The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/17/15

Julian Zelizer, Julius Jones, Daunasia Yancey

CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Nina Turner, Jonathan Alter, thank you

That is “ALL IN” for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now with the one and only Melissa
Harris-Perry in for Rachel.

Good evening, Melissa.


And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.
Rachel has the night off but she`ll be back tomorrow.

Let`s start with what seems to be the clearest and oddest truth of our
political moment. Donald Trump is winning.

And I`m not really talking about the fact that Trump is leading in the
polls – I mean that Donald Trump is winning big.

Let me – let me suggest another idea. Mr. Trump may win even if he
fails to secure the Republican nomination and never successfully captures
270 electoral votes. How? Well, to answer that, we must consult Leonardo
DiCaprio. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Now, I`m not making reference here to “Titanic” hubris headed for
inevitable demise. Instead, think of DiCaprio in the mind-bending film
“Inception”, because in that film, DiCaprio plays a crafty mind hacker
capable of planting a seed of an idea deep into a person`s mind and then
watching the extraordinary havoc that such an inception can cause.


LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: When we`re asleep, our mind can do almost
anything. We create and perceive our world simultaneously and our mind
does this so well that we don`t even know what`s happening. That allows us
to get right in the middle of that process.


DICAPRIO: By taking over the creating part. Now this is where I need
you. You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into that
dream and they fill it with their subconscious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can I ever acquire enough detail to make
them think that it`s reality?

DICAPRIO: Well, dreams, they feel real while we here in them, right.
It`s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.


HARRIS-PERRY: And that is why Donald Trump is winning, because
whether or not he actually becomes the president of the United States seems
to be less important than the fact that he is injecting a set of very
specific ideas deep into our nation`s political consciousness. And from
those speeds have spouted a whole Trump forest that is the current
landscape of our political debate.

Now, we`ve seen him do it before. Remember 2011 and the birther
movement, the ignoble nugget of an idea that somehow President Obama was
not legitimate, somehow foreign, maybe not even born here? Remember how
that idea took root in the American mind when Donald Trump decided to take
it up as his great cause?


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENUER: If you are going to be the president of
the United States, you have to be born in this country and there is a doubt
as to whether or not he was born here.

You are not allowed to be a president if you were not born here. He
may not have been born in this country.

I want him to show his birth certificate.


TRUMP: There`s something on that birth certificate that he doesn`t

Why can`t he produce a birth certificate?


HARRIS-PERRY: Look, initially the president treated Donald Trump as a
punch line after that birther crusade, but despite all the assertions by
legitimate sources that this idea had no basis, birtherism had an effect.

It did not go unnoticed. By April 2011, President Obama felt the
sideshow had gone on long enough and released a long form version of his
birth certificate complete with a press conference in the White House
briefing room. Inception.

Now, we`re in 2015, supposedly awake from that nightmare, but Donald
Trump is still getting asked about it. And still nurturing that little
idea he helped to water.

Here he is yesterday.


CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: Do you believe President Obama is a
citizen who is born in the United States?

TRUMP: Well, I don`t like talking about it anymore because honestly I
have my own feelings.


HARRIS-PERRY: I have my own feelings. I mean, whether or not you
believe Donald Trump can, in fact, win the Republican nomination, it`s
getting increasingly hard to ignore one thing – he`s introducing ideas
into the 2016 race and ideas matter.

Trump`s newest big idea? The first formal proposal of his campaign?
A detailed – let`s call it immigration reform plan. One spelled out in a
1,900-word policy paper.

Among his ideas, have the Mexican government pay for a giant wall that
would prevent its citizens from coming into the United States. He also
wants to greatly reduce the number of visas and green cards issued to non-

But the idea that`s really getting a lot of attention is his plan to
upend the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, by eliminating American
citizenship for children born in the United States if their parents are in
the country without legal documentation.


TODD: The one big thing that will jump out that a lot of the
Hispanics will be upset about, you want to get rid of birth right

TRUMP: You have to get rid of it, yes. You have to. What they`re
doing, they`re having a baby and all of a sudden, nobody knows –

TODD: You believe they`re trying to do this for coming here?


TRUMP: You have no choice.

Let me tell you, when we have some good people – we have some very
good people here, we have a lot of really good people. They`re illegal.
You either have a country or not.

TODD: Get rid of birth right citizenship?

TRUMP: They go out and we`re going to try and bring them back
rapidly, the good ones.


HARRIS-PERRY: So after planting the idea that undermining the 14th
Amendment is no big deal, he goes on to say this.


TODD: What do you do about DACA?

TRUMP: You know the word expedited?

TODD: I do, yes.

TRUMP: Expedited.

TODD: What do you do about the DACA order now, where you`ve had of
this grant for the DREAM Act, however you want to refer to it, the
executive order that the president – that is –

TRUMP: The executive order getting rescinded.

TODD: You`ll rescind that one, too?

TRUMP: One good thing about –

TODD: You`d rescind the DREAM Act executive order, DACA?

TRUMP: We have to make a whole new set of standards, and when people
come in, they have to –

TODD: So, you`re going to split up families? You`re going to deport

TRUMP: Chuck – no, no, we`re going to keep the families together.
We have to keep the families together. But they have to go.

TODD: But you`re going to keep them together out?

TRUMP: But they have to go.

TODD: What if they have no place to go?

TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go.

Chuck, you either have a country or we don`t have a country.


HARRIS-PERRY: And what Donald Trump is proposing there is
unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment established in 1868 that all
persons born or naturalized in the U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof are citizens of the United States.

But somehow this idea, no matter how radical, no matter how
constitutional it may be has begun to be articulated by other candidates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a child is born here from illegal immigrant
parents, they become citizens right now.

our Constitution has said over the course of time that that`s the case.
What I`ve said recently is that has to be something that is discussed in
the course of an entire reform package.


HARRIS-PERRY: So you`ve got a candidate that wants to talk about
getting rid of birth right citizenship.

But Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would take it a step further.


KASIE HUNT, MSNBC REPORTER: Do you think that birthright citizenship
should be ended?

Harry Reid says it`s not right for this country. I think that`s something
we should – yes. Absolutely going forward.

HUNT: We should end birth right citizenship?

WALKER: Yes. To me, it`s about enforcing the laws in this country
and to make it clear, I think you enforce the laws and it`s important to
send a message that we`ll enforce the laws no matter how people come here,
we need to uphold the law in this country.


HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, Governor Walker, Mr. Reasonable essentially
defending Donald Trump`s stance on immigration reform. There`s a lot of
focus on Mr. Trump`s standing in the national polls. But we may be looking
in the wrong place for his influence, because his effect may have less to
do with his candidacy and more to do with his ideas, which are now the
field on which every other candidate seems to be plague.

Joining us now is Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public
affairs at Princeton University and author of the new book, “The Fierce
Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress and the Battle for the Great

Julian, so nice to have you here tonight.


HARRIS-PERRY: So talk to me about this possibility of inception. I
just – you know, the idea that ideas in fact that matter and that Trump`s
biggest influence may be in somehow injecting a set of ideas we have to
talk about.

ZELIZER: Well, that`s right. One scenario is he wins and he is the
nominee. And that`s one thing we`re looking for. But the other is he is
saying things that resonate with part of the Republican electorate. He`s
often going to uglier edge of American politics and he`s forcing other
candidates to respond to him often to mimic what he`s saying.

And just as important, the ideas start to circulate in the electorate
and all of a sudden, you hear these kinds of statements and they`re part of
reasonable discussion for Republican voters.

HARRIS-PERRY: I`m wonder if as a historian, if we`ve seen this happen
before where a candidate doesn`t win the nomination or win the presidency
but nonetheless it is his ideas or her ideas that become sort of the
standard fare for the campaign itself

ZELIZER: Many times. You can remember when Ross Perot as a third
party candidate brought deficit reduction as this big issue in 1992. And
said we have to focus on this. Both candidates scrambled to do that.

Patrick Buchanan in 1992 ran for the Republican primary, lost but he
put forth the cultural war issues and said the GOP has to talk about them
and forced Bush to talk about them as well. In `76, Ronald Reagan took on
Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries. He lost but he shattered the idea
that detente with the Soviet Union was a legitimate form of policy.

HARRIS-PERRY: I feel like – you know, so most of those examples
coming from an ideological perspective on the right. But, you know, I feel
like, OK, I saw this happen, for example, with Jesse Jackson when he ran in
`84 and `88 pushing the Democratic Party to the left. Not everybody who`s
running is running to be president. Sometimes people are running to inject

Should we potentially see that as a value in a democracy?

ZELIZER: Sure, there is a virtue. Look, Howard Dean brought the war
in Iraq in 2004 to the Democratic primaries when many Democrats didn`t want
to talk about that. Eugene McCarthy forced the Democrats to reckon with
Vietnam in 1968 when the party leaders didn`t want to talk about it.

So, there can be a positive aspect. But that`s not the kind of issue
I think right now that Donald Trump is playing to. There`s a dangerous
element of some of the things he`s discussing.

HARRIS-PERRY: You know, in the – if we take the metaphor all the way
out, the thing that keeps a person in a dream, from falling into the dream
is they have a talisman, something that tells them “oh, you`re not in the
real world here.” I keep feeling like we have lost the ability in our
public discourse to adjudicate empirical claims to be able to say, look,
there just isn`t what the immigration problem is. That isn`t – the
birtherism just isn`t a real thing. And across ideological lines to be
able to have a talisman that says “I`m sorry, that`s not true.”

ZELIZER: I think you`re right. Look, you know, there`s parts of our
communication or media like the Internet that spreads rumors or spread
statements so rapidly, it`s impossible to check them. There`s no
centralized mechanism for talking about what candidates say so people can
say anything. That`s what Trump is savvy in understanding, say it enough
times people will believe it or they`ll be talking about it.

And it`s very hard to take it back. You can`t correct it on the front
page of a newspaper. It`s too late. So we`re in an era of media, I think,
and politics and politicians are willing to push boundaries of saying what
isn`t fact and just spreading fiction.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s fascinating to watch this all happening and a
little bit horror movie-ish.

Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton
University – thank you for your time tonight.

Now, there`s lots more ahead tonight including the only in America
phenomenon that is the Iowa state fair come presidential election time.

Plus, we have exclusive video of activists taking their case to
Hillary Clinton. Video that hasn`t been seen anywhere else.

Stay with us.


HARRIS-PERRY: Still ahead, video you have not seen anywhere else that
you will see for the very first time right here.

Last week, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was
confronted on the campaign trail by Black Lives Matter organizers. It
happened during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton met
privately with those activists after her event and the tape of the private
meeting has not yet been released, but we have it here tonight, along with
the activists who confronted Ms. Clinton at that event.

And that`s coming up. So, stay with us.


HARRIS-PERRY: Where did you spend your weekend?

Lots of families snuck in a last gasp of summer vacation before the
kids head back to school in coming weeks. But it was not a time for rest
if you`re running for president. Republican and Democratic candidates for
president traveled to Iowa this weekend for the annual Iowa state fair.

And not to ride the Ferris wheel, they were there to work. Checking
out their standing in the totally unscientific cast your kernel poll,
giving their stump speech atop a traditional “Des Moines Register” soapbox,
wearing aprons and grilling up pork burgers for the sweaty and hungry fair
goers, and, of course, checking out the 600-pound cow sculpture made
entirely of butter.

Iowa is the first state in the nation to vote in the presidential
primaries and they elect their candidates through a wild and wonderful
caucus system. That`s not happening for months now, but the Iowa state
fair this week presents a great opportunity for candidates to show how
great they are at retail politics – shaking hands, holding babies,
munching on such delicacies as fried butter or pork chop on a stick. With
yummy great zeal.

Joining us from the Iowa state fair is MSNBC political correspondent,
Kasie Hunt.

Kasie, thank you for your time.


HARRIS-PERRY: I know Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker`s speech today
at the fair was interrupted by some pro-union protesters. And this kind of
comes at this time when his poll numbers in Iowa are on decline.

So, you`ve been on the ground there. Tell us, what are folks saying
about Governor Walker?

HUNT: Well, Melissa, of all of the candidates I`ve seen so far – and
I`ve been here since last Thursday, if that gives you a sense of how much
fried foods I`ve managed to consume in the last 72 hours or so.

But I will say that of all the candidates I`ve seen, the situation
with Walker was definitely the most tense. He has this pretty intense
group of protesters that follow him from event to event, a lot of these
people were bussed in, but he was the only person who stood up there and
had a really aggressive confrontation. There was a guy right in the front
row and I was standing right behind Walker as he did it and Walker said,
“You know, I refuse to be intimidated.”

And the scrum of reporters that followed Walker after that was also
pretty tense the way they had planned to maneuver him through the fair
didn`t work 100 percent well, and there were a lot of people who were
trying to get clarification on his comments about saying his immigration
plan was very similar to Donald Trump`s earlier in the day.

So, I think the visit overall was a little bit more tense for him.
Now, he did manage to avoid all of the Trump-mania simply by showing up on
Monday instead of over the weekend.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, Kasie, you just talked about having that
conversation around immigration. You did get a moment to have a
conversation with Governor Walker there. Let`s take a listen.


HUNT: Do you think birth right citizenship should be ended?

WALKER: Like I said, Harry Reid said it`s not right for this country.
I think that`s something we should – yes, absolutely, going forward.

HUNT: We should end birth right citizenship?

WALKER: Yes, to me, it`s about enforcing the laws in this country.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, what do you make of that?

HUNT: Well, Melissa, this was a question he was asked repeatedly
today. His campaign says his position on birth right citizenship is that
we need to pass immigration reform first and the problem will be solved.
But I think it`s pretty clear there that he had understood the question and
said what he believes that ultimately birthright citizenship should be

And I think that what that shows you is the affect Donald Trump is
having on the Republican field. It was pretty clear that Walker has
absorbed what Trump has put out there in saying this among other things.
Now, Walker wouldn`t go so far as to say he thinks that children of
undocumented immigrants, DREAMers, should be deported. He dodged that
question pretty specifically.

But this is certainly a new place for him in the Republican field, and
Hillary Clinton has already put out a statement criticizing him for it.
It`s something that could haunt him through the general election shout he
become the Republican nominee.

HARRIS-PERRY: When you say Hillary Clinton and haunt while standing
in Iowa, undoubtedly she is still haunted by that third-place finish back
in 2008. I`m wondering whether or not you`ve seen a new strategy this time
around and if you think it would be more effective?

HUNT: You know, one person who outlined the idea that she has a new
strategy over the weekend was Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Now, he stayed
neutral in 2008, he didn`t endorse Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. He`s
endorsed late sometimes in previous caucus years but he`s come out strongly
for Hillary.

And he was asked this question when she was speaking to reporters and
he said, you know what, this campaign I`ve seen from Hillary Clinton is
frankly a different one than I saw last time. He said she`s more
personally engaged than she was in 2008 and he was very frank in
acknowledging that she had made mistakes the previous time around but that
this time he felt as though she was taking Iowa more seriously in a
different way.

Now, of course, it`s hard for her to negotiate the sort of details of
this caucus process in part because she has Secret Service protection. And
that just makes it more difficult to get up close and personal with voters.
And the Secret Service agents do the best they can, but at the end of the
day, that just makes it more limiting for her.

In some ways she can hide behind it if she wants to. But it does seem
as though when she came here, she was looking for authenticity. She`s
looking to actually spend some time with voters and, you know, that`s more
difficult than it is for some of the other candidates.

HARRIS-PERRY: MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, I will tell
you my very favorite fried fair food is fried Oreos. I know it sounds
crazy, but they`re so good.

HUNT: I completely agree with you. We are 100 percent – we are 100
percent there.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks so much for your time tonight.

HUNT: Thanks, Melissa.

HARRIS-PERRY: And ahead, a first look at what happens when the
movement comes to a candidate, specifically to candidate Hillary Clinton.
We have exclusive video just ahead.

Stay with us.


HARRIS-PERRY: Throughout the early stages of this 2016 presidential
campaign, the single greatest scramble has been following Donald Trump. No
candidate has drawn nearly as much press or generated nearly as much news.
It`s not even close. Today, while much of the focus should have been in
Iowa at the state fair where hopefuls were getting familiar with various
foods on sticks, a lot of beltway media. They were dispatched here to New

There`s no Lower Manhattan primary and there`s no Wall Street fair.
They were in town today because Donald Trump was serving jury duty. That
is the story of the day.

Between telling children he`s Batman on Saturday and tweeting how much
he enjoys Rush Limbaugh, this afternoon, Donald J. Trump showed up for jury
duty. Even Trump gets the old slip in the mail and while I`m sure that he
like most people was not enthused about having to break off from his
campaign, he did it anyway.

See, there`s a reason it`s called jury “duty” not jury “favor to the

One of the keys to our criminal justice system this idea that a jury
of your peers ought to actually include your peers. And right now as we
are in the midst of a Black Lives Matter movement which was in many ways
prompted not just by the shooting and choking deaths of Michael Brown and
Eric Garner, but by the grand jury decisions that felt so incongruous with
what people had in some cases seen on video this idea of an objective third
party, a jury, considering the evidence and rendering a fair decision is
central to our American sense of justice.

If you look at history, one of the great examples of a miscarriage of
justice is in the Jim Crow era in the U.S. where African-American
defendants were so often found guilty by all white juries.

But today, right now, 50 years after the voting rights act
enfranchised African-Americans and gives black people the right to choose
their elected officials we see the “New York Times” reporting in some of
the same parts of the country where voting rights have been a central
struggle, there appears to be a system of racial exclusion when it comes to
selecting jurors. Including stories like this one of a Louisiana parish
that is nearly 50 percent African-American, where a recent study shows that
83 percent of defendants were black.

The average 12-person jury had fewer than four black people on it.
And counties in Alabama were 82 percent of eligible black potential jurors
had been dismissed from trials that ended with a death sentence – and on
and on and on.

So, maybe Donald Trump`s serving jury duty is not the most important
jury duty story out there right now. But even the Donald who doesn`t
always bother to vote, even he sees the civic importance of showing up for
jury duty, and maybe with a caravan of reporters covering Trump not being
selected as a juror, we can take time to look around at who else isn`t
being chosen and ask – why?


HARRIS-PERRY: This was the scene in November, 2008. Long lines
across the country as a record number of Americans turned out to cast their
ballot for president. More than 130 million people voted that year. They
achieved a historic feat.

Americans elected Senator Barack Obama as the first African-American
president of the United States. It was a coalition where young voters
played a crucial role in where African-American and Latino voters flex
their electoral muscle in ways never seen before. Black women recorded the
highest voter turnout of any race/gender category.

In 2012 that same coalition that same group of voters turned out again
in even higher numbers and they re-elected President Obama even in the face
of a variety of voting restrictions that took effect that year. These are
the triumphs that allow the president to note with some humor that he won
both elections but it`s important to note those other contests that took
place between those years, 2010 and 2014, those midterms tell a very
different story. In those midterms, the winning Obama coalition of young
voters and voters of color and women were much less likely to show up at
the polls.

And those two midterm elections were brutal for Democrats. Democrats
lost control of the House and Senate. Republicans engineered a massive
takeover of state houses.

When the Obama coalition stays home – well, you can see what happens.
And that`s the recent electoral history that is staring Democrats in the
face this time in 2016. If they want to recapture the White House, they
need 2016 to be more like 2008, not like 2010. They need young people and
black people and Latinos and women of color to show up and show out in
order to put them into office.

But here`s one of the big differences between 2016 and 2008. Right
now, the most consequential movement of young people of color in America is
not a movement to elect a particular candidate. It`s a movement to insist
that black lives matter and to hold every candidate accountable to proposed
policies that articulate the same.

Black Lives Matter is an independent movement untethered from
particular parties or personalities and it`s here on the national stage to
challenge those who want blacks votes and get which party already needs
black votes.

Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley were confronted by activists at
Netroots Nation and they challenged senator sanders last weekend when he
appeared at a political event in downtown Seattle.

And just last week, it was Hillary Clinton`s turn. She was confronted
by Black Lives Matter activists during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
Those activists that planned to disrupt her event, but when they arrived
they were not allowed inside because the venue was already at capacity.
They were sent to an overflow room to watch the event.

The Clinton campaign then arranged for those activists to meet with
Secretary Clinton privately. When it was over they met with Hillary
Clinton for about 15 minutes after the event and spoke with her one on one,
in part about some of the policies of president bill Clinton`s
administration that are implicated in the dramatic increase in mass
incarceration during the years he was president. It was a conversation
that was direct and at times was tense.

And the tape of that conversation has not yet been released to the
public but we`re going to show you an excerpt of it right now.

Take a look. This is what took place after that event in New


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You and your family have been personally and
politically responsible for policies that have caused health and human
services disasters in impoverished communities of color with the domestic
and international war on drugs that you championed as first lady and
secretary of state. So, I just want to know how you feel about your goal
on that violence and how you plan to reverse it.

strongly which is why I had this town hall today and, you know, the
questions and comments from people illustrated. There`s a lot of concern
that we need to rethink and redo what we did in response to a different set
of problems.

And, you know, in life, in politics, in government, you name it,
you`ve got to be constantly asking yourself, is this working? Is it not?
And if it`s not what do we do better?

And that`s why I`m trying to do now on drugs, on mass incarceration
police behavior and criminal justice reform because I do think that there
was a different set of concerns back in the `80s and the early `90s. And
now, I believe we have to look at the world as it is today and try to
figure out what work now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I genuinely want to know, you, Hillary
Clinton, have been in no uncertain way partially responsible for us, more
than most, right?

Now, they may have been unintended consequences, but now that you
understand the consequences, what in your heart has changed that`s going to
change the direction of this country? And what in you not what you`re
supposed to say, how do you actually feel that`s different than you did
before? Like what were the mistakes? And how can those mistakes that you
made be lessons for all of America for a moment of reflection on how we
treat black people in this country?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to – and I apologize in – we have –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would really love to allow her to answer this

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not stopping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve worked really hard. We`ve driven so many

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not stopping you. I`m just letting you guys
know, we`ve got a couple more minutes. We`ve got more people in the
overflow. I`m not interrupting what you`re about to say, I want to give
you a heads up on timing.

CLINTON: Well, obviously it`s a very thoughtful question and it
deserves a thoughtful answer.

And I can only tell you that I feel very committed to and responsible
for doing whatever I can. I have spent more than most of my adult life
focused on kids through children`s defense fund and other efforts to try to
give kids, particularly poor kids, particularly black kids and Hispanic
kids the same chance to live up to their own God-given potential as any
other kid. That`s where I`ve been focused.

And I think that there has to be a reckoning, I agree with that. But
I also think there has to be some positive vision and plan that you can
move people toward.


HARRIS-PERRY: Well, that was last week in New Hampshire and those
activists were from Massachusetts chapters of Black Lives Matter. And they
join us here tonight.

Daunasia Yancey is the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in Boston,
and Julius Jones is the leading organizer for Black Lives Matter in

Thank you for being here.

Now, first of all, thanks for sharing the video with us. I think it`s
important in a democracy to see how candidates respond.

How are you feeling about that encounter or what are you thinking
about that encounter? How did you come away from it in terms of your
impression of Mrs. Clinton?

if the encounter was good. It moves a conversation about race in the
United States to a newer and deeper level.

In other parts of the video, she goes on to talk about how she doesn`t
actually believe that you can change hearts in the United States and that
the way to effect change is through systemic change. And at the same time,
she was also ducking personal responsibility for the role that her and her
family played in it, too.

So, it was I think a moment of reflection for her to say that she
doesn`t actually feel like you can move this issue forward other than
through policy, even though the policy mistakes that she and the Clintons
made got us in large degree in the situation we are in today with mass

HARRIS-PERRY: Part of what I`m wondering is what the right answer
looks like. That`s a bit of an unfair question because it wasn`t like you
were playing a gotcha where there`s one right answer. We`ve seen Black
Lives Matter activists showed up to candidates a couple of times. And I
guess part of what I`m wondering is, so what looks like an encounter that
is accountable, that is sort of recognizing the position that the movement
is in at this point?

we`re looking for from Hillary Clinton is a personal reflection on her
responsibility for being part of the cause of this problem that we have
today in mass incarceration. And so, her response really targeting on
policy wasn`t sufficient for us.

HARRIS-PERRY: If President Obama were running for reelection, if it
were his second term as opposed to him finishing, would you be making the
same kinds of challenges of President Obama?

YANCEY: Absolutely.

JONES: Certainly.

YANCEY: I would say that all the presidential candidate this is year
can definitely expect to be challenged on this issue and absolutely Obama
would be as well.

HARRIS-PERRY: So part of the reason I`m asking that is some folks
watching it through social media are saying, well, why would you go after
Democrats? These are the folks who are – whatever your gripe with them,
their better on these issues than the alternative would be. And this
particularly I think has been emerging around Bernie Sanders. Bernie`s the
good guy, don`t mess with Bernie.

What do you say to that?

JONES: I think the rage that emerged out of the progressive liberal
reaction to some of the shutdowns was indicative of this covert anti-
blackness that exists in the Democratic Party. And it`s important to say
that there`s a new kind of leadership that`s emerging with the Black Lives
Matter movement that`s not wed to the Democratic Party.

And what ended up happening was people were perfectly willing to throw
two black women under the bus for a white candidate who is the man with the
fastest-rising privilege in the United States. He`s drawing huge crowds
and because Bernie Sanders couldn`t speak, they were telling Black Lives
Matter to not speak to allow him.

And it seemed like a disconnect to me because we as African-Americans
in the Black Lives Matter movement are Americans. And political engagement
is what it seems like folks are always asking of the black community. And
then when it comes if it don`t come the way they want it, it`s sit back
down, sister.

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s been one of the most fascinating and just from a
kind of journalistic perspective, enjoyable or pleasurable aspects of
watching this movement, has been an absolute insistence that you won`t play
respectability politics. Like – and that`s the frame work of so much of
civil rights and anti-racism movements before this moment. Is that a
strategic choice? Is it just sort of born of the moment? Is it part of
the conversations that you have together as you are working on strategy?

YANCEY: It absolutely is strategic. And it also is just the way that
we`re going to get free. We understand that we have to work the margins
and we have to take everyone with us, because if you take the folks that
are in the – on the sidelines and then everyone can excel.

HARRIS-PERRY: What do you hope to see from Hillary Clinton going
forward after this encounter?

JONES: Hillary Clinton has a unique responsibility in the role in
mass incarceration. The divestment that we saw from the urban housing
program, from HUD, they divested $17 billion and then they also invested
$19 billion in prison construction. That happened under the Clinton

And so, what we`d like to see from the Clinton campaign is an
intentionality in how she deals with that, because right now, she`s talking
around it. There needs to be some ownership and hopefully there can be
some national ownership of that – of the fact that there`s white violence
that occurs against the black community and in large part and this we need
to reverse that stream of funding from prisons back into low income
communities, especially black communities.

HARRIS-PERRY: Julius Jones, Daunasia Yancey, thank you for joining us
and letting us see the tape and thank you most importantly for doing the
work of democracy.

Far from the campaign trail, the campaign rumors surrounding him, Vice
President Joe Biden did something lovely this weekend. That`s ahead.
You`re not going to want to miss it.


HARRIS-PERRY: I was driving back this weekend from my family vacation
in Florida and my family and I saw this along the highway. Yes. People
flying the confederate flags from their trucks.

Turns out, there were hundreds of people driving around in a
confederate flag rally in Plantation, Florida.

And look at this. This comes from the local newspaper, “The Sun-
Sentinel.” You can see the confederate flag wavers and behind them check
out the confederate flag protesters. “god hates flags.”

Sometimes the best response is a perfect punch line.

Tonight, we`re celebrating a great champion of laughter in the service
of justice and that story is just ahead.


HARRIS-PERRY: Vice President Joe Biden has been in the news a lot in
recent days about whether or not he`ll make a bid for the presidency. But
Joe Biden was far from the spectacle of presidential campaigning this
weekend, he was in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The vice president was there to speak at a memorial service for the
five servicemen killed in last month`s shooting rampage in a pair of
military facilities, the tragedy that has moved off the front page but
still moves the vice president. Having survived what seems like more than
his fair share of personal loss and grief, Biden has earned a reputation
over the years for his ability to deliver moving and memorable tributes in
the midst of great sadness.

And while he visited privately with families in Charleston, South
Carolina, after the horrific massacre at Mother Emanuel Church, this
weekend marked the first time that Joe Biden has stepped publicly into that
role since his lost his son Beau to brain cancer some three months ago.

That personal loss made the speech particularly powerful. He said
that he did not know the five servicemen who were killed personally and yet
he said he did know them. Quote, “They were my son.”


there`s nothing that moment that can fill that deep black hole, that open
wound of losing your son, your husband, your brother, your father. Nothing
can replace the son as he walked away and turned to smile at you and lit up
your life, literally lit up your life just smiling at you. Made you
realize how worthwhile life was.

Or the husband who knew your fears before you expressed them, whose
gentle hand could soothe them away, the dad who tucked you in at night,
just touched your face, made you feel so secure. The brother who always,
always, always had your back.

And the day will come as hard as it is to believe, when his memory
brings a smile to your lips before a tear to your eyes. It takes time. My
experience, it takes getting through every season at least once.

But it will come. It will come. And that`s when you know you`ll be
all right.


HARRIS-PERRY: Vice President Joe Biden at Saturday`s memorial service
in Chattanooga for the five service men killed there last month. The city
is planning a benefit concert for the families next month, and the
officials announced today that Samuel L. Jackson, who grew up in
Chattanooga, will emcee that event.

There`s more ahead. Stay with us.


HARRIS-PERRY: The oldest-living American veteran passed away today.
Emma Didlake joined the Women`s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943 in World War
II. She had five children at just 38 years old. Didlake held the rank of
private and served for seven months stateside as a driver, a proud African-
American soldier from the segregated south.

Last month, she met with President Obama in the Oval Office where he
thanked her personally for her service.

Now, we remember the people who took part in that war as the greatest
generation. It`s an honor that is well-known. Their heroism and sacrifice
are justly celebrated.

But the idea of the greatest generation can apply to other fights as
well. And this weekend we lost the veteran of another battle, the battle
for civil rights. Julian Bond, a founding member of the Student Non-
violent Coordinating Committee or SNCC. He was an activist for all, a
writer, a poet, a politician, a professor and he was a part of the civil
rights generation which for me African-American community is easily
understood as our greatest generation.

Julian Bond is not an icon or a hero in some basic sense. He was a
flesh and blood person, a man, who was funny and imperfect and self


JULIAN BOND, CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
very much.

I guess that many of you are probably wondering why a Georgia state
senator is hosting a television comedy show. Frankly, ever since I came up
here, I`ve been wondering about it myself. I had hoped that the people
knew that that was my record, too, as an anti-war and civil rights
activist, and as a person for nearly 20 years has tried to stand up for the
underprivileged and unrepresented, I thought they may have known that I was
the first black to have his name placed in nomination for vice president at
the `68 convention in Chicago. I was sure they remembered my work in voter
registration in the South.

After I realized the time and the talent that goes into putting this
effort together every week, I realized there was much more to it than my
memories of yesterday or the common hopes and dreams that all of us share
for the future. There was much, much more. These people had me come all
the way up here from Atlanta to, to be their chocolate Easter bunny.


And I am.



HARRIS-PERRY: Julian Bond was the first black political figure to
host “Saturday Night Live.” He joked about his resume, but it really was
impressive. He gained national prominence with his speech in the national
Democratic Convention in 1968 when he called for peace and freedom in a
time of chaos and oppression.


BOND: 1968 is a year of people, students and teachers, black and
white, workers and housewives. All over the world people want to be free
to speak, to move about, free to protest, free to be heard, free to live
honorable lives, and most of all, free to participate in the politics which
affect their lives.



HARRIS-PERRY: Julian Bond served in the Georgia state legislature
from the late 1960s until 1986. It was in `86 when he decided to try for
Congress, and he ran against his former colleague from his SNCC days, John

In that fight, the old friends became bitter rivals and John Lewis was
quoted as saying, “He`s a taillight rather than a headlight. There`s
nothing he ever took the initiative on.” Ouch, who makes John Lewis mad.
But Congressman Lewis won that race and currently holds the seat and Lewis
and Bond eventually healed the wounds of that campaign.

But their rivalry reminds us, that the battle is always contested even
by those on the same side. The stakes are high. Bond went on to teach at
top universities. He co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, he became
and held the role of chairman of the NAACP.

And throughout his life, continued to broaden and extend the reach of
what it even meant to talk about civil rights.


BOND: My name is Julian Bond. As chairman emeritus of the NAACP, I
know a little something about fighting for what`s right and just. Gay and
lesbian couples have the same rights as everyone else, love, commitment and
stable families. They should have the same right to marry as the rest of


HARRIS-PERRY: When people pass away, we have a tendency to put them
on a pedestal, to make them perfect instead of human, but Julian Bond does
not belong on a pedestal. He belongs where he always loved to be best –
among the people.

My father-in-law is particularly fond of quoting a very human poem
written by Julian Bond. It was written in response to the sometimes
irritating questions posed by white. Well, why can`t more black people
just be like you?

The title of the poem, “Look At That Girl” and it goes like this: Look
at that girl shake that thing. We can`t all be Martin Luther King.

Julian Bond died this weekend at the age of 75. He will be remembered
as someone who won some and lost some, who was multifaceted and gifted,
handsome and funny. A hero, yes, but more importantly, a real person – a
man loved by his family and beloved by his community. And I am grateful
for his life.

And that does it for us tonight. Rachel will be back here tomorrow.

You can watch me on my own show, “MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY” here on MSNBC,
weekend mornings at 10:00 a.m., and you can follow us on Twitter @MHPShow.


Good evening, Lawrence.


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