The Ed Show for Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
January 23, 2014
Guest: Sherrod Brown, John Garamendi, Bob Shrum, Zerlina Maxwell, James
Peterson, Lori Wallach
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from the North Country in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Let`s get to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The dangers in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wealth of the world`s 85 richest people is equal
to the three and a half billion poorest people.
KEVIN O`LEARY: It`s fantastic. And this is a great thing, because
inspires everybody, gets some motivation to look up to the 1 percent. What
can be wrong with this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, for luck (ph) of the better work, is good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?
SCHULTZ: Playing the blame-game with the penniless in this world. People
are poor because they are lazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My colleagues in the Democrat side recently spend a lot
of time talking about income inequality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 95 percent of income gains in the U.S. have gone to the
wealthiest 1 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to do something about this economy growing
and wage inequality.
OBAMA: We are a better country than this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There would be simply be fish.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest thing is that this more group of very
wealthy people also capture political power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for watching.
For many years, a central theme on this Ed Show has been the issue of
income inequality. We were talking about it before anybody else is talking
about it because I think the depression of wages in America in the
development of the income gap, which has happened, can only be fixed if
this country moves forward on several key fronts.
The bottom line is, here -- since Ronald Reagan`s trickled down tax breaks
took effect to the early 1980s, income for about 1 percent has gone through
the roofs, sky rocket, and to look at those middle class wages, they have
flat lined and depressed. Depressed wages is the key issue here. Finally,
after years of being ignored, the growing income gap is finally getting the
attention it deserves. And I guess you could say that we`ve hit the
Today, the White House announced President Obama State of the Union Address
will focus on what? Income inequality. Congratulations Mr. President and
your staff. It`s about time. The president will touch on key issues like
raising the minimum wage, should be an easy lift but you got Republicans to
the next (ph), who knows? Extending unemployment benefits and college
Now, I got a list the heck (ph) about longer than that. He`s also going to
be talking about how he can move things forward without Congress by using
executive orders. Make no mistake. Fixing the list of problems is just
the first in the step of addressing income inequality in this country. The
president is correct in going down this road because this Congress ain`t
going to work with him to fix these problems.
The White House has announced. The president will go on a road trip to
taut (ph) this new agenda. And all of this I think is good news but it`s
important to remember President Obama will have to do all of this in the
phase of Republican obstruction. We`ve seen no reason why the Republicans
will come to the plate (ph) as honest brokers. Republicans have done
nothing but block this president`s agenda for the last five years and
nothing is going to change. I don`t believe. So the fight, I guess you
could say, has already started here in 2014.
Earlier today, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert paid a visit to the Kirby
Couch on Fox News. Here`s what he said about women who just want the
government to send them a check.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R) TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: The left tried to say I was
attacking single moms, and if you listen to what I said, the whole point
was it bugged the fire out of me that these young women, and the stories
were usually very, very similar, they got bored with high school, and
somebody would say, "Hey, drop out, the government will send you a check
for every child you can have out of wedlock." They have one child, and
they find out, that`s really not enough to live on, have another and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GOHMERT: Now, fortunately, everybody didn`t do that, but what got me is
for so many young women, the government, meaning well, lured them into a
hole or rut they couldn`t get out of without having to try to cheat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GOHMERT: . and get a job and keep the welfare. So.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, let me just say it real quick.
GOHMERT: The problem I had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real quick. This is the critics they`re saying.
GOHMERT: It`s the government`s fault.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Does Louie Gohmert understand that we have lost over 50,000
factories in this country because of outsourcing, that we have basically
gutted (ph) our manufacturing base because of an attack on labor, because
we don`t want to pay anybody anymore? But this is so typical of the
Republicans to throw it off on some type of social issue or subsocial
program to pick selectively certain examples and use that against the wages
in this country.
On top of that absurd remark made, a new poll shows and the problem goes
much deeper than Louie Gohmert. According to a Pew Research poll, 51
percent of Republicans think people are poor because of a lack of efforts.
They`re just nothing but a bunch of couch potatoes. Only 32 percent of
Republicans thinks it`s out of the poor person`s control. In another
words, circumstances out of their control.
I have always been a believer that opportunity and hard work go hand and
hand. Good things don`t always happen to hardworking people. Workers are
no doubt more vulnerable today on the global scale because of the global
economy. But we`re the ones that are falling behind. We`re the ones that
are watching our middle class get gutted (ph). Americans who come back
into the workforce quite often come back at a lower wage scale. Now, I`m a
believer that luck, L-U-C-K is a big part of being successful. This is why
I`m glad President Obama is doing everything he can to address income
inequality. Right now is the key time to do it.
Fifty years ago our nation declared war on poverty. Of course, the
conservatives are attacking, not saying it was a failure, although the
poverty rates have gone down because of the infrastructure investments that
we made decades ago. I think it`s time for President Obama to declare war
on income inequality.
Now, I think it`s great the president is going to talk about minimum wage.
He`s going to talk about sending kids to college on an affordable rate and
opportunity. And he`s going to be talking about certainly the issues of
income inequality to help the middle class. But it`s all connected to
trade. Everything we do is connected to trade and jobs.
Now, last night on this program I showed two charts. And we got quite a
bit of response on this. Why is it that the mainstream media doesn`t pay
more attention to this chart? This is the United States trade deficit with
China. We`re the biggest customer in the world, but we are the worst
negotiators in the world. We don`t protect American jobs. We don`t keep
at a level playing field, because the corporations just want profit and
sometimes people and workers get in the way of profit. The other chart
that we showed was a chart with Mexico. We`re behind with them too since
NAFTA. We`ve documented time and time again, numbers about how many jobs
have been lost since NAFTA went through.
This deal that TPP is NAFTA on steroids. This is going to be quite a tap
dance at the state of the union as I see it, because I don`t believe
President Obama in any way chaise perform. He`s going to be able to talk
about raising wages in this country, doing the minimum wage, being fair to
workers without talking about the true issues of trade that are killing our
workers. And we`re on the verge of doing fast track, and we`re on the
verge of doing the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is only going to be
NAFTA on steroids and it`s only going to add to those charts. In fact,
we`re going to be doing deals with the countries that they say are going to
compete with China. Yeah, with our jobs, what instance not going to be a
level playing field?
Mr. President I have a request. I think that you should come out and show
us some positive charts at the State of the Union. You know, intrigues
(ph) a lot there, put some charts up, and say, this is what`s going to
happen if we do the TPP and this is how we`re going to fix income
inequality. Going around talking about doing minimum wage is only a small
part of the pie. There has to be a huge policy effort on the part of the
progressive party if we`re going to address the real problem of raising the
middle class wages in this country which have been depressed for the last
So, I`m encouraged that the theme of income inequality is going to be
addressed. Now, we just got to make sure that the devils of the detail,
that all of the things that add to income inequality not just making school
affordable, not just going down the road of extending unemployment
benefits, not just minimum wage. It goes much further than that, not that
those things aren`t important, but it`s got to be the full package. And if
it`s not the full package, we`re going to be falling further and further
Later on in this broadcast, we`ll talk more about the TPP and how the
negotiations are in the 11th hour. And if you are an activist and if you
care about American jobs, this is your time to speak up to your
Get your cellphones out, I want to know what you think tonight`s question.
"Should President Obama declare a war on income inequality?" Text A for
Yes, text B for No to 67622, you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
One more thing I want to point out about all of this. This is not a life
or death situation for corporations that are making record profits right
Profits. Profits without taxes. What the president needs to do in the
State of the Union is to talk about the 25 percent of the corporations in
this country that park their money offshore and don`t pay their fair share.
We`re on the verge of having a big discussion about the debt ceiling so we
can pay our bills to the rest of the world. We don`t have enough money in
the treasury. Gosh. Maybe if every corporation were to pay just
something, we`d be in better shape.
For more, let`s bring in Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and also Congressman
John Garamendi of California. Two great Progressives who know what
creating jobs and fighting for the people are all about.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. Senator.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Good to be back, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . you first. How big a deal is it that the president is now
using in the State of the Union coming up the term "income inequality" and
making this a focal point of what the country has to focus on? Your
BROWN: It`s a right message because it`s going to help Congress and both
parties, I hope, that certainly progresses in Congress and Democrats in the
House of Senate. Look for the -- to how to navigate this, how to get a
roadmap to dealing with income inequality. It`s -- I mean, there`s a
couple of facts as you pointed out that I think really told the whole
story. In the last -- about four decades, workers in this country,
productivity is almost doubled in the last 40 years yet income has gone up
less than 10 percent on the average for the broad middle class and working
And that`s why -- I mean, that tells me directly we need to raise a minimum
wage, we need tax reform that will say no longer getting tax breaks for
corporations that shutdown in Akron or Youngstown and move to Wuhan of
Beijing. It means that trade policy that works for American workers, it
means more aggressive, and that means no trade, no fast track, and no trade
agreement in the pacific the way they`re looking to do it. It means.
BROWN: . it means ways of helping unions organize because this (inaudible)
as productivity went up and wages were basically flat, a lot of that has to
do with the decline of trade unions and the fact that people don`t have
somebody to represent them to help these companies make sure that some of
their profits go to workers.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Garamendi, when you take a look at these trade
agreements none of them have worked for American workers and also we have
seen Congress that has been very stubborn when it comes to raising the
minimum wage which is part of the equation of pulling people out of
poverty. How adamant should the president be when it comes to executive
orders and using his executive powers to impact the economy? Your thoughts
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, he can deal with the issue of
the minimum wage for federal contractors, that`s good but that`s small.
The real one is what you`ve already talked about and that`s the Trans-
Pacific Partnership. That is the president`s deal. That is his trade
negotiator, he is on that one. And if it goes away, it appears to be
going. It is a screw job for the American workers. They`re going to be in
deep, deep trouble just as we`ve seen these other trade agreements. Can`t
go there. No fast track. And make sure if there`s going to be a trade
agreement, we`re talking about fair trade not free trade here.
So we got a long way to go on that. But there`s another point here, Ed,
that we need to deal with and that is business. Businesses every business
whether you`re a big corporation or a small corporation needs one thing,
and that`s customers. If customers don`t have an income and if they don`t
have money, they`re not buying that corporations not going to do well, that
business isn`t going to do well. Raise the minimum wage, give people a
fair wage, give them an opportunity to be part of the consumers that.
GARAMENDI: . every business needs. And finally, it`s women. Women are a
major, major issue. They`re getting $0.77 compared to men. They are the
family caregivers for their elderly and they`re also for their children.
We need to focus on women because when women succeed, this country is going
SCHULTZ: You know, you bring up a great point. Disposable income and
confidence are the two things that I really think are major drivers of our
economy. I mean, if people have disposable income and they`re confident
they`re going to have their job and it`s not going to go somewhere else,
they`re going to feel good about putting that money into the economy. And
if disposable income is depressed and jobs are going overseas, how are we
supposed to have any kind of real solid economic recovery?
Now with all of that, we need to point out. We`ve had 47 months of private
sector job growth. The Republicans have been nowhere at the table.
Senator Brown, how pushy, should I say, should the president be? How
direct? How pointed should he be to the American people on the State of
the Union that the Republicans, the guys are going to be seating over
there, have been nonstarters, no players when it comes to helping recover
this economy? When do you turn the worm on the Republicans who start doing
the pointing, almost like a "you lie moment?" I mean, I think the
president really needs to get aggressive here and make the call here in
this season -- this year. What do you think?
BROWN: Yeah, that`s exactly right. And I -- considering every initiative
we`ve tried to do what Congressman Garamendi just said, He want to -- this
businesses need customers. They need consumer demands, that demand, that
means more money in people`s pockets. Every time we`ve tried to do that,
Republicans have basically said no. They still subscribed to this very
proven wrong theory that you want to do austerity, you want to cut, cut,
cut, and you want to give tax rates for the rich.
One historical example, hundred years ago of this month, Henry Ford
announced he would give -- he would pay every one of his workers.
BROWN: The guys who sweep in the floor and the guys making cars $5 a day.
The business community was livid but they found out what he had already
figured out that is you out money in people`s pockets. They`re going to
start to buy things and generate. He could have activity (ph) and create
wealth in businesses pockets and in workers` pockets. And hat`s why the
minimum wage is so important. And that`s why extending unemployment
insurance is so important. Not just for the families that are struggling
that are looking for jobs, but for the economy. You know, economist say.
BROWN: . extending the unemployment insurance will create 200,000 jobs of
the three months. Why wouldn`t we do that, but that`s not in the trickle
down theory of Republicans. And the president needs to call them out on
SCHULTZ: He does need to call them out on that, because what you`re
talking about Henry Ford was investing in workers. What corporate America
now is investing in emerging markets which is somebody on the other side of
the globe who`s willing to work for damn mere nothing, you know, and that`s
really when it comes down.
Finally, Congressman Garamendi, if you had one piece of advice for the
president going into the State of the Union, what would it be?
GARAMENDI: As you said, call them out. It was two years ago that the
president put forward a solid jobs plan. It had all of it. He had the tax
reform you talked about, have infrastructure, have education, have
reeducation of the workers. All of that was in that proposal two years
ago. He needs to point directly to the Republican members of the House of
Representatives and said you have done nothing. You have done nothing.
GARAMENDI: Absolutely nothing to create jobs. In fact, you`ve taken steps
to harm the growth of this economy. And so, that`s what he needs to do.
And frankly, the rest of us need to follow along in that same suit, making
it clear that the Democratic agenda is pro-growth, that we want the jobs.
And we`re pro-women, that we want women to have a shot. We want them to be
able to have the daycare for their children.
GARAMENDI: And so, thank you very much for breaking these issues.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Congressman John Garamendi.
GARAMENDI: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: .Senator Sherrod Brown, great to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook. We want
to know what you think
Coming up, priorities HRC Nations Liberal, largest liberal super pack gets
behind Hillary for president. Plus the Richard Sherman reaction and what
all the outrage says about where we are as a nation when it comes to
communicating with one other. Our Rapid Response Panel is coming up, stay
SCHULTZ: Back now for the Trenders. The Ed Show Social Media nation has
decided and we are reporting. Here are today`s top trenders voted on by
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN BIEBER: Because I`m 19, I`m going to make mistakes. It`s
SCHULTZ: The number three trender, hot punk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve seen it time and time again. A young pop star
makes it to the top only to crash.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And pop super star Justin Bieber has been arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s been like sort of crazy living.
SCHULTZ: Justin Bieber gets colored by the cops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bieber was arrested surely after 4 a.m. after police
say he had another man who are drag racing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had consumed some alcohol and he had been smoking
marijuana and consumed some prescription medication.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bieber, you are charged with DUI resisting without
violence and driving with an expired driver`s license.
BIEBER: You always got to key this man in your face (ph).
SCHULTZ: The number two trender, oh Captain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love, love will keep us together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tennille has filed for a divorce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 73-year-old Cathryn Antoinette Tennille filed for
divorce from 71-year-old Daryl Dragon on January 16th in Arizona.
SCHULTZ: Captain and Tennille have grown out a mass threat (ph) love after
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys have been married for over 30 years.
CATHRY ANTOINETTE TENNILLE: Yeah.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: . in showbiz that`s over a 165 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: GMD spoke with Dragon who seemed blind sighted by the
TENNILLE: If he wants to get away from me or if I want to get away from
him and sometimes I need to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told the site "I don`t know why she filed. I got to
figure it out for myself first".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, 2016 priority.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will she or won`t she.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE: Will she or won`t she.
RUPERT GRINT: She needs to sort out her priorities.
SCHULTZ: The largest liberal Super PAC is ready to pack Hillary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clinton`s lead has opened up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s such a difficult decision and it`s one that I am
not going to rush into.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining to me tonight, Bob Shrum, Democratic Strategist and
Professor of New York University. Bob, good to have you with us. Well,
this is big a step forward, isn`t not? What does this mean that priorities
USA, action is out there this early.
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think it reflects reality. The
advantage to Hillary Clinton and I believe she will run is going to have in
money and machinery organization, is a consequence and not a cause of her
dominance in this race. It`s unprecedented in modern politics for a non-
incumbent to have this dominant opposition. And there`s no Barack Obama
out there to challenge that.
He was a unique figure and a uniquely powerful candidate. And you know, he
was introduced to the country actually before he ran in 2004 when John
Kerry made him the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention. Hillary
would have beaten him anyway. But she ran the wrong campaign. She ran for
restoration and a year of change. She won`t make that mistake again.
She`ll run with the sense of vision of how to move America forward and I
think she`ll set that out.
And by the way, there`s unintended consequence to this Ed, which I`ve heard
no one discuss. And that is, if she remains this dominant and I suspect
she will, there won`t be a lot of interests in Democratic primaries. So,
an open primary states like New Hampshire, independents will flow into the
Republican primary and help the less extreme candidate.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. What is this mean for other potential candidates on the
Democratic side Joe Biden, Former Governor of Montana, Schweitzer, Omali.
I mean, this to me seems to clear the beach early on sending a message.
You know, this is going to be a heavy lift for you guys if you want to do
SHRUM: Well, we can`t.
SCHULTZ: And whereas Hillary is playing very -- go ahead.
SHRUM: Yeah. We can`t say that no one else is going to run, somebody may.
I mean, you could also mention how to redeem (ph) in this respect. But,
the fact is.
SHRUM: . 70 percent of Democrats -- somewhere around 70 percent of
Democrats are for Hillary and strongly for Hillary. I see this among my
own students. I mean, young people want her. They want a woman president.
I think her position in the party is very strong. And also, Democrats
wants 16 years of a Democratic president because there`s so much of stake,
the Supreme Court.
SHRUM: . environmental protection, economic growth and economic justice,
equal rights. All those things are on the line. And Hillary has a big
lead against every other Republican candidate. Christ Christie was running
a little bit of a race against her, but he`s in a lot of trouble now and he
suddenly eight points behind in the polling.
SCHULTZ: How can Hillary say no to running after this? That`s one thing I
want to bring up with you. And also, what about, you know, Democratic
groups getting out there early to get the money, to get ahead of the
conservative fund raisers, is this a play as well?
SHRUM: Well, yes. I think it is. First of all, she -- I think she is
going to run. I don`t think she`ll say no. She could say no. She could
say, "Look, I just have decided that I`ve done my public service. I have a
different way to serve the country. I`m going to pursue that different
way." I don`t think that will happen. I think every indication is that
she`s going to run, everyone I talk to who knows her well, and knows that
operation well believes she`s going to run. I don`t think she wants to
announce it right now. I think she wants to finish her book and get that
As for the raising the money, you have a lot of Democrats who are aware
that Republicans seeing Hillary, seeing the lead she has, seeing the threat
she represents are going to going to go after her hard. And I think what
priorities USA is doing -- is getting ready and not just to advance her
candidacy and not primarily to deal with the Democratic primaries where --
unless she makes a terrible mistake, Hillary is going to be the nominee.
They`re getting ready because.
SHRUM: . they want to defend her against the Republican attacks that are
SCHULTZ: They are coming. No question about it, just because her name is
Hillary Clinton, that just going to have the fish bowl is. But, it`s going
to be interesting because I know that there are some liberal groups out
there that want a more progressive conversation and what they think Hillary
would bring to the table. So, it`s a long process.
SHRUM: Let`s wait and see.
SCHULTZ: . but certainly.
SHRUM: And let`s wait and see what she says. I mean, I think she is going
SHRUM: . talk about economic growth and economic justice. I think she`s
very smart about this.
SHRUM: And I think she`s committed to those things. She is not going to
rerun the 2008 campaign and folks like Elizabeth Warren are for her.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. OK. Bob Shrum, good to have you with us on the Ed Show.
Thanks so much.
SHRUM: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up -- you bet.
Coming up. Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman describes what he
really feels when he hears the word "thug." The Rapid Response Panel waits
in. Plus, the TPP is at kicking time bomb on American workers. Congress
needs to act soon to stop the momentum of this international community that
is going to be real bad for American workers at the bad trade agreement.
But next, I`m taking your questions live right here on the Ed Show. We`re
going to be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing from our viewers,
thanks for the questions tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment.
First question coming from Tom, "If the TPP passes, how quick until the
Well, Tom, it depends on which economy you`re talking about.
First of all Wall Street is not going to tank. This is a great deal for
Wall Street, because they`re going to get emerging markets, are going to go
places where maybe they haven`t been in other countries. And so, I don`t
think that this is going to hurt Wall Street at all. But I do think it`s
going to hurt the middle class. I think it`s going to depress wages in
this country. And I do believe that the TPP could run us in the double
digit unemployment for a long, long time.
And this conversation we`re having right now about long-term unemployment
and extension of unemployment benefits, we`re going to have that
conversation for a long time too.
It would be a slow drip but it will be a consistent drip and it will hurt
us, big time
Our next question is from Barry, "What`s your favorite food?"
Barry, you`re asking a guy that`s weighs 240 pounds what`s his favorite
food. Looks to me like I kind of like everything that put in front of me,
although I`m trying to cut back. It`s hard to beat broiled walleye.
Stick around Rapid Response Panel is next, stay with us.
COURTNEY REAGAN, CNBC ANCHOR: Courtney Reagan with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Well steep (ph) declines for stocks after disappointing China manufacturing
data. The DOW falls 176 points, the S and P drops 16, the NASDAQ loses 24.
Microsoft shares are higher after hours, following a much better than
expected earnings report.
Starbucks also rising up for the closing bell, profits came in ahead of
estimates but sales disappointed.
As for the economy, jobless claims rose slightly last week but overall
levels indicate an improving labor markets.
That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
We have a problem talking about race in this country the president of the
United States isn`t even allowed to talk about it without being criticized.
And if we don`t talk about it how are we ever going to move forward?
Which is why I am really enamored with this discussion surrounding Seattle
Seahawk`s defensive back Richard Sherman. I think it is very important.
Sherman`s now infamous post game interview caused a Twitter firestorm and
as I`ve said a lot of the response was down right hateful and racist.
Many people used racial slurs and Sherman was written off as a thug. What
is a thug? Richard Sherman is a 25 year old Stanford graduate. Now,
Sherman has a theory and asked at a press conference about all of these.
Why people are calling him a thug?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD SHERMAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS CONERBACK: The only reason that bothers
me is because it seems like it`s the accepted way of calling somebody the
N-word nowadays, you know. It`s like everybody else say the N-word and
then they say thug. And like that`s fine.
It`s kind of disappointing because they know, what`s the definition of thug
really? I know some thugs and they know I`m the furthest thing from a
thug. And, you know, it`s just you come from -- I thought that my whole
life just coming from where I`m coming from, you know, just because you
hear confident, you hear Watts, you hear cities like that you just think
thug he`s a gangster, he`s this, that and other.
And then you hear Stanford and they`re like "Oh man it doesn`t make sense,
that`s an oxymoron." and you fight it for so long to have it, you know,
come back up and people start to use it again it`s really -- it`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: According to Deadspin, the day after Sherman`s interview the word
thug was used 625 times on television. That`s more than it`s been used on
any single day in the past three years. There`s no doubt people are paying
attention to Richard Sherman. Sherman is about to play in a game that`s
going to be watched by over 100 million Americans.
He has a huge platform Richard Sherman is using his moment in the spotlight
openly answering question and conversation at a press conference about race
and talking about stereotypes. And most Americans, I think, we`re afraid
to hear this conversation. We need to have it I commend him for standing
up and saying what he believes. I think he`s doing society a favor, you
know, we can always say we`ll stereotype this, stereotype that but then the
conversation doesn`t go anywhere. But maybe this time it will.
Joining me now on our Rapid Response Panel Zerlina Maxwell Contributor of
theGrio and MSNBC Contributor James Peterson. Great to have both of you
with us tonight.
You know, earlier in this broadcast we had a piece of tape of guy I think
his name is Justin Bieber. And he`s a teen idol and he was arrested last
night drunk, and driving, dropping in the F-bomb on the cops. And I just
wonder is he a thug? So what`s the definition of a thug, what do we got
Zerlina, your thoughts on how this is all unfolding and how a guy on the
verge of playing the biggest game of his career, these are the kinds of
questions and issues that he`s dealing with.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, THEGRIO CONTRIBUTOR: Right. And I think that this is one
of those moments where you see how dangerous it is to stereotype people out
of context. And also it illustrates the danger that people of color always
find themselves in when they try to express the range of emotions, the
entire spectrum of emotions from anger to sadness.
Just speaking personally, the black women, you know, I`m very conscious of
the angry black women stereotype and I think that thug is perhaps the
opposite when you`re talking about a man who is a person of color.
And so this is very -- it`s a dangerous thing, it`s the default, it`s very
MAXWELL: . racially coated language I think. And I appreciate Sherman`s
words yesterday because I think that, you know, his -- him being candid
about this allows us to really confront this issue head on.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Dr. Peterson, the word "thug" is that code for the "N"
word? Because that`s what Mr. Sherman believes is happening in society in
common vernacular now when you want to attack somebody?
JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Sure. I mean I, you know, I don`t
think we should equate thug with the N-word but I do agree with Sherman`s
statements here in this sense.
You know, when you think about thug, most people think about criminals, you
know, people who don`t obey the law things of that nature. And when we
look at our criminal justice system, when we look at mass incarceration
race, when we look at the prison industrial complex, when we look at stop
and frisk, other racial profiling issues we can see that blackness and
black folk particularly young black men have been criminalized.
And so by extension, using thug in the context within which a lot of people
in social media were referring to Sherman is in some ways referring to him
as the N-word.
But remember here, Ed, that Justin Bieber thus his position (ph) is really
smart, but Bieber has the privilege both of race and of monetary resources
to be able to act on whoever he`s going to act out without necessarily
being categorize in the same way that Sherman was in the context of the
football game on Sunday.
SCHULTZ: You`re in the classroom, Dr. Peterson. Your students want to
talk about this -- I mean is this defensive back who`s one of the best in
the league, I mean he didn`t ask for this conversation. The guy`s doing
his job, it`s the pinnacle of his career, he makes the biggest play ever in
all of a sudden because of his enthusiasm and as soon as (ph) after it was
all over with and his expression in the heat of the moment, he`s now cast
into this conversation between the N-word and thug and being labeled and
being stereotyped. What about that?
PETERSON: You know, Ed, one I think he`s handling himself very eloquently
and I don`t want to, you know, dismiss, there`s some NFL players that do
engage in bad behavior. But at the moment in which he`s being interviewed,
the adrenaline is running through his body after making the biggest play
maybe of his career catapulting his team into the Super Bowl.
I mean that energy comes from what`s happening on the field. That back and
forth, the verbal braggadocio that goes on between athletes on football
fields and baseball fields and basketball courts. That`s part of the game
And so for people to .
PETERSON: . love football as much as they do but kind of reject this
doesn`t seem to make a lot of sense to me.
SCHULTZ: And Zerlina, how could President Obama or any politician or
anyone of influence have the kind of conversation or impact that Sherman
can have without being criticized?
I mean we saw the president criticized big time for his interview in one of
the most recent magazines in New York talking about how people view the
black men in the White House. He was severely criticized by the
Conservatives on that.
Now Sherman is cast in to a position. Can he actually do more to help the
conversation than anybody else?
MAXWELL: I mean I think that, you know, the jury is still out on that. I
do think though that it`s important. Even though they are criticized that
President Obama and Richard Sherman and any other high profile person speak
out about these issues. I think that the criticism is problematic, but it
doesn`t mean that you shouldn`t address these issues head on.
I think that the problem of racism in this country is pervasive because we
avoid talking about it. And, you know, you`re called the race-baiter which
shuts down the conversation or someone throws out the term "racist" and
that shuts down the conversation instead of getting to the heart of the
issue which is, you know, we don`t call Bobby Knight a thug, we call him a
legend even though he was throwing chairs in the court and punching and
choking people. And we call Richard Sherman a thug immediately. And why
That is a very, very, ugly, ugly thing that is a thread throughout the
history of this country. And I think that conversations like this make it
easier for us to understand why people jump to the term "thug" so quickly
and we need to change that going forward.
SCHULTZ: All right. Zerlina Maxwell, James Peterson, great to have both
of you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
PETERSON: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mr. Cat Scratch Fever is itching for attention again.
The Nuge sinks to a new low with his latest attack on President Obama.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, Mr. Dead or in Jail. Ted Nugent, the
Nuge, feels like a flock (ph) these days.
In a gun show interview, the Detroit mad man lamented his low political
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT, NATIONAL RIFL. ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR: I have obviously failed
to galvanize and prod and not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant
not to let a Chicago communist raged, communist educated, communist
nurtured sub-human mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster
Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in
United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: At least Ted Nugent can take comfort in his consistency. He
relied on his old man mantra. If you can`t beat him, go on a racist
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NUGENT: A lot of people would call that inflammatory speech. Well I would
call it inflammatory speech when it`s your job to protect Americans then
you asked to look into the television camera and say what difference does
it make that I failed in my job to provide security and we have four dead
Americans. What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary
Clinton, I guess it doesn`t matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Nugent`s rant isn`t exactly coming from the model of humankind.
Ted Nugent can keep hurling garbage. But if the Nuge believes he could
ever inspire anything but a gag reflex, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work.
Now, we`re in the 11th hour here, folks. We`re approaching the endgame of
negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the TPP as we call it.
Corporate lobbyist in the Obama administration are stepping up their drive
for fast track authority. The only thing that can stop the momentum in
this international community is Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK POCAN, (D) WISCONSIN: If we give up our voices, that means we
give up America`s voices. And we shouldn`t just give that kind of
prerogative to the president on a Trade deal that`s been negotiated largely
in secret among a bunch of corporate leaders and not members of Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, then, the Democrats better stick together.
Fast Track Authority would give any agreement, a straight upp or down vote
on an accelerated time table and would virtually guarantee passage of the
TPP that the countries involved in this risky trade agreement are on the
process of scheduling the next meeting of TPP ministers. Trade
representatives say the next meeting will likely take place next month.
Democrats in the Congress need to say no to fast track and stop the TPP
from moving forward.
And the way this would work? If fast track isn`t granted and the debate
can take place on the House and the Senate floor, then that means this
trade agreement is going to be stalled internationally because a lot of
these other countries will not go along without the world`s biggest
customer which is the United States. We`re a big customer. We`re a lousy
Lori Wallach is the Director of the Public Citizen`s Global Watch, a trade
group and great to have you with us tonight, Lori. I appreciate your time.
What are the chances at this late hour of stopping this? Your thoughts.
LORI WALLACH, DIRECTOR PUBLIC CITIZEN`S GLOBAL TRADE WATCH: I actually
think that Congress right now does not have a stomach for giving away its
constitutional authority to do another NAFTA on steroids job killing
agreement. That`s said there`s a lot of pressure starting from the
president and now, you know, for months from the big corporations to get
them to cave in.
So basically, it`s a House of Representatives fight. I would say that it`s
very close. The people can win. We can make sure. Congress actually
holds on to its constitutional authority to make sure we don`t get TPP.
It`s doable but it`s going to be a big fight.
SCHULTZ: How intense is the lobbying? I`ve heard that`s it`s -- is as
intense as anything that`s ever been on the Hill? Is that true? Would you
characterize it that way?
WALLACH: It`s starting to smell little bit like NAFTA. And in fact, I was
around during NAFTA. It`s not quite hand to hand combat yet.
In part because most of the House Democrats came out early and they said,
"We are not doing this Nixon Era fast track legislative loose run for TPP."
And, you know, Ed, part of the reason why is because while economist
generally are touting the theory of free trade, they`re all united that one
of the main contributions to growing U.S. income and equality in the past
20 years of our NAFTA`s tout trade agreements.
So you have all these Democrats .
SCHULTZ: And .
WALLACH: . including the president who say, "More middle class jobs, no
income inequality." And then, he`s pushing the trade agreements.
SCHULTZ: You know, that is the bottom line. I don`t know how the
Democrats can sit there and address the issue of income inequality but with
allowing something like this to go through that will have a direct long-
term effect on the middle class and the depression of wages. That`s what
Now, U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman and some of the TPP
counterparts are there in Davos, Switzerland this week for the global
economic talks. And there`s a sense that all the Ts are being crossed and
Is are being dotted. There`s very little left to do. It`s only the United
States that is holding this thing up to see how this whole thing unfolds.
Is that what you`re hearing?
WALLACH: I think there are two different levels. For one thing, the U.S
and Japan are pretty much in a knockdown drag out over market access
issues, honest to god trade issues like automobiles, beef, et cetera. And
they`re both having their cards very close. But in addition, the U.S push
in TPP is basically this huge set of corporate agenda items that wouldn`t
survive the light of public debate.
So a lot of the other countries are basically just what you said in the
beginning. They`re looking at Congress. They`re saying Congress doesn`t
want to do fast track. They`re seeing Congress chuck rocks at TPP and
they`re stating to think, "Does the emperor have no clothes? We`re all
being told to give away the right to have affordable medicine for our
people, to mess up .
WALLACH: . internet freedom, to deregulate banks." And then if we trade
away our public interest, are we even going to get our pieces of silver
because they want to see Congress handcuffed. They don`t really trust the
Democratic process. And that`s where we all come in making sure the
Congress actually keeps its constitutional authority to stand up for us.
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s a lot of corporate pressure, there`s a lot of
lobbying going on, there`s a lot of deal cut taking place.
Bottom line is, if this were to go through, if fast track were granted and
if this TPP were to go through, it would be monumental on our economy. It
would be a big torpedo in the side that -- and once it`s there, you can`t
reverse it. And that`s what the American people -- if you`re an activist
out there, and if you feel like we`re on the wrong side of the issue, you
better get after it right now because the hour glass has been turned on the
American workers. There`s no question about it.
Lori Wallach, great to have you with us. We will do this again.
There`s no bigger story in America when it comes to jobs and the recovery
of our economy in the future than the TPP.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening,
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