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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  January 2, 2016 7:00am-9:01am PST

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this morning, my question, why are we looking to lebron for answers? plus, my letter to oprah. and the president's bold move on gun violence. but first, grieving and fighting for tamir. good morning, i'm melissa
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hararis perry. it's been 13 months. that day, officer timothy lohman and officer frank lomback were responding to this 911 report of a man with a gun. >> there is a guy in here with a pistol, you know, it's probably fake but he's pointing it at everybody. >> the caller went on to say the person with the gun was probably a juvenile but neither that information, nor the caller's observation that the pistol was probably fake were related to the officers. when the officers arrived on the scene, the police cruiser slid on the muddy ground as it pulled up. tamir rice was standing there with a nonlethal air pistolle that shoots plastic pellets. officer lohman would later say in a statement that, quote, i started to open the door and yellled continuously show me your hands as loud as i could. officer garmback was also yelling show me your hands. a video released four days after the shooting shows lohman
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opening fire within two seconds of the police car arriving on the scene. tamir rice was taken to the hospital where after undergoing surgery he died the following day. the sheriff's department conducted a three-month investigation into the case and turned its findings over to the cuyahoga prosecutor tim mcdidn mcginty. it would be another seven months before mcginty indicated he would convene a grand jury to decide whether the officers would face charges in the shooting. he released expert reports that essentially called the shooting tragic, but reasonable. given the officer's belief in this case that he was armed. now mcginty said he publicized the reports in the interest of transparency but his decision drew criticism from tamir's family who questioned mcginty's commitment to securing an indictment and called for him to step down from the case. after hearing evidence in the case since october, the grand
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jury reached the decision that was announced on monday. officer timothy lohman will face no criminal charges in the death of 12-year-old tamir rice. prosecutor mcginty said in the announcement that garmback will face no charges. he said of enhanced video that he says shows rice reaching into his waistband, it's likely that tamir, whose size made him look much older and had been warned his pellet gun might get him into trouble that day, either intended to hand it over or show them that it wasn't a real gun, but there was no way for the officers to know that because they saw the events unfolding rapidly from a different perspective. tamir's mother called for federal officials. with the criminal investigation now officially over, her family's pending wrongful death lawsuit against the city of cleveland and the officers
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involved is expected to move forward. miss rice is joining me now, along with her attorney. thank you for being here. can you talk to me about the emotions that you and your family had when you discovered -- when you learned, as the rest of us, there would be no indictment? >> well. i'm mad as hell. i was laying in my bed when timothy -- prosecutor mcginty called and told me the grand jury was not going to file charges towards timothy lohman. i told him that was unacceptable. i requested to have a meeting with him face-to-face. due to the corrupt system, i have a dead child.
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excruciating pain. breath has been took from my body once again. it's a struggle. >> so you have -- in tamir you have a child who's gone, taken at 12 years old. tamir also had a 14-year-old sister who you are still parenting and who months after we saw the initial video, we saw the extend video in which your daughter wascuffed and taken in the back of the police cruiser. how is your daughter doing? >> well, it's a struggle for taja to lose a sibling. they were two peas in a bucket so you wouldn't see one without the other. my daughter struggles with weight loss and just being
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normal. hard for her. i'm her main support. >> you talked about prosecutor mcginty calling. you all have mince nod words about the idea that that prosecutor in your world view is not doing -- did not stand up for tamir. instead, i think the language that was used is he's acting as a defense attorney for the police. is there any possibility in this case of some kind of justice relative to this prosecutor? >> well, i think it's important for us to emphasize the point you just made. which is we did enter this process with every expectation of cooperating. and with the hope that the prosecutor would address this in a fair and impartial manner. unfortunately, became clear to us very early on that that was not the case. and that the prosecutor abdicated his responsibility to advocate for the victim and the victim's family and really did
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become a defense lawyer for the police. that's a long-standing problem in this country. there's an historical issue with prosecutors being unable to police and prosecute their own because of the alliance that developed between police and prosecutors. so this was a case where unfortunately the worst tendencies and patterns of that conflict became illustrated. i think people are familiar with an old adage which is a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich if he or she wanted. that's a function of the reality that prosecutors have tremendous influence and control over the grand jury proceeding. it's a secret proceeding. with tremendous discretion. all that discretion was manipulated in this process. >> that distortion started long before we talked about grand jury testimony. i remember thinking that some of the hardest moments i was
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experiencing, and i am not tamir's family, i'm not his mother, was listening to this 12-year-old boy get blamed over and over again for his own death. that somehow the choices he made. and then also that your own personal history in the first couple of months got drawn in. and i'm wondering how you were responding in those moments when there was this -- and even this week. that somehow tamir did something wrong in this case. >> no, tamir could never do nothing wrong in this case. i don't know how can you d disminish a 12-year-old's character. what they need to be looking at is how officer lohman failed to to do his duties. i don't know how he became a police officer. he is very unstable with his mental stability and failed to i
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guess use his gun, failed to use his gun properly. so this is the things i've been hearing and some of the things that i read. that's what they need to be looking at. >> do you read the coverage? >> sometimes. sometimes i do. not everything. i cannot read everything. >> we also heard that some months after the shooting, you're still waiting even for the grand jury to convene, that you're still living in the apartment that overlooked where tamir was shot and spent some time in and out of homeless shelters because it was just too hard to live there. how are you doing now? >> i'm doing okay today. me and she does have stable living. we doing okay today. >> i think, you know, it's really helpful to be focusing on this aspect of the case, which is the human dimension of what occurred here. i think we sometimes get lost
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thinking about the policy implications and political issues which are important. in response, i can say that having been close to her for a long time, it's excruciating. this is the greatest loss any person could suffer, to lose a child at this age. i know she has spoken about what it's like to be at home, have her child go out and what she thought was a routine activity that every kid is involved in and for him not to come back. >> and with his sister, right? they go out to the playground. this ought to be the most basic thing you can have your kids do. stay with us. don't leave. when we come back, i want to talk about exactly the human aspect. the idea it's almost become as though it is normal for us to expect black children to die and for black mothers to grieve, rather than expecting it to be normal for black children and mothers to grow up to live long lives together. thank you for joining us. when we come back, david jordan son's mother will join the table. ack.
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in the year since tamir rice was killed, his mother has been one of the most vocal and visible proponents. her her as vok cassie for her son. all of them lost children in high profile cases that highlighted the ways the misperception of young black men can leave them vulnerable to violence. among those mothers is lucia mcpath. after her son jordan davis was shot in 2012 by 47-year-old michael dunn following an argument about loud music at a jacksonville gas station.
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louis ya mcpath is here with us today. you are one of the few mothers who has had some measure of justice. but is it enough? >> absolutely it is not enough. in the climate we have with the gun culture, i believe the gun violence we see particularly happening in urban communities is the single most important social justice problem that we have in this country. and because i did receive some sense of justice and closure, it's not enough because there's so many more babies dying in the streets and people dying in the streets that will never receive justice. so now it is not enough. we have a lot more work to do. >> for me one of the hardest things that i've heard you say in this week or rather that i read that you wrote is you said, i don't want my child to have died for nothing and i refuse to let his legacy or his name be
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ignored. what does justice look like for you? recognizing in the -- conviction doesn't bring your boy back. what will begin to look like justice for tamir? >> well, the department of justice, loretta lynch, asking for her to come in and not only just investigate whole officer timothy lohman and officer frank garmback both for my son's murder, it could start right there. >> jordan was killed 2012. two years later, tamir was killed, 2014. what did we fail to do as a nation? >> i think definitely we continue to see this because as a nation we have not taken
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action. specifically, we know the first most important way that we can begin to change the tide of this gun culture is background check legislation. because that ties into making sure that our legislatures, politicians, law enforcement, are accountable in the ways in which, you know, guns are being used in the country. we know definitely expanding and beginning to really change the laws, tightening the loopholes, this is the single most effective way we can begin to see what's happening. >> this is the difficulty. on the one hand, i see you talking about change the laws. the other hand who enforces the laws but the police. in this case, it's the police that took your child's life. the very idea that at the moment there's not even a criminal indictment, that the law basically protects police. wondering if there are also legal changes.
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if you're still focused on trying to get some kind of accountability for tamir. >> well, i just think that starting with the government and the law enforcements, there needs to be reforming change across this nation because if not america's going to be in trouble. >> i have two children and i can foot imagine, and so i'm wondering, because i have no idea to give in this moment. i have only -- i try not to be too emotional. i feel like it's self-indulgent for me to go home to my two living healthy children. but i wonder if there is something that you have learned over those three years since the loss of your son that might be helpful. >> what i have learned is that we are definitely all accountable and responsible for one another. and simply because i have received justice, there's far more social injustice in the fact that you didn't receive
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justice. and so that each of us can play a role in our part in changing the gun culture, changing what we see happening in the country. they're all responsible in some way, shape or form. and so i offer you tremendous support and encouragement. because you are a part of the change. you are a part of the culture. we have to continue to graft other individuals in this fight as well. otherwise, as you said, you know, we're in a sad state of affairs in this nation. when this is the most important social justice, critical problem that we have. what do we all need to know about tamir other than the way that he died? >> he was my bright shining star and he just was full of love, full of life and laughter. tamir had the potential to be anything in the world. officer timothy lohman and officer garmback didn't even give him a chance.
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>> i want to say thank you to you. stay with us. we have more to talk about. when we come back. ify mascara a ginormous lash lifting brush boosts lashes to 50 times the volume and lifts lashes up up and away new plumpify mascara from easy breezy beautiful covergirl
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following a cleveland grand jury's decision not to indict the officers involved in the death of tamir rice, the new yorker wrote, mcginty referred to rice's death as a perfect storm of human error but this presumes that the circumstances are rare. it's more accurate to think of them as a kind of default setting. as he considers tamir rice's death alongside last year's police shooting of john crawford while he was holding an air rifle at an ohio walmart. goes on to write, it's easy to think of these circumstances as matters of policing. but in both cases the police were acting upon the perceptions of caller whols ss who saw arme men. the police became the final
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lethal vectors for much broader public suspicion. monica dennis, regional coordinator for black lives matter, new york city. and the associate professor of criminal justice with a concentration in police policy and practice, retired captain from the newark police department. joining us also from south carolina is our guest, direct of black law enforcement alliance and a retired new york police department detective. mr. claxton, nice to see you. when you look at the video and when you hear about the indictment, i know you've been talking a bit about this, from a policing perspective, is there something wrong with what happened in that space? >> well, along with, you know, the desperate need to reform our criminal justice system in general, law enforcement, policing, specifically, is in desperate need of change. you can't continue to operate
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effectively. over aggressive, overmilitarized numbers driven, data driven law enforcement model. it is outdated. and it places a significant number of the community, in particular, blacks and latinos, at increased risk of danger. unfortunately, at the hands of law enforcement, of police. we can't continue this mode of operation and expect different results. as offensive as things have been. as disgusting as some of the decisions by different prosecutor's offices, it will continue until we decide to evolve away from the current policing model. >> so that is not unlike precisely the point that you're making in the new yorker piece. you're moving us away from the policing and talking about it as a default model in our politics and our social life more
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generally. >> it is, because if you look in both those circumstance, houb d how did the police even enter the equation? they're in an open carry state. you see two people who carry firearms. automatically it went to desuing this person is a criminal threat and the police actions followed that. when we talk about the idea there's a split between the public policy we have and then what actually the sentiments that are in people's hearts. those two things go together. the sentiments in people's heart determine how the public policy is enacted. >> just in the case of just these two cases, we apparently make and sell in, you know, your local walmart, toy store, something that apparently looks like a threatening weapon to police officers. i just want to pause and point out that they're not open carrying. neither one of them are carrying the kinds of -- john crawford's walking around the walmart with an item that is sold in walmart.
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how many times have you picked it up in the store? so we make -- we make and produce and make profit from things that look scary, right, to police officers. john, that sort of question of looking scary to police officers is precisely where this nonindictment turns. the idea that they were reasonably in fear of their life. it's just -- it's so hard for me i guess. i have seen many a 12-year-old with a toy gun and not -- and if i'd shot, i wouldn't be protected by that same -- >> well, it follows this baseline application in law enforcement. police officers have to have probable cause to use deadly force to protect themselves or a third person, that's number one. they are the ones who get to interpret what probable cause is. the second thing we operate on in this framework is the police can be mistaken about the facts but they must be right about the law. and when circumstances like this, albeit extraordinarily
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tragic, and i have an 11-year-old son myself and i think about this a lot, what does a police officer do when a set of circumstances unfolds in a few seconds. even if -- even if some of those circumstances were created by the officers themselves -- >> i want to come to mark on this. it's not like tamir walked up on them. they drive up on to him. we have too many situations where the officers create the situation where they then become justified for physical force. if you put yourself in a position. tamir rice's case is a perfect example. that officer asserted himself directly next to mr. rice and then said he was justified because he was afraid. he was -- in essence, he was
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afraid. it's officer created jeopardy. >> it's called state created danger. the reality is that's not necessarily criminal. it's definitely a civil action. this doesn't amount to a criminal action. and we -- >> that points to the need for reform. >> right. so what i would say -- for me, it is -- that is distressing to me. that makes me feel not safe in the world. >> he finds somebody with a handgun and says, i need to find out more information before the guy shoots me? >> for me the reform would be -- we can keep talking about it. it's a good question. the reform would be if you believe, if you truly believe someone has a gun, then driving up directly in front of them and then shooting them because you believe they have a gun is -- is so far beyond the pale of -- if i reasonably think someone has a gun, my first response is not to drive directly in front of them unless i'm looking for that kind of -- we're going to take a
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break. we're going to come back. we're going to say thank you to mark claxton. get the rest of the voices in. when we come back, we're going to talk about another police shooting. another attempt at reform in chicago. come on in pop pop.
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alka-seltzer plus severe sinus congestion and cough liquid gels rush relief to your tough symptoms. to put you back in control. [doorbell] woman: coming! alka-seltzer plus sinus. on wednesday, chicago mayor rahm emanuel announced a series of short-term reforms for the city's police department, including the expanding use of tasers. and deescalating situations before they become violent. >> there's a difference between whether someone can use a gun and whether they should use a gun. we want to assure our officers are not just operating in either first gear or fifth gear but to recognize the degrees in between so they can respond appropriately to each individual situation. where force can be the last option, not the first choice. >> the mayor spoke days after
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chicago police shot and killed antonio, a 19-year-old who, according to his family, was dealing with mental health problems and a neighbor, 55-year-old betty jones. chicago pd admits the jones shooting was accidental but the cop says -- the cops say, excuse me, that he was combative with officers. his family says he was no threat and the shooting was unreasonable. joining us is the director at the center for medicine, health and society at vanderbilt university and research director for the save tennessee project. i thought of you immediately when i heard there had been a shooting of a civilian whose family called the police, in this case, not because there was fear, but, rather, there was a need for assistance and the young man is shot and killed by the police. >> absolutely, that's right. this tragic situation just yet again proves the myth that we hear in the aftermath of many shootings, which is people with mental illness are threats that,
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you know, we need to go take away all the guns from the people with mental illness. in fact, in the real world, people are mental illness are far, far more likely to be the victims of shootings by police or increasingly by armed civilians. the reason that's the case is because in moments of tense encounter, people fall back on stereotypes. stereotypes of race, of class, but also of mental illness, and they misperceive symptoms of mental illness as threats. one example would be in albuquerque where untrained police officers not only unduly shot people but the victims were people with mental illness. i worry, again, what's going to happen as we increasingly ask armed civilians to kind of intervene in conflicts. i think we're setting ourselves up for more of this. the last point about this, i think we learn in the history of these shootings, in albuquerque and chicago and other places, it's not just enough to train
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officers to understand mental illness. that mental illness stigma intercepts with a bunch of other stigmas. there's race, there's not enough handgun training. if we're really going to intervene in this particular problem, we need to not only address training officers to be more sensitive to symptoms of mental illness but also inherrant other issues. >> part because this chicago shooting felt the way so many of us responded when tamir was killed which is, you know, remember when nick christoph tweeted that the movement should have focused not on michael brown but instead of tamir rice. if a 55-year-old grandmother is accidentally shot in her living room, we can all agree that's wrong. that's also what we initially said about tamir rice. and now no indictment. i keep wondering where the crazy is. we hear this is a mental health
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question. is this a question of whether or not the police are basically, you know, gun crazy? are they behaving -- i also wonder if the craziness at a certain point, where they keep acting like there could be difference by some marginal reforms? >> the crazy is not people resisting violence being enacted upon us by the police. the crazy is instructoral racism. if we're talking about what's the reform, part of the reform is bias embedded in how we operate in the united states. to see black bodies as hyper violent. and so when police are enacting with us, that is the first response, to shoot. and have that implicit violence then connects to policies that are being made. all of this pressure. i often think about watching the two parents who were here. a lot of our oceaners are meeting with families during
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this difficult holiday time. what is the impact all of this stress is having on families? the mental stress? the depression? the anxiety. that people are afraid -- well, we are afraid for our children, afraid for ourselves. and we don't have responses. i think it's unacceptable to say we're following the letter of the law. and that really rahm emanuel is really no authority on what should be the next level of policing in the city of chicago. >> i want to ask you. i think it's also in part what was said earlier. i think we generally as a society believe and accept and repeat -- officers walk out in the morning, they kiss their family good-bye, not knowing whether or not they'll return. in moments like 9/11, you know, we see that manifest. but from a clearly statistical point of view, that idea of kissing your family and walking out and not knowing if you're coming home is actually more the
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reality young african-americans. and yet we don't have a separate kind of legal construction to address the violence that they might perpetrate in the world because they're living under this kind of mental constant threat and belief of death. not even primarily at the hands of police but at the hands of guns generally. >> i think it's an extremely important question. it's a broader social question that needs to be answered. doesn't necessarily drive the tactics and strategies of policing. if we're talking about how we're going to address the immediate circumstance of any police officer who confronts somebody with a gun, i don't think we'll get it at by attacking these broad implications. we have to look at how they were trained. i think as a researcher, good quality data. i was asked to present my perspective on that to the u.s.
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department of justice at a civil rights panel. i approached it from one of a failed data standpoint. >> we don't even know what all the stories are. we're going to stay on this, jonathan, stay with us. we're going to talk about the fact the president has some anticipated action on guns. i want to ask you about that. (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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we know we can't stop every act of violence. but what if we tried to stop even one? what if congress did something, anything, to protect our kids from gun violence? a few months ago, i directed my team at the white house to look into any new actions i can take to help reduce gun violence. i'll meet with attorney general to discuss our options. because i get too many letters from parents and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing. >> that was president obama in his new year's address announcing he is close to taking
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executive action on gun control. he will reportedly act as early as next week. his orders could include narrowing the gun show loophole. the republican chairman of the senate judiciary committee was one the first legislatures to criticize the planned action tweeting. so obama will soon issue executive orders on gun control. none of ideas put forth would have stopped mass murders of several years. so, jonathan, should we be doing mental issues instead? >> well, you know, i think that the association is inherently false. which is if we're going to close background check loopholes, which impacts not only gun shows but also high volume weapons, sellers and also online sites like arm list.com, where people can very easily buy guns. people with criminal histories.
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people who are on the no fly list. issues like that. in a way, that's the issue we're going to close. i think what research shows looking at background checks is states that enact background checks on average have about a 40% less lower rate than other states. not of mass shootings but of either day crimes. apropos of our earlier conversation, cops killed by guns. women killed by their partners. guns suicides. guns trafficking. two-thirds of gun violence in the united states is by gun suicide. i think the other issue that's important to address, the nra is trying to perpetuate this issue, that americans are divided on background checks, but really that's false. in my home state of tennessee, people were shocked by a survey that showed over 70% of tennessee residents, a very red state, supported background checks. even republicans, even tea party
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people. i think this is an issue where there's a tremendous amount of consensus. this is not to say that people's second amount rights are going to be violated. i do think really it's time just as we had in earlier generations of cars and cigarettes, there's too much predictable preventable death happening in this country. >> i want to let you in on this. sort of getting the guns is one part of the story. so much is that intersection with these other issues. >> where would the narrative be if we instead talked about the 1990s, out of control gangs and gangster rap and all these other kinds of things. and we're saying there are too many cripps and bloods who have access to guns. would you have that same level of opposition to this? if you had 70% of people in tennessee say they're in favor. i'm not saying we should use racism here, i'm just -- >> i was like, that's interesting there.
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pointing out the despaisparity how this issue would be perceived. >> each of these cases is -- and the question of fear. is it in part because we live in a country where really anybody at any moment might, in fact, have a gun. again, i keep thinking about his father in chicago calling for help for his son, calling the police, and his son ends up shot and killed by the police. i don't know exactly what happened. we will be learning more. i presume some part of it is these police officers think this kid might be armed because we think everybody might be armed. shouldn't officers be the number one folks behind gun control? >> well, you do have a lot of second amendment officers. i don't think there's much wrong with it. the reality is how are we going to keep the illegal guns away from people? it's a very easy thing to do to keep guns --
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>> a lot of people shoot their wives with perfectly legal guns. >> and? >> so they wouldn't if they did not have them. so, so -- >> but we're not going to take guns away from people. we're just going to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to get them. >> isn't that kind of a false argument? when people say the guns are not the problem, we see that very many times when people commit suicide, as jonathan said, two-thirds of the began fatalities are suicides, is it an impulse thing? we know if someone has access to mental health, it's very different than the finality of something where you have an impulse and you react to it. >> stick with us. dr. jonathan, in miami, thank you for joining us. up next, the critical report by "the washington post." don't go away. they say when mr. clean saw all the
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when you're on hold, your business is on hold. that's why comcast business doesn't leave you there. when you call, a small business expert will answer you in about 30 seconds. no annoying hold music. just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. we've often seen the federal department of justice step in when there's been an outcry over police shooting. it's a sign of hope, hoping the police department in question
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will be held accountable. hope that stems in part from the days of the civil rights movement. whether it was investigating the murders of civil rights workers or ensuring the right to vote for african-americans. the doj opened an investigation of the chicago police last month. after a video showing the shooting death of la kwan macdonald was released. and cleveland's police department is under a court enforced agreement with doj to reform its use of force policies. including training on deescalation techniques. so what really happens when the doj intervenes? joining us now is a "washington post" investigative reporter who has dug deep into the impact of the doj's police investigations. would it have made a difference if the doj consent order has
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been in place in cleveland before tamir was killed? >> that's a good question. what we see is even after their agreements the department of justice comes in, it doesn't make the police department a perfect department. so you will continue to have use of force and excessive use of force complaints with officers. you'll continue to have shootings. the goal and hope is you'll have fewer of those. what we found in our investigation, we took a look at the 20 years of agreements that the department of justice had had with police departments. and what you see is that at the end of those agreements, some departments actually had more use of force than less. in other cases, there were fewer cases and fewer complaints. but these agreements aren't always a panacea for these problems. >> stick with us. so then what does that mean? >> what it asks for?
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because right now part of what's happening in cleveland is a request for the department of justice to come in. >> right. i think we have to continue to ask for oversight and accountability, right? as we were talking in the previous segment, that there isn't any data. also, that we are demanding that there has to be a shift in the way police is responding. so eventually we're hoping the d.o.j. can help to make the case for us. and look at what the law actually says, otherwise, we're still have the same outcome. so right now, the doj is a track mechanism to help us record the data. >> in general, the role of the federal government, over the issue of local policing. be honest, is a post reconstruction question, right? it really is a question about whether or not after the civil
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war we thought the federal government should be in charge of whether or not local, mostly jim crowing communities, odd to be allowed to police their own posts or not. >> essentially what you have is the federal government is really setting the standard. the goal is to police these departments. in the last 20 years, they've had about 67 investigations. they want to set the standard. create policies that are constitutional and essentially have those replicated within those local police departments. some of those local police departments basically say when we look at those departments, whether it's new orleans, whether it's seattle or los angeles, and they clearly have good policies because department of justice influence those
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policies. we want to adopt those policies within our departments. so what you see is sort of a trickle down effect in terms of the departments the doj has looked at, implementing those policies in the multitude of other police departments across the country. >> i mean, it does. there's about to be a consent degree announced in newark that's coming up. one of the things we talk about that's a distinction with the reconstruction thing is that many of these are places that have been under black control for 30 or 40 years. >> you mean mayoral control? >> mayor, city council, so on. doj is important when you look at broader things. if you look at corruption or patterns of people even refuse to allow people to file complaints. you can see doj monitoring is going to be influential.
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all the mechanics and dynamics that go into someone being shot, it's part of the equation, but there's so many other things that have to be dealt with that i don't think that's going to be one solution. >> right, they're too far removed from that civilian police interaction. i want to say thank you to kimberly in washington, d.c. and here in new york. monica dennis is going to be back with us within the next hour. we'll talk about the fact that activists have put the full-court press on lebron. also, my letter to oprah. i'm ma and i quit smoking with chantix. i have smoked for thirty years and by taking chantix, i was able to quit in three months. and that was amazing. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it absolutely reduced my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away.
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welcome back. president obama has officially enter his his final year in the oval office. we've been reflecting about the president's game. we know president obama loves hoops. his love for basketball is firmly cemented within his
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public persona. the part of him that feels humanized, relatable. the part that plays pickup games and coaches his daughter's youth league obama team. the part that is, quite simply, a fan. but beyond fan dom, no other president is as identified with a sport. something that took shape before he was even elected. during his first run, the then senator challenged efforts to paint him as un-american while draining a three pointer on the first try while visiting troops in kuwait. it was a move that showcased his kind of youth and vigor. characteristics that helped him become the leader he set out to become. in the new book, the audacity to hoop, basketball and the age of obama, "sports illustrated" writer alexander wolf said president obama used basketball
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terms more often and more effectively. filling out his march madness bracket and leveraging that connection to tout the affordable care act. yet even though the president may be the most powerful basketball fan on the planet, it's actually the world's most famous player that's being called on to take a stand because of the tamir rice case. no justice, no lebron. activists called on the star to put his season on hold in response to a grand jury declining on monday to press charges against the police officers responsible for the shooting death of the 12-year-old. activists tweeted to james, quote, it's more than a game and you know it. now, this call by activists highlights a kind of particular reality. a resurgence of the activist athlete. harkening back to moments like the 1968 mexican city olympics
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where john kcarlos and tommy smith raised their fists. using their ability to draw increase attention to the issues of the moment. the miami heat in the wake of george zimmerman's acquittal. clippers players after the racist remarks of team owner don sterling. the st. louis rams after the shooting death of michael brown in ferguson. after the nonindictment of officers involved in the shochog death of eric garner. when dozens of football players refused to play and forced the resignation of the school's chancellor. and in this new generation, no player has more fully embodied this new engagement with the politics of inequality than king lebron james.
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his public rationale was only barely about basketball. it was far more about community. he said, i feel my calling here goes above basketball. i have responsibility to lead. i want kids in northeast ohio, like the hundreds of akron third graders i sponsor through my foundation, to realize there's no better place to grow up. maybe some of them will come home after college. our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get. that was in july of 2014. less than six months later, tamir was shot to death. more than a year later, the final year of the obama administration begins. a president who embraced basketball as central to his identity and core to his connection with communities. it's the attorney general. but it's not to him who the activists turned. it's to lebron. the question this raised for me is why.
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joining me now is the host of up late on nbc sports radio. the regional coordinator for black lives matter. jamel smith, senior editor, the new republic and host of the intersection podcast. joining me from washington because it's sports, dave ziron, sports editor, and host of the edge of sports podcast. that's my question, dave, why, why lebron? >> why turn to lebron? first of all, so much of cleveland is like a lebron-based economy. he is a person who transcends politics, let alone transcends sports. first and foremost, this is not new historically. you look at the black press in the 1960s. you see demand after demand made on people like willie mays, like henry aaron, to stand up, to say this is bigger than sports. you have public stature. and everybody with public
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stature needs to stand up and be counted right now. so this is part of a tradition, of kind of the outside pressure on athletes to stand up. the second point, you mentioned this, but i don't think this can be said enough. particularly people criticizing. is that lebron's not just another athlete. he has asked for this weight. he has said, i want to be the ali of my generation. his latest commercial has public enemy playing in the background. well, where do you stand on tamir rice? i agree it's completely perverse that we're, like, asking lebron something and not asking loretta lynch. but that's part of the culture. we know lebron can get this issue in front of white eyes and puncture the privilege that so many white families have to not seeing tamir rice. >> so you went there in a space -- i want to bring you in. i guess that's my consistent
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question. what is it lebron can do? we could consider to debate whether he should or shouldn't. far more interesting to me is the idea of, okay, what's the play here. is it the president will listen to lebron? is it white folks will listen because we know -- is it there's money involved and we saw it happen at mizzou. if you bring down the money, you'll get a response? what do you think the strategy? >> i think it really is a cultural impact. it's really not a local impact. we have to address those in two separate spheres. first, the culture impact is he could definitely bring this to another level of visibility. you have to, you know, realize that after these cases are adjudicated, after it's decided there's no indictment, those stories tend to fade from the headlines. that said, on a local level, i mean, if you're asking lebron
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james to boycott games until timothy lohman and frank garmback are put in jail, you're basically asking him to retire. that is exactly what will happen. no pressure is going to be brought to bear on the local cleveland government or especially the local cleveland police department, to make changes in light of lebron's absence. in fact, i think it might anger locals more than actually -- >> yes, and the reality is, i hate to say this, because it's the unfortunate truth here. more people in ohio care about the cleveland cav leerps winning an nba title in this title starved city than they do about tamir rice. sorry, but that's the reality. >> i think that's pry secisely t the movement's saying. >> so the idea lebron should sit out for any amount of time, it's absurd. >> i think it's a bit of a
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strawman to say tariq was saying he needs to sit out indefinitely. that's an absurd thing. which would be a beautiful powerful symbolic act to say he does take that idea seriously. that he has a leadership role in the city of cleveland. it's hard with the backlash for him to sit out one game to say wait, the death of a 12-year-old matters more than hoops on this one day where we celebrate the memory of dr. king. >> even your assertion, that more people care about a title than about a 12-year-old killed by police. but is the fact that activists are going to lebron an indication of the utter powerlessness of black folks in this country? does it mean in the end like -- because you just -- you sort of feel like when white folks want something done, they don't
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really call tom brady, like, please, get justice for us, right? >> i think what we're calling for is a strategy -- it's so disheartening to hear lebron's lack of response. because he actually would be tamir rice, right, when you think about how he presents physically. being a large person, a large black boy growing up in this community. it's disheartening for him to not be able to respond and take part in this. what we're calling for is tapping into the power we know he has. there's actually a connection between the businesses, the economy he's creating in cleveland and akron. and actually how policing happens. it's not this random request to sit out in some symbolic view of solidarity, but it's connected to economic justice, to policing, all of that. >> in a very specific way, how the lebron economy is connected. >> absolutely. if we look at any athletic store that is selling lebron
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paraphernalia, a lot of those stores use rauscial profiling t be able to profile and stop and frisk young black people. what if lebron was to take a stand and say you're not allowed to do this in my name because these people are my people. these people look like me. and in such, you're going to have to shift policy. we know there's a connection between where we shop what we're doing and how profiling is actually happening. >> so what dave is saying, well, it's a strong-man argument. then say specifically what it is you want him to do. it's like the person who says, well, i don't like this. well, what do you want to do to change it? i don't know. be very specific. if james doesn't want to sit out a game, there's a lot of way also he can have an impact on this topic without sitting out a game costing his team a game. to me -- >> that's the thing, does feel to me like the point is to impose the cost, right?
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i think about these kids in missouri. i have not had an opportunity to interview any of the actual ball players. at some point, these are kids risking athletic scholarships, right? we know about the vulnerability of these ncaa players. and yet they got to some kind of breaking point. as far as i know, there's no 12-year-old killed by campus -- they're like, yo, for real? it is only when we extract a cost that things happen. (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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i heard about a shooting involving a 3-year-old girl over the summer. my daughter riley is that age. >> there was a pintoint i felt was going to die. >> someone put a bullet in the back of my 14-year-old son's head. >> that is part of the public
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service announcement on guns featuring nba superstars like stefon curry and carmelo anthony. the nba team up with the gun control advocacy group every town for gun safety for the ad campaign that made its debut during the high-profile games on christmas day. does that mean basketball is ready to embrace politics in a new way? we're having this conversation about lebron. when i heard you saying, is if he stops playing, it actually removes his power. we see players who are playing who are using their voice. even if his instagram feed and twitter feed, lebron used his voice. is there something about power that could go further in this case? >> yes. i don't think necessarily this particular tactic is the way to go but i don't necessarily think he should altogether forgo activism. there's certainly things he can do. namely, work with other players
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to do something on the court. not to boycott the games but to do something on the court. say, wear a shirt with tamir's face on it. i'm a journalist. i don't want to give advice necessarily. but i feel like that would be more effective. at least advocating cultural change and cultural awareness of the tamir rice case. if not actually pushing for solutions on a local level. >> so the john carlos/tommy smith moment. initially, they discussed boycotting the '68 games. and then made a decision to go ahead, to go to the games, to win, right, those medals, and then to stand on the medal stand. is there a medal stand strategy here that is possible that isn't about boycotting but instead about using that moment? >> no question about it. in those 1968 games, one player who didn't go to the olympics was the athlete who later became
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known as kareem abdul-jabbar. we'd be talking about that for decades to come. no question, there are different ways to athletes to leverage their capital to be heard. i'm for all tactics. this is part -- if you go back and look at what they were writing in the 1960s in the black press about athletes part of the civil rights movement, it was like, we're all in. willie mays. the guy on the corner. the governor. everybody has to be asked. because this is one of those red phone moments, if you will, that, you know, tamir rice is dead. this is our country. we all should have something to say about it. it's like if you want to boycott, you should boycott. if you want to wear a shirt, you should wear a shirt. because the alternative is the status quo. i think that's what so many are find unbearable at the moment. >> for me, part of the challenge is of course you go to lee probl lebron.
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but is there also responsibility to not ask exclusively players of color to be responsible for activism around this? to ask of the entire nba or the entire nfl. part of what we saw begin to happen, for example, in the dawn sterling case, where there was such consensus that what happened there was problematic and also personal to clippers players themselves. >> you have to understand that not everybody may subscribe to the same theories that you, me, jameel, monica. >> the world does not agree with us? >> right. >> which is this world -- >> so asking the entire league to go in. well, willie mays wasn't making eight figures. none of these guys were making seven figures. which mae seem like a lot to us. a finite time to make money in your career. you're cuttable. you're expandible.
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all these guys could be let go at a moment's notice. >> and that's why it matters. >> i hear you. i feel you on a personal level there, right. the number of times people have said, oh, the company for which you work is doing some terrible thing, stop doing your job. i'm like, sure. and then i will go buy my groceries tomorrow. i feel on a personal level what you're talking about. on the other hand, it's odd to make the argument that because they're wealthier, they're more vulnerable. >> correct. also that the protection of the nba doesn't protect those -- the children of those players, right. i could be actually on the court making these decisions, being part of a team. and my child or their children can actually be killed, snatched up by the police, right? >> -- saying when he says my daughter is that age, it is that sense of, you know, that vulnerability is not covered by -- >> absolutely. we're calling for people to take a stand, right. as dave was saying, we've
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demonstrated, this has been a multiprong strantegy. calling lebron forth, like i said earlier, i wish he took a little bit out of serena williams playbook about speaking directly to race. this is a long history of needing black athletes who have this visibility to stand up not only for those of us in communities but for ourselves. >> everybody's staying with us. i'm going to take a quick break. whether or not nba players should stand up, i think we're all in agreements that presidents ought to, in fact, take positions on political issues. the president is stepping up to the line. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like ordering wine equals pretending to know wine. pinot noir, which means peanut of the night.
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and this year, look at whate he put in our driveway. the lexus december to remember sales event is here. lease the 2016 es350 for $349 a month for 36 months and we'll make your first month's payment. see your lexus dealer. president obama is starting the new year with new resolve on gun control. he's set to meet with loretta lynch attorney general on monday to talk about what he can do on his own. the president made guns the focus of his new year's address.
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>> tens of thousands of fellow americans have been mowed down by gun violence. each time, we're told common sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre or the one before that so we shouldn't do anything. we know we can't stop every act of violence. what if we tried to stop even one? >> let's bring in nbc news ron allen who's in hawaii where the first family's on vacation. what can you tell us about the type of measures the president is considering? >> well, this is something the administration has been talking about now for several weeks or months. they've been working on it very carefully because they know this is something that's going to meet a lot of opposition. they have -- the president has issued executive orders about gun issues before. in the past. following new town. what he's talking about now is something we think is much more sweeping, fundamental. as you heard in his remarks, focus seems to be on this matter
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of background checks. who was subject to background check. we've heard about gun show loopholes, which allows purchases to happen in those forms without background checks being conducted by the sellers on the buyers. unclear exactly how many sales will be affected. probably thousands. perhaps more. it's something there are not precise records on. that seems to be the big area of focus for the president on executive action. unclear, though. the president started this process with a team, a task force, after the shooting at the community college in oregon several weeks ago where ten were killed, including the gunman. they've been secretive about it. we know that this issue of stopping gun violence, preventing mass shootings, is what the president has called the biggest fr esgest frustrati inability to do more to stop these mass shootings.
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each time, you can see the anguish on his face as he tries to do this. and deal with this issue he just sees fundamentally different from his opponents. should do something, each time he's tried to pass legislation, congress has blocked it. so the president is trying to take matters into his own hands. >> it's going to be fascinating to watch the way the president makes choices in this final year. he clearly is frustrated by this. thank you to ron allen. before we go to break, a few words on the passing of singer natalie cole. she was born into music royalty. her father, nat king cole, was a jazz legend and cast a very long shadow but natalie was able to make her name for herself.
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with a voice all her own. winning nine grammys with songs like "this will be" and "i've got love on my mind." she struggled with alcohol addiction, but by 1991, she was back on top with the album "unforgettable" with love. she teamed up electrically with her late father's voice and it truly was unforgettable in every way. she got a grammy for that. and gave us all the gift of that song for generations. natalie cole died thursday. she was 65. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough, but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and 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, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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wide receiver odell beckham jr. returned to the giants after a one-game suspension over multiple violations of the leg's safety rules. one of those violations involves a direct helmet blow against carolina panthers cornerback josh norman. beckham's apologized for his actions but reports have emerged
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that panthers players had taunted beckham before the game with anti-gay slurs and that some players were holding baseball bats in a menacing fashion and motioning with them towards beckham. the coach has denied the use of homophobic slurs by his players. but according to another player, beckham is the subject of homophobic taunts nearly every season. when asked, beckham simply responded, words are words. this space for me was an interesting one happening at the same time. in part because the calls for sports as a space for social activism are sometimes about race but also sometimes about other marginal identities. this feels like one of them. i really love that beckham's response is i am not gay. i have no idea what beckham's sexuality is. whatever it is, that he didn't feel some great need to distance. i'm a little astonished these young people are still using
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"you're guy" as this is -- >> this is all about the mental game and trying to get inside your head. what was disappointing to me was the comments postgame on the record from his players were clearly pointing in a very round about way to odell beckham jr.'s sexuality. the fact he's saying, there's no way they could have possibly -- by the way, how does he know? he has no idea if his players were making homophobic comments. if you don't think something like those comments could set off somebody -- i don't know if beckham is gay or not but i know the one time in my life that i ever had a violent moment where i am hurt somebody really bad was a time where i was at a competition. i'm not going to go into what. and somebody called me that. i went after this person.
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if i had gotten to then, i'd be in jail. >> much less if you're playing a game where your actual job is to hit one another. >> it wouldn't shock me if -- whether odell beckham jr. is gay or not, that sort of directive towards him or whatever it may be could have set him off. >> so dave, let me ask you about this. there's a point here to be made that like trash talking is like the core reality of sports in spades. but is this, you know, is this going beyond trash talking to a kind of hate speech? >> oh, absolutely. in the nfl, these issues, they're less progressive than the flintstones. and any effort they try to say otherwise is ridiculous. they don't do any kind of training. to try to say to players, wait a moment, gayness is not trash talk.
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another side of this story which is disturbing. the very next week josh norman was absolutely torched by julio jones of the falcons. a lot of his teammates said his mind was out of the game because of how odell beckham responded at the end of that giants game by hitting josh norman with his helmet and then catching a tying touchdown. in nfl circles, o'dedell beckha violent response has been valorized which has its own odd feel to it. because it's, like, how do you best respond to homophobia, with violence, and if you do that, that violence is valorized. the last thing we need in the nfl is more valorized violence. >> maybe he's gay but at least he is appropriately violent. >> i was actually at that game. it's almost a third play. you saw those two fighting and going after it. granted, first of all, look, the refs should have stopped it, number one. two is the fact that this really has to do with the fact that, you know, this isn't so much
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about homophobia as it is about hating women. about hating female -- quote/unquote female behavior. this is wade davis' group. and, you know, at the heart of the home phobia, especially on athletic level, is a hatred of women. or toxic, especially toxic black masculinity, which we espouse -- we can't be seen looking happy, we can't smile. we got to look like this. and that's manhood to us. the idea that you see odell beckham being a carefree black man -- >> young. >> sis a relief. i think there was an excellent article in slate that addressed this issue. the fact that odell beckham is not engaging with that homo phobia is a relief. i wonder if by his violent reaction he is inviting more
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attacks. >> ron rivera's son, coached the panthers, is gay, so his reaction to this, even more so, was somewhat disturbing to me. >> i would completely agree, we know homo phobia is rooted in a hatred of women. the ways in which in a larger society, the nfl is just a microcosm of what is happening in larger society and yet we continue to endorse the violence sanctioned against our folks across the country and it is all completely intercepted and to reward people for it and there's license to do in the nfl. >> on this question of violence, what i want to turn to next is exactly the cost being extracted of that violence on the players themselves. up next, "concussion," the movie and the reality. (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru,
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and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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to people, trained physicians who ignore science. >> oh, wow. >> i am not done. >> history laughs. if you continue to deny my work, the world will deny my work. but men, your men, continue to die. their families left in ruins. tell the truth. >> for now, golden globe nominee will smith in the new movie "concussion" where he plays the pathologist whose findings of football related brain trauma rocked the league. former cleveland browns quarterback tweeted at the movie "concussion," words can't describe the range of emotions. kurt warner tweeted, took my boys to "concussion" last night, important movie for all those involved in the game.
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current seattle cornerback richard sherman says he didn't need to see the film because he, quote, sees a concussion movie every sunday for free. love that baby. nfl commissioner goodell told reporters the league is not focused on a movie but on make continuing progress and preventing injuries. citing rule changes and continued research. fans must also come to terms with the implications of the film. my guess writes in the nation, we live in a time when the nfl is the most popular cultural product this nation produces. in a time of more channels, more choices, the more options, the nfl's ratings have only increased and entrenched the league as pure power but built on a foundation of broken lives. dave, we have been talking about the ways that athletes might be used. they might use their own position to highlight these questions of social inequity. we've talked about the ncaa and
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their labor rights. we've talked about the concussion and the players in the nfl. can they even act on their own behalf? >> to do so, they will have to do what will smith said. and that's tell the truth. sorry, that was bad. >> that was bad, dave, yes, okay. >> i do a better will smith as ali but that would be for another show. in this particular case, telling the truth part is really important. what separates the nfl from every other profession in this country is the only industry with 100% injury rate. so the nfl is working overtime right now. roger goodell's working overtime on public relations. working very interestingly with mom's groups. they're setting up to say this sport can be safe for your child. it's simply not true. science is not the nfl's friend.
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and tragically, the nfl, you know, using people like ari fliash fleisher who worked with bush is trying to turn football into a kind of red state/blue state global warming issue where you choose not to believe the science as almost like a totem of your independence instead of actually looking clearly what's in the best interest of our kids, what's in the best interest of their brains, what's in the best interest of our country. >> this one is hard for me. some folks know. you were a producer on this show before going off and blowing up. but you and i constantly talked football because both of us -- i mean, i watched basketball. wake forest taught me to love basketball. but football is my heart, is my sport. yet it was just like -- is it okay to watch this sport. >> as a producer prior to working here, and my dilemma with the game certainly lies in
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the fact that inevitably, as dave said, someone's going to getetty much on every play. there's 32 cathedrals built to this sport. with los angeles soon to come. so you have here, you know, an entrenched sport that we have to figure out how we're going to address or fix. frankly, the nfl still remains -- i mean, this dates back to when i was working for them. they still remain absolutely, you know, in a different world, a different planet when it comes to this stuff. i don't understand where on earth they think they can get away with just saying that, you know, youth football, we have safer helmets. we teach them proper tackling techniques. that their games are going to be safe. i mean, the doctor wrote a "new york times" op-ed stating there should be an age limit, and i agree. you have a sport that reflects i
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think our nature as a nation. it reflects all the good stuff, all the pageantry and the beauty and the wonderful acrobatics. >> it reflects bad things too. >> it reflects the more be a ho nature -- >> again, just assuming he was going to say basketball, he's like, football. then about finding a hole and being able to find forward. and i'm thinking no, he means getting beat up -- >> they obviously have to make the game safer. my sympathy quotient has waned over the years. 25 years ago, nobody understood the effect of concussions. now, you're going in, you know the score. >> you're saying it's a choice. >> it's absolutely a choice! nobody's forced to work in the nfl! nobody's forced to play the game. it's the same thing with nascar. if you want to drive around an oval track threewide at 200 miles an hour and you get
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killed, yeah, it's sad, but it's an occupational hazard. >> if you look at the makeup of the nfl and many of those players coming from some of the communities we've been talking about in previous segments, right, from the akron ohios and places throughout the country. where people -- this is their only way out. to say it's an occupational h hazard -- >> create other ways out. >> and if people are feel like that's the only way they opt in, where's our responsibility to making sure it's as safe as possible. >> it's interesting when you talk about your quotient sort of waning. the level of passion that all of us can have as a country about head injuries, about concussion, and yet we're still trying to work up that level of passion about, right, the death of unarmed children often in these communities. so i think there's also a question about how connected we are to certain kinds of
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outcomes. what kind of bodies we think are supposed to be okay. which ones we don't think are supposed to be okay. jason, thank you for being here. thanks for taking all that twitter hate in order -- >> i still love you guys even though you're telling me on my phone right now. >> thank you for joining us today. here in new york, thank you to also monica dennis and jameel smith. up next, it's my first letter of the year and it's to oprah winfrey. when you've got a house
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that's why comcast business doesn't leave you there. when you call, a small business expert will answer you in about 30 seconds. no annoying hold music. just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. and now, with the goefl slimming down in 2016, and predictable new year and new efforts mean that gymgoers have more for the e elliptical, and the weight loss industry have a profitable quarter. they are hoping for a very big 2016, because even though the
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americans to lose weight supports a $60 billion industry, others like jenny craig and nutrisystem have been crumbling since people are switching to the fitness trackers. and basically, the profits are flatter than jillian michael's ads until october. oprah acquired a stake in weight wat watchers for a cool $43 million, and since she bought in, shares are up 235%. and now, in the the heels of the new oprah tv commercial where she is asking women to join her on a personal weight loss journey. >> inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be. many times, you are looking in the mirror, and you don't even recognize your own self, because you have gotten lost, bury ared
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in the weight that you carry. >> there is no denying the power of oprah to shape national discourse and move entire segments of the economy, and whether or not she personally drops any pounds, this pa partnership with weight watchers is is likely to is succeed. but when i saw the commercial, i could not help but feel a little distress and this is why my letter of the week is to oprah winfrey. hello, oprah, it is me, melissa, and happy new year, and i wish you all of the success and much su success in the endeavors including dropping weight if that is one of the goals, but after watch your recent commercial for weight watchers, i wanted to let you know that even if you never shed a pound, you still everything. i mow that your weight loss struggle is personal and i know that in my 30s losing more than a few dress sizes, i get it, and
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i can realize the shame and stress of a grown figure under the harsh studio lightning, but ma'am, you are oprah winfrey, and from surviving childhood poverty and sexual abuse, you are one of the most influential women on the planet, and you emmys and awards that are too numerous to count, and you are the not only first american black woman to make the the forbes most richest people, but you are on the top of the of the fl philanthropist list, and so you make the wealth, and share it like no other. you launch a career and help to elect a president, and in the past few year, you have delivered commencement addresses at stanford and howard and spelman, and later, you are going to be turning 62, and you don't show any signs of turning
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slowing down making tv and millions inspired, and you a flawless boss. so when you say this in your new commercial -- >> inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be -- >> well, i am thinking to myself, but, o, you are already precisely the woman so many are striving to be. who you are, what you are accomplish and how you have influence and altered the world is all so much important than your dress size and not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if you had done it with the the 25 inch waist. and maybe i am taking it personally, because my teen dau daughter shares your birthday january 29thers and i regularly mean that sharing a birthday with you means that she is
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especially obligated to strive toward greatness, and i worry rabbit the message that if our daughters think that a woman as phenomenal as you are not enough unless she is thin. may 2016 be definitive for you and for all of us who are struggling to be self-accepting, and i want you know that you are ra remarkable woman, and i don't care if you have not reached a goal weight, because you have achieved weighty goals. sincerely, melissa. thank you for watching, and i will see you at 10:00 a.m. eastern, and we will talk about the president's final year in office, and his promise to leave it on the field. and now it is a time for the weekends with al are lex wit, and francis rivera is sitting in. hi, francis. >> hi, melissa. happ happy new year to you.
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>> and you. >> and we will have the reaction of the family of tamir rice, and find out why two police aoffices were not charged in the shooting off a 12-year-old. it is two months from the iowa caucus, and who will win and how will the others hang on? and also, the system that brought tornadoes and warm weather is going stick around, but how long will it last? keep it right here, and we will be right back. (party music) (splashing/destruction) (splashing/destruction) (burke) and we covered it, october twenty-seventh, 2014. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ at ally bank no branches equalsit's a fact.. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason.
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also, 9 out of 10 medicare part d patients can get toujeo® at the lowest branded copay. ask your doctor about the proven full 24-hour blood sugar control of toujeo®. hi, everyone, it is noon in the east, and 9:00 in the west, and ready for "weekends with alex witt." le alex is off, and i'm francis rivera. a gunman at a a bar who opened fire is on the run. was this an act of terrorism? we will have the latest from overseas. and now the aftermath of the flooding, and what is left behind in the water thes of the nation's midsection. it is a reality that an al qaeda recruitment video showing presidential candidate donald trump and a statement

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