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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
July 2, 2014

Guest: Jan Schakowsky, Krystal Ball, Frank Schaeffer, Jose Diaz- Balart,
Myrlie Evers-Williams

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Good evening, Ed. And
thanks to you for tuning in. Tonight lead, the GOP hands a gift to
President Obama and it sticks with its absurd lawsuit. Today a dramatic
new sign of just how much Speaker Boehner`s lawsuit over executive orders
is back firing. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reports it
raised over $2.5 million in the six days after Boehner`s announcement.
Including support from 30,000 first-time donors. Thirty thousand people.
People are sick of the games and the manufacture scandals. Millions are
looking for jobs and the GOP is dropping lawsuits on the president.
Actually trying to do his job. That`s why they are sending a message to
top ranking Republicans in the country. Enough is enough. But what`s
amazing, is the republican response. Today they`re moving forward with the
suit anyway.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is one of the few options we have for reigning
in a president who is taking way too much power, much more than the
constitution granted it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So you plan to vote when that legislation comes
before you plan the vote to authorize?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I will vote to proceed with the lawsuit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes. They are going to proceed. Who knows, maybe their
secretly trying to raise money for the Democrats. Maybe they are listening
to the ugly rhetoric coming from this guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And the framers of our constitution did not want a
king in this country.

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BUSH: They didn`t want
a king. They didn`t want King George III, certainly they didn`t want King
Barack, number one. This man has done more to reinstitute the concept of
the imperial presidency since the time that Richard Nixon put the White
House secret service uniform division in those weird uniforms. So, he is
basically saying, I don`t care what the law is. If I don`t like the law,
I`m going to do what I can by an executive order to change and alter the
law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of all people, Karl Rove, Bush`s brain, the guy who helped
orchestrate grabs power from Congress, says President Obama doesn`t care
what the law is? It`s about as credible as embarrassing 2012 election
night claims. This lawsuit is only emboldened President Obama. In speech
after speech, he`s essentially been saying, bring it on. And he actually
looks like he`s having fun mocking them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I mean, I might have said in
the heat of the moment during one of these debates, I want to raise the
minimum wage, so sue me when I do. But I didn`t think they were going to
take it literally.

If House Republicans are really concerned about me taking too many
executive actions, the best solution to that is passing those. Pass a
bill. Not crazy. Not socialism. It`s not -- well, the imperial
presidency. No laws are broken. So sue me. As long as they`re doing
nothing, I`m not going to apologize for trying to do something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The President is loving this lawsuit. And he`s going to
love it even more now that Republicans are handing him a political gift, by
sticking with it.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, democrat from Illinois
and MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, thank you both for coming on the show.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, from what you`ve seen in your home district,
do you get the sense that this lawsuit is just energizing the left?

SCHAKOWSKY: I think there`s no question that people feel that that
solution to the gridlock would be for Congress for the Republicans, to
legislate, not to sue and it is just underscored that this is a do-nothing
Congress. And the fact that they are going after this president for using
executive orders, which he is used far less than George W. Bush, than Bill
Clinton, than many, many other presidents, just goes to show that these
people are just desperate to go after Barack Obama. I think it definitely
is having a backlash and it is the response to the Democrats trying to
raise money for the 2014 elections and finally put the gavel on the hands
of Nancy Pelosi where we can get something done. I think it`s indicative
that the Republicans are really off base and they are making a political
mistake.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SCHAKOWSKY: By this lawsuit.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, I want to follow something up that the
Congresswoman just said. Like I said, Karl Rove, as she mentioned Karl
Rove, is weighing in. But essential thing of Bush`s presidency was his
historic grab of power from Congress. Fueled by the vice president who
always talked about a strong executive branch. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY (R), UNITED STATES: We find ourselves in
the situation where I believe there is strong executive leadership. What
we did in this administration is to exert that kind of authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If the president, during war, decides to do
something to protect the country, is it legal?

CHENEY: In general proposition, I would say yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If the -- it`s legal if the President does it. President
Obama has issued 180 executive orders and President Bush has issued 211 by
this point in his presidency. And yet, now former Bush officials are
accusing President Obama of overreaching.

BALL: Right. And President Obama, as you`re pointing out, not only
is then, fewer than under the Bush administration but fewer than any
president since Grover Cleveland, over 100 years ago. So, it`s actually
dramatic. We`ve seen a massive expansion of executive power, largest of
course, under the Bush administration which was facilitated the political
strategy for doing that, was in fact facilitated by Karl Rove himself.

SHARPTON: Exactly.

BALL: It is remarkable that in a lot of ways this president has
actually sought to rain in executive power looking to fix some of the
successes of the Patriot Act, for example. Looking at what the NSA is
doing with the credit -- saying, we`re going to make some changes here.
That`s a remarkable in a way, of course facts are no obstacles for these
Republicans who were trying to keep their coalition together. A deeply
ideologically divided coalition. And the one thing that they can all agree
on is their opposition to the president.

SHARPTON: And that`s my point, Congresswoman, the reason I`m raising
the stark inconsistency between the Bush crowd, when Mr. Bush was president
and now the President Obama is there, is this is not about executive power.
This is about their opposition to President Obama. Because they could have
such a dramatic 180-degree turn on the use of executive power.
Particularly when he hasn`t even used it nearly as much as they did.

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, they also have had to do kind of ideological
acrobatics as communist Dana Milbank pointed out. You know, they have been
against after these judges, they have been against lawsuits and overusing
and excessive lawsuits. But now, they`ve decided that the way to go is to
sue. And actually in the past, the courts have not been hospitable to
this.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SCHAKOWSKY: They have told people to take those suites and politely
told them to leave. Because the idea is now that frustration should be
illegal, you know, that they can use that to sue. And so, I think that
what we really are looking at is there should be any lawsuits should be for
Congressional malpractice because they are simply not doing their job.
They have changed the definition of legislators, of members of Congress.
Because they are simply refusing to address the critical issues, you know,
raising them in minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SCHAKOWSKY: You name it. As the President pointed out, they won`t
even agree to pay for fixing roads and bridges.

SHARPTON: Infrastructure. I mean, things that we`ve never seen
partisan before --

SCHAKOWSKY: Never.

SHARPTON: I think what is so appalling. I mean, what really really
gets me, is they are doing nothing. I mean, people, millions looking for
jobs. Millions needing their unemployment insurance benefits. And you
have time to go for a lawsuit that has the congresswoman said, most courts
don`t even want to entertain this kind of lawsuit. But you can conjure
this up.

SCHAKOWSKY: Right.

SHARPTON: You can put time and effort and lawyers into something that
is really a gimmick at best, in most circles. But you can`t look out for
people that are trying to feed their families. And when the head of the
party`s questioned about this, let me show you what Reince Priebus, the
head of the Republican National Committee is saying when he was questioned
about Boehner`s lawsuit threat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I think John Boehner
is absolutely right in his lawsuit against this president. And he
obviously doesn`t respect the foundation of the constitution. This is a
president that views his presidency more as a kingship than he does as
bound by Article 2 of the constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, they are so inconsistent to their position with
Bush, they can`t believe that and they won`t get to the work the American
people need, Krystal.

BALL: That`s right. And as you`re pointing out, let`s be clear about
what this lawsuit is. It`s nothing. Right? At this point it`s just a
press release. It`s not even a real thing. It is a political gimmick. It
is a trick to get their base to continue supporting them despite the fact
that they have nothing to offer. And when John Boehner was asked about the
fact that this Congress has the lowest approval rating ever of any Congress
ever in the history, and what responsibility he bears for that, he says he
used partisan`s responsibility as keeping things from happening, not just
getting things done. I mean, that`s how they measure progress is by the
number of things they stop from happening.

SHARPTON: If it wasn`t hurting so many people, it would be humorous.
But it is sickening.

BALL: That`s right. That`s right.

SCHAKOWSKY: Reverend al, this is the 50th anniversary of the civil
rights act.

SHARPTON: Yes. We are getting ready to go right into that.

SCHAKOWSKY: But I think it is important to note that the emancipation
proclamation by President Lincoln was an executive order.

SHARPTON: And it is important to note there was opposition then too.
But it wasn`t by those that were freed. And we have got to free this
country from these kinds of gimmicks and get into the business of taking
care of the American people. Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky and Krystal
Ball, thanks for your time tonight.

BALL: Thank you, Reverend.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, have you heard about President Obama`s war on
religion? Me either. But Rush and the gang are sure fired up about it.
You won`t believe what they`re saying now.

Plus, new fallout from that ugly scene in California. Anti-immigrant
protesters heckling buses full of mothers and children.

Also the civil rights act 50 years later, do conservatives want to gut
it the same way they gutted the voting rights act? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s continues to be a lot of interest in our Facebook
community about President Obama taking action by executive order. Linda
says, "I applaud the President`s decision to do something when we have a
do-nothing Congress." I agree, Linda.

Pamela says, "I hope he issues an executive order everyday from now
until the end of his term."

And Jennifer says, "Well, someone has to be an adult and run the
country." Well, you`re right, Jennifer.

We want to know what you think. Please head over to our Facebook page
and join the conversation. It keeps going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Supreme Court`s decision to give family run companies
the right to deny their female employees certain form of birth control has
ignited the religious right. They say it is a victory over the
government`s war on religion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: What this was
about I believe in the eyes of the government of the Obama administration
was to break through the firewall that has long existed around religious
freedom in this country and if they could enforce businesses on this issue,
in this manner there would be nothing stopping them for advancing the rest
of their liberal anti-religious agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The liberal anti-religious agenda is really the anti-
liberal pro-rights agenda. But now Rick Santorum`s production company is
releasing a film about the Hobby Lobby case, and in a new trailer, they
compare the free contraception mandate to the Nazi takeover of Germany.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We need to be good -- of this -- industry where
we have the erosion of religious liberty happening in our lifetime.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And it will go away if we do not tend to the Press
Religious Freedom right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: -- knows that it is impossible to wake up the German
church but they don`t wake up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s time to stop talking about me for bomb hopper
(ph), start really to be him.

RONALD REAGAN, 40TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if you and I
don`t do this, we may spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children`s children what it once was like in America when men were free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, that is a real clip. The far right has used religion
to try and take away people`s rights. This isn`t about a war on religious
freedom. It`s standing up for women`s rights. For gay rights. Or civil
rights.

Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, a former evangelical turn
progressive. And the author of "Why I`m An Atheist Who Believes in God:
How To Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace."

Frank, what is this talk of the President`s so-called war on religion
really about? What are we really looking at here?

FRANK SCHAEFFER, AUTHOR, "WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD":
You`re looking at a group of people who raise money for religious
organizations and get votes for Republican Tea Party candidates by lying to
the American people about our first African-American president, who they
have hated, in their unchristian, despicable and vile manner since day one.
So, this is just the next thing. He wasn`t born in America, he`s Kenyan.
He`s not a real American. Oh, by the way, he is against religious liberty.
This war on women and the war on gay rights, which they are also launching,
has two parts.

One to raise money for evangelical and Roman Catholic Organizations.
Two, to keep people fired up so they can win elections from people who
would rather believe lies, knowing full well they are lies, than look at
humanity, compassion and decency of an American president who cares about
my wife, my daughter, my two granddaughters, and wants them to have access
to contraceptive. So, what we have here is a despicable situation, and it
is simply the next chapter. What is shocking is not that these people lie
about the president. There are always people like that.

SHARPTON: Yes. They`ve done that before.

SCHAEFFER: Yes. What is shocking is that the court, the Supreme
Court, that is supposed to be a serious organization, is now run by a bunch
of GOP lackeys. And if anybody who read my book, "Why I`m An Atheist Who
Believes in God", will know, these GOP lackeys are people I worked with as
a young man, a sidekick to my evangelist father, I know them well, I used
to fly around in Jerry Farwell`s jet, and we came up with an idea, and that
was we`ll use these social issues, these litmus test issues, so that people
like the Koch Brothers, and the corporations and the people who hate the
Democratic Party because they stand for working men and women can rile up
and fire up and give red meat to these people again and again and again.
It isn`t about the issues, it`s about the politics.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Let me suggest this though, when you look at Rick
Santorum`s company`s tape, I mean, almost like the apocalypse and Nazi
Germany used here. I mean, this is some real ugly stuff. And you`re
saying as a young man, these was these kind of things where we are driven
now, was actually plotted by some of the evangelical leaders for political
purposes?

SCHAEFFER: Absolutely. For instance, I`ll give you an example. When
we met with people like Ronald Reagan, they did not believe in the pro-life
issue as it was called, the anti-abortion movement. But they were told, if
you want our votes, you have to do something about it. You`ve got say you
believe in it. And then they come into office. And then that moved along
and then we started bashing gay people. And then gay people move along.
And now it is contraception. But what it is, is a strategy to look for
ways to weaken and damage this president.

SHARPTON: Whether or not the person really believes in it or not,
they`ve got a feed to this extreme fire right religious group. You know,
because Rush Limbaugh told women today that they didn`t need contraception.
Listen to this, Frank.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Pregnancy requires action that
has consequences. And yet we treat it as a great imposition that women
need to be protected from. It`s a sickness, it`s a disease, it`s whatever.
There`s got to be a pill for it. And yet, they wouldn`t have the problem
if they didn`t do a certain thing. It`s that simple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, these are the kind of things that are driving this
whole right wing attempt to, one, raise money as you say, and to energize a
vote.

SCHAEFFER: Yes. And, you know, I would love to strip that bloated
fool of his health care. And I`d like to put him in the position of my
daughter or grandchildren who basically face a future where their religious
right has taken over the GOP through the Tea Party and is trying to
establish a theocracy in this country that fits their agenda while people
like the Koch Brothers use these voters, who they don`t care about at all,
as basically their shock troops to really do the republican agenda, which
is to keep taxes low for corporations, move jobs off overseas, and to
deregulate the energy industry so they can strip our country of its
environment and get away with it.

It`s a dirty game, it`s a filthy game, it`s a racist game and it`s
been played by these people to the point where folks like me, who used to
be in this, are just tired and sick of it. And I`ll tell you one other
thing, so are the American people.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SCHAEFFER: These idiots are shooting themselves in the foot. They
are handing Democrats a gift on a platter. Do you want an anti-women bunch
of white fat fools like Rush Limbaugh pontificating about your wife and
daughter and their access to contraceptive and sex? I don`t nor the
American people.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. And then we say this,
I don`t call people names any more. I used to when I was young and
immature. I call Rush Limbaugh what he is, the head of the Republican
Party. I don`t have to call him names. It is dangerous that he is setting
the tone. Frank Schaeffer, former evangelical, thanks for your time
tonight.

SCHAEFFER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, 50 years after the civil rights act, we are
facing new challenges. Civil rights icon Myrlie Evers-Williams is here.
And emotions boil over. Anti-immigrants protesters yelling at buses full
of mothers and children. Where are the GOP leaders condemning this?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It was an ugly scene at the border as Americans block a bus
carrying immigrant women and children with ugly chants and tons. It`s a
low moment in the fight for fairness. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a disturbing response to a genuine
humanitarian crisis. About 140 undocumented immigrants have been flown
into California from facilities in Texas. Officials said most of the
people were families. Women and young children. Buses drove them to a
town of Murrieta where they were supposed to be given case numbers and gone
through background checks but they were greeted by this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(Chanting)

USA! USA! USA! USA!

Go home! Go home! Go home!

USA! USA! USA! USA!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Those protesters eventually got the busses to turn around.
The families were then brought to another border patrol station. No matter
what your political beliefs or your views on immigration, there`s no excuse
for screaming "Go back to where you come from" to a bus full of little kids
and their mothers. Since October, 52,000 unaccompanied children have been
apprehended at the border. It is a full blown crisis. But it isn`t about
politics. It`s about people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Desperate to escape violence and poverty in El Salvador, Cecilia made
the dangerous trip with her two children.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

We know the risk she says but in my country, my kids are in great
danger because of crime and poverty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s a heartbreaking story, and one politicians on both
sides of the aisle have to work together.

Joining me now is Telemundo anchor and soon to be MSNBC host, Jose
Diaz- Balart. Jose, thank you for being here.

JOSE DIAZ- BALART, TELEMUNDO: Pleasure Reverend.

SHARPTON: You know, you`ve been following this story closely, what is
your reaction to what happened to those families on those buses today?

BALART: Reverend, you know, think for a second about who the people
were in those buses and what they have just been through. It takes maybe
one or actually you can take two weeks to get through Mexico into the
United States for these unaccompanied minors. And along the way, they face
death, they face torture, they face rapings. Let me give you an example.
A 17-year-old Honduras young lady that I spoke to this week says that when
she was in her hometown some months ago, the gangs that patrol and
virtually run parts of her town came to see her little brother, who I think
was 14 or 15 years. Time to come with us. And join the gang. He said,
no. So they called him.

SHARPTON: Wow.

BALART: She said, what could I do? Do I stay here and be killed or
become property, sexual property of gang members that run amok in places
like Honduras. Or do I take my chances and come here.

SHARPTON: They just came in the house, told the 14-year-old it was
time. He refused to join the gang, they killed him. She`s faced with
staying there becoming really property as you said, enslaved. And just
trying to escape here. And yet, the protest was met with as much ugliness
outside the protesters as the process itself. Listen to Rush Limbaugh and
what he had to say about yesterday`s protest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: You can`t dump your dog on the street in most of America.
But you can dump 50,000 kids from Central America. I was not comparing the
children to dogs. I`m talking about the difference in law. It is illegal
to dump animals, pets. If it`s discovered, there`s a problem. But you can
dump kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Jose, does this tone help to make it even more difficult to
find solutions here, the tone of people like Rush Limbaugh?

BALART: Any time you dehumanize somebody, Rev, it`s easier, I guess,
to get rid of what you perceive to be a problem. But that problem won`t go
away just because you dehumanize little boys and little girls. Congressman
Henry Cuellar from the area of the Rio Grande Valley told me that he just
visited recently one of these centers where kids are. Kids as young as two
years old. And he says that one in three told him that they had been raped
along the way coming to the United States of America.

Now I know a lot of people don`t have kids and it is easy when you
don`t have a kid to call people like those dogs and being dumped. But you
know something, there but for the grace of God, in many opportunities. And
what would you, what would you do if your child was being rape or being
destroyed by gangs? What would you be willing to do for your children and
regardless of the political position, Reverend, you said this in the
beginning, one should sit back and say, what is -- what should we as a
country be standing for? Maybe they will be returned back to their country
in the future. But let`s at least process them. Let`s at least find out
who they are and what their reality is. By the way, it is part of the law.
If you bring these kids and you process them. And that`s what they are
going to do in California when these people in Murrieta turn them back.

SHARPTON: It is a part of the law. We`re not talking about the law
here as not being abided by. And this president has said, let us deal with
immigration reform. Let`s deal with this. No one is more plugged into
this issue than you have been talking to everybody. What are you hearing
in the community out there? What needs to happen to move this immigration
reform forward, Jose?

BALART: Well, first of all, if the House would at least do their job
and deal with -- listen, Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives
all agree that the immigration system is broken, right? So, how do you fix
it? Because by wishing it went away, it`s not going to go away. So, how
do you deal with it? If there had been immigration reform, take the Senate
bill that was passed a year ago. Or make it a straight republican bill
that has been discussed in the House. All of these issues would have been
dealt with. If you have the legalization, not citizenship even,
legalization of the 11 million people then this waive of humanity may have
been avoided.

SHARPTON: Yes.

BALART: But you know what? These kids don`t come here because they
want to go to Disney world, Rev. They come here because they have family
members and they are dying along the way. And that death is the
responsibility of politicians of both sides of the aisle that are more
interested in talking politics than in dealing with life and death
situations that are occurring on the border as we speak.

SHARPTON: And most of the country. Most of the country supports
reform that includes a path to citizenship. One recent poll found 62
percent of all-Americans supported including 51 percent of Republicans.
It`s only among Tea Party Republicans that it really drops off. Jose Diaz-
Balart, thank you for your time tonight. And we`re so looking forward to
your show right here on MSNBC.

BALART: Thank you, friend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, 50 years after the civil rights act, how do we
expand its promise for the future and protect the gains of the past?

Also the web`s funniest lines about U.S. goalie Tim Howard. What else
could he say? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back. Take a look at this picture from 1960. It
shows Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pulling a burnt cross from his
lawn with his young son, Martin standing by. Four years later, Dr. King
was at the White House as President Johnson signed the landmark civil
rights act into law. Those four years were filled with struggle and
sacrifice. But it was worth it. This historic new law banned
discrimination in public, in schools, in the workplace and at the ballot
box.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNDON JOHNSON, 36TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe that
all men are created equal, yet many are denied equal treatment. Yet it
cannot continue. Our constitution, the foundation of our republic, forbids
it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And
the law I will sign tonight forbids it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: After Johnson signed the bill, he famously said he`d lost
the south to the GOP for a generation. Sadly he was right. Here is the
map of the states of the old confederacy. Now look at the political map
today. For just the second time since the civil war, Republicans control
the legislature in every confederate state. And in all those states,
politicians want to reassert the old motto of states` rights. Trying to
limit the federal government and roll back many of the civil right
movements gain. We`ve come too far to let that happen. And there`s too
much work still to be done. Education, jobs, voting rights, women`s
rights, gay rights, criminal justice. The fight for civil rights isn`t
over. It`s just begun.

Joining me now is the woman who knows that all too well. Myrlie
Evers-Williams, meadow of Medgar Evers and a civil rights icon in her own
right. When she met with President Kennedy in 1963, he gave her a copy of
a bill that he just sent to Congress. A bill that became the civil rights
act. Signed 50 years ago today. Ms. Evers-Williams, first of all, thank
you for being here night.

MYRLIE EVERS-WILLIAMS, CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: It`s my pleasure, as
always, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Fifty years later, you know, is America ready for a new
chapter in the civil rights struggle?

WILLIAMS: Would you repeat that?

SHARPTON: I said, 50 years later, is America ready for the next
chapter in the civil rights struggle?

WILLIAMS: I`m not sure whether America is ready. But I think America
will be probably be forced into that. If I may go back, just a moment, on
June the 11th, 1963, President Kennedy delivered his speech to the nation
that set the stage for the civil rights bill. At midnight or shortly after
midnight on the 12th, my husband was shutdown at our doorstep. It took
just a few days after that, when Medgar was buried at Arlington Cemetery on
the 19th of June when President Kennedy talked about this bill, and it was
the following day and thank you for that picture, it was the following day
that we met with the president in the White House, in which he gave us a
copy of that bill that had just been printed, and he autographed that for
us. And it`s one of the joys of my life to have that there. Fast forward,
of course, President Kennedy did not live long enough to see that bill
become law. But there was President Johnson who, I believe, was such a
strong advocate for it.

We are here today some 50 years after that time. And Reverend I have
to ask the question, how far have we come? We can analyze everything that
has happened and we can see progress. But somewhere underneath all of
that, that evil spirit of racism and prejudice still exists in America. So
we look at the past. We look at today and we`re back where we are still
saying there is still so much to be done. And one of the things that I
feel we must do is help our younger generation understand what happened
some 50 years ago and their responsibility for what is happening today.

SHARPTON: You know, when you say that, I look at that the fact the
civil rights act banned discrimination in schools for example. But they`re
still were there, schools and mostly students of color spend $733 less per
student in each year than in most white schools. Civil rights act band
discrimination in the workplace. But look at the median household income
now. Whites, about 55,000. Hispanics, just under 39,000. Blacks, down
just about 32,000.

So, you`re absolutely right. I get up this morning, Ms. Evers
Williams and the Wall Street Journal column is staring me in the face and
it says today, it says the Supreme Court should re-examine the civil rights
act. The column says the civil rights act that has been quote abused for
ends that it`s authors never intended and that has quote, "become an
instrument for racial classifications and preferences." I mean, it appears
that as we haven`t even finished achieving the goals of the civil rights
act. They are claiming it`s distorted and that it should be gutted.
Similar of how they gutted the civil rights act.

WILLIAMS: Does that not speak to what America is today. We all had
hope, would not all. But so many of us had hope that it would be a new
day. And we began to see changes in differences, no longer having to go
through those rather stupid, if I may call them, tests that were given us
to in order to be able to register and to vote. Corporations began to
slowly open their doors to minorities. But there was a thing within that
corporate entity where they would pit one race against another. Which did
not make it easy.

Let`s go forward, looking at our young people today, and somewhere I
think we as a race of people have not taken the time to really train our
young people in terms of what happened and what their responsibilities are
today. I just simply see us some 50 years later going backward and it is
very, very disturbing to see that happen. We cannot sweep it under the
rug. For if we do, we will find ourselves much further back than we have
ever been before.

SHARPTON: Well, I want to thank you for giving up that challenge on
this day. And I want you -- I want my production staff, put up that
picture again of President Kennedy. This is again, Myrlie Evers-Williams,
her family and her brother-in-law in the Oval Office with President
Kennedy. The first one to get this bill that we`re dealing with 50 years
later, we are commemorating 50 years later today. That`s how much history
was made with this woman. Her challenged is, what are we going to do? She
has not dropped that banner. And we need to learn what it means and keep
going forward. Myrlie Evers-Williams.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. And I`m still moving forward. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time. Thank you for your lifetime of
service to the country. We`ll be right back.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Team USA goalie Tim Howard has become an overnight
sensation. His 16 saves at yesterday`s World Cup game is a record. And
now he`s breaking the Internet. One crafty Wikipedia user changed the
entry for a U.S. secretary of defense from Chuck Hagel to Tim Howard.
Secretary Hagel even called Howard tonight to congratulate him on his
performance. President Obama also spoke to Tim on the phone today. But
Twitter is where folks really started having fun. The hashtag things Tim
Howard could say spread like wildfire. Like this one. Tim Howard could
save the "Titanic." But my question is, can Tim save Dick Cheney from
having blueberry pie on his face? That`s a tough one. Way to go, Tim! Or
should I say, Secretary Howard?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For almost half a century, Essence has been known and
better known as the black woman`s bible for life. Tomorrow the 20th annual
Essence festival kicks off and MSNBC is a proud sponsor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Joining me now is Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence
Communications. Thanks for being here.

MICHELLE EBANKS, PRESIDENT, ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you so
much, it is a pleasure to be here with you today.

SHARPTON: Maya Angelo.

EBANKS: Yes.

SHARPTON: There will be tributes to her all weekend.

EBANKS: Yes.

SHARPTON: We have a book coming out on Maya Angelo that Essence
Magazine is putting together. Tell me about it.

EBANKS: Yes. Maya Angelo is such a champion of Essence, when we
first started in 1970. And when we started, the festival, the leadership
started the festival, she wrote a tremendous forward in the book, that
talked about black women have always kept ourselves, our families, our
institutions together and we must never stop doing that. And it is in that
spirit that we celebrate. It`s that spirit that celebrate her life and
contribution that we have this festival and we continue on to keep the
issues at the forefront of our progress in our lives.

SHARPTON: What are the kinds of issues that we will going to go over
the next weekend?

EBANKS: Health care. Health care continues to be a significant issue
in our community. And so we`re going to take those issues head on. Alicia
Keys with Melissa Harris-Perry is going to talk about aides. We`re going
to have a discussion on what is at stake leading into the midterm
elections. Thank you, Reverend Sharpton for being a part of that web. So
much is at stake as we go to the polls this fall. We will cover all of
these issues that are so important. Education. We have an initiative and
partnership with the White House. Department of Education, so we`re going
to talk with activist moms. We`re going to about how moms create a culture
of education in our homes. Because that culture of education, smart starts
at home and we will get into that.

SHARPTON: How did you get prince? Prince is performing Friday night.

EBANKS: Prince performed at our tenth anniversary. And we asked if
he would return for our 20th celebration and we were just over the moon
when he said yes. It is also the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain.

SHARPTON: Right.

EBANKS: And Prince, he was excited to come and to be a part of this
anniversary. As we realize, this is the largest gathering, largest live
event in the country last year over 540,000 people. So he wanted to
perform, but also, to have an impact in the community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: My thanks to Michelle Ebanks. It`s going to be a wonderful
festival. Thanks to you for watching. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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