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PoliticsNation, Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Date: May 29, 2015
Guest: Imraan Seddiqi; Richard Boykin; Brandon Scott; Jawanza Colvin, Ryan
Grim, Joan Walsh, Joe Madison

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you for tuning in. I`m live
tonight in Cleveland, Ohio.

We start with developing news on deadly violence rising in some American
cities. As we head into another weekend, look at the numbers. In Chicago
more than 30 homicides this month. In Baltimore, 38 killed, making it the
deadliest month in nearly 20 years. These kinds of stories have become all
too common.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five people have been killed over the last 24 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Members of the community fed up with the violence
marched from West Baltimore to city hall in protest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really don`t understand it at all. I don`t
understand it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The senseless fight with some girls, and it ended in

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is Brianna Matthews talking about the shooting
that killed her father Michael and injured four others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It happened at about 8:00 last night at 70th and
Justine, a gathering for a family celebrating a prom turned to tragedy. 4-
year-old Jassely Johnson was with relatives at this party when she and her
teenage cousin were gunned down while sitting in a car.


SHARPTON: Each of these stories is tragic, and we need everyone,
residents, community leaders, lawmakers and police to work together on
solutions. This morning in Baltimore the mayor said she`s heartbroken by
the violence, but the city will recover.


challenge is not insurmountable? Is it difficult? Absolutely. Is it
challenging us in ways that, you know, previously that were unimaginable?
Absolutely. But we will become a safer city, and we`re going to do it in
the right way in partnership between the community and the police.


SHARPTON: It`s exactly what`s needed, a partnership between police and the
community and addressing the root causes of violence, part of a cycle of
poverty and hopelessness. So often we hear conservatives claim no one is
talking about violence within the community. It`s completely untrue, but
those same conservatives don`t want to address the underlying issues,
improving education for our young people, supporting jobs programs,
tightening gun control and reforming our criminal justice system. If you
want to end the violence in American cities, you have to talk about these
issues as well, and these are exactly the issues ignored by too many on the

Joining me now from Baltimore is Councilman Brandon Scott. Here in
Cleveland the Reverend Jawanza Colvin and in Chicago Cook County
commissioner Richard Boykin. Thank you all for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Councilman Scott, let me go to you first. Thirty eight people
killed in Baltimore this month. How does the city fight this?

multiple ways, Reverend. We have to fight it from a community standpoint.
For me we`ve been calling on co-founder of the 300-men march movement. We
have been calling it for years for more men to get involved, especially in
the lives of our young people in our communities. We have to fight with to
repair the relationship between our police and our communities. We have to
fight it from a lawmaking standpoint. But also, we have to fight it from
creating jobs and opportunity. But at the end, one of the big things that
we also do not talk about, we got to fight from a self-responsibility and a
community responsibility standpoint that people in our communities have to
want to better themselves. And we have to help them find the ways that
they can better themselves.

SHARPTON: Finding ways to better themselves. Reverend Colvin, you`ve done
a lot to combat gun violence in Cleveland. What do community leaders need
to do? I know your work here. I know the 300 men that the councilman
talks about in Baltimore. A lot of community groups not getting the
attention. What works and what do community leaders need to do?

REV. JAWANZA COLVIN, BAPTIST CHURCH: Well, first thing, Rev., I think that
we need to begin to look at violence in a very broad sense. We talk about
the violence that`s taking place in our streets, but we also need to begin
to understand violence about the violence that people deal with
systematically each and every day. So much what have we see in our
community in terms of the crime and the depravity and some of the
hostilities that we see are really borne out of hopelessness and fear that
people will not be able to rise out of their circumstances.

We talk about violence. We`ve got to talk about the violence of the de-
funding of public education. We`ve got to talk about the violence of the
corporate robbing of people of their mortgages that left communities like
sand town and neighboring communities here in Cleveland, really deprived
and stole millions of dollars of wealth out of our cities and our urban
core which were already need. And in the midst of that while we fight for
individual institutional justice, when we think about individual justice
for those families that are struggling with losses due to violence that
they experience every day. The personal tragedies and so for all of us,
whether we`re serving in city councils, whether we`re serving in churches,
we`ve got to begin to look at violence in a very total and comprehensive
way because when we do that we realize that there are root causes to some
of the individual acts that we see and many of them are institutional.

SHARPTON: Commissioner, I`m sorry, Commissioner Boykin, gun violence.


SHARPTON: To stop in Chicago. We`ve had a lot of issues. I even moved
into an apartment on the west side. We worked with our group there and
around the country. You`re pushing tougher penalties and more policing,
but you also call for jobs, training and parenting workshops. Why are
those things important?

BOYKIN: Look, we`ve had 900 people shot since January in Chicago. We`ve
had over 162 people killed just last night. We had a 2-year-old shot.
There are too many of our babies that are being shot. Individuals who
ought to be focusing on education but they can`t focus on education because
they are traumatized. They have been terrorized in their own community.
We have to put an end to this violence.

We`re facing what I consider a state of emergency. This is the most
pressing issue confronting elected officials right now in the city of
Chicago and the county of Cook. We must deal with this violence, or this
violence will deal with us. There`s no greater issue than making sure that
our young people can live the American dream of life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness and grow up in neighborhoods where they can walk down
the streets feeling that they are safe. Grandmothers are being shot. Just
being on their porch. I mean, people are going down the streets just
shooting aimlessly out of cars.

This kind of behavior is unacceptable. You know, we protest and we march
whenever a white police officer shoots somebody African-American. We`ve
got to be just as outraged whenever somebody African-American kills another
African-American. The reality of it is that we must put an end to this
violence. This is unacceptable. It`s unconscionable in a safe America.
This is -- this is terrorism being perpetrated on communities of color.

SHARPTON: Councilman Scott, on the commissioner`s point, you know, the
latest homicide victims in Baltimore are mother and her 7-year-old son.
Let me play part of that story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The news was too much take for the godfather of the 7-
year-old boy who police say was shot in the head and killed in his
southwest Baltimore home. Police say the same thing happened to his
mother. Family members tell us the victims are 31-year-old Jennifer
Jeffrey Brown and her son, Kester Brown III.


SHARPTON: Councilman, you`re very familiar with this case. How is it
affecting the community?

SCOTT: Well, young Kester is a student that I had the pleasure of meeting,
going to Baltimore National Academy School in my district where it took and
our language emerging. He just happen to be in a Chinese language
immersion and his entire school community is heartbroken, the entire
community is heartbroken. We cannot have cowards and the people that are
lowest on the earth going around killing our babies. And our whole
community should be outrage and they are.

So as I said yesterday, everybody that calls himself a human, everyone who
calls himself a man in our town should be hunting down information and
hunting down this individual so that we can bring him to justice because
this is the kind of thing that we cannot accept. And this kind of violence
is unacceptable. It`s unacceptable when you kill anyone, but when you`re
taking out women and babies, then it`s time for us to say enough is enough,
and people are still going to cower in their homes, particularly men in
their communities are going to cower in their home and just go on Facebook
and go on social media and comment and say, man, that`s messed up. That`s
not enough. We need to get off our butts and do something because we
cannot stand by and let these cowards kill our babies in our community.

SHARPTON: You know, Reverend Colvin, the commissioner said we must show
the same outrage questioning police as when there`s gunshots and killings
of blacks on blacks. Do I that and do I that with my organization. In
fact, just this week in Cleveland the justice department agreed to reforms
to the police department. You are having a big rally and I`m speaking for
you tonight at your church. When you look at these reforms, how are these
steps and what do you think these steps could do to help drive down crime
as well as holding police accountable?

COLVIN: Well, Rev., you`re absolutely right. It is a step. We know that
policing is the first doorstep into the entire criminal justice system.
What`s important to this consent decree, and I`ve not had the opportunity
to read it in its entirety, but I have an overview of it but it`s aimed to
bridge a relationship between the police and the community. We have seen
in so many cities that those relationships between law enforcement and the
community has been severed. And as a result of that many neighbors and the
many members of the community don`t feel comfortable with sharing what law
enforcement and participating in the crime-solving endeavor. And as a
result of that there`s this gap. There is this chasm. There is a distance
between law enforcement and those who they have oath to serve. And as a
result of that we see cases in which crimes are going unsolved because
people have a fear of working with law enforcement because of their own
experiences, because of what they have seen with respect to their family
and in our stores, our barber shops and beauty shops.

And so, critical to any reform is not only going to be, as you pointed out,
policies and procedures that limit the excessive use of force, but it`s
going to be making sure that the new policing that we see in our community
bridges the gap because we have got to change the culture within our force
so we can change the culture in the relationship between law enforcement
and the community. And when we address that which is decades long, it did
not begin with Cleveland. It did not begin in Ferguson. It did not begin
in Baltimore. This is a decade long challenge between relationship between
law enforcement and the urban core, particularly the African-American

And so, critical is going to be community policing. It`s going to be come
out of the squad cars. It`s going to be sitting down with neighborhood
residents, viewing them as members of a community and a civil society and
working together and rebuilding a trust that has been broken. And as a
result of that we now see increases in violence and increases in unsolved
crimes as we`re seeing this crime wave going throughout many of our urban
neighborhoods and cities.

SHARPTON: Commissioner Boykin, building the trust as we show that we will
not tolerate in many of our endeavors, police not being accountable. Don`t
we also have to show we will not tolerate this kind of reckless violence
and killing in our own community and stand up to those that behave and
engage in that kind of activity? Don`t we have to change that culture as

BOYKIN: There`s no question about it, Reverend. The reality of it though
is that too many of our citizens are being terrorized by a small group of
individuals. They are small but determined to terrorize 95 percent of the
community, and so people are unwilling to come forward when they see
something. When they see a crime or a murder committed right in front of
them, people are unwilling to come forward because they are scared. They
are terrorized in their own community so part of my seven-point plan is to
curb violence is charging individuals who are pulling the trigger and co-
conspirators with domestic terrorism.

There is nothing different than an individual American citizen who joins
Al-Qaeda or ISIS and their stated goal is to kill Americans and destabilize
America or an individual who joins a gang, and that organization`s goal is
to control and coerce certain blocks in a neighborhood by any means
necessary. We must not tolerate this.

Let me tell you. America will not be destroyed by ISIS or by Al-Qaeda.
America will be destroyed from within if it`s to be destroyed. Rome was
not destroyed by an extension threat. It was destroyed from within. And
so this is a terrorist act that these individuals are doing. It`s a small
but determined group of individuals. We must get ahold of it, and we have
to do it and we have to do it now. We have to use everything that we have.

I`ve called for a joint summit of county and city leaders on June 13th.
Let`s come up with a plan that everybody can agree upon. I put together
this seven-point plan. The community has bought into it. I think it`s a
great holistic plan that we can get it done if everybody has the collective
will to do it.

SHARPTON: And we must start rebuilding trust and accountability on all
sides. This is a huge discussion. We will continue to have it here as we
have in the past, and we must go forward and build that trust, and we must
change the culture on all sides of this.

Councilman Scott and Commissioner Boykin, Reverend Colvin, see you in about
an hour. Thank you for being on time and in this discussion tonight.

BOYKIN: Thank you.

COLVIN: Thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you very much, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, we`ll go live to Phoenix where bikers potentially armed
with guns are gathering outside a mosque for a protest many say is
dangerous and anti-Muslim.

Also new details about the Dennis Hastert indictment. What the feds say
about why the former house speaker was allegedly trying to pay out millions
of dollars.

Plus, the man once seen as the face of the Wall Street crisis is now
talking like Elizabeth Warren, and outrage over a new reality show that
some say exploits the poor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two deserving families are about to receive a briefcase
with $101,000 inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can keep all of the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can keep some of the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or you can give it all away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they don`t know is that both families have been
given a briefcase and are deciding whether to share any money with each


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight on the indictment of former house speaker
Dennis Hastert on federal banking charges. A federal law enforcement
source tells NBC News Hastert paid a man to conceal a sexual relationship
they had while the man was a student at the high school where Hastert
taught. Hastert taught and coached wrestling in Yorkville, Illinois, from
1965 to 1981. Representatives for Hastert have not returned requests for
comment from NBC News. Tonight the news Hastert paid a man to conceal a
sexual relationship, according to sources.


SHARPTON: Right now security is in place for a draw Muhammad contest and
rally hosted by a group of bikers in Arizona. It starts in less than two
hours outside of a mosque. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend,
and the group`s encouraging people to come armed saying on Facebook it will
be a peaceful protest. But adding, people are also encouraged to utilize
their second amendment right at this event just in case our first amendment
right comes under the much anticipated attack.

This contest comes just weeks after a similar event in Texas where police
killed two men before they could open fire there. Tonight`s organizer
explains why he`s doing it.


JON RITZHEIMER, EVENT ORGANIZER: I don`t even want it to be about me. I
want it to be just about pushing out the truth about Islam. It`s not that
some people are out perverting this religion. It`s these guys are
following their book as it`s written.


SHARPTON: The president of the Islamic center says Friday prayers tonight
will go on as scheduled.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has the right to be a bigot. Everybody has
the rate to be haters. We`re going to tell our members what we told them
before, not to engage them.


SHARPTON: This event is being dubbed as the freedom of speech rally round
two. They have a right to do it, but just because you can doesn`t mean you

Joining me now from Phoenix where this event will start soon is MSNBC
reporter Scott Cohn.

Scott, what`s the scene on the ground? What do we expect tonight?

SCOTT COHN, MSNBC REPORTER: Well, if they were hoping to get attention
with this rally, that certainly has been accomplished. A great deal of
media here outside the mosque where the two men who were involved in the
shooting in Texas and ultimately were shot by police there, where they
worshipped, although it`s not clear that they had been attending here for
quite some time, there is quite a bit of local media around here as well.
The street closed off going in here, but we`ll see what happens. So
everyone is sort of bracing themselves hoping for the best and preparing
for the worst as this rally is a few hours away.

SHARPTON: Scott Cohn, thank you for your reporting tonight.

A Phoenix TV station interviewed the organizer about this event about
whether he thought it was hateful. Listen.


RITZHEIMER: I don`t condone any threats being made to the mosque.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But his rhetoric is hateful. Supporters wear profane

The t-shirt, "F" Islam. Anyone will look at that, most people will say
that`s hate.

RITZHEIMER: I`m a marine and I`m far from politically correct. I`m
outspoken, and I`ve just had it.


SHARPTON: It`s not about being politically correct. It`s about giving the
kind of language and giving the kind of statements that say that all of one
religion is something and to condemn them for being believers in that

Joining me now is Imraan Seddiqi, the chair on the council of American
Islamic relations in Arizona. Thanks for being here.

Thank you for having me.

What`s your reaction when you hear that kind of hate?

no place for that in American society. This is, you know, every single
person has the freedom to practice their religion. And this type of
rhetoric is indicative, you know, of Islamophobia which is something is
prevalent in a modern day society level and its intersection with the gun
culture and, you know, people, these things are coming together now and now
using this violent rhetoric and, you know, come outside of our mosques.
And you know, it is something in a protest and this all means negative
things can come with this.

SHARPTON: This is a day of prayer in Islam, and what are your thoughts
about this event on a day of prayer when people gather to pray on a weekly
basis on Friday in mosque and are told to exercise their second amendment
right which is tantamount to saying bring arms.

SEDDIQI: Yes. There`s women and children and, you know, families that
attend this mosque on a weekly basis. So as a father of three children I
can only imagine if I was bringing my kids to my mosque and I saw people,
you know, standing outside with, you know, they are -- they are going to be
selling t-shirts that actually say "F" Islam on them and they are going to
be packing, you know, packing weapons. Imagine how that`s going to scar
children for life if they see this.

I can remember things that people said to me when I was in middle school,
for example, and, you know, those things left an impression with me for
riff. Imagine if a kid sees an armed protester saying these things about
your religion. That`s going to really, you know, cause a lot of trauma in
their lifetime.

SHARPTON: Let me, again, you`re saying they are saying they are going to
wear t-shirts saying "F" Islam. I know how I would feel if someone was
standing in front of a church I was speaking at Sunday saying "F"
Christianity or "F" the Baptists. They are literally standing in front of
the temple where people pray on their day of prayer saying "F" Islam on t-

Right, exactly. Not only that, imagine this being any other religion that
was being target. Imagine that this was a church or a synagogue that was
surrounded or a Hindu temple. This would not be tolerated in modern day
society. However, it seems as though anti-Islam sentiment is almost
acceptable in modern day society and these types of voices are hiding under
the guise of free speech in order to -- to espouse these negative views.
And yes, I mean, they are going to be selling these, you know, these "F"
Islam shirts. And on the Facebook page as well they made postings saying
make sure the ammo that you bring are dipped in pig`s blood or big fat
alluding to the fact that Muslims don`t eat pork and they stay away from


SEDDIQI: So, it is almost as though Muslims are some type of vampire or
something like that.

SHARPTON: Imraan Sidiqqi, thank you for your time tonight.

SEDDIQI: Thanks for having me, Reverend.

Coming up, the Elizabeth Warren effect. We talked about how she impacts
Hillary Clinton, but you might be surprised what a Wall Street CEO and what
he`s saying. And what is it with Republicans and animated movies? Senator
Ron Johnson`s attacking the Lego movie.


SHARPTON: Still to come, a Republican senator sees an animated movie as
part of a broad anti-business conspiracy that`s corroding the country.
Seriously. But it makes a real point in the fight for economic fairness in
America, next.


SHARPTON: Everything is awesome for "The Lego Movie" but to one republican
senator everything is not awesome.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Our news media is not on our side,
certainly not entertainment media and for that I called the gentleman,
probably a couple months ago, he was so upset when he took his children to
an animated movie, six and seven-year-old children to an animated movie and
guess who the villain was, evil Mr. Business person. Okay? So it`s
insidious, that propaganda starts very early, and it`s going to be very
corrosive to really what makes this country great.


SHARPTON: Okay. He might have a point. The film`s villain is named Lord
Business, but does it really mean it`s insidious liberal propaganda? It`s
called a movie, and in reality one of America`s former business leaders who
was vilified for his bank`s role in the financial crisis is speaking out
about income inequality.


RICHARD FULD, FORMER LEHMAN BROTHERS CEO: I know you don`t want to hear
this with me, but the wealthy are getting wealthier, and, again, the belly
of America is getting hurt. Why do I talk about this? Look, I`m a hard
core capitalist. Let`s be fair. Capitalism only works though if it starts
on the top and filters down. If it doesn`t get down, we`re going to lose.


SHARPTON: Now I don`t agree with this trickle down ideas, but the former
Lehman Brothers CEO is talking about income inequality, and that is
progress. It`s the same language we`re hearing from some top 2016 GOP
candidates who are sounding more like someone else I know these days.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The only way we get change is
when enough people in this country say I`m mad as hell and I`m fed up and
I`m not going to do this anymore. You are not going to go back and
represent me in Washington, D.C. If you are not willing to pass a
meaningful infrastructure bill. If are you not willing to refinance
student loan interest rates and stop dragging in billions of dollars in
profits off of backs of kids who otherwise can`t afford to go to college,
if you don`t say you`re going to find the NIH and NISF because that is our


SHARPTON: There is a shift happening in this country on the issue of
fairness, and it`s not a movie, it`s real, and there are big questions
about what it means for 2016 and beyond.

Joining me now is Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for "The Huffington
Post." He`s written about Senator Ron Johnson`s comments about "The Lego
Movie." And`s Joan Walsh. Thank you both for being here.

RYAN GRIM, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Ryan, I`m going to get to Senator Johnson`s Lego comments in a
moment, but, first, Dick Fuld whose firm was at the center of the financial
crisis. He`s talking about income inequality. Are we seeing a shift here?

GRIM: Yes, I think he sees some of what`s going on and he wants to kind
of, you know, embrace a little bit of that as he`s trying to kind of make a
resurrection. You know, at the same time I`m sure he`s gone through a lot
of kind, you know, psychological suffering over the last couple of years as
he was toppled from his perch as one of the, you know, the top capitalists
in the world. You know, and going through that probably helps him, you
know, find a little bit of empathy for people that he otherwise simply
wouldn`t have seen in his previous life. And I think one thing he said is
probably is right. And, you know, if it doesn`t, and I agree with you on
trickle down. But if it stays all at the top, you know, they are going to
lose. You know, people have seen all the games over the last five years in
the recovery go to the very top and that`s why you`re seeing all of this
frustration that`s being channeled into this kind of the minimum wage
movement and other efforts around inequality.

SHARPTON: Joan are we seeing a shift, major corporations moving on minimum
wage? We`re hearing even some republicans talking about income inequality?
Are we seeing a shift?

JOAN WALSH, SALON. COM: I think we`re seeing some improvement, Reverend
Al, and I think we`re seeing real adoption of a certain kind of rhetoric,
but what we mainly see from the Republican Party especially is this -- this
sense that President Barack Obama invented income inequality and it wasn`t
a problem before he came along and we`re going to lay it at the feet of
democrats. I mean, Ryan talks about the gains of the recovery going to the
top 10 percent, one percent really. It`s really, it`s a trend that`s been
going on as we`ve seen productivity jump over these years. All of the
gains of the economy or 90 something percent of the gains are going to that
top one or two percent.

That`s very different from what happened in the post-war period, and that`s
what really needs to change. So you see a lot of republicans are talking
the talk on income inequality, but then their solutions are the exact same
things that haven`t worked, tax cuts are going to create jobs. We`re going
to demonize welfare recipients and tell them they can`t have ketchup. In
Wisconsin they don`t want people to be able to buy ketchup with food
stamps. Remember when ketchup was a vegetable.


WALSH: I mean, the rhetoric has gotten worse. The solutions aren`t there
but they are at least admitting that there is a problem so maybe that is

SHARPTON: Ryan, you know, Rick Santorum launched his campaign this week
with a populist economic message. "The Wall Street Journal" writes, and
I`m quoting, Rick Santorum`s entry to the expanding field of 2016 GOP
presidential candidates offer the latest example of republicans looking to
broaden their appeal to an electoral facing unease over stagnant living
standards for millions of middle class Americans. Can republicans
successfully tap into this issue in 2016, Ryan?

GRIM: You know, in a way they -- you know, there`s a long history of kind
of conservative or right wing populism, you know, that often comes with
kind of jingoistic or nationalistic fervor behind it. And for the last,
you know, 20 years plus they actually have tapped into a lot of that
frustration but only kind of the southern white working class. You know,
so they have said, look, these other people are out to get your jobs,
whether it`s African-Americans or whether it`s -- whether it`s immigrants,
you know, sneaking across the border to push down wages. So, you know,
the kind of Pat Buchanan wing of the party has in the past tapped into this
energy, and it looks like, you know, Rick Santorum is going for something a
little bit similar there.

SHARPTON: Joan, you`re writing about the country`s shift to the left, but
you warn that some democrats don`t get it. Quote, "a dumb argument that
Obama has dragged his party too far left would be laughable, except some
Dems believe it, too." Why are some democrats afraid of a move to the

WALSH: I think there are a lot democrats, just like republicans, who are
kind of stuck in the `80s and `90s and think that, you know, Bill Clinton,
that the op-ed I was writing about was a republican but we see democrats
saying this, too. Bill Clinton`s solutions, getting tough on crime,
again, welfare reform, demonizing welfare recipients and cutting their
benefits, that this is the way forward for the democrats, but the thing is
it`s extremely backward looking and even former President Clinton himself
has said, yes, my policies really did lead to mass incarceration, that`s a
problem. You know, yes, income inequality has accelerated and we need new
solutions. He`s not looking backwards. Secretary Clinton is not looking
backward, but you have democrats and lots of republicans who are stuck in
the framing of the late `80s and the Reagan revolution so to speak.

SHARPTON: Ryan, what do you think of this attacking "The Lego Movie?"

GRIM: Right. I think -- so, you know, I wrote a very short piece about
this and I probably spent, you know, 20 minutes or half an hour on it and
shortly after that Senator Ron Johnson posted a long blog post kind of
defending himself and citing "The Weekly Standard" and "The Wall Street
Journal" and "The New Republic" and some articles that actually didn`t
support his position. I think he misunderstands what the criticism is.
Obviously over history there have been plenty of villains in literature and
in movies that have been businessmen, but -- but that`s obvious, and that`s
-- that`s needed because, you know, a villain has to be powerful. You
can`t have some powerless person as your villain. That`s just a
psychopath. That`s not fun to write about. You know, if scrooge didn`t
have a lot of power, what would be the point of hearing about him? What
we`re making fun of him for was his idea that there is some vast conspiracy
to create this propaganda in order to convince people that as he said,
quote, "business is bad, government is good." That -- that`s the part that
just doesn`t -- doesn`t ring true with anybody`s kind of lived experience
in this country.

SHARPTON: All right. Ryan Grim and Joan Walsh, thank you for your time
tonight. Have a good weekend, both of you.

GRIM: You too, Reverend.

WALSH: You, too, Rev.

SHARPTON: A quick note, Senator Rand Paul is playing "HARDBALL" with Chris
Matthews. They talked about ISIS, the GOP and why he thinks Hillary
Clinton is a bigger hawk than he is.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Hillary Clinton is much more hawkish and
much more likely to get us involved in another war than most of America,
republican or democrat. You see this little boomlet for other people out


PAUL: On the democrat side, there are people who aren`t so eager to
believe that Hillary Clinton was right taking us to war in Libya, and so I
think you`ll find that as it gets out to the regular voters outside of
Washington, there`s a much more mixed and nuanced feeling about war.

MATTHEWS: On a scale of one to 10, dove being 0, hawk being 10, where`s

PAUL: You know, I`m not sure exactly.

MATTHEWS: Is she a seven?

PAUL: Yes. Well, I think what she is I think she`s been indiscriminate in
the use of force and I think not thinking.


SHARPTON: Watch the full interview with Senator Paul at 7:00 p.m. Eastern
here on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: A new reality show is raising questions about whether it`s
exploiting the working poor. Nearly seven million viewers tuned in
Wednesday night to see the premiere of "The Briefcase," a show that
presents families in need with one of the hardest decisions they will ever
have to make.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Two deserving families are about to receive a briefcase
with $101,000 inside.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is this really my money?


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`ve never seen so much money in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And will face a life-altering decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can keep all of the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can keep some of the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Or you can give it all away.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Whatever you don`t keep --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is going to go help another family who is also in need.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What they don`t know is that both families have been
given a briefcase and are deciding whether to share any money with each

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There`s no way we can give one penny to them.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Got to give it away.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I made the decision.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don`t owe nobody.


SHARPTON: The show is getting a lot of heat with critics calling it a
gross new reality show and condescending help for the needy, pitting the
debt-ridden against each other and at times is even pitting the families
against themselves.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I decided to give $40,000 and keep $60,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why would you do that? You didn`t listen to anything
that I said, did you?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you think that`s fair to take more than half of that?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think that`s fair.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s not, at all.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I could have taken it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You don`t feel at all greedy or --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don`t feel greedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Not the least bit?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No, we`re not giving crumbs. If we can`t help
ourselves we can`t help other people.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s not what I expected at all. That`s it.


SHARPTON: We reached out to CBS today, but they declined to comment.

Joining me now is Joe Madison. Thanks, Joe, for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: What`s your reaction to this show, Joe? Is it manipulating
Americans in need?

MADISON: I mean, if I were CBS, I`d decline to comment, too. Because what
can you say intelligent about this operation that they have put on TV?
It`s perverted. I think it`s perverted just simply watching it. First of
all, you just did a program on -- on a structural employment pay, equal
pay. This show does not address the realities of the poor. As a matter of
fact, if I`m not mistaken in the first episode, they didn`t even refer to
these individuals as poor. Poor is when you have to make a decision, will
your family have enough eat? At this point in time, especially with
schoolchildren, with summer about ready to come -- to come about, you know,
that this is when most of the poor children in America go hungry because
they will not be able to have meals that they get in school. Who wants to
watch and continue to watch poor people as you`ve pointed out pitted
against one another? If you wanted to have reality TV, I`ll tell you what
you do. Why don`t you take some of those TV executives at CBS and let them
live off the salary of real poor people and we can watch that.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to play another clip from the show. The families
actually go visit each other`s homes and see how they are living. Watch


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Joe, come here for a second. Oh, honey. He lost his
leg in war.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Wow. That`s amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He lost it fighting for this country and our freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Wow. He served time in war for our country, for our
freedom, for me, for my husband.


SHARPTON: Both families in the first episode chose to give the other
family the full $100,000, and a recent study shows that families in need
are contributing more to charity than their wealthy counterparts.
Americans earning less than $200,000 a year are giving fiver percent less
while Americans earning under $25,000 a year are giving 17 percent more.
Isn`t the real story about poverty that the poor willing to help others in
need even they in trouble themselves, Joe?

MADISON: That`s exactly right. Those statistics are out there and most
people don`t know about them. You hit it right on target. Most people --
first of all, here`s what most poor people understand. They have been
poor. They know what it`s like, and they know how hard people have to
work. But, you know, as I watched that episode and that veteran who
sacrificed tremendously as many veterans have, instead of giving $100,000
to that family what, we ought to have a reality TV about is impacting the
elected -- impacting the elects officials who, by the way, cut veteran
affairs, cuts opportunities for veterans to be served who have sacrificed a

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, thank you for your time tonight. Have a good

MADISON: You, too, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, you`ve heard of "The Scarlet Letter." It`s a way to
shame people. Well, wait until you hear what republicans in Texas are
doing to folks who receive ObamaCare. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Republicans in Texas are taking a page out of "The Scarlet
Letter." The Texas Senate just approved a bill to put a special label on
the insurance cards of anyone who bought a plan through ObamaCare, but if
those labels weren`t absurd enough, anyone who receives financial
assistance for insurance would have a letter "s" on their cards, too. "S"
for subsidies. Critics worried the bill would create a "Scarlet Letter"
effect where some doctors could decide not to see a patient they learned to
be on an ObamaCare plan. This could lead to real discrimination against
patients, but I think the republicans are the ones who could use some
special labels, like a big trump logo. If they have ever thought about
voting for a reality star for president the sad planet would be very
popular. For all those folks who quite on board with global warming and,
of course, they would be a skull and bone for anyone who believes in death
panels. Did these GOP lawmakers think we`d let them get away with this?

Nice try, but here`s my label for them, we gotcha.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, I want to talk about a big issue here in
Cleveland, the Tamir Rice case. It`s been 188 days since Rice was fatally
shot by a Cleveland police officer who apparently thought the pellet gun
that Tamir was holding was a real gun. Six months and no explanation.
Rice was like any other sixth grade kid. He liked to draw, play
basketball, and he was part of his school drum line. Yesterday, Rice`s
father spoke out in his first public interview since the shooting and
talked about how he has no answers for Rice`s siblings.


LEONARD RICE, FATHER OF TAMIR RICE: Every time they wake up -- they`re
asking about him.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And what do you tell them?

RICE: I can`t tell them but he`s watching over you. I can see him grow up
to be a man, me having grandkids, him giving me grandkids.


SHARPTON: Tamir Rice`s family deserves answers, just like we must
challenge violence in the streets, in the communities as we began this
show, we end this show by saying we must also have a balance where the
criminal justice system does not have a family 188 days later waiting for
answers as to why a 12-year-old was killed by police with a toy gun.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.


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