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Trayvon: Digging Deeper; Racism in America

Aired April 3, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW GRIFFIN, HOST: On the show tonight:

Even if Trayvon Martin`s killer, George Zimmerman, gets charged, he could still go free. How and why is that so?

And this case has sparked a conversation about race relations and America`s kids. Black kids, white kids, your kids, and how they perceive these things.

And later, get this, a man forces his son to eat screws, do 1,000 pushups and you will not believe what else.

So, here`s what we`re looking at this evening. Regardless of how flagrant this case may seem, Zimmerman may walk because of the way Florida -- sorry, Florida, but it always seems to happen down there -- the way Florida has written this law, this "Stand Your Ground" law.

Now, amid this outrage, kids are watching, and they develop racial stereotypes much earlier than you think. We`re going to talk about that, and not this first upcoming block, but in the one after the commercial break, we`re going to get into how that happens and what exactly happens.

But, first, I want to get to a phone call from Justin in Vermont.

Justin, go ahead.


PINSKY: Hey, Justin. What do you got?

JUSTIN: First off, I just wanted to say I`m sickened by the lack of action by the police here. I think the case is being dragged out in fear of it being another Rodney King race war, and I`ve seen the video and the injuries on Zimmerman`s head are very minor.


JUSTIN: And did not justify him to kill him.

PINSKY: Well, I agree with you, Justin. Here`s the deal.

I mean, we know that Zimmerman was on his back. I mean, there was grass. His jacket was wet. He was on his back. I mean, he fell back.

What we don`t know is what went down in those few minutes before he ended on his back and what led him to -- by the way, take one, a fatal shot. You know, one of the things I`ve heard, when people fear for their life, they generally pull the trigger multiple times, not just once. Why did he shoot to kill, right?

JUSTIN: Exactly.

PINSKY: I mean, so much of this -- I mean, is so disturbing. I mean, I can`t quite get over it. That`s why we keep harping on it every night. And we`re going to get into the mysteries and particularly the videotape and we`re going to get into how kids develop their sensitivities about race. We`re going to talk about that and more.

Let`s get started now.


PINSKY: All right. So let`s take a look at this video enhanced by CNN. Here is the back of George Zimmerman`s head, as he is escorted through the Sanford Police Department on the evening of February 26th. There it is. Video enhancement. That was the night he shot and killed African-American teen Trayvon Martin.

So, are we looking at an injury sustained during this reported confrontation with Trayvon? And if so, could that injury prove somehow Zimmerman was in a life and death struggle with the unarmed teen?

Watch as CNN`s Deb Feyerick sits with an editor to investigate the tape. Have a look.


DEB FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So I`m here with Jason Bassa (ph), one of our great editors here at CNN. We`re going to show you a surveillance tape but in a very different way, and this is the night of the shooting.

JASON BASSA (ph), CNN EDITOR: What I`m going to do is I`m going to oversaturate it, too. See the reds.

FEYERICK: That`s interesting. There it definitely looks like something`s popping out.

BASSA: Yes. We`ll raise it. You see his jacket getting redder.


BASSA: That area getting redder. And I`m going to lighten it up a little bit. Erase the whites. There you go.


PINSKY: It looks a little bit more impressive.

Joining me to discuss this: Mark Eiglarsh, a criminal defense attorney, Natalie Jackson is a Martin family attorney.

Natalie, do you have any thoughts on this enhanced video? Is this in any way going to be relevant?

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: You know, it will be relevant if the defense brings that or if the prosecution brings that. This case has to get to trial. That is a question for the jury. The jury gets to decide what they see. They get to decide what is relevant, what is credible.

PINSKY: Now, tonight sources have confirmed the FBI is in Sanford, Florida, questioning potential witnesses in the gated community where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

Frank Taaffe, he`s the guy we`ve spoken to. He lives in the neighborhood. He`s been outspoken in his support of Zimmerman.

Taaffe speaks here to CNN`s "STARTING POINT" earlier today. Take a look at this.


FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: Neighborhood. That`s a great word -- neighborhood.

SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: What do you mean?

TAAFFE: Well, we had eight burglaries in our neighborhood, all perpetrated by young black males in the 15 months prior to Trayvon being shot.

It would have been nine. Excuse me. There would have been nine. But George Zimmerman through his efforts of being a neighborhood watch captain helped stop one in progress.


PINSKY: We looked into that ninth so-called incident and apparently it did occur.

Now, Natalie, is there proof, though, the other eight burglaries were, in fact, committed by young African-American males?

JACKSON: You know what? I don`t have such information. And Frank Taaffe spouts off stuff without any proof. I can`t believe anything that comes out of Frank Taaffe`s mouth. As far as Trayvon`s case, Frank Taaffe was not there.

PINSKY: Right. Hat`s right.

And earlier today, a Florida state senator said he is launching a task force to look into this "Stand Your Ground" law.

Mark, I know you wrote a little article about this today. Do you -- I guess you are arguing that there`s a chance Zimmerman could walk even if you apply that law such as it is if it goes to trial. Can you explain?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I start off the article saying, look, don`t kill the messenger. But I wrote the article because there`s a lot of information that`s getting out there that is just not correct. People are saying, well, if Zimmerman`s the aggressor or he`s a racist or any other reason, maybe you don`t like him, "Stand Your Ground" doesn`t apply.

That`s not necessarily true. In fact, it`s patently false. The law could apply, even if the court finds that he was the aggressor. Even if he finds that he did use a racial slur.

The issue becomes when he is confronted with what he believes to be a deadly threat, does he use every reasonable means to escape the harm, if he`s the aggressor, or if the court says, all right, he`s not the aggressor because he turned his back on Trayvon Martin -- assuming these are the facts, don`t kill the messenger, I don`t know if they are. But if he turns his back and Trayvon then attacks Zimmerman, then a court could find that "Stand Your Ground" grants immunity for Zimmerman.

PINSKY: Natalie, what do you say to what Mark`s saying?

JACKSON: Well, I think that the question is going to be reasonable and I think the question will be provoked, challenged. Mark -- George Zimmerman, he`s going to have to prove that he was doing something legal and that his actions were reasonable.

We do not believe that a court of law will find that his actions were reasonable, taking in the whole -- taking in his own words and everything that has come after this.

PINSKY: Well, Natalie --

JACKSON: But I will say -- well, the standard is reasonable.

EIGLARSH: The court said his actions were completely unreasonable leading up to the shooting, the court could even say he was wrong, he targeted someone, this was imprudent, it was racist. But the issue then becomes under "Stand Your Ground" is when he`s confronted with what he believes is a deadly threat, assuming those are the facts, the court then would then determine it was reasonable at that point.

See, that`s the issue. People think, well, he shouldn`t have followed him. You`re right. He probably shouldn`t have followed him.

PINSKY: He shouldn`t have.

EIGLARSH: Maybe he used a racial epithet. Correct.

PINSKY: He shouldn`t have.

EIGLARSH: But the issue legally -- the legal issue, not moral, but legal, that`s --

PINSKY: This is back to you educating me about the law and proof versus innocence.



Natalie, I have one question for you, Natalie, before I go to break., which is -- all my African-American friends seem concerned with one major issue, which is justice. Will justice be served in the end here, do you think?

JACKSON: We believe the Franklin Zimmerman -- I`m sorry, George Zimmerman will be arrested. And if the jury -- if it goes to a jury, he is arrested and goes to a jury, a jury`s decision, justice will be served.

PINSKY: Thank you, Natalie. Thank you, Mark.


JACKSON: -- correctly.

PINSKY: OK. We`ll see.

Next, Trayvon Martin`s shooting death has sparked a debate about racism. What I keep saying is a greater conversation. It`s raised the conversation a bit. I`m speaking with actor and former NFL player Terry Crews.

Stay with us.


PINSKY: Welcome back.

I want to get this conversation about Trayvon Martin`s death moving forward, get into why so many of us have diversion opinions, why our experiences seem to be aroused, you know, our own individual perspectives seem to be coming to bear on how we look at this case. It seems whenever the conversation turns to race, people can -- can -- they don`t have to, they can become divided. And I say we let this bring us together more.

Our country has come a long way from its dark history, but what has really changed and what hasn`t? Last night, my producer asked me on the air, quote, "What are white parents telling their kids about Trayvon Martin?" That was his question. That`s where I want to start.

Joining me to discuss this, CNN education contributor, Dr. Steve Perry, principal of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School. And one of the stars of the movie "The Expendables 2" and participant in the Chaka Khan music video tribute to Trayvon Martin, "Super Life," Terry Crews.

And you`ve been following this case all along. You`re the father of five kids?


PINSKY: How has this affected you?

CREWS: I mean, I have a 6-year-old son. The strange thing, you know, growing up black in America, and especially being a black male, I realize as a kid I was never -- once I reached those teenage years, I was treated like a grown man. I mean, I literally went from 8 to 21.

And amongst my peers, we all knew that even at 12 years old, that we would get a much harsher punishment just because of the way we were perceived.

PINSKY: The way the system perceived you or the way your peers perceived you?

CREWS: I feel it was the system. Growing up in Flint, Michigan --

PINSKY: I got to tell you, Terry, that`s who my African-American friends have always complained about, how the system sort of, you know, perceived them. I heard that part.

What I didn`t hear is how the more subtler piece, how they are perceived by everybody. Like, you`re a scary big guy and that people would treat you differently if they didn`t know you as a person. Just they`d see you and they`d treat you, here comes a hostile guy.

CREWS: I literally had --

PINSKY: You could be the most least hostile guy I know, you know what I mean?

CREWS: Exactly, exactly.

PINSKY: That`s got to affect you as a kid.

CREWS: Yes. I had teachers in high school that were like smile, Terry, smile, you`re scaring me. I remember these kind of things being told to me. It`s funny because I use it in my career. I use it, you know, when you`re on "CSI" and you have to play a villain, it works for you.

PINSKY: You`re feeding the stereotype.

CREWS: Right, right. Exactly. When you decide you want to work in Hollywood, what`s so crazy, when you look at Hollywood and you look -- there was a show where they had an investigation on how horses died. There`s no investigation in this Trayvon Martin case, which blows everybody away.

I mean, you`re investigating how horses died on a television show, and yet a human being lost his life. It doesn`t matter, black, white, Hispanic. A human being lost his life and there`s no investigation.

Now, finally we had to bring up this whole thing and now we`re finally seeing it. But it took, you know, we get to this point and it makes you just wonder what`s going on.

PINSKY: Now, I want to talk about how racism affects little kids. Anderson Cooper conducted a study. Take a look at this.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: When white children were shown these pictures, they had a negative interpretation 70 percent of the time. Meaning they were much more likely to say this --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did he fall off?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Bobby pushed him.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I think Brenda pushed Sarah off the swing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that he did something that was good or bad?


COOPER: When black children looked at the same pictures, only 38 percent saw something negative. Meaning, they were much more likely to see this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on with Carrie?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: She was sad that her friend got hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on with Chris?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: He was waiting his turn.


PINSKY: When I see that video, that`s the feeling I personally get when I heard this case. That`s where the rubber hits the road here in my opinion.

Steve, do you see stuff like this? And then if you see it as an educator, how in the world do you address it?

STEVE PERRY, PH.D., PRINCIPAL, CAPITAL PREPARATORY MAGNET SCHOOL: Absolutely, I do. As a matter of fact, we have CNN in our dining hall. And so, as this case has been unfolding, the children will look up to see what`s going on. And black and white children are impacted by it.

However, the facts are the facts, that children do grow up and they do get a keen understanding of race and racism. We have to look at the full implications of how we come to this place. One of them is, are the images that are made -- are used to be made of African-Americans by other people outside African-American community. Now we have to look at the images we make of ourselves through our music and art in ways in which we can refer to ourselves and we have to own to own on some level that we`re sending out this horrifying messages of ourselves, owning the N-word as if it`s some cute ways of referring to ourselves. Then, simultaneously wanting to make sure the white kid who listens to that song doesn`t use that word, and so, when he gets to that part of the song, he skips it.

We have, as African-American adults, we have to push our children to put out a better image of ourselves. That does not in any way shape or form justify the foolishness that has occurred, that has caused a child his life. Nor does it in any way justified the foolishness that makes it possible for black men, young men to be suspended more or more likely to be put into special education or any of the other systemic problems that come into play.

I say we have eternalized the negativity but we also have to own the piece that we send out to the community.

I`ll say the last thing, last Friday my students did a tribute to Trayvon. And one of the things they did was they, in our all-school meeting, they asked everyone to stand up if the following applied. And so, they went, have you ever been discriminated against, has someone come against you because of race, your gender, your sexuality? And what they found was everyone was standing up at the end. They said, look around, and we are all Trayvon.

PINSKY: Right. We are -- thank you, Steve. That`s a great -- we are all Trayvon.

And, Terry, you let out a big sigh when you watched that Anderson Cooper piece.

CREWS: Yes. I mean, it`s funny, because I look at my kids. My family looks like a rainbow. I mean, I have a daughter who could pass for white. My wife is half white. I literally -- I know my great-great-great grandfather was white.

When you look and you wonder on the other side, at a white family, do they ever view themselves in any way tie in or identify with black people? Because black people, we identify with white culture very well. We have to.

And you see different colors and you see -- you know, there`s a black person who looks Hispanic. There`s a black person who looks white. There`s a back person who looks like me.

We wonder, does this really affect how we deal with each other?

PINSKY: Mark, I`ll ask you that. You have little kids. And you are Caucasian. What do you -- how do you answer that question?

EIGLARSH: Well, I let them know that racism unfortunately is alive and well, and that they are not to consider the hatred that is out there that they`re taught, specifically the Trayvon Martin case. Let`s address this.

If roles were reversed, if Zimmerman was black and Trayvon was white, the only question is how quickly the arrest would have taken place. So if we`re striving for justice, which is like cases being treated alike, let`s not kid ourselves. People who don`t think racism is alive and well are either naive or they`re being intellectually dishonest.

PERRY: Drew, one other --


PINSKY: Steve, I got to interrupt you because I`m going to ask Terry one more thing. I have less than a minute, which is I have basically adult kids. They`re 19, 20. You know, they`re getting toward adulthood.

But what do you want me to tell my kids? What do you wish I told them when they were little?

CREWS: You know, I mean, this is the funny thing. There is a difference between prejudice and racism. I think that, you know, everyone to some extent is prejudice. You prejudge situations you come into.

PINSKY: Should I tell them, examine your prejudices?

CREWS: Exactly. Exactly. Know that you have it. You have to know there`s an enemy so you can defeat him.

PINSKY: Don`t pretend you don`t. Find it. Find it.

CREWS: I hate to hear people say, I don`t see color. I don`t see color. I`m colorblind.

That is a lie. We all see color. We all see differences. It`s OK. Now that we recognize it, let`s deal with it in an honest way and that`s the only we`re going to see (INAUDIBLE).

PINSKY: I agree with you, Terry.

Now, next up, we`re going to talk about children`s thoughts on racism and how they`re influenced by their families. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My grandparents have a lot of -- like, they`re very racist against African-Americans. And, like, other races. But it`s 2012, so they have to, like, push that aside. They`ll be like, no, that`s wrong to be -- you want to stick with your own race. I`m like, no, I`m friends with everyone.


PINSKY: That little girl from Anderson Cooper`s project, "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture." She`s awesome.

We talk about how we protect our kids from predators and dangers. How do we keep our kids away from prejudice, as Terry said, and racism?

Joining us now, the editor of, Michael Skolnik.

Michael, you I guess have talked about white privilege. What do we teach white children about race?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, GLOBALGRIND.COM: I think what`s interesting, Dr. Drew, is we all just tell our kids racism exists. I was fortunate. My parents told me that I have privilege because I`m white. So, I recognized at a very young age, even if your father is the president of the United States, your sons could still be Trayvon Martin today. So I was very, very fortunate.

My parents didn`t just tell me racism exists, or prejudice exists. They said, you have a privilege, you can walk down the street and no taxicab will pass by you. You can walk down the street and no one is going to grab her purse and fear for you. Recognize that. See that.

With that comes responsibility. When you have that responsibility, when you have that kind of privilege, you have choices to make. In this situation, I would tell my children if I had them or I`d tell my nephew who I do have, that the choice you do have to make is to stand up for other people`s rights that you take for granted.

PINSKY: Terry, how do you react to that?

CREWS: What I would tell my kids and do tell my kids is that no one can hold you back. That`s the key. The key is, is that perceived obstacles are obstacles, but when you realize that, you know, you -- there`s a way around everything.

I mean, literally, my career has been, you know, I could have been in jail on many different occasions falsely accused of different things, but I was able to see myself in a digit place and get myself out of these situations.

You know, you have to be smart. You have to always think and know that you are valuable. You are valuable. You -- and I just think we just need to continue to tell our kids, whatever race they are, that they are valuable, and other people are valuable, too.

PINSKY: And I think that`s what`s behind mike`s thing there, is to be valuable, but to bring other people --

CREWS: Bring them with you. You are not above anyone, but you are all super valuable. That`s the point.

PINSKY: And, Steve, you`re the one out there in the trenches educating the kids. How do you respond to this?

PERRY: It`s exposure. When children have access to other people, they can either like or dislike someone based upon who they are. Also as adults, exposure.

Actually, Drew, this weekend, I was filming. And a car full of black cameramen with one white cameraman were pulled over, and afterwards, they just had gone into a bagel shop and afterwards the white cameraman was just stunned. And I said -- he said, I never felt anything like that. I said, here`s the thing, chief, you get to go home and be white. All of us have to drive home.

So that experience that he had changed a way in which he looks at life and now he can see, unfortunately, that each one of us, including me, all have to drive home. And we have to make it.

PINSKY: But, Steve, Steve, I think Trayvon is that moment for this country, for everybody. Thank you, Steve. Thank you, Terry. Thank you, Mike, for that comment.

I`ve got your calls and comments up next.

And later, a child is allegedly -- get this -- forced to eat screws and that was only part of his punishment, thousands of pushups, all kinds of -- hard to the ear, really. Stick around.



PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, a child`s stepfather is accused of beating, whipping, and torturing the boy for disobeying orders to stay in his room and for allowing the dog to run loose in the house. Authorities say that when the suspect threw a chair, it broke, sending two screws to the floor --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the stepfather forced this 12-year-old child to eat the screws.

PINSKY: A teacher apparently blew the whistle. We`ll talk about the factors that lead to people doing outrageous things.


PINSKY (on-camera): You, the viewers, are sounding off on the Trayvon Martin case and plenty of other topics. Let`s get right on into it. Gregory in Pennsylvania, what do you got?

GREGORY, PENNSYLVANIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. How are you?

PINSKY: I`m good, Gregory. What`s going on?

GREGORY: Yes. I just wanted to say, Dr. Drew, that the problem just isn`t in Sanford. It`s a national problem. For instance, OK, when I`m just going out to take a ride with my family.


GREGORY: You know, I get a hole stared through me by the police here, and I don`t know if they think that I have drugs or I`m carrying guns, but it really makes me uncomfortable. I am a law-abiding citizen. I pay my taxes.

PINSKY: You know, it`s crazy. Last night, one of my own producers came in here and told his story, you know, of being pulled over and shaken down basically with his two-year-old in the back of his car. And I don`t know, Gregory, what to say.

I don`t know what we do with this other than to keep this conversation going, and I`ve always heard the law enforcement made my friends who are African-American feel bad, but this whole Trayvon Martin thing sort of expands the depth of the problem. What do you see as the solution?

GREGORY: I don`t know. I just think everyone should, you know, open their eyes and just --

PINSKY: Maybe open their hearts is a little bit more we need to do.

GREGORY: Yes, their hearts. You know, and every person isn`t the same. You know what I mean?

PINSKY: Yes, yes.

GREGORY: Everybody is not the same.

PINSKY: Yes, it`s crazy. I mean, on one hand, we under profile at the airport, you know what I mean? Kids in wheelchairs are getting shaken down. I know I`ve been really searched. I mean, people calling me by name are, like, frisking me. So, I don`t know, Gregory. I say the conversation is what`s important. Thank you for your call. Dana in Atlanta, what`s on your mind?

DANA, ATLANTA: Hi, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Hi, Dana. What`s happening?

DANA: I was just thinking it seems like a shame to me that for our country at this point we even feel the need to racially profile who we blame when something like this happens.

PINSKY: You mean the fact that we`re even having a conversation about race as it pertains to this story?

DANA: Yes.

PINSKY: I don`t think we can avoid it. I don`t think -- no?

DANA: No, we can`t avoid it. It`s just sad that we`re still there.

PINSKY: That I agree with you. Yes. This whole thing should make us very sad. That`s for sure.

DANA: It`s not just Black and White anymore. Now, we`ve added Hispanic to the mix. And, although, I believe George is guilty, I`ve been impressed by Trayvon`s parents` leadership, and I`m going to do what they do and wait for justice --

PINSKY: Well, are you African-American, yourself?

DANA: No, I`m actually White.

PINSKY: I know from my -- speaking to African-Americans, the justice piece of this is deeply important to them. I`m trying to get my head around that and understand why that is so -- Trent yesterday, the attorney, was helping me understand that. That`s a big part of this for them.

If he walks, I don`t know, it`s going to be an interesting -- let`s just hope justice is served, and the truth will out. Thank you for your call. I appreciate it. We have Colin in Santa Barbara. What`s going on, Colin?


PINSKY: Hi, Colin.

COLIN: I have been smoking marijuana since I was 14. I`m now 47, and I stopped about 37 days ago.

PINSKY: That is a long time. That is a lot of pot. You must be saving a lot of money now.

COLIN: You know, I would say that I was a chronic smoker for most of my life, especially the last few years.


COLIN: My body went into shock. It`s sweating, chest pains, feeling like I was hung over.


COLIN: And I have been sober from alcohol since 2001.


COLIN: So, to have those symptoms was really kind of -- it was not a good thing to have.

PINSKY: Well, let me ask you, did somebody tell you that, Colin, that cannabis wasn`t addictive? Is that what you believed?

COLIN: I`ve heard so many stories, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Colin, Colin, Colin, what are you experiencing right now? You`re experiencing drug withdrawal. I see this all the time from cannabis. Not everybody that smokes pot gets it and not everyone who smokes even a lot of pot gets it.

But when you`re an addict, when you`re using and you can`t stop using it every day for years and years, and you have consequences. I`m sure there`s a reason you stopped. Your life wasn`t quite going the way you wanted it to, I suspect.

COLIN: I mean, the chest pains, and I still get them periodically. My doctor -- I`ve been having pain in my biceps.

PINSKY: Colin, let me say what happens. Here`s what happens. For the first two weeks, you get paranoid, irritable, agitated, you still can`t sleep, you get sweaty, you had aches and pains and a severe in your body, you have a sense of wanting to jump out of your skin and the sense of desperation -- sound familiar?

COLIN: It does.

PINSKY: That`s cannabis withdrawal. Yes. Let me just tell you, cannabis withdrawal. Let me tell you what we use to treat it, we use a lot of Risperdal to use that. So, you might talk to your doctor about that. I`ve been dealing with cannabis withdrawal for 20 years. It is intense for some people.

It is -- it`s as bad as any other withdrawal, and you will have sleep problems for up to six months. So, you really do need to attend to this. And by the way, the paranoia, do you feel irritable, like you`re kind of paranoid a bit?

COLIN: I mean, I`ve always had anxiety in my life --

PINSKY: Well, now it`s off the -- but now, it`s off the chart, right?

COLIN: Well, I`m doing better. I mean, I`m staying the course.


COLIN: But my doctor -- when I went to the doctor the other day to complain about my arm, my bicep, and my legs having pain --


COLIN: He had me going -- today, I just had a coronary artery scan.

PINSKY: Good. Excellent.

COLIN: He wanted to make sure that my heart was giving enough --

PINSKY: Of course.

COLIN: I will find out that in a couple of days.

PINSKY: I`m sure that is fine. If you actually had significant coronary problem, they would have come to get you and take you to the hospital right away. But listen, body aches in withdrawal is absolutely typical of this. Again, there are doctors out there like myself who have expertise in treating this and helping you make it possible to get through this.

You might go to an M.A. meeting -- Marijuana Anonymous meeting, raise your hand, say you need help, and see who people referred you there, doctors that know how to handle this, because it can be very difficult to get through.

Now, I`m going to switch topics here. Last week, many of you told us you supported a transgendered contestant, get this, in the Miss Universe pageant in Canada. Now, even though, officials said the rules make her ineligible to compete, was that a form of prejudice? The Trump Organization which owns the pageant says it will now allow her to take part, quote, "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements."

Wow. I wish I knew what that was. Laura says, "Rules are rules. They should be followed, and the rules state the contestant must be a natural born woman." I feel like this is like the three stooges or cartoon where they say, what`s in the rule book? It doesn`t say in the rule book that someone who looks (INAUDIBLE) on the outside can`t compete if they have the wrong chromosomes.

Madeline says, "She is a she now. Therefore, let her compete. Good for Trump for reconsidering the original ban. Peace." I`ve got Sandy who`s saying, Sandy, "Absolutely ridiculous that a lie on any application would result in this conclusion. What is this world coming to and the examples we`re setting for our children?"

I will just say, just contemplate this. There`s a medical condition. We used to call it testicular feminization where you`re born a male. You have X/Y chromosome, but you don`t have the receptors in your body to respond to testosterone so you develop as a female. So, even though you`re producing testosterone, you have an X/Y, you look 100 percent female on the outside.

Nobody, no matter what exam you did, could tell. Should that person be allowed to compete? And how is that then different than somebody who changes their outside to appear female because they feel their gender identity is consistent with that? It`s a really interesting question.

I`m not sure I have an answer to that, but I think it`s kind of enlightened Mr. Trump to take a position on that. And, I don`t know what the legal definition is that they`re referring to here, but I suspect when that he was threatened with a lawsuit, she must submit that requirements, because I suspect that`s what motivated his changed more than anything else.

Now, when we come back, another story of child abuse, get this, a 12- year-old boy allegedly tortured by his step-father. He`s required to do pushups. When the father breaks a chair, screws break loose, and he requires this kid to consume, to eat the screws. We`re going to get into this and the details straight ahead.


CAPT. STEVE JOHNSON, ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPT.: The dad, stepfather, comes home and discovers crumbs on the ground and gets very upset with the child and about 2:00 in the morning, forces the child to get up and start doing pushups in this residence. In total, throughout this torture ordeal, this child was forced to do over 700 pushups.


PINSKY: And that was just a portion of this alleged torture of a 12- year-old boy at the hands of his step-father, James Jennings (ph). The questions, obviously, still abound, where was the mom? Why such extreme measures? Did the step-dad, somehow, believe he was engaged in good parenting practices? Actually, he did offer an explanation. Check this out.


JOHNSON: While the father was upset, he was beating on a chair and several screws fell off of the chair on to the ground and the step-father forced this 12-year-old child to eat the screws. During this torture ordeal, the step-father continued to beat this 12-year-old with the stepfather`s belt, punched him in the legs, in the face several times, also bloodying his nose.


PINSKY: Because he let the dog run free in the house and left crumbs on the floor. Tonight, we`re going to try to understand what this is all about, what the consequences might be for the mother and father, the mother and step dad. Joining me, Michael Pearl, author of "To Train up a Child," former L.A. County prosecutor, Loni Combs, and Sgt. Mike Hundelt, is that correct, from the St. Clair County Sheriffs Office.

Sergeant, I want to go to you first. You guys have seen lots of crime, I`m sure, but this was one must have been terribly disturbing for you, and I`m just wondering how it affected your entire community there.

SGT. MIKE HUNDELT, ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: Well, it was. It was very, very difficult. And not only the community, but the investigators that work on the case, they described it as one of the worst ones that they`ve seen also, too. And it was, it was very difficult for everybody who worked it.

PINSKY: And my understanding is the mom was arrest arrested, too. The mother. Now, allegedly, she was out of town during the torture. What is it she is being held for?

HUNDELT: She was charged with endangering the life of a child, which is a class "A" misdemeanor. She was arrested whenever -- she was out of town. From our understanding, she was in Florida, we believe, on some type of military leave down there.

And when she returned, they brought her up to our department and she was arrested there and charged with -- the state`s attorney office charged her with endangering the life of a child. Her bond was set at $20,000. And, she did post bond and was released from jail.

PINSKY: Michael, I want to go out to you. You`ve been advocating, you know, certain kinds of childrearing practices. I actually did a program where you took out your rod and hit me on the hand. You have that rod with you, by any chance?

MICHAEL PEARL, AUTHOR, "TO TRAIN UP A CHILD": No, I don`t. Since you`re not here, I left it at home.

PINSKY: OK. Well, thank you for that, Michael. But I wonder what your take is on this.

PEARL: I go to prisons every week. I spend about 1,800 hours dealing with men, many of them who have abused their children like that, and I`m looking forward to meeting Jennings in prison. I`ll be able to teach him the bible, I hope, for 10 to 15 years.

PINSKY: But, Michael, my question to you is, how do we get people to differentiate -- I mean, you`re advocating a kind of -- you`re more aggressive than I believe somebody should be, but how do you prevent somebody from going from where you advocate to this kind of guy?

PEARL: Well, I teach what 95 percent of all parents practice which is just traditional child training with the possibility of corporal chastisement, but this was not a parent. In fact, he was not even a parent. He was a step-father. And if you`ll notice, most of these cases of abuse do take place where there`s not that natural parental nurturing, where it`s a stepfather who gets angry.

This man`s a criminal. This man, if what we read is true, this man is totally out of control, and it was not about training the child. It was not about loving the child. It was not about nurturing him to do what he ought to do. This was just a man that was angry. He`s a big bully. And he picked on a small child and if what we read is true, he should go to jail for it.

PINSKY: Michael, again, people would criticize Michael for some of his techniques, and even Michael`s looking at this guy going, come on. Michael, I`m glad to hear you say it, talking about not using children`s -- or contemplating that children are in any way objects or not being able to appreciate what children feel.

And speaking of which, my hand still hurts when you whacked me with that stick, by the way. But (INAUDIBLE), just be easy with that thing. Loni, I want to go to you. Last week, we talked about a grandmother who ran her granddaughter to death. She`s being set up for the death penalty. What should the punishment be for this guy, and this mom, too?

LONI COOMBS, FORMER L.A. COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, I have to say, I don`t agree with pretty much anything else Mr. Pearl says about childrearing, but I do agree that this father or step-father should get prison time. You know, I prosecuted a lot of murderers.

And you know, they would get the death penalty, but I would get these child cases where people would do these horrible things to children, and I`ll tell you, some of those cases need the death penalty because how can these people victimize poor, innocent, vulnerable children who are just looking for love, attention, kindness from this parent figure, and they have done such horrible things?

This is clearly torture. There`s no other way to describe what this man did.

PINSKY: So, Loni, again, everyone on my panel here, I`m really sort of enthusiastic about what`s being said here tonight. How -- I talk about child abuse all the time. I`ve been dealing with it for 20 years, really, probably 30 years now. How do we get people to understand what this is and the profound impact it has on the development of kids?

I mean, if we wanted to do away with crime in this country and misery and many different mental health issues, proper handling of children would go most of the way there.

COOMBS: That`s right, and it starts with the kids.

PINSKY: And how do we get people to understand it? You deal with it in the courtroom. I deal with it in the hospitals. Why can`t people seem to get this?

COOMBS: Well, I`ll tell you, and right now, there`s this proliferation of parents and grandparents who seem to be out of control with their children. There`s a lot of things going on in the world right now, the recession, economic problems. And people are taking it out on their kids, the vulnerable victims.

We have to start with the basic line that Mr. Pearl seems to feel is not appropriate, and that is, don`t hit your children. Don`t perpetuate violence in the home. These are your precious people that you are entrusted to raise up and take care of. Let`s not start with violence in the home. Let`s start with respect.

PINSKY: Michael, go ahead and respond to that.

PEARL: That`s right. I mean, she`s absolutely right. People who hit their children are out of control. And there needs to be some intervention taking place.

PINSKY: But Michael, do you think -- this is the question I was asking you earlier. Do you think your techniques in any way encourage people that do behave the way Loni is describing?

PEARL: I represent 300 million Americans in their view. I represent traditional child training, which leaves open the option to use corporal chastisement in the process of nurturing and training our children.

COOMBS: But, Mr. Pearl, you can say all the numbers you want. It doesn`t change the fact that what you`re talking about, whether you call it spanking or hitting, you`re using a violent act toward your child.

PINSKY: Loni, I`m going to stop you and ask the police sergeant. Tell us, do you think that this leads to -- sergeant, do you think this what leads to so much of the stuff you`re having to deal with?

HUNDELT: Well, I don`t know if it would be -- I don`t know if there`s a direct correlation between it. Unfortunately, we don`t see the exact measure or the exact correlation between it. I know each person has their different views on it, and, you know, that would be, you know, that would be something unfortunately that --

PINSKY: All right. I got to interrupt everybody, because I have to go to break. I`m sorry. I get you, and how are we missing -- you know, those of us that are living amongst these folks, how do we miss it? It`s time to report, confront, discuss it. It could save a child. Stay with us.


PINSKY: In 2009, child abuse reports involved an estimated six million children. This is our -- I don`t know if it`s a hidden epidemic, it`s an epidemic in our country. And what clues might we be missing? Is there a typical child abuser? Do we need stricter laws? Michael Pearl, stricter laws or stricter parents?

PEARL: Twenty-nine different countries have outlawed spanking. Sweden was one of the first, and as a result of outlawing spanking, child violence went up 600 percent in Sweden. What happens is parents become frustrated if they`re not allowed full natural latitude to train their children, then that frustration, they strike out in violence -

PINSKY: Hang on a second, Michael. Loni is actually having a physical reaction to what you just said.

COOMBS: Yes, absolutely. You know, there are so many other methods to be able to talk to our children and teach our children. We are civilized. We`re not mules as Mr. Pearl says.

PINSKY: If we were trying to create a society of warriors, this would be a great way to create violent warrior.

COOMBS: That`s exactly right. That`s exactly right.


COOMBS: -- and anger, and a physical reaction to everything, that`s what you do. But if you want to teach your children to be sensitive and loving and respectful and use their brains and logic and reason, let`s do that in the way that we treat them. Starting with positive reinforcement, time-outs. There are all different kinds of parenting methods.

PINSKY: How many kids do you have?

COOMBS: I have one child and four step-children.

PINSKY: So, you`re raising five kids. Everything going OK?

COOMBS: Yes. They`re all doing great.

PINSKY: Do you feel frustrated?

COOMBS: Yes. All parents feel frustrated and anger, and that is why you shouldn`t have a violent reaction as one of your options because when you`re angry and frustrated, it`s too easy. It`s a slippery slope for parents to then start acting out in their violence and anger and hitting their child. It`s more about the parent than about the child`s behavior and teaching them.

PINSKY: Michael, you have reaction?

PEARL: The problem is she`s transferring her own feelings toward the rest of us, parents. No, we don`t experience frustration and we don`t experience anger, because we have control in our home.

COOMBS: Ever? Whenever you`re upset with your children?

PEARL: You can ask any one of my children. They tell you they`ve never seen me angry, because I always knew that I would win and in the end. I`d have wonderful children. And so, there was no need to be angry, because through the training --

COOMBS: I think there`s better ways to get your attention of your children than fear of being hit or spanked.

PEARL: It wasn`t clear. Again, you`re transferring your own experience into ours. That`s not our experience at all.

COOMBS: I don`t think children look at being hit if anything but fear when someone they know is going to hit or spank them. I don`t think they think it`s a loving gesture that they look forward to or welcome or embrace.

PEARL: You come from an academic world instead of one of reality. Ninety-five percent --

COOMBS: I live in reality, and I`m around plenty of children. I`ve worked with children. I`ve helped children and young adults. And I don`t think that violence is ever the best means to react to a child`s behavior.

PEARL: You`re using inflammatory rhetoric attempting to change the subject. The subject`s not about violence. We`re talking about normal parental nurturing, which involves the option to spank. This case, in Jennings, has nothing to do with spanking. That`s a case of violence. It`s totally separate situation.

COOMBS: I agree with you on that.

PINSKY: Guys, I`ve got to wrap this conversation up. We all agree on that point. That`s why I asked Michael to be here, because I want to make the point, even Michael who advocates some extreme measures, even he looks upon this as ridiculous and outrageous.

I just want to remind people that this guy was living in a neighborhood, people knew him. People probably had instincts that bad things were going on in that household. So, please, we hear about this all the time, trust your instincts. We do not want this going on out there anymore -- I don`t want to keep reporting on these stories. Thank you all for watching. I`ll see you next time.