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President Obama Says Racism Issue Is Progressing; The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Stay Busy During U.S. Visit; Exclusive interviews With Bill Cosby Accusers

Aired December 8, 2014 - 15:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Here we go. You're watching CNN. Bottom of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

And you know what? Black lives matter. Black lives matter, if you've been watching this rallying cry that's been constant in the protests rocking the nation after the non-indictments in the Michael brown death and Eric Garner's case here in New York.

But while these protesters are making the case against what they call blatant racism of law enforcement, we heard the chants last week. President Obama is arguing that progress has in fact been made. I want you to listen to part of his interview with BTV.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As painful as these incidents are, we can't equate to what's happening now to what was happening 50 years ago. And if you talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles they will tell you that things are better, not good in some cases but better.

When you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you got to have vigilance but recognize it will take some time and you just have to be steady so that you don't give up when we don't get all the way there.


BALDWIN: Words from the president there. Joining me now on set here in New York, Patricia Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, co-founders of Black Lives Matter, an organization founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

So ladies, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you're semi fresh off airplane. And so many people here, really, joining, not the moment, the movement here in New York and really beyond.

So my first question to both of you is you just heard the president, he said as far as race relations go not good but better. Do you agree with the president?

ALICIA GARZA, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK LIVES MATTER: Well, I think the real question is what do we need to do to push it farther? So what we're seeing across the country in every state across the country are protests and uprisings that are in response to the continuation of racism in our society. We're seeing people going out into the streets all over the world to say maybe we've made some progress but we still have a lot more to do.

BALDWIN: But I think it's a fair question too and I really want to push you more on specifics on house resolutions. But in your lifetime, at least, do you sense an improvement?

GARZA: Well, what we're seeing according to the Malcolm X grassroots movement is that every 28 hours in this country a black person is murdered by vigilantes or police. So that is way it's a hard question to answer because for folks who are living that reality, it's not actually the question. The question is what do we need to do in order to change our conditions? And we need bold quick action. And I think many people around the country and around the world are looking to the United States and looking to what's happening here in New York and in Oakland to make sure that we push this fight even further.

BALDWIN: Patrisse, may I hear your voice?

PATRISSE CULLORS, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK LIVES MATTER: I would also say that the generation that's saying that things have changed, yes things have changed for their generation. But there's a whole new generation that's suffering at the hands of law enforcement. There's a whole new generation of black people. There are 2.3 million people in prison, one million of them are black.

There is a whole new generation of issues that plague black America and I think the real question is ask the people on the ground. Do you think things have changed? And for us, things haven't necessarily changed. If you go into poor black ghettos, folks are hungry still. Folks -- the unemployment rate for black folks is high. That's an issue. That's a huge issue and I think the question for President Obama is, are you going to look at this generation's issues and really deal with them?

BALDWIN: We're talking specifically about African-Americans but there are two different interviews that made news. Eric garner's daughter and then Eric Garner's widow, they both agree that this wasn't about race. Love your perspective on that. This was the widow.


ESAW GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S WIFE: I really don't feel like it's a black and white thing. I feel it's just something that he continued to do and the police knew, you know, they knew.


BALDWIN: I mean that's pretty huge to hear from the heart of the matter. I mean, this is Eric Garner, the man who was taken down in Staten Island in July, you know, the police officer was not indicted, so here is his own wife, now widow, saying this isn't black and white.

In other people I've talked to say it is about police brutality, about abuse of power and it is also about socio-economics. You would hear also people arguing in a poor white community saying Appalachia. They were be this similar sense of fight against police. Do you agree with that?

GARZA: Well first I think it's important to send our condolences to the garner family. There's a lot they are going through. And it must be an intense moment to see people all over the world standing up and fighting in your husband's or in your son's name.

One thing I think is important for us to consider is that we're as a country still trying to grapple with what does racism look like. And a lot of times what we think is that racism is about people being mean to each other. We try to bring up examples of places where there's not patterns but the reality is that most folks, right, would agree that there's a pattern of police abuse and police violence against black communities.

And so, whether or not that particular officer was motivated by that is a hard question to answer but what the statistics and the data tell us again is that every 28 hours in this country a black person is murdered by police or vigilantes.

BALDWIN: So final question just to take this full circle on your point about solutions and protests and I was in the thick of it on Thursday, stopping traffic. I know people want the world to stop and say what's going on, what's one solution, one solution. Tangible specific would you want?

CULLORS: I think the main thing that we want is a redistribution of funding into poorer black communities in particular that are really burdened by police violence. So we have police departments that are funneled with hundreds of millions of dollars. That money can be totally reallocated to communities to give them jobs, to give them housing, to give them access to healthy food. And so, that's a really clear demand that can happen locally and happen federally.


GARZA: Another key solution is tying funding to police departments to performance. We have data that folks are collecting all over the country. And what we are seeing is that in places where there's patterns there's still a healthy amount of federal funding that they are receiving. And so, what we would be saying is, actually, you need to show us your decreasing your racial disparities in order to receive federal funding.

BALDWIN: Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, thank you both very much, co-founders of #blacklivesmatter. We will keep the conversations going and the solution and hopefully find the success for all these different communities. Thank you ladies very much. I appreciate both of you.

GARZA: Thank you.

CULLORS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Just ahead here, the duke and duchess of Cambridge don't have a lot of down time on their visit to the United States. While William was at the White House, Catherine had her own engagement in Harlem. What's next for the world couple, apparently involves a basketball game this evening. We will talk about that.

Plus, Bill Cosby was once America's most beloved comedian. And now, he is facing accusation after accusation and under intense suspicion. Will he address all these women coming forward? We'll talk to Don't Lemon next.


BALDWIN: The royal couple is on this whirlwind three day trip to the United States. It's their first trip together right here to New York City. Earlier, Prince William went to Washington and you see the big photo op sitting there at the White House with the president of the United States. They then talked about illegal wildlife trading, at a World Bank session. Meanwhile, the duchess of Cambridge visited Harlem with the first lady of New York. And tonight the royal couple will see a king, King James that is. They will be at the Nets/Cavs basketball game.

So let's talk about all of the facts that goes into this kind of trip with Max Foster and Victoria Arbiter, CNN world commentators.

So, so lovely to see both of you next to me. And I don't even know where to begin. We'll get to the basketball in just a minute. But first can we show the tweet? We know that Anderson Cooper has tweeted, he is so happens to be on this plane, on the Washington, D.C./New York leg. But here's Prince William from this morning just, you know, on any regular --

MAX FOSTER, CNN WORLD COMMENTATOR: Been careful not to bang his head.

BALDWIN: He's a tall guy, it looks like.

FOSTER: He is very tall. I think (INAUDIBLE). They don't want to be frivolous.

BALDWIN: This is commercial air.

FOSTER: Yes. Well, you know, when they are paying privately to go to these events they will go on budget airlines. They are not flashy at all.

VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN WORLD COMMENTATOR: They regularly fly commercial as it happened. It is only, for example, when they were in Canada on their tour, if the host country is paying for their flights to go in between, if they got to get to somewhere quickly. But otherwise, you regularly see them on commercial airliners.

BALDWIN: And then the notion of going to this basketball game or, you know, Kate up in Harlem, are these things that we think ahead of time they said we would love to see this, we would love to do this. Are they big basketball fans?

FOSTER: They are very carefully. Everything is planned for months and months in every detail. And the basketball game -- I mean, it's not basketball they are interested in. They are hooking up -- their foundation is hooking up with the NBA on illegal, in the fight against illegal wildlife crime trade. And that's what William is constantly talking about on this trip. It's his -- it becomes his last passion, I think.

Meeting Obama he wanted to bring that up. In his speech today was all about that. So, it's about raising awareness on the charities, of course, and also representing the British government as well.

ARBITER: The host country would have said here's an example of things that you can do while you are here. Their aides would have looked at that and they take to it William and Kate and say what on here do you want to do, what furthers the cause and they have some time to choose events tomorrow night at the Met which is called their alma mater where they fell in love. And so, really, everything then just came together to hit everything they wanted to hit.

BALDWIN: Hold on I'm still back on this basketball game. Because if they are flying on this little shuttle plane back up here to New York, I assume they would be in a box at this Nets game but are they -- do they have seats?

ARBITER: Probably for the first half of the game they will be in a box. They will be meeting, you know, charity heads and being wined and dined. But William and Kate really like to experience everything and they are big sports fans. You know, they are probably not terribly familiar with basketball but they are athletic. It's what they like to do. And so, they want the true New York experience and they will be courtside.

FOSTER: Lots speculate about Beyonce.


FOSTER: She's meant to be there and Jay-Z.

BALDWIN: Can you see the photo op of the four of them to the courtside?

FOSTER: Well, there's funny (INAUDIBLE). There is a dinner and they are invited to that. And they say are they going to meet? Because there's no plans for them to meet but if they bump into each other they meet. The onus is on Beyonce to approach Kate.

BALDWIN: Beyonce approaching Kate.

ARBITER: And of course, front seat tend to be celebrity jam packed. Anyways, there is no telling who else might in attendance tonight.

BALDWIN: That is incredible. We will all be watching for that.

And just quickly, finally you are saying, Kate was taken aback side the entourage or everyone, how is she is going from JFK, all around the city. This is not how she rolls in London.

ARBITER: No. It's not how the royals roll in the UK.

FOSTER: You think the motorcade well, I have to say.

ARBITER: Yes. I mean, you really roll it out. It is like a scene from the movies is when you see outright is coming way ahead of the rest of the (INAUDIBLE).

FOSTER: There's a moment, I think. You have people keep asking why there's a fascination in America with royalty. And I think it's kind of the fairy tale. But when she was in Harlem today, she went into this room and there are some kids in a class. And as she came in, these are kids that have behavioral issues. And they saw her and they shouted princess. And they were so excited. And then one of the administrators said I think the princess was frozen. This is what Kate does is she brings these fairy tales to life. She makes them real. And that's why people kind of blowing away when they meet her.

BALDWIN: There's a certain magic, I think, to the royal family for whatever reason that is.

Victoria and Max, thank you both very much. We will be looking for the courtside pictures tomorrow. Appreciate both of you.

ARBITER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Now to this. One after another, women have been coming forward accusing Bill Cosby of rape. At least 20, each with similar story, each accusing a man once known of America's dad of heinous crimes. Ahead hear what several of them have said when they -- when we asked them, actually, if they would want to get some money out of Bill Cosby. That's next.


BALDWIN: Rape allegations against comedian Bill Cosby taking a new turn today as the Los Angeles police department reportedly prepares to head to Hugh Hefner's playboy mansion to investigate a California woman's claim that Cosby assaulted her there way back in 1974.

Judy Huth seen here standing behind her Attorney Gloria Allred saying the assault happened when she was just 15 years of age. And tonight, 9:00 eastern, right here on CNN, we take a closer look at the myriad of accusations against Cosby and "the Cosby Show," a legend under fire. And these women have a message to Cosby's supporters who say they are doing it for just the money. Take a listen.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: How many of you, show of hands, have tried to get money out of Bill Cosby? None of you.

How many of you would ever take money from Bill Cosby?


CAMEROTA: People claim that they are in it for money. They've never tried to get money --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He gave me 20 bucks, call a cab for me and gave me 20 bucks for the cab.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, it would be a form of contempt from him.

LEMON: And this isn't hasn't -- this isn't about sex, it's about power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a predator. He goes after women. And he's not even a man. If you have to drug a woman to have sex with her, that's not even a man. He's a coward. He's a despicable coward.


BALDWIN: Don Lemon, so you sat there, you and Alisyn sat there talking all these different women. What was the common theme, I guess, in the whole conversation?

LEMON: They all had the same story. And so, Alison asked them about the money. I asked them about being drugged. And every -- just sort of get a show of hands and most of them had pretty similar stories.

But it was a very heavy mood in the studio. And I noticed when I walked in the studio we had, you know, the monitors with Bill Cosby's picture up in the studio. And I said to the producers, I said probably shouldn't turn this on. And so, they walked in and we turned the monitors on. And each lady looked at the monitor and went, I can't look at that, you know.

And so, they sat there and I said, do you mind if we have it up for the show? And they say, yes, we'll be fine. But they all have the same thing. And you know, one of the most interesting things to me was, I said, what do you want to happen to Bill Cosby? Some said they wanted him to talk. Others said, I don't really care what he has to say. We would like them to hear to say something.

But pretty much they said, Joan Tarshis is she said what I want to happen to Bill Cosby is what's happening to him right now. And that is that someone of his stature, to have this sort of press, this sort of thing going on is a fate worse than death for him. She said she doesn't want anything else. She wanted her story to be told and people to her, in her estimation, what kind of person she said he is.

BALDWIN: Where is Bill Cosby? Will he finally come forward and say something?

LEMON: I think that he is -- and I don't know. I have not spoken to him. I haven't heard anything from him. I think he's probably worried about legal exposure. And I'm sure highs attorneys are giving him advise not to say anything.

BALDWIN: That he may say something that could him --

LEMON: Get him because, you know Gloria Allred is she is representing a number of women. She is asking that the statute of limitations, that he waive that. I'm not a legal expert. I'm not sure how that works. These women are saying, some of them have retained an attorney. But are saying they don't want money from him. So I'm sure he's worried about the legal exposure.

But for me, I don't have millions and millions and millions upon dollars on the line for this. If I was indeed not guilty, I would say something. I'd have to say something to defend myself and defend my reputation if it were not true. And if it were true, you know, I don't know. I don't know.

BALDWIN: I don't know either. I don't know either. You have to imagine he has so many people advising him. But I mean, at the end of the day, it has to be up to him, right?

LEMON: Originally we scheduled, I think it was a two segments with these ladies in the show tonight --

BALDWIN: And it just kept going?

LEMON: And it kept going and then finally we met with the producers after the show and we said, this will be the bulk of the hour because it was like therapy. They just kept talking and talking. It was amazing.

BALDWIN: We'll watch for it, Don Lemon. Thank you so much. The preview and again, we're calling this "the Cosby Show, a legend under fire" tonight, 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up on at the top of the hour in "the LEAD," Berkeley, California, witnessing a wave of violence when demonstrations definitely turned ugly there. Can police and protesters keep the peace tonight?


BALDWIN: Today may be the day to check your 401(k) because we're keeping a close watch on the Dow as it's been flirting with that 18,000 mark.

Let's talk to Alison Kosik who's just returned --

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I think it stopped flirting, though, today.

BALDWIN: Keep the flirting going because we have never, ever, ever seen it hit 18,000.

KOSIK: No. We're seeing it move farther away so you don't have -- they have to came out with the (INAUDIBLE). I think it's going to have to be put back into the closet at least for a little while as we see the Dow falling over 100 points. It's because of oil, oil plunging four percent today. Close is at $63 a barrel.

Why is this happening? Because the U.S. is contributing more oil to the global supply through shale production and the thing is, demand is lessening. So you're seeing sort of supply and demand 101. You got more supply, less demand, you are going to see the price of oil will drop.

Also, you have gulf producing state saying, gulf producers saying, you know what, we're not going to cut production. We are not going to try to hike that oil price higher. You sort of spooking the market and you are seeing the Dow pond a 100-points today. Very different from Friday where we saw that very positive jobs report where these hats were handed out for Dow 18,000. This is a trader handing this out.

And you know what, traders I talked to on Friday, we were all talking about Dow 18,000. They were even saying Dow 20,000 next year. But when you see days like this where you see the Dow suddenly plunge 101 points, you kind of think want to track ahead of things, maybe that's not really going to happen, but you will never know. You know, tomorrow's a new day. The market could see things differently.

BALDWIN: The idea of somebody going to making hat (ph), I'm so superstitious. Like four in the big game are beautiful win in the World Series -- exactly.

KOSIK: They are telling me, wear it like this first.

BALDWIN: Exactly. It is a rally cap.

Alison Kosik, thank you very much. You can always check with (INAUDIBLE), of course, on the big board. You go to

That is it for my friend, Alison, here, myself. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for watching. Let's go to Washington. "

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.