The first installment of Vice President Kamala Harris’s YouTube Originals space series featured child actors who auditioned for their roles in the project.
Trevor Bernardino, a 13-year-old actor from Carmel, California, and one of five teenagers featured in the video, was asked to submit a monologue discussing something he is passionate about and three questions for a world leader, according to an interview with KSBW TV. Trevor then interviewed with the production director.
“And then after that, like a week later, my agent called me, and he’s like, ‘Hey Trevor, you booked it,’” Trevor said. He didn’t learn until much later that he would be meeting with Harris, who was appointed to lead the National Space Council earlier this year.
Bernardino was joined by Derrick Brooks II, another child actor , Emily Kim, likewise a child actor , Zhoriel Tapo, a child actor and aspiring journalist who has interviewed former first lady Michelle Obama , and Sydney Schmooke.
“All five of them are actors,” Bernardino’s father, Carlo, told the Washington Examiner in an interview Monday.
“He’s a child actor — he’s been trying to do this type of thing for a while. And so he has a manager and an agent in LA and they send him castings,” Bernardino said. “This was a casting call, a very specific one where he had to write essentially a monologue about what he’s really passionate about and he wrote a monologue about the environment.”
He added, “The producer of the series came back to him and asked him to write three questions that he’d ask a very important person … after that, he had a live Zoom interview with the producer of the series and then he got the part.”
Trevor didn’t learn that he would be meeting with Harris “until the day flying out, essentially,” his father said. “The producers wanted a big surprise.”
Carlo Bernardino said he hopes the series will be picked up for broader distribution.
“It was pitched to my son and us as a pilot,” he said, but whether it continues will “depend on the reaction and what the producers want to do — our hope is that it gets picked up.”
Last week, YouTube Originals announced Get Curious with Vice President Harris, a series that aims to get more children interested in space. The project was produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment, an Emmy award-winning media company based in Toronto that specializes in live-action programming, according to its website .
Filmed in August and released during World Space Week, the video shows a group of children meeting with Harris at her residence, the Naval Observatory, where she introduces herself as the chairwoman of the National Space Council. Before meeting the vice president, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough “beams” down from the International Space Station for a virtual meet and greet with the children, leading them on a scavenger hunt to find the tools to build a telescope.
For Trevor Bernardino, meeting Harris was the highlight of the visit, he said.
“The most exciting part was definitely meeting Vice President Harris. There’s nothing that can top that. Like honestly, she just sat us down. She’s super charismatic. She’s everything that I ever thought of her, plus more,” he said . “She made me feel like one of her peers, and at the time, I felt super important. I was talking to her face to face.” Bernardino’s talent agency shared a montage on Instagram.
The video, which by Monday had garnered some 114,000 views on YouTube, as well as 1,900 likes and 2,800 dislikes, was shared online by the vice president’s aides and supporters. A trailer for the show drew 48 likes and 136 dislikes. Comments on both videos have been disabled.
Foreign-born population soars to new record under Biden; highest rate of immigrants since 1910
The U.S. has had a massive surge in immigration this year, with as many as 1.5 million newcomers and a record 46.2 million foreign-born people, according to a report for the Center for Immigration Studies.
After a deep trough last year, likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel and migration restrictions imposed to control the spread, the flow of people rebounded around the time President Biden was elected.
In numbers never seen before, they are coming legally through airports and land border crossings and illegally across the Rio Grande and remote regions of Arizona and California.
“There was pent-up demand for legal immigration, and illegal immigration has exploded in one of the greatest surges, if not the greatest, we’ve ever seen,” said Steven A. Camarota, the demographer who was the chief author of the report. “It’s driving the numbers up and up and up.”
As it stands, 14.2% of the U.S. population is foreign-born, or 1 out of every 7 people. That is the highest rate of immigrants in the population since 1910, when the number was 14.7%. At current trends, the government says, the U.S. will break that record well before the end of this decade.
Those numbers are even starker given the reversal of trends.
The data showed a drop of 1.2 million immigrants from February to September 2020, likely the result of coronavirus restrictions blocking new entrants, even as outmigration continued. That left the population of the foreign-born — the Census Bureau’s term — at 43.8 million.
It was up to 45 million by January and marched steadily to the current 46.2 million total shown for last month.
In the year after President Trump’s election, the immigrant population flattened.
Mashup: MSM worst moments of 2021
Salvation Army’s Internal Survey Suggests Only Whites Are Racist
“I Took The Salvation Army’s Internal Survey On ‘Racism’ Within The Organization. Here’s What I Discovered.”
The Salvation Army has recently come under significant fire for asking white donors to “offer a sincere apology” for racism. The nearly 150-year old organization created a curriculum entitled “Let’s Talk About Racism” and shared it with its members, along with associated DEI Trainings that cite and draw from Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi’s work. The packet argues that Christians should “stop trying to be ‘colorblind’” and that they should apologize for being “antagonistic.. to black people or the culture, values and interests of the black community.” In response, donors by the thousands have vowed not to donate until the organization reverses their stance.
The Salvation Army has denied any wrongdoing, defiantly calling the allegations that they have gone woke “false.” While they admit that the topic of race in America can be fraught with controversy, they have denied they have “gone woke.” Much of their denial centers around their claim that use of the guide was completely voluntary, and that they are not peddling critical race narratives in their organization.
I obtained a copy of The Salvation Army’s internal survey on “racism within the Salvation Army” and tested that claim.
One Salvation Army officer reached out on condition of anonymity to Color Us United, the raceblind advocacy organization which I run, to reveal an internal survey he was asked to take. It was not a voluntary survey, and was sent by the Territorial Diversity and Inclusion Secretary to every Salvation Army Officer in the US Central Territory. The purpose of the survey, according to an email from the “Territorial Racial Diversity and Inclusion Secretary,” was “to better understand perception of institutional racial bias within The Salvation Army.” The accompanying email stated that there was no “preconceived idea” with regard to whether or not racism existed in The Salvation Army, and told recipients that there were no wrong answers.
I sat down and went through the questions.
First, Questions #1, #2, and #3 asked me for my race, age, and gender. I could not skip these questions. Already, I felt uncomfortable being required to list my personal attributes. If I was an officer, I would be wondering: how could this information be used against me in the future? (They did promise anonymity in this survey.)
The survey then asks Salvationists if they agree with the following definition of racism: “Institutional racism refers to organizational or system processes, behaviors, policies, or procedures, which produce negative outcomes for nonwhites relative to those for whites.” The remaining questions in the survey are dependent upon agreeing to this definition of racism. For any Officer or Soldier who disagrees with this framing, there is no way to express any disagreement or nuance apart from plainly saying that racism does not exist.
Question #6 goes on to ask the survey taker whether they believe there is any institutional bias or racism in The Salvation Army. Question #7 says: “If you answered no to question #6, do you think others in The Salvation Army think there are racial tensions or institutional racism?” The purpose of these questions, I started to feel, was to force the survey taker to admit that The Salvation Army is institutionally racist according to their definition of racism. There is no room for any Officer to elaborate on how they disagree with the definitions, framing, or worldview informing the questions.
The final question asks: “What is the best way to address Racism in The Salvation Army?” The answer options are: “individual reconciliation,” “group reconciliation,” “addressing structures and practices that cause racism,” “all of the above,” or “other.” Note that there is no option for the survey taker to simply say that racism is not a problem in The Salvation Army. The survey (which according to the email, was “intended to go to all the officers within your division, employees, and soldiers” for the Central Territory) simply assumes that racism is present in the organization.
Going through the survey, it became apparent that the survey was attempting to lead me to making only one conclusion about The Salvation Army – that it harbored problematic racism.
This belief is one of the core tenets of critical race theory. Critical race theorists teach that racism is ubiquitous in all aspects of American life. They also teach that it works systemically; that is, by being ingrained in the systems and institutions that operate in society. Their primary evidence of the system being racist is the reality that individuals from different demographics have different life outcomes on average, without taking into account any variables that might impact said life outcomes apart from the color of their skin. All of these concepts are reflected in The Salvation Army’s survey.
Any officer who believes in individualism, colorblindness, and meritocracy will be unable to answer any of the survey questions in good faith. Any officer who believes that The Salvation Army is not a racist organization would not be able to answer these questions in good faith either. Many (if not most) Americans believe that racism is primarily an issue of individuals who harbor feelings of hate against those of other races, not a society-wide conspiracy as alleged by antiracist activists. This survey totally excludes the colorblind perspective from the conversation and forces Officers and other Salvationists into a critical race theory-informed box.