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

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this morning, my question, who gets to defy the federal government? plus, the one-time oath keeper who tried to arm black lives matter activists. and a true comic book shero, straight out of philadelphia. first, president obama is literally moved to action. good morning, i'm melissa
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harris perry. police departments say they're on alert after a gunman attacked a philadelphia police officer on thursday night, wounding the officer. police say 30-year-old edward archer approached the officer in a car late thursday night and opened fire. officer harnette was struck three times and remained in critical, but stable, condition. philadelphia police say archer claimed that he shot officer harnette, quote, in the name of islam. he's in custody. joining me now is correspondent adam reese in philadelphia. what do we know so far about this suspect and who he is and how he got his hands on a gun? oh, i think we maybe lost adam on remote. so sorry about that. we will come back to that story. it's a critical question. in part because this sort of ongoing gun violence that president obama took head on this week, when he announced several executive actions designed to further regulate
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access to guns. actions that he says will ultimately save lives. in his many public statements, the president has addressed directly critics who claim to oppose restrictions based on the second amendment that right to bear arms. president obama reminded us he was once a constitutional law professor. seriously, he very literally reminded us. >> i believe in the second amendment no matter how many times people try to twist my words around, i talk constitutional law. i know a little about this. >> then president obama went on to argue that citizen's second amendment rights can be restricted without being refringed, just like any other rights. there are limits on free speech and right to privacy. it also made another nuanced constitutional argument. rights enshrined in the second
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amendment must be alongside the other rights in the constitution. citizens have a right to bear arms but that's not the only liberty that matters. >> because our right to worship freely and safely -- [ applause ] that right was denied to christians in charleston, south carolina. that was denied jews in kansas city. that was denied muslims in chapel hill. and sikhs in oak creek. they had rights, too. our right to peaceful assembly. that right was robbed from moviegoers in aurora and lafayette. >> in fact, this was the argument he was making when the president was brought to tears. >> our inalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in blacksburg, in santa barbara and from high schoolers at columbine.
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and from first graders in new town. first graders. >> jonathan mensle, director of the center for medicine health and society, vanderbilt. research director for the safe tennessee project. and vince warren, executive director for the center for constitutional rights. so, vince, i want to start with you, with the president's constitutional argument that he made here. is that just kind of soaring rhetoric or is that actually a sound argument, about balancing the second amendment against these others? >> it's a sound argument. the constitutional rights that we have that are enshrined, they all can't be implemented at the exact same level and they shouldn't be implemented at the exact same level and there has to be balance not only between what the rights are, how one right affects another, those are really key. at some level, one
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constitutional right can infringe another constitutional right. >> right. >> i think what's also important, we have to look at what's happening today. 30,000 gun deaths that happen a year. that the president does have and is entitled to have regulatory authority to be able to regulate how those rights with -- how those rights are implemented so we don't have complete and total chaos with this blind constitutional mandate. >> so, you know, his moment, the president's moment on tuesday, goes on, has an entire weak, but i want to talk, in part, about the power of seeing so many families that have experienced loss standing there today. because there was so much emotion. i guess jonathan, part of what i'm wondering, is do we know anything about what actually moves the needle? what actually convinces people to see this gun question somewhat differently? >> well, i think that vince is absolutely right. that partially what's happening here is a misreading. as an american citizen, who cares about the rule of law.
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i'm upset for the constitution because i feel many of the arguments out there right now about what the second amendment does and doesn't say are being completely misrepublican resented. the second amendment is about the right to bear arms. it says nothing about background checks. it says nothing about the right to sell arms. in that regard, it's one of the ironies here is that in the press conference, for example, president obama was actually in part agreeing, ironically enough, with justice scalia in 2008 and the famous washington, d.c. versus heller decision that basically says, yes, we have a second amendment right, but that is not across the board, everybody can take guns everywhere. in that way, i think partially what's happening in -- after tuesday and since then is taking on some of these central myths. beyond what the executive action was, i think that, in a way, many of these myths have been allowed to just sit there and say, oh, my gosh, the second
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amendment says everything. part of what's happening is we're addressing many of the central myths about gun ownership in this country. >> part of those myths is rooted in part of our imagined understanding of what our founders were thinking about in each and every one of these moments. whether we're talking about the first amendment or the fifth or any of those. give us some insight into what that second amendment is meant to be. >> the second amendment, it's designed to allow militias to be able to thrive. the constitution discussion back then was people were afraid that the federal government was going to limit the state governments from forming mill lirn shas. the idea that states have sovereign rights, so the states should became to pull together militias without the federal government interfering. that's essentially what it is. what is not contemplate the is the notion of the individual in that context. this has shifted from a second amendment right to the
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individual notion that individuals should be able to carry guns anywhere they want to have them, have them any place they want, sell them to who they want to sell them. it's mostly been blown out of proportion, mostly by the gun lobby, to stimulate gun sale, as opposed to what it was really designed for, which is a balance of power. >> jonathan, this question, which for me is part of the reason we wanted to start with the conversation about the officer being shot in philadelphia, also a shootout in new york this past night. would reducing the number of guns owned by american citizens make the work that police officers do safer? >> well, i think you can say in a factual way that places that have fewer guns have less gun crime. so the direct answer is yes. i think in a way i just want to repeat what president obama said many times on cnn in his press conference. the answer here, given where we are as a society, is not taking away people's guns. there are commonsense steps we
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can do. a simple way is do background checks. i think across the board, in states that have effective background checks in place, that you see about a 40% to 50% reduction or diminishment of everything that we kind of care about. so there's less gun suicide. there's less partner violence. there are lower rates of homicide. in that record, i think the question right now, given where we are as a society what can we do to lower those rates of gun crime? i think that system is what president obama's trying to strengthen. >> for the president to say we can go from 30,000 a year to 28,000 and that will be, you know, 2,000 families that matter. it kind of makes you feel like -- we're talking about the margins, such small margins. promise, much, much more on guns. but up next, i want to bring in the woman who was standing right there with president obama during tuesday's emotional
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president obama was not alone when he announced his new executive actions on guns this week. survivors of gun violence stood with him. many were parents who have buried a child and subsequently turned their lives to activism. parents like lucia bath, right there behind the president. her son, jordan davis, was shot to death at a gas station in florida more than three years ago. he was 17 years old. she joins us now from atlanta. she is the faith and outreach leader for every town for gun safety. so nice to see you this morning. >> good morning, melissa. >> you were here with us last week in what i think was an extremely emotional conversation with tamir rice's mother. and then this on tuesday. are you feeling more optimistic
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now? >> absolutely. i've been on cloud nine ever since because this is a monumental movement towards gun safety, gun violence prevention in this country and having been a victim of gun violence affected by this tragic kind of gun violence in the country and working with victims every single day on this very issue, it was very profound for us to stand there with president obama, gun violence victims, many that you never even saw in the room, and know that everything we've been appealing to our congress for in terms of, you know, creating some solutions in this country towards stemming the tide of gun violence, that finally we were being heard and that president obama was taking a very courageous bold step with his executive orders to create, you know, a safer community for all of us. so we were very, very excited. and just you could feel the
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electricity. you could feel just people were so excited about, you know, finally moving forward and keeping our community safe. >> in fact, let's take a listen for the moment to the president talking about all of you who were there in the room with him. >> this room right here, there are a lot of stories. that's a lot of heartache. there's a lot of resilience. there's a lot of strength. but there's also a lot of pain. and this is just a small sample. >> so you did get a sense watching it, for all of us who were at home, that you all weren't just props, that you really had been working with the administration over some period time to try to get some movement on this. >> absolutely. we worked very closely with president obama in terms of messaging and providing policy, information, and research from which they could uselize for him
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to make this, you know, very credible decision, very important decision. you know, actually working with all of the every town survivor network victims. we've been pounding on the doors of the congressmen, doing the work, hitting the pavement for years now, trying to really get congressmen to understand what's happening in the country. yes, we've been very, very involved, deeply involved in everything that has actually happened this week. so we'll been very proud about our momentum, how we've been able to impact president obama and his administration with the work that we've been doing. >> i want to ask you what you think jordan would think of where you were standing in that moment and if you think he would be proud of you and the work that you've been doing? >> as i was standing there, i kept trying not to cry. because i kept saying that, you know, my child, jordan, as well
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as my father, would be so very, very proud of the work that i've been doing and being able to stand there with president obama as he did something that is so critical for preserving the sanctity and preservation of human life. i could see jordan saying, yeah, mom, go ahead, mom, you're doing it. and my father understanding that everything he worked for in the civil rights movement, that was all coming full circle for me. that i now was standing behind president obama, as my father stood behind lyndon baines johnson when he was signing the civil rights act, that i now had come full circle and that my legacy is tied to my sons, as well as my father's, and really doing something that's going to be meaningful for the legacy of this country. >> lucia mcbath, thank you, not only for being here today but for your continued work. >> thank you very much.
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terrifying mass shootings and high-profile officer involved incidents have dominated the national conversation on gun violence in recent years. but most deaths by gun are not headline-grabbing massacres. they're more private, more intimate and perhaps, in that way, even more horrifying. domestic violence. make no mistake, domestic violence is a gun issue. according to the cdc, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 women in the united states have been victims of domestic violence. it is a widespread public health problem. and every year, 1,600 women and 700 men are killed by their intimate partners. one of their biggest risk factors that domestic violence will become fatal is the presence of a gun. among those who have an abusive partner, the risk of being murdered by that partner increases 500 times if the abuser has access to a gun. again, you are five times more likely to be killed by your
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abuser if your abuser can get their hands on a gun. that's not a small problem. from 2001 to 2012, at least 6,410 women were murdered by an intimate partner using a gun. that's more than the number of u.s. troops killed in action in the wars in iraq and afghanistan combined. joining my panel now is melissa, who is the speaker of the new york city council. thank you so much for the work you've been doing here in the city around this question. what do we not know about intimate partner violence and guns? >> unfortunately, this issue continues to be sort of attacta subject. it's very much a public issue. for the reasons you cited. in new york city, 20% of the homicides were related to domestic violence incident. if someone has access to a gun, it increases, may lead to actual
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death. so that is an issue that concerns us, right? women that are in an abusive relationship have is the ability to be saved. right now if you're talking about the use of a gun, then we've reached the point of no return with the potential of that woman losing her life is much more real. so there is an issue. domestic violence has become a real priority. that is why i recently spoke out around the issue of the trade or with the yankees. when you have a sports figure who is now being grabbed on the cheek because he's being accused of a domestic violence incident, who acknowledged to using a gun out of a domestic violence situation, that concerned me. we have to speak out around those matters and take those matters and opportunity to make a statement. so i'm really -- >> because the high proe file one gives us a moment to talk about the more ordinary moments. you and i talk about this all the time, that when we have any kind of agreement in the public around gun restrictions, it tends to be let's get guns out
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of the hands of the mentally ill, but in fact, it would actually be perhaps even more life saving to have those who have been -- who have stalking misdemeanors, that kind of thing, not being able to have access to guns. >> this is why background checks are effective. there are patterns to gun violence. statistics are pretty much overwhelming in this regard that it's not persons diagnosed with mental illness that have a problem with gun violence. it's persons who have past histories of violence, the presence of substances, alcohol and drugs at the moment of encounter, people with histories with domestic use and abuse. and suicidality. even though it's understandable why this issue is being frameled as the crazy stranger is coming after you, in fact, 85% of gun incidents in this country happen within social networks. you're much more likely to be shot by your friend, your neighbor, the person you get in a fight with at a bar, then you
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are by some crazy stranger. certainly, that's been born out i think by statistics. it's really looking at these social networks that is important. >> it's interesting, as you tell those storied events, i wonder how that shifts in part -- you think about constitutional rights. very public rights. vis-a-vis the government. if we step back and think about how unwilling we have been to enter into private spaces, into homes, into these social networks. i wonder if that's part of the challenge that we face in reducing gun violence. >> that's exactly the challenge. because the constitutional argument is used as a right to keep individuals having guns anyway that they can. the nature of the constitutional discussion is to protect the federal government from overreaching. it doesn't get into the heart of what is happening in the home. i also think part of the political debate is that the gun lobby is really trying to get people scared about what they're scared about and they're afraid of terrorists and they're afraid
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of black crime and they're afraid of mental health issues and those things in some ways have nothing to do over what is going to keep people safer and i think domestic violence is a perfect example. >> when we be speak about domestic violence, we think of it as between two adults. but, in fact, children are also the victims here. between accidents and these incidents. every three days in this country, every three days, we lose as many children as we lost in sandy hook. what can we begin to do? at local levels, at national levels, to address this? >> we have to come from a premise of we're intolerant to violence in our aspects of our lives. if it's behind closed doors, it's not reason not to speak out. not only is it in terms of the physical impact on the children who may lose their lives in the process as well, but it is a circle of violence. if we tolerate that level of violence and don't speak out against it, we're actually being
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implicit. we've got to be very public about not accepting this. i have absolutely in patience for that and as a woman it offends me because we know of it. also, the impact it has in primarily communities of color. when you have 20% of african-american women that are saying in one aspect of their lives they've experienced intimate partner violence, that's problematic. when 25% of latinos are experiencing that too. people who are hesitant to access services. it's really problematic. that's why city council has invested millions of dollars towards organizations that are doing this work on the ground. so we have to keep bringing it out and use opportunities like the yankee deal for instance as a way of highlighting what is wrong with our society. >> i'm going to do a little twist on the debra cox question. how did we get here? no country's supposed to be here. can we be done with the gun violence at this point? the flu virus hits big. with aches, chills, and fever,
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on tuesday, president obama pointed out that his gun control measures were once politically palatable on both sides of the aisle. citing even the nra. >> the nra used to support expanded background checks. and, by the way, most of its members still do. most republican voters still do. how did we get here? how did we get to the place where people think requiring a comprehensive background check means taking away people's guns? >> joining us now from washington, d.c. is our guest, who is senior fellow at the center for american progress whose work focuses on crime and gun policy. can you answer the president's question, how is it that we got here? >> well, it's a tough question to answer, but -- in a country where we have 33,000 people who are dying from gun violence every year. you can definitely see some trends over the last several decades.
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where the debate has become more polarized. what you see among gun owners and surveys of gun owners is that overall in the u.s., gun ownership is going down. 40 years ago, 47% of homes in the u.s. according to the general social survey had guns in them. now it's down to 31%. but the number of guns that are being sold each year is going up. so what you see is more and more guns concentrated in fewer hands. to a degree, gun owners have become somewhat more extreme. even among gun owners, you see majorities of gun owners support expanded back ground checks. so there is, i think, this opportunity for a breakthrough, but there's no question that there's several million gun owners who are very extreme and have bought into the nra's argument that any change, no matter how modest, is a slippery slope towards getting rid of all the guns. >> i do want to come back out to
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my panel. i want to play a little sound from the cnn town hall this week in which the president talked about this language of conspiracy theories around the idea that these background checks would be about taking away guns. >> i'm sorry, yes, it is fair to call the conspiracy -- what are you saying? are you suggesting that the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody's guns away so that we can impose martial law is a conspiracy? yes that is a conspiracy. i would hope that you would agree with that. >> so this idea about taking guns away versus background checks. so just help me for a second here. what is it a background check actually does? >> a background check is regulation that allows people before they're purchasing a gun, before they're allowed to have
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access to a gun, to make sure they're the type of person who will not be using the gun in a terrible way. it's a fairly standard thing. we have background checks for licensing in a variety of things. you can't be a lawyer without having a background check. same thing with guns. >> jonathan are they effective? the other side you'll sometimes here is they're not effective enough, they won't make a difference. >> the problem so far, i think he's exactly right, you have a background check when you buy an airplane ticket for example. just passed through a database to see your particular history. i think in a way the problem with background checks. states that have strong background checks do see dramatic reductions or lower values of, again, things we care about, 40% fewer cops shot on the job for example with states that have stricter background checks. less partner violence. less suicide. the problem with the background check system is there are gaping holes. so people who should not have guns. people who we don't want to have guns. people with histories of domestic violence, for example,
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or people with criminal records. people on the no fly list. they've been able to get guns because they can buy them from private sellers at gun shows, at armslist.com, in these facebook grounds. in a way what president obama is doing that i think is going to be effective overall is saying we need a more uniform standard because we don't want those people to be able to get more guns. >> part of the challenge of making these kinds of policies at least at the federal level has been this kind of polarization ideology. at a local level are people able to come together to make decisions based on what's good for the public health of a community that may not be as polarized as the discourse at the top? >> i'm extremely proud of our president and the steps he's taking. i think that leadership he's demonstrating is really going to lead us in a new historic direction. i thank him for that. new york city hankfully has, when it comes to background checks, a thorough process. where every aspect of your history is looked at. the nypd has to interview people that are requesting licenses. at a very high level, there are
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communities that are living the reality and violence every day. you just alluded to an incident in my district where thankfully officer stewart is fine but the first thing i got from officers when i got on the scene, the first comment, there's too many guns on the street. we could have a strict background process but guns are being accessed from other areas and are hitting our streets each and every day. we are united, you know, have officers and to have lay people and everyone being united and saying we want to limit and thanking the president for his leadership, i think this is a unifying moment right now. too many young people are losing their lives and it's really something that needs to stop. >> kind of ask the question of the history of how we got here inner it er i terms of a space there's now a concentration of guns. are there any other alternate histories that give you the hope of the possibility of changing this tide? >> yes, no question, and the president mentioned this in his remarks on tuesday.
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which is the example of where we've come on cars and car safety. people love their cars. they like big cars and fast cars and cars of all different colors. but we found a way to preserve our car culture and make cars much, much safer. you're 80% less likely to die for every mile you travel in a car today than 60 years ago. it saved tens of thousands. hundreds of thousands of lives. it wasn't one thing. it wasn't just seat belt laws and it wasn't just technology and it wasn't just drunk driving enforcement and culture change. it was all those things together. i think thatted is model for guns. step by step by step. it will save lives. it may save just a few number of lives. but the problem that, you know, kills more than 30,000 people, as the president said in his remarks, if we get it down to 28,000, that's 2,000 extra people every single year. if we can just keep chipping away at it, the benefits will be
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really, really significant. it's going to take a movement and we're going to really need people to say this is a litmus test issue, because it is to some people on the other side. >> up next, the brain behind the conservative response to poverty. ♪ ♪ why fit in when you were born to stand out. the 2016 nissan altima has arrived. ♪
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voters in the presidential race. the american enterprise institution, which focuses on public policy, is one of the co-sponsors of today's event. joining me is the president of aei, arthur brooks, who's really been a driving force behind getting the gop to focus on poverty. nice to have you with us this morning. we've seen a resurgence of interest in this conversation about poverty among republicans in recent years. i'm wondering why you think that has happened. >> well, it's happened because it's really necessary and a lot of republicans just from a sheer political interest standpoint figured out that it feels pretty bad to lose because people think the republicans don't care about people like them. so as a practical matter, they needed to start talking in a way that was reflected on what was written on their hearts about less fortunate americans. it's also been an opportunity for leaders in the republican party to feel liberated. to indeed say what they care about.
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so it's beyond self-interest. it is something that a lot of republicans deeply care about. i think it's kind of a new day. i'm optimistic we're going to hear more. >> i know you talk about a great deal is the importance of a free enterprise system as a best solution for poverty, which certainly seems to be true in a kind of comparative aggregate sense, you know, over time. but on the other hand if you take something like elderly poverty in the post-world war ii era here in the u.s., it's not more free enterprise, it's actually a safety net. the implementation of social security that seems to drive down poverty for the elderly. talk to me a little bit about how you see that relationship between on the one hand robust free enterprise and on the other hand a safety net. >> well, i think it's really important for liberals and conservatives to recognize there shouldn't be antagonism between a safety net and free enterprise. i encourage all the time to declare peace on the safety net.
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my view personally is the free enterprise system has as one of its greatest accomplishments the achievement of the safety net. it's the largess of capitalism has made it possible for the first time in our history. we're looking at the balance to create a better life for people so they can't fall too far, so they can earn their own success as well. you need both. >> it does feel to me like those two things working together has been when we've seen kind of the greatest reduction in poverty, at least in the u.s. context, and yet you have, for example, governor -- former governor bush calling for an end altogether of the supplemental nutrition program or what some people call food stamps program. i want to hear from you a little bit, both about that, but also about the expansion of the earned income tax credit. >> right. so i think that it's important to remember, even though we are declaring peace on the safety net, that not every single
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program in the safety net is good all the time. they are experiments. some of them fail. we need a safety net that works better in staying with old ideas that haven't worked hurts the poor a lot. we shouldn't condemn people that talk about getting rid of some things. my own view is the program has been fantastic. we need a work requirement. because that's more helpful to poor people. and work is a really central component of how the safety net can integrate with the program. the earned income tax credit is a perfect example. the highest state we can get to in the safety net is coming up with programs that reward work so people can earn their success. that's a question of dignity and potential. you and i, we thing so much about the dignity we get from our work and poor people deserve that too. the earned income tax credit is the best possible program to make that happen, to make work pay, and we should expand it, especially to single men. that's something that conservatives and president
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barack obama agree on. we really should get that done soon. >> let me ask a final question. jack kemp is a model of a version of republican leadership and maybe even of democratic leadership relatively kind of moderate leadership that we don't see nearly enough in our more polarized discurious. when you look at the primaries of both parties, if you feel optimistic about the capacity to find common ground rather than polarization on the question of inequality. >> you know, i love this question. inequality for sure is something we should be able to unite around. inequality of opportunity. here's the big way we can bring the country back together again. when there's a consensus, then it doesn't become consensus. pushing opportunity to people
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who need it the most. look, we have to examine our consciences here. we don't have very much time. we should make sure all our work goes to the benefit of people who have less power than we have. if we can do that, then we can get a competition of ideas between right and left because we're trying to help people who don't have power to have a better life. and that is not a holy war, that isusade as americans and i think we can get there. >> thank you. i hope the next time you're in the new york area, you'll stop by nerdland. and up next, the president's immigration raids. staying in rhythm... it's how i try to live... how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... try boost® 100 calories. each delicious snack size drink gives you... 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. so it's big in nutrition and small in calories. i'm not about to swim in the slow lane. stay strong. stay active with boost®.
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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. back in november of 2014, the controversial decision, president obama announced major changes to the way the federal government would enforce immigration laws. about 45% of undocumented immigrants would be allowed to stay in the u.s. he said, come out of the shadows because the plan gave legal
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status to 3 million people. who have been living in the country for at least five years. however, this past weekend, i.c.e. agents started conducting raids, detaining at least 121 undocumented immigrants in georgia, north carolina and texas, including dozens of families with children. secretary of homeland security jay johnson said this, the focus of this weekend's operations were adults and their children who were apprehended after may 1, 2014, crossing the southern border illegally, having exhausted appropriate legal remedies. what in the world. isn't this the exact thing the president said was going to end? the plan failed to provide protection for 6 million undocumented immigrants. it also applied only to people who entered the u.s. before the beginning of that year. . raids have sparked outrage from immigration advocates who questioned the detainment and deportation of hundreds of nonviolent people, many of them
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minors, children. back when he announced his plan on november 2014, president obama told the country that deporting waves of people is, quote, not who we are. so who are we then? our guest is a core member of the youth leadership counsel. what are people and communities saying this week? >> well, we're saying a lot of things. we're definitely scared. angry, frustrated. and i think it's one of the biggest hypocrisies to say we're going to give undocumented youth this deferred action program because we love immigrant youth and their families and go on to deport 4-year-olds and their parents. to say these raids are just starting is not true. we've seen these for years under the obama administration. we have deported 2 million people, right, in his presidency. immigrants, people with convictions. we are being targeted. and shouldn't have taken this for us to be outraged.
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>> this was a hard week because i was feeling so good about the president's decisions around restricting access to guns. and then this is happening. how is this a security area for the country? >> it's definitely a wrong move. new york city, we take pride in the work we've done to embrace our undocumented immigrant communities. we know the vast majority come here and are looking for refuge and to provide for their families and are contributing to our city. these children who are refugees. they're seeking asylum from extremely violent horrific situations. now being rounded up and sent back. it is not who we are. so the city of new york has invested resources to provide legal resources for every single undocumented and unaccompanied minor here facing deportation
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proceedings. despite the inaction at the federal level. so this is deplorable. and it is sending hysteria and real concern across communities. it is putting people back into the shadows. so this is very counterproductive. i thank all of the democratic leaders who have stood up and said this has to stop and stop now. >> the word he just used there is so critical. many of these folks are refugees. which is a different story than kind of the economic immigrant, someone coming looking for opportunity, which is its own i think neutral kind of thing. as a legal matter, trying to escape a circumstance of extraordinary violence in central and south america, shouldn't that provide some protections here? >> absolutely. it does provide protections if you do it right. we have always in this country been very willfully confused about people who are coming for economic opportunities and people who are refugees.
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there are entirely two different categories. and we just close our eyes to this and we just see the brown people coming in. it's crazy. but here's what people need to understand. i completely agree with the speaker. in new york city and new york state have done an outstanding job because a lot of the communities. we take care of our people. for community coming from hon honduras and a lot of these places, they settle in new york state. and they don't just need to be warehoused somewhere. there needs to be mental health services. help figurie ining out how to document what's been happening to them. we shouldn't believe the receipt receipt this is just because of the gang violence in central america. this is also because of political instability. let's go back to the 2009 honduras -- >> and who's responsible for that? >> we need to unpack what's happening, but we should not,
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and i'm happy to hear people on this panel say this, we should not give the president a pass on this because this is one of the most outrageous and one of the saddest parts of his presency. >> how do you address the question of political accountability for a community that of course doesn't actually have the vote? how do you hold the administration accountable for the efforts, which are creating such fear in communities? >> i think something that's been really amazing is that undocumented youth have stepped out of the shadows and conducted actions, even just yesterday. so it's so critical for us to hold elected officials accountable because we were so focused on the communities trump was making while not holding this administration accountable that allows these mass raids to happen. >> will the immigrant rights community, like the black lives matter community, eject into this conversation for the democratic primary?
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>> most definitely. i think the immigrants movement and black lives matter have so much to fight for right now because all of our communities are under attack and this enforcement, right, is not just immigration, it's all of us. are definitely working together to make sure this does not happen because one deportation is too many. >> thank you so much for joining us. thank you to melissa mark riverton, excuse me, vivreto. i'm sorry, the way it was spelled was bizarre. and angie, jonathan and vince are going to be back in our next hour. but coming up, the stand yoch in oregon and the comic book store owner who's a shero in her own right. can you pick me up at 6:30? ah... (boy) i'm here! i'm here! (cop) too late. i was gone for five minutes! ugh! move it. you're killing me. you know what, dad? i'm good.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris perry. it's been one week since a group of armed protesters started their occupation of a federal government building on a wildlife refuge in oregon.
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the group is led by bundy, the sons of cliven bundy who you may remember from 2014 in nevada over a beef, you know, about cows and land. this time around, the bundy brothers picked up where their father left off. launching their standoff on a similar claim against the ownership and management of public lands by the federal government. the protesters were initially part of a rally in support of dwight and steven hammond, oregon rancher and his son convicted arson in 2012. the elder hammond received a three-month sentence. the son received a year and a day. federal prosecutors appealed the sentences and convinced the judge to abide by the five year mandatory minimum for burning federal property. the hammonds began sevrving ther sentences. after an initial rally, a group of men traveled 60 miles to this national wildlife refuge where according to the u.s. fish and
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wildlife service they broke into an unoccupied building and vowed to remain there undefinitely, calling for the release of the hammonds in recognition of what they say is a government war on ranchers. friday, bundy and his group tried to make their case to the local sheriff. who is more interested in bringing resolution to the siege. >> i'm here because the citizens of the county have asked me to come out and ask you folks to peacefully leave. i think that you respect their wishes. and i want to help you guys get out of here. i'll get you safe escort out. >> we're getting ignored again, sheriff. sheriff -- >> i didn't come to argue, i just came -- >> i'm not either. >> i just came to ask for peaceful resolution. >> okay, i appreciate it, thank you very much. >> man, he's just so calm and peaceful. that exchange is indicative of what has generally been law enforcement's approach to this militia. the fbi, which has been erring on the side of caution, telling msnbc there is no information regarding arrests of any of the protesters. not confirm a claim by the
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sheriff that they would face federal charges. but in the midst of heightened national tensions issues involves police use of force and community of color, this strategy of peaceful engagement with this group of armed white men has prompted questions by many who see a despaiisparity i law enforcement response. why a more talk, less action policy for men armed with real guns and what appears to be a shoot first, ask questions later with people like john crawford and 12-year-old tamir rice? all that, as we seek ways to reduce the likelihood of interaction with police ending with a death because of the police. but the law enforcement reaction to oregon's ranchers is rooted in its own very unique history of violence. he writes, it's worth noting the extension to which the rice shooting and many others are
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fundamental different between that of a standoff between armed fanatics and federal law enforcement. it's not just that these are different organizations. and different kinds of confrontations with different procedures. but also there's a different history involved. confrontations at ruby ridge and waco texas ended with scores of dead and inspired the oklahoma city bombing, the deadliest terror attack on american soil prior to 9/11. it isn't the only different history involved. npr reported bundy said of the okay pigs this was a fight about the constitution. and that the federal government has no right over these lands unless the states cede those rights to them. at the heart of this claim is an old tension around federalism that has existed over the sharing of powers between federal and state governments. that the institution of slavery forced the country to confront and bloodily resolve.
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the civil war was a turning point in the history of federalism. as we have seen just in the events of this past week, that tension between the division and state and federal powers. it was there in the anti-government occupation in oregon and it was there in this week when alabama chief justice rory moore stood in opposition to the ruling on same sex marriage and it was there in the responses to president's executive action on guns articulated most notably by house speaker paul ryan who said the president's proposals amount to, quote, a dangerous level of executive overreach. joining me now, distinguished t professor of political science at brooklyn college. jonathan metzell, director of the medicine, health at
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vanderbilt. and vince, you said the second amendment is there to protect militias. here we have one. is it doing a good job? >> apparently it's doing a great job. they're just having tea. here's what's at stake here. the state's rights discussion that is running through all the pieces we have here has been historically important. from the civil rights perspective, the question is how do you get states who have decided they've created their own legal ecosystems to keep oppression going forward. how do we allow the federal government to create federal standa standards. imbedded in that is intention. where a lot people feel like, the federal government can't do anything with respect to the states. that's been the battle cry of a lot of these militias. it's a legitimate constitutional tension. not necessarily in this particular scenario. there's little real no scenario in which the federal government isn't allowed to create national
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parks. i want to point out if we're going to talking about who has the right to what, there are no native americans in this story -- >> oh, except that there are. in that, in fact, the chairwoman has said that the protesters have no claim to this land, that it belongs to native peoples who continue to live there and the refuge is an important place and they have no sympathy for those trying to take the land from its rightful owners. they have an objective here. i think in part this is what is difficult for me. on the one hand as a supporter of the kind of history of the civil rights movement, i'd like a little occupation here and there, right, a little sort of push back against the government. but this feels really quite different. >> part of what i actually like about this is the police chief we just saw is modeling how we want the police to deal with protesters. and i actually would like him to be a model for how, then, we deal with protesters, whether they're in ferguson, whether they're in new york, whether
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they're in parts of the pacific northwest, right. rather than calling for the violence of ferguson on this community, on these protesters, to call for this reasonableness. >> to understand these people have rights. to understand a peaceful resolution is the paramount thing. when we see him shaking hands, what we want is for police all across the country with all sorts of communities in all sorts of protest situations to adopt that same reasonableness, to adopt that same respect for the rights. to adopt the same long view. that we want for this to stay peaceful, not to, as you said, shoot first, not to suspect first, not to fan out and surveil first. to me, that's one of the interesting lessons, if there's going to be a lesson this week from us. >> if we like this model if we want to see more, why in
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ferguson do we not get that? i don't like to do, oh, it's just race. is it? or is there something different about what's happening here? >> there's a strong history of race that runs through this. i loved jamal's piece but i would say the history of race and firearms makes this very distinct. for example, in the 1960s, when robert williams and malcolm x and the black panthers wanted guns for self-resilence, all of a sudden, oh, gosh, we want gun control. i think there's a different iconography. i think there are two other issues, getting back to vince's point, is the question of the militia. and the constitutionality particularly of the white militia. according to the southern poverty law center, we've seen about a 50% rise in these kinds of white militias over the last three or four years, particularly as people fear that
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their guns are going to be taken away and also in the aftermath of some of the debates about the confederate flag. there is, i think, more of this particular issue on the horizon. i think we need a broader policy. if we did what the protesters want, if the government did just go sell all that land, first of all, their grazing fees would go much higher. they couldn't afford it. it's also like they're not going to buy the land. if they privatize this land, which is what happened, i think the private sector would actually make this problem much worse for them. i don't think what they're advocating is necessarily the right situation. >> so let me dig in on that. you said there's a legitimate set of arguments. maybe not in this, but around this tension between state authority and federal authority. and there are republican office holders and candidates for the republican nomination for the presidency saying that we ought to have a constitutional
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convention to basically undue some of what the civil war did in the sense of actually rebalancing the balance of powers back towards the states. >> yes, can i just tell you how much that really needs not to happen at all? >> yes, thank you. >> really should not happen. just getting to the question of the tension. there is a legitimate governing tension between whether this is really a federal discussion or whether this is a conglomeration of independent and sovereign states. those are good tensions to raise. i agree, you protest, that is the way you move these pieces forward. the constitutional convention is a disaster because really what we're talking about here is that the states rights argument that's picked up by the right wing, that's picked up by these militias which are neither well regulated norfolk cussing onnor
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on the federal government. but the idea that overall that these communities that we're -- that the state rights argument is a shill for going back to the way that it was, where black bodies and brown bodies and women were controlled. it was much better and easier that way. even if the rest of the country doesn't want to do it, that's how we do it here at home. the only way to get there is through states rights. >> that's what it sounded like to me when alabama stood the proverbial school house door with judge moore this week. i appreciate you with the nerd joke. ♪ ♪ why fit in when you were born to stand out. the 2016 nissan altima has arrived.
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beginning of 2014, it was the same story involving the same alabama judge trying to deny the same rights to same sex couples. you remember this guy, roy moore. the chief justice of the alabama supreme court. last february, he was doing his own version of george wallace standing in the school house door. it was moore who threw the state of alabama into a state of confusion by telling probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a federal judge who said the marriages could proceed. we all know how that story ended. most of those probate judges went ahead and allowed the couples to marry in accordance with the federal court's ruling. the u.s. supreme court ultimately made any lingering confusion crystal clear with its june decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. a constitutionally protected right in every one of these united states. but on wednesday, roy moore decided alabama should be the exception to the rule of law when he, once again, issued an order to the state's probate
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judges not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. what is at stake here, jean? >> what is at stake is do we want judges sort of acting in their own religious views, in their own political views? so certainly it has these historical resonances that feel very scary. i also think there's a tendency to focus on those incidents and miss a kind of larger climate that allows it, right. so whether it's george wallace or whether it's roy moore, that these become flash points for people. like these are the real bad guys. as opposed to -- just to pick another example, right, last year, they said that new york city is the most segregated school district in the nation. you don't have a george wallace in new york city. >> you don't have a story you can go get from the '50s and
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tell. >> right. there's both a huge danger i think when roy moore did this, right, and feels like he's entitled to do this, right, and is not worried that, i don't know, he's going to be put in jail for doing this. on the other hand, i think there's a danger in these stories because they're so personalized, what injustice or bigotry look like that we miss, in fact, the structure. i guess i would caution us a bit in our sort of the ways that these stories, you know, we -- >> this is a claim i keep making about some of the discourse that is critical of mr. trump, is one can be critical, but if you sort of put it all there, then you miss how all these other inequities are occurring simultaneously. >> i think george wallace, first of all, is an apt -- kind of metaphor -- for what's happening here. i think the rhetoric of judge moore is a particular kind of wide anxiety about social change that i think is being given a
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voice at this particular moment in ways i think we need to be wary of. ultimately, though, i think that, you know, i think that jean's point is exactly right. imagine a judge who's doing something that you completely don't agree with. maybe it's not about gay rights. maybe it's about something else. this is where the u.s. attorney and federal government comes in and says no, there is a law of the land here. in that regard, this is a point where the federal government is very useful because we don't want judges just making up their own minds about what the law is and isn't. >> it's interesting because just that little part of the sentence, right, we don't want judges making up law. you could turn on -- you can go to your web browser and find conservatives and liberals kind of making these same claims about activist judges depending on where they're standing ideologically. how can we tell if judges or if courts are behaving in ways that appear to be in accordance with what we think of is good practice versus sort of behaving
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outside of it? >> well, i personally think it is a fallacy to ever go back to the original intent. particularly constitutionally. 1789. for anything. because the best you're ever going to be able to do. is think about what those guys thought and apply it to you. i'm actually very comfortable with the messiness of our democracy. i'm also very comfortable with judges that do really stupid things. as long as we're able to say that they're really stupid things. that we can convince higher courts to look at discrimination in a broader context. as long as the framework allows us to be able to course correct, you know, that kind of discrimination, i'm comfortable with it. >> such an important point to keep saying, yes, that's right. you live in a country where people disagree with you. that's right, democracy is
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messy. about half the time, democracy is going to win. you want a protection that even when you didn't win your right to continue to speak. jonathan is going to be back a little later in the program. up next, new details on one of the most wanted men in the world. 't moving in the right direction, it can be a burden. but what if you could wake up to lower blood sugar? imagine loving your numbers. discover once-daily invokana®. with over 6 million prescriptions and counting, it's the #1 prescribed sglt2 inhibitor that works to lower a1c. invokana® is used along with diet and exercise to significantly lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. it's a once-daily pill that works around the clock. here's how: invokana® reduces the amount of sugar allowed back in to the body through the kidneys and sends some sugar out through the process of urination. and while it's not for weight loss, it may help you lose weight.
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♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. familiar vourndings this morning. he's back in the same prison he escaped from six months ago. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in mexico with the very latest. >> it has been an embarrassing few months ever since el chapo managed to escape from that maximum security prison six months ago. that escape was right out of a hollywood movie. but it turns out a different kind of movie may have ultimately led to the drug kingpin's capture. mexico's attorney general said in a news conference late last
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night that el chapo was actively trying to reach out to actors and producer through intermediaries because he wanted to make a biographical movie about himself and that helped authorities track him down. to the home of el chapo's notorious drug cartel. he was captured after a bloody shootout. five suspects were killed. six people were arrested. even a mexican marine was injured. el chappo and his head of security managed to briefly escape for a while. he was eventually captured after he tried to escape through a sewer system, then flown back here to mexico city, where he was paraded in front of cameras late last night. now the big question remains, will he remain in mexico or will he be extradited back to the united states? he faces drug charges in at least six american cities. this morning, he is waking up in
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the very same maximum security prison that he escaped from six months ago. melissa. >> thank you to nbc's gabe gutierrez in mexico city. to bot using your airline credit card miles. and surprise! those seats sometimes cost a ridiculous number of miles, making it really hard to book the flight you want. luckily, there's a better way... with the capital one venture card. with venture, you'll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. and when you're ready to travel, just book the flight you want, on any airline, then use your miles to cover the cost. now you're getting somewhere. what's in your wallet? choose, choose, choose. but at bedtime? ...why settle for this? enter sleep number, and the lowest prices of the season. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore.
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or was it that tree? (man) the twenty-sixteen subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. now for a fascinating story with a bit of a twist on guns and race. let's go back to august 2015 to ferguson, missouri, one year after michael brown was fatally shot by officer darren wilson. on the first anniversary of brown's death, ferguson was tense. as both peaceful demonstrators and unrest unfolded. into this tension came a group of heavily armed white civilians. their presence triggered confusion, fear and anger from many. who were these men roaming the streets in body armor and holding semiautomatic weapons. some thought they were plain clothed officers. others pegged them as members of
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the klan. it turned out they are the oath keepers. a group of mostly current and former military police who defend the constitution, especially the second amendment. one at the time was sam andrews who that week led a team partially made up of oath keepers to protect some of the local residents and businesses in ferguson who felt vulnerable during the demonstrations. andrews spoke to many residents and learned black protesters believed they could not openly carry firearms despite missouri being an open carry state. they believed if they carried guns the way andrews did, they would be shot by police. that motivated andrews to organize a rationally integrated march. the story is reported in depth and in detail in a piece posted this week on rollingstone.com.
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he says his goal was putting firearms into the hands of black residents as it was their right to bear them and to, quote, have every black child in america see law abiding black citizens carrying weapons and not being attacked by police. according to andrews, the oath keepers were resistant to these efforts and the oath keepers did not respond to request for comment. the march was held in november. fewer than a dozen black marchers took part. but one of them was paul berry of st. louis county. his motivation for joining the march, he told us, was to combat the erosion of constitutional rights for african-americans who are in fear for their lives. the two menstrual central to t story join me now. paul berry joins me in studio. also former oath keeper sam andrews is joining us from
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st. louis. also wes lowery, political reporter for "the washington post," and there's wes' chin, hi, nice to see you. sam, i want to start with you. i understand that you were a member of the oath keepers. you're now completely separated from the group as of august. can you tell me what was the motivation for initially coming to ferguson? >> well, originally, we came to ferguson to help the residents and protect them. there were people sleeping on the second floor of buildings above the small businesses. and there were also people hiding amongst the protesters trying to burn those people out of their apartments and burn the buildings down. >> i know you've said media have tended to portray that there were kind of protesters and police and that you actually see there is four groups, not two. what is the four groups? >> the truth is there's four
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groups in ferguson. there are criminals hiding amongst the protesters trying to burn buildings down and steeal. and there are criminals wearing badges, some of them white shirts in management, that are hiding amongst a lot of lawful good policemen. they're violating people's rights in a serial way and it has to stop. >> so i want to come to you because i think that's an interesting nuance that also goes to this whole sort of question around race. why did you make a decision in that context to go ahead and be part of an interracial march that was open carry? >> well, being in the open state of missouri, it seems to me there's an erosion of rights not just with the second amendment but all rights in this area. if you have a constitution that affords a person gun rights, how is it that there's such a discrepancy between ferguson and the rest of missouri. i think that's a problem. i'm not for arming people. open carry, conceal carry, no
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carry. that is the option that every citizen has. i just take issue with there being such a disparity, just going five miles down the road. >> for you, the issue isn't sort of whether or not there's an open carry, it's that whatever the rights are, everyone should be able to enjoy them equally. >> exactly. i think you should be able to make -- when we did this march, it's very interesting, about a quarter of a mile from where we did the march, there was an individual that was actually -- tried to rob somebody and a person defended themselves with a gun. what sam and myself and the rolling stone article sort of portrayed and understands is that african-americans are fearful of open carry. it's not about arming people, it's about the fact that you cannot -- you don't have a right if you're fearful of utilizing it. i just think that every citizen should have that right. >> stick with me here, both of you guys. everyone knows you spent a lot of time on the ground there in ferguson. we did a lot of coverage. this "rolling stone" piece, my producers and i were like, wait
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a minute, what. tell me, was this kind of part of what people were talking about happening there? is this like a peace that we missed? >> certainly. i mean, there was some coverage. there was a little bit of coverage when the oath keepers first came. what became complicated with ferguson is there was such a whirlwind of action and information that a lot of subplots got lost. i remember when the militia groups got there in 2014 as we awaited the grand jury decision there were many groups who came in with this idea of guarding the buildings and the businesses. they took up shop on the rooftops of many of the buildings in ferguson, missouri, with this understand itting that, you know, they want to keep any looting from happening. this happened again 2015 around the anniversary, as well as during the -- >> not true. >> as well as during the anniversary protest, so we saw several militia groups at multiple time thalgs spes that
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in ferguson. i don't know that i was on the ground when it occurred but i remember hearing about the march. and the image you keep showing, one person who sticks out is drew, who is a pretty prominent local protester. he's been very involved in organizing a lot of the civil disobedience. i remember hearing from him when this happens. seeing his picture on facebook. saying, here i am, open carrying. we have these rights. we need to exercise them. >> you want to get in on this? >> well, there's been a lot of misinformation. we weren't there just to guard businesses. we put firemen with buckets of water and a special forces guy armed right next to him with a fire extinguisher next to his feet to protect the people sleeping in the apartments. you know, there were human lives at stake. it wasn't like these businesses were abandoned because of the violence. there were actually human beings, women and children and men of all races. sleeping in the apartments on
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the second floor. and that's where we stationed our men. it wasn't to prevent looting. it had nothing to do with that. >> there was a real human component here as opposed to being just about businesses. stick with us, don't go away. jonathan, i want to let you in. in part because you brought up this question, probably last hour, when we were talking about sort of the difficulties of thinking about what constitutes a right, if everyone doesn't get to access it equally. >> i'm very sympathetic to the argument. if fact it does make sense that people who are actually being surveilled, having violence propagated against them, those are the people who actually, unlike many of the protesters right now, these are people who have a reason to be armed, so i do understand the impetus behind this. i think there are two important things to keep in mind though that i think really trouble us and make us think critically of it. one is just the historical context which as we know there's a long history of open carry being racialized. it goes back to the writing of the second amendment and the passage of the amendment and its
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own particular racial history. in the 1960s when naacp leader wrote a book, negroes with guns, about african-american's self-reliance through guns. he was basically, you know, surveilled by the fbi and it was a huge issue. so black people don't have the same right to open carry. we see this in the present day with people picking up guns in walmart. number one is historical context. point number two is just what guns do. back to the first hour. guns protect us from strangers. that's certainly true. but, again, most gun violence is everyday violence. must gun violence is being shot by your domestic partners, homici homicides, issues like that. i worry about the spread guns in that regard. even though in particular context guns might be useful in a way, what we'll see if that regard is a spread of everyday shootings and i think that's a point of concern. >> when we come back, i want to dig into this a little more deeply. in addition to the gun story, there's just an interesting story here about interracial
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we're back on our continuing education about an interracial open carry moment that occurred in ferguson, missouri. sam, back to you, in part because i'm interested in the idea you actually learned something about the experience of african-americans in those early conversations that you were having. and that that's part of what moved you to action. >> yes. >> can you tell us a little bit about that? >> well, initially, some of the younger protesters came up to me and said, what kind of gun are you carrying? i told them, that's the kind you should carry so people stop abusing your rights. and then i talked to some older educated guys that were black panther members. one man was a history teach, brilliant guy, told him the same thing. he was afraid to open carry because he feared for his life. then i spoke to this 65-year-old woman who wanted to carry a revolver to protect her and her family, but she was afraid to, because she was afraid the police would kill her. and i called this policeman
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other to explain to her that she had the right to open carry, and he was more than willing to come over and tell her she had that right. and when he walked over, she had a fear-based reaction from his uniform and badge, started sweating and shaking and her hands and legs were shaking and her voice quivered. and she literally was so afraid of that policeman she couldn't even engage in conversation with him. and it was at that point i realized we really have a problem here. >> so talk to me about that then. so sam is saying something that i think is an experience many people have of not seeing the police as approachable, as friendly, and it's, in part, driven by these experiences like ferguson or at least what ferguson's come to represent. how would kind of an open carry movement, if this had been bigger if this had really happened, could it have made a difference? >> when you look at what the president's doing with his gun bill, the biggest problem is we're not addressing the real
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issue. the real issue is we have a country where there's some people who see african-americans and they're getting scared with a gun or without a gun. look, if 10% of the people, african-american, open carried in ferguson, would that help dispel whatever fears that we have? i just believe that we have to get back to the constitutional basis. and this idea that if you live in this jurisdiction, your rights aren't there and you live here -- i just think we need to take this head on, instead of cutting around. we have serious crime in missouri. we are the number one per capita murder capital of the world year in, year out. we will be in 2015. until we address what's causing -- it's not the gun. it's the person that's utilizing the gun. where is that social will coming? is it because of poverty? you go into rural missouri, you have more guns per capita. >> so wes, let's let you in here. because this is challenging for
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me, right, on the one hand, i'm a southerner. i grew up in a household where my father always had guns. in part having grown up in the jim crow south seeing gun ownership as being, in part, about racial self-protection. on the other hand, i keep thinking i just -- it's hard for me to imagine more guns would make us feel safer. >> certainly, you know, this idea of more guns in the hands of people who are seen as suspicious very often. research shows this. this isn't just a black/white thing. even black people find other black people more suspicious because we've been trained and it's becoming socially engained. we know black men specifically are seen as more suspicious. they're seen as more likely to be criminal no matter who they are. you know, it's hard to listen to this conversation and not think about, you know, for example like corey jones, a black man shot and killed in palm springs gardens florida last year, car breaks down, on the side the road, waiting for a tow truck
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and is legally holding a weapon. a police officer pulls up and go, i saw a gun and got scared. a man holding a gun for this exact situation. you're broken down on the side of the highway, some guy you've never seen before, an unmarked car, pulls up. if a police officer has -- is afraid for his life, they can shoot and kill you. the idea that having more guns in the hands of people who are seen as more suspicious by police officers, it's hard to not imagine that not leading potentially to more corey joneses. >> sam, this is so interesting to me, in many ways, there's a lot of agreement about the definition of at least sort of what some of the problems are here. what do you see as a core solution to these inequities and how we can express our constitutional rights? >> well, as far as the guy that just commented, he's not really getting to the heart of the issue. the heart of the issue is that
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the police have a violence problem within their culture. and they have a code of silence problem that exacerbates that violence problem. the police are wholly incapable of rejecting the criminals that are wearing badges in their ranks. and we're not holding police accountable. and it doesn't matter if it's the bundy ranch where they're abusing a white rancher, or if it's tamir rice where they're killing a 12-year-old innocent little boy. doesn't matter. it's all government abuse and a complete total lack of accountability. and if you believe the premise that 99% of police do the right thing, which i'll grant you that premise, why is it so hard to prosecute the 1% who gets it wrong? we need to be asking that question. it's not about if you're open carrying or exercising a right, it's about getting the police squared away and getting them to do proper threat assessments, time, distance and cover, not
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violating those three fundamentals, and not shooting our citizens. >> sam, i hope at some point you will have an opportunity to come to new york and join us at the table. i find this fascinating because we keep talking about this as a kind of ideological or racial polarization. so much of what i just heard you articulate is precisely what i've heard, sort of black lives matter, activists articulate. i am fascinated by this. i want to say thank you to sam andrews -- >> it's not. >> okay, thank you, but -- >> it's not racial, it's not racial, what it really is a violence problem in our police culture. it doesn't matter if it's a white mental health patience in albuquerque, new mexico, who gets shot, or tamir rice, the police have a violence problem and we need to hold people accountable. >> sam andrews, again, i hope you will be able to join us here. thank you for joining us from st. louis. thank you to wes lowery in washington, d.c. thank you to jonathan. and mark berry, his very complex
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if you were tuped into nerdland last week, you witnessed the annual tradition of giving a a shoutout to all of the wonderful nerds who make this show possible. each year we choose a different theme for the show, and so i noticed that several of the african-american women on my team did not have any specific heroes they identified with. eeyore is not a super hero, belinda. our foot soldier this week knows about the diversity in nerd culture, and she is a self-professed geek, and she is aerial johnson and she is the founder of amalgon comic, and t the first black woman to own a comic store on the east coast. ow are you? >> fine, melissa.
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>> and why combine comics and coffee? >> the idea behind that was more of creating a community in a community space, and i think that it is pretty common that coffee shops and neighborhoods become that community space, and the third space where people can work and meet and kind of join together, and have fun without being at home. so i felt like the best way to make a comic bookstore a community space is to pair it with coffee and seating and things like that, and giving the people time and space to make those connections with each other. >> i would say it is really distressing to me how many of the women of color on my team felt like when we asked, what is the superhero that you identify with, and it was like, well, are there is nobody who i identify with and looks like me or makes me feel like, that is me. so why does that matter? >> well, it's empowering to see
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yourself and to see yourself, you know, represented when you don't see yourself, it is without anyone saying it, you wille feel like you don't matter, and matter enough to have your story told or your story shared or that you are not worth learning about. so i think that this is true of everybody, and anybody like when you see a character that is a direct reflection of you, and your life experience, it is a good feeling. you know what i mean? it lets you take immediate interest in the story. >> i know that you sell a lot of the mainstream comic, and what are the other kinds of things that youle sell there? >> we are starting out, and lot of what we have is the mainstream, and we are working diligently to get some more independent titles in, and some diverse titles in, and we just got titles from annie mock who is part of the lgbtq community and we will be carrying her comics in store, and also the exclusive philly retail store of regina sawyers' books, and we
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are happy to have her on the racks and looking to reach out to those in the comical game, but not a part of the mainstream comic books necessarily and representing diversity and in the many forms. >> we call ourselves nerds here on the m hshhp show, and you ca yourself a geek. what is the difference of the nerd and the geek? >> well, there is not a solid difference. i think that geek is more associated with more like the pop culture things, so you know, the tv, movies, comics, gaming and things like that, and when i think of nerd, i think more of scholast scholastic. >> we actually don't know a lot of what is happening in pop culture. >> and so it is like the science people and the math people. and what you will find is that there is a lot of overlap there. and i think that they do go hand
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in hand, and it is different that you are getting excited about, you know, different things slightly, but even though things, again, they overlap, they are not like mutually exclusive terms. >> real quick, what is the comic that you are most excited about these days? >> i have two with me. i hold them up for you. one is "magic" and it is actually a really old comic, but it is the first comic book that i purchased, and this is niobe, a book written by e e mel da steinberg, and i hope i did not mispronounce her last name, but it is fantasy and the protagonist is a black woman, and she has got locks, and she is, just very exciting to see that happening in the fantasy world, and yes, i am just excited to see that. the first book, you know, of course, features storm who is my personal super hero. >> and we had a chance to talk
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to emande lxa when we were there in l.a., and so, thank you, so much. sxloo i will see you tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern and with we will have the latest as the countdown to iowa and south carolina and new hampshire are under way. we will count it down and a cover it all head to toe to boot. now it is time for a preview for "weekends with alex witt" and richard lui is standing in. yes, we will be talking about a suspect who pledged allegiance to isis while gunning down a police officer in philadelphia. and we will talk about lead in water in flint. we will talk to congressman dan kill di. and what fueled the obsession with this appliance at the chicago consumer electronics show. we will be right back.
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