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PoliticsNation, Friday, June 19th, 2015

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Date: June 19, 2015
Guest: David Mack; Paul Henderson; Bryan Levin, Dan Gross, Martin Luther
King III

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation."

On a day of breaking news from Charleston, South Carolina, it was a rare
and extraordinary scene. A bond hearing for 21-year-old Dylann Roof
accused of murdering nine innocent people gathered for bible study. He
appeared in court by closed-circuit television. And for the first time we
heard him speak.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is your address 10428 Garner Sperry road in east
Charleston, North Carolina.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. What is your age.

ROOF: Twenty one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are 21 years old. Are you employed?

ROOF: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re unemployed at this time?

ROOF: Yes, sir.


SHARPTON: It was the same voice the victims would have heard shortly
before Roof allegedly opened fire. Sources tell NBC News he confessed to
the shooting. And before the judge said the bond, the victims` family
members, who were in the court, got a chance to speak directly to him. I
can`t recall ever seeing anything quite like it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are representing the family of Ethel Lance, is that


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you are whom, ma`am?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m listening. You can talk to him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to say to you, you took something very
precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never
be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and heaven for your soul.
You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgive you. And I
forgive you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ma`am. And I appreciate you being here.
Your name, sir?

ANTHONY THOMPSON: Anthony Thompson.


THOMPSON: I would just like him to know that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speak up for me.

THOMPSON: Say the same thing that was just said. You know, I forgive you
and my family forgives you. But we would like you to take this opportunity
to repent. Repent, confess, give your life to the one who matters the
most, Christ, so that he can change it and change your ways no matter what
happened to you and you`ll be OK. Do that. And you`ll be better off than
what you are right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your name, ma`am?

FELICIA SANDERS: Felicia Sanders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Miss Sanders, for being here.

SANDERS: We welcomed you Wednesday night in our bible study with open
arms. You have killed some of the most prayerfulest (ph) people that I
know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I`ll never be the same. Tywanza
Sanders was my son. But Tywanza was my hero. But as we say in the bible
study, we enjoyed you, but may God have mercy on you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ma`am. Your name, ma`am?

ALANA SIMMONS: Alan Simmons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you Ms. Simmons for being here. Your statement,

SIMMONS: Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands
of hate, this is proof -- everyone`s plea for your soul is that they lived
in love and their legacies will live in love. So hate won`t win. And I
just want to thank the courts for making sure that hate doesn`t win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ma`am, for being here. Your name, please,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bethann (ph) Newton Brown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was my sister. And I`d like to thank you on
behalf of my family for not allowing hate to win. For me, I`m a work in
progress, and I acknowledge that I am angry, but one thing that prayers
always join in in our family with is that she taught me that we are the
family that love built. We have no room for hating. So we have to
forgive. I pray God on your soul and I also thank God that I won`t be
around when your judgment day comes with you. May God bless you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ma`am.


SHARPTON: As I listened to those family members, it was nothing short of
remarkable, the strength and moral courage they showed. Forgiveness and
saying they won`t let hate win. Forgiveness means that you can forgive the
wickedness that someone does without becoming part of it. You can forgive
the unjust but you don`t pardon the injustice. You keep fighting and you
keep going forward. And the only way you can is not become part of the
spirit that causes the injustice in the first place. These families and
their loved ones are real heroes.

Joining me now from Charleston is MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee and
South Carolina state representative David Mack.

Trymaine, let me go to you first. What is the reaction in Charleston to
that amazing scene today?

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: Rev., as you know, the faithful are
often the most vulnerable, but that doesn`t mean they`re weak. We have
seen that in that courtroom and we have seen that out here today as people
have streamed in front of Emanuel church with messages of hatefulness,
message of resilience and pushing through.

But that doesn`t also mean there isn`t also a bit of anger. I talked to
one young man said how much more can we take? And no one was surprised,
and that was one of the saddest things I heard over and over again, that
this kind of violence is American. And it`s been visited upon houses of
worship in the past. So as people are trying to make sense of this and
families are trying to make funeral arrangements and the whole community is
trying to piece this together, there`s still underneath all of that seems
to be a great sense of faithfulness and resilience.

I mean, when you talk to people who have heard that testimony in the
courtroom from the family members and witnessed the crying, it belies what
you see out front of this church. You see balloon, you see flowers, you
see solemn faces. People praying. I`m offering up, you know, high praise
to those who were lost. But inside that church there was a tragic,
horrific act and people are still trying to grapple with that. So even
though people are seemingly being broken down there`s also this sense that
they`re being built up in their faith, Rev.

SHARPTON: Representative Mack, I sense that yesterday as I was there with
you and others, that buildup that realignment of their spirit and their
faith to move on, what was the reaction you heard from some of your
constituents and colleagues in Charleston after the statements by the
family members at the bond hearing?

STATE REP. DAVID MACK (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: There`s so many folks including
myself that not only knew Pastor Clementa Pinckney, but knew several of the
people that were murdered. One gentleman actually lived in my area. So I
knew all of them. And I don`t want people nationally to confuse their
beautiful statements with being passive. All of those folks voted, all of
them were involved in community organizations, all of them were involved,
Reverend Al, in things that you would do, things that you spent your
lifetime fighting for.

So I believe as we begin to continue to heal with the pain and everything
as it results with this terrible incident, I believe we`re going to be
realigned with a new focus so that we come together across the board.

And one last thing, Reverend Al that comes to mind, sometimes we have folks
of all color saying, well, we don`t need a Reverend Al Sharpton any more,
national action network, we don`t need a Reverend Jesse Jackson any more.
We need you more than ever. We need elected officials. We need people
that heads up neighborhood associations. We need everybody to stamp this
segment of hate we have in this country so we can move forward.

SHARPTON: Trymaine, you know, the family of the suspect, Dylann Roof just
put out a statement for the first time. Let me read part of it. It says
words cannot express our shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened
that night. We are devastated and saddened by what occurred. We offer our
prayers and sympathy for all of those impacted by these events.

I noticed the judge said today that they were victims, too. What do you
feel as the reporter there on the scene that no one mixes in and gets into
communities deeper and stronger than you. What do you feel the reaction of
this statement will be from the roof family?

LEE: I tell you what, Rev., as you know in communities that are impacted
by everyday gun violence, there`s always more than just one victim.
There`s the victim whose bones and bodies shattered by bullets and also the
loss of another life, a young man or woman who is put behind bars or
succumbs to a life of violence.

And so, in this community which seems to be, again, such a faithful
community, we`re talking about a community built around church. This is a
very, you know, faithful community with more churches than you can hit with
a rock, Rev. But so people I think understand that, you know, they take
that and they understand that they`re victims on all sides of this.

SHARPTON: You know, Representative Mack, today President Obama talked
about the shooting in Charleston and he also addressed the issue of gun
control. Watch this.


is the new normal. Or to pretend that it`s simply sufficient to grieve and
that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing
the problem.


SHARPTON: Representative Mack, South Carolina has some of the most easy
gun laws, to put it my words. Do you think that gun laws will be part of
the discussion going forward as well as race and mental health?

MACK: It has to be. I think it will take on a whole new dimension as did
the body camera bills after the unfortunate killing of Walter Scott, who we
were able to pass a body camera bill for law enforcement.

Guns have to be addressed. I remember a segment, a news segment where they
followed the 15-year-old boy who looked 15, looked young. He went in to
buy liquor that you can`t buy. He went in to buy cigarettes. They said
you can`t buy it. He went in to buy porn. You can`t buy it. He went in
to buy a lottery ticket. You can`t buy it. Then he went in at 15 to buy a
gun and they sold it to him right away. Something is wrong with that

SHARPTON: You know, Trymaine, one of the things I saw there yesterday was
people across racial lines going to the church, going to gatherings and
standing together, and there`s a lot of tension and certainly forgiveness
does not mean you`re passive and not active. Maybe you`re even more active
and freer to move forward. That sense of community, that sense of unity,
do you feel that that will last?

LEE: Rev., you see it out here, and it is kind of a beautiful moment to
see people coming together in a time of hurt. But let`s remember after the
shooting in Newton when, for a while, everyone from all sides of the aisles
came together to say enough is enough, but then sooner than later everyone
fell back in their corners.

That happens on a local level, too. You see people coming together that
would normally be joined, linking arms coming together. But I spoke to a
representative from the local NAACP and said last night inside the church
everyone was together until one of the pastors started mentioning something
about gun control. And a few people, a few of the leaders on the other
side kind of sat down and got quiet.

What happens next week, what happens next month when the issue -- when the
pain isn`t as, you know, visceral? What happens then? I think that`s what
community members, organizer, every day, you know, residents are trying to
figure out, how do we create or force some change in this moment of hurt?
How do they do that? And we`ve seen it time and time again. Clearly we
haven`t figured it out yet.

SHARPTON: Trymaine Lee and state senator David Mack and certainly thank
you for your leadership, Representative Mack, thank you both for your time
this evening.

Coming up, was this massacre a hate crime or an act of terror? The justice
department made a big announcement today.

Plus, should this suspect have had a gun in the first place? The gun
debate is back with a new twist.

Also, the shooting sparks a new debate about the confederate flag. Is it
all about heritage or about hate?


SHARPTON: Should this shooting be investigated as a hate crime or domestic
terrorism? A key announcement on that from the justice department today.
We`ll talk about it next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The charge is nine counts of murder and one count of
possession. What is your age?

ROOF: Twenty one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re 21 years. Are you employed?

ROOF: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re unemployed at this time?

ROOF: Yes, sir.


SHARPTON: A riveting scene today, the confessed killer speaking for the
first time at a bond hearing. The judge setting a $1 million bond on a
weapons charge for possessing a firearm. He did not have the jurisdiction
to set bond for the nine murder counts he faces.

Today, a justice department official saying they`re looking at a potential
act of domestic terrorism. So what happens now? What will the prosecution
look like? The prosecutor spoke today sharing a powerful story about how
she`s motivated to move forward.


little bit about a phone call I received about four or five weeks ago. I
knew the caller, but I didn`t know him well. And he said to me, he said,
I`m sorry I hadn`t reached out before now, but I want you to know we`re
with you. And I want you to know that we appreciate how you`re doing this.
I want you to know that we are behind your team all the way.

That call was from Senator Pinckney. He had a deep understanding for our
need to work behind the scenes quietly for a successful prosecution. And
those words are extremely inspiring to me now and inspiring to my staff as
we move forward with this prosecution.


SHARPTON: Joining me now Bryan Levin, the director of the center for the
study of hate and extremism at California state university, and veteran
prosecutor and legal analyst Paul Henderson. Paul, how do you successfully
prosecute this case now?

PAUL HENDERSON, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it`s easy at one level
because it`s so clear with the homicide, and that`s the basis. That`s the
real foundation that is leading the charge in all of this. There is
contemplation of making this a hate crime or terrorism, but really the mass
murder is what I think is going to drive the train. For the hate crime,
it`s really an act of prejudice against a person or property where there is
a perception, real or perceived, for someone in a protected class and it`s
almost the overkill, but it does speak to the race issue that underlies why
everyone is so frustrated with this case and the tragedy that is in this
city right now.

I think what`s going to happen is what`s going to drive the train are the
murder charges and the absolute killing, and keep in mind that since it`s a
death penalty case and they do have the death penalty in this state,
anything else that gets added on is going to be extra, and it changes and
it shift and expands what a prosecutor is going to have to show in terms of
showing that the crime was racially motivated if they do pursue it as a
hate crime, which in this case should be fairly easy to prove.

SHARPTON: Let`s build on that a little, Brian, because the announcement
that the DOJ could be looking -- they announced they`re looking at this as
an act of -- it could be looked at as an act of domestic terrorism is
potentially a huge, huge development because the federal statute to prove
domestic terror says an act, one, must involve acts dangerous to human life
that violate federal or state law. Two, must appear intended, a, to
intimidate or coerce a civilian population, and, three, must occur
primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. what do you think
is the possibility of the justice department moving forward on domestic
terrorism and the success if they do?

have multiple choices. They can go the domestic terrorism route which you
so articulately conveyed right now. They can go under the shepherd bird
hate crime law which if you use a firearm and that results in death where
there`s an intentional selection of a victim based on actual or perceived
race, you could use that statute. And you could also use a church arson
statute which says if death results from interfering with someone`s
religious expression.

So they have three choices. The big thing, as Mr. Henderson mentioned, is
we had a death or multiple deaths result. We had nine. So that`s going to
be the template over which everything else is overlaid.

That being said, the state charges merely require showing a premeditated
murder and that there were two or more victims to get the death penalty
there. That being said, let me just say something, usually the justice
department does not get involved when there`s a successful state
prosecutor. But recently with the Mississippi murder of an African-
American after the state adjudicated the defendants and got convictions and
guilty pleas, the federal government came in as well. So this is something
that`s relatively new. There`s no double jeopardy bar because the Supreme
Court has ruled different levels of government can prosecute without that
fifth amendment prohibition arising.

SHARPTON: Now, going back to the state level, Paul, the prosecutor
wouldn`t talk about penalties she`ll seek. But this morning governor Nikki
Haley made it clear what she wanted. Listen to this.


GOV. NIKKI HAILEY, SOUTH CAROLINA: This is a state that is hurt by the
fact that nine people innocently were killed. We will absolutely will want
him to have the death penalty.


SHARPTON: She wants the death penalty. You mentioned this is a death
penalty state. Does this reach the bar of a death penalty case?

HENDERSON: Absolutely. I mean, this is a mass killing no matter how you
look at it. The premeditation is there, the multiple victims are there. I
think that`s what`s going to drive the train. And as our guest just talked
about earlier, I think everything else is going to be secondary. I don`t
necessarily see the federal government stepping in -- into this case once a
conviction is obtained that includes the death penalty. I think one of the
things that will be interesting, as we see the federal government they are
conducting their own secondary investigation is looking at investigation
into his background and to see are there organizations he was a part of.
Was he participating in a broader scheme or was there a pattern and
behavior with other organizations that he may have been working with that
led him to this violence and then that will be something that they could
act upon possibly.

SHARPTON: You know, Brian, we talked about whether the federal government
would go for domestic terrorism or hate. One of the interesting things
when you talk about not having double jeopardy, different levels of
government is South Carolina does have the death penalty, but it doesn`t
have a state hate crime.



LEVIN: Absolutely. That`s correct.

SHARPTON: And it`s one of five states that doesn`t. So the state couldn`t
go after him on a hate crime if it wanted to because they do not have a
hate crime law in South Carolina. Only the federal government could do

LEVIN: You`re absolutely correct. And I do think there`s some kind of
vindication when we charge these crimes as a hate crime, if they are a hate
crime. And, God, what the heck else would be a hate crime if this isn`t?
So yes, and I think this is important. This is a moment where South
Carolina can step up to the plate and get a hate crime law on the books.

With respect to what you just said, though, there is something interesting
about how states often prosecute these. And that is for murders, hate
crime charges actually don`t add anything in a matter like this.


LEVIN: In California a racial motive is an aggravating factor that a
prosecutor can use to get a death penalty conviction, but in other states,

SHARPTON: So there`s no additional penalty.


LEVIN: Right. But where I think the hate crime charge would help is for
those aggravated assaults and simple assaults where the penalties are
rather low. That`s why we need to enact a hate crime law in South Carolina
and the four other states that don`t have it.

SHARPTON: Bryan Levin and Paul Henderson, thank you so much for your time

HENDERSON: Thanks so much Rev.

LEVIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, how this tragedy has sparked a new debate about the
confederate flag. Is it an expression of heritage or of hate?


SHARPTON: This heinous act has reignited the gun debate in this country.
President Obama just talked about it. We`ll get into the gun debate, next.


SHARPTON: We must mourn the dead in Charleston, but we also must take
action to change the broken system. That really let this shooter get a
gun. President Obama talked about that just moments ago.


were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone. Eleven thousand. If Congress
had passed some common sense gun safety reforms after Newton, after a group
of children had been gunned down in their own classroom, reforms that 90
percent of the American people supported, we wouldn`t have prevented every
act of violence or even most. We don`t know it would have prevented what
happened in Charleston. No reform can guarantee the elimination of
violence, but we might still have some more Americans with us. We might
have stopped one shooter. Some families might still be home. I want to be
clear. I`m not resigned, I have faith, we will eventually do the right


SHARPTON: And President Obama is not alone. Charleston`s mass said this
week there are far too many guns out there. But when South Carolina`s
republican governor was asked if the state`s gun laws should change, she
said this.


NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Any time there`s a traumatic situation,
people want something to blame. They always want something to go after.
There is one person to blame here, a person filled with hate. A person
that does not define South Carolina. And we are going to focus on that one
person. You know, I know that President Obama had, you know, his job to do
and he made those statements. But my job is to now get the state to heal.
And our focus very much is on this nine families that`s on the Mother
Emanuel Church family --


SHARPTON: We are focusing on the families. But we should also do
everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again, and
that includes tightening gun laws. South Carolina doesn`t require
background checks at gun shows or for private sales. It doesn`t ban
assault weapons or restrict the size of ammunition magazines. One thing it
does do -- it doesn`t allow guns in churches. And some gun lobbyists are
blaming the shootings on the fact that the church was a gun-free zone.
It`s ridiculous. You shouldn`t need to bring a gun to church. The system
failed here. Roof should have gone through a background check, and if he
did go through one, he should have failed because he had a pending felony
charge. The system needs to change. Just ask the victims` families.


whether it`s a movie theater or a classroom or a church, gun violence has
again plagued our country, and every time this happens, we have a national
conversation for about two or three days and then we go on to something
else. This is an issue that I think we have to confront no matter which
side of the aisle that we stand on.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Dan Gross, president of the Brady campaign to
prevent gun violence. Thank you for being here, Dan.


SHARPTON: Dan, the president`s saying we will do the right thing. How do
we make that happen?

GROSS: We hold our elected leaders accountable to do right by the people
that they`ve been elected to represent by keeping guns out of the hands of
dangerous people. This isn`t a debate over one specific tragedy. This is
a debate over the 88 lives that are lost every single day in our country
and something real that we can do without taking guns away from law-abiding
citizens to keep guns out of dangerous hands and prevent actually most of
those tragedies. There are thousands of guns sold every single day in our
country at gun shows and online to Lord knows who without background
checks. Ninety percent of the American public as the President points out
are in support of closing those loopholes that put guns into dangerous

SHARPTON: Why haven`t we done it? We don`t -- we`ve seen where children
were not protected in a school in Connecticut, people in a theater in
Colorado. Now people in a church in South Carolina. When do we rise up
and make these elected officials change these laws?

GROSS: First of all, we need to realize that a tragedy of epic proportions
happens every single day in our country. Eighty eight lives are lost
because of bullets in our country every single day. And we need to realize
that there are things that we can do to prevent it, things that our own
elected leaders are working against because they are lap dogs for the gun
industry and the gun lobby. And there are very real things that we need to
demand of them to prevent these tragedies from happening.

SHARPTON: You know, it`s still not clear how the shooter got his gun.
"The Washington Post" is reporting -- and let me read the quote, "When Roof
was arrested, he had a Glock .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun that law
enforcement officials said he had obtained in April, either receiving it as
a birthday gift or buying it himself with birthday money. The gun was
purchased legally," officials said. So whether he bought it illegally or
got it as a gift, doesn`t this show the system doesn`t work?

GROSS: Well, in May, you know, who knows if he got this gun legally?
We`ll find out. You can debate even whether he would have passed the
background check or not. He probably would have failed the background
check. And if he went through that background check, this whole tragedy
might have been avoided. But again we have to stop debating this only in
the wake of these single horrific mass shootings. We have to look at this
in the context of our greatest opportunity to save lives. And we can do
that by expanding background checks to all gun sales.

And let me tell you about another big problem that`s really impacting our
friends and brothers and sisters in Chicago and in cities across this
country which are bad apple gun dealers. Five percent of gun dealers in
our country are selling guns to traffickers and straw purchases that wind
up causing 90 percent of the gun crimes in this country. Just by putting
bad apple gun dealers out of business, and expanding background checks to
all gun sales, we can cut down on the number of gun deaths without taking
the right away of any law-abiding citizen from owning a gun.

SHARPTON: Dan Gross, thank you for your time tonight.

GROSS: Thank you, sir.

SHARPTON: Ahead, ghost of the past. Today new debate over old images like
the confederate flag still in front of South Carolina`s statehouse.

And later, powerful forgiveness. Martin Luther King III joins me to talk
about that and about healing after the massacre.



UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think it`s awful. Even before this day. That we
would have a flag that represents hate flying on our state capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s a flag of racism. It should be in a museum. It
shouldn`t be over the statehouse.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The flag is offensive. It is offensive. May I say it
again? The flag was offensive. It needs to come down.


SHARPTON: Hanging over South Carolina in the midst of this horrible
tragedy is its history. This photo shows the shooting suspect with his
car, and it shows the confederate flag on his license plate. Until 15
years ago that same flag flew on the top of the statehouse dome, and when
the idea to remove it started to gain momentum, there was a huge rally to
celebrate the flag. In 2000, the state did take the confederate flag off
the dome, but they added it to a monument right in front of the statehouse,
and it`s not just the flag. The statehouse has monument to Jefferson
Davis, the president of the Confederacy, who wanted to expand slavery.
Confederate general and slave owner Wade Hampton. And Ben Tillman, a
member of a white supremacist militia that executed black men. That
history is not in the past where it belongs. It still haunts the country

My colleague Chris Hayes is live in Charleston tonight. Chris, today you
went out to look at the city`s legacy in this area. What did you see?

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well, I went around with a man named Kevin
Alexander Gray who is a longtime activist in the state from South Carolina,
former army captain, former head of the ACLU in the state of South
Carolina. And he -- we went around and we went to the slave market which
is one of the tourist destinations here. One of them has been turned into
a museum. It was a market that was created after laws were passed
essentially to take slave trading, which used to happen openly publicly on
a street, I mean, not every street -- not every street corner but all over
the city, a law was passed and it had to be done inside. This was a
private slave market. We went and we looked at the statute.

John Calhoun, one of the sort of colossal figures in South Carolina
history, vice president of the United States, also represented the state.
And that was erected at the end of reconstruction towards the end of the
19th Century when basically this amazing shift in power was happening in
which a state that had become a democratic state that had black legislators
and black voters was being taken back by the power of white supremacy.
And they erected that statue which is literally just a block from here. I
can see it from where I`m standing. They recognized statute so high to
make sure that freed men couldn`t pull it down. And then finally, we went
to Fort Sumter and we gazer (INAUDIBLE) where the first shots were fired by
cadets from this city on a federal garrison in Fort Sumter.

SHARPTON: You know, I don`t think people understand, these people are
celebrated with statues and all kinds of things of honor throughout South
Carolina. I remember when James Brown, who was like a father to me, they
built the James Brown statue downtown in Augusta facing his statue all up
and down broad streets confederate general statues. It`s amazing how this
is accepted and these people outright represented slavery, racism and
represented leaving the country.

HAYES: Yes. And the hallmarks of that are everywhere you look around
Charleston. And in fact, it`s not just sort of incidental to what
Charleston is. I mean, Charleston is a boom town right now, it`s thriving,
its real estate market is thriving, its galleries and restaurants are
thriving. There`s also a thriving seat for tourism and much of that
tourism is driven by visits to famous civil war sites. So, for a very long
time this city has had a very complicated relationship to that history
because in some ways it`s marketing that history and it has to market it in
such a way that doesn`t essentially offend people that are easily offended
by anyone suggesting that the confederacy was what it was, which was a
treasonous violent army dedicated to white supremacy.

SHARPTON: Why are people still defending it? Because I notice that people
are still trying to act like this is heritage rather than as hate.

HAYES: Look, it`s very hard for me to get inside the mind of folks that
feel that way. I had a really fascinating conversation with a white woman
today who is from Charleston whose family came here in 1670 she told me.
And she just talked about how people start to get in a kind of a defensive
crouch very quickly when you start talking about the flag. Even people
that she likes that she`s friends with who she thinks of as enlightened
folks and committed to equality, when you start to talk about the flag
there`s just something deep in them that starts to get very, very -- get
their back up. It was really a fascinating conversation.

SHARPTON: Well, this hits home for me. And I`m so glad to see you dealing
with this. We found that my great-grandfather was a slave in Edgefield,
South Carolina. Chris Hayes, thank you for your time tonight.

HAYES: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And to see more of Chris` reporting, watch "All In" tonight at
8:00 p.m. Eastern here on MSNBC.

Ahead, how faith is shaping the response to this tragedy. We need to
counter hate with love and action. I`ll talk about it when Martin Luther
King III.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Racism remains a blight that we
have to combat together. We have made great progress, but we have to be
vigilant because it still lingers. It betrays our ideals and tears our
democracy apart.




I`ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you
to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.


SHARPTON: We`re getting closer but we`re not there yet. After a tragedy
like this, how do we move past hate? I`ll talk about it with Martin Luther
King III, next.


SHARPTON: We saw Martin Luther King as he talked about the dream that he
had. It`s a dream that many of us believe in firmly, but it`s also a dream
that you not only change society but you change yourself. So you can be
the conduit of the change you seek.

Joining me now is Dr. King`s eldest son, Martin Luther King III. Thank you
for being here tonight, Martin.


SHARPTON: You lost your father to gun violence and race and your
grandmother you lost to gun violence. And you have committed your life to
fighting racism and violence, and here we are at this unbelievably tragic
scene. Nine people killed in a church. First of all, your reaction to
what is happening and what we ought to be coming out of this discussing?

KING: Well, my first reaction and first thought was this was reminiscent
to me because it was in a church. The first thing I thought about was the
loss of my grandmother, not my father, in this context because of the
church. And I was like, oh, my gosh, here we go again. The second thing I
thought about was how these families would have to grieve and how many
people would be grieving because of the loss of all these individuals. And
then I thought about, you know, we live in an incredible nation, but
something has gone awry.

We have promoted a culture of violence. And that is what is being
embraced, whether it`s television shows, computer games, and we need to
figure out how do we create a culture of nonviolence, which is what dad
would say. And quite frankly, what`s interesting about this, most
interesting and important is how these families have said that love is and
not hate.


KING: That`s the most powerful thing we`ve seen in a long time.

SHARPTON: You know, when I was going to Charleston yesterday, I thought
about Reverend Pinckney who was with us the last time I was there around
the Walter Scott case. But I thought about how your grandfather talked
about forgiveness.

KING: Yes.

SHARPTON: And how your mother always talked about forgiveness with your
father being killed. And I had no idea today we`d hear that from these
family members. I want to get your take on it because it was powerful
words of forgiveness. Listen to this.


my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is
proof, everyone`s plea for your soul is proof that they, they lived in love
and their legacies will live in love. So hate won`t win. And I just want
to thank the courts for making sure that hate doesn`t win.


SHARPTON: Hate doesn`t win. I mean, I was stabbed once leading a march
and I had to find the strength to forgive the guy that stabbed me. Thank
God I wasn`t killed or nowhere near what they`re going through, but the
forgiveness part was always a part of the movement that I don`t think a lot
of people understand.

KING: But it is indicative, quite frankly, and a true tribute probably to
Reverend Pinckney and the leadership he provided for this whole community
because it would be understandable if someone came and said, you know, I`m
struggling with this. I hate, I want to see you die. Nobody did that.
That is absolutely remarkable.

SHARPTON: It is. You know, the church itself that Reverend Pinckney
pastored where this happened, it is significant in your family as well, in
your personal history your father gave a speech at Mother Emanuel AME in
1962 about voting rights and making the American dream a reality. Here we
see assaults on the voting rights act, and we see the church where your
father spoke about voting rights become the scene and in history now for
this atrocious act.

KING: You know, that`s quite interesting at this particular point because
we`re dealing and grappling with voter suppression. So all of it, it`s in
real way it`s all connected. And I think what I was most humbled to see
was this community coming together. It shows the goodness in people,
blacks and whites and young and old and rich and poor and Latino, Hispanic
and Asian all coming together to support this community through what --
this heinous crime. This is one of the most heinous crimes we`ve seen in
recent times.

SHARPTON: I think that, you know, I saw everybody of all races there
yesterday calling for healing, but one lady said to me something I`ll never
forget. She said, "Yes, we need to heal, but we need to understand what
has made us sick."

KING: We must turn a page and begin to create something different. We are
better than the behavior that we saw on that day when this young man walked
in and killed all of these innocent people.

SHARPTON: Martin Luther King III, thank you so much for being with us this

KING: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts
right now.


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