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Possible Attack From North Korea On April 15th; Brad Paisley's And LL Cool J's Song Getting Ever More Criticism

Aired April 13, 2013 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Sex in Silicon Valley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've made close to million dollars.

LEMON: Prostitution on the rise in California as tech execs hand over the power to someone else. And she's dressed in leather. We will take you inside the dominatrix dungeon to meet the valley's other entrepreneurs.

A song meant to unite has the critics divided.

Is the song titled "accidental racist" accidentally racist?

They are known as the Central Park Five, teens wrongfully convicted in one of New York City's most notorious crimes, simply because of their race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The verdicts have been set aside in their entirety.

LEMON: But after two decades, their case is still unresolved. Filmmaker Ken Burns is on a crusade to change that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is really about human beings not admitting a mistake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Those stories that you're talking about in just a moment.

But first, I want to give you the headlines, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. We want to get you up to speed now.

Incredible video showing a plane with a huge crack floating right in the ocean. Amazingly, everyone on board survived. The Lion Air 737 carrying more than 100 people overshot a runway near Bali, Indonesia, today. Rescue crews helped get everyone out of the plane. No serious injury has been reported.

Doug Sovern of San Francisco KCBS radio was in the airport when the crash happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DOUG SOVERN, WITNESS PLANE CRASH: What we are told here at the airport is shortly after 3:30 local time, this incoming Lion Air domestic flight overshot the runway while it was landing, landed off the Indian ocean, just off the coast here and split in half. Amazingly, they were able to get everyone out of the plane, sort of shades of the miracle on the Hudson, people jumping out of the plane going somehow getting rescue from the inside of the aircraft.

We saw a lot of fire engines. Ambulances were called. There were some minor injuries. But, we're told everyone survived. About 100 passengers in crew, everyone got off safely. No one killed, at least in the impact on the landing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The plane was landing at Bali's airport when it crashed. Lion air says the plane is new and the pilot was fit to fly. The cause of the crash, under investigation.

A 63-year-old man set on fire inside his SUV in Long Beach, California. Police say a man walked up, tossed a flammable liquid through the SUV's window last night. Witnesses helped get the man out of the car. He is in critical condition with serious burns.

A suspect was captured and booked on attempted murder charges. Police say the two men did not know each other.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did I say about the next question you ask me? Do you remember?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the (bleep) off the bus! (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't ask you a question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: This video is truly shocking. It's out of Lincoln, Nebraska. It's a bus driver attacking a passenger. The driver becomes irate at being asked a question. It fumbles a man with more than a dozen blows. He then dragged the man off the bus and drives away. He was cited for misdemeanor assault and fired from his job.

In Florida, a police sergeant in Fort (INAUDIBLE) has lost his job for bringing silhouette of Trayvon Martin to target practice. Image shows a hooded figure with skittles. It is a clear reference to Martin who was shot and killed in a February 2012 altercation with neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is awaiting trial for second degree murder. To North Korea now, several weeks of escalating threats and aggression has finally produced something besides fear and uncertainty. I want you to look at this. It is a fresh partnership between the United States and China with the common goal of putting the brakes on North Korea.

Secretary of state John Kerry is about to leave Beijing and head for Japan. But the emergency on the Korean peninsula, nowhere near over. One career expert I talked with this evening is 100 percent convinced that the North Koreans will test launch a ballistic missile within a few hours.

Straight to Seoul now, CNN's Kyung Lah.

Kyung, it's not every day that you can report the U.S. and China in full agreement on something.

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's a very important move because China is the key here, Don. The United States has long believed, as had the allies in the region, that there cannot be peace on the peninsula, that you cannot control North Korea from saying these escalating threats and all of this propaganda that's been directed at the United States without having China on board. That's why Secretary Kerry being there, that's why this new partnership being formed is so important. Here's what Secretary Kerry said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We both joined in stating that the United States and China remain fully committed to the September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks and to its core goal. And that core goal is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: And returning to those critical six-party talks, those talks seen as the durable solution to this region. Don, if those six- party talks continue, it will certainly be a very good sign for peace on the peninsula, at least the way it has been for many years.

LEMON: Yes.

So Kyung, what's happening inside North Korea today? Any new threats or provocation, military activity, anything?

LAH: Well, the reports we've been getting for the last couple of days has been that it's a festive atmosphere inside North Korea. And I want you to take a look at what we saw and what we're still seeing on North Korean state-run media. There's only one channel in North Korea. And you can see this is like a variety show, singing, dancing. All of this is celebrations for April 15th, Monday in Asia. It is the most important holiday in North Korea, the most important day of the year. It is the 101st anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea, the grandfather of Kim Jong-un.

So, festive party like atmosphere. We are not seeing the tensions rise. That's the why the assumption here in the peninsula is that there probably won't be any sort of missile launch until after April 15th if there is one at all.

LEMON: All right, Kyung Lah. Thank you very much, Kyung.

A small American plane crashed into a home in Guyana. The American pilot and Canadian co-pilot were killed. We don't have the victims' names yes. The piper aircraft reportedly crashed a few minutes after take-off from an airport near Georgetown. The plane was reportedly hired by Guyana's government to do surveillance work in a jungle area of South America.

Prostitutes and geeks, our tech expert went to Silicon Valley where sex workers have embraced the geek culture. Well, they more than embraced. That's usually how it starts out, right? I don't know myself. But I'd assume that's step one. The story's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The world's oldest profession meets one of the world's newest.

Laurie Segall, CNN money tech expert, you recently visited Silicon Valley, the quick wealth that some of these guys experience there, the app developers, entrepreneurs, the programmers. It's kind of led to a sort of cottage sex industry.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Sure. And I mean, Don, the last thing you think of when you think of Silicon Valley and these nerds and programmers are the sex industry. But we spoke -- we did a behind-the-scenes look and spoke to women who are capitalizing on a lot of the new money there and are using very interesting marketing techniques. Take a look.

LEMON: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEGALL (voice-over): Prostitution arrest as are up in several parts of the valley. In San Jose, a 35 percent increase from 2010 to 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the females we have had contact within males, that is both males and females, they indicate that they can make more money in San Jose and they can charge more for their services based on what individuals in our area make.

SEGALL: People in the area make a t lot. Average wages over the last year of over $96,000.

KAREN, SEX WORKER: The majority of them are really sweet.

SEGALL: Karen is a sex worker based in Silicon Valley. She charges $400 to $500 an hour. How much do you think you've made?

KAREN: I've made close to million dollars.

SEGALL: Million dollars?

KAREN: Close to million dollars. SEGALL: She says her clients come from a number of major tech companies in the area, places where the IPO money has been flowing.

KAREN: These are young guys that are working in the high-tech industry and they have the money.

SEGALL: How do you guys see an uptick in prostitution?

JACK BENNETT, FBI CYBERCRIME CHIEF, SAN FRANCISCO: I think we continue to see an uptick because we see technology being utilized. I think here in the bay area, there's always been a tendency to be very accepting new technology as it arrives.

KAREN: One example, accepting credit cards for sex via Smartphone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The way that it would typically work is I would bill before the session.

SEGALL: Just one of the tricks of the trade for prostitutes in Silicon Valley. The square credit card readers aimed at helping small businesses accept payments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I file it under a different business name. And it is just as far as the square knows, it's a consulting business.

SEGALL: She's an early adapter taking advantage of the technology built in her own back yard and she's part of a growing group of high-tech sex workers who call themselves Silicon Valley's other entrepreneurs.

Our listeners are kind of nerdy.

SEGALL: Suzy "Q" is one of them.

SUZY Q, SEX WORKER: I have a Tumblr, Instagram, facebook, twitter. I have two Web sites and I have Google voice. God, what else?

SEGALL: That's a lot.

SUZY Q: Hash tag.

SEGALL: She hosts a podcast where she talks about life in the industry.

SUZY Q: We're talking about, you know, tech industry and geeky stuff.

SEGALL: Another sex worker, we'll call her Josephine, markets to the tech crowd by wearing geeky t-shirts in her ads.

JOSEPHINE, SEX WORKER: Geeks makes better lover. This is an important thing to remember is or kiddie striker, a sex worker who says for demo is geek.

Business reflects the ebb and flow of the start-up world, a sector known for booms and busts.

KITTY STRYKER, SEX WORKER: A start-up will be doing well. And you will see a bunch of people from that start-up. Then they falter.

SEGALL: They all say geeks make great clients.

KAREN: Young guys in their 20s ask me, how do I get a girlfriend? You know, what should I do? How do I -- one guy asked me if he should get a puppy as he pulled up in a Ferrari?

SEGALL: For their safety, we change names and taken measures to conceal the identities of the sex workers we spoke with in this story. They say in an area known for geeks and not for game, there's no shortage of eager customers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SEGALL: And, Don, I should say, a lot of these activities, some borderline legal, most of them illegal. So, you can see we changed -- we obviously changed the voice of one of the women in there. But you can see that a lot of these women they say that this business has been recession-proof for them and they want the money and this is what they want to do, Don.

LEMON: So, we are hearing about mobile payments, targeted advertising. I mean, they sound more like small businesses, some of these ladies.

SEGALL: Every single one we spoke to said that they viewed themselves as a bit of an entrepreneur. You look at -- they're using square to accept mobile payments. They are using, you are looking right now, this woman wears this stuff in her ads to market to geeks. Their game of throne rapper, as you see there, it says the winter is coming. You see also one woman we spoke to had -- she is using a podcast to get people on board. And she uses hash tags. There's a woman who has an Amazon wish-list where her clients will go there and they will go and get her stuff. And on there, she puts star trek DVDs that she wants her clients to buy. They are very much catering to the geeks who they say have the money right now, Don.

LEMON: OK. So some of the workers you spoke to said that these guys, their clients are different than regular Johns. What did they mean by that?

SEGALL: Sure. You think regular Johns. I don't know what you think. But you definitely do not think guys in hoodies, maybe, you know, programmers. But these women say that these guys are geeks are little game. And they market themselves as coaches.

Listen to this, Don.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN: A lot of them are guys that probably didn't get a lot of women in high school. And they want tips on how to get the hot girls that they didn't get prior to having the millions that they have now. KITTY STRYKER: If you explain it to them in a way that's like, it's a formula. And if you know the secret to the formula, then you can fulfill that formula. Then they say, oh, math. It's math.

SEGALL: You speak geek.

KITTY STRYKER: I speak geek.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEGALL: Essentially many of these women are getting paid to show these guys how to interact with women which apparently they say is something that they're not that good at.

LEMON: But they have the money.

SEGALL: But they've got the money.

LEMON: Because of money so, they get these ladies.

So, all right, Laurie. Laurie is going to stay with us for part two where things get even stranger.

I want you to take a look at this. Do you see that? Do you want to know what that is? We are going to go into the geek dungeon next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Sex in the Silicon Valley, Laurie Segall is back with her look at how the world's oldest profession meets one of the world's newest.

And you said you saw a bay area dominatrix dungeon. The woman who runs it says many of her clients work in technology. Tell us about this facility.

SEGALL: Not every day you end up in this kind of thing. But look, it's in a building you would have no idea it's there in the bay area. Since you go up some stairs, they are all different normal types of businesses there. You get in there and you're looking at what's in the -- you look at what's in there now. And essentially, to some natures worked at a start-up back in the day and decided to build her own business and most of her clients are tech-focused. So, a lot of the contraptions in there have a lot to do with technology.

You look right there on the screen. That actually has ipod earbuds in it. I kid you not. There's a crane in there that could hold up to 900 pounds that is built an engineer. And she says, her tech plan helped her with buildings.

One thing I want to show you, the jail cell in there. I mean, this is a little bit shocking, if you take a look at that. Essentially, it's a jail cell constructed in perfect proportion to the jail cells at Alcatraz by an MIT engineer. That was a client of the dominatrix. So, you know, a lot -- he obviously would not go on camera and talk about this. But she says some of this activity borders legal and illegal.

There are also laws in California. They're getting stricter and stricter on this kind of activity, especially as more and more people are getting into the trade, Don.

LEMON: These geeks are freaks, man.

SEGALL: Not all of them.

LEMON: Not all. I mean, come on. Really, let's just be honest.

SEGALL: Sure.

LEMON: All right. So, what are the real dangers of this technology? I guess technology-enhanced industry?

SEGALL: Sure. I mean, we make light of some of this. But many of the people we spoke with, they consider themselves entrepreneurs. But the growing sex industry is also really dangerous. We spoke to FBI officials who said pimps are using tablets. They are using smartphones to conduct business and recruit victims into sex trafficking in social networks.

And Don, this is important to mention, this is not consensual. The women we interviewed, they were doing this by choice. There is a very dark side to this industry. And we are seeing that technology really can enhance the dangers. For more on how technology is enabling the growing sex trade, check out CNN money, we have an in- depth look -- Don.

LEMON: I have to say that's one of the more interesting stories I've ever covered in my 20-something of odd years in the news.

Thank you, Laurie. Interesting though. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Coming up --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: A song meant to unite has the critics divided.

Is the song titled "accidental racist" accidentally racist?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This story got a lot f people talking this week. A lot of my friends are talking it, asking me about it. Country star, Brad Paisley teams up with legendary rapper LL cool J to perform a song about race. Intriguing? Yes. Original? Definitely.

The fact that some people are offended, not a big surprise, but should they be? The lyrics cover everything from Confederate flags to do-rags. Here's one part of "accidental racist," that's the name of it and it is getting a lot of attention.

(AUDIO CLIP PLAYING)

LEMON: All right. So, let's talk a little history, music and race.

CNN contributor Lz Granderson is also a senior writer for ESPN and joining us from Nashville, music city, anti-racism and author Tim Wise and country music singer and songwriter and producer, Peter Cooper.

Good to see all of you.

So these guys obviously aren't racist, I don't think that they are. Their intentions were good. Is this just a clumsy attempt to start dialogue, to you first, Tim?

TIM WISE, ANTI-RACISM AUTHOR: Well, it is clumsy. But, you know, the history of the way we talk about race in this country is pretty clumsy and oftentimes misguided. So, is it any worse than the way we teach history in our schools? No.

I mean, here in the South, we have had seven generations of white folks who have been taught the Civil War was a war of northern aggression and had nothing to do with slavery. So, it doesn't surprise me that seven generations later in spite of the history that says, in fact, secession was about the system of inclement (ph). We would have folks who wear Confederate flags, who wave Confederate flags and put them on the back of their trucks and think that it doesn't mean anything.

I don't blame Brady Paisley for that. I do think we have to do better at understanding that history, whether we are a songwriter or teacher in high school.

LEMON: OK. We are going to get more specific about lyrics in just a little bit.

But Peter Cooper, you are a songwriter. You are a performer. You also senior music writer for "the Tennessean" in Nashville and you blog this this week, you said, Paisley walked it into more than a million rooms when he wore a t-shirt with the Alabama band logo on a nationally televised show. Someone on twitter called him a racist and it made him think a little bit about who he was and what he was doing and why he was doing it. That's what "accidental Racist" is about, a fellow thinking about who he was, what he was doing, why he was doing it and what someone else might think about it.

Are these radical things to ponder in real life? Not at all. So, I take it that the idea of the song, that you can see why some people were offended by this, I'm sure?

PETER COOPER, SINGER, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER: I can. But I'm surprised sometimes by what it is that offends people. With this flag controversy, God, the last country song I remember mentioning the flag said that if you have got a problem with this Confederate flag flying from my pick-up truck, you can kiss my country ass. And that's not offensive. We have had Toby Keith with the song about, we will put a boot in your ass, it is the American way. And here, we have a song without an ass in it all. But, it's elicited such controversy and it is coming from the perspective of somebody who just saying, here's the shirt I wore, what do you think about it?

And that is the essential question here. He is trying to open a dialogue. And it's been a clumsy opening, I suppose, judging by what the conversation has been. But how cool that we're having a national conversation about this five days after people first heard the song and that some 11-year-old kid might think twice tomorrow before wearing their Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt to the mall.

LEMON: Yes.

Didn't Lynyrd Skynyrd denounce that t-shirt awhile back? I thought they did.

But, listen. I want to go to Lz and get him in real quick and again, we will talk more specifically about the lyric.

Lz, you wrote on CNN.com, you said, the questions that "Accidental" raised are worth asking. Paisley just did it so awkwardly. Part of the problem with addressing racism is that white people are so afraid of saying or in Paisley's case, singing the wrong thing. But if we're going to usher in the next wave of tolerance allowing for these mistakes is important.

So, do you think that white people are really afraid to reveal their true feelings on race?

LZ GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think everyone is, really. I think everyone is walking on eggshells. And that's one of the lines, one of the phrases in this song is that we walk on eggshells for so long, but then we go back in our own cubbies and voice how we really feel. And there is no real progress because the other side, if you will, doesn't get to hear the truth in a respectful manner.

You know, my biggest problem with this song is that I think it's just an awful song. It doesn't really matter what the lyrics were. I think in terms of its actual construction with LL bark, he is doing in the middle of the real cheesy course. I think it's just a really bad song.

As far as the lyrics are concerned, they are really clumsy. I find LL's rap to be the most offensive part. I can certainly understand where Brad is coming from. But I think it's somewhat disingenuous because, correct me if I'm wrong, but he is from West Virginia. We seceded from the Confederacy and joined the union. So, he should have some understanding of the true meaning of the Confederate flag and he adopted Nashville once he moved to go to college.

So, I think there's some disingenuous attitude to the song. But even with that, I still don't think it came from a mean or malicious place. LEMON: Well, see. That's what was interesting to me, that anyone in this day and age, that's Brad Paisley's age. That's LL cool J's age or anyone of us here on the set, on here on television talking about it.

To start the song off by saying, hey mister, on the coffee shop on Main Street or whatever Mrs. Starbucks, I'm wearing this t-shirt. I didn't realize it was going to offend you, to me seems disingenuous, Tim Wise. I mean, most people should be more aware of that, especially in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

WISE: We ought to be well more aware of what that flag means. And certainly, with the controversies at the South Carolina statehouse and several other places in the last decade, if you haven't heard this flag offends black folks, yes, it really does fall into question where you've been.

Having said that, look, like I said, if you have got multiple generations of white folks who have been lied to about the benignity of the symbol, the idea it wasn't about slavery, even though every state that gave causes for secession says that's exactly what it was about, then, it doesn't surprise me that maybe you have missed that conversation. And so, we have got to, I think those of us particularly, those of us in the South have got to insist on an accurate history, an honest history of our region and of our country.

And let's also remember, and I think Lz makes a good point. You know, Brad Paisley's from West Virginia. There were some white folks, mountain folk in West Virginia who broke away from Virginia because they didn't want to secede. There were folks in Georgia who had to steal that secession to get out of the union. You had east Tennessee, the governor had to send the garrison to force them to go along with secession.

LEMON: So Tim Wise, I'm going to ask you then -- I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Some people may be proud of that. Why can't they be proud of that and wear their rebel flag?

WISE: You can be proud of it. But when you say that it's about southern heritage, what you've just done is you reduced the South to a four-year period of the region's history. And not only is that a slap in the face to black folks, it's a slap in the face to those white folks who did not want to join the union and who did not support the system of enslavement going all the way back to the colonial period.

So I mean, if you want to be proud of four years and say that's what the South is, sort of pathetic, but I guess, if that is what you want to do, that is fine. I think there's a lot more in the South to be proud of than that.

LEMON: OK. I want to find out from you guys, is it possible to be an accidental racist or many people are most of us racist without even knowing about it?

We will get your reaction on the other side of the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, let's listen to Brad Paisley and LL cool J explained the record "accidental racist."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LL COOL J, ENTERTAINER: What we're talking about on this song is forgiveness and compassion. I'm not advising anyone to truly forget slavery. But what I am saying is, forget the slavery mentality, forget the bitterness. Don't get bitter. Get better.

BRAD PAISLEY, SINGER, SONGWRITER: But in the end, I felt like what we had on tape was something that people need to hear. And let's not be victims of things that happened so long ago.

LL COO J: Let's respect it. But then after we respect it, let's also open our hearts up so that we can move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: My panel's back. Peter Cooper, Tim Wise, Lz Granderson.

Lz, are they serious?

GRANDERSON: Yes, yes, they are. Look. I don't think this song came from a bad place. I don't think the intentions were really, really good. I just think it's -- I hate to keep ripping on LL. I grew up on LL. I just wish it was a different rapper. His music is not known to be that, you know, intellectually in-depth. He is not known as an artist to be that really introspective. And I think he took a nice, big swing and he missed in trying to communicate the perspective a lot of African-Americans have today in regards to the topics that they're talking about.

LEMON: Tim, why not just say that, like listen, OK, you know what, we just kind of just screwed up.

WISE: Well, you know, artists are not known for necessarily, you know, cutting on their own work a week or so after a song's come out or whatever. I mean, that's neither here nor there. What I think the reason issue here seems to be is that, and those last clips that you just played are more troubling to me in a way than the song.

LEMON: That's what I was going to say, Tim. I mean, because to think from the lyrics of the song, comparing a do-rag to a Confederate flag, comparing handcuffs or shackles of slavery --

WISE: No, I agree. And those clips were more troubling because it seemed like what Brad was saying there. And again, I don't think his intention is bad. But when you say, let's not be locked into something that happened so long ago, let's remember the legacy of this system of enslavement and Jim Crow segregation is still very much with us. We got right now the typical white families got like 20 times in that worth than the typical black family. That just didn't happen overnight. That's the result of a long legacy. And when you've still got the clan and skinhead groups who wave this flag, even if that flag had a historical or noble meaning historically, I don't buy that. But, even if it did, there comes a point when charlatans and criminals have hijacked it. And you've just got to let it go. And that's been the case since the system of segregations.

So, I think those last comments in those clips were a bit more disingenuous than the song. The song was introspective. That seems really dismissive to me.

LEMON: Yes, it certainly did. To compare fashion choices to certain symbols of Jim Crow and slavery was I think a bit offensive to a lot of people.

This song is getting plenty of ridicule, Peter. Actor and comedian Pat Oswalt wrote on twitter, I can't wait for Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's next single, whoopsy daisy, holocaust, my bad.

Peter, do you think people are overreacting a little bit, or is that fair?

COOPER: Again, I understand if you don't like a song. But if we do specials every time there's a song that we don't think is very well-written on the air, then, we are going to have to start a new network.

Yes, I do think people are overreacting. And I think that it's -- your question a moment ago, is there such a thing as an accidental racist? I think that's what brad was attempting to write about in this song. And I think, sure, people's world view in 2013 should be such that they understand that that flag has symbolism -- it means a million things to a million different people.

I don't think people are overreacting. And I think it's, your question a moment ago, is there such a thing as an accidental racist. I think that's what Brad was attempting to write about in this song. And I think sure people's world view in 2013 should be such that they understand that flag has symbolism, you know, it means a million things.

LEMON: Peter.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You know, the thing Tim and Lz, I don't think people are over reacting. I think it is actually very dangerous for people not to understand that all of those things don't -- you cannot compare all of those things. And if someone actually think that is they are equal, then we are in major trouble as a society. If someone, white or black or whatever you are, thinks that a rebel flag is equal to a do-rag, we have really big issues in this country, bigger than I thought about.

And if they want to start that song at an honest level, at an honest place, it would be like, hey, I was in the Starbucks and I'm wearing this rebel flag and all of a sudden I realize, you know what, maybe I shouldn't be doing this because I'm standing next to a guy who it offends, not that I didn't know it would offend you. I just think that's ridiculous, Tim.

And my question was can you be an accidental racist?

COOPER: May I say one thing also.

LEMON: Yes, go ahead.

COOPER: The character in the song is a character. And if you're writing about this issue, probably, the way to write about it is to say if you have anything to do with this flag, you're a racist. I mean, I grew up with it on the statehouse. They moved it to a more prominent place on the state house lawn in South Carolina as some sort of hey, we're sorry deal.

It is something that people in the South grow up with. And I think the way to get that 11-year-old kid to think twice before putting the shirt on is not to say, you little 11-year-old racist. It is to say --

LEMON: Why can't you say you little 11-year-old racist? People think that being racist means walking around -- hang on. People think that being racist means walking around calling people the "n" word and not liking someone outwardly of the same ace. That's not necessarily what racism is, especially in this day and age.

It's what you think is important, who you take comfort being around, whose advice to you take? It's all sorts of things. It's not necessarily something that's as targeted as going. I don't like black people. I don't like white people. That's not what racism is.

Go ahead, Tim.

WISE: That's true, Don. But, one thing I have to agree with Peter about, you know, I work with young kids a lot. I speak at a lot of schools from middle school up. And I think from a pedagogical, strategic perspective, if you are talking to someone who is just truly operating from ignorance as opposed to over racism, which is not who were necessarily trying to reach right now right now with the song or any other type of anti-racism message. You are not going to probably be as effective if you say it the way that maybe Brad in his heart actually feels it. Which is maybe he gets it more than the song does, but the character is supposed to be this ridiculously clueless person.

Now again, it's clumsy. I don't like the song. I don't think it succeeds. But I do think that if it were a lot more demonstrative and in your face and I'm just saying this as an anti-racism educator and activist who works on this stuff with young people, my guess is you would not reach the people you're trying to reach because the worse thing right now that people are so afraid of being called racist, that unless we say, it isn't about whether you're a bad person and I'm a good person, it's about whether that symbols are offensive, whether the joke was offensive, let's talk about the behavior. And I think the song, however clumsily, does that. I just hope we can take it to the next level.

LEMON: OK. Lz?

I have negative time here, Lz, because we have a whole lot of show to get to in just a few minutes. But, what if someone was in a Starbucks with a shirt with a swastika on it? Would there be any question about, hey, I don't mean to offend you with that shirt. I think people would be like, that shirt's offensive, take it off.

GRANDERSON: Well, yes. I don't think anyone would be saying, whoopsy doozy or whoopsy daisy, or whatever the tweet that said earlier.

I just want to point out that, you know, country music just avoids racism talk, period. You know, I'm a huge country music fan. I know I don't look like (INAUDIBLE) country music fan.

LEMON: I am, too.

GRANDERSON: But, I'm a big country music fan. And the one thing I know about country music that it doesn't like to ruffle feathers. This doesn't like to raffle fair. (INAUDIBLE) a controversial things and race especially it tries to avoid.

I remember Kenny Chesney had a song called "Some People Change." And in his version of the song, he talked about the guy being racist. Montgomery Gentry remade the song, it was a big hit, but they took that line out because they knew that line would not work on radio. And time and again, as one that listens to music, I know they avoid talking about race head-on. They are pretended to do something way in the past and not because there's a governor right now in Georgia who refuses to denounce a segregated prom. And I'm talking about you, Georgia. I'm talking about you.

So, this is happening right now. And country music doesn't talk about it right now. And that's a big problem with it. So, if anything, I'm glad that Brad Paisley at least has country music talking about race. Because for so long, it just avoids this.

LEMON: OK. We could have talk about this. I could done the whole show. And I wish I would have now, looking back.

Thanks to all of you. We appreciate it.

COOPER: Thank you.

WISE: Thank you.

GRANDERSON: Thank you.

LEMON: Coming up --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: They are known as the Central Park Five, teens wrongfully convicted in one of New York City's most notorious crimes, simply because of their race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The verdicts have been set aside in their entirety.

LEMON: But after two decades, their case is still unresolved. Filmmaker ken burns is on a crusade to change that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is really about human beings not admitting a mistake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Central Park jogger case is one of the most notorious crimes in New York City history. Although it happened more than 20 years ago, the case is still unresolved.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON (voice-over): New York in 1989, crime was rampant, race relations, raw and the murder rate near its all-time high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York's now the capital of racial violence.

LEMON: This is the backdrop of one of the city's most notorious crimes. A 28-year-old white woman was found raped, brutally beaten and near death in central park. After six weeks in the hospital, she could not identify her attackers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five youths were arrested at 96th street, all between 14 and 15 years of age.

LEMON: Police arrested five black and Latino teams, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam. They became known as the Central Park Five. They confessed to the attack and were sent to prison. There were even calls for their execution.

Then in 2002, a serial rapist and murderer confessed to the crime and a re-examining of the DNA put him at the scene. The conviction of the central park five was overturned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The verdicts have been set aside in their entirety.

LEMON: They filed a $250 million lawsuit against police and the city. But a decade later, the five wrongfully convicted men are still waiting for their day in court.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Award-winning filmmaker, Ken Burns found out about their case from his daughter, Sarah. And together, they put together a documentary that releases next week from ABC titled "the central park five." I spoke with them earlier today about the , the five, film and his own battle with New York police. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEN BURNS, DIRECTOR: We had two questions -- how could a travesty like this take place and who were the five? Remember back in 1989, if you were a member of the central park five, you were among the lowest, worst human beings on earth -- a wolf pack of wilding beast, the language of Jim Crow, not the language of a progressive American city. Well, it turns out, they're not only innocent, but they exhibit a kind of wisdom and forbearance and lack of bitterness that is amazing.

And that comes through in the film as they describe this harrowing descent into an inner ring of hell that the New York City police and prosecutors aided and abetted, I have to say, by a media more interested in what bleeds to lead than what is actually the truth and the skeptical-ness that we would apply to something like this.

LEMON: In a city as diverse as New York City, what's behind this? Do you believe it was racism?

BURNS: It was as mayor Ed Koch said, the crime of the century. There was pressure that saw that quickly. They have kids were in the park that night. They assumed they did it. And even there were essential contradictions within their coheres confessions and between their coheres infections.

No DNA evidence. An incredibly bloody crime scene, Don and none of the boys on the crime scene and none of the crime scene of the boys, they still never entertain alternative narrative and had in fact not follow through two days before the central park jogger assault on another assault which would have nabbed the guy who went on to do that and ended up murdering and raping other women that summer. And it's one of the travesties. It was 13 years later this very same rapist in jail for life confesses his DNA matches and these kids are suddenly, OK, sorry. No, actually, no sorry ever take place.

LEMON: Right. Still has taken place.

BURNS: And it's ten years. And usually these things get settled within a month or a year. So, they haven't even completed discovery or completed the depositions for a potential trial. And the city is saying, we aren't going to settle. We're going to take this to trial. They're hoping to outlast the five.

LEMON: So, why did they confess so readily? I mean, were they coerced?

BURNS: OK. Yes, indeed, they were definitely coerced. These were 14, 15 and 16-year-old kids. Good kids who had never been in the system before, didn't know how to lawyer up. They were trying to satisfy the cops. The cops had them without their parents, no food, certainly no lawyer, no drink. They're saying things like we know you didn't do it. You're a good kid. But if you say that ken did it, we'll let you go home. Even when they coached them on what to say, there were phenomenal contradictions in their confessions. So at some point, we have to just say, stop, put an end to this long run-on sentence of injustice but we have to say, how does this happen?

LEMON: This film was put together not without controversy. I mean, the city of New York actually tried to subpoena some of your footage. So, talk about that and talk about what happens again when it's released on PBS.

BURNS: So, you know, we spent years making this film. And we pleaded with the city, the cops and the prosecutors to be interviewed for our film. And they, I think in a very cowardly fashion, hid behind the ongoing civil suit and said, oh, no, we can't comment. And I think, to point the fact, Don, they couldn't answer any of the questions we would have asked them about what went on in this travesty of judgment. They then subpoena all of our outtakes and notes.

I think, in a cynical fishing expedition to find inconsistencies. Don, you said you entered the park at 9:00. You told Ken and Sarah and Dave, you entered at 9:01. Do you always lie?

Unfortunately, a federal (INAUDIBLE) rebuking the city crushed their subpoena and said, we are protected as journalists from these things. And the city accused of us being a one-sided advocacy film when in fact, we were just telling the facts as not only we generally know it in public but as the prosecutors themselves in the course of agreeing with the defense and asking a judge to vacate the convictions. I mean, the kids were out of jail, so a lot of good it did them.

But a judge in a nanosecond agreed with, not only the defense but the prosecution, the district attorney's office to vacate the convictions. I don't know what they're up to other than just a cynical delaying tactic.

LEMON: It's a fascinating documentary. And beginning this Tuesday, this Tuesday you can see Ken Burns' film "the Central Park Five" on PBS. Make sure you tune in.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Time now to catch up on one of our own heroes. Let's meet a chef who's been serving up generosity to struggling families in California since 2005. Now he's going further, giving families a shot at a better life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Every night, Chef Bruno Serato serves free meals to 300 motel kids in Anaheim, California, his work that he was honored for in 2011 as a top 10 CNN hero.

CHEF BRUNO SERATO, CNN HERO: The most amazing moment of my life. After the CNN show a lot of people has called me, what can we do for you?

COOPER: But, it was Bruno who wanted to do more to help families living in area motels.

SERATO: When I sent the kids back to the motel, I always have this moment because I know where they go back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, you guys can all share those markers. Sit right here and color.

COOPER: It is a hard life to escape, just as the family who lived in a motel with their five children for more than a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The living room/bedroom. It is here. And the rest of them sleep sardine style on this bed.

He got laid off. I started working just a month ago. It is really hard for us to I have save up to get into an actual home.

SERATO: I come over to say this. Let's pay the first and last month.

COOPER: By providing rent and a deposit, Bruno now helps families leave the motel life behind for good. Working with a local non-profit, 29 families have now gotten a fresh start in a home of their own.

What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kids just have been around and explored and found their rooms.

SERATO: This is yours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is mine.

SERATO: Congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

SERATO: My heart is full of joy. We are putting back people to their own home.

COOPER: Bruno hopes to move 70 more families by the end of the year. CNN hero is a new recipe for helping others.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: From the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Don Lemon.

Thanks for joining us. I'll see you back here tomorrow night. Good night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)