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Athletes in Protest Over Jacob Blake's Death; NBA Decides to Continue Playoffs; Sports Halting Over Racial Injustice; Howard Bryant, ESPN Columnist, is Interviewed About Sport and Racial Injustice; Republican Party's Rallying Cry for November; Mike Pence Says Nobody Will Be Safe in Joe Biden's America; Ken Blackwell, Advisory Board Member, Donald J. Trump for President, is Interviewed About the Trump Campaign; Interview With Former U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice; Examining White Supremacy and Christianity. Aired 2-2:45p ET
Aired August 27, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNY SMITH, HOST, "INSIDE THE NBA": As a black man, as a former player, I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Sports comes to a screeching halt over racial injustice. Major league players unite in unprecedented strike over the police shooting of
Jacob Blake. I speak with sport journalist, Howard Bryant.
And at the Republican Convention, the grand old party takes a page from Richard Nixon's divide and rule law and order playbook. I ask the Trump
campaign whether this would be their strategy for November.
Then, will President Trump's evangelical base rally behind his message again. I'll ask religious scholar and author Robert P. Jones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: There's still no doubt, even today, among Trump's sitting senior officials that the Russians
interfered in 2016 in our election with the aim of advantaging Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: U.N. Ambassador and National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, tells our Walter Isaacson the Russians are coming, again.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour from London.
From women's and men's basketball to major league soccer and baseball games, professional players across the United States walked out in protest
over the shooting of Jacob Blake. Exactly four years ago this week, NFL superstar, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee during a national anthem, an act
of peaceful protest against police shootings that he says cost him his career with the league.
Today, the uprising for racial justice has developed into a tsunami, with black and white alike demanding change. And while the NBA players have now
agreed to now resume the playoffs by the weekend, the history of black athletes in protest is long and storied. The ESPN columnist, Howard Bryant,
joins me now for more. He is author of "The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism."
Howard Bryant, welcome back to our program.
Given the fact that the NBA are agreeing to go back, let's just take what happened when they decided to walk out and then triggered essential a flood
of other sports people doing the same. What were your thoughts when that happened?
HOWARD BRYANT, ESPN COLUMNIST: Well, I think my initial thought was it took me back to 2014 when we were in almost the exact same position with
the Donald Sterling scandal when the Los Angeles Clipper had said they were thinking about boycotting the playoffs then, but (INAUDIBLE) has prevailed
and there was diplomacy between Adam Silver, the new commissioner who had been on the job three weeks, and the players decided to protest, but they
decided to not quit playing. Then the same thing happened earlier this year after the death of George Floyd, where there was a faction of players who
had said maybe basketball irrelevant right now, maybe this is not quite the time to go out and entertain the publica, and yet, the public and that the
players still went out to play.
But yesterday was different. This was the moment where the players had decided that it was disadvantageous for them to go out and entertain the
public when something like this continues to go on. It was a remarkable moment.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. And I mean, it really electrified America precisely because of what sports means to America. And of course, so many of these
sports are successful because of their black players, whether it's the WNBA, we've seen Naomi Osaka did it, and orders followed. Why do you think,
and can you tell us exactly what's going on now? Why do you think the NBA decided to go back?
BRYANT: Well, I think that at the end of the day they're professionals and think this is their livelihood, this is what they do and I think they have
a professional responsibility to each other and also to the people who pay them and also to the fans who watch them. I think at the end of the day,
the level of professionalism that you see with these athletes is extremely high.
I think you also see, however, the levels of pain that they're feeling and the fact it wasn't just one moment. It was a coordinated effort from the
NBA to the WNBA and then even baseball at 7.7 percent African-American that baseball teams walked out as well. You had three teams -- or three games
were canceled there as well. I think that what they recognize is, is that they made a statement, they wanted that statement to be heard, they wanted
it to be felt, and then I think they are perfectly willing to work within the system.
But let's also not forget, Christiane, that there was a faction of players that really did not want to play earlier. So, I think that this is -- it's
going to be very interesting to see what happens when football starts up. And I don't think this is the last we have seen of this sort of wildcat
approach to protest.
AMANPOUR: You know, the question really is, what does it all mean? I mean, none other than President Obama tweeted support for the Milwaukee Bucks who
started this NBA stream anyway. He said yesterday, I commend the players of the Bucks for standing up for what they believe in. Coaches like Doc Rivers
and the NBA and WNBA for setting an example. It's going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.
You know, that's what I want to ask you about, because you followed this for so long, plus, the history of protests, black athletes protesting. I
mean, you know, I recall the pictures of the athletes at the 1968 -- or 1960 Olympics in Mexico. And of course, we all know about what happened in
south Africa during apartheid, where athletes from all over the world boycotted playing against south African teams. Just put it in context and
what you think this, let's face it, fairly temporary walkout in America overnight might achieve?
BRYANT: Well, I think the most important thing when you're thinking about this heritage, this legacy of protests is risk, taking a risk, getting
involved, realizing that something is bigger than you. And also, the fact that you represent something that does have a historical legacy. That if
there's one thing in the United States that we, it's money. We understand that we listen to people who have the money. And the players right now are
enormously wealthy. They're the most visible and most success and most accessible black employees in this country, and people pay attention to
what they say.
And I think that after you had this 40 or almost 50-year silence between the Muhammad Alis and Tommy Smith and John Carlos's from '68 Olympics, you
suddenly have a revival. And this generation is taking that revival seriously. And let's also not forget that unlike previous administrations,
the federal government, the White House has made it very, very clear that part of their political strategies is demonizing these black athletes.
So, at a time when you have players coming out, WNBA, NBA players coming out saying that they are feeling what's happening in this country very
profoundly, you also have a Republican National Convention taking place right now where they are doubling down on law enforcement. So, there's a
collision here. There's no question that it feels like this country is falling apart. And the athletes are in the center of it in a way that they
haven't been really in a half century.
AMANPOUR: And we're going to dig deep into the convention politics in a second. But just before I let you go, I want to pick up on something you
said, you know, sometimes they're demonized for doing this, because they're rich, because they have privilege and, you know, perhaps they can afford to
take a day off or so. That's exactly what Jared Kushner said about the players when he was asked about this kind of wildcat walkout. Listen to
what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial
position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially. So, they have that luxury,
which is great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRYANT: And that's exactly --
AMANPOUR: So, that's what he said. Yes. Ho ahead, Howard.
BRYANT: That's exactly the demonizing that you have in sports, where people want you to be grateful. Be grateful for what you have. This is
exactly the point. You have the power, the financial power to actually do this. This is what everyone wants. Who doesn't want self-determination? The
players actually do have this sort of leverage. This is what we've been fighting for, for the last 65 years, is to have the financial freedom and
to have the self-determination to be able to have power. Otherwise, they're completely and always under the thumb of ownership. I actually think that
their wealth gives them the opportunity to be something more than that. That's what everybody wants.
AMANPOUR: And finally, Jared Kushner was also asked about Lebron James and he said he would reach out to him. And obviously, Lebron James has been
very prominent in his social activism and the money, you know, he donates and tries to help with this cause. Can you see anything coming out of a
call or a meeting of agendas between the White House and Lebron James?
BRYANT: No, I think it's all performative. And I think that the -- I think this is triage in a lot of ways on the part of the White House. I think
what you're going to see right now is after this convention you're to see the same playbook that we saw in 2016 where the black athletes become the -
- they become the symbol of division in terms of whether the White House sort of devotes their energy to get that base all upset at that black
player, just as he did in 2016.
AMANPOUR: Howard Bryant, thank you so much for joining us. And we are going to discuss more of this in a moment because Jacob Blake, of course,
was shot seven times in a back as he entered a car where his children were seated in Kenosha, Washington, that was on Sunday.
The officer who shot him has now been placed on administrative leave and a 17-year-old, described as a white vigilante from out of state, is jailed
and charged with homicide after two people were killed at demonstrations on Tuesday night. And the political fallout was on display in Vice President
Mike Pence's convention speech, which was delivered before the president accepted his party's nomination. Pence included this dark vision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America's cities. The hard truth
is, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, is this the Republican Party's rallying cry for November? To answer that, I'm joined by Ken Blackwell. He is Ohio's former secretary of
state, and an adviser to the Trump campaign, joining us now from Cincinnati.
Ken Blackwell, welcome to the program.
KEN BLACKWELL, ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: It's so good to be with you.
AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you to react given all that we have been talking about in this fraught moment and genuine pain on the streets, the vice
president basically declaring nobody will be safe in Joe Biden's America. Isn't that just pure fearmongering?
BLACKWELL: No, it isn't. I think -- let's take a look at what you just said in your last interview about the black Africans and their concern and
their speaking out against what they perceive as a wrongful use of force and the injuring, in this case, of a black citizen.
Look, at the end of the day, this is not about defunding the police, it's about how do you create safe neighborhoods and safe streets for people to
raise their families. That is -- look, I'm a former mayor. So, I understand. I, in fact, provided local oversight, citizen oversight to the
Cincinnati Police Department. We were very transparent when it came to the wrongful use of force and we held people accountable. We didn't talk about
defunding the police department in categorical terms.
You know, this is crazy. If you take a look at what's happening in Chicago, what's happening in Detroit, what's happening in New York, when you talk
about homicides, when you talk about protecting innocent lives, you need trained, compassionate police officers that are held accountable, but --
AMANPOUR: But isn't that the point? Yes, isn't that the point, trained, compassionate --
BLACKWELL: The point is that there are more deaths. If you look at -- look at the hard number, look at the hard numbers, and then also look at the
reaction of the Trump administration. They, through their operation legend, said, look, we will, in fact, coordinate -- help to coordinate safety
forces across jurisdictions to make sure the streets are safe and neighborhoods are safe. We will also hold accountable those folks who use
force unlawfully, that not only result in injury, but result in death. So, people are starting to speak past that.
You know, what irritates me -- and I'm going to tell you, what irritates me as a black man who's been a mayor of a city, who's been an undersecretary
of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is when I don't hear this concern about the cities that are becoming killing fields with
blacks killing blacks in much greater numbers than the wrongful use of force.
You know, if these guys want to use their --
AMANPOUR: Mr. Blackwell --
BLACKWELL: -- they need to speak to those cities that are becoming killing fields where they have turned these cities into lawless deserts.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Blackwell, look, nobody, including your party, accuses Joe Biden of wanting to defund the police. As you know, he also believes that
that's a crazy idea. He does not believe in that, nor does his running mate nor does he close political allies and he has said --
BLACKWELL: I don't buy that.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Blackwell, you might not buy it, but he said it --
BLACKWELL: He, in fact -- there's a party platform, they talk about reimagining. They talk about diverting funds. What you need are safety
forces that are well trained, and we have them across this country. Do you have bad apples?
BLACKWELL: Do you have incidents where there's a wrongful use of force? Yes. Those folks should be punished, they should be weeded out and, in
fact, we should move and look at alternative ways of resolving incidents. There's agreement on that.
BLACKWELL: There's agreement on that.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, he's also condemned -- Mr. Blackwell, he's also condemned --
BLACKWELL: We need to stop creating --
AMANPOUR: He's also condemned --
BLACKWELL: We need to stop creating --
AMANPOUR: That's right. And the nominee for the Democratic Party has condemned lawlessness --
BLACKWELL: It took Joe Biden until yesterday to speak out against the urban violence. It took him until yesterday. So, what kind of leadership is
AMANPOUR: OK. Do you not accept -- I mean, do you not accept what we have seen unfold in front of our very eyes and on global television, certainly
over the last several months since the killing of George Floyd, that the protests -- and I'm talking about the peaceful protests -- have erupted
each time a black man, an unarmed black man is killed by police. I mean, do you accept that?
BLACKWELL: No. What I accept is that in a case of George Floyd, the Justice Department, the president of the United States, and both parties of
the United States Senate said we must establish transparency. We must, in fact, have a procedure that will help us (INAUDIBLE) actors and we must
bring charges against those police officers that killed that citizen, period. That's what happened.
BLACKWELL: There's no justification.
BLACKWELL: In the destruction of property, the taking of lives and creating an environment where -- what's happening? What's happening is that
you're going to run capital and net taxpayers out of your cities and you're going to create cities where violence prevails. And guess who is most hurt
by that violence? Minorities and low-income --
AMANPOUR: OK. I need to ask you two more things. Yes.
AMANPOUR: I just need to ask you because I'm talking about the Republican Convention, and in your capacity as an adviser to the campaign. So,
actually, what I'm trying to figure out is, given what we have heard from the stage at the convention, is this party right now seeing a way to --
well, a way to victory through a law and order platform, as we saw what Richard Nixon did, as we saw what George H.W. Bush did in 1988? And the
reason I'm asking you this is because a lot of analysts are suggesting that, that this summer is providing a campaign vehicle for the party.
Now, this is what Kellyanne Conway --
BLACKWELL: Now, this is --
AMANPOUR: Let me play what the president's own -- OK. I'm sorry. I can't hear you. Can you just let me finish?
BLACKWELL: That's a good question. But -- and I will answer it.
AMANPOUR: OK. It's a good question. So, answer it. Great, go ahead.
BLACKWELL: Good. The answer to the question is this is not a strategic response to a campaign objective. This is speaking to what we know that the
United States is the most diverse, the most prosperous constitutional republic because it is established on the rule of law. We don't profess to
be perfect, but we know that as we provide effort to become a more perfect union, we, in fact, do it by men and women doing great things together, not
by big government that tends to --
BLACKWELL: -- tends to strangle individual liberty. You know, so -- you know, this --
AMANPOUR: OK. Let me ask this question.
BLACKWELL: Hold it, Christiane. Let me just tell you, it is pure demagoguery to suggest that anybody that's concerned about creating safe
neighborhoods and safe environment is talking about a political strategy. You know --
AMANPOUR: OK. Then I need to ask you to react to this then. Mr. Blackwell.
BLACKWELL: -- to the deaths of thousands of black people in the urban cities that have become lawless desert. Is that a calculated --
AMANPOUR: Mr. Blackwell, Mr. Blackwell, your party brought to a major convention speech a couple who, as you know of them very well, who were
carrying around when peaceful protesters went by their house, and they pointed their guns at those protesters. They were invited to speak at the
convention and --
BLACKWELL: How did the protesters get into a gated community?
AMANPOUR: In any event -- that's not my point. What I want to ask you -- oh, my god.
BLACKWELL: Don't try to run this game on me. How did those get in --
AMANPOUR: I'm not running a game on you. I'm trying to ask you a question.
BLACKWELL: How did they get into that community? How did they get into that community?
BLACKWELL: And I do believe in the --
AMANPOUR: To be honest with you, I have no idea.
BLACKWELL: -- to protect property and to bear arms, to protect your life and property, yes. I do. Go ahead and say it. I am --
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you a question.
BLACKWELL: -- to National Rifle Association, I'm a strong defender --
BLACKWELL: -- of the constitution and all of the individual rights articulated in that constitution.
AMANPOUR: OK. So --
BLACKWELL: Look, I've done it.
AMANPOUR: I need to ask you my final question.
BLACKWELL: -- upheld the responsibility of guarding the state treasury and assets of the State of Ohio. I've run for election and I've gotten
substantial black votes, but that's because I don't play this game of subtraction and division. This is --
AMANPOUR: All right.
BLACKWELL: -- as far as I'm concerned equal (INAUDIBLE). We can be one from many. And I don't play the game of division. And that's what so many
on the left like.
BLACKWELL: They like division.
AMANPOUR: OK. Right. Mr. Blackwell, you know what, I tried to have a conversation. It hasn't quite been a conversation. It's hard with this
technology. We'll try it again another time.
BLACKWELL: Yes, ma'am.
AMANPOUR: Now, the Republican Party sees a path to electoral college through the suburbs and it's targeting a narrow coalition of voters who
push the president over the top in 2016, a group that's whiter, older and more evangelical than much of America. But according to my next guest, it's
a strategy that simply isn't sustainable. At best, it could pay off in the short-term.
Robert P. Jones, who is a religion scholar and founder of the Nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute is also the author of "White Too Long:
The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity" And he's joining us now from Washington, D.C.
Thank you for joining us, Mr. Jones.
I want to ask you to follow up -- maybe you heard a bit of what Mr. Blackwell was saying. I'll ask you in a second. But I just want to start by
asking you, given what we're seeing, given what we -- as we've saw, called it sort of the storm of protest, this summer of discontent, what we are
seeing from the stage at the convention and what's really happening on the streets, where do you think the voters who you study, the evangelicals,
where do you think they're going this time around, compared to last time?
ROBERT P. JONES, AUTHOR, "WHITE TOO LONG": All right. Well, thanks for having me. You know, I think it's important to realize that certainly white
evangelicals were sort of Trump's base and they voted for him 81 percent, but what I think what's maybe surprising and people haven't quite recognize
is that, it's actually white Christians across the board, not just white evangelicals that are heavily in the south.
But in 2016, for example, white evangelicals voted for him 81 percent. White mainland protestants, even the more progressive or liberal end of the
white protestant world voted him 57 percent. And white Catholics voted nearly two-thirds. So, it is sort of kind of white Christians across the
board in President Trump's base that I think are supportive of him.
And we're seeing is a little bit of fracturing actually in that base. On the one hand, we're seeing no movement to speak of among white
evangelicals. So, they're still approximately two-thirds in favor of him. But we have seen some drops, some real volatility among white mainline
protestant voters and also some real volatility and even decline in favorability ratings for the president among white Catholics.
Now, that group is significant for two reasons. One, Joe Biden, himself, is a white Catholic. And then, sort of tactically or strategically speaking,
white Catholics and white mainline protestants are actually as big or bigger constituents in the key upper Midwest states where the election
really going to be won or lost in the electoral college.
AMANPOUR: So, what are you doing? You're painting a picture of some instability or you can't take for granted the vote that put him over the
top in to 2016?
JONES: Well, you know, I think the way you put it earlier is right. I mean, we are at this tipping point in the country, you know, and we have
really passed from being a country that was a majority white and Christian, demographically speaking. Just back as recently as 2008, when Barak Obama
was running for president, the country was 54 percent white and Christian. Today, that number is 44 percent.
And so, you know, even if you look at evangelicals, his strongest base, you know, back four years ago, they were 17 percent of the country. Today
they're 15 percent of the country. So, even if he got every last vote from white Christian voters, I mean, in 2016, there are less of them as a
proportion of the population than there were even four years ago.
AMANPOUR: OK. That's fascinating. Because presumably a lot of them also make up this famous suburban vote that the president and both parties are
going for, frankly. You heard, I tried to ask campaign adviser to President Trump about the strategy, about the suburban strategy, and about the law
and order card that seems to be played right now. And I mentioned the couple who were brought to a prominent speaking position at the --
AMANPOUR: -- convention who had, you know, raised their guns during peaceful protests a while ago. I want to play a little mashup of them and
what some have said about this issue and then I'll get you to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICIA MCCLOSKEY, RNC SPEAKER: They're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities, they want to abolish the suburbs
DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: It's almost like this election is shaping up to be church, work and school versus rioting, looting and
MATT GAETZ, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: It's a horror film really. They'll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in the home and invite MS-13 to
live next door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What are you -- I mean, obviously some of chose claims are outlandish. What do you make of it though as a political strategy? Do you
think it is being used as a strategy like Nixon did?
JONES: Oh, there's no question. I mean, if you really pay attention to the patterns here and even before the convention, you know, Trump was talking
about tweeting. Actually, one tweet, right, he had this thing about the suburbs being destroyed. They were going to be invaded by low-income
housing, and then he tagged an African-American politician, Cory Booker, as the one who was going to be responsible for this, you know.
So, right there and when, you know, a 160-character tweet, you really have what only can be called really a white supremacist appeal to fear. And so,
the other thing you have to pay attention to is whenever you hear the word you, right, you're not going to be safe in Joe Biden's America, is worth
interrogating. Well, who is that you, right? Do African-Americans think that? Do Latinos think that? No. I mean, really that's an appeal, as you
say, really to this white suburban voter.
And the reason you're hearing the word suburbs overall is because he is losing. In 2018, there was kind of a pullback in the midterm elections
among white suburban voters. We're seeing that in favorability as well, and I think there's a real concern there that there's a weakness, and there is
-- but there is this appeal, and it's straight out of Nixon's. He just dusted off Nixon's law-and-order playbook.
This is not new though. I mean, if we remember, even in 2016, it's worth noting that the opening night of 2016 Republican National Convention, the
theme was Make America Safe Again, right. So, this has been a drum that President Trump has beating quite a while, but I think he's been picked up
the intensity of it strategically for this moment. But it really is, you know, only thinly veil appeal to kind of racial fears to whites.
AMANPOUR: So, let me then take a bit out of your book on this issue, "White Too Long," is the title. "The Legacy of White Supremacy in American
Christianity," and obviously it examines how the church has sustained and protected essential white supremacy, you say.
Here's a quote from you. White Christian churches have not just been complacent, they have not only been complicit, rather as the dominant
cultural power in America, they have been responsible for constructing and sustaining a project to protect white supremacy and resist black equality.
And you say they have done this by dressing up white supremacy in theological garb and giving it a home in a respected institution.
You know, that's a pretty heavy indictment and I'm sure they would thoroughly disagree with what they believe is their Christian spirit. How
did you come to that conclusion?
JONES: Right. Well, you know, it's been a very long journey for, to be honest. I mean, you know, the book is a personal one. I grew up Southern
Baptist in Jackson, Mississippi. I have a degree from a Southern Baptist College and the Southern Baptist Seminary and then a degree in religion.
And even with all of that, you know, it really wasn't until I was an adult that I really understood the history of the country and particularly white
Christianity and the role it played.
Like, everyone -- when you hear like church and civil rights, everyone thinks of the African-American church who served as a hub for organizing
for civil rights. But what has really escaped attention is the very central role that white Christian churches played in resisting civil rights and
propping up segregation in the country.
Just -- you can -- the examples you can multiply, from politicians who -- like Ross Barnett from Mississippi, who was the very celebrated head of the
men's Sunday school program at the most prominent church in Mississippi, First Baptist Church, who would, on the stump, say God was the original
segregationist, would absolutely just say that in a declarative sentence.
And that was a regular part of his stump speech. It was absolutely celebrated and upheld. There was no pushback at all among the church in
Mississippi. And that continues with us today.
Another thing I would say is that -- the second point is that the proof is really in the pudding. I mean, one of the other -- the key parts of the
book is really looking at contemporary public opinion data on a whole range of issues, from Confederate monuments and flags, to police killing of
African-American men by police.
And on this issue you have been talking about here, the data is exceptionally clear. When you look at whites who identify as Christian, and
you compare them to whites who do not identify as Christian, there is this massive gap in attitudes on being willing to admit or see systemic
So, for example, on the killing of African-American men by police, twice as many whites who are Christian, compared to those who are not, say these are
just isolated incidents, they do not see the connections, whereas those who are -- whites who are Christian are much more likely to say that these are
part of a pattern of how African-Americans are treated by police.
I can multiply again examples. In the book, I take over 15 different questions, again, ranging from those questions to Confederate monuments.
And you see this gap in every single question.
So, this history really of being on the side of segregation, really thinking that whites, and particularly white Christians, were kind of meant
by God to be at the top of the social pyramid, this was the normative Christian teaching in America for most of our history. And it's only very
recently been changed.
That legacy -- even after those overt statements could no longer be said in public, you still see that in Christian attitudes today.
AMANPOUR: So, OK, that's really interesting, because you just mentioned the idea of bad apples vs. systemic racism.
AMANPOUR: And you heard my previous guest, Mr. Blackwell, talk about bad apples. And you hear from the Republican Convention, that there is no
systemic racism in the United States, whereby so many -- I mean, there's huge polling that now believes it does exist and needs to be confronted.
So, in your book, you also talk about the -- I think it's called the white Christian shuffle. You say, when it comes to acknowledging or trying to
deal with historical legacy of racism, they engage in that. What does that mean exactly?
JONES: It just comes from studying rhetoric and looking at even places where I think in more recent times, since like the Black Lives Matter
movement, for example, where people have tried to reckon with this very difficult history.
But what inevitably happens is that white theologians, white Christian leaders, try to take some steps, and they will admit, they will apologize,
all of that. But when it comes to the question of justice or repair and actually doing something about the damage, you quickly see this little two-
step, where it's kind of two step forwards, and at least one step, if not to back, when the rubber really hits the road and when the question of
justice and repairing the damage that's been done over centuries really comes up.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you another question.
I tried to ask Mr. Blackwell this, because, in relation to the people who are on stage having brandished guns at the protests...
AMANPOUR: ... you know what happened, obviously, in Kenosha, that an appeal went out to come and defend American values, come and defend
AMANPOUR: And now there is a 17-year-old who's charged with homicide for allegedly following that call, coming from out of state, and two people are
There is very real-life danger to this kind of division and calling on people to defend American values. And you just said, well, for who? What
This seems to be such a moment of confusion, and it leads to a 17-year-old getting caught up in this terrible, terrible mess.
JONES: Well, it's heartbreaking and just so unsettling.
But I think it is a real lack of leadership and a lack of clarity, particularly on the part of President Trump on this. We go back to -- we
just passed the three-year anniversary of the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, where they were chanting neo-Nazi slogans, "Blood and
soil" and "Jews will not replace us," and defending a statue of Robert E. Lee.
But President Trump has doubled down on his support for Confederate monuments. And he's refused to renounce it. He said there were fine people
on both sides, when it took him 48 hours to make a comment. And then that's what he said in 2017.
And even last night, in the convention speech, I just find it unconscionable that Mike Pence -- and he had he had this platform, right?
And instead of mentioning Jacob Blake, instead of mentioning the cause of the protest, or even making any mention of this white vigilante who killed
two people, murdered them in cold blood, makes no mention of that at all, and pivots with these hard-line law and order -- and even mentions tearing
down statues is not free speech, we will have law and order.
I mean, it's not even thinly veiled. I mean, it really is coming down on the side of white supremacists, and then putting a Christian veneer on it
at the end of the speech. And this is exactly this connection between white supremacy and Christianity in the country that I outline in the book.
AMANPOUR: So, let me just play a sound bite from Kellyanne Conway, who was also on the platform, who's also obviously a senior adviser to President
Trump. She says she's leaving the White House at the end of the month.
But she talked about what Democrat -- she was sort of paraphrasing Democrats about this whole law and order thing and the protests in the
street. Just listen to this, and I will ask you a quick question to close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: He knows full stop, and I guess Mayor Pete knows full stop, that the more chaos and anarchy and
vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who is best on public safety and law and order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, very quickly, Mr. Jones, they -- she's basically saying that that's going to be -- that's the campaign slogan right now. Will it worked,
do you think, amongst the base?
JONES: It's hard to know.
I think this election is going to be enormously close. We have about 40 percent of the country that's dug in, I think, supporting President Trump,
no matter what, and they will actually tell us that on public opinion surveys.
I really hope that we will have a different kind of conversation on this very troubling issue going forward. I think we have to have this
conversation, and it has to really be about what it is, not just about the results of something, but it has to be about the causes, so issues like
police violence, disproportionately affecting African-Americans, this just has...
JONES: This kind of question of racial justice has part of the conversation going forward.
AMANPOUR: And it's certainly out there on the streets.
Robert P. Jones, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.
Now, almost unnoticed in the current moment, a damning bipartisan Senate intelligence report which details Russia's interference in the 2016
And our next guest says that it's happening again.
Susan Rice was national security adviser to President Obama and ambassador to the United Nations.
She tells our Walter Isaacson that this administration's acceptance of Russian interference is hugely concerning and will add to the political
divisions that we're seeing right now.
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane.
And, Ambassador Susan Rice, welcome to the show.
SUSAN RICE, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Great to be with you, Walter.
ISAACSON: The Senate Intelligence Committee has just produced a bipartisan report, somewhat surprisingly. They have all agreed, whether it be Senator
Burr and the Democrats, on Russian interference in the election 3.5 years ago.
Do you think that report vindicates your view and those of others that the Russians intentionally meddled in our election, and that Trump welcomed it?
RICE: There's no doubt.
And no serious person who's looked at this issue, from the various elements of our intelligence community, to now that the Senate and, of course,
Mueller, could conclude otherwise. There's still no doubt, even today, among Trump's sitting senior officials that the Russians interfered in 2016
in our election, with the aim of advantaging Donald Trump.
And Donald Trump, we now know, both from the Mueller report, but in more detail in many ways from this new Republican-led Senate report, welcomed,
encouraged and benefited from that Russian assistance.
ISAACSON: And do you think the Russians are going to be trying to do it again? And are you -- what are you particularly worried about?
RICE: Well, absolutely they're going to do it again, and they already are.
And our intelligence community a couple of weeks ago put out an updated warning, making it very clear that Russia is going to continue the similar
tactics to what they employed in 2016, and, Walter, actually never stopped doing in the years since.
So, not only might they again try to intrude into our electoral systems and our databases and our voter registration rules at the state level, but we
also have to expect that they will continue to do what they have been doing, which is to pit Americans against each other, particularly on social
media, exacerbating our divisions, whether on race or immigration or guns or gay rights, and trying to cause Americans to doubt each other, hate each
other, and question the viability of our democratic institutions and the credibility of our vote.
We also need to be concerned that Russia yet again, it will be working to advantage Donald Trump, this time with Trump in power, having said very
clearly that he welcomes that assistance, that he would never turn away a foreign offer of support.
And, indeed, he solicited that from Ukraine. He solicited it from the back lawn of the White House from China in broad daylight. And this is his modus
operandi. And, in the case of Russia, we saw, from what we now learned in 2016, that there was active communication, coordination between elements
associated with Russian intelligence and the Trump family and the Trump campaign.
So, this is very worrisome. And now, in 2020, there's an added element. And that added element, Walter, is that there are now members of the United
States Senate on the Republican side, people like Senator Ron Johnson, who are running sham investigations, in quotations, taking information provided
them by Russian operatives and Russian-backed Ukrainian officials who are trying to discredit, falsely, Joe Biden to advantage Donald Trump.
So it's not just now the Russians and the Trump campaign. It's also, in some instances, allies in the Senate.
ISAACSON: What did you think when you watched the video of Jacob Blake, the latest African-American to be shot by police, after we have seen all
the videos this year?
RICE: I just felt despair and despondency and anger and just amazement.
He was walking with his back to the police to get in his own car with his three kids. And he was grabbed and shot repeatedly in the back. Why? Why?
It's so horrific. And it just happens all too often. And you would think that, after all that transpired following George Floyd's murder, that some
cop in a neighboring state might think twice before he pops off in broad daylight on somebody who posed absolutely no threat.
But he doesn't. And so that tells you just how profoundly problematic our society is and how policing in this country still bears little, if any
regard for black lives.
ISAACSON: What do you think should be done about this? And do you worry that a slogan like defund the police might distract from what really needs
to be done?
What needs to be done, at a minimum, is for the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was passed early and broadly by the
House of Representatives. And it has languished in the Senate, because Mitch McConnell, as is so often the case, doesn't want to do the right
And Donald Trump has absolutely no interest in seeing legislation that is fair, that is rational, that is balanced passed. But, obviously, that's a
step that is necessary, but it's not sufficient.
I do not favor defunding the police, if defunding the police means cutting all resources to police departments or dramatically slashing budgets. I
think we cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach to this. There's some communities where policing is underfunded.
There's some communities where it's overfunded. There's some communities where a rational reallocation of the resources that are earmarked for
police would make great sense.
I think we can reimagine the role of policing. I think we need to get police out of doing social work. I think we need to invest more in our
communities and get at many of the underlying disparities that are causing so much suffering on a daily basis, from housing, to education, to health
I think all of that's the case, but this slogan of so-called defunding the police is very predictably being hijacked by opponents of any sort of
progress on racial justice as a way of dividing the majority of Americans who believe that it is long past time that there be more fairness and
justice in our criminal justice system, but also in our society writ large.
AMANPOUR: We're going to interrupt this broadcast. We're going to interrupt this broadcast for now, going over to my colleague Anderson
Cooper, who has a live interview with Vice President Joe Biden.