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Supreme Court's Gerrymandering and Census Citizenship Rulings; Former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Van Jones, Former Special Adviser to Barack Obama, are Interviewed About the Supreme Court Rulings; Women's World Cup taking place in France; Michelle Akers, Former Soccer Player, U.S. Women's National Team, is Interviewed About Women's Soccer. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 27, 2019 - 13:00   ET



[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

Landmark rulings from the Supreme Court that will shape America's future just as the Democratic presidential campaign kicks off in earnest. I talk

to Van Jones and former senator, Barbara Boxer.

Then, women's soccer explodes onto the top tier of the global sporting scene. And Michelle Akers, a giant of soccer, helped light the fuse.

Plus, "Fairview," the breakout new drama that forces us to face our own prejudices. Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, Jackie Sibblies Drury,

talks with our Alicia Menendez.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Two landmark rulings today from the U.S. Supreme Court that will affect about every aspect of political life in America for decades to come.

First, gerrymandering, the tactic that state legislators use to draw often bizarrely shaped safe political districts to advantage their own party.

The court said in a 5-4 decision that federal courts must stay out of disputes over politicians going too far in drawing district lines for

parties and gain. It means, more districts that are safe for one party or another and more extreme politics in Congress.

The court also ruled on key questions over next year's national census. It blocked, for now, the Trump administration's attempt to ask every

responder, whether they are an American citizen, sending that back to a lower court. And it comes as Democrats debate how to take the country in

an erratically different direction from the one it's in now. They are in the midst of a two-night coming out party in back-to-back debates.

With me now are two guests who are both uniquely positioned to speak to the political implications of all of these developments. As senator from

California for practically a quarter century, Barbara Boxer worked with a number of Democratic candidates and more than a few presidents. And Van

Jones worked in the White House as President Barack Obama's green job and is now host of "The Van Jones Show" on CNN. He's traveled the country

listening to the unfiltered concerns of American voters. And both are joining me now.

Welcome back to the program.

As your party bursts out of the gates like racing horses. Let's, before we get to that, talk about these important decisions.

So, let me ask each of you to weigh in on your take on what the Supreme Court has said about gerrymandering. Should we go to -- ladies first,

Senator Boxer?

FMR. SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): Sure. I think the court missed an important opportunity to make sure that our elections are fair. And in

full disclosure, I want you to know that I have evolved on this issue, because when I grew up in democratic politics, I had a very sharp view of

redistricting and it was, look, if Democrats are in power in the state legislature, let them draw the lines however they want and vice versa. If

you lose to the Republicans, that's their responsibility, and every 10 years, these lines are drawn.

Now, I have changed. And I say words that I hate to say because politicians hate to say them, "I was wrong." And we have now a commission

in California, a nonpartisan commission drawing the lines. It's so fair and it is so much better for the communities because if you believe in one

person one vote, then these lines have to be drawn fairly.

AMANPOUR: So, Van, to you, then, because this is obviously a whole now new generation of Democrats who are competing to be president. What real world

impact will the gerrymandering decision have, particularly in this upcoming race?

VAN JONES, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO BARACK OBAMA, CNN HOST: Well, listen, for the presidential race, it won't affect it because we do the

presidential race by, you know, the total state. But inside these states, the way that politicians can now draw these lines is mind-boggling. They

have data on each and every individual household. So, you can literally take a community, say, a vote 60 percent for the Democrats. But you can

draw the lines so the seats are appropriated 60 percent for the Republicans. It's unbelievable.

And there's no longer kind of guess work and hunch work. You can bring in big data to do this down to the household level. And so, for the Supreme

Court to step back and act like, "Hey, this is no big deal. We don't -- you know, don't ask us to get involved," means this extreme gerrymandering

will continue.

And I will just say, part of the reason that the discourse in the country has gotten so polarized is because people -- because politicians are now

picking their voters instead of the voters picking the politicians. And so, Republicans are just picking, you know, a very safe place for them to

be [13:05:00]. They spread out democratic power so the Democrats don't have as much representation as our numbers would give us, and it's bad.

It's really bad.

AMANPOUR: And just quickly and briefly on this issue before we turn to the --

BOXER: Can I jump in?


BOXER: I was just going to jump in to say this. I was listening to Ben Cardin, senator from Maryland, he says that there is some legislation there

that would outlaw this type of gerrymandering and put in place this type of commissions. So, all is not last. But Van is right, if this continues, it

is very unfair to the people.

AMANPOUR: So, what about the decision on the census? I mean, for now the Supreme Court has blocked it for now and sent it down to a lower court.

But what exactly, again, is the real impact of a census and questions that seek to ask a household how many of them are American citizens and how many

of them are not?

JONES: Well, it's a big deal because -- listen, somebody who is overseas, they may not get this. It's like, "Well, jeez. Well, that's not a fair

question." The reality is, it's the reasoning behind it. Behind closed doors there is evidence that people close to the Trump administration and

even in the administration said, "This is going to be a great way to scare away Latino voters who may themselves be citizens but who are just afraid

of the whole thing. Maybe their cousin, maybe their aunt isn't. And just a way to depress the number of people who -- frankly, who are people of

color, who will then even raise their hand to say they are there.

You say, "Well, who cares?" Well, then that census number determines representation in Congress, it determines how much money comes to a

district. That census number is so important. Getting an accurate census count is the whole ball game in politics, it's where everything starts


And so, if you can push down on those numbers and make it seem like there's just not that many people in the neighborhood, you can deny them

representation and services. So, it's a lot on the line here.

AMANPOUR: And Senator Boxer, what do you -- what were the main arguments for the Trump administration? Why did they want to ask this question? And

again, does this play into the current immigration debate?

BOXER: Yes. And the bottom line is the Trump administration did this purely to take away representation from minority groups in this country.

We know that because there was last-minute -- or really after they thought they had heard the case, we found out that there were papers and e-mails

that proved that this was all being done to help, and I think I quote it correctly, the White Republican population. So, because of this, it's

scandal. And the fact that it was 5-4 is terrible. It should have been, you know, unanimous that this thing be thrown out.

Look, the census is required by the constitution. There is nothing political about it. It's just how many people are in this country so we

can take care of our communities, so that we know how many house members we should have. And so, when you scare people away by asking this question,

you're getting a false result. The only thing I am nervous about is that seems like Roberts left the door open on this. It should have been slammed


AMANPOUR: So, this actually does bring us then to the debate, because, obviously, you know, these issues fall right into what the democratic

candidates are talking about. Now, we are talking just ahead of the second debate which will have completed by the time this airs. But what I want to

know from both of you, Van, maybe to you now, what was your take away from the first debate? Who came out the strongest? What issues or environment

did you take away from what happened? [13:10:00]

JONES: If you had fallen asleep in 2012 and woke up in 2019, you would not recognize this Democratic Party. This party has been transformed. That

debate actually took place one year to the day after Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez was upset Joe Crowley and now famous come-from-behind victory for this young, progressive firebrand. And a year later, almost everybody in

the political -- in that party sounds more like her than they sound like, you know, Bill Clinton of a generation ago.

This is a party that is progressive, it's energized, it's speaking Spanish onstage. The idea of a public option, which would let everybody either

have private insurance or government insurance, which was considered too radical in the Obama era is not considered too conservative because some of

them are saying, "We want Medicare for All," everybody on a government system. You would literally not recognize this party. And I, you know,

like it a lot because I think we've got big programs, we need bold thinking. But it is remarkable to see. Trump has energized and

radicalized this country in polar opposite directions, and that was evident last night on stage.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, that is really interesting because it's the crux of the debate, I think, between both wings, if I can put it that way, of the

Democratic Party.

So, Senator Boxer, is a radicalized Democratic Party a highly reactive to President Trump and the way he's pushed politics so far to the right, is

the equal and opposite reaction a winning ticket for Democrats in 2020?

BOXER: Look, I don't fully agree with Van when he says, "If you woke, you'd find a whole different party." We've always been the party that

wanted to bring health care, we're the ones who brought Medicare, we're the ones who brought Medicaid. And yes, I voted for a public option. We

almost got it, you know, several years ago.

So, I don't think we've moved that far left. What I think we're just doing better is there's agreement about this, and I think that's very, very

important. And no, I don't think a radical party from either end is going to carry the day. I think we need to stand for health care for all. My

personal opinion is, Medicare for All who want it. And if you want to stay in your other option, stay in your other option.

But if you do want Medicare, you should be able to get it. I don't think that's particularly radical. And I think, as Van did say, there's broad

agreement about that, there's broad agreement on climate change. This is based on science. This isn't radical. There is support for comprehensive

immigration reform, which the Democrats have been for, for many, many years.

But I think what's interesting is, there is a diversity on that stage, which is fabulous. And personally, I thought the people who really stood

out for me, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, I felt were the top three, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke and others came in after. This is

my subjective view.


BOXER: But the beauty of seeing that diverse group on stage, speaking to my heart, and what I believed in for years, was very uplifting.

AMANPOUR: I understand what you're saying and I hear you both. But I still think that the debate seems to be within the Democratic Party. Do we

blow it up and start again or do we take what we have and work through the system?

Elizabeth Warren was the front runner or the most -- you know, has the most votes going into last yesterdays' -- last night's debate. This is what she

said on the health care thing.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Medicare for All solves that problem. And I understand, there are a lot of politicians who

say, "Oh, it's just not possible. We just can't do it. I have a lot of political reasons for this." What they're really telling you is they just

won't fight for it. Well, health care is a basic human right and I will fight for basic human rights.


AMANPOUR: So, Van, look, the candidates were asked who would abolish their private health insurance for a government-run plan, and it was only de

Blasio and Senator Warren who raised their hands. What about the issue that it raises, Van? Do the Democrats, and I keep trying to figure this

out, want a candidate who will kind of blow up the system to deal with the major structural problems that exist right now on so many issues?

JONES: Well, we won't know until the voting starts taking place in February. But what I do know is that Elizabeth Warren has done, I think,

remarkable. She has been able to just face these tough structural issues.

You know, they barely talked about Donald Trump. I don't think Elizabeth Warren even mentioned his name. She is going beyond Trump. She's talking

about some of these big interests and structural problems and she's willing to put forward very bold proposals. And I think the boldness of her

proposals really matches I think the desperation of a lot of people.

And so, we're going to see. But I -- you know, I agree that this party does have a progressive tradition but there have been times we've tacked

away from that and been more centrist or whatever. I think the vast majority of Americans are probably open to bigger answers and bigger

solutions. Sometimes we haven't put them forcedly enough. That is no longer the problem of this party. I'll put it that way. This party is

prepared to put forward very, very bold unapologetic ideas.

We'll see if the Democratic voters like that, we'll see if the American public likes that. But this is a post -- I would say a post Bernie

Sanders, post Elizabeth Warren, post occupy Wall Street party, post, frankly, Black Lives Matter, post #MeToo party, these social movements that

have risen up, have reshaped the way that politicians in our party talk. I think it's a good thing. We'll see if the voters agree.

AMANPOUR: So, Senator, you talked a little bit about Julian Castro, you felt that he stood out. He had a [13:15:00] very good intervention on

immigration. Of course, again, this was in the wake of this horrendous appalling picture of this father and his infant daughter who were found

face down, was in the Rio Grande. Apparently, it's not a rare occurrence. This happens often. It just got a huge amount of publicity recently.

This is what Julian Castro had to say on this issue.


JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter, Valeria is heartbreaking. It also should also piss us

all off. If I were president today -- and it should spur us to action. If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid

of Trump's zero-tolerance policy, the remain in Mexico policy and the metering policy.


AMANPOUR: So, the metering policy is obviously the policy that limits the number of people who can apply for asylum.

Senator, what kind of bump, do you think, Julian Castro got from his performance, the fact, obviously, that he was one of those who spoke

Spanish on the stage and he's really taking on this issue?

BOXER: I think it's very important because he gets this issue perhaps better than most. And he spoke to it eloquently and really, he went right

to the heart of everything, which is if it's considered a criminal act to just come across the border without proper papers, then you could be

arrested and taken away from your children. That's a really important point he made.

This is a big issue. I think our candidates spoke eloquently to it. And that the only other point I would make is, as I sit back and look at this

Trump administration, which breaks my heart on so many levels, there are certain images in my mind that just say, "That's Trump administration

many." One of them is Charlottesville, one of them is this picture that I can't get out of my head, of that little girl grabbing her father facedown

dead. And the other is, a different image of a very famous writer who is in front of us with the same dress she wore when Donald Trump violated her.

So, you know, we've got to get rid of this and we've got to not dwell on it but not forget it either.

AMANPOUR: It is interesting, because I see you have both said and you're sort of holding back consciously, not -- they're not beating up on each

other, but they're also not just Trumping, so to speak, they're not talking about Trump all the time. They're talking about the issues. It was

obviously a winning strategy for the House during the midterms.

Last night, the candidates were asked what do they think was the most -- the biggest geopolitical threat facing the U.S. and the world. This is a



JOHN DELANEY, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the biggest geopolitical challenge is China but the biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear


JAY INSLEE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The biggest threat to the United States is Donald Trump.

TULSI GABBARD (D-HI), U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The greatest threat we face is the fact that we are at greater risk of

nuclear war today than ever before in history.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Two threats. Economic threat, China. But our major threat right now is what's going on in the

Mideast with Iran.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our existential threat is climate change. We have to confront it before it's too late.


WARREN: Yes. Climate change.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nuclear proliferation and climate change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Castro?

CASTRO: China and climate change.


AMANPOUR: Really interesting. I mean, we all have been -- you know, it's been drilled into us that last year, 2016 -- the 2016 race, I mean, no one

was asked about climate change, nobody talked about climate change in either party, and yet it's big. It's front and center now. Van, this is

something that really does resonate with the voters, doesn't it?

JONES: Well, it certainly does to Democratic voters and I think you have a whole new generation of young people. I remember when I grew up during the

Cold War and we -- and on our minds, as young people, was the idea that we would a nuclear exchange with Russia and we may not make it. That same

level of anxiety is on the minds and in the hearts of young people growing up who, you know, believe in the science and understand what's happening.

It also is a potential conversation starter for Democrats with Republican voters in red states. You know, we have farmers now that literally cannot

plant because their fields are either under water or, you know, in the middle of droughts. We've got, you know, fires and inundation in the

United States, red basket of the world, we're getting walloped in the farm heartland because of climate disruption.

And so, you know, there's a real -- it's a new moment. Jay Inslee, who is the governor of Washington State, not a household name at all, had a very

performance, he has been governing his state based on climate principles, climate solutions and [13:20:00] and actually, economically, may be the

most successful governor, at the same time, he is fighting climate change - - the climate crisis.

So, I think, you know, this party is going to be strong on that and I hope that the voters agree.

AMANPOUR: And do you know what, we can also see it creeping up in priority list for Republicans as well. It's very, very important, this climate


But let's talk about the elephant in the room who was not on the first stage but will be on the second stage, and that is Joe Biden. He is

frontrunner by a long way. And I guess, I just want to ask you whether you think, both of you, that he will remain the frontrunner or whether this

whole idea of radically changing the race or trying to work within the system is going to be the winning one? And just to say, he tweeted about

the Supreme Court, saying that, "It refused to stop politicians rigging our democracy by writing election rules for their own benefit. It couldn't

have happened without justices put there by Donald Trump and the Republicans. Another reason why Democrats must take back the White House

in 2020."

So, very briefly in the couple of minutes we have left. Senator Boxer, where do you put the longevity, if you like, of Biden as these progresses,

this race?

BOXER: Well, I put this squarely in the hands of the Democratic voters because I have been listening to experts, in quotes, and all the pundits

say, "Well, Joe took too long to get in the race, and when he got in the race, he would go down. And he's had a couple of gaffes and that would

kill him," and the rest of it.

So, honestly, I can't predict. But I -- what I do think is, that these candidates, for the most part, there are some I just don't think belong on

the stage, but for the most part, they're incredible. And it's going to make everybody stronger and better.

And I think the thing about Joe Biden is this, and, you know, there is a lot of disagreement, I'm a progressive, but a lot of others think I'm wrong

on this point. I don't think he's old-fashioned. He just, two and a half years ago, you know, sat next to Barack Obama and helped Barack Obama.

He's the one who said recognize gay marriage. He's the one who wrote the violence against women act. So, he's got some credentials.

AMANPOUR: All right. I'm just going to Van. We're running out of time.

BOXER: The question is, how does he do in this debate?

AMANPOUR: All right. Van, is he the guy to beat still?

JONES: He's still the guy to beat. He's obviously in danger of being painted as the establishment. Some people say he looks more like a John

Kerry or Jeb Bush or somebody like that who the establishment likes but other people don't like as much. He -- but I tell you, he's -- don't

underestimate Joe Biden. He is still -- he's a household name, he's a beloved figure, his heart is as big as all the outdoors, and I'm glad he's

in this race.

AMANPOUR: It's really fascinating. It's so interesting to see all of this, you know, out of the starting gate now. Van Jones and Senator

Barbara Boxer, thank you so much.

Turning now to competition of a different sort, the Women's World Cup taking place in France and galvanizing global attention like never before.

As we enter the final stages now, audience records and sexist prejudices are being shattered across the board. The massive popularity of the sport

has been a long time coming and my next guess was there at the creation.

Michelle Akers is a titan of women's soccer. She was on the very first U.S. team, played -- she's played several Olympic games. And in the year

2000, she was named the FIFA player of the century. We spoke to how she helped bring in woman's soccer so far and how far it still has to go.

Michelle Akers, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: I mean, you must be sitting here just basking in a whole world of glory. I mean, obviously, this is such a massive increase in everything

around women's soccer since, you know, first, you know, won that World Cup in 1991. What do you think about when you see the reaction today, the

stadiums filled, the attention paid compared to when you started out?

AKERS: I tell you what, when I turn on the TV and I am watching all these commercials, the packed stadiums, all the stories, corporate sponsors, the

number of teams that are now in the World Cup, it's like, yes, you know, it's so exciting and rewarding. And night and day to when I played the

first World Cup in '91 --


AKERS: -- and winning that World Cup, you know, basically, allowed us to put a foot in the door in the world of soccer, and it helped the U.S. take

notice. Starting from there leading into the '99 World Cup, I think it just cemented in the value of women's sports, women's athletics in the

corporate world, in media, you know, the desire to be [13:25:00] connected to women's athletes and female sports.

AMANPOUR: Well, many of us would say, "It's about time," and certainly, many with kids are delighted. I just want to ask you on a human level

though, you mentioned the 1999 World Cup, you obviously were playing in it and there were conditions in terms of, you know, crippling heat like there

are right now. And the American team will play the host France in France. Just remind us what it's like to play in that kind of heat, and I think you

had -- you know, you had to be rushed off the pitch with some faintness or illness too

AKERS: Ye. In fact, that '99 World Cup, it was over 100 degrees. I think it was 120 on the field. But for me, my demise was our goalkeeper, Brianna

Scurry, punching me in the head to clear up all in the box. But the challenge with the heat, it's huge.

AMANPOUR: And just to tell us on a human level, there you are, a major player, you're in the dressing room or you're being, I don't know, cared

for by the nurses and your team is about to win. I mean, what? Did you -- you had to get out onto the pitch again.

AKERS: Yes. You know, I don't even think I knew my name at that point. But I saw -- there is like a small TV in the corner and I saw Brandi

Chastain kick that winning thing and then it sparked, you know, life back into my brain and I was like, "Get me out of here, I'm going out." And I

took out the IVs and they, you know, got me out on the field so I could celebrate with my team in my own way.

AMANPOUR: Yes. I was going to ask you a little more because we obviously do have a beautiful picture. Actually, it's from 1991, but it's the same

idea of celebrating and winning despite the odds. What does go through a female soccer player's head, particularly American, because it's been

really hard to get traction in any kind of soccer in the United States, male or female. What was it like in '91 to be winners of this sport which

was so global but not so associated with America?

AKERS: We wanted to win. We went there to win, to be the best in the world. So, just like any other athlete in any competition, you train, you

give everything you have to prepare to be the best, and then we did it.

And on top of that, though, in a developing sport, soccer in the U.S., and women's soccer around the world, and as female athletes, there's an added

pressure or added thought to the experience or to the opportunity in the event, and that's to further opportunities for others and to create more

opportunity for our sport, for us as athletes. So, it's a mix of emotions and priorities. And when you win, you're afforded all those, hopefully.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you a few of this sort of, you know, typical things that get hurled at women in any endeavor. I mean, first and foremost, you

were paid a huge accolade where the "Seattle Times" basically said in 2018, "If there were a Mount Rushmore of the greatest U.S. women's soccer

players, Michelle Akers would be the George Washington. So, that's fabulous. I don't know how you react to that. But I want to ask you this


AKERS: I love it.

AMANPOUR: Yes, yes. You love it, exactly. But then on the other hand, you get the "New York Times" saying about the whole sort of what women

should look like, how they should comport themselves, et cetera. Here's the dilemma. "If players refuse to forgo makeup or wear their hair short,

ignoring conventional notions of femininity, they're often labeled boyish or masculine. And if they do decide to put on makeup or wear colorful

ponytails, they're ridiculed for that too." How do you deal with constant double standards?

AKERS: I think at the end of the day, it's -- you just have to be who you are and be true to yourself. And you know what, some people like to wear

makeup and some people don't, and that's just how it is. And some guys shave before a game and some guys don't.

I mean, to me, the same questions should be asked of the athletes and it's all about personal preference. And it's kind of disappointing that the

attention has to come to, "Oh, she's wearing makeup today," or, "Oh, my gosh. Her lip gloss color is just lovely," versus, "Did you see her score

that amazing goal?"

AMANPOUR: Well, look -- yes. I mean, that's clearly the heart of the matter. I mean, I'm really just horrified to read what the founders of the

modern Olympics once described women's sports as, "An unaesthetic sight for the human eye." And, of course, it was until 2012, the London Olympics

that required every country, every team to have at least one female representative.

And the U.N. has said that 49 percent of girls drop out of sports by the time they hit puberty. How much has this social stigma, these things that

we've just been talking about, play into the decision of girls or is it just a question of ability?

AKERS: Yes, it is a tough question. It is a tough question. I think for girls, it's a heavy consideration about what do my peers think about me,

what do my parents think about me?

You know, when you're young, you're looking to others for affirmation. And it would be really sad to know that some of these young girls aren't

playing sports or doing things they want to do and it's not only about sports, it's about anything.

Their opportunities, they're not pursuing that because of possible ridicule or negative comments. So that's why it's important to speak up about it.

That's why it's important to keep people around you that support what you want to do as a person.

And for me, it's one of the reasons why it's important to talk to people like you, to encourage people to follow their dreams and ultimately, you

know, change the culture so everyone has equal opportunity and the ability to go after who they want to be and what they want to do with their lives.

AMANPOUR: You mentioned Brianna Scurry who is the one who basically punched you in the head in that match. But she's obviously been a

goalkeeper over a long period of time, the big matches for the U.S.

She has said, "To everyone outside of friends and family and the players themselves, it was like seeing a tree falling in the woods that nobody else

sees or hears." She's saying that about all the times she won.

We've talked a little bit about how female teams have been marginalized. And here's an unbelievable ad by the German Football Association for the

2019 World Cup. It's really really interesting, reflecting some of this historic discrimination.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know my name?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We play for a nation that doesn't even know our names. We've been European champions three times, right? wrong. Try

eight times.

For our first title, we were given a tea set. Since we started out, we haven't just fought against opponents. We've fought against prejudice.

"Women are just there to have babies." "They belong in the laundry room." "It's like watching amateurs, in slow motion."

But you know what? We don't have balls but we know how to use them.


AKERS: That's awesome. I think what I really like about this -- that commercial was we received tea set.

Seriously. It's so true.

The same recognition for a male player who had received millions of dollars or all these accolades and then, here you go, you can have a tea set for

winning. Way to go.

But it's truth. It's all truth. And it is funny but it's also sad, but I loved it.

I thought it was great. What a great commercial.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it's a great commercial. But you just brought up the nitty-gritty and that is the unbelievably unleveled playing field when it

comes to remuneration and payment.

So let me just read you some of these shocking statistics. U.S. women's soccer team is number one in the world. The men's team is number 30 and

didn't even make last year's World Cup, and yet women are paid 60 percent less.

Now, you've filed a gender discrimination suit against the Soccer Federation. How is this going to be changed? How is this particular

playing field going to be leveled?

AKERS: I wish I knew all the answers to that, but this is, again, one of the beginnings. My teams were involved in things exactly like this and now

this team is taking the next step together.

And that's what's needed, to ask for equal opportunity. You know, with the pay thing, U.S. soccer said, "Well, you guys don't make as much money so

that's why you're not being paid the same", but it goes further than that.

And so is U.S. soccer paying equal amount of investments and money into marketing the team to make money? No, [13:35:00] they're not.

So let's see what happens when there is an equal playing field. What is the case here?

And that's part of what this suit is asking for, just an equal opportunity to make the same amount of money or more.

AMANPOUR: And that suit obviously by U.S. women's soccer. But here, let's get to the nitty-gritty on the payment.

So as you said, they always say, oh, well, the men bring more viewers, or the men this, or the men that. But when you look at it, they do get more

viewership, but apparently, the math still doesn't add up if you look at this.

In 2014, men's and the 2015 women's World Cup, men had four times more viewership but 17 and a half more times the prize money. So again, it also

means that soccer in terms of prize money lags behind some of the other major sports which have equalized prize money between men and women.

AKERS: In some of the other sports, right, it has started to equalize. And for soccer, let's face it, it is a culturally prevalent male sport

around the globe.

And in the USA, it's a relatively young sport compared to the other countries around the world. So in the U.S., I think we have the chance as

female soccer players to, you know, create an edge or a movement or a wave for other women in sports around the world.

The women's ice hockey team is also on board with this and doing their own thing to create an equal pay opportunity. So it's escalating.

And the more women speak up and ask for more and then demand more for equal opportunity, equal pay, equal environment, the more it will change. But

it's not going to be easy.

That's why it's so important to keep the push and that's why I'm so proud of this team for continuing to make things better and create more

opportunity for the game.

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you one question about a current player on the team right now, Megan Rapino, who has said that she won't go to the White

House if they win and she does not sing the national anthem. She sort of does that in solidarity with African-Americans who decide to take the knee.

And this is what she has said, though. "Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your


What's your reaction to both her not wanting to go to the White House and the sort of taking a knee, so to speak?

AKERS: I respect her opinion on all this. I like how -- she's furthering the discussion, which is what I really like. If she doesn't want to go to

the White House, that's her decision.

This is America. We have the right to choose. So if she doesn't want to sing the national anthem, she doesn't have to.

And so she's basically saying equal opportunity for all. And that's how she's living it out. So go Megan Rapino.

AMANPOUR: Michelle Akers, thank you so much for joining us.

AKERS: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

AMANPOUR: And all eyes will be on France, the U.S. teams plays the Host France in the quarterfinal matches and that will be tomorrow.

Now, whilst the beautiful game is becoming more inclusive, racism is still an ugly side of it. And we now delve into that issue from the perspective

of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Jackie Sibblies Drury.

Her drama "Fairview" confronts many different types of racism and it centers around the dinner party with an African-American family. Alicia

Menendez spoke about to Drury about how her play forces the audience to think about their own racial views.


ALICIA MENENDEZ, CNNI CONTRIBUTOR: Jackie, thank you so much for being here with us.


MENENDEZ: I saw "Fairview" last night.

DRURY: Thank you so much for coming.

MENENDEZ: Hard question. How would you describe this play? >> DRURY: I guess in a slightly sly way, it is either is a play that centered

around a family drama, of like -- or family dramedy, of like a black upper- middle-class family who is preparing for a special event, which is this birthday party for the matriarch of the family. And all this sort of -- I

guess, yes, what gets in the way of that attempted celebration.

MENENDEZ: Let's look at a clip from the play.


BEVERLY: I am going to see mama here.

DAYTON: At the head of the table?

BEVERLY: It's her birthday.

DAYTON: It's my house.

BEVERLY: Our house. So mama, me, Keisha, Tyrone, you, and Jasmine.

DAYTON: You didn't tell me Jasmine is coming.

BEVERLY: Didn't I? Of course, Jasmine's coming. She's my sister.

[13:40:00] DAYTON: I thought you wanted this dinner to go well?

BEVERLY: Dayton, please.

DAYTON: That one man knows everything about everybody and she doesn't have one good thing to say about anybody. She's going about FBI, NSA, AGP.

BEVERLY: She's family and family is everything.

DAYTON: Everything. I know. Shut up, Dayton. Get the silk.

BEVERLY: Thank you, Dayton. You're a big help. And bring the real vegetables you want.


MENENDEZ: What is this first act supposed to prepare us for?

DRURY: Yes. So it's supposed to prepare you to sit and watch a play. So that was a name that sounds obvious, but the director Sarah Benson and the

set designer Mimi Lien and I talked about it a lot, about having the audience come in and feel as though they're going to watch a three-act play

where like Hijinx and Sue (ph) and there are secrets about the family, and that there's going to be laughs and tears.

MENENDEZ: And just when you have lulled us into believing that that is actually the play that we've come to see, there is almost like a record


DRURY: Yes. Yes. And we were excited about like sort of first presenting something that felt fully filled out. And then, like, radically changed

the audience's perception of what's happening and of who is watching these characters.

And the second act of the play, it's a repeat of the first act, technically, but without any sound. And so it sort of becomes this like

25-minute long theater dance.

And while that's happening you hear a conversation between what I think people assume to be a group of white people because they talk about race in

a really careless way, in a way that most good, liberal white people wouldn't do if there was a person of color present in the room.

And so they have a problematic conversation that we overhear.

MENENDEZ: You said something that I want to pick up on, which is that the voiceover is presumed to be white people talking about race, but not just

any white people, liberal white people. Why is that detail important?

DRURY: I think because there's something about the way we talk about racism right now where, where especially because the country is so divided,

that it seems like racism comes from somewhere else. And that it's a problem for Republicans, it's a problem for people from the south, it's a

problem for a flyover country.

And we as good liberals in New York or in the East Coast generally seem to think that racism has been solved here when it hasn't. And that, like, a

lot of people think that because their politics are good or because they voted for Obama or because they have friends of color or because they

consume culture made by people of color, that means they have no bias and that they -- because they're consumers of culture are experts in other

races and other racial experiences.

And so the play is trying to speak to those people and sort of talk about white privilege in a way that is hopefully not like shutting them down or

like telling them off, necessarily, but is sort of like pointing out how being the primary audience for all the culture that's created puts you in

this position of extreme power and extreme control, and that like everything becomes centered around you.

MENENDEZ: There was several lines of dialogue in that second act that I was particularly compelled by, which is you're watching a black family on

stage but the first discussion of race begins with talking about Asians.


MENENDEZ: And then transitions to talking about Latinos.


MENENDEZ: And it's sort of a reminder, as you're experiencing this, that this is not happening simply in a black-white paradigm.


MENENDEZ: You take us out of that immediately.

DRURY: Yes. Thank you for noticing that. We thought a lot about that because there is so much about -- as a Latino person yourself, you're aware

of the black-white conversation that is basically racism. People think of a black-white paradigm.

But that -- I think, and maybe it's because I'm an immigrant myself even though I'm a black person, that there are so many other ways that racism

works in this country.

And the sort of -- [13:45:00] I do feel like this original sin of slavery and Jim Crow has sort of, like, infected the ways that other races are

treated here. Because there is always this white and this other.

And that was really important to us to sort of talk about how even the concept of having minorities is something that is very American and is like

sort of uniting people who don't necessarily have a lot of cultural or racial things in common, but by nature of the fact that whiteness is

supreme in America, it makes everyone else sort of in this shunted-off pile.

MENENDEZ: Talk to me about Keisha because that character plays a pivotal role in the play. In fact, let's watch a clip.


KEISHA: Will you please talk to my mama about me taking a year off before college?

JASMINE: Oh, Keisha.

KEISHA: Please, Aunt Jasmine, that is so important to me.

JASMINE: I know. I know.

KEISHA: Every year, three varsity sports, debate, yearbook.

JASMINE: You're very accomplished.

KEISHA: And I'm exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for college, but I'm so exhausted. I need some time away so that I might replenish


JASMINE: That's very well-articulated, Keisha.

KEISHA: I know, but she doesn't listen to me.

JASMINE: But your mama doesn't listen to me, either.

KEISHA: Will you please, say it to the least, mention that a gap year is a good idea? Please?

JASMINE: All right, Keisha. All right.


MENENDEZ: She'll go on to play a very different role, but what is the function of that character?

DRURY: So she starts off as this sort of like typical teenage character. And in a lot of plays you have like either an (INAUDIBLE), which is like a

beautiful young woman who doesn't know very much, who expresses hope and like you're able to project optimism on to her.

Or you have a child who is naive but is able to see things that society cannot see. And so she sort of is a combination of those two things where

she is hopeful about her future and excited about growing up, and then sort of starts to realize that there are things being projected on to her that

she is not in control of. And she's sort of the one character in the play that's able to see through the conventions that we've set up.

MENENDEZ: And is that supposed to be generational commentary?

DRURY: Yes, I think so. I definitely think that there are things that you get used to as you get older so you're just like unable to see the world

that you've created around yourself because you've been in it too long to be able to recognize inequities or things that don't have to be that way.

MENENDEZ: There's also a false promise in my generation of which were on the older (INAUDIBLE) generation but because it is the largest most diverse

generation in American history, there was this idea that somehow we would all figure out race.

DRURY: Yes. That's so much pressure. Like how? Why? How are you supposed to have done that?

MENENDEZ: First act seems like just settling in for a nice three-act play, a family dramedy. Second act, you're reliving the first act with a

voiceover and commentary.

Third act, you have all of these people rushing on stage. Then you break that fourth wall. For someone who is not a theater person, what is the

fourth wall?

DRURY: The fourth wall is basically just the imaginary edge of the theater. When there are two people talking on stage -- if you and I are

talking and there's an audience here, you and I will speak and we'll pretend that the audience isn't there, we're having it into that

conversation even though there's hundreds of people in the audience of the theatre or I guess there's a hundred of people through the camera.

MENENDEZ: Right. I mean don't look at them.

DRURY: But by breaking the fourth wall, it's just acknowledging that there is an audience, that there are people watching what has been happening.

MENENDEZ: Right. And you break the wall in a profound way because you offer the audience a choice. How the play ends really have a lot to do

with the choice that the audience makes.

DRURY: Yes, which is exciting. It gives the audience a reason to be there, I think.

MENENDEZ: Talk to me about that decision because that is a break with convention.

DRURY: Yes. Yes. I think that it was thinking about a way to allow the white members of the audience to make space for people of color. And

especially there is a lot of casual racism that happens in the play, there is a lot of over [13:50:00] racism that happens in the play, there are a

lot of stereotypes directed at people of color.

And that can feel icky and toxic and familiar to some people. Familiar in terms of things that they've said but also in terms of things that they've

heard and not realize was hurtful to people or knew was hurtful to people but didn't want to make someone else feel uncomfortable by pointing out

that they were saying something that was casually racist

And so we wanted to have white members of the audience able to do something to actually physically embody this idea of making space that like us older

millennials have been talking about since our teens, since our 20s. It felt like a positive, good thing to be able to do.

MENENDEZ: The staging of the show that I saw was done in Brooklyn.

DRURY: Oh, yes.

MENENDEZ: One might guess it was a largely liberal audience.


MENENDEZ: What's the response that you get night after night?

DRURY: It's always a little bit different. It always is.

Like some people feel really offended and hurt the at being categorized in a way that they don't categorize themselves. Some people feel like a sort

of catharsis at the end of the show.

Some audience members cry. Some audience members sort of storm off and are really uncomfortable and angry.

It's just like -- there's something -- I mean that's part of why I love theater, that sort of one event is able to splinter off into so many

different experiences that you're able to see and participate in at the same time which you like can't really do in any other art form.

MENENDEZ: Unpack for me something you said which is that there are people who get uncomfortable being categorized in a way that they don't categorize


DRURY: Yes. I feel like there's -- some of the responses that I've heard from white people are that "I don't think of myself as white" or "I'm not

white because I'm gay" or "I'm not white because I'm queer" or "I'm not white because I'm physically disabled."

And there's -- or "I'm not white because I'm not racist." And like all of those thoughts are privileged thoughts to be able to have.

And there are a million different kinds of privilege. I have gender privilege. I have white skin privilege.

I'm like aware that -- middle-class privilege, that there are different considerations but just even acknowledging whiteness as a privilege is

really hard for some people because they feel victimized by other aspects of their identity.

And so I understand why some people choose not to move. And I think that that shows up in our society as well as at the end of the show and so

there's something that's interesting to me about that.

MENENDEZ: Zone in for me on the person who gets offended because they're white, they identify as white but because they are not racist, they feel

that you have somehow bucketed them in with another cohort.

DRURY: Exactly, yes. And that is a frustrating feeling which I totally understand. But it's part of the point of the play where both as a person

who benefits from white privilege, you benefit from this historical system of white supremacy and that's not your fault.

But you also by not doing anything about it, you're perpetuating it. And by not acknowledging it, you're also impacting other people's lives around

you every day by just like living your life.

And that's a horrid thing for -- it sounds like blame but it's just acknowledgment, I think.

MENENDEZ: What do you say to the person who watched it and feels attacked at the end?

DRURY: I think I say that that's interesting.

MENENDEZ: You won the Pulitzer Prize for "Fairview".

DRURY: I did.

MENENDEZ: Do you have to wake up and remind yourself of that sometimes?

DRURY: I don't, right. I try not to.

I think it's weird to have won a prestigious prize like that and still be working on the play. Like if we're doing rehearsals, we would be like

making changes. And like Roslyn Broff, who plays Joslyn made a joke about, are you sure you want to cut something because this is a Pulitzer Winning

Prize play now?

But yes, I mean it's an honor. I just don't really know where to put it in my brain.

MENENDEZ: Jackie, thank you so much.

DRURY: Thank you so much, Alicia. This has been a pleasure.


AMANPOUR: And her play "Fairview" has returned for an encore run until the end of July.

But that is it for now. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at And you can follow me on Instagram and


Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.