COLLEGE KIDS REACT TO RACISM IN AMERICA

COLLEGE KIDS REACT TO RACISM IN AMERICA

August 25, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


– (FBE) It has been a difficult time here in the last week
in the United States with what happened
in Charlottesville. – Yes. It’s deplorable. – The past few days have definitely been a roller coaster
of emotions for me. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve, you know,
found myself being angry. – The first time I saw about it
was on Twitter, and I saw pictures of people posting and stuff,
and I was like, this cannot be real. – (FBE) In the aftermath,
there’s been a video that’s been shared a lot,
and it’s actually from the 1940s and was made by
the U.S. War Department at the time. So with that context
juxtaposed to what’s happening here, 70 some years later,
we want you to watch it and then we’ll talk about it.
– Okay. – I’ve seen it pop up.
I haven’t clicked on it yet. I can tell you already
just about the title and just about everything,
it’s like, it… We kind of forget World War II
wasn’t that long ago. – (man 1) I happen
to know the facts. Now friends, I’m just
an average American, but I’m an American American.
– That tone of voice is already painful. – (man 1) Some of the things I see
in this country of ours make my blood boil. I see people
with foreign [inaudible]. I see Negroes holding jobs
that belong to me and you. – What? – (man 1) I see Negroes holding jobs
that belong to me and you. – It’s deja vu. – (man 1) Now I ask you,
if we allow this thing to go on, what’s gonna become
of us real Americans? – Real Americans. – (man 2) I’ve heard this kind
of talk before, but I never expected
to hear it in America. – That makes two of us.
– Very relatable to this day. – (man 3) This fella seems
to know what he’s talking about. – (man 1) And I tell you friends, we’ll never be able
to call this country our own until it’s a country without.
– 70 years. Damn. Still in the same [bleep] spot.
– (man 1) Without what? – (man 4) Yeah, without what?
– (man 1) Without Negroes, without alien foreigners…
– Sounds like Hitler. – (man 1) Without Catholics.
– Wow. – So the people
that make the country? – (man 1) Without Freemasons. – People still think
this way, though. – (man 3) What’s wrong
with the Masons? I’m a Mason. Hey, that fella’s talking about me. – Oh, so that guy was okay
with it until… Yeah. – (man 2) And that makes
a difference, doesn’t it? – Yeah, he doesn’t care
until he talks about him. – (man 1) These are the people who
are trying to take over our country. – It doesn’t even feel like
I’m watching a video from decades ago. – (man 1) You know
what they stand for, and it’s up to you and me
to fight them. – This kind of sounds
like a Donald Trump speech. – (man 1) Fight them
and destroy them before they destroy us. Thank you.
– (men clap) – Only two people clapping. – (man 2) Before he said Masons,
you were ready to agree with him. – This is so powerful. – (man 3) Well yes,
but he was talking about… What about those other people?
– Other people, yeah. – (man 2) But in this country,
we have no other people. We are American people. – That’s what I’ve
been trying to say. – (man 3) What about you?
You aren’t American, are you? – (man 2) I was born in Hungary,
but now I am an American citizen and I have seen what
this kind of talk can do. I saw it in Berlin.
– Oh. – (man 2) But I was a fool then. I thought Nazis
were crazy people, stupid fanatics. But unfortunately, it was not so.
– This is sad. – (man 2) They knew that they
were not strong enough to conquer a unified country, so they split Germany
into small groups. – That’s kind of
what’s happening now. – (man 2) They used prejudice
as a practical weapon to cripple the nation.
– You can still use that now. – (man 2) We human beings
are not born with prejudices, always they are made for us.
– That’s what I’ve always saying. – (man 2) Made by someone
who wants something. – It’s true.
– (man 2) Remember this when you hear this kind of talk. Somebody’s going to get
something out of it. – Yeah.
– (man 2) And it isn’t going to be you. – (sighs) That sucks that
they put this out, and we’re in 2017 now,
and we’re still in this situation. – It’s so good.
I’ve never seen that before, but he has some great points. And it’s sad that
they’re so relevant today. It points out the fact that normally people don’t care
unless it affects them. – Just because you
weren’t born an American or you’re not American
on a piece of paper doesn’t mean that your spirit
isn’t that of America. And just because you were born here and you have papers
saying you’re American doesn’t make you an American
if you’re a shitty person. It’s fascinating. You look at this,
and you think this is forever ago. This is ancient. But in
the grand scheme of things, this is was like (snaps) that. – Coming from a Latin family,
it’s weird because I’m just out here trying to be a good person,
and helping other people, and just because you have an idea
of someone or a stereotype, that doesn’t mean
that everyone is like that. – Clearly, people
still haven’t learned. There are days when it’s like
I have racial experiences, and I sit there and try to
act tough about it in the situation, but I go home and cry. And it’s tough to think about that,
but it’s real. – This whole thing
hit so close to home, because my mom
is also an immigrant, and then there’s my dad, who,
even though he’s white, he’s Jewish. My dad’s mother
survived the Holocaust, and so to see this
happening all over again, it’s so surreal,
but unfortunately, it is real. – I’m actually Syrian. I was not– my parents–
It’s not just my parents are Syrian. I was actually born
and raised there until I was 14. And I had to come here,
so technically those people would hate my guts,
which makes me really sad. I spent three years
in an active war zone, and I can tell you
that every single person that left didn’t leave because they want to,
because I didn’t want to. It’s my home. It’s everything
that I’ve ever known and I had to leave it,
because I was in danger. And people don’t understand that,
because they’ve never felt it. But if it was up to me,
I definitely would be back there. – (FBE) Why do you think
that this old, short film made by the U.S. War Department
has been making the rounds after the white nationalist rally
that led to violence this week? – Because it shows
so many good points, you know? And it’s sad that
it’s still so relevant, but it’s like people just think that
if people are different from them then they must not belong here,
you know, when it’s like America was made out of people
from all over the world. – It’s so accurate. It’s so true. The term others is not realistic
in a country like– in America, ’cause everyone is an other. – Because I have grown up
in California and in Los Angeles and in kind of
an accepting neighborhood, I’ve always been in the naive aspect
that, you know, racism is over. You travel and you
talk to other people, and you see how in areas
it’s so predominant and it’s so real for them. And it really makes you realize
that wasn’t that long ago, and we’ve still got
such a long way to go. – I heard zero differences
between that and, you know, what I’ve been seeing
on the news as of late coming from the
Unite the Right Rally. It’s so timely and relevant
to what’s going on right now, so I definitely think that that’s why
it’s been making its rounds. – When you are against
a big group of people, when you have support on your side,
and you’re not being singled out, you don’t– it’s difficult
to talk about, really, ’cause it just feels
like common sense. When– where did we get to a point
where I have to say being a Nazi or being racist is wrong? – (FBE) So let’s talk
about Charlottesville, where a white nationalist,
neo-Nazi rally took place, and when many other arrived
to stand up to them, someone ran their car into them, injuring many and murdering
one of the counter-protesters. The suspect arrested
was around your age, 20 years old. – Really?
I didn’t know that. – No way. 20 years old. – He was for the neo-Nazis, and he was going
through the anti-protest group. That’s extreme terrorism,
you know what I’m saying? Don’t call it what it’s not.
That’s terrorism. – (FBE) So when you found out
about this as it was happening, how did it make you
feel about the country? – I didn’t believe it at first.
I was like, neo-Nazi? Like what? It’s terrible. It’s insane. – It’s very sad to think
that it was never gone. You know, racism was never gone.
It was just hidden. – I was just really,
really, really disgusted. When I saw the pictures,
it looked like out of a film. Seeing the anger and disgust on the people’s faces
with the torches yelling… – It was an awful feeling to realize that we haven’t
progressed as far as we have, and there are so many people
that have remained hidden that could be my neighbor
or the guy I just bought food from at the store, who secretly
has these feelings. – It made me lose
a little bit of faith, seeing that it seems like
there are a lot of people in this country who don’t love me
and don’t think I or my mom or my dad are worthy of living here or even possibly being alive
is really scary. – These people were
calling themselves patriots, and it was shameful and an insult
to people who are actual patriots who are fi– the hundreds
of thousands of people who– American soldiers, who have fought
and died trying to defeat that. To have someone just
carry the Nazi flag and call themselves a patriot,
that– I can’t imagine… I’m just ashamed to everybody
who fought against that. – I have little brothers and sisters and I would hope that by the time
I had reached my 20s that we would’ve seen more steps
to ending racism. I don’t want them to be my age
and get put in situations like that where they have to fear
for their own lives. Like… (sighs)
Hold on, I’m sorry. – (FBE) Part of the continued uproar has been around President Trump
who made a statement saying that there are
many sides to the violence. And later, despite
denouncing neo-Nazis and white nationalists,
came back out again to say essentially
both sides are to blame. Do you feel that there is blame
to be had on both sides? – So the thing is
in most of these hot topic issues like gun control or politics
or something like that, I have an opinion on one side, but I can see where both sides
are coming from. But in cases like this,
where there’s one side, and then the other side is Nazis, you know, it’s a little harder
to remain open-minded. – I know freedom of speech
and all that, right? When you’re going
against human rights, that’s when it turns–
like, it’s not okay. – They’re calling themselves
like a Nazi group. We can 100% move past this,
where people are having protests and need to argue about it
and get in fights about it on the streets
and kill one another over it. I definitely think
that we can move past that. And I think we
should’ve moved past that, and it’s sad that we’re still
dealing with these issues. – I understand why, you know, violence and anger
is coming from the left side, especially minorities and people
who are directly targeted by this Unite the Right Rally. And it seems like it
hasn’t been getting any better. So at this point,
we’re just angry and we’re tired. I don’t think that violence
is the answer. – I understand the South
and their patriotism and how they feel a connection
with that history, but that was history. Can you imagine walking around
and seeing a monument of someone that wanted to keep you enslaved? Remembering history
and respecting it is important, but having it out for display
shows that we’re okay with that. I think that that
belongs in a museum. – I don’t think that you can blame
relatively peaceful protesters who are protesting something
that is a direct call to violence against millions of Americans. You cannot blame them
for getting themselves killed by a white supremacist. No! In this situation,
there are not many sides. – I think that whole alt left,
alt right speech was… (sighs) That’s the best way I can put this. I voted who I voted for, sure.
Do I regret it? No. But, like, if he was
in this room right now, I’d be like, dude,
you gotta shut the [bleep] up for like five seconds
and approach your country, especially when
thousands among thousands, tens of hundreds and thousands
of people are being affected by this right now
as we speak since Saturday. We are literally
destroying ourselves over this shit.
I was hoping to see, especially in situations like this,
like someone coming in and putting their foot down,
and being like, no, it’s– we’re gonna be–
change this up for the people, for America,
(softly) and he hasn’t done that. – (FBE) For many, the feeling
is that this is gonna get worse
before it gets better. Though there’s no simple solution,
what are some thoughts you have about how we can
bring people together, or do you feel like as a young adult
living in America in 2017 that it’s just not possible? – It’s pretty difficult. There’s so many people out there that still believe in that
and it makes me want– It makes me wonder
what’s gonna happen. Like, is it gonna end or not? – We can make progress,
but not with this guy. – I’m very optimistic. We can
get through anything, you know? And that’s what I heavily believe.
But it starts with us. – People who do have privilege,
white people in particular, to recognize that privilege
and to use it to try and help, you know, bring safety
and security to those people who are being attacked
and who are being threatened. – It’s definitely possible at
the moment to bring people together. Most people have came out, most people being
almost everybody but the president, have come out and condemned this.
But it should be common sense. You know, we shouldn’t have to say
that racism is bad. – If we take the right steps,
it can get better. We’re gonna hit so many potholes before we actually
hit that smooth road, but we can hit that smooth road. It’s just a matter of
are you actually gonna drive down it or are you just gonna
sit there and look at it? – It’s definitely
not comfortable to sit down, especially when you’re talking
to people who have other beliefs. We have to do that
in order to make progress. Discussion is definitely, to me, the most important step
in making change. – Just because somebody appears
to be the villain, and just because someone
appears to be the good guy doesn’t mean they both don’t have
good and bad inside of them, and we don’t need
to throw one away. We need to talk to both of them, and we need to
bring everybody together and come together as a world.