tv PBS News Hour PBS April 16, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, gun violence in america, indianapolis reels from a deadly mass shooting at a fedex facility as bodycam video of the police shooting of a chicago teen is released. then, a growing trend, dozens of states across the country are seeking to ban young transgender athletes from competition despite widespread public opposition. plus, it's friday. david brooks and jonathan capehart look at the national divide on police use of force and the president's plan to withdraw all troops from afghanistan. and making their voices heard. after decades of being shunned by the industry, black women finally gain prominence in
country music. >> there's already the issue of women not necessarily getting the same airplay as male artists. add to that being a person of color. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour as been provided by -- ♪ >> moving our economy at 4160 years.
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have spent this day looking for answers after a gunman shot 8 people to death, and then, himself. the bloodshed followed other attacks nationwide, prompting president biden to call it, quote, "national embarrassment." it also stunned a city hd hit by gun violence. indianapolis today is enveloped in grief. already reeling from a recent series of mass shootings, last night it became the site of the nation's latest attack. >> this morning, for the third time since january, our community woke up to news of a senseless crime that will not soon leave our memory. reporter: police said just after 11:00 p.m., 19-year-old brandon scott hole drove to a fedex operations center near the indianapolis airport and opened fire with a rifle. he was a former employee at the facility. >> there was no confrontation with anyone that was there. there was no disturbance.
there was no argument. he just appeared to randomly start shooting. judy: police said the gunman began shooting in the parking lot before moving inside the facility. the entire attack lasted a matter of mites. one witness said he heard pops that didn't sound like gunfire, until it intensified. >> then more shots went off, somebody went behind their car to the trunk, and got another gun, and then i saw one body on the floor. judy: police say the gunman killed himself before they arrived on the scene and that they don't yet have a motive. police also said a significant number of the employees at the facility are members of the sikh community. a sikh civil rights organization said members of the community were among the wounded and dead. retives are still waiting for victims to be identified. in a statement, fedex offered condolences to the families of
those killed and said it would cooperate with the investigation. today, the indianapolis mayor called for national efforts to stop gun violence. eight people were killed in two separate shootings in the city this year before last night's attack. >> the process of healing will take time, but i think healing does depend on meaningful conversations between people about how we stop this cycle of violence that's driven by readily accessible guns. judy: in washington, president biden echoed that message. he called on congress to pass legislation implementing universal background checks and banning high-capacity magazines. in a statement, he said, "too many americans are dying every single day from gun violence. it stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation." the white house today also
lowered its flags to half staff to honor the victims. late today, indianapolis police said they seized a gun from the suspected shooter last year and that the fbi interviewed him after police made a mental health call to his home. meanwhile, a police officer in san antonio killed two people during a traffic stop today. an exchange of gunfire came after police pulled over a truck with three people inside. police said body camera footage shows the officer having a conversation with the driver, who then pulled out a gun and shot the officer in the hand. the officer returned fire, killing the driver and the front seat passenger. a third passenger was injured. questions over a different fatal shoong and the role of the poce are front and center in chicago. there, the mayor, city officials, and community leaders are taking stock of how police respond with force and whether more changes are needed. stephanie sy begins with this
report. and a warning, this story contains graphic video. reporter: chicago sits on edge as protests have broken out over the police killing of 13 year-old adam toledo. >> we're constantly burying our kids and no justice is being served. what do they want us to do? reporter: business owners along the city's magnificent mile began boarding up windows as city officials called for calm. toledo lived with his family on chicago's west side. the last moments of his life are now under investigation. on thursday, this graphic video from chicago police officer eric stillman's body camera was released from the night of march 29th. the nine minutes of footage shows officer stillman csing toledo down an alley. he was with a 21 year-old man who police say fired a gun. toledo can be seen fleeing as officer stillman yells for the
teenager to stop and show his hands. toledo then turns around. from another video, he appears to make a throwing motion in a direction where officers say this gun was later recovered. but then he raises his hands. the officer fires one shot, killing the seventh grader. >> he put his hands up ande was still murdered. what more could he have done? reporter: chicago mayor lori lightfoot called the video excruciating to watch but called on protesters to remain peaceful as the incident is investigated. >> while we don't have enough information to be the judge and jury on this pticular situation, it's certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain. and it is even clearer that trust beeen our community and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken.
reporter: previous police shooting videos that have gone public sparked major protests in chicago, including one in 2015 that showed a white officer shooting 17 year-old laquan mcdonald 16 times. today, another mother grieves. elizabeth toledo described adam, as a curious and goofy teenager who loved animals, riding his bike, and junk food. the toledo family issued a statement urging people to avoid violent protests. protests that have erupted time and again, as the nation continues to grapple with how to check police use of lethal force. let's look further at some of the questions raised by this case and similar questions other cities are facing. hans menos is the vice president of law enforcement initiatives for the center for policing equity. he served previously as the executive director of the police
advisory commission for the city of philadelphia. mr. menos, thank you for joining us. most everyone would agree it is simply unacceptable for 13 year old to be shot and killed. but when you look at that video, is there nuance that needs to be discussed and explored? >> first, thank you for having me. my heart goes out to the toledo family. i can't imagine as father and parent having to watch that video of your child, so, of course, there is nuance. but what we have to start with, start with idea he was 13 and we failed him. his death is not holy his responsibility. it is on us as the adults to prevent these issues from occurring. so we are going to find out.
there is an ongoing investigation but something to keep in mind is the evidence presented so far has been presented by the police department in a light that needs to be brought objectively. we know that is happening. the chicago civilian office of accountability is investigating and we should all wait to see what pans out there. reporter: we are hearing the police side of things. but we also have seen video from two angles. we know that the officer was running after toledo and an adult, who has been charged. let me ask you how that pursuit on foot could have led to the situation and could it have been avoided? >> this is a great question. around the country and in the actual city of chicago. is the foot pursuit policy sufficient? the answer is we don't know, because there's no foot police policy, so what can officers do
to prevent the discharge of their firearm? what practices can they employ and how can they keep themselves safe and keep others safe by drafting, inventing a foot pursuit policy that guides practice. without that, we have what officers are doing, what they think is right in the heat of moment, and that can have disastrous consequences. reporter: we know the chicago police department has a troubled history of firing their weapons. disproportionately so on black and brown men. do you think this fatal shooting of adam fit the pattern? >> well, yes, i think police shootings, when we see history and not just chicago, they affect black and brown young men. other much more egregious, much older white men have managed to live through their offenses.
dylan roof, kyle rittenhouse, david ling, three of them were egregious shooters, killing 17 to 18 people have lived through this experience and were brought to justice. we're never going to know what adam toledo would say in defense because he was killed in streets. that is significant. it is not lost on communities that black and brown young kids are dying at the hands of police while white kids are being brought to trial and being brought to the normal path of justice. reporter: hans menos, thank you so much for joining us with your perspective. >> thank you for having me. ♪ >> we will return to judy woodruff at the full program.
another use of deadly police force to report that i. a police officer in portland, oregon opened fire and kild them in this morning while responding to a report of a person with a gun. a crowd of more than 150 angry protesters showed up at the park it happened 2 hours later. while police investigate the shooting the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave. the u.s. justice department is getting back into the business of policing the police. attorney general merrick garland today rescinded a trump-era curb on consent decrees. that will make it easier to investigate police departments and press for major changes in use of force and other policies. an indiana man has become the first person to plead guilty to federal charges in the january assault on the u.s. capitol. jon ryan schaefer is a heavy metal guitarist and a member of the far-right oath keepers militia. he pled to charges that stemmed from storming the capitol and using bear spray on police.
on the pandemic, the world health organization chief reports covid-19 infections are nearing the highest rate yet. india recorded another 217,000 cases in just 24 hours, and the number of deaths worldwide closed in on 3 million. in washington, public health leaders warned again of surges nationwide. dr. walensky: some of these increases are a result of relaxed prevention efforts in states across the country, such as relaxed mask mandates, or loosened restrictions on indoor restaurant seating. another reason for these increases is the continued spread of highly transmissible variants. more than 50% to 70% more transmissible. >> the biden administration also announced it is providing $1.7 billion dollars to help track and identify variants of the virus. russia responded to new u.s. sanctions today with penalties of its own. on thursday, washington ousted 10 russian diplomats and imposed
other measures, citing interference in the u.s. election and hacking of federal agencies. russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov answered in moscow. >> [speaking russian] >> you said 10 diplomats were included in the list. we will respond reciprocally to this meare. we will propose 10 diplomats of the united states to the russian federation to leave our country. >> eight current and former u.s. officials are banned from entering russia including the fbi director and the attorney general. -- the 90% level needed for weapons grade uranium. in washington president biden criticized the move at a white house news conference after meeting with japanese prime minister suga. pres. biden: we do not support and think it is helpful iran is
going to enrich to 60% rated it is contrary to the agreement. >> iran's announcement came as u.s. and iranian negotiators are holding indirect talks in vienna on resurrecting the 2015 nuclear deal. a court in hong kong sentenced 9 pro-democracy leaders today over a mass anti-government march in 2019. it was mainland china's effort to suppress the protest movement. media tycoon jimmy lai was ordered to serve up to 18 months in prison. 82-year-old former lawmaker martin lee had his sentence suspended. in cuba, raul castro made it official today. he's stepping down after 10 years as leader of cuba's ruling communist party. he made the announcement at a party congress. it marks a transition to a younger generation of communist officials. raul castro is 89. head succeeded his brother, fidel, who led the 1959 revolution and died 5 years ago.
back in this country, a watchdog report finds former secretary of state mike pompeo repeatedly violated ethics rules. the state department's inspector general says pompeo and his wife asked aides to carry out personal tasks more than 100 times. they ranged from handling pet care to mailing christmas cards. and, on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 164 points to close at another record, 34,200. the nasdaq rose 13 points, and the s & p 500 added 15, reaching a new record. a new memorial that honors those who fought in world war i was dedicated today in washington. the flag was raised on pennsylvania avenue. a military band played the national anthem as jets flew overhead. more than 116,000 americans died in the war. there are no living veterans.
part of the memorial opens on saturday. it will be fully completed in 2024. still to come on the "newshour," the biden administration reverses course twice in one day on the issue of refugees. multiple states seek to ban young transgender athletes from competition. david brooks and jonathan capehart consider the week's political news, plus much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour wbt eight studios and washington and in the west from walter cronkite school of journalism. judy: today saw the biden administration giving mixed messages on whether it would leave historically low caps on refugees put in place by former president trump. yamiche alcindor has more. reporter: president biden walked back an earlier promise to raise the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the united
states. i'm joined now by jenny yang. she is the vice president of advocacy and policy at world relief, a humanitarian nonprofit. thanks so much for joining us. walk us through what happened today with these twists and turns on the refugee cap. >> earlier today the president signed presidential determination that cap the low refugee count at 15,000 for the u.s. refugee admissions program originally set by president trump but which president biden decided to keep. the one change he did make was to revise the program to expense categories through which refugees are eligible to come into the program, but the fact that he kept the refugee ceiling at this historically low level is concerning, because it does mean refugees will continue to be excluded from the program even though many of them have been waiting many years to come
in. the white house just recently issued a statement saying 15,000 is not the final number for this fiscal year, but it is very concerning because the president himself said he would actually raise the ceiling to 62,500, and we are still waiting for them to follow through on the commitment. reporter: talk about the impact this has on the lives of migrants waiting to try to come to the united states. >> refugee is a small subset of the larger immigration population in that you have to have a well-founded fear of persecution on the count of your race, religion, nationality, membershipn a social group or political opinion. you are referred to the refugee admissions program, and at a time when we are facing the world's worst refugee crisis the u.s. settles less than .5 of 1% of refugees. this narrow lifeline the
protection needs to be not only preserved but expanded to of those individuals who cannot go home or locally integrate. historically, the united states has had a ceiling of 95,000 refugees per year, so the fact that the refugee ceiling is 15,000 it means it is not only the lowest number set in the history of the program, but it effectively shuts out many deserving refugees from being able to reignite -- reunite with their loved ones in the united states. one of our staff members is from the democratic republic of congo and he was resettled years ago but his brother as been waiting for his wife to be reunited with them and she was on a flight to come to the united states, so she sold all of her belongings and was waiting to board a flight when the flight was canceled because the president did not sign the necessary paperwork to revise the ceiling. she had to go back into the refugee camp and we do not know if she will be rebooked to come
to the united states. reporter: with the few seconds we have left, the biden administration was saying this had to be kept lower because of the search at the border. it went to make of that argument? >> that is not good reasoning, because the refugee admissions program is run by the state department. they have a different ending stream, and agencies like world relief and other agencies are prepared and necessary to welcome refugees. the issue on hand is not capacity or resources, it is political will. the courage to up the refugee ceiling to help those who have nowhere else to go. reporter: thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me. ♪ judy: it's been a record-breaking year of bills proposed in state legislatures that would limit transgender rights, from access to medical
care to sports participation. despite that, a new pbs newshour-npr-marist poll found that americans across the political spectrum oppose those efforts, and more than half of people personally know someone who is transgender. john yang has our report. reporter: late afternoon in boise, idaho, and lindsay hecox is doing what she loves most. a track and cross-country runner in high school, hecox, now 20 years old, dreams of running for boise state university, where she's a student. >> i don't know how i would have gotten through high school if i didn't have my running teams, they were my only friend group. i kind of just feel like i need friendship through running again. reporter: for most teenagers, going from high school to college is a big step. but for hecox, it was a major life change. she came out as transgender, meaning her gender identity does not align with the sex she was assigned at birth, a condition known as gender dysphoria.
>> gender dysphoria just sucks. you don't get to be the person you were meant to be just because of some random luck when you're born. i'm able to deal with struggles in life a lot better now just because i've already gotten through this. reporter: as her transition and college began, she found herself at the center of a political firestorm over transgender rights. >> all female athletes want is a fair shot at competition, but what if that shot was taken away by a competitor who claims to be a girl but was born a boy? >> opportunities for women are being shoved aside for a new priority: transgender athletes. reporter: last year, idaho became the first state in the country to ban transgender women and girls from competing on all-female sports teams. >> house bill 500 has passed the house. reporter: hecox, who had begun her transition not even a year earlier, was at the state capitol speaking out. >> i think i am rightfully
passed off. they word it so that i'm othered and made different when it doesn't need to be that way. reporter: after idaho's republican governor brad little signed the law, hecox sued and a federal judge temporarily blocked ing the law -- blocked the law from taking effect. in the years since, three more states, mississippi, tennessee, and arkansas have enacted similar bans. it is part of a sweeping trend more than 60 such laws proposed , in nearly 30 states this year alone, according to the human rights campaign, an lgbtq advocacy group. >> this seems to be yet another in the list along party lines of the kind of cultural clashes we've seen where democrats on one side of the fence and republicans on the other side. reporter: lee miringoff is the director of the marist college institute for public opinion. >> the republicans are saying, all right, we're going to talk to our cultural base here and we're not going to worry about the broader public opinion. >> i'm calling from marist
college. we are talking to people in your community. reporter: a new pbs newshour-npr-marist poll released today found americans split on whether transgender athletes should be allowed to play on high school teams, but among republicans, an overwhelming majority said they should not. however, when asked whether they should be banned by law, a large majority of both republicans and democrats said no. >> they do not want to legislate. they do not want to go to that level of extreme views or actions in their own minds. >> i'm not a politician. i'm a pediatrician. reporter: for transgender youth and their physicians like robert garofalo at lurie children's hospital in chicago the effect of these bills could be very personal. >> my understanding of legislation is that we legislate things that are problems. this is legislation in search of a problem. reporter: the ncaa allows
transgender athletes to compete after a year of hormone therapy. neither they nor state high school athletic associations keep track of the number of transgender competitors. but a recent associated press analysis found only a handful of instances among the hundreds of thousands of students playing high school sports. those backing the bans say transgender females have an unfair advantage. connecticut allowed transgender high school athletes beginning in 2017. last year, four female track team members sued, saying that just two transgender runners had won titles that had been held by nine different female athletes. >> i was forced to compete against biological males. girls across connecticut and new england all knew the outcome of our races long before the start, and it was extremely demoralizing. reporter: most medical experts, including the american academy of pediatrics say there is no scientific or medical evidence that transgeder female athletes inherently have an edge. >> we are not legislating sports participation based on the size
of your shoe or based upon your height or other immutable characteristics. reporter: in fact, hecox says she noticed a difference the moment she transistioned. -- transition. >> minutes are now gone from what i would be able to do in a 5k. i will feel like i can't go as longer, so stamina, my muscles will give up. i need to stop quicker. reporter: doctor garofalo says excluding transgender youth from athletics could be devastating for them, recalling his own teen years. >> sports participation, especially in high school or junior high school, is much broader than whether you win or lose. if you would have told me when i was 17 that i couldn't play on the soccer team or i couldn't play on the tennis team, so much of my self-esteem, so much of what i pin my self-worth as a teenager would have would have been erased or eradicated. reporter: hecox hopes that
public opinion will continue to shift in favor of transgender rights as more people hear stories like hers. >> things will get better, and this legislation is just a momentary setback for trans acceptance. reporter: what would you say to your high school self? >> i would say that even though this is a hard journey i do not want to just fade from the world and not have an eighty -- any impact on it. i'm on the leading edge of this last frontiers, trans people. it's really awesome. so high school self, be happy that you got this opportunity and keep fighting. reporter: fighting both in the courts and on the track for a slot on the team. >> -- reporter: for the pbs newshour, i am john yang. ♪
judy: and to the analysis of brooks and capehart, that's new york times columnist david brooks and jonathan capehart, columnist for the washington post. hello to both of you. very good to see you on this friday night. i want to start out with something that has been less than uplifting this week, and that is more gun violence, in particular, 2 more police shootings of young black men, different circumstances, one in minneapolis just 10 miles from where the man accused of murdering george floyd is on trial. at other one in chicago. jonathan, my question is, we keep seeing this happen. what do we make of it, and is it something that is going to require change in law? >> it is going to require a change in a lot of things, judy. it will require a change in law,
certainly, but a change in attitudes among the american people as a whole and among police. you know, when i leave my home, when i leave my apartment, i know that when i am no longer at home, in viewed with some level of suspicion -- i am viewed with some level of suspicion, even as a threat because i am black and certainly because i am a black male, and that is something i have to deal with. i have said often and i will keep saying it, there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop when you are african-american, particularly when you are an african-american male, and attitudes need to change, particularly among police, because more often than not we are viewed as threats. we saw that in the video of army lieutenant nazarrio in virginia
that happened in december but came to light last week. we saw that in the video of the initial encounter with george floyd when they tapped on the window of his suv with a flashlight and he turns around, what is easy, a gun in his face. with daunte wright in brooklyn center, minnesota. the police officer said i will tase you, taser, taser, taser. instead, she had a gun in her hand and shot him. these are all different circumstances, but the overall mood is the same. black people feel under threat, they feel under siege, and until the rest of america changes its attitu and until law enforcement somehow changes the way it views the people they are sworn to serve and protect nothing is going to change. judy: david, why does this keep
happening and what do you think about what needs to change? >> the first thing that needs to change is we need to accept there is racial bias in policing. there are too many people in the police force who think it is not there. it is not only jonathan's experience and the experience of only -- almost every african-american person i know. there are dozens of studies that show traffic stops, drug arrest, there is a vast disparate policing that goes on, and that is about attitude. the good news is, if you do take reforms you can make progress. there has been a sharp drop in the number of shootings of unarmed people. unarmed people are still pretty stable but we have made progress. there are things that can be done, and those are things like removing chokeholds, a little idea that i like is you have to have written permission to search a car. these things called pretextual stops where they stop a car on
the pretext of one thing when they are looking for something else. data is very poorly collected, so which police forces are having the most disparate arrests or the most disparate searches question mark that data is not collected. there are these things called police officer bill of rights, which police unions have instituted, that create artificial barriers to investigating an incident. a cop as to be published within 30 or 100 days and if it is too late they are off. there are little things that can be done to hopefully reduce these tragedies. judy: jonathan, are these the kinds of things you think can make a difference? what can we be trying that has not been tried before? >> all of those things david just mentioned are pieces of what is known as the george floyd justice in policing act and if that does become law it
will start to put us on the road of ameliorating this very severe problem, but also it is a problem that is not just now, part of temporary america. generations of african-americans have been talking about this and complaining about this, and the one thing that is different is a lot of this has been caught on video. if you do have things like ending racial profiling, collecting data, ending qualified immunity, which makes it possible for people to old police officers and departments accountable when they get it wrong, those are all things that will improve policing, but will also improve the relationship between communities and police, because anyone who thinks african-americans do not want protection from crime and do not want bullies to actually be there to serve and protect -- police to actually be there to serve and protect our suffering under a delusion.
judy: the shooting of 2 young black men. one was a young black men. the other was a teenager, a latino. do you think these measures can make a difference? >> i think they have. i think policing has improved from where it was. i was a police reporter and there was an atmosphere then, maybe there still is but i think it is less, the weak cops are the good guys and the world is an awful place. and there was almost a military attitude. that is something to talk about in the training of policing and that is not the right attitude. i think there are 18,000 police forces in this country. a lot of them are under resourced. a lot of them have their own cultures but changing that culture so people are out of the neighborhood has helped and getting diverse workforces has helped. this has been awful to watch these things, but it is not like
something we have not made some progress toward. judy: something else i would do us both of you about, the decision by president biden to pull all u.s. troops out of ghanistan by september 11. it has been 20 years since the united states -- it will have been 20 years since the united states was attacked by al qaeda. the president''s argument it was never meant to be a war that lasted this long. he also made the argument that the rep has metastasize around the world, and we cannot find it any longer with boots on th ground in one country. it do you make of his argument end of the decision? >> i think his argument is one we should take seriously, and one that we need to deal with. the threat has metastasize around the world, and it is not just coming out of afghanistan and it does make sense to remove our troops and have them nimble enough to respond to those.
let's keep in mind, there are 10,000 nato troops in afghanistan. 2500 of them are u.s. troops. we are not talng about the 100,000 troops on the ground as we had in 2011, but the other thing to keep in mind is the number of people who have cycled through their and to some stats, 30,000, 23 hundred dead, 2300 wounded. 30,000 u.s. service members have been deployed to afghanistan at least five times, and we are talking about not a broadly shared sacrifice. we are talking about and never the shared sacrifice or not even shared at all when you have 1% of the american population serving in the military. this was not an easy decision i would think for the president, but the fact that he made it and set a deadline, which is very controversial, but he was the united states out, and i give
him credit for making a very tough decision. judy: david, what is were thinking on this? >> i disagree. i think it is a grave mistake. every expert or most of them seem to leave the taliban will take over afghanistan, major cities and that will not be good for girls who want to go to school, good for people who want to enjoy a life of freedom. that is a return to something pretty ugly. we have only 2500 there but they are protecting the other nato troops doing most of the training. our men and women are not in front-line combat by a large anymore, so it is not as onerous a lift as it was before, and to preserve a somewhat free society , i think it is the right thing to do if the u.s. pulls out all of the other forces they are expected to be out. i understanding and patience, it has been 20 years but we have been in south korea a long time
and europe a long time. i thinkhese thingscan sometimes serve the years. judy: just briefly, what do you say to this argument? >> i understand that argument, and david makes a very good point, that afghan women and girls probably face danger. afghanistan could collapse, but could and might, not assured, like i said, this was not an easy decision. in some ways it is a gamble but it is one the president felt he had to make. judy: david? >> we are not going to be the world's policeman anymore. we are not going to be the defense that we were after world war ii but we are still the biggest power in the world and with that becomes the opportunity to serve
civilizations where we can. that does not mean putting our men and women think combat but guarding people training afghan soldiers to go into combat seems the right balance to strike. judy: sobering stuff at the end of this week. david brooks, jonathan capehart, thank you both. >> thank you, judy. >> thank you, judy. ♪ judy: as we do every week, we take time now to commemorate the lives of five people lost to covid-19, as remembered by their loved ones. ronald verrier's loud, strong laugh gave comfort to his patients at st. barnabas hospital in the bronx, new york, where he worked as a surgeon. his colleagues remembered him as a rare combination, a good rain,
good hands, and a good heart. born in haiti, ronald rushed back when the 2010 earthquake struck to volunteer however he could. his sister said that was who he was, always the first well. elizabeth massman or betty to her family and friends, moved some 26 times in her early life, and her daughter said she made lasting connections wherever she went. she pursued her education while her children were growing up, and became a school nurse, and later an advocate for abused children. her daughter said she was the family's rock, and never lost her love of adventure, traveling the world, hiking and cycling well into her later years. tony murray's husband, mark, remembered knowing he was the one from the day they met at an educator's conference in 1995. he said tony was a great cook,
famous for preparing enough ribs and fried fish to feed an army. he worked for the ymca in new york city, where he loved working with children on concerts and plays. tony became a mentor to s nephew, jason collins, the first openly gay nba player and walked beside jason in boston's gay pride parade. tony was 60 years old. bob green was a true montana cowboy, his family remembered, with a gruff exterior but a soft heart and a presence you could always count on. after five tours to vietnam with the navy, the wide open spaces of his native state called him home again. bob, who lived to be 83, took pride in tending to the green spaces in their small community of trout creek, and his dream was to build a playground there for children to enjoy.
the community will build that playground this year, and name it after bob green. pastor david gilmore radiated kindness from his pulpit at new mount zion baptist church in baltimore. he was active in the church all his life. it's where he met his wife lea when they were young. lea described his presence as santa claus 365 days a year, a jolly guy with the beard. she said she sees the qualities she treasured most in him embodied in his two sons. david was 59. our thanks to family members for sharing these stories with us. our hearts go out to you as they do to everyone who has lost a loved one in this pandemic. this weekend, mickey guyton will
become the first black woman to co-host the academy of country music awards. she was the only black woman to be nominated for an award this year. but as amna nawaz reports, a number of black women are starting to gain traction in the genre. it is part of our ongoing arts and culture coverage, canvas. ♪ reporter: when brittany spencer released the first single from her ep last summer she did not know what to expect. >> i did not know anyone would listen to this project. i thought i was eating out something to be able to send whenever i pinch myself for a 2:00 a.m. slot at a festival or something, and so much more is happened. ♪ reporter: in october she twitted out her cover.
one month later she said she was lord when group member mary morris center ice sh up. >> brittany spencer, there are so many amazing black women that pioneered and continued to pioneer this genre. reporter: since then hercog compassion, which tackles issues of racial justice, has been stream more than 3.5 billion tons on spotify. >> it has been such a wild ride. i am living in a constant state of gratitude because so many people have embraced me. reporter: singers like brittany spencer, sierra, chapel art -- part -- heart, micco marks, along a scooter from country music, are now breaking through and finding audiences flocking to the music. >> things are changing.
people want to see a different asheville. reporter: shannon sanders is executive director of being creative. he says the death of george floyd combined with the covid-19 pandemic creed a defining moment for the nation and nashville. >> people were forced to be still. people were forced to pay attention. america had time to stop, look at itself and realize what was going on. reporter: what was going on is that people of color, especially women, were being kept out. a recent study found women of color represent less than 1% of artists signed to a major label, and over the last 20 years, black women accounted for 0.03% of music played in country radio. >> there is already the issue of women not getting airplay as
other artist. add to that being a person of color. reporter: a song made it on the billboard charts, but staying on top was a different story. how heart has it been since then to get a song back on? >> i do not even try. the thing people do not understand is how much it costs to even do this. i think that is part of the reason there has not been a huge presence of people of color, because you have to have backing to do this. reporter: that is why palmer is trying to other artist get recognition outside of typical avenues. she goes to show called color me country, and it pays tribute to linda martel's 1970 album and it created a fund that gives money to artists of color. >> the industry is that how many years? and we have not. if i could do this, little
received palmer, there what are you all doing great what are you with all of the millions of dollars? what can you do? i hope that it inspires them to make changes. reporter: in the meantime black female country artists are bootstrapping their careers, collaborating with each other and reaching fans directly through social media and streaming platforms, proving there is a market for the music area -- music. >> country music is not a white music. country music was constructed as white music. reporter: this is the curator of the newly owned music museum in nashville. even the banjo was based on an african string instrument. >> the reason most people do not know about it as to do with decisions made in the recording industry in the 1920's, in particular, the decision to market country music to white consumers. >> tre was a lot of money being left on the floor just
because people do not feel like they are invited to the party. black people were at the concrete pouring of country music. they built this house and somehow got locked out. i do have country open the door with open arms, i think we are set up for a homecoming. reporter: it has been a homecoming for julie williams. she grew up in tampa, and even though she listened to country music as a child she did not imagine yourself becoming a country singer. >> it is hard to want to go into a genre when country music for me was the boys in high school lasting it out of their trucks with confederate flags on it, right? it told me this is not a genre for me. even when i moved to nashville i was hesitant to say i was a country artist. the country of reesie palmer, maren morris, that is the country i want to be a part of. ♪
reporter: last month williams took a leap of faith ever released a music video for her new single. ♪ >> ♪ the wrong kind of southern girl ♪ ♪ >> i hope children would see this and hear my song about my hair, my journey, and note there are people out there who feel the same way. and she would love herself. that is what i'm hoping. ♪ reporter: for brittany spencer it has been a journey to find her own base -- voice too. >> i am aware there are not a lot of people in the space that look like me and there are not a lot of people in the space who might not know how to handle someone like me. reporter: does that mean to put it bluntly you feel like you should be programming and singing for white people? >> my mind might have been more in that direction when i moved
here but today it is not. i stopped asking the question of whether or not something i do is good enough and started asking is it me enough, and that has made a world of difference in my music. reporter: adding her stories and her voice to the growing chorus and country music. ♪ judy: you can see more of our arts coverage later tonight on to be on campus, presented by our own on then abolish -- amna navaj. check your local pbs listings. it is with sadness that we want to note a passing tonight that means a lot to us at the newshour. the president of the carnegie corporation of new york, founded
by andrew carnegie in 1911. at the time the largest philanthropic organization in the country. it is still among the largest. earlier gregorian served as president of -- university and of the public library. he went on to earn 2 phd's from stanford and later was awarded the presidential medal of freedom. he remained active in supporting our meeting throughout his life. several years ago he cofounded the aurora prize, which honors individuals for humanitarian work on behalf of of the survivors of the armenian genocide. the prime minister of armenia called it the armenian nobel prize. gregorian has been a long time supporter of the newshour. i personally mourn his loss as a dear friend and mentor, one of the most extraordinary people i've ever known. with deep sympathies to his
family who will miss them very much. that is it for the newshour tonight. join us again online and here monday evening. thank you, please stay safe, and have a good weekend. good night. >> major funding has been provided by -- ♪ consumer cellular, johnson & johnson, bnsf railway, the william and flora hewlett foundation, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world at hewlett.org, supporting sociological doors and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems. school of foundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support
of these institutions. and friends of the "newshour." this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ this is pbs "newshour" west from wta news in washington and from walter cronkite school of journalism. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its which is your fami ready its captionfor an emergency?ra you can prepare by mapping out two ways to escape your home,
a senator and staunch me too . >> the senator and staunch me too advocate, this week on firing lines. >> i have never back down from a fight, and i'm not about to start now. >> shrimp are present 2020. kirsten gillibrand holds the new york senate seat was filled by her political idol, hillary clinton. she has been called the me too senator for speaking out against sexual assault in the military, and holding colleagues accountable for sexual harassment allegations. >> our governors lost the support of most of his governing partners we make times, taking heat. >> it is not easy, is not expedient, it's not politically helpful to make is difficult. but i value women. >> gillibrand remains focused on her work for veterans and american families. with demts