tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 6, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST
edition of "andrea mitchell reports," celebrating the life of nelson mandela. >> i stand here before you not as a profit but as humble servant of you, the people. >> a giant among then, activist, prisoner, leader, a president, a founding father. for the legions who revered him simple madiba. >> our nation has lost its greatest son. >> my very first political action, the first thing i ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. >> by the power of his example demonstrated unequivocally how
each of us can choorse, how we will respond injustices, grievances, sorrows and tragedies that afflict all of human kind. >> he was an inspiration to generations of freedom fighters. >> we said if nelson mandela can do it, we can do it. we identify with the struggle. when i met him for the first time, he said to me, john lewis, i know all about you. i follow you. you inspired us. i said new york city, mr. mandela, you inspired us. >> we entered into a covenant, which i billed to society in which all, both black and white, will be able to walk tall without any fear in their hearts.
assured a right of human dignity, a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. he was his nation's great emancipator. south african, the born-free generation who never lived under apartheid are celebrating the life of nelson mandela. prisoner, revolutionary, father of a rainbow nation. michelle kosinski is live outside mandela's residence. michelle, this has been an all night, all day celebration, joyous celebration of mandela's life. >> it's just been incredible. you go through the crowd and you see the mix of people, all walks of life. we've seen babies and very old, black and white, really all
races and faiths. people are gathered along a fence here outside of mandela's property. this morning it was a bare fence. this morning it is covered with flowers. the procession of people up and down the street has been absolutely nonstop. you can hear singing in the background. i will tell you that has not stopped for more than a minute of time today. you can hear it coming in the distance, the wonderful, low, deep, rhythmic sounds of african songs. then they approach and there's a party that breaks out here. everyone breaks out in singing and dancing. that one will leave and another group starts up. a national youth orchestra that came out here. a very harmonious group. some people crying and truly mourning, others celebrating the life of this man. i know that today we've been hearing all of these statements by other world leaders that have been powerful and exciting to hear the meaning behind those
words. also just talking to regular people, stories are poignant. i talked to one elderly woman in her 60s isaac who lived through apartheid and talked about her past. it made her so switch. mandela was a big light, as she put it, that never switched off. another, they were able to adopt two children. they are dutch and white and their children are black. they said because of him really, they can give him a good, long, and equal life here in south africa. andrea. >> michelle kosinski. charlene hunter degal spent much of her career in africa. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, andrea. >> your impressions of this moment in history. first of all, take us back to when you first met mandela, he
had just been released from prison. >> yes, he was very protective, didn't talk much about the prison experience. although that was what all of us journalists wanted to hear about. i had been warned by the son of one of his cell mates, prison mates who said these old guys only talk among themselves. i know what you're going to try to do. i didn't get everything, but i got to know a little bit of the man so that the next time i saw him he recognized me. people have talked about how if he meets you once, he recognizes you from then on. that was my experience with him. that one little time in his backyard. over the years i saw him become more relaxed with the media in particular. he would sometimes joke, tell little stories. but it was great to see someone
of his age, had been in prison for 27 years, kind of grow once he came out of prison and saw more and more of the world. i don't mean grow in terms of maturity but grow in terms of the new reality of the years he now was experiencing. >> i was so struck by john lewis saying that as a young civil rights leader and activist, he was so influenced -- he and his fellow college students saying they were so influenced by mandela and mandela saying when they met that he had been following the civil rights movement in the united states. you were front and center as part of that movement, the civil rights movement here. you had that experience also in talking to him, the cross-fertilization of these freedom movements. >> yes, i think they fed off of each other. i think while the united states civil rights movement came of age and its victory much earlier than the apartheid struggle,
they were very much alike. i think that's what enabled me, i think, to have the success to the extent i did to have it. i didn't go as a journalist going in an objective way, i was informed by the experiences we had in the south and in the united states. so when i got there, i understand. there were significant differences. in south africa the majority were the black people and they had been suppressed by a minority, unlike in the united states. still the struggles were similar. i think each learned from the other. the african national congress, almost as old as the naacp, many of the things they adopted came from our struggle and we learned from them. so i can understand what john was saying. certainly for south african americans a little older than i
am, they were very much involved in free south africa movement and anti-apartheid struggle which helped bring an end to that heinous system of racial oppression and segregation. >> charlene, talk to us for a minute about apartheid, the realities. i don't think a younger generation of americans really understands how evil and pervasive the system was birth to death. >> i'll tell you, when i first got out of there, i came out of the american south where people were lynched. i never saw anybody lynched, i just heard about it. when it to south africa, i went to one of the townships, and i talked to -- i was taken by a nun to meet this woman teresa, who was a very large woman. she had big breasts and large shoulders. every part of her body was filled with bruises. i looked at her breasts, tender
breasts, whoever had beaten her with a long whip-like instrument -- you see them in the pictures there now. they had beaten this woman so badly. i'm sort of proud of myself i managed to get through the interview. but as soon as i did, i said excuse me like i had to go to the bathroom. i was going outside but i stopped in the kitchen and fell on the floor in tears. then i was further embarrassed because the women in the kitchen came to console me. i thought, no, no, no. i'm not the one who needs consoling because this woman had been so brutalized. she wasn't the only one. she was just a symbol of all the brutalization. they even had a guy whose name was dr. death. he was a physician, a famous heart -- a physician. but he was creating potions they put into cigarettes and chocolate and cake and things that they would give to the people who were participating in
the struggle against the regime and poison them. they wouldn't even know about it. they took so many up in airplanes and dropped them into the sea we'll never know. some disappeared and we'll never -- the former president's son disappeared. nobody will ever know what happened to him. there were some really heinous things going on in addition to what was happening to mandela and his comrades in the prisons where they had to go every day and dig in the mines, in the quarries. that's how he contracted the tb that haunted him until the very end of his life. it was a brutal, brutal system. i don't know which was worse, the jim crow south or apartheid south africa, but both were terrible and needed to be destroyed. >> thank you so much. coming up networks, my conversation with colin powell about the influence of nelson
mandela and nelson mandela the rock star. his first trip to the united states shortly after he was freed from prison. >> you now know who i am. i am a yankee. this duracell trk has some very special power. ♪ [ toys chattering ] it's filled with new duracell quantum batteries. [ toy meows ] [ dog whines ] [ toy meows ] these red batteries are so powerful... that this year they'll power all the hasbro toys donated to toys for tots. want to help power some smiles? duracell. trusted everywhere. want to help power some smiles? i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80%
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he was released in prison in 1990. california was the birth place of the anti-apartheid movement in america. joining me are the two godparents of it, california congresswoman maxine waters, the leader of the anti-apartheid movement there and her partner, former colleague, former congressman and oakland mayor, author of 1996 anti-apartheid act. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> congresswoman waters, you were one of the leaders, a state elected physician and first pushed for divestment of the pension funds there. how difficult was that fight when you first led it to try to get america on the right side of history? >> well, divestment in the state of california was not an easy chore. i was a member of the california state assembly. i certainly introduced legislation but it took me years of working on the whole education of what was going on
inside south africa for my colleagues. i had to do clippings every day. my staff clipped from wherever we could find information to teach them about who nelson mandela was who winnie mandela was, what was apartheid, what is anc, that is african national congress. it took years leading up to dive divestment. because i was fortunate enough to serve on the board of trans africa we were part of the strategy that not only did rallying and arrested at the embassy and took over the south african consulate in los angeles but economic sanctions were extremely important to put pressure on the south african government to help bring down the unconscionable apartheid. so it took work, hard work. >> there was a movement across the country as congressman mentioned on campuses everywhere. i was covering it. ron, you in congress with a number of leaders an then some republicans joining in to try to
finally pass the legislation. you authored one piece of legislation. it was compromised and finally passed and overrode veto. jim baker said on "morning joe" today, this was a time when congress took on the foreign policy, first override of foreign policy veto of a president in that century. >> it really was. first let me say, i'm honored to be with my sister and friend maxine waters, who i think played a magnificent role giving momentum to the divestment effort. just quickly i want to go back and indicate a little known bit of history. >> why was mandela in oakland, california. of all places. yankee stadium, the mayor, mayor cuomo. he came to see you, didn't he? >> i was overwhelmed. nelson mandela. oakland doesn't win a lot of battles over big cities. he said i'm going to oakland to
thank ron and his constituency. for this iconic human being to come to oakland to say thank you was an amazing event. we walk out on the stage and mandela looks out into this incredible sea of humanity. he said now i better understand you, i better understand your politics. i looked at him and he said you represent the human family. you represent where we must go. you represent the future of south africa. that was such an incredible moment. what i was saying was he saw a young black man representing the human family, which was his vision for south africa. >> the rainbow nation. >> you met him in zambia right after he came out of the prison. you met him before he returned to south africa. tell me about that first meeting. >> we met in zambia where anc were meeting. my colleague who passed away a
couple months ago was leading the delegation. i got there, i've gone all over the country saying free mandela, free south africa, never met nelson mandela. ipo in this line, suddenly, there he am. then mr. mandela i'd like you to meet the congressman from california. he does this double take and hit me with a moment i will never forget. we have heard much from you. you gave us hope. you kept us alive. he hugged me and i broke down and cried. >> congresswoman waters can you remember what he said? >> we had been working to break down apartheid, there when it was lifted anc was thought of as
terrorist organization. i met others, on and on and on but i really wanted to meet nelson mandela, didn't get a chance to do it until he came to los angeles. as you know we organized another huge event to welcome him to this country. we filled up the coliseum, lit candles. all of the movie stars in hollywood showed up. all of the community showed up all over southern california. when he walked out on stage with winnie mandela, the crowd exploded. i met him when i first got off the airplane. i was had with the then mayor tom bradley. of course, when i looked at him and he was such a pleasant man, he had a smile on his face. he embraced me. he embraced the mayor. we just was in awe of him. here was this human being who had been in prison for 27 years
and was out now and he was a pleasant man. he was not angry. we had an opportunity to pend time with him, to share some of what was going on in this country and enlighten him about those people involved. certainly ron dell um, just listening to him makes my flesh cra crawl, not only on this issue but onother issues of mankind. when i first met him i was star struck. he's my hero and will be forever. >> maxine waters an ron dellums, it's so special to have you here on this special day of honor and memory. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> coming up general colin powell, former secretary of state sharing his personal reflections today about nelson mandela. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
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if our rate on this cd goes up, yours can too. oh that sounds nice. don't feel trapped with the ally raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. nelson mandela a cause and concern for competing political factions in america during 1980s. he was a role model for followers around the world. earlier talked to one of them colin powell about the man and the legacy. >> general powell, what did nelson mandela mean to you? >> so many things at so many different levels. he's somebody who became a friend over time. it was always a joy to be with him. he was such a gentle man, human individual, somebody with a twinkle in his eyes and a small on his face. it was a pleasure to be with him. as a political figure i found him to be a remarkable person.
somebody who knew the tactics of a struggle. knew how to have a strategy. the most important thing, he was prepared to give everything he had to accomplish the mission he set for himself, achieve the purpose for apartheid. he said he would do it, peacefully if possible. resorted to violence when it became necessary and went back to peace and he achieved it. he said i will do it no matter what the cost. it cost him his family for many, many years and it cost him prison for 27 years. he said on many occasions if it costs me my life i will do it. how many people do you really see who will say those kinds of things today? not that many. hopefully we'll see in the future his spirit is not gone even though he's gone and will
inspire future generations. >> he was unique drawing that spirit of reconciliation, tactically, spiritually, emotionally what would bring that country together. >> he knew his country, his people. he knew not only the black people but the white people. he just gave this image of reconciliation, peace and love. that transcends everything else. all these stories we're having, we've got to get on top of it. the famous line we have about him when he came out of jail and said i can get even now. if i try to get even i'll still be in jail. >> in jail mentally. >> mentally in jail. even when some of his associates and anc and other black organizations said, okay, now it's our turn, he stood up to them and he fought them and he won because of who he was and
what he represented to the people. a simple message was, look, if i let you do this, then we have apartheid again except now it's a black apartheid. we didn't fight for this. he calmed that down. i don't know what would have happened if apartheid had ended and we didn't have nelson mandela coming in as president in those difficult years. make a comparison with lincoln who wasn't there after we lost him and went through the terrible time with adam. >> when you think what reconciliation meant as an example for bosnia-herzegovina in the balkans, northern ireland, this was the model of ethnic and racial conflict coming together across those battle lines. you were at his inauguration representing the clinton white house. tell me what you saw. what did that mean? >> it was a wonderful occasion. i was privileged to be part of
that delegation led by vice president gore and first lady hillary clinton. the most moving moment of all was when it was time for him to come up on stage to be inaugurated and to give his speech at the inauguration, it was a crowd like i've never seen before. some of my old best enemies were there. some of my folks i didn't have any use for from countries nowhere near the freedom south africa was about to enjoy. they were all there, all invited because some had helped nelson mandela with the struggle and he wouldn't abandon them now. finally the moment came when he said new president of south africa and he started up the stage. i'll never forget in my soldier's eyes the first ones who came on stage before him were senior officers, generals, admirals, south african defense force as a guard of honor. stared, my god, look at this. turning over the power of the state, the force of the state is now in the hands of the new
president who happens to be black. these officers are showing their allegiance to him, their trust in him, and they will obey him as president and commander in chief. it was remarkable. to think that something like that could have happened just a few years earlier was unthinkable but it did happen. he served as president. a little like washington, george washington, he would not serve. he had another term even though pleaded with to do so. he done his peace and that was time for new leader to take over and keep the process moving forward. >> which was another key factor in the evolution of south africa. >> what an example that was to other leaders in south africa and other parts of the world. you're not supposed to hang around forever and milk it forever. if you truly believe in freedom of democracy then you have to leave at some point and just step down and go back to your private life, which is what he did. but even in private life he
remained an important symbol for the people. he was always present, even though he was not in office. that's what made him so, so unique among political figures. how many political figures do we have once they step down and really go into private life. they don't go into anything else but still remain a symbol to the people, all the people of what they had achieved and what they can achieve together. >> i was really struck by john lewis talking about what nelson mandela meant to young african-americans growing up in the civil rights movement of john lewis's generation. then when mandela came out of jail, he said to john lewis, you were the role model for us. it was a sort of cross-fertilization. >> it happened in the same era, the same sorts of reasons, hey, wait a minute, this is now the 20th century. in the united states we have to have a second civil war to get
rid of the bad vestige of the first civil war. we didn't really solve the segregation problem after the civil war. at the same time in south africa the same thing was happening. we can't go into the latter part of the 20th century with this situation still in existence. the world has changed. the soviet union is gone, communism is a failed ideology. we have to change. the two movements, one in the united states and one in south africa moved in parallel. each was inspiring the others just as john noted. >> what would tell your grandchildren was the essential meaning of mandela, his life and legacy. >> have a vision. believe in something. believe in something you're willing to give a lot for. maybe not your life but something you're willing to invest in. listen to other people. don't just think you're so smart nobody else has a good idea. be able to recognize the point
of view of someone else and reach out. always look for ways to compromise. don't give up your principles but try to find out what the other side needs in order to move forward. only through compromise do you get consensus to go forward. >> general colin powell, thank you. >> thank you, andrea. >> colin powell just earlier today in our studio. and bono, another of mandela's great friends wrote in the end nelson mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence but because he learned that love would do a better job. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> vice president joe biden, secretary hillary clinton, compare and contrast. >> not a chance. here is what i'll say. both hillary and joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents. >> joining me now, fresh from his exclusive interview with president obama msnbc's chris matthews joining me from boston. he didn't bite. he's a smart guy. >> he did. >> yeah, he did. >> thank you. >> what's your takeaway? he seemed at once defensive but reflective like we don't usually see american presidents when still in office. >> part of the interview struck me as sad because it was not defeated but chastened is the right word. maybe i'll think of a better
word as i think about it over the weekend. for the first time ever, howard fineman was with me and he told me afterwards. when you watch an interview you hear better because when you're doing the interview you think of the next question and moving them in that direction. he's faced opposition, we all know that, pretty fierce in some cases. he talked about how he's learned one person can't do a whole lot. here is a man who talked about being a transformational president and talked about how we're going to have to celtics because we have a divided political party. you can only get that with situations like one-party rule like the new deal or great society or briefly under reagan. he seemed to basically forfeit the idea of grand achievements. yet when i asked him about the comparison to pope francis, he came alive and talked about his
grand hopes for a just society and what drives him, that hope. two positions, one the humility of what he can achieve and the other the grand aspiration he has and what he said kept him going as a politician, president was to achieve small victories in regard to social justice. >> spoke about the myth, pushing the rock up the hill. that is not transformational but a process. >> incremental. >> i was amazed he gave the interview. you know how hard it was to get that much time with him. i had 40 minutes. >> it was amazing, extraordinary. >> he talked about -- he's very concerned right now about trust. i talked to a member of congress
last night that's closer to him than you or i are. he said he's concerned about that. it's one thing to be beaten politically a lot. another thing to face fierce opposition but to have your honesty questioned as it has been since his promise that those that had insurance can keep it has concerned him and it should. maybe that's the reason he's making himself a bit more available and a bit more human now in addressing the public, especially on msnbc where there's so many progressives who watch the network, african-americans especially. he wanted to reach them and say, look, i'm still the good guy you voted for, you know. i think. >> chris matthews was great. thank you so much. if any of you didn't see it you can watch it, watch the exclusive conversation with the president on a special edition of "hardball" this afternoon at 4:00 eastern. joining me now british virgin islands richard branson founder
of the virgin group longtime friend and founder of nelson mandela and his many causes. thanks, richard, for being with us. your thoughts about mandela and his influence, transformation influence he played in his country and around the world. >> obviously it was truly transformational. the country could have broken into civil war if mandela hadn't been the leader at the time. the fact that he was the leader and he used the reconciliation courts to give his enemies and have people come to the courts to apologize to the black people for this sins they waged against them and cleanse the country in an incredible way o in having put the past behind, he then
embraced all communities in south africa and built a great nation and one that will hopefully continue to be a great nation for many years to come. >> one of the extraordinary things you were so instrumental in was his commitment to do something about the scourge of hiv/aids. this after, of course, we've seen other figures in south africa, his successor and his rejection of the drugs that could have helped stop the spread of hiv infection in south africa and elsewhere in africa because of his influence. how did that come about? you played such a big role. >> when madiba stepped down as president, he didn't want to second-gue
second-guess. he wanted to leave him to rule without the old president speaking out on issues. he got extremely angry and i think rightfully so, about the lack of action taking place on aids. the fact thabo mbeki mentioned hiv and aids were not related and they weren't getting ant antiviral p out and people were dying. wonderful people like peter gabriel, dave stewart and others using the number of -- his prison number. he made one of his great speeches at that concert. i think the tide turned after that concert and after that speech and finally the government started handing out
antiretroviral drugs and perhaps many people were saved by nelson mandela's intervention. >> the other important work carried on by the elders. that was his other great contribution setting up this post presidential group of thought leaders, faith leaders, political inspirational leaders to carry on the work. >> yes. he did not want his life to stop and for his good work not to continue after he died. therefore he appointed the 12 people he felt were the most influential people in the world the highest moral authority who put egos behind them. no longer involved in party politics and he asked them to carry on his work, to speak out on issues they felt strongly about and to intervene in
conflicts around the world and try to get conflicts resolved and try to stop conflicts happening in the first place. p charld it, now a wonderful group from america, from europe, britain, mary robinson. anyway, a group of extraordinary people who are doing extraordinary work around the world. hopefully for decades to come they can continue to do this in his name. >> thanks to your extraordinary generosity and philanthropy as well. sir richard branson, a great pleasure. thank you for taking time to talk to us today. >> thank you very much. more from that benefit concert in 2003 as part of mandela's 4664 campaign against hiv/aids named after his prison number.
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>> well, there are 2 million workers who work for federal contractors. the progressive caucus is asking the president to examine issuing an executive contractors to pay a liveable wage. if you go to the smithsonian, union station, important iconic federal buildings, the people who will be cleaning up there, securing you, guarding you, cooking are all making a wage that forces them to have to rely on food stamps and medicaid, housing subsidy, things like that. they ought to be getting paid a whole lot better. i think the federal government should be leading by example and not leading the race to the bottom. >> i want to ask you about the influence as a young man growing up here of nelson mandela and his fight for freedom, his ability to come out of prison and reach out to his cap tors.
what does it mean to you? >> i cut my teeth at wayne state university in detroit working to divest from apartheid in south africa. nelson mandela was the preeminent figure speaking to a generati generation. to me he is like being able to witness martin luther king. martin luther king died when i was about 4. i never experienced him. but i remember in 1990 with nelson mandela walked out of that prison and i actually was a law student at the time and i divested so much time in opposing apartheid. without nelson mandela, i mean, i think south africa would be in a very different place. he's an example to any leader who wants to heal and strengthen and move forward just a towering figure, and you know, he's going
to be sorely missed. an example that we all should take note of. >> keith ellison, thank you very much. we want to share with you and our viewers that the official schedule for nelson mandela will be held on december 10th at the soccer stadium in jo hansburg. south african president has dlee claired this sunday will be a national day of prayer and reflection. [ female announcer ] skin looking tired? wake it up with olay regenerist. formulated with a skin energizing complex, it penetrates 10 layers of the skin's surface, because energized skin is younger looking skin. ♪ you give them the giggles. tylenol cold® helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms.
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>> for which i am prepared to die. [ applause ] >> your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. he loves me. he loves me not. ♪ he loves me! that's right. [ mom ] warm and flaky in 15, everyone loves pillsbury grands! [ girl ] make dinner pop! a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms.
but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers.
don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ ♪ honoring the legacy of nelson mandela, singing and chanting in the streets of south africa as we learn how the world
will pay tribute over the next ten days. >> mandela will be laid to rest with a state funeral sunday, december 10th. leading up to the service, zuma declared this sunday, december 8th, a national day of prayer and reflection. there will be a massive public memorial at the soccer stadium in johannesburg that hosted the world cup. he'll lie in state for three days at pretoria city hall. flags are at half staff in the capitol and white house as well, which confirmed this morning that president obama and first lady michelle obama will participate in memorial events. the guest list for his funeral will likely include every living u.s. president able to travel along with dignitaries from around theor