Metrofocus: May 3, 2022

Encore: November 23, 2022

CTD: RACISM, HISTORY & TECH

Tonight we discuss “…technology, social media, and the fight for racial justice.” In recent times, the cellphone- in the hands of ordinary people- has changed the way we remember and relate to events. In their new book, journalists and co-authors Marc Lamont Hill and Todd Brewster argue that this is not the first time in our history that technology has played a part in America’s long struggle against racism. They join us as a part of our Chasing The Dream Initiative with a look at what we’ve “Seen and Unseen…”– from George Floyd to the Reconstruction Era.
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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, CAUGHT ON VIDEO, FROM ERIC GARNER TO GEORGE FLOYD, HOW TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA SHAPED THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT AND THE FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- ♪

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

GEORGE FLOYD, AHMAUD ARBERY, ERIC GARNER.

THE SHOCKING IMAGES OF THEIR DEATHS CAPTURED ON CELL PHONE VIDEO CATTALYZED THE MOVEMENT THAT LED TO RACIAL JUSTICE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

TERRIBLE REALITY THAT WERE IT NOT FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT SOMEONE PULLED OUT A PHONE, THEIR DEATHS WOULD HAVE LIKELY GONE LARGELY UNNOTICED.

THE CELL PHONE IN THE HAND OF ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGED EVERYTHING.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY THAT TECHNOLOGY PLAYED A PART IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST RACISM.

IN FACT, A NEW BOOK ARGUED TECHNOLOGY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF THAT STRUGGLE GOING BACK AS FAR AS THE RECONSTRUCTION ERA.

THE BOOK IS CALLED SEEN AND UNSEEN.

JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE BOOK AS PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE ON JUSTICE, POVERTY, AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA, ITS COAUTHORS.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO INVITE IN WITH US.

FIRST, MARK TLAMONT HILL WHO ISA WUL KNOWN JOURNEYIST, AUTHOR, AND NEWS HOST.

AND ALSO TODD BREWSTER.

IN ADDITION AN ACCLAIMED JOURNALIST, COLLEGE PROFESSOR, AND THE AUTHOR OF SEVERAL BEST-SELLING BOOKS ON AMERICAN HISTORY.

GENTLEMAN, WELCOME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

LET'S START WITH THE QUESTION THAT IS OFTEN ASKED OF AUTHORS, AND THE TWO OF YOU ARE PROLIFIC WRITERS ON A WIDE ARRAY OF TOPICS.

MY QUESTION WOULD BE, AND TODD I'LL ASK YOU FIRST, WHY JOIN TOGETHER ON THIS BOOK AND WHY NOW?

WELL, I WOULD SAY THAT THE REASON THAT WE DECIDED TO HEAD OFF ON TO THIS SUBJECT WAS BECAUSE IT JUST SEEMED TO BE IN THE AIR.

JOURNALISTS LIKE TO TACKLE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SORT OF LIKE DISSONANCE THAT'S HAPPENING AT ANY TIME.

AND THE DISSONANCE NOW WAS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENED IN OUR COUNTRY THE LAST FEW YEARS AND THE WAY IT'S BEING TOLD TO US THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

WE HAVE HAD A REAL RACIAL RECKONING THAT'S HAPPENING, AND IT'S BEEN DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY, DRIVEN BY WHAT THE CELL PHONE CAMERA, THE SOCIAL MEDIA, THE INTERNET, TECHNOLOGY IN GENERAL HAS DONE TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE THIS STORY.

MARK, HOW ABOUT YOU?

WHAT'S THE GENESIS FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT.

AND ALSO FOR YOU AND TODD JOINING FORCES FOR THIS?

YEAH, YOU KNOW, I'M ALWAYS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND A MOMENT.

I'M ALWAYS TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF HOW WE AS A NATION AND OFTENTIMES WE AS A BLACK COMMUNITY ARE ARRIVING IN A PARTICULAR SPACE.

THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD, THE PUBLIC SPECTACLE OF HIS DEATH, THE PUBLIC OUTRAGE, THE PRO PROTESTS, THE POLICY, ALL THE THINGS THAT EMERGED IN THE AFTERMATH OF HIS MURDER NEEDED TO BE DOCUMENTED, IT NEEDED TO BE CHRONICLED.

BUT I THINK MY JOB AS A SCHOLAR AND AS A SOCIAL CRITIC IS TO NOT JUST CHRONICLE WHAT HAPPENS.

THERE'S GREAT OUTLETS FOR THAT -- 24-HOUR NEWS, NEWS OUTLETS, ALL SORTS OF STUFF, BUT TO OFFER SOME SORT OF DEEPER ANALYSIS TO RENDER A COUNTERINTUITIVE CLAIM ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON SO PEOPLE CAN SEE CONNECTIONS ACROSS TIME AND SPACE, SO PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND RELATIONSHIPS AND INSTITUTIONS AND POWER DYNAMICS.

THAT'S THE IDEAL GOAL FOR ME WHENEVER I THINK ABOUT A BOOK PROJECT.

BUT I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT MY OWN SORT OF ORIENTATION IS TO THINK ABOUT MOMENTS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT AND TO DRILL DOWN -- NOT DRILL BUN, BUT CUT ACROSS THE CERTAIN AREAS.

KNOWING TODD SO WELL AND READING TODD'S WORK CLOSELY AND CAREFULLY -- HE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, SIGNIFICANT, AND THOUGHTFUL HISTORIANS OF AMERICA RIGHT NOW.

SO TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO CAN GIVE ME THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AT THE SAME TIME I'M ANALYZING THE RACIAL DISCOURSES AND SOCIAL PIECES WE COMBINE THINGS TOGETHER, AND I THINK WE HAVE AN ABILITY TO THINK WIDE I AND DEEPLY ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN A WAY THAT NOT ONLY OPENS UP NEW UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT THE CASE WES TALK ABOUT IN THE CURRENT MOMENT, BUT ALLOW US TO UNDERSTAND THIS AS A LONG JOURNEY, A HISTORICAL TREK TOWARDS RACIAL JUSTICE, HOPEFULLY.

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, I'VE READ THE BOOK.

IT'S AN EXCEPTIONAL WORK.

IT'S COMPEL, IT'S THOUGHT PROVOKING, IT'S INFORMATIVE.

I MENTIONED TO YOU TO BEFOREHAND, I'LL MENTION IT HERE.

I TEACH AN UNDERSTOOD GRAD SEMINAR AT YALE ABOUT FAMOUS TRIALS AND AT MY MOST RECENT CLASS I SAID, YOU NEED TO READ ALL OF YOU THIS BOOK.

WE TOUCHED BASE ON IT A LITTLE BIT AND IMMEDIATELY THEY WERE FASCINATED BY IT.

SO NOT JUST MY STUDENTS BUT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO READ IT, JUST TO GIVE YOU A TESTIMONYIAL HERE.

TODD, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STRUCTURE A LITTLE BIT.

YOU ESSENTIALLY FOCUS ON FOUR EPISODES, IF YOU WILL.

THERE'S A CONVERSATION ABOUT SO MANY OTHERS IN THIS, BUT TALK ABOUT THAT STRUCTURING AND WHY THOSE FOUR.

WELL, WE CHOSE THE FOUR WHICH -- ROUGHLY OUTLINE THE CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK -- TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP OF TECHNOLOGY, RACE AND AMERICA.

EACH HAS LONG TENTACLES AND ROOTS THAT GO BACK USUALLY INTO THE 19th CENTURY, BUT THEY INVOLVE THE WAY THAT WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT RACE AND THE WAY THAT WE ARE LEARNING ABOUT RACE NOW THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

SO EVEN IF YOU GO BACK TO THE 19th CENTURY, ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH THE STORIES OF LYNCHING WERE REVEALED BY IDA B. WELLS, THE CRUSADING BLACK JOURNALIST WAS AMAZINGLY COURAGEOUS IN TERMS OF SHOWING HOW RAMPANT THE LYNCHING WAS OF BLACK PEOPLE IN THE 19th CENTURY, THE USE OF THE PHOTOGRAPH, WHICH WAS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO SHOWING THE BARBARIC NATURE OF LYNCHING AND TO PROVE THESE WEREN'T JUST STORIES THAT WERE MADE UP.

IT WAS TRUE THAT THERE WAS LYNCHING GOING ON AND IT WAS RAMPANT THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH.

IT'S INTERESTING YOU MENTION THAT, AND YOU TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS, AND WE'LL TALK SOME MORE ABOUT THE CELL PHONES.

BUT I REMEMBER ONE LINE IN THE BOOK, AND I THINK I GOT IT RIGHT, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IT.

KILLING IS AN INSTANT, AND A LYNCHING IS A PERFORMANCE.

YEAH, YEAH, AND JUST TO ADD ONE MORE THING ON THAT, THINK ABOUT THAT WITH RESPECT TO GEORGE FLOYD.

BECAUSE ONE OF THE THING WE NOTE IN THE BOOK IS THAT GEORGE FLOYD IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF EXPERIENCE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OR ANYONE AROUND THE WORLD, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT JUST AN INSTANT DEATH.

IT WAS A DRAWN-OUT -- IT WAS A LIMPING BECAUSE IT OCCURRED OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.

IT HAD BOTH THE QUALITY OF TIME AND THE QUALITY OF STILLNESS, BECAUSE THE IMAGE ITSELF WAS A MAN DIEING AND WE WITNESSED IT THROUGH VIDEO.

BUT IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A STILL IMAGE AT THE SAME TIME.

MARK, LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING, AND THEN WE'LL GET INTO THE SPECIFICS OF THIS.

ONE OF THE THINGS IN THE INTRODUCTION YOU BOTH WRITE ABOUT IS THE CELL PHONE IS GOING TO BE LOOKED AT AS A DEFINING MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIONS, BUT ALSO YOUR THEORY A CELL PHONE WOULD BE LOOKED AT AS A DEFINING MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF RACIAL INJUSTICE AND RACIAL INEQUALITY.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT WILL BE SO?

I THINK THAT IT REPRESENTS, ONE, A DEMOCRATIZING MOVE.

SUDDENLY PEOPLE WHO WERE UNABLE TO ACCESS TRADITIONAL MEDIA OUTLETS, PEOPLE WHO WERE UNABLE TO PUBLICLY NARRATE THEIR EXPERIENCES, OR PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY WEREN'T BELIEVED WHEN THEY DID, ARE NOW SUDDENLY ABLE TO SAY, HEY, LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENING TO US.

DO WE KNOW WHO GEORGE FLOYD IS ABSENT THE CELL PHONE CAMERA, ABSENT THE VIDEO FOOTAGE THAT'S CAPTURED FROM THIS PHONE?

DO WE KNOW WHO HE IS?

DO WE BELIEVE THE STORY?

OR IS HE ANOTHER PERSON WHO RESISTED ARREST AND DIED A DRUG OVERDOSE ACCORDING TO POLICE RECORDS, FOR EXAMPLE?

YOU KNOW, THESE ARE THE KINDS OF QUESTIONS THAT WE CAN'T EVER FULLY ANSWER, BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT HISTORY, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE NUMBER OF POLICE INVOLVED KILLINGS THAT GO SORT OF UNPROSECUTED, PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE ISN'T VIDEO, DASH BOARD CAMERA, BODY CAM VIDEO, WHEN THERE'S NOT FOOTAGE, WE CAN MAKE A REASONABLE GUESS.

IN MANY WAYS THIS EMPOWERS EVERYDAY PEOPLE TO NOT JUST TELL THEIR OWN STORIES, BUT IT ALSO SERVES THE PURPOSE OF A PROTECTIVE FUNCTION.

THEY'RE ABLE TO SAY, LOOK MAYBE WITH THIS CAMERA OUT THE WORLD WILL MOVE DIFFERENTLY.

MAYBE WHEN I PULL THIS CAMERA OUT, THEY WON'T SHOOT ME.

MAYBE WHEN SOMEBODY IN THE CROWD PULLS IT OUT, THEY'LL BE LESS LIKELY TO KEEP THEIR KNEE IN MY NECK FOR NINE MINUTES.

THE SECOND THING WE GET OUT IN THE BOOK IS IT IN SOME WAY REPRESENTS THE END OF INNOCENCE AND THE END OF PURPORTED INNOCENCE IN A LOT OF WAYS.

YOU CAN'T PRETEND YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

IT'S NOT AS IF PEOPLE NEVER HEARD ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE IN THE STREETS BY POLICE.

IT'S NOT AS IF PEOPLE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE GEORGE FLOYDS OF THE WORLD DIDN'T EXPERIENCE POLICE VIOLENCE IN WAYS, BUT WHEN YOU'RE FORCED TO LOOK AT THIS LONG PROTRACTED KILLING, THE STATE EXECUTION THAT HAS THE CHILLING -- OF A PHOTO BUT ENDURIING QUALITY OF A VIDEO, WHEN YOU'RE WATCHING THAT AND YOU'RE IN A SO-CALLED FLYOVER STATE AND DON'T LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON IN CITIES AND THEY'RE GIVING THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT TO THE POLICE OFFICER, DOING ALL THE THINGS MANY OF US DO, SUDDENLY WHEN YOU WATCH THAT VIDEO, YOU CAN'T PRETEND YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

NO ONE'S HANDS ARE CLEAN THEN.

THAT RAISES AN INTERESTING POINT.

I WAS STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT DURING THE JURY SELECTION PROCESS -- I SPENT YEARS AS A PROSECUTOR.

I DEFENDED PEOPLE INVOLVE IN THE POLICE MISCONDUCT.

I WAS STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT A NUMBER OF -- SEVERAL OF THE POTENTIAL JURORS IN THE CRIMINAL TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN FOR THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD SAID THAT THEY HAD NOT WATCHED THE VOM ONE WOMAN SAID, I COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO DO THAT, A WOMAN OF COLOR.

THE QUESTION IS, DO WE AS CITIZENS HAVE A DUTY TO LOOK?

DO WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO WATCH THESE THINGS, TO WATCH -- IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, WATCH THE VIDEO FROM KENOSHA, WATCH THE VIDEO FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE, TO WATCH THE VIDEO FROM AHMAUD ARBERY, WATCH THE VIDEO FROM GEORGE FLOYD.

DO WE HAVE A DUTY AS CITIZENS TO LOOK?

WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT THAT?

IT'S INTERESTING YOU SAY THAT, BECAUSE THE WOMAN YOU REFERENCE, IT WASN'T THAT SHE WASN'T AWARE OF WHAT HAPPENED ON THE VIDEO.

THERE WAS A COLLECTIVE VIEWING OF THE VIDEO THAT HAPPENED BY SOCIETY.

I DON'T KNOW THAT WE ALL NEED TO SIT DOWN AND DO OUR DUE DILIGENCE BY EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO SIT AND WATCH THE VIDEO, BUT EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO KNOW IT'S THERE AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS, A FORM OF TRUTH.

THAT'S IMPERATIVE.

THAT'S AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION THAT TODD'S MAKING.

AND PART OF WHY I THINK THAT DISTINCTION IS IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE THERE'S A SIGNIFICANT POWER THAT THESE VIDEOS HAVE TO PERSUADE PEOPLE AND TO TURN THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE, SURE.

BUT THEY ALSO CAN BE -- THEY CAN WEAR ON OUR SPIRITS, ON OUR PSYCHES.

AS A BLACK PERSON IN AMERICA I DON'T WANT TO NECESSARILY TURN ON TV AND SEE PEOPLE LIKE ME BEING KILLED ALL THE TIME, AND MANY RACES, MANY PEOPLE DON'T SEE PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE THEM EXECUTED ON TELEVISION ALL THE TIME BY THE TSTATE.

AND SO THERE'S A WAY THAT WHEN WE HAD TO CONTINUALLY WATCH RODNEY KING BE BEATEN IN THE '90s OR WATCH A KNEE ON GEORGE FLOYD'S NECK OR REPEATEDLY WATCH ERIC GARNER GET CHOKED OUT, THAT THAT CAN ALSO HAVE A KIND OF -- NOT JUST DETRIMENTAL, BUT MAYBE EVEN TRAUMATIC -- IT CAN LEAVE A LINGERING TRAUMA TO US, AND IN SOME WAYS IT CAN OBJECTIFY OUR BODIES IN A WAY THAT WE BECOME IMMUNE TO IT.

YEAH, DOES IT DILUTE THE IMPACT?

YEAH, I WAS GOING TO SAY, I THINK IT KINDS OF NUMBS US TO A CERTAIN POINT, AND WE WERE SEEING THIS HAPPENING IN SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, TOO.

OH, THERE IS ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING.

IT'S AN ODD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE RARE AND THE COMMON.

ONE OF THE POWERFUL THINGS ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD VIDEO IS IT WAS SO COMPELLING, BUT ALSO IT WAS SO COMPELLING BECAUSE IT SHOWED US THAT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A LONG TIME.

THIS JUST ONLY IS THE REPRESENTATION OF IT THAT WE HAVE NOW.

NO ONE BELIEVES THAT GEORGE FLOYD WAS A RARE INSTANCE.

I MEAN, THAT THIS HISTORY OF POLICE VIOLENCE GOES WAY BACK THROUGH OUR HISTORY.

SO IT'S COMMONALITY IS PART OF ITS POWER.

BUT RARENESS WAS ALSO PART OF ITS POWER IN THAT WE ACTUALLY SAW IT, AND WHEN SEEING IT, WE DON'T WANT TO SEE IT TOO OFTEN, BECAUSE THEN IT BEGINS TO NUMB THE POWER OF IT.

LET ME STAY WITH GEORGE FLOYD FOR A MOMENT AND THAT CHAPTER, THAT FIRST PART OF THE BOOK.

AND YOU START THAT CHAPTER, FIRST CHAPTER, WITH THESE WORDS, AND IT'S -- YOU CALL IT -- CHAPTER'S CALLED 'SPECTACLE OF DEATH'. AND THE WORDS YOU START WITH ARE -- IT'S A SIMPLE QUESTION, WHY?

TELL ME WHAT THAT ALL MEANS.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY WHY, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ANSWER IS WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD?

MARK, HOW ABOUT YOU?

I'LL START WITH THE SPECTACLE PART.

IT'S -- TODD TALKED ABOUT -- AND I THINK YOU SPOKE TO IT AS WELL, THE LYNCHING.

PART OF WHAT MADE LYNCHING SO VICIOUS IN THEIR IMPACT WASN'T JUST THE DESTRUCTION AND THE KILLING OF A BODY.

THAT WAS CERTAINLY SIGNIFICANT.

BUT IT WAS ALSO THE KIND OF SPECTACLE, OR AS WE SAY IN THE BOOK, THE EVENT THAT IT BECOMES, RIGHT?

IT'S A PERFORMANCE.

THAT IT BECOMES.

IS THE LANGUAGE WE USE.

AND THE SPECTACLE OF THE PERFORMANCE HAS AN IMPACT NOT JUST ON THE PERSON KILLED AND THEIR MEET FAMILY, BUT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

LYNCHINGS WERE AN AMERICAN PAST TIME.

WHEN PEOPLE ARE WATCHING AND IT MAKING POSTCARDS, AND IT BECOMES THIS ENTIRE SPECTACLE, THAT SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT NOT JUST OUR RACE RELATIONS BUT HOW WE UNDERSTAND AND CONCEPTUALIZE BLACK BODIES OR THE CAPACITY FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO BE HUMAN.

ALSO SENDS A MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY THAT LOOKS LIKE THE PERSON HANGING FROM THE TREE.

SO IT'S NO SMALL THING.

AND FOR ME IN A LOT OF WAYS, GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH, THE REASON WHY IT'S LIKE A LYNCHING IS NOT JUST BECAUSE THERE'S A KIND OF EXTRA JUDICIAL PIECE OF THIS, THERE'S A WAY THAT POLICE OFFICERS BECOME JUDGE, JURIES, AND EXECUTIONERS IN THIS CONTEXT, WHETHER THEY INTEND TO OR NOT.

BUT THERE'S ALSO THE PIECE THAT THERE ARE BYSTANDERS.

THERE AREN'T JUST LOCAL BYSTANDERS.

THEY ARE INTERNATIONAL BYSTANDERS WATCHING WHAT HAPPENS TO GEORGE FLOYD AND HIS BODY AND HIS LIFE AS HE SCREAMS FOR HIS MOTHER AS A POLICE OFFICER HAS A KNEE ON HIS NECK AS OTHER POLICE OFFICERS WATCH AND DO NOTHING.

FOR ME, THAT KIND OF SPECTACLE NEEDS TO BE UNPACKED.

WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT NOT JUST FOR WHAT HAPPENS IN THE INTERPERSONAL AND MINUTE DEALINGS WHEN WE WALKS IN THE STORE WITH THE COUNTERFEIT BILL, BUT ALSO WHAT IT MEANS FOR US TO HAVE THE ABILITY FOR A MOMENT LIKE THAT.

WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE NATION WHO HAD THE WITNESS IT OR, AS TODD SAID, WHO MAY NOT HAVE WATCHED IT PER SE, BUT KNOWS THAT DEATH CONSEQUENCE HAPPENED.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE QUESTION WHY?

WHAT'S THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION?

I THINK WE'RE ALLUDING WHY -- I THINK IT'S A POWERFUL QUESTION, BECAUSE IT HAS MULTIPLE MEANINGS AND WE EXPLORE THEM THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.

WHY, OF COURSE, THE MOST IMMEDIATE MEANING IS THAT WHY AS A SOCIETY DO WE TOLERATE, WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN IN OUR MIDST?

THE KILLING OF SOMEONE IN THIS BRUTAL FASHION FOR A -- OVER A COUNTERFEIT BILL WHILE HE CRISIS OUT FOR HIS MOTHER, AS MARK JUST SAID.

BUT ALSO WHY THIS PARTICULAR VIDEO AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT HAVE THE POWER THAT IT HAS?

AND THE NATURE OF TECHNOLOGY IS IT CAN SERVE MULTIPLE PURPOSES.

THE SAME VIDEO, THE SAME PHOTOGRAPH CAN BE SEEN FROM ITS FRAMING DIFFERENTLY.

WE ALLUDED TO THE PHOTOGRAPH, OR MARK ALLUDED TO THE SPECTACLE OF DEATH THAT ATTENDED TO LYNCHINGS IN THE SOUTH, AND THEY WERE ENORMOUS SPECTACLES.

BODIES WERE HARVESTED FOR SOUVENIRS.

THE HORRIFIC NATURE OF IT IS DIFFICULT FOR A MORAL PERSON TO COMPREHEND.

BUT THE SAME PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WERE TAKEN OF THE LYNCHINGS WERE THE ONES THAT IDA B. WELLS PUBLISHED TO SHOW LYNCHINGS WERE BARBARIC AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATE IN THE CIVIL SOCIETY.

THE SAME PHOTOGRAPHS -- THINK ABOUT THAT.

SO YOU HAVE THEN THE FILMING OF GEORGE FLOYD, AND WE HAVE AN INITIAL REACTION.

AND THEN WE HAVE THE COUNTERREACTION IN WHICH PEOPLE BEGAN TO SAY -- MANY RIGHT-WING POLITICAL COMMENTATOR SAYING, ALL RIGHT, MAYBE HE SHOULDN'T HAVE DIED, BUT HE WAS A PETTY CRIMINAL, AND HE HAD A TRACK RECORD.

HE WAS A DRUG ADDICT.

HE HAD ALL THESE THINGS AS IF TO JUSTIFY IT.

NOW WE'RE GOING TO FRAME IT DIFFERENTLY.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH TECHNOLOGY?

IN PART HUMANS, BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE WE COULD BE THAT BARBARIC, THAT WE COULD WATCH, AN ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD -- PEOPLE WERE OUT WATCHING ON THE STREET AS CHAUVIN HAD HIS KNEE IN FLOYD'S NECK, NINE MINUTES.

GOD BLESS THE MAN WHO KEPT YELLING OUT, YOU'RE -- INSULTS TO THE POLICE OFFICERS THERE TO DRAW ATTENTION TO IT, BUT NO ONE MOVED TO STOP IT.

THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH THE OTHER POLICE OFFICERS WAS THEY DIDN'T MOVE TO STOP IT.

LOOKING AT THE NATURE OF THAT PIECE OF VIDEO, ARE WE GOING TO LEARN FROM IT, OR ARE WE GOING THE RECRAFT OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING OF IT IN A WAY THAT BECOMES MORE UNDERSTANDABLE TO US?

EITHER BECAUSE WE ON SOME LEVEL BELIEVE HE DESERVED IT, AS PEOPLE ON A CERTAIN POLITICAL SPECTRUM WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE, OR BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO MOVE ON?

THAT'S DANGEROUS.

WE'VE MOVED ON SO MUCH THROUGH AMERICAN HISTORY, THROUGH THESE KINDS OF ATROCITIES.

WE HAVE NOW THE TOOLS TO BRING OUR ATTENTION TO THIS, FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THIS, LET'S USE THEM TO THAT PURPOSE.

YOU TALK IN THE BOOK ABOUT THE NOTION OF RACIAL JUSTICE AND PROGRESS AND REGRESSION AND PROGRESS AND REGRESSION THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE BOOK.

TITLE OF THE BOOK 'SEEN AND UNSEEN, TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THE FIGHT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE.

'. LET'S TALK ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA.

WE TALKED ABOUT THE ROLE CELL PHONE AND VIDEO HAS PLAYED.

WE ALL KNOW THAT WITHOUT THE NEIGHBOR WHO TAPED RODNEY KING, EVENTUALLY WE KNOW WE GOT CONVICTIONS OF TWO POLICE OFFICERS.

MOST PEOPLE SAY THAT NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

RODNEY KING WOULD HAVE BEEN SENT BACK TO JAIL FOR RESISTING ARREST.

WE TALK ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD.

AHMAUD ARBERY, THE PROSECUTOR WASN'T MOVING ON THE CASE UNTIL THE VIDEO SHOWS UP MONTHS LATER.

TALK ABOUT THE ROLE VIDEO PLAYED, THE HELPFUL ROLE.

HOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, AND HOW ABOUT THE ONSLAUGHT -- LET'S CALL IT THAT -- MAYBE THAT'S A FAIR FIRM -- OF FALSEHOODS OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE ROLE THAT SOCIAL MEDIA COULD PLAY IN PUSHING US INTO A REGRESSION, IF YOU WILL, IN TERMS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE?

MARK, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I AM AT ALL MOMENTS WORRIED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA PUSHING US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

AND THE LATEST TWITTER NEWS HAS DONE NOTHING TO MAKE ME FEEL ANY LESS UNEASY.

WHEN YOU HAVE A SPACE LIKE TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK OR TIKTOK, THERE'S A WAY THAT WE CAN IMMEDIATELY SEIZE UPON THE KIND OF DEMOCRATIC DIMENSIONS OF IT.

EVEN CAN YOU CAN THE, EVERYBODY CAN OFFER THEIR WORLD VIEW, THEIR PERSPECTIVE.

THERE'S SOMETHING EXCITE ABOUT THAT, SOMETHING QUINTESSENTIALLY AMERICAN ABOUT THAT.

THE DOWNSIDE IS THAT ANYBODY CAN OFFER THEIR OWN FACTS, ANYBODY CAN TALK, ANYBODY CAN SHARE THEIR OWN STUFF.

SO AS WE TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK, IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO SIMPLY HAVE FOOTAGE.

IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO POST A VIDEO CLIP.

IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE A MOMENT OR A HASHTAG.

THE WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY MATTER.

THE NARRATION OF THE KYLE RITTENHOUSE VIDEO MATTERS.

I DON'T THINK HOW LIVE AND RAW IT LOOKS.

IT'S THE STORY TELLING BEHIND IT.

IT'S WHAT THE CAMERA CHOOSES TO PAN, WHO WE CHOOSE TO IDENTIFY THAT MATTERS.

IN THE SAME WAY, AN ONLINE MOVEMENT CAN FOCUS ON A PARTICULAR PERSON OR EVENT.

IT CAN OBSESS ABOUT THATE AT THE EXCLUES OF A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER EVENTS THAT WOULD GIVE IT CONTEXT AND TEXTURE.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ME IS AN EXTRAORDINARY SITE OF POSSIBILITY, OPPORTUNITY, TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, TO PUSH MOVEMENTS TOGETHER.

BUT IT'S ALSO A VERY DANGEROUS SPACE THAT CAN ALLOW MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION TO SPREAD.

AND IT CAN IN SOME WAYS AND CORROSIVE.

I LIKE TO SAY THAT ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH SPACES LIKE TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM IS THAT IT TAKES PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE CLOSE TOGETHER AND PULLS THEM APART.

YOU CAN BE SITTING WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER ON YOUR COUCH, FAMILY AT DIN EARTHQUAKE EACH ON RESPECTIVE iPHONES TALKING TOGETHER, AND YOU SHOULD BE TOGETHER BUT YOU'RE OUT IN THIS SPACE SEPARATE.

BUT ALSO TAKES PEOPLE -- I'M ARGUING WITH SOME GUY IN A BASEMENT ABOUT ANTIFA.

IT CAN FORGE UNLIKELY AND DANGEROUS RELATIONSHIPS.

THAT CAN MOBILIZE PEOPLE IN WAYS THAT LEAD TO THEM GOING DOWN TO A PROTEST WITH A GUN IN THEIR HAND.

IT CAN LEAD TO PEOPLE MARCHING WITH TIKI TORCHES.

THIS IS THE STUFF WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL OF.

WE GOT ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT.

LET ME ASK YOU QUICK.

QUICK ANSWER IF YOU CAN.

YOU WHITE IN THE INTRODUCTION, MY SEEING BRING LEARNING AND LEARNING BRING JUSTICE.

EACH OF YOU REAL QUICKLY -- MARK, I'LL START WITH YOU.

ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT MAY WELL BE HAPPENING FOR US NOW?

I WON'T SAY OPTIMISTIC.

OPTIMISM SUGGESTS THINGS WILL WORK OUT IN THE END.

I'M NOT OPTIMISTIC, BUT I'M FULL OF HOPE, AS THE BLUES SINGERS SAY.

I THINK THE POSSIBILITY IS THERE.

TODD, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT.

I THINK VIGILANCE REMAINS THE MOST GUARDED VALUE WE NEED TO APPRECIATE.

WE CANNOT TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.

I THINK WE HAVE ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL TOOLS.

WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE VOCABULARY OF THOSE TOOLS AND NEED TO USE THEM TO THE PURPOSES OF JUSTICE.

I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THIS, THE NOTION OF VIGILANCE AND FULL OF HOPE, I THINK YOUR WONDERFUL MESSAGE IS TO TAKE FROM THIS.

ONCE AGAIN, THE BOOK IS TITLED 'SEEN AND UNSEEN, TECHNOLOGY, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THE FIGHT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE.

I SAID THIS BEFORE, BUT IT'S JUST A MARVELOUS BOOK.

IT IS SO INFORMATIVE, SO A JOB EVOKETIVE AND GETS US FOCUSED.

THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

PLEASURE CONNECTING WITH THE BOTH OF YOU, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU AGAIN IN THE FUTURE.

BOTH TAKE CARE NOW.

THANK YOU, JACK, APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- ♪

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