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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: on the newshour tonight, as details of the orlando massacre become clear, focus shifts away from the killer, and toward his wife. >> woodruff: also ahead this wednesday, a look at the donald trump effect-- the presumptive nominee isn't backing down, even when his party disagrees. what this means for his campaign and the g.o.p. >> ifill: plus, a newshour exclusive: after a two-year study, stanford researchers find shocking racial injustices by the oakland police department. >> even when we took out stops that resulted in arrests, we found that one in four black men, for example, were handcuffed, compared to one in 15 white men. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> woodruff: investigators in orlando worked today to reconstruct the movements of the gunman who killed 49 people over the weekend. omar mateen died in a gun battle with police, after the massacre at a gay nightclub. authorities working the crime scene today said they need to know what mateen did before the attack. they would not confirm his wife knew of the plot and might be charged. >> i am not going to speculate today as to any charges that may be brought or indeed about whether any charges will be brought in this case. it is premature to do so. it would interfere and hamper the investigation to put out premature information about where the investigation is headed. >> woodruff: orlando's mayor said today that investigators do know mateen "visited several locations" saturday night. he did not elaborate.
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>> ifill: senate democrats launched a filibuster today, demanding tougher gun controls in the aftermath of orlando. connecticut senator chris murphy and several others spent much of the day calling for a vote on barring gun sales to people on the terrorist watch-list. >> in the face of mass slaughter after mass slaughter, this body has taken absolutely no action. and i know that times are tough here, and i know that we're often at each other's throats, but that in and of itself, it's unacceptable. let's find some limited common ground on issues that the broad american electorate support and let's move forward on it. >> ifill: meanwhile, republican presidential candidate donald trump told a rally in atlanta, carnage could have been avoided if some of the orlando victims had themselves been carrying guns. >> if the bullets were going in the other direction, aimed at this guy-- who was just open target practice-- you would've
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had a situation, folks, which would've been always horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we all, as a people, suffered this weekend. >> ifill: trump said he'll meet with the national rifle association to discuss tying gun sales to the terror watch and no-fly lists. in response, the n.r.a. said it supports delaying gun sales to terror suspects for 72 hours, but it wants a way to take people off the watch list, if they're wrongly accused. >> woodruff: another tragedy played out in the orlando area today, after an alligator killed a two-year-old boy at walt disney world. it happened tuesday evening at the "seven seas lagoon," as the boy was wading near shore. police reported search teams found the body today and that it was intact. the resort closed all its beaches. >> ifill: the wreckage of a missing egypt-air plane has been spotted, deep in the mediterranean sea.
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egyptian officials say they've identified several main locations on the ocean floor. the flight disappeared on may 19, killing all 66 people on board. the cause of the crash remains unclear. >> woodruff: the federal reserve left a key short-term interest rate unchanged today, in light of an uncertain jobs picture. in a statement, the central bank said: "the labor market has slowed while growth in economic activity appears to have picked up." fed chair janet yellen elaborated: >> although recent labor market data have on balance been disappointing, it's important not to overreact to one or two monthly readings. the committee continues to expect that the labor market will strengthen further over the next few years. that said, we will be watching the job market carefully. >> woodruff: yellen said fed policy makers are also watching for any economic fallout from britain's vote next week on
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whether to stay in the european union. >> ifill: the fed's news failed to reassure wall street, as stocks fell for a fifth day. the dow jones industrial average lost 34 points to close at 17,640. the nasdaq gave up eight points, and the s&p 500 dropped nearly four. >> woodruff: president obama met with the dalai lama, despite china's warnings that it would damage u.s.-chinese ties. beijing accuses the spiritual leader of tibet's buddhists of campaigning to split the region from china. the white house released a photo of the meeting, but allowed no other coverage. >> ifill: medical news on two fronts today. the world health organization now says there's no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer. that reverses a 25-year-old previous warning. instead, the w.h.o. says the real issue is temperature-- if you routinely drink anything that's very hot, about 150 degrees or more, there's limited evidence it could lead to cancer
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of the esophagus. >> woodruff: and a major city in southern india is on high alert for polio after an active strain was found in sewage water. the alert-- in hyderabad-- means about 350,000 children will be vaccinated next week. india was declared free of polio in 2014. >> ifill: and, astronomers have picked up new echoes of two black holes crashing into each other, deep in space. the collision generated a gravitational wave that gave off a high-pitched chirp. it's only the second time that earth-based instruments have detected a gravitational wave, and it helps prove the first time was not a fluke. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: donald trump takes an unexpected stance on gun control; a new report detailing racial bias by the oakland california police; how the muslim community is responding to the attack in orlando, and
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much more. >> ifill: no matter which side you are on, the 2016 campaign is already on the books as one of the most unusual in modern history. just this week, donald trump, hillary clinton and president obama have offered a preview of what's to come, with attacks, counter attacks, and harsh disagreement over policy, both foreign and domestic. from guns, to refugees to immigration, it has turned into a campaign like no other. call it the "trump effect." joining us to explain the hows and whys, trump senior campaign adviser barry bennett; "wall street journal" political reporter beth reinhard; and pollster ann selzer. ann selzer, you just completed a poll with "bloomberg politics" released yesterday. tell me, is there anything in there to support my notion that there is a "trump effect" this
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year? >> well, there are a couple of things in there, gwen. first of all, what we see happening right now is a 12-point lead for hillary clinton over donald trump, 49 to 37. that's a substantial lead, and polls recently have been showing this a tighter race than that. so the "trump effect" for right now, overall, doesn't appear to be a winning position. but secondly, you asked about whether this is a race like no other, and pollsters have been going through their archives trying to find some little piece of data to shine a light on that, and i found one today. if you look at the proportion of republicans who have unfavorable feelings toward donald trump, it's 27%, and you might think, well, this is just a year where everybody hates everybody. the number is 15% for hillary clinton. that's looking just at democratic voters. i went back to our archives to see four years ago what was the situation with mitt romney,
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because maybe you think republicans always -- there is a substantial group that are unhappy with their nominee, it was 11%. so donald trump, enwithin the -- even within the confines of his own party is turning off a substantial number of people there and that's a "trump effect," too. >> ifill: barry bennett, he's also turning on a substantial amount of people, how do you measure that? how do you weigh that against each other? >> well, i think, typically, a candidate comes to a race and he comes within the four out of four voters and the three out of four voters and you fight the campaign on the two out of four voters. it's a reverse cycle. he comes with a bunch of folks who are not traditional republican voters. in ohio in january there were 16,000 registered reps, now it's 38,000. a huge shift. >> ifill: in an important state. >> a very important state. these three-fours and four-fours which supported somebody else in
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the primary, they'll come home. it will take time but they'll come home. >> ifill: you have been to this rodeo before, beth, so as you compare this to previous campaigns, what to you is the most significant difference? >> there is very little that's familiar about this race. donald trump has not just rewritten the rule book but taken the old one, burnt it, thrown it in the ocean. everything about how he runs his campaign and con tuckets himself is unlike anything we've ever seen before. the way he interacts with the media -- >> ifill: or not. -- or not. and in that case disqualifying reporters from covering him based on stories he doesn't like, we haven't seen that before. the way he calls in int into the television networks and runs his own media operation on television and twitter is unlike anything we've ever seen before. >> ifill: and we know that americans still think largely the country is on the i don't -e
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wrong track. is that something which you could also maybe speak to the kind of effect that donald trump is having, something he can take advantage of? >> well, our poll is showing that the percent of people showing that the nation is headed off in the wrong direction reached one of is highest points since we started polling in 2009. so there's a lot of discomfort at the national level, that's usually a reflection on the view of the president and, actually, barack obama's numbers were not so terrible in our poll. so there sort of is this breaking apart of the things that we used to think hung together and gave you a pretty clear view of the way the nation was heading. not so anymore. >> ifill: barry bennett, there are all these contradictions. the perfect example today is donald trump says he's going to speak to the n.r.a. about changing no-fly lists for who can purchase guns which is
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something the n.r.a. objects to. he says he supports the lgbt community in the wake of orlando but not that he supports gay marriage. is it americans can hold two opposing thoughts in their heads at one time? >> i think often in politics we come up with this monolithic view of things and this cycle is an example of where none is true. the hispanic voter, they're all over the place, some are religious based, some family based, some young progressives. so we're challenging all the norms we've seen in the campaign. i think the tone of the country, 45% of folks think we're going in the wrong direction, which is an all-time record. they've also figured out they don't necessarily have to like or love the candidate for president, which we've always believed to be true. they want to go someone to washington with a bull dozer's license and just fix things and that's i think, what we're seeing. other wires, how could donald trump's approval rating be at
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29% and his ballot be in the 40s? it's not possible during traditional political metrics. >> ifill: well, there are no traditional, political metrics that apply, i think we can all agree. beth, let me ask you, it feels like we've just lurched into the general election campaign. bernie sanders is in the race but doesn't feel like that's what's driving this anymore. how different are the primary races, aside of the 17 people on the republican ticket, how different are they from general election races and does it matter in a non-traditional year like this? >> donald trump, people keep saying he's going to "pivot" to the general election and we have been sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for that to happen and it hasn't. he talks about rivals that fell away months ago as if he's still reliving those conquests, and, of course, he is talking quite a bit about hillary as well, but
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it does still have the feel of a primary in that the rhetoric is just as fury and harsh as you see in a primary where people are trying to appeal to that fire-breathing base. he hasn't really moderated his tone which is what expect once you become the nominee that you're going to try to reach this wider audience with, you know, more -- warmer tones. donald trump is hitting it as hard as ever. >> ifill: that reminds me, yesterday the president came as close to fire breathing as he ever gets, in his pretty full throwed, without mentioning his name, atook on donald trump and what donald trump stands for. at the same time, am i right, his approval rating seems to be creeping up? >> yes, his approval rating is creeping up, his favorability numbers are creeping up. he's on par with bill clinton who usually surpassed him h a little there. i think, however, there are things still bothering the
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general electorate as we look at donald trump. we tested a few items and half say they're bothered a lot by trump's ban on muslim immigrants. 55% bothered a lot about comments he made about the judge ruling in the trump university case, and 62% bothered a lot about his tone with women. 62%. that the bothered a lot. that's the strongest answer they could give us. and it's 71% among women. the one last thing i want to share with you is we know he can change things if he wants to. when we first were polling on donald trump here in iowa a year ago, his favorable to unfavorable ratio was 2-to-1 unfavorable, and in the course of a few months, he flipped it to where it was 2-to-1 favorable to unfavorable. he's done magic before. >> ifill: barry bennett, doing magic, how does he flip the numbers? >> i think when people hear his
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policy positions, you could either believe what hillary clinton says about his policies or you can listen to him, they come to appreciate where he is. you know, government is not working. we know precious little versus this idea of radical islam, we know precious little about what causes people to radicalize. we have been dealing with this for a number of years now. you'd think we would have a better understanding, we would have a better screening, have a better watching and calculation, but all of our processes that the government has put in place have not worked. >> ifill: do you think he's been specific enough about what the alternative is? >> you can never be specific enough. that's what campaigns are about. that's why we have 150-some days to talk about it. that's why we're going to talk about it in the campaign. but there are so many people in america suffering real pain and the current policies of this administration and even some of the policies from the previous administration just never helped
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them and that's what we're going to talk about. >> ifill: barry bennett, "wall street journal," and beth reinhard, political reporter, and pollster ann selzer, thank you all very much. >> woodruff: the police department in oakland, california has a long and troubled history. the most recent scandal to roil the department involves alleged sexual misconduct by officers. police chief sean whent resigned last week for reportedly mishandling that situation. and there are decades of tension and mistrust between officers and the african american community. stanford university has been studying that often volatile relationship and the results of the groundbreaking study were released today. special correspondent jackie judd has our exclusive report.
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>> reporter: the report confirms what african american residents of oakland, california have long known, seen and felt; police often treat them very differently than white residents. >> we found a significant pattern of racial disparities in who was stopped and who was handcuffed and who was searched and who was arrested. >> reporter: rebecca hetey is a stanford university researcher and an author of the report. >> more importantly, these disparities remained significant after we took into account a wide range of factors that we would expect to influence police decision-making, like crime rate, like neighborhood demographics. >> it is an insult and no one can make me believe that this would be happening in any other community except for a community that is defined by black, brown and poor people. >> reporter: activists and brothers michael and ben mcbride are long-time critics of the oakland police department. >> we have a broken relationship because while there have been
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some steps moving forward to try to repair it, there still has not been the kind of honest discourse that needs to happen around truth and reconciliation. >> reporter: according to the most recent f.b.i. statistics, oakland has more violent crime than any other u.s. city except for detroit and memphis. it was in this super-charged atmosphere that city officials took an absolutely unprecedented step. they decided to have outsiders analyze their officers' behavior, knowing the results would not be pretty. oakland mayor libby schaaf: >> but it is incredibly important that we ask these hard questions so that we can get to the bottom of making the department something that the community trusts and that is, in fact, bringing justice. >> so this when i just broke the entire stops into race and gender.
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>> reporter: researchers at nearby stanford university spent two years analyzing vast amounts of data: field reports from 28,000 stops officers made on the streets and roads during a 13-month period, and body-cam video from 2,000 of those encounters. they expected to find about 7,800 stops of african americans. in fact, there were more than double, almost 17,000 stops. what surprised everyone involved even more was the huge gap in handcuffing. >> even when we took out stops that resulted in arrests, we found that one in four black men for example, were handcuffed, compared to one in 15 white men. >> reporter: analysis of the body cam video also found disparities. lead researcher jennifer eberhardt says while no racial slurs were uttered, certain words were used far more frequently when an officer questioned an african american.
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>> we started by just looking at linguistic patterns in that footage. and we found for black stops words that are associated with probation, parole, arrest, jail time, those kinds of things, >> reporter: so there was an assumption that the black person who had been stopped had a criminal record. >> there was a possibility of that, in our discussions with community members there was a lot of concern that there are ways in which they're stopped where there's a suspicion of criminality. so, implicit bias can influence us unintentionally. >> reporter: eberhardt is a national expert on implicit, or unconscious, bias and she trains oakland officers to understand what that means. her cautiously worded report suggests implicit bias may be behind the racial disparities in police stops, along with police believing this is the norm, this is what their superiors want them to do. the phrase "racial profiling,"
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which suggests overt racism, is never used. why is racial profiling such a radioactive phrase? >> i think that race is a very sensitive issue. >> reporter: former police chief sean whent, who resigned last week for reasons unrelated to the stanford report. >> racial profiling in and of itself is obviously prohibited by our policy and it would be a misconduct issue. but the fact that people are impacted by implicit bias, that's a different issue. >> reporter: so you are not willing to say that these findings would lead you to a conclusion that there is racial profiling in oakland? >> i don't know how i could credibly say that no racial profiling ever occurs here. although what i don't believe necessarily is that these findings show that there's systemic racial profiling going on. i just think it's much more complex than that. >> i don't care if it's implicit or explicit. i want bias gone. i want it managed and i want
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people held accountable. and the people have the right to be able to live in a community where bias is not the over- determining their lives. >> reporter: the report is only the latest in a series of highly critical evaluations of the department since it came under federal oversight in 2003 because of police misconduct. at the time, the department agreed to adopt dozens of reforms within five years. but, 13 years and millions dollars later, the federal government is still monitoring the oakland police department. city officials believe the department is approaching the day when the oversight will end. there has been some progress recently. use of excessive force, the number of arbitrary searches and citizen complaints have all declined. and so has the crime rate, itself. sgt. william febel explains that different tactics are now used in high crime areas. >> so, we use intelligence based policing. we talk to folks in the area, we
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in particular to speak with community members. community members help us identify the subjects out there who are involved in criminal activity. >> reporter: the stanford report includes dozens of recommendations, including more data collection, sustained training, annual review of each officer's stop data and regular community feedback on police interactions. police departments around the country, including those caught up in controversial police shootings like this one in chicago, are watching what oakland does now and how the local community responds. paul figueroa leads oakland's reform efforts. >> i think we're at a position in reform, not only locally but nationally, that we're finally getting to the point where we have the data, where we can take some real action. >> i believe that at the end of
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my term, people will be able to say that this city really grappled honestly with some very difficult issues like race, like oppression, like class differences. >> every mayor that we've been in relationship with, the last three mayors, have all told us that "we're working as fast as we can, we're close, we're close," and then they go out of office and then we have to hear the exact same rhetoric from the sitting mayor. >> i think on all sides, people want this relationship to work right. i think african americans especially don't want to feel fearful of the police, of the people who are supposed to protect them. and i think the police officers they don't want to feel like perpetrators of bias. >> reporter: at this roll call, new recruits join veteran officers as they prepare for their first shift of a very tough job. with this revealing report in hand, commanders will expect them to carry out more even- handed policing. and a wary community will be watching.
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for the pbs newshour this is jackie judd in oakland, california. >> ifill: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: efforts to boost diversity in an elite high school; and why one author calls the democratic party's policies "liberalism of the rich." >> woodruff: but first, how the muslim community in orlando is responding to the mass shooting. as investigators continue to try to understand the motives of the orlando shooter, the fact that he was a muslim has put another community of american muslims in an uncomfortable spot-- disavowing the actions of an extremist, while also facing a backlash themselves. william brangham has the story. >> brangham: as news broke early sunday about the killings in
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orlando, joshua weil thought what many muslims thought about the attacker. >> my first thought is always, and sadly, "please don't let them be muslim." >> brangham: weil is a member of the islamic center of orlando, one of the largest muslim mosques in this area. of course, news quickly broke that the killer, omar mateen, was, in fact, a muslim. the attacks occurred right after saturday night's ramadan prayers. >> the thought occurred to me that because that night i got this guy was muslim, he probably just left one of these mosques. he might even have left this mosque! he might've been standing and praying taraweeh with us, standing side-by-side with his brothers and listening to the koran, and then he left that to go murder all these people. >> brangham: tariq rasheed is the imam of this mosque. >> every muslim in this country and in orlando is grieved. and they are in shock. they are asking questions-- how come this happened in orlando?
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how can a person with muslim faith do this? so, you know, people are very much in shock; i can tell you, everyone. and then there is a fear factor as well that you know there might be a backlash. >> brangham: the mosque held a candlelight vigil for the shooting victims the night after the killings, and they've publicly and repeatedly condemned the attack, saying mateen's actions are no reflection of their religion. imam rasheed says this is the new reality for the american muslim community, having to account for the violent actions of a few extremists who claim to share their faith. >> we have nothing to do with this. we don't know who this guy was, where is he coming from. so, that's why i say that, you know, the people and in the media should not bring the religion of a terrorist into play because terrorism has no religion. and in religion, there is no terrorism. >> brangham: i mean, this is what happened in san bernardino, this is what happened at the
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military base in texas, where one of these events occur and then the muslim community is called to condemn. are you guys sick of being asked to condemn? >> absolutely! "sick" is the right word. we are sick of this. >> brangham: syed quadri, his wife rabana khan, and their three kids are members of this mosque. syed's a psychiatrist and rabana is an accountant who helps manage his practice. >> i actually was terrified in finding out what exactly happened. and of course, our heart goes out to all the mothers who have lost their kids. it's unfortunate and it's terrible that these kinds of incidents are continuing to happen. and it's putting a bad name on the muslim community. >> brangham: many people believe that there is something about islam that draws this paranoid, radicalized thinking. what do you say to people who think that that's part and parcel of your faith? >> well, i'm not going to deny that there is radicalism in every religion; islam gets attention because of everything that's going on in the world. and i'm not going to say these
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people are not radical islamists; definitely they are, but they are not a part of islam. we do not consider them muslims. we do not consider them a part of islam. islam is all about peace, nothing to do with hatred or violence. >> brangham: but these repeated disavowals haven't stopped the threats. the mosque's facebook page, beneath its tributes to the victims, has been repeatedly covered with death threats and angry denunciations of islam. they say they've received similar voicemail messages. joshua weil says most of these are likely just angry venting after the attacks, but some of them were simply too specific to ignore... >> "next time i see you parasites at the publix on hialeah, i'm going to take care of them." >> brangham: the mosque alerted the police but now also has hired an armed guard to patrol
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the grounds during prayer services. imam rasheed says ramadan is usually the busiest time at the mosque, but now people are afraid to come. >> sisters in the community, they texted me, "you know what? i'm not coming today. you know, we are fearful. we don't want to come." and they did not send their children. you know, we have never done this. we have never done this. this mosque has been in our operation for the last 32 years. >> brangham: weil says he and his wife anna, who's also muslim, don't want to give into fear, but he understands it. weil is a teacher by day, and also works as outreach director for the mosque. he says, especially at times like this, people need to worship together, not apart. but anna said, she thinks the anger out there is serious enough to stay away from the mosque for now.
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>> brangham: weil says these attacks have also shined a light on a generational divide within the muslim community over the issue of homosexuality. he says most of the younger, american-born muslims here have condemned the attacks and embraced the gay community that's been victimized by this killer. but, he says some of the older generation-- those largely born abroad in much more conservative societies-- have struggled with how to respond. >> they want to condemn the attack, they do believe it's horrible and they do think it never should've happened, but they don't want to go as far as to, you know, embrace or say that they support homosexuality and i kind of feel that this awkward place. it's almost been nice to see some of them reluctantly move in and say "no, we see now this is a community that we should be supporting. this is a community that faces all of the same bigotry and all of the same, you know, anger and aggression from many of the same
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people that we do, you know. >> brangham: the reverberations from this attack have also spilled onto the campaign trail. citing orlando, donald trump doubled-down on his call to ban muslim immigration, although the shooter was born in new york city. president obama and some g.o.p. leaders have again condemned that proposal. what is your response when you hear some of the political rhetoric that flows after attacks like this? >> i think it is unfortunate that some people take advantage of these kinds of incidents and, you know, they are banking on their votes. they are trying to build their political careers out of all those. that's all i can say. >> i consider myself an american and an american muslim absolutely, and it hurts that if somebody would try to take that away from me because this is my country. this is where i grew up. so, when you tell me to leave, where am i supposed to go? this is my home. >> brangham: the muslim community here hopes the anger directed at them will soon
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subside and the whole orlando community can continue its slow process of healing from this tragedy. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in orlando, florida. >> ifill: as the school year is nearing an end, a number of highly selective public high schools around the country are struggling to deal with a longer-term problem-- how to enroll more students of color. special correspondent spencer michels looks at one such school, in this report produced in association with education week, part of our weekly series, "making the grade." ♪ ♪ >> reporter: lowell high school in san francisco excels in everything from music to math.
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motivated, hard-driving and talented students have propelled this four-year institution to the top tier of national public school rankings. its graduates include scientists, politicians, entertainers and a supreme court justice. chrislyn earle, here in a psychology class, is a senior. >> i wouldn't imagine myself at any other school, to be honest. this school builds you for the next step, the next chapter in your life. >> reporter: but there is something missing at lowell-- more students like earle from historically disadvantaged minority groups. she is one of a very small and dwindling number of african americans-- about 2% of the student body. latinos make up about 10%, while asians comprise 57% and whites, also dwindling, at 14%. >> i think the people who are minorities at this school feel left out.
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my freshman year i wanted to transfer. >> i wanted to leave immediately; i wanted to go to balboa. it's more diverse over there. >> reporter: that issue came to a head this spring when a non- black student put up a poster that drew the ire of many at lowell. titled "black history month", it glorified black rappers and movies, lampooned president obama, and failed to mention historically important figures. african american students walked out of class and marched to city hall to protest. >> the poster was the straw that broke the camel's back. >> reporter: earle lives with her mother, shronda jackson. >> the whole main purpose of the walkout is basically how we felt that the students at lowell and staff members were not respectful to the black culture. we were trying to explain that we are more than just our music and the movies and entertainment. it's very insulting.
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>> reporter: earle didn't expect that when she took a test and applied to lowell-- which does not charge tuition. >> when we received the letter that she was accepted, i was ecstatic. >> reporter: but earle says she didn't realize how few african americans she'd meet. >> it didn't really soak in until i got inside the classroom and i was the only black person there. >> reporter: diversity-- and how to achieve it-- is a hot topic at boston latin, a selective public high school in massachusetts, at stuyvesant in new york, and other elite schools, many of which are majority asian. often, as at lowell, the african american student population is dropping. officials point to the declining numbers of blacks living in san francisco-- now just 4%-- as one factor in the decrease in black students at lowell. other factors include poor preparation in early grades, low test-taking skills and, in some cases, disruptive or difficult
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home life, suggests san francisco schools superintendent richard carranza. >> some families are homeless, some families are living in poverty, some students in foster care. how do we rally to create a mosaic of support for students who have been historically disadvantaged, give them the equity boost that they need to meet the bar that we've set for them to get into different kinds of schools? >> reporter: the low numbers of blacks and latinos at lowell, for whatever reason, discourages other students of color from even applying. >> lowell is interesting because of the diversity problems it and other selective schools face. but for me, lowell is close to home. my grandfather, my father and my wife all went to lowell, and i have a son teaching social studies there now. for the record, i went to a school across town.
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>> reporter: when principal andrew ishibashi, who has worked in, and attended, inner-city schools first became principal here, he was shocked: >> i found that diversity was the weakest area at lowell. it's something that i've worried about for the past nine years. >> reporter: micia mosley, a part-time standup comedian and teacher who founded the black teacher project in the bay area, says it's no surprise elite schools lack diversity. >> by nature they're exclusive. so how do you have diversity inside a system or an organization or a school that's designed to shut people out? we say we want diversity in this country, we're asking things of schools that we're unwilling to do ourselves. >> reporter: her answer: >> so you groom people. this idea that folks are born innately with the skills to succeed in these elite schools is ridiculous. everyone's groomed.
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whether that means that you have a parent who's making sure your academics are in order, or you go to a good school that's preparing you. folks don't come out of the womb ready to succeed in an elite school. >> reporter: but bringing more people of color into lowell is not simple, says superintendent carranza. >> if we knew that, we'd have already figured it out, and so would stuyvesant and boston latin. if you see students in your school, are they made to feel they're welcome? or do students of color feel like, well, they're just a quota? >> reporter: lowell's principal has tried to dispel that feeling-- and boost academic performance-- by meeting occasionally at lunchtime with black freshmen and sophomores and a special consultant, to go over grades and problems. >> how did you guys do last spring? >> first semester, i really did great in algebra two. even though i was doubling up. i would fall behind, but i did it. >> so have you come down here for tutoring? i've seen you guys down here.
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>> i come down here to get a few >> you know, my spanish grade was really bad, it was like an f. now it's a "b," because i worked really hard to get it there. >> reporter: addressing the issues of diversity frankly is a major goal of an elective class in critical thinking and social change. >> a lot of people don't want to go to a school full of a lot of asians, you know. so it discourages people from going to lowell. >> i just feel we're usually too busy studying and getting a good g.p.a. as a result we haven't really had time to think about how what we do impacts minorities and all that stuff. >> reporter: malia cohen, a member of san francisco's board of supervisors, and a graduate of lowell in 1996, wants the district do allocate more money to address enrollment at her alma mater. >> when it comes to actually
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hiring a person specifically charged with the duty of targeting an increasing enrollment, that's what we're not seeing. >> who's going to pay for that? do i hire another english teacher or math teacher, or do i hire another specialized person to do something? >> reporter: lowell's principal has made recruiting a priority, going into black and latino communities and persuading promising students to apply to lowell. as for making it easier for students to get into lowell-- a topic that was hashed out and rejected in court years ago: >> i would like to see a little dent in as far as not having to pull such high test scores and grades. >> reporter: but the way to get more minority kids into elite schools, nearly everyone agrees, is to start young. >> i went to brooklyn tech high school in new york city, which is a specialized high school, had to take an exam. and i know that the preparation i had in elementary and middle school allowed me to do well on
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that exam, allowed me to do well in school. >> reporter: lowell and the nation's other elite public high schools have acknowledged they have a long way to go to achieve the diversity they say they value. for the pbs newshour and education week, i'm spencer michels in san francisco. >> woodruff: finally tonight, a look at some of the back-story to this year's raucous political season. just as it brought to the surface tensions and disaffection within the republican party, so too have divisions in the democratic party revealed themselves. author and historian thomas frank explores all this in his latest book, "listen, liberal." i sat down with him recently in our studio.
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thomas frank, welcome to the program. >> good to be here, judy. >> woodruff: we should say the subtitle is "whatever happened to the party of the people." you were talking about the democrats, but just before we talk about what you think is wrong with the democratic party, when was the last time you thought the democratic party was doing what it was supposed to do? >> look, there are still a lot of good democrats out there, thetimes who get the seal of approval from me, you know, they get five stars. there is plenty of democrats i approve of. i'll say i enthusiastically voted for president obama back in 2008. but, on the other hand, i think that the party has really abandoned its dedication to working-class americans beginning in the 1970s and has progressively abandoned it more and more and more. that's our traditional democratic mission. >> woodruff: in your book, you're pretty hard on president obama in not fulfilling what you argue was the promise of his
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presidency. you're hard on both bill clinton and hillary clinton, but you also make the striking point that the inequality that we have in this country is something that they think is a good thing? >> well, it's something -- i wouldn't say that. barack obama called it the -- what did he call it? the overriding challenge of our time. he has a way of putting it, when he speaks about it in this very eloquent manner, he makes it clear this is something he deplores, something that, you know, he finds shocking. however, the democratic party, the sort of leadership faction of the democratic party isn't really at their core bothered by inequality. they think, to a certain degree, it reflects the way things ought to be. this is because the democratic party -- the leadership of the democratic party is not who we think they are. it's a different group of people serving a different agenda than what we -- than what their brand identity tells us they are. >> woodruff: and you describe them pretty much as the opposite
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of the working class, the blue-collar workers in this country. >> yeah, that's not who they're interested in anymore. once upon a time, franklin roosevelt or lyndon johnson or somebody like that, absolutely, the democratic party was about the middle class of this country. they've developed literature talking about how the class of people is of the pinnacle of history. it's the class they themselves are drawn from. they talk about these people all the time. they see that, you know, this group of winners is, you know, the ultimate sort of number one democratic constituency, they think that that class of people deserves to be where they are and their status is something
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they earned. >> woodruff: it's a pretty harsh criticism. you're saying the leadership of the democratic party, silicon valley, the academics, the folks on wall street who are democrats, really don't care about the working class. >> yes, that's exactly right. the most shocking thing is that the democrats basically are a party that identifies itself with wall street and that identifies itself with silicon valley and that identifies itself with big pharma. these industries they're talking about and saluting because they're so creative and innovative, it's where these knowledge-based industries, the kind of professionals that democrats see themselves as representing, this is where those kind of people are found. so they look at wall street and they don't see this kind of colossal villain or, you know, the way someone like franklin roosevelt would have understood wall street. instead, they see classmates, they see their peers. you know, they have a really difficult time bringing this
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industry to heel or making sure that the rule of law applies to this industry. >> woodruff: and you, in the book, thomas frank -- and you end the book, thomas frank, on a pretty pessimistic note, you say until the leaders of the democratic party understand the role they play in bringing things to this play, things won't get better. >> that's exactly right. it's clear from my point of view, i should say, that the republican party with its dedication to markets and its philosophy of entrepreneurs is not really interested in equality. but what's shocking is you realize the democrats themselves aren't really interested in it either, that the kind of liberalism you see in the democratic party is a liberalism of the rich, that it's the liberalism of the top ten% of the income distribution, of a tiny swath of americans who have actually done very well in the era of inequality, and that's shocking once you realize that.
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>> woodruff: what are the implications of this for this year's election? >> we have a contest basically down to donald trump versus hillary clinton, between those two. on the matter of inequality, one is really bad and one is a lot less bad. you know, that's where we left. you know, it's the sort of same situation that we've been in for so many years. no, i don't think there is an easy way out there year and i think the public is going to get -- these problems are going to get worse, inequality is going to get worse, the situation of working people is going to get worse and you're going to see more public frustration and more public anger and more bernie sanders down the road and more, unfortunately, i'm sorry to say, more donald trumps as well. >> woodruff: it's a provocative book, "listen, liberal," whatever happened to the party to have the people. thomas frank, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me.
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>> ifill: we close tonight with a personal reflection on the orlando shooting, for a young muslim woman who lives there. from my family to you. dear families of close victims. i apologize. i apologize not for being a muslim but for the heinous act committed by a so-called muslim. i apologize. i apologize not because my heart weeps but because of all the hurt and agony it has caused the victims' families, i apologize. my deepest condolences to all the families that are affected by this monstrous act. there is no place for hatred in islam. i apologize. i apologize not because it was the holy month of ramadan but because this man twisted and misused a peaceful religion to carry out his own horrific act. please don't judge or hate the rest of the muslim nation. i apologize.
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i apologize not because i'm being judgmental toward that monster, but because loved ones will have to wait till the day comes when this monster shall be held unaccountable for his unforgivable deed. please do not despair. i apologize. i wish you find peace of mind knowing that they are in a better place than this world right now. may god bless the victims and their families. may god bless you. may god bless america. i apologize. >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, margaret warner takes a detailed look at how the orlando shooter fell off the f.b.i.'s radar, and the dilemma for law enforcement in confronting the growing threat of home-grown terrorism. all that and more is on our web site, and later tonight on charlie rose, former deputy f.b.i. director tim murphy also looks at the lessons learned from orlando. >> woodruff: last night, we aired a story about the ar 15 rifle, the weapon used in several recent mass shootings. orlando law enforcement
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officials had initially said this was the same gun type used in the orlando shooting. but later it was clarified that the orlando shooter was using a sig sauer mcx. that is a rifle with several similarities to the ar 15 style. the sig sauer was originally designed for use by u.s. special operations forces. the newshour regrets the confusion. and that is the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we travel to brazil, where fears over zika are gripping the local community-- and international atheletes-- ahead of the olympics. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> you were born with two stories. one you write every day, and one you inherited that's written in your d.n.a.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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