tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC September 9, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
when you see these problems do you take a step back, or do you want to dive right in? with a degree in business from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to go further in your career than you ever thought possible. let's get started at capella.edu >> in morning the campaign is just getting hot but it's time to talk about governing. first we're going to pennsylvania. believe it or not, there is a plan to rig this election. >> referee: good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. if you're old enough to be a baby nerd in the 70s, you
learned about how a bill becomes a law. he told us his life story. >> when i started, i wasn't even a bill, i was just an idea. some folks back home decide they wanted a law passed. he said you're right, there ought to be a law. >> this morning, i'd like to look into the life story of a law that's not quite as innocent as bill on capitol hill. pennsylvania's voter id legislation. this week, it will find it's way into pennsylvania supreme court where the american civil liberties union and others will vote for it. the voter id laws are one of the strictest in the nation. they will be appealing the decision of common welt court judge robert simpson. he rejecting a idea that would have kept the law from being
implemented at the polls on november 6th. he based it on a 2008 ruling in which the court upheld voter id law in indiana. prior to 2006 when the indiana law passed, no state required a voter to produce a government issued voter id as a condition to vote. indiana was the first. and the state of indiana, just like the state of pennsylvania in the lower court, admitted it could come up with no, zero cases of inperson voter fraud. which is what the law is designed to protect against. but the supreme court upheld it anyway. they thought nearly the threat was enough to justify a voter id law. only that threat doesn't exist. according to the brendonsen ter
who released research in 2007 said allegations of voter fraud, especially polling place impersonation fraud almost always prove to be inflated or inaccurate. in truth, the mat sere that voter fraud votes knowingly cast by ineligible people is false. so our law finds itself in a crisis. it's whole reason for being is a myth. but what is real is -- more than one million people, more than 12% of pennsylvania voters that voted in 2008, more than 750,000 voters, lack a valid photo id under the new law. and those least likely to have valid identification, aren't you a diverse group.
african-americans, latinos, the poor. they all have a tendency to vote for the democratic party. which brings me to the beginning. the pennsylvania law grew up to attract national attention, but it had humble beginnings in a republican dominated state legislature. before 2010, the democrats had run the house for four years. in their first attempt to pass a bill, vetoed in 2006 by ed rendell, but after the election, pennsylvania flipped from a blue state to a red one with the house, senate, and governor all ran by daryl metcalf. he introduced it under the voter identification protection act. he is also a member of the american legislative exchange council. you may remember it by a.l.e.c. you may also remember a.l.e.c.
being mentioned with the trayvon martin case. imagine if it was an organized group that brings corporations together with hundreds of legislatures who are sympathetic to the interests of those regulatio regulations. a.l.e.c. drafts model legislation for those legislatures to take back to their states to pass into law. stand your ground was one of those model laws, so was voter id. it was drafted by a.l.e.c. so it was said last month that pennsylvania's voter id law was based on the indiana law upheld by the supreme court and not influenced by his a.l.e.c. membership. but more than half of the 62
bills sponsored statewide were sponsored by members of ale krerks. but correlation does not equal causation. that may leave us with more questions about the life of the pennsylvania id law and how it began. fortunately, daryl metcalf's colleague has given us all a clear answer about where he hope it's will end. >> we are focused on making sure that we meet our only indications that we talked about for years. prosecond amendment. first pro life legislation. voter id which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> with me is judith brown, dorian warren, and mickey
edwards. did i get that about right, judith? >> yeah, you hit it on the head. you told the story. we're we are in pennsylvania. it will be in the supreme court next week, and we know no evidence of voter fraud, we know who it hits. one group that also it hits are veterans who don't have expiration dates on their ids. >> why wouldn't veterans have ids, but it's because they don't have expiration dates. >> explain that, i want to be clear, i think a lot of viewers may realize you don't just have to have something that shows you you are, but you have to have rules about it. >> that's right, they were crafted for partisan gain by politicians who want to manipulate the laws. they crafted them so they hit the people that they want to suppress the votes of. so the way that most of these
laws have been crafted is they're state issues photo id with a current address, no expiration date, so in pennsylvania, over 80% of the colleges and universities did not have an expiration date on their ids, so they're fated with not being able to vote. >> it's the nature of it to me that feels like we have gone to a place that says it can't be about voter fraud. if you can say i am who i am, then you would not -- >> let me give you another example of how this is a coordinates national campaign. in the state of minnesota, republicans took over the legislature for the first time in 40 years, and they immediately passed a similar kind of law. vetoed, so they put a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that would essentially do the same thing. same day registration, absentee voting, if you're a soldier in
afghanistan, you can't prove that you have an id when you go to vote. the chairman of the state party of alec was the lase sponsor. so this is coordinated across the country with the intention of disenfranchising the voters of a certain party. >> because i'm making a claim this is about parties, and we will talk about your boot later in the show, this notion that one party has a historic interest, it was the democratic party at the turn of the century that passed the jim crowe laws. is there a way but can imagine voter rights being a partisan -- >> it's not going to change until we stop bases things not on the common good, but on the political party. that's done not on just voter
laws but every kind of a law. we see it in washington all of the time. it's what helps my party trumps what's the right thing to do for the country. it's not going to change until we address that more fundamental problem. >> is there something here about america's rapidly changing demographics. i know that chris hayes talks about this, but it was like when you saw black and brown people taking power, is this about demographics not being in the favor of the republican party, and rather than battling it out they will just suppress those voters. >> right, and you to back to to redistricting as well. the republicans gained control of several legislations in 2010. they redistricted themselves into power, and they pass laws that will keep them in power for a long time. in places like texas, for example, where they passed a
very strict voter id law, that is a place where we see the changing demographics happening very quickly. there is a cramble to make sure they can hold on to their power in light of that. >> it feels to me, and part of the reason i wanted to tell that story is the suppression -- really, if we just walk through what we actually know, the path away seems very clear. then we have tursi saying this is about electing and allowing mitt romney to win the state of pennsylvania. is there any -- i just want to the play that, is there any good legal, ethical, or democratic reason to have a voter id law? >> i don't think we see any evidence of this. my favorite line is this from
justice -- men feared witches and burned women. mean fears witches and burned women. he was talking about a different right. but he was saying this communist threat in this case is just being brought up to prey on people's paranoia and the innocent people are getting punished. men fear fraudsters and are burning legitimate voters. there is a boody man, and every court that looked at this, including the crawford court and the pennsylvania court that's we've been talking about said there is no evidence of voter fraud, we can do this on the basis of a threat that exists out there. >> so even if we take that naive
hypothesis, even then, the sort of solution to it is not -- b. >> not fix it. >> right, first of all, this is not about preventing fraud, it's about preventing voting. and really this is an issue where you don't have mickey mouse going to vote, but people live off of that fear so they can have the rhetoric to push these laws through, and that makes sense to the average person. in fact, we all want integrity in our elections, right? that's what our democracy is great because we all get to participate. we want integrity, but passing laws to ma nif late the system is not about integrity. >> so just in case, what you think we're talking about isn't real, just for a second you think voter suppression tactics will not impact the election.
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a cording to an online database, there is some 665,000 college graduates and students. they are least likely to have identification under the state's new laws, and they may not be able to vote. they are also likely to support president obama. in 2008, president obama won 18 to 29-year-olds 65% to senator
mccains 35%. i want to know, do these young people have any idea what is going on? so answer this question, i sent a young person to find out. a 2005 graduate who went back into our hold stomping grounds in the battleground state of pennsylvania. >> can you tell me about the voter id laws. >> i can't because i don't know much about them. >> i know there is a change going on. >> i know something about having date on the id. >> i didn't know if they passed. >> student vs. to have an exper ration date on their ids. >> so this is brock's -- not barack -- student id. >> do you have it? >> the thing that matters is there no s no expiration date on it. >> there is no expiration date. >> so you need one in order to vote. >> why? >> that's part of the new voter
id laws. >> that's rhode island kick louse. >> we're living here, 18, we should be able to vote. >> it makes it less convenient to vote because then it's like i won't go through that trouble. >> they may not know about the extra sticker -- >> this new voter id law has never been around before in pennsylvania, what do you think the purpose of it is? >> to detract a large population from being able to vote, and a lot of kids will not know what's going on when they go to try to vote. >> pennsylvania could be swayed by a number of students. >> and a a number of people with no license at all. >> and the population may not have an id. for example, a driver's license, not everyone has a driver's license. there is public transportation that everyone can take. >> people who are really into it and want to vote will find a
way. >> i think it's a smart id, you don't want people coming up and randomly voting. >> personally, i don't think my vote matters. >> people have died for many years giving us a right to vote, so if people are trying to take that away, that's absolutely un-american. >> and now, kristin joins us. that was great reporting, but i'm a little freaked out. are there any college students in pennsylvania that will be able to vote? >> the more proactive ones will be able to, but for most college students, their school id is their main form of identification. in 2008 when i was a freshman, i was able to vote with just my student id and now that's not the case. the pennsylvania public interest research group found that many schools provide ids with no expiration dates -- >> if universities are providing ids without the expiration
dates, can the colleges do anything? >> i found that when i went there, many students don't want to have the trouble of figuring out how to get that sticker. some of them are undecided if they're even going to vote. it's an added hassle to them. >> thank you, kristin, i appreciate you taking the time to go to pennsylvania for us. stay tuned becausely be sending you on assignment again. when we come back, we're moving on from pennsylvania. ♪ [ male announcer ] they're not just colors. they're an instant bond. ♪ they're your birthright. they're heirlooms. they're irreconcilable differences. they're a city united. so protect your colors... ...with tide.
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voting. and then the secretary of state said he's just not going to comply because it would only serve to confuse voters. then the same judge who reinstated the weekend voting ordered houston to appear in court this thursday. then he backed down, issued a formal apology, but that's not the end of it. now mike says he will repeal the judge's photoing and tried eliminate early voting the weekend ahead of the election. folks, this battle is going to continue. hawaii is doing this differently, what's going on? >> ohio, just like florida, eliminated the weekend voting which is early voting. we know that in places like in
ohio, 56% of them were african-american. we know in ohio and florida, this is where you sad souls to the polls where churches when together and voted in unity. ohio decides that they're not listening to that court. obama for america filed that case and they didn't want to listen to it. >> i want to play a little history here. ohio is having to battle around early voting. we have pennsylvania with the id, i want to listen for a moment to john lewis who spoke about what it took to get voting rights in this country. it's such a powerful moment from the dnc when he was talking with andrea mitchell, let's take a listen. >> i will never forget the three young men in mississippi, andy
goodman, they died. by trying to encourage over people to become registered. and it would be an affront to what they died for and to all those people that struggled. >> i want to set that against a new add that the state of pe about getting your voter id, he is saying it would be an affront to our history. >> if you care about this election. >> if you care about this election -- >> if you have an opinion -- >> if you apt voice. >> if you want to make a difference, then show it, show it, show it. if you care about this country, it's time to show it.
>> so if you care about the country, pay your poll tax? go get your voter id. >> to be a good american, we should make voting easy, basically, jump over the hurdles, is that what we're hearing here? our elections should be free, fair, and accessible. we have a underlying discussion going on in this country about if voting is a right or a privilege, and we're going to have to have that conversation. most people think it's a right. it's fundamental to our democracy. >> not only a right, but a wright that's preservative. if you don't have a right to vote, you're not part of the party, people don't have to engage you or persuade you. you're outside of it. i often times bring up on the first day of constitutional law why is it that we hold up such
feeling towards the constitution that was created by white people -- >> we love it. >> and the answer is that the exclusions for we the people is confronted and overcome. so four of the 27 amendments expand our franchise. so the basis of gender, wealth, no poll tax, the 26th amendment -- we have this gradually expanding elector rate. so i'm with john lose. so say that all of these hard won victories bought with blood and measured suffering would suddenly be turned back, chipped away, with these voter id laws db. >> mickey, you're saying show it. you showed me something amazing during the break. >> i still have my congressional id card, and it did you want have an expiration date, even
though i'm no longer in congress, and i could walk into a polling place and show that i'm a member of the united states congress and that would not be enough to get me in those cases the right to vote. you know, this is not just about the immediate legislation. we've always made it hard. we have had this system where for the most part, in most states, the polls closed at 7:00, you had to vote near your home on a weekday or workday. you can't just walk off from your office and say i'm going to go vote. it made it different for people that worked in factories 20 miles from home to participate. >> yeah, if you're working shift work -- i'm going to let you in on it, and we'll talk about the constitutional law of it all. when we come back, is this going to supreme court and what does it mean? stay with us.
think about this statistic. eight of 11 states from the former confederacy have passed restrictive voting laws since the 2010 election. we told you last week about a federal court blocking the texas voter id, and while it won't affect the 2012 election, it is likely the state will appeal. closing arguments again later this month, and with all of the legal challenges surrounding the laws, it's hard to see how this issue lands before the john roberts supreme court. so, kenji. two things here, we have been talking about pennsylvania and ohio, neither one of the states
are under the preclearance, but texas and south carolina is. explain to me the different courts in which these things will be challenged. >> yes, just to take a step back, we're under that voting rights act. there are certain states with such a negative history of restricting the franchise in the basis of race, they have to engage in preclearance. so texas and south carolina are two of them. the reason this isn't an issue in ohio or pennsylvania, those two states are not preclearance states. so voting rights do not control -- >> there were states in slavery, part of the union, and they didn't have a jim crowe industry. >> that's right, it basically places the onus on the state rather than the disen franchised
individual to make their case. so what's been happening is the court has been saying look, we're going to weigh this, and bisically we're going to look at the possibly for voter fraud, and the burden on potentially disen franchised voters. because of this negative history this state has had, the thumb is heavily on the scale against that state and for the plaintiff, right? so what's happening now is a lot of these states are complaining and saying this voting rights act itself is unconstitutional. and that challenge, we don't need to wait for either texas or south carolina. the cases are coming to the court and supreme court years are like academic years, to the 2012-2013 year is one that the supreme court could consider as section five. >> there is a possibility that the voting rights act of 1965 that helps to protect folks and
make voting possible -- >> that preclearance could be struck down. so not in it's entirety, but in the preclearance -- and in the 2009 case, john roberts sort of -- there's an 8-1 decision, and the court took a bye, and the statute allowed it, but the constitutional question is does congress have the power to enact section five of the voting rights act. and that question could be quarely presented before the court as early as this. >> and it's because these states are saying we don't disgrim nat any longer. that was a long time ago. this is unconstitutional as applied to us now. we're going to see that happening, but we have to understand the right wing has been setting this up for a long time. >> we're not done with this issue, that's why we're calling it this week in voter
suppression because every week there is something new. up next, we're on the eve on the 9/11 anniversary. and i want to discuss the word terrorism. it's no wonder i'm getting gray. but kate still looks like...kate. [ female announcer ] with nice'n easy, all they see is you -- in one step, nice'n easy with colorblend technology, is proven to give more blends of tones. for color that's perfectly true to you. [ rob ] i don't know all her secrets but i do know kate's more beautiful now, than the day i married her. [ female announcer ] with the dimensional color of nice'n easy, all they see is you.
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biotene helps moisten those areas that have become dry. those that are suffering can certainly benefit from biotene. tomorrow is september 11th, the attacks on new york and washington made us feel uniquely vulnerable. and this has directed our foreign policy for more than a decade. it also influenced our actions here at home leading to unprecedented restrictions on our civil liberties, and leading many to know who is threatening, dangerous, and potentially a terrorist. terrorism is more than simply
violence. they act with the goal of creating fear. september 11th was not the first action of terrorism. the kkk terrorized communities, there was a bombing of the oklahoma building to shame the government. but it did not lead us to define all white men as threats to security in the united states. but the horror of 9/11 made people think all muslims were threat. terrorists win when we turn on each other. like when we protest a symbol of reconciliation. it opened last year with a gallery of photographs featuring children in new york city.
i want to ask not about the foreign wars, but whether a domestic piece is possible. joining me now is interfaith youth core founder, and a politics professor at princeton university and valerie koer, a american filmmaker. thank you all for being here. i want to start but you amani. tell me about the data. i made a claim that post 9/11 we made a notion of who is the other, who is the threat? does the data show us that? >> absolutely. if you look at public opinion for muslim americans after 9/11 and looking at them today, a decade later, the average american is far more worried and suspicious of the average muslim than they were a decade ago. in the last decade, things have
gotten worse for the muslim community. >> so that sense of anxiety has grown? >> yes, coupled with an environment last year that permitted islamaphobia, it's far worse than it was at 9/11. >> i'm a little obsessed with your book, i've been spending a lot of time with it, but exactly this idea is part of what i felt resonating in it, you write about feeling like there was never a moment previously before 9/11 where there was a question to imagine yourself as muslim and american, but that particularly the so called ground zero mosque recognized
them pulling apart. she said you should change your kids names because they sound a little too muslim. that's how afraid muslims were. i have to say that that fear has transferred into something different for me. i've spent a lot of time reading about the civil rights movement, and what struck me so much about that, is that the people in this nation experienced the harshest side of american prejudice decided they wanted to build america's promise. they decided that america was a broken promise and they gave their bodies and blod to save that. i think about this line, america never was america to me, and yet i swear this oath, america will be. that's inspiring the work that we're doing and inspired me to write the book "sacred ground." and that the names --
>> my friend had a grandfather that was born a slave and died a senator. one is an expansive story about america, who in the world born into slavery says i'll run for an office in government. that sense of hope and possibility. and yet you and i have talked a lot about the post 911 viens, against muslims, but misdirected violence that gets directed against this community, and then there was the oak creek tragedy. tell us about it. >> a man walked into a house of worship on a sunday murn and opened gunfire on august 5th. i spent about a month with the families and the kids that lost
their parents. six were murdered. they're pain and grief is profound. it's a moment of violence that has shaken us in the last decade, even in the last 100 years of history as a moment that calls us to action. what was unprecedented is that we received unprecedented national attention. flags were lowered, vigils were attended. what i saw was that kind of support really enbolded people in oak creek to face the sea of cameras and tell their fate. it was for all people struggling to live as a free and equal -- >> it feels to me that part of the challenge is what we see our president facing, which is every
time you say "but i'm not a muslim" you reinforce islamaphobia. >> that's right, every time an event like wisconsin happens or obama is accused of being a muslim. they will see oh, they weren't musl muslim, or obama isn't husbamus and it's better that he is not. >> absolutely, a mud lin should not be president of the united states and obama has gone to a great extent in denying any, you know, any roots that are actually muslim. >> we have more on this and when we come back, we'll talk more about the 9/11 legacy that we need to extinguish. pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue.
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zlrchlgs our guest got her start at a documentary filmmaker. the documentary tidaled divided we fall where she explores groups that were stereotyped as terrorists. >> as soon as i saw what happened i knew we were in for a hard time. >> there's a lot of backlash. he said, what do you expect? people to come around and give you roses. >> so post 9/11, there is a backlash. >> it's troubling that it is 11
years later and we're still battling it. this could be the largest racially mote vaited shoivated recent history. we news congress to hold congressional hearings that look at hate groups, and i'm glad that we're working to come bait hate on college campuses. >> raleigh brings up the u.s. congress, when i was reading "sacred ground" you talk about a a movement, the ways that the american exceptionalism could be understood. but you tell a story about newt gingrich that i was in love
with. >> it is often martin luther junior that is thought of as giving these speeches. and interfaith cooperation is such at the heart of the american story, and we need a new generation to rise up and write that chapter. my friend who is a republican congressional staffer in the mid to late 1990s, needed a place to pray in the capital on friday afternoon the speaker at the time was newt gingrich and provided him that place to pray. we need more americans to be that version of that. to be welcoming the contributions of all communities and nurturing cooperation between them. >> so what i loved about this story is that newt ging rish is
prepared to provide space, but that's not the newt gingrich we see today, and it's not because he changed but the incentive structure has changed. >>. >> the absolutely, it's the whole campaign were where you see a turn to the right, if you may, has been on this islamaphobia bandwagon, and who is going to join it. >> there is a plank right in the republican party platform. >> there are campaigns in about 33 states in the united states that have law that's have never even emerged. if you were to ask me, somebody who studies the muslim and the arab world, to study the content of the laws, they really don't
exist. >> president's reelection campaign is nations it a central foreign policy achievement. i also also have just a little bit of a, like, is there any way in which that continues to make us think that muslims are our enemy? >> let's make the hate of death in our world. you can stand up for the dignity of someone else, and i'm proud that muslims are praying with sikh-americans. we're better together and we have to build that country. >> what gives me hope is a rising generation. the kids in oak creek, melissa asked me to give you this bracelet. they wanted me to thank you for not forgetting them on this