Melissa Harris-Perry, Transcript 10/18/15
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: This morning, my question, Mr. Vice
president, what`s up?
Plus, another video of an unarmed teen shot dead by police.
And Tracey Morgan`s triumphant return to “Saturday Night Live.”
But first, the politics behind the policing of a pumpkin patch.
Good morning, I`m Melissa Harris-Perry.
And if you haven`t done it yet, you have just 13 days left to get your
pumpkin. With Halloween just around the corner it`s something of a
tradition, and quite frankly kind of an adorable one, parents taking their
little ones out to big fields of pumpkins and letting the kids pick out
just the right one.
It`s also a pretty cost-friendly way to spend an afternoon. At elf steed
farms in Chester, New Jersey a pick your own pumpkin cost just 65 cents a
pound. I mean, even if your kid picks out a five-pound pumpkin you are
looking at three bucks around an hour`s worth of entertainment. And that`s
not it. Out of errata farms in Half-moon Bay, California, you can get a
pumpkin for just a dollar, $1.
Now, in Virginia at Cox farms in Centerville, you can get a nice soon to be
Jacko lantern for 69 cents a pound. But know this. If you decide to go
get your pumpkin at Cox farms in Centerville, some local police might take
exception, specifically Brad Carrothers.
“The Washington Post” reported this week that Mr. Carrothers, the president
of the Fair Fox paternal order of police lodge 77 said he would not
patronize Centerville`s dock farms and urged others do the same in a
lengthy message posted on the union`s Facebook page on Tuesday. And if you
are wondering what could possibly have led to a feud between the police and
the pumpkin patch, well, the answer might surprise you, Black Lives Matter.
Take a look at this screen grab from Carrothers` Facebook page. He posted
quote “I holy hope you will join me and my police family and make a choice
to go somewhere else to enjoy your family front this fall where you are not
be confronted by such baseless criticism and judgment.
And the photo he posted, if you look really closely in that window there,
that`s a sign that says Black Lives Matter. And that house is near Cox
farm. It is a private resident that belongs to one of the farm`s five
That`s it. That was enough for the head of the police union to call for a
boycott of the pumpkin farm. There is a sign in the window which reading,
Black Lives Matter. Mr. Carrothers took his post down after dozens of
comments on Facebook, many of which were not polite so we called Mr.
Carrothers ourselves to ask him about his post. He explained this thinking
The reason why I responded to it not because of what Black Lives Matter
originated from. The original goals were pro police. However,
unfortunately, the movement of Black Lives Matter has been hijacked by
people who have an antipolice sentiment.
In several social media post, they call for violence against law
enforcement officers and their family. And the chants and demonstrations
are very antipolice. Their original ideas are whole heartedly accepted.
So Mr. Carrothers assures us that he too believes Black Lives Matter. But
he also believes that Black Lives Matter as a movement has been hijacked by
antipolice activists prepared to enact violence against the law enforcement
community. The sign as he sees it is neither simply a statement of fact
that black lives do matter nor is it a gesture of support for democratic
accountability and transparency in policing.
For Mr. Carrothers, the sign is an act of aggression, a threat. And what
police officers find threatening matters a lot. Because the perception of
threat is a critical legal ingredient for determining if an officer`s use
of force is justified. Or, as Vox explained back in April, there are
plenty of guidelines for use of force by police. But it too often boils
down to what the officer believed when the force was used regardless of how
much of a threat actually existed.
So what started out as a seemingly inconsequential story about a pumpkin
patch is sequential, indeed. Now we know there are officers who believe
Black Lives Matter is inherently threatening. And the consequences of that
belief may prove to be very real. Which is also why the response of the
pumpkin patch owners is so important.
On Thursday, the Cox family released a – may I say comprehensive statement
that reads in part, as a family we believe that Black Lives Matter. And we
find it alarming that the statement insights such a backlash neither are
sign nor the black lives matter movement says that only Black Lives Matter
or that Black Lives Matter more than anyone else. And the sign certainly
doesn`t say anything about police officers valuing black lives and
respecting the lives and work and police officers are not mutually
Then they go on to right, about 15 years ago, some consumers boycotted our
fall festival because we flew rainbow flags over our hay tunnel and they
concern that Cox farm was quote “promoting the homosexual agenda.” Our
business has continue to grow and our rainbows are still flying.
Hell, I know where I am going for my pumpkin this year.
Joining me today are Victoria DeFrancesco who is an MSNBC contributor and
director of communications for Latino decisions, Noel Cazenave, who is a
professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut and author of
“Conceptualizing racism, breaking the chains of racially accommodative
language.” Monica Dennis, regional coordinator for Black Lives Matter New
York City. And Jon Shane, associate professor of criminal justice at John
Jay College and a retired captain for New York police department. Thank
you all for being here.
HARRIS-PERRY: Let me start with you because there just is no evidence that
the Black Lives Matter movement has endangered police officers at least in
terms of leading directly to harm done to these officers. In fact, 2015 is
on track to be the safest year since 2013, which had been the safest year
in a while. So why do you think this perception is so powerful right now?
MONICA DENNIS, REGIONAL COORDINATOR, BLACK LIVES MATTER NEW YORK CITY: I
think this perception is just part of a long historical frame about who is
threatening, who is violent, who is criminal, right? So since the
inception of this country that`s always been placed on black bodies. So to
have police responding to communities that are saying we actually matter
and we are resisting police violence is actually kind of generating some
cognitive dissonance in police forces around the country. And I think it`s
very interesting that the president of the police union does not boycott as
an individual citizen, but he use his leverage and his positional authority
as part of the police union to say this is what we should be boycotting.
So, it is intimidation, it is control of a farm that`s actually very
supportive of police. There is a long history of this farm. So if you are
going to do this to someone that`s very supportive of police forces I`m
curious to see what would happen if you are talking about regular citizens
HARRIS-PERRY: You know, it is a nice point that every individual, every
individual in a society of consumption can make a choice to consume or not
consume, whatever is appropriate relative to their own world view. But it
is something different when you call on it from a particular perspective.
Jon, look, we started with a pumpkin patch story, which in certain ways is
ridiculous. But then, isn`t it ridiculous when Mr. Carrothers said to us
basically it feels like a threat. Because this question of feeling
threatened is everything when it comes to police aggression.
JON SHANE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: Well, I think what you
are going to have here is a political issue that boils down to the police
chief and some of the elected officials coming to bat for the form and for
policing in general.
What has happened is that this black lives movement – there is a wide SWAT
of law enforcement that believes it has come out of or is an outgrowth of
that hands up don`t shoot movement which was debunked largely by a lot of
investigations that have found that either witnesses lied or factual
statements were made and then recanted. And as that movement grew and this
outgrowth was Black Lives Matter now that gets branded with hands up don`t
shoot. What we know that that was false now. This is false –
HARRIS-PERRY: Bu Jon, but I want to pause on the idea that this was false.
Because on the one hand I agree with you, clearly the DOJ report has
suggested that in fact, Mr. Brown did not have his hands up at the moment
of shooting. But I have to say that`s not really what the movement was
based on or required. But the movement was also about the fact he was
unarmed. The movement was in part about the fact that that young man was
left laying in the street for those hours. And it`s about the fact that
the DOJ report also shows patterns and practices of the police department
that go far beyond that one interaction. So I would have to say like I
don`t experience the Ferguson movement as false.
SHANE: But I think there is a wide SWAT of the law enforcement community
that does. And I think they feel butchered by the fact that the
independent investigation by the DOJ report and the local prosecutors
support their feeling.
HARRIS-PERRY: So that gap in perception strikes me as – I mean, like I
don`t even really quite know how to ask the question at this point.
NOEL CAZENAVE, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: Well,
John said what`s going on is political, and you are exactly right. But
what goes on with the fact that African-American are being killed by the
police and by vigilante groups and members with impunity is what is
ultimately political. And what`s going to stop these crazy, insane
killings is a change in power relations such that the police know that they
cannot kill African-Americans and get away with it. They don`t kill
arrogant, wealthy European Americans.
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, actually, in fact, they do. I mean, so we`re going to
talk about that in a minute.
CAZENAVE: To any extent that they kill – I`m talking about the prevalence
of these killings. I`m talking about how regular these killings are. I`m
not talking about the lone history of these killings. I`m not talking
about an isolated killing that makes the news because it is so isolated and
special. I`m talking about a long pattern of killing and abuse that goes
back to the racial control of African-Americans by the various law
enforcement officials back to slave controls.
SHANE: I recognize that. But at the same time it is clearly not the
movement in the United States that police officers kill with impunity.
There is a very, very well established procedural due process that takes
place and every time a police officer uses deadly force. And to say that
we don`t care for the outcome is not suitable because justice guarantees no
outcome. It guarantees a process. We call that due process and we let it
play itself out. And I know we don`t like the outcome sometimes.
HARRIS-PERRY: But Jon, let me get Vicky in on that one.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: We are talking about
pressure and we are talking about politics. But I want to talk about the
optics of it. And we have a crisis between our communities of color and
our police departments. And we are starting to see a spiraling of a
vicious cycle. What we need to do is stop this vicious cycle. And part of
that is something as simple as public relations where if the police
department or a police representative does not go out and criticize a
pumpkin patch for advocating Black Lives Matter that would help the
relationship on the ground when the police officer is out there in the
community. So even just what can be done in term of public relations, in
terms of community engagement can affect what ultimately happens on the
streets late at not.
HARRIS-PERRY: I`m going to tell who I am going to put in-charge of it. I
put the Cox family in charge of it. I just have got to read one thing from
them because they were just everything.
As a family we are antiracist and pro justice. We recognize that systemic
racism is real. We embrace our role as allies working to dismantle it. At
any point, we completely mainstream presidential candidates openly
recognize Black Lives Matter as a legitimate organization and a crucial
voice in the conversation about racial justice and racism in this country.
It was shocking for us to see the virtual expressed about the sign in our
family`s window. Is this some radical declaration from Cox farm? No. Is
this the Cox farm family endorsing killing police officers? Of course,
not. And if you read anything from the actual organization, neither is
Black Lives Matter. Go get your pumpkins at Cox farms, my friend. More
when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you look at the Black Lives
Matter movement, one of the most disturbing things is more than one of
their protests have embraced rabid rhetoric rabid antipolice language,
literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: So that was Senator Ted Cruz talking to Think Progress
earlier this week. So here`s what he want to acknowledge. There is this
kind of one few seconds moment in one Black Lives Matter protest that got
caught on tape. This maybe the wrong way to think about it, but that we
have heard from. So maybe we want to listen to that for a second. So I
think it will give us a sense then – This was at the Minnesota state fair
about what they are responding to and then I will come to you on that.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
HARRIS-PERRY: So, you are looking at a national movement operating all
these different levels. That though, becomes the video that says this is a
violent antipolice movement. But I got to say, when it comes to rabid
rhetoric, I`m going to go with the GOP primary over black lives matter as a
consistent thing for rabid rhetoric.
DENNIS: I would have to give a high five on that, for sure. Again, I
think it`s so interesting the focusing on anybody that chooses to say we
want to stay alive. We expect police departments across the country to
protect us, to maintain our safety. And when they do not, we will resist.
So whether it`s rhetoric that makes people feel uncomfortable or actually
people standing up and saying the truth of what it is, there is no need to
apologize for what it is that Black Lives Matter is putting forth. The
right to be safe and to live, simply that.
HARRIS-PERRY: I want to push more on this idea about threat. We saw this
week really tough video of a young man in D.C., Jason Goldsby who had just
gone in to take money out of his – out of the ATM, and he holds the door
open for a white couple with their stroller and then the police are called
in. And then the video of the arrest is pretty tough to watch. And,
again, that idea that just a young man just going to get cash out is
perceived as a threat.
CAZENAVE: Yes, I think that`s really when you look at a lot of these
issues you have to go back to this whole notion of a threat. We were
talking about police perceiving a threat before. And I think the police
perceived this threat because people are telling them they cannot continue
to do business as usual and that is threatening to them. And one of the
things that we really need to understand when we talk about what`s
happening with African-Americans, that it`s happening with impunity. These
police are doing it so frequently because there are no consequences. And
again, if there were consequence, they would stop.
And to put this in a larger historical context, this notion of African-
Americans as threatening goes way back through African-American history.
CAZENAVE: After African-Americans were – every time it seems that
African-Americans have made some progress, it has been perceived as being a
threat. After the end of slavery, then there was lynching, and then there
was share cropping, and a whole host of white racial backlash. And that`s
what we`re experience against if Black Lives Matter right now, white
HARRIS-PERRY: So Vicky, I want to bring you in on this idea of threat and
sort of how then it ends up playing out in our system.
DEFRANCESCO: So politically, we have seen the GOP very much characterize
the Black Lives Matter as antipolice. But the irony here is that
communities of color, African-American communities, Latino communities want
police protection. They desperately want police to come into their
neighborhoods because who are the folks that are most likely to suffer a
crime? People of color. So they create this false dichotomy in terms of
political rhetoric where in fact if you listen clearly, it`s Black Lives
Matter, we need your cooperation, we need your broke. We are not
DENNIS: I`d have to stay that –
HARRIS-PERRY: I promise we are going to stay on this topic. But before we
go to break, I do want to do a piece of somber news. Because we want to
update our audience on this morning, something we have reported on in this
2015 has already been a year for remarkable progress for the transgender
community. The White House hired its first openly trans-staffer,
(INAUDIBLE). And other progress has been made in popular culture helping
to bring issues facing trans-gender communities into the mainstream.
But for the transgender community 2015 has also been a year of loss. More
specifically, this year has been one of historic rate of murder of trans-
people. In the past on this program, we brought you the names and stories
of transgender women, most of them women of color, already killed this
year. And now we`re going to have to pause to add another name and to
remember Zella Ziona.
Buzz Feed reports that the 21-year-old Zella was shot and killed Thursday
evening in the suburb of Washington, D.C. The article note Ziona is the
21st confirmed transgender or gender nonconforming person killed this year.
The highest number reported by the national coalition of antiviolence
programs which tracks LGBT people.
On Friday night, at approximately 8:00 p.m. Montgomery County police in
Maryland made an arrest in the case and the suspect is being charged with
first-degree murder and he is also being held without bond. Also on Friday
evening friends and family gathered at the spot where Zella was killed
bringing candles and balloons. Friends described her as amazing and an
inspiration who helped others understand their own identity. Zella will be
And up next, 17 years old, unarmed stopped by the police and shot by police
HARRIS-PERRY: On Wednesday, a Michigan family filed a federal lawsuits
against a police officer who shot and killed and unarmed teenager during a
traffic stop in February. The encounter begin when 17-year-old Devan
Gilford was stopped by Sargent Jonathan Frost after Gilford his lights at
Frost because he thought the officers high beams were turned on.
Now, video recorded by Sergeant Frost`s body cam shows a roughly four-
minute exchange in which Frost makes several request for license,
registration and insurance which Gilford decline to produce. Then this was
what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, out of the car. Out of the car. You are going to
get tased. Out of the car or you are going to get tased. Everything is
(INAUDIBLE) so I got no problem with that. Get out of the car. Get down
on the ground now. Down on the ground now. Down on the ground. Right
here facing me, down on the ground now. Get on the ground right now. Put
your face down and put your arms up to your side now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Then Sergeant Frost attempts to arrest Gilford. And when he
resists a scuffle ensued and the officer discharges his taser at the teen.
What happened next is not visible on the body cam video but only seconds
later the recording captured the sound of seven gunshots, all of which
struck Gilford. He died at the scene.
In June, the prosecutor of Michigan County declined to bring charges
against the Sergeant Frost after reviewing the evidence including a three
month independent investigation by the state police in determining Sergeant
Frost used his firearm within the limit of Michigan`s defense of the law.
In a statement this week about the decision to bring the lawsuit, Gilford`s
parent says quote “we had always had great respect for law enforcement and
the men and women who choose that profession in the past. But we must say
the belief has been shaken to the core by the action of Frost and the
refusal of the Eaton County prosecutor to hold Frost accountable. The
failed criminal justice system forces us to seek other avenues for some
kind of justice for Devin.
And that for me, officer – Jon, is really like – you said the process
matters and the fact that there were not even charges brought here I think
is exactly the kind of process that makes people feels like no, there is
not a process here.
SHANE: That`s an outcome. Charges are an outcome of something. Process
is what happens in between the incident and the outcome. So, when they
suggest that they are upset because the charges were not brought, it does
not mean that the officer was not held account. Accountability means
subordinating yourself to a process, a legal process grounded in law that
allows you to publicly account for your behavior and the law allows
officers to use force when they believe that they need to do so.
HARRIS-PERRY: But he shot a kid that he knew was unarmed at that point
SHANE: But the physical evidence - Melissa, the physical evidence, from
what I have read, the physical evidence bears witness to the fact that the
officer believes his life was in jeopardy. There are photographs, there is
physical evidence otherwise.
HARRIS-PERRY: And so, but then we get to the crux of it in part. I mean,
you know, it`s interesting that you said earlier, they don`t shoot white
kids. But this video in fact helps to remind us that they do. And in fact
a new “New York Times” piece out this morning suggests that individual bias
might be part of it. But it is literally just about the number of repeated
interactions. And so, part of the reason you have more people of color is
because the police interact with us more.
DENNIS: Absolutely. So one, the process is failing. Right? So that`s
just what it is. We know that to be true. So, to say that criminal
justice officers are actually being subjected to – or subjecting
themselves to a measure of accountability does not actually prove outright.
And that there is no transparency around what those measures of
We have to ask ourselves why do we even need body cameras to begin with,
right, because we know something unlawful and desperate and ultimately
ending in death is going on. So that`s the first question. And then to be
able to talk about – to kind of make those connections to implicit bias
that you are talking about. That implicit bias we know is hard wired into
our brains. And that often it is in direct contradictions to the beliefs
and the attitudes that we hold true and dear. So the police officers, I
could say that I actually believe in the safety and upholding communities
and then actually kill black and white, you know, bodies desperately in
numbers, right? And so, it is really important to be able to look at also
how that implicit bias is being shaped by the constant messaging of who is
violent, who is threatful, and who is unlawful.
HARRIS-PERRY: Sure. And I hear you. And I hear you on bias. And I mean
clearly that is a critical aspect of this. I guess part of it, though, for
me is always – because I always want to talk about structures and systems,
I also want to think about the structures and systems faces police
I do want to just take a moment to read, the Eaton county sheriff did
release a statement saying the incident is a tragedy for everyone involved,
certainly for the Gilford family, but also for John Frost and all the men
and women of Eaton County sheriff`s office and the entire Eaton County
community. The last thing Sergeant Frost or any law enforcement officer
wants to do is be put into a position where he is compelled to use his
firearm to defend his life when that occurs is understandable and
reasonable decision to use the firearm will be challenged and scrutinized
by many sources.
And I have got to say, you know, you were talking about sort of the
language that can be used to build trust. And like when there is a dead
child, saying that it is a tragedy for everybody doesn`t really go very far
on that at all.
DEFRANCESCO: There is a hunger for transparency is what we want. And yes,
the body cameras are a good first step. But I think sometimes we think
they are a panacea. All right, we have body cameras and things are going
to be OK. That`s just the very beginning. So the next stage is that
process. And our law enforcement should be held accountable. We are not
saying that should be held accountable more so than others. But they
should be held accountable. We want to see the process play out in public.
HARRIS-PERRY: I`m not even convinced the body cameras are a good idea.
DEFRANCESCO: I agree.
SHANE: The public is the grand jury.
HARRIS-PERRY: How is the grand jury a public process?
SHANE: All members of the community come together to listen to the
circumstantial evidence are selected impartially and they are seated.
HARRIS-PERRY: I have got say. So what I will say –
SHANE: That`s part of the accountability.
HARRIS-PERRY: What I will say I think then potentially that is even a
greater danger than, Jon, is if the language, if the discourse becomes,
well, as long as there is process, as long as there is some version of
community accountable, then what happens is people stop believing in law
altogether. Because they will say well, if this is lawful, this is what
constitutes justified, but my moral and ethical and like clear human nature
says no, that`s wrong. Then it suggests that the law - I mean, it may in
fact be lawful, but lawful may be different than what is right and wrong.
SHANE: That`s a matter of political debate and that is something that has
to go back through public debate, through legislature, through elected
officials and through our point of –.
HARRIS-PERRY: And our process.
DENNIS: That`s a challenge that rarely gets to the level of public debate,
right? That the public actually has some input in what is actually
happening in their communities. And that is why you have movement across
the United States actually rising up and saying we actually demanding
accountability we don`t feel safe.
HARRIS-PERRY: We are going to stay more. But up next, the family of Tamir
Rice calls up for justice. More when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMARIA RICE, TAMIR RICE`S MOTHER: It is a senseless shooting of my son
Tamir Rice, I have had many sleepless nights and days. Almost a year now,
no justice, no peace. I am very disappointed in the way Timothy McGintly
is handling this case. I would like for him to step down and allow an
independent prosecutor to take over Tamir Rice case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: That was Samaria Rice, whose 12-year-old son Tamir was
playing with what turned out to be a toy pellet gun when he was fatally
shot by Clinton police last November.
On Friday, attorneys for Rice`s family sent a letter to the Cuyahoga
prosecutor Tim McGinty criticizing his handling of the case including his
decision to publicly release the results of two expert reports that
concluded the shooting was justified. The attorneys told McGinty in the
letter it now appears that the grand jury presentation will be nothing
short of a charade aimed at whitewashing this police killing of a 12-year-
old child. And according to the Columbus dispatch, McGinty and his
spokesman says they welcome criticism about the reports and emphasize that
the reports don`t represent any conclusions nor indicative of the
recommendation prosecutors will make to the grand jury.
I mean, I remember Nick Christophe (ph) saying on the twitter that
activists should have focus less on Michael Brown and more on Tamir Rice.
And a year later, I foal like, what`s good, Mr. Christophe, because seems
hard to get justice on any of it.
DEFRANCESCO: And I think what is so important here that we see the face of
a child. And our hope was that this innocence would allow not just the
black community, but the nonblack community to come together and rally on
this. But we keep seeing roadblocks.
And based on this, we need to pick up on a point made earlier which is what
we need to change the laws, what about the process? And I think this needs
to be long-term strategy where we start lobbying our different state law
makers to change the law so that when something is brought in court cases
there is more transparency. So I think maybe the target needs to be
changed just from, say, the court system, and move it on up to the state
HARRIS-PERRY: And also say as much as I`m not necessarily a fan of body
cameras or I`m not sure what they do, I am a fan of data collection. And
part of the problem, you know, the assertions we are making about use of
force we are making because we think that`s what true but we are not
completely sure because of lack of data. But the new VGA program out of
the DOJ is going to use this open source methodology and local news reports
and presumably we are going to ends up with better data. But the very fact
that we don`t know what the numbers are on use of force is kind of stunning
in a democracy.
CAZENAVE: Well, I think as African-Americans we know what the numbers are
because we have we experience the numbers and we have been experiencing
these numbers for centuries now. And there has been a lot of talk about
process. People care that the process not only exists but that the process
If you look at a city like New York City, for example, we see that almost -
- no matter what the police do, they are not going to be indicted and they
are certainly not going to be convicted. And so people, there is an
inherent understanding of these statistics, if you will.
Today we`re talking about a young man who was killed in Michigan. And we
are talking about that. And it`s – that received a lot of attention
because he is a European American, and because it`s not just standard
African-American who is being killed by the police. So it is a red herring
in that sense. There are appearance, there are trends that we have to look
at. And we have to yes, Jon is correct. We have to look at ultimately, we
have to stop this. Not as a police problem, but it is a political problem.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right. But I feel that is precisely what the Black Lives
Matter movement is attempting to deal with it as a political problem.
(INAUDIBLE) was twitting about the movement leaders meeting with Bernie
Sanders, meeting with Hillary Clinton. And in fact trying to make a
difference in the political sphere.
DENNIS: Absolutely. And we think there are multiple roads to solving this
problem, right? And the problem is not just criminal justice. It is, what
are the conditions that are compounded generation after generation that are
producing the same desperate outcomes in black communities, right? And so,
some people are choosing to meet with political candidates. Many of us are
organizing in community and because we can`t make decisions about what is
helpful for black communities if we are not talking about black
communities. There are lots of people that have been organizing
historically. This is not new. We are part of a continuum that we are
building upon. And so, we are trying to link the data to actual people`s
stories because it is a shame that actually we have to have data to prove
why we should keep living.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right, what the experience is.
Thank you to Jon Shane. The rest of the panel is sticking around.
Still to come this morning, the latest on vice president Joe Biden`s
decision on 2016 and preview of secretary Clinton`s Benghazi testimony.
But up next, my letter of the week.
HARRIS-PERRY: Many of us keep a framed photograph of a beloved family
member who has passed away on our (INAUDIBLE) near our bedsides. Maybe
that picture captured something unique about the person we have lost, the
Brad smile or the tedious grin, maybe the passionate eyes. We know they
are gone but the photo eases the pain by letting us escape to the moments
we shared in life.
But if we lost our beloved not at the end of the long illness, but instead
through the tragic horror of gun violence, then the picture we choose to
show the world is not just about personal memories. It`s about the
political stories their lives and deaths tell.
After George Zimmermann killed Trayvon Martin in 2012, there was
significant public debate about which photos of Trayvon media outlets
should use when reporting the story. Is he too young in this photo? Is
this one too iconic? Is this one too prejudicial? The debate began again
in 2014. This time we saw the death images first. Images of Michael Brown
lying face down in the street in Ferguson went viral.
But even after the public had seen him in death there were questions about
how to portray Michael Brown in life. Should we see him at his best
moments or at his less compelling? Social media offered a painful response
as young black people asked, quote “if they gunned me down, what picture
would they use?”
The question itself and the discordant side by side images offered by young
African-Americans acknowledged that even inconsequential moments snapped in
a fleeting moment can suddenly take on profound public significance in the
context of a violent death.
Now, there is one D.C. mom whose daughter was murdered more than five years
ago who is on a crusaded to ensure we pay attention to the photos of death
just as much as to the images of life. And that is why my letter of the
week goes to (INAUDIBLE).
Dear Ms. Jeffries, it is me Melissa. And I want you to know I have seen
the picture, the one of your 16-year-old daughter, Brichell Jones (ph).
Her body rent and the skin peeled back and the bone exposed in the muscles
as a bowl I have seen it. And it took my breath away and it made my
stomach turn and it made my knees weak and I closed my eyes and shook my
head and looked away.
And you don`t want me to look away. You want me, you want all of us to see
what the bullets from that AK-47 did to your precious girl. Bullets
finally end dispute that had nothing to do with Brichell (ph) at all.
When you first started testifying about (INAUDIBLE) death, you brought the
smiling photo of a teenager full of life believing that lawmakers would see
what had been lost and be move to action. But it`s been more than five
year years and hundreds of children continue to die annually from gunshot
wounds and it seems no one is willing to do anything to stop it.
So although I know you would rather remember your little girl full of life
and love, now you bring the grizzly, brutal graphic photo of brie decimated
by the bullets of an AK-47 to the head. You have carried it with you to
city council meetings and bring it to one on one sit-downs and you show it
to reporters and you insist, I just can`t see myself talking about gun
violence without showing what gun violence is. This image is burned into
my memory bank. It doesn`t make sense for me to keep showing pictures of
what she looked like before.
So you take your place alongside Mamie Till when her 14-year-old son was
dragged from his family`s home during a visit to Mississippi in 1955 and
tortured and murdered and discarded like trash. Ms. Till held on open
casket funeral and asked Jet magazine to publish the photographs of his
brutalized body. And those photographs helped launch the civil rights
And you hope the grizzly images of Brie`s death will do the same. Maybe.
Maybe seeing the horror would be enough. But maybe not.
When the parents of Newton Connecticut opposed release of the Sandy Hook
massacre images they openly worried about copycat killers and the traumatic
affect the images could have on so many. And it is because of that concern
about trauma that I`m not showing the photo of your daughter today. But
you know what? It might just be because I lack the courage, the courage to
see that picture broadcast here on this Sunday morning in this place.
Maybe I`m failing to be brave. And of course, see, I can make that choice.
I can look away. And you, Miss Jeffries, cannot. The reality of what that
gun did to your girl is written in your soul. And maybe eventually we will
all find the courage to face it, as you have been forced to do. Sincerely,
HARRIS-PERRY: Seven months after Michael Brown`s death in Ferguson,
Missouri, a justice department civil rights investigation concluded the
Ferguson police department and the city`s court system engaged in quote “a
pattern and practice of discrimination against African-Americans.”
Now, this pattern included unconstitutional tops and overuse for tickets
for minor violations increased court fees and jail time for those unable to
pay. Now, a new year-long investigation by ProPublica reveals another
devastating source of financial hardship for black communities, debt
And according to the report quote “companies now routinely use the courts
to pursue millions of people over even over hall small consumer debts.
With the power granted by a court judgment, collectors can receive a chunk
of a debtor`s pay. It can be a small credit card ads or an auto loan or
even overdue sewer bill. And ProPublica`s analysis of five years of court
judgments in three cities, St. Louis, Chicago, and Newark, showed that even
accounting for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly
black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones.
One of the ProPublica reporters who crunched the numbers and interviewed
countless residents Paul Kiel joins me now.
So Paul, talk to me about this. This felt when I read it like chapter two
of the reporting that Tanya Hessy has done around segregation. And then
this is the thing that racial segregation that allowed to be possible.
PAUL KIEL, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: Right. I mean, a real common factor
there is we were looking for causes of this, why does this happen is when
we crunch the numbers we were adjusting for income. So we were finding
twice as many of these court judgments in mostly black communities as most
to white communication with the same income which made us look at the
racial wealth gap.
So, you know, even if you look at the same income level for whites and
blacks you will find, you know, five times as much wealth in the white
families as the black families. Additionally, looking at networks, so that
sort of compounds across the community. So you can`t go to your mom, you
can`t go to your grand mom because, you know, everyone has the same
situation in terms of a lack of wealth.
HARRIS-PERRY: Or if you do go to them - I mean, I think that was one of
the things that for me that was just painful, was Laura Ingraham, who is
the manager of this foreclosure intervention department in St. Louis saying
I can`t tell you the number of times I have had a 55 to 65-year-old
African-American woman who can`t make her mortgage payment because she has
helped out other members of the family to the detriment of keeping herself
So if you do go to them, right, it is – you are taking out of nothingness.
KIEL: Right. Who is this strong members of the community that, you know,
the grandmothers or whoever have their own home, they get drawn on, you
know, and then get overdrawn. And then, you know, we take one example of a
woman who is retired. She should be, you know, kind of living out her
life. She owns her own home but she has a daughter living in her home and
she was trying to help other hut. Ended up getting up sued over her sewer
bill when she fell behind and then her bank account was cleared out, you
know. So the situations like that. It exacerbates what is already is sort
of a stretched community.
HARRIS-PERRY: And I think this is, you know, I read reporting like this.
And the level of injustice and the kind of long reaching effects. And I
think but there is no salacious video. And so, as a result it can be
harder to draw attention to this kind of injustice.
DENNIS: Absolutely. Absolutely it`s harder to draw attention. And the
impact is daily, it is chronic, it is acute, right? And then it`s
connected to again these patterns of policy that are supposed to be
colorblind policy to collect debt or to create home ownership or and what`s
not being looked at is what are the predatory undertones that are actually
So my question is to any business, any nonprofit that is creating some
practice or policy are you doing any type of racial equity assessment? Who
is going to be disproportionately impacted as you put out a simple across
the board debt collection policy? And the results of your reporting shows
that it is disproportionately going to be black families.
DEFRANCESCO: In reading this report, I was incredibly saddened. I wasn`t
surprise but I was very saddened. And then I couldn`t help but thinking
about the predatory lending that`s linked to it. I was reading this and I
just got more depressed because you look across the country and in the
quick loans and the title loans are all set up to prey on people who have
no safety net because of these debt collections situations. So I`m not
seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.
HARRIS-PERRY: And again, I just got to – I want to quote again from the
piece “34 million, right, banks, hospitals, utilities, auto and high cost
lenders have seized $34 million from residents of St. Louis`s mostly black
neighborhoods between 2008 and 2012.” I mean, that kind of transfer of
wealth in this way just seems unjust in every possible way.
KIEL: Right. And I mean, another key thing is it`s kind of – so we use
one example in story of a woman named Corey Winfield, who went to a used
car, you are not getting a subprime auto line in 2009, right. She ended up
falling behind. Because of the system they repossessed her car. She still
had a debt left over after they took the car and auctioned it off. It is
running at 30 percent interest because she had a high interest loan. So
they sue her and that allows them to garnish her wages. But it`s still at
a high interest rate. So when the car was repossessed. She owed like
$5,000. Has already had more than $85,000 took it on her paychecks to
single mother of four kids.
HARRIS-PERRY: So $10,000 for a car not in your possession.
CAZENAVE: And racism may not be obvious. But the hands of racism are
HARRIS-PERRY: They are screaming at me. I have got to go.
Vicky will be back on the next hour. Thank you to Noel Cazenave, to Monica
Dennis and to Paul Kiel.
Still to come this morning. Tracey Morgan`s triumphant return to “Saturday
Night Live,” the wide open GOP race.
And at the top of the hour, the most anticipated testimony of 2015, at
least anticipated by the republicans.
More Nerdland in a moment.
HARRIS-PERRY: Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry.
This coming Thursday former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify
in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The committee is
charged with investigating the terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in
Benghazi, Libya in September of 2012 in which four Americans were killed
including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. Clinton was
secretary of state at the time. The committee`s chairman, republican
Congressman Trey Gowdy says, there were three main questions he wants the
panel to address.
One, why did the U.S. have a presence in Benghazi considering the security
risk there? Two, what did the U.S. government do to protect American
personnel in facilities during the attack? And three, what was the
administration`s explanation for how the attacks happened and how did it,
quote, “evolve?” One of Hillary`s long time aides, Huma Abedin, who served
as her deputy chief of staff in the State Department was questioned Friday
behind closed doors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUMA ABEDIN, TOP AIDE FOR HILLARY CLINTON: I came here today to be as
helpful as I could be to the committee. I appreciated the time of both the
members and the committee staff today. And I answered all their questions
to the best of my ability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Clinton has accused Republicans of using the committee as a
political weapon with the sole purpose of damaging her chances in the 2016
presidential race. In recent weeks the former secretary has seized on
comments by House republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who credited the
Benghazi committee with bringing down Clinton`s poll numbers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They have admitted it is a
political partisan committee for the sole purpose of going after me. Not
trying to make our diplomats who serve in dangerous areas safer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: The panel`s Republican`s chair maintains that he is focused
only on a thorough accounting of what happened in Benghazi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, CHAIR, BENGHAZI COMMITTEE: We are going to have a
professional fact centric firm but fair conversation with the person who
happened be the Secretary of State at all relevant times before, during and
after Benghazi. So you have to talk to Secretary Clinton, there is no way
to have a credible investigation without doing so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Thursday will not be the first time Clinton testifies on
Benghazi. Seven other Congressional committees have investigated the
attacks and concluded that the State Department could have done more to
respond to security and protect the Benghazi compounds.
At the table this hour with me, Victoria DeFrancesco, who is a MSNBC
contributor and director of communications for Latino decisions. Basil
Smikle – who is executive director of the New York State Democratic Party.
Sabrina Siddiqui who is political reporter for the Guardian. And
republican strategist Susan Del Percio. So nice to have you all here.
Susan, let me start with you.
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Sure.
HARRIS-PERRY: So, is this a committee for the purpose of investigating
Benghazi or is this a political matter?
DEL PERCIO: Well, I think what Kevin McCarthy said certainly hurt the
credibility of the committee. So, it almost doesn`t matter going in right
now. The perception is that it was created – it`s given Hillary Clinton
great advantage going into this. And she has use it quite well. Now, what
she does when she testifies will be interesting. I expect that she will
actually do quite well. This is right in her belly with. But she has to
really watch her temperament.
DEL PERCIO: And if I were her I`d really stick to as many of the facts and
not play the political card until afterwards. Don`t play the political
card in the hearing but afterwards if she chooses to talk to the press then
she can play it. Because it`s already been leading up to that and that`s
what she should do. The Republicans on the other hand have to make sure
they have a very pointed specific questions to offer her. They have to now
be more conscientious than ever not to seem partisan.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. It`s interesting. I want to listen to two different
sort of takes out of the Republicans in the House. Obviously, in the
Senate. So, one is a House member, Representative Richard Hanna on
Wednesday. And then we`ll listen actually after that to the chair of the
committee himself, Senator Gowdy, excuse me, Representative Gowdy talking
about the earlier remarks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD HANNA (R-NY), ON BENGHAZI COMMITTEE: Sometimes the biggest
sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
HANNA: You know? And I – this may not be politically correct, but I
think that there is a big part this investigation that was designed to go
after people. An individual, Hillary Clinton.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thursday is about the three questions
in Benghazi, what happened before, during and after. And frankly, in
Secretary Clinton`s defense she is going to have a lot more information
about the before than she is the during and the after. So, I get that
there is a presidential campaign going on. I have told my own republican
colleagues and friends, shut up talking about things that you don`t know
anything about. And unless you are on the committee, you have no idea what
we`ve done, why we`ve done it, and what new facts we have found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: So, that`s Chairman Gowdy on “Face the Nation” on CBS this
morning. What do you think about what`s happening internally for the party
BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I
mean, to go back to something that Susan said earlier, I think they need to
figure out what the purpose of this hearing actually is. We`re at seven or
eight committee hearings now. This most recent ones is total about $4.7
million, more expensive than it was to figure out what happened after
Katrina. And so, at this point, I don`t see –
HARRIS-PERRY: Katrina was on tape.
SMIKLE: I don`t see what is new. I don`t really see what`s new
information Secretary Clinton is going to provide. And whatever could have
been brought out of this hearing that would be considered legitimate has
been delegitimatized because of the politics.
Just to jump in is, the last hearing is when we found out about her private
e-mail account. So, things do happen during these hearings.
DEL PERCIO: And the public really does separate what happened in Benghazi
and her e-mail account issue. But that did come out of the last hearing.
So when Trey Gowdy says there may be more information to come that they are
not aware of.
HARRIS-PERRY: So, I think this to me Susie, seems so important. And part
of it goes to your earlier advice, which is, you know, the more that she
sticks to it straight, even if it goes to the politics on the back end.
And so, it does seem to me that there is always like risk, right? You as a
candidate, even if you are talking about your time as secretary of state,
you as a candidate sitting there in front of that committee, is only
downside as far as I can see.
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Right. And I think
that she is going to take this very seriously. Her campaign has, you know,
even said for example after that debate moment where Bernie Sanders said
that the American public is sick and tired of hearing about your e-mails
and that was sort of this big debate that a got arise. Especially among
the Democrats who largely do not view the e-mails as you were Benghazi
obviously the same way that Republicans do as a matter of great suspicion.
The campaign was still single. Look, she is going to go, she`s going to
testify, she`s going to take this moment very seriously. And as Susan
said, you know, the Republicans have already had this self-inflicted wound
where going into this moment you didn`t have just some of the republican
lawmakers who have come out and said, confirm what is Washington`s worst
kept secretary, that is to try to go after Hillary Clinton in some way.
You also had an investigator who was a republican on that committee who has
accused the committee of firing him for not focusing his investigation on
Hillary Clinton. And that is something that got a lot of traction within
the media, too. So, there are now number of voices who were saying, this
has been about Hillary Clinton. We haven`t produced the smoking gun that
Republicans seem to believe that there is with respect to Benghazi. And
it`s unclear that they`re actually going to get there. They`re certainly
haven`t shown throughout this course that they have something, specifically
HARRIS-PERRY: And it feels to me like it strikes a particularly
discordant, for optic in part when the House Republicans are unable to kind
of solidify their own leadership. And this is what I think was driving me
nuts, this idea that they are holding up many Obama era or Obama
administration nominations for these posts. Everything from ambassadors to
these other nominations are just languishing in committee. And I`m like,
you have time for eight Benghazis but not to like get folks out of
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: We have seen Republicans focused
so exclusively on Benghazi. We are seeing other things held up. But in
talking about Benghazi, I agree with Susan, that it will more likely than
not help Secretary Clinton. She is going to be able to showcase her
strength and her equanimity. But remember she is coming into this limping.
DEFRANCESCO: Because of the email scandal that was brought up through
Benghazi. People are beginning to get disenchanted with Clinton more and
more. She may be able to make up for lost ground and showing her strength
with the Benghazi committee. But I think irreparable damage has been done
because of the e-mails that were brought forward.
SMIKLE: Actually I would disagree with that. I think she is coming off a
tremendous month. That I think Bernie Sanders helped a lot to get
everybody on the same page and say these e-mails don`t matter. There is no
smoking gun with respect to these e-mails.
DEFRANCESCO: But the truth – is it damaged the trust.
SMIKLE: And on top of that, if you look at even the poll numbers, she has
gone up in New Hampshire relative to Bernie Sanders. She seemed the most
conversant on a wide range of policy issues and she had an opportunity to
actually come across that way given the fact that she has previously only
had to talk about her e-mails.
HARRIS-PERRY: There are two separate questions here. Obviously she is in
a primary right now. But I have got to say that Hillary Clinton winning
the democratic primary for 2016 has got to be the least surprising thing to
happen – like. So, she win, right? That was just not be that surprising.
Her losing would be much more shocking. But then the question is whether
or not all this maintains a kind of drip drip that again has that effect
DEL PERCIO: Yes. Of course because you are going to see is, Hillary
Clinton, let`s just give her the benefit of the doubt that she does well at
the hearing. She is going to have October be 30 great days for her. And
then guess what is going to happen? Thirty first, 4,000 more e-mails are
going to come out. And that`s going to reset her backwards. And not only
that, when you talk about what comes out of the hearings, what I`m curious
about is, we`ve seen that there is issues about security. We know the
ambassador asked for more security we know that`s the focus of it.
As a result of learning about her e-mail account and having these e-mail
releases we have also known that she has had CIA agent was outed by said
Blumenthal on her e-mail. So, they had to redact that. That was
classified. The question is, are there any other security issues that
potentially can come out of this hearing? I think that – if that comes
out going into the next bank of e-mails that`s going to be very damning for
HARRIS-PERRY: October has been a good month. But November, maybe not.
But up next, there is one person undoubtedly watching it, and one person we
are all watching, the vice president. The latest signs of whether or not
there is going to be a decision from Vice President Joe Biden, next.
HARRIS-PERRY: Will he or won`t he? The speculation continues as Vice
President Joe Biden appeared last night right here in New York, just down
the street to accept a human rights award from the Greek Orthodox Church.
Biden spoke about his Catholic faith, about his late son Beau, but did not
mention anything about a possible run for the presidency. But his audience
did, chanting run, Joe, run, as he left the stage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(Crowd chanting): Run, Joe, run!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: The Vice President is by all accounts still weighing his
options. Maybe lacing up those shoes for the run. On Friday he spoke with
the leader of the International Association of Firefighters. A source
tells NBC News that Biden told the union president he is seriously
considering a run and was trying to gauge whether he would have the union`s
I want to bring in now NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kelly O`Donnell
outside the Vice President`s residence in Wilmington, Delaware. So, what
do you know?
KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning,
Melissa. This is sort of informally Biden watch here where we are quite
literally at the kind of the doorstep of his personal residence here in
Wilmington. A quiet Sunday morning, I can report for you. We have not
seen Vice President Biden today. We don`t have anything that we`ve been
told to look for in terms of any public events. We`re here because
everyone is wondering, will he or won`t he? And so we`re trying to gauge
if the Vice President will give any clues or will there be visitors here
who might suggest one way or another what his thinking is. But all quiet
right now. As you pointed out, the conversations that he has been having
suggest that there is a seriousness to the way he is looking at this.
We don`t know timing. But timing does matter because there will be
deadlines for filing to be a candidate in certain states. There was
discussion of whether it would have been good for him or not to be in the
debate that has already happened. So there is a sense of pressure
building. This weekend, it has been in many ways a typical one for the
Vice President. He spent part of Saturday attending sporting activities
for his grandchildren here in Wilmington. You pointed out he went to an
event in New York City last night. And those who are watching his public
statements at those kinds of events are looking for evidence of might he
He sometimes weaves some of the themes into his public remarks that might
be things that would be something you would hear from Joe Biden as a
candidate. But you really have to be looking hard for that. So at this
point, he is one of the most captivating figures in the race because we
don`t know if he will get in. But we are here standing by, ready to go.
And if the Vice President wants to come out and get the morning paper,
we`ll be here ready to greet him.
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right. Just scream, are you going to run, Joe? Are
you going to run? Thank you.
HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell in Wilmington, Delaware.
So look, I mean there is a point at which we are like staking out the Vice
President`s House that we are going to have to stop doing that. He is
going to have to tell us or not, right?
SMIKLE: He will. And you know, we`ve had our theories on when that would
actually happen. I`ve always thought he could go late into the fall if he
really wanted to. And there clearly seems to be some interest. Look, he
would be a great candidate if he runs. I`m a sure of that. But the
question is again given where all the candidates are right now. Given the
pieces of the electorate that they have staked out where does he fit into
that? I`m just not sure.
HARRIS-PERRY: Let me ask a more political human and less like strategic
question. Because nobody can tell you if you are going to win the
presidency, right? Or even the nomination. But isn`t it just that this
man has wanted for much of his adult life to be president.
HARRIS-PERRY: He only has – is even in this possibility because of the
unique circumstance of being part of Obama `08. How does he not like, just
on the pure –
DEL PERCIO: And just to go to that – emotion when you are dealing with
candidates – here`s the thing. Let`s not forget, the Biden movement
started because everyone thought that Hillary Clinton was going to tank
against Bernie Sanders. And they didn`t want a socialist being the top of
the ticket. So everyone –
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s a fair concern.
DEL PERCIO: Right. It is a fair concern.
DEL PERCIO: But this is where it started from. So, what happened?
Everyone started to ask Biden to run. Is he interested? He would be
great. We can`t have Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton is going to fail
miserably. So, he started to feel the love. And it really was a moment
of, they love me, they really love me. So he started – you know, the fact
that they wanted him more than he was seeking it is a very attractive
proposition for anyone who ever wanted to be president.
DEL PERCIO: And now he`s here and as of today Hillary Clinton has had a
good debate performance. She has some good polls out. So, right now you
say oh, wow, they are not clamoring for me. What`s going on? He is going
to have to wait just a little bit longer. My guess is somewhere between
after the e-mails come out on October 31st, after Election Day. And before
the next debate on the 14th. So, it gives you about a ten-day window right
SIDDIQUI: And I`ll also think that one of the things you have to look at
though when it comes to this momentum around drafting Biden is with the
American public. People are popular until they officially become the
SIDDIQUI: When Hillary Clinton absolute numbers, her favorability when she
had left the office of secretary of state were sky high. Obviously with
the relentless media scrutiny over her. It wasn`t just when she`s
officially jumped in the race as candidate, you have seen those numbers
change. And that`s pretty typical on both sides of the aisle regardless of
who you`re looking at. So, if you were Joe Biden, the question becomes,
what are you bringing to the table? Is it just authenticity? Because as
far as his substantive, as his policy positions go, there is not a great
deal of distance between him and Hillary Clinton except for that she`s now
attached herself to the Left on a couple of issues.
HARRIS-PERRY: But quite honestly, there wasn`t a huge amount of difference
between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama in 2008. There were a few, I
mean, it`s a primary –
HARRIS-PERRY: No, no, no, wait, wait. But I`m now saying, just on the
question of – so again, it still tells like two different things. One is
a strategy of whether or not there is lane for him to win through. The
other is – because I mean you are saying, okay, people will stop loving
him as soon as he runs. Of course. But they will stop having any thoughts
about the Vice President if he chooses not to. Like if he steps outside
and says to Kelly or, you know, watch, I`m not running, everyone packs up
and goes home. Then it really is over. There is some possibility for a
continued love-hate if he runs.
SMIKLE: And I think – I`m sorry. And I think that if you look at the
debate, the democratic debate, a lot of her tone and her style and her
delivery and the fact that people just sort of – a lot of folks that were
looking at how she was going to perform loved her performance, a lot of
that was directed to a Joe Biden.
SMIKLE: Look, if you want to come in, this is what to expect.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Right. Right. What you are going to get, Joe?
SMIKLE: And I think going back to 2008 when both were in the race in a
primary, a lot of it had to do with questions about authenticity and style.
It was change versus experience.
SMIKLE: But you can see here not just with this group of Democrats but
also relative to the Republicans that experienced this.
HARRIS-PERRY: But she also tipped her hand this week with the Castro
endorsement and then the language about Castro might be my VP. And you
know, that would be fascinating for tons of reasons but also it makes you
wonder if VP Biden is going to get in. If needs to tip his hand about what
the whole ticket will look like. Especially if there would be a powerful
interesting woman on the ticket with him it might change some of that
feelings about like, an old guy jumping in front of – in front of Clinton
DEFRANCESCO: Absolutely. Because I think that is one of the negatives
that Biden has. He is older. You know, the Democrat Party needs to appeal
to a more diverse constituency. And another negative for Biden is his
closeness to the Obama administration.
HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, I don`t think it`s a negative. I think –
DEFRANCESCO: Getting into the general election, you have your
independence, you have your fence sitters, and you`ll say, I want something
a little bit different.
HARRIS-PERRY: No. No. I think – so, we`ve got to dig into the pool now
Victoria, because I actually think that`s his main strength. I actually
think Hillary has not repaired some of what she would need to repair for
the enthusiasm gap to close in order to get that Obama coalition after her.
And then actually Biden can run as Obama`s coalition.
DEFRANCESCO: I think she has a problem with the Obama coalition but not
with those independents in the general election.
HARRIS-PERRY: Still the come this morning, more and more, we`re getting
into it now. Until Biden win, I don`t know.
Still to come this morning, Tracy Morgan returns to “SNL.” Stay with us.
Wow! All the politics.
HARRIS-PERRY: Now, a quick look at stories making headlines this morning.
In Florida, a police are searching for a shooter. After a deadly shooting
at a ZombieCon event. It happened last night, late last night in Fort
Myers when an unidentified shooter opened fire in an annual Zombie Themed
Street Festival. In this witness video, you can see crowds running from
the gunfire and one person was killed and four others were hurt. Those
injured were taken to the hospital and (INAUDIBLE).
In the Philippines, a powerful typhoon slammed onto shore this morning with
winds more than 100 miles per hour. The storm down heavy rain, toppled
trees and knocked out power. Officials say, thousands of villagers have
evacuated the typhoon`s path especially in towns prone to flashfloods and
landslides. Video posted to Facebook shows a capsized boat off the
Philippines, a passing boat tries to rescue survivors trapped on the
overturned hole. The man who posted the video says, his crew were able to
rescue some of passengers to help to get them to a hospital.
And back to the Unites States, the Governor of Hawaii have declared a State
of Emergency to deal with the state`s homelessness crises. The declaration
will allow the state to speed up the process of building a homeless shelter
for families. And also provides $1.3 million to expand services to
homeless individuals and families. Some of the programs like housing first
helps people who struggle with mental illness and substance abuse who may
not need the traditional requirement of a lot of shelter programs. And in
the last year, Hawaii saw a 23 percent increase in its unsheltered homeless
population in the 46 percent increase in the number of unsheltered
families. With more than seven thousand people about a home in Hawaii, a
state that has the highest rate of homelessness per capita.
Up next, the Republican candidate who`s falling in the polls stumbling when
he speaks and showing signs of money trouble but he`s still being treated
like a frontrunner.
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