tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 19, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
isn't democrats and republican republicans. you've got this fascinating scenario where you've got small business groups and unions, you've got two of the national tea party groups and the unions. you've got basically most of the democrats and a bunch of republicans. >> lori is right. this is about patriotism. >> it is about patriotism. no doubt. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "politicsnation" begins right now. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight, the fight for fairness on martin luther king day. tonight, dr. king's call for equality and economic justice remains as resonant as ever. it's is a big part of tonight's show. and i'll be talking to dr. king's son about the fights if for justice and equality happening today. earlier today, president obama and the first lady commemorated mlk day with a visit to the boys and girls club of greater washington. helping a literacy program.
it's fitting on the eve of his state of the union address expected to focus on economic mobility, a pillar of dr. king's fight. there's been a focus in recent weeks, and americans are behind it. today, the president's approval ratings stand at 50%. that's an 18-month high. and it's part of a trend. the president gaining in strength after months in the midterm elections and his speech tomorrow night will capitalize on that support calling for lower taxes for the middle class and higher taxes for the top 1%. republicans are already attacking. >> i mean are you kidding me? the president wants a tax increase? >> it's a nonstarter. we're not just one good tax increase away from prosperity in this nation. >> this is a 20th century outdated model the president is following. >> they're attacking, but the
numbers tell the real story. when the president took office the economy was reeling with economic output down over 5%. in the most recent quarter, it grew 5%. the stock market has soared growing 120%. and unemployment has fallen from almost 8% to 5.6%. 5.6%. now the challenge is for all americans to get a fair shot and in doing so honor the legacy of dr. martin luther king jr. joining me now, jonathan capehart and joan walsh. thank you, both for being here. >> thanks rev. >> joan there's no denying president obama has momentum. and 50% in poll after poll. has the president's approval rating going up what is your read on it? >> well, my read on it is people really like him being the
president and being presidential. and they like these moves. these moves that the republicans are attacking him for, like executive action on deferring deportation, the american public likes seeing something get done. he's raised the minimum rage for federal workers. he's proposed a new form of family leave policy. it's a little bit jury rigged but workers will be able to take six weeks family leave when they have a baby or a sick parent. so i want to say, comment on something that marco rubio said about him taking us back to the 20th century. the president in recent weeks is bringing us into the 21st century belatedly. this proposal on college access on community colleges it's the beginning of the way we used to think about things. we got k-8 education then we expanded it to k-12. we stopped expanding. he is continuing that movement of social progressivism that kind of stopped in the '70s.
it's -- >> it's always ironic when you hear people that breach reagan-omics talking about people going back to the 20th century. what century was reagan? jonathan, isn't this the last thing that republicans expected after the midterm was for the president to really start fighting and begin to get public support and growing public support? >> right, growing public support. the thing i love about republicans is a they always say they're listening to the american people. after the midterm elections, the american people spoke and they wanted republican leadership. so what are they going to say now that the american people are saying that they like what the president is doing? his approval rating is now at 50% 50%. in the "washington post" poll, it's approaching 50%. in two other polls i read. the american people are speaking. will the republicans now listen to american people who are saying president obama is doing the right thing? >> according to one thing, jonathan, he even has an 11%
approval among conservatives. >> i know. right, conservatives. >> well, great. >> yeah. >> we'll take it. >> as i mentioned, tomorrow night the president is expected to lay out a plan raising taxes on the top 1% joan. while giving childcare and education tax credits to the middle class, lower fees for homeowners, free community college, expanded broadband, and access to the internet and paid sick leave. with some on the right talking about fairness shouldn't they embrace this joan? >> they should embrace it and especially embrace it because some of these are republican ideas. these capital gains tax rates, they're going back to ronald reagan's capital gains ss tax rates. expanding thorrede erarned income tax credits and other tax credits for middle class families paul ryan supports some of those ideas. the idea about taxing the larger camps, that's representative dave camp, a republican idea. so the president and his people
have been very savvy about going through these ideas and picking ones that have some bipartisan support. they don't seem to recognize that these used to be their proposals and as we've seen from the beginning of this administration, they consistently walk away from something they supported because this president supports it. >> jonathan, and this is dr. king day, you know that's where i was grounded in my own life in his movement. it's about fairness too. aside from the fact of the economic recovery has not reached the middle class the way it should certainly the richer. it's about fairness. we talk about in terms of capital gains tax, it only going back to the way it was under reagan. i mean we're not talking about burdening people here. this is where it already was under reagan. >> right. the people who are going to be so-called burdened are not your next door neighbors or the people down the street. it is not even the 1%. we're talking about the .1%. >> right. >> yes, it is about fairness but it is also i thinks about
equal opportunity. if you do all these things, if you make it possible for people not only to go through k-12 but to community college if you make it possible for them to take time off to care for a sick parent or sick child, if you make it possible for them to get childcare so that they can stay in their jobs you're creating the opportunity for people to climb up the ladder of success that everybody, democrats and republicans, particularly republicans, always talk about wanting for the american people. >> right. >> these are all steps on those ladders that the republicans say they want to provide for the american people. >> but joan -- >> working families. >> right. >> -- they say they want to provide. they claim -- we're even hearing rumors that mitt romney wants to run talking about poverty. but they say is a nonstarter. i mean i played it. they're saying this isn't going to go anywhere, so thatdo day really want to get something done here? they control both houses of congress. >> they believe -- i'm going to give them credit for consistency -- they believe the way to create jobs is to
privilege the job creators who are investors. we believe that the job creators are consumers and are the workers in the economy if they have enough money to support their families they'll be spending it and the economy grows that way. >> trickle-down theory. >> they're still with trickle down and they're still protecting that top 1%. how is mitt romney going to talk about poverty when he's not interested in the 47%? again, their goal is to protect that top 1% from paying a little bit higher tact s erer taxes. i mean remember the top tax rate before john f. kennedy under dwight eisenhower was 91%, the top marginal tax rate. no one is talking about going back there. >> nobody. >> so you know -- >> but jonathan it's also even beyond economic issues. there's real hostility here. let me show you lindsey graham on "meet the press" yesterday. >> is that proper rhetoric? you think the president of the united states is getting people killed? >> i think his policies are getting people killed. i think sound military advice was given to the president to
leave a residual force in iraq and he turned it down. >> i mean with the economy doing better the poll numbers of the president rising, is this all lift the republicans have is to make such bizarre extreme statements? >> you are tohave to understand this is not bizarre for senator graham. we've seen him say one variation that you just showed for the last six years. when there's a conflict anywhere in the world, senator graham's knee jerk response is send in the troops arm the rebels. that's not surprising at all. >> now, we're learning about the first lady's guest list for the speech tomorrow night, joan. includes alan gross, the american contractor in prison in cuba for five years freed in a historic agreement. a young woman named chelsey davis who attends to the school where the president announced his free community college plan. emily bryant a 13-year-old
chicago teen who wrote a letter to santa asking for safety got a reply from the president. how do these guests reflect the president's agenda, joan? >> i think he's trying to show the way his policies are affecting normal average people. most of us. i mean alan gross is a different story, but to bring back what he's opening on -- >> too many are wanting to just be safe. >> right. >> and the young woman in the community college, the promise of what the president is trying to push through. i think it's an interesting list. >> yeah, it's a great list. >> jonathan capehart joan walsh. thank you both for your time. happy king's day. make sure you catch msnbc's special coverage of the state of the union starting tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. coming up mitt romney is back and he's talking about poverty, income inequality, and the rich getting richer. is this a new standup act?
plus "american sniper" breaks box office records, and breaks open a heated debate on the role of snipers. and on martin luther king day, we celebrate his legacy but look at the fights today. his eldest son, martin luther king iii is here. please stay with us. >> we have difficult days ahead in the struggle for justice and peace, but i will not yield to a politic. i'll despair. i'm going to maintain hope.
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"politicsnation" all day the tributes and comments about reverend dr. martin luther king have been pouring in on social media. patricia wrote on our facebook page, "i'm so thankful for dr. king and all the sacrifices he made to make the world a better place." robin posted "i'm sick to my stomach at the loss of his life
and the current brutalities and attitudes of today. peace, people, act compassion nats compassionately." john asked, "america, are we going to let this man's vision die? we need to band together. united we stand." well said john. coming up dr. king's fight for economic mobility and why some republicans are having president obama's conversation on fairness. but first, please keep this conversation going on our facebook or tweet us on @politicsnation. r frequent heartburn. get complete protection. so no matter where you go, or who you're with. nothing is holding you back. this is nexium level protection™. the #1 prescribed acid-blocking brand, available without a prescription for frequent heartburn. get complete protection.
many of us are celebrating and contemplating dr. martin luther king jr. on this day, but we shouldn't forget he did far more than give powerful speeches. he believed in policies to bring about economic justice. when he was assassinated in memphis, tennessee, he was in that city to support the garbage workers union. and he gave his most famous "dream" speech during a march for jobs and justice. the backbone of his fight was always rooted in economic justice. in fairness. and if you had any doubt that there's more work to be done look at today's headline. a new study finds the richest 1% is likely to control half of global wealth by 2016. half. and this issue that dr. king
fought for is now at the heart of our politics. mr. 40% mitt romney is now talking about income unequalinequality saying the rich are getting richer and other republican hopefuls including jeb bush are talking about fairness and the middle class. so this issue is at the heart of our politics today. this is a conversation that needs to be had. but talk is cheap. now it's time to see action. joining me now is jared bernstein, former chief economist to vice president biden, and sirius xm radio host joe madison. jared, this now, the economic question of our time isn't it? >> oh absolutely and the numbers you threw up there earlier simply underscore it and let's face it this is not something new. the economy has been growing more unequal over the last few decades, and in fact, over this
recovery recovery, as gdp or the values of goods and service has expanded, the vast majority has done an end run around the middle class and poor and gone right to the top. like you, i welcome anyone to this conversation who wants to have it. that's a good thing. but also like you, the ticket the admission to the conversation isn't just rhetoric. it's got to be the kind of policies that will help reconnect the middle class to broadly shared prosperity. i've not yet to hear that from some of the new entrants into the discussion. >> joe you know since 1960 most americans have seen very little change in their income. but check out how much the top 1% is making. it's a 270% jump. i mean joe, what can president obama's agenda do to address what he calls the defining challenge of our time? >> well and he's doing it and i think that's what you're going to hear tomorrow. look at the things that were
proposed in your last segment. expanding public education, because that's really what it's about when we talk about community colleges. we went from kindergarten to 12 now it's 12 plus 2. paid leave. this helps people who are working. when you look at, as we've encouraged the president to do to again, push for increasing minimum wage that's money that immediately goes into the economy. you know we talked -- today i gave a speech in tampa, florida, and talked about martin luther king and we often think selma, but, you know there was a three-year gap from selma to memphis where king's philosophy dealt with what he referred to as the three evils, and you know them well. >> right. >> poverty, racism and
militarism. here is -- we can do this, so let's go back to what you asked, reverend sharpton, and that is, you know you're going to talk that talk now with all this -- i'm getting ready to run for president again. i'm going to talk the talk but as i say on my show all the time what are you going to do about it? >> well the action is going to be -- >> that's the question. >> -- what is defining. let me dig in a little on the president's tax proposals because you're an economist and understand it. i want to break it down where i and others can understand it. >> let's do it. >> his new tax plan it includes a $500 tax credit for working parents. a $3,000 tax credit for child under 5 to help with daycare. and it would give $2,500 a year toward a college degree. what can this do to help bridge the gap, jared? >> well in each one of those cases, you're talking about incentivizing work and opportunity very much in the spirit of what joe was just
talking about and certainly what dr. king was fighting for toward the end of his life. more importantly, just as importantly, i should say, connecting this to the wealth inequality problem we discussed at the beginning of the segment, the new numbers you were trotting out. in order to finance these ideas, the president closes a loophole it's typically called the trust fund loophole. it's a way in which literally hundreds of billions of dollars escape taxation when wealthy people die and they pass on their income to their heirs. they can literally pass tens of millions of dollars on to one of their sons or daughters, and it completely escaped taxation. even republicans acknowledge that that loophole ought to be closed. so i think the connection here is important. >> now, joe, on the political side of this mitt romney is trying to make income inequality part of his plat formform if he runs.
listen to this. >> it's a tragedy, a human tragedy that the middle class in this country by in large doesn't believe the future will be better than the past of their kids will have a brighter future than their own. under president obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty in america than ever before. >> now i heard when he said that that you started yelling, run, mitt, run, and you were with him you really believe him, joe. >> who said run, mitt run? >> who? >> you. >> joe madison. >> no -- yeah well i guess i did say, run, mitt run, because i'd like to catch him in a lie, to be quite candid. he cannot run on that. i mean this -- what? he thinks we forget that secret tape that was done with -- where he was talking to the millionaires? he, you know, quite candidly the republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves. they not only have gone after
the middle class -- and understand something. when there is no middle class, you do not jump from poverty to the top 1%. there had tos to be a middle class. this is a global issue, and if the middle class is destroyed, our they buy this stuff he's talking, then the reality is we're going to be a nation that dr. king talked about, and that is it's going to be a super rich and a super poor. >> you know, joe disputes whether he fell for it but elizabeth warren isn't buying it. she posted on twitter, this is what she posted on twitter. "good to see mitt romney suddenly talking about working families. are corporations still people too, mitt?" >> i thought that was very -- >> look as long as joe and yourself, reverend are out there, i don't know how far mitt is going to get with that etch a sketch moment. let me say this. if all it took to get rid of poverty and inequality was
somebody standing up to a lectern and saying boy, i really care about poverty inequality, who would have poverty inequality? all right? you've got to do what martin luther king tried to do do these kinds of ideas that president obama, chris van hollen is talking about, elizabeth warren is talking about. let's see their policy agenda. i'm not going to reject it out of hand. welcome to the table. welcome to debate. let's see what you got. if it's just rhetoric if it's just empathy, really sympathy, that ain't enough. so let's see what you got. >> empathy or sympathy i want to see action. jared bernstein, joe madison, thank you both for your time tonight. >> yeah. coming up a special conversation with martin luther king's eldest son on the legacy and what we must do now. stay with us. >> instead of slowing up we must push at this point and we must continue to move on and i'm convinced that our moving on will not only help the negro call so to speak, but the cause
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what? in 3...2...1... are you kidding me? go. right on time. right now, over 20,000 trains are running reliably. we call that predictable. thrillingly predictable. it's time for "conversation nation." joining me tonight, msnbc's krystal ball huff post live post josh zepps, and democratic strategist, tara dowdell. thank you for being here tonight. >> thanks for having us rev. >> we start tonight with president obama's surge in poll numbers. a new poll shows approval rating
for the president at an 18-month high. at 50%. heading into tomorrow's state of the union address. krystal, you're keen about obama watching, so how do you explain this? >> i think the fact that the economy continues to improve definitely is a big part of the numbers that we're seeing there, but i also would say, you know the president has been really relaxed and really bold and very clear in outlining what he sees as the direction for the country and in economics in particular and we're seeing that in the proposals that he's laying out before the state of the union tomorrow night. so i think the fact that he's kind of decided, you know what i'm not going to get much done with the republicans, i'm going to do what i can with my own power and really lay out very clearly what i think we should do i think that sat well with the american people as well. >> josh is it -- is it the content, the substance of what he's suggesting and proposing that's popular? or is it also some of the people like to see him stand up and fight and have what they feel is
a backbone to the republicans? >> the interesting thing to note about this is not just how big the increase is right? this is a massive increase in his support, but also that it's across all different demographics. evangelical christians like him more than they did. they still don't like him a lot. they like him more. it's the economy, gas prices people's bottom line. if you're an evangelical christian -- we should note he's still unpopular for the executive action on immigration. most americans still don't support that. i think it can't be a policy thing. it comes back to it's the economy, stupid. >> well, tara let's talk about some of the issues that they do and don't support him on. because according to the "washington post" poll americans think the president has better ideas on issues than republicans. who has better ideas about making college affordable? 61% said the president. 22% said republicans. who's better on dealing with climate change? 45% said the president. 28% said republicans.
who have the best ideas to help the middle class? 45% said the president. 37% said republicans. who has better ideas for creating jobs? 45% said the president. 40% said republicans. in major areas, he's beats theming tell in terms of what the public feel ss they are the deals they represent, or support. >> there are a couple ideas, to echo what josh and krystal said yes, the economy. people are feeling it now. it took a long time
for people to feel it as directly. now they're seeing their friends being hired, family members being hired. there are 5 million jobs that are open right now. i think the other dynamic is that the republican attack machine has slowed down. it was in full attack mode full fully financed attack mode during the midterm elections, so it was hard for the president to get the message out and also hard for the president to get the message out, frankly, because a lot of democrats
weren't supporting that message. >> let's not forget it's a pretty low bar when you compare obama to the republicans' ideas. that is, you could put a pumpkin up there and it would be more creative on policies than the republicans. >> krysatl, president obama's approval is 50%s ahead of where george w. bush's was at this point in his presidency. that could be argued to be a lowball, george bush. >> this is all very true. i think tara is so right that people are actually feeling an improved economy and the low gas prices has a lot to do with that because that puts money in people's pockets right away. you know i would also say that it -- there has been a strength and a boldness that makes people feel like, okay here's a positive vision for the country, here's something we can work with. >> do you think it makes republicans feel that way? >> for example, one specific example i'd say, you cited the numbers on college affordability affordability. there's been a big spike among
millennials for his support. this is a guy who has ideas, a person who will make our lives easier and give us a positive direction for the future. >> i think that's true for liberals but not republicans. those who -- >> i disagree with that because sometimes you can look at a politician and say, you know what, i disagree with them, and i would say this about chris christie for example, earlier in his career. you can look at them and say, i have respect for the fact they're speaking their mind though i disagree with them. >> but at the same times it it helps if something that they're doing benefits you. >> absolutely. >> everybody's gas is cheaper. republican or democrat now. everybody would benefit from some of what he's talking about in terms of community college. so some of this means that they'll men fitbenefit from it. >> the truth be told for some conservatives they won't admit it, but the truth be told people know there's something wrong in this country. income inequality. the only person and only party that is proposing any real answers to that are democrats. people know there is an
unfairness at play. from 2009 to 2012 95% of all the income gains went to the top 1%. the only party that's really trying to change that are democrats. that's why those minimum wage increases passed in states that were red states because that policy is popular. >> arkansas. >> arkansas other states like that. i think that it is clear that you are seeing a shift in terms of the economic arguments which is why you're hearing mitt romney jeb bush and them -- >> they want to get on the
bandwagon. >> -- starting to shift to discuss it because their own base has become concerned. >> the democrats have this thing, i don't know where it comes from but there's this assumption that the policies they really believe in aren't going to be popular and it's not true. if minimum wage is such a great example. it's so popular, right? upping the taxes on the top 1%, upping the tacts s taxes on big banks. these are popular policies. >> paid family leave. >> paid family leave. these are hugely massively, not just a narrow little bit of
support. overwhelming majority of the country supports these policies and we should be championing them loudly and frequently. >> i think that's true and the reverend's point is a good one, even if you don't agree in the abstract, the moment it starts helping you individually you're going to tolerate it at least. >> at least you feel favorable to it. >> very briefly, it shows how little people actually care about foreign policy right? >> they care about -- >> looks like things are going great -- >> it's going to be a huge speech this week. everyone, stay with me. when we come back "american sniper" breaks a box office record and breaks open a heated debate online. next. ve you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know you that former pro football player ickey woods will celebrate almost anything? unh-uh. number 44... whoooo! forty-four, that's me! get some cold cuts... get some cold cuts... get some cold cuts! whooo! gimme some! geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent
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we're back with the panel. krystal, josh, and tara. now, to a blockbuster box office weekend for "american sniper." the oscar nominated movie brought in a whopping $90 million its opening weekend. a box office record for january. in the true story, bradley cooper plays a navy s.e.a.l. known as the deadliest sniper in american history who with 160 confirmed kills. josh $90 million. i mean what do you think the huge draw is with this movie? >> well we didn't know until this weekend that it was going to be such a huge deal. this was quite a surprise but when you think about it okay oscar nods doesn't hurt. clint eastwood doesn't hurt. bradley cooper doesn't hurt. it's a war movie.
war movies tend to do well. >> $90 million, tara? >> that's wild. >> bradley cooper east -- i mean, i guess some of that would eastwood would attract. but $90 million, is there something deeper in here telling us something about the american appetite? >> well, i think the country does want to sort of celebrate people that are viewed as heroes. i do think that also you know, bradley cooper is a huge star. >> right. >> and he's a tremendous actor. and also, to your point, the oscars, the oscars always give these movies a bump. i come from a military family and i think there is an appetite in this country, particularly given what's going on our troops coming back with ptsd committing suicide ensuring that we're celebrating them in some ways. >> but are these the kinds of times because of things like the terrorists in france and whatever is happening in belgium, that also kind of entices a lot of americans toward, you know wanting to see
these kinds of movies and possible revenge motives? >> i think that there's something to that. i mean right now where we are in the middle east it's a very fraught and complicated time. right? we want to fight extremism. we want to go after the bad guys, but in syria, for example, it's not even clear who the bad guys are. so this film which i haven't seen, by the way, but, you know, it paints a clear picture of patriotism and gives you a straightforward narrative is my understanding. so i think people want that and it's sort of healing in a way for them to see that aspect. >> i think that's -- >> now, let me go to deflate-gate before i run out of time. last night the new england patriots routed the indianapolis colts to advance to the super bowl. now the nfl is investigating the patriots for allegedly deflating footballs to make them easier to catch. today the coach saying the team will cooperate fully with the league. let me go to my sports commentator, krystal ball. >> that's why you brought me
here. >> would it bother you if this is true? >> i mean it would definitely bother me and i do understand this is the team that you know had spy-gate have been accused of cheating in the past but the score was 45-7. okay? deflated balls or not, clearly they were the better team. it would bother me but i don't think this would have changed the outcome of the game let's say. >> so it may be all a lot about nothing. >> well it could be 44-7 maybe instead of 45-7. i can probably be deported for saying this. i'm not a huge fan of american football. >> where does it come from? >> the overly deflated ball. >> it was raining, cold. the grip on a deflated ball is easier because of the rain. >> i will say this i am not at all a patriots fan by any stretch of the imagination. i'm anti-patriots. it pains me to say this. if the score wasn't so big, i would say this is a big deal but i mean either way the patriots cheating wouldn't be surprising. >> this doesn't help their rep,
though. an already very damaged rep. >> i don't think it would have changed the outcome of the game. >> well, they better not do it at the super bowl. >> indeed. >> krystal, josh tara thank you for your time. when we come back reverend martin luther king jr.'s son joins me on the fights ahead. some companies just don't appreciate the power of conversation! you know, i like you! i like you too! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and talk to a real person.
that we as a people will get to the promise land. >> we'll get to the promise land. and on martin luther king day, we remember how far this country has come. nearly 50 years since his death, the fight continues. from voting rights to police reform. there's still work to do. now it's drawing renewed attention to that cause. >> those that have gone before us say no more. no more. that means protests. that means march. that means disturb the peace. that means jail. that means risk. and that is hard. we will not win any longer. give us the -- >> renewed attention for sure but also renewed controversial because of the lack of diversity
in hollywood. and criticism that people of color are still shut out. these are all issues very much in line with dr. king's call for social justice. to highlight that very point, the "new yorker" cover features dr. king linking arms with eric garner on the left and slain new york city police officer liu on the right. behind them stand trayvon martin and michael brown. a powerful image showing we're all human and we should all be in this conversation together. today, we celebrate dr. king's legacy and we reclaim the fight for human rights for all. joining me now is dr. king's eldest son, and heir martin luther king iii. thank you for being here tonight, martin. >> always, reverend. thank you. >> now, vice president biden today spoke about relationships
between the black communities and the police this morning. you mentioned police brutality. listen to this. >> there's bad actors every place you go but the majority of people are decent. a lot of other things need to change, too. ultimately, there's no overnight way to make that happen. it has to happen neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, person by person. this is a new day. it's the second half of the second decade of the 21st century. and there's no reason on earth we cannot repair the breach that we've recently seen between law enforcement and minority communities. >> how do you respond to that martin? how do we deal with that breach? how do we heal that breach? >> well, you know, the haemtealing
is a long process, but i think when we talk about diversity, sensitivity, human relations training, that is where some of it begins. but in addition to that, we know that, you know cameras, which are being advocated right now, will also help. but also i think we've got to -- we -- really the issue is training and communication. i think communities of color have to engage with police departments and community policing also has to happen. i think if many of those things can't happen and it's not one training segment, rev, as you know. it's a consistent form of training. >> and is it also an application of law? i mean you and i have worked together and have seen some very deep feelings because people feel they don't have equal protection under the law, that they are not protected. i agree that most cops are not bad. there's a few bad apples. but people feel like they're not being treated in the same way by the criminal justice system we
heard on the ground. >> in communities of color, it does not seem like there is justice at all because most or many cannot get fair representation representation, so obviously we need more defense. we really have to change the system, so there is a question. one of the things as you know my dad and his team did, everything they did had a policy initiative connected to it. the birmingham campaign helped to propel and create the civil rights act of '64. the selma campaign helped to create the voting rights act of '65. chicago and others helped to create fair housing in '68. so maybe we need to look at what are legislatively things that we need to do? >> the movie "selma" that's out has brought a lot of attend to your father's legacy. what was your reaction after viewing it? >> well i thought that the movie was timely in relationship to what is going on in our country just as we speak right this moment. i also thought it was well done
and i also would have to say that it's a movie, so perhaps there are some things that are not totally happening as they did happen in the '60s. i did not necessarily see president johnson crafted in a negative light. however, there are perhaps were some more things that could have been said about president johnson. the movie was not necessarily about president johnson. other than the fact that president johnson had to engage with martin luther king jr. who engaged with others to ensure that ultimately legislation would be put on the books that would change things. >> now, when you look at the broader context at hollywood, when you look at the fact that some of us -- when they raised the oscars in terms of not nominating certain people not only in "selma" but in other movies of people of color, it makes you look kbrenagain, at the whole entertainment industry and lack of diversity, which, again,
leads back to how your father talked looking at the bigger picture and the broader issues. >> well it certainly makes you wonder when you look at "selma" as one campaign did help to create the right to vote for millions of people who had been excluded from the process. that ultimately helped to change our nation. but when you talk about current history, you wonder what those in hollywood are thinking when at least you -- i mean, it was an opportunity not to exclude but to include and it seems like it was exceptionally excluded. >> martin luther king iii on martin luther king day. thank you so much for your time especially today making time for us. >> thank you, rev. thank you for what you do. up next honoring the king message by taking action. enthusiast. mmm, a perfect 177-degrees. and that's why this road warrior rents from national. i can bypass the counter and go straight to my car. and i don't have to talk to any humans, unless i want to.
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for years, dr. king's ideas were not widely accepted or popular. some tried to discredit him as a radical, but he kept pushing forward. and today we live the progress we worked so hard for. on this day i'm also reminded of dr. king's letter from the birmingham jail. his open letter written in 1963 defending nonviolent resistance and saying there's a, "moral responsibility to fight unjust laws." he wrote that powerful letter from his jail cell in the jefferson county courthouse. today, on his day, that courthouse is closed in recognition of the holiday named for dr. king. think about that progress. it's fitting the latest issue of "new yorker" depicts dr. king surrounded by other men who lost their lives senselessly. the issue of policing is the
powerful civil rights fight of this age. today is not a day off. it's a day on. a day of action because that is dr. king's legacy. earlier today, the president and his family went to the boys and girls club in washington and helped children put together literacy kits. i was at be like king events including a wreath laying for the fallen new york city police officers. we are not against police. we honor police today. >> we do not want to deform the police department where they don't effectively fight crime. and don't effectively protect citizens. there are those who confuse police reform with police deform. we are for good policing. we are just against goals that we have the right to question. every time you question a police case does not make you any more
anti-police than every time a black is arrested makes shoe ss you racist. just like dr. king wanted we look forward for better tomorrow. a brighter future ahead. knowing that as we raise these issues knowing that as we stand up for what we believe, just like dr. king you're going to be attacked. you're going to be in many ways smeared, but if you have the strength just a fraction of what he had, we can change some of these policies. and our children and their children will live better lives. yes, i remember as a youngster joining dr. king's chapter in new york and become youth director. i watched in horror as people would go and talk about the assassination of dr. king when i was 13 years old. then i watched in joy as president obama was sworn in on dr. king's bible.
i believe we can make progress if we have the same tenacity and courage and moral commitment of martin luther king. that's what king day's all about. happy king day. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. obama rising. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. i hope you've had a good martin luther king day with time for reflection on its meaning to this country. and it's certainly been a good day for president obama. i've been saying for a while now that the president's about to cut into positive territory. and today he did. the abc/"washington post" poll became today the first major poll to show him, again, crossing the 50% line into positive territory. what's