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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  December 6, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PST

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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. available in single packs. how will chicago respond to a video of yet another police shooting? plus the supreme court takes up affirmative action. and the fight for voting rights in alabama. but first, president obama prepares to address the nation. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. tonight, for only the third time in his presidency, president
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obama will address the nation from the oval office. he's expected to discuss the shooting in san bernardino, california that left 14 people dead. the fight against terrorism and the steps the government is taking to help keep americans safe. this morning attorney general loretta lynch appeared on nbc's meet the press with chuck todd and gave an update on the fbi's terrorism investigation of the san bernardino shooting. >> four days, over 300 interviews, several locations searched. a lot of information being processed, being analyzed, and being gathered, and more to come. so what i would say to people is that this investigation as has already been stated is a marathon and not a sprint but it is one of great concern to the american people and so we're committed to keeping people informed. >> nbc's ron allen is at the white house and joins us now. ron, what are we expecting to hear from president obama tonight? >> well, i think we're expecting to hear the latest on the investigation, more about what
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secretary attorney general lynch had to say there. i think the american people want to know exactly what happened in san bernardino and what this means to america in the fight in terrorism. the attorney general also said that the threat has changed, saying that essentially this was an attack that we believe was probably carried out by a lone wolf, by an american citizen. it was not planned in a distant place like 9/11 over a long period of time, an elaborate plan like al qaeda planned. this is something different. what the american people want to hear, i believe, is, what is the administration going to do about that. as you know, the president has been widely criticized for being slow, for being reactionary, for underestimating the threat of isis abroad and in the united states. and so i believe now he is under some pressure to step forward with a bold plan, to say exactly what his strategy is, and to essentially defend it because so
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many people think that it's not working. there's the aspect of it overseas where there have been some 8,000 air strikes against isis, yet they were able to essentially orchestrate that attack in paris. the president has said that they were contained territorially but apparently that is not the case. here at home though again, the threat is -- the concern is this threat of home grown terrorism, something different, a new phase, and it raises all kinds of questions about how the government will respond, how the american people will respond. there are calls for more vigilance in neighborhoods, the muslim community for example. there are questions about privacy and surveillance. mostly we expect the president to try and reassure the american people that the situation is under control but there are a lot of questions that he has to answer. >> thank you to nbc's ron allen in washington d.c. this morning. and a note for our viewers, msnbc will have live coverage of the president's address hosted by chris matthews live tonight at 7:00 p.m.
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i want to turn to the latest investigation in california. the fbi is trying to track down clues about the shooters in the san bernardino attacks. tashfeen malik and her husband, syed farook. yesterday they raided the home of a man in california. they believe the man was the original buyer of the assault rifles used in the shooting. according to the fbi that man is not a suspect in the attack but was an acquaintance of farook. chris janson is in san bernardino this morning. what more can you tell us about this raid? >> reporter: well, it was really something quite dramatic. what we know is that they used a blow torch to get into enrique marquez' garage and then brought in bomb sniffing dogs. he is said to be so distraught that it is difficult to get information from him and in fact, he has checked into a mental health facility. but he did buy those guns apparently legally in 2011 and
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2012 and did have a relationship with the suspect, with the shooter, apparently over cars. they both really liked cars and according to neighbors talked a lot about that and obviously at some point also talked about a mutual interest in guns. so those assault rifles apparently came from him. they also very briefly detained his brother and another family member but apparently they were let go. meantime we know that there was also an interrogation of his mother, and it went on for nine hours according to the "new york times." members of his family say that they absolutely suspected nothing, but as of now the six-month-old baby who had been staying with the mother as well as the parents is still in the custody of social services officials. finally, more coming out of
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pakistan and the questions about who radicalized who and tashfeen malik and when she may have been radicalized. turns out in 2009 when she went back to school to study pharmacology, she became much more interested in islam even in her studies. reports from there suggest that that's when she started wearing a burqa. not only did she refuse to have photographs taken but collected a series of i.d. cards and got rid of those because they had her photo on it, and one really interesting thing, melissa, while we have heard from friends of his, no one has come forward in this entire community to suggest that they knew tashfeen malik at all or had anything to say about her personally, including his sister i talked to who said she was very shy, very quiet, and very difficult to get to know. melissa? >> it's tough. can i ask one last question. have we learned anything more about the question of motive?
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obviously you're pointing out that there's lots of different investigations happening in multiple different places, but do we have any sense about motive? >> reporter: over the last 24 hours i talked to a couple of people who are close to this investigation, and they echoed what we heard from the fbi director, melissa. that is the key question here. was she radicalized in pakistan. did she come over here specifically for this purpose. even if that's true, what was the motivating factor. one of the things that is so confounding to people in this investigation is why in that building behind me, why go into the workplace. so these are key questions that have to be answered. obviously to get a handle on this case but also to give them a sense of more information as they look at the possibility of self-radicalization and lone wolf attacks in the future. >> thank you to chris in san bernardino, california. i want to bring in counter-terrorism analyst brian
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levin in irvin, california. he's a professor at cal state, san bernardino, and the director of the center for the study of hate and extremism. nice to see you this morning. >> thank you for having me. >> i actually want to start by backing up a little bit and talking first about what we might expect to hear from the president. yesterday i had a guest who was talking about the fact that this form of terrorism can't be fought in quite the same way that we typically think about sort of war making. and i'm wondering whether or not the president is going to need to lay out a nuanced argument about how counter-terrorism will look in this case. >> i think that's a great question. 20 years ago i testified before congress about the danger of leaderless resistance or inspired-type terrorism. 20 years later, just several weeks ago, i testified before congress again. this is a different kind of threat. to be sure, isis or daesh is a
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high arcual organization. if they can get trained fighters into the united states to murder in a spectacular attack, they would. but they have a bifurcated plan and that includes inspiring people on the ground where they are to commit acts of violence that will kill many but not necessarily be as spectacular as, for instance, a 9/11. what we've seen is an evolution with respect to isis first focusing on the mere enemy, their co-religionists in the middle east and now they're focusing on the far enemy to build their caliphate. president obama who i have great affection for, i am not an obama basher, but what he has failed to do is to assure the american public that we are safe. 71% of americans, according to the latest polls, do not believe he has a clear path with respect to our fight against isis. and that is very bad. it allows folks like donald
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trump who has an insane kind of approach to paint the president as someone detached and aloof and nuanced, which unfortunately, he might be to a certain extent. >> let me push on that a little bit. this strikes me as a question about political discourse and rhetoric on the one hand and on the other hand about counter-terrorism as a strategy. one might, for example, use a public/political discourse and say i've got it, we're safe, i have a strategy that is not nuanced but really actually need a strategy that is maybe hard to explain to people for example on a sunday night at 8:00. talk to me about how one balances being honest with the public about how difficult something like this is while at the same time being reassuring. >> look, this is the threat and guess what, you're part of the
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response. knowing the fact that we can stop certain people who we know are evil from coming in, we can't stop the evil ideas from coming in and i think he has to be honest about that and recruit americans to if they see something say something but also give a clear plan about what he's going to do. he said that isis was contained which to some degree was technically correct but it was a political disaster. he called them in 2014 the jv team and on the day of the attacks in san bernardino which hurt our community he was talking about how safe america is. as someone who's a professor, i think he should be less profit sore yal. it allows people who have no knowledge, like a donald trump, to come out as strong saying, i'll tell you, i don't know what we're going to do but we're going to do it. i think it's one of those things where a fool with a plan looks better than a genius with none, but i think someone like donald trump looks like a fool with a
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bad plan. >> i hear you, dr. levin, but as much as maybe the president should be less profit sore yal, maybe we as the public should be more studious. >> yes. >> thank you to brian levin in irvine, california. once again, a reminder that msnbc will have live coverage of the president's oval office address beginning tonight at 7:00 p.m. anchored by chris matthews. up next, the big affirmative action case about to go before the supreme court. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink
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one that is raising new questions over the meaning of diversity and just who gets to benefit from affirmative action. the case arose when aabigail fisher was denied admission for the university of texas at austin for the fall 2008 class. fisher claims she was not admitted because she is white and the university's race policy violated the equal protection clause. this is the case's second trip to the supreme court in three years. the case challenges one small part of the university's two tiered admission program. the university of texas is a public education institution that guarantees admission to all in-state applicants in the top ten percent of their high school class as mandated by the school's top ten percent law. u.t. accepts 75% of its students through this policy and the remainder of the class is selected through, quote, holistic review, a process that e evaluates each student.
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this review portion is what is at stake. fisher versus u.t. could potentially undo the 2003 decision where the supreme court ruled that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to increase minority enrollment but could consider race as one factor among many to ensure educational diversity. justice sandra day o'connor who wrote the opinion for the 2003 ruling said, quote, we expect in 25 years from now the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary. today, more than a decade later, the supreme court could, in fact, end them. joining me now, janay nelson, associate council for the naacp legal defense fund. hol holly fellow. john mcwerder, from columbia university and janell wong.
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so nice to see you. >> i want to start with the case before we get into the question of affirmative action. help folks to understand why fisher is in front of scotus again. >> if only we knew really why but i can tell you technically the reason it came back to court. the court remanded it in 2013 which means it sent it back to the lower courts to decide whether in fact the texas plan was narrowly tailored, whether the use of race which has been decided as a factor to consider admissions, whether this particular use of race was narrow enough to meet constitutional standards. that was the question before the fifth circuit. the fifth circuit said for the second time, yes, this is narrow enough, yes, this is appropriate, and it's now before the court to decide whether the fifth circuit made the right decision. >> for me part of why this is
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internetting coming out of texas is that the top ten percent plan was heralded initially as a solution to exactly the problem of race-based analysis around affirmative action. okay, everybody in all the schools, if you're in the top ten percent, recognizing that there are all of these inequities and even racial segregation within the schools, we're going to take you because there's a state system. and i think there's a way in which folks feel a genuine sense of how that feels fair as a percentage question, and yet you only fill 75% of the class that way. you got to make choices on the rest of it. so does this reconsideration also impact the ten percent plan? what's at stake here? >> i think it's going to have socioeconomic incentives at the center. in fisher one that was set up as a legal test that universities are required to show that race neutral alternatives are not sufficient to create the racial diversity that they need on campus before turning to
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race-based solutions. we haven't really seen any universities or the university of texas adequately show that. that's not to say that socioeconomic affirmative action plans will get you all the way and what the university of texas is doing is a great example, using the top ten percent has yielded some racial diversity. i think a key question here is as the university of texas continues to use race, are there other socioeconomic factors they should be using. there are more sophisticated ways that they could be doing this. >> as you talk about socioeconomic affirmative action, in certain ways it goes, john, to the fundamental question of what we think affirmative action is doing. so bollinger left for us diversity as a basis for using race. it said this isn't about reparation, this isn't about correcting the bad of the past. it is about saying that a diverse classroom matters. and yet when we start talking
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about socioeconomic affirmative, it seems like we're saying this provides opportunity for people who might not otherwise have it. you have been a supporter of socioeconomic ideas over the years. >> affirmative action was based on the idea that you wanted to repair, compensate for disadvantage. after about ten years that seemed not to be working for various reasons, and so then there was a new emphasis on the word that we now use for it which is diversity. and the fact of the matter is the diversity argument has always been extremely fragile, including in the original writings. i'm not sure that it seems to be working out very well as we've seen from recent events on college campuses, and to adjust for this advantage seems to me less controversial, less fraught, something more justifiable by a student as well as a faculty member or
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administrator than using race which on top of that today it's so much more complicated than it was in 1966 or 1976. as far as i'm concerned, affirmative action is wonderful, but you base it on disadvantage, which will include an awful lot of people of color, not on just the color of a person's skin and i mean by that race, and race is important. yes, race matters, but i don't think that the diversity rationale by itself is strong enough that we need to keep preserving it after all of this time. >> at the core always of this debate then is a question about merit and how we measure and what we think merit is which is always arou -- talk to me about that. >> all of us at this table agree that a more diverse classroom is better than a racially segregated classroom. i think we can all kind of agree on that major point, but i also
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think that we disagree about how to get there and how to measure merit. and so one of the issues is that there's an assumption that there is a race neutral kind of admissions policy that might be there for us to implement and when you look at the dominant ways in which universities might think about what is race neutral, they often go to test scores. that is a primary measure of merit. but test scores are not necessarily race neutral. in fact, there's recent research that shows from u.c. berkeley, that shows that test scores, the biggest predictor of test scores is race and race as a part of test scores and predicting test scores has grown over time and has become more important than both socioeconomic status and parents' education. so i think we need to just step back and think about the measure we use for merit. people are very complicated, as
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john says. they grow up in these complex environments and we need to take into account every part of that. >> so we've got everybody's positioned staked out here. when we come back, let's fight about it. plaque psoriasis... ...isn't it time to let the... ...real you shine... ...through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase... ...the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression... ...or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight
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the supreme court is preparing to hear a case that could put an end to race programs. students feel racially marginalized and isolated on their campuses. legal experts expect the protest could affect the way the justices consider arguments. michael dofr told the "new york times" that it is possible that the way the court frames the discussion will be colored by the justices' views by the campus protest. 51 u.s. campuses can be found on the website, the demands.org.
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the most common demands call for an increase in diversity. i'm going to throw some things out here. thinking about student diversity in admission is the wrong way to think about it. the real question is universities as contractors and employers and what we really should care about is faculty diversity, staff diversity and the way that universities contract with staffers and that this is all just kind of sideline work. >> no. that completely abdicates the mission of the universities and makes it an economic issue. we're really talking about producing this nation's next generation of leaders. we're talking about preparing our young nation to compete in a global marketplace, and they can't do that without diversity. they can't do that without being exposed to other viewpoints and other individuals who are different from themselves. and we do that by looking at so many different factors in the admissions process. one of the things that is incredibly important to understand that we do look at socioeconomic factors in the u.t. admission system. we do look at whether you speak
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another language at home, whether you come from a particular region of the country that's underrepresented. there are a variety of factors that go into this admission process and race is but one of them. a factor of a factor of a factor as the court said. >> if the question is -- and i understood everything you said. if the question is whether or not it should be the case that most of the black students in the student body were admitted with grades and test scores that i white person wouldn't have gotten in with and the big debate about affirmative action is not taking everybody with the same grades and test scores and then deciding on a diverse class. the issue is whether it can be said that the black and latino students have been admitted under different criteria. if that's justifiable is what we're talking about. my feeling is to do it that way for longer than a generation isn't worth it especially
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because the students who are admitted that way could get perfectly good educations at different schools. >> so then let me ask this argument then. is college a reward for having done well in high school, or is it an opportunity that we ought to make available to as many young people as possible for greatness in the future? >> i think i agree with your second point, that we know that race affects people's life chances and education is one of the greatest contributors to how people succeed in life. going back to this point, are we -- can we compare two people of different racial backgrounds that have the same test scores or different test scores. everyone is complex, and all the pro opponents of affirmative action is trying to do is to recognize that, that race is but one factor among an array of factors such as geography, such
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as socioeconomic background. i don't know any proponent of affirmative action who says we should focus on race and not class. they want to see it all. we want to see the broad array of what makes up a complex student. >> we already take class into account and we do it at the top. our universities have become whiter and they have become wealthier, especially since the 2008 downturn because the way that we take economics into effect is we ask can you pay and if you can pay you are more likely to get admitted. >> i think there's so much more we could do to have a sophisticated understanding of socioeconomic status and factoring that in when we think about disadvantage and merit. if you're measuring the performance and the potential they have, understanding the obstacles they've overcome related to both race and associate ye socioeconomics are important.
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you talk about wealth and what it takes to pay for education, that's one area where universities could hone. we know there's a huge income gap based on race in the country, but there's an even wider gap based on wealth. the average median wealth of a black family is just 5% of the median wealth of a white family. if we started to factor that in we can have better affirmative action. >> i want to remind viewers as we've been reporting this morning, president obama is planning to address the nation tonight on the issue of keeping americans safe. he will speak live from the oval office at 8:00 p.m. eastern. coverage will be anchored by chris matthews beginning at 7:00 p.m. this holiday i can
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in history. why not? we wallow around in the beauty of the constitution and the declaration. that's our history. let's wallow in all of it, the black people for all those years. therefore, i think it is appropriate to use tools such as affirmative action. >> that was former secretary of state colin powell speaking on affirmative action in an interview conducted by the academy of achievement in 1998. john? >> i think if we want there to be more black students who are eligible in terms of the general criteria for selective institutions and that's what we're really talking about. there's a very small pool and the arguments start because there's no few and so what do you do to have a representative population. there's a book, that's getting old, "ways with words" by shirley price heath. she makes it clear why black american students are not in
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that place. it has to do with the ways we use language and questions and other aspects of child rearing. it's not a condemning book in any way and it shows we can fix this, we can make it so that especially black american students have those arbitrary kinds of credentials that get you into those schools simply because we could say that we're going to change what merit means and whether or not the test scores matter but before we have any discussions about changing those things, that black america has managed to jump through that hoop because so many other people did. i know that many people don't agree with me on that but i want to do it. >> i might be one of those people who doesn't quite agree with this idea. we have been fighting for 75 years that end the systemic inequities when students are trying to enter into higher education. what we're saying in this case is quite different. we're saying that for the benefit of this country for all
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americans, for our global competitiveness, it is crucial that we maintain the diversity that the supreme court has ratified four times in four different cases and said this is a rich and essential part of our progress as a country. that is separate and apart from all of the inequities that occur in early education and in many other spheres of our society. i don't want to conflate the two at all. this is a very different discussion. >> i also want to make one other point which is i think actually talking about what we mean by merit is a meaningful values conversation to have as a nation. part of the reason i wanted you at the table is i know you have spoken carefully about the idea of the ways in which this set of definitions about merit allows asian american students to be used as a wedge over and against other students and it fails to reflect the diversity within the context of who asian american students are. >> i really appreciate that being raised because this case is different because of the context. in the past this has been an
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issue that didn't really involve asian-americans in the way it does now. now we're seeing some asian-americans suing universities like north carolina, like harvard, saying that the admissions policies are unfair. i think that's for a couple of reasons. the main one is that they think asian-americans are hurt by race conscious admissions policies. what we really see is that a big chunk of the you asian american community is directly benefitting from affirmative action. for instance, cambodians, burmese, hmong, these groups who have higher rates of poverty than anyone in the country, who have dropout rates in high school of almost 40%. these groups actually benefit directly. for instance, the university of wisconsin names these groups in its race conscious admission policies. that's huge for 20% of the asian american populations.
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i think asian-americans themselves are resisting this narrative that they are hurt by affirmative action policies and in fact we see ten years of surveys, a solid majority of asian-americans support race conscious admissions policies. >> holly, 30 seconds here. >> the complexity is one of the reasons why it's important to bring socioeconomic status into that conversation. if you look at the rate of poverty in which a student is living in their neighborhood, if you look at the wealth that their family has, if you look at their parents' educational background and you consider that student's race you're able to come up with a much more robust understanding of that student's background, the disadvantage and the context through which you should view their application and their achievement so far. >> part of what i heard you say janay is for middle class students of color they bring a different diversity story. it is part of addressing these
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inequities but a class that we need these things. we will be watching this case closely. i want to say thank you to my panel. coming up, even as president obama plans to address the nation tonight, in the wake of the shooting in san bernardino, a look at how he has been addressing mass shootings and domestic terrorism throughout his presidency. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. 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. available in single packs. the wolf was huffing and puffing. like you do sometimes, grandpa?
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of agony, choosing to honor the memory of 9-year-old christina taylor green. >> i want to live up to her expectations. i want our democracy to be as good as christina imagined it. i want america to be as good as she imagined it. all of us, we should do everything we can do to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations. [ applause ] >> but then, after newtown, we saw the depth of his sorrow. >> i know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of five and ten years old.
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they had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. >> in charleston he appealed to divine grace. >> amazing grace. amazing grace. ♪ amazing grace
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♪ how sweet the sound >> after the massacre at umpqua community college, we experienced his utter frustration. >> somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it, we've become numb to this. >> this week after 14 people were killed in san bernardino, the president made one more pitch. >> right now people on the no fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. that's insane. if you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous by definition to buy a gun. so i'm calling on congress to
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close this loophole now. we may not be able to prevent every tragedy but at a bare minimum we shouldn't be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against americans. >> no rhetoric, defiance, singing, just a plea to his colleagues in government to do something. but if history is any guide, we already know they won't and we're left to wait until the next time, the next time there's a senseless, horrific act of gun violence and our president is left trying to find the words, maybe words that he will give us tonight from the oval office. ♪ most weekends only last a couple of days. some last a lifetime. hampton. we go together. always get the lowest price, only when you book direct at hampton.com
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it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. wednesday the naacp filed a federal lawsuit against the state of alabama for a law that they say violates the 14th and 15th amendments because it
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disproportionately disenfranchises minority voters because drivers have to come equipped with driver's licenses and wasn't implemented until 2014. after the supreme court struck down the decision that subjected alabama's voter i.d. laws to review. the law is thought to be scrim naer because according to the naacp, 25% of black citizens do not have government issued i.d.s. in september access to the ballot became even more difficult for citizens in 28 counties in alabama after the alabama state house decided to close 31 satellite dmv offices located primarily in minority neighborhoods. back with me, janay senelson an the author of "give us the
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ballot." >> they want to close the place where you get the i.d. but require the i.d. for you to vote. >> that's the tip of the iceberg. alabama has a long and sordid history of race discrimination in voting. it's part of a three-part attack on voting rights in this state that has happened since 2008. the supreme court ruled on a racially scrim discriminatory redistributing and put to bed a really racist documentary aimed at latinos and now this law is aimed at disenfranchising what we estimate to be upwards of 250,000 people in alabama. there's a disproportional impact on african-americans and latinos and peculiar parts of this law that i think deserve some real
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attention. >> on the one hand there's a direct attack here to each individual person's capacity to cast a vote. there's also another case coming forward that as you write about, ari, attacks the very concept of one person one vote through the issue of distributing. >> absolutely. it's a really important sleeper case. the one person one vote case has worked in tandem with the voting rights act of 1965 to give us a representative democracy and now they're trying to change how districts are drawn. instead of total population looking at eligible or registered voters, it means that districts will become older, whiter and more conservative in terms of how they are drawn but also the very communities that are most impacted by the gutting of the voting rights act, african-americans, hispanics, asian-americans, they will then see their representation further diminish. the very same people that went after the voting rights act are now going after one person one vote. >> let's remind folks, would
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think of this be happening, would these cases even be coming forward if it had not been gutted? >> certainly not alabama's law. alabama as we know is an entire state that was subject to preclearance which means that before alabama could have any voting change go into effect, it had to make sure that the federal government approved in that it would not create a racially discriminatory impact against minorities. now that section five is no longer in effect, alabama has really gone buck wild. it's really continued its history of discrimination. it's funny, if you just look at the timing of it, alabama held onto this law, enact it in 2011. it sat and waited. it did not seek preclearance. it did not try to get the approval from the federal government. the day after the shelby county decision -- the day of i believe the shelby county decision came down, alabama said we're free to go. we're implementing this law.
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>> if i wanted to believe that the supreme court was acting in true good faith and that they looked at section four and said, look, there just isn't any reason -- i know there's a lot of evidence but there's no reason to think that these states and localities still ought to be covered under preclearance, does this allow for an argument that allows this is precisely why we need it. is there any chance this could get our formula back? >> we're seeing a lot of evidence for the need of a new voting rights act. you look at north carolina a month after the supreme court's decision. they go and repeal or curtail every voting reform in the state that encouraged people to cast a ballot. alabama right now, you mentioned not just the voter i.d. but closing all these dmvs in the majority of black counties and they've back pedalled and said we're going to keep these offices open one day a month. before the voting rights act of 1965, voter registration offices in places like selma were only open two days a month. it was one of many ways in which access to the ballot was
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restricted for african-american. >> we're now talking about a proposal that would make it worse than in a pre-selma context. i just have to point out that today is the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th amendment that ends slavery in this country and begins the pathway to the 14th and 15th. we expect to find ourselves in a different place. thank you to janay nelson and ari berman. still to come this morning, chicago braces for another police shooting video release and i'm going to talk to the mother of the young man who was killed. she has already seen the video. there's more mhp show at the top of the hour. could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time. i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges [phone ringing} whenof guests on the way.ull
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loretta lynch appeared on nbc's meet the press with chuck todd and gave an update on the fbi's terrorism investigation of the san bernardino shooting. >> four days, over 300 interviews, several locations searched, a lot of information being processed, being analyzed and being gathered and more to come. so what i would say to people is that this investigation as it has already been stated is a marathon and not a sprint but it is one of great concern to the american people and so we're committed to keeping people informed. >> ron allen is is at the white house and joins us now. what specifics do you think we'll hear from the president tonight? >> reporter: hopefully we'll hear more specifics about the investigation because i think the american people really want to know exactly what happened in san bernardino. i think the main mission of the president is to just reassure the american people that everything is being done to protect the homeland. that's the message.
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we understand the president made this decision to speak from the oval office because he's very conscious of the fear factor out there, the anxiety that this attack in san bernardino has produced. the question is will he also reveal specifics about a change in strategy or will he just talk about intensifying the existing strategy to defeat isil and terrorism generally in the world. there's the overseas part of this, the air campaign with the coalition partners and the ground troops from the local -- from iraq and syria there on the ground that has been widely criticized as not being effective. there's also the question of what's going to happen in the united states because there's every indication that the couple in san bernardino were at least inspired by isis if not directly orchestrated or directed by isis. what's going to happen there? but i guess the main point i think the president wants to make is that the country is safe. he's doing everything possible to keep the country safe, but of course the president has a lot of questions to answer about
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this, especially after the attacks he came out and so forcefully or so clearly suggested that this was a workplace shooting and the emphasis was on gun control, not terrorism. he's not really even said the word terrorism directly in connection with what happened in san bernardino. as i said before, his strategy in countering isil overseas has been widely criticized as not being effective, robust, strong enough. so he's got a lot of territory to cover. he's going to emphasize the safety factor, the security affe factor but he's going to have to address some of these other issues, this new form of terrorism, this new threat the american people face and what's going to be do'onofrione about >> msnbc will have live coverage of the president's address hosted by chris matthews tonight at 7:00 p.m. the fact that the president is giving only his third oval office address is a reminder of how different the world feels today than it did just a month ago. after the attacks in paris three
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weeks ago and in california this past wednesday, there's now a heightened sense of insecurity and a vulnerability. it is a change reflected not only in our current presidency but in our political world in regards to the 2016 presidential campaign which has taken on a new focus as candidates taught their national security bone na fee days. >> i bring to the table experience, knowledge and proposals that will keep this country safe at a time when that is the preeminent issue before us. >> when i'm president of the united states, they will feel safe and secure every night that they go to bed knowing that they have a strong, resolute leader making the decisions that put america's interests first. >> and i will, as president, do everything i can every single day to keep our country, our communities and our families safe and strong. >> the military is the first priority. keeping us safe should be the first priority.
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>> we are seeing the evil of radical islamic terrorism here at home murdering innocent americans. and it underscores the need for a strong and serious commander-in-chief who will keep this country safe. >> how many people were shocked that rick santorum is running for president. some candidates are particularly well positioned to make their claims about experience and capacity relative to the question of national security. for example, chris christie, republican governor of new jersey was endorsed by the influential new hampshire newspaper specifically for his experience on security issues. the union leaders publisher wrote, governor christie is right for these times and sites dealing with natural disasters like hurricane sandy. it remains to be seen whether that translates for a bump for christie in new hampshire where he's currently polling in 7th place or whether political
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outsiders like ben carson or long-standing front-runner donald trump will lose standing in the race as voters become more concerned with issues of domestic and international security. in theory, voters in dangerous seeming times should prefer those candidates who make them feel safe, but voters don't always react the way that we think they will. hillary clinton's 2008 campaign positioned her as the national security candidate, the only one who could keep us safe in a dangerous world. remember the 3:00 a.m. ad released in the middle of the primary season? >> it's 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there's a phone in the white house and it's ringing. something's happening in the world. your vote will decide who answers that call, whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in dangerous world. >> in 2008 hillary clinton had a legitimate claim on having more experience as a security candidate, but in the end the primary voters did not choose her. although it's attempting to
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conclude that terrorism abroad will tend to have voters choose more experienced candidates -- we have cultural and social critic john mcwarder and beth philippe, senior editor at msnbc.com. is this the moment when donald trump is now done as a candidate and chris christie and other establishment candidates emerge because after all they can make a claim towards this experience. >> no. this is the moment where donald trump taps into these xenophobia racism and desire for a strong man that also comes out of these uncertain times. i think he's playing those cards
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incredibly and kind of scarily well. >> that presumes that the way that -- presumes maybe something very nice in a democratic sense that the way that we end up with candidates for the american presidency is a direct line from what candidates say to voter preferences, but there are these intermediary institutions like those who are in the media or the establishment of the parties who really say, okay, for real, we cannot have this person in these times. >> donald trump though said this morning on television, when things get bad, i get stronger, and it's true. to your point, i don't see that this is hurting him at all. in fact, it's making him stay right where he is which is very much firmly atop the polls on the republican side but we do see evidence of other people moving up. chris christie as you mentioned in your intro has been smart about emphasizing this fact that they was a former prosecutor. he's not talking about being governor anymore. this has not been a good election for governors. we've seen scott walker go away,
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bobby jindal, rick perry. christie has stepped away from acting as governor and talking about being a law enforcer and that's helped. >> chris christie doesn't really know anything about national security. this isn't a john mccain kind of figure who's had experience in the military or overseeing the military. chris christie had some terrorism bust but he focused more on political corruption. >> a senator on the foreign relations committee might be able to make an equal set of claims about capacity relative to national security? >> i guess the guy with the most experience is lindsey graham but lindsey graham is not going to be president, vice-president, secretary of the treasury. >> wow. >> what these things really come down to ultimately, especially in our age, is a certain kind of charisma. the reason obama beat hillary
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clinton despite ads like that one is because he had a way at a podium and i think a great number of people liked the fact that he was black, both white and black, that put him ahead. >> over and over again being black will get you the president. >> i think it certainly did that time and it didn't hurt the second time. at this point it will be hillary clinton and somebody else. hillary clinton will have the edge because of those visceral reasons, no matter what kind of cute things a chris christie or marco rubio says, what would they have done about what just happened in san bernardino? >> thinking about the 2008 election. that was the end of the iraq war. people were so weary of overseas conflict and hillary had vulnerability about that. we're in a very different climate right now. >> i don't think it was at all that the president's position on foreign policy was irrelevant. particularly in the primary, it was key, this notion of i would
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not have supported it. it was also because he didn't have to take a vote on it. he was not at that time in a position where he would have taken a vote on it. his position was one that in many ways was a consensus position in hyde park in chicago, and so actually in certain ways, having been an establishment person that mrs. clinton was meant that she was on record for things that voters changed their minds about. >> right now i think it's important to think about the fact that the mainstreaming of xenophobic rhetoric, the mainstreaming of racial anxiety is something that a lot of voters are concerned about. we are living in challenging times. we're surrounded by this climate of violence, paris, gun violence reported every day, san bernardino, but i think this brand of national security language where it's become a blanket justification in a way to engage in any sort of policy that proposals, surveils communities, especially those that are muslim, south asian,
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arab. you talk about chris christie, he's done an about turn in terms of his national security language. this is a governor of a state that has a very large south asian, muslim, arab rab population and he's been lauded about how we shouldn't paints communities with a broad brush. over the last few weeks we're hearing something different. he's saying things like we don't want to open our doors to syrian refugees, even orphans under the age of five. i think voters are seeing through it. definitely voters who look like you and me are making up the rising share of the electorate are seeing through this brand of xenophobia. >> you took us right to i think what is perhaps the central question, particularly in the context of the republican primary where voters that look like you and me are much less sort of making up the prepond rans of it. when you think donald trump couldn't go any further, well, he did. like turning algae into biofuel...
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for republican primary voters worried about terrorism, donald trump is their guy. according to a new poll among republicans and republican leaders who say terrorism is the most important issue to their vote, 29% of them say they would choose trump more than any other g.o.p. candidate by at least ten points. and among those who say strong leadership is the most important trait in a candidate, 30% say that they would vote for trump. i'm going to go out an a limb and say this might have something to do with his rhetoric. in recent days trump has called for attacking the families of terrorists and claimed falsely that he was the only person who saw osama bin laden as a threat before 9/11. he's also continued to make not so subtle dog whistle references
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to president obama. in remarks to the republican jewish coalition on thursday trump said our president doesn't want to use the term radical terrorism, and i'll tell you what, we have a president who refuses to use the term, refuses to say it. there's something going on with him that we don't know about. your point was that this kind of language could actually be appealing and i think for me this is part of why i'm actually looking looking to hear from the president tonight. will he make a claim that national security requires not just guns, bombs and national surveillance but also a less xenophobi xenophobic, more open, more diverse way of engaging in political discourse? >> i haven't been privy to the president's remarks yet. >> random speculation. this is cable news. >> okay. randomly speculating, yeah, i think he's going to do that. we have reporting at the "daily beast" that he's not going to announce any big troop initiatives. yeah, he can say that but
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unfortunately it's a moment when we need to hear that but it's a moment where at least in the g.o.p. primary electrorate they seem receptive to this strong man blame the browns kind of guy. >> we need the president i think tonight to set a tone for our country. i know that's what especially people who are from muslim and immigrant communities are looking for. what this sort of heightened level of political rhetoric does and we've seen this over the 14 years since 9/11 is that it sets up this climate that fosters suspicion by anyone. so you see people like a sikh american mother boarding a plane and you are questioning her. you are kicking off people on a plane who speak arabic and people are also getting hurt. we have seen especially since the paris attacks an unprecedented level of reports about people who are assaulted, mosques getting vandallized. there are life or death consequences for the type of rhetoric that we use and i hope
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that president obama sets the tone tonight to help us understand how we should be talking about counter-terrorism but also send out the message that we should not be associated with scapegoating. >> there's not just a g.o.p. primary, it turns out there's actually a democratic primary going on. i want to listen to bernie sanders talk about the iraq war and ask you about it. bernie sanders, do we have bernie sanders? >> let me have one area of disagreement with the secretary. i think she said something like the bulk of the responsibility is not ours. well, in fact, i would argue that the disastrous invasion of iraq, something that i strongly opposed, has unravelled the region completely and led to the rise of al qaeda and to isis. >> it sounds like bernie sanders is sort of blaming the rise of isis on hillary clinton.
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>> well, i mean, there's a real vulnerability for her among the left. it's not like it was in 2008 when the war was a pungent issue. there are plenty of people who have never forgiven that vote and bernie sanders is tapping into that. i think it's probably smart for him to do that at least in terms of the democratic primary. let's remember she's been secretary of state since then. she has stepped out into the world in a way that has perhaps reassured her doubters that she has the capacity to take on a dangerous world but she has some of that vulnerability. >> some of her actions did encourage the growth of isis, no doubt. overthrowing libya allowed a lot of jihadists to pour in there. she's got record in the senate and as secretary of state that she needs to answer for. >> republican nominee ted cruz
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or marco rubio will go after her on that. >> i do hope that the president speaks against this phoxenophob language. i agree that he should speak against it, but i like trying to do end runs around reality. people are going to still think about what trump is saying. he gives political speeches the way that people talk casually. it's not about repetition or being angry. he's on a bar stool. there's something to be said for liberals and leftists to do that. if hillary clinton could let her hair duown a little bit, she could make her points more effectively just as somebody like trump makes it seem like he's saying something correct by just speaking the way we talk to each other on a train. >> i love it when you go to linguist on me. i love that he talks like people are speaking when they're sitting around a bar and saying
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things that seem to resonate with something that makes sense to us. the problem in part is that the things that make sense to us often are simply incorrect. what we feel in our gut may not actually be an accurate way of understanding how a complex world operates. >> there should also be a heightened level of responsibility and the words that you choose if you're running for office. donald trump should know this. his rhetoric about latinos a few months ago, we saw a latino say we agree with trump. there is a consequence for using language like this but with trump what we are seeing is resistance. in his recent rally in north carolina he was protested, interrupted ten times by undocumented dreamers many of those times. i think that people are against stepping up. the g.o.p. is not doing that in terms of trump. other presidential candidates are not doing that in terms of stepping back and pushing back on his rhetoric but i think that
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ordinary folks who get it, who are the victims of this rhetoric are doing that. >> i think we need to keep it in perspective that donald trump is talking to a republican primary electorate and still only getting 30%. he's not growing. it's already a small pool to begin with. >> it's an important question about whether or not -- do all the establishment guys need to get together and figure out which one it's going to be. there's obvious a clear majority who don't prefer donald trump. up next, the thing that senator cruz did after the shooting of 14 people in san bernardino. ♪ it's the final countdown! ♪ ♪ the final countdown!
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in the wake of wednesday's mass killing in california, 2016 candidates are talking not only about terrorism but also about access to guns. democrats say they will fight for better gun regulations and republicans say they will fight to protect open access to guns. senator ted cruz held a second amendment rally at a gun store in iowa on friday. >> folks in the media think you
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should not be discussing second amendment rights in the wake of a terror attack. you don't stop bad guys by taking away our guns. you stop bad guys by using our guns. >> just to understand where senator cruzs coming from, to understand the base about which he's speaking, let's listen to jerry fallwell at a con vocation on friday. >> i've always thought if more good people had conceal carry permits that we could end those muslims before they kill us. i just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. we offer a free course. let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here. >> i will say mr. fallwell jr.
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said that he was responding specifically to islamic terrorists and said that was the one thing he would clarify. this morning, senator clinton on "this week" had a response to mr. fall well's words. >> don't forget he said this, george. he said that way, we can take out the muslims. he said that, okay? this is the kind of deplorable not only hateful response to a legitimate security issue but it is giving aid and comfort to isis and other radical jihadists. >> yep. and so there it is. i feel like just in that we saw kind of the whole framework. it's guns. it is a question of the xenophobic language and a question of how all of that language that impacts who we are in a global world. >> isis 101 is terrorism 101. there's a very standard playbook here which is promote an
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overreaction from the power that you're trying to attack. so isis wants america to clamp down in irrational ways. it wants us to go crazy. and it's succeeding to some extent. i think pushback, i'm not the world's biggest hillary clinton fan, far from it, but i thought that pushback is exactly what we want to see. >> i want to be very careful how i say this. that is not unlike what the civil rights movement strategy was. the civil rights movement is not a terrorist activity, but similarly, if you are trying to demonstrate that a power is an illegitimate power, what you do is push on it and then you try to get an overresponse to it. so clearly marching across the bridge is not the same as killing 14 people but the capacity to use the overreaction of the state to serve one's own ends, we ought to know even from our own history the extend to
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which by being careful in our response, measured in our response, effective in our response, rather than discriminatory and overreactive, we could actually meet our ends. >> i think it's so irresponsible for mr. fallwell to talk about radical islamic terrorism and said i didn't mean all muslims but who is actually going to see the difference. what this whole rhetoric is around let's give good guys guns so that they can take care of national security, that's a form of vigilante justice and we're actually seeing people who are armed with guns show up at mosques around the country and seeing spokespersons saying i'm going to travel from arizona -- there's a man who made his way to new york city to say he's going to target muslim communities. there's a real danger in using this language because for our communities it looks like people showing up at our temples and mosques because they don't
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distinguish then the right national security ends. >> yet there's all this talk that despite everything that's been said and shown, we need to say that we're going against muslims or at least radical islam, that somehow that's better, that the president and hillary clinton are wrong in not being more direct. the only justification would seem to be a kind of a sandbox or what we might call voiding contest, the idea that we're supposed to give in to certain fifth grade red meat intentions and really i imagine that that's to get certain people elected or really is just a kind of smallness. it should be dismissed, definitely. >> do better than fifth grade. thank you to you. a reminder to our viewers, tonight president obama will address the nation from the oval office at 8:00 p.m. on the issue of keeping americans safe. msnbc's special live coverage anchored by chris matthews will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern. up ex in, the everett to get another police shooting vee released. 's five extra gigs for the same price.
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on october 12th, 2014 in the early hours of the sunday morning, chicago police responded to a call of shots fired on the city's south side. a preliminary statement from the chicago police department said that when officers arrived, they saw a man who fit the description of the offender. police said that when officers approached the man, he resisted arrest and ran away. at that point, according to the police statement, a foot pursuit ensued during which time the offender pointed his weapon in the direction of the pursuing officers. as a result of this action, an officer discharged his weapon, striking the offender. that man, 25-year-old ronald johnson, was struck twice by the officer, one in the knee, the back of the knee, and the other, a fatal shot that according to autopsy reports entered his shoulder, severed his jugular
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vane and exited through his eye. following a shooting, a spokeman said the weapon johnson was carrying was recovered at the scene. for the last year that was the final word on how howard johnson decide. rahm emanuel announced that the city which has fought the release of a police dash cam recording of the shooting will allow the video to become public this week. the mayor's announcement came a week after the release of a video showing police shooting laquan mcdonald also after a year of opposition from the city that directly contradicted the story police told about mcdonald's death. now, one woman who has been fighting for the public to see the dash cam footage of ronald johnson's shooting says that that video will rewrite the end of his story as well. she says the recording shows something very different from what the police say happened that night, and that woman is
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ronald johnson's mother, dorothy holmes. i'm going to speak with her and her family's attorney next. have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. 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. available in single packs. if a cold keeps you the up at nightis... you can't just catch up on sleep the next day. new alka-seltzer plus night cold & cough liquid relieves tough cold symptoms and quiets coughs for up to 8 hours... ...to help you sleep at night. new alka-seltzer plus night liquid.
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within weeks after chicago police shot ronald johnson, his mother, dorothy holmes, began her fight against the city of chicago. she filed a wrongful suit alleged that police shot her son without justification. the judge granted a request from the city to prevent the release of footage of the shooting. in a separate lawsuit, miss holmes attorneys asked the judge to order the release of the video under the freedom of information act. this week she will win a victory in the fight when they drop the video of her son's death. dorothy holmes and her attorney michael oppenheimer join me now
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from chicago. good morning. >> good morning. >> you've both seen the video. miss holmes, can you tell me why you want the public to see it? >> because the night when my son was killed, the spokesperson for emperor, pat, whatever his name is, stated that my son turned around, pointed a gun at the police, and in the video it doesn't show none of that, what they said he did. it just shows him running. >> attorney oppenheimer, can you walk us through a little more of what that video shows? i understand that unlike the video that we've just seen of laquan mcdonald's death, this video is police dash cam, so can you tell me a little about the angle, what it shows. >> sure. this is a police dash cam video, it is not a hollywood production. it's grainy. it happened at night. there's artificial lighting. it shows, however, that ronald johnson is running. he's running from the police. he's running because the car he was in had just been shot at.
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the police arrived. he was afraid. the video shows him running full speed. there are many police officers on the scene. you can see that they have weapons and guess what, they're not shooting those weapons. officer george hernandez arrives on the scene a little bit late, gets out of the car with his weapon drawn. ronny johnson runs by the other side of the car. you see officer hernandez take a few steps, take aim, aim at ronald johnson's back and fires. he fires five times. ronald johnson, as you said, was struck in the back of the knee. he was struck in the back shoulder. it went through his jugular vain and then out unfortunately through his eyeball. he fell to the ground and ironically enough, as you see the officers surrounded his body, the dash cam video turns the other way and goes somewhere else. >> ms. holmes, we talked about this story yesterday, and we
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know that you have been so passionate as to even reject a multi-million dollar settlement from the city. can you talk to me about what justice would look like for you? >> clear my son name and let me know that i fought a battle to prove his name and his innocence. he shouldn't have been killed. >> and why has the city been so reluctant, fighting you for more than a year, to allow this video to be released? >> to be truthful with that, it was around election time when we went to rahm emanuel office for him to come out and talk to us about our kids being murdered by the police, me and several other mothers went to his office. we never got a response back from him. >> so the police chief has
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recently been removed. what is your position on what should happen with the mayor? >> he should have left with the police chief, alvarez. >> attorney oppenheimer, if, in fact, the video shows to the public that what the police reported and have maintained is quite different than what people may be able to see with their own eyes, what does that tell us about what's going on in the chicago police department? >> there has been a massive coverup of not only this video and why are they hiding this video if it shows what they want you to see? they have fought us for 14 months. there has been no investigation by the state's attorneys office. in fact, i received a call friday night after all of this press, after all the attention we have drawn to this, after we won our battle to the city to get the video released, i
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received a call friday night from the state's attorneys office asking me what evidence do we have that the gun was planted by the police an officer hernandez. there has been no investigation. they're playing catchup like they did once before. there has been a constant cull inju -- culture of coverup. >> talk about how this video is likely to interact with what chicago is currently coping with in the aftermath of the laquan mcdonald video. do you expect protests, folks to be held accountable? what are the next steps once this video has been released? >> dorothy has fought this fight for 14 months and this victory of getting the video released is a small battle. in fact, the city still says in the foil lawsuit that they are not official with withdrawing their objection. that video has not been released yet. their lawyer has just indicated on friday through a letter to us
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that they have not withdrawn their objection yet. so they are still fighting us every step of the way. dorothy wants and so do i peaceful demonstrations. we don't want anybody else to get killed. we don't want anybody else to get hurt. we don't want police officers or citizens to be hurt. but something needs to be done. there has to be a change. this is just one step. >> ms. holmes, none of us knew your son's name before he was killed. tell us one thing that you would want us to know about your son when he was a living man. >> when he was here on earth with us, he was loving, he was caring. he loved his kids. he loved me. he never would say mama. it was always dorothy. he was my oldest child. i just need his name cleared and i need justice for him because he wasn't a bad kid and he shouldn't have been killed. >> thank you to ms. dorothy holmes and attorney michael
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oppenheimer. >> thank you. up next, the new film sha rack. the wolf was huffing and puffing. like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol.
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violence in chicago is real and has very real consequences especially for the city's african-american residents. an illegal gun is recovered. more than 2200 shootings. a part of the city that's become the place where the per capita rate is comparable to some of the most murderous nations. this week, american film making entered into this deeply challenging space with a new offering by an award-winning director, spike lee. lee has never shied away from the tight rope of socially incisive big-budget film making. his controversial new film "s -
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"chi-raq" is no exception. it imagines a south side where women who are the lovers of rival gang members decide to use sex or the lack of sex to bring peace to the city's streets. >> everybody here got banging and slanging, risking that long zipper, the cadaver bang. all to the bang-bang. >> a woman like no other. >> you just try taking away their guns. >> what else do they love. >> repeat after me. >> i will deny all rights of access or entrance. >> ms. estrada had them take a solemn oath. that's right. you get snubbed. >> oh, snap. >> joining me now, the associate professor of english and africana studies at the university of pennsylvania and author of the recent "new york times" peace in spike lee's
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"chi-raq," it's women versus men. i want to say thank you both for being here. obviously the central question here is kind of the revamping of this particular satiral tragic comedy greek space for this conversation. ultimately how well do you think you can pull it off? >> this is from 411, the anti-par league for excellence. he's trying to make a commentary about the ways in which hypermasculinity and in particular in urban communities is its own form of violence akin to war. both chi-raq and obviously the play itself. the hidden story, i think, and this is not lee's intention but ways in which black women's sexuality are foregrounded because the play and movie, it's
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a sex drive they're deploying in order to create peace in their community and nation. black women staging a sex strike andution sexuality as the primary mechanism to create change is an already vex and controversial issue. >> for me, part of what's hardest about the narrative brought into this moment is the presumption that sex is always consensual and, therefore, if women choose not to consent, then there will be no sex. that seems like an odd claim to make. >> and i think that's the biggest hole in this whole thing is it doesn't consider any repercussions for this sex strike. if you are critiquing this hypermasculine culture of violence, you have to consider the consequences of living inside of that and these women embarking on a sex strike. the dumbest comment that spike lee has ever made in his recent career is when he's talking about women on campuses doing
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sex strikes to prevent sexual assault. that's what sexual starts with is the no. what do you mean? you are completely misunderstanding the whole issue and then not taking into consideration this idea when you are trying to bring forth this social commentary to here. >> let me back up one second and suggest that as a filmmaker, lee has often been purposefully -- creates art fis artifices that meant to be real. there's a rhyme pattern he a performative aspect that's almost stage-like even though it's clearly a big budget film. i wonder if, therefore, this consent claim is part of that. if it's an artifice or if you think this is a serious public policy organizing claim. >> i think because the goal of the film -- the other way to look at it is the goal of the film is to talk about black on black violence. that's already a controversial
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topic. those of white house think about violence, through a feminist lens, obviously this is part of it. to his point, when i interviewed him about this, he did say that there is no rape in this film partly because they don't have sexual assaults in the original play. also based on his -- the critiques of spike lee from she's got to have it and the rape scene there he's hypersensitive to depictions of rape. that's on him. that's where the vulnerability for him as a filmmaker. >> let me also ask about "chi-raq" as a title. >> one, does a couple of things. it normalizes war zones in other countries and doesn't examine the u.s. role in creating the sort of violence that exists in a country like iraq. then it obscures our american history and present of violence here. we have our own to unpack.
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we don't have to go overseas and try to depict them as somehow other and somehow that violence that exists there is natural when we're dealing with this very problem right now. >> language he's using from the young people themselves in the city. >> i think this is the controversy, whether we can compare this to a war zone or not, i think is -- and without including state violence as part that is the biggest challenge that the film has for people. >> my producer said we have to go now. the show is over. so unfortunately, the show is over. somehow i feel like we're going to keep talking about this as we even go into the break. apparently, the show is over, but thanks for watching. i'll see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. right now time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >> we've got good stuff, too, everybody. coming up, a preview of the president's national address tonight. i'll talk to the ranking member
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of the house intelligence committee on what he expects to hear from president obama and about what the government will do to keep americans safe. also i'll talk to someone who lives in the neighborhood where police had a huge gunfight with those san bernardino attackers. quite the fascinating story to tell including how two parked cars may have saved people's lives. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. we wanted to restore our lighting system in the city. you can have the greatest dreams in the world, but unless you can finance those dreams, it doesn't happen. at the time that the bankruptcy filing was done, the public lighting authority had a hard time of finding a bank. citi did not run away from the table like some other bankers did. citi had the strength to help us go to the credit markets and raise the money. it's a brighter day in detroit. people can see better when they're out doing their tasks, young people are moving back in town, the kids are feeling safer while they walk to school. and folks are making investments and the community is moving forward.
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i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost. now try new boost® compact and 100 calories. hello, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." big developments on two fronts. first, president obama in a matter of hours slated to address the nation from the oval office. he's expected to deliver remarks on the san bernardino shootings, the broader terror threats facing this country and what a white house release calls his top priority, keeping americans safe. meanwhile, attorney general loretta lynch this morning brought the public up to date on the state of the investigation into the shootings. >> four days, over 300 interviews. several locations searched. a lot ofnf

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