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'MHP' Syllabus: 4.26.15

Tune in to “Melissa Harris-Perry,” Saturday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation — share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter.
Melissa Harris Perry MHP The Syllabus
Melissa Harris Perry MHP The Syllabus

This Sunday on MHP, disaster on the roof of the world. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kathmandu, Nepal, toppled temples, shook Everest itself, and left more than a thousand people dead across four countries. Melissa Harris-Perry will have the latest on the situation as it develops.

Then, tension continues in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. Gray, 25, died of a severe spinal cord injury he suffered while in police custody, after initially being arrested for making eye contact with a police lieutenant. Hundreds took to the streets marching for justice, while the Baltimore police union accused them of acting like a “lynch mob.”

As the public grows increasingly alarmed by the abuse of power by law enforcement, even SCOTUS is taking notice. In a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that police officers may not detain traffic violators longer than necessary. In the case of Rodriguez v. United States, Dennys Rodriguez was convicted on a federal drug charge after Nebraska police found methamphetamine in his car. However, Rodriguez was initially pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, not any action indicating he had possession of illegal drugs. The court deemed the evidence turned up by the consequent search of Rodriguez’s car, which he refused, to be inadmissible. We’ll discuss what this ruling means for law enforcement and why some members of the court (here’s looking at you, Chief Justice Roberts) may have had an apparent change of heart.

Joining Melissa Harris-Perry for all things police are:

-        Judge Billy Murphy, Gray Family Attorney and Former Circuit Court Judge in Baltimore

-        Joo-Hyun Kang, Director of Communities United for Police Reform

-        Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania

-        Raul Reyes, Attorney and contributor

And, this week in Race Talk, Ben Affleck tries to hide some shameful family history. Affleck appeared on PBS’ genealogy series Finding Your Roots in September, and asked the producers to cut the part where he learned his third-great-grandfather Benjamin Cole owned 25 slaves. Affleck issued an explanation this week, saying: “I didn't want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed.” We will talk about the implications of Affleck’s shame and the complications about his assertion that “we deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors.”

Weighing in this week in Race Talk are:

-        Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania

-        Raul Reyes, Attorney and contributor.

-        Whitney Dow, Producer and Director of “Whiteness Project”

-        Thomas Segrue, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania

Plus, marriage equality heads to the Supreme Court, Loretta Lynch emerges from nomination limbo to make history, Nerd Prom The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and more.

Tune in to “Melissa Harris-Perry,” Saturday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation—share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.