Melissa Harris-Perry, Transcript 06/07/15

Amanda Saab; Briana Curry; Swin Cash; Jason Page; Tamara Draut; Anand Giridharadas, Mara Keisling, Cherno Biko, Carlos Maza, Corey Feldman, Hannah Simpson, Trameka Pope

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Plus, the uneven playing field in

And Corey Feldman, also known as mouth of the goonies is coming to

But first, addressing inequality in America.

Good morning. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry.

In 2016 it`s populism, populism, populism as candidates vie for the title
of man or woman of the people. And this time the Democrats have some


RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To the one in five children in
families who are on food stamps, to the one in several en Americans living
in poverty, to the one in ten workers who are unemployed, underemployed or
just giving up hope of finding a job, I hear you. You are not forgotten.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But power, money and political
influence have left a lot of Americans lagging behind. They work hard.
They lift heavy things and they sweat through their clothes grinding out a
living. But they can`t seem to get ahead or in some cases stay even.

out we can`t sit idly by as big government politicians paycheck it harder
for our workers and then turn around and blame them for losing jobs
overseas. Working people don`t need another president tied to big
government or big money.


HARRIS-PERRY: On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is harkening back to
the new deal planning a major vision speech this week at the FDR memorial
in Roosevelt Island in New York.

On monument, it commemorates Roosevelt`s four freedoms – freedom of
speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and from want. Her
competition for the nomination is all well from her left. So if she wants
to channel FDR, she better bring it.


loudly and clearly enough is enough. This great nation and its government
belong to all of the people and not to a handful of billionaires.

rebuild the American dream at home though by catering to the voices of the
privilege and power for. Let`s be honest, they were the ones who turned
our economy upside down in the first place. And they are the only ones who
are benefitting from that.


HARRIS-PERRY: OK. So, this is interesting, right? Because except for the
little D or the little R in the corner, you may not know if you are
listening to a Democrat or Republican speaking. Why are we hearing this
from all sides? Maybe because right now in this moment this is what they
think people want to hear. Because even as the economy continues to
recover adding an impressive 280,000 jobs last month, make it the best
month for job growth this year, that recovery is nothing felt equally.

A recent poll by “the New York Times” and CBS have found that two-thirds of
Americans believe that wealth should be more evenly distributed. Sixty-
five percent believe that the gap between rich and poor must be address
right now. Fifty-seven percent believe the government should explicitly be
trying to close that gap.

It`s clear now that income and wealth and equality are getting increasing
attention from the American people and have been for several years. That
attention was jump started by the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and
sustained through protests for higher wages. Recent incidents of alleged
police brutality that drew national focus to deeply unequal American
microcosms like Baltimore.

Now, the electorate wants something done and the nation`s would-be leaders
need to present their plans.

Joining me now, Tamara Draut who is vice president of policy and research
at DEMOS. She`s also working on writing a book right now about the new
working class to be published by Doubleday in April of 2016. Raul Reyes,
attorney and contributor to And Anand Giridharadas, who is
columnist for “the New York Times” and author of the book “the true
American, murder and mercy in Texas.”

It is so nice to have you all here.

Let me start this ad tune in to the Nerdland table here, we have talked a
lot about the 99 versus one percent as a kind of way of thinking about
inequality. But you have written recently that don`t you think the 99
versus one is kind of the wrong way to think about it. There is a
different way to think about what these multiple American realities are.

many of us who are not necessarily in the one percent but are still living
in a successful country. The way I think about it is, you know, I think
20, 30 percent of Americans still live in an America that`s the most
successful society if the history of the world. Worked for world class
institutions, have a certain amount of access to hospitals, insurance, a
good life, good universities.

But I think two-thirds or three-quarters of us are living in a different
America that`s actually now decisively a second world country without
realizing it. And if we mischaracterize the problem as hedge funders
stealing a little bit of money from are the rest of us, I actually don`t
think we understand the extent of institutional decay and civilizational
decay in the kind of bottom two-thirds or three-quarters of the country.

HARRIS-PERRY: It is an interesting point to say this idea of the 99
percent, that result to me was in part a political strategy to draw in more
people because you know, so you might be in the 70 percent but not in that
one percent. But it is an interesting point that in drawing in the greater
coalition, it might also obscure just how big those gaps are for an even
broader proportion of people.

and is exactly right. I mean, the degradation that so many workers, most
workers in America have suffered in the last two decades is extreme, you
know. The reality is the difference between having a college degree and
not having a college degree is enormous now. People don`t live on the same
blocks. They don`t interact with each other.

HARRIS-PERRY: I tell my students, just military crawl across the finish
line, guys, like it is not the same job market it may have been in the 90s
for college grads, but it is a bulwark against so many economic bad, yes.

DRAUT: The majority of workers and the majority of jobs, the largest jobs
that are growing in America are working class jobs. So from health aides,
their childcare workers, the janitors, the retail sales, those are the jobs
that are adding the most to the economy now. And they don`t require a
college degree. And they don`t provide a life of dignity and well-being.

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s interesting point, this idea that when we talk about
jobs, you know, there used to be a discourse for all that. All of those
kinds of jobs, the one that don`t require a college degree were gone. But
in fact, in a service of economy, they are not gone. They are here. But
they don`t provide the same kind of life. My grandfather on my mother`s
side never graduate from college, never went to college, but he was a
delivery truck driver. He sold Chryslers for a long time and was able to
buy a home. His wife, my grandmother never worked for, you know, for wages
outside the home, and they raised five kids, most of who went to college.
I just can`t even fathom such a thing.

RAUL REYES, CONTRIBUTOR, NBCNEWS.COM: Right. And I think that – I think
that type of story is not uncommon. My grandfather was largely the same
way. And for most of his life he was undocumented. But he always on his
owned home, he had seven kids, they all went to college.

But I think for families today, there is so much in security. Even those
able to go to the college, they still face a difficult job market. But I
think part of the problem is that it`s not just our system. It is the way
we look at it with a type of, I would say, a paralysis because people are
frustrated in terms of with a do we do.

But the fact is, you know, looking at our system at the macro level, when
you factor out things like our tax policy and our government spending
policies, structurally, our economy isn`t set up for a type of inequality
we have. We are more like European economies. So the fact is at least at
the theoretical level, the good news is that just as we created a lot of
this income inequality with our policies, we can change it. But the
question is it`s a political question. Are we willing to do it? Do we
have the courage to do it? And what type of country do we want to live in?

HARRIS-PERRY: Anand, the way you asked the question in your recent “New
York Times` piece, I thought is – I was like, this is the political
dynamite we don`t want to touch which is a question of the resources that
any individual family has, how much go to your kids and how much do go to
everybody else`s kids. And I was like, man, let me just tell you. When
you frame it like that, people are not – the answer that many want to
answer is everything. Everything I have goes to my children and none to
other people.

GIRIDHARADAS: And I think I have had the fortune in life spending a lot of
time in a lot of different countries, countries that are very unequal,
countries that very equal, countries that are very poor, and very rich.

HARRIS-PERRY: And you were born in Cleveland.

GIRIDHARADAS: Which is sort of a developing world.


GIRIDHARADAS: And one of the things that you see in the least successful
places on earth is that rich and poor people don`t just have income
inequality. They live parallel different lives. And they want everything
for their own kids and don`t care about other people`s kids. And we are
becoming in our mentality if not in the per capita GDP, a developing
country in that way.

HARRIS-PERRY: That notion is one I want to dig into as we come back so I
want to talk solutions. There are social solutions to this. There are
policies. There are ways to address that.

And before we go to break, I do want to give you an update on the update
from the G-7 summit, specifically this question about nations and where
they are in the world. That G-7 summit got under way this morning in the
resort town in the Bavarian Alps. President Obama joined German chancellor
Merkel and the leaders of the other G-7 nations for two days of talks on
global economics, world health, and international security.


(INAUDIBLE), we are going to discuss our shared future. The global economy
that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous
European union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic,
standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combatting threats from
violent extremism to climate change.


HARRIS-PERRY: The Germans have deployed 17,000 police officers to provide
security for the event. And yesterday, in advance of the summit some of
the police clashed with thousands of protesters who were demonstrating
against the G-7 and raising concerns on a range of geopolitical and
economic issues.

Up next the fight for 15 hits the heartland.


HARRIS-PERRY: As the push for higher wages continues St. Louis, Missouri,
is looking to be the largest city to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Mayor Francis Slay is hoping to get the wage hike approved by the city`s
board of Alderman next week and get wages up to about $15 an hour by 2020.
But the city may face a major obstacle. The Missouri state legislature,
you see the dominated – the state house is dominated by Republicans who
just passed a bill hoping to preempt the would-be wage hikers like Mayor
Slay. The bill would prohibit any Missouri city from raising the minimum
wage above the level set by the state currently at $7.65.

Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, may veto the bill but Republican
legislators have the numbers to override that veto.

So we know something about the problem right? When we look at the Pew
search center, we have this gap between middle and high – so this is the
99-1 making this more complicated that the median wealth of the upper
income families is nearly seven times that and we know that wealth is also
stagnant. So Pew also telling us that we have this kind of stagnant wealth
reality. In part all of this related to the issues of the mortgage melt
down. So we know what the problems are. What are some of the solutions?

DRAUT: Well, there are lots of them. I love that the Republican Party is
embracing inequality and talking about it. But I can`t help, when I see
Rick Perry –

HARRIS-PERRY: You`re not allowed to laugh, Raul.

DRAUT: I see Rick Perry saying we remember you, the people on food stamps,
the first thing that comes to mind, yes, but your answer is to cut food
stamp funding. It`s not to raise the minimum wage. It is not to expand
the earned income tax credit to childless workers. It is not to invest in
universal affordable high quality child care. It is not to do any of these
things that would actually help people who work hard and live a decent life
and give their kids a decent life.

HARRIS-PERRY: Some of the things and we start to get you as we to the end,
so it is one thing saying $15 an hour. I think people understand why more
money creates, you know, a better economic circumstance. But these other
issues, everything from immigration reform to child care to reproductive
rights are also economic issues and inequality issues. But they aren`t
always packaged that way.

REYES: Right. And you know, when we talk about this raising the minimum
wage to $15, just as a point of reference, someone who earns $15 an hour
and works 40 a week, you are still making $31,000.


REYES: Right. $31,000 in major cities like Los Angeles and, you know, St.
Louis. So, I mean, it was not talking about a whole heck lot of money.
But there are still other things, you know, like also we need more
government regulation of the monopolies and the quality of monopolies. And
then what I call the explosives because these things make Republicans make
their head blow off which is a more progressive income tax or possibly even
regulating the caps on the highest CEO levels of pay.

Those are things that are nonstarters for Republicans. And so far although
they are talking about income inequality, it`s really just, to me, a
positioning of the message. It`s not substantive policies. They are co-
opting a lot of rhetoric from the Democratic side. But they– I don`t see
them as embracing social safety net or change to a tax system to would
benefit most people.

GIRIDHARADAS: I don`t want to be the ambassador prosecute from Kumbaya


REYES: I love Kumbaya.

GIRIDHARADAS: I think sometimes we miss very large historical turning
points. The idea that every candidate you showed is talking about the
issue is actually a big deal. And it`s a moment. And if we all a think
this is a big problem, let`s first start by saying, maybe people on the
left took cared about this issue more than the people on right. Let`s
treat the people the new entrants on the right are as guests coming to your
home. Pour them a glass of water, give them a nice place to sleep and
let`s actually, maybe, exploit the opportunity to have an adult, two-party
conversation in which we begin by acknowledging that the left has some so
insights and some blind spots about this problem and the right has maybe
some insights and some blind spots about the problem.

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s such an interesting question, right? This idea of like
so when we talk about populism that, how does it look, I can`t lead this
conversation about both sides trying to do a kind of populist message
without playing a little bit of Marco Rubio talking about rap music this
week. And I promise I will pull it together. Let`s take listen for a


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your love of Wu Tan Clan. Do you have a favorite


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t pick a favorite?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you like now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Who do you listen to?

RUBIO: I don`t know – listen to, yes. Not with my kids there, but
Pitbull who lives in Miami is great. And I really still – there is a
Sirus XM channel station called backspin with all the stuff from the `90s.
I don`t know. Maybe I`m getting old.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, this moment, right, he`s not talking about economics but
he is doing this kind of populist, I listen to the stuff the kids listen
to. And I guess what I want – I want it to be what you are saying. I
want to be new entrants. Everybody agreeing there is a problem in us
dealing with it. But then when I see that moment like that I think this is
just politics. This is just I`m going to do this thing in order to get,
you know, voters to think I`m a regular guy or regular gal.

GIRIDHARADAS: We see it on the left, too.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, 100 percent.

REYES: Hillary talking about being broke and Bill Clinton, talking about
got to pay the bills. It`s an inauthentic way to presenting themselves as
one of you. Even though history has shown, you can be a wealthy person
like a Kennedy or Rockefeller and do all you want for social change. So,
you know, economic policies. It is just that they feel this need to the
present themselves in this particular way.

GIRIDHARADAS: I mean, I think everybody is problematic or a lot of people
are. It`s amazing in a cycle that as you point out maybe the most
inequality populist centric cycle in decades, the standard bearer on the
left is the perfect embodiment of (INAUDIBLE), connections, genuine merit
and all of that stuff mixed together. And so, everybody as their stains.

But if there is an opportunity to say, you know, we have liberal places in
America like New York City. They haven`t figured out poverty. We have
very conservative places like Alabama. They haven`t figured it out. So I
don`t think anybody has a monopoly on it because even when they have 80
percent popular support, no one mixes it. We need a new kind of
conversation. And I think it starts with understanding the way jobs are
important to people with dignity and well-being. And on the other side how
family, community connections are important to being able to live that
economic prosperity.

HARRIS-PERRY: That kind of full humanity (ph) and being able to name at
least one member of the Wu Tan Clan if you claim they are your favorite

Thank you to Tamara Draut and to Anand Giridharadas, also to Raul Reyes who
is sticking around.

Now we turn to the latest on the controversy around former house speaker
Dennis Hastert. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges his
structured a large bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting
requirements, the money allegedly going to pay off a man to cover up past
wrongdoing which NBC News has learned was of a sexual nature. Hastert has
yet to comment publically on the allegations stemming from his time as a
teacher in Yorkville, Illinois.

MSNBC`s Adam Reiss joins us now from Yorkville.

Adam, what`s been the reaction in Hastert`s hometown?


There is still plenty of people here in Yorkville who are standing by the
former speaker. But there are others are starting to have doubts and
starting to be disappointed as more revelations come to light.

Now, in two days he`ll be arraigned. He remains in hiding. We haven`t
seen him since his indictment a week ago. “The New York Times” reporting
today that in 2010, he started to raise a lot of money. He was in a rush
to get money to pay off this alleged person who is identified as individual
A. He asked a colleague of his in his firm how he could get an annuity
that would generate a lot of cash on an annual basis to pay this person
off. According to the FBI, this was a person identified as individual A.
That`s what we are learning. And that`s what with people here are saying
that they are starting to have their doubts about him and his story –

HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to MSNBC`s Adam Reiss in Yorkville, Illinois.

Up next, just on the heels of the scandal that rocked FIFA, the World Cup
is already under way.


HARRIS-PERRY: The woman`s world cup kicked off yesterday in Edmonton,
Canada. And things are looking good for Team USA, ranked number two in the
world. The 7th women`s world cup will feature 24 teams for the first time.
And one billion TV viewers are expected to tune in.

Yet there is still a sense that the month-long tournament has been eclipsed
by the other soccer story that has dominated headlines for more than a
week. And that`s the sprawling investigation into FIFA, soccer`s governing
body that uncovered decades of bribery totaling more than $150 million.

On Tuesday, FIFA`s chief, Sepp Blatter, he announced his resignation just
days after being reelected to a fifth term. But according to some, another
type of misconduct is part of FIFA culture – sexism.

For one, women in the sport don`t get an equal playing field literally.
This year`s world cup will be played on artificial turf. Conditions that
male players don`t have are to face in their world cup. Players say the
artificial turf leads to more injuries, (INAUDIBLE) and disrupt it is tempo
of the game.

Last year, there was 84 women players representing 13 countries sued FIFA
and the Canadian soccer association citing gender discrimination saying
that elite men`s teams would never be forced to play on an artificial
surface instead of natural grass. The athletes proposed a compromise and
came up with a solution to install grass on some of the fields at no cost
to FIFA. But FIFA wouldn`t budge. In fact, this official response was, we
play on artificial turf and there is no plan b.

In January, the women withdrew the lawsuit in order to focus on preparing
for the world cup. And then last month, star forward and Olympic gold
medalist Alex Morgan told “Time” that Blatter didn`t recognize her at FIFA
world player of the year event where she was a nominee for the award.

She said I feel like I`m fighting for female athletes. FIFA executives and
FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn`t know who I was. And I was being honored
as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking.

This behavior isn`t new for the man who has called himself the godfather of
women`s soccer. In 2004 – that`s actually making the guests laughed. In
2004, Blatter had a suggestion for women soccer players to increase the
popularity of the game. Let the women play in more feminine clothes like
they do in volleyball. For example, they could have on tighter shorts.
Maybe then he`d recognize them.

Joining me now is Swin Cash, two-time Olympic world medalist and three-time
WNBA champion with the New York Liberty. Raul Reyes, an attorney and
contributor to Jason Page who just cracked up at the idea


JASON PAGE, NBC SPORTS RADIO: I promise, America, no tighter shorts.

HARRIS-PERRY: He`s on weeknights on NBC`s sports radio and joining us from
Washington, D.C. is Briana Scurry, retired goalkeeper for the U.S. women`s
national soccer team which won the world cup in 1999.

Man, I don`t really know what to say except that was a lot. I mean, what
it – just how big a deal is it that there literally is not in an equal
playing field. That women are going to play the world cup here on
artificial turf?

TEAM: It is a really big deal, Melissa, because it is like you said
earlier, there is no way that FIFA would ever even think about having the
men`s world cup on artificial turf. And the fact they, not only went ahead
and did it and then when the women objected to it just dismissed it
outright, just goes to show you the mentality of FIFA that FIFA has had
against women, with women for a very long time. And that determination to
put our world cup, the biggest crown jewel of women`s soccer that`s one
every four years on artificial turf is very disheartening and to be honest,
is very disrespectful.

HARRIS-PERRY: Also, I want to one more like soccer specific question here.
So in 2011, the USA versus BRAZIL, that extraordinary game was actually
watched by more people than the Kentucky derby. And “The New York Times”
mentioned just a couple days ago that a men`s team coming off that kind of
performance and TV ratings would have arrived home to several figure
European club contracts and endorsement deals, but the U.S. women returned
to a professional league that was on its death bed. Women`s professional
soccer folded the following January. It was the second U.S. women`s soccer
league to go bust since 1999. What in the world is going on with women and
soccer here in the U.S.?

SCURRY: It is very disheartening, Melissa. And the one thing that you
have to understand is there are two different criteria for salaries and
fees. So for the federation, the problem really is not only the league but
the fact that the federation has the men`s team finish second in a world
cup would have gotten bonuses in up upwards of $250, $500,000 per player.
And I don`t know what the women got. But I can guarantee you it wasn`t
$250,000 a player.

I`m guessing at the most they got maybe $50,000 a player. And that`s five,
ten times lower than what the men would have gotten. So right there is the
original crime. And then, of course, you said coming home and no women`s
league. The women`s league is completely disintegrating. That`s been an
ongoing problem we have had in this country, trying to get the right
formula to contain and maintain a women`s league. And we just haven`t been
able to figure it out yet and it`s really unfortunate.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, you know, Swin, this is not a problem that you are
unfamiliar with in the sense of the WNBA and the ways those same kind of
inequalities operate there. So much so that just this week, we have,
again, “The New York Times” saying that maybe one of the ways to address
this – this is The New York Times op-ed, saying women would keep playing
to half empty arenas, but you could inject excitement into the sport and
get the athletes more exposure by lowering the rims.

SWIN CASH, OLYMPIC WORLD MEDALIST: Lowering the rims, my thought on that,
it`s very interesting because I still like when you make a statement like
you lower the rims at the professional level, it trickles down to the
grassroots level because you have younger – I grew up playing against the
guys. And we all played on the same basket, shot the same basketball. It
wasn`t anything.

But I feel that there is always some type of gimmick that they are looking
for in order to improve the women`s game. Why is that? I mean, for so
many years now we have had the best women in the world playing here in this
country, dominant. I mean, in 2012, I was on the Olympic team. We were
there for the fifth gold and we had to fight to try to get some press about
that. We talk about the U.S. and how great we want to be, dominant and the
best of everything. But when you have the best do you appreciate and
respect the best? It doesn`t seem like it right now to me.

HARRIS-PERRY: But are the shorts tight enough?

CASH: Yes. You know, I mean, every year is like do we change up the
uniform? What`s going on?

PAGE: All right. But let`s understand. Why do they want to gimmick it
up? It goes back to are people watching? Are people paying attention?

HARRIS-PERRY: More people watched the 2011 game, the match, than watched
the Kentucky derby.

PAGE: OK. Don`t compare it to the Kentucky derby. There is this race
every year. It`s the first of the Triple Crown races. The world cup is
every four years. We have to cool it right there in terms of making those
sorts of comparison.

At the same time we say gimmick it up because not enough people are
watching. How do we make people watch? How do you make the WNBA break
into the baseball landscape that goes under that time of year then
eventually the NFL? How do you break the barrier if you are the WNBA? I
don`t know the answer. I`m as big a women`s basketball fan as anybody
being from the state of Connecticut. But at the same time, it just can`t
gain traction and I don`t know why at this point (INAUDIBLE).

CASH: Gaining the traction also comes from how people are covering it.

REYES: Exactly. But rather than changing the game which to me is what we
are talking about with whip`s cup soccer in the sense like it`s making this
separate but equal which we all know never really works out.

What they should be doing is looking at the way it`s covered because – I
mean, the fact is part of the reason, one of the things that I hear people
say about women`s sport is that, well, those games are boring or they are
not exciting. And you know what? Maybe some people could say that and to
an extent you could even agree with them. They are boring because you
don`t see player profiles to get you invested in who they are.


REYES: There is one wide shot and that`s it. You don`t have all of the
types of, you know, bells and whistles that men`s sports have to make you
care about the player, the journey, the team`s journey. All of that that
we have in men`s coverage, that is nonexistent with women with. They have
to get the coverage on their own, if they can.

HARRIS-PERRY: Everybody, stick with me. And when we come back, I want to
get into one of the biggest parts of this, the money.


HARRIS-PERRY: The women`s world cup has arrived kicking off to much fun
fair yesterday at Edmonton. And with team USA ranking at number two, some
are speculating that U.S. women are favored to end their 16-year world cup

Many are hoping something else will end as well. A perceived culture of
gender in equality within the sport, U.S. club teams pay women between
$6,000 and $31,000 per 20-week season but men pull at an average salary of
more than $200,000 and can earn up to $7 million.

There is a discrepancy too with the with prize money, a big one. Germany`s
men`s soccer team won the world cup in Brazil last year, the players reward
was prize money around $35 million. In 2011 japan women`s national team
won the world cup in Germany, their prize money, $1 million.

BBC are sports study into prize money found 30 percent of sports reward men
more highly than women. Football, or as we call it soccer, was among the
sports that had the biggest disparities in prize money.

So Briana, I want to come back to you here because during the break I was
trying to think up a solution to the problem of building audiences. My
solution is in 2016 we go completely dark on all media coverage of men`s
sports just for a year. We have the only televised sports, the only print
sports is only women`s sport. And we just see whether or not women could
get a fan base if, in fact, they were the people who were constantly on the
televisions and in the newspapers.

SCURRY: I`m not so sure the major sponsors would want to agree with that
whole plan. But I appreciate the effort.


SCURRY: I appreciate the effort. No, but seriously, in response to the
graphic about prize money, that`s a very interesting graphic to me because
I remember, I played in four world cups. And I remember back in the day
when we used to have to negotiate our contracts with the U.S. soccer
federation. That was a very touchy subject for us. Because we thought, we
deserved the same salary at the very least as the men. And eventually, we
got something comparable.

But what we didn`t get that comparable was the bonus money. And you know,
they –like I said earlier, the men were making $250,000, $500,000 for
maybe getting into the quarter finals, semifinals and we were expected to
win our world cups and we weren`t getting anywhere near, you know, ten
times, five times less for doing better. And also in having, you know, the
history of winning a world cup in the past and still not able to come
anywhere near the numbers the men were getting in that bonus money. And
it`s a little bit unfair. And it`s more unfair because if you understand
the structure of how the payments are made, the sponsorship money comes in
to the federation. Right, they get sponsorship money. They get the money
from FIFA. It`s not earmarked for men or women. It goes into the pot.
And so, why not reward those who are doing their job with that money from
the pot?

HARRIS-PERRY: So Jason, you know, just as we are thinking about this, we
were talking about it on the break, how do you break through it? I mean,
let`s talk about the Williams sisters. And let`s talk about the idea, you
have Serena Williams just winning. I mean, there was a moment women`s
tennis was similarly marginalized. Now (INAUDIBLE) it`s not part of the
televised American connection to these women as players.

PAGE: Yes. I don`t disagree with you. And I mean, you look at what
Serena and Venus did, though, for the women`s side of the game especially
here in this country. And it is interesting to see how it is treated in
this country versus the way it is treated worldwide. And there is clearly
a difference between.

Even in women`s basketball. The way it is treated worldwide versus the way
it is treated here in the United States. We talk about this issue in terms
of compensation. Why is it treated so much differently in Europe? And
Asia and places like that versus the way it is here. What allows them to
have a model able to pay people so much more and we weren`t able to do
that. Why?

CASH: Well, I can say one thing. It also has to start at the top. Who
are the people making the decisions? For me, when I go into a sponsorship
meeting, and we are trying to get a sponsor for the team, I look around the
room and I`m like, I wonder if some of these people is have are a clue.
Because one, do the people, do they look like you? Do they understand the
game? Have they played at that level? Do they have someone in their ear
that`s played at that level and understands? If we don`t start –

HARRIS-PERRY: Do they know about the young women who will buy these
products because of their – I think about my niece who was a star high
school basketball player who, if any product had been connected with Swin
Cash, she would have spent all her high school dollars on those products.

CASH: And it is terrible because a lot of times our fan base, the younger
fan base, they are looking for products. Why do you have to search to get
your jersey? Why do I have to search to get, you know, something from Swin
Cash, a book, this, that or the other.

You go too utterly on the men`s side, they are throwing endorsements at
them. And I`ll take it back to 2012, the women going for their fifth
Olympic gold medal, the women`s basketball team. And you could see the
difference in how the coverage was presented. It was like, they are going
to win again.

No, this is dominance. This is history. You want to be a part of it, you
want tell the story. You want young girls to be happy that they are
playing basketball. They want to be the next basketball player.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. When Michael Jordan was winning they weren`t like, oh,
God, that guy.


HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to Briana Curry in Washington D.C. Swin Cash and
Raul Reyes is going to be back next hour. Also, thank you to Jason Page.

And of course, we couldn`t do sports without telling you about the little
horse that made history. American Pharoah, winner of the Kentucky derby
and the Preakness, completed the ultimate sports trifecta yesterday at the
Belmont stakes by commanding five-and-a-half lanes.

Here is the call of American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner
since 1978.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally
the one. American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!


HARRIS-PERRY: All the feeling. American Pharoah, only the 12th Triple
Crown winner in horse racing history. For his owner he`s earned more than
$4.5 million and could soon earn a lot more.

After winning the Triple Crown, American Pharoah could be worth as much as
$100 million, largely because of stud fees. Oh, America.

Still to come this morning, the master chef contestant breaking barriers,
but first the no button and why we have one, how we use it and who needs it


HARRIS-PERRY: This is our no button. We keep it in the Nerdland offices
for those times when what is being said doesn`t need a complicated retort.
It just need a simple –


HARRIS-PERRY: For example, my producer Eric who actually has a voice that
sounds surprisingly like this will say something like let`s do a show where
Melissa gets dunked into a water tank if she mispronounces a guest name.
We don`t really need to discuss that. It just need a quick push of a


HARRIS-PERRY: Part of the fun of the button is you never know just which
no they are going to get. There is.


HARRIS-PERRY: And then there`s.


HARRIS-PERRY: Of course there is also –


HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, they`re good. The no button is the work of a company
in Connecticut called Zany Toys. It is true a mom and pop shop. In fact,
here are mom and pop engineers, Amy and Vinnie Tiernan and their three

Now, Amy and Vinnie, as any parent out there knows, found themselves saying
“no” a lot. And well, they simply wanted a short cut. In fact, maybe
other parents could use one, too. Hence, the no button and all of its
practical uses which brings me to Chester Hayes, aka, Chet Hayes, son of
Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks because Chet Hayes –


HARRIS-PERRY: That`s it. We don`t really need more. It`s simply not
going deep on this one. In case you didn`t know this already, last weekend
Chet Hayes who is something of a rapper posted this note on Instagram.
Check out the song me and my n-word at chill that dude just dropped. –


HARRIS-PERRY: I mean, let me just channel Jay Smooth here because, no. I
mean, that`s it. I`m not going deep on whether or not white people can use
the n-word or if it matters if you use the n-word in the form that e-r
versus the a, a-z or – the, no. Just, no. And yes, I saw the explanation
that Hayes, aka Hanks, posted on Instagram.


CHET HAYES, TOM HANKS` SON: Look. I know the majority of you all aren`t
going to get this because the history is still so fresh in our country.
But hip-hop isn`t about race. It`s about the culture you identify with.
And can`t no one tell me what I can`t say.


HARRIS-PERRY: No. I don`t think I need to hit the button again just yet.
But here is a further offering from Hayes.


HAYES: I just want to clarify one thing. Under no circumstances would I
ever go up to somebody that I didn`t know and just be like, hey, what`s up,
my (bleep). It is an unspoken thing between people who are friends who
understand each other.


HARRIS-PERRY: Chester, there is so much to say. But since we are not
friends and maybe we don`t understand each other and therefore I don`t want
to be misunderstood, let me just say –



HARRIS-PERRY: Every week contestants on the FOX show “Master Chef” chop,
dice and dish up delicious recipes in the ultimate culinary competition.
Now, the food is compelling but what makes us really tune in is the amateur
chefs themselves. The season started with 40 contestants hailing from 16
different states representing many different walks of life. So one of the
amateur chefs is already getting a lot of attention in and out of the


AMANDA SAAB, MASTER CHEF CONTESTANT: My name is Amanda. I grew up in a
strict Lebanese family. I came to love cooking by seeing my grandmother
cooker for the entire family. I cook Middle Eastern fusion food. So I am
the expert when it comes to cooking lamb.


HARRIS-PERRY: Amanda Saab is a social worker by day who says even as a 5-
year-old she loved cooking. She happens to be the first Muslim-American
woman to appear in hijab on an American cooking show. So while she`s
cooking and grilling and baking, she is also hoping to break down a few
stereotypes along the way.

I`m pleased to welcome Amanda Saab to Nerdland. It is so nice to have you

SAAB: Thank you so much for having me.

HARRIS-PERRY: So first, talk to me about cooking. You are a social worker
but you are really an extraordinary chef.

SAAB: Thank you.

HARRIS-PERRY: What does cooking do for you? Why is it important to you?

SAAB: It`s so important. My family always gets together around food. I`m
visiting family in Detroit now. And we all get together. We are in the
kitchen with my grandma. She teaches us her old world secrets and tricks
in the kitchen. And it`s just so unifying. And you can really have a
great discussion with people when you are around good food.

HARRIS-PERRY: You know, that for me, it feels like such a universal answer
to what food means to families, to communities and part of it makes master
chef fun because people are coming from all different spaces.

SAAB: Absolutely.

HARRIS-PERRY: So then talk to me about your hijab and the kind of strong,
mostly positive but I`m sure positive and negative reactions you have

SAAB: Right. So people are really excited to see a Muslim-American Hijabi
on this cooking competition. And people are really curious. You know, why
did it take so long? It`s 2015. There are lots of Muslim women who love
to cook. I`m not the first. I know that. And I hope I won`t be the last
to appear on such a great platform. So people are really excited about it.
I`m really excited about it. I`m just being me and doing what I love. And
to get some on the support that I`m getting is actually incredible.

HARRIS-PERRY: It does feels to me like one of the presumptions about hijab
is that it is representative of gender inequity, that is a representative
of women being oppressed. So the idea that you would be allowed to be on
television and cooking and follow your dream is part of what people are
responding to.

SAAB: Right, yes. So I decided to put on hijab when I was 17 years old by
myself. My parents had a really long discussion with me at the time. And
mom didn`t wear a hijab herself. They were like, are you sure you want to
do this? I`m like this is the way I want to practice my faith. This is
the way I want to show my devotion to God and make a conscious decision
every single day to say that my faith is first.

So no man in my life said, you need to wear that. And I wear it, you know,
very fashionably, I would like to say. So no one is telling me to wear
this. I`m doing it for me. So yes, I like to be out there and, you know,
on this platform and say, hey, we are not oppressed.

HARRIS-PERRY: One of the aspects when you talk about fan, community,
religion, faith, national origin is that food also ends up representing
those things.

Back in 2013 on the Australian version of the show, Samir (INAUDIBLE) who
wore hijab was also – was eliminated during a time when she had to make a
pork hot dog. And there was conversation and question about – we have
seen vegetarians on the cooking shows to make meat. I`m wondering about
the question of accommodation of food practices in the context of an
American cooking competition?

SAAB: Right. I have gone through my entire life not expecting
accommodations if for anything. I`m here to play like everybody else. And
I want an even playing field. I don`t expect accommodations. But I`m not
going to ask for it. So one of the things I was preparing to be on Master
Chef is I was studying how to cook pork, how to cook with alcohol because
there are few things that I was inexperienced with. So I made a conscious
effort to study those areas. So it wouldn`t be my weakness.

HARRIS-PERRY: I love that just that sentence which on the one hand just
makes me angry but also gives me like this sense of power. I never
expected accommodation for anything and the sense of there is always that
double (INAUDIBLE). I think making a black woman, too. That`s how we do
it, too.

I really appreciate your cooking and I appreciate your voice, thank you for
being here today, Amanda.

SAAB: Thank you very much.

HARRIS-PERRY: Coming up next, the Caitlyn Jenner effect and what the new
“Vanity Fair” cover revealed the 30th anniversary of the goonies. Corey
Feldman, aka, Mouth, joins us.

There is more Nerdland at the top of the hour.


HARRIS-PERRY: Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry. It was one year
ago this week, the Time Magazine featured transgender actress and activist
Lavern Cox on a cover alongside a headline proclaiming the arrival of the
transgender tipping point. In the cover story Time`s Katy Steinmetz
writes, “Almost one year after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans were
free to marry the person they loved no matter their sex, another civil
rights movement is poised to challenge long held cultural norms and
beliefs. Transgender people are emerging from the margins to fight for an
equal place in society.” The result, according to Time was a radical
increase in trans consciousness.

Today the rapid evolution and our recognition of trans identity shows no
signs of stopping. Because on Monday the release of another magazine cover
featuring another celebrity trans woman pushed what was once marginal
subculture even further into the main stream. In an April ABC News
interview with Diane Sawyer for 2020. The Olympic decathlete and reality
show personality that we have known for decades as Bruce Jenner started
getting us accustomed to pronoun change that would soon be appropriate to
reference the female self that Jenner has always identified with.

She – not he, her, not him. And with the release of the July cover of
“Vanity Fair” this week we got our first introduction to her and the name
she`s chosen for herself. On the cover, Jenner shot by photographer Annie
Leibowitz is in a glamorous pin-up style photo invites us to simply “Call
me Caitlyn.” Jenner`s unveiling of her authentic self has met with
widespread support across media including from President Obama who tweeted,
“it takes courage to share your story.” In her second tweet ever, Jenner
said of her public transition, “I`m so happy after such a long struggle to
be living my true self.” Welcome to the world, Caitlyn.

Can`t wait for you to get to know her/me. There is certainly a lot to
celebrate at Caitlyn`s getting to the know you party. Those of us who
never gave much thought to things like birth, sex, or gender identity are
not at least considering the possibility of a construct more complicated
than a masculine/feminine binary. More importantly reaching this tipping
point has opened up space for the humanity of transgender people to be
truly seen. As Laverne Cox reminds us on a post on her tumbler this week
that means looking beyond the glossy cover, she writes most trans folks
don`t have the privileges Caitlyn and I now have. “It is those trans
folks, we must continue to lift up, get them access to health care, jobs,
housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people. We
must lift up the stories of those most at risk. Statistically trans people
of color who are poor and working class.”

Cox`s point that we can`t see highly visible trans people without also
recognizing the vulnerabilities of trans identity is most acutely apparent
in stories like this. The advocate just two weeks ago reporting on the
stabbing death in Philadelphia of London Chanel, she was the eighth trans
woman to be murdered this year. Just this week in New York, a transgender
woman pushed onto the subway tracks in an incident police are investigating
as a possible hate crime. Then there are stories we know of a transgender
teens who have taken their own lives. So many in 2015 that we can barely
fit them on a screen. So, even as we remember this transgender to pinpoint
at the moment everything changed it`s also the year in which life for so
many people who are transgender remain tragically the same.

Joining me now, Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center
for Transgender Equality. Raul Reyes, attorney contributor to
Cherno Biko who is creative director of the MrsBikoWorldTour,
#MrsBikoWorldTour. And We Happy Trans and CFO of Sylvia Rivera Law
Project. And Carlos Maza, LGBT program director at Media Matters for

Thank you all for being here. Okay. We talked right after the initial
2020 interview. Are you surprised at what`s been a genuinely and generally
positive reaction to Caitlyn Jenner?

Yes, a little bit, I think. But very pleased. I have been very pleased at
how the media has really taken the opportunity to go in and talk to lots of
different trans people. Hundreds of trans people. I saw somebody on
Facebook yesterday saying that a group of Latina trans women went into a
Univision station in Houston or Austin and got to tell their personal
stories. So this one person`s personal story has turned into an
opportunity for hundreds of people to tell their personal stories. And I
hate saying this. But the onion maybe has gotten back. The onion did a
story last week that trans activists were surprised that Baskin-Robbins has
come out in favor of transgender equality. That`s the kind of year or two
we have been having. People are seeing us more. People are supporting us
more. But still right before Caitlyn Jenner came out, the human rights
campaign did a survey that showed among American voters only 20 percent
said they knew one of us. Now, I hope Caitlyn Jenner has bumped that up a
couple of points and all the secondary stories.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, this point about the idea of knowledge of the kind of
intimacy is part of the kind of like margins to center story that we have
seen in other spaces. So, it`s certainly was part of, even if we go all
the way back to a Harvey milk moment. Right? It`s part of the notion of
coming out as a version. We have seen this on those who are undocumented
literally coming out as undocumented. And yet as an African-American from
the south I also know that intimacy is insufficient for a support of
equality. Because black folks live right next to white folks although our
whole history and it didn`t necessarily lead to that sense of and therefore
we must fight for equality.

REYES: Right. But I think it is coming. Because I look at the
transgender community right now. With Caitlyn Jenner it wasn`t just a
tipping point to me. It is one of several. Because I also think maybe two
years of thinking back to – maybe two years ago when Chaz Bono was on
“Dancing with the Stars.” That`s a main stream, middle of America show.
That`s a show maybe your grandparents watch. Just for him to be on the
programming, to start conversations in people`s homes. I think little
things like that matter. And what I`m hearing for many people this week in
seeing social media is this whole notion that people have of, well, what he
wants to do is fine, but I`m uncomfortable with it. It makes me
uncomfortable. And that is a good thing.

Because we go as our social movements, as our society grows and evolves, we
go from invisibility to like repulsion, to uncomfortable. Eventually
tolerant. Eventually acceptance. Eventually support. So, this is part of
like the broader shift that we are going through with the transgender
community. And yet, as wonderful as it is for Caitlyn Jenner like as you
touch on it here, when you look at the statistics of life as a typical
transgender person, 40 percent attempt suicide. Seventy percent of the
violence aimed at LGBT people is aimed at transgender women. So, the
statistics – the reality of black for most transgender people is very

HARRIS-PERRY: Not Caitlyn`s. Yes. I want to clean in on this, impart
because I have long thought of myself as a good ally to LGBT communities.
And not only, but five years ago, just got reed on Twitter around – just
like when I used to really read my @replies. It was just like, oh, you
think and I was just – whoa! And so, I spent a lot of time trying to
figure out all of the ways that I was failing around the notion of simply
gender as a social construct. Like that alone has been something that was
so left out of my understanding around even the idea of race as a social
construct. And then keep sort of delving into this question. Finding that
so many of my initial entry points had been through people of relative
privilege as they are I think in all communities. And not having, for
example, Janet Mocks write text available to me when I`m first moving in.
So, I guess part of what I`m wondering is how we get better and not just
sort of applaud ourselves for being so good at the Caitlyn Jenner moment.

so much for having me on. And I actually remember when you got red.


BIKO: On Twitter.


BIKO: I may have been one of the people who red –

HARRIS-PERRY: Good. Hell, yes.


BIKO: And even three years ago when Mara was first year and you had a big
transgenders in America story and there were no trans people of color. And
so, one of the ways that we push this conversation forward is really
centralizing our communities most vulnerable in out risks communities which
is trans women of color. Right? And so, I actually brought redefining
realness which was the blueprint of my path to womanhood. And it just came
out in paperback and I saw that you are on the cover. And you said you
would be changed by this book and it`s true. We have so many stories out
there. And it`s not fair to just have one person be the face of a
movement. It`s impossible really. And it kind of shift the conversation
to folks who are having access to things like health care that we can`t

And it`s just the conversations of people who are like privileged. So, my
mentor Riza Gaza (ph) always talks about change, dismantle and build. And
so change was the covers that we see. That`s the change that we want to
see in the world. We see Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox on these covers.
But we also have to the dismantle systems of white supremacy and
capitalism. Right? And then we have to build back up what we want to see
in the world. So, I`m sorry I look a little tired. But we were on set
last night until 4:00 a.m. filming “Happy Birthday Marcia.” And so, there
are so many transgender tipping points like in 1969 when street kids and
trans women of color and drag queens said no more. And rebuild against the
police and stonewall right here in New York. And so those are all tipping
points that I`m very proud to be a part of.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, it`s interesting that you bring up Stonewall. Because
we talked a bit about Stonewall when we were sort of at a moment of trying
to think about what a watershed moment is. And, you know, poor TV so we
are looking for pictures, right? There is like one image from the whole
Stonewall right. So, we think about how powerful those images are of the
Selma bridge crossing. How important are those, those images of the
Birmingham on dogs and water hoses. And Stonewall is simply without
coverage impart because the media simply did not bother to cover what was
happening when Stonewall happened.

think we are in a weird in between space where we`re happy at those
conversion and we`re debating what`s good coverage looks like.


MAZA: Because I was the first one screaming when I saw the “Vanity Fair”
cover thinking this is great. At the same time that`s a very specific
particular depiction of trans people. And even –

HARRIS-PERRY: And of womanhood in general.

MAZA: A womanhood.


MAZA: A very – one that`s very dependent on resources that most people
trans are not probably don`t have in most cases. One of the frustrating
things about trans couples that it tends to be very celebrity and spectacle
oriented. That we love trans celebrities, when you`re talking about the
particularities, Caitlyn Jenner who most of us are not like and will never
be like. We don`t talk about the systemic problems. So, when Caitlyn
Jenner during the Diane Sawyer in “The View” said, you know, for the
record, trans women of color face huge rates of violence. That`s the first
time that people talked about that for years on national television. And
there is a problem with focusing the particularities of celebrity, ignoring
much lower systemic less sexy things. The Selma pictures are affected
because they are outline systemic cultural problems supposed to focusing on
a few stories that are interesting and can illuminate things that can sort
of be a segue into broader stories but it`s really not the massive trans
experiences in the most cases.

I want to say thanks to Raul Reyes and the rest of the panel sticking
around. We have got more on this. Stay right there. Because when we come
back, I want to talk about masculinity, femininity, beauty and sport.


HARRIS-PERRY: Caitlyn Jenner`s “Vanity Fair” cover introduced us not only
to the name and face of her feminine identity but also to a specific model
of femininity with which he identifies. Softly lit wearing special
lingerie in a classic portraits. She is beautiful but it is a glamorous
commercialize cis-normative version of beauty. And it is a stark contrast
to the masculine identity she`s shedding, the identity that had for years
been define in large part by her image of the consummate American athlete.

I want to welcome back to my panel WNBA Champion Swin Cash. So, just keep
thinking about the extent to which Bruce Jenner, the masculinity of Bruce
Jenner is in part constituted by Bruce`s role as a decathlete.

And this is how America understands who Bruce Jenner is. And so our
understanding if Caitlyn Jenner didn`t become “Vanity Fair.” And like I`m
thinking both of these things at the same time that I`m watching the USA
World Cup women in full makeup hair, right, performing often this kind of
femininity over and against their own role as women in sport. And I`m
thinking, man, it just now got really complicated in these ways that I
think must be difficult for everybody who is dealing with masculinity,
femininity, womanness, manness, cisness, transness. And I`m just wondering
like how this all ends up playing out in who we are in the authenticity and

CASH: Yes. And it`s very difficult, I think for a lot of athletes.
Because I knew I was coming on the show and I wanted to just talk to
athletes, friends of mine just to see what they thought about everything.
One thing I think that what Caitlyn Jenner has done is open up the
conversation. Open up the conversation because when we think about sports
and about athletes we think you are on the playing field and have that
masculine, you`re strong, you`re tough. You know, you are an athlete. You
get after it. Now it`s switching over and you are seeing a different side
of, like every woman, we are different how we are on the field versus off
the field. And you`re having those discussions.

But what really came to mind for me is that a lot of people didn`t want to
touch it. They just want to touch, they said, Swin, don`t go on the show.
Don`t say anything. Because we are not informed enough. If we speak on
it, it`s like death. But for me, I would like to see more people having
dialogue and opening up those conversations and learning more about people
like Caitlyn Jenner, about Cox. Because I think that will then help us as
a society. And not just the athlete part of it but just in general.

HARRIS-PERRY: And yes, so more, so part for me the “Vanity Fair” like on
the one hand screaming with joy about the beautiful cover. But also
thinking that`s a lot of pressure for any woman in her 60s to have to be
pin-up, you know, cover girl gorgeous. And it does make me wonder if even
as we`re starting to expand, challenge are notions about gender identity,
we are re-inscribing these like definitional pressures that are still very
cis-normative about what makes a woman beautiful.

KEISLING: Yes. Absolutely. You know, I have all sorts of complicated
feelings about this. I think it`s interesting that Jenner is the oldest
woman to ever be on the cover of “Vanity Fair,” period.


KEISLING: And I think that tells us something, something also. And I
don`t know Caitlyn Jenner. And she may just be a very femme identified
person. This might be her thing, this might be her thing for a while and
then like most women in their 60s –

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s a lot.

KEISLING: It`s a lot.


KEISLING: Yes. And you know, for me it`s something I think about a lot.
I don`t happen to be an overly feminine person. But one thing I know, my
hair, I would love to have shorter hair again.


KEISLING: I don`t like to fuss around. But for me this is a bit of a
safety thing. You know, I`m over six feet tall like Jenner. I have to
worry about how I walk around in the world.


KEISLING: And by presenting a little bit more traditionally female, I`m I
think a lot safer. And I don`t know if that weighs in to Jenner saying –
and lastly, I just want to say that my friends and family are probably
fascinated that I`m on television talking about fashion and sports.


Because it`s not my thing. And on the 50th anniversary of the Griswold
decision, for instance, boy, you know, contraception is at risk, privacy is
at risk.


KEISLING: And this isn`t just my – this isn`t my biggest concern.

HARRIS-PERRY: And yet what you said, I think, is so critical. This idea
that cis-normative – so just again for folks who may not know the –
watching. So, people, this very sort of relatively narrow traditional
definition of womanhood that is very feminine. The idea of protected in
the context of public vulnerability because of what we know about the
vulnerability particularly of trans women to violence and harassment on the
street. And so, you know, this is part of what Laverne Cox talks a little
bit about. This idea of being drop dead gorgeous from certain lighting,
certain angles. Being able to as he says embody certain cis-normative
beauty standards. But that might actually be not just about beauty but
actually about public safety.

BIKO: Right. I don`t want to be a Debbie Downer, Melissa. But if we can
just talk real for a moment.


BIKO: Trans women of color have been doing this work in the media for the
past few years pretty intensely. Ad we have this beautiful moment earlier
this year with Laverne Cox, on Katie Couric where Katie Couric asked about
her private area.

HARRIS-PERRY: She flipped it.

BIKO: And she flipped it. And said, I don`t talk about that. We need to
the change the conversation to centralize. People who are most vulnerable
in that risks. There are so many other things. My friend Thick Malone
(ph) and mentor always talks about we need to Kanye this moment. Caitlyn,
I`m going to let you finish, but trans people of color are so many more –
more likely to be harassed on the street. And so, it`s kind of like we
took our step back like we are going back to trans 101. When we tried to
push it forward to 201 and 301. And even last year when Beyonce was on the
cover of Time 100 and she was wearing kind of similar to what Caitlyn
Jenner was wearing but she was a little more covered, she had a white sheer
top on. And Beyonce got rich, she got called a horrible mother, she got
said that she was relying on her sexuality. And so, we need to point out
and recognize the double standard that exists for women of color and white
women and whose bodies and whose stories are celebrated publically in the

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. And because those questions of bodies. Right? And
I think this is – I appreciate you for pushing since the 201. Because the
point isn`t to talk about what looks good or doesn`t look good or what we
think is beautiful. But the ways that that then gets inscribed in our
policy. In questions of everything from contraception to the health care
access, right? Which we know are central questions, particularly for trans

I want to say thank you to Swin Cash for coming, for talking about the
conversation. The rest of the panel is sticking around.

And up next, the difficult week had life pronouns in newsrooms and Twitter
feds across America. We`re going to talk about how the press is feeling so
good about itself this week and maybe how we need to check that a little


HARRIS-PERRY: This week as mainstream media and followers on social media
reacted to Caitlyn Jenner`s “Vanity Fair” cover, we got a chance to see
what it looks like when culture shift is real time. The response is
immediate if imperfect and as the Atlantic put it a little bit awkward.
Some of the tweets mentioning Caitlyn`s official Twitter account, we`re
still figuring out the proper pronounce. Then those tweets inspiring a
Twitter account that automatically sent a friendly reminder to those users
that it`s she, not he. There was the Washington Post publishing and then
retracting a headline referring to Jenner as Bruce and the Associated Press
article that fumbled both proper noun and pronoun referring both to Bruce
and he.

As my guest Carlos Maza wrote this week, violation of the A.P.`s own
reporting guidelines but misgendering gender was the least of the misstep
from mainstream and social media as colorful own to say, “The A.P.`s
fixation on her cleavage and va, va, voom fashion reinforces a widespread
problem with media coverage of transgender people, a voyeuristic fixation
on their bodies and appearances.”

I want to bring in one more guest to my panel, Hannah Simpson, a trans
activist and medical student. I actually want to get to both of you on
these ideas of bodies. Right? This is part of the push-back like Laverne
Cox gave and her interview with another journalists. Previously, but this
idea of like that the conversation to be had is a body conversation. As
opposed to a policy or person conversation.

HANNAH SIMPSON, MEDICAL STUDENT: Well, thank you for having me, first of
all. It`s an honor to be here in person.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. The last time you were via remote. Good to have you

SIMPSON: So, I think the interesting thing is that – and I tell this as a
story that there was once a man who asked a trans woman what`s it like to
be a woman now. And seeing as she was a woman now he answered the question
for her.


HARRIS-PERRY: I love that, right? So, there is a way in which those
privileges of womanhood that obtain right across. I want to play with
these ideas of bodies a little bit though. Because it does feels to me,
right? And, you know, I`m also interested impart because you are a medical
student here. Right? The ways in which the fixation does becomes on our
own notion that it is our bodies that are the things that make us our human

MAZA: Right. And I think the thing that stressed me out and probably gave
a lot of people an anxiety about the “Vanity Fair” cover and the positive
reactions was, it was unclear if we were celebrating Jenner because she
transitioned or because she passed and we wouldn`t know that she had
transitioned. It was the former that`s great. Because we can see
transness is beautiful and transness is authentic, something that`s worth
praise. If we`re celebrating that we wouldn`t know she was trans or that
she passes for how we think a woman should look. That actually makes
things a lot tougher for trans people who probably will never pass with
that kind of resource and that kind of back-up.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, when you say passing it of course also then brings this
intersexual moment for me. Right? Because for me passing, the first, for
me the first click when I hear that is, of course, about racial passing.

MAZA: And for me it`s passing as straight.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. Right. Like, whatever that normative conception is,

MAZA: Yes. I think every marginalized group has to deal with the struggle
that is desire to sort of get a short cut to tolerance by embodying or
mimicking the dominant group and trying to find beauty and validity and
dignity, and some difference.

HARRIS-PERRY: But let me push, a part of it though is about that idea of
validity and sort of, you know, but the other piece of it is people pass.
Right? I mean, this is a brilliant new work by Alfred Hobbs around racial
passing. People pass not because they actually value whiteness more but
because of the safety of protection and policy question. Because whiteness
came with certain goodies, certain values. Not getting cut off in a
conversation if you are a woman. Right? And so in those ways the capacity
to pass as cis, straight as white are a reflection of how those identities
simply have more goodies associated with them.

SIMPSON: Well, first of all, I want to say passing is a terrible word.
Because passing implies failure as an alternative. And that`s not how we
have to think about this. If you see a woman who doesn`t look like a woman
you have ever seen before or a man for that matter or someone that`s in
between, first of all, that is always okay to ask. What pronounce they
prefer and to be respectful on that way once they tell you themselves when
nobody else first. But second of all, that`s your chance to expand your
definition of a woman or a man is. And this starts at any age. And I
think what Caitlyn Jenner has done which is so impressive is proof that 65
is never too late to invent yourself again.

HARRIS-PERRY: Hmm. I`m glad you said it`s always okay to ask the pronoun
a person prefers as opposed to it`s always okay simply to ask. Because
again, I had a black woman moment. But like, it`s not okay to touch my
hair just because you were having feelings about you had never seen hair
like this before. So, I am wondering about that again, the politics of
navigating a world where people will ask about your identity. Because, you
know, I don`t know that I`m sure that I feel good about the idea of it`s
always okay to ask.

BIKO: Well, to me it`s not.

HARRIS-PERRY: Okay. Yes. Because I don`t feel like, we maybe shouldn`t
tell everybody to ask everyone.

BIKO: Yes. Well, for so long I didn`t touch the subject, much like Swin
said earlier. I thought I didn`t want to miss this opportunity and this
moment to raise visibility for folks who are gender nonconforming and exist
outside of the binary.


BIKO: So, sometimes we don`t even have language or access to an analysis
that will say, what is a pronoun? You know, like, do I have options?


BIKO: Facebook recently just updated into 50 options and people are still
trying to wrap their head around it.

HARRIS-PERRY: I have a gender nonconforming niece who is not trans but she
is gender nonconforming. And like, I keep wondering the ways that we are
also missing, you know, what would have been called the stone butch blues
which are also part of this story. It`s not just a binary.

BIKO: Yes. And those are the people who are really most vulnerable and at
risk. Because not everybody has the privilege of looking cis or looking
white. I`m dark-skinned. I`m bigger. I don`t pass, if that`s a thing.
But I am redefining realness as Jenna Mock says in my own way. And not
just for me but for so many other folks.

HARRIS-PERRY: Mara, let me ask you, just, in the five seconds, if we had
the policy agenda though to go with all of these, just what does that
policy agenda looks like?

KEISLING: The policy agenda is access to health care. Access to decency.
It`s really about compassion, it`s really about the golden rule. Trans
people want to be treated like everybody else. We want to be able to live
our lives, we want to be able to not be murdered.

HARRIS-PERRY: Again, as I keep looking for those points of connections,
even just to say trans people want to be not murdered. That`s been so much
the call of the Black Lives Matter movement as well. This idea of being
able to be safe in a public space while still being fully who you are.

Thank you to Mara Keisling and to Hannah Simpson, to Cherno Biko and to
Carlos Maza. We`re having a good time. You should call me on Twitter.
When we come back, something very different. Do you know what a cult
classic movie treasure was released 30 years ago this day? Find out when
Corey Feldman comes to Nerdland.


HARRIS-PERRY: Thirty years ago today Gen X kids nationwide opened their
summer vacations at the movie theater for a story about preteens ducking
gangsters while flirting for lost pirate treasure. A story that would
imprint itself on a generation. It was called the “The Goonies.” And for
many of the hallmarks that made executive producer Steven Spielberg king of
the Reagan-era Cineflex. Cute kids fighting – grown-up, check, epic
swashbuckling improbable danger, check. A cast of cute kids in epic
swashbuckling improbable danger while fighting – grown-ups, check, check,
check. Oh, and pop icon Cindy Lauper sang the soundtrack single “The
Goonies are Good Enough.” Mildly put, it was a perfect storm of youth
centric `80s pop culture that left many kids trying to master the truffle


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: First you have to do the truffle shuffle.








HARRIS-PERRY: Well, those kids grew up – kind of and converged earlier
this week in the seaside down of Astoria, Oregon where the movie “The
Goonies” was filmed for the annual celebration of the childhood memory.
And we wanted to see what Goonies day was all about.


about 15,000 Goonies fans in the town of 10,000. And this year for the
30th we expect even more.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. It resonates I think for a lot of people because
as kids a lot of times we feel like outsider.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are here to celebrate a movie that captured our
childhood imagination. A lot of people as kids, you know, you love your
parents and see you go through hard times and stress. This is one of the
first movies that I remember as a kid where it freed your imagination to
really see what was going on. And it gave the kids the ability to save
their parents in this movie.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They came, you know, together, helped each other out.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s a timeless classic and it connects us all to
childhood. And it`s an adventure we wish we would have had as kids.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s one of my favorite childhood movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it`s everything. It`s the pirateness, it`s the

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: For a story for Goonies fans coming here it`s like
recapturing their childhood and stepping into the movies. There are so
many real places just like the jail, and the house, and the bowling alley,
and down at the Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock. All these place that were in
the movie are real places. We are not just a movie set. We are with a
town that people live here. And for them it`s stepping back into their
movie and into their childhood.


HARRIS-PERRY: When we come back, I`m excited to welcome to Nerdland, the
Goonies they simply called Mouth. Actor and musician Corey Feldman is



UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Lots of water.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Four waters. Is that all?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: No. I want the Veal Scallopini.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I want a Fettuccine Alfredo.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: A fettuccine in 1981.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The only thing we serve is tongue.


You boys like tongue?



HARRIS-PERRY: That was a scene with actor Corey Feldman, then 13 years old
and Director Richard Donner`s “The Goonies” released 30-years-ago today.
It was a fanciful adventure story was smearing bad guys and hidden
treasure. But underneath was a human story about kids fighting to save
their homes from foreclosure. And while not the most diverse on screen
group, the pre-teen adventures they gave everyone something to identify
with. Mikey was the leader. His brother brand the muscle. Data was the
brain. Chunk the group`s spirit. And when Brand`s girlfriend Andy was
dragged into the mix her spunky best friend Steph prove more than a match
for Mikey`s right hand Mandy aptly nicknamed Mouth.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Wow. President Lincoln. George Washington. Martin
Sheen –

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Martin Sheen? That`s President Kennedy, you idiot.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Same difference. I mean, he played Kennedy once.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Oh, that`s really smart. I`m glad to know you`re using
your brain.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes. Well, at least I have a brain.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: So stupid, mouth.





HARRIS-PERRY: Joining me now in Nerland from Los Angeles is the all grown
up man behind Mouth. Actor and musician Corey Feldman. Corey, I have to
tell you that the level of enthusiasm from my executive producer Eric and
having a chance to talk to you before we came on air, it was very, you
actually turned him into a goonie.

COREY FELDMAN, ACTOR: Thank you! Bless you. Bless him. Bless Eric.

HARRIS-PERRY: And there is a little bit of a debate raging in Nerdland
right now. Is Goonies just a boy movie?

FELDMAN: Oh, heck no. Are you kidding me? We have more girl fans
probably than we do boy fans. That`s the crazy thing. Oh my God! Every
girl is like Goonies, Goonies, all the time.

HARRIS-PERRY: And yet, there is something about that kind of particular
idea of adventure, of I think the language that you were using earlier is
swashbuckling. Have we in any way lost that in our movies? Like this idea
of young people on their own. No parents particularly to be found. You
know, being the star of their own story.

FELDMAN: Their own adventure. Yes. Well, I agree there is less of that.
And I think a lot of it has to do with so much politics these days. You
know, you have to go back 30 years ago. We didn`t have such strict rules
and regulation on, you know, parenting and what was responsible versus
irresponsible and all those sorts of things which are now hot points and
hot topics that I think people are always afraid to kind of, you know, put
their food into the hot water. Whereas, in those days, you know, we just
didn`t think about things like that. Like the idea of kids going off on an
adventure was very real. Because in those days they did. Nowadays, their
biggest adventure is all connecting on X-box live.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. I mean, I can say, you know, my parents are terrific
parents and all of that. But they weren`t really – I mean, in most of my
like day to day, I don`t really know where my parents work. If I was there
with my sisters, with, you know, kind of groups of kids.


HARRIS-PERRY: And I`m wondering, what was the experience like to actually
be on set with a group of young people for, like, were you having a kind of
adventure in the actual filming of it itself?

FELDMAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, to this day and I`ve done over
100 films at this point, everybody says to me, what was your favorite film
to work on. My favorite film to watch and my favorite film to work on
which is two different answers. But to work on, the answer is always very
simple “The Goonies.” Because who else could imagine having to go to work
every day, to work on a pirate ship, be with seven kids who are all fun and
outgoing and adventurous. And then of course with the two biggest kids of
all which is Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner. Because thrust me, they
were big children on the set every day. And we were all playing on those
water slides, we were all playing on that pirate ship. Michael Jackson,
Pee-wee Herman, Cindy Lauper, Harrison Ford. Everybody you can think of
wanted to be on that set. When they unveiled that pirate ship, it was
literally like they had just built another world. And everybody wanted to
be a part of it.

HARRIS-PERRY: One of my producers Traci wants to know whether or not you
still have Mouth`s purple rain t-shirt.

FELDMAN: You know, unfortunately I was conned by this master manipulator
who unfortunately was not a great influence on children and this guy
manipulated me into selling him my entire Goonies outfit and my bike from
the movie I think for, like $40 when I was a kid.


FELDMAN: Yes. Tragic. Tragic.

HARRIS-PERRY: That is officially tragic.

FELDMAN: It is. But you know, I do have some mementos that I keep around
in my house which are just random. Things like I have one of the original
gold doubloons, I also happen how the Andy`s A former sweater which maybe
Kerry Green might want one day. I don`t know. If she`s watching this, I
guess she could give me a call.

HARRIS-PERRY: Now, we have been seeing on Twitter a lot of people asking
if there are any screenings of “The Goonies” for the 30th anniversary. You
know, people actually want to go and see it together, I think, with their
friends. Do you have one coming up?

FELDMAN: Yes. Yes. Well, as you know, as story is blowing up big this
weekend, so everybody is there. But I couldn`t make it there because I`m
actually preparing for my first concert with my new live band. I have a
new double album coming out called “Angelic To The Core.” It will be out
at the end of the summer. And I have put together a band of all beautiful
female models which is called the angels. And we are actually doing our
big premiere concert at Bonnaroo next weekend alongside a “Goonies” 30th
anniversary screening. So, it`s going to be actually the Corey Feldman
experience at Bonnaroo in the cinema tent. All day long we`re going to
screen goonies. We`ll going to do a concert with the angels, it`s going to
be fantastic.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you very much to Corey Feldman in Los Angeles,

FELDMAN: Thank you.

HARRIS-PERRY: And again, you made a lot of people`s day today but
particularly our beloved Eric, you made his day.

FELDMAN: Never say die! Never say die!


It still may happen 30 years later.

HARRIS-PERRY: It may still happen. Absolutely. Okay. Thanks so much for
joining us this morning.

FELDMAN: Thank you. God bless.

HARRIS-PERRY: Up next, the graduate. She went from homeless to high
school mom to valedictorian. And she joins me next.


HARRIS-PERRY: In recent years Chicago has seen a meaningful improvement in
its high school graduation rate. At the end of last school year Chicago
public schools saw a 69 percent graduation rate but despite the city`s
progress that Chicago`s Wendell Phillips Academy, students are struggling
against very long odds. The school is overwhelmingly poor and racially
segregated and had a 2014 graduation rate of just 53 percent. So, for
those Phillips students who do make it to the stage and receive a hard
earned diploma, the accomplishment is even sweeter. This triumph is
embodied by the Phillips class valedictorian this year Trameka Pope. When
she was in grade school, Trameka and her mother were homeless.

In eight grade, Trameka became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter just
three days before starting her freshman year. But she was not defeated.
Instead she saw her difficult circumstances as an opportunity for
excellence and became a member of the National Honor Society and has been
awarded more than $600,000 in scholarship funds and had been accepted to
more than 25 colleges and universities. Tomorrow she will graduate as her
class valedictorian and I`m so pleased to have Trameka Pope join me now
from Chicago. It`s lovely to have you here. Congratulations.

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

HARRIS-PERRY: I`m thrilled to have you. When you became a mother at such
a young age, what did people tell you about the likelihood that you would
even going to finish high school much less graduate at the top of your

POPE: I was told that it would be hard. I wouldn`t be able to do all of
the things such as going out or hanging out with friends as much as I can
because I have a child and she`s not baby doll I can sit to the side and
walk away from. I was expected to not graduate from high school let alone
make it even to my sophomore year. However, I did not let any of that
defeat me and I kept pushing forward.

HARRIS-PERRY: I am the mom of a 16-month-old. And I am an old lady. And
I find it hard. What were the most difficult obstacles that you faced to
get to this point?

POPE: Well, what was really hard for me was not getting enough sleep. She
was – she would sleep a lot during the day so I mean, I would be up a lot
during the night. And I would get about three hours of sleep and I would
have to wake up and go to school. So, during my class periods I would be
in there with my eyes wide open so that I wouldn`t fall asleep. Also
spending time with her. I had a bad habit of spending a lot of time at
school because I wanted to keep my grades up and I felt like I was spending
a lot of time away from her and it was a lot of things that I felt like I
was missing out on. So not being able to feel more comfortable being at
every moment that she make in her life was really hard for me.

HARRIS-PERRY: Trameka, those are the issues that every mom faces that idea
of like getting enough sleep and also being a working mom trying to do what
you have to do and want to be there for your child. So I know for me it`s
all about having a support network. Who were the people that supported

POPE: Yes. A lot of the people that supported me are my grandma`s school
teachers from West Preparatory Academy, also a lot of my teachers from
Wendell Phillips Academy High School, the staff, the administration, they
are all very supportive and especially my family, my mom, my brothers and
sisters, they support me all the way. My mom is my biggest number one
support. She helped me a lot with my child and I have nine siblings so she
has to help with them, me and my child, I also have a nephew she help with.
So, she`s a strong woman and supports a lot. The staff members from Wells
Prep, they, I wanted to stay close to my school which is outside of Wendell
Phillips that I was looking out not so long ago like I believe last year or
a year before last. And they was helping me with because I didn`t want to
go to a school where I was going to feel like I wasn`t being appreciated
and I felt like the teachers wasn`t going to treat me right because I was
afraid that they would going to judge me from being a parent. And my high
school teachers, they helped me a lot when it came to college, making
decisions. My counselor. She went on every college tour with me. Every
college visit.

HARRIS-PERRY: And where are you going to go to college? And where are you
going to go?

POPE: I`m going to Western Illinois University in Macomb.

HARRIS-PERRY: And let me ask you one last question. What are you going to
say to your classmates when you graduate as valedictorian? What will be
your advice or your words to them?

POPE: I would tell them to keep moving forward. Don`t give up in life no
matter how hard it get. Keep pushing. And keep God first. So you can be

HARRIS-PERRY: Trameka Pope in Chicago, I just want to tell you how much I
am proud of you. How many other people are rooting for you as well. It`s
tough circumstances. You have done a great job. And just keep that
network around you, keep pushing, keep being a great mom and a great
student. We`re very, very proud of you.

And that`s our show for today. Thanks to you at home for watching. We`re
going to see you next Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

Right now it`s time for a preview of “WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT” but Richard
Lui is filling in today. Hi, Richard.

RICHARD LUI, MSNBC ANCHOR: And Melissa, what a great interview. So

HARRIS-PERRY: Absolutely.

LUI: Oh, I just want to hug her. Okay, have a good one. And good to see
you as well.

He did what no horse could do in 37 years. How much money is American
Pharoah worth now? We`re counting up the dollars he could make his owner.

Back to school. The three democratic presidential candidates court the
teacher vote. Hear who received the highest marks.

Plus, a first look at Britain`s Prince George and Princess Charlotte. You
see them there together. Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be right back.



Copyright 2015 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>