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Melissa Harris-Perry, Transcript 08/23/15

Guests: George Joseph; Nusrat Choudhury; Juan Manuel Benitez; CristinaBeltran; Alfonso Aguilar, Tracey Ross, Jason Rogers Williams, Joan Morgan,Clay Cane

JANET MOCK, MSNBC HOST: Good morning, I`m Janet Mock. ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And I`m Ari Melber. Melissa is off today. MOCK: This morning`s question, what have we learned 10 years after Katrina? MELBER: And Joe Biden consulting Elizabeth Warren, well, some calling for him to run against Hillary. MOCK: And Dr. Dre`s timely apology. MELBER: But first, how the GOP in August of this year could be its undoing next November. Good morning to you and thanks for joining us. You know, watching that debate that Donald Trump has been kicking off on immigration, you might forget that Latinos are actually a growing part of the national electorate, comprising 10 percent of it in 2012. That is almost double their share in 2000 and they were crucial to Barack Obama`s reelection for two reasons. First, they played a huge role in swing states like Florida and Nevada. And Second, they sided with Obama by huge lap sided margins according to the Pew research center. Latinos preferred Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney by 71 percent to 27 percent. That is a wider margin and Obama`s edge among many other key groups that backed him in his coalition, larger than his edge among young voters, for example, and voters in poorhouses also even non-religious voters who often backed Democrats. It was also the biggest edge among Latinos for any Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996. And how did the GOP leaders initially react to that news, with denial or anger? No. They actually reversed the five stages of grief and began with acceptance after 2012. In fact, the GOP`s hundred-page 2012 postmortem said this. Quote "we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party`s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only," end quote. And as the GOP marched on in 2016, many thought candidates like Senator Marco Rubio would appear more desirable in part because of that conversation. The Florida son of Cuban immigrants was a member of the bipartisan gang of eight senators. They were the ones crafting comprehensive immigration reform ideas back in 2013. And then there`s Jeb Bush, not only because of the identity politics that some point to with his Mexican-born wife, but also because he had been seen as a moderate on those immigration issues, taking risk like he did just this Tuesday when he split from many in the Republican Party and said that he was time to defend birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants noting it is of course a constitutional rights. But the on Wednesday, things took a turn. The former Florida governor speaking on (INAUDIBLE) radio show, "Morning in America," using the derogatory term anchor baby when talking about American children born to undocumented parents. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If there is fraud or if there is abuse, if people are bringing - if pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement. That`s the legitimate side of this. Greater enforcement so you don`t have these anchor babies, as they`re described, coming into the country. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: So you heard it right there. And then when asked about those very comments on Thursday, he basically doubled down on the term. This was one of the feistier exchanges we`ve seen with reporters to date. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did you use the term anchor babies yesterday on the radio? You don`t regret it? BUSH: No, I don`t regret it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You don`t regret it? BUSH: No. Do you have a better term? UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I`m asking you. BUSH: You give me a better term and I`ll use it. I`m serious. Don`t you yell at me behind my ear, though. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sorry about that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The term anchor baby, is that not bombastic? BUSH: No, it isn`t. Here is the deal. What I said was it is commonly referred to that. That`s what I said. I didn`t use it as my own language. Do you want to get to the policy for a second? I think people born into this country ought to be American citizens. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Republican Donald Trump proudly took credit for Jeb Bush`s rhetoric here. Here is Trump addressing that word choice. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Although now, he is using anchor baby. You know, he put out a memo, you cannot use anchor baby. Now because I used it, he`s using it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That`s a key bit of progress there, thanks to Donald Trump. Now, it appears Republicans are basically doing their five stages of grief here in reverse. They got to acceptance quickly, as we were reporting, but moved by Donald Trump and maybe this primary politics, they seem to be sliding back towards anger and even denial on so many of these issues. Joining Janet and me today to discuss is Cristina Beltran, associate professor of social cultural analysis and director of Latino studies at NYU. Nice to see you. She`s also the author of "trouble with unity, Latino politics and the creation of identity." Also with us Juan Manuel Benitez, political reporter and host of "Pura Politica" on New York One Noticias. I will leave all of the Spanish to people better equipped. Thank you both for being here. What do you make of this, because there was optimism right after 2012, and it seems to be fading? CRISTINA BELTRAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Right, well, what`s really interesting is there was a view put forward by Reince Preibus and the Republican leadership about the 2012 election which is different than what the public base feels about this. And so, one of the really complicated issues here, there is a fundamental contradictions at the heart of the Republican Party, which is that it has a very strong nativist, anti- immigrant, really hostile to illegal immigration in particular. And they think they can thread the needle on this fight simply saying, well, we`re not against immigrants, we`re against illegal immigrants, right? But you can see this language of anchor baby is already. I mean, that was -- these are really problematic moment, right? Because these are U.S. citizens. These are citizens whose parents` status is unauthorized, right? So now you`re attacking U.S.-born Latinos, right, and sort of describing them in a sort of criminalizing, demonizing discourse that says basically somehow the very act of their birth is a way of sort of sneaking in. So that really speaks to the fact that one of the Republican establishment that knows they need Latino voters to win this election, they got to get to their 30s or they are not going to win. On the other hand, you have an electorate that really doesn`t want to hear anything complicated or nuance about immigration reform or about the issue of immigration in general. MOCK: So given this rhetoric, Juan, do you think - do you feel that the Republican candidates have already squandered 2016? JUAN MANUEL BENITEZ, HOST, PURA POLITICO: Well, a few weeks ago I was here at this very table and they said how Donald Trump had hijacked the Republican primary. A few weeks later, he has hijacked the Republican platform agenda and now everybody else is following him with this speech that at some point is going to become a hate speech, it could become a hate speech. So the problem here is not only that Latinos are more sensitive to the immigration reform issue, not only because many of them have family members or many of them maybe no people that are in this situation, but also because it becomes identity politics. And now everybody is suspect. Everybody who looks Hispanic or looks Mexican or has an accent is suspect and maybe shouldn`t be here in this country. So that`s why the issue is so powerful among Latinos. MELBER: I want to bring in from Washington, D.C., we also have Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of American principle projects Latino partnership. Nice to see you. ALFONSO AGUILAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN PRINCIPLE PROJECT LATINO PARTNERSHIP: Thank you for having me. MELBER: Let`s bring you into the conversation. I know sometimes you bring a different view, but speak to this criticism, and is it OK, is it understandable, in your view, that people are concerned about the way Jeb Bush is talking even if, as we just showed in the clip, he says, hey, don`t worry so much about the word choice, I still have the more open position on the issue itself. AGUILAR: Look, I don`t like the term anchor baby. I agree that it`s offensive, but this issue has been completely overblown. Latinos are not dumb. They know that Jeb Bush is good at immigration. He wrote a book where he outlines a plan on immigration reform. He`s for legalization. And it`s kind of funny that Hillary Clinton blasts him for, you know, not calling them babies or U.S. citizens when just last year, she actually supported the idea of expeditedly removing unaccompanied minors back to their home countries. Latinos are going to look at the issues, at the positions of the candidates, not at the terminology. Terminology matters. I think it`s been an education moment for all of us, because let`s be fair. The majority of Americans, the majority of Latinos don`t even know what anchor baby means. I think people realize now it`s an offensive term. I doubt they`re going to use it again. But at the end, Latino voters are going to be looking at issues. And so, Hillary is making a big issue of this because Democrats are afraid of Jeb Bush. They know he can be very competitive with Latino voters, not only get more Latino voter support but actually win the Latino vote. MOCK: Alfonso, one moment. Cristina, I want to bring you in on this. As Alfonso said that there is range of issues that Latinos care about, right? We know that the economy, you know, economy, clean water, conservation of water, amongst another slew of issues beyond just immigration. Can you kind of unpack the other issues behind immigration? BELTRAN: Right. Well, one of the really interesting thing is when you look the data history, is that a lot of Latinos overall -- there are a lot of other issues that rank higher than immigration, right, issues like the economy, education. Interestingly, people were surprised. Climate change is a really strong issue. Not surprising because so many Latinos live in the southwestern United States and they`re dealing with drought issues. So there are many issues. And I think Alfonso is right. I think there are issues beyond immigration that are important here. What`s going to be really interesting is, and to be fair, the Bush family has always been more interesting on questions of race than other Republicans. Like they have an interesting history in terms of supporting diversity. MELBER: Why do you think that is? BELTRAN: You know, it actually goes all the way back to George W. Bush. George W. Bush was involved in supporting some of the first Republican Latino organizations. And George W. Bush before 9/11 was very much interested in kind of diversifying a party and compassionate conservatism. So this is a party that - I mean, this is a family that has kind of an interesting racial history in terms of not being a particularly nativist or a family that plays whistleblower -- kind of dog whistle politics. On the other hand, if you look at policy issues, the Republicans and Jeb Bush are not in support of labor unions, which is a very strong issue for Latino voters. Latino voters care about labor issues and union issues. They still want to create tax breaks for the rich. They have aggressive tax policies. So all of these issues are going to get looked at. I think one of the interesting things for George - for Jeb is that they`re trying to play personality and shared culture over shared politics, and those two things are different. MOCK: We were just starting this conversation, of course. But before we go to break, we want to show you a live picture from inside Maratha Baptist church in Plains, Georgia. Former president Jimmy Carter, just three days after holding a new conference to discuss of cancer diagnosis, is back teaching a Sunday school class. \ President Carter teaches Sunday school class a few times each month. But today a long line in front of that church before dawn. MELBER: It`s a remarkable thing to see, and obviously everyone rooting for him. And you see now as he`s going through, obviously, this fight, you`re reminded of the kind of person he is in going out there. He does this every Sunday to teach. So we wish him and his family well, of course. When we come back, we want to tell you immigration relationship with Mexico. A key point in another primary, 1980. Wait until you hear what Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. had to say. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs that that problem wouldn`t come up. We`re doing two things. We`re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent family-loving people that are in violation of the law, and secondly, we`re exacerbating relations with Mexico. RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rather than making them or talking about putting up a fence, why don`t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then while they`re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back, they can go back, and they can cross and open the border both ways. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOCK: That was a clip from April 23rd, 1980 in Houston when Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush discussed immigration at a debate before the Texas primary. Now let`s pause for a moment. You all heard that, right? The two leading GOP candidates of the time, two of the most Republican figures of the 20th century giving sensitive, thoughtful, quite moderate stances on immigration almost four decades ago. Today, Republican rhetoric about the border sounds a lot different, especially when coming from someone like front-runner Donald Trump. So, Juan, I want to bring you into this. How did Republicans go from that moderate rhetoric to where we`re at now? BENITEZ: It`s not even moderate rhetoric. We didn`t hear the questioner. And I think we can all agree that the questioner was expecting a totally different answer in that debate. And you have the last president who passed immigration reform, Ronald Reagan, and he gave amnesty to more than a million documented immigrants, and the last president, George Bush Sr., who did an executive order on immigration like the one that Obama tried to have last year. But going back to what Alfonso said before the break, I think it`s really important. He said Latinos are not dumb. And they are not dumb. They know how to differentiate things. But when you have a candidate like Jeb Bush saying to Latinos, look at me, I have a Mexican wife and Mexican- American kids. And then he goes behind their backs and says and uses the term anchor babies and uses that rhetoric, they`re not dumb. They`re going to remember. And just to make one more point, I think this is really important, the immigration reform issue, but if I`m a Republican candidate right now, I will be preparing for next month. And next month that we have the visit of Pope Francis. The first Latin-American pope. He is a leader of the Catholic Church, and he`s going to talk in front of a joint session of Congress. And he`s going to talk about poverty, he is going to talk about immigration, climate change, things that they`re not going to like. So how they`re going to respond, all these presidential candidates, Republicans, to what Pope Francis has to say, is going to be as important for their decision on immigration reform for Latinos next year. MELBER: You sound excited about that. BENITEZ: Well, it`s going to be really exciting, because for many years we had Popes that were not maybe not that media friendly. Benedict XVI wasn`t that -- I`m not going to use the word controversial, but we now have a Pope that really is pursuing an agenda on poverty, climate change, immigration, and he -- MELBER: I want to bring Alfonso. He`s speaking with moral authority about these issues. Alfonso, you, of course, talked about the need to address Trump in the "New York Times," George Will, prominent conservative, has a new piece out saying Republicans say they`ll stand up to Putin but they can`t stand up to Donald Trump. Are you disappointed that seeing so far there is more echoing of Trump than confronting him? AGUILAR: No, I think the field is split. It would be wrong to generalize and say all of them are agreeing with him. I think they knew that immigration was going to be an issue in this campaign. I don`t think they expected to have to address it in detail so early on. And I think, actually, it`s an opportunity. It`s an opportunity for people like Senator Marco Rubio, like Governor Bush to show that they`re constructive on the issue and they can win over Latino voters. Again, I mean, he used the term anchor baby but he didn`t say it was his language. Latino voters know where he stands on immigration. Again, we shouldn`t give a pass to Hillary just because she`s a Democrat. She came out supporting removing babies, unaccompanied minors, right away back to their home countries, and Latinos remember that, you know. She wasn`t a leader on immigration when she was in the Senate. So I think they`re going to look at the substance of the immigration debate. Obviously, those -- MOCK: Christina, let`s bring you into this really quick. During the debate, President H. W. Bush calls immigrants good, strong people. When did that human element leave the rhetoric? BELTRAN: Right, when did this sort of start? Well, it`s a complicated story, because on the one hand, that response really tells you how the Republican Party has shifted so far to the right. And so, you see a huge difference here. On the other hand, anti-Latino sentiment was circulating in this period as well. There was a lot -- we forget about the rise of the English only legislation that was going on, that was (INAUDIBLE) the bilingual education. We had Pat Buchanan in 1992. We had, you know, we had prop 187 and 209 in California. So people like Leo Chavez has written and talking about the Latino threat narrative has a fairly long history in the U.S. But the Republican Party, it really speaks to I think something sad about our democracy right now, which is immigration is a complex issue. And it involves just talking about global capitalism, about the history of American intervention in different countries, about the history of war and colonialism, so it is about stories about global capital and we don`t talk about this. We talk to the public like they`re very stupid children. And so you produce an electorate that know says less and less and understands less and less. And then not surprising when you get them to respond. MOCK: Thank you for that intersectional analysis. Thank you also to Alfonso Aguilar in Washington, D.C. MELBER: And on the Democrat side of the race, NBC News has confirmed reporting about meetings vice president Joe Biden is taking fueling speculations her is seriously considering challenging Hillary Clinton. We have those details. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MOCK: Vice president Joe Biden had a private face-to-face talk with Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren yesterday in Washington, D.C. The meeting is fueling the buzz surrounding the potential for a Joe Biden 2016 campaign. Earlier this week, "the New York Times" reported that vice president has been talking to big donors who raised big cash for president Obama in 2012. Joining us now from Martha`s Vineyard is NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Kristen, what do we know about this meeting and when can we expect a decision from the vice president? KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Janet, good morning to you. Well, we know that vice president Biden let Senator Warren know that he was considering a run. This is significant because it is really the clearest sign that we are getting yet that the vice president is seriously considering a run. As you know, Senator Elizabeth Warren is a progressive champion. A lot of Democrats wanted her to run. She declined. The fact that vice president Biden is reaching out to her suggest that if he were to throw his hat in the ring, he`s courting those all progressive voters. Well, let`s just put this into a broader context, Janet. We know that secretary Clinton is still the strong Democratic front-runner. If you look at any polls, she has a very strong lead. Having said that, there is a CNN poll this week that shows 53 percent of Democrats want vice president Biden to get in the race. My sources have been telling me he`s been mulling a run with his aides, his supporters and his family members, all importantly. The reason for him to get in the race would be because this is someone who wanted to be president for a long time. He`s, of course, run for president twice before unsuccessfully and there are real concerns with the Democratic Party that Secretary Clinton could be vulnerable in a general election given this email scandal, which is still involving, by the way. They`re still waiting to sort of see how serious email this scandal actually gets. The reasons against vice president Biden joining the race, some Democrats say, look, he would be dividing the Democratic Party at the time when you do have Secretary Clinton still running very strong in the polls. And then there`s a personal reason, which is, he`s still, according to sources who I`ve been talking to, very much grieving the loss of his son Beau who passed away in May. I`m told this will be a personal decision for the vice president. He has to huddle with his friend and family and ultimately they will make the decision. He has said he`ll make his final decision at the end of the summer. That deadline, I`m told, could be pushed back by a few days or a few weeks. But this is obviously a story we`re watching very closely. Janet, back to you. MOCK: A lot of us will be watching. Thank you to NBC, Kristen Welker in Martha`s Vineyard. MELBER: And for more on this story from Biden world, we have Jared Bernstein, a former aide to the vice president. Jared, I know you did economics and political strategies for him, but often how does he meet with Elizabeth Warren, otherwise, in your recollection? And how does he approach a decision like this? JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: By the way, in the politics, whenever I used to talk about politics, Biden would remind me, you couldn`t get elected dog catcher, so we tended to stick to economics. But that is his characteristic stance. They`ve met on occasion. There`s a lot of respect there. I mean, Joe Biden comes from Delaware, which is a credit card state, so there`s been some issues there between them. But it doesn`t surprise me that given where he is as Kristen just described, that they sat down for a talk. He`s kind of taking her temperature on where a progressive endorsement might be for him on that. MELBER: And what do you think is going to be his approach here? If he gets in, he`s late, so he`s got to have a big bang or big opening splash. BERNSTEIN: You know, it`s interesting. I mean, I was thinking about the splashes we`ve seen so far. I mean, really the surprising ones would be, of course, from the Donald on one side, and feeling the burn, Bernie Sanders on the other side. And so, I think that to some extent the splash there would be that Joe Biden is someone who is very much beloved by many people in the Democratic Party, by many constituents out there. There`s just something special, something genuine about that guy. And you know, I know what it is having worked for him. And I think that there`s really something kind of different about him that`s kind of closer to the electorate than perhaps Senator Clinton has tapped so far. MOCK: Well, let`s bring in Christina and Juan here in New York. What do you think, Christina, about a Biden-Warren in 2016 ticket? BELTRAN: Well, that ticket could be very interesting, right? I mean, the minute he was going to meet with her, I thought, that would be -- but I don`t see why Warren would ever leave the Senate to be a vice presidential candidate. It is not -- it seems like an odd choice for her. But the thing that I think is interesting is that when Biden -- on the one hand, Biden shows he`s carrying the Obama legacy forward, right? But Biden was (INAUDIBLE) and I like him a lot. But I think he was used a lot sort of appeal to white voters, white working class voters in 2012 and 2008. And that was one of his real appeals. Hillary Clinton has really tried to expand and build on the Obama coalition and she`s done a lot of work trying to appeal to Latino voters, African- American voters, taking a stand on black lives matter. So it`s going to be really interesting. She`s been sort on the -trying to raising issues on LGBT issues. So, she`s been really trying to put together a particular kind of historical coalition. And I`m really curious to see -- I`m not sure if Biden, even though he comes from the Obama administration, if he could pivot and do the same kind of work. MELBER: And yet, Juan, you could make the argument that Hillary Clinton has been hurt by having this sort of boring phantom primary. Everyone is talking about the emails in part because there`s nothing else to talk about. BENITEZ: Right. I think the Biden buzz is another sign of the fact that there is a clear path for an alternative to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. People like -- Democrats like Hillary Clinton, they think she is totally ready to be president, but they`re not excited about her candidacy. She hasn`t been able to produce that excitement that maybe Bernie Sanders has. And Democrats, remember, they didn`t have 2012 exciting election. They were reelecting President Obama. But in 2008, that was the excitement. They didn`t know this guy, who this guy was. He was new, Barack Obama. And everybody wonder, is he U.S.-ready for the first black president. At this point, I think everybody in the country knows that U.S. is ready for the first female president. So they are now wondering. They know that she`s ready. But many Democrats that I talk to, they`re saying, well, we like Hillary but we`re waiting for someone else to show up and offer an alternative. MELBER: Finally, Jared, is there a view in the White House in Obama world that perhaps, it`s simply too late or somewhat unfair or disloyal for Joe Biden to go on Hillary this late in the process? BERNSTEIN: I don`t think so. I mean, I think that less disloyalty and because Barack Obama really values his friendship with Joe Biden and views him as a very important figure in his presidency. I think the too late problem is real, and echoing some of what was just said, I mean, Hillary Clinton had a bad August. I mean, that`s not that uncommon this far out for a candidate to have a tough month. She`s still very strong. She`s still locked up a lot of funding. I actually think the likelihood that the VP might get in the race is still pretty low. But as she stumbles, it gets a bit higher. If she were to pick up, things would look a bit different. One other point on the vice president. An interesting thing, more than any other vice president, I would argue, that we`ve ever had, he really worked very closely with President Obama. He was just there at every meeting, right? I saw it with my own eyes. So here`s a guy who could actually walk into that job, kind of knowing how it works, better than almost anyone I could think of, and Barack Obama is one of the smartest people I ever met. I would argue it took him four or five years to really figure the job out because it`s a really, really hard, complicated job. That`s an interesting advantage that Joe Biden has. MELBER: Thank you to Jared Bernstein there in Virginia Beach. Also, we want to thank Cristina Beltran and Juan Manuel Benitez. MOCK: Still to come this morning, my letter of the week. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: We now know the name of the man accused of opening fire on a train traveling through France Friday. Prosecutors have identified him as 26- year-old Ayoub El-Kahzzani. Belgium officials have opened their owned investigation in the attack because the suspect boarded that train in Brussels. The three Americans and British man who rushed and held down that shooter are being hailed as heroes this weekend. Joining me now from London, NBC`s Kelly Cobiella. Kelly, what do we know about the suspect now? KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ari, as you mentioned, we now know his name but there are still conflicting reports about whether he traveled to Syria. The top prosecutor in Belgium is telling NBC News that they`re looking into whether he acted alone or was part of a wider network. The French interior minister is only saying that the man was a known radical flagged last year because of alleged ties to terrorist groups. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COBIELLA (voice-over): New information emerging this morning about the man accused of attacking that train headed for Paris. Belgium`s chief prosecutor telling NBC news his name is Ayoub El-Kahzzani. He is 26 years old of Moroccan origin and has lived in Egypt for several years. This morning he`s being questioned by French counterterrorism police in Paris. Spanish media report he lived in the southern port town of Al-Jazeera and attended the radical mosque that was under surveillance. NBC News has not confirmed the reports and the French interior minister cautioned against speculation. This morning, the three friends whose European vacation took such a dramatic turn are together again in Paris. Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone getting a heroes` treatment and preparing to meet the French president. This is the scene seconds after they took down the gunman on a high speed train to Paris Friday. Stone, who is a trained paramedic, is giving first aid to a man shot in the neck, even with his own hand badly cut. Top military Brass visited stone in the hospital Saturday where he underwent surgery. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were actually able to reattach that portion that was pretty severely cut. I`m happy that he`s alive. COBIELLA: Alive and already recovering. Stone was released late Saturday afternoon with a smile and a wave. (END VIDEOTAPE) COBIELLA: We understand Stone`s parents are meeting him in Paris. And we also hear that all of the train heroes will get a personal thank you from the French president Francois Hollande tomorrow morning. And Ari, I know we were waiting to hear from them for a long time yesterday. We now understand that there may be a press conference today in just about an hour and a half from Paris. So we will keep you updated on that. MELBER: All right, thank as always, Kelly, for your reporting. Still to come on MHP, developing story about new documents that show undercover officers are going inside part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Is that necessary policing or overreach? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MOCK: Another week, another candidate who has confused a statement that doesn`t need saying because it is self-evident with a statement that must be said because of all evidence to the contrary. Only this time the candidate is reaching back in time to support his misguided response by misrepresenting the message of one of American history`s greatest leaders. So this week my letter is to the latest presidential candidate to appear confused over the Black Lives Matter movement. Dear governor Mike Huckabee, hey, it`s Janet. This week CNN`s Wolf Blitzer asked if you agreed to what Hillary Clinton said to a black lives matter activist during this meeting. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s not much that we can do to stop the violence against us. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The conversation gets pushed back. CLINTON: I don`t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You`re not going to change every heart. You`re not. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOCK: Governor, the message from BLM is that black people don`t have the power to stop the violence committed against them by agents of the state. It`s why they`re appealing to people like you, people vying to represent the state for help. But clearly you weren`t paying attention to the activist`s message, because if you truly understood that the rallying cry, Black Lives Matter, is a call for that recognition, you wouldn`t have responded by saying this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I hear people, you know, scream Black Lives Matter, I`m thinking, of course, they do. But all lives matter. It`s not that any life matters more than another. That`s the whole message, I think, that Dr. King tried to present, and I think he would be appalled at the notion we`re elevating some lives above others. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOCK: Governor, offering all lives matter in response to the assertion that Black Lives Matter, diminishes the black lives that have and continue to be lost, and you should know that by now. Because it`s a lesson some of your Democratic and Republican opponents have been taught, already been taught, again and again and again. And you, governor, you went even further. In addition to dismissing black lives matter, you also misrepresented one of the greatest champions to civil rights to assist in your attempt to silence the very people and ideas that he fought to protect and died to protect. Because, yes, Martin Luther King Jr. was appalled by the notion that we are elevating some lives above others. But you`re a little confused about the "we" he was talking about. When Dr. King said, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds, he was delivering a damning indictment against the United States government for its failure to secure for black people basic civil rights that relegated not only their citizenship but their humanity to second class citizen status. Dr. King wouldn`t have to look very far to find familiarity with today`s young activists in their struggle and the word of their critics. After all, it`s the same violence they are fighting that king referenced when he wrote, there are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. He was responding to his adversaries, but to his allies, people who were - people who he called men of genuine good will. And their criticism sounded much like what BLM activists here from white progressive today. You are doing too much. You`re going too hard. You`re pushing too far. Governor, if you listened closely to what the activists has said in response to their critics, you will hear the urgencies. There are urgencies. We go hard because out people are dying too often. And far from being appalled at that message, Dr. King would have found echoes in it of his own when he said in his letter in the Birmingham jail, when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity, then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. When King watched Watts (ph) burned with fire and the indignation of black rage, as we have seen in Ferguson and Baltimore in recent months, he saw in it not the wanton violence of looters and rioters, but a response to systematic violence of institutional racism. King wrote in an editorial after the watts riots in the Saturday review, when there is rack-like intransigence or sophisticated manipulation that mocks the employ-handed petitioner, rage replaces reason. Did you get that, governor? Because as long as you continue with your unsophisticated manipulation of King`s message, and as long as you and other candidates continue your rock-like resistance to the message of the movement, that is as long as you can expect to keep hearing those urgent screams of rage that black lives matter. Sincerely, Janet. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Welcome back. On Friday, several prominent black activists launched campaign zero putting forward specific policy goals aimed at reducing police violence. And suggesting include among others an end to broken windows policing, the fact that it is going after certainly low-level crimes and activities, stronger community oversight for police and limiting the use of force to imminent threats when an officer`s life is in danger and the lives of others, the legal standard as well as independent investigations of all cases when police kill or seriously injure civilians. The black lives matter movement has helped make this issue, of course, a national priority, and they`ve been increasingly visual and vocal, pushing both police and candidates to try to make changes. That kind of visibility, some say, though, can come at a cost. In fact, throughout American history, activists and groups that often challenge power structures come under increased and sometimes illegal scrutiny from the very leaders they`re trying to scrutinize. Think back to 1956 when FBI director J. Edgar Hoover launch a counterintelligence program that involved widespread surveillance of mostly law-abiding citizens in aggressive efforts to disrupt political organizations including the communist party and the black panthers. The program may be most notorious for bugging Martin Luther King`s hotel rooms in an effort to catch him in sexually compromising situations. Hoover`s program officially ended in 1971. There were outcries from Congress as well as the American public. And yet some say that era is reminiscent in light of the new reporting on the Black Lives Matter movement by Intercept. Just a few weeks ago, the Intercept reported that the department of homeland security has been monitoring activist, and now after examining nearly 300 documents from New York transit authorities, Intercept is reporting that undercover police have regularly surveilled Black Lives Matter activist in New York. Joining us here at the table to discuss, Nusrat Choudhury, staff attorney with the ACLU`s racial justice program, MSNBC reporter Trymaine Lee, and in Dallas, the author of those Intercept articles, George Joseph. Hello to all of you. George, what did your investigation find, and is anything here actually outside of the rules? GEORGE JOSEPH, REPORTER, THE INTERCEPT: We did two investigations. One was a few weeks ago when we found that the department of homeland security, our country`s supposed counterterrorist federal agency, was monitoring activist the country, looking at their twitters, looking at Facebook group events and sort of taking a very broad overview since the Ferguson uprisings of what`s going on. While that is sort of to be not surprising, especially given that tweets and Facebook posts are often public, the recent revelations that we had in our latest story about undercover police actually regularly attending black lives matter protests in New York was very disturbing, especially since they`ve been taking photos of individual prominent activists, naming them and keeping them in their files. MELBER: Sure. And let me cut in. I want to read a statement from the NYPD. You used the word disturbing. I think many people agree and have said that and are concern about free speech. But here`s what the NYPD said. We confer with our legal bureau when planning for the policing of protests and demonstrations. We comply with the various established guidelines governing police activities involving these public events. And they say when they are patrolling and planning for large events and demonstrations in New York, they`re going to look at information and looking for people who might be showing up to try to advance public safety. Do you see anything that was breaking rules here? JOSEPH: Well, the thing is it`s difficult for us to know because the NYPD hasn`t been responding to records requests and asking them to be transparent and release what they`re actually doing. So if they don`t have anything to hide, they should just release the documents that activists and people like us have been asking for. In the documents, a lot of names have been redacted, so we can`t exactly tell to what degree the NYPD is also sending undercover police officers to these protests. If they don`t have anything to hide, they should share what`s going on. MOCK: Nusrat, I want to bring you into this. Is this type of surveillance of activists legal? NUSRAT CHOUDHURY, STAFF ATTORNEY WITH THE ACLU`S RACIAL JUSTICE PROGRAM: Well, there are numerous concerns, and the first, obviously, is the first amendment. When surveillance of activists and the centers chills them from participating in protests, from dissenting, from speaking on any issue, including deep-seeded racial injustices in this country, there is a possibility of a first amendment violation. And that happens when the chill is so strong that it prevents people from tweeting, prevents them from speaking their mind, prevent them from bringing people to associate together in their protests. We`re also concerned about what is happening with the information collected about people. When the MTA police put people`s names and photograph in files, they`re supposed to adhere to federal regulations that permit that only when there is suspicion of criminal activity. And it`s entirely unclear whether they`ve done that. MOCK: Thanks for clarifying that. Trymaine, these reports of this surveillance, how are they impacting the movement? TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: What`s amazing is like is much things change, they remain the same. We call this the new civil rights movement, right, but it`s really an extension. You talk about 50 years ago and concerns over infiltration of law enforcement agents and supervision and all kinds of wild stuff going on. But now we also have some infighting. You have these seeds, and the movement, they`re congealing in something stronger. Finally, people have been pushing and pushing and pushing for them to come out with some sort of give us a game plan. And Hillary Clinton said give us -- show us how to change the laws, to change these things, and now they finally come together. So even though they seem to be attacked on all fronts, they feel like they`re being followed and tailed and all the infighting. They`re actually coming together and they are stringer. They actually overachieving in so many ways. I mean, A year ago you would have thought this was an outburst of anger, but now we see black lives matter in organized chapters. But also, you have campaign zero now. All of these outgrows from what we saw last summer after Michael Brown. MELBER: And Nusrat, when you look at this, though, a lot of the movement is built on concerns about the way the police operate. The view then, is that some of the policing of the movement itself may be biased or be a reaction. But how do you actually figure out whether that is the case or this is public safety? CHOUDHURY: Well, it`s hard to know and actually trace how the surveillance is impacting people`s ability to organize and speak. But the probability that that`s happening is there. People have already said, you know, I`m afraid to go to protests in grand central when I know that my photograph and my name are going to be kept in files and we don`t know where that information is going. And with the way specific activity reports are shared amongst government, federal, local and state, it could lead to watch listing, further intelligence gathering and investigations. And there`s no indication again in the documents released by the Intercept that the individual photographers and protesters had any connection to criminal activity at all. MELBER: Right, and you mentioned the photographer. I mean, what was interesting about the article and won the spotlight is, yes, some of those individuals seem to be almost a part of documenting it and that are getting caught up in that surveillance. I want to thank George Joseph for sharing some of that reporting with us from Dallas and here in New York. And to Nusrat Choudhury and Trymaine Lee will be back in our next hour. Coming up next, ten years after Katrina, should the storm be seen as the start of the Black Lives Matter movement? MOCK: And the black buster (INAUDIBLE) and why Dr. Dre is apologizing for something that wasn`t even in the new hit movie. More at the top of the hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Welcome back. I`m Ari Melber. MOCK: And I`m Janet Mock in for Melissa. Next Saturday marks ten years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall with devastating effects. New Orleans took the brunt of the storm`s destruction. After the storm blew in, the levees broke and 80 percent of the city was under water. More than 1,000 people died in Louisiana alone, most of them in New Orleans. More than one million people were displaced throughout the region. Most of the homes in New Orleans were destroyed. All told the storm did $135 billion in damage. All this week, you will hear stories about Katrina. Its effect and the still ongoing recovery. President Obama will visit New Orleans on Thursday and meet with people who have rebuilt the city. President George W. Bush who of course was in office at the time, and President Bill Clinton will also visit the city to mark the anniversary. Katrina marked the start of something powerful for this shows regular host and her husband James, a New Orleans native. In The Nation magazine they write, "For us, Black Lives Matter began as a public movement a decade ago on August 29th, 2005. Before Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, it was more than 1,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced New Orleans who forced America to confront black vulnerability and to understand how that vulnerability indicts our system of national inequality." There were many tragedies in the days and weeks after Katrina made landfall. One of those particular residents today. This is the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans on September 4th, six days after Katrina hit. Several New Orleans police officers pulled up to the bridge in a budget rental truck. They opened fire on two families. One family was in search of food and water. The other was trying to find a way, anyway, out of the city. Two people were killed in a barrage of police gunfire, 17-year-old James Bursett and 40-year-old Ronald Mason, who was mentally disabled. Four others were badly injured. The officers say they were shot at and were defending their lives, but prosecutors say they fired unprovoked on unarmed civilians and then immediately tried to cover it up. Five officers were convicted in the shootings and cover-up but we learned just this week that those convictions may not stand. On Tuesday a federal appeals court ruled that the officers should get a new trial because of misconduct by the prosecutor, several of whom posted on-line comments of new stories about the case. Melissa and James write, on the Danziger Bridge, Americans encounter the deadly consequences wrought by police who frame unarmed black people in need of assistance as threats and in need of elimination. It`s a lesson we learned again with Jonathan Farrell, Renisha McBride, Miriam Carey. Black lives matter. The Danziger Bridge shootings are perhaps the clearest parallel from Katrina aftermath to today`s Black Lives Matter Movement but the story of Black Lives Matter is a story of Hurricane Katrina. The poorest, blackest neighborhoods were the most vulnerable to destruction. It is those neighborhoods that still have not recovered. It was the black residents we saw on TV waiting for help from their rooftops for days. It was black residents who were labeled looters when they were trying to survive. The slow and militaristic response to black suffering was as visible in the Lower Ninth Ward in 2005 as it would be nine years later in Ferguson. Joining us now, Tracey Ross, associate director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress and co-host of talk poverty radio. Trymaine Lee, MSNBC national reporter, and from New Orleans Jason Rogers Williams, City Council president and councilman at large in the New Orleans City Council. Thank you all so much for being here. Councilman, I want to start with you. Ten years after Katrina, what does Black Lives Matter mean in New Orleans? JASON ROGERS WILLIAMS, CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Well, you can turn to the new trial that the officers just got from the Danziger Bridge. There is a large segment of the community, white and black, that feels that the blogging, the inappropriate behavior of the prosecutors has only affected the case involving police officers who harm poor people. It does not affect any other case of any moment, although the prosecutors are doing inappropriate behavior in these other cases. So there`s still certainly a disparity. The Black Lives Matter movement, I believe Katrina was ground zero for that, especially when you think about the fact that there were days when there was simply inaction from local government to national government. MOCK: Tracy, I want to bring you in here. You know, the councilman says that Katrina was ground zero, and you wrote in a piece this week about Katrina in the "New York Times." You wrote, "Given the enduring legacy of discrimination," sorry that was in "New York Times," "on discrimination and segregation in the united states, it is not surprising that millions of black families are forced to live in neighborhoods that are accessible to them precisely because these neighborhoods are at risk." Can you expand on that for us? TRACEY ROSS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, POVERTY TO PROSPERITY PROGRAM: Sure. Well, our country has a legacy of discrimination and limiting neighborhood choice. So, whether it`s 1930s when you saw a redlining where low income people and people of color could not access home loans, or in the 1950s when you see the extension of the highway system literally going through black neighborhoods, destroying businesses and homes in the process. This country has decided that black people can tolerate high poverty neighborhoods and more devastation than other communities. So it really wasn`t surprising to see the effects of Katrina in this way, that, you know, the real story was the levees broke. It wasn`t really even the storm, it was the levees, and it`s because the Lower Ninth Ward had poor infrastructure. So, you know, low-income people, black people, are forced to live in these neighborhoods because they`re less desirable and there is greater investment in white affluent neighborhoods over time. MOCK: And Trymaine, I don`t want us to get lost in this idea that, you know, New Orleans are victims merely, right? That they`re also fierce advocates for their communities. Can you share some of your thoughts around their activism in this space? LEE: I`ll say this. When you speak about resilience and overcome in New Orleans in so many ways has shown just that. But I think the Danziger Bridge illustrates that divide before Katrina, not just in New Orleans, but in this country. I was a police reporter in New Orleans during the storm. And the day of the Danziger Bridge, I was actually at the state there with the police, and I heard a crackle over the radio say, we got five of theirs, none of ours hurt. That five of theirs was that family. Those two people who were killed. And they erupted in cheers. And that speaks volumes about the us and the them, and the way we live in this very segregated world, not just by race and class, but law enforcement and the citizens there sworn to protect. So, when we think about this resilience and what the people of Katrina in New Orleans have been able to overcome, they`ve overcome much but they`re still are burdened with the memories and the trauma of that day. MELBER: And I want to bring back to Councilman Williams. When you think about that and you look at the wider debates that are happening now race relations and policing, there is something in common and something problematic here, which was the reaction to the problems in Katrina was a type of government failure. And we know there are crimes and we know people hurt each other, generally. But there is something more distressing in a democracy when the government`s conduct or omission itself is acting to hurt citizens, and that`s been the same point in the policing context where different cases merit different scrutiny, but the concern that police power, that the power of the government and state has been used against at times citizens. Speak to that and what we`ve learned here in this decade as we think about the kind of government we want to have. WILLIAMS: Sure. When you think about the Danziger Bridge, it really sort of highlights several decades of over policing in certain neighborhoods, abusive policing practices. We`re now under a consent decree, in which the federal government is engaged with the restructuring and redeveloping of our police department because they found there are actually two additional areas that police department could fail that were present in New Orleans that they hadn`t even accounted for in other cities. So, it was a huge problem of really just policing a certain group of people. I`m an attorney. I`ve done a number of criminal defense cases, and you would often hear police officers on the stand say, we were doing proactive patrol in a high-crime area. But when you look at the geographical footprint of New Orleans, it`s a very small city. It`s marbleized. You could be on the same street and have affluent homes, and in a few blocks it turns into poverty. When you`re talking about over policing, you`re talking about an area that is all a high crime area. And so that over policing is manifested in situations where you have raids in housing projects looking for drugs but never having a raid on a college campus where there are just as many drugs. So, those are the sorts of imbalances that you see that can cause a real disconnect between people in the community and law enforcement, and there should not be. MELBER: Stay with us because we`re going to pick up on that point. I also want to mention Trymaine Lee has been reporting on Katrina and its aftermath for as you said, ten years. He has a new exclusive with some material that we want to show from the ground. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: As we reflect on this anniversary, we want to note that ten years ago, MSNBC reporter and a frequent Nerdland guest Trymaine Lee was a reporter back then for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for that newspapers coverage of Katrina and its aftermath. Now, ahead of the anniversary, Trymaine went back to New Orleans, you`re going to see a lot of his reporting this week, now we have a preview. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEE: As the city descended into chaos, General Russell Honore arrived to restore order and organize the evacuation process. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Personal hygiene, one for family. LEE: People who are poor struggling before the storm had it even worse after the storm. People were marginally getting by. That old house that they lived in no longer existed. The job that they had no longer existed. One-and-a-half million people were forced from New Orleans and the gulf coast region after Katrina. Ten years later a number of them have returned, but to a new New Orleans. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Orleans has gone from literally being under water to being one of the fastest growing major cities in America. LEE: Despite Mayor Andrews` proclamation, violent crime, a problem before Katrina, continues to plague certain sections of the city. The public school system has been torn apart and remade into the nation`s first old charter district. And although most of New Orleans` neighborhoods have seen dramatic recovery in the last few years, and the city`s majority block Lower Ninth Ward, the process has been much slower. For every newly rebuilt or restored home, there is another one that`s beyond repair, and tire blocks overgrown with weeds and nearly 100,000 black residents have not returned compared with 11,000 white residents. Of all the things we`ve lost in this storm, what haven`t we gotten back yet? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit of the soul is still missing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOCK: Powerful footage that kind of gives us perspective on what`s going on on the ground. Ten years later, Trymaine, how is New Orleans doing? LEE: New Orleans is struggling, but as I said in the piece, there is indeed a new New Orleans in this push and desire to see it whole again. But while you can patch up what has been broken physically, you can rebuild the superdome and put a nice, shiny roof on it. The scars that are resting in the people have not been properly addressed. I think a lot of folks are struggling with that, people who were forced away by the storm, who have never come back. Or those who have returned to find that their neighborhoods are still in tatters, that their communities are still broken and so many people are still struggling to get by. And I think here we are ten years later still asking these questions and folks are still ducking gunshots, people still dealing with corruption and the police department allegations of such. The consent decree, how are they actually working with the federal government? There, I have talk to a number of police departments and federal government agents around the country and they`re still struggling to meet their standards. And so, what kind of New Orleans are we dealing with ten years later and where are those people dealing with and trying to recover? MOCK: And Tracy, what are the lessons that we learn from Katrina? ROSS: Right. Well, we realize that, you know, a lot of people like to say that storms of this nature are great equalizers. But really they exacerbate the underlying socio-economic problems that our country faces each year because low-income people tend to have inferior housing, disproportionately near hazardous site, often wage workers which has fewer protections if they can`t get back to their job during the storm realize just how vulnerable communities of color are. And I think it`s important to note, because we`ve been talking a lot about low-income communities, but you know, the average African-American family making $100,000 a year lives in a more disadvantaged neighborhood than the average white family making $30,000 a year. So, there really is still a racial disparity that we have to focus on. MELBER: And I want to bring in the councilman. One of the things that Melissa Harris-Perry noted in writing about this was that despite all the coverage, and destruction of this on cable news, the federal government refused to recognize what was happening. This part of the Katrina story cannot be forgotten, she writes with James, video footage does not ensure justice. And we`re in a moment where we`ve heard a lot about the need to elevate issues, to have documentation, to have body cameras. What do you say to that concern? WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I have to say that there have been remarkable efforts into riding the ship. Economic development is booming, retail restaurants are booming, retail, restaurants are booming, people are coming to the city, it`s repopulating at one of the fastest clips in the country, but we still haven`t done enough, just like your other two guests have said. There`s simply so much more to do. We`ve run two-thirds of a marathon. But those last miles, we have to have a new plan with how you`re going to run those that you`re not still living in sort of a triage scenario, but you`ve got to start making real plans to engage all of the residents. So in the midst of this economic boom, wages at the bottom are getting lower and wages at the top are getting higher, so the income disparity is growing even more. Most of the folks that were not able to leave that you just saw in that footage couldn`t leave because they were working poor families that did not have reliable transportation to leave. And so when we start talking about being prepared for another storm, we`re still going to have that same issue because we still have that poverty issue. And this desperate treatment between how the police treat one neighborhood and another neighborhood, it`s a poor issue. It affects poor white neighborhoods more, but it clearly is crushing the poor black neighborhoods. So, we`ve got to figure out a way to get real economic inclusion and that`s what we`re working on now. MELBER: Yes. And I suspect the President is going to talk about that when he heads there this week. Councilman Jason Rogers Williams in New Orleans. Thank you so much and thanks to our guests in New York, Tracy Ross and Trymaine Lee. MOCK: Still to come this morning, Dr. Dre issues an apology even as his film Straight Outta Compton becomes a bonafide hit. But up next, why one musician befriended the clan? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MOCK: Musician Daryl Davis has crossed paths and traded licks with some of the biggest names in rock and soul history. But for the last three decades, the Maryland resident has also been winning over some of the most notorious members of a very different audience, the Ku Klux Klan. Nerdland producers Traci Curry (ph) and Traci Tillman went to his home in Silver Spring to find out why. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DARYL DAVIS, MUSICIAN: My name is Daryl Davis. I`m a musician. I like performing rock and roll, blues, country western, R&B. I pay whatever kind of music I`m paid to play. I never really learned about race as a smaller child. A lot of my youth was spent overseas as an American embassy brat. And I had no idea of what racism was. I don`t think I even knew the word until I had my first racial incident, which was marching with the cub scouts. There was a parade, and as I was marching, the only black scout in this march, a group of white kids and white adults began throwing things. And I was getting hit. It was incomprehensible to someone who knew nothing about me would want to inflict pain upon me for no other reason than this, the color of my skin. So, I formed this question in my mind, how can you hate me when you don`t even know me? As an adult, having never gotten the answer, I decided to seek the answer. I said, I`m going to go right to the Ku Klux Klan and have them tell me. The opportunity, the encounter presented itself. And I was playing in a country western bar. I had just joined this country band in 1983. I was walking across the dance floor and this white gentleman came up from behind and put his arm around my shoulder, and he says, hey, you know, I real like you all`s music. He wanted to buy me a drink. And then he announces that this is the first time he ever sat down or had a drink with a black man. I said why? Tell me. He looked at me plain as day and didn`t crack a smile and said, I`m a member of the Ku Klux Klan. There was his playing card. Whoa, this thing is for real. He was, you know, very fascinated with me and wanted me to call him any time I came back to this bar with this band so he could bring his buddies, his Klan buddies. He came out and would bring Klan men and women to the bar and watch me play. And so, years later I decided, you know, I want to write a book and I want to go around the country and interview Klan leaders and Klan members and get their perspectives. I`ll start right here in Maryland, start with the head of the Maryland`s Klan. He agreed to interview with me. At the end of the interview, he told me to keep in touch. I said, I don`t like what he stands for but I like him as a person. I am going to keep in contact with him. And he would invite me to some Klan rallies, and I would go to these Klan rallies, and I would watch the fight on the cross and they are kinds of things. This went on for a -- of years. We would even have dinner together. So here is the leader of the Klan with his arch enemy, a black man, sitting down at the same table because he was beginning to see me, slowly, as perhaps a human being. And he began inviting me to his house. Over time, Mr. Kelly and I became the best of friends. And he quit the Klan. When he quit the Klan, I got his robe and hood. And when Mr. Kelly left the Klan, the Klan in Maryland fell apart. There have been a couple other Klan groups that tried to start up but none of them successfully. That doesn`t mean that there`s no more racist in the state of Maryland, there`s just no more organized racist organizations. I never set up to convert anybody, even today. But when the first Klansman quit because of me, I thought, I`m on to something. Over time, you know, becoming a friend of mine, they began rethinking their own ideology themselves. And they come to the decision that, you know what? There`s more to this world than being in the Klan. I need to get out. And when they do, usually I`m responsible for it. Some of them give me their robes and hoods and give me different things. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOCK: Our thanks to Daryl Davis and Lared (ph) Music for the music featured in that piece. So, our producers asked Daryl Davis what kind of reaction he`s received from other black people. He says he`s been called every name in the book from Uncle Tom`s sellout. His response, this is what I`ve done to put a dent in racism on how many robes and hoods have you collected? And that tends to shut them up, he says. MELBER: That`s one way to put it. MOCK: Well, I`m helping you that I feel like this piece in this story kind of -- it proves the saying that you can`t hate someone whose story you know. MELBER: Yes, I mean, you see just the images that are so bracing, and obviously people are going to come to a lot of different views of how to deal with it, and that`s a debate in religion that spans thousands of years. When do you turn the other cheek, when do you defend yourself, when do you confront hate? But his story, a story of music and love, I think is a very interesting. It`s one way to do it. It`s fascinating to see it. MOCK: It`s great to see how one can use art in that kind of way. But up next, "Straight Outta Compton" is the biggest film in America. It is both a generating crucial dialogue about police in America and big controversy about the parts left out. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: The highly anticipated film "Straight Outta Compton" which depicts the emergence of the iconic rap group NWA open in theaters last weekend, you probably heard, the Box Office numbers had been pretty astounding, the movie made 60.2 million by the close of that just opening weekend. That`s the fifth highest August opening weekend ever for any kind of movie. And the Box Office tally is set to go well beyond the $100 million mark this weekend. This film which is from MSNBC`s parent company universal we want to mention is doing so well that there are now rumors already a sequel that might track the rise of death row records and the rap phenoms Tupac and Snoop Dogg. Now, there had been many critics of the film including the very important note that the movie didn`t mention group member Dr. Dre`s reported history of abusing women. We`re going to talk more about that in a moment here on MHP. But first, we want to look at some of the movie`s triumphs which are perhaps best summarize by none other than director and screen writer Ava DuVernay who tweeted this after watching Compton. "Damn, they got it right. The brilliant direction and the gorgeous cinematography, I was transported back. I saw the militarized battered rams again rolling up the streets like invaders in a war. My friend asked, is that real? Yep, that happened. I was in the street during the Rodney King uprising," she tweets. "After that unjust verdict, feeling anger, in community, and fire and love happened." Compton really did transport many viewers back to those tense and emotional moments in U.S. History. But it`s powerful depiction of that history also mirrors many things going on right now. A couple of weeks ago, the young actors in the film spoke with Melissa Harris-Perry about their experience of this issue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY": There is no way to watch that scene as if it`s just historical, you have to watch it in the moment that is Ferguson, that is Texas, that is Ohio. How much was that weighing on your minds as you were making it? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heavily. Heavily on our minds. There were days when we shot the Detroit riots, when we shutdown, I think, Lower Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and shot those riots after the Rodney King incident, and we would go home and those images that we were shooting were on the TV. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Those cultural images weighed heavily on a lot of our minds as we were watching the movie. The depiction of NWA members being accosted by police outside their place of business might have drummed up memories of young teens in McKinney, Texas made the life faced down on the ground as an officer answered the call, about that supposed pool disturbance or the depiction of militarized armored vehicles in response to L.A. riots looking eerily similar to militarized policing in Ferguson just last summer. The film conveyed the dynamic is true in 1980s Compton as in Ferguson or Biltmore today, there are systemic problems in policing in race relations that many people in power don`t want to hear about. And forcing those issues into conversation whether it`s through culture or politics or protest can be powerful even as it sparks a backlash in many powerful places. Joining us now to discuss is Joan Morgan, author of "When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down." And Clay Cane, an entertainment editor at Janet and I are very excited to talk to both of you. Let`s start with the way this movie shows, young black men who felt marginalized throughout their lives, stepping up and using music to punch back so powerfully that the police literally arrested them not for any other conduct but for their music. CLAY CANE, BET.COM`S ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: Well, it really was that intersection of interracial justice that we saw with NWA. The NWA managed to tackle -- MELBER: I think we`re having a little trouble with your microphone. Let me go to you, Joan, and we`ll come back to you. Sorry about that. JOAN MORGAN, CULTURAL CRITIC: You know, I absolutely enjoyed the film, and as a native New Yorker and a music critic at the time, what was really interesting about it to me was when Ava says, she was transported back. That`s exactly how I felt in the Movie Theater. I actually saw it around the corner from the Apollo which is where Cube performed his first New York City show. But what was the tension of being put back in the past and have it so adequately mirror the present was eerie in the way that F. Gary Gray was able to capture that. You know, Chuck D. said that hip-hop was black America CNN. And I think what people don`t remember about that particular period of time is that as hip-hop hits, we had no idea what was going on in Los Angeles. Like if you were east coast, you didn`t know what was going on on the West Coast, you didn`t know what was going on in the South. And so, we really had no idea that there was this level of police brutality and that black men were being marked in that way on the West Coast because hip-hop for us was going back to Cali with L. Cool J. MELBER: Right. And the Rodney King video was only an issue because it was created by video. Something that is more privileged now. I want to play another clip from the movie looking at police interactions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These clients of yours, these rappers, they look like gang members. You can`t come down here and arrest people just because of what they look like. Are you crazy? That`s police harassment. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you`re a manager, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not a lawyer. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that matter? You cannot come down here and arrest these guys because they`re black. (END VIDEO CLIP) CANE: Hip-hop was our social media back then, and in many ways, hip-hop was, to some degree, our black twitter back then. And what NWA managed to capture in a way that was threatening, that scared white people, that scared some black people. It was brilliant. And I love the way that F. Gary Gray really found a nuance way to tackle that. And it`s perfect timing. In a way their foot bells station was perfect timing a couple of years ago. This was perfect timing as well. I also think it was very strategic. I think it was a marketing standpoint that we`re going to use the platform the NWA had and show how it`s still relevant today. It really kind of shook my soul how 1988-2015, it just mirrors exactly. And if you go to the 1960s, you can get the same experience. MOCK: And I love what Cube said in the film, he framed his work as reporter, as a journalist. Talking to another journalist I love that kind of push there. Up next, one of the glaring omissions from "Straight Outta Compton." MELBER: And an apology from Dr. Dre himself. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MOCK: "Straight Outta Compton" left many viewers feeling thoroughly entertained, nostalgic for the origins of reality rap. And maybe even jarred by the eerily modern betrayal of police aggression. But it was hard to walk away from the biopic about some of the realist most influential artist in rap history without feeling confused by a glaring emission. "Straight Outta Compton" failed to address Dr. Dre`s physical assault of RNB artist and ex-fiance Michel`le Toussaint, hip-hop journalist Denise Dee Barnes and former labelmate Tairrie B. Many film critic including our guest Clay Cane addressed the film`s narrative, but this week no voice seemed louder than Dean Barnes` says. Here`s a bit of history. Barnes, who was the host of the `90s hip-hop talks show "Pump it Up," interviewed Ice Cube in 1990 after he left the NWA and began feuding with his former colleagues. In a $22 million lawsuit against Dr. Dre in 1991, Barnes alleged the rapper attacked her in a Hollywood club after expressing her anger over an interview with Cube who had insulted NWA. The suit was settled out of court but the history came up again this week after Barnes shared her reaction to watching "Straight Outta Compton." She wrote, "When I was sitting there in the theaters and the movie`s timeline skipped by my attack without a glance, I was like, hmm, what happened? Like many of the women that knew and worked with NWA, I found myself a casualty of "Straight Outta Compton`s" revisionist history. One of the women Dee was referring to is Dr. Dre`s former fiancee Michel`le, the mother of one of his five children. In a recent interview for a Vlad TV, Michel`le was asked to address her absence from the film. She said matter of factually, why would Dre put me in it? Because if they start from where they start from, I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up. This week`s uproar over the film`s emissions ended with an apology from Dr. Dre. Hip-hop`s richest artist gave a statement to the "New York Times" on Friday. It read, in part, "I apologize to the women I`ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives." He continued by saying, "25 years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I`m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again." Well, Dr. Dre`s apology feels like a long-a waited public acknowledgment of the stories Dee, Tairrie and Michel`le have shared for years. It`s important to note that a recognition of Dre`s abusive past almost made it into the movie. And earlier drafted the script including the scene depicting Dr. Dre`s assault of Dee Barnes. But the scene was cut from the final version because Director F. Gary Gray wanted to create a film that focused entirely on the group. Gray also said the script that included the scene was too long running almost three and a half hours. Now, we`re all hip-hop fans here and can appreciate NWA, a group whose lyrics astutely reflected their harsh realities in Compton. But were the harsh tube left out the biopic just a little too real? So, Joan, I want to start with you here. I know that Kenny Meyer (ph) who we had on yesterday challenged the filmmakers during a screening which is what kind of led to this emergence about the omission of Dee Barnes. Why do you think it was not addressed? MORGAN: I think that -- first of all, I wasn`t expecting to see it addressed. I think that one of the things that people forget about that time period is that the ratio of women`s voices was so complete in hip-hop. A lot of what the film portrayed is what it felt like to be around at that time. And I feel like the only way that it could have been addressed is if Dre himself has really dealt with and reckoned with and come to terms with his abuse that actually should have started with an apology to Dee as opposed to the "New York Times," but I`m happy to get whatever we got for sure. But he certainly would have been able to reach out to her now for years. And I think in fairness, I think that he has been struggling with this for years, certainly as a journalist it`s something that I asked him after the incident, and I just feel like in so many cases of -- particularly with black men in highly visible black men and celebrities that their domestic violence is not only unchallenged but it also -- it`s not helped in any way, you know? I saw those actions of being the actions of someone who is also sick and it also needs some help. MELBER: Yes. And you`re hitting such an important point, which is their inability to deal with it, push it out of the film. It`s not because there wasn`t time, it was because this film partly produced by people from NWA then didn`t want to deal with it and now didn`t want to deal with it. And by stifling it in a participatory era when there is pushback from Dee and Gawker on the internet, now he`s apologized because what the movie failed to do in fictionalize history he now is being forced to do, and Apple has to make a statement, too. So, that`s a motto come a progress Clay and yet, this is still a problem in hip-hop. And for people who love hip-hop, why is there this feeling that because we`re talking about something that was marginalized and was sometimes unfairly attacked that there is this view that you can`t deal with things like hip-hop especially in that era should be attacked for. Which is a systemic, lyrical, physical, reality-based problem in its treatment and depiction of women. CANE: That`s a great point. And here`s the thing. You can appreciate an artist and still make them accountable for their actions. That`s a really important point. You can look at an artist and say, I like what they do but they should still be held accountable. In a weird cosmic way, I`m almost happy that the misogyny, what was omitted because it made it a bigger deal. MELBER: Right. CANE: It made it a bigger issue. It made people say, you know what? This must be addressed. Every person that I know that walked in to see Compton, they thought about the misogyny. So, I think that is so powerful. You know, what you decided to ignore it in social media, and black folks said, this will not be ignored. MOCK: And I think about one of the things that struck me when I watched the film was, the one of the first points of interpersonal violence was actually violence struck by Dre`s mother onto him which I found to be an interesting part of the retelling of this history. MELBER: Yes. It is. They had time for that. And so, how do fans Joan because you wrote the book on being the feminist and enjoying and loving hip-hop, how do they reconcile their love of hip-hop with its issues like misogyny and homophobia. MORGAN: Well, you know, NWA impart is responsible for hip-hop feminism certainly my interactions in journalism if -- what gave birth to the concept. They were sort of the lying in the sand where I felt like women had to -- or for myself is a feminist, had to really be the ones responsible from bringing these issues to the table, it`s not only just in journalism but to the culture. And so, I`m grateful for those opportunities. At the same time, I think that, you know, I just want to say something about the scene that was omitted. The way that that scene was framed, Dre -- Dee Barnes throws a drink in his face, and then Dre attacks her, which is fictional. But they use a framing that`s so contemporary like reality TV that basically says, well, she kind of deserved it because she threw a drink in his face. So, and it`s on so many pervasive levels that the screenplay doesn`t want to deal with the misogyny, the audience doesn`t want to deal with the misogyny. The power of hip-hop is that the audience can deal with the misogyny, critics can deal with the misogyny. And we push back to the artist. And I think that that`s just been our job. I mean, I am on the record as saying I found NWA straight up demonic. I had real issues with them when they came out, but they also forced me to create hip-hop feminism, which is an important thing. MELBER: And this idea -- I mean, Ice Cube has also said, oh, I never understood why an upstanding lady would think we`re talking about her in reference to some of these words. Again, this double standard. We wouldn`t say words that are derogatory based on race can just be used and then blame people for thinking it applied to them. Why would we say that about gender? MORGAN: Well, here`s the thing that`s the problem with the film. There are other stories there. Cube`s story with his wife Kim is a beautiful story. He chose a partner that he saw as an intellectual equal, that he felt was a strong voice in his business, and I felt like that story, even telling that story about their relationship would have given the film another dimension. I just think that they did not want to deal with gender at all. Even the stronger images that are there. MOCK: Well, thank you so much, Joan Morgan, and Clay Cane for being a part of this conversation. Much more after this break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MOCK: Americans mark a milestone this week. On Tuesday, the White House hired its first openly trans-staffer. Twenty-eight year old Raffi Freedman-Gurspan was appointed the outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel. She comes from The National Center for Transgender Equality where she worked as a policy advisor on racial and economic justice. But even as we celebrate Raffi`s accomplishment, we must take note of another milestone, a much more somber one reached this past week. The killings of three trans-women were reported over a 24-hour period. Another was killed the following day. Their deaths brings the total of killings of trans-women in America this year to 17, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a number that already exceeds last year`s complete total. Fifteen of the 17 women killed were Black and Latina. The 17 women were Poppy Edwards, she was found shot in a hotel parking lot in Booneville, Kentucky. She was only 20 years old. Lamia Beard, 30- years-old shot in Norfolk, Virginia. Lamia was a musician and loved ones described her as a kind person who would give the shirt of her back. Ty Underwood, 24-years-old. A nursing student who was shot in North Tyler, Texas. Yazmin Vash Payne, 33-years-old. She was stabbed in her Los Angeles apartment. Her boyfriend turned himself in the next day. Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, 36-years-old, she was stabbed in San Francisco. She was active in her church and volunteered at her local food pantry. Her mother recalls her as being, quote, "beautiful inside and out." Penny Proud, 21-years-old was shot multiple times in New Orleans, in what police believe to be a robbery. Kristina Grant Infinite, 46-years-old, the talented performer was found stabbed in her own home in Miami. London Chanel, 21-years-old, she was stabbed in Philadelphia. Her roommate confessed to the crime. Mercedes Williamson, 17-years-old, her body was found buried in Rocky Creek, Alabama. Mercedes aspired to be a cosmetologist. Ashton O`Hara, 25-years-old, she was found stabbed and run over by a car in a Detroit Park. Amber Monroe, 20-years-old, she was shot in the same Detroit park at O`Hara, just two weeks later. Friends describe Amber as charismatic and outgoing. She loved to dance. India Clarke, 25-years-old, she was found beaten to death in a Tampa, Florida park. Loved ones remember her as a loving, confident and happy person. K.C. Haggard, 66-years-old. She was stabbed on the street in Fresno, California. She was just becoming active in her local trans- community. Shade Schuler, 22-years-old, her body was found in a filled in Dallas. Kandis Capri, 35-years-old, she was shot in Phoenix. Her mother remembers her as a beautiful loving person. Elisha Walker, 20-years-old, she was missing for almost a year before her body was found in Johnston County, North Carolina, last week. Tamara Dominguez, 36-years-old, she was run over by a driver repeatedly in Kansas City. Loved ones who called her sweet and generous, and they said she loved to cook. These women are more than just a compilation of names and ages and stories of violence and trauma. They were people. People living at a vulnerable intersection of race, gender and class, people existing in a culture where they fell in between the cracks of racial justice, feminists and LGBT movements. People whose names are only spoken by the majority of us when they can no longer respond. Today, we learn their stories and say their names, not out of obligation, but out of recognition that these 17 women had value, had purpose, and were loved. And they will be missed. And that is our program for today. And Melissa will be back next week. In the meantime, you can catch my online program "So Popular" at MELBER: This was very fun and an honor to do with you. MOCK: It was so great. MELBER: I know we`ll be having you back. And if you want to see some pictures of us on the set here from this weekend, you can always follow me on Instagram @AriMelber or Janet Mock @ JanetMock. For everyone at MHP, thanks for joining us. And coming up is "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END