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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/17/15

Guests: Julian Zelizer, Julius Jones, Daunasia Yancey

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Nina Turner, Jonathan Alter, thank you both. That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now with the one and only Melissa Harris-Perry in for Rachel. Good evening, Melissa. MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Rachel has the night off but she`ll be back tomorrow. Let`s start with what seems to be the clearest and oddest truth of our political moment. Donald Trump is winning. And I`m not really talking about the fact that Trump is leading in the polls -- I mean that Donald Trump is winning big. Let me -- let me suggest another idea. Mr. Trump may win even if he fails to secure the Republican nomination and never successfully captures 270 electoral votes. How? Well, to answer that, we must consult Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, I`m not making reference here to "Titanic" hubris headed for inevitable demise. Instead, think of DiCaprio in the mind-bending film "Inception", because in that film, DiCaprio plays a crafty mind hacker capable of planting a seed of an idea deep into a person`s mind and then watching the extraordinary havoc that such an inception can cause. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: When we`re asleep, our mind can do almost anything. We create and perceive our world simultaneously and our mind does this so well that we don`t even know what`s happening. That allows us to get right in the middle of that process. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How? DICAPRIO: By taking over the creating part. Now this is where I need you. You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into that dream and they fill it with their subconscious. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it`s reality? DICAPRIO: Well, dreams, they feel real while we here in them, right. It`s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: And that is why Donald Trump is winning, because whether or not he actually becomes the president of the United States seems to be less important than the fact that he is injecting a set of very specific ideas deep into our nation`s political consciousness. And from those speeds have spouted a whole Trump forest that is the current landscape of our political debate. Now, we`ve seen him do it before. Remember 2011 and the birther movement, the ignoble nugget of an idea that somehow President Obama was not legitimate, somehow foreign, maybe not even born here? Remember how that idea took root in the American mind when Donald Trump decided to take it up as his great cause? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENUER: If you are going to be the president of the United States, you have to be born in this country and there is a doubt as to whether or not he was born here. You are not allowed to be a president if you were not born here. He may not have been born in this country. I want him to show his birth certificate. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why? TRUMP: There`s something on that birth certificate that he doesn`t like. Why can`t he produce a birth certificate? (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Look, initially the president treated Donald Trump as a punch line after that birther crusade, but despite all the assertions by legitimate sources that this idea had no basis, birtherism had an effect. It did not go unnoticed. By April 2011, President Obama felt the sideshow had gone on long enough and released a long form version of his birth certificate complete with a press conference in the White House briefing room. Inception. Now, we`re in 2015, supposedly awake from that nightmare, but Donald Trump is still getting asked about it. And still nurturing that little idea he helped to water. Here he is yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: Do you believe President Obama is a citizen who is born in the United States? TRUMP: Well, I don`t like talking about it anymore because honestly I have my own feelings. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: I have my own feelings. I mean, whether or not you believe Donald Trump can, in fact, win the Republican nomination, it`s getting increasingly hard to ignore one thing -- he`s introducing ideas into the 2016 race and ideas matter. Trump`s newest big idea? The first formal proposal of his campaign? A detailed -- let`s call it immigration reform plan. One spelled out in a 1,900-word policy paper. Among his ideas, have the Mexican government pay for a giant wall that would prevent its citizens from coming into the United States. He also wants to greatly reduce the number of visas and green cards issued to non- citizens. But the idea that`s really getting a lot of attention is his plan to upend the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, by eliminating American citizenship for children born in the United States if their parents are in the country without legal documentation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: The one big thing that will jump out that a lot of the Hispanics will be upset about, you want to get rid of birth right citizenship. TRUMP: You have to get rid of it, yes. You have to. What they`re doing, they`re having a baby and all of a sudden, nobody knows -- TODD: You believe they`re trying to do this for coming here? (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: You have no choice. Let me tell you, when we have some good people -- we have some very good people here, we have a lot of really good people. They`re illegal. You either have a country or not. TODD: Get rid of birth right citizenship? TRUMP: They go out and we`re going to try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: So after planting the idea that undermining the 14th Amendment is no big deal, he goes on to say this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: What do you do about DACA? TRUMP: You know the word expedited? TODD: I do, yes. TRUMP: Expedited. TODD: What do you do about the DACA order now, where you`ve had of this grant for the DREAM Act, however you want to refer to it, the executive order that the president -- that is -- TRUMP: The executive order getting rescinded. TODD: You`ll rescind that one, too? TRUMP: One good thing about -- TODD: You`d rescind the DREAM Act executive order, DACA? TRUMP: We have to make a whole new set of standards, and when people come in, they have to -- TODD: So, you`re going to split up families? You`re going to deport children? TRUMP: Chuck -- no, no, we`re going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together. But they have to go. TODD: But you`re going to keep them together out? TRUMP: But they have to go. TODD: What if they have no place to go? TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, you either have a country or we don`t have a country. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: And what Donald Trump is proposing there is unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment established in 1868 that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States. But somehow this idea, no matter how radical, no matter how constitutional it may be has begun to be articulated by other candidates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a child is born here from illegal immigrant parents, they become citizens right now. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, of course, our Constitution has said over the course of time that that`s the case. What I`ve said recently is that has to be something that is discussed in the course of an entire reform package. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: So you`ve got a candidate that wants to talk about getting rid of birth right citizenship. But Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would take it a step further. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASIE HUNT, MSNBC REPORTER: Do you think that birthright citizenship should be ended? GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, like I said, Harry Reid says it`s not right for this country. I think that`s something we should -- yes. Absolutely going forward. HUNT: We should end birth right citizenship? WALKER: Yes. To me, it`s about enforcing the laws in this country and to make it clear, I think you enforce the laws and it`s important to send a message that we`ll enforce the laws no matter how people come here, we need to uphold the law in this country. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, Governor Walker, Mr. Reasonable essentially defending Donald Trump`s stance on immigration reform. There`s a lot of focus on Mr. Trump`s standing in the national polls. But we may be looking in the wrong place for his influence, because his effect may have less to do with his candidacy and more to do with his ideas, which are now the field on which every other candidate seems to be plague. Joining us now is Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and author of the new book, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress and the Battle for the Great Society." Julian, so nice to have you here tonight. JULIAN ZELIZER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me. HARRIS-PERRY: So talk to me about this possibility of inception. I just -- you know, the idea that ideas in fact that matter and that Trump`s biggest influence may be in somehow injecting a set of ideas we have to talk about. ZELIZER: Well, that`s right. One scenario is he wins and he is the nominee. And that`s one thing we`re looking for. But the other is he is saying things that resonate with part of the Republican electorate. He`s often going to uglier edge of American politics and he`s forcing other candidates to respond to him often to mimic what he`s saying. And just as important, the ideas start to circulate in the electorate and all of a sudden, you hear these kinds of statements and they`re part of reasonable discussion for Republican voters. HARRIS-PERRY: I`m wonder if as a historian, if we`ve seen this happen before where a candidate doesn`t win the nomination or win the presidency but nonetheless it is his ideas or her ideas that become sort of the standard fare for the campaign itself ZELIZER: Many times. You can remember when Ross Perot as a third party candidate brought deficit reduction as this big issue in 1992. And said we have to focus on this. Both candidates scrambled to do that. Patrick Buchanan in 1992 ran for the Republican primary, lost but he put forth the cultural war issues and said the GOP has to talk about them and forced Bush to talk about them as well. In `76, Ronald Reagan took on Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries. He lost but he shattered the idea that detente with the Soviet Union was a legitimate form of policy. HARRIS-PERRY: I feel like -- you know, so most of those examples coming from an ideological perspective on the right. But, you know, I feel like, OK, I saw this happen, for example, with Jesse Jackson when he ran in `84 and `88 pushing the Democratic Party to the left. Not everybody who`s running is running to be president. Sometimes people are running to inject ideas. Should we potentially see that as a value in a democracy? ZELIZER: Sure, there is a virtue. Look, Howard Dean brought the war in Iraq in 2004 to the Democratic primaries when many Democrats didn`t want to talk about that. Eugene McCarthy forced the Democrats to reckon with Vietnam in 1968 when the party leaders didn`t want to talk about it. So, there can be a positive aspect. But that`s not the kind of issue I think right now that Donald Trump is playing to. There`s a dangerous element of some of the things he`s discussing. HARRIS-PERRY: You know, in the -- if we take the metaphor all the way out, the thing that keeps a person in a dream, from falling into the dream is they have a talisman, something that tells them "oh, you`re not in the real world here." I keep feeling like we have lost the ability in our public discourse to adjudicate empirical claims to be able to say, look, there just isn`t what the immigration problem is. That isn`t -- the birtherism just isn`t a real thing. And across ideological lines to be able to have a talisman that says "I`m sorry, that`s not true." ZELIZER: I think you`re right. Look, you know, there`s parts of our communication or media like the Internet that spreads rumors or spread statements so rapidly, it`s impossible to check them. There`s no centralized mechanism for talking about what candidates say so people can say anything. That`s what Trump is savvy in understanding, say it enough times people will believe it or they`ll be talking about it. And it`s very hard to take it back. You can`t correct it on the front page of a newspaper. It`s too late. So we`re in an era of media, I think, and politics and politicians are willing to push boundaries of saying what isn`t fact and just spreading fiction. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s fascinating to watch this all happening and a little bit horror movie-ish. Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University -- thank you for your time tonight. Now, there`s lots more ahead tonight including the only in America phenomenon that is the Iowa state fair come presidential election time. Plus, we have exclusive video of activists taking their case to Hillary Clinton. Video that hasn`t been seen anywhere else. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Still ahead, video you have not seen anywhere else that you will see for the very first time right here. Last week, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was confronted on the campaign trail by Black Lives Matter organizers. It happened during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton met privately with those activists after her event and the tape of the private meeting has not yet been released, but we have it here tonight, along with the activists who confronted Ms. Clinton at that event. And that`s coming up. So, stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Where did you spend your weekend? Lots of families snuck in a last gasp of summer vacation before the kids head back to school in coming weeks. But it was not a time for rest if you`re running for president. Republican and Democratic candidates for president traveled to Iowa this weekend for the annual Iowa state fair. And not to ride the Ferris wheel, they were there to work. Checking out their standing in the totally unscientific cast your kernel poll, giving their stump speech atop a traditional "Des Moines Register" soapbox, wearing aprons and grilling up pork burgers for the sweaty and hungry fair goers, and, of course, checking out the 600-pound cow sculpture made entirely of butter. Iowa is the first state in the nation to vote in the presidential primaries and they elect their candidates through a wild and wonderful caucus system. That`s not happening for months now, but the Iowa state fair this week presents a great opportunity for candidates to show how great they are at retail politics -- shaking hands, holding babies, munching on such delicacies as fried butter or pork chop on a stick. With yummy great zeal. Joining us from the Iowa state fair is MSNBC political correspondent, Kasie Hunt. Kasie, thank you for your time. KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Melissa, great to see you. HARRIS-PERRY: I know Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker`s speech today at the fair was interrupted by some pro-union protesters. And this kind of comes at this time when his poll numbers in Iowa are on decline. So, you`ve been on the ground there. Tell us, what are folks saying about Governor Walker? HUNT: Well, Melissa, of all of the candidates I`ve seen so far -- and I`ve been here since last Thursday, if that gives you a sense of how much fried foods I`ve managed to consume in the last 72 hours or so. But I will say that of all the candidates I`ve seen, the situation with Walker was definitely the most tense. He has this pretty intense group of protesters that follow him from event to event, a lot of these people were bussed in, but he was the only person who stood up there and had a really aggressive confrontation. There was a guy right in the front row and I was standing right behind Walker as he did it and Walker said, "You know, I refuse to be intimidated." And the scrum of reporters that followed Walker after that was also pretty tense the way they had planned to maneuver him through the fair didn`t work 100 percent well, and there were a lot of people who were trying to get clarification on his comments about saying his immigration plan was very similar to Donald Trump`s earlier in the day. So, I think the visit overall was a little bit more tense for him. Now, he did manage to avoid all of the Trump-mania simply by showing up on Monday instead of over the weekend. HARRIS-PERRY: So, Kasie, you just talked about having that conversation around immigration. You did get a moment to have a conversation with Governor Walker there. Let`s take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: Do you think birth right citizenship should be ended? WALKER: Like I said, Harry Reid said it`s not right for this country. I think that`s something we should -- yes, absolutely, going forward. HUNT: We should end birth right citizenship? WALKER: Yes, to me, it`s about enforcing the laws in this country. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: So, what do you make of that? HUNT: Well, Melissa, this was a question he was asked repeatedly today. His campaign says his position on birth right citizenship is that we need to pass immigration reform first and the problem will be solved. But I think it`s pretty clear there that he had understood the question and said what he believes that ultimately birthright citizenship should be ended. And I think that what that shows you is the affect Donald Trump is having on the Republican field. It was pretty clear that Walker has absorbed what Trump has put out there in saying this among other things. Now, Walker wouldn`t go so far as to say he thinks that children of undocumented immigrants, DREAMers, should be deported. He dodged that question pretty specifically. But this is certainly a new place for him in the Republican field, and Hillary Clinton has already put out a statement criticizing him for it. It`s something that could haunt him through the general election shout he become the Republican nominee. HARRIS-PERRY: When you say Hillary Clinton and haunt while standing in Iowa, undoubtedly she is still haunted by that third-place finish back in 2008. I`m wondering whether or not you`ve seen a new strategy this time around and if you think it would be more effective? HUNT: You know, one person who outlined the idea that she has a new strategy over the weekend was Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Now, he stayed neutral in 2008, he didn`t endorse Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. He`s endorsed late sometimes in previous caucus years but he`s come out strongly for Hillary. And he was asked this question when she was speaking to reporters and he said, you know what, this campaign I`ve seen from Hillary Clinton is frankly a different one than I saw last time. He said she`s more personally engaged than she was in 2008 and he was very frank in acknowledging that she had made mistakes the previous time around but that this time he felt as though she was taking Iowa more seriously in a different way. Now, of course, it`s hard for her to negotiate the sort of details of this caucus process in part because she has Secret Service protection. And that just makes it more difficult to get up close and personal with voters. And the Secret Service agents do the best they can, but at the end of the day, that just makes it more limiting for her. In some ways she can hide behind it if she wants to. But it does seem as though when she came here, she was looking for authenticity. She`s looking to actually spend some time with voters and, you know, that`s more difficult than it is for some of the other candidates. HARRIS-PERRY: MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, I will tell you my very favorite fried fair food is fried Oreos. I know it sounds crazy, but they`re so good. HUNT: I completely agree with you. We are 100 percent -- we are 100 percent there. HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks so much for your time tonight. HUNT: Thanks, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: And ahead, a first look at what happens when the movement comes to a candidate, specifically to candidate Hillary Clinton. We have exclusive video just ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Throughout the early stages of this 2016 presidential campaign, the single greatest scramble has been following Donald Trump. No candidate has drawn nearly as much press or generated nearly as much news. It`s not even close. Today, while much of the focus should have been in Iowa at the state fair where hopefuls were getting familiar with various foods on sticks, a lot of beltway media. They were dispatched here to New York. There`s no Lower Manhattan primary and there`s no Wall Street fair. They were in town today because Donald Trump was serving jury duty. That is the story of the day. Between telling children he`s Batman on Saturday and tweeting how much he enjoys Rush Limbaugh, this afternoon, Donald J. Trump showed up for jury duty. Even Trump gets the old slip in the mail and while I`m sure that he like most people was not enthused about having to break off from his campaign, he did it anyway. See, there`s a reason it`s called jury "duty" not jury "favor to the state." One of the keys to our criminal justice system this idea that a jury of your peers ought to actually include your peers. And right now as we are in the midst of a Black Lives Matter movement which was in many ways prompted not just by the shooting and choking deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but by the grand jury decisions that felt so incongruous with what people had in some cases seen on video this idea of an objective third party, a jury, considering the evidence and rendering a fair decision is central to our American sense of justice. If you look at history, one of the great examples of a miscarriage of justice is in the Jim Crow era in the U.S. where African-American defendants were so often found guilty by all white juries. But today, right now, 50 years after the voting rights act enfranchised African-Americans and gives black people the right to choose their elected officials we see the "New York Times" reporting in some of the same parts of the country where voting rights have been a central struggle, there appears to be a system of racial exclusion when it comes to selecting jurors. Including stories like this one of a Louisiana parish that is nearly 50 percent African-American, where a recent study shows that 83 percent of defendants were black. The average 12-person jury had fewer than four black people on it. And counties in Alabama were 82 percent of eligible black potential jurors had been dismissed from trials that ended with a death sentence -- and on and on and on. So, maybe Donald Trump`s serving jury duty is not the most important jury duty story out there right now. But even the Donald who doesn`t always bother to vote, even he sees the civic importance of showing up for jury duty, and maybe with a caravan of reporters covering Trump not being selected as a juror, we can take time to look around at who else isn`t being chosen and ask -- why? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: This was the scene in November, 2008. Long lines across the country as a record number of Americans turned out to cast their ballot for president. More than 130 million people voted that year. They achieved a historic feat. Americans elected Senator Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States. It was a coalition where young voters played a crucial role in where African-American and Latino voters flex their electoral muscle in ways never seen before. Black women recorded the highest voter turnout of any race/gender category. In 2012 that same coalition that same group of voters turned out again in even higher numbers and they re-elected President Obama even in the face of a variety of voting restrictions that took effect that year. These are the triumphs that allow the president to note with some humor that he won both elections but it`s important to note those other contests that took place between those years, 2010 and 2014, those midterms tell a very different story. In those midterms, the winning Obama coalition of young voters and voters of color and women were much less likely to show up at the polls. And those two midterm elections were brutal for Democrats. Democrats lost control of the House and Senate. Republicans engineered a massive takeover of state houses. When the Obama coalition stays home -- well, you can see what happens. And that`s the recent electoral history that is staring Democrats in the face this time in 2016. If they want to recapture the White House, they need 2016 to be more like 2008, not like 2010. They need young people and black people and Latinos and women of color to show up and show out in order to put them into office. But here`s one of the big differences between 2016 and 2008. Right now, the most consequential movement of young people of color in America is not a movement to elect a particular candidate. It`s a movement to insist that black lives matter and to hold every candidate accountable to proposed policies that articulate the same. Black Lives Matter is an independent movement untethered from particular parties or personalities and it`s here on the national stage to challenge those who want blacks votes and get which party already needs black votes. Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley were confronted by activists at Netroots Nation and they challenged senator sanders last weekend when he appeared at a political event in downtown Seattle. And just last week, it was Hillary Clinton`s turn. She was confronted by Black Lives Matter activists during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Those activists that planned to disrupt her event, but when they arrived they were not allowed inside because the venue was already at capacity. They were sent to an overflow room to watch the event. The Clinton campaign then arranged for those activists to meet with Secretary Clinton privately. When it was over they met with Hillary Clinton for about 15 minutes after the event and spoke with her one on one, in part about some of the policies of president bill Clinton`s administration that are implicated in the dramatic increase in mass incarceration during the years he was president. It was a conversation that was direct and at times was tense. And the tape of that conversation has not yet been released to the public but we`re going to show you an excerpt of it right now. Take a look. This is what took place after that event in New Hampshire. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You and your family have been personally and politically responsible for policies that have caused health and human services disasters in impoverished communities of color with the domestic and international war on drugs that you championed as first lady and secretary of state. So, I just want to know how you feel about your goal on that violence and how you plan to reverse it. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, I feel strongly which is why I had this town hall today and, you know, the questions and comments from people illustrated. There`s a lot of concern that we need to rethink and redo what we did in response to a different set of problems. And, you know, in life, in politics, in government, you name it, you`ve got to be constantly asking yourself, is this working? Is it not? And if it`s not what do we do better? And that`s why I`m trying to do now on drugs, on mass incarceration police behavior and criminal justice reform because I do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the `80s and the early `90s. And now, I believe we have to look at the world as it is today and try to figure out what work now. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I genuinely want to know, you, Hillary Clinton, have been in no uncertain way partially responsible for us, more than most, right? Now, they may have been unintended consequences, but now that you understand the consequences, what in your heart has changed that`s going to change the direction of this country? And what in you not what you`re supposed to say, how do you actually feel that`s different than you did before? Like what were the mistakes? And how can those mistakes that you made be lessons for all of America for a moment of reflection on how we treat black people in this country? CLINTON: Well -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to -- and I apologize in -- we have -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would really love to allow her to answer this question. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not stopping. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve worked really hard. We`ve driven so many hours. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not stopping you. I`m just letting you guys know, we`ve got a couple more minutes. We`ve got more people in the overflow. I`m not interrupting what you`re about to say, I want to give you a heads up on timing. CLINTON: Well, obviously it`s a very thoughtful question and it deserves a thoughtful answer. And I can only tell you that I feel very committed to and responsible for doing whatever I can. I have spent more than most of my adult life focused on kids through children`s defense fund and other efforts to try to give kids, particularly poor kids, particularly black kids and Hispanic kids the same chance to live up to their own God-given potential as any other kid. That`s where I`ve been focused. And I think that there has to be a reckoning, I agree with that. But I also think there has to be some positive vision and plan that you can move people toward. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Well, that was last week in New Hampshire and those activists were from Massachusetts chapters of Black Lives Matter. And they join us here tonight. Daunasia Yancey is the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in Boston, and Julius Jones is the leading organizer for Black Lives Matter in Worcester. Thank you for being here. Now, first of all, thanks for sharing the video with us. I think it`s important in a democracy to see how candidates respond. How are you feeling about that encounter or what are you thinking about that encounter? How did you come away from it in terms of your impression of Mrs. Clinton? JULIUS JONES, BLACK LIVES MATTER WORCESTER, MA ORGANIZER: I feel as if the encounter was good. It moves a conversation about race in the United States to a newer and deeper level. In other parts of the video, she goes on to talk about how she doesn`t actually believe that you can change hearts in the United States and that the way to effect change is through systemic change. And at the same time, she was also ducking personal responsibility for the role that her and her family played in it, too. So, it was I think a moment of reflection for her to say that she doesn`t actually feel like you can move this issue forward other than through policy, even though the policy mistakes that she and the Clintons made got us in large degree in the situation we are in today with mass incarceration. HARRIS-PERRY: Part of what I`m wondering is what the right answer looks like. That`s a bit of an unfair question because it wasn`t like you were playing a gotcha where there`s one right answer. We`ve seen Black Lives Matter activists showed up to candidates a couple of times. And I guess part of what I`m wondering is, so what looks like an encounter that is accountable, that is sort of recognizing the position that the movement is in at this point? DAUNASIA YANCEY, BLACK LIVES MATTER BOSTON ORGANIZER: Well, what we`re looking for from Hillary Clinton is a personal reflection on her responsibility for being part of the cause of this problem that we have today in mass incarceration. And so, her response really targeting on policy wasn`t sufficient for us. HARRIS-PERRY: If President Obama were running for reelection, if it were his second term as opposed to him finishing, would you be making the same kinds of challenges of President Obama? YANCEY: Absolutely. JONES: Certainly. YANCEY: I would say that all the presidential candidate this is year can definitely expect to be challenged on this issue and absolutely Obama would be as well. HARRIS-PERRY: So part of the reason I`m asking that is some folks watching it through social media are saying, well, why would you go after Democrats? These are the folks who are -- whatever your gripe with them, their better on these issues than the alternative would be. And this particularly I think has been emerging around Bernie Sanders. Bernie`s the good guy, don`t mess with Bernie. What do you say to that? JONES: I think the rage that emerged out of the progressive liberal reaction to some of the shutdowns was indicative of this covert anti- blackness that exists in the Democratic Party. And it`s important to say that there`s a new kind of leadership that`s emerging with the Black Lives Matter movement that`s not wed to the Democratic Party. And what ended up happening was people were perfectly willing to throw two black women under the bus for a white candidate who is the man with the fastest-rising privilege in the United States. He`s drawing huge crowds and because Bernie Sanders couldn`t speak, they were telling Black Lives Matter to not speak to allow him. And it seemed like a disconnect to me because we as African-Americans in the Black Lives Matter movement are Americans. And political engagement is what it seems like folks are always asking of the black community. And then when it comes if it don`t come the way they want it, it`s sit back down, sister. HARRIS-PERRY: It`s been one of the most fascinating and just from a kind of journalistic perspective, enjoyable or pleasurable aspects of watching this movement, has been an absolute insistence that you won`t play respectability politics. Like -- and that`s the frame work of so much of civil rights and anti-racism movements before this moment. Is that a strategic choice? Is it just sort of born of the moment? Is it part of the conversations that you have together as you are working on strategy? YANCEY: It absolutely is strategic. And it also is just the way that we`re going to get free. We understand that we have to work the margins and we have to take everyone with us, because if you take the folks that are in the -- on the sidelines and then everyone can excel. HARRIS-PERRY: What do you hope to see from Hillary Clinton going forward after this encounter? JONES: Hillary Clinton has a unique responsibility in the role in mass incarceration. The divestment that we saw from the urban housing program, from HUD, they divested $17 billion and then they also invested $19 billion in prison construction. That happened under the Clinton administration. And so, what we`d like to see from the Clinton campaign is an intentionality in how she deals with that, because right now, she`s talking around it. There needs to be some ownership and hopefully there can be some national ownership of that -- of the fact that there`s white violence that occurs against the black community and in large part and this we need to reverse that stream of funding from prisons back into low income communities, especially black communities. HARRIS-PERRY: Julius Jones, Daunasia Yancey, thank you for joining us and letting us see the tape and thank you most importantly for doing the work of democracy. Far from the campaign trail, the campaign rumors surrounding him, Vice President Joe Biden did something lovely this weekend. That`s ahead. You`re not going to want to miss it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: I was driving back this weekend from my family vacation in Florida and my family and I saw this along the highway. Yes. People flying the confederate flags from their trucks. Turns out, there were hundreds of people driving around in a confederate flag rally in Plantation, Florida. And look at this. This comes from the local newspaper, "The Sun- Sentinel." You can see the confederate flag wavers and behind them check out the confederate flag protesters. "god hates flags." Sometimes the best response is a perfect punch line. Tonight, we`re celebrating a great champion of laughter in the service of justice and that story is just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Vice President Joe Biden has been in the news a lot in recent days about whether or not he`ll make a bid for the presidency. But Joe Biden was far from the spectacle of presidential campaigning this weekend, he was in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The vice president was there to speak at a memorial service for the five servicemen killed in last month`s shooting rampage in a pair of military facilities, the tragedy that has moved off the front page but still moves the vice president. Having survived what seems like more than his fair share of personal loss and grief, Biden has earned a reputation over the years for his ability to deliver moving and memorable tributes in the midst of great sadness. And while he visited privately with families in Charleston, South Carolina, after the horrific massacre at Mother Emanuel Church, this weekend marked the first time that Joe Biden has stepped publicly into that role since his lost his son Beau to brain cancer some three months ago. That personal loss made the speech particularly powerful. He said that he did not know the five servicemen who were killed personally and yet he said he did know them. Quote, "They were my son." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I also know that there`s nothing that moment that can fill that deep black hole, that open wound of losing your son, your husband, your brother, your father. Nothing can replace the son as he walked away and turned to smile at you and lit up your life, literally lit up your life just smiling at you. Made you realize how worthwhile life was. Or the husband who knew your fears before you expressed them, whose gentle hand could soothe them away, the dad who tucked you in at night, just touched your face, made you feel so secure. The brother who always, always, always had your back. And the day will come as hard as it is to believe, when his memory brings a smile to your lips before a tear to your eyes. It takes time. My experience, it takes getting through every season at least once. But it will come. It will come. And that`s when you know you`ll be all right. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Vice President Joe Biden at Saturday`s memorial service in Chattanooga for the five service men killed there last month. The city is planning a benefit concert for the families next month, and the officials announced today that Samuel L. Jackson, who grew up in Chattanooga, will emcee that event. There`s more ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: The oldest-living American veteran passed away today. Emma Didlake joined the Women`s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943 in World War II. She had five children at just 38 years old. Didlake held the rank of private and served for seven months stateside as a driver, a proud African- American soldier from the segregated south. Last month, she met with President Obama in the Oval Office where he thanked her personally for her service. Now, we remember the people who took part in that war as the greatest generation. It`s an honor that is well-known. Their heroism and sacrifice are justly celebrated. But the idea of the greatest generation can apply to other fights as well. And this weekend we lost the veteran of another battle, the battle for civil rights. Julian Bond, a founding member of the Student Non- violent Coordinating Committee or SNCC. He was an activist for all, a writer, a poet, a politician, a professor and he was a part of the civil rights generation which for me African-American community is easily understood as our greatest generation. Julian Bond is not an icon or a hero in some basic sense. He was a flesh and blood person, a man, who was funny and imperfect and self deprecating. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JULIAN BOND, CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I guess that many of you are probably wondering why a Georgia state senator is hosting a television comedy show. Frankly, ever since I came up here, I`ve been wondering about it myself. I had hoped that the people knew that that was my record, too, as an anti-war and civil rights activist, and as a person for nearly 20 years has tried to stand up for the underprivileged and unrepresented, I thought they may have known that I was the first black to have his name placed in nomination for vice president at the `68 convention in Chicago. I was sure they remembered my work in voter registration in the South. After I realized the time and the talent that goes into putting this effort together every week, I realized there was much more to it than my memories of yesterday or the common hopes and dreams that all of us share for the future. There was much, much more. These people had me come all the way up here from Atlanta to, to be their chocolate Easter bunny. (LAUGHTER & APPLAUSE) And I am. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Julian Bond was the first black political figure to host "Saturday Night Live." He joked about his resume, but it really was impressive. He gained national prominence with his speech in the national Democratic Convention in 1968 when he called for peace and freedom in a time of chaos and oppression. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOND: 1968 is a year of people, students and teachers, black and white, workers and housewives. All over the world people want to be free to speak, to move about, free to protest, free to be heard, free to live honorable lives, and most of all, free to participate in the politics which affect their lives. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Julian Bond served in the Georgia state legislature from the late 1960s until 1986. It was in `86 when he decided to try for Congress, and he ran against his former colleague from his SNCC days, John Lewis. In that fight, the old friends became bitter rivals and John Lewis was quoted as saying, "He`s a taillight rather than a headlight. There`s nothing he ever took the initiative on." Ouch, who makes John Lewis mad. But Congressman Lewis won that race and currently holds the seat and Lewis and Bond eventually healed the wounds of that campaign. But their rivalry reminds us, that the battle is always contested even by those on the same side. The stakes are high. Bond went on to teach at top universities. He co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, he became and held the role of chairman of the NAACP. And throughout his life, continued to broaden and extend the reach of what it even meant to talk about civil rights. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOND: My name is Julian Bond. As chairman emeritus of the NAACP, I know a little something about fighting for what`s right and just. Gay and lesbian couples have the same rights as everyone else, love, commitment and stable families. They should have the same right to marry as the rest of us. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: When people pass away, we have a tendency to put them on a pedestal, to make them perfect instead of human, but Julian Bond does not belong on a pedestal. He belongs where he always loved to be best -- among the people. My father-in-law is particularly fond of quoting a very human poem written by Julian Bond. It was written in response to the sometimes irritating questions posed by white. Well, why can`t more black people just be like you? The title of the poem, "Look At That Girl" and it goes like this: Look at that girl shake that thing. We can`t all be Martin Luther King. Julian Bond died this weekend at the age of 75. He will be remembered as someone who won some and lost some, who was multifaceted and gifted, handsome and funny. A hero, yes, but more importantly, a real person -- a man loved by his family and beloved by his community. And I am grateful for his life. And that does it for us tonight. Rachel will be back here tomorrow. You can watch me on my own show, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" here on MSNBC, weekend mornings at 10:00 a.m., and you can follow us on Twitter @MHPShow. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END