Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Racism on College Campuses; Anti-Semitism on the Rise in Great Britain?

Aired February 13, 2007 - 20:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you for joining us. Paula has the night off.
Here are the stories we're bringing out in the open tonight: two- faced racism, white college students who act one way in public, but show a stunning degree of racial intolerance in private.

At another campus, a black professor says racism cost him tenure. Now he's on a hunger strike.

Plus: a proposed law that would tell newlyweds and childless couples, have babies or else. Or else what? You won't believe it.

When we first brought out -- when we first brought out into the open racist Martin Luther King Day parties thrown by white college students, they seem pretty isolated. But, since then, we have been shocked to learn, these racist parties are happening far more often than we could ever imagine.

It seems like, every day, we hear about another one. It's exposing a hidden vein of racism on America's college campuses. Just last night -- just last night, at Clemson University in South Carolina, about 300 people turned out for a rally calling for racial unity.

They were protesting a racist party by some Clemson students last month, the story our Allan Chernoff has been following closely.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A college tour of recent gangster theme parties, the University of Arizona, white students in blackface, Clemson University, bottles of malt liquor taped to partygoers' hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was really upsetting.

CHERNOFF: The University of Connecticut Law School, fake metal grills on students' teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an intent to make fun and advance a stereotype.

CHERNOFF: And Tarleton State University in Texas, a white woman portraying Aunt Jemima.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was hurt, because I -- I thought there was only a few people like that, the stereotypes.

CHERNOFF: In each case, white students, and sometimes a few blacks as well, dress up in a parody of African-American culture.

When we first brought the Clemson party out in the open, none of the offended partygoers appeared on camera. Now Adadoin Silami (ph) has come forward. He says he went to the party on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day dressed conventionally, not hip-hop style, but he didn't stay long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It went from making fun of a culture phenomena to making fun of a culture of people. And, at that point, it became offensive. A lot of other people left the party.

CHERNOFF (on camera): The party was private, until photos were posted on When controversy erupted, they were quickly yanked.

But CNN obtained, from a Clemson student, a copy of the explosive reaction on Facebook.

(voice-over): "We were appalled, disgusted and downright hurt," wrote Charles Chambers, a black student who said he was also at the party.

"Racism is real and it is at home," wrote another student," Ashley.

Party organizers quickly issued a letter of regret to their fellow students writing, "We are deeply apologetic for any harm and disrespect we have caused."

One of hosts at Tarleton State says his party was only meant in fun.

JEREMY PELZ, STUDENT, TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY: We didn't mean -- you know, we weren't trying to discriminate against anybody.

CHERNOFF: Such apologies are not enough, says the NAACP, which is responding with a new campaign to end campus racism.

STEPHANIE BROWN, NAACP: People, oftentimes, don't realize how hurt -- hurtful fun can be, and one person's fun is another person's sadness.

CHERNOFF: Beyond college campuses, the Internet is packed with examples of whites imitating hip-hop culture in ways that can be offensive.

A Web site of family photos shows this picture of a daughter and her cheerleader friends dressed up, according to the caption, like a thug gang.

It may all be in fun, but too many whites who imitate hip-hop culture are crossing the line into offensive behavior, says Stephanie Brown. BROWN: If you have limited interaction with someone of another race, and the only thing that you might know them of is by what you see on TV, I think that that has negative implications, and that is what I believe needs to change.

CHERNOFF: The controversy is sparking change on campus. Administrators and students at schools where the parties were held are holding forums for blacks and whites to discuss the issue together, an opportunity to educate by making students aware of how their behavior can easily be interpreted.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: Now you're about to hear from someone who has been researching racism just under the surface among white students on America's college campuses. And what she found is pretty darn disturbing.

She says white college students often use the N-word, exchange racist jokes, and express racial stereotypes.

Leslie Picca is also the co-author of a new book called "Two Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage."

And Paula spoke with her just the other day.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: So, you collected journals from some 600 white college students over a course of the year, and you found that 75 percent of their entries had some kind of negative racial slur?


ZAHN: Are these kids all racists?

PICCA: Yes, well, I -- I think it's obviously a very complicated issue.

What -- ultimately, what we wanted to do was, we wanted to take a look at -- you know, most of what we know about racial relations comes from interviews and surveys. And we really wanted to take that one step further, and just see what's going on in terms of their everyday lives.

So, we were fairly surprised, in terms of just how often race certainly does impact, on a negative basis, their everyday interactions.

ZAHN: You don't sound like you're willing to go as far as saying these kids are all racists, though?

PICCA: Yes. ZAHN: They -- they have learned this behavior somewhere.

PICCA: Absolutely.

And I think most of the students probably wouldn't identify themselves at racists. If you asked the students themselves, most of them would say, well, racists are, you know, people who are burning -- burning crosses. They are the Klansmen. So, for many of the students, they're not identifying themselves at being racist, although they're clearly using and relying on racial these stereotypes, telling these racist jokes in their -- in their everyday private settings.

ZAHN: And the stereotypes they have admitted to using are vile.

PICCA: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

ZAHN: We are going to put some of them up on the screen right now.


ZAHN: They consider African-Americans criminals. African- Americans are lazy. Latinos are dirty.

PICCA: Mm-hmm.

ZAHN: Now, I assume they would never use that kind of language in front of minorities?

PICCA: Yes. And that's where really we get the phrase the two- faced racism from, that there's this very clear difference in terms of the accounts that we saw from these 626 white students, in terms of in the front stage. And we define that as the interactions that whites are having with other people of color, more in public settings.

They were very polite, made sure that they -- many times, these students would make sure that they're not saying anything perceived that would be perceived as being remotely racist. But, in these backstage areas, where it's just only other whites, when they're with their family, when they're with their friends, but also when they're with white strangers -- so, it isn't just only among people that they necessarily know.

ZAHN: So, their good, respectful behavior is just playacting?

PICCA: Absolutely.

We asked, you know, hundreds of students across the country, and this was certainly one of the most prevalent findings that we came across.

ZAHN: And how discouraging it is.

Dr. Leslie Picca, thanks for your time tonight.

PICCA: OK. Thank you. ZAHN: Appreciate it.

PICCA: Appreciate it.


COSTELLO: Now let's go to tonight's "Out in the Open" panel, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND, which focuses on community outreach. He's also a syndicated radio host. The Reverend Irene Monroe, a religious columnist for a number of gay and lesbian publications, including "The Advocate" and "In Newsweekly," and syndicated columnist Joel Mowbray.

Thanks to all of you for coming in tonight.


COSTELLO: OK. So, when I'm watching these stories, I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed to be white. It's like, what are we teaching our kids these days? Shouldn't they have learned these messages?

Let's start with you, Reverend Monroe.


And what happens is that, since they have not learned them at home, it is really important that institutions, particularly when they go to college, do something to eradicate the racist behavior. So, it really is a three-pronged approach.

COSTELLO: You're leaving it to the institutions, though?


COSTELLO: I mean, shouldn't it be the parents at home?


COSTELLO: Shouldn't you teach your kids, hey, look, it's not good to just be polite in public; you have to really believe these things?

JESSE LEE PETERSON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, BROTHERHOOD ORGANIZATION OF A NEW DESTINY: You know, I think blacks who are complaining about this are hypocrites.

You know, black rappers and gang members are dressing and acting this way all the time. And you don't hear an outcry from the black community about that at all. We have young black children imitating these rappers who are acting this way.


COSTELLO: So, are you excusing the white kids? (CROSSTALK)

PETERSON: You have young white kids acting the same way. And that doesn't make them racists.

You know, this particular group in Texas, that was felt -- that organization was founded by a black man. And he said his friends, his white friends, are not racist. I just that think that this is...


COSTELLO: Now, wait a minute. Wait.


COSTELLO: We have got to stop right here.

You're saying that these white kids that we just saw depicted in these stories are not racist?

PETERSON: Not racist. If it was racism, then blacks who imitate rappers in this manner would be racist as well.


COSTELLO: Joel, come in here. Come on.


PETERSON: Why is that, whenever whites do it, it's racism?


COSTELLO: Wait. Wait. Hold on for a second.

JOEL MOWBRAY, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, look, I think what we have to understand is that the amount of interaction some white people have with other white people -- you know, last week, on this show, in fact, Glenn Beck was interviewed by Paula.

And he said, you know, he doesn't have many black friends. And, partly, he feels like he's walking on eggshells, because he doesn't know what to say that is appropriate and what not to say.

PETERSON: Absolutely.

MOWBRAY: Now, there's a certain culture of political correctness that has almost choked actual conversation and exchange of ideas.

It was interesting. You know, in the package piece, they talked about one of the comments written down in this University of Dayton study was, "African-Americans are criminals."

Now, notice here they, of course, have this base stereotype, but they attach it to a politically correct expression, African-American. And, so, I think people feel like they are almost excused if they use the right P.C. terminology.


MOWBRAY: That's a real problem.


MONROE: We're missing a point here.

One of the things that we're missing is this. White racism exists, and so does internalized racism. And one of the things that we miss in this argument is that, when we are talking about being racially responsible, it is incumbent upon not only white people to be responsible around this issue, but also African-Americans.

And because African people are engaging or children are engaging in what we call gangster rap doesn't mean that there isn't an outcry in the African-American community.


PETERSON: Most black Americans are more racist toward white Americans today than whites are toward blacks.


PETERSON: For example, you can call -- you can call white people white cracker. You can make jokes about them. No one says anything about that. But whenever it's a white-on-black situation, all of a sudden, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and others comes out of the woodwork and complain about it.


COSTELLO: Well, you can't ignore that African-Americans are the minority here. It's not whites.


PETERSON: Well, why -- why do you ignore the racism that blacks put out toward white Americans?


PETERSON: If it's wrong, it's wrong both ways.


COSTELLO: Well, wait one second.

MOWBRAY: OK. But, Reverend Peterson, it's not just about the racism between whites and blacks. Also think about amongst black folk, OK?


MOWBRAY: You have a lot of racism from their light-skinned to dark-skinned.

PETERSON: That's right.

MOWBRAY: And you talk to girls who are dark-skinned, one of the problems they feel is, they feel like, you know, a girl who is light- skinned or who has longer hair, more white-like hair, is seen as more attractive by guys.


MOWBRAY: Go back to Malcolm X, you know, when he talked about, be proud of...


MONROE: Well, that's internalized racism.


COSTELLO: I wish we had more time to debate this.


MONROE: This is internalized racism. And you're not making a clear distinction.


COSTELLO: OK. Hold that thought...


COSTELLO: ... because we are going to talk more about racism later...



COSTELLO: ... and especially institutionalized racism.

There is a lot more to cover with you tonight.

Also out in the open tonight: allegations of racism at one of the nation's most respected colleges -- coming up, a black professor's controversy claim, backed up with a hunger strike.

But next:


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in Seattle, Washington. And this is Gregory Gadow. He's trying to convince people to support Initiative 957, which would limit marriage in the state of Washington only to people that can have children. It sounds a little ridiculous. It's an interesting story. It's coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.



COSTELLO: Another story that's out in the open tonight: anti- Semitism. It is on the rise in Great Britain. We will look at what's behind the hatred and intolerance.

But, first, a proposed law that is generating everything from confusion to hate mail, filled with slurs. Get this. The law would give newlyweds and childless couples in Washington State three years to have a baby or have their marriages declared null and void.

So, who would come up with an idea like that, and why?

We asked Ted Rowlands to find out.


GREGORY GADOW, INITIATIVE'S SPONSOR: Hi. Are you a registered Washington voter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But I'm going to class.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Gregory Gadow is collecting signatures in Seattle to help get Initiative 957 on the November ballot.

GADOW: This is the measure that would make procreation a requirement for marriage in the state.

ROWLANDS: That's right; 957, if passed by voters in the state of Washington, would make procreation a requirement for married couples.

GADOW: Have you heard of Initiative 957?


ROWLANDS: Under 957, couples would have three years after getting married to have at least one child. And newlyweds would have to prove that they can produce children before they could get a marriage certificate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what democracy looks like.

GADOW: Exactly.

CAROL ADAMS, CHILDLESS WIFE: I don't think that your state can dictate whether you have children or not.


ROWLANDS: Cynthia (ph) and Dale Adams have been married for more than seven years. They have been trying, but they don't have any children. If 957 is ever voted into law, their marriage and thousands of others would be annulled.

DALE ADAMS, CHILDLESS HUSBAND: The way it's worded, it is an attack. It is an attack on marriage, and it is an attack on our marriage, basically, because we are a man and woman. And, you know, if we -- we haven't had children yet. But, in the big picture, we don't feel personally attacked.

ROWLANDS: That's because, in the big picture, the idea that married couples have to have children is obviously absurd.

GADOW: It is very absurd, but, then, the ruling itself is absurd.

ROWLANDS: The ruling Gregory's talking about is a 2006 state Supreme Court ruling that said, in part -- quote -- "Procreation between opposite-sex individuals within the framework of marriage was a legitimate government interest."

GADOW: They used the right-wing rhetoric that has been used for the last 10 years as the -- really, the only legal excuse for denying same-sex couples equal marriage.

ROWLANDS: Gregory says the Washington Supreme Court is essentially saying, gays shouldn't get married because they can't have children. His plan is to get his initiative limiting marriage to couples with kids on the ballot to highlight what he and his friends think is flawed logic by their Supreme Court.

GADOW: This is what you have been saying to us all along. Well, here it is right back at you.

KRISTEN WAGGONER, ATTORNEY: I think it's a joke. I think that it's a publicity stunt.

ROWLANDS: Kristen Waggoner is an attorney who worked on that Washington Supreme Court case defending marriage as a union between a man and a woman. She thinks Gregory and his supporters are the ones using flawed logic.

WAGGONER: I think it demonstrates they don't value marriage. They don't understand its purpose. They don't value motherhood and fatherhood. And I think it's not a very funny joke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. I knew there was, like, a funny little twist to it.

GADOW: Right.


GADOW: Yes, it -- it -- it takes a while to sink in.

ROWLANDS: Gregory says reaction has been mixed. He's getting support from people on the street. But mainstream gay organizations are not endorsing the initiative.

GADOW: Make procreation a requirement for marriage in this state.

ROWLANDS: Supporters of Initiative 957 still have a lot work ahead. They need nearly 250,000 ballot signatures by July to get it on the November ballot, which means Gregory and his friends still have a lot of explaining to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just wanted to make sure I knew exactly...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... what I was signing.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Seattle.


COSTELLO: They do. Gary (sic) Gadow and his friends have until July 6 to collect enough signatures. If by some miracle, they do, the initiative goes on the ballot this November.

You don't have to wait that long to hear what our "Out in the Open" panel thinks. I will ask them in just a minute.

Also out in the open tonight, what's fueling a frightening rise in British anti-Semitism?

And the explosive allegations behind an MIT professor's hunger strike.


COSTELLO: About one in four married couples in the United States don't have children. And, as we saw before the break, if one man gets his way, childless couples in the state of Washington would not have a marriage either.

He admits his proposed law annulling childless marriages is ridiculous, but it's his way of protesting a court ruling that outlawed gay marriage.

With me again, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, president of BOND, the Reverend Irene Monroe, columnist for several gay and lesbian publications, and syndicated columnist Joel Mowbray.

You know...


COSTELLO: ... when I first heard about this idea, I thought, oh, that is ridiculous. But, then, when I really thought about it, I thought, hey, maybe he has a point.

What do you think?

PETERSON: You know, this is another example of the abnormal trying to impose on the norm. The radical homosexuals want to destroy the idea of family. A family is a married man and woman and children, not two men and two women together.

COSTELLO: You realize who you're standing next to.


PETERSON: I know, but, if you notice -- I will speak real fast -- if you notice...


MONROE: Please do.


PETERSON: If you notice...


COSTELLO: Well, you have got to let her get in here.

PETERSON: Yes, but the radical homosexuals are always complaining that we're imposing on them. But it's the other way around. We're pushing back, because they're trying -- a few people are trying to tell the majority that, the way you're living in wrong, and you have accept...


COSTELLO: Are you feeling radical?

MONROE: Not at all.

But what I want to say, though, that the -- that this -- this initiative is to open the discourse about families. If, indeed, we are about protecting families, we should be able to protect all families.

If we say...

PETERSON: But two men and two women are not families.


MONROE: Let me finish.


COSTELLO: Let her finish.


MONROE: You must let me finish. If we say we're not going to leave any child behind, then, indeed, that's what we should do. And that includes even Dick Cheney's grandchild.

But the type of...

PETERSON: But you don't have to accept wrong in order to do that. To accept wrong is not going to correct the situation.


COSTELLO: Well, let us go to the second question and the second point.

And I want to read something that the Washington State Supreme Court ruled. And that's why they're limiting marriage to men and women. This is in the Supreme Court decision: "Limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples further the state's interests in procreation and encouraging families with a mother and father and children biologically related to both."

OK. I don't have children. I have been married for three years. I mean, this make me feel like a baby machine. I mean, is that really the only reason that men and women get married, is to procreate?

MOWBRAY: First off, it's not the only reason.


MOWBRAY: But it's also not the only reason cited by the Washington State Supreme Court.

COSTELLO: It's the main reason.


MONROE: And it's cited 40 times in that document, 40 times.

PETERSON: And it's not the only reason.

MOWBRAY: Look, it's -- it is a tip of the hat to tradition.

The reason why the state asserted its interests in protecting -- or, actually, encouraging marriage was because, you know, people found, over time, that having a man and woman get together and have a family was really the best -- the two-parent family really is...


COSTELLO: Wait, wait, wait.



COSTELLO: If you listen to the language in this, this -- like, this opts out people who want to adopt kids, because they don't biologically have their child.


MONROE: Elderly couples that want to get together.


MOWBRAY: I was not on the Washington State Supreme Court.


MOWBRAY: I did not help draft that decision.


MOWBRAY: I would not have used that language.

I mean, personally, I'm even on the fence about the question of -- of gay marriage. I think, though, that something like -- because, clearly, everyone agrees this is a ploy. It's -- you know, it's an attempt to have a political stunt, get some headlines.


MOWBRAY: I -- I don't know. I find it almost counterproductive.

I think the way to do it is, you know, to have -- let things take time. I think things will run their course. I think that, if you have civil unions now...


COSTELLO: OK. You say take the course, which brings us to our third point tonight.

MOWBRAY: Civil unions now, bring the public along. Public change does not happen overnight.


COSTELLO: That's right. But, sometimes, it takes radical actions...


MONROE: But it shouldn't be on a ballot either.


MONROE: It should not be on a ballot.

PETERSON: Let me just say, a man and woman and children stabilize society.


PETERSON: When you have two women and two men trying to be...


COSTELLO: Let me ask you this.

The defense of marriage, is it hypocritical, because, really what it is, isn't it, it's that traditionalists are afraid that, if there is a change in traditional marriage, it will disappear? Isn't that really it? Isn't it fear?


PETERSON: Well, one thing, for sure, they do want to wipe out this idea that a marriage is between one man and one woman.

But the mistake is, when we take that out, society will fall apart. You know, God created...

COSTELLO: Why does society fall apart?

PETERSON: God created this ideal marriage. And he didn't just wake up one day and say: You know what? Let me create a marriage.

The image of marriage is the ideal of God. And there is no plan in his idea that two men...

MONROE: No. The idea of God is a loving family.


PETERSON: ... that two men and two women should have a family, because it is not a family. Otherwise, he would have done it that way.


COSTELLO: Let her respond.

MONROE: The idea of God is a loving family.

There is no scientific information that says that a child is better off with having a father and a mother or having two mothers or two fathers. As a matter of fact, there's an advantage to having two mothers and two fathers.


PETERSON: There's no advantage.


MONROE: No, no, no.

PETERSON: No, that's ridiculous.

MONROE: Because you have a village that... (CROSSTALK)

MOWBRAY: ... four parents to go to ask for one of them to give you a clearance to do something you want to do.


MONROE: You have got that as well.

COSTELLO: I think this is a good point with which to wrap.

PETERSON: Children need a father and a mother to learn from.

COSTELLO: Stay with me. We have so much more to talk about tonight.

Over in England, an ancient form of bigotry is out in the open again -- coming up, new victims of anti-Semitism and what's fueling the hatred.

And later: a professor's claim that racism is out in the open at one of this country's most prestigious universities.


COSTELLO: Among the stories we're bringing "Out in the Open" this half hour, an MIT professor who says racism caused him tenure. Would anyone be paying attention if he hadn't stopped eating?

And at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE," the legal battles over Anna Nicole Smith's baby. Judge Judy is among Larry's guests.

But first, "Out in the Open" tonight, alarming new signs of rising anti-Semitism across Britain. A new report shows hate crimes against Jews has reached record levels in the past year. And about 10 percent of those attacks targeted Jewish schools or children.

Tonight, from London, Becky Anderson has the story of one young victim who survived a vicious beating fueled by hatred.


JASMINE KRANAT, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITIC CRIME: She slapped (ph) me, and then I went unconscious. And then she punched me a few times, and then she slapped (ph) me in my face and I didn't know what was happening, because I woke up with her foot on my face.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jasmine Kranat was only 12 years old when she was the victim of a callous attack. Her injuries disturbing evidence of a growing wave of abuse against British Jews.

Last year alone there were nearly 600 anti-Semitic attacks across Britain ranging from desperate (ph) to physical assaults, according to the group Community Security Trust, which advises Jewish organizations on how to defend its members. The bulk of the crimes against people belonging to the U.K.'s strictly orthodox communities, all property that's visibly Jewish. The group says attacks have at least doubled since the 1990s.

MARK GARDNER, COMMUNITY SECURITY TRUST: 9/11 and the Iraq war, they both caused increases. Last year the biggest increase was because of Israel's war with the Hezbollah in Lebanon. We saw 134 anti-Semitic attacks during 34 days of the conflict. It was the most concentrated outburst of anti-Semitism incidence that we've ever seen in this country.

ANDERSON (on camera): It was a Friday afternoon back in August 2006, Jasmine Kranat and a friend had been out shopping for smoothies. They got on a bus just like this and sat at the back. Jasmine couldn't have imagined what would happen next.

(voice over): As we retrace her journey that day, a visibly shaken Jasmine says they were (INAUDIBLE) by a group of black and Asian teenagers. Then began the questions, again and again.

KRANAT: And they asked me the third time, "Are you English or a Jew" And I said, "I'm English." And then from that point I knew there was going to be trouble.

ANDERSON: Jasmine's friend was wearing a crucifix and was untouched during what followed.

KRANAT: She punched me. So I went back. And she pulled my hair to the floor, and then I just don't remember anything apart from I woke up with her foot on my face and I just heard myself screaming.

I could hear other people screaming, but then it started to fade away. And I could just hear myself. And I could just feel my -- the numbness of my face.

ANDERSON (on camera): Were you surprised that nobody did anything to help?

KRANAT: Yes, because people obviously heard me screaming.

ANDERSON (voice over): Jasmine managed to get off the bus and was rushed to hospital. After authorities reviewed security cameras, two members of the gang stood trial and were convicted.

While attacks on Jews may be rising, these statistics so racist crimes against some minorities, particularly Muslims, are significantly higher. Nonetheless, Jewish groups remain concerned.

GARDNER: As Jews, we feel that when anti-Semitism rises up, it's a sign of deep, deep problems within society. It's an early warning system, if you like, for the rest of society to understand that forces of extremism and irrationalism are beginning to take root.

ANDERSON: And yet, only last week Prime Minister Tony Blair said people of all faiths are comfortable living in Britain, bound together, he says, by shared values in the same way that Americans feel pride in their flag or their anthem. TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And I think we've got something of the same spirit in Britain today, and I think that's a good thing. And it means that people are very comfortable whether they're Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, whatever their religious faith.

ANDERSON: Little comfort for Jasmine as she tries to come to terms with what happened. For those who suffer or witness abuse, Jasmine knows that silence is not the answer.

KRANAT: The way she said, "Are you English or Jewish?" that repeats in my mind, the way she said it really aggressively, and it gives me nightmares. I wake up in the middle of the night screaming. I could have died on the bus and no one would have known because no one didn't want anything to do with it.

ANDERSON: Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


COSTELLO: And one more thing. The group that advises Britain's Jewish community says that while attacks on Jews may be up, it's also noticed a decline in mass mailings of anti-Semitic flyers.

"Out in the Open" next, why is a college professor at one of America's most prestigious universities starving himself?

And later, our "People You Should Know" segment focuses on a man who says he is sick and tired of political leaders ignoring black America's issues.


COSTELLO: "Out in the Open" tonight, controversy at one of America's most respected colleges, a school that's known all over the world as a model of scientific excellence. But the controversy has nothing to do with science and everything to do with race.

A black professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is on day nine of a hunger strike tonight, accusing his school of racism. He's already lost 14 pounds.

So why is he risking his life over this? We sent Dan Lothian to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to find out.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): MIT professor James Sherley is an accomplished stem-cell scientist. His body of work in the lab recognized with several prestigious awards. But now Sherley says racism is blocking him from getting the ultimate prize, tenure. Essentially a job for life.

JAMES SHERLEY, MIT PROFESSOR: But when my chair met with me to talk with me about why he would not advance my tenure case, he said to me that he had anticipated that my race would be a factor. LOTHIAN: That allegation, like his fight for tenure, denied. The professor is now protesting by standing outside the offices of university officials for three hours each day. Even more extreme, he's on a hunger strike.

SHERLEY: The only way I could find where I thought people would listen -- and I think they are now -- is to make a sacrifice of my own.

PHILLIP CLAY, MIT CHANCELLOR: Going on a hunger strike is pretty dramatic and ultimately pretty tragic.

LOTHIAN (on camera): Professor Sherley says he's drinking plenty of water and taking one multivitamin a day. He claims he won't sit down and have a meal until, among other things, the university grants him tenure.

SHERLEY: And then from that, MIT can start the process of acknowledging that racism exists and actually creating mechanisms for addressing it.

CLAY: He has made a charge of discrimination of racism as affecting the decision, and we do not believe that is true.

LOTHIAN (voice over): MIT chancellor Phillip Clay says there are two sides to every story, and this one is no exception.

CLAY: There have been three reviews of his complaints. All of the things that he complains of have been reviewed in these three processes, which is extraordinary in itself.

SHERLEY: That's a lie. It's a lie. This case has only been evaluated once.

CLAY: The question is whether the experts in his field view the work to be of such a quality that it's deserving of tenure.

SHERLEY: I would tell you my case is as strong as any case that has recently been tenured from this department.

CLAY: This is a very rigorous place. About 60 percent of the system professors do not get tenure. We are satisfied that the progress has integrity.

LOTHIAN: Even so, the Harvard-educated professor says conflict of interest and a chilly climate for minority professors at MIT have impacted his case.

His supporters agree.

CHRIS UTZAT, MIT RESEARCHER: It's something that as you -- kind of like an onion. The deeper you go into it, the more it becomes apparent.

LOTHIAN: But MIT, which has awarded tenure to three African- Americans since Sherley was first denied, disagrees, as does Professor Peter Dedon, who, along with 19 other colleagues, reviewed the case and wrote a letter in support of the university.

PETER DEDON, MIT PROFESSOR: Nobody else knows the case as well as we do. And it was in our conclusion, then, that it was a very, very fair process.

LOTHIAN: For now, a standoff. MIT says its decision is final. And Professor Sherley has no plans to halt his hunger strike.

Dan Lothian, CNN, Cambridge.


COSTELLO: All right. Let's go back to tonight's "Out in the Open" panel -- the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, the Reverend Irene Monroe, and Joel Mowbray.

You know, I can hear many in our audience saying, he's playing the race card. Aren't we tired of this?

MOWBRAY: Yes, sure. But look, you know, the problem with this case is, it's not clear. And, in fact, with most cases of racism, unlike the parties we heard earlier -- and I do disagree with you there. I think it is a product of racism, particularly when they do that to symbolize what they think is black culture on Martin Luther King weekend.



MONROE: But wait, that's not the point here. That's not the point.

MOWBRAY: Look, most of the time it's not as overt, it's not as clear-cut. It's more like a highlight.

You know that magazine, they have the hidden pictures inside the larger picture? And until you see the hidden pictures, it's not easy to spot. But once you see them, every time you look back at the picture you see the hidden things throughout. And so racism is a lot like that.

COSTELLO: Let's make it clear. So you think he is playing the race card, unnecessarily.

MOWBRAY: I don't know. Look, until any of us get into where those 21 professors have been in actually reviewing the case -- but, you know, for example, this guy was not in favor of embryonic stem- cell research, which is a very popular position to be in favor of that. He only works with adult stem-cells, and that could play a role.


COSTELLO: She talked to him. What did he say?

MONROE: There's a number of things here.


MONROE: First of all, you need to know that Professor Sherley is one of 28 professors at MIT. He is the only black professor in a department of 40. Another thing that you have to understand is that -- that when you talk about minority professors on campus there at MIT, that only makes up 4 percent.

But this is the real problem. OK? When you have professors of color in these Ivy League institutions, they disrupt scientific orthodoxy, because they bring a different methodology, a different lens, a different paradigm that disrupts, if not dismantles, what it...


COSTELLO: Let's get right down to it. Why would MIT hire a professor that they did not think would be able to get a tenure? Why?

PETERSON: Let me say, in my research I found no racism. This is a moral issue.

Most of these liberal universities around the country are against the unborn having a chance to live. This professor supports...

COSTELLO: So you think it's because of his stem-cell -- he didn't even mention that.

PETERSON: Listen. I know, but that's where the issue is. The professor supports adult stem-cell research. He is against embryonic stem cell research because he believes...

COSTELLO: But you guys are making up an issue.

PETERSON: Let me finish. Hold on. Let me make this point.


PETERSON: In his report, the university -- this particular school is putting him out because he does not support embryonic stem cell research and...


COSTELLO: Wait, wait, wit, wait, because I do want to show some statistics that are important.


COSTELLO: This is according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Full-time faculty with tenure: white, 84. Percent; black, 4.5 percent. That's out of 280,000 tenured professors.

So who's at fault? MOWBRAY: What does that tell us about this case?

COSTELLO: Exactly.

MOWBRAY: Look, racism exists.

PETERSON: I am sick of -- this is not...


PETERSON: It's not racism.

MOWBRAY: I agree everything's not racism, but the point is, how do we know in an individual case? How do we know in an individual case?

PETERSON: You have a black man who's one of the higher-uppers in the school.


PETERSON: He said it's not a race issue. This is a moral issue.

MOWBRAY: Sixty percent of the (INAUDIBLE) professors do not get tenure.

COSTELLO: Wait. Wait.

MONROE: This is symptomatic of institutions across the country.


MONROE: His case is not unique.

PETERSON: That's ridiculous.

MONROE: This is -- this case is a way to look at how...

PETERSON: I guarantee...

COSTELLO: Wait. One at a time.

PETERSON: ... if this professor had supported embryonic stem- cell research, had he supported that, he would be in.

MONROE: I don't buy that.

COSTELLO: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. hasn't supported that. Let's get down right to brass tacks.

Why should we care if this guy's tenure is denied? Why should we care?

PETERSON: Because if they're throwing him -- if they're throwing him out because of moral issues, that's wrong. We need to deal with that. There is an attack upon the unborn baby, there is an attack upon Christianity, and this...

COSTELLO: But he's not charging that.

MOWBRAY: Well, he is. He is.

PETERSON: Yes, he is. It's all in the research.

MOWBRAY: He doesn't believe that's the reason, but has talked about that...

COSTELLO: He doesn't believe that's the reason.

MONROE: But that's not the case here.

PETERSON: I believe...

COSTELLO: Wait, wait, wait.

MONROE: The case is to argue that systemically, systemically, professors of color do not get promoted to tenure. There's something suspicious if it is not racism, why it hasn't happened. And it can't be his academic credentials.

PETERSON: Listen, Carol -- Carol...

MONROE: Because as you said, why would MIT hire him?

PETERSON: Let me tell you why. Carol, white Americans are afraid. They are afraid to be called a racist for fear of being sued or whatever. And I think this professor is just using that in order to get the attention and in order to intimidate white Americans.

MONROE: Then explain why at MIT, which we're looking at...

PETERSON: And he made a mistake in that, I think.

MONROE: He's one of 28 black professors at MIT.


COSTELLO: Wait. Wait. In fairness to MIT, the statistics within their university reflect the national statistics.

MONROE: Thank you.

COSTELLO: 4.5 percent of tenured professors at MIT are indeed tenured.

MOWBRAY: Carol, let me be the non-reverend voice here. Let me be the non-reverend voice here at the table.

We can't say -- I can't say with a degree of a certainty that each reverend is saying -- Reverend Peterson, that it's about the stem-cell position, Reverend Monroe, who did talk to the professor, that it's about racism. The fact is, we were not part of that 21- professor group. They did write the letter. That said, I can't say it wasn't racism. I don't think any of us can say that.


COSTELLO: All right. Enough said. We got all three viewpoints, thanks to Joel.

All right. We have to stop now.

Reverend Peterson and Monroe, Joel Mowbray, thank you all for coming in tonight.

MONROE: Thank you.

COSTELLO: It was a lot of fun. I know. I'm exhausted.

MONROE: Really.

COSTELLO: "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up in just a few minutes.

Larry, who will be on with you tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Carol, don't knock yourself out. It's only television.

Jeez, Carol! Take it easy. Calm yourself.

COSTELLO: I'm trying.

KING: Whoa.


KING: Coming up, the man who interviewed Anna Nicole Smith's partner, Howard K. Stern, after she died. Plus, Judge Judy issues her ruling on all the Anna Nicole legal issues, and on that bizarre NASA love triangle, and a lot more.

It's all at the top of the hour -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I'm going to calm down. But I think your show is just going to be as energetic.

KING: Yes, it might be the same.

COSTELLO: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Bye.

COSTELLO: We'll see you at 9:00.

Next, thousands of black leaders just came to hear and speak. If you don't recognize him, stick around for our "People You Should Know" segment. And at the top the hour, Judge Judy, as you just heard, joins "LARRY KING LIVE" to get her take on the legal mess caused by the death of Anna Nicole Smith.


COSTELLO: Let's take a "BizBreak".


COSTELLO: Tonight, our "People You Should Know" segment focuses on a familiar name from radio and television. This weekend, Tavis Smiley led more than 8,000 people in Hampton, Virginia, for the annual State of the Black Union gathering. Smiley said he's sick and tired of America's political leaders ignoring the issues that face black America, and he is determined to do something about it.

Just one reason why we think he's a person you should know.

Once again, here's Dan Lothian with tonight's "People You Should Know."


LOTHIAN (voice over): He's a motivator, an organizer.

TAVIS SMILEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You're going to change that this time around.

LOTHIAN: A man who commands a room. And for the eighth year in a row, event host Tavis Smiley was front and center of the State of the Black Union.

SMILEY: We are still fighting fights that we ought not even be engaged in.

LOTHIAN: The annual event brought together thousands of black leaders for straight talk about the challenges facing today's African- Americans.

SMILEY: America just wouldn't be the country that she is without the contribution of black people and, for that matter, other people of color.

LOTHIAN: Smiley's love of dialogue started early. He was one of 10 children raised in an Indiana trailer park. Then as a teenager, Smiley received a collection of Martin Luther King Jr. recordings.

SMILEY: I learned so much from King as a 13-year-old, and my entire life I've tried to do work that really is about two things: love and service.

LOTHIAN: Smiley first attempted to serve in the political arena working as an aide for Tom Bradley, the first black mayor of Los Angeles. Following an unsuccessful run for city council in 1991, Smiley became a radio commentator and has since hosted talk shows on BET, NPR and PBS.

Now a veteran broadcaster and best-selling author, Smiley's message for change is making waves.

SMILEY: We now live in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever, and that's a good thing, so long as we understand that our diversity is our strength.

LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


COSTELLO: Smiley has announced plans for two events later this year that will bring both Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls together to discuss issues that directly impact America's black communities. He said for those who don't show up, beware. It's not a threat, it's a promise.

We're just minutes away from "LARRY KING LIVE."

Tonight, what's next in the legal battle over Anna Nicole Smith's estate and her baby Dannielynn? Judge Judy joins Larry to weigh in at the top of the hour.


COSTELLO: That's all for tonight.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and we're bringing crazy love out in the open. Sure, a NASA astronaut did a pretty good job of that last week, but wait until you see tomorrow's tales of jealous lovers.

Plus, can you really die of a broken heart? That's tomorrow.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines