Protests Erupt Around the Country After Grand Jury Announcement on Breonna Taylor Case 2020-09-24
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That was Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron who announced the grand jury results back yesterday afternoon during a botched raid of her apartment in March Louisville police shot and killed Taylor a twenty-six-year-old emergency room technician from a detective Brett Hankerson. One of the officers on the same thing that night was indicted with three counts of wanton endangerment four bullets fired into a neighboring apartment. The remaining officers involved in the raid. However, were not charged and none of the officers were indicted for actions related to Taylor's death the announcement provoked protests throughout the city of Louisville where two police officers were also shot and we asked you for your reactions. Hi, my name is Catherine gun. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and I am mortified outraged it seems like Our city and our state and the country values property more than they do about people particularly black people. My name's John. I'm calling from Elizabethtown Kentucky. I think the decision made in the periodic Taylor cases with the information off the available to the public and the media the best decision. That could be made. This is Bronwyn Ramey in Louisville, Kentucky. I am sad and angry thoughts and even worse. I'm not surprised backlash is so strong. I I have a hard time hoping for anything to get better. My heart's breaking for our cities right now. You can keep calling us to share your thoughts at 8778 Mi take that's 877-869-8253 representative. Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas waited on off yesterday, and she serves on the Judiciary Committee in the house. It is shameful what came out of the Attorney General's office and the grand jury not because of grand jurors, but because we know that the cutest craft their own narrative, they can expand the number of witnesses that go into a grand jury or it can be very narrow. It is very obvious to us that there was a grave Injustice becomes. Did he call the other Witnesses who said they did not hear the officers announced themselves today on the takeaway. We hear the public reaction to the Brianna Taylor grand jury. I'm tansy in a vain. I'm joined by Graham Ambrose reporter for the Kentucky Center for investigative reporting Graham. Welcome to the take-away. Thank you for having me and back with me is Tim Finley Junior Senior Pastor at Kingdom Fellowship in Louisville and founder of the justice and freedom Coalition Tim. Welcome back to the show. Thank you. Glad to be here Tim your reaction to the news last night incredibly confused home disappointed and shocked honestly, we going into this situation understood that there was a chance that there would be less of charges but I don't know if any of us really foul charges that were not even related to Briana. Taylor's murder still shocked even hours later. They were many emotional reactions to this in addition to practice people were visibly emotionally shaken by this news Tim. How were the people that you work with in this space yesterday? Well, I was at the swage. Where many of the protests have happened is really good the central Hub and I was there actually wind announcement was was given live and I've never really seen a like what I saw yesterday. It seemed as though it was trauma embodied. I would say it was a few minutes until it actually sunk in that not only where it's just indictments not connected to Brianna Taylor, but the fact that then a curfew was put in it was disappointing and people were literally just stunned Grim a part of the reaction that Tim is talking about here is is largely because of the charges that were broader or should we say not brought. Can you explain the charges that were brought against former detective Brett hankinson? What is wanton endangerment wanton endangerment is not homicide. It involves basically, you know a reckless disregard for human life. It's a felony here in Georgia. Ki punishable by up to five years and in the indictment itself. It's specifically it says that the charges are related to Brett hengist and firing his weapon in a nearby apartment. That was not Brianna Taylor's and endangering the lives of three other people and they list the initials of the three other people and none of them are you know, BT. None of them are are off Taylor Graham. I want to play a little bit more of Attorney General Cameron's press conference because part of what was at issue here are something called no-knock warrants, which are warning that allowed these officers to enter Taylor's home without her being aware that that was going to happen. Let's take a listen the officers statements about their announcement are corroborated by an independent witness who was near in a proximity to apartment for in other words. The war it was not served as a no-knock wage. Warrant Graham, what is attorney general Cameron? Trying to Point that he's trying to make their you know, the Attorney General is saying yes, they did announce themselves. It's sort of what would be good to the use of force being more Justified, right? If they if they announce themselves and still, you know, no one answered the door and someone ultimately fired from within the apartment then you know, of course they could return fire. However, this has been disputed by several Neighbors at the apartment complex and who said that no, you know, the officers did not announce themselves. It's a pretty tight-knit Community. I mean it's apart physically like right next to each other in the middle of the night. And so, you know, these Witnesses are saying, you know, hey, you know, we we live there we were there and we heard nothing until shots were fired him. When we we know of attorney general Cameron was a featured person at the Republican National Convention. This is somebody who has a dog The support I would imagine a President Trump and Beyond him and he's also an African-American how has the African American Community the black community more broadly and even those who support the case for Brianna Taylor how have they taken Cameron's approach to be completely blunt about it. Anger. Daniel camera not had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about this case. And again, I've always had an uneasy feeling just based off of where this country is the climate the inconsistencies, in this case. I would say from the black community if feels as though Daniel Cameron never wanted to indict these officers listening tool Anita Baker home and having an opportunity to talk with her listening to councilwoman Jessica Green City, Reynolds, who was the Urban League president. All of these women are prosecutors are former prosecutor. And I've heard them all allude to the last 24 hours this understanding in in Louisville that a prosecutor here can indict a ham sandwich and it just seems to me from home that this is something that you never wanted to do. I think now this community will have a hard time trusting this attorney general and that may not even be something that he's you know concerns and Tim when we spoke to you after the settlement Brianna Taylor's family received from the civil case. I'm wondering how the tone has changed now in light of this announcement by Cameron yesterday juice call this number one. Look at this criminal justice system. And once again see that this system is not for black people, but it is also off well as closer together. There are challenges these days. I hate are going to be difficult, but I really believe that this is going to produce a motivation for voting off. Graham let's talk a little bit about the other officers that were involved here. Why were they not charged at all? There were two other officers who had been really at the center of public attention, It's in the officer who was charged was sort of known as the you know by protesters as the worst offender. He was fired over the summer for his actions that night which you know that she gave us a Time said we're a shocks the conscience but still there were other officers involved in this raid, but the Attorney General yesterday was saying that you know, the grand jury was given all of the information they were walks through all sorts of purchase and they ultimately decided not to make these charges. What were this was a decision made by a grand jury. What options did the jury have in terms of the charges? They could have levied against the officers Graham. They have a lot of freedom to make a charge based on whatever the evidence provides although in a lot of cases. I've spoken to a bunch of prosecutors here in dog. Louisville and they say that it's typical for a prosecutor to make a recommendation to the grand jury and typically grand juries will just follow these recommendations Tim. There were Billboards Oprah Winfrey bought a number of billboards to bring attention to this case magazine covers including Vanity Fair protests around the country uprisings for racial Justice in Brianna birth name and none of that yielded the indictments that people were hoping to see or the very least the criminal charges that they were hoping to see Tim. What are the implications for this for the future essentially of black kentuckians at least when it comes to relations with police. Obviously, this does not help. It's it's interesting being a young American it's it's interesting being someone in this country when you talk to someone who is always in Black. It's almost hard for them to understand that even as a law-abiding citizen when you are driving job. The street and you see those those blue lights the kind of trepidation the kind of anxiety that comes even when it comes to the way that you are police Tor Bap question, you know that moments where I was, you know in my neighborhood growing up as a teenager and talked to in a way that I don't think that people move to animals like that and that was the culture in which many of us have grown up in I believe that Brianna Taylor's name is going to be an absolute Flashpoint from this point forward wage. I think about my nineteen-year-old daughter. She doesn't have necessarily connection with say an immaterial she knows from the history books. But when you talk about Brianna Taylor that's going to be her generation. It's going to be a Flashpoint and my prayer is that it would be motivation for all of us to put pressure on this system to not just re storm policing job. But we have to reimagine policing because as it is right. Yeah as it stands right now. This is a major issue, you know all the way from the way that policed to the criminal justice system and incarceration and the numbers who are incarcerated black men or black women. So this moment I think it is it is extremely important choice. But either we're going to take this moment and there's going to be changed or we're going to continue down the road that is going to further divide this this country and that is why I think this puts so much pressure on us for November because who's in that Oval Office will also have an indelible Mark Sawyer In This Moment. Graham where does the criminal case go from here? Is this the end of it is the Department of Justice investigating any other charges in this case including the Civil Rights charges. This is off the clothes to one arm of the investigative process. So this basically closes the state investigation into that raid, but there's a federal investigation ongoing it's from the FBI and it'll be reviewed by the US Department of Justice and they're looking at whether or not civil rights were violated at least according to the Kentucky attorney general as press conference yesterday. So, you know, this is it's likely that there will be no more State charges brought in this case, but it is possible that there will be federal charges if the investigation turns something up Tim. What about for racial Justice Advocates off? Well, we the only thing that we really can do is continue fighting obviously in this fight for justice, but we turn our attention to and I shouldn't say turn our attention because it's been there the whole time but we really begin to focus on elected officials. You know that to me is the next step everyone from our mayor from our Council here and even to the individuals that they appoint we have to we have to have people in positions that have the community Thursday. I'm a part of our best interest at heart and it's disheartening because many of us want Justice now, but we have to understand that this is the wrong the wrong game and Thursday is our next step. That's our next strategy in his Advocates as activists as organizers. It is our goal to Rally to get people registered to vote and to really log Take an interest and those individuals that have influenced and yet do not use that influence to for our community and that's why I'm focusing in on our mayor who I believe needs to step down on Metro council members who voted to increase the lmpd budget in the middle of protesting police brutality and everyone else who had a hand in the judges the judges inside this search warrants, all of these all of these individuals who have been appointed who have been elected into these positions. The black community has just show that we're together and that we will no longer sit by and allow people to come to our church has come into our community for their signs up and then disappear wage when we need the most we have to show that that is no longer acceptable Tim Finley Junior is a senior pastor at Kingdom Fellowship in Louisville, and the founder of the justice and freedom Coalition and Grains. Ambrose is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for investigative reporting Graham Tim. Thanks to you both. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thursday on Saturday President Trump is expected to announce his nomination to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and while rushing through a supreme court confirmation just weeks ahead of a presidential election is a very divisive move. It appears that Senate Republicans have the votes necessary to confirm the president's pick Lisa murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine are the only Republican Senators who have come out against confirming a new Justice prior to the election and that leaves said Democrats without many options in the weeks ahead to get a better sense of how those Senators on the left are thinking about a fight to replace Justice Ginsburg. I got Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey on the line. And Senator Booker is also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Well, I think said we need to all speak with a voice those of us who believe that there is something deeply wrong with them proceeding off when Merrick Garland was proposed by Barack Obama with about two hundred sixty plus days left in before an election. The Republicans made a passionate argument citing president the moral issues of letting the electorate decide and really set a rule and here we are some four years later and they're contradict not just what they said then but many of them spoke to this issue including Lindsey Graham spoke to this issue just months ago and said that if a vacancy opened up in an election year age that we should not move forward. And so again, this is something that they look like they're going to do everything they can to move forward on but I don't think we should stop in calling out the hypocrisy of this month. And given the last wishes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who I don't think she knew the outcome of the election, but I think she must have been thinking about the very legitimacy of the Court not to have it. So undermined by what seems like a raw political power grab at a time that many of our institutions are losing their legitimacy because of politics whether it's what Donald Trump has done with the CDC the post office. They're very presidency itself to allow the Supreme Court to further lose its legitimacy in the eyes of the American public is a dangerous dangerous thing. So, I'm not sure how this is going to proceed. Exactly. I think that Mitch McConnell has extraordinary power to push this through Thursday will not be silent in what I think is a damaged not just to the legitimacy of the institution of the Supreme Court, but two major issues like a healthcare case for the Affordable Care Act that is wrong. Sing to the Supreme Court. Now this is going to affect Americans lives and their ability to Access healthcare and deep ways. And I just really believe this is a time that we should see the Restraint of power as opposed to what we're seeing right now Senator Booker historically at least over the past couple of decades conservatives and Republicans have made the Supreme Court a key issue. They have a vetted nominees with the Federalist Society. They have made this a key part of galvanizing their base Democrats on the other hand have not been as aggressive with making the Supreme Court an issue at the schools in terms of galvanizing their base has that in action or lack of aggressiveness. If you will let us to where we are today and what can the Democrats do better? Well, I think that a lot of people on various issues are seeing just how powerful the Supreme Court isn't affecting their daily lives whether it is the recent decisions on Thursday. Ability for labor to organize we have seen this Supreme Court begin to undermine unions whether it's decisions on voting rights. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Is she decisions ability to access the polls, whether it's even the freedom and equality of lgbtq Americans how narrow majority were able to secure basic fundamental rights, but there are still rights and freedoms at stake. There's so much in the balance. And as I said before perhaps the most immediate one is that all the Americans with pre-existing conditions or who have benefited the millions who've been vetted for Medicaid expansion and more the millions of Americans who have seen a benefit of the Affordable Care Act Now know that a president who has pledged to tear down the Affordable Care Act. This will be before a new supreme court. So I think this is animating people or people are realizing a lot birth. Our fundamental rights Economic Security and equality are at stake here. And I think it's going to be a motivating issue in this election and I will remind people that there is nothing that the Republicans can do in the waning days. I hope of the Trump Administration that cannot be corrected if we control the White House again with Joe Biden and if Democrats get off Jordy in the United States Senate, we have a lot of options then about how to balance the scales of justice and to undo a lot of the damage that this Administration has done Senator some of that correct. If you will at least one option in correcting has been to pack the Court California Senator Dianne Feinstein the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee appears to be against the idea of expanding Supreme Court, but there are other Democrats like Senator Ed Markey who have explicitly called for packing the court to balance its ideological tilt specifically, especially if the Ginsberg seat is dead. Place. Where do you come down on that solution Senator? Well, I I'm going to be a very loud voice and reminding people that this debate is mute. It's Newt if we do not win back Senate and the White House and as opposed to using my energy to engage in hypothetical debates. Why don't we engage in winning first and then have that conversation have a national conversation not just about that but the filibuster everything let's have that debate after an election because if we fail to get the majority of the Senate and that is right on a Razor's Edge wage if we fail to get the majority Mitch McConnell is still in power and we have seen the kind of power he can wield in the Senate under Democratic president and under a Republican president. So as opposed to wasting our energy offer hypothetical debates, let's win first and then have a constructive conversation about how to make our democracy more democratic. Speaking of some of those Senate races we are seeing right now following the death of Justice Ginsburg significant amount of money is coming into some of these candidates right now. Are you optimistic Senator Booker that the Senate will in fact be flipped again towards the Democrats, you know, I was taught by some great folks and the central office work New Jersey that you know, optimism sort of a sunshiny view is not what we need. What we need is work what we need is struggle. So I'm not leaving anything to chance many people were optimistic about secretary Clinton's victory for years ago. This is a time to get to work and there's a lot of fear, but people need to turn their fear into fight off their agonizing into organizing and they're worried into work. That's what this moment calls for. I know as my tenant president when I used to live in some high-rise projects for Towers, she taught me e, At Hope is the active conviction that despair will not have the last word. So right now the moment calls for investing your time your energy and resources into this election. If you want to take back the Senate don't talk about it be about it and contribute help organize send a contribution to some of those important Senate races that are in the balance right now. So you mentioned living in public housing. I too spent the first twenty some-odd years of my life in public housing in New York City. I'm very familiar with some of the issues that come up in poor communities of color particularly when they're black and brown and one of those is police reform since the killing of George Floyd and The Killing of Brianna Taylor. You have also called for significant reforms to police departments. There have been even broader calls to quote unquote defund police departments Senator. Where do you stand on some of those reforms and is defending the police the the ocean? Well, first and foremost, I with Kamala Harris in the Senate authored a piece of legislation with in partnership with Congressional Black Caucus members of the the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Nadler in the house to do massive reforms now, I call them massive reforms, but they are wildly popular with Democrats and Republicans wage. Fact many of the reforms in our legislation that were adopted and passed from Iowa to Colorado by Republican legislators. And so let's just start with the basics in the United States of America. There should not be chokeholds in the United States of America. There should not be in these drug cases no-knock warrants that led to the death of Brianna Taylor in the United States of America are public institutions should be far more accountable policing should be far more transparent and police departments should have to report out there data on the kind of stops. They make are they racially biased on their use of force and in the United States of America if a police officer does something that is Criminal they should be held accountable and we should get rid of qualified immunity and make the standard for the use of force one that is more than a reasonable not as high that it's very hard to get a federal conviction against a police officer who has done something horribly wrong. And so what I'm pushing right now, and I think that will pass wage. Not for Mitch McConnell who I'm not using any a pejorative here. He calls himself the Grim Reaper as he is killed bipartisan bill after bipartisan Bill. If we want to get the beginnings of real police reform done Mitch McConnell cannot be there or else it will not happen. It will not pass now as a guy who actually has spent the last twenty plus years working in a majority-black city working in a city that has struggled since the Riots of the sixties that started with money issues of police brutality that were written about in reports from the colonel report to even when the justice department came to Newark and showed the biases in our stops off. I know there has to be major investments in our country in the things that reduce the need for police in the first place the fact that we are a nation that treats mental health and addiction dead. Not with health care and treatment but with prison and jail shows how backwards we are that we would rather spend much more money on the back end. Not a problem then investing in human flourishing and human well-being even police and law enforcement agencies that I dealt with including the FBI in my first meeting with them when I asked him how do we solve the problems and we were talking about gang violence and they looked at me and very honestly the head of the FBI in the state of New Jersey said, we don't solve these problems. In other words. He knew that they just deal with the symptoms of the failures of our society to invest in our children to invest in child well-being to invest in education and Healthcare. We are a society that spends more on locking up its own people than any other country in the nation. The land of the free is the mass incarceration capital of the globe. It is a BAP Solutely morally object Lee bankrupt what we do as a society through law enforcement. It is time that this country begins to prioritize investing in human well-being and human being where for investments in those things. We will reap a massive return not just in economic terms our economy would Thrive but really in what we are a nation that says we're dedicated to change his life liberty and the pursuit of happiness Senator on this show when I took over as host of the show, I I basically isolated three gaps in American society that I thought would would essentially root this show and one of them is the truth Gap another one is the empathy Gap and the third is the racial wealth Gap part of closing that Gap as you mentioned. The economics of our communities is a big part of I think where we would begin to see some of the changes that you're describing a senator 2018 you introduce legislation that would create so-called baby bonds, which are interest birth. Funds for every newborn in the country. Your proposal hasn't been taken up for a vote. But Governor Phil Murphy seems to support a similar plan Senator. Yr. Baby bonds an important part in your estimation of addressing the racial wealth Gap. Well, it is clear in this country that we have as you've reported a massive wealth gap for every dollar that the average white family has the average black family has about ten cents for every dollar that the after my family has the average Latino family has about twelve sentence and this is something that hurts our overall economy. And that that racial wealth Gap is real and it undermines the success of our society. I believe that we already use our tax code to help wealthy people get more wealth these tax expenditures or upwards of six hundred fifty billion dollars a year and I support some of these things like the mortgage interest deduction. Which helps people it's overwhelmingly used by people who who make a quarter of a million dollars or more and it is a tax expenditure. It's time that we use our tax code to help people without wealth gained wealth because paychecks help you get by wealth helps you get ahead and can be generational and so our plan is very simple. If every child born in America black or white or regardless of background gets $1,000 savings account social scientist showed that that alone will actually increase the numbers of kids a chance of going to college threefold. Just knowing they have an account like that and then every year based upon their families income nothing to do with race, but just on their family's income like the Earned Income Tax Credit, they will get anywhere between 0 and $2,000 placed in their account and because of compounding interest the lowest income children, in other words We're a nation with one out of every six of our children born and and living in poverty. Those kids would have upwards of fifty thousand dollars by the time they're eighteen and that money then with a baby bonds proposal. Could be used to invest in wealth producing Investments college education buying a home starting a business now Columbia University and others have looked at it. It would actually have an effect of closing the racial wealth gap for those young people starting out a new generation of Americans starting out with the racial wealth Gap closed and whether you are and I've talked to Joe manchin about this in West Virginia off a poor white family living in Appalachia or a family in the central ward of Newark where I live those children would start out with wealth and the ability to invest in things that that ultimately have found other families to pass things down through generations and ultimately actually would inure to the benefit of society as a whole by creating more wealth in our society and and he's the kind of proposal wage that we don't just need I think there is a moral urgency to do something like this you mentioned in your Trifecta of things that you wanted to focus on the show. I believe that most important of those three wage. Is addressing the poverty of empathy in this country. We are a nation that is an outlier in terms of other wealthy Nations on the planet in terms of what we do for children wage. We are an outlier the only industrial nation that doesn't have paid family leave the only industrial nation that doesn't have Universal prenatal care the industrial nation that leads an infant mortality that leads in maternal mortality that leads and low birth weight babies that doesn't have a universal preschool. I mean all of these things that we deny children what they need to flourish would every Economist who does the Studies have shown investments in these things crew do produce a greater return and why is it because we don't love our children know we do but we do not understand the struggles of a good phone number of American children and that Poverty of empathy if we can ignite that most basic human instinct to care for each other. We are policies will and hopefully sooner Later start to reflect the love that we have in this nation, but right now they don't right now, they're Byzantine. We do things in this country to our children that other nations actually call torture like putting children in solitary confinement in prison for months even years who haven't even been convicted of anything yet because they can't get out because they can't afford bail. These are the kind of things that we do home visiting our children. And when I say that I mean that very literally there over 3,000 jurisdictions in America where children have more than twice the blood lead levels of Flint, Michigan because we haven't prioritized the infrastructure dollars necessary to get rid of all the lead service lines in our country, which is actually not that expensive of an Endeavor we have to in this country begin to prioritize children and low-income children, especially that is a test of our love for one another and right now we are failing that test Senator before we go I have to ask given the landscape that you just painted of this country the global p.m. Demek, the increasing wealth Gap you mentioned a lot of things that we need to do to get back on track and two of your colleagues Joe Biden and Kamala Harris or hoping to win the presidency in the vice presidency respectively. They're not as visible out on the campaign Trail as President Trump is so how is it that they can reconnect with voters looking for solutions to some of the issues that you just outlined. So I'm blessed life in a way that I have to sort of pinch myself every day to be a United States Senator as my mom has told me all the time. Don't forget what it took to for me to become the fourth elected African-American senator in the history of our our nation and I am blessed to have relationships with people like Kamala Harris who is now not just a colleague. She's really like a friend and a sister and not have run for president and and and got a deeper relationship with Joe Biden their campaigns are staying focused on these issues, and I know people believed Pandemic is in many ways keeping Camp candidates off the campaign Trail, but I just keep returning to the simple truth of this moment. We're in which is this election is not a referendum on any one person or one office. It is a referendum on who we are as a nation and who we are going to be to each other. This is a moral moment in America. It's not about left or right. It's what we go forward or would languish where we are right now, which is really in the Valley of the shadow of death. And so my hope is that Americans will take it upon themselves to learn more about the candidates to learn more about their vision. And if they do believe that this is the most important election of our lifetime that we will begin to act like it. This is not a moment. We're we're call to do Freedom Rides knowing that our buses will be bombed or do marches like John Lewis wage that will get beaten and have to bleed the Earth red for freedom and Justice know this is a moment where we just have to participate and engage in an election that will determine everything from the healthcare we have wage. Cost of our prescription drugs to whether we continue to be a nation of mass incarceration. This is what's at hand. And so this is a time if ever in our lives we should be pouring our time or energy took our money into making sure that the right outcome happens in this election because this is not their test Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. This is our tests and dear God for the sake of not just our nation, but with climate change for the sake of humanity. I hope that America passes this test Senator Cory Booker is the junior senator from New Jersey and who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Booker. Thanks for joining me. Thank you for having me. Thank you. We want you to be part of the takeaways listener response network will send you a few text messages a week about topics were discussing a show to sign up. Just text the word start to 69866 standard data and messaging rates apply and you can always text the word stop to opt out again text start to 69866 to join our conversation every day. You can also connect with us on Facebook Twitter. We're at the takeaway. 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It's been six months since the coronavirus pandemic cause school systems across the country to shut their doors and scrambled change adapter remote learning and know the challenges posed by covid-19 remain as a cute as ever were now getting a better sense of how public high schools fared in the transition to this new reality in a report released today the UCLA Institute for democracy education and access found that 92% of schools had to provide meals to students during the pandemic 93% supply chain technology, like tablets and laptops and 43% provided support for students whose loved ones passed away for more on the surveys findings and what they say about our education system. I'm bringing in John Rogers one of the report's authors, and he's also a professor of education at UCLA and faculty director at the University Center X John welcome to the show. Thank you, Ken Xena. I'm very happy to page. Sure, so you surveyed hundreds of high school principals and that some of those results were pretty stunning. How is it that principals were responding to providing meals providing technology providing emotional support was that coming off from them it came from them and then their staff as well. I think one of the things that we see is that as the pandemic emerged schools responded in very proactive ways to try to meet the extraordinary needs that were were playing out. So schools as you suggested provided meals, they provided mental health counseling they connected students to Health Care. They were the Cornerstone of their communities sustaining their communities through a very difficult time and one of the things that's interesting and we can't lose sight of is that students often low-income students in particular are also provided meals at school job. Has that become more of an acute need during the pandemic absolutely many of the principles talked about emerging hunger that was playing out not just for the students but the stage families and a number of principles reported that they not only were providing meals to their students but to their students siblings and other members of their students families and they were doing this page in very complicated ways because students can no longer receive the meals in the school cafeteria schools. Sometimes provided them in locations in the community. Sometimes even provide sending the meals out directly to the students homes. One of the other things that's been exacerbated by this pandemic across the country is the access to the technology that's needed for remote learning, which was interesting that you're you found that a lot of principals were actually helping with that as well. Remote learning has really long. Exacerbated that inequality John is that right? It's certainly has we've had a digital divide for some time. But during remote learning. We saw that high-poverty schools were much less ready to jump in and enable all of their students to participate on the first day and that was not just because many students lacked either the wage devices really the connectivity. It was also because some teachers and other key staff at schools didn't have those either devices or connectivity on the first day and soul high-poverty schools were far less likely than schools and more affluent communities to be ready early on and then even after schools ramped-up wage was the case that high-poverty schools were more likely to have many students who lacked either the laptop or tablet or some sort of connectivity that allowed them to participate. League in the remote learning environment and some of the principles that you spoke to had that that were part of the study had to really come up with some Creative Solutions. Let's look into how one principal responded to what was happening. My name is dr. Cynthia Gonzales at my high school principal in South Central Los Angeles. And one of the Innovative things we did was to buy Facebook ads to push off our community often. Our families don't have working phone numbers or continuously moving. And so this was one way to reach them and to make sure that they stayed in communication with us to get updates about student information and Community Resources John. I would never have assumed a Facebook ad could be used that effectively. What were the other ways that principals were making use of some Creative Solutions home. Well principles tried to reach out to students in a variety of different ways. Some were fairly traditional phone calls emails text messages principal job. Also half of our principles reported that they did home visits they are they're staffed at home visits in order to connect with students who otherwise were not participating fully I should note wage. But there was a real divide in this that again students in high-poverty schools were far more likely to either not be participating regularly or to be out of contact page hayirli. And this was because students in high-poverty schools were far more likely to be experiencing a set of challenges that were created by the pandemic challenges that related to age economic and security challenges that that called for young people in high-poverty schools to be essential workers themselves or to care for siblings who were not being super vised because they themselves were out of school. And so we saw that that that those principles in high-poverty schools were four more likely to have to take these steps to connect with students job. John what about the emotional support that principals were providing for students who who like that who may have been stressed because of the exacerbate issues because of the pandemic because they may have lost someone tell us a little bit about that role. Yes many principals spoke to us about the trauma that was unfolding in their schools and students were experiencing death in their families death in the broader community and or sickness that was playing out many schools provided mental health support to their students off. They tried to create a sense of community and support. Of course. This was particularly challenging in an environment where they couldn't connect with the students through through traditional means and they had to do this virtually and so fostering that sense of support and community Through Zoom or other virtual means was a challenge but schools tried their best to me e Need so John one of the things that comes up quite a bit when we're talking about schools, right? Especially right now. It's just how much teachers in particular are spending their own money to create environments that are safe for students to come back. Especially when it comes to in person learning at the same time budgets are being sliced across the country from our principles and even more broadly teachers really prepared for these budgetary shortfalls right now. I mean given everything that we just talked about. I think one of the challenges we face is that there's budgetary shortfalls this year. Next year's budgets promise to be even more challenging and unless there is not an infusion of federal funds into State budgets the state budgets, which are being pressed by lower tax revenues are going to be really hard hit home. And so schools that are being asked to do more than ever are going to have far less resources to fill those needs. How are Educators dead reckoning with comments from local officials that contradict what they're trying to teach students about the reality of this pandemic. We heard from a few principles that the broader political environment was creating an atmosphere that made it harder to fulfil their roles one principal in Utah found this that he felt pulled apart by political division and a lack of social trust another principal in Arizona told us that she had to sit by and watch as members of her community went to the local bar to watch a virtual graduation because the school had to follow the CDC guidelines, but the community did not and that speaks to the ways in which not having clear Health guidelines that are provided across the community create a sense of uncertainty and division that make it difficult for principles to understand principles to to support their schools and to support their Community. It leads wage. Communities in which some people feel like they should be wearing masks and some shouldn't and principals who need to foster a sense of commonality where everybody's working together. It's far more difficult when there's that sense of social division. And finally, what about students who were English language Learners? They were hit particularly hard by this pandemic weren't they? They were we we did ask principals if they were able to provide English Learners with materials in their home language some did but many did not and so we see that many English Learners were not able to access instruction in the language that they understood I think more profoundly English Learners did not have access to the sorts of informal exchanges that they would often times have in a regular classroom with other students that would develop their linguistic capacities. And so I think many districts are recognizing that the very first students that need to be provided with in-person instructions should be English Learners alongside of students with special needs. There's so much there that educators are trying to to make up for in this vein. Difficult time John Rogers is a professor of education at UCLA and the faculty director at the University Center X John. Thanks for coming on the take-away. Thank you so much and Xena off. Tributes to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have flooded the news and social media since she died last Friday, but one of the most powerful of these tributes came from NPR's Nina totenberg who covered just do walk ins Berg and the US Supreme Court for decades totenberg obit didn't just reflect on The Life and Legacy of Justice Ginsburg, but also on her personal relationship with the cultural and political like on the two had been close friends for fifty years with the late Justice even presiding over totenberg second wedding. I sometimes who's asked how I could remain such good friends with RBG at the same time that I cut off her as a reporter. The answer was really pretty simple. If you're lucky enough to be friends with someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg starting when both of you are young, you understand that each of you had a job and it has to be done professionally and without favor. But as a journalist and close friend, can you really cover a public figure like a Supreme Court Justice without favor? And is there an inherent conflict of interests in that relationship and took that come up in journalism? So for that it more we're now going to talk to Washington Post media reporter Paul. Sorry about all of this Paul. Welcome back to the show height in Xena. Well, Nina said, it's pretty simple to be able to have a friendship with someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cover her at the same time. I don't think so. What do you think? I don't think so at all it raises all kinds of questions. When you are a young reporter. It is beaten into you that your relationships are very important and your distance from those relationships are important you had to maintain an arm's length relationship with the people you cover to create objectivity neutrality and balance when you become friends with the people you are covering it changes. That relationship and it raises a question. Once people know that you are having this kind of relationship. Are you pulling your punches is your reporting in some way affected by the relationship. We wouldn't accept reporter covering their spouse or their business partner or you know, their romantic interest wage don't really accept it in terms of reporters covering their friends has totenberg or NPR responded to any of the criticism of her friendship with Justice Ginsburg. Yes, Nina totenberg was very upfront about it. She contacted her the other day and almost instantly she said give me a call and we spoke for about 45 minutes about it. She suggested before and the clip you played that was more or less or answer to me to NPR's response was it was a little bit different and and kind of funny in a way. They basically said they wage Each other for a very long time this is relationship that goes back to the 1970s our Handbook of Ethics says you can't have a source influence your strawberry and they left it at that which frankly doesn't really address the issue. They have previously placed these kinds of relationships a couple of posts were taken off being hosts while their spouses were working for the Obama Administration MPR thought that was a conflict but you needn't Holmberg occupies kind of a special place rarefied place at NPR. She's very popular among listeners. She's a very good reporter and she's been there since nineteen seventy-five covering the same beat so long she gets special dispensation for this sort of conflict. Now the real issue in some ways is maybe you can finesse this by disclosing it. So there's no hidden agendas. Is nothing held back from listeners, if you simply said if Nina totenberg simply said every time she covered the cord, I'm friends. I've had a long relationship with RBG. You should know about this as part of her reporting in some ways that might make it less an issue. But she very very rarely did that this issue has come up from time to time. But you know, Nina totenberg did hundreds and hundreds of stories has done hundreds and hundreds of stories about the court and she rarely ever disclosed on the air. There's a lot in that office that I want to unpack here because I feel like there's a difference in terms of fairness in terms of how some reporters are treated versus others who have these relationships and granted there are not all reporters said her out there, but there is some sort of a special treatment here being afforded to totenberg for her as you mentioned many many decades of reporting. I'm wondering a couple Things first of all NPR obviously benefits from this relationship in some ways. It's it's part of I guess in a larger context what's called access journalism right off so news organizations do benefit from these high-level relationships. Isn't that right? Paul? Yes and listeners do too. I might add totenberg and talking with me said my job is to know these people as well as I can and to know everything about them and and that's true for any reporter and so in knowing them too intimately it informs her reporting it allows her to be able to have some sites that are reporter who doesn't have this kind of relationship might not have so there is a benefit to it. But you know, the question is at what price and at what cost to have that benefit. I also want to point out here that there you know in terms of talking about objectivity and I think it would be for example in in the case of totenberg and and Justice Ginsburg 10 p.m. Our could say well you can cover the court. You just can't cover Justice Ginsburg specifically, right? And we see a lot of those accommodations or or requests. I should say being made by news organizations you mentioned if I'm covering as I'm if I'm a business reporter, for example, I have to disclose to my news organization if I have certain investments in certain companies that would preclude me from covering those countries fairly for example, and so this is a pretty standard request from news outlets and I just want to broaden the lens here because often times when we talk about objectivity, we hear from journalists of color or lgbtq + journalists about how they've often been reprimanded because they can't quote be objective covering issues relating to their own communities. It feels like that's double standard Paul. Well, that's a can of worms. This is just a small one. Yes, you know ever since I've been a reporter and it's been a long time. We've tried to diversify our newsrooms that I've worked in. And the reason for that is we want multiple perspectives. We want people from different backgrounds to be able to present the world to offer readers because they have experience in what they're reporting on but that's not exactly the same as we want you to favor the group that you make em from the group that you are part of we want you to bring insight to your coverage based on your experience, but we don't want you to tilt the coverage, you know wage to favor that group and it's a very fine line I admit and it's it's one that could tilt the wrong way, you know, we as reporters are obligated to be fair and neutral and we get into arguments all the time as do readers with us about what is what how you define those things but I don't think background per se is prejudicial. In fact, I think it's beneficial. But you know, we all need to check our prejudices. We all need to check our biases and act for them and and as a as a professional reporter, you know, you're not doing your job unless you do those things constantly. How far is the Washington Post media reporter Paul? Merch joining me. Take you 10 Sia. All right everybody. That's our show for Thursday. And that's it for me. This week. Amy Walter is in tomorrow and I'll be back on Monday and I want to give a shout out to the amazing team that makes this show every day Lee Hill is our executive producer David gave our executive assistant Polly irungu and Deana Syed Ahmed our our digital editors. Alexandra booty is our senior producer and her production team is Ethan Oberman Jose Olivera's Meg, Dalton, Jason birth. Ski and Lydia McMullen Laird Jackie Martin and Jake how it were our line producers this week and a big thanks to our board operator Debbie. And our sound designer and director Vince Fairchild. Thanks for listening. I'm tanzina Vega and this is the takeaway.