Skip to main content

tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  March 8, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PDT

7:00 am
>> the day we want the world to know that we are presenting our feet and our bodies as living witnesses and testimonies to the truth as we see it. >> we're watching today to dramatize to the nation and to the world that hundreds of thousands of negro citizens are denied the right to vote. >> this is one of the greatest moments that has ever occurred in the history of our nation. >> good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. my colleague and friend dorian warren, is anchoring the mhp show table back in new york city. but here at alabama this weekend, we're marking the 50th anniversary of the selma campaign a civil rights strategy which ultimately led to pass knowledge of the 1965 voting rights act. yesterday thousands gathered to witness another signal moment in
7:01 am
american history, watching congressman john lewis, who's very personal courage and sack railway -- sacrifice 50 years ago made possible the election of president barack obama. both spoke at the foot of the pettus bridge and their words moved many to tears. it's a reminder that history is not past the struggle continues. in just a few hours thousands are expected to march across that same bridge once again, taking up the ongoing effort to ensure that american democracy is as real in practice as it is in principle. this morning we'll reflect on the president's speech and look ahead to the reason for today's march. i'll be joined by some of those charged with extending the legacy of selma, including the naacp's cornell brooks and the secretary of housing and urban development, huljulian castro. these are ongoing struggles. >> adds you mentioned, people
7:02 am
from around the country are in selma today to make the same journey activists took in 1965 when they were attacked tear gassed and beaten by police and state troopers on bloody sunday. but today's march is not just a tribute to those brave foot soldiers but also a call to action. a call to remember what they were marching for, voting rights equality and full participation in american democracy. president obama issued that call when he spoke in the shadow of history yesterday at the foot of the edmund pettus bridge. he acknowledged that the struggle continues. >> we just need to open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us. we know the march is not yet over. we know the race is not yet won. we know that reaching that
7:03 am
blessed destination where we are judged all of us by the content of our character requires admitting as much facing up to the truth. >> the president also spoke of the legacy of bloody sunday and how it forged the way for president lyndon johnson to sign the voting rights act of 1965 one of the cornerstones of the civil rights era. a cornerstone on shaky ground today, thanks to a 2013 supreme court ruling that struck down section 4 of the voting rights act, the formula used to determine which parts of the country need preclearance to change their voting procedures. since then several states have rushed to impose voter i.d. laws and other restrictions. the court instructed congress to write a new formula, but so far neither the house nor senate has held a vote on the vra. president obama urged the members of congress who journeyed to selma to take action when they return to washington. >> the voting rights act was one of the crowning achievements of our democracy. the result of republican and democratic efforts.
7:04 am
president reagan signed its renewal when he was in office. president george w. bush signed its renewal when he was in office. 100 members of congress have come here today to honor people who are willing to die for the right to protect it. if we want to honor this day, let that 100 go back to washington and gather 400 more and together pledge to make it their mission to restore that law this year. that's how we honor those on this bridge. >> after the speech the first family walked across the edmund pettus bridge joined by some of those president obama honored in his remarks. but the president did much more than look back in his address. he also spoke to the next generation of activists following in their footsteps. >> and it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most averse and educated generation in our history who the nation is waiting to follow.
7:05 am
because selma shows us that america is not the project of any one person. because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word "we." we, the people. we shall overcome. yes, we can. that word is owned by no one, it belongs to everyone. >> melissa, i am so eager to hear your reaction to this speech. >> as am i eager to harry your reactions. i'm here with cornell william brooks who's president and ceo of the naacp. he and i were just saying that this felt like a moment who the president who we remembered from a previous time re-emerged. he spoke back to critics this week and it felt like he really gestured towards the moment we were in not just the history
7:06 am
from where we come. >> absolutely. the president gave a speech that was not only soaringly eloquent but searingly honest. he paid tribute to the heroines and heroes of yesteryear while issuing a call to young practitioners of democracy all across the country. it was a powerful speech. >> it truly was. one of my favorite parts was the moment when he clearly was speaking back to that criticism that had come from former mayor jewel yawn guliani. >> what greater expression of faith in the american experiment than this? what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that america is not yet finished that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and
7:07 am
decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals. >> cornell, it feels to me like that value right there, the value of criticism as evidence of patriotism is one of the great gifts that african-american activism brings to the american story. it is in fact part of the naacp story. >> absolutely because patriotism is a reflection of a love for country and a love such that you're willing to not only criticize the nation but call the nation to its highest ideals to be the country it was called to be founded to be. those patriots who are not willing to be self-critical demonstrate a lesser love of country. and the president demonstrated a profound love of country that reflects the values of people who shed their blood, sweat and tears on that bridge. he spoke to the country and he spoke to those critics who are willing to criticize him for
7:08 am
being self-critical and self-reflective as they ignore injustice in our midst. all the while calling themselves patriots. but they are in fact arm chair patriots, not the kind that we saw on that bridge. >> in fact dorian i want to go back to you on this in part because it did feel to me like the president just planted a big old shade tree over everybody who wanted to make the claim that wanted to offer a critique. also to those who claim he never addresses race or racism. he got to that part and he said hey, people have been asking me about race and here's what i think. >> he went right there, melissa. i thought this speech was a speech that was from the president but also from the organizer in him. he went right to the ferguson report the department of justice released this past week. basically made the argument that hey, on the one hand racism is not over. we still have deep pockets of racial inequality and disparity.
7:09 am
on the other hand things have changed and he has this line where he says ask anyone who was here and lived through selma 50 years ago and ask them if they have changed and i think the answer is yes. he was trying to fight cynicism that exists today but it was also an organizer's call to action. >> yeah, and it's an important point, cornell, to say, look i can acknowledge that this moment is not that moment and in fact it's important to k aacknowledge it otherwise i disrespect those who loved through a more brutal time. i can do that without saying now everything is okay. >> that's right. we don't have to -- we don't have to engage in nostalgia. we can be realistic about the president. and the fact that the president paid both homage to the brave reof those patriots of yesteryear while at the same time saying we face challenges now, it dishonors amelia boynton
7:10 am
to say we don't have it today or the service of congressman john lewis. so i believe the president was honest but he was speaking not only to our foremothers and our forebearers but also these young practitioners of democracy who on the streets all across the country standing with the naacp, standing with other organizations, but really standing atop the american constitution and speaking to the conscience of the country. >> and you've been standing with a lot of those young people. i've been very heartened talking about many organizers and activists from a previous era, many of whom are still doing work. i asked them about black lives matter and they said you know what i like what those young people are doing. they may not be to where we were but i feel like they are where we were when we first started initiating, like the young people who sat down at the woolworth counter. is that what you think, this generation has the capacity to move us forward in some ways? >> absolutely. the fact of the matter is these
7:11 am
young people have mobile devices and cell phones and transform a moment in ferguson into a national and global conversation on police brutality. but we have to take it a step further. with the voting rights act imperilled, the naacp is calling on a generation to engage on america's journey for justice. from selma, alabama, to washington, d.c. across alabama, north carolina south carolina, virginia and into the district of columbia, 850 miles of direct actions and demonstrations. we're saying look our forebearers did it then you can do it now. but we've got to stand together in a multi generational effort. >> i love that he in that moment was multi-generational. stay right there, everybody. the movement may not be -- the revolution may not be televised but apparently it might be tweeted and this is a movement that has spanned generations and it remains undeterred.
7:12 am
[ male announcer ] take zzzquil and sleep like... the kids went to nana's house... for the whole
7:13 am
weekend! [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] zzzquil, the non habit forming sleep aid that helps you sleep easily and wake refreshed. because sleep is a beautiful thing. [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. [ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ male announcer ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose. a new promise... to help all those wishes come true. cvs health. because health is everything.
7:14 am
my name is bret hembree. i am an electric crew foreman out of the cupertino service center. i was born and raised in the cupertino area. it's a fantastic area to work. the new technology that we are installing out in the field is important for the customers because system reliability i believe is number one. pg&e is always trying to plan for the future and we are always trying to build something stronger and bigger and more reliable. i love living here and i love the community i serve. nobody wants to be without power. i don't want my family to be without power. it's much more personal to me for that reason. i don't think there's any place i really would rather be.
7:15 am
in recounting the success of the montgomery bus boycott of 1956 the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. warned against complacency saying time itself can become the enemy of progress. he wrote human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle. the tireless exertions and passionate concerned of dedicated individuals. this is no time for apathy or complacency. this is a time for vigorous and positive action. and so even now, 50 years after the passage of the voting rights act, the struggle continues, for voting rights, for equality for progress. joining me now from selma, al pam, msnbc reporter tremaine
7:16 am
lee. >> good morning. when the president stood at the foot of the edmund pettus bridge he said there was nothing more american than the protest march that took place 50 years ago. to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of bloody sunday let's look at how the seeds of that protest are manifesting today. long before the protests in ferguson missouri -- >> i can hear my brother cryin' i can't breathe. >> reporter: before young people by the thousands filled city streets marching under banners demanding that black lives matter youth in the deep south were fighting for voting rights, facing the violence and death. >> i had made up my own mind that i wasn't going to let nobody turn me around. >> reporter: from the countless foot soldiers from the 1965 voting rights campaign some weren't old enough to vote let alone leave the house.
7:17 am
known as the smallest freedom fighter, she was 8 years old when she and hundreds were attacked on the edmund pettus bridge. >> i saw hundreds of policemen with tear gas masks, state troopers on horses. i saw dogs policemen with billy clubs. >> the lord looked and saw me and said i want you to go and take the lead. >> reporter: frederick reese was a schoolteacher and co-founder of the dallas county voters league organizing some of the first marches for voting rights in selma. in his early 30s, reese marched along some of the dynamic leaders, including dr. martin luther king and john lewis, who was 25. >> when i think of that young man as that person who had come through many dangers, came
7:18 am
through opportunities that had been denied many people. >> by the time i was 15 i had been in jail nine times. >> reporter: linda blackman lowry turned 15 on the journey from selma to montgomery, the youngest person to complete the entire march. >> i parents couldn't do it they would lose their jobs. so it was left up to me and the other children. >> now a whole new generation has picked up where the foot soldiers of selma left off, using the spirit of past struggles to fuel a new movement for equal justice. alisha brandy jack and cally are part of the freedom foundation whose mission is to inspire local youth. >> we're really dealing with racial profiling. we're also dealing with the removal of section 5 in the voting rights act. >> reporter: earlier this year they laid down on the edmund pettus bridge to protest the killing of an elderly black man by selma police. >> we are really concerned about equality and the fact that there are still injustices that are occurring in our town now.
7:19 am
>> reporter: despite the passage of time this new group says their struggles are similar to those of their predecessors. even the pettus bridge remains controversial. >> the name on the bridge is still named after a kkk grand dragon. there's still a memorial that commemorates a man that killed 200 african-americans during the civil war. if that stuff is still here that means someone still thinks that's okay and that's a problem. >> reporter: while the bones of history are buried out this town like their predecessors this group is undeterred. >> the ones who came before us definitely laid some groundwork but it's not done yet. if we stop talking about it we're thinking that it's over but it's not. >> reporter: that was just a glimpse at how the mantle is being passed to the next generation and folks are excited about taking that torch and
7:20 am
passing it on. back to you, dorian. >> trymaine lee in selma, alabama, thank you. joining us now is judith brianus. good morning. >> good morning, dorian. >> where do you see the gains of the civil rights movement most at risk today? >> well i mean we've got a lot. one is of course the issue of voting rights. the supreme court in the shelby county case really did take a dagger to the heart of the voting rights act, so we are pushing for a new restoration of voting rights and we're hoping that people won't be hypocrites about going down to selma and commemorating and not realizing that it is still hanging on by a thread. i think the other piece, of course, is that at the end of the day when we look at all of the activity and the movement and mobilization across the country, we haven't finished the business of civil rights and
7:21 am
racial justice in this country. that scathing report about the ferguson police department just is pulling off one layer of the onion of how african-americans continue to meet injustices every day in america and that it is systemic. so we have a lot of work to continue to get at structural racism and of course there's a movement that is building that is taking on these next issues. >> so judy you mentioned we haven't finished the work of racial justice. talk to us about some of the things that need to be done to guarantee full and fair access to the ballot in particular. >> sure. well, first, of course there's the restoration of the voting rights act. we have to get something passed in congress that makes sure that states like alabama, for example, continue to be covered so that the department of justice has to preapprove changes. so we've got this voting rights
7:22 am
act piece. we also believe we need a constitutional amendment for the right to vote so that courts and politicians will stop manipulating and messing with our right to vote. you know and then i think at every level throughout the country we have to have watchdogs for democracy. we have to have a strong voting rights movement where people understand that we have to protect our right to vote as much as we protect our free speech and freedom of religion. that this becomes -- it is sacred. what we saw yesterday was people marching across that bridge. what we've seen in the historical videotapes is that the right to vote is sacred and that we have to protect it rat every turn. >> so let me bring into this discussion christina greer, an assistant professor of political science at fordham university. what's the other body of work we need to do to advance racial
7:23 am
justice in this country? >> well i think going on with president obama's speech we really need to make sure we get youth involved from a very young age, right. and part of that has to do with homes and communities, but part of that is the systemic problem where we need to make sure that educators understand this history and this legacy and that educators and people outside one's family also recognize the daily injustices and indignities that so many african-americans suffer every day. we know that there's work being done, especially in the south. you've got project south, the southern peoples movement across all 14 states. they're putting together a multi-generation strategy to combat all these ills but really helping people recognize, especially for african-americans, that even though we have been fighting this very long road right, as we collect other allies right, because we know that immigrants are under attack the lgbt community is under attack black people are under attack latinos
7:24 am
are under attack asian-american communities are under attack women's reproductive rights are under attack. then we can start a productive moving forward. >> i want to thank judith in washington, d.c. up next, we go back to melissa in selma. i have moderate to severe crohn's disease. it's tough, but i've managed. but managing my symptoms was all i was doing. so when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies
7:25 am
the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb hepatitis b, are prone to infections or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. if you're still just managing your symptoms, ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. you can't predict the market. but at t. rowe price we've helped guide our clients through good times and bad. our experienced investment professionals are one reason over 85% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper averages. so in a variety of markets we can help you feel confident.
7:26 am
request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. ♪ ♪ you know i tried one of those bargain paper towels but i had to use so many sheets per spill... the roll just disappeared. i knew i should've bought bounty. bounty is 2x more absorbent and strong when wet. just look how much longer bounty lasts versus one of those bargain brand towels. and that's a good deal. bounty. the long lasting quicker picker upper and now try new bounty with dawn. available in the paper towel aisle. esurance was born online. which means fewer costs, which saves money. their customer experience is virtually paperless which saves paper, which saves money. they have smart online tools so you only pay for what's right for you which saves money. they settle claims quickly which saves time, which saves money. they drive an all-hybrid claims fleet
7:27 am
which saves gas, which saves money. they were born online, and built to save money, which means when they save, you save. because that's how it should work in the modern world. esurance. backed by allstate. click or call. right now in 2015 50 years after selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote. as we speak, more such laws are being proposed. meanwhile, the voting rights act, the culmination of so much blood, so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence the voting rights act stands weakened. its future subject to political
7:28 am
rancor. how can that be? >> that was president obama here in selma yesterday afternoon where he urged congress to strengthen the voting rights act. here with me now are dale ho director of the aclu's voting rights project and janine nelson, the naacp's legal defense funneled. so good to have you both with us today. talk to me about what you heard from the president yesterday. did he effectively make a case for why we need a strengthened voting rights act? >> absolutely. i think he situated this historical moment in the present day context. he said this is a movement that has spanned generations and yet still today we know there are rules and laws that are specifically intended to keep people from the polls. that's unacceptable 50 years after bloody sunday after people shed their blood, protested and laid their lives on the line to give us the democracy that we enjoy now. >> dale help me to know what
7:29 am
precisely needs to be in the new section 4 that will mass muster with what the supreme court said but will be sufficiently effective to do the work of preclearance. >> what the supreme court said was that the section 4 provision can't be based on events that happened decades in the past. so we need a provision that's based on current record of discrimination in the states that are currently passing laws making it harder for people to vote. so what's been proposed in the voting rights act amendment i think does exactly that. it's an updated provision that's based on recent events and rolls into the future. >> how does that provision -- how is it different -- we heard from reverend barber yesterday that that has real holes in it. >> the voting rights act amendment is what's been proposed by congressman sensabaugh. >> so reverend barber suggested
7:30 am
that the holes existed because of the length of time and the kinds of communities and the voter i.d. would not be part of it. >> so one of the concerns among the civil rights advocates who want to ensure that there are greater protection is that some of the coverage jurisdictions, some of the states like alabama that gave birth to the voting rights act was not covered under the amendment, according to the practice -- the roll-in coverage formula that is articulated in the voting rights amendment act but we need a hearing on the act. we need to know and test out these theories to see if they actually will have the impact that we hope they will. there's also the issue of the carve-out of photo identification. that's something we need to think more carefully about. that is obviously a law that is plaguing our communities. we are litigating a case in texas where students are not able to use state issued i.d.s from that schools but you can use a gun permit i.d. there are other ways in which we can strengthen the act and
7:31 am
hopefully bring it to the floor and have a robust debate about it. we at least deserve that. >> as you're talking, we can hear in the background there's a jumbotron. we're at the church where there will be a service later and i can hear the reverend dr. martin luther king's voice behind you even as you're speaking. it's just a reminder of how present this moment is in what we are talking about in terms of trying to preserve access to the ballot right now. >> what's so amazing about 50 years ago is that as a country we finally, i think, reached the consensus that everyone ought to be able to vote. nine years ago this act was reauthorized 98-0 in the senate. 330-33 in the house. what's changed that has made these out of date? >> what has changed? i wonder. thank you guys for being here today. is it ill to come this morning, by interview with congressman john lewis and how the struggle for civil rights really does
7:32 am
continue, especially right here in alabama. why do i cook? because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. for every way you make chicken noodle soup, make it delicious with swanson®. ugh... ...heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm... amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief. ♪
7:33 am
7:34 am
let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? i would. i would indeed. well, let's be clear here. i'm actually a dj. [ dance music plays ] [laughs] no way! i have no financial experience at all. that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro you just don't know.
7:35 am
find a certified financial planner professional who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp -- work with the highest standard. in february the 11th circuit court of appeals and the u.s. supreme court denied alabama's request to extend a stay on the federal decision to strike down the state's same-sex marriage ban. this action cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry in alabama beginning on february 9th. although 52 of alabama's 67 counties simply refused to process the necessary paperwork for marriage licenses one montgomery couple was the first to the altar. 21-year-old shonte sisson and her partner, tori became the first same-sex couple to wed in montgomery alabama, after camping outside the court house a month before.
7:36 am
while they can now enjoy the legal protection of marriage, not all alabama couples are able tone joy this basic civil right. on tuesday the alabama supreme court ordered probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, stating that alabama's same-sex marriage ban still stands. and now the u.s. supreme court has agreed to begin hearing oral arguments about whether states are allowed to ban same-sex marriage on april 28th. this would allow the court to finally resolve this civil rights question possibly by the end of june. wedding season. in the meantime shontae and tori celebrating their marriage and life together. the alabama newlyweds join me now. i am so happy to have the two of you with me today. you all had already undergone a commitment ceremony. >> yes. >> why was marriage important? >> because there's no way for me to contact the hospital if something happens to her.
7:37 am
there's just a litany of duties and responsibilities of married couples that we just were not afforded with the commitment ceremony. >> for me, when i first saw your pictures and the story about you, i think it was buzzfeed maybe where i saw that i ended up posting you guys to my instagram on that day because i love the idea that in this moment in alabama, where four little black girls were murdered in a church where the children, often african-american young women and girls marched across the bridge just a few blocks from here that of course on the next part of the civil rights journey it would be us. who else would it be? but i guess i'm wondering about standing in that position of woman, of queer, of black, and of southern. how do you navigate those identities? >> you can only navigate it wholeheartedly. doing this work is very necessary to be intentional
7:38 am
about being intersectional and the lgbt community. so being in this position we have the opportunity to represent the faces that are not at the table when we talk about rights for the gay community. >> so it's interesting because you framed that around the question of sort of bringing race into the question of lgbt activism. i guess i'm also wondering especially now empire has all of this language about sort of homophobia within the black community and also navigating these within civil rights struggles. >> right. in some spaces we're the only black and brown faces when we go, and it's really important to notice that there are queer black women who are in the south. it's important to notice that there are trans people who are not being noticed because of their complexion. so that's one of the reasons that we're here. >> so that's the big political stuff. tell me a little bit about how the two of you met and how you fell in love. >> it's your turn. >> well actually we met on the
7:39 am
floor of our apartment. i came down to tuskegee to visit my sister. my sister and her went to undergrad together. she was late to her own event and i didn't think i would see her again so i asked her a million and one questions about her being a vegetarian, about her waking up at 5:00 a.m. to meditate. she was really interesting. you don't hear that a lot of our queer sisters of color. so that's how we met. i didn't think i was going to see her again, so about a month later i came back down to tuskegee to homecoming and we happened to be at the same place at the same time and the rest is history. >> and actually history. but let me ask, now that you know that the courts are once again pushing back do you feel at all vulnerable does that love story that has culminated in marriage feel vulnerable that your own marriage might be invalidated? >> absolutely. it's entirely unfair that we were able to be legally married and there are so many people who
7:40 am
weren't, as of the other day, so it's bittersweet. there's no way for us to really be celebrating when there's so many people who don't have this opportunity. and also with a decision like the one that they made last week, that means that we don't have any of those protection so it doesn't even matter. >> it's just like what's a marriage license if i can't go to the hospital -- >> well you all have a beautiful love story, you are fantastic. we enjoy following you and will continue to do so and will follow the legacy of this law. still to come, my interview with congressman john lewis. the world is filled with air. but for people with copd sometimes breathing air can be difficult. if you have copd, ask your doctor about once-daily anoro ellipta. it helps people with copd breathe
7:41 am
better for a full 24hours. anoro ellipta is the first fda-approved product containing two long-acting bronchodilators in one inhaler. anoro is not for asthma. anoro contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. it is not known if this risk is increased in copd. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden copd symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, or high blood pressure. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, prostate or bladder problems, or problems passing urine as anoro may make these problems worse. call your doctor right away if you have worsened breathing chest pain, swelling of your mouth or tongue, problems urinating or eye problems including vision changes or eye pain while taking anoro. nothing can reverse copd. the world is filled with air and anoro is helping people with copd breath air better. get your first prescription free at anoro.com.
7:42 am
that detergent was like half the price! and we'll have to use like double! maybe more! i'm going back to the store? yes you are. dish issues? get cascade complete. one pac cleans tough food better than 6 pacs of the bargain brand combined. cascade. now that's clean. whether you need a warm up before the big race... or a healthy start before the big meeting there's a choice hotel that's waiting for you. this spring, choose choice twice, get a night at no price at 1,500 hotels. book now at choicehotels.com
7:43 am
♪ ♪ ♪ "here i am. rock you like a hurricane." ♪ fiber one now makes cookies. find them in the cookie aisle. ah! come on! let's hide in the attic. no. in the basement. why can't we just get in the running car? are you crazy? let's hide behind the chainsaws. smart. yeah. ok. if you're in a horror movie, you make poor decisions. it's what you do. this was a good idea. shhhh. be quiet. i'm being quiet. you're breathing on me! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. it's what you do. head for the cemetery! welcome back i'm melissa harris-perry and i'm here in selma, alabama.
7:44 am
sometimes when you stand in the middle of a commemoration of a civil rights moment, then amazing things happen. for me at this moment i have this incredible guest i had not expected. our new secretary of homeland security, jeh johnson joins us. thank you so much for being here with us. >> i'm just a bystander in the street today. >> so why are -- >> thank you for interviewing me. >> why are you in selma? what is your selma connection? >> i wanted to be here for the anniversary, for this very special event. 50 years from the first march but my ancestors are from selma. the goodwins. my mother's family were all from selma. and in fact a person who i believe to be my great great grandfather's name is on the cornerstone of this church right here r.m. goodwin, original secretary of the structure. >> so for me as african-americans in the u.s. context in the south in
7:45 am
particular, knowing that our legacies exist here that our histories exist here and there is so much ugliness associated with it but also so much resistance and so much culture and so much family and goodness how do we connect those two things? we heard the president yesterday say to critique america is to be a true patriot. how do we connect those, to be honest about our full american story while we're in the context of truly protecting our nation in an international context? >> big question. >> you stopped by. >> i know, i did. big question. so much happened here so much is significant about alabama to african-americans in general. so many many of us have our roots here in the south, in georgia, alabama, mississippi, south carolina, north carolina and elsewhere. almost all of us can trace our heritage to places like this.
7:46 am
at the same time, this is history. and so it was total coincidence seven years ago, eight years ago when my sister and i and my wife and my kids and my parents were taking an rv trip through the south. we wanted to find our goodwin ancestors. and so we looked around town we went to the colored cemetery couldn't find anything. then we stopped here to look at the monuments to the civil rights era and there we found a goodwin right here on the cornerstone. it was remarkable. and so this -- i connect with this town in a number of different ways that you've kind of just spelled out. it's a family connection it's history, and it reflects a determination to continue toward a more perfect union. so i'm happy to be here for all of the above reasons. >> i have a policy question i want to ask you. does robust immigration reform
7:47 am
make our nation safer or more dangerous? >> safer. let me tell you why. robust immigration reform means strengthening border security but immigration reform in the president's view and in my view also means dealing with the approximately 11 million undocumented who are in this country who are not going anywhere, who are not going to be -- most of them have been here more than ten years and have become integrated members of society. so what the president believes and what i believe is that those who are here who have been here who have kids who are citizens citizens, lawful permanent residents who have committed no serious crimes we ought to encourage those people to come out of the shadows so we know who they are from a law enforcement perspective, so that law enforcement, local law enforcement in the communities in which they live know who they are, so that these people can be
7:48 am
encouraged to report crime and be participants in our society and not live in the shadows. so from a public safety homeland security perspective, it's good to encourage these people to come out of the shadows, and that's what we're trying to do. >> secretary, i am just so flattered and pleased that you stopped by to chat with us and with our audience this morning. thank you. thank you for being here. >> have a good day. >> thank you to second of homeland security jeh johnson. up next much more live from selma, 50 years after the selma campaign that led to the voting rights act.
7:49 am
7:50 am
7:51 am
what's that thing? i moved our old security system out here to see if it could monitor the front yard. why don't you switch to xfinity home? i get live video monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring that i can arm and disarm from anywhere. hear ye! the awkward teenage one has arrived!!!! don't be old fashioned. xfinity customers add xfinity home for $29.95 a month for 12 months. plus for a limited time, get a free security camera call 1800 xfinity or visit comcast.com/xfinityhome. when the selma to montgomery marches took place in 1965 movement leaders had already spent years strategizing and working in southern cities. many of the leaders who
7:52 am
attempted to cross the edmund pettus bridge on bloody sunday were in nashville tennessee, in 1960 orchestrating a sit-in campaign to desegregate lunch counters and strategizing the freedom rides that would begin a year later. the city of nashville is home to not only a history of activism and courage that defines our nation, but also to an institution that shaped many of those leaders, the american baptist college. its noteworthy alums include the late reverend james bevel and the living of course congressman john lewis. along with our next two guests the reverend c.t. vivian an extraordinary leader in the southern christian leadership conference and a nashville freedom rider and dr. forest e. harris, the president of american baptist college. thank you both for being here. >> good to be here. >> mr. vivian it is such a pleasure to stand here with you.
7:53 am
yesterday you had the opportunity to hear the president reflect on 50 years. what did you make of his address? >> i think it was just right. he has never been better but he is always excellent. whether he's in the united states or whether he's in europe right. he always has so much sense and he is not politicking, like most politicians do right. he's above that. >> when he spoke yesterday for me, part of what i heard was a particular structure that sounds to me very much like the structure of a black sermon. sometimes the president uses that structure, sometimes he doesn't, but i heard him use it the way he laid out the points. that's part of why i wanted to have you all here today is that idea that institutions are part of it. we talk about the big personalities that john lewis
7:54 am
is, we talk about the moments in history. but the institutions matter. what do we not know about abt that we need to know? >> american baptist college is where they all came in the embryonic stages of development but with a hunger and passion for justice. our school american baptist college, was right there to help match that passion with education. it caught fire and when martin luther king jr., the sit-in movements at nashville all came together, they were ready to speak into that moment of history because that school was there, and it's still there as a school who trains social justice leaders. it's important that we come to understand that historical black colleges have been those kind of colleges that incubated and took our young people and nurtured them into leadership. american baptist church has the singular characteristic in this nation that's cultivating people
7:55 am
like c.t. vivian john lewis and james bevel. i'm proud to be president of that institution. >> hold for me one second because i want to listen to the president doing a bit of an invocation, a biblical reference point, something he also did in selma when he spoke in 2007. take a listen. >> when it feels the road's too hard, when the torch we've been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these early travels and draw strength from their example and hold firmly to the words of the prophet isaiah those who hope in the lord will renew their strength. they will soar on the wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not be faint. >> when you -- you can hear the crowd responding to that because we know that verse. and i thought he tapped into what it was and what it is that faith does in a social movement. >> i think you've got to also see that this man went to church
7:56 am
every sunday all right, for some 20 years. church wasn't just a political front for him, all right, it was in fact the stuff of life. and this is why our -- you notice all of our leaders across the years with the exception of one really really made church his number one -- their number one concern. not only that that's who they had to talk to right, and which they then learned to preach to as well because the bible has been the basic understanding of who we are and what we know and what we want to obey. >> that faith gives us courage and those hbcus which are vulnerable and under attack give us the institutions to make that
7:57 am
faith into movement. thank you to the reverend dr. c.t. vivian and to the reverend dr. forest harris. we have so much more to get to this morning as we continue our special edition of mhp, live from selma, alabama. we're going to take you inside the home where dr. king stayed during his time in selma and we'll introduce you to the woman who was just a young girl when her family hosted uncle martin. plus we have the secretary of housing and urban development, julian castro and by interview with congressman john lewis. it's all coming up in our next hour. stay with us. time to get up! a woman's body changes over 500 times a day which can cause odor. so, secret clinical strength tracked christie bruce's ups and downs for a day. oh no, just one each now. mommy. dad's home i'm going to work now. secret clinical strength has adapts + responds
7:58 am
technology tm for customized protection that adapts to your body. so no matter what's going on inside... you can be fearless outside. if you're running a business legalzoom has your back. over the last 10 years we've helped one million business owners get started. visit legalzoom today for the legal help you need to start and run your business. legalzoom. legal help is here. congratulations. you're down with crestor. yes! when diet and exercise aren't enough, adding crestor lowers bad cholesterol up to 55%.
7:59 am
crestor is not for people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. tell your doctor all medicines you take. call your doctor if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of serious side effects. i'm down with crestor! make your move. ask your doctor about crestor. ♪ [piano background music begins] ♪ we are one, we are essentially the same regardless of where we come from. um, there are definitely things that are different about us culturally and everything else but at the end of the day we are the same and we really need to start seeing the world as a place that was gifted to us. [thunder and rain] [thunder and rain] [thunder and rain] curling up in bed with a favorite book is nice. but i think women would rather curl up with their favorite man. but here's the thing:
8:00 am
about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. and remember, you only take it when you need it. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra. welcome back. i'm dorian warren in new york. melissa is in selma, alabama, this morning outside the brown chapel ame church, the staging ground for today's event. later today thousands of
8:01 am
demonstrators will march across the edmund pettus bridge in selma in what will be a commemoration of the history-making march, what became known as bloody sunday 50 years ago. so too will today's march be a modern call to action to ensure that the right to vote remains an unobstructed right for all americans, that congress takes action to rework the voting rights act of 1965 after the supreme court struck down the essential section 4 of that act just less than two years ago. we have a lot to get to this hour and we are going to start by going to melissa in selma. melissa, i understand you had a moment to speak with congressman john lewis as he left brown memorial ame church yesterday? >> dorian i did. like some of the amazing moments we've been having already this morning, it was extraordinary to stand with congressman lewis and to bear witness to the very personal moments of reflection he had as he marked this sober 50-year-old memory of bloody sunday. in 1965 john lewis was the
8:02 am
chairman. lewis endured some of the most brutal attacks by the alabama state troopers. the arc i havehival photo of what he endured, he remains a violent, passionate, effective advocate for equality and yesterday i had a chance to speak with congressman lewis. >> people tried to keep us from voting, keep us from registering, so we felt it must be important, it must be powerful. and i think we all concluded that to vote is precious. almost sacred. it is the most powerful nonviolent instrument or tool we have in our democratic society. and we wanted to use it. we wanted to be able to have some say, some control over our own destiny. >> sometimes when we talk about
8:03 am
courage, we talk about courage as though there is no fear. as you, as the other protesters as you marched in that orderly, nonviolent fashion across that bridge and faced those police officers, were you afraid? >> i was not afraid. growing up i saw the signs, i didn't like the signs. i was inspired by rosa parks. i lost all sense of fear. on that day and days earlier, i was prepared to die for what i believed in. someone, someplace, at some time had to stand up and say we're not afraid. you may jail us you may beat us you may kill us but we're not going to give up and we're not going to turn around. >> my last question do you feel personal affront at what has
8:04 am
happened to the voting rights act at this point? do your colleagues owe it to you personally to pass a new section 4 formula? >> well i tell you, when the supreme court made the decision to gut the heart, to stab the voting rights act in the heart, i felt like crying. but i couldn't cry. i made up my mind to do whatever i could to try to get my colleagues to come together to fix the decision of the united states supreme court, and we will fix it. >> the brutality endured by the brave foot soldiers on bloody sunday is not the end of the story. american lawmakers did not simply see the violence and begin drafting a voting rights act. far more strategy was necessary to culminate in the final triumphant days of a long march when martin luther king jr. led thousands into montgomery. part of that strategy occurred when following the violence on the bridge dr. king issued a
8:05 am
national call that read in part that people of selma will struggle on for the soul of the nation but it is fitting that all americans help to bear the burden. i call therefore, on clergy of all faiths representatives of every part of the country to join me in selma for a ministers march to montgomery. and come they did. pastors, priests, nuns and rabbis, black and white, from all over the country. but the march they had come for did not continue to montgomery. the group crossed the bridge knelt in prayer and then turned around to head back to selma. in a moment now known as turn-around tuesday. but even though they turned around on that bridge those willing allies from across the country were critically important to the larger strategy of the movement. together this multi-racial interfaith group standing together in the jim crow south dramatized that voting rights are an issue for every american.
8:06 am
some like unitarian minister james reed who was attacked and killed by a racist mob the night after the march, even gave their lives to the effort. a diverse group of religious leaders participated in the final march from selma into montgomery and the man second from the right in an iconic image with dr. king there is rabbi joshua heshel a close confidant of king's. he would later write about the march. for many of us the march from selma to montgomery was about protest and prayer. legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling and yet our legs uttered songs, even without words, our march was worship. i felt my legs were praying. and i am pleased to be shown by the rabbi's daughter this morning, susannah hesh especially. also is the reverend dr. jackie lewis sr., minister of the collegiate church in new york.
8:07 am
to stand with you, iechl your father's presence with us. >> thank you. >> whenever i say rabbi abraham heshel to those whon know the movement they say that is the story we have to continue to tell. that it was a movement of all faiths and people. >> yes it was. my father felt very deeply moved by the chance to be here. he felt that the march had an experience of holiness for him. as you said he felt his legs were praying. that was extraordinary. but i think also selma did something for the jewish people. it affirmed prophetic judaism. so we came here to selma now to celebrate and say thank you to the civil rights movement because you saved our souls as jews you gave us back our judaism in many ways. >> that notion of a prophetic religious practice i heard the president echo what is a long tradition within african-american largely christian protestant tradition as well but it is not
8:08 am
exclusively there. we heard it yesterday, in fact calling often on old testament text, on the hebrew texts that are shared in these faiths. tell me what faith can do right now that would be not divisive but instead uniting in building social movement. >> one of the things we can do melissa, is to tell the story. this story continues, the call to interreligious, interfaith relationship in the movement is happening right now. my friend stash cutler pulled together a coalition of jews and christians and muslims and unitarians to gather together in washington, d.c. we went to the congress building and we did a die-in right in the middle of that many roo. as we lay on the cold floor in that cafeteria with our bodies intertwined, our legs ld in fact prayed. our legs had sung songs. we need to continue that this movement is interreligious intergenerational and it is
8:09 am
happening right now. >> and yet there is a real challenge to that. just this week we had the congressional black caucus lead a walkout to choose not to be present when the prime minister of israel spoke before the congress. which is a political moment, a political and a partisan but i thought, oh, is this a fraying of this long relationship between jewish and black communities. is this an indication that it needs to be actively rebuilt? >> i think it's -- i think it's an indication of work to do but i don't think it's the end of the story. i think there are many pockets and places where it's not just jews and blacks working together but it's jews and blacks and whites and latinos and asians and muslims. a young woman named yasmina, an activist in the ferguson movement in d.c. is pushing and shuching shoving and working on justice. so it's just a piece of the story but it is still bending towards justice. >> what would your father say?
8:10 am
>> prime minister netanyahu was wrong to say he represents all jews, he doesn't. my father would say of course we need alliances. as he said god is either the creator of all human beings or of no one. we can't accomplish anything by ourselves. we are together in this and president obama echoed that yesterday when he said the important word is "we." >> every person of faith. >> but the most important word in the american story is we. we, the people. yes, we can. that in fact it is about what we collectively do. >> the leadership is dispersed. it's young people everywhere it's adults everywhere. it's not just clergy and certainly not just prime ministers and our leaders. >> did you see everyone got up and started cheered when he started quoting the prophets because faith is so important. we want to be inspired. it's not just about politics and strategy. we needin instance inspiration and
8:11 am
that's his gift to us. >> he spoke of the joshua generation and quoted iisaiah. there's something about this places that does that to him. up next when we talk civil rights, we're going to have to talk about housing. and the secretary of housing and urban development new dad of a new baby julian castro, joins me live.
8:12 am
there's a gap out there. that's keeping you from the healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe the gap will close when healthcare changes. when frustration and paperwork decrease. when healthcare becomes simpler. so let's do it. let's simplify healthcare. let's close the gap between people and care. yoplait greek 100. the protein-packed need something filling, taste bud loving, deliciously fruity, grab-and-go, take on the world with 100 calories, snack. yoplait greek 100. there are hundreds of reasons to snack on it.
8:13 am
8:14 am
in june 2014 the atlantic magazine published a provocative cover declaring the case for reparations. now, this case was eloquently
8:15 am
argued and rested on evidence drawn from the nation's long history of residential housing discrimination. because while the american landscape is no longer marred with whites-only signs and black electoral influence is evidence from the white house to local city councils, housing segregation remains largely unchanged and it affects every area of life from schools to jobs, even to the quality of the air we breathe. the battle for fair housing occupied much of martin luther king jr.'s final years, and shortly after king was assassinated in 1968 congress passed and president johnson signed the fair housing act, legally barring discrimination in housing. the agency charged with enforcing that law is hud, housing and urban development. and i'm pleased to be here with the secretary of housing and urban development, julian castro. so nice to have you this morning. >> so good to be here. >> i know that you were here in
8:16 am
selma on friday and actually took a walk around some of the public housing projects we're standing near now. >> i did. i had a chance to visit three public housing communities, including the george washington carver homes that are right here. these homes are about 63 years old and so i had a chance to listen to some of the residents and hear from their perspective what they need and to see the conditions and the housing. today we have about $26 billion in backlog public housing needs in terms of infrastructure investment, and so there's a real need in our nation to recommit ourselves to ensuring that there are affordable housing opportunities, whether it's public housing or in the private market in big cities and in small cities in the united states. >> you know, if i was not so cold, i would maybe turn a cartwheel to hear a secretary of hud invoke public housing and housing for low income people. i think there was a moment when it became such a kind of flash point, as though housing for poor people was inherently crime
8:17 am
ridden and bad rather than a place to help families living in poverty and tough circumstances. >> oh, it's amazing when -- and we've started to do some of this research. when you think about all of the folks that are now great success stories in the united states that have come out of public housing, the ceo of xerox and a whole host of entertainers business people people who are in public office public housing has served really as a hand up out of poverty. i think that it's incumbent upon this generation to make the same kind of commitment and also to be creative with how we fund that. for instance one of the things we're proud of is something we call rental assistance demonstration which involves private financing to help finance improvements to public housing and that's making about 185,000 units of housing repair available across the united states. so you know it's relying on what we have the resources that we have here but also trying to be creative to stretch those
8:18 am
resources. >> when you talk about creativity, i think about the fact that dr. martin luther king jr. did take up housing segregation in particular in chicago, in northern cities. it was part of how he moved a southern civil rights movement into a kind of broader national movement. and yet it has remained so sticky. it has proved more difficult even than -- as difficult and as much blood as was shed in the context of getting the vote and bringing down those colored and white signs, man, housing has been tough. what kinds of creative new tools start to expand the opportunities for equal housing? >> one of the big missions at hud, because we have a fair housing office that is very robust, is to ensure that there's a level playing field. for instance we know today that african-americans and hispanics are shown 10% fewer rental properties when they go out there into the market and so we have testers that go out. we work with nonprofits that try and uncover discrimination where
8:19 am
it exists and then ensure that there are consequences for that. beyond that one of the things that that article that you mentioned talked about was the history of the fha. the fha in its history used to play a role of in some ways furthering that kind of segregation. today we're trying to do the reverse and open up opportunity. so for african-american home buyers, for instance 47% of the mortgages go through fha insured loans. >> something is happening here. >> i feel like i'm on the red carpet. >> we're talking and there is something -- i wanted to acknowledge and it's reverend al sharpton, my colleague, has this crowd revved up which i love. that is fantastic. i wanted to ask you your selma story. what i meant to do is listen for a moment to the president talking about how selma inspired many communities and then ask you about how that might resonate with your own experiences. let's listen for a moment. >> it's the same instinct that drew immigrants from across oceans and the rio grande.
8:20 am
the same instinct that led women to reach for the ballot workers to organize against an unjust status quo. the same instinct that led us to plant a flag at iwo jima and the surface of the moon. ♪ >> so now we are in the middle of also a concert. it is getting exciting here. but i wanted to ask how this moment is part of a longer struggle that is certainly about black folks but not exclusively about black folks. >> right. i told the president after the speech very briefly that i thought that was the best speech he had ever given as president, very inspiring. one of the points that he made was the sacrifices that were made here in selma, the work of the activists here really opened doors for everyone in the united states, for a more just nation. my parents were involved in the old chicano movement and they
8:21 am
were inspired by folks here in selma and the civil rights movement more broadly. it just had a ripple effect of folks trying to ensure america could lead up to its best ideals and words in the founding documents. that continues today and the president said it very beautifully yesterday. >> might we see you on the ticket as a vice presidential candidate next fall? >> i'm trying to do a great job at hud. i doubt it. >> that wasn't a no. okay. thank you to hud secretary julian castro. and up next they may be the most dynamic mother-daughter team in all of selma. let's take a listen as we go out. (mom) when our little girl was born we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru
8:22 am
is where she grew up. what? (announcer) the 2015 subaru forester (girl) what? (announcer) built to be there for your family. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. ♪ ♪ ♪ "here i am. rock you like a hurricane." ♪ fiber one now makes cookies. find them in the cookie aisle. let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable professional. i'm actually a dj. [ dance music plays ] woman: [laughs] no way! that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro you just don't know. cfp -- work with the highest standard. oh yea, that's coming down let's get some rocks, man. health can change in a minute.
8:23 am
so cvs health is changing healthcare. making it more accessible and affordable with walk-in medical care, no appointments needed and most insurance accepted. minuteclinic. another innovation from cvs health. because health is everything. whether you need a warm up before the big race... or a healthy start before the big meeting there's a choice hotel that's waiting for you. this spring, choose choice twice, get a night at no price at 1,500 hotels. book now at choicehotels.com many people clean their dentures with toothpaste or plain water. and even though their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher brighter denture every day.
8:24 am
shopping online is as easy as it gets. ♪ wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers carpenters and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to angie's list, now it is. we've made hiring anyone from a handyman to a dog walker as simple as a few clicks. buy their services directly at angiealist.com. no more calling around. no more hassles. and you don't even have to be a member to start shopping today! angie's list is revolutionizing local service again. visit angieslist.com today. ♪
8:25 am
♪ >> you're listening to the service getting under way here in selma, alabama. this is of course the continuing celebration marking and of course renewal of a movement here in selma. and on january 9th the academy award-winning film "selma" opened here in selma, alabama. it might not seem like a big deal for a film to open on its national premier night, but at the moment selma, alabama, had no working movie theater. getting the movie opened required some serious political and economic effort. and that effort was spearheaded by the city's congressional representative, terry, sooul sewell. this week roll call reported that congresswoman sewell was acting on a very clear directive from the woman sewell calls the
8:26 am
real congresswoman from selma. representative terry sewell's mother nancy sewell who reportedly told her daughter quote, my congresswoman is not worth her salt if she cannot get "selma" on the day it opens nationwide to play in selma, alabama. nancy sewell was the first african-american woman elected to city council in 1993. she served for 11 years and continues to have significant influence. i am pleased to say that both congresswoman sewell and nancy sewell are here with me today. thank you both for being here. >> thank you so much melissa. >> thank you, kindly for coming. >> and this is your home church. >> yes, it is. brown chapel historic brown chapel ame church. >> and i want to begin by asking you about yesterday. congresswoman, while you were there sitting with the president, the president made reference to the voting rights act and you stood and applauded. why? >> because it's so important
8:27 am
that we remember the real legacy that we can leave behind for these wonderful foot soldiers who have the courage to march is not only do we need to commemorate them but we also need to remember the voting rights act was the ultimate thing that they were marching for. and it's under our salt renewed our salt by photo i.d. laws that are in lots of states. but the most important thing that i was hoping with all those members of congress and all those presidents is that we'll come back with a renewed sense of purpose as members of congress remembering why it was the voting rights act was so important. it was republicans and democrats. i have to remind my republican colleagues that it was senator dirksen, a republican who really helped make that a reality, because the other member -- the democratic members wanted it so it was really interesting. >> a major theme of the president's yesterday was this issue of intergenerational struggle. i wonder how that is manifest in
8:28 am
your household, in the relationship between you and your daughter? >> you have to know from whence you come with a projection for the future. and so many of our younger people do not realize on whose shoulders they are standing and why those soldiers were standing. and you have to help them connect the dots. and you do that forever by teaching them their history, the real history of the struggle. and so having said that it is so important that the older generation works side by side with the younger generation. >> i love what you said there. i think in part because we can get into a place where we just say oh those young people don't know, they don't know any better. >> but it's your -- it's our responsibility, the moses generation, is to teach them and lead -- teach and show them the way. set an example, that is true.
8:29 am
>> in this moment as we look back and then as we are trying to address these questions right now, at the core of the selma moment is not only the political, but the economic. >> absolutely. >> the issue of economic development and poverty in this community. does the political matter if the economic isn't there? what is the connection between them? >> i think that's really the next wave. we have had two mayors that have been african-american here in selma, and i'm now the member of congress from selma. i have to pinch myself sometimes because it's this community that nurtured me and made me who i am. i know that we lack economic prosperity in our district and my challenge every day is to help provide those resources and opportunities so that another generation of selma youth can reach their full potential. >> i love that when you say you're the congresswoman, you still say it as though you're a little bit surprised. >> i am. >> that that is true.
8:30 am
and to see the two of you together in this moment is a reminder that that happens because of community, because of family, and then to talk to both of you while this music is playing is also a reminder of the ways in which faith plays into that entire possibility. thank you so much the sewells, for being here with us. thank you to congresswoman terri sewell and to nancy sewell. up next we're going to take you inside the house that became a safe haven in selma for dr. king. also still to come the woman who took a stand by refusing to give up her seat and she did it before rosa parks. ameriprise asked people a simple question: in retirement, will you have enough money to live life on your terms? i sure hope so. with healthcare costs, who knows. umm... everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the
8:31 am
exclusive confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor.... can get the real answers you need. start building your confident retirement today.
8:32 am
8:33 am
thanks for the ride around norfolk! and i just wanted to say geico is proud to have served the military for over 75 years! roger that. captain's waiting to give you a tour of the wisconsin now. could've parked a little bit closer... it's gonna be dark by the time i get there. geico. proudly serving the military for over 75 years. when dr. martin luther king jr. came to selma 50 years ago, he stayed in the home of his long-time friends, dr. sullivan and richajean jackson.
8:34 am
it became the headquarters of the selma campaign with leaders meeting in the kitchen and dining room to strategize. king wrote sermons in the turquoise bedroom with the gold duvet and he regularly used their rotary phone to speak with president johnson. it was on their living room television that king watched the president announce the voting rights act. the jackson house has been preserved and turned into a museum, run by daughter juwana who was just 5 years old when her uncle martin came to stay at her family's home. she joins me now. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> what is your memory of the man we know as martin luther king jr. but who you as a little girl knew as uncle martin? >> uncle martin to me was a man that took time with a 5-year-old little girl to make sure that i
8:35 am
always knew how special i was and how important it was to feel the moment and also how important it was to understand what was going on in my hometown. this town was a movement it was a social movement for change that would benefit me and so many other americans. >> so king having been a family friend and staying there ends up being the thing that focuses attention here. but what i want to dig in with a little bit with you is what king did was to arrive where there was already a movement being built, into a home where there was already organization growing. does the preservation of the home as a museum help to do that, to keep king in the story but also to refocus it on the broader community? >> you know the jackson home has been in my family since 1912. it has a huge history of
8:36 am
supporting a community that supported a nation. the ability now for me to open up this home gives the public a unique opportunity to see a special place that not only sheltered a movement but it was a place that cultivated a community spirit where all people are welcome and that is the american dream. >> so often we think of homeownership and the context of the american dream as a very private one. i will get my home for me and for my children. but what you just described is not only a home for your home and for your family and children, but that it would be a space for community. have we lost that part of the story of homeownership and of the american dream? >> you know, home is where the heart is. the jackson home every piece of that house has a special memory.
8:37 am
it was -- it was the place that nurtured martin luther king jr., that nurtured the dream. if i did not allow and take this time to open that home to this nation for future generations to see where we've come from and where we've got to go that is the quest i now have of the jackson home. >> i want to also bring in friend and colleague, dorian warren, who is back in new york. bring you all in on this conversation. >> melissa, thanks. i want to bring back in fordham professor christina greer. christina, i want to ask you, as we look ahead to the thousands who will march today across the edmund pettus bridge in selma, talk to us about the importance of historical continuity. this is of course an annual march, but it's the 50th anniversary and it obviously is getting a lot of attention. why continue to do this march every year? >> well i think it's because for many black people across
8:38 am
this country, every sunday is bloody sunday. and it is very important that we recognize the 50th anniversary. however, on a day-to-day basis, so many black communities are experiencing brutality, indignity, racism injustice, on a wide scale, not just with voting rights, but just in their daily interactions. and so yes, it's wondersful that so many people have come to selma, from across the globe, i'm sure but for politicians to hammer home how important the voting rights act is but we need to keep marching and make sure that this isn't just a once-a-year thing. i believe reverend glasgow in alabama has been doing a lot of this work on a daily basis, right. this isn't just a celebrity cause for him or for many of the people who were down there.
8:39 am
so i think we have to recognize that's the key piece, to really understand our history, not just as black people right. this isn't black people's history, this is america's history. this is american history. these heroes are america's history. these villains are america's villains. those are the original domestic terrorists, right? so those are the people we need to recognize. those are the movements we have to go beyond so we can actually have real healing, substantive healing. we know that racism still exists but racism has racists, conscious and subconscious passive and impasse i've. if we're going to move forward as a nation, we have to recognize it have some sort of self-reflection as the president talked about, real patriotism is self-reflection so we can actually move forward in this "we" society that the framers laid out. >> self-reflection, self-criticism and a call to action to move us forward toward a full democracy. christina, thank you. more with melissa live from
8:40 am
selma coming up next. ♪ ♪ ♪ i have a wandering eye. i mean, come on. national gives me the control to choose any car in the aisle i want. i could choose you... or i could choose her if i like her more. and i do. oh, the silent treatment. real mature. so you wanna get out of here? go national. go like a pro. no matter who you are, if you have type 2 diabetes, you know it can be a struggle to keep your a1c down.
8:41 am
so imagine ... what if there was a new class of medicine that works differently to lower blood sugar? imagine loving your numbers. introducing once-daily invokana®. it's the first of a new kind of prescription medicine that's used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. invokana® is a once-daily pill that works around the clock to help lower a1c. here's how: the kidneys allow sugar to be absorbed back into the body. invokana® reduces the amount of sugar allowed back in ... and sends some sugar out through the process of urination. and while it's not for weight loss, it may help you lose some weight. invokana® can cause important side effects including dehydration, which may cause some people to have loss of body water and salt. this may also cause you to feel dizzy, faint lightheaded, or weak especially when you stand up. other side effects may include kidney problems, genital yeast infections urinary tract infections changes in urination, high potassium in the blood
8:42 am
or increases in cholesterol. do not take invokana® if you have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis or if allergic to invokana® or its ingredients. symptoms of allergic reaction may include rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. if you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking invokana® and call your doctor right away or go to the nearest hospital. tell your doctor about any medical conditions medications you are taking, and if you have kidney or liver problems. using invokana® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may increase risk of low blood sugar. it's time. lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. ask your doctor about invokana®. yoplait greek 100. for when you just can't make it without a protein-packed, thick and creamy,
8:43 am
power-me-up-with-something filling taste-bud-loving, satisfaction by the spoonful, deliciously fruity dinner feels a million years away grab and go, let's take on the world with 100 calories, snack yoplait greek 100. there are hundreds of reasons to snack on it. yesterday afternoon joy reid and i were walking together in selma, alabama, when we met a local family. the sisters and brother were all teenagers during the selma campaign of 1965 and all were foot soldiers of the movement. they defied protective teachers and parents and chose to take part in demonstrations risking arrest and violence. i asked one sister why she risked so much to participate in the movement and she told me
8:44 am
that living under jim crow was a daily assault on the self. when she realized that she could be a part of changing it she could not sit on the sidelines. that same spirit motivated another teenager a decade before selma in 1955 nine months before rosa parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus, 15-year-old claudette colvin refused to move for a white person on a montgomery city bus. she was hauled off the bus and arrested. colvin has been studying -- had been studying harriet tubman in school that month and she chose to take a stand by refusing to give up her seat. she became part of the basis for the supreme court decision that overturned bus segregation across the entire state of alabama. claudette colvin joins me now. i am so pleased to have you with us. >> thank you for having me.
8:45 am
>> what does selma mean for you? your work was in montgomery but what does selma mean for you? >> oh selma means that we can come here and reflect on all the progress that we have made in civil rights and the laws that we have changed. >> you were 15 years old when you made a decision not to give up your seat. what inspired you to do that? >> all the injustices that was perpetrated on the black community at that time. >> is there something specific about the experience of being young people being teenagers, that makes you willing to risk so much? >> i was willing to risk a lot because so many things was unfair. one of my classmates was supposedly a serial rapist his name was jerry mirece and he was
8:46 am
later executed. >> i want to bring in my colleague in new york dorian warren, and ask you, dorian if you also want to weigh in or christina greer there on this question of how young people have been particularly relevant for social movement. >> melissa, that was one of my questions actually to miss colvin is just the role -- i know she must have been fearful that day as she gave up her seat at 15. what can she teach our young people today who are fighting in the black lives matter movement and other movements around this country. what inspired her to overcome that fear to take such action courageous action of civil disobedience. >> what inspired you to take that action? >> oh i just felt that it was wrong and my parents and my instructors and the elder people before talked about all the
8:47 am
injustices and how we had been mistreated ever since we'd come from africa. >> have you ever wondered why your name hasn't been more connected with the civil rights movement in the way that for example, rosa parks has been? >> i understood it. i understood that they had to select someone who would be representative of all classes and adult, i understood that. but what i really was disappointed with, even after the 25th year when they had an anniversary of the montgomery bus boycott, they did not mention brouder versus gayle. initially it was five women but one woman backed out, jeanetta reese, but it was four women.
8:48 am
ria brouder, mary louise smith-ware but she was a teenager also and myself that desegregated -- the case went to the supreme court. >> let me take this moment to say thank you and to thank you for your role in the movement. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you. and thank you to claudette colvin for joining me here. we will have more live from selma when we come back. ♪ ♪ today something entirely new is being built into bounty. dawn. new bounty with dawn. what a novel idea! just rinse and wring so you can blast right through tough messes and pick up more. huh aren't we clever.... thanks m'aam.
8:49 am
look how much easier new bounty with dawn cleans this gooey mess versus soap and a sponge. thank you! new bounty with dawn. available in the paper towel aisle. obviously! sfx: common city background noise ♪ credit belongs to the man who strives valiantly who errs who spends himself in a worthy cause and who, if he fails at least fails, while daring greatly sfx: background city noise ♪ [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. sunday dinners at my house... it's a full day for me, and i love it.
8:50 am
but when i started having back pain my sister had to come help. i don't like asking for help. i took tylenol but i had to take six pills to get through the day. so my daughter brought over some aleve. it's just two pills, all day! and now, i'm back! aleve. two pills. all day strong, all day long. and now introducing aleve pm for a better am. why do i cook? because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. for every way you make chicken noodle soup, make it delicious with swanson®.
8:51 am
what's that thing? i moved our old security system out here to see if it could monitor the front yard. why don't you switch to xfinity home? i get live video monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring that i can arm and disarm from anywhere. hear ye! the awkward teenage one has arrived!!!! don't be old fashioned. xfinity customers add xfinity home for $29.95 a month for 12 months. plus for a limited time, get a free security camera call 1800 xfinity or visit comcast.com/xfinityhome. yesterday president obama spoke at the edmond pettis bridge to mark the 509th an verse
8:52 am
of the march from selma to montgomery. it became known as bloody sunday after troopers clashed with 600 peaceful protesters on the bridge. my next guest was one of the protesters attacked by police that day. she was only 14 years old. she turned 15 on the second day of the march and became the youngest person to complete the march all the way to montgomery. yesterday lowery once again found herself on the edmond pettis bridge but this time she was seated on stage with president obama as he delivered these remarks. >> we gather here to honor the courage of ordinary americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod, tear gas and the trampling hoof men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their north star and keep marching towards justice. >> and lowery has continued to march toward justice as a protester. she was jailed nine times before
8:53 am
her 15th birthday. she went on to become a case manager at a mental health center. most recently she documented her experiences in a memoir for children "turning 15 on the road to freedom." linda lowery joins me now. i'm so happy to meet you in person. >> thank you. >> you sat with the president of the united states yesterday. >> not quite. i sat in the vip section, and i did meet him, take pictures with him and the first lady and the first lady and i were talking so about my scars and my being on the bridge at 14 and being beaten. she had to tell him, honey, look at this! because i was showing her my scar on the back of my head where i had the 28 stitches. >> i'm wondering, given that she
8:54 am
is the mother of teenage girls not far from the age that you were when you took those courageous acts and were brutalized in that way -- i mean, my daughter is 13. and to hear you say that makes me both angry and sad but also so grateful for your courage. what did the first lady say to you in response? >> she was very concerned, and she was looking as i was telling the story like with her mouth open. she was holding my hands and saying, i'm so sorry, i'm so sorry, you know. and if she wasn't sincere, she got an academy because she sure act like it. but i did believe she was sincere. and i did feel that she felt that way. as the president said when he was in the tent with the foot soldiers, that he had -- he wanted his daughters to know
8:55 am
that history. and that's why they were with him yesterday. >> i will say, to echo what the first lady said that i'm sorry that happened. i'm grateful that you chose to be in such a place of courage, and also in this moment when we turn people into icons, to stand here with you as a person. i mean yes, a hero but as a person thank you for your sacrifices sacrifices. thank you for the work of all of you. and thank you for writing about it so our children can learn it and know it. >> well in this day and age, children need to know that in the world today, they see everything just topsy turvy and so hurtful and fearful. they need to know that they can make a change. >> they can. >> and that change comes with fear. >> yes. yet, you walk through that fear. thank you to linda lowery.
8:56 am
what an incredible day it has already been here in selma, alabama. just moments ago, attorney general eric holder and attorney general nominee loretta lynch arrived here at the church. and there's going to be much more to come from selma today on msnbc. thank you back in new york. >> and thank you, melissa. powerful interviews. thanks also to christina grier here in new york and thanks to you at home for watching. that's our show for today. be sure to watch msnbc's extended coverage of the annual march starting at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. melissa will be back here in new york next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. you can catch my show thursdays at 11:00 a.m. eastern. now it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." betty nguyen is filling in. >> thank you. we have live reports from selma, including one from melissa. we'll talk with msnbc's treymanie lee as well and hear from those taking part in this historic weekend. also new protests and questions
8:57 am
after an unarmed black teenager is shot and killed by police in wisconsin. we'll hear from a state representative who was near the scene and heard the gunshots. plus, not ready for the real world? the test that revealed that millennial skills have a big gap in them. we'll show you one of the questions they were asked. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. oh boy, this always happens to your father. you're clean. you got that right! bam! just gotta check your bag. huh, charmin ultra strong. you're cleaner than i thought. charmin ultra strong cleans so much better it meets even his highest standards of clean. with a soft duraclean texture, charmin ultra strong is 4 times stronger. and you can use up to 4x less. are you good to go hun? cleaner than ever. rotorooter approved. charmin is clog-free or it's free.
8:58 am
(vo) maggie wasn't thrilled when ben and i got married. i knew it'd take some time. and her sensitive stomach didn't make things easier. it was hard to know why... the move...her food...? so we tried purina cat chow gentle... ...because it's specially formulated for easy digestion. she's loved it ever since. and as for her and ben... ...she's coming around. purina cat chow gentle. one hundred percent complete and balanced for everyday feeding of adult cats.
8:59 am
[ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ male announcer ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose. a new promise... to help all those wishes come true. cvs health. because health is everything. there's a gap out there. that's keeping you from the healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe the gap will close when healthcare gets simpler. when frustration and paperwork decrease.
9:00 am
when grandparents get to live at home instead of in a home. so let's do it. let's simplify healthcare. let's close the gap between people and care. after a year a new twist in the search for that missing malaysian airliner. the big question, why didn't we hear about this a lot earlier? e-mail trail a leading democrat today is calling on hillary clinton to take a specific action to put out a growing fire storm. how will the supreme court rule on obamacare? i'll talk to a former clerk to a justice who may hold the key to the law's survival. and a new study that shows us exactly how american millennials stack up against the

106 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on