tv Politics Nation With Al Sharpton MSNBC March 25, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PDT
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branding or any of their egos. now, we all have egos that engage in some kind of public life, but the cause must be bigger than the ee owe ago and focus must not get off the purpose of your gathering, and they did that perfectly yesterday in a most impressive way i have seen in a long time, aside from they probably had the largest march and rally in our lifetimes. but joining me now are three high school students, dominique johnson from harlem here in new york. jackson monroe from washington, the district of columbia. and juan reyes from chicago, illinois. let me start with you, dominique. you went down, you lead the huddle part of the civil rights action group, you brought buses and cars down. why was it important for you and
youngsters? you're 16, and none of the speakers yesterday were over 18. so now the millennials that used to play the age card on people like me that are old activists, y'all are younger than them. why was it so important to you and your peers, your contemporaries? >> it was important to me because i would go to every march and go to every rally and see that my people and people that look like me and youth are getting shot down, and we have been working and it has been progressing for years. but now yesterday it showed that we have the support from everyone around the world, and especially all youth of all colors. with that being said, there will be progress and help made to stop gun violence. >> now, you know that that is something that was very impressive to me, young mr. reyes. you're in the city of chicago where shootings happen almost every day. i even took an apartment out
there dealing with youth violence, and it seemed isolated. now we see more and more of these school shootings and the amazing and impressive thing is that you see youngsters reaching across color lines saying, no, we're not going to be divided, some from parkland came there to chicago. there was the most diverse array of speakers yesterday, and it seems like rather than getting caught up on who shares most of the pain it was let's solve this together. >> yeah, of course. so the great thing about parkland was that it gave us that platform. it gave us that platform to, you know, finally make this issue on the forefront of the stage and the great thing that we're doing here in chicago is that we have platform parkland gave us and the parkland students have done such an amazing job doing this, how do we make it about our city now? now we have the support of everyone. gun violence has been happening here for years, and this is
something that we've been talking about, we've been trying to speak about for years now. parkland gave us the platform and it has been so amazing, it is a blessing to be a part of that movement. >> jackson, you are there in washington, d.c. you have been part of the call, part of the walk out, one of the emerging leaders of this generation of activists around gun violence. where do you see it goes from here? how do you turn this amazing moment into a movement that works with others to try and really get new gun legislation to where it is not just a show but it is really a movement for change? where do we go, jackson? >> well, we inform everybody involved in the walk-out yesterday or the march yesterday that every candidate that receives a "b" or higher rating for nra, we need to inform them that they exist and they should not get the votes of us, of 17
to however -- however old are the people who were at the march and could vote. we need the kids that can't vote to get their parents to vote, and we have to make them realize that our voices are much stronger than their money. >> now, dimonique, i know that's been some of what you emphasize in your leadership, huddle about voting. it seems that this younger generation is not anti-establishment as much as you want to change the establishment and even change some of those in it, and the appeal is really saying we are going to deal with -- i saw one sign yesterday that we either change the law or change the lawmakers. >> uh-huh, yes. because usually when -- i know when me and ashley sharpton went out to go, you know, make sure everybody vote for council and it was like, oh, our vote
doesn't matter, and it is stressful and hurtful to see people when it is like, my vote doesn't matter. everyone's vote matters, no matter if it is one vote, two votes, everyone's votes matter and it is very important because they're using our votes and we're not voting sometimes and that's bad because now you are electing people and now they're having their blood money because they want to fill up their pockets rather than help the people. >> when i look at the fact that you guys, juan, are not even voting age yet and i remember i started -- i worked with shirley chisolm's campaign for president when i couldn't even vote, so i was having a lot of déjà vu moments yesterday because i was 13 when i went to chicago and became part of the youth director with jesse jackson. so i'm looking at you guys, looking at myself however many years ago. but voting matters in chicago.
voting matters in washington, all over this country. are you all going to have a real organized voter registration campaign or work with those that are already organized even in chicago, juan? >> yeah, so actually with my other organization, the young river progressives we did a voter registration drive. we had an event where we marched to the polls. we got over 100 young people, first-time voters, we registered them at different schools, we brought them out together for early voting and went to vote together. >> so you marched them to the polls in the last primary this week that happened in illinois this week? >> yes. >> okay. >> so we had different event where we registered them at schools. the idea was how do we get them to vote, we got them to register. so we decided the hold the rally and we marched them to the polls to vote. like you said, voting turnout is extremely important and something in chicago that doesn't happen a lot, specifically for young people. it has to to with the fact that young people don't feel like
their voices are heard. that's what we're trying to change. . if even they can't vote, they are affected by the mayor closing down hundreds of schools in the city's west side. we are affected by the fact that the council voted 48-1 about voting up an academy instead of investing in psychologists and health schools. militarization of our neighborhoods is not going to fix this. that's why we need to vote. >> let me ask you, jackson, you spoke as the build-up rallies and the walk-out, and a lot of the national legislators, the senators and congressmen there, where do you see this going in terms of legislation right now? because part of the theme of yesterday's march was ban assault weapons, ban ar-15s and military-style weapons. is there any indication that
members of the senate or the congress is moving toward legislating what we all are demonstrating about? >> i believe that we need to elect the people that believe in what the march for our lives, our idealism is. i don't believe that ar-15s are a gun that should be held by anybody. i don't believe that a gun that could kill people in mere seconds should be able to -- you could be able to buy at such a young age or any age. i don't believe that guns in general, aren't helpful to anyone carrying them. i don't know that any -- i don't know that if anyone's seen any change from this in a legislation purpose, i don't know if there's been any bills passed in the last 12 hours, but i can definitely tell you that there will be some sort of
change next election when we get all of the people that are involved in march for our lives to vote and make that change. dimonique, one of the things we have subscribed to in national action network is the king's love ethic. one of the highlights was martin luther king's granddaughter, nine years old, spoke. i talked to her father and the daughter of robert kennedy, both of who was killed 50 years ago and i want the play it coming up, but to see the king legacy in yolanda, who is nine years old yesterday there, it is a continuation rather than a breaking of a move toward fairness, justice and human rights in this country. i thank you, jackson and juan, for tapping us on the shoulder and bringing us there. coming up, what today's young activists can learn from martin luther king jr. and robert
kennedy 50 years after their assassination as we approach their death anniversary. up next, my conversation with mart martin luther king iii and carey kennedy. first thing. >> my grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream that enough is enough! and that -- period.
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in less than two weeks the nation and the world will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the reverend dr. martin luther king jr., a solemn occasion, to be followed by the 50th anniversary of senator robert f. kennedy's assassination in june. both men luminaries of american history and symbol also s of so justice the world over. they lost their lives in the reach for peace in 1968. i recently sat down with martin luther king iii and carey
kennedy to ask what today's activists can learn from their fathers' legacy stamped into history five decades ago. >> thanks for joining us. you know, as we deal this year with the 50th anniversary of both the assassination of dr. king and the assassination of senator robert kennedy, let me ask you, martin, as we see these movements of young people, high schoolers around gun violence and the movements around trying to deal with our gun laws, how do we know, and you being the son and heir to dr. king, how do we know the difference between a moment and a moment? how do we turn these moments into movements? what will make the gun laws change? >> you know, what is going to perhaps make the gun laws change is just the climate in general. it is very clear to me that
because of the actions of young people at stoneman douglas high school in parkland, these young people are extremely articulate, extremely well-informed on the issue, and are basically saying, enough is enough, we're not going the take it anymore. i have been visiting schools around the country, and that sentiment is in the schools as well. i just think we are about to see a major movement evolve. i do not know that congress will take significant action yet. it does not -- it is not clear, but these young people are not going to tolerate it. i think that when we get to the election of this year, there's a potential for people from all walks of life to come together like never before, because you also have to include the me-too movement. you have to include what black lives matter have done. there are a lot of movements
that are evolving agency we speak, and i'm very proud. let me just say that -- i want to brag a little bit. it is certainly an honor to be with carrie as always, and i admire the outstanding work she and her family continue to do in this nation and world. so i'm always honored to be with carrie. first thing i want to say, i was talking about bragging a little bit, we went to visit president obama maybe two years ago. >> yeah, i remember. >> i asked our daughter, my wife and i said, yolanda, we what you to come up with something to ask the president. she had two questions and she only asked one. this was two years ago, and her question was, what are you going to do about these guns, mr. president. at that time she was seven years old. >> wow, this is dr. king's granddaughter. >> that's right. >> carrie, let me ask you. 50 years later you have continued in a tremendous way to advocate around some of the things that your father stood
for. i will never forget, i was 13 when dr. king and your father were killed, and i will never forget the one city that didn't go up in flames was in indiana because your father walked out there and spoke to those people. but not only spoke to them about being calm, but identified with the issues that caused the rage and caused the outrage, and he became a victim of gun violence. how do you see this moment and how do you see turning it into a movement as one like martin, that is the off spring of someone that warned us about a lot of what we're doing and actually did something about it? >> well, i think, you know, first of all we have to ask ourselves, as my father asked 50 years ago, what kind of country do we want to be. do we want to be a country that's based on fear and hate
and violence towards one another? do we want to be a country that's based on peace and justice and compassion towards those who suffer? those are the words he spoke when dr. king was killed and those are still the questions today. if we want to be a country of division, we should go ahead and continue with this gun violence and access to guns and this just absurd kind of way. but if we want to change, if we want to have a more peaceful and gentle and loving society, then we don't need access to military-type of weapons. and we need to change across the board. so i think, you know, what's going to happen is you're going to see massive numbers of people coming out to vote against guns this fall. i also think we have to keep in mind that this isn't all about the nra and congress.
each of us has an obligation to get involved and to change the tenor of society in our own households and in our own communities. this is on us. >> you know, martin, you talk a lot about a culture of nonviolence. is part of the challenge, listening to carrie say this is on us, about changing this culture where we have romanticized and made heroes out of the most violent rather than the most creative? what do you mean by this culture of nonviolence? >> well, first of all we live and accept i believe a culture of violence, whether it is gang violence, whether it is domestic violence in homes, where it is violence that we sometimes do when we call ourselves disciplining our children, whether it is just violence in general. i'm saying that we have to create a culture of nonviolence, not just resistance. people think of nonviolence of, yes, resisting. that's one aspect of nonviolence, but the culture has
to be changed. in other words people have to say, i don't want to see violent programming anymore or at least a minimum of violent programming. people have to stop watching those kind of shows. people have to demand as it relates to the gaming industry that the games that we are produced or manufactured are nonviolent games. i mean you have to -- it is almost like, you know, dad used the example in one of his sermons about nicodemus, and in the conversation that nicodemus had with jesus he said, you must be born again. the whole nation has to be thinking about how do we create, as carrie said, this kind of just and humane society and civil society. that's what we all or most would want for our children and generations yet unborn, but we have to create that climate. it is not going to happen on its own. >> carrie, your father was the head of the justice department and the attorney general, yet he stood up for certain things that would alter how the justice
department operated in those days that we're challenging now, which really in many ways shows this is not about right or left wingers, this is about what is good for the country in terms of dealing with this demilitarizing our citizenry. >> yeah, you're absolutely right. i mean he advocated for taking away weapons from people who should not have them and not allowing them to get them. he spoke in oregon in 1967 or 1968 about the fact that somebody was able to mail away and get a gun into a jail. he was sent a gun in jail. this is -- it was insanity now and it is insanity now, and we really have to put an end to it. but i think as martin pointed
out, it is not just about guns, it is about the way we treat one another, it is about our respect for each other, whether it is at home or in the workplace or at schools. it is stopping the violence, stopping the violent work. you know, at robert f. kennedy human rights we do a lot of work in schools, and what we've found is in middle schools across america, if you go into almost any middle school you'll hear and see words of hate. you will see people -- you will hear people called fatso or witch. each time those kids hear the words they have to make a decision, do i go along or do i stand up. in a sense it is like they're exercising a muscle, either the go-along muscle or the stand-up muscle. if you do that 30 times a day, day after day after day, one of
those muscles is going to get stronger, and that going to become the go-to muscle. you won't even think about it. so what we're trying to do is teach kids how to use that stand-up muscle and how to go to that every single time so that in society we create a next generation who says, i'll stand up every time i hear a racist joke or every time i see an injustice, and that's what we have to do across the board. >> and accompanying that, martin, is that whole moral, the building of moral character, because one of the things i learned growing up in the northern part of your father's movement is his theme was save america's soul. it wasn't a political movement or even a business movement. it was a moral movement, save the nation's soul. >> no, no question about that. and, quite frankly, we may have to redefine what is morality because it seems as if there is
some confusion about it, particularly as it relates to some on the right wing, the right wing evangelistic community. moral behavior is really about values. what do you value in society? do you value your children? it feels as if we have not so far because we're not -- we have not been courageous enough to do something about guns. every nation is judged by how it streets its young people. they are our most precious resource. we can and we must do better. we are a much better nation than the behavior that we're exhibiting at this particular time. >> let me ask this of both you and carrie, martin. what do we need to see with all of this tremendous energy? what do we need to see to translate this into a real movement for change? how do we not have this moment pass? >> well, first of all, the
moment is i don't believe going to totally pass, but, you know, we have to -- we have to -- almost sometimes you have to make movements, you have to be proactive, you have to stay on the battlefield and be vigilant regardless. i think that's what young -- i hope that's what young people are prepared to do. so i don't have any concern about us missing the moment. i just think we have to keep the climate going. you know, the tragedy is this could happen again. >> you know, that's the point, because one of the things, carrie, i learned as a teenager -- i was 13 when i became youth director of dr. king's organization in new york the year he died, and we were taught confrontation must lead to legislation and then reconciliation. and how do we have the confrontation of the marches lead to legislation? otherwise two or three years down the road we will say as martin just said, we'll be back
here again? >> absolutely. so we have to, you know, really make change in america you need to change the laws. that's why the civil rights act and the voting rights act were so important to the civil rights movement. and we have to change these laws. we have to change them at the federal level, but we're not going to wait around for that to happen. we can change them also at the state and the local level and that's happening already, especially on gun violence. you know, chicago has been terrific on this issue. new york has been terrific on this issue, and i think that we can look to cities and states and local leaders to create change. you don't have to be the president of the united states to make an impact in your community. you can do that at the local level. we need more people running for office. there are 600 women now thinking of running for congress in our
country. that's amazing. we need to keep that up and keep those changes happening. >> and we'll have much more of both martin luther king iii and carrie kennedy on our show next sunday, same time, right here on "politics nation." and tonight you can catch me on a new documentary called "hope and furry, mlk, the movement and the media." it explores how social movements and the media have influenced each other from the civil rights movement through today. king was able to energize young ministers, young students. he set a tone of let's come out of these cathedrals, let's come out of these offices, and let's do something in the streets. >> "hope and fury" airs tonight
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you know, i've honestly been going easy on brother ben carson, but on at least about a monthly basis he provides me with material. as president trump's housing secretary of urban development position, he was never qualified for his past maybe of growing up in some rough neighborhoods, but by now you know the ongoing story of his office ordering a $31,000 dining set on the taxpayer dime, a purpose for which he claimed ignorance initially only to continp to it after pinning it on his wife before a house subcommittee on tuesday. understand through all of this i had a gotcha waiting for the secretary, but my staff to their credit restrained me. but then at that same hearing
this week mr. carson was asked about the removal of h.u.d. training materials to protect lgbtq residents in homeless shelters. he insisted that the issue was "complex because of gender issues" adding -- >> there are some women who said they were not comfortable with the idea of being in a shelter, being in a shower and somebody who had a very different anatomy. >> secretary carson, we know this isn't a job you deserve, but try to understand that one in five transgender americans have been homeless at some point, and as much as 40% of the 1.6 million homeless youth in this country are lgbtq. that's more than 600,000 kids.
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♪ we don't want to say one or two officers who make an error, even a terrible error, indicts an entire department because we know every department has fabulous men and women there who work every day. but i think we know the difference. >> on friday attorney general jeff sessions addressed dozens of the nation's black law enforcement officers at a
meeting in birmingham, alabama. while he pledged to protect civil rights, missing from his address was any serious commitment to police reform, the other side of the gun debate for the black community which was incensed this week by the police shooting death of unarmed 23-year-old stephan clark, fired upon 20 times in his grandmother's backyard in sacramento, california. the sacramento police, investigating a vandalism complaint, initially claimed they felt threatened by what they thought appeared to be a gun but which later turned out to be a cellphone. joining me now is clarence cox, president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives.
mark clacksman a former new york p.d. detective and director of black law enforcement alliance and civil rights attorney benjamin crump, who is representing the family of sacramento police shooting victim stephan clark. let me go to you first, attorney clark. you are in sacramento. certainly this case has not gotten national attention that i think it deserves. 20 shots at an unarmed man. i immediately was alarmed by this. i talked to the mother of reverend shane harris of national action network, is boots on the ground there in san diego, reverend tulis and others. i understand you, like so many other national cases, have become involved in this case and we're announcing this for the first time on national tv. >> yes, sir, reverend al. let me first say thank you to your leadership with the
national action network, reverend harris, reverend tulis and reverend molton have been tremendous assistance to the family, especially as they prepare for the homecoming of this tragic, sensely killing, and they're very hopeful, the family, that you will be available to come on thursday to help properly eulogize him. >> i will try my best to be there since you said it on television, but i told the mother i would do what i could and i intend to be there on thursday. tell us about this case, because i'm putting this in the context of this happened sunday night. the attorney general speaks in birmingham on friday, and i want to get mr. cox's analysis of that as one that was in the room, yet he doesn't mention this case, he doesn't talk about police reform, he doesn't deal at all, attorney crump, with an
issue that is raging all over this country. when he met with us civil rights leaders, he listened, made no commitments. this has been months ago, and we can't talk about gun violence without talking about how police use guns. 20 shots on an unarmed person, attorney crump, and "i thought it was a gun?" >> absolutely reverend al. this follows those tragedies like terence crutch in oklahoma, mcdonald. walter scott in chicago, south carolina, all over american. where the clark family is devastated about is that he was executed in their backyard, yet he had no gun, no weapon at all. he made no threats against the police and the police offered no warning to him. they didn't identify themselves, and they offered him no humanity after they executed him in the backyard. for over six minutes he laid
there dying and they did nothing to help him, and then when they finally approached him they handcuff him. one of the officers used profane language and then a supervisor tells him, mute your mikes. then everything is muted and it almost feels like it is a conspiracy. so that's why the family is just outraged and devastated. >> now, let me go to you, clarence cox. you were in the room. the attorney general came. did he address any specifics that he in leading the justice department would do around policing? the reason i say that is the former attorney general, eric holder who went to many of these places like ferguson when many of us were there protesting and like loretta lynch went to baltimore, did he even address situations like this shooting we
just saw the very week he addressed the group that you were part of and was he challenged by any of the black police officers in the room about how are we going to deal with police reform when many of them have been subjected to racism by their own colleagues in law enforcement? >> good morning, sir. certainly we were concerned with this shooting that you and attorney crump are talking about, but the first thing that we hit him with is the drug penalties that he's trying to levy on drug traffickers because we're very concerned, being that drugs have been plaguing the african-american and brown communities for quite sometime. we're very concerned with the strong language they used this week about the death penalty associated with drug trafficking. so that was our first conversation. we made it very clear that we were not aligned with the justice department on many of the issues because it seems like
recently most of these issues have been something that would disenfranchise minorities even more. so he assured us that the messaging from the justice department may have had a wrinkle in it, and we sure let him know we heard what he said and i actually read a memo that he wrote out to all u.s. attorneys across the country that said that you could apply the death penalty to these folks. so my concern was that are we talking about cartel leaders or are we talking about drug traffickers. >> yeah, and profiling them at that. and i think you're right to raise that issue, but, mark claxton, i'm also concerned, that issue -- and i give them credit for raising it, and certainly i think it is important. i am disappointed in the attorney general's response as i was in our meeting with him of civil rights leaders, but you worked hard, tirelessly on
reforming how police are held accountable even though you've been a policeman yourself. why would a police officer tell another officer to mute the sound after shooting 20 times if they weren't trying to cover up whatever they were going to try to use as a rationale? i'm not prejudging it. i'm asking the question, what would be any reason to say, "mute the sound"? >> there are a host of region, some legitimate, some not legitimate, that a police officer would engage in that type much conduct. what makes it especially suspicious are the circumstances in which they decide to mute their microphones. were they afraid of saying something incriminating? because that's what stands out in your mind. let me jump back if i could, reverend al, to attorney general jeff sessions. attorney general jeff sessions is continuing his cops as props
tour. if anyone is expecting anything progressive or forward thinking of from this relic of a bygone era, they will be sadly mistaken and bitterly disappointed at what he is able to do. as far as reform is concerned, if you deal with and address reform agenda comprehensively and incruisivel inclusively, but the area in this administration where it seems probable or possible. >> unfortunately, we have to go? let me say thank you to clarence cox, to mark claxton and attorney crump, on the case again. i'm sure i will be seeing you this week out in sacramento. and a reminder, registration is now open for this year's national action network's national convention aprapri april 18th-21 in new york city as the country marks the 50th
anniversary of dr. martin luther king jr.'s assassination and as the community focuses efforts to stand united against president trump's anti-civil rights policy agenda. go register at national action network.net. up next, donald trump's response to the gun marches. we will be right back. discover card. customer service! ma'am. this isn't a computer... wait. you're real? with discover card, you can talk to a real person in the u.s., like me, anytime. wow. this is a recording. caller: really? no, i'm kidding. 100% u.s.-based customer service,
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. as millions marched across the country yesterday, the president, well, he played golf in florida. joining me is white house correspondent for pbs newshour. i'm out of time, but i wanted to ask you, the president yesterday and today, all he's tweeted about is there's no collusion with russia. he tweeted about the wall. nothing about the march. nothing about gun control. >> well f you're president trump and using twitter to talk about the things you think are most important, those are the things most important to you, he wants to put on his face -- especially to followers and focused on safety of america and the duty, he signed the omnibus bill
because he wanted to make sure america was safe, but obviously there were hundreds of thousands of young people, a new generation of activists at his door in washington, had he been home, asking for change, saying they wanted less gun violence in their school. it's not a controversial message on its face. president trump doesn't want to acknowledge this, but i think he feels threatened by that because some of these students are pushing back against his own administration's policies when it comes to guns. they want some of the exact same things president trump doesn't want, including banning guns and assault weapons. >> we'll see if he tweets tonight. "60 minute interview" about stormy daniel. up next, my final thoughts. . when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision.
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i noticed yesterday the national rifle association's response to the march was that these youngsters are being duped. they are using their first amendment right to eliminate the second amendment. no, they're not. the second amendment doesn't give you the right to bear ar-15 or assault rifles. they didn't even exist then. they are standing up for sane and common sense gun laws. but it's an old trick nra is
using that donald trump has mastered. try and flip the script on what the cause is. just like when you see people going to sacramento and i am supporting calling for justice then. i'll be there this week. when you see unarmed people being killed by police and they only want to know what is the reason and the legal protection for citizens. they'll say, oh, they're anti-police. no, they're not. we're anti-police brutality. we want police that are good. don't flip the script. answer the charge. and for you that are trying to be neutral, always know, when you see young people, old people, everybody marching and you're standing still, you're standing in the way. get out of the way of yourself. because progress is going to be made. by those that move. decide which way you're moving
and whose side you're on and the fight for greater america. that does it for me. thank for watching. now to my colleague, alex witt. >> that puts a smile on my face. good morning. good morning to you. it is 9:00 a.m. in the east. 6:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening. >> we march, we fight, we roar. >> welcome to the revolution. >> we will continue to fight. until we put a stop to gun violence in america. >> it is the day after from sea to shining sea, the call to end gun violence. west wing shuffle. one person congressman publicly worrying about the president's, quote, impulse control. i'm talk to him about the consequences. tick, tick, tick, just a