tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 17, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
we still really have no idea. i will tell you though that the nation of norway is now saying they've detected radiation on their russian border. this whole story is still unspooling. we will keep you apprised as we learn more. watch this space. ""all in with chris hayes" is up next. tonight on "all in" -- >> you have no choice but to vote for me. >> a panicked president tries the hard sell. >> because your 401(k)s, down the tubes, everything will be down the tubes. >> tonight, how new polling and possible recession are reportedly rattling the president. then -- >> i'm going to speak to some of your union leaders to say i hope you're going to support trump, okay. >> new reporting on workers in a trump crowd that were ordered to show up or not get paid. plus -- >> i.c.e. protesters run down by a corrections officer and trump tv comes to his defense.
>> he sought to do what is within his rights, which is to proceed to park his vehicle and go to work. and tremaine lee and nikole hannah-jones on the legacy of slavery in america 400 years after it began. "all in" starts now. ♪ good evening from new york. i'm ali velshi in for chris hayes. donald trump appears to be in deep trouble when it comes to winning reelection and he seems to know it. he's reportedly rattled after a week in which we saw the markets tumble on fears that the economy could be heading into recession, and now he's facing a round of new poll numbers that border on catastrophic. a poll conducted by none other than "fox news" finds that trump isn't cracking even 40% support in matchups against the leading democratic presidential candidates. he trails joe biden 50% to 38%. he's down to bernie sanders. bernie sanders is at 48% to
donald trump's 39%. he is losing to elizabeth warren 46% to 39%. he is trailing kamala harris, 45% to 39%. his approval ratings continue to be pretty terrible. nationwide, fox found that 56% of registered voters disapprove of trump's job performance and things are not looking better for him in key states. polling this week found trump with a net negative approval rating in states like arizona, michigan, north carolina, pennsylvania and wisconsin, all states that he won in 2016. republicans are trying to put the best possible face on the disastrous poll numbers after a conservative think tank released a poll showing that trump barely leads the democratic contenders in north carolina. republican national committee chair mcdaniel posted a celebratory tweet crowing, trump is, quote, beating every leading 2020 democrat. that prompted a data journalist for "the economist" to respond with this. a poll from right-leaning think
tank shows trump within the margin of error versus biden, sanders and warren in a state that leans six points to the right of the nation, and the republican chairwoman thinks this is good news? of course, polls can and will move in the run up to the election but things probably aren't going to get better for trump if the economy falls into a recession that can be traced at least in part to a trade war with china that he created. just this week the dow had its worst day of the year, dropping over 800 points in a single day on signs that a recession could be on the horizon. now, publicly trump has been pretending all is fine with the economy, but privately it is a different story. he's reportedly, quote, sounded anxious and apprehensive and essentially been retreating into fantasy to make him feel better. a republican close to the administration telling "the washington post" trump has been selling confidantes he distrusts statistics he sees reported in the news media. quote, he is rattled. he thinks all of the people that
do the economic forecasting are a bunch of establishment weenies, elites who don't know anything about the real economy and than a against trump. last night in new hampshire trump told supporters they have to back him or face financial ruin. >> i know you like me and this room is a love fest. i know that, but you have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k)s, down the tubes, everything will be down the tubes. >> joining me now to talk about this, elena maxwell, senior director for programming for sirius xm and former senator barbara boxer, co-host of the boxer podcast, and neera candon, a policy director for hillary clinton and barack obama campaign campaign. welcome to all of you, neera, let's start with you. the president moving into a hard sell now. it is no longer i'm the better candidate, but you better vote
for me or someone else is going to tank the economy, in a week he is widely thought to be tanking the economy. >> yes. i think, you know, obviously economic news, bad economic news is a problem for any president. but trump is in a particularly precarious position because, first of all, his approval ratings are lower than his -- people's views of the economy. so it is clearly the economy has been bolstering him. now, the economy goes south and it can be tied to his actions, which is very unusual for a president. so they have good economic news, they have very bad economic news, but it is not usually their actions that can be so directly tied to what he is doing. so obviously the trade war and just the general lack of ability to plan, business investment itself is declining. that's very much related to the erratic nature of the white house and the decisions they make. so i think he understands he's
particularly vulnerable to poor economic news and that's why he's saying insane things about your 401(k) plan. obviously it is just a massive scare tactic that any rational person, which never applies to him, but applies to him less this week than prior weeks. >> barbara boxer, the fear goes deeper. there is reporting from around the white house that his advisers are saying they're not prepared for a recession. they're not even thinking about how that's going to work out. we're ten years and two months into an expansion. everybody should be thinking about the fact that there might be a recession. does somebody who doesn't acknowledge his contribution to an economic downturn and certainly has no planning in place for what would happen if there is one, i think the issue is going to be how does he possibly even start to see america through such a thing. >> exactly. and i was there during the great recession, the greatest recession since the great depression, and i remember standing on the senate floor.
my state just was losing jobs hand over fist. there were hundreds of thousands of jobs lost month after month, and then remembering when we got calls from the bush administration, you have to bail out the banks. it is a nightmare. we're going to lose our whole economy. here you have a man who criticized deficits and debt, and we don't really get to talk about that much. you do once in a while, but most people gloss over it. he has trillion dollars in deficits as far as the eye can see. what does it mean? it means when you start to tank you have nothing in your tool box. interest rates are fairly low, so where do you go? so i do agree, there's really no thought. in my very early days i was an economics major and i was on wall street -- then it wasn't thought of as such a terrible villain -- and, you know, people hate volatility in the market.
it is very worrisome because one day you think you are going okay, then you're not going okay so they flee the market. you are right, he doesn't have anything in his tool box. >> you know, zerlina i'm not sure if barbara boxer got the memo the tax cuts are going to pay for themselves, they're not going to cause a greater deficit or greater debt. but this is the thing, right? that's what donald trump says. he says these things. he goes on, he speaks at rallies and he just says things that are now provably wrong and some people don't bother correcting him anymore because there are lie after lie after lie, but the fact is there are some people that believe him. there are some people who believe that you can't let the democrats touch the economy because they will tank it, not his trade war, not his economic policies, not his trade deficits, something that barbara boxer said he railed against when campaigning. >> the number i have to remind myself of every single day is donald trump only got 26% of eligible voters.
so the economy, to neera's point, absolutely has bolstered his support and he's up in the 30s, because there are a lot of people who did get tax cuts, corporations and rich people, not necessarily the average american worker. so i think that donald trump, you know, has essentially been coasting here on his 77,000 vote margin that gave him the electoral college, and the chickens are coming home to roost. you cannot, you know, perpetually lie every single day to the american voter, and then when it comes time to tell the truth about the economy no one is going to believe you. so i think that, yes, he probably is fairly rattled because the only issue that he had going for him was the economy, and i guess racism which isn't an appealing message. >> though he uses that at rallies as well sometimes. neera, here is the question. are the chickens coming home to roost? obviously if there's an economic
downturn in which unemployment increases, wages fall, that will have a material effect on people. they'll feel it. and probably if prices go up because of this trade war, as they are starting to, people will probably see it. so at what point does the president's ability to say anything he wants at these rallies coincide with reality? >> so i mean we should be clear that already lots of americans feel like they -- that there's been an economic boom for other people, not for them. so he already has to deal with that. it does affect a fair number of his voters. the big challenge he has is that as you see in polls, it is not just one poll but multiple polls. it is not just states he won by a little bit, it is states like arizona. a republican hasn't faced a real race in arizona in decades. the fact that trump is under water in a state like arizona is probably one of the reasons why he's rattled, because that should be rattling for anybody.
that's where -- that's from where the economy is now. so i think this is a real -- i think he is rattled for a very good reason. what he will do is what he always does, which is attack the opposition. he will -- i don't think, you know, he can't really blame obama for this economy, though he may try, because he has taken so much credit for it. he will try to do what he did yesterday, which is to say, if you vote for democrats this terrible thing will happen, the economy will tank more or worse, because that's really his only tactic. it is to destroy the other side. i assume people will remember that the economy was pretty good at the -- you know, particularly in the second term of obama, but democrats have to make the case and we have to be clear that when there are challenges, they are his challenges, and it is because of the actions like the trade war and the deficits and other things, actions he has taken. >> barbara boxer, let's talk about congress. the count, the number of democrats supporting an impeachment inquiry now 124.
representative anthony brown came out in favor of it today. it is more than half of the caucus. talk to me about the politics of impeachment in an environment like this where donald trump is weakening. >> i tend to take my cues from speaker pelosi, i know her for so long. i think what she is coming around to is there's just no choice. you know, if there's high crimes and misdemeanors -- and it goes way beyond the mueller report and obstruction of justice -- to a president who winks and nods at white nationalism and tells women of color in the congress to go home and the rest, i think there's just no choice. i do believe it is -- the congress is going to have to do everything. they're going to have to keep on passing legislation. i want to point out, they have passed great legislation such as raising the minimum wage. it has been 12 years since that has been done. where's the check from mexico, mr. president, to help us with our deficit?
you know, we have to keep reminding the people of these things. where's the infrastructure bill? you gave it away, mr. president, when you gave that huge tax cut. that puts people to work. i know that i was proud to lead the environment and public works committee. so, look, we have to look at this president. we have to up hold the constitution, the congress does. they take that oath. and if it leads to impeachment, so be it, but there's lots of other things out there including a backdrop of chaos and diversion and narcissim. and as vice president biden says, the soul of our country is really on the ballot. >> thank you all for joining me on this friday night. coming up next, union workers have their pay held ransom unless they attended a speech by president donald trump. his captive audience after this. . this is jamie. you're going to be seeing a lot more of him now. -i'm not calling him "dad."
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all right. on tuesday president trump appeared at a pennsylvania shell petro chemical plant to give what was billed as remarks on american energy and manufacturing. it was a nonpolitical event, if there is such a thing in 2019. of course, because it was a trump event he bragged about the economy and he attacked hillary clinton, joe biden, elizabeth warren, the media and the academy awards for good measure.
now, "the pittsburgh post-gazette" reports the workers standing behind donald trump in their matching high-visibility clothing were not given a realistic option to not attend. "the post-gazette" sent to union leaders said attendance was not mandatory but, and this is a big but, quote, only those that showed up at 7:00 a.m., scanned their cards and prepared to stand for hours through lunch -- without lunch would be paid. no scan, no pay the rule said. these people are standing there as if they all chose to be there. maybe some of them are trump supporters. now that we know the option was to attend or take the day off and not get paid, it casts their presence in an entirely different light. one union leader toll "the post gazette" one day of pay might amount to around $700 in pay, benefits and a per diem payment that out-of-town workers receive. basically the workers had to go unless they wanted to pay --
basically it was going to cost them $700 not to attend in some cases. not only that, they were given a list of rules about their behavior. no yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event, the paper read. so the workers stood like props behind the president at an event and listened to him say things like this. >> i'm going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, i hope you're going to support trump. and if they don't, vote them out of office because they're not doing their job. it is true. vote them out of office. >> all right. then president donald trump stood in front of the workers and claimed responsibility for the project that they're working on. >> we have thousands of tons of concrete, aluminum and steel and nearly 6,000 of the strongest, toughest and most talented workers anywhere on earth.
true. i know. it was the trump administration that made it possible, no one else. without us you would never have been able to do this. >> that last part is just straight-up untrue. as "the "associated press" reports, shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, midway through president barack obama's term in the white house. lots going on here. joining me with more on the president's captive audience in chris lu, white house press secretary under president obama and former secretary of labor. good to see you. thank you for being with us. >> absolutely. >> your thoughts on this, a staged crowd, people who were told you don't get paid if you don't show up. it does seem a little not the way things are supposed to be in 2019. >> yes, ali, we have seen a lot of bizarre events from donald trump since he first announced four years ago. this is clearly one of the most
bizarre. this idea of holding a captive audience offends me as somebody who helped plan president obama's travel. we never had to force people to show up there. we never made people stand for ten hours without lunch. we never docked them their pay if they didn't show up. it also, frankly, offends me as the former deputy secretary of labor who worked to ensure that american workers had opportunities, and one of the opportunities is you don't have to listen to a forced speech by your president. but there are so many just crazy statements that he makes. this idea that obama would have stopped this project. this project was, as you said, proposed in 2012. it was approved in june of 2016 before obama left office. in fact, if there's one person who potentially impeded the construction of this plant, it is donald trump. pat toomey, senator pat toomey from pennsylvania complained that the president's steel quotas on foreign steel were preventing the construction of this plant. so actually if there's anybody who potentially held this thing up, it was donald trump.
then there's a whole litany of misstatements and gaffes and lies. the kicker of all of this thing is that it ended up becoming an official event. so american taxpayers paid for this entire travesty. >> right. we paid for it and it became a rally. i think the average person watching this show has become confused over what the difference is between official event and a rally, because the rhetoric sounds similar. now, we don't air a lot of these rallies so people don't realize he gets much moran mate animate the rallies and stands there while people chant "send her back" and things like that, but we do see events that are supposed to be official events that feel much like what political rallies used to feel like. >> until this administration there was a clear line that if the president was appearing in an official context he did not talk about his reelection, and if he did talk about the reelection the entire cost of this including air force one, all of the staging for the event
get paid for by political parties or by his campaign reelection. so he's essentially profiting, as he always has, by blurring this line or just trampling all over the line yet again. this is just normal now. there, again, is no fuss at all from republicans in congress who would have lost their minds if barack obama had done this. >> let's talk a little bit about the -- what the law says about this. are you allowed to do that? are you allowed to dock people their pay if they don't do a political thing? >> well, look, i think -- i think it is a little fuzzy and i think the union leadership has to answer for why they did this. so essentially what they said was this is not a mandatory event, but if you choose to sit this out we will pay you for the day off but it will not count towards overtime that you would have earned for that week. as you pointed out, that extra overtime potentially amounts to about $700 a day. again, not mandatory, but they suffered a pretty severe
financial penalty for not attending. >> what a thing, chris. thanks very much for joining me. good to see you as always, chris lu. coming up, the president tonight attacking a congresswoman after attacking to go to israel after he told israel not to let him in. joining me with his thoughts on rashida tlaib next. rashida tlaib next
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member of congress she was part of a group of women who staged a protest against donald trump at a campaign speech in detroit, michigan. that's her in the middle. she was escorted out of the event. last year she went on to run for congress and won, becoming one of the first two muslim-american congresswomen. shortly after she was sworn in, literally on the same night, she was caught on camera promising to impeach the president in words i cannot repeat right now on tv. when what she said all but dominated the news cycle she made no apologies. quote, i will always speak truth to power and she hasn't backed down since. yesterday, congresswoman talib and ilhan omar were blocked from entering israel at the urging of president donald trump. for talib that visit, that trip was going to include a visit to her grandmother who is from the occupied west bank. she lives there. well, today the israeli government changed course. they said talib could come if she agreed in writing not to promote boycotts against israel during the trip.
she initially agreed and then changed her mind, saying she would not be silenced. here with me now someone that has been closely following donald trump as he increasingly leans towards authoritarianism and follows this story as it develops. he is the host of "up front" on al-jazeera. look. the irony of the talib stuff is at some point a few weeks ago the president said, "send them back." talib is from detroit but her parents were from palestine. she was going back and then he told them to stop her. he said, trump can't keep his racist demands straight. what do you make of the mess? >> two big takeaways. number one, the president of the united states who styles himself as a great patriot, nationalist, wants to make america great again, wants to stick up for america in the world, allies with a foreign government in order to throw two duly elected
members of the united states congress under the bus simply because they're women of color, they are muslims and they are strong critics of his. doesn't care about the fact that they're members of the united states congress. allies with the netanyahu government say, yes, don't let them in. outrageous, unprecedented. even apac says it is not a good move. >> which, by the way, has been clear about the fact they're not on the same side as rashida tlaib. >> not at all. they're very much -- they're very much on netanyahu's side on everything else. here is the other big takeaway related to israel and the debate in the united states, which omar and talib have done so much to highlight, which this is stark proof if anymore is needed that the occupation of the west bank and gaza is a reality. that the israelis control the everyday lives, the freedom of movement, the freedom of speech of ordinary palestinians to the extent a palestinian american who is a member of congress who wants to visit her grandmother and she is told you must sign a
letter giving up your freedom of speech. ear stenny hoyer, democratic who criticized her, big supporter of netanyahu came out and said it is unprecedented. >> it would be a problem for anybody if any american were blocked for a lot of reasons except that america has given israel since 1945 in some fashion or other, whether it is deals or direct assistance or military aid, something along the lines of about $143 billion, about $3 billion in the 2017 fiscal year. only iraq and afghanistan were ahead of israel in 2017, but historically no one is even close to israel as a recipient of american money. last night bernie sanders was on the show and had a view maybe this is the opportunity to rethink whether that's a good return on investment. let's listen to what he said. >> israel doesn't want members of the united states congress to visit their country to get a firsthand look at what is going on. i have been there many, many
times. but if he doesn't want members to visit, maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to israel. >> your take on that? american members of congress pass and determine and two of them were blocked. >> i interviewed bernie sanders a couple of years ago when he floated making superintendent money conditional on behavior, which it should be. by the way, you mentioned the u.s. gives, it is congress that gives that aid and two members of congress were blocked. ilhan omar said we should use u.s. aid as leverage to get israel to stop violating international law, stop building illegal settlements. bernie is saying similar things and i'm sure others will follow. what is interesting is that netanyahu and trump have made israel a polarizing issue in the united states. they've become recruiters for the boycott movement that annoys them. they've taken the issue and energized it. people that don't like trump's racism at home say why should we
ally with netanyahu's racism abroad. it is far less pro israeli than others and it is only going to head in one direction, and not a good direction for israel if israel continues to behave in this racist way. tim kaine said to the prime minister, lift your muslim ban. it is his muslim ban to go with trump's muslim plan. >> thank you very much. >> thanks. coming up, the corrections officer who drove through i.c.e. protesters resigns. i will talk to one of the organizers of that event who watched it all happen next. who watched it all happen next the mobile app makes it easy to manage your policy, even way out here. your marshmallow's... get digital id cards, emergency roadside service, even file a... whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa! oops, that cheeky little thing got away from me. my bad. geico. it's easy to manage your policy whenever, wherever.
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protesters gathered outside the building to call for the end of i.c.e. detentions, forming a line in front of the facility's parking lot. when a corrections officer who works in the facility approached that parking lot in his truck things turned very ugly. the video i'm going to show you is disturbing. >> whoa! >> shame, shame! [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> the world is watching! the whole world is watching. >> organizers say five protesters were hospitalized after being struck by that black pickup truck. guards from the detention center also deployed pepper spray on the crowd following the truck incident. the man believed to be the driver, captain thomas
woodworth, was initially placed on leave and today he resigned. the rhode island attorney general and state police are investigating the incident. equally shocking are reactions of people that are supposed to be more responsible what they say, especially in an age where terror attacks are taking place that look a lot like that scene. >> in jurisdictions around the country, by the way, what they committed in assault. trying to stop and block a vehicle is considered assault. it must just gladden your heart to see a bunch of demonstrators at an immigration customs enforcement facility blocking the path of a guard and then complaining about the fact that he sought to do what is within his rights, which is to proceed to park his vehicle and go to work. >> "all in" asked fox business network for a comment on lou dobbs' endorsement for driving the car through the protesters. he has not replied.
aaron was there when the incident happened. our view is from one perspective where you see the truck making a right turn into the crowd. we can't see what happened at the line where people were. where were you and what did you see? >> so i was right along that line, and i actually would like to give a little context for the demonstration. it was a peaceful protest. this was hundreds of jewish rhode islanders alongside immigrants and allies of all faiths who came together on the most powerful jewish day of mourning to mourn this state-sponsored violence we are seeing at places like the wyatt at i.c.e. detention facilities, and to say we're not going to allow rhode island institutions to continue partnering with i.c.e. in perpetrating that violence. so, again, it was a peaceful demonstration. it was full of prayer and song. there were faith leaders.
there were rabbis. there were priests, there were moms. and then, as you showed, at one point the prison officer drove his truck into a line of peaceful demonstrators that included three minors. it included seniors and elders, a number of people were hit, several were hospitalized. and then a squad of prison guards marched out of the wyatt and pepper sprayed this crowd of young people, of seniors, of elders. >> as we see -- i want to interrupt you because we are showing this picture of the truck. so what happens? the truck goes up there at quite a clip. i am a little surprised. clearly you can see the protesters. everybody was wearing a brightly-colored shirt. what happened when the truck came up? did it hit anybody at first instance or once everybody stood up? >> so it initially drove up. it did hit several people. we rushed forward to make space
to try to shield some of the folks that were sort of pushed back that were on the ground. as you saw, it paused, and then it is very clearly deliberate. he made a choice to then accelerate through the crowd once again. >> i don't know if you heard lou dobbs' comment that the protesters, you were doing something unlawful by preventing a vehicle from getting through. what is your take on that, that he was doing something lawful, that he was trying to get to his parking spot? >> well, obviously there's no right to drive a truck into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. that is a violent act. it is assault. i think for us the real lesson was to see that if this system is willing to unleash that kind of violence against us, against peaceful protesters with cameras and media and lawyers there, you know, what is happening behind those walls? what kind of violence is being perpetrated on immigrant detainees who do not have
cameras, who do not have bystanders, who don't have legal access to anything that can shield them from that violence. >> i am a little curious. when this happened and the truck seems to get stopped the second time, people sort of get on it and stopped it and you see the officers coming out and momentarily you see the pepper spray. there you go. what -- was the officer in the car, was he apologetic, was he belligerent? did the officers that came out have a sense of what had just happened or they just pepper sprayed the crowd? because it seemed to be not the right thing to do. >> it was not. certainly there was -- no one was apologetic. the prison guards came out very aggressively to pepper spray and, you know, people were put in real harm's way. i think it underlines why we are in this fight. it underlines why we are coming together to say never again, because this is too violent of a system to allow to continue operating. >> too violent of a system
indeed. thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. aaron regunberg is a former state legislator and he was there and an organizer of the protest. thank you, sir. ahead, an amazing new project on the lasting legacy of slavery in america. 400 years after the first african slaves set foot on this land, tremaine lee and joanna jones join me ahead. joanna jones join me ahead. ♪ -i'm sorry? -what teach here isn't telling you is that snapshot rewards safe drivers with discounts on car insurance. -what? ♪ -or maybe he didn't know. ♪ [ chuckles ] i'm done with this class. -you're not even enrolled in this class. -i know. i'm supposed to be in ceramics. do you know -- -room 303. -oh. thank you. -yeah. -good luck, everybody. -oh. thank you. -yeah. a lot of folks ask me why their dishwasher doesn't get everything clean. i tell them, it may be your detergent... that's why more dishwasher brands recommend cascade platinum.
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we know donald trump is obsessed with his crowd sizes, which is why the #emptyseatmagatour has been trending on twitter, highlighting empty chairs at donald trump rallies. there's another issue at the rallies that clearly is bothering the president, all of the protesters. he found an interesting way to deal with it recently. instead of continuing on and talking over them, he stops mid sentence and turns around and stares until they stop for
however long it takes. >> in chicago last year -- >> this guy was running against a so-called star. >> -- great state. >> it really happens that way. it happened again last night at a rally in manchester, new hampshire. after a whole minute, a whole minute of standing silently, an apparently frustrated trump started throwing insults. >> that guy's got a serious weight problem. go home, start exercising. get him out of here, please.
got a bigger problem than i do. got a bigger problem than all of us. now he goes home and his mom says, "what have you just done?" >> there are a lot of things wrong with that, but perhaps what the president got most wrong is that the guy he was talking about, the guy with the weight problem, is actually one of his own supporters. his name is frank dawson. he's a retired law enforcement officer. the president called him from air force one last night after the rally, notably not to apologize. in fact, "the new york times" reports that trump claimed he wasn't even talking about him. either way, frank dawson didn't seem to care. when interviewed today he basically said, thank you, mr. president, may i have another? >> he said, hey, that guy needs to lose a little weight. everything is good. i love the guy. he's the best thing that ever happened to this country. >> donald trump stead, we're like living in a third world
country when it comes to our infrastructure, do you agree with him? >> i don't disagree. >> to kill a bill, it is very easy to do. the hard part is passing the bill. >> we depend on transit, we depend on roads. >> why is it not getting the funding it needs? >> you are dealing with things that could potentially shut down traffic into and out of new york city. >> what is at stake? >> catastrophe. >> you never get punished for doing nothing. >> it is one big giant swamp. t p liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance because no two people are alike, so... limu gets a little confused when he sees another bird that looks exactly like him. ya... he'll figure it out. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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400 years ago this month, in 1619, 20 enslaved africans arrived at what would become the united states, ironically a place called point comfort in the british colony of virginia. the 1619 project is a remarkable commemoration of that 400-year anniversary and its legacy by "the new york times magazine." joining me now, nicolle hannah jones, domestic correspondent for "the new york times
magazine." she conceived this massive 1619 project for "the new york times" and wrote the lead piece, writing, our democracy's founding ideals were false when they were written. black americans fought to make them true. also with us msnbc correspondent trymaine lee who contributed a piece on the wealth gap between black and white america. thank you both for being here and the remarkable work this project has taken to get it done. a subheadline says, america wasn't a democracy until black mermaid it one. >> yes. >> it's a very long piece that everyone should read, it printed out at 20 pages for me. what's the argument in the short version? >> the argument is first-pronged. first, we were a country based on an idea and a lie, that our founding fathers as they were writing these words of
liberation and saying they were going to found a country based on the individual rights of men were also holding one fifth of the population in bondage and those people would receive none of those rights. and the second prong is that black people actually believed in those words and took those words literally and have spent really the entire time we've been in this country fighting to make those words real and to make our constitution, which actually was somewhat anti-democratic, it excluded the franchise -- women were excluded from the franchise, native people, black people. it codified slavery even though it doesn't mention those words. black people fought -- >> you mean really fought, dying in the revolutionary war, dying in the civil war, dying in the economic pursuit of making this the wealthiest country in the world. >> absolutely. so the very first person to die in the revolutionary war was a man named crispus attics.
black people to this day are the highest percentage of people who fight in the military. so we're much more likely to be in the military than any other group. >> which means die for your country. >> exactly. but outside of fighting in external wars, black americans have had to fight an internal war. if you do the body count of how many black people have died trying to get the right to exercise the franchise, trying to get the right to be seen as equal citizens before the law, they were always having to wage both an internal war and external war. >> trymaine, the piece you've written is about how this is currently a fight. and the fight now, and this is where my work is done, is in economics. the median wealth for white families, is $171,000, that's everything, homes, cars, bank
accounts, all that kind of stuff. for black families it's one tenth. it's one tenth the value. and that's because we have not been able to build up the ownership society in black america as in white america. there haven't been the houses to pass down, and where they have been, as you point out, sometimes they've been taken. >> it's not just the inability to acquire the wealth. once you've got the wealth, any degree of progress or success, it was violently stripped away. the violence that's taken to maintain this system, it was very violent and very bloody. that's one thing that's very important about this project, the reframing. it's been intentionally misframed all this time. trying to set the record straight that black folks didn't just fall from the sky, one tenth of the wealth, struggling to make ends meet and get housing, the intent here all along, that's the part that's been missing. you can't separate the leaves of
were enslaved or free, could never be a citizen of the country of our births. if you look at before 1968 when black people got full citizenship in this country. as a child it was very perpl perplexing, i had always been thought through society, through reading texts in school, that we were not citizens of this country. abraham lincoln tried to ship black people out of this country after emancipation. it seemed like my father was bowing to our subordination, admitting to that. but working on this project and having to think about the role black people have played and really the undying faith that black people have had in this country made me understand that we have as much right and maybe more in some ways to be patriotic about this country and to claim the flag of this country, and there's no shame in our ancestral lands beginning here. i always felt like that was shameful to me, that race had a connection to an ancestral land. but really what i'm arguing is
through slavery, we created ourselves as a new people and we should have a tremendous amount of pride to the accomplishments we have made here on these lands. >> trymaine, are we in 2019, the face of racism and bigotry and division and while supremacy like we haven't seen in a long time in america, are we actually heading towards righting this wrong, because people are having conversations about righting the wrong? >> first is a true accounting, a true reflection of what we say we are. the picture that we grew up with america, we always knew that was false because we live in a different kind of reality. until we have that full picture, we'll continue to be unmoored. that first step of realizing that we aren't still just some subhuman being secosecond class. a lot of people think, they must be inferior, they must be. but that's tied into everything
we've experienced. >> i'm so grateful to both of you. unfortunately we're out of time but we'll continue the discussion, i have a lot of shows in this place. thank you to both you. that does it for "all in," catch it every weeknight right here on msnbc. good evening, i'm donny deutsch and i am thrilled to be here and there are exactly 440 days until the 2020 presidential election and tonight i have a simple message to all educated, affluent trump voters who sold their soul for buck to the trump alibi of, of course i don't agree with the racist, divisive, hateful stuff but he's good for the economy so he's got my vote. fun little fact. looking at trump's first 937 days, the dow was up much bigger in