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Trump Calls Out KKK, White Supremacist; Japan on Alert After North Korea Threatens Missiles; A Family Divided by Partition. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired August 14, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:10] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Tonight, on the program, many in the Unites States left shock and angry after a white supremacist rally starts
hate and violence.
As President Trump finally condemns the far-right groups, renowned civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson reflects on what all these means for a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYAN STEVENSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: It just reminded me of how much work we have to do in this country to confront our history of racial inequality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Also ahead, Japan potentially in the firing line of Pyongyang's missiles. The prime minister special adviser tells me, the world cannot
accept a nuclear North Korea.
Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the program. I'm Michael Holmes in for Christiane Amanpour in London.
Finally, President Trump did what he failed to do over the weekend after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. He called out white
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK,
neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: But after coming under fire for failing to denounce such groups by name for two days, are his comments too little too late.
There has been an outpouring of grief, anger and condemnation across the United States after the chaos that descended on the University Town of
Charlottesville on Saturday.
32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of protesters who had gathered to oppose a rally of hundreds of white
nationalist and other right-wing groups.
Many of them holding torches and chanting Nazi slogans.
The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into this weekend's events which also injured 20 other people.
CNN's Jim Acosta has been following the response from the White House from Washington and joins me now.
Jim, will president finally said the words condemning Neo-Nazis white supremacist, but some would say finally. It took days. The mayor of
Charlottesville said that he had his chance and he whiff -- that were his words -- no matter what he says now.
What's the feeling there?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What I can tell you, I was in the room, Michael when this happened. We were called in for a very
hastily planned, a scripted statement from the president inside the White House.
This was an area at the White House where we don't typically see the president deliver a remark. He only does it seldomly from this one
particular room where we are gathered in.
He came into the room. He delivered those remarks and then he left without taking any questions. There were reporters, including myself shouting
questions at him as he left the room, asking him why it took so long to condemn these hate groups by name. Something he failed to do on Saturday.
He simply did not answer those questions.
There is going to be another opportunity later on this afternoon, Michael, for the president to take some questions. One reason why this is important
to point out is that on Friday when the president was delivering some pretty heated remarks about North Korea, he did tell reporters gathered at
his country club in Bedminster that he was going to hold a news conference, a press conference here at the White House on Monday, here today. And that
is simply not taking place, it appears.
And so the president I think erred on the side of caution in putting together this scripted statement. But obviously he is taking that
criticism from all corners today that this was too little, too late.
Now there are some Republican lawmakers that are issuing statements saying yes, this is the right message the president should be delivering. And so
he may be quieting some criticism inside his own party right now, but obviously he is opening up himself up to a lot of criticism that this was
too little, too late.
But you did hear the president's remarks, Michael, make it very clear he said, you know, this racism is evil. He condemned those groups by name.
And he also talked about the investigation that is being conducted in the death of Heather Heyer, who was murdered over the weekend.
He said that justice will be done in that case. But, Michael, interesting to note, he did not use the term domestic terrorism, a term that his
attorney general used earlier this morning.
HOLMES: All right. Jim Acosta there at the White House. Thanks, Jim. Appreciate that.
Now this weekend's protests were sparked by plans in Charlottesville to remove a statute of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park.
[14:05:00] What we as a society choose to remember or not remember says a great deal, of course, about our values and our identity as executive
director of the Equal Justice Initiative civil rights lawyer Brian Stevenson has dedicated his life wrestling with the legacy of racial
I spoke to him earlier from New York, where an exhibit-based on his work called Lynching in America is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum.
HOLMES: Brian Stevenson joining us now from New York.
Thanks for being with us on the program.
I want to start by asking you personally as a civil rights attorney, as an American, what was going through your mind watching the pictures over the
weekend, these ugly truce being pushed front and center in a president who initially at least did not condemn those who brought that.
STEVENSON: Well, it just reminded me of how much work we have to do in this country to confront our history of racial inequality. I mean, I think
we've been indifferent. We've been silent for very long time about this history. We haven't confronted it. We are a post-genocide society. We
had native people here who were slaughtered by the millions, and we didn't deal honestly with that. We said that they were a different race. We are
a post slavery society were we tolerated two centuries of enslavement.
And I don't think the great evil of slavery was involuntary servitude, but it was this narrative that black people are different than white people.
They are not as good. They are not as fully developed.
And that ideology of white supremacy shaped our history. And then we, of course, had decades of terrorism and lynching and violence and then
segregation and racial hierarchy.
And all of that was constructed on an idea that these monuments represent, that they reinforce. And so seeing people fighting to preserve that,
pushing for the sustaining of that is deeply disheartening. But I do think it reflects our failure as a society to commit to telling the truth about
HOLMES: And you are here, of course, to support an exhibit, the legacy of lynching, confronting racial terror in America. And you were quoted to
saying -- I just want to read this.
"This exhibit is a prelude to a larger effort to change the landscape of the United States, which is largely silent about our history of racial
terror and lynching."
Speak to that.
Why has there been that silence? And how does it play into what we saw in Charlottesville.
STEVENSON: Well, you know, as I said, I do think that, you know, the north may have won the military war during the 19th century, but the South won
the narrative war.
They were allowed to sustain this belief that the effort to preserve slavery was noble. That the architects of slavery were great people. And
that romanticizing of our history create a real cost.
We put up these markers, these monuments, these icons to celebrate an era of white supremacy and that led to violence and terror. We had decades of
lynching, and then segregation, and Jim Crow and this codified racial hierarchy. And we really haven't had the capacity.
When you are dealing with enslavement and you're trying to get free. You have to focus on slavery.
When you are dealing with lynching, and you try to stop the violence, you focus on lynching.
When you are dealing with segregation and codified racial hierarchy, you deal with that.
And we're just getting to the point where we can start talking honestly about how we have to change the cultural landscape.
I live in Alabama where there are hundreds of memorials and monuments dedicated to the Confederacy. In my state, we celebrate Confederate
Memorial Day as a state holiday. Jefferson Davis's birthday is the state holiday. We don't even have Martin Luther King Day. We have Martin Luther
King/Robert E. Lee Day.
And I think that history creates the kinds of conflict and tension that you saw on display, but it also creates an America that's not really free.
That hasn't dealt honestly.
HOLMES: And this monument in particular is one, as you point out, that celebrates a man that actually formed an army to go fight to protect, if
you like, slavery.
Donald Trump often spoke of radical Islamic terrorism. Criticizing others for not using those words. And yet he wouldn't come out until today and
name white nationalist, neo-Nazis and so on.
Is it in your view too late now that no matter what he says he's not going to avoid the impression that has many have said his equivocation, those
white supremacist that since at least that had his support.
STEVENSON: Well, I don't think there's any question that the president's reaction has been incredibly disappointing and has undermined the kind of
leadership that we need to see in response to racial bigotry, to extremism represented by white nationalist, by the KKK and all of these other groups.
And in fact, I actually think the president using the rhetoric of law and order doesn't help very much either. I mean, we can prosecute the young
man who drove his car into that crowd, and we can hold him accountable, but there is a bigger problem.
We can't solve the problem of an emerging nationalism in this country, of this resurgence of racist violence by simply prosecuting that person. We
do not speak honestly about the unacceptability of that perspective, of that bigotry, of that hatred.
[14:10:00] HOLMES: Talk more about that resurgence because there has always been that undercurrent, if you like. And in recent years, I think,
you know, it's fair to say that a lot of that sentiment was kept under a rock.
There is an argument that Donald Trump's position or often his non-position on white nationalist has given permission to that element of society to
come out. The feeling that they have validation. And to them at least that they had a supporter, at least a non-critic in the White House, is
that something you subscribe to, that theme.
STEVENSON: Well, I mean, when David Duke and other leaders of that movement are giving voice to that sentiment, then I think you have to
credit it. I mean, they are saying that his candidacy and his election has empowered their perspective and their -- and their viewpoints.
There were a lot of people who have been very critical of some of his appointments because they had been aligned with some of these perspectives.
So I don't think there is any question that we're at a moment, when there is this resurgence, where there is this view, that these views are somehow
more tolerable. They are more acceptable. They are more mainstream than they have been for some period of time.
But I just think it's a continuum. We can't focus on just the extremism. We've got a lot of people in this country that had been very hesitant, to
talk about racial bias. Talk about the continuing challenges we face in this country with regard to racial equality. And we see it in immigration.
We see it in a whole host of issues.
HOLMES: Absolutely. And one of those things that was frightening I think to a lot of people in Charlottesville, their gathering there, was how young
a lot of these name were.
Why is that? What is the appeal? Why is their view of history at such odds with the reality when it comes to things like racial superiority, Neo-
Nazis and the like? Why is the -- are the young being attracted to it?
STEVENSON: Well, no one is born hating another person because of their color. You have to be taught that. And I think we haven't done a good job
of disrupting that kind of teaching. And I think the real problem with these confederate monuments and memorials is that they endorse, they
accommodate a certain worldview that is very racialized, where white supremacy isn't seen as some great evil.
And we've just failed as a nation to be honest about our history. In South Africa, you can't spend time there without confronting the legacy of
apartheid. In Rwanda, they will make you hear about the difficulty of the genocide. If you go to Germany, you can't go hundred meters without
markers and icons appearing that mark the spaces were Jewish families were abducted. There was a Holocaust memorial. We talked honestly about that
legacy. But we don't talk about slavery in America. We don't talk about lynching. We don't talk about segregation.
And it allows this kind of horrific misguided bigotry to be born and nurtured and to manifest itself even in very young people.
HOLMES: Brian Stevenson, founder and executive director Equal Justice Initiative. Thank you so much.
STEVENSON: Glad to be with you.
HOLMES: Well, after a break, we turn to tensions rising on the other side of the world as North Korea's nuclear ambitions grow. I asked an adviser
to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe help nations in the firing line who are dealing with the raging rhetoric. That's when we come back.
[14:15:00] HOLMES: Welcome back to the program, everyone.
How do you solve a problem like North Korea? Well, after last week's tensed war of words, Washington has dispatched its top military general to
South Korea, China and Japan for talks on finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Elsewhere, America's defense secretary and top diplomat formally outlined their joint positions writing in "The Wall Street Journal," that the aim of
the U.S. is a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, not regime change.
Well, Japan's proximity to North Korea puts it front and center in this crisis.
Tomohiko Taniguchi is a special adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He joined me from Tokyo.
HOLMES: Tomohiko Taniguchi, thank you so much for being with us.
The president of the United States Donald Trump and your Prime Minister Abe, they are due to speak tonight. I'm wondering what it is that Mr. Abe
wants to hear from the U.S. president.
TOMOHIKO TANIGUCHI, SPECIAL ADVISER TO JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE: Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, and Mr. Trump, the United States
president had an extensive phone conversation a week ago for about 50 to 53 minutes. And further to that, I think they are going to reflect on some of
the recent developments and now what they should proceed together because in order for us to build our deterrence capability against North Korea, it
is extremely important for the world to be aware that the United States and Japan are on the same page.
HOLMES: And do you believe that is the case? Does Mr. Abe believe that is the case? Does he believe the U.S. is pursuing the right policy? And,
importantly, the right tone here.
TANIGUCHI: Mr. Trump may have used some of those rhetoric that you have never seen before, but when it comes to the military capability of United
States, Mr. Trump is absolutely correct. It has never been as strong as it is now. And, importantly, the U.S.-Japan alliance has never been as solid
as it is now and that's an important point again for the United States and Japan to see -- to show their deterrence capabilities to North Korea.
HOLMES: The most recent threat from North Korea of course is to fire those missiles towards Guam. And over the weekend, Japan deployed batteries of
its land-based missile interceptors to some of those areas, the prefectures over which those missiles would fly.
What are they therefore? There is no plan to intercept where these missiles to be fired off, right?
TANIGUCHI: Defense minister someone called Itsunori Onodera in answering to the questions from the parliament gave an idea that in theory, Japan
could shoot those missiles against incoming North Korean missiles.
Whether they will actually do it is a different matter. That's going to be decided by the top leadership from both Japan and the United States.
HOLMES: There has been a lot of people who have spoken about mixed messages from Washington or certainly mixed tone.
Mr. Trump speaking of fire and fury, the Secretary of State with reassuring words for North Korea or potential talks in saying the U.S. doesn't want to
threaten the regime.
Is that confusing for companies in your region? Who do you listen to out of the administration?
TANIGUCHI: As far as the top leader is concerned, Shinzo Abe has been engaged in constant discussions with Mr. Trump. There is absolutely no
room for misunderstanding between the two about which I am very much sure.
And General Mattis and Secretary Tillerson and others have been in constant contact with their counterparts here in Japan.
HOLMES: I'm wondering what the attitude is about North Korea as a nuclear nation.
Is it time to accept that it is a nuclear vow? The notion of prevention is past that horses bolted. Is it now time to talk? Containment is the only
viable way forward.
TANIGUCHI: That is actually what the North Korean regime, the leaders from Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and now Kim Jong-un have eager -- have been eager
to wish for for many, many decades. And that's something that the international community should resist.
And the United States and Japan have to make it clear that it is something that is not acceptable.
[14:20:00] The North Korean regime has lost any -- has lost no moment in building and constantly investing into its missile and nuclear capacities.
That is for sure.
But if you go on to admit that North Korea is a nuclear power, you are saying to them that you are happy to live with them. And it's going to
invite further provocations, not less and it's also going to invite more proliferations of such technologies and the weapons. So that's something
that once again both -- neither the United States nor Japan should admit.
HOLMES: When you hear Donald Trump talking about fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen before, well, likes with which the world
has never seen before, they have seen Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
What does that type of talk mean for Japan, especially given the anniversary of those bombings has just past?
TANIGUCHI: Well, the United States has repeatedly mentioned that the nuclear warfare should not be repeated at any time in the future. And Mr.
Trump is of that same view. And Mr. Trump, as I understand it, has let it be known widely to the world that the United States is more resolved. And
it is a direct message given to the leader in North Korea saying that North Korea should never ever underestimate the resolve of the Americans and
United States as a nation.
HOLMES: Tomohiko Taniguchi, thank you so much for being on the program.
TANIGUCHI: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
HOLMES: And when we come back, imagining a separation. Grand celebrations are the order of the week. It's India and Pakistan marked 70 years of
But next, we look at the price of partition for one family. A special report -- next.
HOLMES: And the final thought tonight, imagine your world split in two.
70 years ago, India and Pakistan were made independent from British rule in an event many know as partition. Millions of Hindus and Sikhs traveled to
India and Muslims made the journey to Pakistan. At least a million people died crossing borders and families either side of it were torn.
Although many have kept in contact, all these years later, the distance and the decades apart makes communication ever more difficult as our Mallika
Kapur found in this bittersweet report.
[14:25:00] MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a story of two sweet shops, one is in Delhi, India. It's run by Allauddin. The
other in Lahore, Pakistan is run by his cousin Misbauddin.
Theirs is one of the many families divided by the India-Pakistan partition in 1947.
(On-camera): Tell me what does the name of your shop means?
ALLAUDDIN, SHOP OWNER: (SPEAKING THROUGH FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
KAPUR: House of Sweets?
KAPUR: And in Lahore?
ALLAUDDIN: (SPEAKING THROUGH FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
KAPUR: So it's the same name in Lahore and in Delhi?
KAPUR (voice-over): Allauddin and Misbauddin's fathers were brothers. They lived here in their family home in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood
In 1947 when India gain independence from British rule, the country was rocked by communal violence between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.
"One of my uncles went to buy groceries one day," Allauddin tells me. "He was slaughtered. We never got his body back. Another uncle worried for
his safety fled to newly created Pakistan, where most Muslims migrated to after the partition of India. A few years later, he returned to Delhi and
joined the family business. But word got around a Pakistani man had come to India. Around 25 people stormed the sweet shop. They pulled my uncle
out and marched him to the border. They forced him back to Pakistan," Allauddin says.
The family has lived between two countries since then. Allauddin last visited his cousin in Pakistan over 20 years ago. He talks to Misbauddin
on the phone occasionally. They don't have access to Facetime or Skype so we offer to send a message to Misvaudin's family by recording it on my
"How are you? Come and visit," they say.
CNN's Pakistan team travels to Lahore to show Misbauddin the video. His family is delighted. The children say take us to India. We've forgotten,
everyone. We don't even know our family anymore.
The message from India reminds Misbauddin of his father and uncle. Slowly, slowly, people fade away. Only the memories remain."
But this generation, even in memory are few.
Mallika Kapur, CNN, Delhi, India.
HOLMES: And that is it for our program tonight. Remember you can listen to our podcast, you can see us online at Amanpour.com. follow us on
Facebook and me on Twitter @HolmesCNN. Thanks for watching, everyone, and goodbye for now from London.