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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  July 27, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PDT

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start a team. join a team. walk to end alzheimer's. visit today. this morning, my question. is there hope for a cease-fire in gaza? plus, the consequences of aggressive policing. and all the things that magical black fathers can't fix. but, first, the growing outbreak killing hundreds across the continent. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. this morning there are what appear to be the first reports of an american infected with ebola stemming from the current
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outbreak in western africa. three weeks ago on this program when we last covered the spreading ebola outbreak we already knew it was the worst ever since we learned about the virus in 1976. now, the cases are spreading and the death tolls are mounting. here's where we standed. as of friday, the centers for disease control report 1,093 medical cases 786 confirmed as o ebola infections. we learned this morning that a senior liberian doctor has also died. the first in that country. the eebola virus, according to the cdc spreads mainly through direct contact with blood and other bodily fluid and indirect contact with objects such as needles. it includes headaches, fever, joint and muscle aches, weakness, vomiting and profuse bleeding. there is no cure.
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there is no vaccine. ebola kills up to 90% of its victims and quickly. and in western africa, the current outbreak is spreading. we learned this week that the virus reached nigeria, the african conttinent's most populous nation. the world health organization spokesman gave an indication of how fast ebola can work. >> he apparently arrived to lagos by plane and departed on the plane with no symptoms and he reported being symptom m eed upon riva upon arrival. >> later an autopsy confirmed ebola in the traveler.
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on wednesday we learned the lead doctor fighting the virus has himself contracted the virus. a 32-year-old patient who had tested positive for ebola was forcibly removed by her family in the capital of freetown. population there about 1 million. here's a doctor at that hospital on saturday. >> this is in the hands of authorities and i believe there are leads. definitely be able to locate and we ehave information and we followed the leads and we are still not able to get a hold of the patient. >> the bbc reported saturday night the patient died shortly after turning herself in. and now there is this report. a 33-year-old american doctor has been infected in liberia and is now undergoing treatment. his organization, samaritans purse international relief,
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released a statement that reads in part, "dr. brantley is married with two children. committed to doing everything possible to help dr. brantley during this time of crisis. we ask everyone to pray for him and his family." without surface to air missiles or bombs ebola virus is claiming as many lives as any of the events this week. joining me now in the studio. laurie garret at the council on foreign relations. from atlanta, steve monroe, deputy director of the cdc's national center for emerging and zoo nonic infections. joining us from sierra leone is a spokesman for the world health organization. good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning.
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>> tarik, let me begin with you, what is the mood of the medical community in western africa relative to this outbreak? is there optimism about the ability to stem this? >> thank you very much for having me on your program. as you put in your introduction, we are seeing medical personnel being infected and just to put things in perspective since the beginning of the outbreak, we had about 100 medical personnel being infected in three countries and half of them died. so, this just shows how vulnerable health workers are and how much we need to train them properly and we need to have enough of them so they can do reasonable shifts and they can take care of infection and prevention and control measures. we are really working around the clock with the edministries of
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health and providing their expertise. you just mentioned, but others like doctors without borders and the red cross. we work really around the clock trying to find every sick patient and every contact and doctor has been in contact with these infected people to try to stop this transmission. >> one more follow up on that. when you say more than 100 health care workers have been infected, half of them having passed, is there any danger that local health care workers will begin to refuse to, in fact, care for these patients? >> well, it is, it definitely is normal that there is an anxiety and fear for health workers. we should not forget this is the first time oebola outbreak has been identified. so, health workers have not been prepared for this and this is what i heard yesterday from the chief medical officer from
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seirra leone that said our health care workers are not prepared and that's why so much is needed, expertise from outside. we need people who have been dealing with ebola before in other countries. we need them to come here and train local health workers to give them proper equipment and to tell them how to use this equipment so we don't have these infections any longer. world health organization has more than 120 people in free country trying. >> stay with us. the last time you were here three weeks ago you began by saying let's take off the table the possibility that this infectious disease is unlikely to come on a plane and come to the u.s. as we watch it grow, is that still largely your perspective? >> yes, unless it takes hold in
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nigeria or sand even then i'm s you'll hear from the cdc that we have a very rapid response capacity in the united states. i think what people are missing when they try to understand why this is so out of control in west africa is the history of these three countries. from 1985 until 2003, they were locked in the most brutal civil wars seen anywhere in the world at the time. child soldiers cutting off arms. people being brutally treated 400,000 deaths, millions of people lost their homes or loved ones and, so, today what you're seeing is a tax on health care workers. riots attacking hospitals and so on. with the rumors spreading that would never be held true here. no one here would think, right, doctors are cannibals and what's going on in the hospitals is they're eating the people or doctors are actually cutting off their arms and it's a thing to sell arms overseas. literal arms not military arms.
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we'd never see rumors like that in the united states. in fact during the civil war, people got their arms cut off, cannibalism and everything the rumors are saying. this is making conquering this problem far more difficult. >> so useful to me because part of the, again, i think the language i used was panic inducing about the woman whose family forcibly removed her from this hospital in sierra leone. the notion that not everyone was going in for treatment has to do with the relatively treatment of these violent wars. >> charles taylor is one of the only war criminals today. he started a series of events that led to civil wars in both sierra leone and spill over to g guinea and operatives coming out.
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the tribes have suspicion of each other and all ethnic groups distrust one another and now tons of foreigners dressed in space suits walking around and it's, i think, far more difficult than the one i was in because there you had an isolated, very large 450,000-person town, but totally isolated. no way those people were going anywhere. all one ethnic group. all one religion. and all one language. >> let me come to you steve monroe down at centers of disease control. given what laurie helped me understand, given what we're hearing out of sierra leone the potential that these are nations not prepared in terms of also medical training. from your perspective at the cdc then, obviously, we can't wait for complete social and political justice to address this infectious disease, so, how do we begin to do it in these
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contexts that are pre-existing? >> i think as both of the previous speakers have pointed out one of the big needs right now is communication and education. both for the health care workers, for the community at large and also for family members. the other major route of transmission is person-to-person and family members caring for a sick loved one in their home or preparing bodies for burial. we need to educate people that they need to get people with symptoms into one of these isolation facilities as quickly as possible and then educate them on the practices for safe burial. >> so, when you talk about public education, particularly public health education that always rests at its core on trust that you could trust who's telling you these things. who are the brokers who can be trusted in these contexts? >> absolutely. what we need to do is engage the local leaders in these villages,
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whoever the trusted person is and first convince them of what the important messages are. we know what the messages are for interrupting transmission. but we need to have the right trusts source, as you point out, who can deliver that message so that people can accept it. >> hold for me one moment. laurie, jump in here. >> sierra leone and liberia traditional healers and the western trained physicians and nurses. the classic case of an individual who was deliberately infect would a close cousin to ebola by a competing traditional healer because he was a german physician working on the problem in the country. he nearly died back in germany. fortunately, he survived. this was several year uz go. but the point is i don't think that from all the reports i'm getting that it's been found way to really bridge this gap
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between the traditional healers and the western-style physicians and the result is that the traditional healers are actually encouraging a lot of practices that run counter to what it takes to stop an epidemic. such as stay at home, take care of your loved one. don't put them in the hospital. don't let them put drugs in you, don't let them put needles in you. come have my traditional healing approach and i think one of the crucial steps is to make more bridges with religious leaders of all types of religions and the traditional healers. and this is going to be a very hard, long struggle. >> tarik in seirra leone with the world health organization and steve monroe, thank you for joining us. laurie garret here in studio, thank you for helping me understand this crisis which is still very much under way. much more to come this morning, including understanding
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the consequences of police tactics. first a dire warning for american citizens caught in a battle zone. motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods.
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the u.s. is taking dramatic actions of familiar trouble spots flairs again in the middle east. more than 150 americans were evacuated from the embassy in libya and transported in a heavial convoy. secretary of state john kerry said it is in an area where rebel muas are fighting. >> not on the embassy, but, nevertheless, it presents a real risk to our personnel. so, we are suspending our current diplomatic activities at
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the embassy, not closing the embassy, but suspending the activities. >> the state department also issued a travel warning advising all americans to leave libya immediately explaining that various groups called for attacks on u.s. citizens and u.s. interests. the warning goes on to say that travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks or death. that stark advice is a sign of how tense things are in libya and other regions in the middle east. when we come back, the latest on efforts to stop the bloodshed in gaza. re the solis family. and this is our chex commercial. there's lots of choices and each of us has a favorite. like chocolate, honey nut and cinnamon. there's no artificial colors or flavors. that's good. and it's gluten free. so we're jumping for joy cause it's full of what we love, free of what we don't. and that makes for one very happy family. chex. full of what you love. free of what you don't.
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cease-fires acted upon them. hamas has rejected every single one of them, violated them, including two humanitarian cease-fires, which we accepted and implemented in the last 24 hours. now, hamas is suggesting the cease-fire and, believe it or not, david, they even violated their own cease-fire, so they continue to fire at us and, of course, we'll take the necessary action to protect our selves and protect our people, including they're digging under our border and try to reach and blow up our people. we'll do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves. >> the violence so far has claimed the lives of at least 1,049 palestinians and 46 israelis. and this latest cease-fire attempt comes after a particularly violent week. on owednesday, the united nations human rights council voted in favor of launching the commission to investigate potential war crimes in the region. the council's highest ranking official said that both israel and hamas were likely responsible for indiscriminate
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attacks o civilians. on thursday a u.n.-run school was shelled killing at least 15 people and wounding many more. the source of the attack is unknown and israeli defense forces denied targeting the school building but admit to firing into the area and also claim that they gave advance warning to the u.n. facility to evacuate. u.n. workers countered those claims by saying they had given the precise coordinants to the school to the idf and attempted to negotiate a window of time for evacuation that israeli forces never granted. later thursday evening as violence spread across the gaza strip, miles away thousands of palestinian protesters in the west bank marched towards jerusalem as part of the largest protest the region had seen in a decade in what some are called a third. on friday, attempts by secretary of state john kerry to help secure a week-long cease-fire fell apart.
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that was followed saturday by a brief cease-fire but overnight israel resumed its offensive after a barrage of rockets were fired from gaza. as we mentioned now hamas says it wants another 24-hour cease-fire. but as prime minister netanyahu made clear this morning skeptical and vowing to do whatever it takes to protect its people. joining me now from tel aviv martin fletcher. martin, is there any sign of a possible break in the fighting that would be honored by both sides? >> well, melissa, it's happened and they're talking about it, but right now it doesn't appear to be. you mentioned that hamas had offered a cease-fire, a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning at 2:00 local time. since then, hamas has fired 13 rockets, at least, into israel and their own cease-fire. israel did not accept its
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cease-fire which hamas did not accept. an urgency on both sides, clearly, to allow the palestinians civilians in gaza to recuperate to get food, water, look after their loved ones irn the hospitals and find out what happened to their homes. israel and hamas, neither side really seems to see any urgency in halting the fighting. >> when you talk about feeling or seeming ridiculous that almost always suggest to mes that there is political issues involved here. so, for israel and for hamas, what are the internal politics that lead them to continuously fail to have an urgency about holding on both sides a cease-fire? >> i think it's because this is still at a stage of being a military operation on both sides. you know, hamas when they say we will agree to a cease-fire with israel, they lay conditions for israel would be impossible to accept. hamas says they will only accept a cease-fire if the entire
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israeli army pulls out of gaza first. that is not going to happen, is it? at the same time, the israelis are insisting that they continue looking for tunnels during the cease-fire. and they're saying that in the event of a real negotiations, they want a complete demill demillery and two impossible sets of conditions that are laid down. now, whether because this is political of infighting on both sides isn't clear, but it is clear that prime minister netanyahu does have a very serious problem inside his own government and cabinet. three, at least two, maybe three of the members of the security cabinet, which is only eight people, way to the right and want to fight to continue until hamas is destroyed. inside the government and surprisingly for some this includes the prime minister do not want that. they prefer to somehow find an
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end to the fighting. but, you know, if netanyahu opens a cease-fire now without really achieving serious goals everybody here says his time now as prime minister will be over. a serious pressure on prime minister netanyahu to keep fighting until he achieves one serious goal like ending the tunnel threat. as far as hamas is concerned, they are completely divided. they have the military leadership in gaza, the political leadership in gaza, the political leadership outside gaza and they don't seem to have such a great coordination at all. the military leadership inside apparently has been signaling need of a cease-fire. it appears to be the political leadership outside. >> martin, one last question, in the meantime while all of this is happening, the toll for civilians is enormous. how is that impacting world opinion towards both sides in the context of this ongoing fight? >> well, let's be clear, of course, as you know, i'm just
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stating the obvious that the casualty toll is among civilians on the palestinian side. on the israeli side, it's actually three civilians being killed on the palestinian side, as well. 1,064 people is the latest number people killed 80% are civilians. while outside the world is seeing these pictures, the horrific pictures of children which have been killed in gaza, which has been repeated on all the tv screens who are following the story. and this has a horrific cumulative effect on people's perspective on what israel is doing. israel is under tremendous pressure from governments and from the media outside israel saying stop the carnage. that is not reflected inside israel. the people of israel, for the most part, are clearly behind the government, behind the military and saying this is the time to finish hamas, once and for all. sorry about the carnage, we regret it. but now or never to take out
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hamas. the pressure that netanyahu is under because he is very concerned about continuing the fighting. >> martin fletcher in tel aviv, thank you for joining us. stay safe. up next we turn our attention to violence right back here at home and the tragically avoidable death of eric garner. . [guy] you love it so much. yes you do. but it's good for you, too. [announcer] healthful. flavorful. beneful. from purina. ♪ honey, look i got one to land. uh-huh there's good more... honey, look at all these smart rewards points verizon just gave me. ooh, you got a buddy. i'm like a statue. i just signed up and, boom, all these points. ...and there's not-so-good more.
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by now, you've probably seen the video depicting the arrest of 43-year-old eric garner. a father of six from staten isla island. here's what we know. garner was approached by nypd officers for selling illegal and untaxed cigarettes. he is heard saying he feels harassed by the police and that it "stops today. "what appears to happen next is that garner is put in an apparent choke hold and wresled to the ground. he repeatedly says he cannot breathe. garner spent roughly seven minutes on the dpround while four ems workers appeared to be doing little to help him. eric garner was taken to richmond university medical
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center where he was pronounced dead. the case is still under investigation, but so far the nypd officer who placed the apparent choke hold on garner has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty and the four emergency medical service workers who responded to the scene and were initially placed on modified duty have now been suspended without pay. for a moment, let us not look at the outcome, but rather the policing tactic that contributes to the overenforcement of petty crimes, like the one police initially approached eric garner about on that fateful day. that tactic is called broken windows and a tactic that current new york city police commissioner bill bratton advocated in his previous tenure as mission commissioner of new los angeles. they go after minor offenses because they see it as a way to deter more violent crimes. the minor crimes littering, sitting on stoops and also selling lucies or loose cigarettes. broken windows policing is, in
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its variance, quality of life and stop and frisk affect african-americans and latinos even though the latter practice was ruled unconstitutional last year. 56% of those stopped were african-american and 29% latino and 11% white. an action in regard to eric garner's death, it is certain by the attention being given to this case that the investigation will remain under scrutiny as evidence by attorney general eric holder weighing in on friday with this statement. in the aftermath of this in touch with mr. garner's family members and closely monitoring the city's investigation into the incident. at the table, michael eric dyson and political analyst georgetown university. eugene o'donnell a former nypd police officer and studies at john j. criminal of justice. michael denzel smith, blogger at
7:35 am and fellow at the nation institute. and nicole pulry bell. her fiance was killed bye-b pol officers on his wedding day in 2006. thank you so much. let's start with broken windows as a policy. what does a broken windows policy at the top mean for police officers on the ground? what kind of advice are they given ow hn how they behave on daily base sns. >> lawmakers are continuously passing laws and we have to really come to reckon with that. that's the reality. so, the idea that the police are out there arresting people for loose cigarettes should really shock people. unless there is some really major reason to be doing this. we have kind of made arrests, not a big deal. certainly after the '90s in new york. we need to restate, taking
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somebody's liberty and freedom and even for a few seconds is a massive thing. by the way, we should start looking at technology. when you decide you have to do enforcement to release people on the spot. presumed innocent while being handcuffed and dragged to court is inconsistent. if you decide this is important enough, not to have these custodial scuffles with people, there should be a way to say, sir, nothing against you, nothing personal, we'll see you in court. >> so the language that you just used was interesting. the notion that sort of the overlegislation or the overpassing of laws creates the on the ground reality of police in conflict with people. in this moment, though, with the kind of conflict we were seeing inside or outside of what should have been police practice. you're talking here about a technology that would say, man, this is the law, here's your citation, i'll see you next tuesday, right? the other possibility is in this case that this wasn't so much
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about law, in other words, when i'm looking at this, is this a rogue set of police officers behaving outside the scope of what they should be doing or mandated from the top? >> probably had minor offense enforcement is. people flip out a lot of times because rightfully so. people say, you have nothing better to do on this beautiful afternoon than to come after me for loose cigarettes? you'll see that with a lot of enforcement. so, it's very hard to actually get to the bottom of the dynamic. but, we need to say that these things are always going to be problematic, potentially. nypd has to do a better job training and better job minimizing these encounters but any time they have the contacts, they can always say. by the way, i have never heard anybody say let's not do loose cigarette enforcement. never heard one law enforcement official say that yet. >> 2006 is when you lost john. it is 2014 and a wife just lost her husband, six children, their father, two children their
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grandfather. before passing mr. garner's final words were, this stops today. do you have some optimism about this stopping today? >> one thing that separates this from sean, what happened to us is that there is a video. and what happened with sean when sean was killed, the aftermath of what happened, who could have did what and who should have done what was so high, the intensity was so high because no one knew what happened that day. >> right. >> video phones are power. they are your power. >> not nearly, in 2006, people didn't have a video camera on them at all times. >> just shows right now the technology we have and how it can save lives and also potentially get justice for this family, hopefully. because, you know, with my family and with the dialo family and so many other families when
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you go to criminal court for police officers, there is no justice. >> you say that, i want to take moment and listen, msnbc own reverend al sharpton spoke at the funeral on wednesday and he talked for a moment about that question of justice. i'd like to listen to reverend sharpen and then ask you what justice looks like in this context. let's take a listen. >> when the tapes show he was laying lifeless, you think we are not going to fight this one? you can get ready for the long haul. we are not going to stop until we get justice. >> so, what is justice? mr. garner is gone, sean is gone. what does justice for the family look like? >> someone has to be held accountable. at the end of the day it goes down to accountability. how are we going to get change here? how is this going to stop? you can't keep slapping these men on the wrists for these
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crimes or these killings or murders that are being committed. they have to be held accountable. for my family all we were looking for and to this day, we have accepted, you know. we are full of faith and we are a prayerful family so we accepted exactly what the outcome is because we know that god is the ultimate judge. but this family needs someone to be held accountable in order for something to be done not only for this family, but for families to come. >> michael, accountability in this context is it about police officers or the police chief or mayorality in the sense of what he was elected to do if, in fact, that police chief stays in office or can that police chief and that mayor stay and hold accountable the men on the bottom and allow it to be a context of justice and accountability? >> you raised a significant set of questions and throw in the question you asked before, i think it was police practice. that's part of the problem.
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th doing exactly what the broken windows theory says. . the window was broken, watch out. later on the house is going to be attacked and the people killed. the reality is that the policy has to be reexamined. if the "new york times" says broken windows, broken lives. it is the door that shuts black people and latino people in an iron cage of incarceration and overpolicing and oversurveillance and closes them out of economic opportunities that lead to selling loose cigarettes on the street corners of staten island and then more broadly, yes, it is a question of challenge to mr. deblasio because he ran on reducing some of the stop and frisk, of course. but the reality is, he believes in broken windows. even after the death of mr. garner, that's part of the problem. the problem is discretion of police is employed differently when it comes to black and brown people than when it is applied to white americans and others. i think that's part of the difficulty. >> you have brought us to our
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want to go right after the break which is this notion that even the "new york times" weighed in and mr. deblasio was elected to address exactly this. in addition to the human consequences to this family. i'm bringing you back, michael, when we come back. don't wait for awesome... totino's pizza rolls... ...gets you there in just 60 seconds.
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>> it is too early to jump to any conclusions about this case. we must wait for all the facts and details of the incident to emerge. but i assure all new yorkers there will be a full and thorough investigation. that was new york city mayor bill de blasio holding a press conference last friday the day after eric garner died. while the response in the aftermath of garner's death is swift and has not stopped call to the resignation of top cop police commissioner bill branten. michael, i am convinced after living in chicago and new orleans the most important thing a mayor does in their first days
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in office is the choice of their top police officer, their police commissioner and, honestly, for a man that was elected in large part because of where he stood in stop and frisk early on, this was a surprising choice. and i wonder if the guy was cast with that choice, maybe not for mr. garner, in particular, but that someone would be victimized in this way. >> let's say, one, there is no justice. that's where we are. and you bring aboard the arct te arcttect -- >> so, let's pause there. i think it is valuable to make a point that strong, but, also, incumbent upon us to explain what it is when you say that. in what way? it's not as though the policy itself says, go get black people. >> here's the problem. we have seeded the idea of
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preventing crime. however we've defined it. we defined it way too broadly in my opinion, but we seeded that responsibility to police. police are not equipped to do that. we are trying to get it on the back end. and, so, that's when you have the birth of these type of policies where you think that, oh, if i go after these small petty crimes, that will lead me to preventing bigger crimes, which you can't do that as police. that's just not in the purview of what a police officer is capable of doing. but then if you are then giving license to police to essentially harass the public, who are they going to choose? they're going to choose the people that are already most vulnerable and the most vulnerable are black and brown bodies. >> right. so, let me under line this a little bit, this is part of your point, michael, standing on the street corner and selling loosies. you go after petty crime, that's not true. you don't run up to hunter college and start turning out
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the pockets of all the kids on camps and you don't actually go after all the kids cheating on their tests so that they don't bring down wall street in 25 years, right? >> that's a great point. >> a very particular kind of thing that we think of as crime and it has everything to do which bodies are in public space to be seen by police. >> to draw upon smith's point here, the ramification that we already predetermined who is going to be more likely a criminal than others. so, there is a criminalization of black people and brown people to begin with so that the behavior fits the narrative and fits the theory. look at it imperically. 20 years ago when there were three times as many murders in new york city, for every felony arrest there was 1.3 misdemeanor arrests. now, there are 2.5 misdemeanor arrests for every felony. so, the point is, it's not even working in terms of the reduction of crime because the reduction of crime doesn't rest upon a broken window, it rests upon understanding the context
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of how police people should be ethere, not to conflict with people, but to engage to protect and serve. >> can a change at the top, if bratton were replaced, would it change what happened on the bottom or is the culture too deeply embetted about criminality? >> the great thing that has not been said is the need for community policing. we had a try out of this and it never really took off. i was telling somebody the other day ithere was a community in brooklyn. we used to have a sergeant there. they had a problem in brooklyn would go to the sergeant. nobody was handcuffed, no physical force, he could talk people down, he had stature in the neighborhood and we need to go back and look at policing and taking liberty away is a gigantic step and in the '90s it became not a big deal. every time you're stopping somebody and depriving them of freedom, that's a big deal. >> i want to come back and get your response to the suffering that the garner family is
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>> millions of people who own stores sell illegal cigarettes. they use their license, not their life. let's get justice done for my husband, he deserves it. >> just knowing my daughter's birthday is coming up, my father never missed a birthday. the only thing my daughter asks is for her papa to bring the cake. i don't know how to explain to her that this year papa is not bringing the cake. >> that was reaction from the sister, wife and daughter of eric garner whose funeral was held in brooklyn this past wednesday. i don't even know what quite to ask you, nicole, i don't know if you had an opportunity to speak with the garner family. if you did, any advice for navigating what they are about to go through? >> i attended the service and i
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met them with reverend sharpton and, you know, looking at that family it opens up those wounds that never really heal. you just patch them up and move on because life goes on and you have to. you have no choice. so, all i could do is just really offer some words of courage and let them know that this is going to be a long haul. you have a new family that you have no idea now. you're now adopted into this new family that you had no idea you had. people you don't even know are out there fighting for you and hold on to that strength because eric garner's death won't be in vain. >> the man who would have been your husband, the man who was their husband and father and grandfather, why do you think it is so difficult, maybe michael you're the one to ask on this, why do you think it is so
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difficult to see the man standing on the street as a father, a fiance, a husband, a grandfather as a human in relationship and family. why are they only seen as the potential threat? >> i wish i knew the answer to that. i really do because i worry so much about all of us. when we're just being in public. like existing. what will it take for our humanity to be recognized in a way that our fates aren't this. the fact that you can just, the man was sitting on the stoop. he was not bothering anyone by all accounts from everyone standing around. >> it seems he may have even broken up a fight. >> right. >> and even in this moment, which they're focusing on is the idea that he was selling looseies and that drove them to a choke hold and letting the man
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die on the sidewalk. >> what i hear in your voice is and nicole in yours is that sense of the constant vulnerability. and the notion that there is, that it is somehow still illegal just to exist. thank you to eugene o'donnell and nicole bell, both of our michaels are sticking around for the next hour. still to come this morning, want to talk to my guest michael denzel smith about his piece, entitled the magical, more mhp at the top of the hour. so what's this? check it out. i just saved 15% on car insurance in 15 minutes, so i took a selfie to show everyone how happy i am. really? because esurance saved me money in half that time. can i...? oh you can be in it! no need to photo-bomb me. hashbrown. selfie.
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kind to hollywood blockbusters. in fact, it's been headline grabbing awful. the worst summer in eight years. the worst year over year decline in box office revenues in three decades. apparently, this summer's movies are missing the magnanimous define hero who keep movie theater seats filled. here on mhp show we couldn't believe hollywood producers missed out on the hero to end all heroes. someone who could end all the troubles plaguing the nation, poverty, hunger, if you are an avid news consumer you probably know just who i am talking about. the magical black daddy. the allegedly absent black father. he figured prominently in a news story out of new jersey earlier this month. a reporter from new jersey's news 12 station was covering the story of a 23-year-old police officer who was shot and killed while on the job. allegedly by this man, lawrence campbell. the station decided to play part of an interview with campbell's wife in which she suggested her
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husband should have killed more officers. comments she later apologized for. then news 12 reporter sean bergen decided he wanted to explain to viewers why the station aired the woman's controversial remarks. off script, but on air, he told viewers, "we decided to hair it because it is important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated america's inner cities. it has made the police officer's job impossible and it has got to stop. the underlying cause for all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers. unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject." those comments led to his suspension and eventually resigned and also landed an interview on fox news where he doubled down. >> you can certainly draw a connection between fatherless young men and this feeling of anti-authoritarianism and
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disrespect for authority in all its forms. >> the first to ever draw a link between the alleged absence of black fathers and negative community outcomes but tapping into a long, propemichael denze smith writes the missing black father is a discourse in our media, popular culture and academia for at least the past 30 years. black men to dharbor distrust o the police. but this is the disconnect he writes, bergin and others who think like him don't see the harassment of young black men as a result of racism. they take the view that there are certain criminal behaviors prevalent among black men to which police are responding and those criminal behaviors, according to the narrative, are
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direct result of growing up without a father in the home. the missing black father has been a popular scapegoat for the real structural especially those of lower income problems that our legislators over the decades have failed to use policy to adequately address. as smith writes in his article, it will not be undone by an army of magical black fathers. with me at the table one magical black father michael eric dyson and ilan and ceo of "this week and britney cooper, assistant professor of women and gender studies at rutgers university. so, michael, we had a good time when we saw your piece. not because of a funny piece, but because the headline, kind of reveals that sense of angst
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in which the way it constantly becomes the story. >> this is nee to me to blame anti-cop mentality on the lack of black fathers. >> ant >> you're denying the experience of young black men with police. if all of a sudden whatever number of grew up without fathers are 900%. all the fathers show up tomorrow, it's not going to mean that black children are going to respect police. because those black fathers are going to join and pass those lessons down to their children. >> given that we just spent half an hour talking about an african-american father who was killed during an encounter with police, it underlines that point. ilan, i also want to underline that, although we were seeing that happen on fox news in that one clip, but this is almost a truism.
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so, i want to listen to president obama talking about the power of the black father for a moment. >> there's no more important ingredient for success. nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families. which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood. >> okay. >> i understand what obama wants to do. i get it. but at the same time, he doesn't understand how he's actively adding to this that it's so false that i don't know what to do with it any more. someone was raised like me, without the father. i didn't have that father around and i told people on numerous occasions, god forbid my father stayed around. so much more problems would have
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been added. my single black mother is the reason i am able to sit here today and do what i do and speak on the things i speak of. if i had a father, i would have been abused. people try to pretend that father means like magical fix for everything and it doesn't. >> it's this mix of , what you think black people are missing discipline and. >> and the black mother is evil and abusive and she's a problem. >> this is not just you guys mouthing off. i want to go to the report and so glad you made this point because it brings us to this critical issue. in a moment when there is still legalized segregation in the nation, we have a democrat writing, "fund lt fact that negro american family life is often reversed roles of husband and wife.
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negro children without fathers flounder and fail. and then i want to point out that is sort of deep and old and entrenched notion of black fathers then has a very real effect. sarah writing about domestic violence in "new york times" mental health professionals and judges and members of the clergy often show greater concerns of the maintenance of a two-parent family than for the safety of the mother and her children. women who left abusive men were perceived as mothers who had not successfully kept their children out of harm's way. britney, i feel like it's not just that it's wrong, it is that it is potentially quite dangerous to continue to have this narrative. >> yes. that was my story. ilan is speaking to my story. my life was infinitely better when my father left. he was a domestic abuser. we needed to help my mother come out of poverty and be able to support me and keep a safe and healthy household. i want to be clear, we don't have to be anti-black daddies.
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>> i like my black daddy. i like my black daddy. >> we will be accused of that. two problems here. one is recognizing that blaming black fathers and black mothers for these pathologies is unfair to both. black fathers are not responsible for overcoming the legacies of structural racism that we all fight with that we all are struggling against and these discourses give them powers they don't have. we talk about magic when folks won't have an honest conversation about structural realities. you know, the second problem here is that we just, that we need to support our black fathers and make a way for a different sort of narrative about how family structures can exist so the real issue here is that there is an indictment of black people not being in marriages. not achieving a nuclear family ideal. that's what the moynihan report does in a particular way. so the last point is that the state then goes around acting
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like a baby daddy and giving welfare to black mothers so we should be thankful for that disciplining black fathers to the point of literally killing them. we should reject the narrative that patriarchy that the state acting like a baby daddy is going to solve any of these problems. >> the nation has rejected barack obama as the collective paternal influence on this. >> because he actually was insufficiently magical. turned out that the election of president obama did not, in fact, remove all the problems of the world. he was not able to sprinkle a magical dust. but, let me also just, i want to go back to the point that we don't want to suggest, again, i like my black father. and my husband is an extraordinary father and even my ex-husband who wasn't a very good husband is a really good father to our child. but can we separate out a question about the emotional
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angst or joy that people may feel in the relationship from the possibility of life outcomes. my child from divorce will likely have as good an outcome as my child in the context of marriage because i have education and wealth and income and opportunity. not because daddy exists or doesn't. >> look, absolutely right. the reality is that we want healthy families, not nuclear families. so, what's interesting, exactly. so, the thing is, if we have it as an outcome here the healthiness and spiritually of this child or the mother who is the primary care taker or the father then it says that that relationship may be destructive and therefore we have to leave it. don't forget we have this christian narrative within the context of african-american culture where you have a lot of conservative black people on sunday morning going yup, the problem is, including women, we need the daddy in the house because when the daddy has the authority the baby will be
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blessed and the family will be healthy. we're not fighting against social pathology, we're talking about the bishop and the reverend and the minister who is expressing thelogical justification of black domestic realities in the country. >> tv at 11:00 on a sunday morning. you know xhurch is going to happen. up next a little more on this because i want to talk about nerdland's favorite black, but not magical, daddies. the h. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if it becomes simpler... if frustration and paperwork decrease... if grandparents get to live at home instead of in a home... the gap begins to close. so let's simplify things. let's close the gap between people and care. ♪
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given all the anxiety about black children growing occupy owithout fathers at home the public models would elicit praise and task forces but six months go one image went viral and met with hateful comments. it is an image of fathers
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kordell lewis and caleb anthony with two of their children. being fathers is getting our daughters up at 5:30 a.m. and making them breakfast and getting them dressed for school and on the bus by 6:30. a typical day in our household and it's not easy and we enjoy every moment and every minute of #fatherhood. he discusses his childhood including having an incarcerated father since he was 2. so, this goes to that point that when we talk about fatherhood, here you had two extraordinary black men raising their children, doing hair, which i know they were like, this is hard, but we are in it. and instead of like love for this, there was, because it wasn't that model that we wanted to see. >> that's the problem overall. people don't want the best for
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their child. they want what's best in their own mind and in religion you have to have the mother and father as opposed to the fact when i was growing up i had a single mother and a community of folks around me. my grandfather was around and a preacher at the church. that was there. all my fake aunties, if i said or did something wrong they got right back to my mother and this is how my family worked. but on paper a lot of folks, conservatives especially, say this is a problem. that is going to lead to some sort of criminal there and then it didn't. oh, you got lucky. well, why don't you acknowledge how many other people are just like me, i am not an anomaly in this situation and that many people have these environments and many people in these situations and come out just fine but it doesn't fit your narrative. >> for me, my father was always in my life but my parent were not married and the reason, part of the reason it works out is because we had great public schools. had my mother lived in this moment and not had high-quality,
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integrated public schools to send her children to, i don't know how it would have turned out. i need a public structural environment that doesn't need two incomes to send a kid to kindergarten. >> when i responded to chastiseman of black fathers. just because you aren't married doesn't mean you're not present in your kid's life. >> sometimes people think we are just saying words and don't have any data. this is from the national center of health statistics report. fathers age 15 to 44 who don't live with their children. right? if you don't live with your children. have you bathed, diapered or dressed your child every day in the last four weeks? almost 13% of black fathers as compared to 6% of white fathers. have you played with your child in the last four weeks. 16.5% of black fathers as compared with just 6% of white fathers. have you helped your child with
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homework every day in the last four weeks? >> up to 10% of black fathers in that context as compared that with half that of white fathers. these are people not living with their children, but, nonetheless, engaged at twice the rate as that of white fathers but no crisis of the white. >> of the white patriarch in white families. that's the point that black participation has been mandated. the laws of the state when dr. huber talked about the welfare of baby daddy. it was mandated the father couldn't be present. the very outcome you undercut legally and politically in public policy because the daddy can't be there. if he's there, you can't get no dough. the black fathers are so desireerous of being present in their children's lives that even when they have problem with baby mama, they understand they have a paternal responsibility. it may not be perfect, but neither are the absent present fathers who go into their dens for 16, 17 hours and who are absent from the lives of their children versus those who were
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outside trying to get in because they spend quality time. that's the outcome we should have, healthy families. not nuclear families. >> sometimes the absent of a parent, a father or a mother, is, in fact, it can be painful. i don't want to take away the pain. but in terms of life outcomes may be better. >> a blessing. >> my argument is president obama whatever angst he feels, human angst, he would likely not be president of the united states had his parents stayed together because his father was not an immigrant. his father was a student who returned and he would have lived a very different. so, i get it. pain, but on the other hand, like the opportunities came not so much for your black father, but through your mama. >> the rest of the panel sticking around. up next, the thing about acting white which is, by the way, not a thing. woooo. i know what you're thinking. you're thinking beneful. [announcer]and why wouldn't he be? beneful has wholesome grains,real beef,even accents of
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brother's keeper initiative this week, president obama suggested african-american boys faced the problem of being teased and taunted for academic success by those who claimed these attributes are acting white. >> sometimes african-americans in communities where i've worked there's been a notion of acting white which sometimes is overstated, but there's an element of truth to it where, okay, if boys are reading too much. then why are you doing that? or why are you speaking so properly? >> what the president just described named for researcher who popularized the belief that black youth shun academic achievement. other scholars like the university of texas kevin
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coakley shown that educational achievement are far more than what he pleaded. as you can hear from the president's remarks, it is caused by taunts of stop acting white persists. so much that it sometimes can obscure focus on deep structural inequalities that disadvantage black students. so, why we ask if black youth refuse to achieve for fear of acting white, why don't we also ask what is the political value for candidates in acting black. that when we come back. land. uh-huh there's good more... honey, look at all these smart rewards points verizon just gave me. ooh, you got a buddy. i'm like a statue. i just signed up and, boom, all these points. ...and there's not-so-good more. you're a big guy... oh no. get the good more with verizon smart rewards and rack up points to use towards the things you really want. now get 50% off all new smartphones.
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so, what'd you think of the house? did you see the school rating? oh, you're right. hey, babe, i got to go. bye, daddy. have a good day at school, okay? ♪ [ man ] but what about when my parents visit? okay. just love this one. it's next to a park. [ man ] i love it. i love it, too. here's your new house. ♪ daddy! [ male announcer ] you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen.
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[laughs] when we're having this much fun, why quit? and bounty has no quit in it either. watch how one sheet of bounty keeps working, while their two sheets, just quit. bounty, the no-quit picker-upper. i think she tried to kill us. no, it's only 15 calories. with reddi wip, fruit never sounded more delicious, with 15 calories per serving and real cream, the sound of reddi wip is the sound of joy. in 2008 young african-americans voted in higher proportions than their counterparts. black women had the highest turnout of any group. in 2012 the trend continued. 66% to 64%. all politicians attempt to speak to voters in terms that will energize and mobilize and convey
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shared perspective and show those voters how much they understand and care. in the case of politicians talking to african-american audiences, the effect can be rhetorically fascinating. here's a sampling of some of my most memorable moments. there was vice president joe biden speaking to the naacp conference in 2012. >> and i went through the battle with mouse. mousy, you out there? hey, mouse, how are you doing, man? >> or, former governor mitt romney campaigning in florida in 2008 at the staging area for a local martin luther king day parade. >> who let the dogs out? thanks, guys. >> who let the dogs out. or hillary clinton speaking at the first baptist church in selma, alabama, in 2007 for commemoration of bloody sunday. especially when she quoted the gospel singer reverend james cleveland.
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>> i don't feel tired. i've come too far from where i started from. nobody told me that the road would be easy. i don't believe he brought me this far to leave me. >> it's getting crazy at the table. even black politicians do it. even president obama like when he did this memorable moment in april of 2008 talking about a tax from the hillary clinton moment at the debate. >> when you're running for the presidency, then you've got to expect it. and, you know, you've just got to kind of let it, you know. it's what you got to do. >> you all remember that a
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candidate for the presidency. for your viewers who, for the viewers who don't know. that was mr. obama channeling his inner jay-z and some of those instances are code switching and some more authentic than others. but another way to connect with black audiences. talk in your regular white man voice from kentucky, but talk about policies that you believe will resonate with african-americans. r rand paul, he did not try to, but he wants the audience to know he knows their stories. rand paul. >> race still plays a role in the enforcement of the law. just ask ralek and they were just standing on a street corner up in the northeast when a policeman arrived on the scene and told them to move on or be arrested. what was their crime?
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some have written and said maybe their crime was waiting while being black. >> with me is msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson. >> what's up? >> this week in black is paul frimer is playing the normal guy at the table and associate professor in the department of politics and britney cooper assistant professor. but in the case of rand paul, he wasn't performing a code switching, but doing something interesting as a libertarian republican going and talking to the naacp about a substantive policy issue. what do you make of that? >> i think it's awkward and it's cringe worthy. at the same time, it's remarkable for how rare it is. most candidates just don't talk about race at all. in part because they get, they're afraid of doing so. very few candidates, obama, obviously, maybe bill clinton are more comfortable speaking
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before havederous odiverse audi need to encourage this conversation because it's so rare. the fact that rand paul talked about criminalization, sentencing, surveillance. these are topics, again, that not just republicans won't talk about, but democrats won't talk about. what he will do is if he keeps talking about it, he will force people to talk about it with him. what he might even do, as well, is make it safe or make democrats feel safe to talk about it. >> all right, so, this is interesting to me because in part to me it's worth remembering that the moment that is the obama moment has led to enormous majorities of african-americans voting for the democratic party, for the african-american candidate for the support of this president. but that just prior to this, george w. bush had won 9% of the african-american vote and then in 2004 had won 11% of the african-american vote and i want to go back even a little bit further, michael. i want to listen to jack kemp
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wanting 50% of the black vote. let's take a listen. >> we are the party of li ay of. i'd like to see an america where all half are voting democrat and the other half voting republican. >> i bet he would. if half of black folks voted republican never be another democratic office holder, right? >> right. >> but is that something to even imagine as a worthy goal here? this idea of making the african-american voter more swing vote? >> first of all, jack kemp was the kind of people resonated with him. and i think rand paul cringe worthy, notwithstanding did something that even some democrats can do. underscore. talk about race and policy. just don't show up and be black and resonate emotionally with me. speak about public policies that have the impact on my life. in a way, rand paul did
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something that barack obama hasn't felt free enough to do to speak directly to his experience as a black man being harassed by the police and do it within the context of policy and what he will promise to do. >> i will suggest that i actually think the president did more powerfully than any figure did when he had his trayvon martin moment. i think he's had his moments. but it is, there is something about watching a republican do it and, again, he wasn't talking to naacp, talking to the urban league. a credible candidate for the 2016 gop nomination. i'm into it not because i think we should all be voting for republicans, but i like the idea of forcing the conversation. >> the thing is, rand is getting better. last year he tried this at howard and he bombed out. >> he went to howard and told the people about their own history. >> represented very well and handled that. so, i think he's getting more savvy and recognizing we don't need a history lesson. one segment of the republican
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party might be trying to cultivate and might not swing him or her in 2016, but a voter who is socially conservative, but still has some level of racial analysis. a person who says, i don't like abortion, i'm a fiscal conservative but i recognize does hinder communities, right? so, you know, in connecticut this week, we saw the firing of an african-american women who was a consultant in the gub gubernatorial race there because she used the words white privilege. so, on the local level, there's still a resistance, but you do have folks coming up in the gop who are trying to push some level of a racial analysis. >> maybe i'm the other guy here. i don't give rand paul this much credit for that. one, republicans are scared as all get out because they realize they're not going to keep winning. they know that and you can keep doing what the republicans have been doing for a while and you can lose. rand paul actually understands that particular part, on this part libertarians have been
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better than conservatives in general. what he's doing right now, one, he's learning as dr. cooper said how to speak to people and at the same time, he knows that the writing is on the wall. they can keep trying this. if they don't speak to us, eventually, at this point, we've seen we're specifically, if you can keep not talking to us and fail or you can learn about our issues and then maybe we can have a conversation. >> or you can become a tea party. look, another alternative, you can become a tea party and get more deeply entrenched. the point is, i give him credit because at least having seen the hieroglyphics on the wall an attempt to address the public policy. i know obama has been addressing, but i mean in terms of public policy. >> when we come back we'll talk more about this learning curve that rand paul is learning and what we think of it, when we come back. for you to start your business, protect your family,
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senator rand paul won the republican primary for his seat he appeared on the rachel maddow show and said this about the civil rights act of 1964. >> had i been there, there would have been some discussion over one of the titles of the civil rights and i think that's a valid point, still a valid discussion because the thing is, if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about do you want to abridge the first amendment, as well? >> paul was talking about title two, which prohibits places including private businesses from discriminating or segregating based on race. this past friday after speaking at the national urban league conference, senator paul sat down with nbc news casey hunt and had this to say. >> you noted in your speech that you support the civil rights act, but, specifically, do you think that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race? >> no. >> so you've changed from when you said you were concerned about that title?
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>> never said before. >> so, that makes me feel icky. on one hand i want to give paul the credit that he's standing there talking about something substanti substantive. on the other hand i need him to account what sounded like a support for private businesses having the right to discriminate and that civil rights act had overreached. >> i agree. in an ideal world it's icky. but the problem is, again, so few candidates will embrace these topics. abraham lincoln supported cullinization or at least linked them. lyndon johnson famously right before the civil rights act of 1964 hardly was a supporter of civil rights. we need to allow these candidates, we need to, what's best for everyone is that these candidates make these changes. if they go the other way, you know, obviously, we should attack. but you're absolutely right. he's saying something different and who knows what these he's thinking in his head, but it's good he's saying it.
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>> this is my issue with all of this. my issue isn't that candidates shouldn't be allowed to grow. they should grow. i am against when people flip-flopping like sometimes you change your mind. but don't, don't pretend that i'm stupid. because when he did this in that clip there he was like, oh, that's not really what i said. dude, that's exactly what you said. i watched you say it and now you realize the writing is on the wall and you can't play up to the groups that you played up to at that point. maybe the civil rights act may be problematic because you're not going to win on that. you have to change your entire argument, which is cool, but acknowledge that you said that before and that i'm not stupid. >> in other words, evolve on it. rather than just, i mean, i don't mean that as a jab. i mean there is a point in which the president of the united states as running for a senate, this felt that standing for marriage equality was not and later he said in a way that was politically valuable. maybe it is a psychological or
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emotional or moral evolution, maybe a political one, but he doesn't say, oh, i never said that. he's like, now i have a different position. >> it's important. i get that and don't insult my intelligence. i'd rather he make the change and rather live up to it and face public pressure. what i like about this, black people constitute enough of a constituency that they have to be talked to or even imitated. the fact that you're trying to talk to black and be black even more importantly or to think about public policy consequences of my blackness is extremely important to me. i don't care about your connection to blackness. i want your intimate connection to public policies that transform the landscape for black people. >> he doesn't have anything to gain by doubling down, especially since the gutting of the rest of the voting, the voting rights act is doing the work, right. >> although he did say, i want to give him cred even though i don't have the sound cut. he did say that i am a republican who supports a new
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formula for section 5 of the voting rights act. which, my god, we need a new formula. right? >> right. the thing is at this point black folks are getting sort of slaughtered politically all these other ways. what is to be gained by then saying, well, actually, i don't think you should go the way you want to. it's not politically savvy any more. i agree we should have some inturegty. look, this was my position and i see why there are problems with that. but politicians are short. >> let me ask a partisan question, paul. the question of the evolution that they put on the table. is this about courting african-american voters. three possibilities. one is like african-americans to vote for the republican party. >> right. >> one is we would like african-americans to simply stay home. in other words, if you don't show up for the democrats, that's good enough for us on a national level. or, is it that we just want to court white voters who don't want to be associated with a
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party labeled racist. we are clearly not racist because people don't want to be racist. >> that's right. my colleague has work that shows when the republican party reaches out to african-americans, the appeal ends up resonating much more with moderate whites than with african-americans. now, rand paul is not necessarily representing the republican party. it's unclear what he is, what kind of ground he is staking out here. >> he is running for president. >> he is running for president, that's right. what is he thinking in terms that this can accomplish? certainly he can in a very conservative party reach out to, again, moderate whites and say i have a bigger tent here. there is the danger of the candidate who speaks really well to different communities and who's dangerous, right? >> that's right there the problem here because, i understand what you're saying dr. dyson here, but at the same time, if you have a switch, if you are going to switch like that, i can't trust you. >> all of this is going to
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continue to happen in the break. thank you. up next, they're calling it yellow face. how ugly acting asian can be. there's a gap out there. that's keeping you from the healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if frustration and paperwork decrease... the gap begins to close. so let's simplify things. let's close the gap between people and care. [guyi know what you're excited. you're thinking beneful. [announcer]and why wouldn't he be? beneful has wholesome grains,real beef,even accents of spinach,carrots and peas. it has carbohydrates for energy and protein for those serious muscles. [guy] aarrrrr!
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we have been talking about the performance and as a campaign strategy and we have seen it can be awkward. african-americans are not alone. a classic play now being performed in seattle is raising stark questions about cultural attitudes towards asian americans. richard lui has this report about a controversial performance of the opera the machado. >> you cannot use someone's culture as entertainment and think that's okay. >> this is not an intellectual exercise. >> reporter: protesters argue a gilbert and sullivan opera is
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racially offensive because of its fictional betrayal of japan. inside the comedy that has been performed thousands of what the protesters don't like about this interpretation, they point to the twist, yum yum and just as slurs lime amos and andy and a portrayal of black face. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> reporter: as insensitive as jokes about how african-americans may act or walk and the costumes, 18th century japanese tradition. they say it's the mostly caucasian actors. >> this is the tenth time they've performed this play here over the last six decades. the question they are asking,
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why the protest this time. >> reporter: they have been criticized because of its use of yellow face. they say it's similar to black face caricatures of african-americans. >> i don't think people were aware of it until i wrote the column. ♪ for something is more ridiculous ♪ ♪ that all of these brits with british accents play japanese ♪ >> reporter: the society is a well-respected 60-year-old amateur theater company with experienced actors performing the opera. >> the article in the biggest paper in the northwest. we're not putting down japanese. we're trying to invoke an image of japan as it may have been 130 years ago. >> in all of the coaching that
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i've done with the actors, i don't think i've said a japanese person would do this. it's really a british genre and that's who we are poking fun at, my ancestors. >> we are an old community that's been here for a long time and there's been so much that has happened with discriminatory policies that has had a major impact not only in the way that we are perceived but in the way we are personified. >> the producer says they are open to removing anything offensive. just as performances no longer use 150-year-old uncle tom performers, next month a similar outcome may happen in seattle as both sides sit down together for the first time to hopefully build a compromise on this enduring and celebrated opera.
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>> and joining me now is msnbc anchor richard lui. what is yellow face? help me understand. >> that's why some of the analogies were drawn. for yellow face, it's a representation of asians in a way that is offensive to asians. it's a portrayal of the way they talk, perhaps with an accent from japan and the way they gesture. in this case you saw that they were wearing kimonos. for those who are critics of a play like this, they say, look, this is yellow face. in my definition, i didn't talk about the color of the face. >> right. >> just like black face, if you remove the paint, was it still black face? you would probably say yes.
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>> yes. so culture, comedy, those are places where we would expect an investigation or maybe playfulness with questions of race and culture and identity, dave chapelle was playing across the street a few weeks ago. why is this not that? why is this problematic? why is this offensive? >> you know, not on the same learning curve. if you look the the seattle gilbert & sullivan society, what is fantastic is it is the perfect space and they are learning that they are now in a nice intersection so they decided and planned on a get-together, a discussion with both sides that's going to happen in august where they are going to discuss some of these ideas. but the reason, in general, although it's the perfect place to discuss such issues, is we are not seeing that, hey, we're doing the mikado this year so we can talk about this intersection of what might be seen as yellow face or black face or a scene
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that is racially offensive. it's not against them because they are the society. they just want to put on great plays, and they do. >> is sell a unique sort of location for this sort of activist? with black face, it was all about the south and communities were able to shift that. is that similar to what we are seeing in the pacific northwest? >> yes. because in the west, when we look at the japanese-americans who have lived in this country for so many centuries, the northwest particularly is a hot spot. and so when they see this portrayal of japanese-americans in yellow face and in remembering the internment years, it is especially emotional and hurtful. the producer cannot necessarily understand that. he accepts the fact that they may feel that so he's understanding of that. but when i spoke with the
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japanese-americans citizens league, i can feel the emotion that they had. >> yep. and that means that there is some possibility for change and action. thank you for your reporting, richard. i greatly appreciate it. richard lui, thank you for being here. i'm going to see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. right now, it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >> new information in the manhunt under way in philadelphia right now. police are searching for two men behind a carjacking that led to the deaths of three children as they were raising money for their church. after months of strikes and rallies, a first for fast few workers demanding wages. first of the year so far. don't go anywhere. ♪ yoplait. with a smooth and creamy taste your whole family loves. it is so good all of the time.
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♪ the back to school savings everybat staples.ed about from customers, to the staples associates. with guaranteed low prices on colored pencils, you'll flip out! now go tell your friends. staples. make more happen for less. back and forth. now a cease-fire in gaza called
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by both sides but is it really quiet on both sides? nearly an entire family killed on the streets of philadelphia. congressman paul ryan and his plan to reduce poverty. who does he blame in the first place? i'll get reaction from one scholar. "to kill a mockingbird," and now a book about the author. one of the claims in the book could come as a shock to fans. hey there, everyone, it's hi noon here in the east and 9:00 a.m. out west. breaking news in the middle east where israel and hamas offered different truces to stop the fighting. prime minister netanyahu says israel has violated its own cease-fi


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