to play for puerto rico. she of the choice of u.s. or puererto rico, the significancef this? >> i have a lot of perjury conference from new york city and their puererto rican. i know their citizens inin our thing, but they really rep for ththeir islandfofor the country. a lot ofof puerto ricans feel ty should be independentnt from the united s states. that is a huge moment. amy: we will lead but there but we will continue the conversation with jesse