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Warren Releases Plan to Help Native Americans; Warren Rises in Polls as Trump Threatens to Use Slur Nickname for Her; Critics Call Jay-Z's NFL Partnership a Betrayal, "Gut Punch" to Kaepernick; CNN Special Report Focuses on "The Age Of Amazon". Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired August 16, 2019 - 13:30   ET



[13:32:55] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Senator Elizabeth Warren today releasing her plan to help Native Americans. This is a politically significant moment for the Democratic presidential candidate who has weathered criticism over her portrayal of her family's Native American lineage. Warren's plan includes draft legislation created with New Mexico Democrat Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native Americans elected to Congress last year.

And this is a plan that comes as FOX News poll shows Warren's popularity is growing. Joe Biden is still in the lead with 31 percent support among Democratic primary voters, but Warren is in second place with 20 percent.

President Trump, at a rally in New Hampshire, threatening to bring back the slur that he used as a nickname for her.

I want to bring in M.J. Lee. She has been doing the reporting on this plan.

Tell us what's in it, M.J.

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Brianna, you're absolutely right that this is a significant plan coming from Senator Warren both on the policy front and politically speaking.

On that draft bill that you mentioned that she put out with Congresswoman Deb Haaland, it has to do with the funding for programs related to Native Americans. They want to make sure that they're boosting the funding and also making sure that it's separated from the congressional appropriations process.

A couple of other things I want to note from that plan. There's something called the Oliphant fix. This has to do with a Supreme Court ruling that basically said that tribal governments have no criminal jurisdiction over non-Native Americans for crimes that are committed on tribal lands. This is something sort of big that she wants to tackle, an issue that is very important to Native Americans.

Another thing I would note quickly, too, is a lot of this plan deals with tribal lands and resources, including revoking some of these permits that have been given as a part of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines that deal with tribal lands. So that's a big focus for the Senator as well.

And just politically speaking, Brianna, again, especially given the fact that we're about to see Senator Warren on Monday participate in a conference in Iowa with tribal leaders, she will be speaking with them in sort of a Q&A sort of a setting, this is going to be a big moment for her. Because really since around February, when this controversy was really raging for the Senator, she's not had to actually answered many questions since then, right?

[13:35:18] This issue has kind of died down other than the fact that some of her critics, including President Trump, we saw this just last night, very eager to make sure that he keeps this controversy at the forefront. It seemed clear too that he was sort of recognizing her recent rise in the polls.

And talking to voters across the country at some of these Warren events, some of them have expressed concerns that this could be an issue for her going forward if she does become the Democratic nominee.

So clearly, the campaign is trying to figure out how she can talk about these issues more as a policy matter and less about her family ancestry -- Brianna?

KEILAR: M.J. Lee, thank you so much for that report.

Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, called a sellout by critics who say his alliance with the NFL is at odds with his support of Colin Kaepernick.

Plus, New York police are looking for a man after several pressure cookers were found in the city sparking a big scare.


[13:40:50] KEILAR: Rapper and businessman, Jay-Z, is facing criticism over his move to team up with the NFL. The partnership is aimed at bringing attention to social justice issues and building on former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's activism.

It was three years ago that Kaepernick knelt on the field during the national anthem as a protest against racism. Jay-Z then praised him for that act. He wore a Kaepernick jersey during a "Saturday Night Live" performance.

In a recent song with Beyonce, he rapped the lyrics, "I said no to the Super Bowl. You need me, I don't need you. Every night, we, in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums, too."

Now people are calling Jay-Z out. They want to know why he would work with the same organization that he initially criticized for his treatment of Kaepernick.

Let's talk to Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University sociology professor and "New York Times" contributing opinion writer. And for the purpose of this segment, he's also the author of a new book "Jay- Z, Made in America."

You have a lot of knowledge on the subject of Jay-Z and his thinking behind this so what was your reaction to this announcement.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY & CONTRIBUTING OPINION WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES & AUTHOR: I think it's a perfectly reasonable response of Jay-Z. This man has done significant work philanthropically and in terms of defense of social justice.

This is the same man who wrote an op-ed in the "New York Times" defending Meek Mill (ph) and talking about cash bail. This is the same man who wrote an op-ed talking about the criminal reform initiative that he then started along with Robert Kraft and Robert Smith and Michael Rueben and others and Meek Mill (ph).

This is the same man who has given money to bail out Black Lives Matter protesters. This is the same man who's spoken against police brutality from the very beginning of his career.

In other words, this man has a portfolio of protests. This man has a social justice profile that is not exhausted by whether or not you agree with this particular choice that he's made.

And he also stood for Colin Kaepernick. And by the way, so do I.

Colin Kaepernick, I think, is an American hero. He's an iconic figure who continues to excite the interest and imagination of those who are coming together to say what is happening is wrong.

His protest was about social injustice. His protest was never about him merely having a job, though, him not having a job is unjust, and that should be underscored. But it was about the criminal justice reform that needed to occur as well as the police brutality that was being leveraged against black people.

And Jay-Z is not against any of those. He's for that as well but trying to work from within the system.

KEILAR: Work from within the system, but there are critics who say, no, that's not how it works and that this is actually Jay-Z giving cover to the NFL.

For instance, Jemele Hill wrote in "The Atlantic," "Jay-Z has given the NFL exactly what it wanted, guilt-free access to black audiences, culture, entertainers. The league's actions come off as disingenuous because Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed as a result of a peaceful protest."

How can the NFL be taken seriously as a social justice champion when it black balled a player who stood up for equality?

DYSON: It's a compelling argument. First of all, Jemele Hill is brilliant. I think what she's written there is morally compelling as well.

We can chew and spit gum, so to speak, walk and chew gum at the same time. I think what she said is absolutely true. Colin Kaepernick and those who identify with him must continue to kneel, must continue to protest, must continue to say that his not having a job is a specific manifestation of an unjust situation that should be resolved.

At the same time, to speak to the broader landscape of social justice issues, of criminal justice reform, the need to highlight police brutality. Those things go apace.

When you think about players like Malcolm Jenkins, of the Philadelphia Eagles, who has worked with others, and Anquan Boldin (ph), the former player, to talk about Stand Your Ground laws, to talk about criminal justice reform, to talk about cash bail and how it's deleterious to African-American and brown people. In other words, we have simultaneous ventures that need to be exercised.

And I think we have to be very careful. Martin Luther King Jr was called a sellout by Malcolm X. I don't think Martin Luther King Jr was a sellout. Malcolm X was then himself called a sellout because he called to account his religious leader and then he was murdered.

I think black people have to be extremely cautious and careful about calling people that they disagree with sellouts or neo-colonialists or the like. Name calling is destructive and detrimental.

[13:45:11] KEILAR: Do you think Jay-Z is better positioned to effect change in this role than if he didn't have this arrangement?

DYSON: Of course. In this instance, Jay-Z is saying -- like Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson would go out and protest. Al Sharpton would go out and protest. You're doing wrong. We'll call you to account. Then when those corporations or businesses would come to the table to say, what can we do to make things better, then you've got to have a blueprint. You've got to have a plan.

Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee is necessary. What's the follow-up? What do we do in the aftermath of the NFL saying, you know what, we may not have agreed about Colin Kaepernick because individual teams have to decide whether or not they can choose him although we know it's ludicrous to make the argument he's not ready to come into the league?

On the other hand, the broader issues that are available to be discussed, we need some leadership and guidance. Jay-Z's portfolio and profile has been there. He said, God forgive me for my brash delivery but I remember vividly what these did. Imagine me to allow you to nitpick at me and portray me like a pickaninny. That's not me.

So Jay-Z has skin in the game and he has social justice agendas that are relevant and we can agree or disagree. But we shouldn't name call.

The enemy is white supremacy, white nationalism, the inability of white owners to acknowledge the humanity of black people across the board if they refuse to hire Colin Kaepernick.

At the same time, Jay-Z is talking about, this is what we're going to do. If the folk ask, what do we do and we don't have answers -- Malcolm X was talking to a young white woman in Boston. He traveled from Boston to New York. My god, Minister Malcolm, what can I do. Malcolm X said nothing. She went away disheartened. I think Malcolm X is a brave man but his answer is wrong.

If a white person asks you honestly and straightforwardly after you've called him to account, what must I do, then Jay-Z is saying, here's what you can do.

You can still have Colin Kaepernick protests. You can still have players on the teams who are saying, we are tired of injustice and we are going to call you to account. And you can have Jay-Z doing what he does.

In football, everybody can't be the quarterback. Somebody has to be the running back. Somebody has to play offense and defense. Let's have a division of labor. Let's stop the name calling, figure out what we can do in concert together to make things better for all concerned.

KEILAR: Michael Eric Dyson, thank you. And your courage to take on a Jay-Z rap, I mean, wow.

DYSON: Jigga.


KEILAR: Thank you so much for coming on.

DYSON: Thank you.

CNN speaking with a man in El Paso whose wife was killed in the mass shooting and is now inviting the entire city to her funeral tonight.

Plus, CNN lifts the veil on Amazon. We'll give you a preview of the side of the company that no one has really seen before.


[13:52:49] KEILAR: Tonight, in a special report, CNN investigates consumer privacy in "THE AGE OF AMAZON," including who exactly might be on the other end of your Alexa conversations. And the answer may surprise you.

CNN anchor, Poppy Harlow, joins us now with a preview.


Well, last year, Georgetown University conducted a study and it found that Amazon is the most trusted institution in the country, second only to the U.S. military.

So in our reporting over the course of the past six months for our CNN documentary, "THE AGE OF AMAZON," we heard a lot about how gaining consumer trust has always been key to Jeff Bezos' mission at Amazon.

Well, Alexa, which you know is Amazon's voice technology, that's a prime example. It is wildly popular in the United States and has been welcomed into millions of homes. But after news that Amazon is sometimes listening to what we tell Alexa to improve the A.I. of the device, some people became asking if all of that trust in Amazon might be eroding. Look.


HARLOW (voice-over): Who at Amazon hears what I tell Alexa when I'm talking to her?

TONI REID, VICE PRESIDENT OF ALEXA EXPERIENCE & ECHO DEVICES, AMAZON: A small group of annotators who do some ground truthing. They take very small subsets, it's dealings of customer data, to help train the models that go back into improving speech technology.


HARLOW (voice-over): Antonio Petit is one of them. During his seven- month contract at Amazon, Petti analyzed Alexa commands gone wrong, in order to approve the technology. He now works in artificial intelligence at Microsoft.

PETIT: Amazon is listening to what you tell Alexa. Not in any type of nefarious ways to my knowledge. I believe that everything they do is based on quality assurance.

People should know that. I think that is something that is not advertised.

HARLOW (on camera): What do you say to those folks that think, oh, my gosh, someone's listening to me?

REID: I think it's important for customers to understand, we're not listening to them. It's a very small percentage that is carved off for ensuring the models are doing what the models say -- they're supposed to do.


[13:55:07] HARLOW: Experts say that voice technology is only going to continue to expand in our lives in the coming years, and they know it's important for all of us, to be asking these questions. Not just of Amazon, but of all of big tech, about what are they doing with the data about us.

We have an important and fascinating discussion. I hope you will watch the documentary -- Brianna?

KEILAR: We certainly will, Poppy. Thank you.

And you can check that out. CNN special report, "THE AGE OF AMAZON," tonight at 9:00.

And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) We begin with the president stoking fears of impending --