tv Global 3000 LINKTV April 16, 2022 10:00am-10:31am PDT
verdin: the selevel eps rising. weather keeps getting more extreme. and now, a yealater, bp cleanup workers are getting sick. friloux: we're going to see people getting sick, especially people who worked directly in the oil. it will be our native american people who will be lost. the whole generation that cleaned up the gulf that could be gone in ten years. and not to mention drug and alcohol abuse and also suicides. because they're saying people are depressed. you know, we've been treated bad throughout the years, but this, to me, could destroy our tribe, our tribal people, or our indian people, as a whole.
del toro: stay up to date on america reframed at worldchannel.org. subscribe to world channel's youtube to go beyond the lens with our filmmakers. tell us what you think using #americareframed. major funding for america reframed was provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, wyncote foundation, the corporation for public broadcasting, additional funding for america reframed provided by: open society foundations, acton family giving, park foundation, the national endowment for the arts, and the reva and david logan foundation.
♪ ♪ i grew up in roslindale on a dead-end street called delford. i was born in 1985, so i existed in roslindale probably about the first 12 years of my life, and i would say it was a bit of a utopia. a lot of people think of america as a melting pot inhis time period. no, my street was a tossed salad. we had a little t of everybody, and everyone brought their own flavor, their own style. i learned about convergent and divergent boundaries from people who escaped these volcanic islands that erupted, from montserrat. i learned about puerto rican culture and that puerto ricans, me of them were black.
i was, like, "oh, my god." this was just all these learning experiences. i was raised by cambodians. i had a little bit of everything in roslindale, and it was perfect until a day in 1996, when boston cided to drown a whole bunch of poor immigrants in roslindale. on this paicular day in 1996-- it wasn't raining, it was dzzlingall right? so doing what i would always do on sundays with my brother, i decided that i wanted my bacon, egg, and cheese. and being a little sister, my brother's, like, "you're going to go to the store to get the eggs." i'm, like, "all right, cool, whatever, josh, i'll do it." so i go get my eggs, but the first thing i realize is, "why am i hopping over puddles "to get over washington street to four brothers' market? all right, whatever, let me just get the eggs." i head on home. by the time i get home, i realize the water's starting to pool at the side of the sidewalks a little more. the water's not going down, but it's reallnot raining. this is kind of weird, but i'm just going to watch "ghostwriter" and keep minding my business, all ght? eventually, we start to hear the water, the dogs start to congregate on the third floor and howl, the cats start to pace. me being from roslindale, growing up in arboretums, i know you trust animals, all right?
so i'm, like, "something's wrong." eventually, i hear the sound of water-- sounds like it's coming from the basement. me and my brother, being the investigators that we are, go into the basement and realize that there's brown and black water pouring in from the back of the basement. and it's coming in pretty fast. eventually, it opens the door, and we can't close the door. so we're, like, "okay, well, let's just call ma." ma's at work. my mom works in cambridge-- "ma, the house is flooding." "ashley, it can't be flooding-- i'm in cambridge, it's not raining." "i know,ut it's flooding." wiin the next hour, there's a firefighter at our door saying that we have to leave on a raft. this is roslindale, y'all-- this is roslindale, okay? raft. "ma, i got to leave on a raft." all right, i'm just going to get the cats and the dogs and get on the raft-- the guy says, "you can't bring the cats and the dogs." i said, "well, then, you know, i'm not going." i go onto this whole tangent, noah's ark, i'm not leaving, punky didn't leave brandon, i'm not doing it. leave me here, i'm going down with the ship. one of my neighbors come over and said, "ashley, get in this raft." and this was back in the day when your neighbor could still, like, discipli you, so i said, "all right, i'm going to get in the raft and go." i end up at the roslindale community center, which is...
at the archdale community center, which is now the menino center. and it's pretty fun, because this is where i play basketball every day. i, like, get there, this group called fema passes me a hat, a flashlight, and a cot. i'm, like, "i can play basketball, "my mother's not here-- this is great. all right, this works." until my mother shows up with the cat in a bag, literally. i'm, like, "yeah, you saved my cat, ma, you're the best! but you smell like sewage." she looks like... "all right, ash, take the cat." but my mom doesn't look like her normal self. i'm, like, maybe it's because she's wet. once she dries off, she'll be back to normal. "ma, look at my... ma, what's wrong? what's going on with the house?" she says, "everything's under water. we can't go back to the house." i'm, like, "well, ma, we're at the gym, it's fine." she said, "but..." my mom doesn't look normal at this point. like, i'm starting to get a little more worried, but we have four days at this community center. on the fifth day, my friends called fema leave. little did i know they wld leave us floating on faith forever. after that, we had to live in cars, because the community center had to turn back into a gym eventually. we lived in cars for two weeks. eventually, my mom, being from new york city, having no family, ended up breaking back into the condemned apartments, because we realized they'd flooded us with sewage.
so we could no longer live there, but my mom had nowhere to go, so she becomes a squatter. we squat in this apartment illegally for seven to eight months until eventually my mom wins an apartment. she actually wins a home off of watching tv for the first time. it was... oprah had a show on, a special called "habitat for humanity." (applause) right, clap for oprah, right? love oprah. and i look at it, i say, "ma, we should apply for this habitat for humanity thing." she's, like, "ashley, don't you realize i lose everything? i just lost a house, i lost everything." i said, "ma, i just won the easter egg raffle-- i win everything, all right?" so we're both going back and forth. i decide, "you know what, ma? i'm going to apply. because my english teacher said i'm a good writer." the application comes, i apply. lo and behold, two weeks later, i told you so. we got picked for the habitat for humanity house i'm like, "yay!" now at's when we clap for habitat. (applause) within one... they spent one year, college kids, church missionaries, volunteers helped me rebuild a house that we now... mmom still owns and lives on on hansborough street in dorchester.
i get a scholarship to colge, my life's put back together. i go back and make sure i help out for habitat for humanity when hurricane katrina hits, 'cause it's the cycle of giving, but i still hate fema. (laughter) i hate fema-- i kid you not. the wrath of revenge and hate that i have for them, it never left. it actually didn't leave, i would say, until about two weeks ago. i end up about to be able to perform at a special event, and i'm happy to go over. they're, like, "oh, ashley, you're a poet. i hear you write a lot about housing rights." and i go into this whole tangent about being displaced and flooded, and this random guy in the audience stands up and says, "i'm sorry." i said, "you are. you are sorry for interrupting me like that." i was, like, "what are you doing?" he goes, "no, ma'am, i was on that team 20 years ago from fema." i look at this man with the wrath of hate. every... it was a "get out" moment. have you guys ever seen "get out," when she stirs the cup? i immediately start to... no, i immediately start to cry. i'm, like, "you're from where?" he says, "i'm from fema, "and i have to stand here and ask you for forgiveness. "i was newi was in my 20s.
i remember what they did to you, the cambodians, the lebanese." he starts to name... he said, "your street's the street with the..." we said it at the same time-- "the wall." roslindale, if you go from forest hills down, is a valley at first, if you know that. roslindale literally goes into a bucket. there was no way you would escape. and the one thing i had to look at, he said, "i didn't forget about your street, and i can't lie-- "over recent times when these hurricanes have hit houston, "tampa, the u.s. virgin islands, and puerto rico, "i always say, 'i saw this early in my career, "and it happened on a street, on delford.' will you forgive me?" i look at him with the wrath of hate in my eyes, remembering the depression that my mom still hasn't left, remembering how we had no homes, how i had to explain to the timilty school why i had no clean clothes. how you never me back to save us. i thought about, though, the fact that i got a scholarship to college, that habitat for humanity gave me the one thing i needed, that i thought i needed the most, which was a house. god might have been working in the funniest ways. i didn't need a house.
this man gave me the one thing that i needed for 30 years, and that was an apology. thank you. (cheers and applause) ellaraino: i was in love with tyrone. my relationship was heating up. (laughing) and my parents knew that, so they had to take charge. mother told me we would be spending the summer in the south. and that's where i was going to be introduced to my great-grandmother silvia. she was 106 years old. and i just didn't want to spend time with a senile old woman. but four ds later, we were inarmerville, louisiana.
driving on this old road i saw this log cabin. and i noticed on the front porch that was her. she had a slender, you know, almost frail frame. but i still found her be regal looking. and at night she would tell her stories. when the civil war ended, she was my age. she was 16. she said even thgh she had frdom, not knowing how to read d write made her feel like a jig-saw puzzle wi some of the pieces miing. and en she was 85 yearsold, " she got help from grown-ups, and you know, and sometimes from children. and she would study on her own. d thenhe tolme shead something special to show me. she went to a cedar chest tand she openedt up and when i sawhat it was i wawonderin
why is she bringing me this old, tattered church fan? but when she turned it over, scrawled on the back of that fan she had printed "silvia. she had to me when she cod spell her name th was when she got r freem. you know, she passed in 1965. but grandma silvia is living on in my heart ♪ in 2015, i started hearing about this natural gas pipeline
that was going to be built in west roxbury. nothing this big had ever been built in a densely populated neighborhood. now i'd already signed petitions against pipelines in other parts of the country, and now there was one coming in my own backyard. but i didn't get involved right away. see, even though it was in a residential nehborhood, near my church, with two schools, plus a senior center, and even though it was across the street from a quarry... now, i'm not an engineer, but i think it doesn't take more than common sense to know that highly flammable stuff, and a place where they blow up things are a bad combination. all of these things were clear. this was a terrible idea. but there was one challenge.
see, i grew up in xbury, predominantly black neighborhood, where we feel like too often we get dumped on. and this pipeline was going to be built in west roxbury, a predominantly white neighborhood, very well connected. i figured, i'm working so much on stuff in my own neighborhood, they got this, they'll handle it. everybody will come to their aid. but the pipeline kept being built. and finally some friends asked me to come to a rally, so i showed up. and next thing i knew, i was in west roxbury almost every week. people were coming out, they were standing in front of the trucks, stopping the construction, and i supported them. but in terms of getting arrested, i held back. i figured, does the world really need another black person to go to prison? so, finally i got an email from a friend. it talked about how in pakistan, the summer before,
1,300 people had died because of heatwaves-- so many people that grave diggers were starting to dig ditches in anticipation of summer. and the ditches in pakistan looked eerily similar to the ditch in west roxbury. so we decided to have an action to call attention to this, and to mourn all the people who were losing their lives because of climate change. we chose a date,une 29th, my birthday. my birthday's complicated. it's a day i celebrate, but it's also a day that i mourn. anyway, the day came, i was in all black in my full clerical gear, and there was a lot of sun. so, we had a prayer service, but we kept it short. and then we jumped in the ditch. standing there, in the ditch, waiting to get arrested.
and i started to think about what i usually think about on my birthday. see, june 29th is not just the day i was born. it's also the day kareem died. in 2005, i was running a youth arts program to teach young people how to take their art and talk about social justice issues. and kareem was one of our young artists. he was charismatic, and really committed, and all of the young people really followed his lead. t on june 29, 2005, i woke up on my birthday to a call from a colleague, telling me that kareem had been shot and killed in the early hours of the morning a few miles from my house. he had wanted to turn his life around. but some folks just wouldn't let him move beyond the life of his past.
and so standing in this ditch as the only person of color in a privileged part of the city, i felt like i needed to say something about kareem. that we shouldn't just fighting for people dying in pakistan, or even in west roxbury, if we couldn't honor the lives of young people who were dying because of even less futuristic things than climate change. so i started talking. first to the people next to me, then loud enough that the police could hear. and then when i was done, people clapped and thanked me for sharing about kareem's life. as i got arrested and carted away, they cheered and said my name and his name. i ended up in a jail cell with a 70-something-year-old activist in a tie dye shirt and birkenstocks from the suburbs. (chuckli) she talked about all of the different issues she had been working on over her whole life. and as we waited for the bail bondsman,
we started to question how could we build this world where we wouldn't sacrifice people in pakistan or in roxbury? finally, i got bailed out, my family picked me up, and they took me to the beach for, you know, watching the beach, sunset on my birthday. and as i looked out over the waves, i realized that that day, i built a little bit of a bridge between two opposing neighborhoods. and maybe i'd made a small dent in helping us see the connection between climate change and violence. so, in the end, june 29th, it's not just the day i was born, it's not just the day kareem died. it's also a day where i stood up for something i believe in. thank you. (cheerand applause)
ari: i'm worng three demanding jobs, and tomorrow is sunday, the one day i have all to myself. as an importanaside, i'm iranian, and i was raised to do a few things really well. to know how to get guests to, to always be humble, to be very family-oriented, and to always respect my elders. thus, when my great-uncle, who's 85 years old, asked me if i can ow around his friend new york city for the first time, who's visiting america for the first time, saying no is notnly not in my vocabulary, it's not even a thought that crosses my mind. and it's forecast to rain this day, and i just keep thinking, "what will i do with this 76-year-old man on this cloudy day?"
and my great-uncle keeps telling me, "he's a historian. "ellis island and the statue of liberty "are all he can talk about. take him there." so, i meet him and he speaks with tse eager five-year-old eyes. and for a split second, it feels like i'm meeting myself if i were a 76-year-old man. it's just because he's so excited about everything. the air, public transportation, new york city magnets. i kid you not, he spoke to me about pigeons, and i was like, "if you like our pigeons, wait till you see our rats." (laughter) and so he doesn't speak english. so the whole time, we're conversing in farsi. and he tells me that it has taken him years to get his tourist visa, and that it has been his lifelong dream to see america. and every two minutes, like clockwork, he keeps telling me, "you are so lucky to be born here, to live here."
and at one point he brings up the pigeons again, and he's like, "even your pigeons look more free." (laughter) and so wstopped to buy this i hearnew york magnet, and his face is harboring the smile that feels way too impossibly large to be cradled by the uare footage of his wrinkles. "i am so lucky," he tells me, "to be able to visit america." so we get on this boat to go to ellis island. the clouds are looming over us. there's a couple in bright yellow ponchos sitting in front of us. and yet somehow everything still feels so beautiful and atne point on the ferry ride, he turns to me and says, (speaking farsi)-- "i have fallen in love with america." he asked if it's okay for us to take a photo to remember the moment, and i'm like,
"yeah, sure, just do it fast," because it really looks like it's about to pour. and so he's like, "let me ask, i think i know how to ask in english." and soe leans into the couple in front of us. he has an accent, but it's very clear what he's trying to say. "es-queeze me." no response. "es-queeze me." no response. he lightly taps them. "es-queeze me." and i'm sitting there thinking maybe they don't understand him, or maybe they can't hear him. and so i'm like, "let me help, let me chime in with my american tongue." and i'm like, "excuse me, would you mind just taking a photo..." and the woman's neck twitches, and she slightly turns right, as if to almost acknowledge us. but she's intercepted by her husband snatching her arm, warning her, "don't help them." the silence that takes over my body is deafening.
my heart is somehow bo shattered and numb all in the same moment. and at this point, it's raining, which is, ironically, really convenient, because it helps me in successfully hiding that there are tears falling down my face. and all i keep thinking about is how do i translate this moment to this man who literally just spent the last two hours telling me how he is in love with america how do i tell him that the same america that he loves doesn't love him back? and i'm trying to pretend like everything is okay, but he knows that it isn't. he asks me what they said, and another tear falls. and he knows. without me saying a single word, he knows. hatred doesn't need a translation. he looks like the wind is knocked out of him for a split second,
and then he puts his head down and he looks back up, and he's like, "look, there it is, "the statue of liberty. come, come, let's just take a selfie," and he literally uses the word "selfie." he's like, (speaking farsi) and it was the sweetest thing. and as we're trying to take this selfie, another couple sees us, and asked if we need a hand with that. and before i can say anything, he's already on it. like, "yes, photo, please. thank you." and then he motions with his hands if he can take-- do the same for them. and they understand. without him saying a single word, they understand. it turns out love also doesn't need translation. and as he's taking their photo, he turns to me and says, "you mustn't let people like that get to you. there's still beauty in this world." i smile, wipe away any evidence of tears, and we continue on our ride into ellis island.
i wouldn't want to iort danger into my household. i wouldn't want to import disease into my household. when you say danger and disease, what do you mean? - immigration brings in danger and disease. - do you think thas down to other people coming in? well, hiv, it's a combination of factors. it's homosexuals spread hiv, predominately, but the only other way you see people getting it in great britain is through migrant poputions. (upbeat jazz music i've been spending time with britain's right wing extremists. the election of london's muslim mayor was seen as a progressive step in britain's diveity,