Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 2, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

4:00 pm
12/02/21 12/02/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> arguing the constitution's silence and therefore neutral on abortions, in other words, the constitution is neither pro-life or pro-choice, believes for the issue of the people perhaps congress to resolve and the democratic process. is that accurate? >> we are saying it is left of
4:01 pm
the people, your honor. amy: the supreme court appears set to uphold mississippi's 15-week abortion ban in a move that could radically reduce abortion access in much of the country and undermine the landmark roe v. wade decision. the court's three liberal judges warned that reversing roe would damage the court's legitimacy. >> will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? amy: we will hear excerpts from the oral arguments and speak to professor katie rogers and planned parenthood federation of america chief alexis mcgill johnson. then we go to france where president macron has conducted --inducted josephine baker into
4:02 pm
the pantheon as racism is on the rise and france with the far right xenophobic writer eric zemmour launching a run for the presidency. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. supreme court's conservative justices appeared ready to dramatically roll back reproductive rights wednesday as the court heard oral arguments on a challenge to mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. the case is being closely watched since it could undermine and possibly overturn the landmark 1973 roe v. wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. the courts three liberal justices said reversing roe or another ruling known as planned parenthood versus casey, would damage the course legitimacy. this is just a sonia sotomayor. >> sponsors of this ill, the
4:03 pm
house bill in mississippi, said we are doing it because we have you justices. the newest ban mississippi has put in place, the six week ban, the senate sponsor said we're doing it because we have new justices on the supreme court. will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? amy: if roe v. wade is overturned, almost half states have so-called trigger laws already in place that will rapidly make abortion illegal. after the headlines, the latest on the fight over reproductive rights at the supreme court, analysis of the oral arguments with northwestern university law professor katie watson and the head i planned parenthood alexis mcgill johnson
4:04 pm
the united states has for the first time detected a case of the highly mutated omicron coronavirus variant, which the world health organization has labeled a variant of concern. top infectious disease scientist dr. anthony fauci made the announcement at the white house wednesday. >> we knew it was just a matter of time before the first case of on whidbey detected -- omicron would be detected in the united states most of individual was a traveler to return from south africa on november 22 and tested positive on november 29. amy: the omicron variant has now been detected in over two dozen countries. its discovery in san francisco ompted the white house to renew calls for americans to get vaccinated if they haven't already and to get booster shots if eligible. meanwhile, president biden is reportedly planning to extend a mask mandate for travelers on airplanes, trains, and buses and at airports and transit stations. the mandate was set to expire in mid-january but will now run
4:05 pm
through at least mid-march. u.n. secretary-general antonio guterres on wednesday condemned travel bans imposed by dozens of countries on southern african nations that first detected the omicron variant, blasting the restrictions as travel apartheid. guterres noted the virus had already appeared in europe before it was first detected in africa and is now in dozens of countries around the world. >> people of africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available to them, nor should they be collectively punished for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world. with a virus that is truly borderless, travel restrictions that isolate any one country or region are not only unfair and punitive, they are ineffective. amy: secretary of state anthony
4:06 pm
blinken is meeting with sovereign lavrov post of russia recently ordered some u.s. diplomats to leave the country after attending a nato meeting about the situation wednesday. antony blinken ro warned russia was planning significant aggressive moves because ukraine following moscow's military buildup on the border. >> now, we don't know whether president putin has made the decision to invade. we do know he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order should he so deci. we made it clear to the kremlin we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high-impact economic measures that we have refrained from using in the past. amy: russia has rejected claims of a planned attack against ukraine. in burma, local media is reporting thousands of people fled their homes after helicopter attacks in the ceral sagainregion, wh resiance has rained strong
4:07 pm
to the military junta which overthrow the civilian leership in february 1oup. at lst seven pple were reported dead after weekend air attacks. related ns, the u.n. has denied, for now, representation for the military junta at the inteationabody. the u.n.lso deni diplomatic seats to afghanistan's taliban leaders. in sports news, the women's tennis association announced it was immediately suspending all tournaments in china because of the "unacceptable response" to star player peng shuai's accusations of sexual assault against former vice premier zhang gaoli. peng's social media post last month was censored within minutes and she subsequently disappeared from public view. she has since been seen in videos and photos released by state media, but questions have remained over whether she is acting of her own free will. the international olympic committee said they are concerned about the tennis player after speaking with her via video again this week and say they will meet in person in january. beijing is hosting the 2022
4:08 pm
winter olympics. back in the united states, another victim of tuesday's shooting at oxford high school near detroit has died of their injuries, bringing the death toll to four. seven other students were injured in the assault. on wednesday, oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald said she would charge the 15-year-old shooter as an adult and was considering bringing charges against the boy's parents. she said the suspect faces fou countsf first degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder, plus, terrorism and weapons charges. >> i want to explain while we are charging the suspect as an adult in this case. first, the seriousness of the crime this person committed under michigan law. there are crimes the legislature have said are some serious that a person who commits them can automatically be charged as an adult. first-degree murd is the most serious of those crimes. amy: in georgia, democrat acey abrams has annnced she's
4:09 pm
running for governor in 2022 in a possible rematch of the last election, which abrams narrowly lost to republican brian kemp. the 2018 race was marred by widespread allegations of voter suppression carried out by kemp, who refused to step down as georgia's secretary of state during the campaign. after her loss, abrams founded the fair fight political action committee, which promotes fair elections and battles republican voter suppression efforts. abrams is widely credited with helping joe biden win georgia in the 2020 presidential race, while democrats jon ossoff and raphael warnock won u.s. senate seats. if elected, abrams would become the first black woman governor elected in the 245-year history of the united states. meanwhile, the city of atlanta has elected a new mayor. andre dickens defeated atlanta city council president felicia moore in a run-off vote that came after outgoing mayor keisha lance bottoms said she would not run for a second term. dickens, who is african-america, has vowed to tackle atlanta's housing crisis, as well as unemployment, racism, and public
4:10 pm
safety. the house committee investigating the january 6 capitol insurrection voted wednesday night to recommend criminal contet charges against former justice department official jeffrey clark for defying a congressional subpoena. but the committee agreed to delay a vote by the full house after clark agreed to be interviewed again by the january 6 panel. meanwhile, wyoming republican congressmember liz cheney on wednesday warned former president trump he will face criminal charges if he lies to the committee. >> any communications mr. trump has with this committee will be under oath. and if he persists in line then, he will be accountable under the laws of this great nation and subject to criminal penalties for every full word he speaks. amy: congressmember cheney is among just 10 house republicans who voted for trump's impeachment after the capitol assault. last month, wyoming's state
4:11 pm
republican party voted to stop recognizing cheney as a party member, citing her anti-trump votes. the house has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill that would require federal judges to rapidly report stock trades and to make their financial-disclosure reports available online. the bill was introduced after "the wall street journal" found hundreds of lawsuits were overseen by judges involving corporate litigants in which the judges themselves or their families had an ownership stake. a companion bill was introduced in the senate in october but has not yet been taken up by the senate judiciary committee. a group of house democrats is calling on the justice department to release environmental and human rights lawyer steven donziger. his legal team is appealing his six-month prison sentence for contempt of court which he started in late october. he was convicted after a corporate prosecutor tied to the oil and gas industry went after him for successfully taking on chevron on behalf of indigenous groups in the ecuadorian amazon. the private prosecutor has
4:12 pm
chevron as one of its clients. democratic lawmakers, spearheaded by congressmember's rashida tlaib and jesús "chuy" garcía, said in their letter to attorney general merrick garland the case has "shocked the worldwide community of environmental justice and human rights advocates and creates a distinct chilling effect on this type of advocacy." steven donziger spoke to democracy now! in october just hours before he reported to jail. >> what is really happening here is chevron, these two judges and really allies of the fossil fuel industry, are trying to use me as a weapon to intimidate activists and lawyers who do this work, do the front line work of defending the planet. what is at stake -- not only my freedom, what is at stake is the ability to advocate for human rights in our society. amy: you can see all of our coverage of this case at democracynow.org. and major league baseball's team
4:13 pm
owners have locked out players after failing to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement before the previous contract officially expired at midnight thursday. it's the ninth labor stoppage in major league history and the first since a player strike in 1994. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, the supreme court appears set to uphold mississippi's 15 week abortion ban, a move that could undermine or overturn the landmark roe v. wade decision. we will hear xm's from wednesday's oral arguments and speak to professor katie watson and planned parenthood of america chief alexis mcgill johnson. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
4:14 pm
amy: "play god" by ani difranco. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
4:15 pm
i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: in the biggest challenge to abortion rights in half a century, the supreme court's conservative majority on wednesday indicated they support upholding a restrictive mississippi abortion law that bans abortion starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy. the ruling could undermine and possibly overturn the landmark 1973 roe v. wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. the court with its 6-3 conservative majority heard about two hours of oral arguments. justice amy comey barrett suggested while questioning julie rikelman, a lawyer representing jackson women's health organization, that if the -- that so-called safe haven laws that allow mothers to relinquish parental rights mean
4:16 pm
they cannot be forced into motherhood. >> refocus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood would hinder women's access to the workplace and to equal opportunities. it is also focused on the consequences of parenting on the obligation samantha hood that flow from pregnancy. why don't the safe haven laws take care of that problem? amy: meanwhile, justice brett kavanaugh raised the issue of legal precedents, which he also addressed during his 2018 confirmation hearing when asked about his views on the supreme court's abortion rulings. this is kavanaugh in 2018. suggesting roe v. wade's subtle law and unlikely to be overturned. >> one of the important things to keep in mind about roe v. wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years, as you know.
4:17 pm
most prominently, most importantly, reaffirmed and planned parenthood versus casey and 1992. amy: so that is judge kavanaugh in 2018 at his confirmation hearing referring to the supreme court's 1992 ruling in planned parenthood v. casey, which reaffirmed roe. his comments were cited by republican senator susan collins which you provided the pivotal vote to confirm kavanaugh to the high court, even though she is pro-choice. but during wednesday's oral arguments, justice kavanaugh made what seemed to be a much different argument about precedent. >> think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in this court's history. there is a string of them where the cases overruled proceeded. brown the board, allowed separate but equal. figure versus carr, one person
4:18 pm
one vote. west coast hotel which recognized the state authority to recognize business. miranda versus arizona, which required police to give warnings when the -- about the right to remain silent and have an attorney present. may not prohibit same-sex conduct. upheld exclusionary rule applies to state criminal prosecutions to exclude evidence obtained in violation of the fourth amendment. gideon versus wainwright, which guaranteed the right to counsel in criminal cases. the constitutional right to same-sex marriage. amy: so that is justice kavanaugh yesterday. meanwhile, the high court's three liberal justices said reversing roe and casey would damage the court's legitimacy. this is justice sonia sotomayor. >> there has been some difference of opinion with respect to undue burden, but the
4:19 pm
right of a woman to choose the right to control her homebody has been fairly -- her own body has been set since casey and never challenged. you want us to reject that minor viability and adopt something different. 15 justices over 50 years have -- or i should say 30 since casey -- have reaffirmed that basic viability line. four have said no. two of them members of this court. 15 justices have said yes of veering political backgrounds. now the sponsors of this bill, this house built in mississippi,
4:20 pm
said we are doing it because we have new justices. the newest ban mississippi has put in place, the six week ban, the senate sponsor said we are doing it because we have new justices on the supreme court. will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? amy: that is justice sonia sotomayor. if roe v. wade is overturned, almost half of states have so-called trigger laws already in place that will rapidly make abortion illegal. for more, we are joined by katie watson, bio-ethics professor at northwestern university feinberg school of medicine. she's a lawyer and the author of the book "scarlet a: the ethics, law and politics of ordinary
4:21 pm
abortion." professor watson, welcome to democracy now! there is so much to unpack here. if you can talk about what you found most significant and alarming about what took place in the u.s. supreme court on most alarming and most saddening is that the court is on the brink of making a grave error that will put it on the wrong side of history. i say that for two reasons. if the court is to gut or return roe v. wade, that will hurt all american women, not just those seeking abortion. i think that is a point we have not quite captured. second, it will bankrupt the moral authority of the institution itself, the institutional legimacy concerning heard under those recordings. as justice breyer said, the court does not have an army or a
4:22 pm
purse, it has its credibility. and it is on the brink of losing it. nermeen: professor watson, could you explain what the origins of this case are, the women's health organization? what ithe history of the case? >>hank you, nermeen. a long history try to restrict abortion rights. in the statute, it banned abortion after 15 weeks. what is so striking is mississippi did not even bother toome up with a fake rationale for why 15 wee was better than the viability standard. the statute itself simply says abortion after 15 weeks is barbaric. what is barbaric, imy opinion, is ford childbearing. so they randomly have picked a lower number and move forward
4:23 pm
with that. in the almost 50 year history of roe, lower courts strike laws like tt because ey are so obviously contradictory to roe and casey that affirmed ro in the situation, the supreme court granted they will hear the case, which is shocking. usually they will just rubberstamp it. and on the western, do all pre-viability bans on "eltive abortion" by like constitution, they do't accept that queson or say they will hear arguments on that question unless they think they have five members who think the answer is yes. justice roberts cled out the solicitor general of mississippi , and i think appropriately so, to say "we grant cer on the number, could states ban
4:24 pm
abortin before viability." your brief he's we should overturn roe v. wade, just not what we granted cert on." you can see this is a false conversation, trojan horse, if you will, these number conversations about gestational age, for overturning roe because opponents of legal abortion and women's personhood know that the viability standard is central to roe. it is the only principled standard there is. so if they can get movement on that, they have disassembled roe. nermeen: professor watson, explain th the viability standard is and its origin in abortion law and at the u.s., and also trigger laws -- where they exist and what thatould mean. >> so the viability standard, there are two pieces that this that i think are often confusing
4:25 pm
to people. i am delighted to explain and. the first part is the roe court did not decide a fetus is a person or has any protection after viability. it said there is no possie way that framers in that 16 uses of the word person can the constitution could have been thinking about mb europe -- the embryos or fetuses. what is not in dispute is women are people under the constitution. it said women have a constitutional rig to continue to more in pregnancy as they see fit until this medical moment called viability. the court used general phrasing to explain what that is. ink of cruel and unusual punishment or other constitutional standards that e words. they said viability was a reasonable chance at a
4:26 pm
meaningful life. in the medicaprofession -- a letter to the medicaprofession to decide when that was. but in the roe opinion, they said today that happed that gerall28 weeks and often as early as 24 weeks. so people have this idea -- and there has been progress in nicu medicine for sure, but not the astronomical progress that it sometimes painted as because today at about 24 weeks, if a person whos continuing the pregnancy goesnto premature labor, they're somewhere in the ballpark of a 50% chance of survival of that fetus, maybe a little higr these days, and often with significant moderate disability. so the medical profession has pegged it there. there's no problem with the viability standard because it moves with medicine. th signicant shame about the viability standard is it is the
4:27 pm
only principled standard to use the term of lie rikelman who argued the case, and argue this in my book, because it is the only gestational or developmental standard that accounts for the pregnant person. it is the only one that acknowledges the person in whom that embryo or fetus lives and is dependent on. so what the court did in roe very wisely is to say essentially the biological goal of pregnancy is to deliver an independent person, a baby. and so at the point of development, when at least theoretically that fetus could live separately with medical support from the person in whom it lives, that is when the state can assert an interest in potential life. amy: i want to go to the
4:28 pm
exchange from wednesday's oral arguments between supreme court justice john roberts and julie, litigation director reproductive rights. >> if you think the issue is one of choice, that women should have a choice to terminate the pregnancy, that supposes that there is a point at which they had a fear choice, an opportunity to choice. and why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? if liability seems to me doesn't have anything to do with choice, but if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time? >> for a few reasons, your honor. some women will not be able to obtain an abortion before 15 weeks and this law will bar them from doing so. and reasonable possibility standard would be completely workable for the courts, would be but less principled and less
4:29 pm
workable than viability. some of the reasons are without viability, there will be no stopping point. states will rush to ban abortion at any point of pregnancy. one has a six-week ban. there are states that have -- >> i would like to focus on the 15 week ban. that is not a dramatic departure from viability. it is the standard that the vast majority of other countries have . when you get to the viability standard, we share that standard with the people's republic of china and north korea. i don't think he had to be in favor of looking to international law to set our constitutional standards to be concerted. those are your shared effort -- amy: that is john roberts questioning julie
4:30 pm
rikelman. if you can talk about the fact this is the roberts court and the particular significance of him raising this, then we will go to kavanaugh on so-called neutrality of the court. >> justice roberts is missing several things. the first, i hate to start with simple math, but 15 wes is nineeeks less than4. the way pregnancy is dated zero to two weeks, or not really egnant, since st people i relate in the middle of the month. so that is 40% less time to discover your pregnant and take the action necessary if you choose to in your pregncy. so it is not insignificant. the otheriece is conceptual. as i said earlier, there is a principled basis that a viability line. there is no principal basis for 15 weeks. that should be very important to justice roberts, although it sounds like it is not.
4:31 pm
the true witness of the roe case is if assertion of estate interest potential life at viability, when absolutely no analysis or justification. what would justify the states interest in an entity that is not a person? an interesting more taxpayers? creating more soldiers? there is no expo nationwide at any point the potential interes of the fetus for the states interestn that fet wld supeede thectual person to let live. hn roberts is wrong about the math. he is wrong abouthe principle. he is also wrong about internationalaw in his comparison. he cited it incorrectly as julie rikelman pointed out, but even more important comparison is the context. for example in europe where they have national health care and people don't have to pay for
4:32 pm
their abortions or pay for the contraception in the same way we do here and a different system of sex education where people have awareness of pregnancy in a different way than they do perhaps in mississippi schls, you cannot compare the two in terms of artion rights come how early people find out, and quicker access to health care. those who are concerned about later abortion more than early abortion, the best policy measures they could support is to have medicaid coverage in america, repealed the hyde amdment, and allow for women, low-income women 75% of abortion patients, make it easier for them to get to the doctor faster. amy: kavanaugh. let's go to justice brett kavanaugh and his line of questions about neutrality to mississippi solicitor general scott stewart. close you argue the constitution silent and therefore neutral on
4:33 pm
the question of abortion, in other words, the constitutions either pro-life or pro-choice on the question of abortion but leaves the issue for the people of the case for perhaps congress to resolve that democratic process. is that accurate? clubs we are saying it is left of the people, your honor. close if you were to prevail the states majority of states for the state still could or presumably would continue to freely allow abortion, many states, some states would be able to do that even if you prevail under your view. is that correct? >> that is consistent with our view, your honor. it allows all cap full voice -- all to have full voice. amy: professor katie watson, if you can respond in the significance of this issue of so-called neutrality and kavanaugh saying, let the states decide, which is sayg let the
4:34 pm
people decide? >> this is such a dramatic and i think insincere eor. the idea of neutrality, you can substitute the word "segregation" in everything he said. the constitution is silent on segregation. the constitution is silent on contraception. the constitution is silent on durational marriage, gay maiage. as he said later, california new york would be one thing and the pele of mississippi and arkans will do something different. we have heard that before. fundamental rights are not something you're supposed to have to beg for at the polls at every election cycle. when he says the constitution is neutral on artion, what he is hiding is theonstitution is not neutral on the personhood of women. so to aim this false
4:35 pm
neutrality is to throw all american women under the bus. he cited plessy versus argus and brown versus board of education as one of the cases. plessy was reversed by brown. i would like to use his own analogy to help illustrate how wrong he is. when i said earlier all american women are harmed by wh the court is on the brink of doing, guiding roe g --utting roe, nate plessy versus ferguson, the court in the case of segregated railways in louisiana, the state chose to do something different. that the court said it is not a badge of inferiority dab segregation as africanmericans feel that way, basically that is their prlem. in bro they said, segregation, separate is neveequal. so in this case, whether you are
4:36 pm
a lesbian, whether you are postmenopausal woman who is infeile, whether you are a nun, it has no bearing on whether you are fertile and at risk of accidental pregncy. the symboc violee, that badge of inferiority to say that constitution is neutral on whether a state can commaner your body and force you to produce a child against your will? to say the constitution is neutral on that is to telall women that the supreme court, our constitution -- and any states see first and foremost as a baby machine. i do not trust or defer to your intellect and your moral agency to make a good and right decision. that is a badge of inferiority. a myth that we want to thank you for beinwith us, katie watson, bioethics professor at northwestern university feinberg school of medicine. lawyer and the author of
4:37 pm
"scarlet a: the ethics, law and politics of ordinary abortion." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we look at how the supreme court appears that you uphold mississippi's 15 week abortion ban in and move that could either radically reduce abortion access and much of that country, overturn roe v. wade entirely. we bring in alexis mcgill johnson, president and ceo of the planned parenthood federation of america and the planned parenthood action fund. thank you for coming back on democracy now! when amy coney barrett talked about women should not be forced to be mothers, after all, they could give up the children after the infant was born, can you comment on this new "handmaid's tale" version of america? >> first, it is good to be with you today. listening to justice amy coney barrett talk about adoption or
4:38 pm
safe haven as a solution to abortion as opposed to just a fferent outcome of pregnancy, really, i thought it was undermining, offensive, the very quality and liberty that julie rikelman was so forcefully arguing in the court that are very right to determine when and if we become pregnant, are self-determination to be seen as free and equal citizens of this country, i thought the road that justice barrett went down was quite alarming and quite shocking. nermeen: could you explain who you think would be most impacted? who are the women, the demographics of the women who most commonly receive abortions
4:39 pm
in the u.s.? professor watson mentioned 75% of them are low income. >> yes, absolutely. look, we're seeing this play out right now in texas, the impact we are saying on our patients have to flee the state in order to gain access to this constitutional right. they're going to be more likely to be low income, black, brown, indigenous communities, people who are trans and non-binary, people who may not have support at home. in the impact of what we're saying, if the court is so willing not only to been abortions at 15 weeks but also as they seem poised to do, consider overturn 50 years of precedents, we could see 26 states move in this same vein. that would affect 36 million people. we are talking about people who
4:40 pm
have the least ability to be forced into pregnancy, to be forced intooverty, and the impact -- the significant burden it would put on them to seek services outside of their state is alarming. nermeen: could you explain how many -- the issue is 15 weeks, how many abortions, what percentage do you know occur after 15 weeks? >> look, the great majority of abortions do happen under 20 weeks. the great majority also happens to people whare already parents, who understand what becoming a parent to an additional chi needs for their lives and for their families. so i think what is happening in the court yesterday, particularly by the mississippi solicitor general, specifically asking for a world where states
4:41 pm
get to determine who is free and who is not. this whole argument around a state like mississippi, has the highest infant mortality rate and the lowest among child well-being, those are the folks that are going to be the most impacted by these kinds of decisions that a majority of them, as i said, don't happen after the 15 weeks. amy: alexis mcgill johnson, as we wrap up, let's look into the future here. we don't exactly need a crystal ball, but if essentially roe v. wade were so undermined or overturned by the supreme court, how these trigger laws in about half the states will impact abortion availability in the country -- pland parenthood has ndreds of clinics around the country. >> yes.
4:42 pm
planned parenthood has hundreds of clinics and there are number of independent providers in the south and midwest where these trigger bans and laws will take effect. as i said, we have seen and playing out in texas right now most people in texas having to travel thousands of miles to new mexico, california, oregon, vermont just to get access to determine their own future. so we're are putting a tremendous burden on people to move out of state and gain access to abortion. again, it is going to impact the people who can least afford the ability to move out of state as well. amy: alexis mcgill johnson, thank you for being with us, president and ceo of the planned parenthood federation of america and the planned parenthood
4:43 pm
action fund. next up, josephine baker has been inducted into the pantheon at the same time racism is on the rise in france and the far right xenophobic writer eric zemmour, who many described as a fascist, has launched a run for the presidency. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
4:44 pm
amy: josephine baker, "j'ai deux amours." the song was played at the pantheon in paris during her induction ceremony on tuesday. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. french president macron has inducted the american-born pioneering performer and civil rights icon josephine baker into the pantheon, considered france's highest tribute. she is the first black woman, first american to receive the honor. josephine baker was born in st. louis in 1906 as an 11-year-old
4:45 pm
she was witnessed racial -- witnessed racial violence firsthand when white mobs attacked east st. louis illinois, killing as many 150 black sidents. at t age of 19, baker moved to france to escape racism home. soon she became a supersr on stage and on screen. in 1951, she returned to the u.s. on tour but refus to play fosegregatedudiences she was then blacklisted after being accused of having ties to the communist party. in 1963, she flew in from paris to speak at the march on washington. the only woman. josephine baker died in 1975 but her legacy lives on. the induction ceremony for josephine baker comes at a time when racism is on the rise in france. earlier this week, the far right xenophobic writer and pundit eric zemmour announced he would run for president in april's election. he has been described as "the most extreme voice of french racism today." zemmour has repeatedly attacked
4:46 pm
islam, immigrants the left. , and the left. he has been charged with incitement to racial hatred after calling unaccompanied child migrants "thieves, killers, and rapists." some have described him as the french donald trump. we are joined now by french journalist and filmmaker rokhaya diallo. her latest op-ed for "the washington post" is headlined "josephine baker enters the pantheon. don't let it distract from this larger story." thank you so much for joining us. why don't you start off by telling us that larger story and then ginto the significance of josephine baker being recognized. >> thank you so much for inviting me. i am very happy to make the good news to finally have a woman of color in the pantheon, which like you said, is one of the most prestigious places to welcome the most revered french
4:47 pm
figures. it is something that is very meaningful. as well as being an entertainer, she was also a hero of resisting the second world war but also the march on washington. as you said, she was the only woman. the thing is, there are two rings that left me with mixed feelings. first, the fact france tends to use the fact has been welcoming to african throughout the 20th century, to picture yourself as a very open and welcoming country. t the thing that we tend to forget is while josephine baker was celebrated and dancing on parisian sages, france was very violent colonial power. perpetrating very much violence
4:48 pm
to people who were colonized and also displaying them in what was called at that time the colonial exhibition which are basically where you could see people calling from the colony to be seeny visitors from paris and other regions of france. there was a double standard with african-americans being welcome because they were americans and did not have historical -- to settle with france. at the same time, other people of color where submitted to the french state. nermeen: if you could elaborate on that a bit. i would like to read a short quotation from the acclaimed writer james baldwin, who was one of the most prominent african-americans to seek refuge in france. he wrote --
4:49 pm
" france,, black american posing no conceivable threat to french identity, in effect, i do not exist in france. i might have a very different tale to tell where i from senegal and a very bitter song to sing where i from algeria." rokhaya diallo, your comments? >> is very interesting because it istill the same today. if you are a black person from the u.s., you're mostly seen as american. the american identity is very prestigious and has nothing to do with our french colonialm. you don't think to the sense of guilt or confrontational relationship that you may have had with french because your ancestors were not victims of the french racism. seen as someone who does not have to deal with that national
4:50 pm
context. even benefit from the fact today you have many african-americans who are very famous, so you have this positive image. actually, i fl the same way when i go to the u.s. because i am french and i am seen as a french person. people understand by not african-american, i'm suddenly seen as someone that is connected to a country that is very prestigious fashion -- i no longer have to deal with all the racial issues connected to the african-american identity. james baldwin is an example of france not being as racist as the u.s., which to me is not true but that tells a lot about how that myth that is very vivid in u.s. context of the french being open minded is still alive, which is not the case.
4:51 pm
i was born and raised in france but mike pence were born in senegal. they were born with indigenous -- less than the status of citizens. when josephine baker was celebrated, my own ancestors, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, did not have the same opportunities. so if she was a black woman from africa or martinique, she would not have had the same opportunities. i think it is important to say that. i think we need to celebrate the fact she is finally recognized, but she -- france was not open to minorities. it was very violent and back to wares to prevent those people from gaining their freedom and standing for their own humanity. nermeen: you said also these issues persist today.
4:52 pm
how does this kind of racism manife itself broadly within french society, but also specifically with respect to its immigration policies? >> just mention the fact eric zemmour, now running for presidency, made his fame on his racist statements and sexist statements. his obsessions are mostly directly toward immigration and islam. when he says publicly he would run for presidency, was invit to a show and said he doesn't make any difference between islam and islamism, so extremism, and said according to him, muslims from france should -- how do you say it in english, they should not be muslim anymore. they should drop their religion. that means you can say that
4:53 pm
publicly and run for presidency and having many people decide to vote for you. to me, and at the same time, his stance is very aggressive toward immigration. there is also the government of emmanuel macron, i into immigrant -- open and type immigrant which was one of the worst loss in the second world war. celebrating josephine baker who was an immigrant and decided to leave her country because she wanted to live a better life elsewhere, while making things difficult for immigrants of today and to france is a contradiction to me because -- maybe today manual macron is
4:54 pm
preventing the fure josephine bakers from coming to france because the barriers to come here are higher and higher. there is a kind of ambivalence because while celebrating josephine baker, who was celebrated -- a celebrity the last century, today racism is still alive, expressing itself against all people of color, for example, in police brutality. we have statistics that say if you are seen as a black man or an arab man, or 20 times more likely to be checked randomly in the streets by police and if you long to any other category. that you have experience of a person of color in france facing racism, institutional racism and at the same time, a president that celebrates a woman of color
4:55 pm
who stood against racism but did so in the u.s. she never actually said anything against colonization or racism in france because the life she had an france made her be grateful. i understand why she was grateful, but it is very inconvenient to celebrate someone that has nothing to say against france. amy: rokhaya diallo, in talking about eric zemmour and what kind of threat he represents, can you talk about the role of the media? hasn't he been tried and convicted for heat speech several times? and what does that mean? close it is funny as the question because the first time he was convicted for hate speech, it was because of the debates we had -- he was facing me. to me, eric zemmour has been created by the media.
4:56 pm
not his first book, but the first book that made -- mention him was a very violent book against women, can spend on it against feminism. he became a pundit on public television. it was and even private television. he said even after being convicted, he remains public. he remains on the public television and other private media. to me there is much complicity from the media because they knew who he was. they were more interested by the noise around his statements and not echoing hate speeches. actually, to me, there's much complicity to other people that gave him -- amplified his voice
4:57 pm
because they gave him the platform to make them able to run for presidency. the atmosphere -- hate speech, racist statements, sexist statements, harassing people of color by having aggressive words against them. nermeen: could you explain what you think his actual prospects are as a presidential candidate? and very quickly, just to give some of the statements that you set have been amplified, he has compared people to not see is him, said parents should really give children traditional french names, advance the great replacement theory, and said political power should be with men and not women whose role it is to have and raise children. >> yes, he said that. he said women are unable to be
4:58 pm
geniuses and to be politicians because to him, they don't have the ability. he says that without consequence. just lately, was facing a muslim woman with a hijab in the scarf and he asked her to remove her headscarf. i remember you tell me turn the same debate my first and was not really french and my parents should have named me differently to make me french-er. that was so offensive. that was so aggressive. i don't understand my people did not challenge him were directly. and now -- amy: 10 seconds. >> he is testing whatever he wants without facing real criticized and did cricize. that is difficult because it is more provocative than marine le
4:59 pm
pen was the head of theurrent far right -- amy: we want to thank you for joining us, rokhaya diallo, french journalist, writer, and fell maker. contributing writer for "the washington post" and we will link to her
5:00 pm
♪ hello there and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobyashi in new york. a magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck yamanashi prefecture west of tokyo. there is no threat of tsunami. now, the quake occurred at 6:37 a.m. on friday japan time. it registered an intensity of up to 5 minus on japan's seismic scale of 027. the meteorological agency says the quake's focus was in the

30 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on