PoliticsNation, Monday, October 13th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: October 13, 2014
Guest: Jess McIntosh, Joan Walsh, Seema Yasmin, Wendy Murphy, Angela Rye,
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed, and thanks to you for
tuning in. I`m live tonight from Chicago.
Tonight`s lead, will there be more cases of Ebola? Late today, President
Obama meeting with senior health and national security officials, reviewing
the government`s response to Ebola so far.
Here`s what we know. NBC News confirming the identity of the Dallas nurse
who got Ebola while caring for the late Thomas Eric Duncan. 26-year-old
Nina Pham is isolated, in stable condition. Now, officials are
investigating why her protective gear failed to keep her safe.
Today, the head of the CDC said that this second infection means the U.S.
must rethink how we combat Ebola. And he warned, don`t be surprised if
more people get infected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: We have to rethink the way we address Ebola
infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable. We`ll
work with hospitals throughout the country to think Ebola in someone with I
fever or other symptoms who has had travel to any of the three affected
countries in the previous 21 days. We`re concerned that there could be
other infections in the coming days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Also today, troubling new questions about why America hasn`t yet
developed a vaccine for Ebola. And whether the fight over the proper role
of government in the U.S. has hurt the country`s ability to respond.
The questions now, are hospitals ready to deal with more potential cases?
Are new procedures needed to keep health care workers safe? And does
America need to re-evaluate how it`s fighting this disease?
Joining me now is Dr. Seema Yasmin, public health professor at UT Dallas,
and Joan Walsh, editor at-large for salon.com. Thank you both for being
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.
DR. SEEMA YASMIN, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSOR, UT DALLAS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Doctor, what does the CDC mean when it says hospitals need to
think Ebola? Aren`t hospitals doing that already?
YASMIN: This is really a call to wake up and get ready, Reverend. We`ve
already seen this one case in Dallas where a gentleman from Liberia had
fever, symptoms consistent with Ebola and he was discharged home from the
hospital, and then he sadly died, possibly because of a delay in diagnosis.
We don`t know.
This is a wake-up call that physicians across the country need to take
essential travel history from anybody with fever or other signs consistent
with Ebola. As long as the epidemic continues to range in West Africa, we
will continue to see imported cases here in the U.S. and other parts of the
SHARPTON: Now, this nurse that is now being confirmed to have been
infected has now been identified. Can you share with us any other
information about her and how she was -- had become a victim of Ebola?
YASMIN: So it`s very hard to say without having all of the details. But
we know she`s a young nurse. Her family spoke to "the Dallas Morning News"
where I work and told us that she has a very big heart. She`s a caring
And Reverend, I can tell you from experience, sometimes putting on all of
this gear can be tricky. Sometimes you`re in a rush. You`re working very
long shifts. You`re caring for multiple patients at the same time. So
healthcare workers try their hardest, but we`re human, we sometimes make
mistakes. It`s sometimes difficult to find out exactly what was that one
incident that caused the exposure and it may be that we never, ever get
SHARPTON: Joan, health officials say they have things under control. Do
Americans believe them?
WALSH: Well, I think Americans are increasingly worried, Reverend Al. And
we know there shouldn`t be panic. But I think that this second case, where
a healthcare worker, you know, we were at least initially told had taken
precautions, was wearing the right protective gear, the notion that she
would wind up sick mystifies people, exactly what happened?
And, you know, the doctor is right. It seems as though there was a breach
in protocol in the way perhaps she took off her gear, and all of that is
important. But I think there`s a lot of worry, that people don`t have
adequate training. We`ve seen cutbacks in healthcare funding and something
like 45,000 state and local public health workers have lost their jobs just
in the last five or six years, under just budget cut again and again and
again in a lot of states and cities.
So I think people are worried about the infrastructure. They`re also
worried, you know, there are lots of stories now about friends and family
of Thomas Eric Duncan who were quarantined but they weren`t given food,
they were not even given fresh bedding for days. The clean-up of that
site, lagged behind what it should be. So I think people want to know that
all of our authorities on the ground are prepared and doing what they need
to do and are protecting us.
SHARPTON: Dr. Seema, I saw you nodding your head while Joan was speaking.
And I was reading a report today of people that lived in the area where
this nurse lived. There`s real fear out there, isn`t there?
YASMIN: There absolutely is. And there`s so many questions from local
residents here in Dallas, about whether local hospitals are prepared. And
we heard from a national survey of nurses that 85 percent of them did not
feel adequately prepared to deal with Ebola.
I visited a local hospital a few days ago, nurses coming off the night
shift said the exact same thing. But the way that their hospital responded
was to say, if you`re telling us you don`t feel prepared, let`s go over the
training again and again and again until you do feel ready, until you do
feel comfortable to care for a patient with Ebola.
SHARPTON: Now, Joan, I want to go back to something you mentioned about
the cuts. Because the head of the national institute for health says
America would have developed an Ebola vaccine if it weren`t for budget
The quote, "if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research
support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this."
And here`s the chart. Adjusted for inflation, NIH funding dropped $5.3
billion between 2004 and 2013. I mean, how big of an impact has that had
on research into Ebola, and could we have had a vaccine by now if we had
not seen these cuts, in your opinion?
WALSH: Well, Dr. Francis Collins is a very wonderful expert on this, and
is a very sober person. He told this to Sam Stein of "the Huffington
Post," if he says it, and I don`t think he`s given to hyperbole, I think he
means it. And they have been coping with cuts.
We lived through a period of austerity, Rev., where there, you know, both
parties at times have looked for cuts and they`ve looked to some of our
health funding and particularly prevention and containment programs, which
are -- they are very labor intensive. And it might seem like we we`re not
dealing with a pandemic, so maybe we don`t need this funding. But it`s
kind of like a fire department. You know, firefighters might sit around
for a while, but you need that many people if there`s a fire. And I think
that there`s been a notion that we could defund some of these programs and
live to tell about it. And there has been a mania for budget cutting and
frenzy about the deficit that is certainly hurt both infrastructure and
SHARPTON: Seema, your view on the budget cuts, has it affected the
possibility of a vaccine to have been found by now?
YASMIN: Absolutely. And not just vaccines, but also public health
preparedness. When I was working at the CDC, we had consistent cuts in
public health funding. We always felt like we were trying to do more with
less year on year. And preparedness is one of the keys of public health.
Reverend, I can`t emphasize that enough. It`s the behind-the-scenes work
that you do to be ready for a situation like this. And now this has
happened, we`re suddenly scrambling to find the right people, the right
resources to send to West Africa, including the vaccine. Cuts there in
medical research as well. Vaccine development can take up to ten years and
many hundreds of millions of dollars. That`s a big reality check for us
right now when we`re suddenly demanding an Ebola vaccine right away. It
doesn`t work like this. This is a very brutal reminder that cuts to
medical research and public health can be deadly.
SHARPTON: Wow, and you`ve seen it firsthand. Thank you, Dr. Seema Yasmin
and Joan Walsh. Thanks again to both of you for your time tonight.
WALSH: Thank you, Reverend.
YASMIN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a hazing scandal on a New Jersey high school football
team. The details are graphic and shocking. And some say, the teens
should be tried as adults.
Also, Scott Walker`s duck and weave on his right-wing policies, but we`ll
slow him down.
Plus the controversial ad that`s dividing the political world today. Is it
offensive, effective, or both?
And Beyonce, Jay-Z, and the Mona Lisa. It`s an awesome overload, and it`s
in tonight`s "conversation nation."
SHARPTON: Developing news in the fight for justice in this country. St.
Louis police say 19 people were arrested in protests today in Ferguson,
Missouri. The latest in the ongoing reaction to the shooting of Michael
Brown. It`s part of the larger national conversation about policing in
America, with developments all across the country.
In New York, the family of Eric Gardner has hired civil rights attorney
Jonathan Moore to represent them in their lawsuit against the city in the
police chokehold death of Mr. Gardner. A grand jury is meeting to decide
whether to bring criminal charges against police officers in this case.
And in California, prosecutors are still waiting to charge a CHP officer in
that brutal beating incident caught on tape.
Case by case, America is moving towards a more just society. This is a
painful conversation, but one, we must have.
SHARPTON: Republicans have a new plan for trying to win these midterm
elections. It`s called duck and run. They`ll do anything to avoid
answering questions. Just listen to Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst
address questions about Obamacare at a debate this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charles Collins is a new enrollee under Obamacare.
He`s heard Joni Ernst say she would work to repeal it. He asks, have you
given any thoughts to how individuals in my situation won`t lose coverage
should the repeal occur? And Randy Nelon (ph) of (INAUDIBLE) say, isn`t
where drop coverage because of Obamacare? And he asks, what can you tell
the people who lost their health insurance because of Obamacare?
JONI ERNST (R), IOWAN SENATE CANDIDATE: Every Iowan and every American has
the right to affordable, quality healthcare, but Obamacare is not the
answer to that. It`s a job killer here in the state. And it`s taking our
personal health care decisions out of our hands and placing them in
nameless, faceless, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Job killer? She`s got the talking points down, but what she
doesn`t have is an answer. And there was another Republican trying to duck
and run, just one state over in the Wisconsin governor`s debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please tell us if you believe a Wisconsin worker can
live on our minimum wage, if you believe the state has any obligation to
make sure the workers are paid some sort of minimum wage, and if so, what
that minimum wage should be.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I want jobs that pay two or three times
the minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need you to answer, do you believe a Wisconsin worker
can live on a minimum wage? Do you believe the state has an obligation to
make sure workers are paid some sort of obligation and if so, what that
should be? I need an answer.
WALKER: Yes. And my point is, I believe the state should be focused on
helping people create jobs that are much greater than the minimum wage. I
was paid the minimum wage when I worked at McDonald`s as a kid. I used
that to save up for money in college. I didn`t expect it that was going to
be my lifetime`s work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He didn`t expect it to be his lifetime`s work? Good for you,
Governor Walker, but one in four Walkers in your state earns a wage that
puts them at or below the poverty line. And that wage is still higher than
your state`s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
These Republicans will say anything to dance around the issues. Why?
Because the races are very close and they don`t want to admit their real
Joining me now are Jess McIntosh and Karen Finney. Thank you both for
being here this evening.
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Nice to be here, Rev.
SHARPTON: Karen, won`t voters see through these non-answers?
FINNEY: Absolutely. And I think, you know, I give credit to both the
reporters asking the questions and the individuals asking the questions,
because this is what we`ve been talking about all along, Rev., that these
races are going to come down to local issues and people asking, how does
what you propose impact me and my life? And in both the examples that you
just presented, that`s exactly the question that people were asking.
Whether it was healthcare or the minimum wage, and they didn`t have
answers. And that`s a real problem for the Republican party, I think.
Whether it`s a governor`s race or some of these house and Senate races
where, you know, it`s just not enough to say, well, it`s Obama`s fault, or
we hate Obama. No, you`ve got to offer a proposal and you`ve got to be
able to say more than just, you know, Obamacare`s not the way, or I want,
you know, I want people to make more than the minimum wage. Well, you`ve
got to answer some basic questions so people really understand where you
SHARPTON: You know, you heard Governor Scott Walker avoiding questions on
the minimum wage, but he`s going even further to skew his image with
voters. Watch his latest TV ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: I`m pro-life. There`s no doubt in my mind the decision of whether
or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one. That`s why I support
legislation to increase safety and provide more information for a woman
considering her options.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Jess, help me here. Is he really trying to convince women that
he`s just trying to get them more information?
MCINTOSH: Yes. Women are going to understand, especially women in
Wisconsin, that when Scott Walker says "more information," he means
medically unnecessary forced transvaginal ultrasounds. But that is
obviously not a winning position with Wisconsin women voters. And so, he`s
trying to obfuscate it.
I think the end of the cycle has been incredibly telling, as we start to
see what the final ads they`re running are, or the debate season. Just how
bereft of ideas the Republican party is this cycle.
2014 is supposed to be the best map possible for them. They`re supposed to
do well this cycle. And instead, they`re running essentially on our
issues. They`re saying, I`m kind a pro-choice, and I`m certainly for
people making the minimum wage and I believe in universal health care.
They just won`t back anything up with points on how to get there. And in
fact, they can`t hide they have actively spent the last few seasons working
against all of those things. We only have 22 days left, they can`t fix
SHARPTON: You know, Karen, the "Politico" reports today that the GOP is
losing the culture war thanks to their hard right stances on issues like
abortion and gay rights marriage. They write, it was not preordained for
Republicans to use the culture war so completely. Bad strategic choices of
their own making boxed them in a corner, leaving them no choice but to
surrender at the courthouse steps. Are GOP candidates now basically stuck
with these extreme positions, Karen?
FINNEY: Well, they absolutely are. And we are seeing in a number of
states where it is doing real damage. I mean, take North Carolina, where
you have a lot of voters, moderates and some moderate Republicans and
independents who are very concerned about how far right the Republicans in
the state legislature have swung the state?
And so, you have people kind of saying, wait a second, that`s too far.
We`re seeing the same thing in Kansas, where you know, Brownback is likely
to lose because, you know, he wanted to make Kansas a model of, you know,
these conservative ideals.
So absolutely, I think you`re seeing it swing back. But again, I think
what you`re seeing is people begin to focus on their candidates. This
always happens, the closer we get to Election Day. And they focus on who
they are, and what they stand for. As Jess pointed out, they`re coming
around as these democratic issues. Because they`re saying, wait a second.
Republicans, they`ve gone so far to the right, and we can see through what
they`re saying. They`re not offering, you know, real opportunities -- job
opportunities. They`re not offering real alternatives for healthcare. And
I think that is going to cost them.
SHARPTON: You know, Jess, something else that we took note of today, and
that`s the Republican nominee for the Senate in North Carolina, Thom
Tillis. He has come under fire for controversial statements in this race.
In Talking Points Memo discovered another on his Web site from 2007, when
he slammed de facto reparations for slavery. He said federal and state
governments have redistributed trillions of dollars of wealth over the
years, by funding programs that are at least in part, driven by the belief
that we should provide additional reparations.
MCINTOSH: Yes, I mean, for a guy who wants to represent a state with a
high African-American voter turn-out, he has done absolutely nothing to
suggest to that community that he`s on their side. This is the first found
footage of Thom Tillis of this race, was when he was speaking in a fund-
raiser, talking about how we need to quote "divide and conquer people on
public assistance," end quote.
So we turn the one who is are there for a good reason, whatever he thinks a
good reason is, against the ones that Thom Tillis thinks are there for a
I mean, you can`t want to govern in a higher state, and be talking about
how to divide and conquer the people in the state at the same time. It
doesn`t work that way.
The second thing he got -- he came under fire for was suggesting that
minority populations in North Carolina were growing faster than, quote,
So this is a guy that doesn`t want to represent the entire state. And I
think it`s why we`ve seen Kay Hagan have consistent leads in this race. It
is going to close but. But she`s doing a great job being North Carolina`s
senator for all of North Carolina.
SHARPTON: In fact, we`ll have some more from Kay Hagan later in this
program, in her talk with Chris Matthews, my colleague.
Jess McIntosh and Karen Finney, thank you both for your time this evening.
FINNEY: Thanks, Rev.
MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a new ad from Wendy Davis, showing a wheelchair, has
her under fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tree fell on Greg Abbott. He sued and got millions.
Since then, he`s spent his career working against other victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Is it in poor taste, or is it fair?
And this might be one of the best photos of all time? Yes, Jay-Z, Beyonce,
and the Mona Lisa. "Conversation nation" is ahead. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Sayreville, New Jersey, is town like a lot of towns in America.
And that`s the problem, because the horrific football hazing case that
happened there, could happen anywhere. Details too graphic to say on TV.
And now, some are asking if the teens should be tried as adults. That`s
SHARPTON: Now to the hazing scandal that`s rocked a New Jersey town and
has the whole country paying attention. Seven members of the high school
football team in Sayreville, New Jersey, were arrested this weekend in
connection with the sexual assault of four teammates in the locker room.
One parent described the assaults to New Jersey advanced media. Alleges
four players would pin a freshman to the ground another while another would
sexually assault him. Two other players reportedly acted as lookouts. The
arrested players are minors between the ages of 15 and 17, so they`ve not
been identified. The charges came just days after school officials
canceled the entire football season. The Sayreville superintendent
explained that decision this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD LABBE, SAYREVILLE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: We decided to cancel or
season based upon the information that was provided to us, that there were
acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying, at a pervasive, wide-scale
level, that was generally accepted and tolerated by the student athletes in
that program. We`re now reading the accounts that are in the papers. And
we`re seeing the charges and we`re as horrified as everyone else is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This town is horrified. And last night, hundreds gathered for a
vigil to support the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A lot of hurt. A lot of things going on. We need to
come together as a community, we need to support the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It could have been their children. It could have been
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Very upset about it.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The football season is a very small issue compared to
what happened. I mean, kids were violated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s now. But last week, before the arrests, tensions ran
very high over the decision to cancel the football season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No one was hurt, no one died, I don`t understand why
they`re being punished. I think that to forfeit a game was punishment
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I hope you thought long and hard about this, because you
made these kids the victims. That`s what you did, the kids that are
innocent, you just made them victims.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s sad and it`s terrible and it`s heartbreaking, I
hear that, I understand it, but it`s not tragic. Tragic would be walking
in front of the casket of a victim who decided he couldn`t take it anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Again, those comments were made before we had heard details
about the alleged assaults. But now, the big questions. Will these
students be tried as adults? And how much work do we need to do as a
country, to make sure nothing like this happens again?
Joining me now is former child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor, Wendy
Murphy. Thanks for being here.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Wendy, you have tried cases like this. What are prosecutors
doing right now?
MURPHY: Yes, I wish I could say this is so shocking, and I haven`t heard
of it before. In fact, I had a case like this, not long ago, in a very
prestigious all boys school outside of Boston. Here`s what prosecutors
think about. First and foremost, what are the charges, and who was
primarily responsible? Sometimes when gangs like this get together and
commit these kinds of offenses, there`s a leader. And then there`s a
second in command and maybe a third in command. And prosecutors are
interested in figuring out whether there was some of the students who might
have been less responsible than others, and for very good reason. Number
one, they`re going to testify as witnesses against the leaders.
MURPHY: And when you have people testifying against the guys that are in
charge, you got a rock-solid case. And the best thing you can hope for as
a prosecutor, is that you get such a strong case going forward, everybody
SHARPTON: Now, we`ve seen reports that some of the players might be tried
as adults. What do you think?
MURPHY: Yes, I mean, I hope that they are tried as adults, even though
they are technically juveniles and not yet identified at this point. And
the reason is very simple, when you commit a horrific offense that we think
of as a serious adult crime, you should be prosecuted in adult court -- I`m
not going to say lock them up and throw away the key forever, but you
should be prosecuted in adult court, so we can know who you are and what
you did. The gift of confidentiality when it comes to juvenile
prosecutions is supposed to be for the first offender who committed a not
particularly serious offense. You know, borrowed somebody`s car without
permission, maybe even drunk driving. But listen, when you come down to
what we think, and what the Supreme Court of the United States has called
the most serious harm to a human being short of homicide, that`s what rape
is, that`s what is alleged here. You have to, at least let the public know
who these young men are and what they did. Because they deserve to be
shamed at a minimum, maybe locked up, but at a minimum, shamed.
SHARPTON: Now, three of the players are charged with aggravated sexual
assault. If a juvenile was found guilty of that, they`d get no more than
five years, but an adult could face 20. Where do you see it going?
MURPHY: Yes. But I mean, remember, what you`re pointing out here is the
possibility of the most serious punishment being imposed. The fact of the
matter is, in this country, less than two percent of rapists spend even one
day behind bars, and that includes juveniles and adults. So I`m not
expecting to see long punishments in terms of incarceration, but I am
hoping that this case opens our eyes to the reality of not only -- of the
problem, not only being males on females, boys versus girls at this high
school level, males on males, and the boys who are victims in this story,
boy, good for them for speaking up. And I`ll tell you what I would do, and
I don`t think this is going to happen, but I wish that we could find some
way to let the victims participate in the rest of the football season and
make heroes out of them and cheer for them. Maybe if they don`t have
enough players, borrow some players from their rival teams. Make it a
really momentous occasion, because you can`t just punish the bad guys and
expect this behavior to stop. And it`s epidemic in this country at the
high school and college level. You have to also celebrate the victims, not
just make them feel better, make them feel great.
SHARPTON: Wendy Murphy, I`m going to leave it there on that note. Thank
you for your time tonight.
MURPHY: You bet.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, the controversial wheelchair political ad that is
Also, big news today on what could be a revolutionary change from the
Vatican, affecting millions of people all around the world.
Plus a night at the museum for Beyonce and Jay-Z. It`s tonight`s
"Conversation Nation," next.
SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation," joining us tonight
political strategist Angela Rye, comedian Chuck Nice, and MSNBC contributor
Teresa Kumar. Thank you all for being here tonight.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.
TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rev.
CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: Thank you for having us.
SHARPTON: We start with a political ad sparking controversy. Democrat
Wendy Davis is running for governor in Texas and she`s coming under fire
for showing a wheelchair, a direct reference to her opponent Greg Abbott
who is paralyzed from the waist down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A tree fell on Greg Abbott. He sued and got millions.
Since then he`s spent his career working against other victims. Abbott
argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an
artificial limb. He ruled against a rape victim who sued a corporation for
failing to do a background check on a sexual predator. He cited a hospital
that failed to stop dangerous surgeon who paralyzed patients. Greg Abbott,
he`s not for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Critics say it`s in poor taste, bringing his disability into it.
But a campaign responded saying, quote, "This ad is not about Greg Abbott
in a wheelchair. This ad is about Greg Abbott`s behavior and actions with
other victims after he had his opportunity and rightly sought justice and
received a substantial amount of money." Angela, poor taste or fair?
RYE: I think it`s in poor taste, actually, Rev. I have to say that in
this particular example, all they had to do to make this a little bit
better was have Greg Abbott in his wheelchair, or have some of the folks
who he`s victimized at this point using the very law that protects him and
his disability and his $6 million verdict, from his disability, talk about
the different things that he`s done to make their lives more difficult.
They just didn`t have to have the empty wheelchair. I think that it was a
lower blow. If they would have just put him in the ad himself, it would
have made it much better.
NICE: You know, here, it`s both. It is in poor taste, but what they are
trying to do is point out the hypocrisy here. I think the problem is the
optics, and what it does is kind of engender sympathy and compassion for
the opponent. I don`t care if you started off with, you know, a tree fell
on the guy that burglarized my home. I`m going to be like, oh, did a tree
fall on him? That`s terrible. So I don`t think that`s the best way to go
about, you know, trying to take a dig at your opponent.
KUMAR: Well, I think what we`re seeing is, at the local level, all the
reporters are saying, it`s not surprising that Wendy Davis went there,
because Greg Abbott himself had showed himself multiple times in a
wheelchair. I think what really goes though, Rev, this goes to look at not
the fact that he`s disabled, but talking about, what`s his character? Why
basically did he use the system, take advantage of the system for the laws
that protects those folks that basically are under the hands of injustice,
and instead closed the door behind him when other individuals were trying
to seek refuge as well?
NICE: And that`s what you do, though. What you do in that instance is,
you point out indeed what you just said Maria, which is the hypocrisy.
NICE: That basically, here`s the message, this dude got paid and is
stopping other people from getting paid.
(SPEAKING ALL TOGETHER)
SHARPTON: But Angela, your point is that you could have shown the
hypocrisy in a more explicit way.
RYE: No question.
SHARPTON: Without using just the empty wheelchair?
RYE: That`s right. That`s all they had to do. Not have the wheelchair,
or have him in it, very simple fix.
SHARPTON: All right. Next up, a shift in tone from the Catholic Church
today. A new Vatican document released by Pope Francis is calling for the
church to have a more compassionate attitude toward gays. Using language
that is less judgmental. The document says in part, quote, "homosexuals
have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community. Are we capable
of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a further space in our
communities? Often they wish to encounter a church that offers them a
welcoming home." The church stopped short of endorsing same-sex marriage,
but some of still calling this a stunning change in tone, and a great sign
of hope. Maria, is this a bold move, or not far enough?
KUMAR: Reverend, stop the presses. Can you believe that the Catholic
Church is actually leapfrogging the Republican Party? I think it basically
says that they have to modernize and welcome all children of God under the
church. And this is going to really make a big difference. I think that
the fact that what we see right now with the current pope is that he
recognizes that we have to modernize. We have to bring it all people, and
that we are all people of God. And again, I think the Republican Party can
learn a little bit from this playbook today.
NICE: I think that it is absolutely shocking that someone in the Christian
church is actually mirroring the sentiments of Jesus Christ.
I mean, come on, let`s be for real.
SHARPTON: Was that a joke or an opinion?
RYE: You too, Rev, you too.
NICE: I`m making a joke. But, you know, I think it`s wonderful that the
fact is, you know, Christ said, I didn`t come to condemn the world, but to
save it. And so basically what the Pope is saying, is, we can strike a
compassionate tone with even things that we don`t necessarily agree with,
and extend a welcoming arm, an open arm of God, and show the heart of
Christ to all mankind, because that is who he is appealing to, all mankind,
and that includes gays and lesbians, transgender. You name it, Jesus loves
everyone. So for those of who are offended by that, don`t take it up with
me. Take it up with Jesus.
SHARPTON: All right. Angela, you are an old Sunday schoolgirl. Older
Sunday school young lady.
RYE: Here`s what I`ll say during the -- segment. But here`s what I say, I
love this pope. I love the fact that he is often about social justice
preaching and gospel and, you know, doing the right thing. And so I agree
with Reverend Chuck there on that point. But I also think it`s important
to note one thing that they said, and that was that homosexuals have gifts
and there`s to offer the church, as does every other human being. And I
think that it`s important to note that they have been in the church. It`s
not like they`ve not been in the church. They have just been in the
shadows of shame because the church has condemned them for so long. So,
it`s time to love all Christians just the same, regardless if you agree
with lifestyle or not.
SHARPTON: Well, I`m all for a progressive movement in the church world,
but calling Chuck a reverend, might be a little too far.
KUMAR: You just offended them.
RYE: He was pushy, Rev.
SHARPTON: Finally, tonight the photo. You might have seen this online
today. That`s Beyonce and Jay-Z in Paris, on a private tour of its famous
museum, snapping selfies in front of the priceless art collection.
Including this iconic one. Yes, there they are, with the Mona Lisa. And
the Internet had some fun with this one. Someone used Photoshop to reveal
who they thought might be the real superstar in this picture. Chuck, is B
bigger than the Mona Lisa?
NICE: She just may be. And the thing I like the best about that picture
is, when you look at Beyonce standing next to Jay-Z, and you look at the
Mona Lisa like smirk on her face and the unpleasant look on his face, it
lets me know no matter how much money you have, I don`t care if you`re the
biggest rapper in the world, that is the picture of a man whose wife made
him go to a museum.
SHARPTON: All day long. Angela? You respond after Chuck-Z.
RYE: Sure. I think that here`s the one thing that I wanted to say about
this photo. Beyonce forecasted some of this for you in the Flawless remix
when she said, of course Rev, it`s a modification because -- goes down when
there`s a billion dollars in the elevator. A billion dollar shut that
museum down on a Tuesday, when it`s already closed in it, opened back up
for Beyonce and Jay-Z. Enough said.
KUMAR: I kind of think that the Mona Lisa is smirking at Jay-Z and said,
hi, your wife made you do it, just like Chuck said.
SHARPTON: All right. Well, I`m going to have to leave it there. Angela
Rye, Maria Teresa Kumar and the new Reverend Chuck Nice.
Thank you all for your time tonight. Have a good night.
NICE: Thank you, Rev.
RYE: Thank you, Rev.
KUMAR: Thank you, Rev. Have a good one.
SHARPTON: Coming up, we`ve seen the protests bill in North Carolina on
voting rights. Senator Kay Hagan just talked to my colleague Chris
Matthews and you will want to hear what she said about voter I.D. laws in
North Carolina. That`s next.
SHARPTON: North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is in the political fight of
her life. And she tells MSNBC`s Chris Matthews that the new voting laws
and her state have one goal -- to suppress the black vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST, "HARDBALL": So is this based on a racial --
racism, or partisanship? Why are they trying to screw the black voter to
put it bluntly? Is it because they don`t like blacks, or because do they
not like democrats?
SEN. KAY HAGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA: You know, I think they are trying to
suppress democratic turn-out.
MATTHEWS: So, it`s plain and simple.
HAGAN: Plain and simple. I mean, Sundays to the polls, done away. The
whole early voting concept, people have busy lives. They want to go and
vote early. And to think you took another week of that away, that`s wrong.
That`s really wrong.
MATTHEWS: But African-Americans think that they`re being targeted because
African-Americans, not because they`re democrats.
HAGAN: Well, you know, I tend to agree with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It is wrong, but it may very well backfire. In 2012, people
waited five, six, seven hours after plans to block the vote. Only fired
people up to show up and vote. The turn-out in 2012 hit records and that
could be seen again. That could see that backlash in North Carolina and
elsewhere. Chris`s full report on the Senate race and voter suppression
there is coming up right after this show. You don`t want to miss it.
SHARPTON: As we`ve talked about before, young men of color face a crisis
in this country. Fifty two percent of black males graduate from high
school on time. Forty nine percent of young black males have been
arrested. And the unemployment rate for black teens is 38 percent. But
there are real solutions. People making a difference in lives all across
the country, including in New York City. The Eagle Academy started ten
years ago in the Bronx, serving at-risk youth. With this latest graduating
class, Eagle has become a model for the rest of the nation. And now David
Banks, the founder of the Eagle Academy, has written an important new book
called "Soar: How Boys Learn, Succeed, and Develop Character," the Eagle
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I`m pleased to welcome David to POLITICS NATION. Thanks for
DAVID BANKS, EAGLE ACADEMY FOUNDER: Thank you so much, Reverend. I
SHARPTON: So the book you wrote is really things that you know to be true.
This is not some academic ivory tower making recommendations?
BANKS: Not at all. We have one of your young men at the academy say that
a young man without a mentor is like an explorer without a map. So,
finding mentors and getting them involved in the lives of our young men,
because so many of our young men don`t have fathers in their lives to help
them in that transition to manhood. We show you why that`s important and
more importantly, we tell you how to do it.
SHARPTON: Tell us about that, out of the classroom, how do you keep them
on the straight and narrow?
BANKS: First of all, we have an extended school day. So, I`m a firm
believer that the traditional school day does not work for our young men.
You`ve got to be able to keep them in school for a longest school day.
Reducing the amount of idle time. We bring our young men to school on
Saturdays, Rev. Because if you allow them all that idle time. Then my
family would say that idle time is the devil`s playground. So, we keep
them involved in school, we keep them engaged in extended activities,
academically, sports, recreation, all the things that all young people
really should have the opportunity to have, it makes all the difference in
SHARPTON: President Obama, earlier this year, talked very, very personal,
in very personal terms about his own challenges growing up. I want you to
listen to this.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: When I was their age, I was a lot
like them. I didn`t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it,
even though I didn`t necessarily realize it at the time. I made bad
choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could
do. I didn`t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made
excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short.
SHARPTON: How did this touch the young men in your school to hear the
President of the United States said?
BANKS: What it says to them, here`s the man who is most powerful man on
the face of the earth, and his story is so similar to my story. Not only
does he look like me, but his story is the same story that I have.
SHARPTON: Well, it`s a great story. The book is "Soar: How Boys Learn,
Succeed, and Develop Character." And David Banks, you`ve done a great job
on Eagle. Wish you luck on the book. Congratulations on the book and all
your successes at Eagle.
BANKS: Thank you so much, Rev. We appreciate you.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This country should be grateful and thankful for people that
don`t give up on young people that have been marginalized, particularly
young minority men, and should find mentors and get those mentors all the
help and resources they need. That`s why Eagle Academy is effective.
That`s why public schoolteachers that are committed are effective. I grew
up in minority youth, in a single-parent home. But thank God for mentors,
men and women, public schoolteachers that were dedicated, like Gertrud
Cromwell (ph), Eliot Sallow (ph), Miss Brown was for me. Because what they
did was expect me to succeed. And low expectations will be fulfilled.
Higher expectations will also be fulfilled and make a better nation.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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