'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Saturday show
August 17, 2013
GuestS: Jack Jacobs, Jumaane Williams, Sunita Patel, Seema Iyer, Aura Bogado, Robert Parker, Cara Smith, Rosa Pickett, Paul Caccamo, Luke Metzger, Uni Blake, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Deborah Cipolla-Dennis, Josh Fox
JOY REID, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning. I`m Joy Reid in for Melissa Harris-
Perry. We want to get right into the developing story out of Egypt this
morning, where more than 800 people have been killed since Wednesday and
thousands injured in clashes between the military and supporters of deposed
president Mohamed Morsy. This morning, hundreds of Morsy supporters are
barricaded inside a Cairo mosque. The military has sealed off the
surrounding square with tanks and barbed wire. The scene is chaotic, and
it`s hard to know exactly what`s going on, but there have been reports of
gunfire inside and outside the mosque.
There are also reports that crowds of anti-Morsy civilians have gathered
outside the mosque, as well as the uniformed security forces. The standoff
follows three days of violence between the Muslim Brotherhood and the
military. On Friday, the Brotherhood took to the streets to protest a
violent military crackdown, defying security forces authorized to use
lethal force against protesters. 173 people were killed on Friday`s day of
rage protests, according to the Egyptian government. And the Brotherhood
has vowed to keep rallying in the days ahead. The crackdown began
Wednesday, when government security forces violently attempted to clear out
two encampments where Morsy supporters were staging sit-in protests and
demanding that Morsy be reinstated. The assault sparked street battles in
cities across the country. The military-led Egyptian government has
declared a state of emergency and imposed a 9:00 P.M. curfew in Cairo and
President Obama on Thursday condemned the violence and canceled joint
military exercises with Egypt, but stopped short of canceling the $1.5
billion in annual military aid and economic aid the U.S. gives Egypt. As
the president made clear on Thursday, the U.S. needs Egypt too much to cut
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And given the
depths of our partnership with Egypt, our national security interests in
this pivotal part of the world and our belief that engagement can support a
transition back to a democratically elected civilian government, we`ve
sustained our commitment to Egypt and its people. But while we want to
sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot
continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights
are being rolled back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And joining us now from Cairo with the very latest news is NBC News foreign
correspondent, Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, thanks for joining us. Can you
give us a sense of what`s happening on the ground today?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Well, all attention and focus
today has been on this one mosque near Ramses Square. Now, Ramses Square
was the intended destination for all those marches that were called for by
the Muslim Brotherhood yesterday on the day of rage. And what happened
late last night, as the situation became extremely chaotic, a lot of people
went into this mosque to use it as a makeshift field hospital, some of them
wounded, some of them women, and also as it seems from today at least some
armed men. And I`ll get to that in just a second. But what happened was
overnight, they essentially barricaded themselves in.
Supporters of the military, the military itself, and the police surrounded
the mosque and that led to a very tense standoff throughout the early hours
of the morning. Now, because of that, the people inside did not feel safe
enough to come outside, finding themselves in the midst of the police and
the military and a lot of plain-clothed people, they said were thugs
willing and wanting to attack them. Now, earlier this morning, the
military and the police were out there. They came under fire from somebody
inside the mosque. So clearly it appears that somebody from inside the
minaret of the mosque was firing on security personnel outside, and they as
a response returned fire on to the mosque and ultimately used tear gas
inside to try to get the people out.
Now, after several hours of this standoff, it seems police have taken
control of the mosque and those inside have been removed, after that
several-hour tense standoff, rather. But right now, the situation remains
relatively calm in the vicinity of the mosque. There are no protests
unfolding today. There have been no major acts of civil protests or civil
disobedience, as some have called it here, and right now the situation is
that we`re about three hours away from another night of government-imposed
curfew here. Joy?
REID: And Ayman, can you give us a sense, I mean there have been
conflicting reports about whether the Muslim Brotherhood is sort of, at
this point, I guess, a fringe element within the Egyptian society, or
whether there is any popular support for what they`re doing?
MOHYELDIN: Well, no doubt as an organization, they still have their own
core supporters, and that`s - that number varies. It`s almost difficult to
ascertain, but it definitely numbers in the hundreds of thousands. These
are loyal members of the organization. However, the public support for the
Muslim Brotherhood has definitely dipped over the course of the last
several months, perhaps even throughout the course of the year that
President Mohamed Morsy was in power. There is now a complete rejection,
if you will, to the organization from a great part of the society here.
That also has to do with the huge campaign of incitement that has been led
by state media and other private channels, who have systemically demonized
the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters as terrorists. But it`s safe to
say that the Muslim Brotherhood`s popularity has definitely waned, if not
completely been lost, among those that are not members of the organization
throughout the course of the past several months. Joy?
REID: And lastly, Ayman, do you get a sense that outside of these pockets
of obviously violent intention, that generally on the streets of Cairo, are
people safe just going about general business at this point?
MOHYELDIN: Well, the short answer to that is no, and that is because these
clashes, these protests have been so spontaneous at times, they`re almost
unpredictable. And as a result of that, people here have felt a great
sense of insecurity. In fact, at nighttime, when the curfew actually goes
into place, you`ll find a lot of neighborhoods setting up neighborhood
watchdog checkpoints. And these are manned by local residents of their
neighborhoods, sometimes wielding their own weapons. Nobody is really sure
who they respond to. And many of them are taking it upon themselves to
check the vehicles of people passing by. Now, that creates a sense of
anxiety and fear, because it also shows that the police is not necessarily
in control of security across the country, particularly in areas that can
sometimes be flashpoints for these types of protests.
So overall, the majority of Egyptians are feeling this sense of anxiety and
fear, and that`s what is leading to this tense situation. The police, on
their hand, and the military, have made some announcements about some key
arrests today. They say they`ve arrested the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri,
the leader of al Qaeda here, in Egypt. He was also a notorious figure for
being a supporter of President Mohamed Morsy, and he also led a group that
many in Egypt feel was on the borderline of terrorist activity, if not
full-on terrorist activity in general. So he is an individual that the
government here now says they have arrested and they are still pursuing the
senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in attempt to try to contain the
The government believes that it`s the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood
and the organization that is behind the wave of violence that has gripped
this country, because they consistent call for protests and incite people
to go out to the streets. Many of them causing the kind of violence that
we`ve seen yesterday, attacking government buildings, police stations and
churches. So it is a war of words as much as it is a war on the streets of
who to blame.
REID: All right. Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you so much for joining us today
from Cairo, Egypt.
All right. And joining me now in the studio is Colonel Jack Jacobs, an
MSNBC military analyst, Retired Army Colonel, and, of course, recipient of
the Medal of Honor. And Colonel Jacobs, give us a sense, because I think
that people see the chaos and violence in the Middle East, and they think,
you know what, standard chaos and violence, we`re sort of used to this
story. But kind of give people some perspective on the importance of this
particular Middle Eastern country to the United States.
COL. JACK JACOBS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Egypt has been important to our
strategic vision for a long, long time. We`ve lost a great deal of
influence in the Eastern Mediterranean, and one of the reasons is that
Mubarak is no longer -- it`s not the only reason. Mubarak is no longer
there. I mean for decades he assisted us in controlling a lot of what
happened in the eastern Mediterranean. But a couple of things are
immediately apparent that were in danger when Morsy and the Muslim
Brotherhood was in charge of Egypt. First and perhaps the most important
is the ability, our ability to send our warships through the Suez Canal.
Now, we`ve got to get from the Mediterranean to the Gulf and we have to do
it quickly. There`s usually a long backup of ships trying to get through
If we needed to get our ships through the canal, our warships through, the
Egyptian government let us go to the head of the line. Very, very
important for our strategic ability to project our military might in the
region. Second and almost as important is - was the Egyptian ability to
let us fly over the country. Don`t forget, we`ve got a lot of -- many
operations taking place in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the Horn of Africa. The
ability to fly our military aircraft over Egypt is important for our
sustaining those operations against terrorists and insurgencies in that
part of the world. The third thing, and it`s extremely important in this
circumstance, when you think about our relationship with Israel, was
Mubarak`s and this government - the Egyptian government`s ability to close
off the Sinai, close off Gaza and make it difficult for the -- for Hamas,
for Palestinians, for terrorists, even, to transit from Egypt into the
Sinai and back again.
REID: And I think we have a map of the region that we can sort of show
people. Because I think that`s what people forget. It`s the physical
geography of this. You know, the Egyptian government controls the access
to the Gaza Strip, which for the Israelis, is a very important issue,
because of the issue of smuggling weapons in and out of Gaza, the issue of
Hamas, and the previous government, the dictatorial government, the Mubarak
government was, you know, play ball with the United States when it came to
keeping it close, the Morsy government, maybe not so much.
JACOBS: No, and right now the - right now the Egyptian government is
occupied with taking care of its own security .
JACOBS: And maybe they`re not paying very much attention to that area
along Gaza. But it is important to us and it is important to Israel. And
when Morsy took over in Egypt, Israel got antsy. When Morsy effectively
suspended the constitution, they got antsier yet. So it`s important to
Israel that there be control of transit from Egypt into Gaza and back again
and the military government is going to ensure that that`s the case.
Whatever they do on the streets, notwithstanding.
REID: And so now we`ve had some rumbling from some Republican senators,
and this has actually brought together Senator Rand Paul and John McCain
and Lindsey Graham, who are not typically on the same side. And what they
have essentially said is that they would like to see us cut off that aid.
Very quickly I can read this: John McCain said, "We condemn all acts and
incitement of violence against civilians, including those that supported
former President Mohamed Morsy have committed against Christians and other
Egyptians. At the same time, we cannot be complicit in the mass slaughter
of civilians. It is neither on our long-term national interest nor
consistent with our values and laws to continue providing assistance at
this time to Egypt`s interim government. But given what you`ve said, the
importance of overflight rights, the Suez Canal, the other interests we`ve
got to take - can we actually afford to cut off that aid?
JACOBS: So, I think we will not. And that`s one of the reasons why the
president has not said anything at all about canceling aid, cutting off
aid, reducing aid. Has made what is effectively an empty gesture for
public consumption, and that is to cancel the annual military exercises
that we had with the Egyptian military. But there are lots of back-channel
communications taking place and always do, between the American military
establishment and the Egyptian military establishment. That`s kind of an
empty gesture. Making a bigger statement by reducing or cutting off the
American aid to the Egyptian government will have no practical effect,
because Gulf states and Saudi Arabia are .
REID: They`ll just fill it in.
JACOBS: And they are, already doing that. They`re sending lots and lots
of money to the Egyptian government right now. But it will be a very -- it
will be a statement that will resonate inside Egypt among the military
JACOBS: . and that`s -- that will definitely hurt us strategically.
That`s one of the reasons why President Obama is not saying .
JACOBS: . that we`re going to cut off aid or reduce aid to the Egyptian
REID: And not calling it a coup. Very important. Thank you very much,
JACOBS: You bet (ph).
REID: I appreciate your being here. OK, everyone, stay right where you
are. Coming up next, from the chaos on the streets of Egypt to a major
change on the streets of New York.
REID: If you`re a parent, chances are you and your kids are familiar with
this guy. Ice Cube. Your kids have probably gotten a few good laughs
watching his family-friendly comedies lake "Are We There Yet?" or its
sequel "Are We Done Yet?" But chances are also good that you remember a
different Ice Cube, who was anything but funny. And not only did your
parents not approve of the Ice Cube you knew and lough back in the day,
they were actually warned away by the label on his 1988 album first
introduced - 1988 album that first introduced him to the world, "Straight
Outta Compton." That album, which just turned 25, feel free to feel old,
was the first from the legendary group that helped put West Coast hip hop
on the map, NWA.
Now, if you`re not enough of a hip hop hit to decipher that acronym, give
it a google, because I can`t say on TV what it actually stands for. But
what I can tell you about is the one song in particular that brought
"Straight Outta Compton" to the attention of the FBI, the album`s second
track, entitled, well, let just say it drops the F-bomb in reference to the
police. I can`t quite - I can`t quote much of what`s in the song, except
part of Ice Cube`s verse. "Got it bad cause I`m brown and not the other
color, so police think they have the authority to kill a minority."
Alongside the gang violence and drug deals that were commonplace at NWA`s
Compton, police harassment figured prominently as part of their everyday
narrative. Of course, it`s been 25 years, so a lot has changed since then.
Ice Cube has melted a little bit. Founding member Eazy-E has died of AIDS,
and the rest of NWA has gone their separate ways.
Meanwhile, the torch of West Coast hip hop has been passed to this guy,
Kendrick Lamar. Another Compton native, born the year before "Straight
Outta Compton" was released. "Good Kid, Mad City," his platinum selling
debut was wildly hailed as one of the best album of 2012. And more than
two decades since NWA first exposed the realities of life in their Compton,
Kendrick Lamar makes clear that as much as things have changed, there is
much that has stayed the same. On the album`s title track, "Good Kid,"
Kendrick raps about an encounter with police. "The matter is racial
profile, I heard them chatter. He`s probably young, but I know that he`s
down. Step on his neck, and as hard as your bulletproof vest, he doesn`t
mind, he knows he`ll never respect, the good kid, mad city."
This week, that story, one that has remained the same across decades and
across the country is finally starting to change in at least one major
city. And the judge who declared that change just happened to be in
complete agreement with Kendrick. The matter is racial profiling. On
Monday, Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the New York Police Department
stop and frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of black and
Latino people in the city. Who are overwhelmingly targeted by the police.
Judge Scheindlin found that of the 4.4 million stops conducted by the NYPD
between 2004 and 2012 showed blatant disregard for the Fourth Amendment`s
protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. She also found
that the city`s policy of, quote, "indirect racial profiling by targeting
racially defined groups" violated the equal protection clause of the 14th
In 195-page decision, Judge Scheindlin concluded that, quote, "It is
impermissible to subject all members of a racially defined group to
heightened police enforcement because of some members of that group are
criminals." What she didn`t do, however, was bring the story of the NYPD`s
history of racial profiling to an end. In a separate list of remedies,
Judge Scheindlin made a point of quoting, "to be very clear, I am not
ordering an end to the practice of stop and frisk."
A New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made it clear that he has no plans for
the policy to end either. Following through yesterday on his promise to
appeal the ruling, which actually makes the family friendly Ice Cube of
today as relevant as the NWA alter ego. Because this case is far from
closed. We aren`t there yet. There`s still a ways to go.
Here with me, Jumaane Williams, New York City councilman who has the - one
of the most vocal critics of stop and frisk. Seema Iyer, criminal defense
attorney, a former prosecutor in the Bronx D.A.`s office and legal
contributor for Arise News. Sunita Patel, staff attorney for the Center on
Constitutional Rights who litigated the case of Floyd versus the City of
New York, which put stop and frisk on trial, and Aura Bogado, contributing
writer of "The Nation" and news editor for "Colorlines." OK, I want to
start, obviously, with you, Sunita, because you did litigate the case.
What is the next step in the case going before - or the results of Judge
SUNITA PATEL, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Well, she`s put in place a
monitor that is going to work with the New York Police Department and all
the parties and the community to try to see real reform. What`s really
remarkable here is that the judge has said, the community has to be a part
of the reform process. This is something that`s common in police practice
cases like this around the country, and that`s what we`ll be doing. We
will be moving forward with the community and hopefully with the police
department at the table.
REID: Well, I mean Jumaane, what`s been really remarkable has been the
vigor with which the mayor has continued to defend stop and frisk. Ray
Kelly, the police commissioner, they haven`t backed down one iota from
their belief that stop and frisk works and not only that, but that minority
communities either do or should want it.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: Well, I diagnosed the
mayor with third term billionaire syndrome for his inability to really
recognize what`s going on. But I do want to make sure we separate out the
thing that allows an officer to stop, question and frisk somebody, and
racial profiling. They tend to merge that together. The fact that we have
a policy known as stop and frisk is an issue. Because it`s usually just
good police work if it`s done correctly. If you have reasonable suspicion,
you stop someone. What I`ve been trying to get out is taking out the
profiling from the ability to do those things. And if you do that, you
have good police work that needs to continue.
And the fact that the administration refuses to realize there`s a problem
is a shame, because there has been other good police work that has been
done, and we can`t concentrate on continuing of those, because we have an
administration that doesn`t understand the Constitution and what it says
about being able to stop someone. It doesn`t say anything about
deterrents, it doesn`t say anything about being able to stop anybody at any
time because of the color of their skin. And let`s pretend that you can
say the Constitution doesn`t matter. And we move that aside, then you look
at the effectiveness of it. And if you look at the numbers, the mayor
loves numbers, except when it comes to this, but if you look at the data,
there is absolutely no correlation between gun violence, murders, guns off
the street, and how many stops are made in low income and black and Latino
REID: Well, you know, Bloomberg actually directly contradicted that. And
Seema, I`m going to come to you, but I want to play actually Bloomberg from
Monday, in a press conference, Michael Bloomberg, this is his defense,
continuing defense of stop and frisk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (I) NEW YORK CITY: The fact that fewer guns are
on the street now shows that our efforts have been successful and there is
just no question that stop, question, frisk has saved countless lives. And
we know that most of those lives saved, based on the statistics, have been
black and Hispanic young men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And Seema, so, it`s sort of bringing together the good Bloomberg and
the bad Bloomberg, right? He`s very strong on the issue of gun violence,
on the issue of reducing the amount of guns in the street, but yet he wants
to credit stop and frisk with that.
SEEMA IYER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And yet he ignores, everyone here
at this table knows that since 1990, violent crime has been down. So stop
and frisk, has it been implemented well? Yes, in terms of what reduction
in crime there has been, agreed. Because let`s say you look at the
statistics, right, and only be - of all stop and frisk cases that were
examined between 2004 and 2009, eight percent led to searches. Of that
eight percent, only nine percent produced weapons. So, OK. Now you`re
going to tell the mothers and fathers of those children, whose lives were
saved because of stop and frisk that their lives are useless? So there is
some, you know, there`s an argument for keeping stop and frisk. I think
the issue that it is raising, which is important, is the reform, and this
monitor, he`s an attorney. He was a chief assistant district attorney in
the Manhattan D.A.`s office and this is someone who will act as a liaison.
Another issue that they`ve brought up with - with we need to talk about
more, is the video cameras that they`re thinking about putting on police
officers to actually observe the stop and frisk.
REID: And it`s something that Bloomberg isn`t necessarily in favor of, the
IYER: Right. He is not in favor of that. And .
REID: Why is he not in favor of this?
AURA BOGADO, NEWS EDITOR, COLORLINES: You know, something he is in favor
of, for example, we just heard about yesterday, he did a proposal where he
wants to now fingerprint and create a new database for people who are .
BOGADO: NICHA, in NICHA housing, right, in section eight housing. So this
is really about the way that poverty is engineered within certain
communities and then how that leads to then criminalize certain people,
right? This is in a post-9/11 area, full of Islamophobia. We have a
police commissioner that defends spying on Muslims. Not even just in New
York City or even the state of New York, but also as far as Connecticut,
right? Some of my classmates, for example, were spied on by the NYPD in
Connecticut. And so I think that a lot of this is really about social
control. I think that a lot of what`s underlying this. And yet, our
mayor, for example, doesn`t want the kind of social control that would
monitor the way that police act .
BOGADO: . towards black and brown communities. And that`s pretty scary.
REID: It`s sort of treating communities as suspect, but not wanting the
police to have their own action, sort of pre-cleared by the public. And
we`re going to talk more about this when we come back. Because if the
police are watching us, who, indeed, is watching the police? The judge in
New York`s stop and frisk case has a plan for that.
REID: Judge Shira Scheindlin`s ruling on stop and frisk also included her
orders on how the NYPD needs to change its policy to make it compliant with
the Constitution. A series of immediate and long-term reforms, an
independent monitor to oversee the changes, town hall style meetings to
include the community and their input in the reform policy. And in order,
the officers in precinct with the highest number of stops spend one year
equipped with one of these, body-worn cameras that would create objective
records of what happens each time that an officer conducts a stop and
Joining me now from Miami is someone who understands a lot about the law
enforcement side of these interactions, Robert Parker. He`s a former
director of the Miami-Dade police department and currently is a consultant
on law enforcement and security. Great to talk to you, as always, Chief
ROBERT PARKER, FORMER DIR., MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPT.: It`s good to be here,
Joy. Good to see you.
REID: So talk a little, just about, from the law enforcement side. In a
stop and frisk situation, why do officers favor, in general, this policy or
this way of conducting investigations?
Well, in the first place, stop and frisk is an issue that`s been at heart
for America for a lot of years. And of course, the actual case of Terry
versus Ohio came to play back in 1968, at which point it was determined for
law enforcement, proper conduct in terms of how to conduct a stop and a
frisk. And of course, with the reason for doing that being to satisfy a
curiosity or a potential, that an individual that a law enforcement officer
is focusing on, could be wanted for a crime. But first, the officer must
have an articulable reason for that stop. In other words, he must suspect
him of a crime.
And, of course, that stop must be very brief and when an officer does that,
he`s doing it in pursuit of something that that individual did. It can`t
be a general kind of thing that an officer does. It has to be with
specific reason, suspecting of having committed or going to commit a crime.
And, of course, in the frisk aspect or the ability for the officer to
temporarily detain them, put their hands on them. This is, of course, for
the officer`s safety. And again, you must have a reason to think that that
individual is armed. So it`s a very important aspect or a very important
tool for law enforcement officers. But it must, of course, maintain a
balance with citizen`s rights and citizens` concern.
There`s a constitutional right in terms of the right to be free of
excessive searches and seizures and to be stopped. And of course, for an
officer to do this properly, he must do it within the confines of the law.
And for all agencies, every agency from the police academy on up is aware
and continuously aware of the fact that all laws must be followed properly
in order to successfully either take an individual off the street and
REID: Well, given that .
PARKER: . for the attorney.
REID: And given that, Chief Parker, and that the judge essentially did
believe that the NYPD went too far, what did you think of the judge`s
PARKER: Well, I think if you consider the fact that this has been a long-
standing issue with law enforcement, particularly there in New York, I
think it goes back to the `60s, the issue of disparate or search and
seizure or stop and frisk, with NYPD and the thought that it occurred more
frequently in minority neighborhoods than others. And when you take a ten,
15-year span of review and study and you see a disparate utilization of
stop and frisk, then, of course, the community, law enforcement, and of
course the courts must become concerned.
PARKER: So what you really want is you don`t want a situation that
continues to escalate and grow in terms of drawing focus on your entity,
which is what New York, the largest law enforcement agency in the country,
has on its hands.
REID: And just to come back to the panel for a minute, to those two
points, the first point that Chief Parker made, meaning that the officer
needs to have a reasonable suspicion that the person committed a crime,
well, in 2012, 532,911 people were stopped. Was the assumption that there
were 530,000 criminals roaming the streets of New York? Because that
doesn`t sound like a very safe city, an 89 percent of those were found not
to have any contraband of any kind. And then the second half of that, this
notion that it`s being misapplied based on race, in 2012, that same year,
55 percent of those stopped were African-American, even though the city is
about 28 percent black, 32 percent Latino, only ten percent white. Despite
the fact that those white citizens who were stopped were actually found
more likely to have contraband. So doesn`t that just mean that the judge
essentially found that the entire policy is the opposite of what Chief
Parker said it should be?
PATEL: That`s absolutely correct. And this is an important decision,
because it acknowledges the role of institutional racism and unconscious
bias in police activity in New York City. What we have here is a decision
that says -- that looks - I mean let`s take, for example, two specific
justifications for stops. High-crime area and furtive movement. What the
judge says is furtive movement is overused with blacks and Latinos at such
a high rate that she could only conclude that police officers are assuming
that black people and Latino people are more suspicious, even though
they`re not doing anything wrong, than white people.
REID: Just because of moving?
PATEL: And that`s because of race.
REID: Right. And the way they`re moving and sort of the way they look.
PATEL: That`s right.
REID: We have a lot more to talk about. Unfortunately, we do have to
wrap. Robert Parker in Miami, thank you so much for joining us this
PARKER: Thank you for having me, Joy.
REID: OK, and up next, New York`s police commissioner makes his case for
stop and frisk.
REID: The man in charge of New York City`s stop and frisk program, and one
of its most ardent defenders is Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. He spoke
with "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory yesterday and here`s what he
said when asked about the view that stop and frisk is part of a larger
trend of universal suspicion without individual evidence in communities of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY KELLY: Nobody wants to be stopped. At the very least, you`re giving
up your time. But we need some balance here. The stark reality is that
violence is happening disproportionately in minority communities and that,
unfortunately, is in big cities throughout America. We have record low
numbers of .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That full interview plus a response from Trayvon Martin`s mother,
Sybrina Fulton and attorney Benjamin Crump will air on NBC`s "Meet the
And Sunita, you wanted to talk a little bit about that gentleman, Ray
Kelly. He said, you know, you`re just giving up your time and hey, you
know, all the crime is happening in communities of color.
PATEL: Well, that`s absolutely ludicrous, and I think it`s really
important here to know that Ray Kelly is in very bad company. The only
other city that`s ever been found liable for racial profiling after a trial
is Joe Arpaio, the infamous racist sheriff from Phoenix, Arizona. These
two men refused to settle a case when shown mountains of evidence before
trial and even after trial, at least sheriff Arpaio is willing to move
forward with the reforms. Here, instead, Ray Kelly has filed a notice of
REID: Go on, Jumaane.
WILLIAMS: Just two things that I want to point out really quick. One is,
one I think they use most is the fear factor with the numbers, and it`s
important that people understand that they`re just basically misinforming
people. So, the largest drop in murders happened long before the mayor
even came into office. In 1990, it was upwards of 2,500. The year before
the mayor came into office, it was 649. And there has been no correlation
ever since between the amount of stops, shootings and what have you.
Secondly, I want to make sure I make a (inaudible) because we have a
Community Safety Act that we think is a long-term solution, a permanent
solution, local solution unlike the temporary solution that was there, and
I hope we get to override the mayor`s veto on that. And lastly, one of the
things that are frustrating to me, when people view the reaction to the
crime, which is primarily in the black Latinos community, as the only
resource what they want to use an affirmative response is the NYPD. Now,
if we use those same statistics and say, let`s have affirmative proactive
programs in jobs, in education, in mental health, everybody says, oh, on
the right, we can`t! We can`t do that! We can`t focus! We can only use
race to describe the problem and to put police there. We can never use
these things to add programs and resources that would actually help.
IYER: I don`t think that`s necessarily true. And that is this. When I`m
in the projects, every week, there are members of that community who are
talking to the other members of the community and organizing within
themselves to get the drug dealers out. And I will tell you this, Joy,
most of my drug conspiracy cases, if not all, are from projects.
WILLIAMS: Well, I mean the people, particularly, who are supporting the
continued use of profiling. If you ask them to support other programs that
use the same data and focus it like a laser on those communities, they say
no. They say, we can`t have affirmative action programs. We can`t have
programs that put resources there and focus just on race, but they can do
that when it comes to the police.
REID: And Iyer, but I think the main problem, the bottom line here I think
is what Judge Scheindlin said. And I want to read a little bit from her
ruling. Because I think this is the bottom line. Whatever you think about
the effectiveness of different programs to end crime in these communities,
she said "this case, the stop and frisk case is not about the effectiveness
of stop and frisk in deterring or combatting crime. This courts mandate is
solely to judge the constitutionality of police behavior, not its
effectiveness as the law enforcement tool. Many police practices may be
useful for fighting crime, but because they are unconstitutional, they
cannot be used, no matter how effective.
BOGADO: And I think the judge`s ruling corroborates with communities,
already know, it corroborates what Kendrick Lamar certainly knows in his
brilliant album. I`m so happy we started on that note. And I think that,
you know, when people talk about at their dinner tables tonight, maybe
about stop and frisk, I want to challenge people to really talk about
racial profiling and to talk about racism. It`s no secret that nine out of
the ten of the people who are stopped are black and Latino. It`s no secret
that 99.8 percent of them don`t have a gun on them. So, we have a policy
that`s supposed to somehow keep us safer where only 0.2 percent of the time
a gun is found.
And so, I think, the question really becomes not do we like stop and frisk,
but do we like and accept and endorse racism and racial profiling? I think
that`s a much better place to start. And if so, how much racism are we
really willing to put up with? It`s 2013, not 1965.
REID: Right, not to mention the notion that we are talking about, the
potential that the NYPD is presumed, that there are 600,000 criminals
roaming the street of New York a year and then saying this is the safest
state - city in the U.S.
UF: And - with Trayvon Martin - you know .
REID: And that is the issue.
WILLIAMS: They`re wrong on both issues. They`re wrong constitutionally
and they`re wrong on the effectiveness .
WILLIAMS: . because you find a weapon and contraband most of the time on
the white stops than the black Latinos.
REID: And very rarely even then. OK, thank you very much to Jumaane
Williams and Aura Bogado. Thank you.
And up next, imagine a business that grows by 800 percent in 30 years.
Now, imagine how that could be really, really bad.
REID: When we finally tallied the history of the so-called war on drugs,
the remarks made Monday by Attorney General Eric Holder could well be
remembered as being a tipping point, all because of two words, "too many."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Too many Americans go to too many
prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason.
Even though this country comprises just five percent of the world`s
population, we incarcerate almost a quarter of the world`s prisoners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Almost 800 percent. That`s how much the federal prison population
has grown since 1980. Nearly 7 million. That`s how many people in the
United States were under some kind of adult correctional supervision at the
end of 2011. That`s one in 34 adults. More than 2.2 million are
incarcerated in local, state, and federal prisons. And of that number,
1.57 million inmates are just in state and federal prisons. And of that
number, just 219,000 inmates are in federal prisons. But that`s still
nearly 40 percent over capacity. And the ratio of inmates to staff is as
much as five to one. Why are so many in federal prison? The strict
mandatory minimum drug sentencing guide lines Holder referred to in his
speech are a big reason why. In 2010 alone, more than 70 percent of
federal convictions carrying a mandatory minimum sentence were for drug
trafficking crimes. That`s nearly eight in ten.
If you happen to get caught with 100 kilograms of marijuana, that`s about
220 pounds. Federal mandatory minimums require a five-year sentence. But
just 500 grams of cocaine gets you the same five-year bid. And a mere 28
grams of crack cocaine gets you the same sentence. Attorney General Eric
Holder is now proposing to take those numbers out of the equation, to take
the amount of illegal drugs out of, of any kind, out of sentencing
procedures for nonviolent federal drug offenders. What all that means for
future offenders and those already in the system, next.
REID: Jesse Jackson Jr. is going to prison. So is his wife, but not at
the same time. A U.S. district judge on Wednesday sentenced the former
Democratic congressman from Illinois to 30 months in prison for misuse of
campaign funds. Jackson`s wife, Sandy, was also sentenced to one year in
prison for failing for years to report the campaign money spent on personal
luxuries as income. The couple will serve their sentences one after the
other, so there is at least one parent at home for their two children.
Now, this isn`t uncommon or preferential treatment. More to the point,
it`s the humane, better thing to do.
Attorney General Eric Holder took a big step towards better on Monday, when
it comes to low-level drug crimes, by proposing serious sentencing reform,
something that pretty much everyone is in favor of, even ALEC. Yes, the
American Legislative Exchange Council, the driving force behind so much
extreme right-wing legislation in state or national politics, backed the
congressional bill earlier this month that would give judges discretion to
reduce statutory minimum sentences. So if even ALEC, which once backed
tougher sentences laws, is for making our justice system more sensible, who
could be against it?
Believe it or not, we can think of a few. So, back to our panel again. We
do have Seema and Sunita still with us. There are people who oppose this
idea of changing mandatory minimum sentences.
IYER: Well, you`re talking about Paul Gosser (ph), right, who was all up
in Eric Holder`s face after fast and furious went down, so he has his own
political agenda and motivation. But, generally, it seems that
conservatives are pretty happy about it because of the ridiculous amounts
of money we`ll be saving.
REID: Right, but what about prosecutors? I mean in your job, does the
idea of discretion change the way you do your job. When you`re charging
someone with a crime, do you have in the back of your mind, you know what,
this is a low-level drug dealer, but if I charge him with "X," the
mandatory minimum kicks in. Does that change the way you actually do your
IYER: Yes, because now at some - on some level, the prosecutors have more
discretion. Because the amount of drugs won`t be in the charging
instrument, OK? So at that point, the prosecutor is left to consider other
factors like mitigation in terms of, is there community service, is there a
program. But the prosecutor also has to look at, was this person a manager
or a supervisor in a conspiracy, in a drug organization. Is there any
violence alleged? Was a weapon involved? So, both the judge and the
prosecutor in this case get to open their eyes to who the defendant really
is, as opposed to just an amount of drugs.
REID: But that doesn`t always work that way, obviously.
REID: We`ve been covering a lot on this show, the case of Clarence Aaron.
And this was the young man who was - he`s seeking clemency since 1993. He
got three life sentences for merely introducing a college friend, his
roommate, or a college friend who had a relative that was in the drug
trade, to another person in the drug trade. That transaction happened. He
got three life sentences. And he`s actually got the longest sentence of
the three people. I mean - are mandatory minimums at all doing what Seema
said, where they`re allowing the prosecutor and the judge to think about
it, before they charge and before they proceed?
PATEL: No, I mean, this is a tragic case of a young man who`s now in his
40s, and it`s just outrageous that in this country, we would allow
something like this to happen. Mandatory minimums don`t make anyone safer.
They just cause a prison glut. And it`s a waste of taxpayer resources. I
think Seema`s right, that many conservatives and people on the right, who
we would think would be against this kind of change, are actually a little
bit muted in their response, which is great. And I think that what we`re
seeing around the country, it`s not just on the federal level, but even
within the states. Certain states are starting to do away with mandatory
minimums and three strikes, you`re outlaws, which is - which is a great
improvement and will not only improve the use of taxpayer resources, but
will go a long way towards diminishing the warehousing of black and brown
people in this country.
IYER: And that`s interesting, because if you noticed, while the federal
prisons are expanding, they`re operating under 40 percent above capacity
now, the state jail and prison system has been reduced, so it seems that
the feds are looking at the states and saying, maybe that`s how we should
run our system now. More alternative to incarceration programs. More
probation, because let me tell you something, Joy. My goal as a criminal
defense attorney is keep the client out of prison. Going to prison changes
your life. It changes everything. There is no coming back. If a crime,
goes to jail, and it does whether it`s a few months or even a year, even a
little more. They have more chance to rehabilitate themselves.
REID: All right. Well, thank you very much to Seema Iyer and Sunita
Patel. Thank you both.
And coming up, right now in different parts of the country, communities are
running out of water and it`s because of something we`re doing. We could
stop, but we don`t want to. And that`s next. More Nerdland at the top of
REID: Welcome back. I`m Joy Reid in for Melissa Harris-Perry. A shortage
of water in the state of Texas has left residents thirsty, frustrated, and
saying what the frack! According to recent reports, the practice of
hydraulic fracking, more commonly known as fracking, which is used as oil
extraction, is making the drought problem in the Lone Star State much
These areas in red that you`re seeing on the map are parts of Texas that
are experiencing extreme and exceptional drought. The drought problem has
become so bad that at least one Texas resident is actually wishing for a
natural disaster to help.
Rancher Buck Owens told "the Guardian` newspaper that, quote, "we`ve got to
get floods. We`ve got to get a hurricane to move up in our country and
just saturate everything to replenish the aquifer."
While fracking makes up less than one percent of the water use in Texas, in
certain counties, according to a University of Texas study, fracking uses
up 50 percent of the water supply. But before we go any further, just what
is fracking? I`m going to leave that explanation to "All In`s" Chris
Hayes, who not only explained the process, but also had some really cool
animation made for his documentary, "the power of politics," which
premiered last night on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES: The process begins by
drilling down thousands of feet into the tough shale layer. The drill line
goes vertical and then horizontal through the rock, sometimes as far as a
mile. Then, under high-pressure water, chemicals and sand are pumped into
the line, forcing fractures in the rock, releasing the oil, which is then
pumped to the surface. This ingenious technology is termed hydraulic
fracturing, or more commonly, fracking, and has led to a modern-day oil
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And while millions of gallons of water are required for each
fracking job, most of the water used in hydraulic fracturing gets lost,
with only 20 to 25 percent of the water recovered, and the rest becoming
waste. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waste water gushes up and gets stored for eventual
disposal. All should be good, until trouble finds a way in. A tear finds
the way into the lining of the waste pit. Poisonous vapors find the way
into your lungs, and cancer-causing chemicals find the way into your glass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, proponents of fracking note that the economic benefits that it
provides in the form of jobs, along with evidence that hydraulic fracturing
has contributed to reduced carbon emissions. While those may be good
things, it is not the whole picture. Because people across the country are
being asked at an increasing rate to weigh the benefits and consequences of
fracking and decide between their wallets and their water, not to mention
Joining me from Texas is Luke Metzger, director of environment Texas, a
statewide citizen based environmental advocacy organization. And at the
table, Josh Fox, director and producer of the documentary`s "Gasland" and
"Gasland 2," which look at the domestic gas drilling boom. Deborah
Cipolla-Dennis, a Texas native who lives in Dryden, New York, and
successfully fought with her fellow residents against a big oil company who
wanted to frac within their town`s limits. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of
Green for All, an organization that is dedicated to improving the lines of
all Americans through a clean energy economy, and Uni Blake, director of
environmental affairs for hometown energy group and independent energy
consulting firm with clients in the oil and gas industry.
And I want to go first to Luke, and I just want to ask you, just give us a
sense of just how bad the drought problem is in Texas right now.
LUKE METZGER, DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENT TEXAS: Sure, Joy.
Yes, the 00 right now, as the map showed is, about 98 percent of the state
is suffering from some form of drought conditions. We have about 60
percent -- our reservoirs are only at 60 percent of the capacity. We have
about 30 communities that the state expects to run out of water by the end
of the year. Drought has caused about $8 billion in damages to our
economy, 300 million trees died, rivers have run dry, impacting wildlife,
including fish and endangered whooping cranes. And it`s had a real toll.
We`re in a crisis right now in Texas with this drought.
REID: And Luke, you blame this on fracking? I mean, could there be other
METZGER: Sure. Well, the crisis is caused by the drought, but it`s made
worse by the wasteful water use required for fracking.
And I want to turn to you, Debora. You`re a Texas native, right? Even
though now you`re in New York and we`re going to talk about the New York
case. But, I mean, how has fracking changed your home state of Texas? How
has that technology changed? Because, obviously, the economic benefits are
very attractive to communities who need jobs.
DEBORAH CIPOLLA-DENNIS, DRYDEN, NEW YORK RESIDENT: Right. And, you know,
my experience has been, I lived in Texas, I grew up there, and when I go
back there to visit my family, the landscape is completely different. When
I fly into Dallas-Fort Worth airport, you just see the land is scarred with
these frac pads. And it is just a completely different place than it was
when I grew up.
And you know, the drought is affecting all the farmers and ranchers around
there. They`re having to sell their herds, they can`t feed them. This has
impacted my family. And to take this water out of the water cycle, it`s
using that water and it`s actually making it to where it is not usable
again, by adding these chemicals. And that`s just, that`s a terrible thing
to do, when the state is experiencing this drought.
REID: And Josh, I mean, your movie, "Gasland," and "Gasland @," the idea
that you could light your water, I think, is the most visible image. But,
what people are talking about, essentially, is that the fracking process
uses a lot of water, but the actual fluid that`s being pumped into the
ground is 98 percent water and sand, which sounds pretty benign. But it`s
that other two percent, I guess, that is at issue. You`re talking about
anti-bacterial agents and clay stabilizer and cross linkers, things I don`t
even know what they were.
JOSH FOX, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, GASLAND/GASLAND 2: You don`t want two percent
of this kind of thing in your drinking water. But the issue here that
rephrasing in Texas, it`s important to define this. Because the industry
will come out and say, we don`t use that much water, a golf course uses
more. Come on. But when you take the water permanently out of the
hydrological cycle, it means you`re facing water bankruptcy.
When you take that water down into the ground and it never comes back up,
it`s different than a hydrological years because you are still in the cycle
of replenishing the aqua burn and watering the ground and so forth. With
fracking, you`re losing that water permanently.
So, that mean, it`s stuck down there. And when you`re talking about a
drought that`s caused, in part, by climate change, and we know that natural
gas means another 50 years of burning fossil fuels and an enormous amount
of leakage of methane into the atmosphere, which is a very potent
greenhouse gas, you`re talking about a process of developing a fuel that
accelerates global warming.
So, it is a double whammy. You`re losing the water down into the substrata
and it`s never coming back out, and at the same time you`re worsening
conditions that led to the drought in the first place.
REID: And Uni, I want to bring you in here. Because obviously, the
economic argument for fracking is that, you know, you can produce jobs.
But how does the industry argue against what you`re hearing here, which is
that the cost is too high, in terms of the environment, because you have
global warming compounding problems like drought.
UNI BLAKE, DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, HOMETOWN ENERGY GROUP: First
of all, I think we need to take a step back. One percent of the water is
being used by the gas industry, 99 percent is being used somewhere else.
Why are we quibbling over one percent?
REID: Well, if the one percent is causing significant environmental
damage, I mean, if you go back to that animation, the idea that, you know,
people feeling they are being poisoned essentially by the outcomes of
fracking, even if it is one percent of the water use, is the toll on
potential health and the water supply still too high to pay for the
economic benefits you get back?
BLAKE: You`re starting with an assumption that people are being poisoned
and that water is being poisoned. I didn`t, you know, I testified once in
front of the assembly and I was talking about pack waste. How are people
getting poisoned by this water. Yes, the animation over there showed
somebody drinking a glass of some poisonous substance or the other. I
don`t know who would drink water, if it comes through your tap and it`s
already, you know, got something in it. That`s a pathway that`s
incomplete, OK? That means people are not being exposed.
That having been said, yes, the industry has had issues where they`ve had
gas migration move into people`s water, and I think that it`s obviously,
when it happens.
PHAEDRA ELLIS-LAMKINS, CEO, GREEN FOR ALL RIGHT,: Can I just say that I
think the challenge is, the people that pay the consequences of water that
they can`t drink from their faucets is people that can`t afford bottled
water and the problem for me with natural gas is that it is essentially the
same problem with other fossil fuels, but only made tenfold worse, which is
we know who`s likely to drink that water. It used to be just people of
color in urban areas. Now it`s white poor people in urban areas.
And so, what we`re saying is, we know -- I mean, I think what`s so hard for
me is one percent taking that chance is poor people and people who are
desperate for jobs. And, you know, I don`t, you know, I heard people
talking about other things. And for me, it`s just what`s right and wrong.
Are we going to sacrifice the health and well-being of people that can
least afford it, so that other people can have cheaper fuel. And I just
think we deserve better in this country.
REID: I think we should let Luke speak to that because this is what you`re
fighting, Luke. I mean, this is the issue for you in Texas, is that your
organization is saying that that cost is too high for the people that you
METZGER: That`s right. And the fact is that in 2011, fracking required
the use of about 26 billion gallons of water. That`s enough water to fill
up 40,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. So this is no drop in the bucket.
And that water is especially being used in the most drought-prone parts of
the state. And it`s caused some, you know, ranchers` wells to run dry.
And as Josh mentioned, this is unlike forms of agriculture or other water
use. This water is removed forever from our water cycle. So the one
percent figure is a red herring. You know, this is an enormous use of
And the technology is available to reuse and recycle some of this water,
but the oil and gas industry isn`t even been willing to do that, according
to the Texas oil and gas association, in the Barnett shale part of the
state, which is around Dallas-Fort Worth, less than five percent of the
water is even recycled. So it`s a big problem here in Texas.
REID: OK. I want everybody to stay with us. Because we do want to talk
more about this issue. I want to give Uni a chance to respond to what Luke
said. I want keep Luke to begin after one more break and he will stay with
us. So everybody, stay right there.
And when we come back, we are going to talk about the little town that took
on big oil and fracking and won.
REID: Call it the little town that could. In 2011, rural Dryden in
upstate New York, population, 14,500, banned hydraulic fracking, prompting
the anchills exploration corporation, which has spent millions of dollars
buying up leases in Dryden from private home and farm owners to suit.
The energy company wanted the court to force the town to accept industrial
gas drilling including fracking within town limits. Not only did the town
fight back, it garnered the support of 20,000 people to support them in
In May of this year, a New York state appeals court affirmed the lower
court`s decision that Dryden and nearby middle field New York had the right
to ban oil and gas exploration in their towns.
But this fight is far from over, as Norse energy has now filed papers to
try and have the latest decision reversed.
And I want to go to you first on that, Deborah, because this is your town
of Dryden. And essentially, at issue is whether or not once the private
company actually had gone to private land owners including farm owners, and
bought up the leases, whether that could be enforced by the state, even the
locality said, we don`t want this practice.
CIPOLLA-DENNIS: Right. So New York is a home rule state. And basically,
that means that local governments have the right to, and the jurisdiction,
to say what they`re going to do with land use. And they do that through
And so what Dryden did was they passed a law through their zoning ordinance
that said that they do not allow heavy industrial uses, such as hydraulic
fracturing. So, the ban is actually to preserve our community character,
and we are very rural area. And this is to, really to embrace what we have
as a comprehensive plan to stay as a rural area. And to preserve that,
that the people there really enjoy and that`s why we live there.
REID: And I want to go back to Josh on this -- to Luke to this, I`m sorry.
Because Luke, there is the context, I was reading a piece in "Mother Jones"
that talked about kind of the difference to what`s happening in Dryden and
what`s happening in Texas, where you don`t have this sort of home rule
applying. Where people are having wells near their basketball courts and
near their schools and this is just happening and people don`t feel they
have the ability or the right to stop them.
What remedies is your organization seeking to give people what the people
in Dryden were able to get, basically, a say over whether fracking takes
METZGER: Sure. Well, we haven`t had any towns ban fracking in Texas, but
we have had some communities step up and adopt some very tough ordinances
to really protect public health and safety of the community, like Flower
Mound, Texas, and others in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Dallas is considering some very strong restrictions on fracking because in
Texas, drilling is the often happening right in the middle of neighborhood
and near people`s homes and schools and playgrounds. And so, some
communities have stepped up to try to adopt restrictions.
The oil and gas industry in response is attempted to get the Texas
legislature to prevent communities from adopting these kind of ordinances.
But yes, we definitely encourage communities to take up their rights and
adopt some protections to help limit the impacts of drilling to the
REID: And I want to bring Uni back in here. Because this is a question of
community who is, and we were talking about in the break, may not really
know what fracking is, but they have a feeling they just don`t like it.
There is a piece that talks about how many people actually know what
fracking is. And the vast majority of people, something like 40 percent,
haven`t heard at all about fracking. Really don`t know what it is.
And so, with the technology that is sort of foreign to people. They don`t
know what it is, but there`s a sense that, you know what, I don`t want this
in my backyard. Do you feel that that`s based on science or just based on
BLAKE: You used word of feeling. People, when they don`t know something,
you know, they tend to go, you know, with their feelings, like I said, like
you said. But the gap is not so much, how can I put it, I think it`s just
the inability, the industry didn`t go ahead and really educate people about
I could use my town as an example, which is pretty close to Middlefield.
When the gas company came to drill a vertical well, they were required by
the state not to really inform anybody of anything. And they went ahead
and run about 20 trucks through the town to go fracture a site. And after
that, you know, the community complained and there was a lot of, you know,
pushback. And the next permit that came out, the state required the
company to educate the community, to go to the town board and talk to the
town board. But because the ship had sailed down that road and people are
already afraid, and trying to talk about this technical issue and trying to
put it in a form where people can understand, is really difficult.
You sat here and said it was really hard for you to understand all the
different nuances in it. I usually try to focus on my part of that pie,
because that`s where my education is. But we have people like Josh, whose,
I don`t even know what his education background is, telling people about
engineering, technology, and stuff. The cartoon you showed earlier was
such a misrepresentation --
REID: But can we -- if it`s the gas company itself --
FOX: I`m a reporter.
REID: If it`s the gas company --
FOX: And I`ve been reporting on this issue for five years. We have
evidence that fracking causes water contamination. So, we have evidence,
considerable evidence, that fracking causes air pollution. We have 25
percent of fourth graders in the Barnett Shale currently have asthma.
That`s three times the state average. We have evidence that fracking
destroys communities. We have evidence that fracking contaminates our
government with an enormous amount of political influence.
These are all things that have been widely reported on, widely reported on.
But what we don`t have is a sense of what "we" is. And when we`re talking
here about oil and gas companies, the economic benefits, what we get out of
this, I`m telling you we don`t get benefits.
These are multi-national oil and gas companies that are causing human
rights violations in our own backyard. And somehow, we have adopted them
as our economic boom. Well, that is not what happens in these places.
These places get destroyed. Their water resource is destroyed, as you
noted, in this town, one town in Texas that we`re looking at.
Dryden is an example of what`s happening all across New York state. New
Yorkers have fought off the oil and gas industry, which is a foreign
industry, coming to New York state, to come to toxify and degrade the
I know because I`m a member of a frontline company. The property right
across my house was leased. We fought them off and that leases actually
were canceled three weeks ago. But I know, if they were drilling right
across from me, my property values would go to zero. The likelihood that
methane would elevate in my water supply is very high according to pure
These things are not about me or my education. These things are being
reported on, it wildly, and all across this nation and all across this --
to deny that they`re happening is simple denial.
ELLIS-LAMKINS: But it`s --
ELLIS-LAMKINS: First, I find it offensive, because I think the fact --
this isn`t a question of -- I completely respect your PhD, I respect your
BLAKE: My masters.
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Or your masters. But you know, I studied economics, and I
think to say that, to me, it is not just a debate about the process,
because to debate the process would be to ignore the outcome.
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Right? And what we are not debating is, would you -- do
you believe that people`s water system isn`t being destroyed?
BLAKE: I don`t believe that.
ELLIS-LAMKINS: You don`t believe -- so when you see -- what do you think
BLAKE: I quantify things.
ELLIS-LAMKINS: OK. Not quantify. Let`s just say --
BLAKE: No, I`m a quantified thinker. So when you say people, do you mean
one out of 100, you mean two out of 100?
BLAKE: No, if you look at some of the wells being developed, there are
some that are perfect.
REID: But --
BLAKE: It`s about probability.
FOX: It is about probability.
REID: OK, hold on. Let me ask you this question. Would you want one of
these wells, literally, in your own backyard.
BLAKE: Yes, I would.
REID: And you have no fear this would affect the health of your family?
BLAKE: No, and you know why? Because I utilize natural gas products. I
utilize oil in my car that drove me here, that was from a fractured well.
And I wear --
REID: But do you believe, however, that if Deborah does not one of these
wells in her backyard that her community has the right to say no. That
whatever the oil company would say in educating people about them, if
people don`t want them, do they have a right to say no?
BLAKE: I believe people have a right to say no, but based on real
ELLIS-LAMKINS: But you said it`s one in 100. And the thing that is just
so hard for me to understand and to accept, is what you`re saying to me, is
the scientific data says that we sacrifice one for the other 99, and I`m
not willing to sacrifice the one. And that`s the difference. Because I
know who the one is.
The one is not someone in Beverly Hills. The reason that African-American
kids are more likely to have asthma, the reason Latino kids are more likely
to have asthma. The reality is, the consequences of that one is not a
random, scientific one, that one is a kid of color, an older person of
color, or increasingly, a poor white person in Texas. And that is not the
values of this country.
REID: OK. Hold on a second. Because one of those ones is represented by
Luke. Luke is representing people in that very situation.
Luke, I want to give you one more word, because we do have to let you go.
So Luke Metzger, give us your final take on this from the point of view of
people who are represented by this. Whether they understand the science or
not, they don`t want it.
METZGER: That`s right. I mean, clearly there are lots of concerns by
people in Texas about risk of contamination, the air pollution, the huge
amount of water use. There`s also a growing concern about the huge
economic costs from fracking. So, for example, the state of Texas
estimates we`re going to have to spend about $400 million on infrastructure
to provide water to the oil and gas companies for fracking. To frac a
single well takes hundreds of trucks carrying water. The trucks that
damage our roads at a cost of about $1 billion a year to repair. There are
real costs to the taxpayers, the rate payers of Texas that come with
fracking that don`t get enough attention.
REID: OK. We`re going to continue this debate on the other side of the
break. But for now, Luke Metzger, thank you very much for joining us from
METZGER: Thanks, Joy.
REID: And when we come back, we are going to bring in some celebs. Yoko
Ono, yes that Yoko Ono is going to join us, but we are going to continue
this hot debate at the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN LENNON, CELEBRITY ACTIVIST: The bottom line is that there`s sort of a
campaign of misinformation trying to tell people that fracking, hydraulic
fracturing, is a clean alternative to coal or to other fossil fuels, where
the reality is, it`s just dirty.
MARK RUFFALO, CELEBRITY ACTIVIST: We are being made aware because of
things like hydrofracking and tar sands and mountaintop removal of the
danger of going further down the road, of these kinds of extractions.
YOKO ONO, CELEBRITY ACTIVIST: To signal to fracking, say yes to life and
say no to fracking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That was Sean Lennon, Mark Ruffalo, and yes, Yoko Ono, who was here
in her own special way, speaking out against hydraulic fracking last year.
While they are like many citizens of New York those protesting against
fracking in their state, they are also celebrities who can garner
The everyday citizen doesn`t have that luxury as they try to just say no to
And on that, I want to go back to Deborah, because your town did mount, you
know, a really, an effort a lot of effort a lots of people concern to be
heroic against two oil companies who had actually spent money to go ahead
and lease and do fracking in your community.
Do you have the sense that this sets a precedent for other communities who
do want to stop this, and you also wanted to talk about the fact that your
town is doing something proactive as well.
CIPOLLA-DENNIS: Right, absolutely. This is something that is giving
courage to other towns. There are many small towns in New York, as well as
across the country that have small budgets. And the thought of an oil and
gas company suing them is very scary.
So, we were very lucky and that we had a lot of community support and
people said, actually, at the hearing, if they sue us, that`s OK. We will
-- we`ve got your back. That`s what we said to our town board. And sure
enough, after the first lawsuit at the local level, we were joined by earth
justice, who came in and is working pro bono for us, which our little town
probably could not have been able to afford the legal support that we had.
And so we have this wonderful legal support. And so, this is giving other
towns the courage to do this. And it`s spreading, as josh said, across New
York. We have -- I don`t know what the number is. It grows every day of
the number of town that have enacted bans and moratorium.
And I just want to comment on, you know, this is a local grassroots effort.
And many of the people that are in our organization, the Dryden Resources
Awareness Coalition, we didn`t even know each other before this issue came
about. And we`ve gotten together and did a wonderful petition drive. We
got out in the community, met a lot of people. We`re heavily involved in
the election cycle, which is very important, and I want to encourage other
towns, that this is where you can make a difference, is you get the people
on your town and county governing bodies, that can -- that will support
these issues. And they understand that fossil fuels is a dead-end street.
And we are in trouble with climate change. We`re seeing the effects of
this. And we have to do something.
And I understand Uni was saying, you know, you drive here in a car, you use
natural gas. Well, we have to, as a population, to stop doing that. We
have to find alternatives. And in our small town, and actually in Tomkins
County, we have started a program based on the solarized model. It`s
called Solarized Tomkins SE, SE for southeast, because it covers the
southeast part of the county. And we are putting solar panels on homes at
a price that no one has seen before. So people can afford them.
REID: And isn`t that the issue, Phaedra, I want to go back to you.
Because it isn`t just the issue of fracking, it`s the idea that we are
trying to replace one fossil fuel extraction method with another. I mean,
if you look at the map of us oil and gas wells across the United States, we
are talking about something that, you know, despite the fact they`re not
doing it in this one town, this is nationwide. We`re not looking to walk
away from fossil fuels. We are just looking for one that`s somewhat more
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Right, And what is scared to me is we are not just not
looking away, we are actually investing. We, as the United States
government gave $8 billion in subsidies to these companies last year, the
most profitable companies in the United States, the most profitable
companies in the world. So, it`s not just like they are just doing this at
a cost that is free. We are actually giving $8 billion a year.
In addition, it`s not even the smartest technology. What we know is that
when we invest in clean energy, three times the amount of more jobs are
created. We also know it doesn`t destroy the health of our children. And
so, the real question is, what will it take for us to actually innovate in
the technologies that are growing and the technologies that actually are
beneficial to our communities, and there`s some amazing models.
There`s crowd sourcing with solar tiles. There`s, you know, incredible
people of color who are doing stuff in Washington, D.C. with businesses.
So the real question is, can we create the political will to invest in the
one that makes the most sense.
REID: Very quickly, Uni, a response? Very quickly.
BLAKE: What about -- I hear us talking about all these negative things,
you know, about how -- all these children suffering and things. What about
the people, the rural people and the farmers?
ELLIS-LAMKINS: Yes, who increasingly are actually creating their own forms
of energy, because they have been depleted by fossil fuels. I think it`s a
great point, when you actually look at places like in Idaho, we saw a
wonderful model where they are actually figuring out how to do community
solar. I just don`t think what you`re saying is true.
REID: OK. We have, unfortunately, we have to leave it there. We may have
to continue this on twitter, as a matter of fact, because everybody still
has more to say.
So, thank you so much to Josh Fox, Deborah Cipolla-Dennis, Phaedra Ellis-
Lamkins, and Uni Blake, thank you all.
And after the break, you are getting a lesson on objective evidence. My
letter is next.
REID: There are some people who, for their own sake, should take a very
deep breath before they talk about race. Just to think it through. Like,
you know, before telling a group of Howard University students that they
would be Republicans if only they knew their black history. Or before
hiring, co-authoring a book, and then having to awkwardly part with a neo-
confederate who calls himself the southern avenger. Or before admitting
that you`re not super on board with the civil rights act.
This week, the right`s new poster child for awkward race talk had this to
say about North Carolina`s new voter restrictions and their likely impact
on black voters. According to Louisville radio station, WXTL, he said,
quote "I don`t think there is objective evidence that we are precluding
African-Americans from voting any longer." And that`s why my letter today
is to U.S. senator Rand Paul.
Dear senator Paul, it`s me, Joy. So here`s the thing. I get that you`re
trying to being the man in the GOP who steps out there on race, and to your
point, there are no more, quote, "bizarre and on absurd literacy tests from
the Jim Crow era."
As you said on Wednesday, that was an abomination, that`s why we needed the
voting rights act, but that`s not showing your I.D. But senator, if it`s
evidence you want that voter I.D. laws preclude African-Americans from
voting, well, then, here we go.
Up to 25 percent of African-American adults don`t have a photo I.D. compare
that to nine percent of white adults who don`t have I.D. Among young
African-American adults, the number may be even higher. In Wisconsin, for
example, one study found that only 22 percent of young African-American men
had a valid driver`s license. Poll workers are more likely to ask young
black voters for photo I.D., even in states without voter I.D. laws. And
young black adults are four times more likely to say that a lack of I.D.
prevented them from voting in 2012. And that`s just voter I.D.
The North Carolina law that you were asked about, the worst in the nation,
does a lot more than require certain forms of I.D. at the polls. It also
slashes early voting by a full week. Now, you might say that doesn`t sound
like discrimination, but 70 percent of African-Americans who voted this
North Carolina last year voted early, 70 percent. They also
disproportionally lacked voter I.D. and registered on the same they day
vote, another practice North Carolina has been. And don`t take my word for
it, Senator, just look at objective evidence from Florida.
In 2011, that state cut six days from early voting, including the Sunday
before Election Day, when black churches typically urge their congregations
to head to the polls after services. The result, unconscionably long lines
at the polls last November.
Some people waited six hours to vote, and the average wait time in Florida
overall was 45 minutes, three times the national average. Some of the
worst lines were on the Saturday before Election Day, which also happened
to have the highest minority turnout. And that led Dartmouth researchers
to declare that the cuts to early votes disproportionately affected
Those researchers estimated that more than 200,000 people who wanted to
vote didn`t because of the long lines. And it wasn`t just Florida.
African-American voters throughout the country waited, on average, almost
twice as long to vote as white voters.
Senator, feel free to stop me any time. I just want to make sure that you
get enough objective evidence. And by the way, African-Americans are also
disproportionately precluded from voting by the criminal code. Black
adults are more than four times more likely than White adults to be
disenfranchised due to a felony conviction, laws that happen to be a
invested of the post-civil war area, when many states tailored felony
disenfranchise laws to get around the fifth amendment.
And our old friend, Florida, 23 percent of Black adults can`t vote due to a
felony conviction. But I don`t need to tell you that, Senator Paul,
because you said it yourself. On the same day and in the same speech
posted on the same day and in the same speech posted on the Louisville
courier`s general Web site where you said, we don`t try to stop African-
Americans from voting anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: So a lot of our young people, and
particularly a lot of young people of color, are caught up in making
mistakes with drug crimes, nonviolent drug crimes when they`re kids, but it
ruins the rest of their lives, because the judges can`t have discretion.
They get convicted of felonies, makes it harder to get a job, and I think
it`s something that isn`t just. The ultimate outcome is not just. I know
people who have permanently lost their second amendment rights, their
voting rights, from making a youthful mistake with drugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Spoken like a guy who took a deep breath before he spoke.
REID: Four hundred thousand, that is the number of rape kits in the United
States containing critical DNA that are left untested in labs across the
country. Imagine being brutally attacked and going through the process of
providing samples of hair, skin, and clothing for investigators, only to
have the samples collect dust for decades. This is a national problem, but
some cities are making progress in cleaning out the backlog.
Less than one year ago, the Ohio attorney general began the sexual assault
kit testing initiative, and so far the DNA results have led to 50
indictments connect to unsolved rape cases in Cuyahoga County, which
Detroit Prosecutor Kim Worthy found more than 11,000 untested rape kits in
a warehouse in 2009. Since then, 600 kits that have been tested and
prosecutors have discovered evidence in 21 -- of 21 serial rapists.
Rosa Picket actually lived this nightmare in the small, predominantly black
and overwhelmingly poor town of Robbins, Illinois. She came forward with
her story after the cook county sheriff`s office discovered that more than
200 rape kits had been collected in Robbins since the mid-`70s that were
never used to solve crimes. Rosa was raped 36 years ago. Her rape kit was
lost and never been found. Her attacker, never apprehended. Now she`s
working to make sure that other survivors get the justice that she never
And joining us from Chicago is the chief of policy and communications in
the Cook County sheriff`s office, Cara Smith, and the brave sexual assault
survivor, whose story I just shared, Rosa Pickett.
Thank you both for joining me.
CARA SMITH, CHIEF POLICY AND COMMUNICATION, COOK COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE:
Good morning, thank you.
ROSA PICKETT, RAPE SURVIVOR: Good morning.
REID: And Cara, I want to start with you and ask why it was so important
to the sheriff`s office, the cook county sheriff`s office, who really isn`t
-- doesn`t have supervisory jurisdiction over Robbins, to do this work.
SMITH: Well, it goes to the heart of getting justice for the survivors,
and what we found in Robbins was particularly troubling, because it wasn`t
so much that kits had not been tested or analyzed, they had been, but they
had never been investigated. So it was a particularly unconscionable
discovery we made, and have been working diligently since then to try to
bring some justice in whatever form possible to these survivors.
REID: And Cara, tell us a little bit about the Robbins police department.
Because this is a very poor community, and the police department may not
even be equipped to do the job that they should have done with these
SMITH: Right. It`s a great question, and a very troubling situation that
we have. And many Robbins and other suburban Cook County municipalities,
when the municipality cannot afford a full-time police department, as is
the case in Robbins. They have an all part-time police force. So they
lack the capacity, frankly, to conduct thorough investigations of violent
crime, including sexual assault, which is a, must be handled in a very
efficient, with very specialized training, very victim-sensitive way.
And that has not occurred to with Rosa and other victims that we have been
working closely with. And it is just an unbelievable situation that we`re
facing. And certainly, Robbins has being cooperative with this, but it
really exposes a much larger problem in terms of how we ensure protection
for people when the communities they live in are distressed and, so it`s
this very important issue of sexual assault, as a jumping off point for
many other issues that need to be addressed.
REID: And Rosa, first of all, I want to commend you, you are very brave to
come forward. So many victims of sexual assault simply don`t feel that
they can speak up or have a voice.
What prompted you to come forward? I believe it was at a community
meeting, and put your hand up and say, you know what, I was a victim here,
and I want justice, even though it was so long ago.
PICKETT: Yes, that`s exactly how I felt. And I just wanted to know, they
had found my kit amongst the other 52 kits that they had found, but,
unfortunately, my kit wasn`t there. So I wanted to know where it was at.
I really wanted it found. I wanted to know what happened in the
investigation, why it wasn`t investigated and --
REID: And you were just a teenager when this happened, Rosa. I mean, what
was your sense when the police officer came and talked to you and your mom.
Did you get a sense that this officer cared about your case and had a
determination to find your attacker?
PICKETT: I was 17-years-old. And when my rape kit was done at the
hospital, the police came there and he took pictures of me. We did a
description. They did the rape kit. And being at that age, you know, I
knew that if the police had seen the pictures, I felt in my heart that they
would want to catch that person, you know. They seen what he had done to
I really felt that they was going to do their job, at that time. But,
unfortunately, as time went past, I realized that nothing became of it and
nothing was done, so here I sit. Pleading with other women to come forth
and you know, not be in the situation that I`m in today.
REID: Well, Rosa, thank you --
PICKETT: Help themselves.
REID: Right. You have become, in a lot of ways, the face of this drive in
your town of Robbins and we really appreciate you coming forward.
Thank you so much to both of you, Rosa Pickett, and Cara Smith, thank you.
SMITH: Thank you.
PICKETT: You`re welcome.
REID: OK. And for more on this story, you can visit thegrio.com.
And after the break, gang life, teen pregnancy, one man says he has the
solution to a range of problems for America`s young people, and the
solution is simple. Our foot soldier is next.
REID: Paul Caccamo says sports the solution, whether it is stirring young
people clear up a life of gang violence or avoiding unwanted teen
pregnancies. Paul says sports is the answer for youth and underserved
community. And he is responsible for bringing that solution to 25 million
Paul was the founder of Up2Us, a nonprofit organization supporting hundreds
of youth sports programs across the country. But Paul`s program goes a
step further focusing on the emotional well being of the young people who
participate with specialized training for his 500 coaches in more than 200
This summer, the program graduated another 44 coaches from its training
institute in New Orleans. For his work and supporting the health and well
being of America`s children in poor urban communities, Paul Caccamo is our
foot soldier this week and he joins me live in the studio.
Paul, thanks so much for being here.
PAUL CACCAMO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UP2US: Thank you.
REID: So, why do you -- what`s the connection between sports and the
avoidance of the negative pathologies and behaviors as you see in some of
CACCAMO: I think the biggest connection is belonging. Its attachments
because having a positive peer group, and most importantly, the reason we
train 500 coach across this country to serve in communities where they are
needed the most, is to have an adult who is a role model, who cares about
The president recently said in a speech there`s too much negative re-
enforcement. What are we going about positive re-enforcement for our kids?
And particularly kids who are facing issues like violence, like childhood
obesity, who are not seeing a future for themselves and dropping out of
school And we believe by training a coach, kids look up to their coaches.
Everyone who plays sports knows it. Why aren`t we building a national work
force of coaches which we adopt to us called coach across America who are
out there and ready to inspire kids and communities from one end of this
country to the next and to show them that they do matter, that they should
set up goals that they can be successful.
REID: But, how do you attract -- I mean, there are so many other sort
temptations in some of these communities and kids are pressured into
negative behavior. It is not necessarily always a choice. How do you
attract as they listen, let`s come and play soccer. Let`s come and play
bat. How do you make that more attractive than the negative things going
on in their community?
CACCAMO: Joy, that`s the greatest question because I think it speaks to
one of the aspects of why I always say sports is the solution, America.
And that is because when you look at kids in every community and you look
at the types of things that they themselves choose to participate in,
unfortunately, where we have as many broken schools and where you have a
lot of other challenges facing, it`s not necessarily the classroom.
So, we need to give the kids chance to make those choices and one of the
biggest choices kids make is I want to be part of a sports team. If
someone came over and said let`s play basketball, let`s play field hockey,
let`s play Macros (ph), or one tracking field, kids themselves choose to be
a part of it. The problem isn`t motivation of getting the kid to belong to
these programs, the problem is the lack of programs in our communities
where issues like youth violence happen the most.
REID: And very quickly, if somebody wants to get involved, tell us how do
they do that?
CACCAMO: They -- I`m asking everyone, please go to our Web site,
uptous2.org. www.up2us.org. And if you are an organization out there that
is using sports to make a difference, join Up2Us. If you are young person
who wants to coach and make this a greater country, and solve this issue of
youth violence and childhood obesity, we want to hear from you. We want
you coaching and we want you inspiring young kids lives.
REID: Brilliant. Thank you so much, Paul Caccamo for being here. We
really appreciate it.
CACCAMO: Thanks for having me.
REID: All right, indeed.
And thank you all today for joining me. And be sure to come back tomorrow.
I will be here, right here again in this very chair, 10:00 a.m. tomorrow
And right now, it`s time for "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT". Alex.
ALEX WITT, MSNBC HOST, WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT: And I`ll will right here
waiting for you too. That`s what I will do.
Thank you very much, Joy.
Letters from 16-year-old Hannah Anderson found in her alleged kidnapper`s
home. What do they mean?
Plus, a 50th anniversary of the march on Washington is approaching. I will
talk with Martin Luther King III about the legacy left by his father and
what he thinks about the president`s plan to honor him.
A judge rules a child is not allowed to be called Messiah. The legal
battle over what some are calling overstepping.
Plus, why one New Jersey town thinks they literally raise a whole town of
11 feet to avoid hurricanes. So, can it work there or anywhere?
Don`t you go anywhere. I will be right back.
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