Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 16, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, massacre in buffalo. residents grapple with grief and trauma after the mass shooting that police say was motivated by racism. >> our community is devastated. as much as we try not to struggle with the sphere of fear, people are scared. judy: then, expanding nato. the ambassadors of finland and sweden discuss the future of security in europe and russia's morning following their request to join the alliance. covid year three. as the number of deaths from the virus hit one million in the u.s., a highly transmissible subvariant friends to prolong
3:01 pm
the pandemic even further. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> it is the little things. the reminders of what is important. it is why fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you eate wealth plan. a plan with tax sensitive investing strategies. planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that is the planning effect from fidelity. >> the william and floraewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting
3:02 pm
institutions to promote a better world at and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: federal authorities are investigating the weekend massacre in buffalo as a potential hate crime. law enforcement officials also reported today the accused gunman had planned to continue
3:03 pm
his shooting spree at another location if he had escaped. that news came as communities in buffalo mourned the losses from an attack that claimed 10 lives. all were black. special correspondent cat wise has our report. >> today as the community of buffalo, new york learn more about a raised a shooting rampage at a supermarket over the weekend, the reality was setting in. eddie kolbert has lived in the area for more than 50 years. he is suddenly fearful of his usual routines and visits to local stores. >> i was sticking about the fact it could be me or anybody else going in or coming out of that store. so this is something that is going to be scary for anybody now. because we do not know if there is any other haters that is out there that is going to copy this. >> tops market sees heavy foot traffic from residents nearby as
3:04 pm
one of the only grocery stores in the predominantly black neighborhood. keyshanti atkinson was working as a cashier when the gunman entered. she is still reeling from the experience. >> i was scared because i did not know if he was going to find us and just shoot us. i did not know nothing. but now, i mean, i am still a little bit scared because this was supposed to be a safe environment. >> the attack happened on saturday here at the top supermarket on buffalo's eastside. the alleged gunman drove about 200 miles from his hometown to the parking light behind me armed with an assault rifle. today, law enforcement officials remained at the scene pouring over the evidence. the 18-year-old gunman live-streamed the shooting from a helmet camera to a small audience on the platform twitch. he shot 13 people, killing 10 of them.
3:05 pm
of his victims, 11 were black. the buffalo complete -- the buffalo police commissioner made clear he was targeting them. >> the evidence we have uncovered so far makes no mistake this was an absolute racist hate crime. >> payton gendron who ultimately surrendered to police after putting a weapon to his neck pleaded not guilty. the gunman planed to continue his rampage possibly at another supermarket. the massacre is reminiscent of other racist attacks including a 2015 mass shooting at a black church in charleston and another in 2019 at a walmart in predominantly hispanic area in el paso, texas. it has left families like ruth whitfield's in agonizing grief. whitfield was shopping while visiting her husband in a nursing home. going to top supermarket w a daily ritual for her. she was 86 years old. >> we have no answers. what to we tell our father?
3:06 pm
he does not even know. how do we tell him the love of his life, his primary caretaker -- >> another victim, kat massey was advocate for civil rights and education. she wrote to a newspaper calling for federal regulation of firearms. she was 72 years old. reverend denise walton glenn has been providing relief to her community. she works for ainterfaith racial justice and equity ornization. >> our community is hurng. our community is devastated. as much as we try not to struggle with the sphere of fear, people are scared. people are scared to leave their homes. people are scared to go into public spaces. children are afraid to return to school. they are afraid for their parents to go to work or their caregive to go to work. people are afraid. >> officials say the gunman subscribed to a racist ideology known as the great replacement
3:07 pm
theory that has made its way from the fringes of the internet into mainstream discourse on the right. it is a belief in the false theory there is a plot by nonwhite people to replace the power and influence of white people. a civil rights attorney blames the gunman and those who influenced him to commit the act. >> all these people who are talking about this race replacement theory, radicalizing these young impressionable minds to go out and do irrational acts. because they know that they have an irrational audience. >> police were called to his high school last june after he made threatening remarks but after a brief mental health evaluation, he was free to go. the impacts of that release are reverberating throughout the city and the country. >> this is our mother. this is our lives. we need help. we are asking you to help us. help us change this.
3:08 pm
this cannot keep happening. >> the president and first lady will make a trip to buffalo tomorrow to meet with families and see the grieving community firsthand. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in buffalo, new york. judy: this attack is leading to a renewed conversation and for some self-examination from any on questions of race, white supremacy and extremist ideology. we are going to focus and some of these questions ourselves with eric ward. he has long studied all of this and the proliferation of hate crimes. he is now at the southern poverty law center. and a writer, journalist and historian. also the next dean of the columbia journalism school. our conversation is part of our ongoing coverage of race matters. welcome to you both. let me start with you. we heard that man at the very beginning say we do not know if
3:09 pm
there are any other haters out there. what is your answer to him? >> we can answer that in the affirmative. i don't think unfortunately there is any question when we look at the connections between what happened in charleston, south carolina in 2015, what happened in el paso, what happened at the tree of life in pittsburgh, what has happened in buffalo, what has happened any other places i am not mentioning. having covered and written about this issue. we can be fairlyertain there are more people of a like mind who are out there. the bigger question is, what we as a society are prepared to do in order to prevent these kinds of atrocities from happening again and again. judy: i went to ask you, eric ward because you have spent decades looking at this issue. is this incident that we see in buffalo just another incident of
3:10 pm
anti-black hate? is there something that stands out to you about this particular moment? >> yes. it is a moment where we are beginning to watch the unfolding of mission oriented hate crimes. these are not merely reactionary hate crimes that we have witnessed, the targeting of minority communities. this is an ideology that is fueling this violence. this violence is not an aberration of the great replacement theory. it is a feature. it is a feature that is grounded in anti-semitism. let's be clear, this leaf that by targeting and killing african-americans, that he was engaging in were he believed to be a jewish conspiracy. we are beginning to understand this underlying jewish conspiracy called the great replacement theory is threatening not just jews but all of us. what is most frightening is
3:11 pm
elected officials are beginning to mainstream and promote this message in the halls of congress. judy: which leads us to the question, why does it keep happening? the incidents that you named and so many more in this country, what is it that has gotten into the psyche of americans that these terrible things keep happening? >> i think this is a much bigger conversation. we see mass violence happening across an array of factors. but most fundamentally, we don't do anything after it happens. we don't enact meaningful legislation. we don't have any significant changes in policy. we make dramatic public displays of grief, at least are elected officials do and effectively go back to what they were doing
3:12 pm
before. i have covered so many of these stories that i hate to sound cynical but there is a particular script we can expect things to follow and the trajectory of them and it stays in weeks. we will mourn. we will grieve. eventually we will reseed to the same sorts of habitual behaviors that facilitated this. judy: do you think we are going to fall back into that same pattern this time? >> regretfully, we will as long as we continue to tolerate the rhetoric that creates this theory that jews are somehow secretly trying to take over the world. you have to push back against this anti-semitism. this white nationalist terror taking place around the country. we need government to step in. we need business leaders to step up. we need community organizations to be trained and prepared for how to deal and manage political violence. this is not ending. this is not an aberration.
3:13 pm
this is a beginning of the targeting of minorities to overthrow american democracy. judy: what more specifically do you think needs to be done to get people's attention? we talk about these incidents. we covered them in the media for a time. as you point out, they happened again and again. what different needs to happen? >> one of the things i think is important in this is if we want to talk about what is different because there is a long tradition of white nationalist terrorism and white nationalist violence in this country. if you want to talk about the differentiating factor of the moment, one is the access to information on the internet and social media. we have to come up with some sort of meaningful reform. in some instances, it seems social media is going in the opposite direction of responsibility. we have to come up with some
3:14 pm
sort of mechanisms whether that be through private acts or pressure from private groups or some combination of government relationships and oversight with the fact is it is indisputable. we have data that points to people being radicalized, indoctrinated via social media and that is one avenue people can take meaningful steps to address at least as a beginning to do something. judy: you are speaking about the responsibility these big tech companies have. >> certainly. judy: and the lack of regulation. eric ward, is that -- is that something that realistically can happen? i keep coming back to hearts and minds. people -- do we think it is a matter of changing what is racist in people's hearts?
3:15 pm
is it a matter of changing of stopping that racism from becoming these terrible acts of violence? where do you see the stopping that needs to happen? >> i think there are three things we can do immediately that begin to send a message that we are serious about responding to white nationalist violence and its threat. the first is we can be responsive to the community of buffalo, particularly families and friends of those who are survivors, of friends and families they have lost. that is a community where we can make raise equity real and a model for the nation. we should take on that challenge. the second is local communities need relief from federal government. many local communities and counties have been struggling under the weight of white nationalist violence. they need help. they need resources to be able to respond. the third is we have to have the
3:16 pm
public will. the truth is if we are able to revamp the world economy in three weeks to come to the support of ukraine i the invasion of russia, we can build the political will hear if we choose to be responsive to this white nationalist assault. judy: do you think that political will is there and i have to ask you both -- let me ask you that first. is the political will there? >> certainly not on the right in this country. we have seen what were once french politics come -- once fringe politics become more and more of the republican party. that is something people will have to speak more forcefully about. it does not seem to be high on the list of priorities. address in meaningful ways. that does not seem to be happening.
3:17 pm
i think at some point it is possible these sorts of actions will become so volatile and so dangerous that it will create a pressure for people to distance themselves. at this point, we have seen so much of this violence, i don't -- i cannot predict the scale of the catastrophe that would be required to make people begin to think twice or to think about this differently. judy: a very quick final question to you both. we heard people in buffalo exprsing outright fear after this. what would you say to them in this moment? >> i think it is right to be concerned. but i think the object of these sorts of behaviors is to instill fear any these people. the only way to proceed is to recognize, to be vigilant, to be aware of your surroundings but not to succumb to fear because fear is the ultimate objective. >> judy, this is our opportunity
3:18 pm
to show the community of buffalo they are not alone or not today, not is week or for the years to come. this is an opportunity to speak directly to the white nationalist movement by investing in the best opportunities in energy to ally ourselves with thoseho have faced harder in buffalo, new york. judy: we thank you. >> thank you. ♪ judy: in the days of the news, police in southern california say a chinese immigrant acted out of hate for taiwan in a sunday shooting at a church. one person was killed and five wounded. the gunman opened fire at a luncheon for a taiwanese immigrant congregation and was then overpowered.
3:19 pm
the local sheriff said today the men had livein taiwan before coming to the u.s.. >> based on preliminary information in the investigation, it is believed the suspect involved was upset about political tensions between china and taiwan. judy: the suspect, 68-year-old david choh of las vegas was charged with murder and attempted murder. a former neighbor said choh was never the same after he was nearly beaten to death several years ago. there has been movement today on the baby fort -- baby shortage for middle -- baby formula shortage. maybe it has announced a plan to reopen a formula plant in michigan. it is the nation's largest but it has been closed since february due to contamination. in ukraine, the ravitch city of mariupol appears on the verge of falling to russian forces peered winded fighters were evacuated from a steal complex. ukraine's military said it is trying to rescue the last
3:20 pm
holdouts. sweden joined finland in announcing it will apply to join data and russia's president vladimir putin offered a somewhat toned down response. putin spoke at a summit in moscow. in reversal, he suggested russia could live with nato accepting sweden and finland if it does not go too far. >> as far as nato's expansion, new members finland and sweden included, russia has no problem with those states. the addition of those countries poses no direct threat for us with the expansion of military infrastructure into this territory will obviously call for our response. judy: both sweden and finland have ruled out accepting nato troops or hardware on their territory. we'll return to this after the new summary. mcdonald's has announced it is leaving russia after more than 30 years of doing business there. the company says it is selling most of its 850 russian restaurants. it will continue paying some 62,000 employees until the sale
3:21 pm
closes. president biden is redeploying u.s. troops to somalia. he signed the order today amid concerns about al-shabaab rebels who have linked to al qaeda. then president trump had withdrawn nearly all of the 700 u.s. special operations forces who were stationed in somalia. the cdc today confirmed one million covid-19 deaths in the u.s. to date. that is more american deaths in the civil war and world war ii combined. with infections arising in new york city, health officials urge people to mask up again in indoor public settings. north korea reported 56 deaths and some one and a half million infections from what they call an unspecified fever. leader kim jong-un visited pharmacies in pyongyang and criticized the slow pace of covid medicine deliveries. he also mobilized north korea's army to help.
3:22 pm
the u.s. supreme court has sided with texas republican senator ted cruz over letting political candidates lend money to their own campaigns and then get repaid. a 2002 law kept how much campaign money can be used for that purpose but ted cruz challenged the provision paired by 6-3, the court ruled the restriction violates freedom of expression. a los angeles judge struck down california's law of requiring there be women on corporate boards. the 2018 statute required publicly held companies based in california to have up to free women on their boards. the judge ruled it violated the state constitution by mandating a gender-based quota. on wall street, the stock started higher but ended mostly lower led by tech shares again. the dow jones industrial average gained 26 points to close at 32,200 23. the nasdaq fell 142 point the
3:23 pm
s&p 500 gave up 16. still to come on the newshour, why the fight against covid appears to have stalled in the u.s. gemma keith and amy walter break down the latest political headlines. young playwrights use the theater to confront the ongoing trauma of gun violence. plus, much more. >> this is the pbs newshour from w eta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: sweden's prime minister today announced her country would join nato. the nato, ending nearly 200 years of military nalignment. the announcement follows a similar one this weekend from neighboring finland. >> it is an historic generational shift five the
3:24 pm
governments of -- by the governments of sweden and finland. pursuing a policy of armed neutrality. finland shares in 830 mile border with russia and as recently as february, the government said it had no plans to join nato. the invasion of ukraine has changed everything. in 2017, 22% of finns and 32% of swedes supporting jordan -- supported joining nato. today those numbers are 76% in finland and 53% in sweden. for more on this, we turn to sweden's ambassador to the unit states and finland's ambassador to the united states. welcome, both of you to the newshour. why are you applying for nato today? >> we have seen a dramatic shift in our region. when russia attacked the ukraine in february, that was a dramatic shift. a neighboring country of ours
3:25 pm
attacking -- unprovoked country, a democracy, and other european state. that really changed everything for us. >> ambassador, you train and share intelligence with nato. your membership in the e.u. includes a treaty to assist any member country that is attacked. why is that no longer good enough? >> i think we have a clear plan to execute our long-standing foreign policy positn which is we have already said for almost two decades we might apply for nato never ship your that is what we are doing right now. we also think that you you -- the e.u. continues to be relevant but we think nato as a defensive alliance is needed in this situation with its own military capabilities. >> you need all 30 countries in nato to agree. today, turkish president erdogan
3:26 pm
call sweden a incubator -- an incubation center for the pkk, the kurdish group deemed a terrorist group by the e.u. and the u.s. will you extradite the kurds living in sweden that turkey is asking for? >> that is something we have not discussed. we are seeking contact with turkey to discuss all the issues we have in front of us and we look forward to cooperating with turkey as an ally in nato. we are trying to have discussions with the turks and look forward to that. >> i know that finland has said it was blindsided by turkeys announcement. do you belie turkey has a price that nato can pay? >> that remains to be seen. we have received inconsistent messages from turkey. first from president erdogan saying they would support the application. now we are hearing something else. i think we have to find out together with sweden what we are talking about and what does that
3:27 pm
mean. i think we have a good relationship with turkey and i believe we can sort of have a good discussion on those items and find a solution. >> vladimir putin made comments today that some people found interesting. he changed his rhetoric and said he had no problems with sweden or finland joining nato but that creating new nato infrastructure would trigger a response. do you believe that is a real threat and do you have any plans to expand nato infrastructure in sweden? >> sorry. >> yes, we are joining nato as a full member of course with everything that that implies. so that is discussions we will have with nato as we go forward. of course we are happy that russians do not see it as a threat that we are joining nato. we have heard differently before
3:28 pm
. given the unpredictability and what we have seen in the ukraine, we have to take every precaution we can to strengthen our own security so we have decided to go up to 2% of our defense budget. we are ramping up our missile defense, our air force, our marine, navy and building submarines etc. we are taking our security very seriously. of course that was a good message coming out of the kremlin today. >> you are the former ambassador in moscow. were you surprised by pdent language today? >> not really. i think it is consistent with what he has said before many years ago. given the dramatic shift in february in ukraine, we have to take seriously all kinds of scenarios that might take place and we continue to do so. we take all the precautions but of course this measure is welcome. it is consistent with what they have said before.
3:29 pm
>> there will be a time between sweden's requesting to join nato and actually being inside of nato and today the prime minister said that would be a vulnerable position. the united kingdom has publicly said it has a mutual security agreement during that time but do you feel you have enough security guarantees from the u.s. or other nato countries during that gap? >> we are fully aware we cannot get full security guarantees until we are a full member of the alliance. our friends, the norwegians and the danes and the birds and others have stated they are willing to do whatever it takes -- the brits and others have stated they are going to do whatever it takes to keep us safe. we are take and run security very seriously. -- we are taking our own security very seriously pure and we have wrapped up the threshold for any aggression. with our friends and allies and
3:30 pm
partners, we think we can make it tougher to threaten us. so that is a discussion we are having on the details of that. what we are very -- we are very happy from the support we get from everyone on helping us during this time. >> i want to move the conversation to ukraine. you are the former. ambassador to moscow and to kyiv. ukrainian officials i spoke to a couple days ago used the word victory. do you fear russia would escalate before it is seen to lose? >> i think certainly it is a possibility that we have to take into account. i do believe we have a long conflict on our hands and i think the russians are not yet suddenly ready to give up on anything and i think they have their old war goals in their mind. i think it is very hard to predict what is going to happen next. there is not going to be a fast
3:31 pm
solution to this war. >> i noticed on friday that ukraine's top aide said while he was happy for both finland and sweden to join nato, it was a double standard of nato to fast-track your admission. why should ukraine wait now for 14 years and not get into nato when you're countries are expected to join nato within months? >> that is a question for the alliance. >> the alliance has set certain standards and it is up to the alliance to decide which countries meet those standards and how fast and with which result they should proceed. we are trying to do our best together with sweden. countries with basically nonexistent corruption and heavy defense spending.
3:32 pm
it is up to the alliance to decide how do we meet the criteria. >> i just have about 45 seconds left. the u.s. has a pro-nato president today but president trump was questioned -- questioned nato when he was president and of course the next president could question nato. do you believe you have in the u.s. a reliable partner inside nato in the future? >> yes, i do. have been a long-standing partner and have had a great partnership for many years. i think the alliance will persist and there are many members in the nato alliance. 30 of them. the unit states is one of the most important ones but i -- the united states is one of the most important ones but i trust the united states will stay in nato. >> thank you very much to you both. >> thanks a lot. ♪
3:33 pm
judy: we knew the day was coming and now it has arrived. the united states has recorded more than one million covid deaths. it is the highest reported death toll of any country and this terrible largely preventable milestone comes as cases are once again on the rise. william brangham has more. >> the country is morning these stats right as new even more highly transmissible omicron variants emerge. cases in the u.s. have climbed 60% in two weeks and hospitalizations are up 24%. for a deeper look at all of this and where this is heading, i am joined by the founder and director of the scripps research translational institute. great to have you back on the newsho. the country is trying to find a way to reckon with this one million deaths and yet these new
3:34 pm
variants are showing up. it is clear this virus is not done with us yet. when you look out at the pandemic today, what is it that most concerns you? >> good to be with you. the problem we have is this illusion or deception the pandemic is over when in fact these variants we are seeing are coming at a much faster clip. there is an accelerated -- of the virus and these are more troubling variants. they have -- they are transmitting at levels inconceivable and starting to approach the level of measles, one of the most spreadable pathogens we have ever encountered. we have trouble right now as you mentioned. we are seeing at least six, 700,000 real ces a day. it is going to continue to increase in this country as we confront this so-called ba.2 121
3:35 pm
variant. one of the several of the omicron family. >> you mention immune escape and for people who are not familiar, you're talking about the ability of these newly mutated, newly evolving strains to punch past our protections, to evade our ccination. is that right? >> exactly. aramaeans system does not see them. does not see the virus as its all previous versions of the virus because there is so much distance or the protein basically looks different to our body. so it fix us out to that is why people who had omicron which is about 40 to 50% of americans in january and february, that ba.1 variant, the new one that is rising to levels of dominan in this country already in the new england region but also throughout the country, we can have reinfection's because they are so different. we do not see -- those who have
3:36 pm
been affected with the ba.1 do not see this new problematic version in the omicron family. >> one of the things we have always been consoled with, which is if youave been vaccinated and boosted and if you got maybe a one, an original omicron infection, you were very protected. you might have a breakthrough infection but you are not going to end up in the hospital and. you were certainly not. going to end up dying do those new strains, these new strains change that calculus? >> we have counted on our vaccines to give us 90, 95 protection from severe disease come hospitalizations and deaths. but that is slipping now. we are in denial it is now down to 85, 80%. that is a big drop because the gap is because instead of 5%, were talking about four, fivefold people whom i get severe disease. even being vaccinated with one or two boosters.
3:37 pm
this is what is a real problem we are not confronting right now. >> help me understand something because there seems to be a real disconnect. all the things you are reporting would be alarming to most people who have been paying attention to this epidemic. but now you look at the cdc's map that shows the country where there are a few hotspots in new york and yellow in minnesota and michigan. the rest of the country looks green as if there is not a problem with this virus. what is the disconnect? >> i would call it a capitulation. the cdc frankly -- it is a deception at the level of the virus is low when the transmission is incredibly high. it is starting to approach that of what we saw with the omicron wave. it is rising quickly. this is really irresponsible of the cdc to give us this impression things are copacetic
3:38 pm
when they could not be further from the truth. >> let's just say this continues to worsen and public officials start to say we need to reintroduce precautions as we saw in new york city today recommending masks indoors again. do you think broadly speaking the country will listen? everywhere i travel in the country it seems like people are done with this. i don't want to think about anymore. they are ready for this to be any the rearview mirror. if public health officials say it is time to tighten down precautions again, will people listen? >> that is a problem. it is hard to go backwards. our thinking is going backwards but our actions -- we are not doing the things we could do, the innovations we need to get ahead of the virus. not just the mask and the physical distancing sort of thing that you are alluding to. the things like having nasal vaccines.
3:39 pm
a pan-beta coronavirus vaccine and much better medications beyond what we have today. those things are imperative. part of this capitulation is we have a hand waving we are done and don't want to put any further investments or funds or support. this is a crucial time right now because it is not going to get better. it is at a serious state right now and we have too many paths for trouble in the times ahead as well. >> as we have seen, congress is deadlocked on this issue of covid funding. always good to see you. thank you. >> thank you. i wish i had a brighter message to convey. thank you. ♪ [speaking foreign language] -- ♪ judy: days after the massacre in
3:40 pm
buffalo, the response from political leaders has turned not to the usual conversation on guns but to the power of the racist ideology that fuels attacks like this one. lisa is here with more. >> for the political response to this tragedy as well as a look ahead to some critical primary races tomorrow, i am joined by her always thought for -- thoughtful political monday team. that is amy walter and tamra keith. politics monday is here. let's start off with another unspeakable shooting and some people in washington especially are looking at the words of some republicans including this from elise stefanik, the representative in house republican leadership. is a facebook ad she posted last year. it warns of a permanent election insurrection and he finds that as the unrivaled -- the arrival of undocumented immigrants. she has disavowed the buffalo shooting. she represents a district in new york but some do see that ad as
3:41 pm
a reference to what we hear about, the weight replacement theory which the suspect in the buffalo shooting wrote about. i'm going to start with you. what do you think is going on underneath here? why are some republicans feeding or not actively trying to address white anger? >> i think as this piece -- the lead-in alluded to, lots of times when these horrible tragedies involving guns happen, we talk about the second amendment. in this case we are talking with the first amendment. what is free speech exactly? ? it has been with us for a long time should you kanaan what you cannot save it what is inciting violence. what is ok to be able to talk about that is a debate we have been talking about most recently about look it's posted on the internet and who is responsible -- whose responsibility is that. it is in the political dialogue as well. we know that the rhetoric just
3:42 pm
keeps adding ramped up -- just keeps getting ramped up. the idea -- that it will not seep into the broader society is not true. the more that leaders are willing to either excuse it or find ways to switch the topic, the harder it becomes for leaders to stand up and say actually we can draw a line. there is a first amendment but this, not acceptable and we need to hold ourselves even if internet companies or the broader world will not hold us to those standards, we need to do it. >> there was a tweet from another republican. a former member of leadership, liz cheney, who tweeted the gop leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy and anti--- and anti-semitism.
3:43 pm
these are kinds of ideas, weight replacement theory, that used to be way on the fringe. how are they now in the political mainstream? >> weight replacement theory was kkk, neo-nazi stuff. then it started seeping in in theory a more palatable form. instead of weight replacement theory, it is political replacement theory. that ad from a least a idea that democrats or somebody wants to bring in lots of illegal immigrants that can then become legal and become american citizens and vote and replace native born american voters. that is the theory behind this. that there would be a liberal majority. that is how it went from the fringes to the republican mainstream. you had in charlottesville those people marching, chanting with tiki torches saying jews will
3:44 pm
not replace us. that was replacement theory in way that was unpalatable. >> it was clear what they were saying. >> yes and in the years since then, it has become something that is discussed in politics as like this is something that is going to happen and that somebody wants this to happen. it is not in the exact same terms as weight replacement theory and that is what elise stefanik's spokesperson pushed back on. she is simply saying there should not be amnesty. it all mixes and melds together that >> is the whole thing about, what is free speech and what is it full rhetoric that incites people to do terrible things. >> and what is there to do? the new white house press secretary was asked if the white house should pushed back more. callout people by name like tuggle charles -- like carlsen left -- like to go carlsen.
3:45 pm
we play a role too. our voters challenged enough? who and where does that happen? >> we have media bubbles. there is not cross-pollination. there are people who are paying close attention to this kid or other folks who will not hear much about this at all. the american population is invulnerable to receing conspiracy theories and accepting them as a reality. there is no defined truth. that sort of socialized and allows p to go into the dark recesses of the internet and find things that confirm their beliefs and lead to dangerous places. >> it is front of mine especially for those of us in the media. another topic that does overlap with the sharp divides,
3:46 pm
primaries. we have some tomorrow. north carolina, pennsylvania and others. i just got back from the keystone state. fantastic few days there. republicans in the senate race have three very conservative candidates including this new surging kathy barnett. democrats have an unconventional senate candidate as well, john federman. i want to ask you, is the idea of who can when changing? the used to be a formula these are not formulaic candidates. >> something like a dave mccormick who is one of the republican candidates. he is a veteran. he had success in business. if you went back 10 years to republican candidate central casting, you would find him. then trump got elected and the idea of what is electable has changed somewhat. someone like john federman is not traditionally considered even remotely electable. he shows up in a hoodie and gym shorts for a meeting with the president of the united states and yet he is appealing to rule
3:47 pm
voters. he is appealing to working-class voters democrats have been struggling with. someone like cornet grabs attention, makes people have passion. i don't know if they're going to window primaries. i'm not here to make predictions. i think they are an example of candidates who are potentially redefining what it means. >> would kinda flip the script. in 2018 and 2020, the one thing that unify democrats was getting rid of donald trump. that meant electing in primaries the most electable candidate. >> centre, right >> on the democratic side, you have john federman not only does not look the part with the sweatshirt and the shorts but he comes from the bernie sanders wing of the party. i the 2018, 2020 version of democrats, they would say that is dangerous in stay as conservative as pennsylvania and we should elect a more moderate.
3:48 pm
what democrats are looking for is somebody who is going to be a fighter because they are frustrated they are not seeing that from the party and fetterman is that. >> great discussion from you both. judy: this weekend's mass shooting in buffalo once again highlighted the devastating impact of gun violence in this country. it is a problem all too familiar to many americans and specifically young people. in 2020 guns became the leading cause of death for children surpassing fatalities from car accidents. activist across the country are working to shed light on this issue three series of plays written and performed by young adults, many of whom have had direct experience with gun violence. jeffrey brown has the story for arts and culture series, canvas.
3:49 pm
>> you know, i usually would let you know but it was a shooting down there where i know y'all be hanging and ion't want nothing to happen to you, jj. >> at new york city's lincoln center, the reading of a play about a woman who lost her husband to gun violence and now fears the worst for her son. it was written by 18-year-old taylor lafayette. >> i hope my play amongst others that were written bring the change forward that this cannot keep happening. >> three seconds and i'm taking it out of your pockets. >> i ain't got nothing. >> in tempe, arizona, a performance about a boy who witnesses his older brother's murder in ways whether to take revenge. one of the student actors, byron. >> it is a part of life that you never want to face but it is also one that you cannot act as if it is not there. ignorance is not bliss when you are talking about the subject
3:50 pm
shared information, knowledge. that is the power. >> the performance is the part of #enough place to end gun violence. a project written and acted by young people expressing their anger, frustration and fear. earlier this spring on april 20, the anniversary of the 1999 columbine colorado school shooting, eight plays were performed in 29 states across the country including pittsburgh. >> please. >> and maryland. >> it is not me. i don't have a choice. >> the aftermath of a mass shooting. >> and other shooting. >> the trauma that endures when a loved one is lost. >> mom cries every day staring at the spot in the street were her baby boy's body lay. >> #enough is the brainchild of a director and producer based in chicago. in 2018, he was in a
3:51 pm
professional theater rehearsal when the parkland florida shooting left 17 dead. >> it took over the entire vibe of the rehearsal. my memory of that is 10 minutes later we got back to work working on plays. it really left an unsettling feeling. >> what was the feeling? >> frustrating that these things kept happening. what am i doing any theater? more specifically, what can we be doing in the theater to address this? >> his idea that young peoe be the storytellers. >> able to put a story behind these awful enormous numbers that should drive us insane to do something about it but somehow do not. that is what theater provides. this cathartic sense of where some people can go to express their grief and their anger and their trauma but do that within their community. >> a space that small, a weapon like that, it does not take more
3:52 pm
than a few minutes. we rehearse it maybe 20 times. >> in rehearsal, a group of students and a teacher become obsessed with rehearsing a school shooting simulation. >> it had such an effect on the psyche of people like me, american teenagers. anyone who has to go to school. it is rare you get the opportunity to write about something that is so important on such a national if not global scale. >> like many teens, she has grown up in an america where school shooting drills are part of everyy life. >> i go to school and all these very normal things are happening. i am doing school work. i'm thinking about lunch. beneath that, there is this undercurrent of anety about gun violence. looking around the room. where would i hide? there is a door that slides -- that slams hard. you know it is not what you think it is.
3:53 pm
there is this feeling of worry around it. >> in tempe, arizona, byron acted in a presentation of her play and found the experience cathartic. a creative workspace is the best workspace. when you around people who make difficult things easy to talk about, it definitely helps a lot. >> he has lost both family and friends to gun violence. >> i feel the underlining thing is to understand and acknowledge what pple do and to have that conversation about people and this is one of those ways to have that conversation. >> it is a conversation all too arizona state representative jennifer london who was shot and paralyzed 18 years ago. she was in the audience in arizona and joined a post-performance discussion. >> i found it very intense, very true to life. i found myself holding my breath
3:54 pm
several points along the way. i think that it provides an outlet for the create tours and the performer -- the creators and the performers peered i think it is educational to the audience. >> for her part, taylor lafayette traveled to new york from her home in mississippi. she has been writing since childhood but this play was her most personal. a way to cope after using her younger brother to gun violence. >> he was 16, so very young. not even getting the chance to graduate high school senior year. the fact that i do, i like to use that as motivation. >> why does art become the way to do that? >> enough definitely drove me to ci can use my voice as something more than just a way to release my own emotions. i can use it to cause change. i don't want to keep my writing to myself. i wanted to be in the world
3:55 pm
because that is where i feel it needs to be. >> enough. judy: a moment of uplift that we needed tonight. thank you, jeffrey brown. some late breaking news. the biden administration is reversing some trump era policies regarding cuba and the expansion of travel to the island nation. it is permitting flights to cities other than havana and lowing group travel for educational and professional purposes. it is reestablishing a family reification program and eliminating caps on how much money emigrants any the u.s. can send back to their families in cuba. that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and here tomorrow morning. thank you, stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> 25 years, consumer cellular school has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. our u.s.-based customer service
3:56 pm
team can help you find a plan that works for you. ♪ >> the kendeda fund, committed to advancing restorative justice in meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at kendeda supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound .org. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] ♪
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
hello everyone and welcome to amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. i was never concerned about being fired, i was just kerped about being fired too soon before election. >> saving a country from its own president. mark esper tells me about his tenure under donald trump and his new memoir, a sacred oath. and then. >> you hate white people. why don't you get over yourself? >> louie's forbidden america, face to face with the dark side. i asked the popular film maker what keeps driving him to the