Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Martin Davidson, of University of Alabama, Discusses Video of Buffalo Police Shoving Elderly Man; Broadway Stage Manager, Cody Renard Richard, Discusses Racism He's Encountered Backstage; Trump Administration Ends Masks, Social Distancing; CDC Survey: 1/3 of People Used Bleach, Other Risky Cleaning Behavior to Fight Virus; Sharp Turnaround in U.S. Jobs, Stock Gains After Historic Losses. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 5, 2020 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:30:00]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I think what speaks to that, that sort of root problem is what happens after the knock the man down, right?

He's knocked down and, instead of coming to his aid, realizing that perhaps that wasn't what was intended but, reasonably, this will happen when someone pushing an elderly man who's standing the way as he is, but they just keep walking by him.

And then they lie. The department initially lies based, I'm sure, on officer accounts, saying that the man tripped.

MARTIN DAVIDSON, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN AND GLOBAL CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER, DARDEN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Yes. I mean, I think what happened. What we're seeing here is something emblematic.

I'm a psychologist by training to do work in organizations and understanding organizations how they're designed and organization culture and what we see is the power of culture. We see the power of design. We as individuals, sure, we have free will. Sure, we do things. We make mistakes. Sometimes, virtuous.

But I think we tend to underestimate the importance and the impact of training, of norms, of processes. That's the thing that oftentimes drives the situation.

And when you keep seeing problematic situation, painful situation after painful situation, when you keep seeing black people continually being injured and harmed and killed, it's not about one person doing it here and there. Pay attention to the larger picture.

KEILAR: This is -- as you said, your kind of expertise about how organizations can change. So I wonder, what you can tell us about how difficult it is to change and what needs to be done? What are the key things that need to be done to make sure that organizations can figure this out and do the right thing when something like this happens?

DAVIDSON: I go back to the 1980s. Not sure I'll properly attribute it but the phrase itself is "culture eats strategy for breakfast." It's the whole idea that the way we're used to doing things so determines our behavior and so determines our actions, any initiative, any program, any order has a real hard time taking root. What we need to do is change fundamental processes.

So, for example, think about if I wanted people to begin to pay more attention, say, to inclusion. I wanted people to pay more attention to what it means to advance black people in organizations so that they have more influence, more power and getting more credit. I would put in a system that gave incentives for doing that. Reward people, bonuses for people who support and develop black professionals, for example.

Those kinds of things that go into place begin to actually move the needle.

One-off situations, I'll help one person here or there, it's not that that's bad, it's a good thing. But oftentimes, it gets in the way of seeing what the real solution is going to be.

KEILAR: Martin, thank you so much.

Martin Davidson is a senior associate dean and global chief diversity officer at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

We appreciate you coming on.

DAVIDSON: Thanks, Brianna. Nice to be here.

KEILAR: Just in, breaking news involving the defense secretary and protests.

Plus, a man who has worked on some of Broadway's biggest productions shares the racism he's faced backstage. And he's going to join me live just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:37:43]

KEILAR: We have some breaking news. We learned the defense secretary ordered the remainder of active-duty troops brought to the Washington, D.C. area to return to their home base at Fort Drum, New York. CNN reporting on Thursday that about 700 of the 1600 active-duty troops who came to Washington were returning to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A small active duty of the old guard based in Arlington, Virginia, remain on standby for assistance.

As America grapples with the killing of George Floyd and the protests across this country, my next guest is here to remind us that racism permeates the lives of people of color every single day.

Cody Renard Richard is a stage manager on Broadway, working behind the scenes on productions including "Hamilton," which you are very familiar with, as well as "Kinky Boots." He took to Twitter to share countless examples of racism in his workplace.

I just want to read some of what you're written in part here. You said, quote, "I was standing backstage at Motown, the Musical" on Broadway, wearing my hoodie. A stagehand came up to me and said, "Hey, Trayvon."

You then wrote, "I started a new gig on Broadway and one actress decided not to learn my name at first. Instead, she decided it was OK to call me Brown, insert name of the employee I replaced for a month because she thought it was a funny joke."

And then you also say, "Someone came up to you backstage at 'Kinky Boots' and asked if I was attending the company barbecue because, 'You people love barbecue.'"

Cody, I think some people read this and they're like, this is crazy, especially in the industry you're in where, you know, this is an artistic, pretty progressive industry, people would expect.

But tell us about what you've gone through and how you are, as you say, exhausted from constantly having to, quote, "tone down your blackness."

CODY RENARD RICHARD, BROADWAY STAGE MANAGER: Well, yes, like you said, Broadway is a very inclusive industry. We're very open and we're very big on gay rights, trans rights, women's rights and equality.

With that said, racism is in every art form. And as black people, we experience it daily. So, you know, in sharing my story, I wanted to highlight that because we move past it so quickly.

[14:40:05]

And like I said, these experiences happen all the time. If I were to look back and think of all the things, all the wounds inflicted on me, like small comments off stuff wouldn't get out of bed. We are trained to laugh them off or deflect and I think it's time people are held accountable for making these small injustices.

KEILAR: What do you want people to know? Like the people you described some of the things that have been said to you but what do you want people who have said those things to know about how this impacts people who are on the receiving end?

RICHARD: On the bigger picture, I have to echo the cries of America right now, Black Lives Matter, and if these comments and if these things continue to happen in our workplaces and everyday life, that statement doesn't ring true.

Saying we have to start from the bottom and hold people accountable, we have to start calling people out and having these uncomfortable conversations. Now, those who weren't aware of actions, now it's time to be aware of them. It's time to, you know, own up to what you're saying and think about what you're saying and just, you know, move through the world with a more sense of consciousness. KEILAR: Do you believe, you know, at this moment in time that things

are different, that real change is going to come from the protests we're seeing?

RICHARD: At this place in history where we're in a pandemic, so our voices, we've been yelling out for years. These words that we're saying aren't new. Black people have been speaking out for a very long time, but we weren't being heard. And now I finally think that, you know, people are listening.

Most people aren't at work right now because we're in the pandemic still, so I think that the spotlight is on us and that's incredible. I think that can effect change.

I think this time is very different because now people have the space so sit in their feelings and thoughts and listen, we don't listen enough, and educate ourselves, like there's so much space to raise your voice and to get involved and to do all that, because we have this time.

And the pandemic is terrible, and it's caused a lot of unfortunate things. But I do think that's one of the blessings of the current time we're in, so I do think the protests, speaking out, I do think that will lead to real change.

KEILAR: Yes, maybe some people have the time to kind of pause and think, right, and have some reflection.

And then just a final word from you because you're talking about non- black allies and the accountability that they should have. Well, here you are. You're on TV. So what should they do? Let them know.

RICHARD: Well, you know, this is detector I'm -- this is all of our fight, all of our struggle. Because we as humans, we are all one race, right? So we all belong to certain communities. And if you want to call something a community. We have to put action to our words.

In my industry, there's a lot of producers and institutions putting out statements to do better with racism in industry. And, although, I do think the words are amazing and I appreciate they spoke out, but words are just words. Words mean nothing without action.

So we need to see plans. We need to see people step up and actually put these plans into place. Our union has to support that. There has to be a no tolerance for racism in the workplace, especially in the arts.

I think this is a time for people to stand up and match their words. We can speak all day, post things on Twitter and Instagram all day, but if we don't match what we're saying, if we don't stand up and actually walk the walk -- I mean, walk the talk, then what are we doing?

KEILAR: Walk the talk.

Cody Renard Richard, thank you so much. RICHARD: Thank you.

KEILAR: A reminder, CNN is teaming up with "Sesame Street" for a special to help you talk to your kids about racism, the nationwide protests, and how to embrace diversity. You can submit questions at CNN.com/sesamestreet. It's called "COMING CHANGE, STANDING UP TO RACISM." And this will air tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern.

[14:44:39]

Just in, the CDC, more Americans are gargling bleach or washing their bodies with bleach to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We're going to talk about why that is a terrible idea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: The World Health Organization has produced what it called the comprehensive package to stopping the spread of coronavirus. Step one is masks. Step two and three are frequent hand washing and physical distancing.

Apparently, the White House didn't get the memo or they got it and they ignored it. Because look at these images. This is the first picture. This is before the president's briefing began. And then look at the next picture. Shows reporters very close together.

Well, why would they do that, you say? The White House deliberately moved the chairs to avoid social distancing that allowed the president to say this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You've got to open it up and you do social distancing and you wear masks if you want. And you do things, you could do a lot of things. You're getting closer together. And even you, I notice you're starting to get much closer together. It looks much better, I must say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[14:50:11]

KEILAR: Yes. It is a stunt. It is a total stunt.

Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

When I look at this, it bothers me because I think about how a lot of our colleagues who are reporting, they do so under dangerous conditions and reporting is dangerous. And it is not supposed to be dangerous at the White House and it's not supposed to be made more dangerous by the president and his staff.

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this makes me so angry on behalf of our colleagues at the White House. This is unnecessarily putting them in danger. Those chairs were far apart, they were fine. Trump put them back together because they wanted to telegraph, look, everybody is close together. Everything is fine. We're returning to normal.

Guess what, President Trump, everything isn't fine. There are still high rates of COVID in the Washington, D.C., area. Two of his very own aides had it. He needs to keep doing what the CDC and the WHO says.

This is outrageous. Those chairs should have been far apart. There was no reason to put them together, except so that President Trump could telegraph a false message.

KEILAR: So there's more than a third, Elizabeth, of Americans who are in the new CDC survey that said they engaged in risky cleaning behaviors during the pandemic like gargling with bleach.

I just can't even believe I'm asking you about this. But the president kind of talked about some interesting stuff that people should do with their bodies. What the heck is happening here?

COHEN: This is once again President Trump telegraphing these false messages. This was a while back where he was talking about using disinfectant and you wonder did that have an impact on people.

The CDC said that one-third of Americans are doing unsafe practices, including cleaning their body with household disinfectant and gargling with breech and substances like that.

This is obviously terrible. We're failing in our public health communications if a third of Americans are doing things like this. This is problematic. This needs to be corrected. The president is not helping.

KEILAR: Yes. Come on, bleach is for clothes people, for scrubbing the mildew off your tub. Leave it at that.

Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

COHEN: Thanks.

KEILAR: The Dow is up now quite a bit, more than 850 points. This is on the news that the economy actually added millions of jobs last month. The unemployment rate still more than 13 percent.

Plus, following breaking news in Minneapolis as the city council votes to ban police chokeholds. Pardon me. We'll take you there live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:57:35]

KEILAR: The stock market rallying today on some good economic news despite protests and a pandemic. Right now, the Dow is up, as you could see there, more than 830 points.

This comes on the surprising announcement that the U.S. gained 2.5 million jobs in May. The unemployment rate is now 13.3 percent as businesses begin reopening. The numbers upending economist predictions. CNN business anchor, Julia Chatterley, is joining us now.

And the president is taking a victory lap in response to the new numbers and I wonder as we're hearing from employees that say the PPP loans are about to run out if it is too early to get excited the economy is coming back.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Let's say both. This is early but also a reason for optimism. Today is good news. We're on the path to recovery. But anybody who tells you they know what that looks like or is simple is lying to you.

We saw jobs coming back in leisure and tourism, and some of the hardest-hit industries, retail, construction and manufacturing. This is good news.

But then take a step back. What we also heard today was if again people said they were unemployed rather than just being absent from the workplace this percentage would have been three percentage points higher so now around 16.5 unemployment rate.

And then if you add in people that are discouraged and working less than they'd like to, we're still talking one in five American workers.

There's no reason in these numbers for Congress to be complacent to think they've done enough. If you look within the s saw a drop for white workers but black workers slightly increased. That, again, is a worrying sign in light of the all of the things we've been discussing over the last few days.

I'll come back again to thousands of government workers as well. Hundreds of thousands of them losing jobs in the last month. State and local still need support.

So while we can say that today is good news and people were caught off guard by the numbers, this is a long road to recovery and more help is still needed -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Julia, thank you for walking us through that. We appreciate it.

And our special coverage now continues now with Brooke Baldwin.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for joining me on this Friday.

[15:00:02]

Let's begin in Minneapolis, where the city council, in what it calls an effort to spark systematic change, has voted in favor of significant changes to the police department.