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Alexandra Pelosi - How America Weaponized Phones | The Daily Social Distancing Show

Alex Pelosi, welcome to The Daily Social Distancing Show.

You have created a film, a documentary, about America

and what many would say is the most pressing issue

going on in the country right now,

and that is the protests

around the injustice happening across the United States.

It seems like an obvious choice now,

but you've been working on this for a while.

Why did you decide that this was the documentary

you wanted to make today?

What is so special about 2020 is it's the year

that white America woke up.

I didn't know that was gonna be the case.

You know, last March, my family went to Selma

-with John Lewis and Kamala Harris, for that matter. -Right.

And we, you know, we went for the...

to commemorate Bloody Sunday, and were talking...

We're on this journey to talk about this...

-the dark past of America. -Right.

And here we are...

You don't have to tell your audience about this.

They now know about this.

A year ago, I would have been preaching some sort

of old-lady history civics.

-Mm-hmm. -Now, this is something everybody...

It's a language everybody speaks.

So I think we've come a really long way in this year.

And I think that's the one thing that I think people need to...

'Cause it's such dark times, and it's so hard not to be sad

-about America right now. -Right.

Well, there is a little arc of history where we can look at it

and say, "Well, since...

"In the past year we... you know, we've woken up.

"We now know about this,

and we can now talk about these things."

You've been covering the story of protests in America

as it gears up for one of the most contentious elections

in American history.

You also then happened to be outside the White House

when the president came out to stage that photo op

of him standing in front of the church holding the bible,

where the National Guard shot tear gas canisters

at American citizens, something that I think

a lot of people didn't even realize was one

of the most extreme acts by America's force on Americans.

Exactly. And then,

the administration started gaslighting us.

They said, "We didn't use tear gas."

Well, then, what are those canisters?

"We didn't use rubber bullets."

"Well, then what are these wounds on my body?"

I mean, they started completely...

"Oh, that wasn't the National Guard."

"Well, I saw the National Guard with my own two eyes."

So they started telling people that were there

what they saw wasn't what they saw,

-and that's the scary part. -Mm-hmm.

Let's talk about... let's talk about the title

of-of... of the documentary.

It's, um... it's an interesting title.

American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself.

That title is provocative.

It-it has many layers to it.

Why do you think the "selfie" is so important in there?

Why do you think the camera phone is so important

in telling the story of protest?

Well, if you look at...

The documentary Oscar this year should go

to the 17-year-old girl who shot George Floyd's murder.

You know, I started filming

people outside the Apple Store lining up to buy...

And I'm obviously making fun of them, right?

You line up at 5:00 in the morning to get a new phone,

even though you already have a phone.

I mean, what's the point of that?

And I was in the beginning...

mocking the people that go to such great lengths to take...

You know, fall off a cliff at the Grand Canyon

-to take a perfect selfie. -Right.

And this totally shallow American culture

that's, like, what it's become.

It's really sort of shameful.

But this year, it turned.

It turned because people took these silly little toys

-that they had in their hand into weapons... -Mm-hmm.

that they could use to defend themselves

and to document...

And then we could no longer deny it.

And the thing that was really important

about that video of George Floyd's murder is

that it was the whole thing.

It was a documentary in and of itself.

-You got to watch... -Right.

You can go online and watch the whole thing

from the beginning to end.

Because other people have been killed by police.

But you can say, "Well, you didn't see

what happened before."

Or "You didn't see what happened after."

That's what made the story different is

that people got the full... There was...

It reduced the-the amount of deniability

-that people often have. -Right.

And that's a really important turning point

in the course of human history that we are now...

I am still... I'm still torn about the whole thing,

also because social media is doing so much.

I mean, I think it's completely undermining our democracy.

And so, the conversation has gone

-to such low points. -Mm-hmm.

And everybody's gone so tribal and into their own bubbles.

-Right. -And everybody just sort of...

There's all this hate speech, and it's...

Back to how our administration is gaslighting us.

You know, if you watch our president, he'll say,

"Oh, it's all Antifa," you know, out at the protests.

-Uh-huh. -And you want to say,

"I saw families, I saw college kids, I saw children with...

I saw pets."

You know, there were millions of Americans out there protesting.

It wasn't just, you know, a few...

Yes, there were a few bad apples like there are in every...

every, right?

But the important point is

that everybody was out there.

The two sides like to say, it's Proud Boys or Antifa.

Well, where are the rest of us, all the normal people

that were out there protesting in the streets?

They never get talked about.

Before I let you go, I would be remiss

if I didn't bring up the fact that your mom is...

the most powerful woman in America.

As Nancy Pelosi's daughter,

how do you think your views in and around politics

and-and... and documenting politics are shaped?

Like, do you think you've been able to create your own filter

and your own lens on how you see the world?

And-and if so, how did you do that?

I've gone out of my way in the last 30 years

as a journalist and filmmaker to go

into what they call "real America."

And it was really important for me,

because I grew up in San Francisco,

you know, in sort of the liberal bubble.

-Right. -I always wanted to see...

'Cause I like to tell my kids all the time, like,

"What if we're wrong?

What if, you know, we're wrong about everything?"

-Mm-hmm. -When you leave New York City,

people will tell you, "You're wrong about everything."

-Right. -And I like to be reminded of that all the time

so that I don't lose my mind.

The only way I can stay sane is by talking to people

who aren't like me

that don't believe anything that I believe in,

and just trying

to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I think that, you know, there are more purple people out there

than there, um...

than we're led to believe by cable news,

because cable news is in the business

of just making us hate each other.

Social media is in the business of making us hate each other.

So it's good to go out there and meet people

and try and understand where they're coming from.

Well, I recommend that everyone watches this documentary

to understand not just where everyone's coming from,

but where the country is headed to, as well.

Alex Pelosi, thank you so much for joining us on the show.

Thank you so much for having me.