THE ED SHOW
June 13, 2014
Guest: James Peterson, Maimouna Youssef, Sheryll Cashin
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC HOST: From New York. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in
for Ed Schultz. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would call out to Black Eagle as he`s known to the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President`s first trip to Indian country since he
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the biggest threats is actually the health
welfare and safety of our women and children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are very isolated communities that are far out
there in South Dakota and North Dakota.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There, the President will talk with Native American
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was given a name (Foreign Language) and that name
means "The man who helps the people".
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: That`s pretty amazing. Do you think he remembers
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do. And we hope that he remembers the commitment
that he made.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve been forgotten. Their treaties have been
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re praying that Obama, President Obama, opens his
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man who helps the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: We begin tonight`s show with Breaking News. President Obama has
landed in North Dakota. He`s on his way to visit the Standing Rock Sioux
Tribe in Cannon Ball. He and First Lady Michelle Obama are there to hear
firsthand about the challenges Native Americans face on a daily basis.
Native American communities have faced a well-documented plague of poverty
and violence for more than a century. But before boarding Marine One to
leave for North Dakota, the President made a statement about Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to
take some time to give you a quick update about the situation in Iraq.
Yesterday, I convened a meeting with my National Security Council to
discuss the situation there. And this morning, I received an update from
Over the last several days, we`ve seen significant gains made by ISIL, a
terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and in Syria. In the
face of a terrorist offensive, Iraqi security forces have proven unable to
defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorist to overrun a
part of Iraq`s territory and this poses a danger to Iraq and its people and
given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to
American interests as well.
Now, this threat is not brand new. Over the last year, we`ve been steadily
ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government with increased
training, equipping and intelligence. Now, Iraq needs additional support
to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of
Iraqi security forces. We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat
in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of
other options that could help support Iraq security forces and I will be
reviewing those options in the days ahead.
I do want to be clear though, this is not solely or even primarily a
military challenge. Over the past decade, American troops have made
extraordinary sacrifices to give Iraqis an opportunity to claim their own
future. Unfortunately, Iraqis leaders have been unable to overcome to
often the mistrust and sectarian differences that had long been simmering
there and that`s created vulnerabilities within the Iraqi government as
well as their security forces.
So any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security
forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq`s leaders
to set aside sectarian differences to promote stability and account for the
legitimate interest of all of Iraq`s communities. And to continue to build
the capacity of an effective security force. We can`t do it for them. And
in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action
including any assistance we might provide won`t succeed. So this should be
a wake up call. Iraq`s leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make
hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to
bring the country together.
In that effort, they will have the support of the United States and our
friends and our allies. Now, Iraq`s neighbors also have some
responsibilities to support this process. Nobody has an interest in seeing
terrorists gain a foothold inside of Iraq and nobody is going to benefit
from seeing Iraq descend into chaos.
So the United States will do our part, but understand that ultimately it`s
up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems. Indeed
across the region, we have redoubled our efforts to help build more capable
counter-terrorism forces so that groups like ISIL can`t establish safe
haven. And we`ll continue that effort through our support of the moderate
opposition in Syria, our support for Iraq and the security forces, and our
partnership with countries across the region.
We`re also going to pursue intensive diplomacy throughout this period both
inside of Iraq and across the region, because there`s never going to be
civility in Iraq or the broader region unless there are political outcomes
that allow people to resolve their differences peacefully without resorting
to war or relying on the United States military.
We`ll be monitoring the situation in Iraq very carefully over the next
several days. Our top priority will remain being vigilant against any
threats to our personnel serving overseas. We will consult closely with
Congress as we make determinations about appropriate action and we`ll
continue to keep the American people fully informed as we make decisions
about the way forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The debilitating impact the war in Iraq has had on the United
States is undeniable. Thousands of lives have been lost and ruined. The
cost of the war in Iraq is estimated at $2 trillion to $4 trillion. The $2
trillion numbers, the cost already incurred. The $4 trillion number
includes the cost of supporting the one million soldiers that fought in the
war plus their care including the 32,000 casualties and 4,000 dead troops.
President George W. Bush did not have the foresight to see how long the war
would last or to even realize it would have cost half the lives. Trillions
of dollars are being thrown away to a war the U.S. could have avoided being
a part of. The tragic part is this money could have been used to help
thousands of Americans living in poverty right here on U.S. soil.
Right now, President Obama is visiting one of the most destitute areas of
the United States of America. A place where, like Iraq, people are
fighting for their own survival everyday. Homeliness, homelessness,
limited access to education, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence are some
of the challenges that Sioux people face.
The Standing Rock Sioux reservation straddles the border between North
Dakota and South Dakota, covering 2.3 million acres more than 1.4 million
acres are tribally owned. This area of the country has virtually no
infrastructure, very few jobs, poor education, and no major economic
engines. 6,171 people live on the reservation and the unemployment rate is
at 79 percent. These people deserve help and resources.
In 2008, when President Obama was still a senator, he visited Crow Agency,
Montana. At that time, he was adopted into the Crow nation and given the
name "Barack Black Eagle". He promised quality affordable health care and
a world class education to reservations all across America. President
Obama`s visit today is historic because he`s just the fourth sitting
American president to visit an Indian reservation, only the fourth.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you really think about
tonight`s question. And that is, "Should we stop investing in war and
start investing in America?" Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622, or go
to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. I`ll bring you the results later in the show.
Trymaine Lee, MSNBC.com National Reporter joins me now.
Trymaine, you`ve written a stellar series on education in, you know, Native
American especially on the Native American education across the board. So
give us a sense of why President Obama`s visit to the Sioux nation is so
extremely important today?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC.COM NATIONAL REPORTER: On one hand, it`s extremely
important because of the feel good moment. These are people that have
spread across into the most isolated communities in the country and the
idea that the president cares and would spend his time when he could be
doing anything else, speaking with them, and listening to their concerns
and their needs is major.
But also a sparking -- they hope it sparks some change. The Department of
Interior now today massive shifts in the way the Department of -- now,
inside the Bureau of Indian Education delivers education to tens of
thousands of students.
For decades, the federal government has failed in delivering this
education. You know, historically press minority groups, blacks and
Hispanics, our graduation rates have, you know, uptake and pushed the
national graduation rates to the highest that`s ever been.
LEE: Native Americans are going the opposite direction. And we look at
the social lives, the way these children are living in communities in
Standing Rock or Pine Ridge in South Dakota, 80 percent unemployment rate.
I don`t think we have an idea of what 80 percent unemployment .
LEE: . actually looks like.
LEE: And so -- and we also have their logistical concerns. So these are
sovereign nations and so imagine all the -- their whole lives are tied up
in federal strings. The federal government is -- has a hand in their
education, has a hand in -- the money`s going to their departments, they
have to rely on grant moneys for everything.
DYSON: Yeah, that`s amazing. So why is it that he`s only the fourth
president ever, when you think about -- you got black history month, you
got Latino month, you got gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender
month, you`ve got all kinds of months that rightfully celebrate people who
have been historically excluded from the narrative of American identity.
But the first nation peoples .
DYSON: . the indigenous people have become the forgotten people. Why is
it that only four presidents including President Obama have gone to Indian
LEE: And speaking with history and the people in the communities, you`d
have to say that no one cares, out of sight out of mind. They`re really
feeling that people have been neglected and forgotten. On one hand, it
kind of reminds you of white flag in the Exodus, you want it, you want the
cities, you want schools? You got it. You want to be sovereign? You want
your own nations? You got it.
LEE: And even though the America, the government, has broken dozens of
LEE: . and so now that we`re bargaining on their terms.
LEE: And so the people say, "Of course, we`ve been forgotten and
neglecting their promise and broken and no one cares."
DYSON: Look, unemployment in that state is 2.7 percent. The unemployment
rate among Native Americans, indigenous and first nations people is 29
percent. That is a horror and an offense not only on the face but to every
American who claims to believe in equality.
So can some of those oil barons and some of those other rich folk there who
had benefited from that low employment rate then reach out to native
peoples and say, "Look, we`re going to teach you, we`re going to train you,
we`re going to make you engineers, we`re going to make you people who can
work the land so to speak."
Why isn`t it that there`s been a greater outreach to those people?
LEE: When you look at the way the relationship has been between the
wealthy and the government and Native Americans for the last -- for more
than a century, you know. I don`t understand why pie in the sky .
LEE: . to hope that someone would reach out? And that`s another concern
though. Minimal rights. There are communities across the country who are
fighting to reap for benefits on what`s being sucked out in the grounds and
has been sucked around for generation.
DYSON: Yeah. Well, look, but, you know, a lot of people have that
misconception. Look, and there`s no more as we would say, "Hey, they`re
rich. The Indians are rich men. They got all the casinos, they`re hooking
it up." I mean, first of all, there`s a small percentage of native
peoples, and secondly it doesn`t read down positively to the native peoples
and helps them with all of their extraordinaire problems.
LEE: To go back to the old saying the "live high on the hog", clearly did
not live high on the hog. But even, you know, I`ve talked to someone
yesterday in the community, even if they were getting free of everything
and they were .
LEE: . would they deserve it?
DYSON: Yeah. Right. Look, at the paper work. In 2008, then Senator
Obama said that he would make access to education for people on the
reservation a priority. Has he followed through?
LEE: No. Today is the first sign the Department of Interior has announced
that they would be restructuring the first sign that there will be some
major change. And that for the first time and as long as many can
remember, the federal government is pointing the finger at themselves and
identifying the systemic issues on where they failed. Tens of thousands of
Native American students across this country are being left out to
languish. And it`s clear now that there is some effort to mobilize around
the efforts of making things better for them.
DYSON: Right. So the Ed Show is on the extensive coverage on the proposed
Keystone XL Pipeline which the Sioux say would greatly and negatively
affect their life and their land, is today an opportunity for the native
people to be able to tell the president this pipeline is really going to do
vast damage to our regions and to our reservations and to our people.
LEE: Like everything else, I think the event today is, one, it`s a little
bit of show, and it`s a little bit of symbolism .
LEE: . and then the emotional picture is there for some people. I doubt
that`s going to happen. But I think bringing light to the cause and
bringing light to the people who are so resilient, it`s easy to kind of
highlight the negatives and it`s hard not to when you go to these
communities. But these are like so many of us had been in this country
resilient peoples who have pressed to the mess and made it this far. And
so, you know, we`ll see.
DYSON: All right. Press to the mess, that`s it. Trymaine Lee, thanks for
your time tonight.
LEE: Thank you.
DYSON: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter at EdShow and on Facebook. We
really want to know what you think.
Coming up, our broken immigration policy has led to an influx of refugees
along the U.S.-Mexico border. Alexandra Pelosi joins me with an exclusive
look from the front lines of this humanitarian crisis.
But first, two guys who weren`t elected president of the United States of
America won`t stop offering bad advice to the man who was.
Trenders is next, stick around.
DYSON: Time now for the Trenders. Keep in touch with the Ed Show on
Twitter at EdShow and on Facebook. And you can find me on Twitter at
The Ed Show Social Media Nation has spoken and decided and we are reporting
here today what they have said is true and the top trends. Here are the
top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom, mom, mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number three, Trender, orange is the new black.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Orangutans are not the distinct cousins from Borneo
and Sumatra, are vital to the environment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby orangutan is the newest member of a Connecticut
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world`s first orangutan conceived by assisted
reproduction was born last month at Leo Zoological Conservation Center in
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, at first, it is cute and it gets bigger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The male Sumatra orangutan was not yet been named, is
the fruit of a groundbreaking achievement that conservationists say they
could if duplicated potentially help save this critically endangered
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard me, more bananas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number two Trender, rebel foul.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The force is not strong with this one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A bumpy ride on the Millennium Falcon`s lands actor
Harrison Ford in the hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were in trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it forces Harrison Ford off the Star Wars set.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the Hollywood reporter, he was hit by a
door on the Millennium Falcon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ford injured is ankle and was taken to a local
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well done. Is he -- did he survive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to set it in carbonite.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He should be quite well protected. If he survived
the freezing process, that is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And today`s top Trender, lost cause.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I knew this was going to happen.
FMR. GOV. MITT ROMNEY, (R) MASSACHUSETTS: His foreign policy is what has
led to these crises all over the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: McCain and Romney slammed President Obama on Iraq.
MCCAIN: We had the conflict one. The surge had succeeded.
ROMNEY: The President has not taken the action necessary, has not had the
foreign policy necessary to protect our interests overseas.
MCCAIN: This has turned into one of the most serious threats to American
ROMNEY: In Iraq, failing to get a Status of Forces Agreement.
MCCAIN: The President wanted out and now we are paying a very heavy price.
ROMNEY: There are all these decisions made in the past puts us in a very
difficult position, now, frankly with very poor option.
MCCAIN: They`re going to see the same thing happen in Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Joining me now is Doctor James Peterson, Director of Africana
studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University and an
Two things jumped in my mind. Jim Carrey "Loo-hoo-hoo-ser" and Jay Z "We
don`t believe you, you need more people." Are these guys in position to
tell President Barack Obama what to do because the American people rejected
their approaches and put Obama in office twice?
JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Right. I don`t think they`re in a
position to tell him what to do. I think what they`re doing is they`re
playing politics with an unfortunate situation, unfortunate developments in
the Middle East.
They`re able to do so, largely, because of their political interest in
saying "I told you so" or, you know, the kind of Monday morning
quarterbacking that occurs. I mean, the reality is you can`t challenge
this president on what he did in terms of getting the troops out of Iraq
because that wasn`t necessarily his decision. The American people wanted
to be out of Iraq.
And so one other thing that we have to understand with the Middle East
which is extremely complicated reason, obviously, I`m not an expert on
that. But we have to understand that there are going to be some failed
states, there`s going to be a lot of turmoil and a lot of unrest there
before there`s stability. And I think if we think that more warfare
somehow going to lead to more stability. That to me is what seems to be in
DYSON: Well, you know, people can argue, look this is the part of the
president`s poor planning and extracting us from that very turbulent
DYSON: But what about the poor planning that led us there in the first
place and the man had to clean up the mess that was left then.
PETERSON: Yeah, I mean, what about the poor planning throughout history
which arbitrarily due to the borders in that region, in the first place?
But certainly, yes, we don`t have to go back that far in history to
understand how American foreign policy has caused some of the problems that
we`re seeing today.
People throw out words like sectarian violence and Jihadist and ethnic
factions. I mean, all of these things have been exacerbated by the West
sort of imposing certain kinds of policies in the Middle East and I think
we`re going to paying the price of that for a long time ago.
By the way, the unrest and instability in the region is something that will
unfortunately outlast the Obama presidency, right?
DYSON: Right, right.
PETERSON: So we have to think about long-term what has to happen in that
region. And again, there`s no way that you can tell me that somehow more
military intervention in the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, or anywhere,
somehow going to lead the peace in the Middle East.
DYSON: You know, historically, men of war have been lulled to jump
readily, boots first into a heated conflict .
PETERSON: That`s right.
DYSON: ... because they know the price to be paid.
PETERSON: That`s right.
DYSON: And it seems to me that John McCain, in the past, has been
reasonable in deploying wisdom in this regard, think about (inaudible) as
well. So is this playing politics here merely what`s going on?
PETERSON: It`s politics. A little bit of disconnect here. I mean, you
know, if you really want to think about what the cause of wars, you know,
talk to -- I talk to people and my family who served this nation over
generations, you know, talk to MSNBC`s Patrick Murphy or talk to Paul
Rieckhoff at the IAVA, you know.
I wish that the same kind of energy and the robust rhetoric that you see
about air strikes and addressing the situation. I wish we had that exact
same kind of energy when we needed to talk about veterans affairs, we have
our veterans issues, the suicide rates amongst veterans, employment amongst
veterans. I mean, that -- we need that energy on the backend of these wars
and a little bit less energy, a little bit less enthusiasm for going to war
in the first place.
DYSON: Yeah. Good point. Now, John McCain says that, the Senator, that
we won the war after the surge. How is he measuring winning and losing?
PETERSON: Yeah. We`d have to ask him that. I mean to, you know, how do
you win a war? And certainly, removing troops from Iraq does not
necessarily mean that the war was horrible or that the mission was
necessarily complete there. I mean, there`s a lot of work that has to be
done. But you know what? It`s not military work that has to be done.
It`s nation building. It`s -- is there`s cultural work that`s going to be
done and there`s obviously work around religion and religious towers is
going to be done, it is gender word, gender equity where there`s lot of
work that has to happen in the Middle East and around the world by the way
PETERSON: . that doesn`t have anything to do with military interventions.
DYSON: You know, we want to be nasty and vicious here but let`s -- are the
Republicans interested in a perpetual state of war? Because it seems like
they always, as you began, with this kind of chest thumping, you know,
patriarchal character trying to .
PETERSON: Here`s what I will say. Some would argue that American
government is interested in being a perpetual state of war. And some would
argue that the relationship between American government and what we refer
to as the military industrial complex and privatization of military efforts
around the world are embed to a certain extent where a perpetual war
footing benefits them economically.
DYSON: All right. That`s a very good point and we must remember. Doctor
James Peterson, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
PETERSON: Thanks, Doc.
DYSON: Still ahead, Alexandra Pelosi joins me with an exclusive report
from the front lines of our immigration crises.
Plus, a mounding pressure for the White House to include females in the My
Brother`s Keeper initiative. Women are adding their voices to the call
with a new letter to the president.
But first, this Georgetown professor makes his hip debut. The lovely
intelligent Mumu Fresh Maimouna Youssef lays down the beat, next.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. I have something special to share
with you. I had the privilege of collaborating with the talented hip hop
artist and soulful singer, Mumu Fresh. Here`s a taste of our song "Before
It`s Too Late."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The better we battle our demons the better we are. The
better we head to our healing, the lesser we scar. And we learned to sail.
Test would make us fail. Pass would make us frail. Test would make us
sail. Then we learn to sail. Test would make us fail. Pass would make us
frail. Pass would make us frail. And we learn to give, and we learn to
love, and we now face the stars above. When we learn to give and we learn
to love and we know our face the skies above. Stop killing y`all. Stop
the hate. Do it now before it gets too late. Stop the killing .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Yeah. I`m kind of feeling that joint. I`m joined by musician
Maimouna Youssef. Thank you so much for joining us here tonight.
MAIMOUNA YOUSSEF, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Absolutely. Thank you.
DYSON: You have an extraordinary background. You were able to sing with
such a delicate and delta (ph) tones and on the other hand, you can spit
with the best of them. Tell us how you came about having both of those
YOUSSEF: It really just a merge of my experiences. My mother is a jazz
singer. My grandmother is a gospel singer. I have eight brothers, three
of which are ridiculous emcees and growing up in Baltimore and D.C., it
kind of creates this, you know, this melting pot of .
YOUSSEF: ... of flavors. Originally, my mother`s side of family is from
Mississippi. So just all of those elements come in into my music because I
want to tell the story of, you know, American music and American history.
DYSON: Right, right. You do an excellent job. And you got a mixture in
your latest mixed tape.
DYSON: You do some remix of songs that we know well but you give them your
own Maimouna Youssef, you know, Mumu Fresh twist. Tell us about how that
YOUSSEF: Yeah. Well, I really -- I wanted to use some current popular
songs the people are already accustomed to sing along with and then give
them some social context, so that we could just start to look at things a
little bit differently without the fear that we`re being educated.
DYSON: Right, right and that`s true.
YOUSSEF: Because that`s so scary, you know .
DYSON: Yeah, right.
YOUSSEF: . in pop culture so I wanted to .
DYSON: An example would be what? We are already -- I mean, you .
YOUSSEF: Yeah. So one of the main songs we flipped was the song called by
other artist Lorde called Royals.
YOUSSEF: And we changed it to We`re already royal because it runs in our
YOUSSEF: We`ve just been having tough love. We need a different kind of
love. Let me be your ruler. Call me never (inaudible) and baby I will
rule. Come see my reality.
And we wanted to make it a song of empowerment about so much of our history
as African-Americans as well as, you know, indigenous peoples of America
who have lost so much of who we were and sometimes, in your circumstances,
you may feel that you argue circumstance and not knowing that you`re great
of being your circumstance, so and that we`re already royal.
DYSON: Right, right, now it`s a beautiful ideal. And then finally, you
know, given the fact of the emergence and the development of hip hop, what
do you think the art forms stands today, because you are very conscientious
rapper. I don`t want to say just conscious. But you bring conscientious
to it. But what do you think hip hop stands right now?
YOUSSEF: I honestly -- I feel kind of optimistic about hip hop because of
the internet. And so, you know, you may see a lot of mainstream hip hop.
Maybe having some of the values that we may not hold so high, you know,
about our society, you know, with a lot of the different rap music and
things like that. But I also see a lot of young artist, teenage artist
that are really bring a fresh approach to hip hop and are speaking about
socially irrelevant is use.
I mean, Kendrick Lamar is a great example of an artist who has that balance
where you can talk about the streets from which you came, you know.
YOUSSEF: But you can still add a new perspective to and give -- so it
gives some hope.
DYSON: All right. Well hope is what you`re giving you music and so much
soulful is it the same time. Are we going to do another collaboration?
YOUSSEF: Let`s do it.
DYSON: All right, you heard it right here on the Ed Show. Maimouna
Youssef, thank you so much for your time tonight. There`s a lot more
coming up on the Ed Show. Stay tuned.
JANE WELLS, CNBC ANCHOR: Wow, how do I follow that? Well I`m going to
try. I`m Jane Wells with your CNBC market wraps. Stocks finish higher but
not enough to make it a winning week. The Dow has 41, the S&P up six and
the NASDAQ gain 13.
Consumers are a little less confident this month. The University of
Michigan June sentiment and that came in slightly weaker than expected.
And PriceSlice.com (ph) is scoping up restaurant reservation side open
table for $2.6 billion, its running $103 a share cash, that`s a 46 percent
premium for the company shares and, you know, you can reserve for 49 dinner
tables for that.
That`s it for CNBC, first in business, worldwide.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. House majority leader Eric Cantor
took what many Republicans consider to be a more moderate stance on
immigration reform this week. The seven term Republican leader paid a
historic price becoming the first of his rank to be defeated in a primary.
Now many are saying all hope for comprehensive immigration reform is dead.
But the humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border shows no signs of
slowing. So what happens to the unprecedented number of undocumented women
and children attempting to enter the United States?
MSNBC contributor Alexandra Pelosi reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: This week the whole world was very
shocked when they found out about all these kids in this detention
facility. They`re not letting any of us inside, so what`s going on inside
JUANITA MOLINA, BORDER ACTION NETWORK: There were over 500 children in
PELOSI: What age range?
MOLINA: Anywhere from, you know, diapers, just now walking from about a
year all the way up to 17. We`re putting a law enforcement agency, the
largest law enforcement agency in the country in charge or children. It is
like aboard tragic version of kindergarten cop where, you know, Arnold
Schwarzenegger is all the sudden put in them place of having to care for a
bunch of children, you know, they`re eloquent to do this.
PELOSI: How`s the moral in there?
SCOTT SMITH, MAYOR OF MESA, AZ: These are children, you can imagine,
they`re wondering what comes next.
PELOSI: Where are these kids going?
ARTYRO R. GARINO, MAYOR OF NOGALES, AZ: They`re going to -- there`s three
facilities. And I think they`re military bases, one in California and one
in Texas and one in Oklahoma. And that`s where they`re going to strive,
strive to their best to locate a relative, preferably a parent. That`s
what I understand from border patrol, so that they can go and live with
that parent while they go to a process.
PELOSI: So border patrol is processing all the kid and then the ones who
are over 18 are being released and dropped off here at the Greyhound
Some screaming here in the Greyhound bus station and this DHS van pulls up
and drops off all these women to go all these different places in America.
Where are you going to go?
MAGDALENA: In Georgia.
MAGDALENA: In Georgia.
PELOSI: Georgia? So you can tell everybody you came from the detention
center because they don`t have their shoe laces.
BETH, HUMANITARIAN AID WORKER: What you`re seeing is ICE delivering folks
who have just been up to a week, in short term custody who have got in
touch with their families, who are already here in the States. These are
families that have traveled from places like Guatemala, El Salvador
(inaudible), and are arriving with their small children.
It is almost always mothers and their children. And those mothers and
children are arriving to the Greyhound station, waiting for families to
purchase their tickets, so that they can be reunited with their families
out from the States.
PELOSI: Where are you from?
PELOSI: And where are you going to now?
MARIA: In Tennessee Chattanooga.
PELOSI: So you are coming in to America and they caught you and then they
gave you bus tickets to Chattanooga, Tennessee?
PELOSI: So this is one of the lucky one, she got out.
So are they all refugees?
BETH: These are economic refugees who are fleeing extreme poverty and
they`re fleeing extreme violence in their countries of origin.
PELOSI: You have a humanitarian crisis here in the border?
GARINO: With the children yes, yes we do. When it comes to children you
have to be very careful. What`s happening right now, it`s unique. This is
unique, it`s time that we sit down, we`ll remove our political hats and
that gang of eight that they had, they need to sit down and say, "You know
what? This is what`s happening in Arizona, this is what`s happening in
Texas. They`ll sit down and figure this out and we`re do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Joining me now is MSNBC contributor, Documentarian, Alexandra
Pelosi. You weren`t allowed in where the children were being detained but
it`s been deemed to humanitarian crisis. Do we need to send in, I don`t
know, the Red Cross to figure out what`s going on and to sort it out? I
mean is it that level of emergency that we need to respond to?
PELOSI: It feels like, doesn`t it? The part that is so funny about what
you`re saying is that, we have all these debates about foreign aid.
PELOSI: But we have this refugee crisis going on right now in Arizona.
PELOSI: And it really looks like a third world country.
PELOSI: .if you go there. And you see now, I didn`t get into the
facility, this is border patrols, you know, they`re going to into total,
you know, mode there right now.
DYSON: Yeah, it`s actually quite right, right?
PELOSI: (inaudible) you`re really politically correct to the House to say
DYSON: Right, right.
PELOSI: But if you go in any bus station, there you`ll see at the
Greyhound station, they have them right there in (inaudible) is where I was
at. You`ll see their vans pull up and these young families get out and
they get on the bus and they go somewhere in America and they have 15 days
when they get to that location.
PELOSI: .to report to ICE. And then they have to follow up and figure out
what`s going to happen with their future. You know, you see, it`s not like
they got on a bus and they get to.
PELOSI: .disappear into America.
PELOSI: They have to get on a bus, go meet up with the relative and then
they have 15 days from arrival to sort of get up -- it`s like a parole
PELOSI: .where they have to then figure out what`s going to happen.
DYSON: Well yeah, this is not the godfather where we are welcoming people
in with open arms to the far flung ecstasies of American democracy that
these people are being contested. But what is the -- was their spirit
resilient? They look pretty, you know, I mean, these people look like
they`re in for the long hall but what was the spirit like of the people?
PELOSI: Ironically it`s so dangerous to go to the desert and to get -- to
be in cell, a jail cell basically,.
PELOSI: .a detention center. And you`re safe for the first time. So
they`re happy because they`re feeling like, "Hey I`m alive."
PELOSI: So many people die in the desert.
PELOSI: That`s the whole other humanitarian crisis, of how many bodies
they`re finding out in the desert. These are the survivors, these are the
ones that actually made it to the detention center.
DYSON: Yeah, that`s pretty crazy. So on the ground there, at the
Greyhound station, are these people just being given tickets? And give us
a sense of, if you have husband and a wife and a child together they get
sent back, but if you`re just a woman with a child you don`t -- it reminds
me of social policy in the 1960s where the father was in the home, you got
no aid, but if he was absent then you got aid. That means I don`t want to
draw that parallel but it struck me.
So tell us what`s going on.
PELOSI: Well I drove in New Mexico, to those places in Mexico. If you`re
getting deported, you end up on the other side to the border in Mexico.
PELOSI: That`s all the families with fathers.
PELOSI: But if you are a 18 year old woman, those woman you saw in that
piece, they`re 18 years old. And they`re alone with the young child, a new
born child. Well at some point, we have to give them due process and say,
"Why are you here? What does the law say about" -- we can`t just put them
on a bus and send them back to Mexico, they`re not from Mexico, they`re
from central America, they`re from Guatemala.
PELOSI: So what do we do with these people?
DYSON: Yeah, that`s the big question.
PELOSI: This is the big -- so with the women and children, we`re having a
little more sympathy and we`re processing their, you know, with their
applying for amnesty, a lot of them, saying that they can`t go home.
PELOSI: And so there are different standards. But yeah, if you -- I
didn`t see any man in the Greyhound station.
DYSON: Yeah, right.
PELOSI: If you go to the Tucson, Arizona, Greyhound station, any day of
the week, you`ll find 80, 90 families like this.
PELOSI: .without any -- but the father, if you have a father you get
bounce right back.
DYSON: You`re going to right back, yes.
PELOSI: So they think, "Well you have someone to take care of you."
DYSON: Right. So the women and children first but then the guys then you
got to go. So what happens to them once they get to Georgia or Tennessee,
where they`re going to? I mean are they left on to they`re own wits that
they just hook up with family members there? What.
PELOSI: Well how they get to these places is they say, "I have an aunt in
Georgia." And so all that.
DYSON: Did they prove it, it is documented?
PELOSI: Well they have -- the families have to pay for the ticket.
Someone out there is like having a sponsor, someone has to stick up for you
and say, I`m going to adopt (ph) this person and I`ll pay of the ticket.
Border patrol was very clear, said today, "We don`t pay for any bus
tickets." Because that`s the big right wing.
They were all, "We`re paying the."
DYSON: Right, right.
PELOSI: And they`re not. Border patrol is not paying for bus tickets.
The families are paying the bus tickets. They go and they stay with the
family member and the family members like the sponsor and then they have to
get a good lawyer and they have to go face the deportation here and you
have to check in with ICE and then go from there.
DYSON: Well, you know what? What about the fact that, you know, the
people who were at ICE, I mean what`s the attitude of the people treating
these human beings? Are they caulis (ph)? Are they indifferent? Are they
sort of empathetic? I mean, what`s their posture?
PELOSI: They are the nicest. I mean the border patrol people down in
Arizona are great. You know, the people in Washington, they are the ones
throwing up the no state, you know, it`s always Washington that steps in
and wrecks it for them.
PELOSI: They`re getting a batter up, they`ve been really nice, they`ve
been great guys. They`re just basically worried about, like say the little
PELOSI: And they`re thinking, "What are we going to do with all these
DYSON: Right, right.
PELOSI: It`s really a terrible position for them to be put in there. You
know, border patrols should be out catching drug trafficker, they shouldn`t
DYSON: Right. And putting and criminalizing people who otherwise would
seek amnesty and come to this country as a citizen seeking to do good.
Thank you for your reporting, very, very touching. Alexandra Pelosi, thank
you so kindly.
Coming up, gun toting draft dodger Ted Nugent is making inappropriate Nazi
comparisons again. Pretenders is next.
DYSON: In Pretenders tonight, the motor city madman Ted Nugent. The
Nugent, once again, blessing us with his insightful political commentary.
Nugent wrote a column this week where he compared the only Jewish
Republican in congress to a Nazi leader.
He wrote, "I say we the people have had way more than enough compromise,
backpedaling, Joseph Goebbels and Saul Alinsky smoke-and-mirror politics
for one generation. And I say it`s about time we go Eric Cantor on the
whole gang of deceivers and liars infesting out government right now.
There`s only so much decent people can take"
This type of talk from Nugent is power for the course. The Nugent has been
flying off the rails for some time now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT: I was in Chicago. I said, "Hey, Obana you might want to such
on one of these you punk. Obama, he`s a piece of (inaudible) and I told
him to such on my machine gun. Let`s her it from him.
A Chicago communist raged, communist educated, communist nurtured subhuman
mongrel, like the acorn community organizer, gangster Barack Hussein Obama.
Because I`ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the president
on November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.
I`m an extremely loving passionate man and people who investigate me
honestly without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the
conclusion that I`m a damn nice guy. And if you can find a screening
process, more powerful that that (inaudible). How is that sound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no idea where that unexpected outburst came
from. The second part of it directed to a female CBS news producer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Ted Nugent is nothing but an angry, bigoted, washed up rock star
with a bunch of guns. If Nugent thinks he`s qualified to be involved in
out national political discourse, he can keep on pretending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
If you are African-American, there about one in two chance you grow up
without a father in your house, one in two. If you`re a Latino, you have
about one in four chance. We know that boys who grow up with a father more
likely to be poor, more likely to under-perform in school. We become numb
to the statistics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: As we approach Father`s Day, we reexamine President Obama`s
outreach to young men of color. The president launched "My Brother`s
Keeper" during black history month. The initiatives seeks to keep the
statistically vulnerable grow from slipping through the crest. The
taskforce will review policies that directly effect young men of color,
create resource websites, link boys to mentors and ensure access to basic
health, nutrition, and educational needs.
The motto (ph) has received so much praise (ph) that many are calling for
expanding the program to include young women of color.
The president received the letter of 200 concerned black men calling for
the conclusion -- the inclusion of women and girls in My Brother`s Keeper.
Now, women are taking the charge, calling on the president to bring young
women to the table. We can not have a conservation about young men without
looking at the disparaging situation our women face as well.
Even if the President`s program does not expand, the conversation must.
Joining me now, professor at Georgetown Law and author of "Place, not Race:
A New Vision of Opportunity in America," Sheryll Cashin. Professor Cashin,
welcome to the show.
SHERYLL CASHIN, GEORGETOWN LAW: Hi. Thanks for having me.
DYSON: Yes ma`am. Young women and men face different issues. Should the
president`s initiative expands to include women or should there be another
separate initiative for women and one for men?
CASHIN: Well, I don`t see the need to necessarily have a separate
initiative as opposed to just focusing on the structural disadvantages that
all children of color face. Only 30 percent of Black and Latino children
live in a middle class neighborhood. And that is the opposite experience
from what most White nation kids face.
And in these neighborhoods, there are all kinds of structure disadvantages,
once most kids, Black and Latino kids are growing in poor settings with
weaker school and often exposed to violence and also, in a neighborhood
that`s identified as Black and poor, you also have a different type of
policing typically going on there. I would mention to call it predatory
policing and that`s part of the reason why I`m sympathetic to the idea of
focusing on boys to some degree, because I think they, in particular,
disproportionate experience this stuff and first at predatory policing.
So my main critique about this initiative is not so much as focusing on one
gender or another but that it`s not truly confronting the structural
disadvantages that stigmatize Black boys in the first place.
DYSON: Well, you know, your colleague, of course, Kim Grimshaw (ph) , who
is spearheading this effort with letters Mary Frances Berry sign on,
Rosario Dawson (ph) sign on, Salamy Chitila (ph) sign on. And what they`re
arguing is that, "Look, it`s great for the initiative to focus on men but
we got to focus on women as well because they face many of the same
structural impediments to their flourishing and that if we segregate them
according to gender, what we do is reproduce the pathology that has always
existed in Black America when men`s problem become the race problem as
opposed to all of members of the race have to be dealt with." What do you
say to that?
CASHIN: Well, I`m sympathetic to those arguments. I think I would rather
have had the president start this initiative than not have done it. I
think it`s OK. We wouldn`t be having this conversation at all if he hasn`t
started it. Perhaps, he should expand it but I`m less comfortable talking
about the differential experience of gender as opposed to talking about the
structural forces that make it hard for Black and Brown people, generally,
to get ahead.
So perhaps, the fact that we`re spending so much time talking about this,
thus underscore the point of "maybe we should take gender off the table and
just talk about the structural disadvantages."
DYSON: Well, absolutely right, because when you take gender off the table
and then you talk about everybody included, then you look at the rates of
which young girls are expelled, you look at vicious forces of sexual abuse
to which they are subject. And then you look at the interracial struggle
over self definition that is characterized as well.
So when we take that gender off the table and put everybody there, I think
the argument of the women who have signed the letter that will be released
on Monday suggest that all of us together are stronger. And then when we
exclude some people, then we leave them to the side.
So tell us how some of those structural impediments can be addressed that
you are so concerned about it (inaudible)?
CASHIN: Right. Well, there`s a lot that the Department of Housing and
Urban Development and the Department of Education could be doing to
deconcentrate minority poverty. I think it`s worth saying that the ghetto
CASHIN: ...a government sponsored creation.
DYSON: All right. Well, look, we got to go. That`s -- I hate to end it
there. We got to have you back. I want to talk more about it.
CASHIN: Thank you.
DYSON: Sheryll Cashin, thank you so much for your time tonight.
CASHIN: Thank you so much for having me.
DYSON: That`s the Ed Show. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening
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