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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 28, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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02/28/18 02/28/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> my son, it is your time. >> show me respect and bow down. >> you get to choose what kind of king you're going to be. amy: "black panther." we look at the record-breaking blockbuster film that has been called a defining moment for black america. globaler $750 million in
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box office sales in just the first two weeks, it is already the highest grossing film ever made an african-american director in the biggest february film debut of all time. we will host a roundtable discussion looking at "black panther." but first, two major supreme court decisions on immigration. >> we are talking about people who have been in this country who clearly do have various institutional rights. and our use adjusting that if the backlog is five years, it is ok to keep them there for five years without a determination of whether they pose any risk of flight or whether they are dangerous? >> i would say that is not unconstitutional. amy: the supreme court sides with the traffic administration minerals federal authorities can continue to indefinitely detain some immigrants and asylum-seekers without a bond hearing. the decision comes a day after the four -- court dealt a major ic daca.
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all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the syrian government is again violating a daily, five-hour ceasefire in the rebel-held enclave of eastern ghouta outside the capital damascus. residents report airstrikes and shelling against several areas today. the syrian government also violated the ceasefire yesterday, launching airstrikes and shelling that killed at least four people. the daily five-hour humanitarian pause was called for by russia, the syrian government's main backer. it's aimed at allowing time for humanitarian aid to reach the besieged area and for wounded and sick people to be evacuated. one resident told al jazeera -- "there has been no evacuations whatsoever -- not medical, not humanitarian, nothing. the regime has launched a psychological game -- that's all."
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in more news from syria, the bbc -- a recent report by the united populations fund warns of sexual exploitation by aid workers, including meals being traded in exchange for sex. and an unreleased united nations report is claiming that north korea has shipped materials to the syrian government in recent years, which could have been used to produce chemical weapons. the report does not claim north korea is girly providing supplies to the syrian government. the united nations and human rights groups have repeatedly accused the syrian government of carrying out chemical weapons attacks against civilians, a claim which the syrian government denies. in immigration is from the supreme court ruled tuesday federal authorities can continue to indefinitely detain immigrants and asylum seekers without a bond hearing. the 5-3 ruling overturned the rulings of two lower courts that
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found immigrants facing prolonged detention must be given a custody hearing. we'll have more on this ruling after headlines. in northern california, agents with immigration and customs enforcement, known as ice, have carried out a slew of raids, arresting over 150 people since sunday. the deputy director of ice, thomas homan, has also attacked oakland mayor libby schaaf for having warned the community about the impending raids in a statement and press conference over the weekend. while homan called her warning to the community reckless, mayor schaff said -- "we know that law-abiding residents live in fear of arrest and deportation every day. my priority is for the long-term well-being of oakland, and i know that our city is safer when we share information that leads to community awareness." in more news on immigration, 40 faith leaders were arrested during a protest in the russell building rotunda on capitol hill
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tuesday, demanding lawmakers pass a clean dream act. the faith leaders and immigrant rights groups are demanding a permanent immigration solution for so-called dreamers that does not include funding for the border wall and other anti-immigrant measures in exchange for their protections. white house senior adviser and president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, has reportedly had his top security clearances stripped, meaning he'll no longer be able to access highly classified information. "the washington post" reports kushner has been unable to obtain permanent security clearance because of concerns within the white house about his contact with some foreign government officials. "the post" reports officials in at least four countries -- the united arab emirates, china, israel and mexico -- had discussed ways to manipulate kushner by taking advantage of
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his business ties, his financial problems, as well as his lack of foreign policy experience. kushner is tasked with overseeing the middle east peace process, in addition to an array of other high-profile responsibilities, including u.s.-china relations. the outgoing head of the nsa, michael rogers, says the trump administration has not directed him to try to counter russian election meddling. this is rogers answering questions by rhode island senator jack reed. mission teams, particularly at the origin of these attacks, have the authority to do so. >> if greater the authority, and i don't have the day-to-day authority, if greater the authority. >> said you would be needed be directed by the president or the secretary of defense? >> yes, i mention that. >> have you been directed to do so giv the strategic
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consequences you recognize already? >> know, i have not. amy: that was nsa head michael rogers, testifying before the senate armed services committee tuesday. on tuesday, white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders responded to questions about nsa head michael rogers' statement. >> the premise of your question, it is not just one individual. it is looking at a number of different ways. >> he is in charge of cyber command. why not give him the authority? >> no one is denying him authority. we're looking at a number of different ways. amy: in florida, the house appropriations committee has voted to create a statewide program to spend $67 million to arm teachers in classrooms, despite the vocal opposition of the survivors of the february 14 mass shooting in parkland, florida. this same panel voted tuesday against an assault weapons ban. marjory stoneman douglas high school students are returning to classes today, exactly two weeks
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after a former student entered the school armed with an ar-15 and killed 17 people. and in breaking news this morning, dick's sporting goods, one of the nation's largest sports retailers, says it will immediately stop selling assault style rifles in its stores. afghan president ashraf ghani has offered to begin peace talks with the taliban without precondition. we are making this offer without any precondition in order to lead a peace agreement. taliban and their leadership. today, the decision is in your hands. except peace, a dignified peace. come together to safeguard this country, which has been the result of our sacrifices and struggle. amy: afghan president ashraf ghani also proposed a ceasefire,
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a prisoner release, and the recognition of the taliban as a legitimate political group. this comes after the taliban recently published an open letter expressing their desire for peace talks, and calling on the american people to pressure president trump to the negotiating table. in yemen, a series of u.s.-backed, saudi-led airstrikes have killed five civilians outside the northern city of saada on tuesday. this is abed abdullah, volunteer health worker, who was one of the first responders after the strike. >> we went to see who survived from the house, and we only found one woman. she was saying there were victims under the rubble of the house, so we went to get them out. we were alarmed when the second strike hit. we ran away, attempting to escape and then there was a third strike that hit us while we were removing the rubble over the dead corpses. amy: in somalia, the death toll has risen from a double suicide bombing in the capital mogadishu
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nearly 40 people were killed in friday. the explosions and subsequent gunfire near the presidential palace and a popular hotel. the militant group al-shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks. burma's de facto leader, aung san suu kyi, is facing increasing pressure from fellow nobel peace prize winners to condemn the burmese military violence against rohingya refugees. the nobel peace prize winners -- irish peace activist mairead maguire, yemeni journalist tawakkol karman, and iranian lawyer shirin ebadi -- are visiting rohingya refugee camps and demanding aung san suu kyi take action to stop the violence, which the u.n. has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. meanwhile, two reuters journalists who were arrested and imprisoned after reporting on a burmese military massacre against rohingyas, appeared in court today. this is kyaw soe oo.
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>> we were arrested while covering the news. we cover the mass grave story. suu kyi said it is new the military had admitted to what happened in india. nobody recognize that we were the first one to shed light on that fact. amy: the committee to protect journalists is calling for an investigation into the killing of slovak investigative journalist jan kuciak. he and his girlfriend were shot to death in his home late last week. kuciak was working for a news website called aktuality, investigating tax fraud by people associated with slovakia's ruling party. in news on the environment and climate change, scientists have been stunned by the unprecedentedly warm temperatures in the north pole, which has surged above freezing temperatures in the middle of the winter. meanwhile, a number of retired u.s. military generals and admirals say rising sea levels are flooding an increasing number of u.s. military bases around the world.
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in nigeria, leaders from across africa are gathering to discuss the escalating hunger crisis of 17 million people who depend on lake chad, which is shrugging to do climate change. in china, more than 250,000, is that discharge air and water pollution will have to start paying an environmental tax beginning in april under china's new empire medal protection tax law. -- environmental section tax law. it is said -- puerto rico's governor ricardo rossello said u.s. treasury department has unexpectedly slashed the disaster relief loan for the island after hurricane maria. the loan has been cut to $2 billion, down from $4.7 billion. this comes as the army corps of engineers says parts of puerto rico will not have the electricity restored until the end of late may, eight months after the hurricane hit the island. in georgia, reality winner
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appeared in court where the argued she was denied her miranda rights. reality winner has pleaded not guilty on charges of leaking a top-secret document cleaning russian military intelligence conducted a cyber attack on at least one u.s. voting software before just days the 2016 election. and in west virginia, unionized a 5% payhave won raise after launching a four-day, statewide strike. west virginia governor jim justice said he changed his mind about the teachers' strike after talking to a sixth grader, who is the son of a teacher and had been joining his mother on the picket line since last week. on monday, the student, gideon titus-glover, first asked the governor about state investment in tourism. after the governor explained the idea of returns on investments, the student responded -- "wouldn't it be an investment to invest in smart teachers that would make me smart and then i
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can in turn, turn around and do smart, good things for our state?" teacher salaries in west virginia are lower than in all but two other states, with salaries beginning at just over $32,000 for a new teacher. other teachers' demands, such as lower costs for health insurance, have not yet been resolved. teachers are returning to work today. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the supreme court ruled tuesday that federal authorities can continue to indefinitely detain some immigrants and asylum seekers without a bond hearing. the 5-3 ruling overturned the rulings of two lower courts that found immigrants facing prolonged detention must be given a custody hearing. but tuesday's supreme court decision does not end the battle over indefinite detention. the justices sent the case back to the federal appeals court to evaluate the constitutionality of the practice.
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writing in the majority opinion, justice samuel alito jr. said -- "detention during those proceedings gives immigration officials time to determine an alien's status without running the risk of the alien's either absconding or engaging in criminal activity." justice stephen breyer read his dissent from the bench. he said -- "i would find it alarming, to believe that congress wrote these statutory words in order to put thousands of individuals at risk of lengthy confinement all within the united states but all without hope of bail." justice breyer was joined in his dissent by ruth bader ginsburg and sonia sotomayor. elena kagan recused herself. the case, jennings v. rodriguez, was brought by the american civil liberties union on behalf of a dental assistant named alejandro rodriguez who was born in mexico but was brought to the united states when he was one year old. he ended up spending three years in immigration detention without
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a bond hearing. the supreme court first heard the case in 2016 and then again last year after neil gorsuch joined the court. both the obama and trump administrations backed the policy of indefinite detention. tuesday's decision came a day after the supreme court dealt a blow to president trump's , which to rescind daca gives at least 700,000 young immigrants permission to live and work in the united states. the court refused to hear a white house appeal of lower court ruling saying trump's move to cancel the program was unconstitutional. to talk more about these court rulings, we're joined here in new york by michael tan, staff attorney at the american civil liberties union's immigrants' rights project. welcome to democracy now!, michael. explain this case, the rodriguez case, and what the court actually ruled. >> sure.
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rodriguez is a case challenging one of the cruelest practices in our detention and deportation system. the government's practice of indefinitely detaining thousands of immigrants in jails across the country for months or even years while they fight their deportation cases, without ever letting them have a bond hearing , the basic process where you get to see a judge who determines whether you need to be locked up in the first place. on any given day, there are thousands of immigrants in situations like hunter rodriguez . as you said, someone who is lifter since he was an infant am a green card holder, a dental assistant who ended up being put in the detention and deportation system and spent three years locked up. amy: why was he put in the system with a green card? >> he was referred through the kernel justice system -- criminal justice system. they put him in detention, locked him up for three years
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without a hearing. amy: this was when? >> and early 2000's. he only got out after we filed suit in the government decided to release them. he went on to fight his deportation case and when it four years later. today, he has his green card and is living his life in california. there are countless people in that situation. what our case seeks to establish is the basic right to a hearing before a judge where they can look at your facts, see if you are a flight risk, determine whether you need to be locked up or not. the ninth circuit sought to put an end to the governments to tension processes and its ruling in 2015, holding the immigration laws actually require a bond hearing for immigrants long-term detention as six months. the supreme court reversed that yesterday, holding the opinion that congress in fact authorized detention during the length of people's
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deportation proceedings. at the fight is not over. we are now back in the ninth circuit to litigate the constitutional issue was specifically whether due process entitles people to that basic right to a bond hearing. amy: i want to turn to the oral arguments last year, deputy solicitor general malcolm stewart was questioned by just a sonia sotomayor. >> so my question is, it is obviously the executive alone making this determination. what other area of law have we permitted a government agent on his or her own, without a neutral party, looking at that decision to detain someone indefinitely? wouldl, first of all, i not accept the premise this is indefinite detention. it is true there's no limit in terms of the number of days, but it is detention that is
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specifically pending a determination of eligibility -- theut that assumes that determination is going to be done in some expeditious way, but we know as a matter of fact that these determinations can sometimes take years. >> they can sometimes take a long time. amy: deputy solicitor general malcolm stewart was also questioned by justice kagan. argumentewart, is your about the new admits, those coming to the border, premise on the idea that they simply have no constitutional rights at all? >> it is premised on that. now, we do -- >> if it is premised on that, justice scalia in one of his opinions talked about surely that cannot be right. good we torture those people. could we put those people into forced labor. surely, the answer to that is no. is that right?
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>> i should have been more precise and saying they have no constitutional rights with respect to the determination whether they will be allowed to enter -- >> ok, but they do have some constitutional rights -- not to be tortured, not to be placed in hard labor. -- it pretty close to that not to be placed in arbitrary confinement? barbara terry detention? >> because -- if i arbitrary -- >> arbitrary means nobody gave them an individualized hearing and so we don't know whether they are being held for any good reason. nobody has made a decision. in our in -- usually constitutional law, we think that is a problem. amy: that was justice elena kagan. in the oral arguments. michael tan, if you can respond to the content of what they're
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saying and the questioning of sotomayor and kagan, and then sotomayor dissented in this decision. kagan recused herself. if you could talk about that? >> just to start with justice kagan's questioning, the justice's questioning made it clear how extreme it is and this case and the position the obama administration and trump administration have taken, which is that certain immigrants, specifically mostly asylum seekers who are coming to our borders, presenting to authorities, and seeking refuge in our country through in the eyes of the government do not have due process rights at all. because of a legal document -- doctrine. even though we detaining them on u.s. soil, holding them indefinitely for months or even years, they're still outside the country at the border and the constitution does not apply to them. as the justices were pointing out, if that is true, can we torture them? can we throw them into the
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ocean? position that the government is taking is quite extraordinary. going to justice sotomayor your's point, nowhere in our legal system to we allow the government to take people's freedom away for months, free a year, five years, 10 years, 20 years without ever letting them see a judge to determine whether they should be behind bars. it is truly extraordinary. certainly, the fact that people are immigrants doesn't mean we get to strip them of rights and treat them in this manner. justice kagan did recuse herself after the second argument. our understanding is because she was involved in an earlier phase of the case when she was solicitor general, and the can to light after the second oral argument. amy: talk about the significance of this, what it means that she an obamaved as administration official -- is that right? >> to be clear, this practice of indefinite detention dates from the late point in administration
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, carried forward by the bush administration, carried forward by the obama industry, defended by the solicitor general's office, and sorely carried over as a legacy to the trump administration. have in ament when we administration the office committed to locking up more immigrants than ever before, it is all the more important that people have access to court process to ensure they are not locked up arbitrarily. but this is a legacy or sort of tothis has been bequeathed the trump administration by prior administrations. amy: is trump breaking records when it comes to detaining and deporting immigrants? president obama was known as the deporter-in-chief, deported more immigrants, millions upon millions upon millions of immigrants, then all presidents in u.s. history combined. >> right. my understanding is he has not gotten there yet. he has not topped obama's
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deporter-in-chief title. we are signatures during increase in the detention and the arrest of people inside the united states. i think the only reason he is not been able to reach those tumors is border apprehensions have been going -- numbers is order have been going down. we are seeing an antigenic of rational approach meant. it is scattered. thomas homan notoriously said, if you're here and you are undocumented, you committed a crime by crossing the border and you should be scared and should look over your shoulder. i think the numbers will silently continue to climb as this administration continues to gear up the detention and deportation initiative. amy: you have data showing people subjected to long-term immigration detention are five times more likely to win a legal right to stay in the united states than the typical immigration detainee. >> that's right. that is one of the tragic
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ironies of this case. what we were able to determine through working with experts is that the people who stick it out and long-term detention, who are a jail forsit in months or years, are those asylum seekers who are genuinely afraid of being killed in their countries, the green card holders like i'll hundred oh --alejandr those of theo. people. who have the incentive to stick it out behind bars. or five timesers, more likely at the end of the day to win their cases. not only is this policy incredibly unconstitutional, it is cruel, rational. why are we spending taxpayer dollars to lock up immigrants who very well likely have a right to live here among us? amy: i want to also talk about for for the deferred action childhood arrivals program, which gives at least 700,000 immigrants permission to live and work in the united states. on monday, the supreme court
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reviews to hear a white house appeal of lower court rulings saying trump's move to cancel the program was unconstitutional. president trump criticized the court's decision. we tried to get it to move quickly. i think everybody in this room wants to help with daca, but as her bring court just ruled it has to go through the normal channels, so it is going back in. there won't be any surprise. it is really said when every single case filed -- this is in .he ninth circuit we lose, lose, lose. what is i tell us about our core system? daca is going back and we will see what happens from there. amy: that as president trump, michael tan. >> what happened in daca was the -- ame court essentially lower court had issued a nationwide injunction requiring
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the a administration to bring daca back all night and except applications for daca renewals. they reveal that to the ninth circuit am a but at the same time, tried to get the supreme court to take the case right away and jump over the ninth circuit -- which is extraordinary. and says something i think about administration street feelings about daca and the real commitment to doing harm to immigrant community's. i would also point out the presidents, it's about the ninth circuit are very disturbing. it is a real attack on judicial independence and insulting to one of our federal courts. i worked for the ninth circuit as a clerk. the judges are true servants of the public good. they are neutral. they are smart. it is completely unfair, outrageous for a sitting president to insult members of ii the third branch. it is appalling. citizenship and immigration services agency
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announced last week it is changing its mission statement in order to drop the phrase "the agency secures america's promise as a nation of immigrants." interestingly, the federal agencies new director, who made the change, is himself the son of a peruvian immigrant. so no longer referring to this nation of immigrants. michael? >> in my view that is red meat to the base, to the administrations white nationalists and anti-immigrant base. although they can change the isatement, the nation made up of immigrants. it is changing and we should be proud of our immigrant tradition. i do think there are real consequences for the message you're sending to people in the bureaucracy and the marching orders they're getting, but ultimately, we are a country of immigrants and we should be proud of that.
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and you go i want to thank you for being with us, michael tan, aclu staff attorney at the immigrants' rights project. when we come back, a roundtable discussion about the new blockbuster, record-breaking film "black panther." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "black panther" by kendrick lamar, from the soundtrack for the movie "black panther." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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as black history month wraps up, we turn now to a film that's making history as we speak. that's right, we spend the rest of the hour looking at the record-breaking, blockbuster film "black panther." the film has captivated global audiences and has raked in more 700 million dollars -- since its release earlier this $700 million this month. "black panther" had the fifth highest-earning opening weekend of any film in u.s. history and has already become the single highest-grossing film ever by a black director, 31-year-old ryan coogler. it is also the biggest february film debut of all time. the super hero flick based on the marvel comic, features a majority black cast and has been called a defining moment for black america. this is part of the trailer for "black panther." >> i have seen god fly list of i
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have seen men build weapons that i can even imagine. from the aliens drop sky. but i have never seen anything like this. >> my son, it is your time. >> show me my respect and bow down. >> you get to decide what kind of king you're going to be. amy: since the release of "black panther" earlier this month, fans have crowd-funded campaigns to ensure children can see the film in theaters.
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teachers have incorporated the movie's core themes of anti-colonialism and cultural representation into their curriculum. activists have used film screenings to hold mass voter registration drives. the movie has also renewed calls for the release of more than a dozen imprisoned members of the real black panther party. meanwhile, thousands of people have signed on to a petition calling on disney to invest 25% of the film's worldwide profits in education programs in black communities. so far, disney has announced they're donating a fraction of that $1 million, to the boys & , girls clubs of america to help expand its youth stem -- science, technology, engineering and math -- programs. "black panther" has also ignited a firestorm of impassioned social commentary online among fans and detractors alike. the film generated so much buzz, it was reportedly one of the most tweeted-about films of 2017, despite not even opening that year.
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back in december, a video went viral of to have african-american men at a movie theater standing in front of the "black panther" movie poster. >> so we're sitting here looking panther"ope "black poster and a conclusion with come to is that this is what white people get to feel all the time. >> all the time. >> since the beginning of cinema. you get to feel empowered like this and represented. >> this is what you all feel like all the time? i would love this country, too. amy: for more, we're joined by three guests. we're joined right now by historian robyn c. spencer, carvell wallace, professor christopher lebron, who of all written extensive uses. -- extensive pieces. robyn c. spencer is a historian and author of "the revolution
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has come: black power, gender and the black panther party in oakland, california." her new piece is titled, "black feminist meditations on the women of wakanda." carvell wallace is a writer and author of the "new york times" magazine story "why black panther is a defining moment for black america." carvell, let's begin with you and we will also be joined by christopher lebron in baltimore, professor at johns hopkins university. layout the story of "black panther." >> the story, the narrative fiction background is that there is an african nation named wauconda that was the recipient of in new york that landed some many millennia ago that contains a precious and incredibly strong metal. because of this metal, this country, being largely -- it has advanced technologically, personally, artistically
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militaristic late in a way that far outstrips the rest of the world. but they have kept this power under wraps. that kept it hidden from the western world because they don't with the resources snatched by colonialization. so they pretend to be this kind of agrarian african nation that mysteriously does not take any loans from the rest of the world, but does not really sort of get involved. they are an isolationist nation. they have this incredible power. the story begins with the ofrior king, the alter ego black panther. essentially, confronting a situation which he has to make a decision about whether or not to confront the world and open up its resources to the world and defend his people from the colonialist who have discovered it. amy: and the whole part of the marvel comic series, what this has to do with that, where this all came from, for people who are not part of that comic colts
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are? >> 1966, the character was created. the character has gone through several runs written by a lot of different authors and illustrators, the most recent the john hussey codes wrote whathisi coates wrote led to the creation of the film. amy: you talk, robyn spencer, about the significance of going to this movie with her 12-year-old daughter. close it was an amazing amy: you talk,experience for meo is asaction and response she watched the film. she marveled at the african-american women and african women, how they were portray,heir strength, just the sheer number and volume of was displayed in the beauty that was displayed that was so different from what we
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oftentimes see a mainstream depictions of black women's beauty. for her, it was a really transformative moment to sort of be there and take in not just the film, but for it to be a film that was so widely celebrated. it wasn't just us in an independent movie theater, but everyone dressed up, singing, dancing, enjoying. it was a real experience for her. amy: let's go to a clip from the film. princess shuri is a little sister. she is also the chief technology officer responded -- responsible for creating much of the country's tech innovations. in this scene, she drives a car remotely from wakanda that the black panther is riding on in south korea as he's being chased. >> remote driving system activated. >> was that of the road? >> just drive.
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>> calm down. let's go! look at the suit. he has been taking bullets. truck. around the go! >> show off. amy: talk about that scene, robyn spencer. this is the teacher right and the star power of the film from the women to the men, across the board, quite amazing. >> it was amazing to sort of see
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women position is powerful, visionary, intellectuals in the film in order to think about just the longer sister being the intellectual center and core of wakanda i think was very, very -- a difference we're not oftentimes seen, despite the fact we had films like "hidden figures" that allowed us to see black women's contribution, but to have that embodied in a reverence, relatable young woman was truly amazing. amy: talk about the other roles of women. army, take itmen from there. >> the film to pick several women, characters and powerful roles, so you have one of the main characters played by lupita nyong'o which is really a character who has not received i think the type of attention that
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i think that character really represents an alternative ideological vision for wakanda. goescharacter is a spy who around the world who challenges the isolationist practices of wakanda by taking the resources, their strength, their military prowess and using that to assist in areas of the world that need that kind of assistance. of course you have shuri, the younger sister of the main ,haracter, and she represents again, the ideological center of the film and because of her scientific and mathematical knowledge, she is able to really power almost all of the innovation that we see. amy: i want to turn to than a carrera -- danai gurira, who plays okoye, and lupita n'yongo, who plays nakia, discussing their roles as women warriors in black panther. >> women who pledged their lives to the throne and to the security of the kingdom.
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>> the character is the general of the armed forces. representing the old guard and tradition. my character challenges tradition. >> you get to decide what kind of king you're going to be. be akia was born to warrior. she was born with a warriors spirit. >> very interesting. a whiff inspired by moving as one. they work together to take down somebody. is danai gurira a the beginning of gond -- lupita nyong'o discussing their roles. >> truly amazing. they were visually stunning to
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just observe these women with closely cropped hair, powerfully challenging and protecting -- women as protectors i think is not something that we oftentimes see. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. in addition to carvell wallace and robyn c. spencer, we will be joined by john hopkins professor christopher lebron who writes --, well, this is not the movie that -- the piece he wrote in "the boston review" "black panther is not the film we deserve." we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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amy: from the soundtrack of "black panther." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. gueststion to our carvell wallace and robyn c. spencer, where joined by christopher lebron. he is a professor at johns hopkins university and author of "the making of black lives matter." his recent article in the "boston review" is titled "black panther is not the film we
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deserve." what did you like and not like about the film? >> thank you for having me on. what i liked about the film was generally positive aspect of being able to portray black folks on a screen as powerful, as advanced, as in some sense having a way of trying to think about self-determination and trying to bring that base to the screen. what i did not like about the film or two things. one, it seems whenever we have a film that is trying to portray people with dark skin as trying to free themselves, think about liberation, it always seems we're in our own way. here we have the first big blockbuster movie in quite a while featuring a black hero and the villain, the person he must overcome, despite all talk about imperialism and colonialism, is a black man. n american, a
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black man. i did not like the kill monger, ed -- billing which often used is he is a product of oakland, product of the asp or a -- diaspora. as broken,lack man defeated, and some sense determined rather than proactive in seeking liberation in terms that we ourselves can recognize as being justifiably legitimate. carvell wallace, receiver lebron's these is generated enormous amount of discussion. >> figure raises outlook points. one dangerous thing about the film, it does create -- marvel does this generally, but this is a much more effective execution of creating "villain character, who has a point. like you're supposed to walkway going, oh, that guy had a point.
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he wasn't just a bad guy wanted to destroy the world, he came from something and i made sense. i think the character of killmonger is the most important and interesting character of the film. i think wakanda is a fantastical place, but also a problematic place in the film that is written into the phone's script with the idea, wakanda enjoys its freedom, but it's freedom comes at a cost. the kind of inciting act is an act of abandonment. in order for wakanda have this power, it is had to abandon something it had a responsibility to. over the course of the film, wakanda has to come to some understanding about its responsibility. killmonger is there to force people to think about that. i don't know the ending, as it stands -- first of all, when the character dies in the marvel film, unless you physically see them die, this option is they're probably not dead. as muchneeds killmonger
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as killmonger needs wakanda. played brilliantly by michael b. jordan. er is a see killmong product of oakland or this, that, or the other thing, i see -- the thing that people filled a mention about him is he is a cia agent. whatever his legitimate beef is, he's been utilized by american imperialist forces as a weapon of destruction. kill mocker is wrestling with these competing impulse. one is for freedom, for love, for connection to the diaspora, but the other thing is wrestling with, countering that, is he is trained as an imperialist. wakanda forces him to confront that just as the imperialism. amy: christopher lebron? >> i was a two things. one, it is not as if he is
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snatched up by cia. he chooses and the movie and embraces his role as a mercenary. other some regret killing black folks, but it is not as if he did not use the cia for his own ends. carvell's show killmonger is another thing other than a person is a plan. one thing the movie does not do -- it has lip service to colonialism and police brutality, but when you watch that movie, those things are not in the movie. we can mention those things, but those features don't properly surround me killmonger character. what you effectively get -- i try to watch this from a perspective as someone who does not do this for a living. i see a black man who is really, really angry, yet he can talk about racism but the imagination is not activated in the proper weight to see killmonger as
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responding to police brutality, to the abandonment of the american nation by wakanda. speaks of racism and colonialism, but those are not structures in the movie. the only time they mention this is kind of the tussling of cia agents here and calling him colonize her. the hero ofbeing the movie. in this regard, the movie is confused about how it wants to set up the racial politics that give us killmonger. what you get in the end is like richard wright, an enraged black man that people just accept as, well, that is what happens when people are abandoned. that is what happens when people face racism. and there are more hopeful potentials for black imagination than a person who is so enraged he also kills the only american black woman. the betrayal of american blackness in the movie in some
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sense plays into all of the worst expectations we have about black pathology that are given to us by conservatives. and often, passively, derided by liberals. but no sense of challenge and the movie does nothing to upset what it means for the black imagination to seek outside of the structures of oppression and marginalization. amy: robyn spencer? >> the great thing being a black feminist ms. -- feminist come you see things that are hidden in plain sight. we talk about exciting characters and visions and intellectual legacies and lineages, about black liberation and how it fits into the larger project, i mean, i would to go back to the women of the film and think about the ways in which if we center the women in the film, we can unpack some of these contradictions. yes, it is very clear the killmonger character is a cia agent, but yet you have these depictions of an alternative to both the plan up isolating wakanda and expanding it in a
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way that seems to hearken to empire, right? so instead of that you have the visions of the women who are there. you have nakia who is trying to ae the wealth of wakanda in positive way -- it is an undeveloped storyline in some ways. we don't see too much. we see her trying to make a difference militarily, but we don't have a sense of what that could look like. who's tryinghuri to crate a different kind of technological vision for black maturity. i think what we see those women and we truly center them as thinkers and as intellect's, we can break apart some of these debates over all of this male .ineage all of these are the different kind of sort of tropes as in used to analyze the film, but in those are also a lineage of men. so how can we try to understand the film and what it may offer
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the black liberation in a different way? vell?carb >> i agree with that. i think the critiques of the film are valid. i also think the -- the sense that a disney movie is going to be the vanguard of an accurate portrayal of spiritual, emotional revolution -- i don't think that is going to happen. what i wrote about when i wrote about the film in "the new york times," was not about the movie. i wrote it before i saw the movie. i wrote about the moment. this movie happens to be the vanguard of the moment currently, but not at all the only thing in a moment. there's "a wrinkle in time" coming which is a film that centers women. i spoke to the director for this beast. what i see happening, when i wrote what i write about the film, i was not writing about the film but the fact this moment is happening in afro
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-futurism. and what that means for us as a people at this point in our experience was the amy: let me quote from your piece as you write about afro-futurism. you write -- it is the idea that we will have won the future. >> that is correct. this is an offering into that. this film with all of its good things, it's troubling things, its complex things is an offering into that. my understanding and hope is this is in the only offering into it. this is one. there will be many more to follow. the way i understand, least intellectual movement to happen, one idea builds on another. an idea is created. some will say, this is the greatest ever and then lebron comes along and says, can't we do this better? so someone comes along and does
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a better. that is how we move forward. this film -- i think the film ends as something of an offering to neoliberalism, which i found personally troubling, but i also think in the context of the film -- the crowd i saw it with all felt that way at the end. but i understand it was in the context of marvel universe, the plot reveal happened at the end is necessary for the rest of the film. there will be more films that will use this plot. we can't look to this film as the meaning. as the moment of it and what it inspires for the rest of us, that is the meaning. amy: provides a lebron, we first met ryan coogler and 2013 with "fruitvale" working with michael b. jordan. about talking about police brutality, police killing a black man. of black >> the point is well taken.
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robyn's point about women more strongly through the black women characters i think is a point. carvell's point is also good. one thing that is troubling about all of this is even taking mr. coogler's past movie productions into account has to do with what it means for a --ie like this to come out the me take a step back. arvell's definition is incomplete. area i havem, an written on, is that only about how blacks in the future, but also a way of authorizing how we think about current moves. you take "concrete park" and trying to retell stories of incarceration. part of what i thought black panther could be up to and i
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think a lot of people thought it was up to, was reconceptualizing the story of oppression. let me give you one basic example of how this breaks down. we have children being taken to the movie was a philly american black characters in the movie are the subjects of violence and rejection. at the very end and this neoliberal moment, a spatial comes out of the sky or flying machine comes out of the sky that was invisible first of kids go up to it. one of the final lines in the movie has the kids sang, "can we break it apart and sell it?" kidsld ask ryan coogler, don't want to break it apart. they want to get in it and fly. they want to go someplace. so this reproduction that american brown skin people, brown skin kids cannot seem to get out of the structures that honestly a press them -- amy: we have to leave it there. the show in snow but we will do part two and post it online. we have been talking to carvell
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wallace as well as robyn spencer
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