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Transcript: The ReidOut, 7/5/21

Guests: J.R. Gaillot, Ibram X. Kendi, Mia Bloom, Susan Del Percio, Eugene Daniels

Summary

Donald Trump continues to push election lies at his rallies. How much of a grip do QAnon beliefs have on the Republican Party? Haiti faces a severe shortage of COVID vaccines, a wave of criminal violence in its capital city, and yet another tropical storm, all ahead of crucial elections in September.

Transcript

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone.

Yes, I know what time it is. We know it`s 6:00 on the East Coast. But we have got a lot to get to in the next not one, but two hours.

We begin tonight with a nation divided. On one side, we have President Biden calling for unity and championing the country`s progress on beating the pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, all across this nation, we can say with confidence, America is coming back together.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: History tells us, when we stand together, when we unite in common cause, when we see ourselves not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans, then there`s simply no limit to what we can achieve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: And then, on the other side, there`s Florida man still holding his MAGA cult rallies and spreading the big lie about the election. Now, we`re not going to play what he said, not just because it`s really frankly sad how much of a sore loser he is, but because his claims are downright dangerous at this point.

He knows exactly what he`s doing, riling up his supporters, and then giving them hope that somehow he will magically come back into office, which is never going to happen. And he`s gone even further than usual in the past week, asking the medicine question, who killed Ashli Babbitt, putting the officer who shot Babbitt as she attempted to breach the doors leading to the speaker`s lobby, where congressional staffers were cowering in terror, putting that officer in danger.

That officer has been cleared of all wrongdoing. But it`s the latest line that Republicans like Paul Gosar are trying during congressional hearings that are supposed to be focusing on our national security.

It`s pretty obvious that Republicans are doing everything they can to show loyalty to the mango Mussolini and not to their country. And it`s not just the ones currently in office. "The Washington Post" reports that Republican candidates for state and federal offices are increasingly focused on the last election, running on the falsehoods spread by the Florida man and his allies.

But there`s nothing that really exemplifies the undying fealty that Republicans have to their dear leader like J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican Senate candidate and author of "Hillbilly Elegy," who CNN caught deleting past tweets critical of Trump.

He told FOX today: "I regret the tweets and regret being wrong about the guy. I think he was a good president," because, of course, now he wants power, because, right now, there is no Republican Party without Trump. There`s just nothing that exists without him.

So Americans are facing a choice between the real world, where coronavirus cases are falling and the economy is bouncing back, and a fantasy world on the right, where the election was stolen, and everything is a culture war.

Alexander Burns of "The New York Times" points out that: "In another age, the events of this season, namely, Biden`s success, would have been nearly certain to produce a significant shift in American politics. But, these days, it`s hard to imagine that such a political turning point is at hand."

He notes that: "A moment of truth appears imminent. It`s one that will reveal whether the American electorate is still capable of large-scale shifts in opinion or whether the country is essentially locked into a schism for the foreseeable future, with roughly 53 percent of Americans on one side, and 47 percent on the other."

And joining me now is Eugene Daniels, White House correspondent for Politico, Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist, and Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation."

And thank you all for being here.

Eugene, I will start with you, because you cover the White House. And I wonder -- I wonder if they get that. I do sometimes wonder, just talking to people close to the White House myself, whether they`re fully aware of what a schismatic country they`re running, one in which all the great things that President Biden talks about and does simply wash over about 47 percent of the public, because they think QAnon is real.

EUGENE DANIELS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Yes, I mean, usually what I find is that the people who are a bit older how have known Biden for longer tend to think that the country can come back together, tend to think that unity is not -- is something that can -- is in our reach even, and sometimes is here.

And the younger folks are a little bit more cynical, right? These are people who were on this campaign. This may have been their first or second campaign out there in the world talking to folks. We spend a lot of time on Twitter, and Twitter`s not the real world, but it does show and exemplify the schism that exists in the world.

And so I think the White House, some people know and some people don`t. But I think all of them, with President Biden at the very top, do want this country to come back together. They talk about it a lot more than I thought they would. We`re about six months in. And you would think that, OK, they would stop talking about the fantasy. They would stop talking about all the love.

And they haven`t. They really -- that is something that is at the heart of this, mostly because of Joe Biden. So they know what`s going on. But I think they are hopeful that, because of who Joe Biden is, they can overcome it.

But it is, like you said, very, very difficult to see that actually happening.

REID: Yes, it`s nice to want that.

Joan Walsh, you when you wrote the book, "What`s The Matter With White People," which I wish everyone would read, because -- and I know your publisher was probably not thrilled with the title of the book. I know we talked about that.

But, I mean, you wrote that during the Obama era. I mean, the reality is that there`s been this fantasy out there that we could reach this age of sort of magical reckoning, racial healing, that because we elected President Obama, that would happen.

All we got was a backlash that`s so ferocious that now 47 percent of the country is kind of clinical, right? They really do think -- there are a lot of them who really think that Donald Trump is going to literally be magically reimposed in office in August, and it`s going to happen.

They think Mike Lindell is sane, right? I don`t know how you fix something that an entire political party has invested itself in maintaining.

JOAN WALSH, MSNBC ANALYST: We don`t know. We never have and we never had to, but we have to now, Joy.

And I don`t know what it`s going to take. I mean, I look back to that book that I wrote, and I saw Trump coming. But I don`t think I saw it being as horrible as it is and -- or saw it being as huge as it is, in terms of there being roughly 47 percent.

Let`s just say 40. That makes me feel better It`s not 47 percent, but 40.

(LAUGHTER)

WALSH: But that`s more than I ever thought would be part of this kind of - - what I perceive as anti-American and kind of dangerous group of people that doesn`t believe in democracy anymore, because they no longer outnumber us.

And that`s sort of the bottom line of it. That`s really the foundational point of how we got here.

REID: And, Susan, in another era in time, we call this fascism, right, when you have this absolute devotion to a singular leader, when you have this desperate need to elevate the race that`s considered sort of the top dog race, right, in the society and to hang on to their power at all costs, even violence?

There`s this belief that political violence is OK. There`s this terrifying poll out in February that a really shocking percentage of Republicans believe it`s OK to use violence to overturn an election if they don`t get the results that they want. It`s like an -- and AEI took this poll. This wasn`t some liberal group. It wasn`t Daily Kos. It was the American Enterprise Institute took this poll found that like four in 10 Republicans are OK with the idea of political violence.

And let`s talk a little bit about Texas for just a moment. You remember Allen West? I do. Allen West was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs before Trump came along. He was saying take a bayonet and march to Washington because President Obama was there. And he`s black. OK?

Allen West is now in Texas. He`s now running against Greg Abbott because he doesn`t think Greg Abbott is far right enough, after all that Greg Abbott has done. He has argued that Islam is not a religion, but a totalitarian theocratic political ideology. He has suggested black communities were stronger and better during segregation.

So, he`s anti-Dr. King. He`s called Democratic handouts -- quote, unquote - - "the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today." And he is viable, Susan, in your party. Thoughts?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: He also believes in QAnon and succession.

So -- and here`s the thing. You talked about fascism early on. Really, I have been looking for a new word for Trumpism, because I hate it, because I think it goes deeper than just Donald Trump within the Republican Party. And I keep coming back to the same name. It`s neofascism.

Forget Trumpism. It`s neofascism. That`s what the grassroots of the party looks like right now. And, in some ways, in a really weird way, people who believe in democracy, normal Republicans and Democrats and independents, they should be almost happy Adam West is -- Allen West is running. Why? Because he may win.

And if he wins, he will be a very weak challenger to whoever the Democrats put up. We are seeing these really ultra-right-wing candidates being put up by Republican Parties, and not just in Texas, but in Ohio and other places in these congressional seats that you -- the wackiest wackies are going to win the Republican primary, but they`re going to win lose in general elections.

And that may not just help Democrats, but it will help the Republican Party in a way because it will burn it down, maybe not in 2022 or 2024. But after enough losses, we can see maybe normal returning, because those neofascists will be out of the party.

REID: Or, Joan -- and, again, I come back to your book. Part of the premise of it was that over all of these decades, people who benefited from the New Deal have turned on New Deal programs because those programs became extended to people of color, that they were for all of these New Deal ideas until black and brown people started taking advantage of it, and they said, now I`m not for it.

The same thing has happened to voting. Right? They were all for voting by mail. And then when black people vote by mail, they`re like, well, we can`t have that. So I wonder if it`s so clear that somebody like an Allen West couldn`t win in the environment Republicans have created.

WALSH: Oh, I think he could win a primary conceivably.

I just can`t -- I can`t imagine -- I mean, I guess I just have too much faith in the people I know and love in Texas that he cannot win. But -- and Greg Abbott is such an awful, conservative person. How can anybody be to the right of Greg Abbott? I mean, that`s what my mind was going around all day. Like, where`s he going for this vote?

Well...

(CROSSTALK)

REID: But we just heard -- we just heard today, Eugene, that even the governor of Ohio IS sending troops to the border. It`s now all shtick. It`s all theater. It`s we have to show that we`re going to stop the brown people, we are going to stop the blacks from voting, stop the browns from coming.

It`s all about this very race, national -- racially nationalistic sort of movement. And I do wonder whether Democrats that you talk to on the Hill are prepared to fight that kind of war. Because what I hear when I talk with Democrats is that, well, we have these programs and we provided this much in infrastructure, and then we`re going to have this kind of a bipartisan deal. And, by golly, we`re going to build a bridge over there.

And then there will be also a pothole that`s going to get filled in over here. They sound like it`s 1993 to me. Like, I definitely don`t see the sense of urgency.

But when I talk with people who know about fascism and know about how democracies deteriorate, their hair is on fire. Is the White House and are the DCCC and the DSCC, are their -- are any of their hair on fire?

DANIELS: I mean, sometimes. Sometimes, their hair is on fire.

(LAUGHTER)

DANIELS: But, usually, what I hear is like exactly what you said, them focusing on the policies and what proposals they`re going to put forward, and this is a good bill. That`s good, right? That`s a good thing for the country, right, that people focusing on policy who are up here supposed to make policy.

REID: Sure.

DANIELS: But it does seem like there`s a little bit of a disconnect, right?

You hear all the time -- sometimes, you hear from President Biden, you hear from President Obama that we`re not as split as we think we are, and all of that. And it`s -- for reporters, we`re already a little bit cynical, so it`s already hard to believe that.

But when you talk to people, when you talk to lawmakers, and as we have been watching since January 6, as the whitewashing of January 6 happened, and they said it wasn`t that bad, it was tourists that were kind of hanging out, and look at the single file line as they walked in, look at people opening the doors, when they talk about the voting restrictions that have been put forward, and they talk about the election being stolen, which we all know -- and I feel like I have to say this every time -- it was not.

That is a lie from Donald Trump. This -- it is a different environment, right? It is not the same. And that`s why folks like President Biden and also folks like Joe Manchin, when they`re talking about compromise, and they`re talking about bills, it`s like, well, this is a different Senate, this is a different country.

And I`m not sure even what they do about it. How could they counteract some of those things? Because, in the Republican Party, it`s about personality. That`s why Trump won. That`s why Allen West has a better chance than I think people think he does, because it`s about personality.

It is about the politics of contempt. Who`s tougher? Who`s stronger? Who says the toughest things? And that is a lot of what`s happening on the Republican Party side right now. And even when you talk to some Republicans, who you would probably think would be OK with all of that personality, they`re not either. They`re also very concerned.

REID: Well, they`re very concerned, but what are they planning to do about it? What are they willing to do about it?

DANIELS: Yes. Well, right now, nothing, right?

REID: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

DANIELS: They say it behind closed doors, because they are so scared of that personality, right? They`re scared of what they kind of built and what they built up with former President Trump is going to swallow them whole.

And so they feel like they`re between a rock and a hard place. And even the chair of the campaign arm on the House Republican side, we did a Playbook interview with him months ago. And he said he doesn`t want Donald Trump in the primaries kind of mucking about. He said, it wouldn`t be helpful.

You know what I mean? So he said that publicly. And that is exactly what`s going to happen, because just like was said a little bit ago, they`re worried that they`re going to have these far right candidates, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, the Allen Wests, win the primary and then lose a lot of seats, when really Republicans should win in 2022, based off of history.

And so they`re worried that Donald Trump mucking it up is going to mess it up for them.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: And that`s the thing, Susan.

Go on.

DEL PERCIO: Yes.

I was just going to say, because what`s the point -- if Liz Cheney, I mean, she`s a conservative`s conservative, right? She`s speaking out. No matter how many Republicans from Washington speak out, it doesn`t matter. They know that. They know that it does not matter if they speak out.

Now, whether they should do the right thing is a whole `nother issue. But, politically speaking, they can`t change it. This has seeped into the grassroots level within the states, within the counties so much so that the folks in Washington, they`re there by the graces of those committees, not the other way around.

They don`t -- they`re not the heroes to those folks.

REID: Joan Walsh, I`m going to ask you to try to do -- just to work with me, ride with me on a different course.

WALSH: Yes.

REID: Because the John Birch Society existed, right? And I`m only going to I`m only going to age myself.

I remember what the John Birch Society is. And the John Birch Society seemed unstoppable when they basically ran the same Trump playbook, bananas crazy conspiracy theories, the idea that the president of the United States was being captured by the communists, that the drinking water had fluoride in it that was allowing mind control, OK?

This was a real genuine threat to the Republican Party in the past. And you know what? I don`t like Ronald Reagan, but Ronald Reagan eventually said, yes. No, no. There were some hard-core, like, white supremacists at "The National Review" who were like, no, I will deal with -- I don`t like desegregation either, don`t like the Civil Rights Act, but, no, you can`t be in our party.

Joan, couldn`t they just stand up and have some cojones?

WALSH: I don`t think there`s enough of them who have cojones or whatever - - whatever it takes. I don`t think there are. I don`t think it`s going to happen. I think we`re going to watch them go down.

And I really admire what Susan`s trying to do. I really do and want to know more from her.

REID: Yes.

WALSH: But...

REID: Well, then I will give you the last word on this, Susan, because you`re in this fight. You`re still a Republican, right? I think you`re still a Republican.

DEL PERCIO: I am.

REID: And I talk to Republicans like you all the time, who say the same thing. My party`s burning. It`s burning, like it`s gone straight to hell. And no one seems to have an answer as to how you pull it back.

Do you have ideas on how to pull it back to at least sanity where we`re just fighting about tax cuts again?

DEL PERCIO: You -- it needs to burn down. It literally needs to be demolished before you can go in and build it up again.

And the people who actually say, why -- please stay a Republican, or Democrats who like to say, let`s argue about tax policy, because they know you need a strong Republican Party. Right now, it`s not strong, but it needs -- it really does need to be burned down to the ground, so it can come back up.

But that also means there has to be people willing to keep their Republican credentials to be there when it`s time to build it up.

REID: It`s -- but they`re silent. And that`s not helpful. Not everyone is willing to go on TV and do what you`re doing tonight, Susan.

And, meanwhile, neo-Nazis are marching in Philadelphia. So that`s where we`re at.

Eugene Daniels, Susan Del Percio, Joan Walsh, thank you all very much, friends.

OK, we`re just getting started on a big two-hour edition of THE REIDOUT tonight.

And up next: White nationalism, as I just mentioned, goes mainstream on the right, with racist marchers, talk show hosts, and officeholders all spreading their racist gospel right out in the open, where you can see them. Perfect.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: White nationalism is increasingly coursing through the veins of the American right.

Over the weekend, roughly 150 white supremacists marched in Philadelphia, clashing with pedestrians and setting off smoke bombs. Police said they were chanting slogans like "Reclaim America" and "The election was stolen."

You catch that? These modern-day Klansmen were chanting that the election was stolen from the disgraced former president. There`s a reason for all this, of course, the orange man and his administration.

Stephen Miller, who is currently helping sue black farmers on behalf of white farmers, brought them out of the shadows by parroting their talking points, talking points that they fear -- that they hear on FOX News from Tucker Carlson, which, in turn ,is magnified via social media by a constellation of QAnon devotees.

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, QAnon is using racist propaganda in an apparent attempt to appeal to a wider audience, particularly suburban women.

For more, I`m joined by Mia Bloom, who wrote that article. She`s a professor at Georgia State University and co-author of "Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon." I`m also joined by Malcolm Nance, MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence analyst.

Thank you both for being here.

And, Mia, I want to start with you because QAnon, when I first heard about it, because a friend of mine has a family member that`s caught up in it, who`s somebody who seemed to be a normal sort of professional sort of burst into this weird ideology, I think I didn`t really understand how much of it was based on not just anti-Semitic tropes, but racial tropes.

Talk a little bit about that.

MIA BLOOM, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: I fully expected that QAnon was going to be anti-Semitic because it has elements, you know, a global cabal and talking about George Soros or Janet Yellen.

And it also talks about blood drinking, which these are all things that have been -- Jews have been accused of for hundreds of years in Europe and through the church.

But when we started looking last summer at the Save the Children campaign - - and I`m a supporter of Save the Children, the charity.

REID: The real one, yes.

BLOOM: And so I thought, wait a second. All these children are white, and all the Save the Children children are not.

And so we did a systematic study, because I needed data, to show that they were using these racist tropes that go to, let`s say, the period of Restoration, where there were stereotypes of the black brute who was going to write the white woman or kidnap the white woman.

And so this is like heart and soul of QAnon.

REID: It`s -- and just to be clear for those of you who are unaware, because you`re living your lives and trying not to pay attention to this, QAnon on is basically the belief that the world is run by a cabal of pedophiles who kill children and drink their blood, I guess to stay young forever maybe. Maybe they`re also vampires. I`m really not sure.

But that the person who`s going to unmask this devilish conspiracy is Donald Trump, who can barely read a cue card and couldn`t run casinos in Atlantic City. But, somehow, he`s going to break this massive cabal. So, that`s the theory.

In the previous block, Malcolm, I talked about the fact that, if this was happening in any other era, we`d be talking about fascism. And people get uncomfortable using the F-word here about the sort of global reach of all this, but we just saw these neo-Nazis marching in Philadelphia. And the group, other than Black Lives Matter, which has the word black in it, which freaks people out, I guess, the big opponent of the right is Antifa, which is basically short for anti-fascists.

MALCOLM NANCE, NBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Yes.

REID: So, the people that they despise the most and think are the most dangerous are Black Lives Matter, a plea for black people not to be murdered by police, and anti-fascists.

So, am I unfair to say that we`re talking about essentially American fascism?

NANCE: No, not at all. Anyone that can see with their eyes understands what`s going on here.

We are in a neo-fascist era in American politics. Back in 1939-1940, there was a formal fascist movement which openly supported Adolf Hitler and called for American independence and isolation away from Europe`s war, which Hitler had just invaded, called the America First movement.

And it was championed by people like John -- Lindbergh, the famous flyer. They had a rally in Madison Square Garden in which George Washington was juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler. These people were fascist.

But what we have seen is, after World War II, when they were essentially run to the ground, there was a rise in the 1950s and `60s of these very small fascist groups that turned into terrorist groups like the Christian Identity movement.

What we are seeing now is a merger of every white nationalist trope and group and ideology bound together by the crazy QAnon conspiracy theory into an American neo-fascist movement led by a fascist president of the United States.

Look, if I were doing an intelligence assessment of I don`t know, Hungary, I would be coming up with these exact same lines of investigation, which would be bringing us to these conclusions, that there is a fascist movement, not just in the United States, all over Europe, which is actually funded, surprisingly, by Russia, in France, Italy, Spain.

Neo-fascist movements everywhere are out to take down American democracy.

REID: And it`s -- the sort of irony is, if you read up on it, I mean, Hitler was inspired both by Mussolini`s original fascism, which is where it started, not in Germany, but also by the United States, in which Americans invented the idea of coding anyone with African lineage as Negro and as thus both enslavable and as segregatable, based on even one drop of black blood.

Look it up. It`s actually true.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: Mia, the other piece -- absolutely.

Mia, the other piece that you get to -- and I think this is important, and scary, I think, in a really fundamental way, because of how religious the United States is as a country. How much of this QAnon movement is pushing its way into the evangelical movement and targeting evangelicals to try to recruit them?

BLOOM: Well, that`s the scariest part, because it`s making inroads into every religion.

Despite the fact that it`s anti-Semitic, it`s drawing Orthodox Jews. It`s anti-Catholic. It`s drawing Latinx Catholics. But the largest group are the evangelicals, that around 34, 35 percent of evangelicals believe that there`s a blood-drinking cabal.

But, remember, evangelicals are also a proselytizing religion. And they will go out to Papua New Guinea or Ghana or wherever they`re going, and they`re going to bring this ideology with them. And so we are seeing a metastasis of QAnon to 85 different countries.

And the reason I wrote the piece about racism is, as they are spreading their tentacles to get into South and Latin America or into Africa, or among African-American voters in this country, I want people to know how racist QAnon really is.

REID: And, Malcolm, the thing is, the other piece is that, for this kind of a movement to take hold of a political party, where the leadership seems just completely impotent to do anything about it, Kevin and those guys -- Mitch doesn`t want to do anything about it, because he`s just like, am I going to get power out of this? If I`m going to get power, whatever. If you want to be fascist, I don`t care. But Kevin seems helpless.

Meanwhile, there`s a poll that the Global Morning Consult did, where it found that 26 percent of Americans qualified as highly right-wing authoritarian. That`s twice the share of the number two countries, Canada and Australia. Four in 10 Republicans vs. -- in an American Enterprise Institute -- that`s a conservative organization.

They did a poll that said political violence may be necessary if elected leaders will not protect America. The public must do it themselves, even if requires violent actions.

Add to that -- I want to know how concerned you are, given that data, Malcolm. The guy who used -- who MyPillow, which -- who is a ridiculous figure, but you can be ridiculous and dangerous. He has said that, on August 13, Donald Trump will return to office, he will be reimposed in office, which is a QAnon belief system.

He also claimed there will be many down-ticket senators who will have different election results. I`m talking about stealing elections and Trump being returned. How worried should we be about a January 6-style event somewhere in the United States if -- when he is not reinstated, Trump?

NANCE: I don`t think we should really worry about the August date, because, as we know, these things are -- come and go. They have had these dates before.

It`s the post-August period that I would really be watching, as a terrorism professional. Because Donie O`Sullivan -- I will give a shout-out to our brothers at CNN -- did some interviews with these people. And they said that, if Trump is not reinstalled, then they`re going to have to start talking civil war.

I have been monitoring their communications since last December. These people are already, many of them, committed to the concept of overthrowing American democracy and inciting civil war.

All you have to do is watch AR-15 ammunition prices, which went -- skyrocketed last year from 21 cents a bullet to almost $1.25 a bullet now. Many of these people think that there is an apocalypse coming.

Let me tie this back into QAnon. I think you were rather modest in what you said QAnon was. They believe that there is a global cabal of people who are eating, kidnapping and sex trafficking children who are the entire Democratic Party, all liberals, all progressives.

And the fundamental way of dealing with them is a mass genocide of all liberals and Democrats, or bringing them to Guantanamo, or having what they call the Day of the Rope, which actually came from "The Turner Diaries," the book Timothy McVeigh read at the time.

These people are the farthest edge of the farthest extreme, and they are now the core identity of the Republican Party. The Republicans tried to co- opt them in 2018. QAnon co-opted the Republican Party. They just removed the letter Q. They don`t allow Q T-shirts.

But their belief system of the Republicans now, full-on QAnon.

REID: Yes.

And Day of the Rope, speaking of that, you know what they brought to the Capitol on January 6 to -- quote -- "hang Mike Pence"? A rope, a real one.

Mia Bloom, thank you very much. Malcolm Nance, thank you, as always, my friend.

And still ahead: Conservatives are trying to turn critical race theory, speaking of this whole cabal of lunacy, into a catch-all label encompassing any and every thing they disagree with.

Scholar and author Ibram Kendi joins me to talk about being anti-racist next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Republicans believe they have found the perfect wedge issue to take into next year`s midterm and scare white suburbanites back into their camp, critical race theory.

They`re co-opting the term and applying it to basically anything to do with anti-racism. They`re also applying the term to black public intellectuals who are not even involved, people like Ibram X. Kendi.

I recently spoke with Dr. Kendi and asked him directly if he is indeed a critical race theorist.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IBRAM X. KENDI, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: So, I`ve certainly been inspired by critical race theory.

I certainly admire critical race theory. But, at the same time, I wasn`t trained on critical race theory. I didn`t go to law school. And so I don`t necessarily identify as a critical race theorist.

REID: Yes. And -- right, you have to go to law school to be one, right? And you just made that point very well. But they don`t either -- they don`t know really what it is either.

But here it is Senator Josh Hawley, sort of one of the worst sort of offenders here, slamming you by name.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Dr. Ibram Kendi wrote this: "The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination."

That`s right. That`s what he said. Think about that for a moment. He`s saying that he`s opposed to equality under the law.

Dr. Kendi and his followers are in no uncertain terms advocating for state- sanctioned racism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: OK, now, given the fact that they can`t seem to quote Dr. King accurately, I`m not -- I`m just going to assume that they`re misquoting you or giving the wrong context.

Can you explain, please, what that quote, even if it`s accurate, what it means?

KENDI: Sure.

So, Joy, we recognized as a nation that elderly people were dying at the highest rates, were the most vulnerable to COVID-19. So, we decided that it was best to provide vaccine to those people first.

No one described that as a bad policy. But young people could have said, hey, you`re discriminating against us. And we would have responded, well, older people are dying at the highest rates. Should they not receive vaccine first?

But if we would have then started thinking about, oh, black people are also dying at the highest rates from COVID-19,you know, maybe they should also receive -- maybe they should also receive vaccine first. Maybe we should have a system in which those who have the -- those who have the greatest needs are provided with what they need.

But they call that reverse discrimination. They call that discrimination. They`re against that.

How are we going to create equity and justice for all if we`re providing the same resources to middle-income people as we`re providing to billionaires?

REID: Yes.

This is the same theory under which they have gone after black farmers receiving benefits, when they have only 14 percent of the land at this point. They have been stripped of their land. But then they are saying that white farmers need to get all the rest, all the benefits need to go to white farmers, or it`s reverse discrimination. They are doing that in court. Stephen Miller is part of that.

I just want to ask another couple questions, just to make sure that we`re getting everything clear.

Do you believe that white Americans are inherently racist?

KENDI: Oh, I do not.

And, indeed, in "How to Be an Antiracist," I make the case that we shouldn`t believe that anyone is inherently racist or that we should identify anyone as a racist.

And I make the case that racist isn`t a fixed category. It`s a descriptive term that describes what a person is being at any given moment, based on what they`re doing or saying.

And so if a person is saying black people are lazy, they`re being racist, but then, the very next moment, they`re advocating a policy that creates justice and equity for all, they`re being anti-racist.

REID: OK.

And do you know of any schools that are teaching that white Americans are inherently racist? Have you ever heard of any school that`s teaching that anywhere?

(LAUGHTER)

KENDI: I haven`t.

And, indeed, I would speak out against that school if it was doing it.

REID: And we now know that one of the groups that is under attack from the same people who are attacking you are military, the military, particularly military generals, including the secretary of defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, General Milley.

He`s now been attacked by Donald Trump, Matt Gaetz, who never served in public, wouldn`t have the guts to serve for 10 seconds, nor would Tucker Carlson, nor would Laura Ingraham. They`ve all gone after him.

Bill Kristol has called that out as sort of proto, sort of ground-level fascism. He said: "Trump voters are pro-military. Why are Trump and Carlson attacking the military? but that the attack is on woke generals, the brass, and disloyal citizens in charge. It`s an attempt to appeal to aggrieved troops and vets, and to divide the military and subvert civilian control. It`s a classic move from the authoritarian playbook and also from the fascist playbook."

What do you make of the book that people like Trump wanted to use the military to attack Black Lives Matter protesters specifically? He wanted them -- and Milley refused. They got in a cussing match. He said: I`m not doing that.

But that they don`t believe the military should study whether there are racists and white nationalists in the military because some of those folks attacked the Capitol, what do you make of that dichotomy?

KENDI: I mean, I think it`s pure sort of insanity that`s presented as logic.

And the fact of the matter is, is American armed forces have a white supremacist problem. And the leaders have recognized that. And those leaders have decided that the way in which you address that issue is by teaching people to be anti-racist...

REID: Right.

KENDI: ... by teaching people to recognize the racial groups as equals.

And it`s fascinating, and we learned this year that the Republican Party isn`t pro-cop, because, if they were pro-cop, they would have responded differently to the Capitol insurrection. And they`re certainly -- we are showing now they`re not even pro-military.

These are -- these are wedges and terms and constructs they use, just -- and they lie about them, just as they lie about anti-racism and critical race theory and The 1619 Project.

REID: And your book took really off after the George Floyd murder. And so did Robin DiAngelo`s book "White Rage." Or -- I think that`s the name of her book.

Do you think that this -- that the right is using the George Floyd movement and the fact that white Americans saw what happened to George Floyd and said, oh, my God, we need to question whether or not there is structural racism in our society, that that`s what this is about?

This is white Americans having woken up to what happened to George Floyd, and now the right wants to stop that?

KENDI: I mean, if you`re an elected official, if you`re a white elected official who has been instituting policies that have harmed the majority of white Americans, and, all the while, you have been convincing those very white Americans that you`re fighting for them, that you`re instituting policies that help them, that you are teaching them that the cause of their pain are people of color, you are not going to want them to wake up.

REID: Yes.

KENDI: You`re not going to want them to understand racism, because then they`re going to see you as a problem and vote you out.

REID: There you go. There you go. And if you are anti-anti-racist, think about what that says that you actually are.

Ibram X. Kendi, I`m so glad you could be here, author of "How to Be an Antiracist," thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

REID: And up next: the crisis in Haiti, a severe shortage of COVID vaccines, a wave of criminal violence in its capital city, and yet another tropical storm, all this ahead of crucial elections in September.

Stay with us.

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REID: Over the weekend, Tropical Storm Elsa brushed by Haiti as it moves through the Caribbean.

Haiti has been pummeled by hurricanes before, but a direct hit from a storm would be even more dire this year. As the AP points out, a recent spike in gang violence has forced thousands of people to flee from their homes. So,the Civil Protection Agency is running low on basic items, including food and water, which could lead to a catastrophic situation the next time Haiti is hit by a serious storm.

To make matters worse, COVID-19 is still raging through the country,with very few Haitians vaccinated and gang violence keeping patients from getting basic COVID care.

I`m joined now by J.R. Gaillot, Democratic consultant and vice president of Finiks Political.

And, J.R., my friend, thank you for being on.

You and I have been having this conversation. You have been really, really pushing, because you have been saying this -- the story has got to get out.

What is going on in Haiti that Americans need to understand?

J.R. GAILLOT, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: Well, Joy, thank you very much for having me. Really appreciate it and giving me the opportunity to talk about what`s going on in Haiti.

Haiti right now is in the middle of a protracted political crisis. On top of that, you have massive insecurity, a constitutional crisis, and a lot more going on. The gang violence has taken over. You have people that have been displaced from their home.

And the people are suffering. And that needs to change.

REID: And what can the U.S. do? I mean, there is a long history. We won`t even go into the to Toussaint Louverture overthrow of the French that led essentially to the creation of New Orleans and the annexing of the entire Western part of the United States because the cheap purchase that Jefferson was able to make in the Louisiana Purchase, all really because of Haiti and the punishment that was inflicted on Haiti ever since, being -- meaning that they had to pay reparations to France, and I think are still paying reparations to France for the loss of all of those enslaved people.

What kind of condition, number one, is Haiti in? Can a presidential election change it? And what could the U.S. be doing to help?

GAILLOT: Haiti is in a -- is in a terrible situation right now, the insecurity. There`s a gasoline shortage. There`s an electricity problem. And people are afraid to go out into the streets, because lives are being put at risk every day. So that`s a problem.

Second, part of your question is, what can the U.S. do? Well, President Biden visited Little Haiti and promised to turn things around for Haiti. I`m a firm believer that the president will deliver on his promise. He does deliver on his promises.

Haitians want action. They want action now. Unfortunately, things can`t go as fast. But for the election portion, recently, the OAS was down in Haiti, and they recommended an election to happen. We know that. That is the way to democracy.

But with the current situation, when you`re looking at COVID-19, when you`re looking at the resources and the insecurity, there is no possible path forward for a referendum election or an actual election to happen, because nobody would participate.

REID: Yes.

GAILLOT: So, what the U.S. can do is help move things along and change policy towards Haiti. That has to happen.

REID: And having lived in Florida, I know that whenever there`s a crisis in Haiti, it very quickly metastasizes into a migration crisis.

And the Jeb Bush government was challenging enough, but Jeb Bush at least had some sort of a relationship with the leadership in Haiti and had his own favorite candidates when folks were running for president.

Now we`re dealing with DeSantis, who has taken up the Trump line, which, as we know, has included a very anti-immigrant, anti-migrant line. What kind of a crisis would we be seeing if Ron DeSantis ends up dealing with a migration crisis in the state of Florida?

GAILLOT: It would be a tremendous crisis. It would be of monumental proportion.

Back in the `80s, there was a problem with migration happening. We are on the precipice of seeing that return, where people are going to risk their life, jump on ships and try to reach U.S. shores. Or they`re going to go to Central America, and do the trek all the way up to the border to try to get in.

The reason that is happening is because the life conditions of Haitians are not sustainable. These people are simply looking for a better opportunity, an opportunity that their government has failed to deliver.

And one of the biggest reasons is corruption. And Haiti, whoever the next president -- I understand President Moise just nominated his seventh or eighth prime minister just a few hours ago. Anti-corruption laws is the first step to begin the process, the rehabilitation process.

And then the United States must work with the Haitian government to stabilize the trade imbalance deficit. Haiti doesn`t need rice, doesn`t need coffee, doesn`t need peanuts. All that stuff is produced in Haiti and more.

REID: Yes.

GAILLOT: So...

REID: But vaccines would be nice.

And I hope that the Biden administration or someone from it is taking a listen. Sending some vaccines there would be helpful in helping with the political situation there.

J.R. Gaillot, my friend, thank you very much. We will stay on top of this story. Really appreciate it.

OK, We have a big second hour of THE REIDOUT coming up next, including new details in the January 6 investigation, as we get ready to mark six months since the Capitol was stormed.

Also, Trump appeared to admit to the charges in the new indictment against his business.

Plus, outrage over the suspension of track superstar Sha`Carri Richardson just weeks before the Olympic Games she`s been training for all her life.

Don`t go anywhere.

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