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Melissa Harris-Perry, Transcript 06/21/15

Guests: Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Jacqui Lewis, Bob Herbert, SusannahHeschel, Marla Frederick, Janai Nelson, Adam Benforado, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Juan Cartagena, David Mack III, France Francois, Edward Paulino

HARRIS-PERRY: -- nine of its members were brutally killed there, all attending Wednesday night bible study. Churches across the city are about to honor their memory by ringing their bells simultaneously. The Charleston Area Visitors Bureau, "Charleston is often referred to as the holy city, a place where church steeples, not skycrapers, dot the skyline. This Sunday our bells will ring loudly and proudly proclaim our community`s unity. You are hearing the bells that are ringing in Charleston, South Carolina right now as an audio -- as a way of saying, we are in unity, and standing by outside Mother Emanuel is MSNBC correspondent, Adam Reese. Adam, tell me what you`re experiencing there on the ground this morning. ADAM REESE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Melissa. The healing service here at Emanuel is under way. Outside here with me hundreds of people lining the streets, but inside, the pews are also filled with black and white, people of all races, a real multi-cultural event here as Charleston mourns nine lives lost. Inside, Melissa, in the front row is Governor Haley. You have Mayor Riley, and Senator Jim Scott. And I should point out about 15 rows back, presidential candidate, Rick Santorum is here. The priest said early on the devil did enter our home, but prayer changes things, prayer changes us. Our hearts are broken, tears are being shed. Melissa, I want to point out that downstairs, the room where they had the bible study Wednesday night, is also being used here as an overflow room for people here who have come to pray and remember those nine lives lost. There are a lot of tears shed as they remember those loved ones here at Mother Emanuel -- Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to MSNBC`s Adam Reese. As we continue to watch the service there at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina and knowing that that service is happening. I still want to take a moment and turn to a page in American history. In 1924, W.B. Dubois published "The Gift of Black Folk, The Negros in the Making of America." The text demonstrates black people even amid their subjugation to racial inequality and violence has been crucial to creating the wealth and power of the United States. More than 90 years ago, Dubois wrote, "The negro worked as farm hand and peasant proprietor, as laborer, artisan and inventor and as servant in the house, and without him, America as we know I would have been impossible." In 2006, Professor Cornell West offered a 21st Century update of Dubois when delivered the inaugural Tony Morris (inaudible) at Princeton University. Just five short years removed from the horror of 9/11, with America still embroiled in foreign wars and wrestling with the contraction of civil liberties here at home. West pointedly argued that black people bear unique gifts for the nation in an age of terrorism. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PROFESSOR CORNELL WEST: The 9/11, nothing new for people of African descent if you understand it in terms of terrorism as a form of individual group or state action that attempts to engage in the murdering or maiming of innocent people and attempts to render them so intimidated and scared that they walk around deferential to the powers that be. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: It`s an extraordinary lecture and in it, West goes on to explain that as subjects of racial terror, black people in America are intimately aware of what it means to feel unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence and hated for who they are. Those same feelings that so many Americans experienced for the first time in the days and weeks following the September 11th attacks. West also goes on to argue that it is the way black people have so frequently responded to this terror, this inequality, this undeserved suffering and this death that gives a gift to the nation. Think of South Carolina as Robert Smalls. Despite being born into slavery, he fought for the union, and at the close of the civil war, chose to serve his state and his nation as a congressman, refusing to be alienated from a nation that repeatedly rejected and questioned him. Small`s resilient critical patriotism is a gift of black people in the age of terrorism. Think of Clairton County, South Carolina, where the families that challenged school segregation formed the first group of plaintiffs for Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that declared separate inherently unequal. They put themselves and their children on the line to ensure that public education was available to all, a gift of black people in the age of terrorism. Mobley`s stunning act of emotional bravery when she revealed her broken son, Emett, to the world and launched a movement. Think of the direct confrontation on the bridge in Selma, Alabama. Black communities, institutions and movements have responded to terror with courage, conviction and creative genius, and those actions have required the nation to move toward a realization of the high ideals that articulated at its founding. This then is the gift of black folk in an age of terrorism, to meet the terror with an unflinching commitment to equality, to freedom and to a recognition of deep humanity. When I look at the images in Charleston, when I listen to the declarations of the families from voices still hoarse with grief, when I see the straight back and stilly determination of mourners, when I hear them sing the songs of freedom, I see again the gift of black folk in yet another moment of terror. Joining me now, the Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis, who is senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church, Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow at Demos, Susannah Heschel, professor of religion at Dartmouth College, whose father marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Marla Frederick who`s professor of African and African-American Studies and Religion at Harvard University. It`s so nice to have you all here. So I wanted to bring back Cornell`s understanding of this idea of the gift of black folk in this age, but not in order to say that, like, we are the sacrificial lambs or something, Marla, but rather to get us to think about that kind of critical or what Dr. West might say, socratic questioning that this moment of suffering ought to call us to. MARLA FREDERICK, PROFESSOR, AFRICAN AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES, HARVARD: Absolutely. And the illustrations that you give are the tangible outcomes of the collective efforts of black people through their suffering to create opportunities for others. One of the things that have troubled me even about the reporting of the incidents is the kind of emphasis at times on the immediate forgiveness of the shooter. Because for me it harkens to some of the kinds of concerns that Curtis Evans writes about in "The Burden of Black Religion." It`s this thing where African-Americans in the 1700s and the 1800s, African-American religion was supposed to provide salvation and healing and liberation for black people. But at the same time for whites, it was supposed to provide solace and forgiveness for harms done. And the way the abolitionists came to the south, they came to the south promising slave owners that it`s OK to free slaves because their religion teaches them to be forgiving and gracious. And black folks in religious communities find this kind of double tension. And somehow that kind of duality of intentions plays out in contemporary circumstances, and it raises a question, is that too heavy a burden, this burden of black religion? Is it too heavy a burden? Is it even a fair burden for African-Americans to have? HARRIS-PERRY: And with such immediacy within days of the slaughter of nine. Jackie, I got an e-mail from Reverend Barber in North Carolina responding in part to this, and I think this is probably what he`s likely to preach on in the coming days when he says, the perpetrator has been caught, but the killer is still at large. By which he is forcing, right in this moment, he is suggesting to us that if we focus solely on the shooter, that may be the perpetrator of this crime, but again, the gift of black folk in this moment is to focus on the killer, which is those broad structural realities. REVEREND DR. JACQUI LEWIS, SENIOR MINISTER, MIDDLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH: That`s exactly right. This man pointed a gun, but all of this culture, this racist culture and the systemic racism that mars all of our lives, I think, is the real murderer. What I think about black faith is this. Black Christianity is honed out of the Christianity of the Christ, and that Christianity was developed in a time of terrorism. This is about a Roman occupation. This is about poor people struggling. This is about the Jewish Palestinian folk in that time being the black people. We know about black faith and black religion, and we know we need to love, pray, act. What I think is happening right now, even right now, is you`re feeling the sense of how are we going to mobilize? What`s the next thing we do? How are we going to bury white supremacy from the black lives on the ground? How are we going to take that flag down, that symbol of oppression? Black faith loves, black faith grieves and mourns, black faith cries the blues, but then it acts. HARRIS-PERRY: We talked a bit about this even before the show, that even this notion of redemptive suffering and forgiveness is being borne in a moment of terrorism is one that maybe specific, but that there are other faith traditions that teach us something about the nature of what it means to talk about forgiveness here. SUSANNAH HESCHEL, PROFESSOR OF RELIGION, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: The focus has been on forgiveness and the evocation has been about Christ on the cross, for giving. What about the Romans, the crucifiers? What about their repentance? And yet in Judaism, there is no repentance without restitution. I would like to know if the white churches in this country are hanging their heads in shame today. But you know, the shame isn`t enough because they can`t repent without restitution. When are we going to have reparation for slavery, for Jim Crow, for the new Jim Crow, unless you give back, there is no forgiveness for you. The repentance can`t even begin without the restitution. HARRIS-PERRY: I worry about this idea that there is kind of an emotional healing because everyone can agree in the horror of this moment, but without legislative action, without not just the symbols -- and we`ll talk about the flag coming down, but with the substantive behavioural legislative action. I promise I`ll get everyone in. We`ll go back to Charleston where the bells are still ringing across the city. Up next, one thing that you can`t help but notice about mourners in Charleston. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King famously called at 11:00 Sunday morning the most segregated hour of America. But maybe not this Sunday, you`re sitting there, we`re seeing right now images from the inside of Charleston, South Carolina`s Mother Emanuel AME Church there. And it is hard to miss among these worshippers and among the mourners who have been present over recent days, the white faces. In fact, in these days following the attack on Mother Emanuel, we see diverse groups uniting hand in hand, singing and praying in solidarity. In the aftermath, of a crime fuelled by racial hate, the decision to embrace across the racial divide seems a deliberate act of resistance. The question is whether emotional solidarity formed in trauma can last and whether it can make lasting change. I guess that`s my question for you today. BOB HERBERT, DISTINGUISHED SENIOR FELLOW, DEMOS: The answer is no. I don`t think it`s going to last. I think time will go by. This is a horrific tragedy. I believe that the expressions of emotion and grief are genuine, but a few weeks or a couple months will go by and this will not be the story anymore, and then there will be more racial terror in this country. Black people have lived in a state of terror since black people were brought to this country. As you were talking at the beginning of the show about the gift of black people to this country, I was thinking about the term entitlement, which is usually used in sort of a negative sense. But black people should think of entitlement in a positive sense. We are entitled to the bounty of this country, and we have been deprived of it systemically by law and otherwise throughout history and right up to the present day. So I respect the feelings of the family and the expressions of forgiveness and that sort of thing in this terrible time, but I am not so quick to forgive. When I talk to black people who have not been among the family members here, they are not so quick to forgive. HARRIS-PERRY: But I want to be clear that for me, at least, the thing I`m not forgiving of is white supremacy and racism, not white people. I feel like we do such a poor job of racism in this country, that for me I like on the one hand, I take real meaningful expressive joy in watching an interracial moment behind us because I do see it as people saying we will not be terrorized in this way. HERBERT: I would take more joy in seeing it if there were actions that follow up these expressions. I don`t see these actions. I see us going backward. I see black men being imprisoned and many of those people should not be in prison. I see murderers` acts, like we were just witnessing a couple days ago. HARRIS-PERRY: And that is the call, right? So here is Rick Santorum sitting next to Delray, who is an activist in the black lives matter movement, and I know this because he tweets all the time. He`s tweeting it right now. There he is sitting next to Rick Santorum. That is a call, right? It`s what we might call a conviction for the purpose of, are you convicted to make change? LEWIS: It`s a small symbol, Melissa, of a larger opportunity. Let me tell a good news story. When I was there, I got in a car and drove to Charleston in a car of white women and black women. We were compelled to go. We stood outside the church and saw this huge crowd of whites and blacks gathered together with a young black lives matter leader named, Modine, leading us in sort of a mic check. That`s a symbol. But I have a real story of a multi-racial congregation working together in the black lives matter movement. So when Mike Brown was killed, and our hands -- we are part of a movement that is interracial and that is interfaith, and I think we have to find ways to celebrate the hope that`s happening, so just like when Oak Creek happened, right? And you`ve had Valerie on the show. This movement gathered together to gather prayers around those folks and to do action. Love-pray action to make sure crimes are being trapped as never before. And I think there is a little bit of movement afoot. I totally agree with you about the horrendous ways that black lives don`t matter. I will forever be haunted by that little girl in the bikini and the cop on her, but there are signs of hope. HARRIS-PERRY: Let`s go back to Emanuel church now and listen in to the service as presiding elder, Dr. Norville Goff Sr. delivers the sermon. We have to go to break. We`re going to go to break, and when we come back, we will continue on this conversation. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: We`re watching the service under way at Emanuel AME Church, the first since Wednesday`s shooting. Marla, I want to come to you on this, because honestly, I have always hated representations of black church on TV. I don`t really know how else to say it. My experience with the black church is one of worship, is one of service, and so frequently the images we see of black churches on TV or in movies are entertainment. FREDERICK: Right. HARRIS-PERRY: Talk to me about, then, what this moment might mean. FREDERICK: Well, this particular moment of prayer at the altar where people lay their burdens down, it`s a moment of solace and healing. And I think what entertainment television does is it forces us to think of that which is ecstatic and emotive, and it doesn`t necessarily go to the heart of true Christian faith. So when we see a moment like this, we can see people praying and offering up their pain to God and seeking healing from that trouble. And I think it`s a really important moment, and this is not the kind of television that sells, right? So when you see television, religious television now, it has to be something that`s a product, something that can be commodified, so it has much more entertainment value. This has no entertainment value. It`s spiritual value. HARRIS-PERRY: And painful. FREDERICK: And painful. HESCHEL: You know, can I also add to that that these people were killed as they were praying, and there is something especially devastating about that. And I think about what`s happened over the years, Archbishop Romero murdered while he was saying mass or going into a mass where four men were killed in prayer. HARRIS-PERRY: Dr. Teller in his church killed at Oak Creek. HESCHEL: When you pray, you stand before God with all your vulnerability, with your soul open. It`s a special moment in a human life. It`s a moment when you`re transformed. It`s as if you`re going back to the moment of creation. Imagine in Genesis God creates the world and someone comes and murders everything. There is something especially horrific about that, a kind of cruelty that`s unspeakable. HARRIS-PERRY: I think that`s part of why I am 100 percent with you, Bob. We have to move to a conversation about policy, about structural change, but I also don`t want to miss the human value in the immediate moments thereafter of a variety of different ways that we have to heal. I don`t mean healing like, whoo, let`s get past that. I mean healing that requires engaging that wound. HERBERT: That is what I think should be taking place within the confines of the church. The black church has always been a refuge for African- Americans who have been living in, as I described it, this state of terror from the very beginning. But in being a place of refuge, no place else to turn, it has also been a place where leadership has emerged, where tactics and strategies are formed, and I think that within the church you can say, we can`t put up with this anymore, we can`t have folks coming into our churches and killing us. And it`s going to require more than an interfaith service or a group of people getting together. It`s got to go beyond that. HARRIS-PERRY: In fact, what I want to do right now is to bring in from Charleston, South Carolina Mr. David Mack. He is Democratic state senator there in South Carolina, in order to talk specifically about this idea of moving beyond it. Senator Mack, thank you for joining us this morning. STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVID MACK III (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you. HARRIS-PERRY: What are the next steps that move beyond this spiritual, this soulful, this emotional connection? What are the public policies that need to be next? MACK: Well, you know, one of the expressions I love is having commitment. Commitment is what you do after the emotion is gone. So when we get through with this, we`re going to have to mobilize more as relates to public policy. A lot has been talked about guns. We have to deal with that. A lot has been talked about race. We have to deal with that. And we`re going to need folks of all racial backgrounds, people of good will to move forward and help us impact public policy so we can move forward from here. HARRIS-PERRY: I want to ask you about one public policy in particular. I want to ask you about the confederate flag that flies on government ground not far from the state house there in South Carolina. Is it time for that flag to come down? MACK: Absolutely. I remember being a little boy and somehow finding the confederate hat and putting it on. This is in the late `50s, and the frown that my father had on his face. I didn`t understand it, but I knew that it was bad. Yes, the confederate flag, the whole confederacy represents a culture of hate and hate toward basically African-Americans for the most part. So, yes, I think what`s really interesting is that since this has happened, there have been two colleagues that I serve with in the South Carolina House that are white Republican males that are leading the efforts saying they will pre-file a bill to take the flag down. HARRIS-PERRY: We heard from a President Obama spokesman that President Obama believed the confederate flag belongs in a museum. We have seen Mr. Romney, former Governor Romney, actually tweeted about the flag and about its need to come down. For me, I guess, if an individual wants to wear it -- Mr. Romney said, take down the confederate flag at the South Carolina capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor the Charleston victims. To me it`s a symbol of hate. What`s going to happen in South Carolina around voting rights, in North Carolina around voting rights? What are we going to do to make sure people are in positions to democratically exercise the franchise in the South Carolina first in the south primaries? MACK: That`s critical, and the voting issue has been broken down along party lines. I personally have sponsored several bills as relates to early voting and members of the Republican Party in the South Carolina House of Representatives have been very steadfast in putting in legislation to cut voting, to hurt voting in some way. Again, that`s something that we are going to have to, as a state, as a community, and as a country, we`re going to have to look at. Do we want people to participate? Do we want everyone to feel as citizens in this country? So that`s going to continue to be a fight, I know. There is no reason in this country, there should not be 30-day early voting for everyone no matter where they are with the numbers, and logistically it`s too hard to do that to everyone anymore. HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to State Representative David Mack III in Charleston, South Carolina. We appreciate you joining us this morning. We`ll have more on the church service underway in Charleston when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: We are watching the services under way at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the first since Wednesday`s shooting. For some this altar call is a familiar part of church service, and as you can see, it has been going on for quite some time. Many, many people streaming to the front of the church, taking turns to -- in fact, as was said a moment ago, to lay their burdens down, undoubtedly many heavy burdens in Charleston, South Carolina this morning. I want to come back to the table. I had the opportunity to talk to the state rep about one of those burdens that I think many in the south carry. It`s the burden of the confederate flag. So let me just begin by allowing you all to weigh in on this question. HESCHEL: My understanding is the confederate flag was put up in the state house in South Carolina in the early 1960s as a gesture of contempt for the civil rights movement. It doesn`t represent the soldiers who died fighting the union and so forth. The question is, is South Carolina want to be part of the United States and what is this country stand for? Don`t put up a flag as a symbol of who we are or what we are. Are you an American? What are you? It has to come down, there is no question. HARRIS-PERRY: For me, where you just went is so critical in this conversation because the fight is about racism. As bizarre as that fight seems to me because to talk about heritage of the south and slavery and the civil war without talking about race is weird. But let`s go ahead and pretend we could. Whatever else it is, it is the battle flag of the troops who fought against the United States of America. I`m trying to imagine circumstances under which we would fly the flag of traitors. These are people who left their country, said we don`t want to be part of this country anymore, and when you look at the shooter, the perpetrator in this case, Mr. Roof, who I don`t want to give shine to. But the reality is what we saw yesterday is many, many images of Mr. Roof waving the confederate flag, holding up the confederate flag, and other images of Mr. Roof standing on, spitting on or burning the American flag. It goes to the miseducation of young people. FREDERICK: So you carry this mythological narrative down through history. I`m from South Carolina, born and raised, and in the early `90s, graduated and went with to girls` state. They had two girls from every state nation, and my resolution for South Carolina was to take the confederate flag down. When it passed, my co-senator came to my room and was visibly upset. I mean, tears in her eyes, she had turned red. She was shaking. She couldn`t believe that I had dishonored our history, our heritage, the south the way that I had. And it spoke volumes to me about the ultimate realities that we live in, the way she`s been educated and the way I`ve been educated. HARRIS-PERRY: Late `90s, two young women from the same state, both high achievers. FREDERICK: Yes, and there is a sense that our teachers aren`t teaching the history of race and racism, and its repercussion. HARRIS-PERRY: We must be teaching something because Roof is 21 years old and slaughtered people and used an analysis that is 150 years old about rape and -- how at 21 do you even have access to that unless someone is teaching it? LEWIS: You have it, Melissa, because we live in a nation that is teaching that narrative. That`s what`s happened. The church is teaching that narrative. When we don`t, as people of faith, speak against the narrative, we bless the narrative. I have to say, having been there, I have to say standing next to this young man with the black lives matter shirt on and his mast turned backwards. This flag is a symbol of all the black dead bodies in the ground. We have to talk about from the church, white churches, Korean churches, Latino churches, how important it is to make black lives matter at the core of our theology and until black lives matter, no cores matter. HARRIS-PERRY: There is a big, big difference between an individual owning, wearing a hat and it being on the state house, or being on state grounds or -- I just want to be clear, you own and display in your own space whatever you want. But when our government to which we pay taxes, including black folks, just -- it`s a different thing. Stick with me. We`ve got more coming up on the show. We`re going to keep our eye on what`s happening there in Charleston, South Carolina. Also I don`t want to lose that there are some other really critical things happening in the world, when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Haiti and the Dominican Republic, two countries side by side who share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. They also share a troubled at times brutal history of border that is porous and often bloody. In 1937, under orders of dictator, Ralphael Trulio, Dominican soldiers massacre thousands of Haitians living near that border and today deep anti- Haitian animosity continues among some in the Dominican Republic. In 2013, a Dominican constitutional court stripped the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the DR as far back as 1929. This denationalization is hundreds of international citizens. After an international outcry, the government promised citizenship provided they had Dominican government documents and were in the civil registry. Those without documents could apply for legal residency and citizenship if they could prove they were born in the Dominican Republic. The final deadline to do that was Wednesday. Only about 10,000 provided the required documents to enrol in the program, and following the expiration date, the government said it would patrol neighborhoods with high migrant populations. If they are not registered, they will be repatriated. Those include migrant workers, Dominicans of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic decades ago. Those who have lived in the DR their entire lives, those who do not speak Haitian creole, who have no family or friends or job opportunities in Haiti even those who have never set foot in Haiti. Joining me now is Edward Paulina who is assistant professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of "Dividing Hispaniola, The Dominican Republic`s Border Campaign Against Haiti," which comes out this fall. And joining me from Washington, D.C. is France Francois who is spokesperson for the Association of Haitian Professionals. France, let me start with you here, what is this about? FRANCE FRANCOIS, SPOKESPERSON, ASSOCIATION OF HAITIAN PROFESSIONALS: Well, Melissa, thank you for the question. I think it`s about three things. It`s about anti-black racism in the DR that goes back as far as you mentioned, but also takes a form in the DR as anti-Haitian area. In the DR, for example, you aren`t even considered African descent. You can only be Indio in the DR. You`ve seen this retroactively apply to Dominican-Haitian descent in terms of being subject to abuse from the government and from the police force. It`s also secondly a part of the political system in the Dominican Republic instead of corrupt politicians being able to own up to their misguided efforts. They blamed the Haitian bogeyman. And thirdly, this is also a part of the U.S.`s war on terror where you see aggressive immigration policies from the U.S. being transplanted into the Dominican Republic. HARRIS-PERRY: So stick with me on this, I want to go to exactly that idea that the U.S. is in fact implicated in this? Quite honestly, before the murders in South Carolina, this was the story we were leading with this weekend because I was just appalled at what is happening, as I think many Americans were. And yet the more I learned, the more I learned that actually American foreign policy is part of this story. EDWARD PAULINO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: Yes. For years the United States has an interesting relationship with the Dominican Republic. It invaded twice the Dominican Republican and also Haiti. We need some historical context here because this legacy of anti-Haitianism really has crystallized in 20th Century on the dictator, Trulio. And the seminal moment is the massacre, the genocide and massacre occurred in 1937 with an estimate 15,000 Hatian men, women, and children, and Dominican of Haitian descent, were murdered. As I like to argue, it was the largest lynching of black people in the 20th Century in the Americas. And so when that moment occurs, there is a -- this historic, but diffused anti-Haitianism is crystallized as the doctrine for the next 25 years until the dictator is assassinated in 1961. But although the dictatorship ends, the residue of that ideology remains, and so there was never an institutional counter-campaign to see Haiti as an equal. HARRIS-PERRY: So, France, let me come back to you on this, because to hear the institutionalism of anti-Haitianism, I also can`t help but to remember what happens in this country around HIV crisis and an actual language of our immigration policy that bans Haitian immigrants for a period of time. It almost describes people of Haiti as though they are inherently part of the HIV crisis and disease in the 1980s and 1990s, and this is this kind of complicated ways in which our foreign policy has, in fact, helped to buttress this relationship. FRANCOIS: Yes, I think that because Haiti has established itself as the black republic since 1804. There has been a pushback in racism against Haiti for a long period of time. You`re right, Haiti was part of the three H`s, and we`ve seen that as part of the policy of wet foot, dry foot where Cuban refugees are welcomed into the U.S. And Haitians are turned back to Guantanamo often times. But in the DR, as my Dominican counterpart mentioned, this has been institutionalized that goes so far back and has not been at all reconciled, and this ruling in 2013 is just the latest iteration of what we call the Dominican Republic. HARRIS-PERRY: This idea of we will go in and we will take people who appear to be -- I mean, that is just straight racial profiling. Please. PAULINO: I was born and raised 50 blocks from here near ground zero. I had a romanticized notion of Dominican identity because during the 1980s I could visit my family`s farm in the Dominican Republic. This connects to the whole Haitian thing, and I discovered that I had rights and privileges in the Dominican Republic that dark-skinned Dominicans of Haitian descents don`t have, and it`s a privilege I don`t deserve. It`s clearly race and it`s also xenophobic and -- HARRIS-PERRY: I hate to do this, but they`re screaming at me that I have to go. This is a critical issue, and unfortunately it`s a story that`s not over. I hope you will come back and join us, same thing for you, France Francois, in Washington, D.C. I hope you both will come back. It is an appalling week when this is happening and yet there is also so much hate here. As we go to break, we remind you that the church service is under way at Emanuel AME Church this morning in honor of Wednesday`s shooting. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: We are watching the first services at Mother Emanuel since the slaughter there earlier this week. A house of worship should be a safe space to gather, to pray, and to be in communion with neighbors and with God. This week on the same day that the massacre occurred in South Carolina, they wrote the same belief that a church should be sanctuary. The church in Tucson, Arizona worked to preserve that idea of sanctuary. Last year we brought you the story of Daniel Luis who emigrated from Mexico 14 years ago without official documents. After being stopped by Highway Patrol in Tucson, Arizona in his neighborhood in 2011, Ruiz faced a deportation order in 2014. Just as the threat of leaving behind family and community he calls home neared, Tucson`s Southside Presbyterian Church offered sanctuary for Ruiz. Reverend Alison Perington, the pastor of the church told us what inspired the decision to offer sanctuary. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re responding to scriptures who call us to take care of the widow and the orphan, and we`re saying we need to act sooner than that and prevent our broken system from creating widows and/ orphans all through our communities. So we are hoping other churches would step up. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: On June 10th, 2014, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted Ruiz a stay on the deportation order. When the stakes fired at another church answered the call, first Christian church in Tucson offered Daniel sanctuary. Thursday, ICE agreed to renew Ruiz`s stay of deportation for another year, so he will not need to live in the church. But the actions of Southside Presbyterian and First Christian Church remind us of the important a role houses of worship can play when they`re allowed to be a place of sanctuary. Coming up, we`re going to go back to Charleston where hundreds of mourners worship inside mother Emanuel AME Church. There is more MHP show at the top of the hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY": Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry. And right now, we`re going to go back to Emanuel AME Church and listen in to this morning service as presiding elder, Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr. delivers the sermon. REV. DR. NORVEL GOFF, SR., PRESIDING ELDER, MOTHER EMANUEL AME CHURCH: How we as a group of people can come together and pray and work out things that needs to be worked out to make our community and our state a better place. (APPLAUSE) Now, I`m reminded that there are other challenges that faces us. It does not go unnoticed, it does not mean that we`re not aware of the problems that many of us face not only in America but right here in South Carolina and Charleston. But there is a time and place for everything. And now it`s a time for us to focus on the nine families. (CHEERS and APPLAUSE) Oh, I know, I`m right. Because at this time, we need to be in solidarity and praying for families and our communities around this state and particularly in Charleston. So I want to say to the citizens of Charleston and visitors, thank you for being whom God has called you to be. Thank you for your flowers out front. Thank you for the cards and the e-mails and all the acts of kindness. I want you to know that the offices and members of Mother Emanuel want to say, "thank you." Come on, you ought to know it`s true. (APPLAUSE) Oh, yes. I know I`m right. Yes, I know I`m right. And I want to thank - - you have to give credit where credit is due. And if you want to raise hell, you have to know why you`re raising hell. Because hell is a specific place for specific people. But when folk are working and doing what they need to do as leaders in our community, in this moment in time, I want to say thank you to Governor Haley for being on her job. (APPLAUSE) Day in and day out, working with those of us who are here trying to comfort, and not only to comfort, but to make sure that the perpetrator, who came here and committed that heinous act, that was pursued and captured and brought back to South Carolina. (CHEERS and APPLAUSE) (INAUDIBLE) Oh, yes, it`s all right. I want to thank Mayor Riley for the resources that he placed in and around us here at Mother Emanuel to make sure that we had all the resources we needed and also starting a fund to help the families and to help Mother Emanuel. I just want to say thank you. (APPLAUSE) And then finally I want to say thank you to law enforcement. (CHEERS and APPLAUSE) I got no problem in doing that. And I want to thank them. I want to thank them. (APPLAUSE) I want to thank -- oh, yes. I want to thank law enforcement and I want to thank the chief of police of the city of Charleston. And our neighboring communities for working together to bring about a safer place not just for some of us, but for all of us. I just want to say thank you to the FBI and all the law enforcement, the chaplains. (APPLAUSE) As I get ready to go to my techs, I want to thank them because of the respect that they`ve shown our people, not just black people but everybody that resides, because respect gets respect. A lot of folk expected us to do something strange and to break out in the riot. Well, they just don`t know us. (APPLAUSE) They just don`t know us, because we are a people of faith. And we believe that when we put our forces and our heads together, working for a common good, there is nothing we cannot accomplish together in the name of Jesus. (APPLAUSE) So, let`s don`t get it twisted. We`re going to pursue justice, and we`re going to be vigilant, and we are going to hold our elected officials and others accountable to do the right thing. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) The blood of the Mother Emanuel nine requires us to work until not only justice in this case, but for those who are still living in the margin of life, those who are less fortunate than ourselves, that we stay on the battlefield until there is no more fight to be fought. And for that we say thank you. (APPLAUSE) Now -- let me hear somebody say now. (Church members): Now. GOFF: Now for the text. Somebody said, I thought we heard the text. (LAUGHTER) No, you just heard the pretext. Let me hasten on and draw your attention to Psalm 46. And I won`t be before you long, but if I see somebody trying to nod and sleep in this warm room, I promise you I will start with Genesis. And I will read and I will read very slowly. And you think they`re passing out water now, you just wait until I get you. Psalm 46, the first seven verses, you will find these words recorded in the King James Version of the Bible, Psalm 46. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried in to the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of god, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most high. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved, he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." Let us pray. Our father and our God, thank you for blessing the spiritual food for which we are now about to eat. In the name of Jesus we pray. And the people of god shall say, Amen. God is our refuge. Every now and then, you and I must realize that we`ve had some difficult days. And some of us have been in one kind of trouble or another. When we were young, we would run to our parents when we got in trouble. And when we got a little older, we began to confide in our friends, our spouses, and other co-workers. When we got in trouble sometimes, we just couldn`t tell nobody. Wouldn`t happen. When we got in trouble. Have you ever been in trouble? Stayed up all night trying to figure out the solution only to have a greater headache than you started out with. But when you and I realize that there are some things we just can`t handle by ourselves. I wish I had a witness. There are some problems and issues that we are unable to provide answers to. But I want to suggest and recommend to you this morning, if you find a problem or situation too hard for you, I want you to know that it`s just right for God. We had a witness here. (APPLAUSE) When evil is in the world, you and I may not be able to control evildoers. But I want you to know the day that I know a man who is able to handle all of our problems, some of us are still trying to seek answers to what happened last week Wednesday. Well, I been there, done that, spent the night. And I`ve decided to turn it over. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I`ve decided to turn it over to Jesus. You mean we are to forget what has happened? No, don`t forget. But to remember that the God who created us all is the God who will make a way out of nowhere. Yes, there are answers that we are still waiting for, but the answers still, by leaving our hands in the hand of God. I`m reminded by some news media persons that all nine families all spoke of forgiveness and didn`t have malice in their heart. Well, on this Father`s Day, you ought to know the nine families` dad. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) If you knew the nine families` dad, you would know how the children are behaving. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) After all, our daddies said, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If you knew our daddy, you would know that he said we`ve been engulfed by life. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Yes, if you knew our daddy, you would know that some days are up and some days are down. Almost level to the ground. But if you knew our daddy, you would say when I look back over my life and see what the lord has done for us, my soul -- my soul -- cries out hallelujah, thank God for saving me. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) God is our refuge. And strength. And the first point you have to remember from this brief message is that we have to put our hope and trust in God. Hey, yes, yes, yes. Stock markets may crash, friends may leave you, mom and daddy may be called back home to God himself, but if you keep your hand in God`s hand, turn to somebody and say he`ll make a way somehow. And the second point I want you to remember from this sermon that God is our refuge and strength is that praise for the great things for he has already done. God has a track record. Turn to somebody and say, God has a track record. Yes, yes, yes. I just want to share with you, I got a praise. How many of you have a praise? (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) And I don`t go through a whole litany of things early in the morning. I got five things I say, and sometimes it gets to 10. And here`s what I say. The reason I praise him, he woke me up this morning. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Can I get on with this? (Church members): Yes. GOFF: And the second reason I say, he woke me up this morning. And the third reason I praise him, and I say, he woke me up this morning. And the fourth reason I praise him, he woke me up this morning. And I get to the fifth one. He woke me up this morning! And he started me on my way. Put running in my feet, speed in my hands, gave me power to do his will. Say yes! Sit down, y`all are worrying me now. The third reason I want you to remember as I prepare to go to my seat, God is our refuge. He comforts us with the knowledge that God, who has always protected us. That`s why I was so pleased when the authorities made the phone call to us. To say, you can go back into Mother Emanuel to worship. (APPLAUSE) Some folk might need some more time in order to walk in, but for those of us who are here this morning, I want you to know because the doors of Mother Emanuel is open on this Sunday. It sends a message to every demon in hell and on earth. (APPLAUSE) No weapon! Somebody say, no weapon! No weapon! Shout! Prosper! No weapon! (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Some order to divide the race, black and white and brown, but no weapon to kill someone! Shout! All right, sit down now. I`m about to close out. I want to thank you for listening to this message. But I don`t want you to leave here without a life application to the message. When times of trouble comes into our lives, how do we respond? Do we respond and resort to fear? Do we respond by being afraid and result to fear? Do we respond in faith? Well, as for me and my household -- somebody say, for me. For me it`s Sister Goff and our boys and their friends. As for me and my household, we will serve the lord, because it`s by faith that we are standing here and sitting here this morning. Faith of our fathers, faith of our mothers, faith of the church in which God has brought us into. Guests, you showed up this morning. We are serving notice on every evildoer that just because you think you got the victim, I got an e-mail that was turned into an e-mail that turned into a message to you. "Remind them that I am still God. And beside me there is no other." And we have some difficult days ahead. But the only way evil can triumph is for good folk to sit down and do nothing. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s right. GOFF: But if we are people of faith, we will join hands and begin to work together to forge a new partnership, not them against us, but we are the children of God who will be marching on to victory. The Psalm has said when they were in trouble, they ran and found a place that was a refuge in him. I`m talking about a refuge in God. Some of us when we get in trouble we run from God, but those of us who are people of faith, we run to God. That`s why we can`t have enough prayer vigil. We can`t have enough worship and singing and praising, because all of that God inhabits our prayers. God is our refuge. I`m going to close and go to my seat. God has been mighty good to us. And some folk have called him many names. Some folk have called him Mary`s baby. Some folk have called him the bright and morning star. Some have called him my bridge over troubled waters. Some have called him my alpha and my omega and my beginning and my end. Some have called him the lily of the valley. I wish I had a witness. Some have called him a leaning post. Some have called him a battle axe in a time of war. Some have called him a leaning post. My mama called him a sure foundation. My daddy called him -- somebody say, hallelujah -- (Church members): Hallelujah. GOFF: My daddy called him a way maker. A way maker. But I call him by his name, and his name is above all names, and his name is the bright and morning star, the living water, and I call him Jesus. I call him Jesus. How many are calling Jesus? Because I get about 12 folks and stand up and say, Jesus. God is my refuge and my strength. When I`m weak, he makes me strong. When I`m tired, he makes me strong. When I`m weary, he makes me strong. When evildoers come upon my tracks, he makes me strong. But I`m so glad as I sit down at this time to him right and I put it this way, I`ve seen the lightning flash. I`ve heard the thunder roll. I`ve felt sins trying to conquer my soul. But I heard -- somebody say I heard -- I heard the master boys to say fight on! Fight on! Because he promised -- somebody say he promised -- never! HARRIS-PERRY: That was presiding elder, Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr. delivering the sermon at Emanuel AME Church which is holding its first service since nine innocent African-American South Carolinians were murdered during their bible study on Wednesday. And before we go to Adam Reiss who is there on the ground, I just want to say, I mentioned earlier, how uncomfortable -- with representations of black church on TV. But that was a teaching moment. It was a worship moment for those of us in that tradition. We were having church in many ways right here at this table. It was a teaching moment for those not familiar with that tradition, so if you do not know why people would say hallelujah, if you do not know why people would express gratitude in a moment of such pain, you must understand, as we heard from Reverend Goff as he preached Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed against us shall prosper." It is a moment when a people who are harmed, who are hurt, who are terrorized take it back, refuse to be terrorized. And as we heard there from the reverend, affirm that they are the people of God who will never, ever, ever have to stand alone. Joining me now outside the church, MSNBC correspondent Adam Reiss. Adam? ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Melissa, such a powerful sermon inside. I want to just bring you for a moment outside, just to see this city of Charleston coming together. Take a look behind me. A huge crowd on this street, but it`s mostly white. I want to tell you a little of what was said in the service today. It was really a healing service Melissa where they used prayer and song and scripture to come together, get through this very difficult time looking for answers. They`re really just trying to make sense of what is really a senseless tragedy, remembering the fellow parishioners. He said that they`re really called the Emanuel Nine, and some expected us to break out and riot and that wasn`t going to happen. We`re coming together here. He thanked law enforcement. There are a lot of heavy hearts here, Melissa. They`re broken hearts. But they all say, one, each one that they will get through this somehow -- Melissa. Adam Reiss in Charleston, South Carolina, thank you. When we come back, we will have more on Charleston and the Emanuel Nine after the break. GOFF: If you have a desire to be a member of this household of faith called Mother Emanuel. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: We`ve been watching the first sermon at AME Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina since a gunman entered their sanctuary earlier this week and murdered nine men and women. At my table here in New York, the Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church. Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow at Demos. Susannah Heschel, professor of religion at Dartmouth College whose father marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Marla Frederick, professor of African and African American Studies and religion at Harvard University. First, I want to go to Dallas, Texas. To the Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie who was the first woman elected to the office of bishop in the 200-year history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Currently she serves in the presiding tenth episcopal district to cover the state of Texas. Bishop McKenzie also the national chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Bishop, good morning. What did you hear this morning? BISHOP VASHTI MURPHY MCKENZIE, TENTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT OF THE AME CHURCH: This morning I heard -- and thank you, Melissa, for having us this morning engaging in meaningful conversation, as you always do. What I heard this morning was a pastor comforting the people of God, not only those who are gathered inside Mother Emanuel, but those all around the country. He offered a comforting word, a word of gratitude, but he also offered a word of determination that no matter how heartbroken we are, or how devastated we are, we`re still determined to work and worship and to keep the doors of the church open for everybody, anybody and all. HARRIS-PERRY: And, bishop, in fact, the AME Church, it has a very particular history within the American context of having to be resilient in the face of horror. MCKENZIE: Again and again and again, our faith has always been a source of comfort as well as helping motivating us in our service, our ministry of social justice and liberation. Since the very beginning, I would dare say that the first civil rights movement was when Richard Allen and Absalom Jones walked out of the church in Philadelphia and determined that we were going to worship in dignity and with integrity under our own vine and fig tree after being rejected, being pulled from your knees in the middle of your prayer at St. George`s. And it has continued time and time again. We know that on June 17th -- actually, at midnight on June 16th, Denmark had planned a revolt in the city of Charleston. And it would be happening on June 17th. And then after that Mother Emanuel was burned. So here we have a domestic terrorist walk into the church, when, on June 17th. You have to suspect that he knew his history. But even though the church was burned and by 1834 all black churches were outlawed in Charleston, South Carolina, people of faith still worshipped. That is our resilience. And so we have been on the front line of freedom and liberation for more than 200 years. The foot soldiers for the civil rights movement came from the black church. Our leadership, the first person to serve in U.S. Congress after the civil war was an AME preacher, Reverend Hiram Revels. Brown versus the board of education, Brown was Reverend Brown in Kansas, an AME pastor. And so time after time after time, the leadership, the foot soldiers, those who pushed the envelope for liberation and freedom came out of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. HARRIS-PERRY: Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, thank you for joining us and thank you for bringing us a reminder of that history. Jackie, I want to turn to you in this moment. What did you hear? REV. DR. JACQUI LEWIS, SENIOR MINISTER, MIDDLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH: I heard a preacher doing what is our call, to take the word and make it a living word, a word for this moment in time, to remind all of us that God is with us and God will not forsake us, but also to call us into a place of love. And love isn`t wimpy. My Jesus` love isn`t wimpy. It turns over tables and says, we won`t have this anymore. It feeds the hungry, it comforts the poor, and it works against violence. I`m so excited to hear what the bishop was saying about the AME Church, just thinking about the gifts to it not only to black Americans but to all Americans. There is something about the liberation of freedom that excites me, and I hope right now that people will pray -- pray for Charleston, #PrayForCharleston. BOB HERBERT, DEMOS.ORG: I think that sermon showed of quintessential example of the importance of the black church. So, here in this time of crisis, you have a message being sent to the relatives and friends of the victims and then to a wider community that, you know, we`re wounded, our hearts are heavy, but we are not defeated. You know, so there is no reason for despair. We will move on. SUSANNAH HESCHEL, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: First of all, I wish I had a rabbi like Reverend Goff. My father was a Jewish -- Abraham Joshua Heschel. And he used to say, if there is any hope for the future of Judaism and America, it lies with the black church. And he meant the pathetic tradition. The piety, the ability to pray and the political resistance. I found this tremendously moving, I found it extraordinary that it calls for vengeance, for anger for violence. This is a lesson for all of us. And I think there it is also a gift that restarted the program, the gifts of black folks. And with that gift we need to respond, we have an obligation, so what are we going to do now as white people? MARLA FREDERICK, PROFESSOR, AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: And it was a reminder of just how African-American churches throughout history have preached and talked about the need to have hope and trust in God, and that in the end, we can look back over history if we look through the children of Israel. There is always a reminder that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. And so in the midst of a tendency, tendency towards hopelessness or nihilism that there is hope, there is possibility for redemption out of great tragedy, and you see that in the story that Bishop Vashti McKenzie talked about with Absalom Jones and Richard Allen. That is the story of African Methodist Episcopal Church. HARRIS-PERRY: And the refusal to define forgiveness, to define love, to define resistance that nonetheless encompasses as weak, an absolutely refusal to define those. And I think I`ll never forget racist. If you understood on this Father`s Day who their father is, who their daddy is, that sends of drawing political, and social and organizing messages from a theological commitment to full humanity. Thank you to Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis, to Bob Herbert, to Susannah Heschel and to Marla Frederick. We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: This morning we`ve been listening to church services at Charleston`s Emanuel AME Church, the first service held there since nine people were killed during Bible study on Wednesday night. Joining me now outside the church is MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee. Trymaine? TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I tell you, what, this was a moving service for many reasons, but it wasn`t lost on anyone that just a floor below that sanctuary. Nine members of this family -- nine members of this church family were gunned down in cold blood. But one thing that was striking is that time and time again you hear about faith. And the preacher said that, you know, at times of trouble, many want to run away from God, but the faithful run to it. And that evil attempt to close these doors, but the evildoers around the world are put on notice with a show of faith and resilience and that these doors will not close. And there are still hundreds of people outside of the church. Many are streaming from inside the sanctuary. But again, a moving service, the first one since that terrible tragedy struck this church family. But if any community, I`ve been around to many, and to hear them respond and the preacher say that some folks might have thought we would have done something strange like riot, but they must not know us. Striking and amazing. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. From the moment that we knew that ten of the church bells were going to ring, and I guess when I started to hear that they weren`t just ringing, they were pealing, they weren`t tolling, they were pealing, and when you hear church bells peal is usually celebratory. And that`s why I understood in that moment, we weren`t going to do the black church tradition of giving out gratitude and praise in the midst of pain as a way of pushing back, and I heard that throughout the service this morning. LEE: Oh, and that`s right. When you think about the way we do our funerals, it`s not a time necessarily to mourn and be bogged down in grief, it`s a home going celebration. And so, you know that, I was talking to a preacher yesterday who said, "Life isn`t necessarily a reward, and death isn`t necessarily a punishment. Especially when you are of faith." But in that black tradition, and you hear the call and response, you feel the energy, you feel the applause that there was a community coming together in the wake of this tragedy, and again, you saw that on display. And as we`ve all known and many people have said time and time again, the black community, you know, the experiences of terror and trauma and great sadness and grief are nothing new. And so many times in our history we turn to the church, you turn to your faith, you turn to men and women of God to seek that solace, and these folks in this community are doing that today. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Trymaine, that call and respond, that I knew the second line of every first line is such a comfort because it reminds you that you were part of a living family. Trymaine Lee in Charleston, South Carolina, thank you. We`re going to be right back with some other news making headlines this week. Still on this issue, a key housing case before the Supreme Court. They are connected, I promise, when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: With less than two weeks before the Supreme Court breaks for the summer, there is a lot to wrap up. Same-sex marriage, health care subsidies. And among the major cases is one that could devastate civil rights law. It concerns the question of how to define and demonstrate discrimination. Discriminatory policies and practices can seem to be neutral but still re-devastating effects on one group. For example, when a practice cause substantially different effects for one group, even if there is no particular evidence of intent to create that inequality, we think of it as desperate impact, and desperate impact currently a standard legal argument and housing and education and employment, and other forms of discrimination law. Take a Texas housing agency that just happened to perpetuate racial segregation in Dallas by keeping low-income housing incentives for landlords out of wealthy white neighborhoods. Texas argued that it should not be judged by desperate impact standard in its policy but simply by the purity of its intention. In fact, they have argued that because the Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes no direct mention of desperate impact, it cannot be legally factor it into housing discrimination cases. Now it`s time for the courts to decide. And if the courts decides in favor of the Texas agency, the effects can be sweeping. As many of the more controversial decisions by the Supreme Court, this one is expected to be split five to four. And guess who might be the crucial swing vote? Justice Scalia. Yes. The court -- conservatives surprised many during the hearing in January when he seemed to maybe make an argument that because Congress passed disparate impact exemptions to the Fair Housing Act in 1988, they acknowledged its existence. Justice Scalia went on to tell Texas Solicitor General that, "You have to look at the whole law, and when all the parts are read together, there is such a thing as disparate impact." But I wouldn`t be count them in just yet. He went on to say the fact that the NFL is largely black players is not discrimination. Discrimination requires intentionally excluding people to a certain race. Okay, so the NFL analogy is a little bit questionable at best. But it shows that Justice Scalia may not be contempt with desperate impact as proof. But if the data of inequality and the number is in the map show how pervasive segregation until is in this country is not enough to prove discrimination, what is? Joining me now, Janai Nelson who is Associate Director-Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Adam Benforado who is associate professor of Law at Drexel University and author of the upcoming book, "Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice." Nikole Hannah-Jones, staff writer at "The New York Times" magazine. And Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of the LatinoJustice PRLDEF. All right. What is about to happen here? Do we know? JANAI NELSON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR-COUNSEL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Well, we hope that the Supreme Court is going to uphold the standard that has led this country into integrated communities, more inclusive communities since 1968. A standard that, as you said, pervades many areas of civil rights law, and it allows us to move fast, this focus on the intentional discrimination and recognized that there`s structural racist -- their structural discrimination that is equally pernicious, equally harmful and that tends to concentrate minorities into pockets of poverty, and does not allow them to fulfill their dreams and their successes, as well they should. HARRIS-PERRY: So, let me ask this. As you talk about the ways in which disparate impact was meant to have been used, to generate integrated communities. Nikole, I feel like not only, you know, being married to a housing lawyer for all these years, but in the work and the reading that I do, it doesn`t really seem like its worth. I mean, it`s just a separate question about whether or not -- stand in this case. But I do wonder if the goals of the `68, they`re Housing Act have in fact led to integrated communities. NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, STAFF WRITER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I mean, largely, they haven`t. Part of it is, you can have a strong fair housing law but you have to have a strong enforcement. And we know that for the entire time, really except for the first five years of the first Fair Housing Act being passed, there was very little enforcement. With that said, disparate impact is really one of the only systemic tools that we have left. Otherwise, we are largely going to have to rely on someone knowing they`ve been discriminated against, which is often impossible, and then actually going to an agency and seeking redress. HARRIS-PERRY: And am I right then, the other piece is that we have to be able to peer inside the mind of the discriminator and say that there was intent there? ADAM BENFORADO, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW, DREXEL UNIVERSITY: Yes. And I think that`s what really worries me. I tend to think that five justices on the Supreme Court believe that racial bias equates with racial animus. And I think the available psychology suggests that that`s only half of the story, right? When we see these tragedies as we just saw in South Carolina, that`s part of what we`re thinking about when we`re talking about racism in this country. But there`s a whole another story out there that involves well-intentioned people who believe they`re egalitarian, making decisions and acting in a way that creates terrible harm to members of the African-American community. And that`s in housing, that`s in health care, and that`s in criminal law. And so I worry that the Supreme Court thinks, well, you know, we cross out racism from our laws. And then we`re all set. And that`s simply not true. HARRIS-PERRY: You know, it`s that point that there`s a way that this -- these murderers in Charleston, rather than revealing more clearly the continued nature of racism in America, might actually help to obscure it, because if your racism doesn`t show up in the church with a gun, then it`s not racist -- if it just shows up in a map of Dallas, Texas, where people live in totally different neighborhoods, then we don`t think of it anymore as racial bias. JUAN CARTAGENA, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL, LATINOJUSTICE PRLDEF: And that`s so true. And, you know, from the perspective of the communities that are marginalized excluded, who cares? HARRIS-PERRY: Right. CARTAGENA: Who cares? HARRIS-PERRY: Who cares if you meant to do it or not. CARTAGENA: Exactly. HARRIS-PERRY: Right. CARTAGENA: You still exclude it. You still don`t have an adequate housing opportunities. And the way this dovetails, where this school segregation is so key. I mean, housing segregation is the main cause of school segregation because of neighborhood school, and patterns and where -- zones. We`re talking about the ramifications across many sectors here. Should the Supreme Court -- HARRIS-PERRY: And so housing segregation leading to school segregation, but also environmental impacts, health impacts, employment, transportation, all of those pieces. HANNAH-JONES: I mean, there is a reason why this was the last civil rights law that will be passed. Because this is the civil rights. So, that is the root of really every other racial injustice. If you want to find the racial injustice, it can be lead to where you live. And I think it`s also important to acknowledge, it`s like the Donald Sterling effect. Donald Sterling was running housing where he was discriminating against Black and Latino renters for years. And we, the media knew this but -- HARRIS-PERRY: The smoking gun tape, right? HANNAH-JONES: Right. We cared when he called some other prominent Black folks names. But we didn`t care for all of the years where his policies were actually keeping black folks out of housing. HARRIS-PERRY: So, connect that then to legal strategy, if the worst thing happens, in that disparate impact goes down. Is it just housing? And I don`t mean just, given that, you know, we`ve just talked about how housing is connected to all these other things, but what other aspects of civil rights laws are vulnerable here? NELSON: Okay. So, should the Supreme Court decide to depart from what 11 circuits have opined on this issue and decided is a lawful standard, should the Supreme Court decide to give this very abhorrent thing, then we will be faced with the challenge of seeking legislation to try to rehabilitate the Fair Housing Act. We also can rely on a lot of state laws. A lot of states are far more progressive in their housing, their fair housing laws than we see at the federal level. HARRIS-PERRY: All the progressive states has not been my life experience. NELSON: But there are about 40 states in fact that have fair housing laws. And it`s up to us to ensure that they are being enforced. It`s up to us to seek new federal legislation and it`s up to us to protect the other civil rights standards that rely on this crucial disparate impact concept and make sure that they don`t get eroded as well. HARRIS-PERRY: And we only have about 30 seconds. But can you explain to me how science might help this. I mean, we actually know some things that if the court understood them might help them on this. BENFORADO: I think it`s about bringing the case, explaining why we need disparate impact theory at all. I think that a wide sector of the American public thinks that having Barack Obama elected as president means the end of racism in our country. And yet if you look across all areas, we know black men get higher bails, we know they`re more likely to be abused by police officers, they`re more likely to get the death penalty. We know in terms of housing, there are disparate impacts. We know in healthcare, there are desperate impacts. And so, we need some evidence of why that happens. I think the science offers that. And that`s implicit racial bias. Good people with good intentions can act in ways based on stereotypes which are pervasive in our culture. HARRIS-PERRY: I want to say thank you to Nikole Hannah-Jones, and to Juan Cartagena and to Janai Nelson and to Adam Benforado whose book upcoming is "Unfair: "Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice." I know we got, it just feels like no time yet with this panel. That said, that is our show for today. I want to say thank you to those at home for watching. I`m going to see you next Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END