Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Cardozo Law School Professor of Law Jessica Roth; Interview with The Economist Supreme Court Correspondent Steven Mazie; Interview with Columbia University's Climate School Professor Radley Horton; Interview with Yale Divinity School and "White Poverty" Author Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II; Interview with Author Judith Kerr. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 21, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today.


GOLODRYGA: The U.S. Supreme Court is making some of the most consequential rulings in recent history. How it could change America with law professor

Jessica Roth and the economist Steven Mazie.

Then, from New York to Greece to Saudi Arabia, scorching temperatures are killing hundreds and raising fears for the future of our planet. We get the

latest with climate scientist, Radley Horton.

And --


REVEREND DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II, YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL AND AUTHOR, "WHITE POVERTY": We must truly look at all of the poor in our nation.


GOLODRYGA: -- Reverend William Barber talks to Walter Isaacson about his new book, "White Poverty."

Also, ahead --


JUDITH KERR, AUTHOR: Well, I love to do that. That's really all it is.


GOLODRYGA: -- from fleeing the Nazis as a child to bringing tigers to tea. We look back at Christiane's conversation with the beloved Children's

author Judith Kerr.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

It's decision time at the U.S. Supreme Court. The nine justices ruling on a series of cases that may change the course of America before going into

their summer recess.

Today, the court offered a boost to the Biden administration backing a federal gun ban for domestic abusers. But all eyes are on some key

decisions yet to be released, whether Former President Trump is prosecuted or protected from prosecution for actions taken while he was president,

whether the prosecution of January 6th rioters via an obstruction statute is lawful. And if a restrictive Idaho abortion ban, which is preventing

some patients from getting treatment, can continue. A case that comes almost two years to the day since the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the

same court.

Well, joining me now to discuss today's ruling as well as what lies ahead is Jessica Roth Professor of Law at the Cardozo Law School. And Steven

Mazie, the Supreme Court Correspondent for "The Economist." Welcome both of you.

Let me start with you, Jessica. Just your reaction to this near unanimous decision, which for the first time, I believe in recent history at least,

narrowed the scope of the Second Amendment as opposed to really interpreting it in a more expansive way.

JESSICA ROTH, PROFESSOR OF LAW, CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL: Well, it was really important what the court said in this decision, and it was notable that it

was an eight to one decision upholding the law that makes it illegal for somebody who is subject to a domestic violence restraining order from

possessing a firearm.

And the court applied the approach it articulated in the Bruen case, which has been this expansive ruling in favor of Second Amendment rights. And it

said in this majority opinion, again, for eight members of the court, that this particular law prohibiting people subject to an order of domestic

violence was consistent with test articulated in Bruen, and it said that lower courts had perhaps been misunderstanding what the court had said in


And specifically, that it wasn't necessary for the government to identify a regulation or restriction on gun possession at the founding that was

identical to the restriction that the government wanted to adopt in modern times, it just had to be similar enough. And there's really interesting

language in the opinion saying basically that our law is not fixed in amber, it can, in a sense, be evolving. And so, those were really important

statements in the court, in the opinion for the court as well as the ultimate holding that this gun restriction was valid.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, the chief justice who wrote for the majority stated that our tradition of firearm regulation allows the government to disarm

individuals who present a credible threat to the physical safety of others.

Steven, are you surprised that the lone dissent did come from Clarence Thomas, given that he was the one who wrote the opinion for the 2022 case,

really expanding the scope of the Second Amendment?

STEVEN MAZIE, SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT, THE ECONOMIST: Bianna, not a surprise at all. I was looking back at the article I wrote after the oral

argument, and I said, it looks like it's a large majority, even of the conservatives, to uphold this law, but Clarence Thomas might not, and

indeed, he didn't.


I mean, this is -- this was a case where you had a plaintiff who was, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court below, called him, not a

model citizen. That's kind of the understatement of the year. He is a man who threatened his girlfriend with a gun, who shot at a bystander, who

after the domestic order -- the order to protect her from him was instituted, continue to use his gun, shooting up homes and fast food

restaurants and trucks on the highway. So, he's the one who was arguing, hey, I've got a Second Amendment right to have a gun.

And the oral argument did not go well for his lawyer. But this was an interesting case because it's a case where the court was reckoning with its

own very expansive decision from 2022, which we talked about together two years ago, almost to the day. And it needed to find a way to narrow that

very broad ruling.

And what Justice Thomas said was, hey, I wrote that ruling. And this is what it means, and it means that this ban on handguns for domestic abusers

subject to restraining orders is unconstitutional. So, I think -- yes, I think some of the other --

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Let me say, the Texas man, Rahimi, as you said, is not a model citizen, has a very lengthy rap sheet. But, Jessica, does this answer

the question or close the door, really, to future litigation that we may see from other states with regards to this or similar questions? Because

the 2022 case really struck -- it struck down a New York state law that prohibited Kerrying weapons outside of the home. Does that put this

question to rest now or could we still hear future cases from other states?

ROTH: I think we're going to hear future cases because this was actually a narrow ruling. The court, at various points in the opinion for the majority

said, we're not addressing this, we're not addressing that, right? We're only addressing the narrow question before us of this particular statute.

And it was a facial challenge, which meant they were considering whether it could be constitutional at any circumstances. And they said, well, as

applied to this particular defendant, it is constitutional. And they said, we're not presented with a broad prohibition on the possession of firearms,

like New York had that was at issue in the 2022 decision.

This was a narrow restriction on certain categories of people who had been adjudicated to be a danger to the public or to a specific individual on

Kerrying firearms. And the court said, we find a sufficiently similar historical analog to that kind of restriction on gun possession at the

founding, on people who were found to be essentially dangerous to the public. This is close enough to that. And we're going to uphold this

particular provision.

But there will be challenges to other provisions of the same statute -- statutory scheme in federal law that prohibits different categories of

people from possessing firearms, such as people with a felony conviction, people who have used or addicted to controlled substances. So, I imagine

we're going to see each and every one of those other categories of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, testing it

as applied to them and that particular provision of the statute.

GOLODRYGA: So, in no way to downplay the significance of this particular ruling. Steven, Jessica, as you both know, a lot of focus is on what wasn't

decided, what cases we have yet to hear decisions from, and that's three I'd like to bring up with you right now. That's whether there's

presidential immunity, whether Donald Trump is immune for prosecution for subverting the 2022 election, the question of whether prosecutors can use a

federal obstruction charge statute to charge January 6th rioters, and whether an Idaho abortion law prevents a federal law that requires

emergency rooms to treat patients.

Steven, are you surprised that it's taken this long to hear rulings on these three particular cases?

MAZIE: Well, just to focus on the presidential immunity case first. I mean, the next possible day for rulings, according to the court, is

Wednesday. So, that will be 62 days after the oral argument in which Donald Trump and his lawyers were arguing that he deserves to be free and clear

from any prosecution for anything he did while in office, while as -- when he was president.

And by comparison, there was another very important case decided a couple of months ago involving whether Trump can remain on the Colorado primary

ballot. But it took the court only 25 days to decide that case, in his favor.


And by delaying, you know, more than twice that span has passed since the oral argument, it's making it virtually impossible, even if it is a ruling

favorable to Jack Smith, the prosecutor, and against Trump's claim of having this blanket protection, even if that comes, and I don't think that

decision's coming, it's still very late in the game. It's going to be very difficult with all the pretrial work and then the actual trial to get it

concluded or even started before the November election. So, it's a concerning gap in my mind, especially when compared to the other relevant


GOLODRYGA: And Jack Smith seemed to envision this very scenario, sort of kicking the can down the road, which is why he was trying to be preemptive

with bringing this all the way to the Supreme Court before even going to the appellate court there and lower courts, as you would traditionally go,

to ultimately decide on this particular question.

Jessica, obviously this is a high stakes decision. But are surprised that we have yet to hear from the Supreme Court on it? And what do you make, if

anything, in terms of connecting the timing and some of the skepticism we heard from the conservative justices in response to the prosecution side in


ROTH: I'm not terribly surprised that it's taking them this long to write those opinions. And when I say opinions, I mean, I expect that there will

be not just a majority opinion, but probably multiple concurrences and some dissenting opinions. And I think that that's probably why it's taking so

long is that there are multiple authors drafting opinions and seeing if they can get some other justices to sign on.

What I'm really watching for is whether they are going to ultimately issue an opinion that sets forth a standard for when there is or could be

presidential immunity from criminal prosecution and send it back to the lower courts to apply it. And if they do that means there'll be another

round of appeals up through the courts likely before any trial could go forward or whether they might say, we're not going to articulate a standard

and send it back, we're just going to say on the facts presented in this case, there is no immunity, and we can decide that narrowly without having

to send it back.

If they choose the latter approach, then there's possibly a window for a trial to occur before the election. But if they send it back, that just

means things take much, much longer because of that additional round of appeals. And perhaps they're still discussing among themselves, which route

they're going to go.

GOLODRYGA: Jessica, how significant will this ruling be on Idaho's rights over state rights with regards to providing abortions, especially in

emergency care, given that come Monday, just a couple of days from now, we will be hitting the two-year anniversary that this exact court overturned


ROTH: Yes, it's going to be enormously significant. Obviously, it will turn on exactly how the opinion is written. But this is going to be the

kind of litigation we're going to be seeing playing out repeatedly, I think, in the wake of the court overturning Roe with these kinds of issues

coming up.

GOLODRYGA: Steve, we've seen approval ratings of the Supreme Court really getting the same negative numbers that Congress itself has been receiving

for a number of years now and we've learned of infighting among the justices, obviously, ideologically, there's been historically, a divide,

and that's the healthy side of differences within the Supreme Court, but there do appear to be growing and unprecedented numbers of tensions

leaking, obviously, when the Roe decision still reverberating, and it's rare.

But now, it seems to be more common to even hear presidential candidates, not just Former President Trump, but obviously President Biden speak out

against the Supreme Court. Here's what he said last weekend in California.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today. I mean, never. I taught constitutional law for nine

years. This guy knows more about it than most. Look, the fact of the matter is that this has never been a court that's been this far out of step.


GOLODRYGA: Is he right, Steven? And is he right to speak out and say such things too?

MAZIE: Well, I think the Supreme Court is an issue which is going to become more and more prominent as people think about who they're going to

vote for in November, those who are still deciding.

It is -- I mean, historically, the court is out of step in a way that it hasn't been in at least a century. A six to three conservative majority is

very different from the five to four conservative majority with Justice Kennedy in the middle who would float left on important cases about gay

rights and abortion and occasionally race.


You know, things have changed so much in the past 10 years, and especially with Donald Trump's three appointees, particularly the final one, Justice

Barrett, replacing Justice Ginsburg, that was really the revolution on the court.

So, what's to come? You know, we have two justices, the most MAGA of the justices are not the ones that Donald Trump put on the court. Justice Alito

and Justice Thomas, they're both in their 70s. I think if Donald Trump wins another stint in the White House, they would consider retiring. And if he

can replace both of them, it would still be a six to three court, but it would be a six to three court sort of cemented conservative for decades,

which is a very different forecast than if Joe Biden wins.

GOLODRYGA: It's interesting, given what Steven just laid out, Jessica, that running up to the 2020 election, there was a lot of talk among members

of Congress, specifically candidates running for president, Democratic nominees at the time who were candidates -- sorry, who suggested packing

the court, adding more justices could be the solution. We haven't heard that at all this year. And I'm wondering if that strikes you.

ROTH: Yes, you're right. We haven't really been hearing much about that on the campaign trail thus far. It's possible that in the final months that

that could be something that we see discussion about. I'm not sure how much traction that gets with regular people.

But I do think talking about the court and just highlighting for voters that the president is the person who nominates members of the court.

Obviously, the Senate has to confirm them, but really highlighting for voters what's at stake and how the legacy, the longest lasting impacts of a

presidency can be the justices appointed to the Supreme Court by that president. And we're seeing that with the Trump appointees on the court


And so, I think it is appropriate for President Biden to be highlighting that issue for voters, especially in the context of these very important

decisions coming down in these final weeks of the term, hoping that this will resonate with voters as something that they care about, even if they

might disagree with the president on some economic issues or other policy issues, perhaps who's on the court for the decades to come and the rights

at stake is something that would drive people to the polls who otherwise might stay home or people who are undecided to make a decision.

GOLODRYGA: And, Steven, finally, the issue over ethics obviously is weighing in on disapproval numbers here that Americans feel for the Supreme

Court right now. There have been a number of headlines and stories written the past few years and even the past the last few months about certain

actions that Supreme Court justices' wives have taken politically, whether it's flags for Justice Alito's wife that raised eyebrows or Clarence Thomas

not recusing himself from certain cases or not being forthcoming on trips and gifts that he received.

How does the factor of objectivity and ethics as a whole factor into the lower approval ratings we're seeing for the Supreme Court?

MAZIE: I think it's definitely part of it, although the real decline in popularity on the court, I think, happened a couple of years ago when the

Dobbs leak occurred and then when Roe vs. Wade was officially overturned two years ago and the gun rights ruling that came a couple days earlier.

I think it's more about the jurisprudence, but it definitely is not a good look for certain justices to be taking gifts in the millions of dollars

over their careers. And even if they're technically on the right side of things, because they didn't put the flag up themselves or the multiple

flags, having the appearance of a justice's home or really two homes with very partisan flags flying has got to contribute to just a sense of unease

about -- you know, the Supreme Court calls the other branches, the executive branch and the legislative branch, the political branches.


MAZIE: But it doesn't seem like there's as much a distinction as one would hope between the judicial supposedly nonpolitical branch and the other two

branches of the federal government.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Optics and actions do matter. Jessica Roth, Steven Mazie, thank you so much for joining the program. Appreciate it.

MAZIE: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, across the world, billions are feeling the heat. Temperatures soaring to fatal levels in India, Greece, and now, the United

States and Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of people have died during the annual Hajj pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca, and that number is expected to

rise. Scott McLean has the details in this report.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stoning of the devil, one of the key rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage. It's a symbolic rejection of

evil. But with temperatures unusually high, even for this time of year, the temptation here, a much simpler one.


Water only goes so far when it's 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Azza Hamid Brahim (ph) found out the hard way. Like many, she gave up on the way there.

AZZA HAMID BRAHIM, EGYTIAN PILGRIM (through translator): We thought we were about to die. We didn't even have the strength to reach the steels due

to the extreme heat.

MCLEAN (voice-over): The soaring temperatures making this year's pilgrimage exceptionally deadly. Videos shared on social media showed

bodies on the sides of roads, their faces covered. In some cases, they looked simply abandoned.

ARZU FARHAJ, PAKISTANI PILGRIM: Most of the people, they died on the roadside and some were -- fainted due to the heat and heat stroke. So, they

should make such arrangements that during the summer season, when Hajj season is in the summer, they should arrange a bit of transportation for

the whole.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Saudi Arabia says it did make some arrangements to deal with the heat, deploying 1,600 soldiers along with 5,000 volunteers,

installing dozens of air-conditioned tents and overhead water sprinklers to cool down crowds.

But many are traveling on tourist visas, rather than Hajj specific ones that don't get access to these amenities. They add to the nearly 2 million

pilgrims expected officially. The sheer scale and the heat a deadly combination.

BRAHIM (through translator): A lot of people died. The ambulances were overwhelmed. You would talk to someone and suddenly they would die. It was

a very hot day.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Hajj may be officially over but with Saudi Arabia yet to release any numbers, be that injured or dead, the number of victims may

still yet sharply rise.


GOLODRYGA: Scott McLean reporting there. Well, this extreme weather is another sign of our rapidly warming planet. But what is being done to

prevent climate catastrophe? Well, according to the latest data, not nearly enough. A report by the Energy Institute finding that despite a rise in

renewables, the world consumed record amounts of fossil fuels in 2023.

Well, joining me now for more on this is Radley Horton, a climate scientist and professor for Columbia University's Climate School. Welcome back to the

program. First, if we can just get your reaction to what we saw at the Hajj there in Saudi Arabia, government officials saying that they deployed 1,600

soldiers, thousands of volunteers issuing a statement saying "the state did not fail, but there was a misjudgment on the part of people who did not

appreciate the risks."

As we continue to see temperatures climb at events like these tragically over the years and to be expected in the years to come, what more

responsibility can states and local governments take on?

RADLEY HORTON, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY'S CLIMATE SCHOOL: Yes, I think towards your point, society really is showing that it can't keep up

right now with the scale of these emerging heat challenges and challenges with other type of extreme events. They're happening simultaneously, for

longer duration and more intense than they have in the past, and we're having trouble keeping up.

So, towards solutions, obviously, the first thing we have to do is dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We need to rapidly

upscale the use of renewables, to electrify our systems. We also need to do much more in the way of adapting, protecting people, including the

vulnerable, as we just heard about in that story, when these heat events strike.

GOLODRYGA: Obviously, fossil fuel is the primary factor here. And there had been some romanticism, I think, over the past few years, not to knock

science, but there could be a way to engineer our way out of climate change. And while obviously it's an important tool, it's hard to scale, and

it's clear that actions taken by governments, by individuals, is really what's going to make the most significant of changes.

Just, politically, in your mind, does a carbon tax -- is that the most effective way at addressing this issue?

HORTON: So, my personal opinion is that this is an all of the above solutions needed. All hands-on deck. We need to drop our emissions

something on the order of 90 percent or so, just within the next generation or so. And a challenge that big is going to require huge policy steps. We

need to also get rid of all the subsidies that currently exist for fossil fuels. We also need major private sector investment and some new

technological solutions. And yes, we need to see individuals also taking some additional steps to reduce less -- their emissions too.

GOLODRYGA: Sadly, you and I have been having these conversations. We had them last summer. We're going to continue to. I mean, it is striking that

given the heat now, just to factor in the years to come, this will be a cooler June, most likely, than June in 10, 15, 20 years from now.


Are you surprised, though, that these numbers, these records are being hit this early in the summer? Because we've traditionally had these types of

conversations later on, come, you know, mid to late August.

HORTON: I am surprised, and I think the broader scientific community is as well. You know, as you say, it's -- you know, we're barely into June and

summer just officially is starting in the Northern Hemisphere. So, what we're seeing is not just that during the hardest summer in the Northern

Hemisphere, which in most places is around July or so, we're not just seeing those days getting hotter, but it's that expansion of the season,

right, which poses a lot of additional threats.

We find them in some parts of the world. We're still in school, right, when these extreme heat waves are hitting, posing threats to children. And

really, fundamentally, even their ability to learn in these really high temperatures. Also, cooling centers may not be open yet. So, a lot of our

calendars and our societal structures aren't aligned with these rapid changes in the frequency intensity of heat waves and other types of

extremes. So, yes, I am very concerned.

GOLODRYGA: We know that extreme heat is actually more deadly and more dangerous than tornadoes, hurricanes combined. Explain why, physically and

for society, extreme heat is the most dangerous of all forms of extreme weather.

HORTON: Yes. So, I think a small part to mention first of the explanation is that heat is a bit more subtle, right? We can't visually see it the way

we can see that really heavy rain event, right, or that tornado, for example. So, I think that does, to some extent, affect people's ability to


But most fundamentally, as you're getting to, the issue is based -- our basic human physiology, right? We, as mammals, need to shed a lot of heat,

right? Everything from thinking to working outdoors to just basically maintaining our bodies produces heat and energy. So, we need to be able to

sweat effectively.

And as we see temperatures getting higher and higher in the subtle, gradual way, we're losing in these really extreme events the ability to function.

So, we see long-term effects on our ability to learn, people with preexisting health conditions, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, under

great stress, the elderly, under great stress. And so, we think about all those people, all those outdoor laborers, farmers and construction, this is

a really, really fundamental threat and not something that there's an easy fix for. Although, there are some important adaptation strategies underway.

GOLODRYGA: And heat waves, one would think, are fleeting, they're here for a couple of days and then you get relief. But that's different when you

talk about a heat dome. They can sit over a large portion of land for days, weeks even. Why are we seeing -- are we seeing more heat domes or does this

just seem to be a recent phenomenon the past couple of years?

HORTON: Yes. So, I think, you know, the first thing to point out is that just this rising tide of all days during the year warming, even if we

didn't see more heat domes per se, gives you more heat waves, longer duration, heat waves and more risks.

But as you've alluded to, scientists are also very actively looking at whether we're seeing bigger changes. The kinds of high-pressure systems or

heat domes that can get established in a region and not sort of gradually move out west to east as most of us and say the U.S. or Europe or Asia tend

to think of storms moving -- of weather systems moving in summer.

When these high-pressure systems get locked over a place, you're just baking under that sunlight, you have sinking air that's causing more

warming and preventing any clouds or rain. And research is beginning to suggest that a changing climate could set up conditions that enable more of

those heat domes to happen in the first place and to get locked in place, which causes feedbacks where it very quickly dry out your soils, which

causes even more warming, which can then also set the stage -- is setting the stage for these terrible wildfires that we're seeing and major crop

losses as well, in addition to the human health impacts we've been talking about.

GOLODRYGA: And we're also seeing the largest tropical wetlands in Brazil on fire as well. Is that all related?

HORTON: It's terrifying. I mean, I think, you know, individual cases, we have to sort of leave to the experts, but I can tell you for sure that

connecting the dots around the globe, what we're learning is that just, you know, the seemingly small shifts in the average temperature when we talk

about two degrees Fahrenheit of global warming that we've experienced, it sounds like nothing.

What we're learning is that that little bit of warming is drying out all these environments because that warmer air is sucking additional moisture

out of the vegetation, out of the soils out of the wetlands. We add these changes in weather patterns, that you alluded to, things like heat domes,

we start to see the potential for what we call nonlinear impacts that can be truly catastrophic for ecosystems in which society isn't, you know,

close to prepared for.


GOLODRYGA: And add to that, we're expecting a very active hurricane season as well. We've already seen the Atlantic hurricane season's first named

storm in Mexico. So, Radley, I hope you're around this summer because we'll be calling on you quite often to join us and explain everything for us.

Appreciate the time today.

HORTON: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we turn now to the issue of poverty in America, which our next guest argues is often racialized and marginalized as a black issue,

ignoring millions of impoverished white people. In his new book, esteemed civil rights campaigner, Dr. Reverend William Barber aims to expose myths

about race and class in order to reconstruct American democracy. And he joins Walter Isaacson to discuss the causes of poverty and the policies

that can address it.


WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Reverend Dr. William Barber, welcome to the show.

REVEREND DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II, YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL AND AUTHOR, "WHITE POVERTY": Thank you so much, and we're glad to be here with you.

ISAACSON: You've written a book called "White Poverty." It's based on a lot of travels around the country. Very vivid. Why is a black man writing a

book called "White Poverty"?

DR. BARBER II: Well, you know, if you look at the book, you'll find that I (INAUDIBLE) own being black, but also on the early struggle that my father

went through when he tried to get the people in the hospital to own all that I am. And what I'm trying to say to America is I'm a black man writing

about white poverty because I believe the mythology around poverty, the racist image that are often put in front of any time we try to deal with

poverty, black mothers on welfare, dominate the mythological imaginations of America.

And it not only demeans black people and suggests that poverty is a black issue, what it does is it leaves out millions and millions of white people.

And until we face the reality of white poverty in America and all poverty in America, this book is written to say, we must truly look at all of the

poor in our nation, not make it a marginal issue, but a central issue. Because in the richest nation in the history of the world, the poverty that

we have now that's undoable -- that you can change, that's abolishable, is in fact one of our greatest immoral realities.

ISAACSON: You write that the numbers that we use, the names that we use on poverty are not only a lie, you call them a damn lie. Explain that to me.

DR. BARBER II: Well, it's really bothersome. I made it in public administration and public policy. And when you talk to the average personal

fact that they the government person, they'll tell you, oh, poverty is only 30 some million people. Our nation actually says that if a person makes

$7.25 an hour, they're not poor. We know that that's not true. The best economists know that not true.

When you look at those who would be in poverty if there wasn't some form of government assistance, if you look at those who are in poverty, no wages is

because they make less than $15, $16 an hour, they make less than a living wage. And look at the fact that we've not raised the minimum wage for 14

years, since 2009. When you look at the fact that waiters and waitresses for instance make $2.13 cents an hour by law, and what you recognize is the

poverty numbers are much higher.

In fact, our numbers show that they're around 135 million for and low wage people in this country. And every time we suggest any way, this 30 some

million is primarily a black or brown issue, it is a lie. It's a damn lie in the sense that the ancient prophets damned situations and said they were

just wrong because it's a lie.

And poverty is not an anomaly. It's a feature, it's a central feature of our economic system. Over 41 percent of our adults are poor and or low

wealth, and almost 50 percent of our children, and we must deal with it wholly by recognizing it.

ISAACSON: Wait, wait. You said it's a central feature of our economic system. Do you think it just baked into what American capitalism is?

DR. BARBER II: Well, they're not as baked in or not, it is a reality. It's a reality that's consistent and persistent. The reality is, year after year

after year, we have these numbers for poverty. And what's happening is we're not dealing with it.

One group of politicians want to say poverty is the moral feeling of poor folk. The other -- or it's just a minority issue, primarily black and

brown, when in fact, in raw numbers, there are 66 million poor and low wage white people, something in the neighborhood of 26 million poor and low wage

black people.

Now, that 26 million black is 58 to 60 percent of black people, and that 66 million is 30 percent of white people. But the problem is, we don't even

talk about that. And so, what we have is a situation where now poor people are dying at a rate from poverty, according to a recent study, of 800

people a day and over 290 some thousand people a year are dying from unnecessary abolishable poverty.


The fact that we can have time and time again, presidential election, Senate election, and the debates go on and on, and we never talk about the

41 percent of our Americans that are in poverty, there's not a state where poor people are not at least 30 percent of the population, in some states,

over 40 percent, and we don't even talk about it. We don't even debate it. That's what we mean by it's central, but it's being treated like it's a

minor issue when, in fact, it is a major issue.

ISAACSON: One of the themes of your book, the core theme, is a core theme of policy in American history, which is the notion that blacks and whites

could be together in a war on poverty as in the old progressive movements and what Dr. Martin Luther King tried to do. But nowadays, blacks and

whites are pitted against each other instead of unifying in a war on poverty. Why has that happened?

DR. BARBER II: Well, what we say in the book is there's a history of division. It's not recent or new. It's a continuing of the divide. There

was the welfare rights of women, black and white women, who went to Dr. King and said, we needed a Poor People's Campaign. And one of the things

Dr. King talked about was (INAUDIBLE) Americas that exist, one flowing with milk and honey and all of the things needed for a life of prosperity. And

then, the other one sort of church (ph) and pain.

What we know is, down through history, whether it was the effort to break apart the coalition of black -- former slaves and free men and poor and low

wage white people that came together after the Civil War to reconstruct America, or whether we saw the -- see the efforts of the Southern Strategy

in the late '60s that decided that they were going to engage in intentional polarization and they were going to split out black and white people,

(INAUDIBLE) in the south so that those persons would not come together and form a powerful voting bloc that could shift the economic architecture of

the country.

We have seen, down through history, this attempt to separate the very people that should be together. In our book, we talk about myths. One myth

is that pale skin is a shared interest. In other words, that skin color outweighs the ability for people to unify around policy and around saving

their lives, and we believe that's a mythology.

Only black folk want change in America. We want (INAUDIBLE) that that is not true. The fact of the matter is, over 60 percent of Americans want to

see the raise, the minimum wage to a minimum wage.

ISAACSON: In your book, you have a lot of examples, politically, where you're around the country and you can see how low-income whites and low-

income blacks could work together on policy, could -- and have voted together at times. Describe that and why is that not more common?

DR. BARBER II: Well, what we're seeing, and it's not often talked about, the real swing vote in this country is poor and low wage people. It's the

largest block of voter where you could have an expansion of the voting population.

First of all, black and white and brown and whatnot, poor, the low wage people do vote. You know, you often hear they don't, but they do. 57

million in the last election. And when you look at the exit polls, they voted in the majority for progressive ideas. They voted in the majority for

candidates that represent them, somewhere in the neighborhood of plus 54 percent, 55 percent.

What we know is that so often the attempt is to suggest the division cloud (ph) where folks want to suggest this is just something that's happening to

black people. And therefore, black people or black women or poor folks are getting something and you're losing something. And that's used as a whiz.

When, in fact, people figure out that's not the case, they come together.

Take, for example, in Kentucky. We went to Eastern Kentucky where predominantly white, Harlan County, Kentucky with Harlan County, USA., when

Lyndon Baines Johnson actually started the war on poverty. And we met -- I met with 200 or 300 poor and low wage, mostly white people who were minors,

who no longer have human rights because when the powers that be allowed multinational companies to take over the mines, they didn't ensure that

they would have their human rights.


And on that day, we put up a chart of where state legislators stood on issues like anti-gay, anti-abortion, and fairness for all (ph). Then we put

up a chart showing where legislators steward on minimum wages and union rights and labor rights and health care. And when we step back from that

chart, one of the guys who I talk about in the book, Mickey McCoy (ph), said, we're being fooled. We're being bamboozled. He said, these folks are

coming to us and they're telling us there's a family value because they're anti-gay and anti-abortion, but on the other hand, they're voting against

our minimum wage, they're voting against our union rights, which means they're voting against Harlan County.

In 2018, when black and white folks found that out, and Brown and King together, they unseated an incumbent government. And several of those

counties that we were in, they actually went from so-called red to blue. I don't, to me, rationally, that we even know what a red state is or a blue

state because we've never seen a full pushing of the electorate that's possible. And we've certainly never seen poor and low wage vote at the same

level that wealthier voters or middle class or wealthier voters do.

ISAACSON: Yes, but you look at both Democrats and Republicans, I mean, even Democrats that were supposed to be part of this movement, they're not

doing a lot of that talking. Why's that?

DR. BARBER II: Which is why we question it, right? Well, we say that Republicans are wrong when they suggest that poverty is a moral failing of

individuals and not an issue of policy. Because it doesn't matter how moral you live, if you only make $7.25 an hour, you're still coming out poor, and

that's a policy issue.

Democrats do often talk about middle class, and they talk about lifting some of the middle -- or they talk about those who are trying to get into

the middle class. What we are saying to both sides is stop talking in low light and talking for and low wage people. Speak --

ISAACSON: Well, wait a second. When you talk about talking to the middle class that way, getting into the middle class, it sounds like Joe Biden.

Are you blaming him too?

DR. BARBER II: This is an American -- it's not any one particular president or administration. What this book points out is far too long that

we made politics some marginal issue. And when we do talk about it, we tend to -- let me make up a word, we tend to blackenize it. And when we do talk

about it might be one day on the news, then it goes away, or we only talk about homelessness.

What we're arguing, whether it's Biden, or Trump, or Obama, or Clinton, or Bush, or whoever comes next, that we as America must face this issue. We

must face poverty. We must face the wounds of poverty to black people and white people.

When eight Democrats and all the Republicans voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, we didn't care if they were Democrat or

Republican, that was wrong. And not only is it wrong based on our constitutional claim of justice for all, it's wrong based on (INAUDIBLE)

and religious traditions. And all of these politicians, they put their hands on Bibles, they swear to uphold the constitution, when inside of that

bible, that bible says that whether it's from the Jewish tradition or the scriptures that Jewish, Muslim, and Christians that all honor or whether

it's from the New Testament, that the poop must be at the center of how we handle and build our society.

In fact, there's a great scripture I use often, Isaiah chapter 10, verses 1 through 3, woe onto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their

rights and make women and children prey, P-R-E-Y. Both the bible and our constitution says that poor people, those on the margin, have a right to

justice. They have a right to a just society. They have a right to the kind of policy that will allow them to come out of the unnecessary, abolishable,

damnable, and death killing reality of poverty.

ISAACSON: You talk about policies that are needed to bring us out of poverty. You talked about minimum wage, that's one. Are they specific

policies like that, or is there something larger you're pushing for?

DR. BARBER II: Well, that's one of them. One of the things that we have on about June the 29th, we're having a massive -- mass poor people's low wage

march on Washington and to the poll. And they are poor and low wage people at the -- on principle and then third in the nation's capital, by the tens

of thousands and hundreds of thousands online, poor and low wealth people will take the mic.

Not people speaking for them, but we'll have white women from West Virginia and black women from the Delta standing together. And they're going to

outline 17 agenda items that we're saying to both parties, if you want these votes, they already have told you that the number one reason people

don't vote is because they don't hear that what you brought up, the reality of talking about it, then you need to say, if you -- if I get the majority,

if my group gets the majority, here's what we will do. We will stand against poverty being the fourth leading cause of death and seek to end

that reality.


We will push for a living wage, a -- of at least $15 an hour (INAUDIBLE) and index it with inflation so we don't have to keep coming back to it. We

will guarantee healthcare for all. We will ensure the full funding of public education. We will ensure that we deal with environmental justice

because poor and low wage people feel the brunt of environmental catastrophes.

This -- we will ensure -- we will restore the Voting Rights Act and expand voting rights because voting rights is not just a black issue, it's an

American issue. And what we know is that when voting rights are suppressed, it hurts black people, it hurts white people, it hurts working people.

So, we need a restoration of the Voting Rights Act. We need to expand voting rights and we need to be against voter suppression. We need to

support and say, they need to say that they feel -- they will guarantee that they will support women's rights. Because when there's a chokehold put

on women's rights, poor women, poor women get hurt the most, poor women get hurt the most.

And so, we have a 17-point agenda. In fact, we have something called the third reconstruction ending part of as resolution that was promoted by

several legislators and Congress, over 30 signatures. And it lays out, it says, who has the resolve to address this issue?

During COVID, we passed Child Income Tax Credit, and 60 percent of child poverty was done away with. We gave people extended Medicaid expansion and

we saw millions of people now have health care. But what did we do after about six months? Those same legislators turned around and took back Child

Income Tax. We took back Medicaid expansion. And now, millions of people are being thrown off the Medicaid rolls, and those children are thrown

right back into poverty. But what it showed us is we can fix this if we are willing to engage with kind of policy. And lastly, we show that it doesn't

cost us -- it actually costs us more to allow this kind of poverty to exist.

ISAACSON: Reverend Barber, thank you so much for joining us.

DR. BARBER II: Thank you so much for having me.


GOLODRYGA: A poignant conversation about race and class in the United States. And Reverend Barber's book, "White Poverty: How Exposing Myths

About Race and Class Can Reconstruct American Democracy," is out now.

Well, now to the children's books that many of us grew up loving. For millions, it was Judith Kerr's classic tales, including "The Tiger Who Came

to Tea," which she wrote and illustrated herself.

In 2017, Christiane visited Kerr at her London home, where she climbed up and down flights of stairs with ease, and was still writing and drawing

tirelessly at the age of 94.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Sure, you're speedier than me, Judith, up these stairs.

JUDITH KERR, CHILDREN'S AUTHOR: It's -- I'm use to them and I can pull myself up.

AMANPOUR: How often -- how many times a day?

KERR: Dozens, I think.

AMANPOUR: Dozens? Oh my gosh.

KERR: Well --

AMANPOUR: It keeps you fit and healthy.

KERR: It's good for the brain, they say.

AMANPOUR: Good for the brain?

KERR: Yes.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to stay in a house with stairs then.


GOLODRYGA: Wow. Well, sadly, the author passed away five years ago. So, we wanted to revisit parts of Kerr's heartwarming conversation with



AMANPOUR: What was it then, all those years ago, that made you think a tiger, a scary, big, monster tiger was somehow going to be a character that

children fell in love with?

KERR: Well, because I didn't think a scary, bitey, bad tiger. I thought a soft, furry, orange, stripy, black-and-white tiger, and that's what my

daughter thought as well when we saw them in the zoo. And I didn't mention the fact that they bit people. I didn't think about it, but she used to

say, talk the tiger. She was two and very bossy, and it would stay very boring at home.

And so, we both thought it was about time somebody came, and the tiger seemed as good as idea as anything, really.

AMANPOUR: And there, 5 million copies were born. I mean, this book itself sold 5 million copies around the world. Did you even dream that such a

thing was possible when you were talking the tiger to Tacy when she was just two years old?


KERR: It never occurred to me. I didn't do the book until about five years later because I was so busy with the children. I was pleasantly surprised

when they said they'd publish it.

AMANPOUR: What do you hope families have got from these books?

KERR: Well, I'm terribly pleased they like them. What more can one ask for really? And I never dreamt anything like that. What happened to me? I

wanted, originally, like everybody who goes to art school, to be a painter, and I just wanted to draw. I still do. It's the one thing I want to do.

And my mother got quite worried about me, you know. She and my brother also who was a lawyer and, you know, obviously concerned.

AMANPOUR: That you would never be able to make a living?

KERR: No, exactly. Her only hope was to marry someone, really, who would keep me.

AMANPOUR: Well, you did get married.

KERR: And he did keep me.

AMANPOUR: And he did keep you.

KERR: I -- well, because you make no money with picture books to start with.

AMANPOUR: And in the end, you did actually make a very good living with all these books and all your drawings.

KERR: Yes, to everybody's surprise, particularly mine.

AMANPOUR: And possibly to the surprise of your parents and history, if I could go back all those years when you were born in Weimar, Germany --

KERR: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- and you were a kid at the time just before the war was about to start, just before Hitler. What was that like? What was your childhood

like in Germany at that time? Your father, I believe, was a satirical writer and got on the wrong side of Adolf Hitler.

KERR: Yes, he warned against him and he mocked him, which is the worst thing you can do very early on. And so, he was warned by an unknown

policeman who just rang up one day and said get out at once. They're trying to take away your passport. And this was before Hitler had actually come to

power, and he took the next train out of Germany.

My mother didn't know what to do because they hadn't even had time to talk, and she joined him in Prague and he said he wanted my mother and brother

and me out of Germany before the elections because he thought Hitler would hang onto us to get him back. And the day after the elections, on the 6th

of March, we heard from a house keeper who'd stayed behind that they came to our house at 8:00 in the morning to demand all our passports.


KERR: So, my 94 years are because of that, I wouldn't be here otherwise. Incredible foresight and luck.

AMANPOUR: What does it take to keep you going at 94 in this -- and the way you're doing now, more books, more drawings, more projects?

KERR: Well, I love to draw. That's really all it is. I was very, very happily married for 52 years and obviously, I still miss my husband. But

the only compensation really is that I don't cook.

AMANPOUR: Sew, knit?

KERR: I don't have anyone to chat with. The first in my life I can spend 24 hours a day drawing. So, that's at least something. And so, that's what

I do. One would be rather stupid not to -- at the age 94 not to feel that possibly there wasn't unlimited time left.

AMANPOUR: Well, do you know what? You are incredibly youthful and young of spirit. And thank you very much, Judith Kerr, for talking to us.

KERR: Thank you for talking to me.


GOLODRYGA: What an incredible conversation and incredible life. And finally, for us, we want to wish you a happy summer solstice. For those of

us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year.

In the U.K., 15,000 people gathered in high spirits during the early hours of the morning and watched the golden sunrise above the monumental

Stonehenge. Now, this comes just days after the archaeological site was spray painted by Just Stop Oil activists.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we doing?



GOLODRYGA: Still, come sunrise, cheerful revelers, including those tuning in online carried on observing the annual tradition dating back many

millennia. Look at those images.

Well, that is it for now. Thank you so much for watching, and goodbye from New York. We leave you now with some more of those stunning summer solstice