Melissa Harris Perry
updated 5/4/2013 5:47:16 PM ET 2013-05-04T21:47:16

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova will join Sunday's edition of "Melissa Harris-Perry" to discuss NBA player Jason Collins' revelation that he is gay. Also on the agenda: public shaming, rape culture on campus, Detroit's homeless, and the War on Drugs -- all at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC!

At the end of this week, President Obama took a trip to Mexico to discuss ways to secure the border with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto in an effort to push his immigration plan back home. One thing the president did not spend much time addressing was the increasingly volatile war on drugs. In the past four months alone, more than 4,000 people have been killed in drug related violence. While the president may not have been talking about drugs, on Thursday, Maryland partially legalized the medical use of marijuana. On Sunday’s show, Melissa Harris-Perry will discuss the national conversation we need to have about how the decades old war on drugs has really been a war on people and the need to reshape America’s drug policies.

We’ll also explore a lesser known war this country is fighting, the war on the homeless. This past April, the ACLU sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the Detroit police department, informing them that a year-long investigation uncovered practices of officers picking up and “dumping” homeless individuals outside the city lines.

In response to feedback she received from a student at Spelman College after our segment on sexual assaulton college campuses last week, Harris-Perry will highlight another example of rape and campus culture.

In addition, Sunday’s show will talk about the politics of public shaming, how it’s used, who uses it, and how effective it can be. Harris-Perry will specifically highlight Erica Lafferty’s one-woman mission to shame the senators who voted against the background check bill–a bill that could have conceivably saved the life of her mother, Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung. (See above MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s interview with Lafferty from earlier this week.)

Finally, the world of professional sports took a step forward this week when 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins revealed in Sports Illustrated on Monday that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay athlete active in one of the four major American sports. In light of the fact that many women and men in other sports have already made such a revelation, we’ll explore whether “coming out” still matters with tennis legend Martina Navratilova and retired NFL player Wade Davis, both currently LGBT activists.

Watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC, and be sure to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland!

Video: Exclusive: Sandy Hook victim's daughter confronts Sen. Ayotte

  1. Closed captioning of: Exclusive: Sandy Hook victim's daughter confronts Sen. Ayotte

    >>> i know that you take the time to speak with me, i wanted to thank you for that. you have mentioned that day the burden on owners of gun stores that extended background checks would cause. i'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in an elementary school isn't as important as that. why is that not something that can be supported?

    >> so you're a united states senator from new hampshire , back home in front of your previously friendly crowds at your town hall meetings and you get a question about your gun vote from someone whose mother was killed in sandy hook elementary school . that's how it went for kelly ayotte today in new hampshire where her poll numbers have been sinking since she cast that vote against the popular will of her constituents. the senator's town hall meeting was in new hampshire for constituents, but the emotional center of gravity in the room was the woman that drove up from connecticut to ask a question about her mother. joining me now for an exclusive interview, erica lafferty, daughter of dawn hochsprung, principal of sandy hook elementary school . thank you for joining us.

    >> thank you.

    >> erica , you decided to drive today from connecticut to new hampshire . what made you get in the car and go up there?

    >> i really just wanted an answer to the question that i had asked her the day after the vote, after she voted no, why doesn't my mother's murder matter to her and i got in my car at 6:00 this morning and drove to new hampshire to ask her exactly that, and again, i got the run around, no clear answer. so i guess just in a search for an answer.

    >> well, you weren't the only dissatisfied person in that room today. there were other people who had a lot of trouble with the way she voted.

    >> there were a lot of people in the room that had very strong opinions about her, her no vote.

    >> let's listen to one of those people trying to question her about that.

    >> you can't deny people the right to speak because they haven't filled out a card.

    >> i didn't.

    >> i have a question but it is based upon something that was said here during the presentation.

    >> let me say that i do every town hall meeting that way. i have a process. we will get to as many questions as we can.

    >> you'd like to regulate that, but you don't want to regulate guns.

    >> well --

    >> erica , her approval numbers as they say in politics are underwater since that vote, she has a 46% disapprove, 44% approval in new hampshire . i guess you could feel a lot of that disapproval in the room there today.

    >> absolutely. there was definitely quite a few people that were very clearly upset with the vote that she decided to go with. it definitely got a little intense there at a couple of points and i don't know, being there, we felt her stumble a little. i don't know if she thought we were kind of going to disappear after she decided to vote against something so common sense. but i mean, i had promised since the very second that, you know, it came out that the legislation wasn't approved that i wasn't going away, and clearly i wasn't joking.

    >> erica lafferty gets tonight's last word. thank you very much for joining us tonight, erica , and i'm very, very sorry for your loss.

    >> thank you. thank you.


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