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Mara Schiavocampo is Interviewed about Chappell's Comments; Video of Police Dragging a Paraplegic Man from Car; Joy Hofmeister is Interviewed about Running for Governor; Taiwan at Center of Standoff. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 11, 2021 - 06:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Dave Chappelle saying he doesn't care if he's canceled. His latest Netflix special, "The Closer," drawing criticism for those who take issue with jokes that they say are insensitive to the transgender community.

Here is Chappelle defending author J.K. Rowling and a past remark that she made about gender identity.


DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: Cancel J.K. Rowling. My God, J.K. Rowling wrote all the "Harry Potter" books by herself. She sold so many books the Bible worries about her. And they canceled her because she said in an interview, and this is not exactly what she said, but effectually she said, gender was a fact. And then the trans community got mad as (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and they started calling her a TERF. So I looked it up. TERF is an acronym. It stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. I'm team TERF. I agree. I agree, man, gender is a fact.


KEILAR: Joining us now is discuss this, journalist and the host of the podcast run tell this, Mara Schiavocampo.

Mara, it's great to see you this morning. And, you know, we were texting over the weekend. I wonder -- you know, I watched "The Closer" this weekend knowing we would have this discussion. What did you think of it?

MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO, JOURNALIST AND HOST, "RUN TELL THIS" PODCAST: Yes, you know, I texted a lot of people this weekend because I wanted a real sense of how people were responding to it because, you know, here's the thing with Dave Chappelle is that he -- his brilliance has always been in this really insightful, razor-sharp commentary that's also hilarious. With this special, though, it did feel, to me, like he missed the mark. And here's why.

He spent a lot of time on -- fixated on trans women, trans women specifically, more than just the LGBT community at large. And he set up this social justice narrative, if you will, of black rights versus LGBT right. That you're team black or you're team trans. And my big issue with that is that it completely ignores the existence of black trans people. So doesn't black lives matter mean that black trans lives matter? Doesn't protecting black women mean protect black trans women? That's what I felt was left out of his conversation.


It completely ignores the presence of intersectionality. And to me it felt a little bit like watching someone perform brain surgery with an axe when it requires a scalpel. These are really nuanced, complex topics and the approach was a little bit clumsy.

KEILAR: So how are you making sense of the fact that this is comedy, right, and part of Dave Chappelle's thing has always been to make everyone feel uncomfortable. On one hand you have that. On the other, I mean, he essentially compared being trans to blackface, which was a comparison I found -- I found very, you know, clumsy at best and, obviously, very offensive at worst.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: Yes. Yes, so here's the thing about Dave Chappelle. That's his brand, right? He wants to make us squirm. Not only does he want to make us squirm, we want to squirm. That's part of what we sign up for when we listen to him. So I think that that is exactly part of his intention is he's kind of doubling down on previous controversy as it relates to the LGBT community.

And the other thing that's interesting to note about Dave Chappelle is that he embraces all of this controversy. He cannot be canceled. Dave Chappelle is uncancellable because he has already proven that he's willing to walk away from $50 million and step away from the public spotlight for eight years. He has shown that fame, money and public opinion mean nothing to him. And so he is able to really push the boundaries.

And a lot of people feel that comedy should be this safe space where you can push boundaries and you can offend and you can really address social commentary in that way. The question is, is it funny to ridicule the most marginalized people in society? Some -- I would say no. A lot of people did find this very funny.

KEILAR: Yes, he seemed to be saying like, there's real life and then there's kind of comedy, you know? Twitter isn't real life. Comedy isn't exactly real life. But, we'll see. I think a lot of people watching may differ on that.

Mara, I want to ask you about Kim Kardashian West. I noted she didn't go by Kim Kardashian. She went by Kim Kardashian West when she was hosting "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.

Let's look at part of her opening monologue.


KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, REALITY TV STAR, ENTREPRENEUR, INFLUENCER: My father was and still is such an influence and inspiration to me. It's because of him that I met my first black person. Want to take a stab in the dark at who it was? I know it's sort of weird to remember the first place you met. But O.J. does leave a mark. Or several. Or not at all. I still don't know.


KEILAR: OK, let's -- let's talk about this because I actually thought in total she was pretty funny on the show.


KEILAR: But I kind of -- I hated this joke. I hated this joke. What do you think about it?

SCHIAVOCAMPO: Well, I will say, I never thought the day would come where I would say that I didn't find Dave Chappelle funny but I did find Kim Kardashian West funny. I never thought this day would come.

You know, here's the thing about that joke. A lot of people will say it's in bad taste to joke about murder, and I can agree with that. But really the target of the joke was O.J. I did think the joke was funny. And I also think it represents this really interesting cultural pretzel, right, because she's alluding to O.J.'s guilt, her father was responsible for O.J.'s acquittal, and that entire trial is the genesis of her fame. So it's this really interesting cultural thing that she addressed head-on. And I loved overall how self-deprecating and open she was. And, you know, a lot of people were wondering when she was asked to host, why her. Well, now we know why, because their ratings were up 23 percent in key demographic groups. That's what happens when you bring potentially 360 million of your followers with you to the show.

KEILAR: Yes, that's a lot.

Look, she made a lot of fun of herself. That was funny. And of her sisters. I will remind you, she does a very mean Kourtney Kardashian. So, thank you so much, Mara. Great to see you this morning.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: Thanks, Brianna. Good to see you.

KEILAR: A black paraplegic man pulled violently from his car by police in Ohio. We'll have the disturbing video, next.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And a prominent Oklahoma Republican switches parties to run against the state's Republican governor. She joins us live to tell us why.



BERMAN: In Ohio, a black paraplegic man has filed a complaint with the NAACP against the Dayton Police Department over an encounter captured an officer's body camera. The video shows police pulling 39-year-old Clifford Owensby by his hair and arms after they say he refused their help getting out of the car.

CNN's Laura Jarrett joins us now.

Laura, walk us through what happened here.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": John, it's another disturbing traffic stop. This one started late last month in Ohio, as you mentioned, after police claim they saw Clifford Owensby leave what they suspected was a house for drug dealing.

Now, the officers stopped his car and authorities have now released roughly 12 minutes of body cam footage that captures this encounter. The audio makes is difficult to hear at times, but take a look at this.


OFFICER: Step out of the car.

CLIFFORD OWENSBY: I can't step out of the car, sir. I'm a paraplegic.

OFFICER: How'd you get in?

OWENSBY: I had help getting in.

OFFICER: I'm going to help get out.

OWENSBY: Excuse me?

OFFICER: I'm going to help get out.

OWENSBY: Bro, I don't think that's gong to happen, sir. I don't think that's going to happen, sir.

OFFICER: I'm asking you, by I'm telling you. I's not an option.

OWENSBY: Can I ask what's the problem?


JARRETT: Not going to happen because he can't move his legs. The officer then explains Owensby can't be in the car when a narcotics canine dog sniffs the vehicle. Owensby repeatedly asks for the officer to call a supervisor to the scene.


OWENSBY: I can't get out of the vehicle, sir.

OFFICER: Sir, I'm going to assist you.

OWENSBY: No, you're not. No, you're not. No, you're not. You're not going to touch me. You're definitely not about to touch me. I'm about to go ahead and get somebody on the line.

[06:45:02] Because I will -- there will be a lawsuit if you put your hands on me for no reason, bro.


JARRETT: Things are already getting tense and then they escalate.


OWENSBY: Can you come down the street to Ferguson and Grand? The police just pulled me over and they are trying to make me get out of the car and I tell them I'm a paraplegic, I can't get out the car without no help and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and these mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) trying to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) pull some bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Please come down the street -- bring some people with cameras.

OFFICER: You're getting out of the car. So you can cooperate and get out of the car, or I will drag you out of the car. You see your two options here?


JARRETT: All right. And then, as you see here, the officers pull Owensby out of the car.


OWENSBY: I'm a paraplegic, bro. You're (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hurt me.

OFFICER: Get out of the car. Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: You can hurt me, bro.

OFFICER: Get out of the car. Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: What did I do, bro? I'm a paraplegic, man. I'm a paraplegic, bro.

OFFICER: Get out of the car. Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: I was trying to tell you, man, I got help getting in the car and now you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hurt me.

OFFICER: Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: You're hurting me, bro.

OFFICER: Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: Man, bro, I'm a paraplegic.

OFFICER: Get down. You had --

OWENSBY: Owe. Owe. Owe.

OFFICER: (INAUDIBLE) to get out of the car.

OWENSBY: Somebody help! Somebody help!

OFFICER: (INAUDIBLE) right here.

OWENSBY: Somebody help!


OWENSBY: Somebody help!



OWENSBY: Someone help! Someone recording this?



OWENSBY: Somebody help, I'm a paraplegic. They (INAUDIBLE).


OWENSBY: Somebody please help me.


JARRETT: Worth noting here, as you hear him screaming as all of this is happening, a three-year-old child was actually in the car at the time. The police report shows Owensby was charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors for what you just saw.

The department said the police retrieved a bag with about $22,000 of cash from the car. Owensby says that's his savings and he points out there were no drugs found in the car and he wasn't charged with any drug-related offenses.

CNN affiliate WHIO spoke to him about what happened.


OWENSBY: This is it. This is how I go out. Just like every other black man I watch go out on TV and -- and this is my turn.

The way that they have treated me during that traffic stop, I only -- I only feel like I seen -- I was an actor in the movie, out of "Roots," that I -- that a movie I was taught growing up about racists and slaves. I think this type of stuff probably happens all the time. I'm just thankful -- if they were willing to do all of that stuff while the cameras were rolling, I can only imagine what would have happened if no cameras was rolling.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: The department, for its part, says the bureau of its professional standards is now investigating this. Meanwhile, Owensby is accusing this department of profiling, unlawful arrest, illegal search and seizure, and failure to read him his rights before taking him to jail.

CNN has reached out to James Willis (ph), his attorney, for comment, John. A lot of questions on this one.

BERMAN: That is very difficult to watch and raises a lot of questions.

Laura Jarrett, thank you very much.

KEILAR: She was a life-long Republican until now. Oklahoma's top education official, Joy Hofmeister, is switching parties and challenging Republican Governor Kevin Stitt in next year's gubernatorial election. A big reason for her decision, Governing Stitt's handling of the pandemic. Like several other GOP governors nationwide, Stitt has targeted local school boards for their student mask mandates. Hofmeister has accused him of failing to listen to public health experts and Hofmeister is joining us now. She is Oklahoma's state superintendent of public instruction.

Ma'am, thank you so much for being with us.

JOY HOFMEISTER, OKLAHOMA STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: Oh, thank you. And many Oklahomans waking up this morning to storm damage. But very good to be with you.

KEILAR: Yes, no, definitely a tough day for some Oklahomans there. I do want to ask you, why did you switch parties? What was the final straw?

HOFMEISTER: Well, ultimately, Governor Stitt has hijacked the Republican Party. And there's just been incredible amounts of extremism, divisive partnership and ultimately ineffective leadership.

KEILAR: What about -- I know masks were a big issue for you. As the top education official, you know, you've been -- you've been advocating that there shouldn't be rules against mask mandates. How big of a factor was his COVID response?

HOFMEISTER: Well, I would not have signed a law that hamstrung the local school board's ability to mitigate COVID outbreaks in their community as we start a school year, now the third school year where children are facing disruption due to the pandemic, and it could have been avoided. Ten thousand Oklahoma lives have been lost due to the pandemic and the mismanagement by our governor with his toothless health policy.

What Oklahomans want is a leader who will represent all of Oklahoma.


And I can do that and have done that. And we have much work to do related to supporting our children's education, of course, and access to affordable and quality health care.

KEILAR: So that -- it's a big step to switch parties. How did -- how did you come to that? I mean how did you feel about making that decision?

HOFMEISTER: Well, you know, it was one of great reflection over many months. And I can no longer identify with Kevin Stitt's Republican Party. It is narrow and excluding the majority of Oklahomans. Oklahomans who care about values, like common sense, working together, and respecting one another. And I can lead where Governor Stitt has been unable to.

KEILAR: What do you think about the future of the Republican Party? What does that hold?

HOFMEISTER: Well, I'm focusing on working in the Democratic Party to represent all Oklahomans. That means across party lines, as well as we know that this decision for me is because I care about Oklahomans and it transcends party affiliation. People don't fit neatly into a tidy category. Oklahomans are independent thinkers and they will vote for the leader who can lead them forward. And Kevin Stitt can't do that.

KEILAR: All right, Joy Hofmeister, thank you so much for being with us.

HOFMEISTER: Thank you.

KEILAR: Just ahead, William Shatner is going to join us for an interview just before his big trip to space this week.

BERMAN: And Donald Trump hinting at another run for the White House while Bill Maher believes he's planning a slow-motion coup. Look, he's in the middle of a slow-motion coup that could spell problems for democracy.



BERMAN: Overnight, China lashed out at Taiwan's president for a speech celebrating the island's national day. Taiwan's leader says she will not bow to Beijing. Her comments come after China flew a record number of war planes into Taiwan's defense zone, a significant escalation of military tensions.

Will Ripley live in Taipei this morning with the latest developments.

This is just one more step in what's been an incredibly intense few weeks, Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the United States is really front and center in all of this, John.

You know, at that parade, we saw really huge numbers of American weapons, F-16s flying overhead. There are patriot missiles in Taiwan's arsenal. Last year they spent billions of dollars buying weapons from the U.S. Those arm sales that started to really increase during the Trump years.

So China, of course, not happy about that at all. And also watching very carefully because if Beijing perceives that Taiwan is getting too close to the U.S., could that do -- cause them to try something like they did in Hong Kong?


RIPLEY (voice over): Taiwan's growing arsenal on full display at this weekend's National Day Parade to defend against a growing threat from China. This small island is spending big on weapons, many made in the USA.

F-16 fighters, patriot missiles, $5 billion in U.S. weapons sold to Taiwan last year. Taiwan arms sales skyrocketed during the Trump years. The former president's hardline stance against China, one of the few Trump-era policies embraced by President Joe Biden. Defending Taiwan's democracy against authoritarian China has rare bipartisan support. Some worry Washington politics may be provoking Beijing, even pushing Taiwan and the U.S. into dangerous territory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you do take steps to look like you are aggressively defending Taiwan, then you arguably put them in a more venerable position, you arguably again irritate China.

RIPLEY: Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, says the island is on the front lines of a much bigger battle.

PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN, TAIWAN (through translator): Free and democratic countries have been alerted to the expansion of authoritarianism and Taiwan is on the forefront of the defense line of fellow democracies.

RIPLEY: China sent a record 150 warplanes near Taiwan in just five days this month.

Biden's balancing act, calming cross-strait (ph) tensions, defending democracy, and preventing a conflict that could cost American lives.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've spoken with Xi about Taiwan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Taiwan really presents a challenge to any American presidential administration because you're trying to balance competing interests.

RIPLEY (on camera): This is an extraordinary site. Four kinds of domestically produced missiles rolling through the capital in front of Taiwan's presidential palace, an ominous sign of escalating regional tensions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We cannot control whether or not the Chinese Communist Party has the ability to attack Taiwan, but we are able to control and make sure it does not have the motivation to do so. RIPLEY (voice over): Every Chinese leader since Mao has vowed to take

control of Taiwan. Analysts say President Xi Jinping may be the first with a military mighty enough to do it, even as he calls for peaceful reunification.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Whoever wins Taiwan wins the world.

RIPLEY: China is locked in territorial disputes across the Indo- Pacific region. Taiwan, Beijing's biggest, unresolved issue and some say Biden's biggest test.


RIPLEY: China has never ruled out taking back this island by force if necessary. And the People's Liberation Army is, for the first time, really beginning to pose a potential challenge to U.S. Naval supremacy and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region.


You have China expanding into the South China Sea. You have Japan now deploying missiles and troops to its outlying islands near Taiwan.