Skip to main content

tv   The People v. The Klan  CNN  April 18, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

10:00 pm
someone has taken a young man, hung him in a tree. who would do something this hideous? >> michael donald was an innocent good samaritan, not a thug. >> the mobile police department just didn't want to believe that mobile would still have klan in it, but they did. >> that's why we kept marching and protesting. we ain't going to take this lying down. >> the admitted klansman turned
10:01 pm
ashen as the words guilty of capital murder sank in. >> it was the first time that a white had been sentenced to death for a crime committed against a black person in the state of alabama. >> beulah mae donald is grieving but also seeking justice for her child. >> this is a black woman who has just lost her son to lynching, finds the strength to move forward in a civil suit against the klan in alabama. >> the stakes could not be higher. >> the body of a black man has been found hanging from a tree in mobile, alabama. >> lynching is a tool to control and oppress black people. >> racialized violence is as old as the constitution. >> klans are not running around with white sheets over their head, but it's still happening. >> today people are horrified of the police. it's the modern-day lynching. >> what are we going to do about
10:02 pm
it? we move forward with people deciding i'm bold enough, and i'm going to make it change. >> beulah mae donald took on one of the most violent criminal organizations in the united states. >> this is an incredible story of courage. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> and if we don't get no justice, there ain't going to be no damn peace. that's the bottom line. there is a level of mental illness that has been inflicted upon our society that can no longer stand. and it didn't just start today, but it is at a critical point. when you get too far away from your history, then you're unable to understand the moment we're in and the direction that we can continue to go in if we don't stop.
10:03 pm
lynching became a tool used by both white citizenry as well as law enforcement to control and oppress black people. while there appeared to be progress, we have the reminders of racialized violence, of murder, of lynching, and we see it most clearly with the murder of michael donald. >> my uncle thomas figures and my father michael figures, they worked incredibly, incredibly hard to ensure that justice was served in the criminal case. they both knew that that was not going to be enough. the klan was just as much of a threat as it was before the criminal case. and that's when my father teamed up with the morris ds. >> after law school in 1960 when
10:04 pm
i got to practicing law, there were a lot of violent acts that we saw in the united states. >> the beating of the freedom riders in birmingham. the violent deaths around mississippi and georgia and alabama and other places. the killing of val alou zoe committed by what people suspected were cln members but very few of them were actually apprehended. i thought to myself if i ever get an opportunity to get on the other side of fighting those that did it, i'd do it in a minute. i decided i'd go down to mobile and watch michael donald's criminal trial. i wanted to know everything i could. >> so following the criminal trial, that's when my father, michael figures and morris dees teamed up to bring a civil suit against the klan. >> morris dees came and talked to my mother. he said, i'm going to get everything that you want for you, mrs. donald, because you have been good through this. i don't think i could go through
10:05 pm
this. he told her that. >> morris dees and michael figures went after the organization rather than the individuals. and a lot of people questioned whether he was going to be successful. >> the michael donald civil case was the first time that a jury had a chance to rule on the acts of a hate group organization and its members for doing a serious horrible lynching. if we could win this case, we could wipe out all the groups. >> beulah mae donald having endured the emotional rigors of a criminal trial, knew that she wasn't done. >> my mother, she said the worst has already been done. my child is gone. i want to make them pay for what they've done to my child. >> it became a national case. >> the donald family felt others were involved and filed a civil suit against the united klan. >> the aim was to dismantle
10:06 pm
whatever financial base the group has and to establish a precedent that can be used by other victims of klan violence. >> to file a civil suit against a group of named klan individuals, bennie hays chose tiger knowles and henry heys to do this deed, got them a gun, got them a rope to go out and find a black person to kill, just any black person. >> we filed a civil suit against robert shelton when he was the imperial wizard of the united klans of america. my take on robert chilton was that he was very smart. you could tell by the way he organized, the way he dressed. he wore klan uniforms and paraphernalia around klan gatherings but not in the public. he was a coat and tie kind of guy, and he set up an organization that was pretty sophisticated. >> shelton's chapters were responsible for really horrific violence, and shelton's people were organized and were vicious. a number of them had military training, and that made them a
10:07 pm
much more dangerous threat. >> over the last several months, members of the aryan nation's church and other neo-nazi groups have been connected to a whole series of very violent events. >> the united klans of america, the country's oldest group of ku klux klansmen is threatened with financial ruruin. >> they started calling into the night, wee hours of the morning to say we're going to come and get you. they just kept calling, kept calling. >> they got fired up because we sued them. >> in 1983, the klan burned our building in montgomery, alabama. >> not only had our office been fire bombed in the night by a klan group, morris lived at that time on a farm. >> they came to my house trying to track me down. they found i had security guards out there. >> they discovered on his property camouflaged klan people with high-powered assault rifles trying to sneak up to morris' house. >> the neo-nazis and the ku klux
10:08 pm
klan are closely allied. both groups claim they have infiltrated military reserve units and can get their hands on a variety of sophisticated weapons. >> they had a hate list of people they wanted to kill. >> the hit list assigns value to targets. they included everything from killing a ran dom person of color all the way up to the assassination of major targets that they would like addressed. >> the fbi showed me a copy. i was on top of that list. one of the guys that they wanted to kill was alan berg, denver radio talk show host. he was condemning the neo-nazis, and they mowed him down, killed him, shot him. that got our attention in a big way, i can assure you. >> morris dees told my mom, i have gotten death threats. are you prepared for this? she said, i don't care. i just want the world to know what has happened to my son. >> beulah mae donald versus
10:09 pm
united klans of america. she put her name, one person, one individual, one mother against the klan. she knew that the klan had no problems killing children. why would they refrain from killing an elderly black woman? she knew what the risks were, and she did it anyway, not merely on her behalf. she did it on behalf of other mothers, on behalf of their children. >> i fought for a departmental trial, one officer fired, which there should have been at least six officers fired. >> the idea that your child can be killed by the state and there be no justice is enough to make someone lose their mind. >> justice would be when all of those officers stand accountable for my son's death.
10:10 pm
then at least it would be closure because there is no justice for eric because eric is dead. >> and the fact that these mothers continue to work and go about life and try to encourage other people, that's some powerful shit.
10:11 pm
after forty, we need anti-aging care that works. am i right ladies? new from l'oréal, revitalift night serum with pure retinol. international patent pending. our most potent retinol. so effective, in a clinical test, 100% of women showed reduction of wrinkles. even deep wrinkles. powerful results, validated by dermatologists. it's an anti-aging superstar! new revitalift night serum with pure retinol. from l'oréal paris. we're worth it.
10:12 pm
(computer beeps) from l'oréal paris. (shaq) magenta? i hate cartridges. not magenta, not magenta. i'm not going back to the store. magenta! cartridges are so... (buzzer) (vo) the epson ecotank. no more cartridges! it comes with an incredible amount of ink that can save you a lot of frustration. ♪ the epson ecotank. just fill and chill. what if we were wrong this whole time?
10:13 pm
wrong in thinking that joy happens only at the end. after the sacrifice. after the win. what if happiness has always been there, fueling the run toward greatness? what if joy is the whole game, not just the end game? ♪ can i kick it? yes you can. ♪ ♪ can i kick it? ♪ ♪ (ac/dc: back in black) ♪ ♪ yes you can. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ can i kick it? ♪ the bowls are back. applebee's irresist-a-bowls all just $8.99.
10:14 pm
♪ we're asking you to return a money judgment for punitive damages. and the judge will tell you that the punitive damages -- >> the trial, it was the klan and their ben factors stood on one side, and then my mom and her supporters stood on the other side. some days it was so full, you couldn't get in there. >> when you looked in ms. donald's eyes, oh, it would break my heart every time i talked to her because i knew that her son had been murdered. and here she was having to go through this trial, which had to be hard on her, but you would never know it. i mean she was so solid. >> if they could stand to see
10:15 pm
michael, ci could stand to see their faces. >> people were just surprised of the courage that we had, not knowing that sometimes we had to cry at night because we didn't know. and we had to moan sometimes because we didn't know. but when we walked out, we presented ourself as a family. >> in most prior cases that hate people were involved in it, they indpict the hate people but not the leaders of the group unless the leaders of the group had a plan to commit violent acts, and haes not easily said or done. for this trial, hi to show the united klan had a history of carrying out its white supremacy acts with violence.
10:16 pm
>> we started by the things that the klan had done and robert shelton, the leader, had been behind . >> after we filed the civil suit, i got a letter in the mail from bennie hays. he sent me a copy of the charter given by shelton to unit 900 in mobile. he says, i want you to have this, and if you would come down to mobile to my house, i can give you some documentation that would help me in the civil suit. i stuck my baretta 357 in my hip pocket and off i went to mobile.
10:17 pm
and they had a box of documents, and i had a chance to look at them. and that was the 50-page constitution of the united klans of america. documents that you don't get to see unless you're in the klan. so i said, i'd like to take these with me. he said, no. i want you to get my son off death row. and i said, well, a jury put him on death row, a judge did, and i can't do anything about that. but don't you destroy these documents. so i walked out of there with nothing. and about a week or two, bennie hays was arrested and put in the mobile county jail. it burned his house down to get a lawyer to represent his son, and he had been indicted for that. >> we were able to establish it
10:18 pm
was, in fact, arson, so our office prosecuted him under the mail fraud charge. the judge gave him five years. >> i said now is the chance for me to get these documents, and i took a long shot. i sent a deposition discovery document to mrs. hays and says bring all the documents to the federal courthouse. she appeared with all the documents, every one of them. the constitution of the united klans of america ended up to be some of the most powerful evidence that we had against the uka. >> and so we had to put witnesses on the stand the perfect witness was gary thomas
10:19 pm
rowe. >> gary thomas rowe was an fbi informant. he was involved in some of the most significant and important moments in civil rights history, like the beating of the freedom riders, like the murder of viola liuso. at one point he actually testifies to the senate, and he tries to disguise himself in the most bizarre way of putting a white napkin over his head shaped in such a way that it looked as though he was wearing a klan hood. >> i have been instructed to disrupt, discredit, the atlanta organization to the best of my ability. >> and to get the information, was it necessary to participate in the violent acts itself? >> some of the information, yes, and some i would say no, sir. >> in connection with the freedom riders incident that you mentioned, did the birmingham police give you the time to
10:20 pm
perform the beating? >> yes, sir. we were promised 15 minutes with absolutely no intervention from me police officer whatsoever. >> and then were they beaten? >> they were beaten very badly, yes. >> gary thomas rowe, he was able to connect the dots between the klan and the violence of the klan during that time. >> so we had this man tied to a whole series of acts, and it was read to the jury. it was very, very powerful. he was behind the beating of the freedom riders. >> the 16th street baptist church bombing in birmingham. >> the killing of viola liuzzo. robert shelton, the leader, was behind it all. hey! it's me! your dry skin! i'm craving something we're missing. the ceramides in cerave.
10:21 pm
they help restore my natural barrier, so i can lock in moisture. we've got to have each other's backs... cerave. now the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand. these are real people, not actors, who've got their eczema under control. with less eczema, you can show more skin. so roll up those sleeves. and help heal your skin from within with dupixent. dupixent is the first treatment of its kind that continuously treats moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis, even between flare ups. dupixent is a biologic, and not a cream or steroid. many people taking dupixent saw clear or almost clear skin, and, had significantly less itch. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur, including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines, don't change or stop them
10:22 pm
without talking to your doctor. so help heal your skin from within, and talk to your eczema specialist about dupixent. if your financial situation has changed, we may be able to help. the harry's razor is not the same. our razors have five german engineered blades designed to stay sharp, so your eighth shave is as smooth as your first. and we never upcharge you for high quality. harry's. available in store and at
10:23 pm
10:24 pm
in mobile, alabama, in 1981, there was a klan group operating there, united klans of america, a part of robert shelton's empire. in our civil case, the strategy was used to tie the local folks' actions on to the national klan organization. >> you don't have to show that the head of the united klans, robert shelton, said kill michael donald. we've shown all these other violent things he had done. all we have to do with this corporation -- and it was a corporation -- was to show his
10:25 pm
top officials who were behind and promoted the killing. >> bennie hays was the second or third highest ranking klansman in the state at the time of the murder. >> bennie, he gave the orders. he manipulated these young people. tiger knowles was 17 years old at the time. bennie hays was just as culpable and should have been held just as accountable. >> and all of that together went to show the pattern of violence that this group had encouraged around the time the michael donald lynching took place.
10:26 pm
>> when i had tiger knowles testify, i got some help from the attorney general of the united states at the time, and they broke every rule you could break to get him brought down to mobile. i concentrated on information that he could give me about who was involved in this planning session down there in mobile the week before this all happened. he got on the stand and in detail told exactly what happened. he pointed out people sitting out there, the individuals who was at that meeting that night and their knowledge of everything. he talked about the united klans of america head, robert shelton. i showed him that photograph of the face of michael donald, and you could see on the photograph a boot print because when they put the rope around his neck, they put the boot against both
10:27 pm
sides of his face, pulled on it until there was no breath left in him. and i know ms. donald couldn't have helped but have seen that picture when it was passed on to the jury. at the end of the trial, he looked over at ms. donald. he looked at her sitting there at that table. >> he said that his own family had turned against him, and he also said he didn't have a family. and to know that somebody cares about someone, it made him have a deep feeling in his heart that he felt sorry. >> i told her that i was sorry and that -- and if i could, i would take her son's place. >> that's when he asked me would i forgive him. >> what did you say? >> oh, yes, i had already did that. >> you had already forgiven him. >> yes, sir. i had already asked the lord to take it in his hands.
10:28 pm
>> i don't think there was a dry eye in that courtroom. i know there wasn't at our counsel table, and i saw jurors brushing back tears. [ bell tolling ] >> beulah mae donald's ability to forgiven james "tiger" knowles of an unspeakable crime is a commentary on her character and not on his crime. but it also raises the question how long must america count on the bottomless well of black people's forgiveness. >> i was angry. i was angry for a long time.
10:29 pm
i just had to forgive him because it wasn't going to bring the girls back. it wasn't going to bring my sight back. and when i just let it go, that's when i started to feel better. >> these stories of black forgiveness are character lessons. but the character lesson is not, let us black people to serially forgive, but rather, let us challenge ourselves to not engage in unforgivable behavior. >> this is a portion of my father's closing statement from the civil trial. it was michael donald on march 21st, 1981, but who will it be tomorrow? unless you speak very loudly and very clearly to send that message throughout the country. who will it be tomorrow? what should your verdict be? obviously we think it should be for the plaintiffs. we think it should be in the amount of every penny we've
10:30 pm
asked for. surely we don't expect them to ever pay $10 million. they don't have that kind of money. but the message has to be loud and clear. no man is an island. we're all a part of one another. each man's death diminishes me for i am involved in mankind and therefore never seem to know for whom the bell tolls. they toll for mrs. donald right now, but one day they may toll for thee. thank you.
10:31 pm
♪ (ac/dc: back in black) ♪ ♪ ♪ the bowls are back. applebee's irresist-a-bowls all just $8.99. after forty, we need anti-aging care that works. am i right ladies? new from l'oréal, revitalift night serum with pure retinol. international patent pending.
10:32 pm
our most potent retinol. so effective, in a clinical test, 100% of women showed reduction of wrinkles. even deep wrinkles. powerful results, validated by dermatologists. it's an anti-aging superstar! new revitalift night serum with pure retinol. from l'oréal paris. we're worth it.
10:33 pm
10:34 pm
the outcome of the criminal trial was step one. the outcome of the civil trial could be the most important statement that could possibly be made here. essentially an indictment on the entire culture that led to michael donald's death. >> in mobile, alabama, last night, an all-white federal jury hit the united klans of america with $7 million in damages. the lawsuit grew out of the
10:35 pm
murder six years ago of a young black man, michael donald. >> that was my baby, and nothing they do can bring him back. but i still say i am proud that this came to court. >> we think this verdict sends a very strong message across the country that white southernists, white mobilians will not tolerate this kind of activity. >> this is a very vicious klan group, and i hope the decision of this jury today will put it out of business. >> i didn't want it to happen to nobody else's child like it has mine. you don't know the agony until you go through it. >> there had really been some justice done in this. i was doubtful because had it been up to some people, it wouldn't have advanced forward. >> it's not really about a jury
10:36 pm
award of $7 million. it's not merely about getting, if you will, the keys to the klan kingdom. what it was about is that we hold accountable institutions and organizations that propagate hate. and we as a society are holding everybody accountable. >> the klan was hit with a $7 million wrongful death verdict in a case brought by donald a mother. the klan didn't have the money and wound up having to sign over its tuscaloosa building to her. >> she said, i just don't care about the money. i really don't. but the building sold really fast. that's why she was able to get the home that now stands where it is today. >> i wasn't expecting any, you know, deathbed confession from henry hays. he had never done that, and he didn't admit to the crime, but he did admit to having made poor
10:37 pm
choices, having bad associations. he said, if my association with the klan makes me guilty, i apologize for that. he never said, i committed this crime. >> we're about to close a chapter in what many call the last lynching in america. henry hays has 4 1/2 hours now to say his final good-byes to his family and friends. >> people have no idea what i'm fixing to go through. >> this guy only had numbers of years to realize to this point what's going to happen to him. he had plenty of opportunities to correct himself, but he's a diehard klansman. >> so when we went to the execution, the news media came down and said, one of y'all can go in. he said, i'm going. stanley said, i'm going in. and when he went in, henry hays
10:38 pm
looked at him and said, will you forgive me? and he said, i forgive you. >> 42-year-old henry hays died in alabama's electric chair early this morning after refusing a last meal. >> and i think we cried all the way back home from prison. we cried all the way back home because we knew that chapter was finally over. nobody wins when it's like that because two families have been destroyed over a simple act of pure hatred. >> at some point, bennie felt some guilt because he knew that he probably had cost that boy his life. my biggest regret is never having tried bennie hays.
10:39 pm
the trial ended in a mistrial because bennie hays either faked or had a heart attack in the presence of the jury. >> chris galanos and team indicted him in the murder, but he died while in custody. he was officially the leader of the group and unofficially the evil force behind it. >> there were threats. there was a contract on my life. everybody hated me. i was given a life sentence. i really thought my life sentence was going to be reduced so i could get out. but it wasn't. i was made promises that were not kept, and nobody would put anything in writing. but they would say things, and i ended up spending a long time in prison. >> the justice department, united states justice, never
10:40 pm
intended to agree that he'd be paroled. but because of him helping me and providing me with very, very good information, i began an effort to try to get him released from federal prison, and that happened after 20 years. they finally released him. >> i disagree with it. it was just the epitome of senseless, mindless violence. i don't think he should have ever been released. >> death to our enemies! >> the klan has resurrected itself throughout american history. >> white power! >> and so the idea that one case would finish off the klan wasn't anything i could believe.
10:41 pm
hey! it's me! your dry skin! i'm craving something we're missing. the ceramides in cerave. they help restore my natural barrier, so i can lock in moisture. we've got to have each other's backs... cerave. now the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand. now, simparica trio simplifies protection.
10:42 pm
ticks and fleas? see ya! heartworm disease? no way! simparica trio is the first chewable that delivers all this protection. and simparica trio is demonstrated safe for puppies. it's simple: go with simparica trio. this drug class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including seizures; use with caution in dogs with a history of these disorders. protect him with all your heart. simparica trio. since you're heading off to school, i got you this brita.
10:43 pm
dad... i just got a zerowater. but we've always used brita. it's two stage-filter... doesn't compare to zerowater's 5-stage. this meter shows how much stuff, or dissolved solids, gets left behind. our tap water is 220. brita? 110... seriously? but zerowater- let me guess. zero? yup, that's how i know it is the purest-tasting water. i need to find the receipt for that. oh yeah, you do. ♪ ♪ if sweat is your body's natural way of cooling itself down. ♪ then condensation
10:44 pm
♪ is a beer's natural way of saying: ♪ drink me. ♪ michelob ultra now with a new look. ms. donald bankrupted the structure of the organization but not the mentality. >> we still got klan in alabama. they bankrupt, but that don't mean anything. >> that ain't going to stop them from hurting people. i know it's not. i know it's not. >> the settlement in the michael donald case certainly was
10:45 pm
something that organizers in the white power movement were paying attention to as they planned what was next for their movement. >> what doesn't destroy us makes us stronger, and i believe that these type of attacks in many ways will strengthen our movement. >> the old way of activism was a problem because the michael donald case really brought down that model of organizing. the klan becomes one strand of a broad and intertwined social movement that brought together klansmen, neo-nazis, white separatists, christian identity proponents and other followers of white religious theologies. later on it brought in skin heads, militia men, and it brought people together in a much more violent and revolutionary way than they had organized their violence under shelton and the uka. >> white victory! >> we don't need to be in the
10:46 pm
same group. at this point in the history of the klan in the united states, it would be against our interests to totally combine. >> louis beam's contribution to the movement has been to take its message and move it into the computer age. >> liberty net was the first foray into social network activism by the white power movement and perhaps one of the early examples of social network activism by anyone in the united states. so it really was like facebook before facebook. >> people talk about the hate that's propagated on facebook and say, you have to take responsibility for what is broadcast, what is disseminated on your platform because there are real-world consequences. >> what we're seeing now is yet another morphing. the klan and the neo-nazi groups, they've gone online. they don't really have headquarters. it's hard to find them.
10:47 pm
>> this is where we get the idea of the lone wolf, white power gunman, which is largely a fictional idea. what happened with the oklahoma city bombing is we got the story of timothy mcveigh and a few co-conspiracies. we did not get the story of mcvey's intensive and deep connections with the white power movement that fomented that action. white power changed its methods very effectively in a way that would allow it to resurface in the moment. to be clear in the white power movement, when we're talking about is cells attempting to overthrow the nation. the nation is not the united states. it is the aryan nation. we see a lot of stories about the changing face of america. when the nation as a whole will no longer be majority white. >> what is happening in america is that white nationalism ideology is running wild, and the reason why buildings are burning is because this city,
10:48 pm
this state would prefer preserving that white nationalism and that white supremacist mind-set over arresting, charging, and helping to convict four officers who killed a black man. >> i'm so tired of the police saying, i was afraid. afraid of what? you got a gun with 15 shots. you can call in backup from everywhere. what are you afraid of? >> the klan, at a time when they were being sort of dismantled, they directed many of their members to do was to go into police departments and other institutions where they would maintain power. >> the fbi issues a report only a few years ago about the effort of white nationalists to infiltrate law enforcement, right? this is not some fringe organization that drew this conclusion. it's the united states justice department. >> we can take this back to the era of slavery. we can think about slave patrols in particular.
10:49 pm
there were men, mostly men, who were deputized, and it was their responsibility to make certain that enslaved men or women who took the attempt to escape be brought back, hunted. >> so after the civil war, the slave patrols literally morphed into southern law enforcement, southern police departments. so systemic racism is literally baked into law enforcement in this country. >> we have allowed, in many instances, terrorist cells to spring up in our midst. it's an ugly history. it's a tragic history. but it is an undeniable history. . or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities. like our new work from anywhere solutions, so your teams can collaborate almost anywhere.
10:50 pm
plus customer experience that finds solutions in the moment. ...and first-class benefits, like 5g with every plan. network, support and value without any tradeoffs. that's t-mobile for business.
10:51 pm
after forty, we need anti-aging care that works. am i right ladies? new from l'oréal, revitalift night serum with pure retinol. international patent pending. our most potent retinol. so effective, in a clinical test, 100% of women showed reduction of wrinkles. even deep wrinkles. powerful results, validated by dermatologists. it's an anti-aging superstar! new revitalift night serum with pure retinol. from l'oréal paris. we're worth it.
10:52 pm
10:53 pm
we went through what i think in mobile was a real change in attitude and relationships among the populist. we were doing a lot of things in terms of trying to achieve equality in a lot of different areas. i think we developed a new character. that's why it was possible for me to get elected mayor. that's where it was possible for a lot of other things that has
10:54 pm
happened in mobile. >> this many years later, morris diaz left the southern poverty law center and have a great new many challenges to face. >> she was very strong. she went through the criminal case. she went through the civil case. she went through a whole lot with this, but it never changed her character. she was still a very, very nice lady that everybody loved.
10:55 pm
>> she exemplified that love that she gave her children herself personally with her family and she brought that love to the children that she served. >> well, i just want everybody to know that my mom was a good woman. she loved her children and she would let everybody know that. she raised us good and she taught us how to survive in life to work for what we have today. >> the more you talk about it, it is healing, it is healing to the soul. she would just share her feelings with me and she would say that is my baby, and i would tell her, yes, i know. i would tell her i know. some days it gets hard, but i just believe they are sharing in heaven. i do. >> after years of seeking justice for her son, this
10:56 pm
beautiful mother, an extraordinary human being died at the age of 67 in 1988. to have an african-american woman die a year after holding the klan accountable for her son's death says everything about the weight of this racial trauma on beulah mae donald's shoulders. this was a heavy burden. she endured two trials, investigations, stress, grief, pain. we should all ask ourselves how can we demonstrate this same degree of courage and character in our lives to pursue justice, to do so with grace and dignity, to find a way to extend forgiveness. her eulogy is ongoing. >> black women carry the entire
10:57 pm
struggle on our backs. what goes along with that is a lot of trauma. so people look at us and say black women are so angry, we demand too much. we're never in a good mood. well, we've got a lot to be angry about. >> beulah mae's story, she's a woman that did not have many resources at her disposal but had her courage and love for her son to propel her. why aren't more of these stories told? >> perhaps with this 21st century movement where we are reminding people that black lives matter, perhaps black mothers might be able to sleep a little easier. i am optimistic.
10:58 pm
people are ready. >> we just got a little one where we turn away from all this hatred. >> we cannot forget. we cannot forget, and we must continue to fight. >> we are trying to save our children and we are trying to save our future generations. let's get rid of the system that we have now and build a new system that will be fair so all of us people should come together as they are coming together now. this should not just be a moment. it should be a movement to come together. >> in the present moment we honor the names of people who have been lost to hate by saying allowed, say his name, say her
10:59 pm
name, say their names. every hash tag that you read today and endeavor to see the humanity behind the hash tag is a part of his legacy, because his mother, beulah may donald, chose to take on his killers and hold them accountable, which inspires us today to hold accountable those who desecrate and destroy black lives. that's a legacy of michael donald. that's the legacy of beulah mae donald.
11:00 pm
♪ hi. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i am robin koerner. closing arguments scheduled to begin just hours for now in the derek chauvin trial as peaceful protesters gather ahead of that in minneapolis. growing concerns over alexi novotny's death, and the west warns putin. plus, out of control. historic buildings destroyed as the mountain is ravage


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on