tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC November 23, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
♪ good evening and welcome to a special edition of "the beat." tonight we have a few different things, but we begin with this historic blue wave that's taking washington and trump by storm and has many bracing for democratic investigative powers which comes with this house takeover everyone's been talking about. we are heading into holiday season and the new year will be bringing more than holiday cheer to washington. the average age of congress in 2019 drops because of this young democrat. also shattering diversity
records. more than a hundred women elected to the house for the first time in history. we didn't know what the results would be, but before the election we devoted a special panel, the first-time women candidates to come on "the beat." i should note three of the eventual winners on the panel discussed the importance of representation. >> there's never been a native american woman in congress. if you've always been represented in this country, you don't know what it's like to not ever see yourself in any body of government. >> i'm a working single mom of three young children. and it's very much part of who i am. i think our democracy is only as rich and as vibrant as the voices that we hear in it. >> i was told you'll never be seen as viable because you can't raise the money that it takes. i'm proud to say that in both the primary and the general, i've raised more than any of the candidates on either side. >> that was candidate haines. she's now congresswoman-elect haines. perfectly viable. what are the democrats going to do with the power in their first priority is strengthening --
then comes the reports of 85 potentially different investigations and oversight operations to deal with this very unusual trump administration. now, leaders in congress aren't sharing all the details, but they're making it clear we can report for you tonight these investigations they see as a crucial step going forward. >> let's face it. the investigations are sexy. they're interesting. but we are going to need to ruthlessly prioritize on the intel committee which investigative threads we go down. >> this is the president trying to abuse his power to prevent not investigations but to prevent congress from doing its constitutional duty of being a check and a balance on the administration. >> i'm not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody's handing out candy on halloween. i take subpoenas for seriously. >> with me now is nick ackerman, christina greer, and liz plank.
thanks to you all for being here. christina, what do you think it means to have a newer congress, not only a bluer congress? >> i think it's a great opportunity for democrats. once they figure out who their leader will be, then they can set forth a progressive or centrist agenda. a lot of people are still thinking of 1998 and making sure impeachment isn't the only thing on the table. there are certain democrat who is really want that. but the new composition really wants to put forward an agenda of what will democrats do to combat this particular president or work with the senate republicans to actually give us either legislation or some sort of substantive policy beyond just fighting trump and, you know, thinking about just taxes and just impeachment and just jared kushner and robert mueller. >> there's an old saying, liz. this isn't your daddy's movie or your daddy's mug or whatever. when people used to say this wasn't your daddy's congress,
for many years this was your daddy's congress. overwhelmingly white male and elderly. it's not that any of those things are automatically good bad or in between, but in a democracy they don't look like the rest of the nation. what do you think especially -- i'm going to say it -- as a young person about the fact that just this new wave of freshmen have lowered the age of congress by a decade. >> yes. i love old white men. but that is not the only perspective important in our society and in government. and we talk about the blue wave. but it's also a brown wave. we had so many particularly women of color really have these incredible wins and get this amazing support amongst the party and outside the party and get new people to the party. 37% of the new house members are women of color. that is their proportion in our society. that is remarkable. that should be totally normal. but this is the new normal. and so that's a sign to the democratic party to invest in those women, to invest in women of color who have always been
the backbone of the party and have been able to grow the party. >> one of the most fascinating statistics that didn't break through on election night to your point about thinking through a historical lens, the last time voter turnout in a midterm was this high, women didn't have the right to vote. >> wow. that's incredible. and yeah. i was with the parkland kids a few days before the election. they were seeing the voter turnout there just, you know, 500% increase in texas particularly where we were. this is incredible and it's only going to get bigger and better in 2020. >> nick ackerman, let's get a little constitutional. the congress is not just a policy-making body. it is not just a body that writes laws. the founders gave it and the courts have understood it to have a robust subpoena power because it has an investigative function. now, newt gingrich was out right away with what some people called concern trolling. fake advice to democrats even though he's not known for rooting for democrats. he says be careful how tough you are. take a look.
>> if all you do is end up in investigations which unfortunately we did in '98, it actually hurts you because the country wants to see things work. the country doesn't want to have the house democrats spend all day every day in investigations and in open warfare against the president. >> let me say this first. the big investigation is the mueller investigation. and i think congress has to learn the same lesson and look at what's happened in the past with watergate, for example. they should just leave that investigation alone. give what they've got to the mueller people. let them have all the transcripts, all the interviews, but let mueller do that investigation. if they start talking to people, start investigating, they're just going to step on the prosecution's toes. >> that might surprise some people. i talk to people who watch the show and they're very eager to see this investigative function. you, nick ackerman, watergate specialist are saying don't rush and try to bring don jr. before the committee or other people, roger stone who might actually right now need to be focused as
potential mueller targets. >> right. on the other hand, there are some very legitimate areas that congress ought to be looking at. one is this whole issue of the emoluments clause. the president is not supposed to be getting benefits from foreign governments like he's doing with his hotels unless it's approved by congress. this is a completely legitimate function of congress. to look at his tax returns, to look at his businesses to find out where this money is coming from. and they have that duty under the emoluments clause since it's their job. >> it's important and the kind of thing people may have forgotten about and the republicans didn't seem to care about it. christina, i tourn you. if you don't mind, i'd like to ask you a stupid question. >> there are no stupid questions, ari. >> you are a professional and teacher. thank you for that. do you think if barack obama kept open a privately held company that took money from assorted foreign governments and i don't care where they are, the
founders didn't care where they were. but i would note including the pattern of middle eastern governments, do you think that would be a january story in the first year we'd forgotten about? >> we had to stop playing the what if barack obama game a long time ago, right? when trump came down the escalator and said mexicans were rapists and he was on his third wife. >> it was a drinking game but thenty passed out. >> we had to stop there. i mean, the problem is this is what george washington warned us about in 1776. he said we can never have a president who is possibly under the influence of a foreign government. and this is -- nick is correct. the democrats have to walk and chew gum at the same time. they have to put forward a vision of the party, but they also do i think have to raise some serious questions as to where these taxes -- whether or not the president has paid tax or where some of his business interests lie. because we know the trump hotel in washington, d.c. has some
interesting relationships with the saudi arabian government and we know there's problematic behaviors going on. so i think that those are worthwhile questions. we just can't make that the only agenda of the democratic party. >> right. trump and the saudis at times are alleged to be friends with benefits but the benefits are, like, tilting american foreign policy in a different direction. >> but they should be investigating the issues that the democrats ran on. why is it that the -- and how is it that the trump administration is trying to dismantle obamacare, trying to dismantle health insurance for the american people? how is it that the trump administration is trying to dismantle environmental protections that impact everybody going forward? these are the kinds of issues that they ought to be focused on. now, at the same time, they may get into some other areas. but they ought to be focused on what the voters are most concerned about. >> and they can investigate without bragging about it. they can tell people what they care about as we've seen in the midterms which is health care
and the economy and their jobs. you know, their livelihood and day-to-day. but do their job, investigate. democrats are at the head of all of these committees. they can investigate federal lands being used for fracking and environmental destruction. the new changes that the lack of protections for children who are transgender in schools, rolling back those obamacare regulations, there is so much for them to do. they can do it at the same time. >> and i think they can raise serious questions where these tax cuts will come from. the republicans pushed through this trump tax plan and i don't think that anyone who's taken ninth grade math can see where any of us are going to benefit from us except for top level donors for republicans. and so if the democrats keep pushing not just the economy, what -- you know, what is lost by giving all these tax breaks to other individuals? >> which brings us full circle. you said there are no stupid questions. that is the question for the outgoing congress, if you hated
the obama deficit so much that was shrinking when you inherited it, why did you grow it? i want to thank nick ackerman and christina greer and liz here. later, i sit down with one of my faves. 50 cent breaking down trump, the mueller probe, and how he knew michael cohen would flip. then we go to the roof for a very special fallback. this is new new edition. i'm ari melborn. you're watching a new edition of "the beat." makes more holiday deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. ♪ with one notable exception. ♪
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few people in american life or media know exactly what it means to straddle this particular intersection we're living through right now of entertainment and politics and trumpism. but one of those people that i bet you know is the legendary joy behar. she co-hosts "the view," a stand up comic, and has interviewed president trump. now we turn to my discussion with joy behar. i want to start by looking at all of the fun and action, political action you've had in some of your time on "the view." let's take a look. >> we are back with senator john mccain. you stood up to that. why are you so different from everybody else? you know a lot about politics. you know about the law. but do you know about pop culture? that's the question.
i need you to stay engaged. >> and we need you guys to keep it going. >> i don't know where that is today in the republican party. i'm not comfortable being part of it. >> which part bothers you though? >> it's a give and take not just from the administration but also from the news media. >> is the media supposed to not report on the fact that 95% of what he says is a lie? you say in the book that you wanted -- you should have said this. say it now. say it. we got you something that you can just wear this from now on. >> back up. >> back up. >> you get to see a lot more of these people up close than most americans. >> yes. >> what have you learned seeing our politics up close in this country? >> well, everybody's on their best behavior at "the view." they're scared of us too. >> you don't seem that scary. >> i'm not scared. you mean scary? >> you're not scary. >> no. but they don't know what we're going to say. even joe biden years and years ago told me he'd rather go on "meet the press" than "the view"
because "meet the press" is very -- but the view is -- >> it's -- versus what's the second one? i want to show some of your times with donald trump on "the view" over the years. >> i know him. i went to his second wedding, you know. there wasn't a wet eye in the room, ari. >> well, you've also at times gotten along with him as you know. >> who knew he was such a psycho? i liked the guy in a way. it was like, oh, he's a new york character. and now, you know -- >> character, yeah. i think the funny thing about -- i grew up on the west coast but you spend time in new york and see some of these people up close and it's different than the way the rest of the country might see them at a distance. perfectly coifed and well presented on a reality show. >> well, new york, as you know did not vote for him. >> i know. i didn't know you were bringing
news updates tonight. >> we know the beast. we knew him. we get it. just like michael bloomberg said i know a conman when i see one. new york is hip to it. the rest of the country didn't know him the way we do. >> let's look at you and him over the years. >> all right. >> he says it's his own hair, so i believe him because i believe donald. he's an upstanding american. but america doesn't believe him. >> okay. you ready? come here. check it out. >> it's true. it's real. >> it's not pretty, but it's real. if you're known as a patsy, as somebody who takes it, i think it's terrible. >> but theed a hominin attacks, those are not really effective. >> do you think he knew whatted a homon-- that meant? >> no. but one of the things is he's a real creative con type of salesman. he'll pick up anything you say.
he'll say it back to you. fake news was a term to describe the right wing articles that spread in october that helped him. and after he heard the criticism, he grabbed it. now everyone thinks it's his term. >> also lock her up and build the wall. i think somebody mentioned it to him at the beginning of one of his rallies and he said that's pretty good because they all responded to it. he doesn't have his own mind. he picks up as you say. >> but did he change from what we just saw? >> well, obviously i never thought that he would be this bad. never. because even before he won, i said if he wins god forbid, he can't be really such a maniac. he's much worse. >> a lot of people said if he wins, he would get more responsible. and you think he's worse. >> i think he's worse. i thought he was also a secret democrat. which he shows he's not. he's not a republican or a democrat. he's an anarchist in my opinion. >> what grade do you give chuck
schumer and nancy pelosi? >> well, nancy has been very effective in her job over the years. i understand. i'm not in the nitty-gritty of what goes on there, but she's been very good. i like nancy. i think that, you know, it's time probably to move on a little bit. people do get older. >> who would you get rid of first? chuck or nancy? >> chuck, last time he was on "the view" he came alive. it was like, wow. he was animated and everything. i didn't think he was doing this bit which is like, hello, chuck, if you're reading, yes. but when you're reading a prompter, you don't need them. take them off. >> when you've seen them get outworked and then he said i made a deal with mitch mcconnell on these judges and they get worked over and he's like, they're not being fair. >> they don't play with the same set of marbles. the republicans are vicious. mitch mcconnell, i think you have him on the -- i chose him for your throwback person. >> fallback. >> fallback person. that's it. i chose him.
because to me he's like an improv comic. he makes up as he goes along. today i think change this rule and that law. and everybody says okay. >> and he gets away with it. >> he gets away with it. >> because the democrats don't fight hard enough. >> we know they have no power right now. turn the lights on with some power. he's feckless. >> can i show you also before we go -- can i show you fred armisen doing you on "snl"? would you be okay with that? >> sure. some day i pray a woman will be imitating me. >> hey. fair. i'm daping you. that's fair. >> as if we have never seen this. >> you know what i always say? you know what i say? who cares. just go home and have a glass of pinot grigio. so what? >> he has captured my philosophy. so what? who cares? >> you can banter with so many
different people across politics and culture. >> and not care. i care a lot. i care a lot. >> you care a lot. >> sleepless nights now. >> you care but in a nice, authentic way. you don't demean. >> other people? i try not to. well, you know, it's hard not to with the president pinocchio in the white house. i mean, come on. >> you know what you're being right now? >> ad homonym. >> you're right. >> they're telling me we're out of time. you know how it works. why, do you have something else? >> no, no. i'm done. >> are you done? >> i'm done. can i have this? >> you know what? who cares? we're done. joy behar, thank you for coming on. >> you've been begging me to come on. was it good for you? >> you're asking me was this segment good for me? i think it was great. >> all right. that's all that counts. >> i have been begging you. we've known each other a long time and i said come on the show. a year in you hadn't come on the show.
then they call me in and say wish her a happy birthday. i'd love it to be mutual. >> when's your birthday? >> march. >> i'll be there. >> all right. joy behar, the one and only. and something else we hope will be good for me and you, we go up to the roof. new edition taking over our fallback friday when we're back in 30 seconds. and now we have a very special takeover edition of fallback friday. i am very proud to say i'm joined by the r&b supergroup
rbrm. you may also know them as new edition. you know their hits i am sure like "candy girl" and "telephone man." they also formed bel biv devo. they are back on tour this fall selling out stadiums around america. let me introduce all four members of rbrm. ron knee, bobby, ricky, and mike. >> yes. >> that was great. >> thanks for being here. >> thanks for having us. >> we're happy to have you on the beat together. ronnie, who needs to fallback? >> i'm going to say as a mad real estate professional with a company in atlanta, georgia, california has four of the top ten cities for purchasing a home. like the most expensive places to live. i'm like, cali, fall back. you got to share some of that wealth. you know, real estate is
generational. >> what about you, bobby? >> mine is -- i hear there's this al day door running around trying to snatch little puppies and little children and the alligator needs to fall back. you know? i have a barbecue line of sauces and seasonings. if y'all find him, please bring him to -- i mean, bring him to the cookout. i'll make y'all some alligator steaks. you know, some fried -- you know. >> alligator tips. >> alligator bites. >> usually when people say you're invited to the cookout, it's a good thing. but it sounds like it'd be a bad thing for the alligator. >> oh, yeah. it would be. he's at a cookout. >> he's getting cooked. >> and he's going to get cooked. trust me. >> what about you, ricky? >> i'm going to say lil xan. i heard he's saying he ate too
many hot cheetos and had to be taken to the hospital. i mean, what makes you eat a lot of cheetos? and if lil xan is short for what i think it is -- >> lil xanax -- >> right. then it might be what he did before he ate the cheetos that led him to the hospital. >> here on "the beat" we respect almost all rappers. we do have an exception for lil xan. we don't respect him or his music. and he's one of these overnight successes. we'll wish him well. we hope he gets better at music. but i wonder how you feel when you all have worked so hard for so long to establish yourself and i've read about some of the troubles you had initially with the music contracts and how shady it could be. a lot of these are like overnight internet celebs now. >> the good part and bad part about that. as a fellow artist, we wish everyone who has a desire and a dream to do well. you know? because it's such a -- it's a
hard business to make it in. it is such a great feeling and accomplishment personally when you do finally make it. but, i mean just as a musician, as an artist when it comes to skill and working hard on your craft and what it takes for us from the process of creating music, recording the musician, rehearsing the music, it's such a process. and then you watch somebody and say did they have to rehearse to do this show? or just walk out? there's a little envy there. >> i wonder if you have any tips or ideas for people out there who are old friends or who get into a beef or who have falling outs? i think it's fair to say and put it in your own words, you have had rougher times on the road but here you are together now. it seems to be all good now. >> i would say we've already inspired and seen the effect of how we rock with each other and treat each other, how it has gotten -- i say getting certain
artists off the couch. that's what makes us feel good. believe it or not, some of the groups that were separated come and do shows with us. we don't talk about what they've been through. we just smile and say, you know what? >> glad to see y'all back together. >> we see what y'all doing. >> what advice would you give your younger self on how to stay friends with people for so long? >> do it the way we do it. knuckle up, go home, scream and shout. you know, form separate entities, come back together, miss each other, love each other. but more importantly, stay together and stick with each other. >> and don't steal each other's girlfriends. >> yeah. don't do that. >> yeah. >> words well spoken by. >> yeah. right. >> when the group was going through more challenges, was it about that? would you say it was about women? was it about money? was it about fame? >> everything under the sun we fought about. we fought about women, about money, about what to wear on the
stage that night. we had play fights that turned into real fights. when you spend this much time with your brothers or anyone, you're going to bump heads at certain times. and in the very beginning, we would have to all stay in one room together. we didn't get separate rooms. there would be like three of us in one room, two in another. >> when you're in tour selling out shows and the record label wouldn't give you separate rooms? >> not at all. >> all of us in the back of a lincoln town car with the bodyguards up front fighting for snee space. >> i'd fight with anyone if you put me three people to a room for too long. >> that was keeping uz confused. that was making us think we didn't have what we had. tafs good game plan, you know? >> yeah. a lot of people have overnight success, right? where, you know, they hit the jack pott. but when you fast forward their careers, they're nowhere to be found like for new edition, and
bobby brown it's been a steady ride. we wouldn't trade that for anything in the world to have the longevity we have opposed to instant fame. >> 40 years is a long time to be, you know, doing any one job. we tend to make it a lot of fun for ourselves. and it has been. it's been fun. >> for each of you going down the line, what's the song from your history that when you hear it at a wedding or on the radio or walking around in the summer and you go, wow i'm lucky. baa when we hear "poison," there's just songs that are classic. but you were a part of so many of them. >> you know, for me i would have to say probably "candy girl." i think it just -- it was a monster. it's still the only record that jumped over michael jackson in the "thriller" run. >> for me it would probably be "poison." i mean, just the longevity of that song.
it feels like every time it comes on, people react to it a certain way. i mean, it can be played at a club or at a wedding or at the barbecue and it has the same effect. but no matter where you are, if you're -- if i'm in the building or one of us in the building and that song comes on, people always look at you. >> like, is he going to dance? >> so sometimes actually -- i've gone to weddings and i tell people don't play that song until i leave. >> second that. >> mine would probably be "per r me rogtive." because it's been 30 years since that. it's not a nuisance when i go to clubs and they play it. it's just more so like rick was saying. come on, don't do that to me. it just makes me feel strange. especially if i'm on a dance floor and i'm dancing to something else. me and my wife dancing and all
of a sudden it comes on and it's like, oh. we go sit down. >> strange how? how do you feel when it comes on? >> because i feel like i got to perform. you know? and i can't hum along to it. i don't want to hum along and everybody looking at me, you know. it's just like, you don't do that. there's some things you don't do as an artist in a club or at a party. period. >> yeah. >> i mean, damn. y'all didn't leave anything for me. >> you got "telephone man." >> i'm going to say this. "telephone man" is one of my favorite sing alongs. but ain't nothing like the fingers on "if it isn't love." ooh. that choreography is amazing. >> i guess the final question i have to ask is, if it isn't love, why does it hurt so bad? >> oh, man. >> that's a good question. >> throughout our 40-year history, it's been a challenge of trying to maintain a
friendship and a professional relationship. especially when -- i mean, we're family. our families know each other. we live close to each other. we spend so much time together. >> at the end of the day, like, the best things in life that come to you are through turmoil and pain and fight. the blood, sweat, and tears. so, you know? >> we wouldn't change it for anything though. >> right. >> rbrm, new edition, thank you for coming on "the beat." >> thank you for having us. >> ladies and gentlemen, i'm mike bev. >> i'm ricky bell. >> i'm bobby brown. >> and i'm ronnie devoe. up ahead, dropping by "the beat" to share everything behinds his famous lyrics to why he thinks donald trump is an accidental president and alice walker on how to confront the trump era head on and how she believes he has an envy complex
here's one thing we do know about donald trump's closest advisers. they have mixed business politics and crime to create great wealth and greater risk. so one of the things wenk. everything about this criminal era without understanding some of those forces. tonight we hear from one of the experts in that game. hip hop artist and businessman 50 cent. friends can call him by his government name curtis jackson. you know politics. you know power. and you know donald trump a little bit. you even had him on your g-unit radio show. let's look at that. >> we got donald trump here. >> i hear you on there with the big man. >> how you doing? >> i'm fine. >> well, you know i have some kids and myself included, but i have kids. they think you are the best, the absolute best. that's pretty cool.
my little daughter ivanka and my son eric. these people, they just love your music. >> i'm going to keep making it. >> you better keep making it. >> a lot of laughs back then. what's changed? >> wow. a lot's changed. i didn't know that he shared the views that he kind of showed people over the period that he's been the president. i did learn he personalized things. >> personalize? i'm thinking of that book by rob green. he describes you. 50 cent's lack of fear is displayed in his attitude and actions. he lived through too many dangerous encounters to be remotely fazed by anything the the corporate world. and he wrote you'd walk away and not care. and i want to ask you about that. because that really joeoverlaps with your analysis about donald trump being an accidental president and not fearing
anything when he was a candidate. >> his presidency is an accident. if you were a president by accident, you might do some of the things donald trump is doing. i think he was doing that to build his profile for a bigger deal on television and everything else. >> how did you come to that view? a lot of people agree with that. that's scary if that's the reason he became president. >> yeah, i think it was a surprise to him when he actually won. you know, because he said things that were really graphic in the campaign. just generally into the idea of someone who's non-politician. >> now, people know you for your art and i think for your business. they may not know you've been following the news in the trump era. i want to show you something they have not seen as you posted to the internet. when the news first broke, cohen's office was raided. you had no doubt what was going to happen next. >> he going to snap. he going to tell all of it.
michael like trump but he don't like him enough to go through that. he ain't from that neighborhood. >> you were proven right because he did flip. why were you so sure he would flip? >> i know the federal guidelines are the same no matter where you are. and michael's still a straight laced guy. still an attorney. can't bear that kind of pressure. >> you mentioned the federal guidelines. that's something people talk about in the street. a lot of people may not know this. i'm going to quote 50 if that's okay. in one of your older songs, you said when the feds come and the game loyalty is limited, with the feds you do 85% of your time. duke you get ten you'll damn near do nine. and you're quoting this. federal prisoners must serve at least 85% of their sentence behind bars before becoming eligible for release. >> it doesn't sound like i'm telling the truth abubecause i'
using slang in hip hop there, but it's a fact. you going to tell them more than they need to know. tell them everything. is that enough? keep going. so they have to make some adjustments. it's definitely not over. >> i want to ask you about guns. you know, this is very controversial. let's start again with your lyrics from "high all the time," you say, look, you don't want me to be your kids' role model. i'll teach them how to buck up them 380s and load up those hollows. another you said parents warn their kids about people like me. and you have that persona. but anyone watching this now sees you here as a very professional, successful businessman at this point in your life. but you still post online a lot. you say get the strap, talking about these guns. >> right. >> do you ever worry that the kids who look up to you so much might get the wrong impression about that? do you think you're supporting gun use?
>> i think people are smart enough to understand the things that you say versus the things that you do are two different things. they understand the difference between entertainment and the reality of your lifestyle you live in, what you're doing. because you wouldn't be able to be as successful as i've been to this point if i was living exactly the way the lyrics say. >> when you say get the strap, does that mean get a gun and kill someone? >> well, actually, when i originally started using the catch phrase. whenever i'd see something shocking, i'd say get the strap. whap do you do when this happens? like, when there's nothing else -- when there's a point of confusion in the environment i grew up with, there's nothing left to do but get the strap. >> a couple other lines i want to ask you about. you said here's a jewel. love your enemies and hate your friends. your enemies remain the same, friends always change. what does that mean? >> that means, you know, when a person becomes an enemy of
yours, it's somebody you have differences with. they stay in the same position. you keep your distance from them and you watch them. the friends, the people that you allow closer to you, they have the ability to have the seeds that don't require water to grow, of entitlement. so you may do some things for them but it may never be enough. >> another lyric from one of your softer songs "21 questions" which is a great karaoke song. if i went back to a hoopty from a benz, would you poof disappear like some of my friends. what does that mean? >> if i went back would you disappear like some of my friends? >> if you stay on top, how do you know who those people are? >> time will show you. some of these people have expiration dates. they spoil like milk. >> i'm a big fan. i appreciate you coming on the beat. >> every time you talk when i
flip through the news, we stop immediately because we know something is going to be said that's cooler than usual. >> thank you. that means a lot. up ahead, alice walker joins "the beat" for a discussion of trumpism, barack obama, and artists quoting her work. stay with us. ♪ the united states postal service makes more holiday deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. ♪
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people feeling a kind of despair raising questions that are way deeper than politics. we turn to art for insight for those things. author alice walker has been weighing in on the trump era in her new poetry. history shows you can't regret misfortune because it can always lead you somewhere better. here is our discussion with her. >> i think of them as a way to talk to people about tending to their own hurt and their own wounds instead of just screaming at the person who hurt you. because there was a way in which if we don't heal ourselves, we can never heal the world. and that is the central point of this book. >> that seems to be a distinction between how do you have catharsis of progress versus the search for justice or what can be getting even? because we're also having a conversation here about what people get away with right now in america. >> yes.
and also part of what we -- what happens if you try to get away with something that's terrible is that you cannot. and this poem about the police, what i'm saying is that the white cops police what i'm saying is that the white cops that kill our children, they can only expect to be healed by sitting with the mothers of the children they have killed. and this could be a beginning of their healing and the healing of our society. >> that poem in the new book here to the police, i know we have it right there if you'd read it to us. >> in is about the people who own the police, not directly to the police because there are people who actually own them and often they're not aware they're owned by something more than themselves. "though usually devoid of feeling, they are experiencing a sensation they almost enjoy. they get to witness by twisted enchantment dozens of strong black mothers weeping. they planned and nurtured your hatred and fear -- speaking of
the police -- and focused the kill shot." >> who do you hope reads that? >> well, i hope whoever's interested in freeing their own heart and spirit. you know, i'm not interested in writing actually political things exactly, but i want to change people the way they interact with each other and the way they see reality and the way they see our history. >> you have a pulitzer prize. kendrick lamar is the first rapper to win a pulitzer prize ever. i want to play something from one of his songs in a video that echos your work. take a look. ♪ alls my life i have to fight >> have you heard him quote you before? >> no. >> u never seen that?
>> no. >> and he's big. he's not alice walker big but he's big. what do you think of that? >> it's the truth of that, especially for people and people of color in this country. we've had to fight all of our lives. it's a good thing that we can talk to each other across generations. >> prizes are a funny thing. there are people who criticize knnobel and pulitzer for giving them to musicians. what do you think? >> i'm not crazy about prizes. however should have them should have them and those who should do without them should do without them? >> and we talk about oprah and whoopie. we talk about black women who had never been cast in a film
before. does that help that? >> it does. the real joy comes from the work, it's not really the prize. >> that's something that comes you from and sitting across the table from you it is obvious to observe but i will observe it,s that something you and the president do not have in common. he tends to brag a lot. butch he does claim to be smart and educated. this is the only quoting of the president we're going to do. >> i went to an ivy league school. i'm very highly educated. i know words. i have the best words. >> what does it tell you it's important for him to be perceived at so smart? >> it tells me that he knows he probably is not and he has an interiority complex and that's very sad. but it's even sadder that we elected him to lead. we definitely need a very different kind of leader. in fact, we actually need to lead ourselves. until we do, we probably
wouldn't got very far. >> you say inferiority or the lack of self-affirmation or love, does that make people more dangerous when they come into power paand money? >> yes, because there's always envy. there's always the feeling to measure up. you can see that between him and barack obama. i think the envy there was so blatant. >> that donald trump envied barack obama, even though he started out with much more than barack obama? >> of course. that's part of the problem. he's a man who had everything and barack obama is a black man who is supposed to have nothing. he's all of the things that this president isn't. and it's very hard to take. but the answer is not to make us all suffer, it's to go and improve yourself. >> alice walker, for me it's an honor to have you here. i really appreciate you coming by. >> thank you. bless you. >> the book is "taking the arrow out of the heart." when we come back, we're going to show you one more thing.
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commercial free. we also post extra content there every weekend. so if you're thinking about giving it a try, you'll find there's a lot of extra stuff we do on "the beat" through that podcast. that's it for tonight. i'm see you back on monday at 6 p.m. eastern. off to the races. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. after this month's midterm be feeling wind at their backs as the sprint toward 2020 officially kicks into high gear. with president trump already campaigning for reelection, there's a host of democratic hopefuls raising money, visiting key states and honing their messages as they look to challenge him. but even as the 2018 midterms brought a big victory for