Politics Nation, Transcript 6/4/2017
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: June 4, 2017
Guest: Jim Cavanaugh, Jacqui Patterson, Mustafa Ali
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. Welcome to “PoliticsNation.”
A busy show today with lots of news. The former president of the NAACP is
running for political office. We`ll talk to Ben Jealous in a few minutes.
Comedian and friend Bill Maher is using a word that he shouldn`t, and I`m
pretty upset about that.
And those Paris Accords that President Trump pulled out of, why they matter
especially to poor and minorities.
But we start with breaking news. Seven people are dead, 48 injured in an
attack in the heart of London. Around 10:00 P.M. local time last night. The
incident began on London Bridge as a car veered off the road and on to the
sidewalk. Hitting pedestrians. The attackers then fled the van and started
attacking people in bars and restaurants at a nearby Borough Market.
The police killed them within eight minutes from when the attack began.
Both Prime Minister Theresa May and the London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke a
short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We believe we are experiencing a new
trend in the threat we face. As terrorism breeds terrorism. And
perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully-
constructed plots after years of planning and training. And not even as
lone attackers radicalized online, but by copying one another and often
using the crudest of means of attack.
While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is, to be
frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: I`m appalled and furious that these cowardly
terrorist will deliberately target innocent Londoners and bystanders
enjoying their Saturday night. One of the things that these terrorists want
to do disrupt our way of life. They want to stop us enjoying the freedoms
that we have, enjoying the mingling and mixing on a Saturday night and
London having a good time. They want to stop us voting on Thursday in the
general elections and enjoying the democracy that we have. We can`t allow
them to do that. We aren`t going to be cowered by terrorism nor let them
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The White
House said in a statement that President Trump had spoken with the Prime
Minister Theresa May on the phone to offer his condolences and full
Trump tweeting, “We need to be smart, vigilant, and tough. We need the
courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level
of safety.” He later tweeted, “Whatever the United States can do to help
out in London and the UK, we will be there,” and in all caps, “WE ARE WITH
YOU, GOD BLESS.”
Let`s go to London. NBC`s Lucy Kafanov is on the scene with the latest, and
also NBC News security analyst Duncan Gardham.
Lucy, what is the latest?
LUCY KAFANOV, NBC REPORTER: Good morning, reverend. Well, authorities have
now largely contained the crime scene or crime scenes. Both London Bridge
and Borough Market where these attacks took place yesterday evening. There
are now forensic investigators combing the areas for evidence. There are
lots of closed circuit television cameras across London. So they will be
combing through that footage to try get more clues about just how these
But the biggest focus, of course, is on figuring out the identities and the
potential networks behind these three attackers. All three of them killed
by the police. We saw a raid, a large police raid undergoing this morning.
About 30 minutes away from where I am in an east London suburb. Police
raiding a large apartment building there and now would indicate that
although we haven`t learned of the identities of these three suspects, the
three dead attackers, that police do have a sense of who they might be and
are now potentially chasing up on leads.
That`s what we saw in the Manchester attack last week in the immediate
aftermath of the attacks. More and more arrests. They are legally allowed
to detain suspects here for about 14 days under the UK terrorism laws
before they have to apply to extend that. So they will likely be pulling in
any possible associates, known associates of the three attackers to try to
piece together who and what organizations, if any, might be behind them.
Now, the Prime Minister Theresa May did speak earlier as we saw there in
your intro. She mentioned all of the – all three of the major attacks that
have taken place in the past three months. Westminster in March, Manchester
last week, as well as this attack. She said, “It does not appear that they
are connected, that they are connected by a common networks. But she did
say that they`re bound together by what she called an evil ideology of
Islamist extremism. A significant clue, Reverend, because we have not heard
from the authorities that Islamic extremism – Islamist extremism was
behind these attacks and that is something that the prime minister here
pointed out. Reverend.
SHARPTON: Duncan, let me ask you. The prime minister also suggested that it
was a copycat type of terrorism. Do you think that this was inspired by the
Westminster bridge attack earlier this year?
DUNCAN GARDHAM, SECURITY ANALYST, NBC NEWS: Probably. In between that
attack and this one, we`ve seen two foiled attacks that have been foiled by
security services who had the individuals under surveillance. So it does
appear that that particular attack which gained such a lot of publicity and
was so high profile because it was right in the center of the capital has
also inspired several other individuals who were thinking along the same
lines to conduct copycat attacks. And it`s possible of course that the
Manchester attack which was more sophisticated may have pushed them down
that line as well.
SHARPTON: All right. Thank you, Lucy Kafanov and Duncan Gardham in London.
Let`s bring in an MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance.
Malcolm, let me bring this full circle here. The attacks in London, Paris,
President Trump now saying that`s why we need a ban in the United States,
New York, L.A., Chicago, Washington D.C., the nation`s capital. People have
to say whether verbally or to themselves, can this happen here? What is the
real threat there? And how do you secure American cities and European
cities from what is now becoming a too often event that happens in our
MALCOM NANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the problem is that
terrorism spreads fear, and this fear is actually – working in the United
States. I think that since 9/11 this – we`re actually a more frightened
population today than we were in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11
attacks. I find it quite confusing. Terrorists have one goal. And that is
to make you want to put in harsh restrictive measures which violate your
own laws, which make you give up your own rights according to your own
constitutions. The English are very resilient in this respect. They have
had multiple attacks certainly this year and a few failed plots, but they
keep up the pressure and what they don`t do is they don`t change their
society in such a way that the terrorists actually win.
This is a counterintelligence counterterrorism mission which has
counterterrorist forces at the end and law enforcement on the other end.
And so when you go and you throw bans up against countries that have
nothing to do with terrorism because as of right now, we would have to ban
English because these attackers are English, and we would have to ban the
French from coming into the United States.
SHARPTON: Because they are also – but the other thing here is that we`re
seeing Prime Minister May in the UK now saying that they are all bound,
even though it`s not one conspiracy, the three attacks we`ve seen are the
last three, in England, she said they`re not bound to necessarily one
conspiracy but they`re bound by one terrorist, extremist ideology. And how
do you deal with that? And how do you in many ways, deal with the fact that
you`re dealing with people that are not looking to make attacks to convert
people but to punish people for not being what they are? I mean, that`s an
almost indefensible kind of way to deal with building a counterterrorism
kind of strategy. Wouldn`t you think?
NANCE: Well, the problem is our counterterrorism strategy is based on
kinetic warfare, which is going in and killing people. I`ve written three
books since 2010 about destroying the religious or cult religious ideology
of Al Qaeda and ISIS. And it`s the one thing you hear people talk about all
the time. No measures are taken. We had one state department Twitter feed
which was supposed to counter all of ISIS`s ideology and social media
worldwide. There`s recently a video out of Kuwait which I thought was the
single most brilliant counter ideology method use thus far, where they had
a singer who`s very well-known speak about how you`re not even Muslims.
You`re not even – what you`re doing is not Islamic. You`re killing
children. You`re killing women, and that God is greater than you. And until
you destroy their link to their corrupt version of Islam by using the 1.6
billion Muslims, not pushing them away from the United States, we in the
intelligence community will be very busy.
SHARPTON: It is not true Islam as we are taught by Islamic Scholars.
Thank you, Malcolm Nance. Coming up, thousands of people across the country
marched against President Trump yesterday. We`ll talk to one of the
speakers. That`s all right here on “PoliticsNation” on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Welcome back to “PoliticsNation.”
Thousands of protesters took to the streets across dozens of U.S. cities on
Saturday. Calling for an investigation of President Trump and especially
his ties with Russia. “March for Truth” led by a coalition of grassroots
organizers took place in cities including Washington D.C., New York,
Boston, and Portland.
Joining me now is one of the speakers in the march, Congressman Al Green,
democrat of Texas who`s also been outspoken calling for the impeachment of
Congressman, tell me the intent and the effect of yesterday`s marches
around the country.
AL GREEN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you for your service and thank you for
having me on, Reverend. Reverend, these were loyal American, they were
patriotic Americans. These are people who love their country. These are
people who don`t want to see Russian intrusion, Russian collusion, if you
will, with the Trump administration, that creates a circumstance that`s
adverse to the best interest of democracy. These are people who marched in
the rain. They were not deterred. And they made it very clear that they
want an investigation by a bipartisan independent commission. And they want
persons prosecuted if persons have committed offenses.
I called for the impeachment of the president as I have before for
obstructions of justice. I believe this has occurred. And I don`t think we
need additional evidence to prove it. I think the congress has to act.
SHARPTON: You think that there has been enough evidence to establish
obstruction of justice to justify impeachment right now? There`s already
enough evidence in your judgment for them to proceed in the house
GREEN: Yes, Reverend. And the judgment of others as well. The president
confessed on national television at prime time. He indicated that the
Russian thing was a made-up story, and that he was considering that when he
fired Mr. Comey, the director of the FBI. He did fire Mr. Comey and then he
went onto tweet some statements that could be considered intimidation.
The point is this. If you want icing on the cake, Mr. Comey`s testimony may
be that icing next week when we go back to congress. But I like my cake
plain, if you will. I like the truth, the plain truth, and the plain truth
is the president has obstructed justice. He fired the investigator who
investigating him and said he did so because of the investigation. That is
enough to impeach the president for obstruction of justice.
SHARPTON: All right. Thank you, Congressman Al Green.
Let`s bring in Yamiche Alcindor, reporter for “The New York Times,” and an
Yamiche, this week ahead we`re going to hear testimony Thursday from former
FBI director James Comey who the congressman referred to President Trump
terminated. We`re going to have other things that will inevitably point
back to what is facing the president. But he`s going on the road. He`s
going to Ohio. He`s talking about doing other things.
Is this part of the Trump strategy to try to divert attention away from
Comey and other issues that are coming up this week? Will he be able to get
the media to go some other way?
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think that he`s always
had this tendency, this pattern to go back to his basic, go back to his
safe space, go back to rallies and the try to just talk to people who
really love him and really support him throughout whatever he does. But I
think that`s part of what he`s doing. I think it`s a personal thing for him
to just go out and remember that he`s a celebrated figure.
But I don`t think – I mean, it would be illogical to think that because
you`re on the road going to these Midwestern states that somehow James
Comey who people have been waiting for really months to hear from, I think
ever since – he talked about the fact that he was reopening the
investigation into Hillary Clinton, I think from that point on, the nation
wanted to know what was going on with him.
So I think that Thursday is going to be a ballpark day. It`s going to all
about James Comey. And even if Donald Trump does something in tweets,
something James Comey will be covered and that`s going to be a big story.
And James Comey has notes that he took that were contemporaneous that he
before he got fired that are going to be very important to what he has to
SHARPTON: He took copious notes, we`re told in real time. He has documented
those things. He has certain information, certainly no one else would have.
What are the things we`re going to be most interested in hearing Comey say
or Comey be questioned on? And will he say them and will they be questioned
in your opinion?
ALCINDOR: Well, it depends on how much – what he says is going to depend
on what`s classified and what`s unclassified. I think he`s going to say as
much as he can that`s unclassified. I think, and most of the sources that
I`ve been talking to, think that James Comey wanted to testify publicly for
a reason. But I think he has something to say.
I think the whole hearing is going to be about Russia. It`s going to be
about, did you ask for more resources? What was his attitude when you were
talking about Russia? Did he ask you to back off on Michael Flynn? These
are stories that have been out in the media that have been sourced by
anonymous sourcing, but now we can have James Comey saying, yes, I was
asking for money or no, I wasn`t. Yes, he told me to leave Michael Flynn
alone, he`s a great guy or not. So I think James Comey is going to be able
to tell us whether or not the president was, in fact, trying to obstruct
justice or whether or not he was just talking about the Russia
investigation and maybe it was inappropriate, but he wasn`t trying to stop
them in any way.
SHARPTON: All right. We have to leave it there. Thank you, Yamiche
Up next, a comedian using the N-word on live TV. Not on my watch. We`ll be
SHARPTON: Comedians are not having a good week. At least in my book. First
it was Kathy Griffin, and now it`s Bill Maher. Griffin was forced to
apologize after widespread outrage of images of her with a fake decapitated
head of President Trump. Not a good idea, and also not funny.
By the way, the irony was not lost on us here at “PoliticsNation” as it was
not too long ago that President Obama went through eight years of abuse
through twisted and sick creative minds on social media. Out of respect,
I`m not showing any of those despicable images. But you know what I`m
talking about. We, of course, do not condone any threat of violence against
this or any president.
Now on Friday night, comedian Bill Maher used a racial epithet during an
interview on his HBO show sparking another outrage on social media. Maher
was talking to republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who was there to
promote his book when the following exchange happened. The two were
discussing teenagers and maturity, when Maher mentioned that adults dressed
up for Halloween in California. He then asked Sasse if people do that in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: You got to get to Nebraska more.
BEN SASSE, U.S. SENATOR: you`re welcome. We`d love to have you work in the
fields with us.
MAHER: Work in the fields?
SASE: That`s part –
MAHER: Senate. I`m a house [BLEEP] – no. It`s a joke.
MAHER: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no. There are no exceptions that make this
acceptable. Yes, comedians are expected to cross some hard lines. I get it.
But let`s be clear. Free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up
when folks use that word and that`s what I`m doing now. The history of the
n-word is too painful, too loaded, too raw. The N-word is an attack on
human dignity. It`s an attack on the American creed. You cannot allow
anyone to act like there`s anything funny in any context about using that
word. And you have to have one standing no matter who it is.
We led the fight against radio host Don Imus in 2006, after he made
derogatory slurs about the Rutger`s women`s basketball team. We stood up to
Rush Limbaugh and his racist comments. We fought to oust Sony executive Amy
Pascal in 2014 after she said racist emails about President Obama. And last
year, I called out black comic Larry Wilmore who hosted the White House
Correspondent`s Dinner and called President Obama, quote, my N-word.
So now we are up in arms and upset with Bill Maher. He doesn`t get a pass
because we`re friends. What Bill Maher did was normalize a word that is
anything but normal. By the way, Bill Maher, HBO, and Congressman Sasse all
have issued apologies.
Bottom line, be consistent with holding our friends accountable as much as
we do our foes. Bill Maher, I hope to hear from you in real time, and clear
time and until then, I gotcha.
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: We want to give you an update on the breaking news
out of London. Where police are now saying they have made 12 arrests in
relation to the attack last night. Police say all 12 arrests took place in
east London. And searches for more suspects are continuing.
Seven people were killed and more than 48 were injured. Police say three
men drove a van across London Bridge, mowing down pedestrians. They then
ran into nearby Borough Markets stabbing people as they went. Police shot
and killed all three suspects within eight minutes of being called.
Joining me now is Jim Cavanaugh, an NBC law enforcement analyst.
You`ve been through this, Jim, before. What will this do in terms of those
of us in the United States? How can this affect us at home? And how will it
affect ongoing security in Europe?
JIM CAVANAUGH, NBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think it`s affecting us
at home, our law enforcement authorities are all paying close attention to
everything that`s going on here, for sure. It just makes us all as citizens
want to be more alert and more attune to our surroundings. And I think take
a clue from what the prime minister of England said when they were in this
tremendous threat category they were in the high threat with Manchester and
Westminster Bridge and now this is that, some people are tolerating
extremism in their country.
You`ve been a champion at rejecting extremism if from all corners. And
that`s what has to happen. Communities can`t let people amongst them
preaching hate, making hate like it`s all right. It doesn`t matter what
corner it comes from. But they have a tremendous problem. They have
hundreds of people who are directly affiliated with ISIS who`ve traveled to
the conflict area and who`ve come back, and those tentacles are strong, and
some of these people could be connected to those people, and those people
can be agents of influence if they`re not direct to actors into the
terrorist act themselves.
SHARPTON: So the fact that now President Trump is saying that this is why
we need a Muslim ban, are we now hearing Prime Minister May say that there
is the ideological link of extremist here? Will this and these kinds of
almost continual events now, though seemingly disconnected but they are
seemingly continuing to happen with some kind of normalcy almost setting
in. Will this, in fact, push the need or push the selling of the need for a
Muslim ban or other bans both in the United States and Europe no matter how
much many of us object to it?
CAVANAUGH: Right. Well, I strongly object to it having been involved in
terrorist investigations and terrorist task forces. A Muslim ban is totally
wrong. It plays exactly into the philosophy of the terrorists. The
terrorists who basically are a death cult, they want the world to believe
that they represent Islam, 1.3 billion people on the planet. It`s total
garbage, and they kill more Muslims than anyone us. That`s going to hurt
us. We need to help Muslim-Americans, the UK needs to help their Muslim
population, and none of us needs to tolerate extremism or give the
terrorists an edge. Don`t focus on Muslims. That`s so wrong-headed. It
can`t even be explained. It`s bad policy.
SHARPTON: As you said, more Muslims are being killed by them and it`s not
true Islam. Thank you, Jim.
CAVANAUGH: Thank, Rev.
SHARPTON: Back in the U.S., the democratic race for governorship of
Maryland is already heating up with the crowded field of candidates. And on
Wednesday, former NAACP head Ben Jealous formally announced his bid for the
state`s top job. Jealous, the youngest president in NAACP history, is
credited with modernizing the organization and was an avid supporter of
Bernie Sanders, and later Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential
Late this week, I spoke with jealous about many topics starting with the
state of American race relations under president Trump.
BEN JEALOUS, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: I see the pretty eyes of my children. My
daughter`s about to be 12. My son`s about to be five, and it`s been really
sad to watch over the last six months just the increase in hostility,
racial tension on the playground. Here. Here in Maryland, we`ve had two
white men, both seemed somewhat disturbed but also both very much
associated with white supremacist groups stab black men to death twice.
Apparently just because of their race in the last six months. One of them
came from north of Baltimore. He got on a bus to go to Times Square and
hunted a black man in New York City. The other one was a student at the
University of Maryland College Park, who at 3:00 in the morning, two days
before graduation killed a young man from Bowie State who was two days from
graduating but also about three days since he`d become a second lieutenant
in the U.S. Army, stabbed him to death. A story very much like Cain and
And then this morning, we were greeted to news that they found a news for
the second time at the Smithsonian. This one inside of our new Black
History museum. And so I`m very much concerned that our young people are at
risk in more ways than we realize.
I`m very much concerned that we`re not doing everything that we could be
doing to move our state, to move our country beyond this hate, to really
confront it on the terms of which it needs to be confronted. Rev, you and I
know, we are guys who`ve had our lives threatened simply for standing up
for justice, and you and I know that what tends to happen is right after
the crisis people want to act like everything is OK. They just want to
ignore it. But things go back to normal.
But something is going on in our country right now, and I believe our
president and the way that he has conducted his politics has brought out
the worst in many people. But it runs much deeper than that. And we as a
society in our cities, in our states have to finally have the very
courageous conversations but also make the changes in our educational
institutions. In our businesses. In our large corporations about how we
encourage people and inspire people to be their best selves and to let go
of some of those old traditions of hatred and division that run so deep.
SHARPTON: And I think we need the continued effort and coalescing to push
this forward. We saw that your successor Cornell Brooks left the NAACP, but
we need NAACP, we need all of us, with what we`re doing National Action
Network and the young activist groups. I don`t like what I see with some
pitting groups against each other when we`re facing this climate. You need
everybody doing whatever they do and do it effectively. Do you have any
comment about the NAACP and the state of it going forward as you served as
the youngest president of the NAACP?
JEALOUS: You know, Rev, look, I have great faith in the association. The
chairman, the vice chairman who stepped up in this time, are very much
rooted on the front lines of civil rights activism in the south. But I
also, frankly, grew up in the NAACP and our local branches like the
Baltimore branch here which will host the national convention this summer,
are very much just plugging away every day, standing up for young people,
the Prince George`s county branch here in Maryland, very much engaged with
this aftermath of a killing of young Mr. Collins. And that`s what, frankly,
gives me the faith that no matter what happens, the NAACP will move
SHARPTON: Now, you this week, took a step that many people have noted all
over the country, and particularly there in Maryland. You co-chaired the
state for Bernie Sanders presidential run, and many people were pushing for
you to enter the political arena, and you made it official this week that
you, Ben Jealous, is a candidate for governor of Maryland. Tell us why.
JEALOUS: Yes, sir. Right now, we look at our federal government, and every
single branch is controlled by far right wing extremist. And in these
times, we have to decide that quite frankly, all the power that`s been
transferred to our states and kind of over kind of rise the state`s rights
the last 50 years, we need to, frankly, stop complaining about it and
embrace it for the power and the freedom that it gives us to move our
states forward no matter what`s happening in Washington.
In our state, we have a governor who on the one hand opposed President
Trump. But then as a republican, has lined right up. As soon as Trump
became president, he just went silent. Similarly, we`ve seen Sessions come
in, and begin actually rolling back the clock on criminal justice reform,
and our governor has quietly signed up for it.
SHARPTON: Sessions actually said he wanted to see a delay in the consent
decree in Baltimore that came out of the Freddie Gray case.
JEALOUS: And you know what? What most folks don`t realize is that doesn`t
just put Sessions in kind of tacit support of our governor at odds with the
civil rights community. It puts him at odds with most major city chiefs who
across this country one by one will tell you, the only way that they can
reform the departments are with these consent decrees. And it certainly has
put the republicans at odds with the majority of people in Baltimore.
And frankly, I would say in the state we want to see Baltimore get safer,
who know part that of the city getting safer has to be a reform of a
department that has lost the trust of local residents and, therefore, folks
are not going to the cops with all that they know, because they don`t trust
that they will protect them.
SHARPTON: You were a major figure in the candidacy and the political
movement around Bernie Sanders in 2016. And later you campaigned for
Hillary Clinton. But as much as we saw a big crowd, a lot of movement, we
haven`t seen in the at least high profile political wins, out of the Bernie
Sanders movement, is your race and if you win, a potential big victory for
the Bernie Sanders political movement that started and excited a lot of
people in 2016?
JEALOUS: You know, Rev, I start this journey with a lot of hope but also
very humble. My family, like so many families across the state, knows that
when their son steps out, there`s no person of color who`s ever held state-
wide office in our state before. And so even sort of – if you will, the
challenge for the Bernie movement, there`s a greater challenge here.
SHARPTON: Well, Ben Jealous, we`ll be watching, candidate for Governor in
the state of Maryland, former head of the NAACP. And certainly happy to
have you with us this morning.
JEALOUS: Thank you, Rev. Always good to see you, sir.
SHARPTON: Up next, President Trump`s decision to pull out of the
international accord to combat climate change will make life even harder
for poor people. How so? I`ll tell you after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The agreement is a massive
redistribution of United States wealth to other countries. Our businesses
will come to a halt in many cases and the American family will suffer the
consequences in the form of lost jobs and a very diminished quality of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: On Thursday, President Trump further endangered the nation`s, if
not the world`s most vulnerable people. When he announced that the United
States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris Accord to combat climate change.
Environmental justice advocates insist the move will make life even harder
for poor people who stand to suffer the most from more frequent natural
disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 80 percent of African-Americans
live close to a coal-fired power plant. The pollution from which is known
to contribute to already high rates of respiratory illness like asthma in
the black community, and black Americans are nearly twice as likely to die
from heat-related illness as – and as global thermostat rises, so does the
probability that even more will suffer.
During his bid for the WHITE HOUSE, President Trump famously asked black
voters what they had to lose. Well, if you like clean air, and viable
environment, it looks like you have a lot to lose.
Joining me now, Jacqui Patrerson, director of the NAACP environmental and
climate justice program. And Mustafa Ali, a former EPA official for
environmental justice. He`s now senior vice president of Climate
Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization for Hip Hop Caucus.
Let me go to you, Jacqui. This, as I said in the opening, is going to be
detrimental to everybody, but it has very direct disproportionate detriment
to blacks, minorities, and poor people. You worked on this. Explain why
this answers what Mr. Trump said when he was running. What do we have to
lose and what we lose by what he just announced.
JACQUI PATTERSON, DIRECTOR, NAACP ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE JUSTICE
PROGRAM: Yes. Thanks so much for having me, Reverend. And hi, Mustafa.
Yes, there`s so much that we`re losing already and that we have even more
to lose through the situation. As you mentioned, from the whole continuum
of climate change, from the drivers of climate change to the impacts of
climate change, communities of color and African-American communities are
disproportionately impacted. As you talked about the coal-fired power
plants with 78 percent of African-Americans living within 30 miles of a
coal-fired power plant, it means that we`re more likely to have these
exacerbating conditions in terms of chronic health conditions. For example,
African-American children are three to five times more likely to enter into
the hospital for an asthma attack and two to three times more likely to die
of an asthma attack.
African-Americans are more likely – adults are more likely to die of lung
disease but, yet, less likely to smoke. And so we have these in terms of
the driver`s side. And then on the impact side, we see where the extreme
weather events, whether it`s the heat islands that are being created by
extreme weather and the impacts on communities that don`t necessarily have
the ventilation or air-conditioning and so forth to be able to protect
themselves to the disasters where communities are often not as – African-
American communities are often not as mobile and able to get out when the
disaster is coming or where we don`t even have the infrastructure.
We have a situation where in Louisiana where levees are built based on
prioritizing – built up based on prioritizing areas where there`s most
likelihood and economic impact as opposed to considering who needs to be
SHARPTON: I think that`s the point, Mustafa, because when we start saying
this will have a disproportionate negative impact, there goes, Reverend Al,
there goes the NAACP, whoever, there they go again. But the fact is you
can`t divorce the economic conditions of people, like the ability to be
mobile, like the fact where they live may not have the ventilation. You
can`t divorce or sever the conditions that people live based on the
economic standing and based on housing from the environment and then you
have the environmental concerns. You worked at EPA on this. You`ve been a
champion of this. Connect the dots. Because I think people don`t
understand, this is not just another slogan. This is real life on the
MUSTAFA ALI, SENIOR VP, CLIMATE, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & COMMUNITY
REVITALIZATION FOR THE HIP HOP CAUCUS: This just shows another example that
the president does not care about the lives of folks who live in these
communities, African-American communities, Latino communities, Asian-
American Pacific Island communities and indigenous communities. This is all
interconnected. The work that I did, I ran a 17-agency task force on
environmental justice, so we understand that housing, economics, the
environment are all interconnected.
If you look at what happened in Baton Rouge and those floods that came
through and killed so many people and $10 billion associated with that, it
just makes sense that we get in front of these issues. Also, if you look at
Princeville, North Carolina, a community that was founded by freed slaves
and the impacts that happened inside their community also and the lack of
infrastructure and the opportunities that existed in getting ahead of this,
it is all interconnected.
SHARPTON: Jacqui, you`re with the NAACP, the legacy organizations like
ours, the National Action Network, Urban League and others. How do you
energize the civil rights community to really put pressure on those in
Washington to really say to the president, you cannot do this?
PATTERSON: Yes, very good question. So we really have started to – we`ve
been historically working at the local level and at the state level on
getting folks energized around talking to their local legislature, their
city councils, their mayors, their state congress folks and so forth. We
actually did at the – in Paris where the Paris agreement was signed, we
were there with a delegation with the historically black colleges and
universities, climate change consortium and we did a Black Lives Matter die
in thee with the Black Lives Matter activists as well, they really say that
as much as folks are being racially profiled and shut down the streets,
we`re dying in death of a thousand cuts through this climate change
disproportionate impact on our communities.
So we`re doing it to local action, starting at the local food movements,
shifting away from dirty energy to these activism activities.
SHARPTON: And we must continue our lives depend on it. Thank you, Jacqui
Patterson. Always good to see you, Mustafa Ali. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: That does it for me. Thanks for watching and to keep the
conversation going, like us on facebook.com/politicsnation and follow us at
Twitter @politicsnation. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.
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