'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
Show: MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY
Date: August 16, 2015
Guest: Hector Cordero Guzman; Gordon Chang; Jamal Simmons; David Cay
Johnston; Susan Del Percio, Seema Iyer, William Murphy, Jr., Aimee Meredith
Cox, Slimes Jackson, Samuel Anyan, Chloe Angyal, Andrea Powell
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good morning, I`m joy Reid in for Melissa.
And we begin with breaking news this morning. Reuters reports that the
plane that lost contact with air traffic control over Indonesia has been
found. The twin turbo prop plane carrying 54 people was en route to the
town of Oxibill after leaving from the city of Jayapura. The flight
usually takes about 45 minutes but the plane lost contact about 30 minutes
Let`s go right to London and NBC News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.
All right, Kelly, what do we know about the latest of this plane being
KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Joy, good morning.
Well, we are hearing, according to Reuters, they are citing an Indonesian
transportation ministry official as saying that this wreckage has now been
found. Villagers in this remote part of Indonesia had reportedly seen the
plane flying low, then crashing into a mountain.
Now, search and rescue teams are headed to that area, but it is dark there
now. It`s about 15 miles from the destination airport. They plan to begin
searching at dawn, but that`s still about nine hours away.
This plane was a twin turbo prop owned by Trigana air. That`s a local
carrier in Indonesia, 44 adults, five children, five crew members on board,
all of them Indonesian. It was flying, as you mentioned, from that
provincial capital of (INAUDIBLE) in Papua to Oxibill. The pilot had been
in contact with airport officials. Indonesian search and rescue officials
telling NBC News that the pilot radioed saying the visibility was too poor
to land. That was the last communication.
Again, Joy, this flight was going in heavy rain, strong winds, fog, some
very challenging weather conditions, and it`s also a difficult place to
search, dense jungle and mountains. In fact, some planes that have gone
down there have never been found. But at this hour it appears the wreckage
from this flight has been found - Joy.
REID: All right. A tragic situation.
Kelly Cobiella, in London, thank you very much. And we`ll check back in
with you at a later in the program.
Alright, joining us now from Tampa, Florida is Capt. John Cox, a retired
airline pilot and NBC aviation analyst.
All right. So John, what can you tell us about this airline which is
called Trigana air services?
CAPT. JOHN COX, NBC NEWS AVIATION ANALYST: Well, Trigana air services has
been in operations for a number of years. They have both turbo props and
jet aircraft. They have experienced some difficulties. They had some
pretty serious incidents in the past from 1991 until today. And that`s
something that the investigators are certainly going to look at to see if
there are organizational or cultural problems that may have contributed to
REID: And of course, we`ve seen two major crashes in Indonesia in less
than a year. Can you talk a little bit about the country`s safety record
when it comes to air travel?
COX: Well, Indonesia is an area where there is a lot of growth in aviation
but they also have some real challenges. Both the terrain, the mountainous
terrain, the limited navigation aids that pilots can use, as well as a lot
of the airplanes are operated by smaller regional carriers. You put all of
that together, and, unfortunately, they are not at the top of the countries
that enjoy the best safety record. So this is something that the
Indonesian authorities will be working with going forward.
REID: Yes, absolutely. In addition to the vterrain, we have indications
that the plane encountered stormy weather before losing contact with air
traffic control. As a pilot, in that kind of situation flying into a storm
over very mountainous terrain, what is the protocol?
COX: Well, if you have mountainous terrain, you always maintain a given
altitude above it and you follow carefully laid out ground tracks using
usually ground-based navigation, but occasionally satellite navigation to
carefully position the airplane in a way that you can get down and land at
the airport. The fact that the weather was bad is not something -
professional pilots deal with bad weather on a regular basis. They have
on-board weather radar and they`re able to tell where the heaviest areas of
precipitation may be.
If it turns out that the reports are correct that the pilot said the
visibility was below something, below landing limits, then it means they`re
going to have to start looking at an alternate airport, another airport
where they`ll go and land until the visibility improves. This is all
relatively routine information and routine protocols for professional
pilots. Now the question is what went wrong with this flight.
REID: Yes, indeed. Captain John Cox in Tampa, Florida, thank you very
COX: My pleasure.
REID: And we will continue to monitor this breaking news and bring you any
new developments as they come in.
All right. Let`s turn now to presidential politics, and specifically the
candidacy of Joe Lieberman. Yes, Joe Lieberman, who you may recall was on
the ticket that won the popular vote in the year 2000, who mounted his own
bid for the top of the ticket in 2004. And early on, he was the front
runner in the polls based largely on name recognition and a campaign season
not really yet under way.
Lieberman`s closest rivals were the establishment candidates, Congressman
Dick Gephart of Missouri and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. But then
something happened in the summer of 2003. Former governor Howard Dean
began to surge. Fueled by internet fundraising and popular rhetoric, Dean
soon became the darling of anti-establishment grassroots Democrats. And
before the year was over, he seemed all but certain to win the nomination.
Al Gore, the party`s nominee in the heart recollection of 2000, endorsed
him, passing over his former running mate, the aforementioned Senator
Lieberman. Iowa senator Tom Harkin endorsed him too. Major labor unions
endorsed him as well. And in Iowa, Dean rocketed to a commanding lead in
the polls. But while Dean was busy surging, John Kerry had been working a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Iowa, don`t just send them a message
next January, send them a president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The message was loud and clear to Democrats. You might like the red
meat rhetoric that you`re hearing from governor Dean, but do you really
think this guy is electable against a sitting war time president?
Working that strategy for John Kerry in Iowa was a man named Michael Huley.
Now, if you are a real political nerd and in need of a good read, perhaps
one of the best reads there is on presidential politics, and in particular
Iowa presidential politics, can be found by getting onto Google and finding
Roger Simon`s U.S. news and world report July 2004 piece entitled "turning
point." Simon`s story details Michael Huley`s role in the Iowa campaign.
Described in that news report as the magical Mr. Huley and a god-like
figure, the article also noted, if there were any lingering doubts as to
whether Houley was truly magical or not, it was settles on the day he
decided he wanted a helicopter. A helicopter, Houley believed, would make
Kerry look even more presidential. The public is used to seeing presidents
climb in and out of helicopters.
Now, the campaign did not have the money for such an extravagance but Huley
demanded to quote-unquote "freaking helicopter" and managed to get one
after Kerry mortgaged his half interest in his Boston home for $6.4
On January 19th, 2004, John Kerry nabbed Iowa. Howard Dean came in third.
Then came the scream then the slide nationwide. And John Kerry went on to
become the Democratic Party`s nominee.
Fast-forward to today in 2015 when, on the Republican side, there is a
candidate in the primaries with both the red meat rhetoric and the
helicopter. Donald Trump leads in the latest Iowa polls. Increasingly,
he`s looking like an actual candidate, not just someone running a vanity
campaign. Trump, love him or hate him, is even hitting the ground for some
good old-fashioned retail politics in the early states like New Hampshire
and Iowa. And he didn`t wait until days before the caucuses to bring his
helicopter to Iowa. He did it in August. And in Trump`s case, the
helicopter even has his name on it.
Joining me this morning are Republican strategists Susan Del Percio, Hector
Cordero Guzman, professor at the college school of public affairs, David
Cay Johnston, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of "divided: the
pearls of our growing economy" and Jamal Simmons, Democratic strategist and
co-founder of crate.com.
All right. Thank you all for being here.
And I`m going to go to Jamal first, because we did talk about poor John
Kerry and what seemed for a moment like his ascension into kind of right in
the center of being the front-runner for a while in the presidency even
against George W. Bush. But just talk a little about a little bit about
that expectations game, of having to look like a president before people
will accept the idea of voting for you to be president.
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. This is always the
thing in presidential politics. As leadership politics, you are -- which
is why when people talk about the polls, which Trump is consumed with the
polls and consumed with the people who are in the crowds, but there are
lots of other smaller, softer things that happen in the midst of a
presidential campaign that matter, and what you look like actually does
matter. You have to be strong yet compassionate. You have to have vision
yet be somewhat practical. I mean, there is a lot of kind of play in the
mix when running presidential candidates.
I`ve been on four, five presidential campaigns, some wins, some losses, and
I tell you the ones that do well are the ones where you got somebody who is
really clear about what they are doing. They know where they want to go.
And the thing for John Kerry and Hillary Clinton to pay attention to in
this campaign is Dean lasted too long. The reality is too many Democrats
in the Democratic Party got too excited for him and it lasted too long, and
John Kerry was kind of never really able to recapture all of the Democratic
Party and get them on the same page to win in November. So Hillary has to
really like pay attention to the burning thing early.
REID: Very interesting point, Susan, and I`ll come to you on it, because
that is an interesting point, because when you talk about Iowa voters, and
I know a lot of people both on the Democratic side and even among some
Republicans cannot stand the Donald Trump story, because they feel it`s
distracting, that it isn`t real, that it`s isn`t real campaign, that it`s
taking away from the more serious candidates.
But if you look at the polls, Trump is not, you know, he is 50 percent like
Hillary, he`s at 22 percent in Iowa versus Ben Carson who is actually
number two, Scott Walker is at nine. Jeb Bush is not even in the top five.
So the candidates that the establishment sort of look to as the people that
they believe are the front runners, that the Marco Rubio, the Jeb Bush,
which they`re not even charting yet in Iowa. Is Donald Trump at this point
a serious candidate who is making a serious play? And if he is, can
excitement for him take away from whoever actually gets the nomination if
it isn`t him?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: He`s very much starting to look
that way. And if you would ask me that question maybe ten days ago, I
probably wouldn`t give you the same answer.
The fact he has ten people on the ground right now working Iowa is serious.
The fact that he`s starting to put out some policies that we`re going to
get to later on and will be unveiled this week, next week and in the months
to come, if they`re real, people have to start paying attention.
But what`s also important is what Jamal talked about, is he comes across as
a leader. He says, I am going to do this, and he doesn`t falter. Even
when what he says may not even make sense, like I`ll get, you know, Mexico
to pay for the wall. He says it with such force. He comes across strong.
And now he`s eating a pork chop on a stick, so he`s doing the retail stuff.
He really is starting to work, which means he`s also realizing he has to
become more of a professional politician in that you just can`t say what
you want, you do pay attention to polls. For someone who says he doesn`t
have a pollster, I`ve never seen a man talking about polls so much. But he
is moving in that direction. He`s talking about putting out serious money,
we`ll see if he does. But other Republicans would be remiss if they did
not pay attention to it and start coming up with their own game plan.
REID: Yes. And I mean, and there is, you know, David, I`m curious about
whether or not - I mean, part of it is celebrity and name recognition why
you get to 22 percent very quickly if you have a famous name. What
percentage of that 22 percent are serious. Can we say, you know, these are
people who actually would vote for him or is it this point, we know who he
is. We like how he sounds.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, JOURNALIST: First of all, these are polls Republicans,
so if you look at the whole voting population, it`s like 10 percent of the
voting population in the country. That`s number one. Number two, I think
you`re seeing in both Donald and Bernie, which is the same people who won
Elizabeth Warren, this unhappiness of what`s going on in Washington
whichever direction we decide to go as a country. Trump says, I`ll make
these things happen. I`ll humiliate the head of Ford. I will force
somehow a sovereign nation the Mexican nation to pay for this wall, which
won`t stop illegal immigration, people will find other ways to get into the
JOHNSTON: So I don`t think it`s particularly real except it reflects the
REID: Absolutely. But I`m going to have to cut you off there. We are
going to have more this coming up on the other end of the break.
But this morning on "Meet the Press," NBC`s Chuck Todd had a face-to-face
interview with aforementioned GOP front runner Donald Trump. You want to
know how it went? We`ll show you, next.
REID: Republican front runner Donald Trump sat down for an interview with
NBC`s Chuck Todd from "Meet the Press" and he spoke directly to the issue
of immigration and president Obama`s executive action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The executive order gets
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS HOST, MEET THE PRESS: You`ll rescind that one, too?
You`ll rescind the dream act executive order?
TRUMP: We have to. We have to make a whole new set of standards, and when
people come in --
TODD: You`re going to split up families? You`re going to deport families?
TRUMP: No, we have to keep the families together. We have to keep the
families together. But they have to go.
TODD: What if they have no place to go?
TRUMP: We`ll work with them. The have to go. Chuck, either have a
country or we don`t have a country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That exclusive interview airs in full this morning on "Meet the
Press" and the full conversation will be online at NBC.com.
So Hector, you know, Trump says he is going to great with Hispanics and yet
he said that.
HECTOR CORDERO-GUZMAN, BRUTE COLLEGE: Yes. Trump may have the helicopter
and may have the tremendous ego that goes along with running for president,
but he also has a really big mouth that I think will get him into a lot of
trouble. He may deserve credit for raising attention into the primaries
this early in the election and maybe in the show that welcome debate and
you call the show that gives him better ratings. He deserves credit for
having people pay attention to the race.
But the attention that he`s drawing particularly among the Hispanic
populations is actually very negative. He claims he`s loved by the Latino
population, but the poll in Nevada that actually shows him ahead in the
Latino population, these are Latino registered Republicans that want to
vote in the primary. The two or three guys that make up that big
population. So yes, the two or three guys in Nevada love the Trump.
Fantastic, but I think he`s doing the Republican Party a lot of damage by
alienating a lot of the population by these remarks. And the more the
party embraces him and the more his campaign becomes official, if it`s not
tamed in any way or he owns up to remarks like that that are increasingly
very alienating, it`s going to be a lot of trouble for the general
SIMMONS: You know, Joy, he is not alone in Trump. I mean, Trump is kind
of a continue across western society where we see these people pop up in
Italy and in France and places where people, you know, like (INAUDIBLE) in
France, Berlusconi even in Italy, this sort of big personalities, and what
happens is they tend to be more worldly in their base, they tend to be more
traditionalist, more nationalist, and they have a say in what is happening-
- obviously Berlusconi got elected -- but everywhere else they seem to sort
of get beaten by the king of broad swath in the middle that comes back. It
is no, we are not going that direction. But it does not undervalue the
democracy and start to poll the mainstream candidates further over to the
side of kind of the nationalist voices.
REID: Yes. But then, what he`s saying, Susan, is popular among the
Republican base even when it`s offensive to Latinos.
DEL PERCIO: Yes, and that`s true. The Republican base and the Republican
primary, you cannot be for amnesty. It hurts you. That`s just a fact. It
doesn`t make it right, it`s just the fact.
Now, what`s interesting is about four weeks ago, Trump started to open up
the door a little bit to amnesty in some regard. Now he seems to shut it.
He needs to actually put this out and I`m very interested to see what he
does after this interview. Does he put out a white paper? Will he
actually stand firmly behind a policy?
REID: He says he`s going to deport everyone.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: He talked about the deportation of millions of people.
DEL PERCIO: About four weeks ago, he did say that we needed a path for
some people. Now he`s come out and changed that position. That`s part of
the troubling past of Donald Trump is he`s been pro-choice, he`s been pro-
life. He`s been pro-amnesty, now he`s not. I don`t know what he`s going
to do a month from now. That`s the issue with Donald Trump.
DEL PERCIO: Yes. And in the insult from the first day he announced will
stay and that will do harm and that will be problematic for him, but that
doesn`t mean that he is also going to be the nominee.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: You don`t call someone a rapist by saying, well, maybe I
perhaps kind of like --
JOHNSTON: But what we`re doing is we`re discussing what Donald wants us to
talk about. And Donald has a whole history of things he doesn`t want us to
talk about, right? His personal helicopter pilot was a major cocaine
dealer who he tried to help get out early and the case came before who?
His sister, who recused herself.
He did business with the two biggest mob families in New York. They built
Trump tower at a much greater expense than if he put up a steel girder
building. It`s a concrete building. He wanted to negotiate with Nicky
Scarfeaux (ph), the head of the mob in Atlantic City and he is such a great
negotiator, he didn`t want to meet with the mobster guy. He sent one of
Donald has received hundreds of millions of dollars of welfare from the
public. And a lot of people wrongly believe that he pro bono fixed
(INAUDIBLE). He was paid for of stiffed at least some of his vendors.
These are all things that if we are betting Donald in journalism which is
what we should be doing, would be addressed about his past, his unsavory
connections to people and the numerous govern of favors that have put him
where he is.
REID: I felt like a Rand Paul/Jeb Bush campaign. The ORC maybe giving you
a call to try to get --.
All right. We need to get to a quick break and more of Chuck Todd`s
interview with Donald Trump, next.
REID: OK. Here is just a little more of NBC`s Chuck Todd`s interview with
Donald Trump on "Meet the Press."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I love this country and I want to make it great again. And it`s
not going to be great if we keep going the way we are. We are going to be
third world and we probably already are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: We`re third world nation with what, 5.4 percent unemployment and at
a stock market of like 15,000. What?
SIMMONS: Yes. But what you also have is 30 years of wage stagnation, and
you have all these people without economic angst. And as David was saying,
only all these sort of fact about Donald Trump, nobody ultimately who
doesn`t care. He might not get Senate confirmed but he could get elected.
That could happen. He have this unique vision of its grievance and
aspiration kind of mirrored up together. So we can make the country again
as he says on his baseball cap all the time as long as we handle these
Mexican criminals that come across the border who are ruining America for
CORDERO-GUZMAN: Which has nothing to do with it.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: The third world appeal is similar to the birtherism
appeal. It is like dog whistle. We`re kind of now becoming a third world
nation because we have a lot of third world looking people in America. Get
with it. America has changed and will continue to change demographically.
The longer people take to accept that, the more problems our country is
going to have with policing issues and all kinds of economic and other
issues because it`s a divide and conquer strategy.
REID: Well, here is the question. We were talking on the break about
whether or not the people who support Donald Trump and who subscribe to
that sort of angst about the browning of America, how big is that? Are we
thinking it is smaller than it is?
DEL PERCIO: I don`t know if it`s smaller, it`s probably actually larger
than what we think we actually may think it is, but it`s not the only thing
that`s driving them. Right now, a lot of what`s appealing about Donald
Trump is he has somehow become a billionaire that people relate to because
of the way he speaks, and he speaks in a frank, honest way. Even if you
disagree with it, people respect what he says because he just says it. He
calls it the way he sees it. It may be new money but it`s quite a few
billion dollars-worth of it.
REID: Or is it because he`s a television star?
DEL PERCIO: It`s part of it, but he knows how to relate to people. There
is an authenticity issue which is what Bernie Sanders brings to the table
you, and what some people say Joe Biden can bring and upset Hillary
But it is an important issue. You can`t underestimate when people feel
they can actually relate to someone. They say, I may not agree with his
position on immigration, but you know what? We really need to get this
country going economically. My cousin needs a job, my uncle need a job,
how are we going to get going again, and that`s something they relate to.
REID: OK. We are going to have to leave it there because we do have to
note a passing, a very sad passing. Civil rights icon Julian Bond has
died. A lifelong champion of equality, Bond was one of the original
leaders of the young activist`s group the student non-violent coordinating
committee also known as SNIK (ph) where he organized protests against
segregated public facilities. He was the leading voice in the fight for
civil rights serving as chairman of the NAACP for ten years, cofounding the
southern poverty law center and serving more than 20 years in the Georgia
Bond remain politically active throughout his life and in 2014 he spoke
with Melissa Harris-Perry about the recent setbacks and voting rights in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN BOND, ACTIVIST: Fifty years ago, we fought against these kinds of
restrictions and we overcame them with the voting rights act. Now the
Supreme Court, under the leadership of the chief justice who has been
opposed to voting rights since he worked for Ronald Reagan years and years
ago, managed to eviscerate the voting rights act and the states have jumped
into the battle and increased the kind of awful, awful restrictions on
voters. These voter I.D. and other things and made it more difficult for
Americans to vote. So we`re really seeing a repetition of what happened 50
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The co-founder of the southern poverty law center Morris Dees said,
with Julian`s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and
eloquent voices for the cause of justice. He advocated not just for
African-Americans but for every group, indeed every person subject to
oppression and discrimination because he recognized the common humanity in
us all. Julian Bond was 75.
REID: There were two major stories out of China this week. First, massive
explosions rocked the Chinese city of Tianjin on Wednesday. At least 112
people were killed and 70 were hospitalized with dozens in critical
condition. The explosions occurred in warehouses containing dangerous
chemicals. Chinese officials are investigating.
The other story involves the Yuan Renminbi, the currency of China, and it`s
going to affect everything from interest rates to the cost of your iphone.
Let me explain. Most major currencies are determined by the markets, but
China`s government sets the value of the Yuan daily, and the Chinese have
long been accused of undervaluing it. This past week, China`s central bank
pushed the Yuan`s value lower for three consecutive days, dropping its
value by nearly three percent. So why would China suddenly want a less
The Chinese economy has weakened while the U.S. economy has made a
comeback. So they`re basically putting all the goods in the country on
sale, making their products cheaper and ensuring a boost to Chinese
exports. The dollar is now more valuable than the Yuan, which means a
likely decrease in export for the U.S. and other Asian nations which in
turn will cause our economies to suffer.
Still with me at the table, Susan Del Percio, David Cay Johnston, Jamal
Simmons, and joining us now, Gordon Chang, columnist for forbes.com.
So Gordon, hopefully I explained that properly, but.
GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, FORBES.COM: Perfect.
REID: So how alarmed should everyday Americans be about this currency
CHANG: I think long term we should be alarmed. And merely that the reason
is they can export deflation around the world. Deflation is prices getting
lower. And the reason why that is important is you don`t buy things if you
think it is going to be cheaper next week and that means manufacturing
could really falls off.
But the other things is that the Chinese economy is so much worse than
everybody thinks. It is not growing at a 7.0 percent rate that they claim.
It`s not even at the 2.2 that people in Beijing are privately talking
about. It`s probably more like one, but if it`s not one today, it will be
one just a couple months down the road, because this economy is falling
REID: And that means for us?
JOHNSTON: Well, it means that the dollar is more highly valued. That
makes it more difficult for us to sell things that we export, for example.
The country is probably going to be really get hit here is Brazil. Brazil
exports a lot of commodities, (INAUDIBLE), oil, things like that and China
is its biggest customer. So Brazil is really going to hurt.
But it certainly will hurt Americans, and there is something we can do
about it. One of the things we can do is the U.S. government can start
buying Yuan in the market. It is at 6.4 to the dollar, we could start
buying at six and money managers would rush to unload. That would drive up
the Chinese currency. Then you`re in a financial war, though, with China,
which is not as bad as a hot war, but has its own problems.
REID: I mean, I think for a lot of people, this also swims around and
becomes like a soup, right? But just for everyday Americans in your day to
day life, we talked about the iphone becoming more expensive, because it
feels like a strong U.S. dollar should be a good thing. But how is that
not a good thing?
CHANG: Well, it is a good thing for the country as a whole in sense and it
shows confidence in the rest of the world in the United States. But, of
course, it`s not good for U.S. exporters because their products become so
much more expensive around the world.
Where it is a good thing for U.S. consumers is that your iphone will be
cheaper in the U.S. because there is a manufacturing component in China
that will get cheaper. But the real problem is currency war. We`re
starting to see this already in Asia as other countries are dropping their
currencies, especially Vietnamese, and you know, you have to think about
the 1930s. That was teraphor (ph) but this is a currency war. The
dynamic, however, is the same. And if don`t sort of contain this, this
could really get out of control.
REID: And when you said the `30s, you mean the great depression.
CHANG: The great depression.
DEL PERCIO: And Gordon and I were talking about this earlier. We`ve seen
China manipulate their currencies for decades upon decades, but we`ve never
seen what they`re doing with their stock markets that we just saw in July
and August. Now that`s, I think, adding a whole new dichotomy to the
situation, especially how our stock market relates to that and how our
economy is moving forward and even Americans put faith in that. So I think
that`s probably another issue.
JOHNSTON: The Chinese leadership were all raised on documentary communism
and really don`t understand markets. It is a fundamental problem here.
But Gordon hit on something very important that people need to understand.
What`s really going on in the world is a tendency toward a general
deflation which is vastly worse than anybody`s fears in inflation.
You can buy things in the future at a lower price if you hoard dollars
today. American corporations right now, non-bank corporations, are sitting
on $6.7 trillion of cash. That`s $21,000 for every American, because they
don`t have any place to invest it. And if, in fact, we have a deflation,
that`s going to be worth much more money. And it`s affecting us
everywhere. I`m going to Norway to lecture in October. My ticket from
Rochester to New York was $1500. If I drove to Pierson airport in Toronto,
it was $700. If I waited two months, I would have only paid $500.
REID: OK. Hold on. Hold it right there. Stay with us, because this
story in China also ties in directly to the presidential campaign. And, of
course, the Republican front runner has thoughts about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: China, you probably read some of you aren`t into this, but
basically yesterday they did the largest devaluation in the history of
China. What that means is you hear that sucking sound. You know what the
sucking sound is? That means jobs, that means money, that means all of
this coming out. It`s the greatest theft in the history of the United
States, what China has done to us. We have rebuilt China. Our money has
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That was Donald Trump speaking Friday in New Hampshire. GOP
candidates are already weighing in on what`s sure to be one of the hot
topics of the election.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has called China a quote
"oppressive totalitarian regime." And during the first debate, Texas
senator Ted Cruz accused China of waging cyber-warfare against America.
China`s devaluation of the Yuan comes just a month before a highly
anticipated visit to the U.S. by president Xi Jinping. And many are
wondering how President Obama will respond.
So I want to go back to one of the phrases that Donald used, giant sucking
sound, which immediately triggered in my head Ross Perot because it`s
bringing back sort of this economic angst that Americans have, even on
paper it`s good.
SIMMONS: Well, you know, one of the things that`s hard for human beings,
especially Americans, we see the world with America at the center and
everything else impacting us. And I think when you talking people who work
on China a lot, the Chinese see all these sort of internal things that are
happening to them also. I mean, they are moving people from rural areas
into cities. They have to build places for them to live. They`re trying
to figure out health problems. They have pollution issues. You know, we
saw this explosion. And so, there is a lot going on in that country. So I
think Donald Trump is tapping into an American angst that exists about
China that we all have to be responsible for.
DEL PERCIO: But in all fairness, Donald Trump, I can say he`s flip-flop on
a lot of issues. He has been talking about trade in China for decades.
This is something he has been consistent on. Every time his name comes up
for president, this is usually what he starts off with. And he does bring
up a good point on how he can deal with China, and I`m very curious to see
what the president will do because there are things that can be done on
trade. He can really put his foot down. I mean, I think that`s one issue
that is the United States really want to force on in this meeting, perhaps,
CHANG: Yes. And the thing that is important is that I think that there is
now a consensus that he`s right in one respect, and that is that we have
not negotiated good trade deals with China and we certainly haven`t
enforced them. The issue going forward for Trump and for the president is
going to be, what do we do about it, and we haven`t heard very much about
that from any political candidate right now. But that is a critical issue,
because there are all sorts of very important trends that are going on that
we`ve talked about, and they`re going to affect this country in ways we
cannot predict but very soon.
REID: Well, one of the trends is the manufacturing base eroding in this
country, and one of the questions is if China`s market is in floating or
deteriorating, can that mean that manufacturing can come back in the U.S.?
JOHNSTON: Well, manufacturing to some degrees come back to the U.S.
because we are very high productivity, but we`ve lost over three million
manufacturing jobs just to China. And its trade rules, as Gordon points
out, that are unbalanced, at the core of that. If the Chinese currency
were to rise, then, of course, it would be easier to bring more jobs back
to the United States.
But we`ve also lost a lot of technology to China. Years ago I exposed the
rare earth transfer of all that technology paid for by American taxpayers
to China. You can`t build an iphone or ipad or microphone or a smartbomb
without neodymium (ph), and yet we sold to the Chinese military through
Wall Street funds, all of this technology. And the Bush administration
would never explain to anybody why they allowed this to happen. The
Clinton administration is allowed to say but they had to keep it in the
SIMMONS: But isn`t true that one of the reasons that we`ve gotten more
competitive in manufacturing is that the cost of manufacturing has gone
down? I`m from Michigan and I know that all these UAW jobs that used to
pay $30, $35 an hour. After the auto bailout they now pay $14 an hour for
entry level UAW worker (INAUDIBLE).
JOHNSTON: Which is a bad mistake by the UAW.
SIMMONS: But I mean - but there`s something to that that we may have these
jobs come back but they`re not the jobs that we think of that my
grandparents had that paid for my parents to be able to go to school.
CHANG: But, a lot of reasons why jobs are coming back and cost is only one
of them. One of them is because there`s now a feeling among companies that
you have to be close to your customers. And also in China, wage increases
are about three times productivity increases. That`s unsustainable. So
you see a lot of jobs leaving China for places like Vietnam, Bangladesh,
and the big industry now is India, because FOXCON (ph) which is the largest
factory in China has now announced a $5 billion investment into India.
REID: It sounds like a serious issue that we could actually start talking
about in 2016.
All right. Well, before we go to break, I do want to give you, guys, one
an additional update on breaking news we`ve been following this morning.
Indonesian officials say that a plane that lost contact with air traffic
control this morning has been found. The twin turbo prop plane carrying 54
people lost contact about 30 minutes into its 45-minute flight.
Stay with MSNBC and we`ll have a live report at the top of the hour.
And still to come this morning, the story of the 14-year-old boy shot seven
times by police in Trenton, New Jersey while reportedly running away.
But up next, Scott Walker signs off on spending $250 million of taxpayer
money to build a sports stadium.
REID: This week Hillary Clinton rolled out her plan to deal with student
debt, including allocating $17 billion in grants to states that maintain or
increased their funding for state higher education. That may not sound
like a big ask, but it would reverse the nationwide trend of slashing
higher Ed budgets.
Forty eight states now spend less per student than before the recession.
One of those states is Wisconsin, which in its latest biannual budget saw a
quarter million dollars cut from the University of Wisconsin`s system at
the hands of Clinton`s potential opponent, governor Scott Walker. But
Walker has found a cause he thought worthy of this same amount of public
money: a brand new arena for the Milwaukee Bucs basketball team.
On Wednesday, Walker signed a bill committing $250 million in public money
over 20 years to the project. But when you account for interest over two
decades, that figure balloons to $400 million.
It peg the question, why Walker, who is running his presidential candidate
based on his reputation for fiscal conservatism, would spend so much in
taxpayer money on a fancy new stadium incurring criticism even from the
right? Well, because the NBA demanded it.
According to Bucs president Paul Fagan, the NBA threatened to buyback the
team and sell it to a wealthier city like Las Vegas or Seattle if there
were no plans to build a new arena. The governor`s office estimates that
the loss of tax revenue generated by the franchise would amount to $419
million over 20 years, with Walker arguing that it`s cheaper to keep them.
The deal raised some eyebrows as John Hams, a minority owner of the team,
serves as co-finance chairman of the Walker presidential campaign and
recently donated $150,000 to a pro-Walker super PAC.
But fear of losing the team also has Walker forming some unlikely
partnerships. Current Bucs owners Wesley Eden and Mark Lazry are
contributing $150 million for the complex. And Lazry happens to be a major
fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. And previous owner Herb Coal, a former
Democratic senator from Wisconsin, chipped in $100 million.
And unlike most of Walker`s more controversial proposals, this one passed
with broad bipartisan support, but many economists are skeptical at how
much the cities actually benefit from spending on sports facilities.
A report by two economists at college of Holy Cross found that the evidence
of significant direct economic benefits from sporting events, franchises
and stadium is lacking. Sports may make a city happy, but they are
unlikely to make a city rich.
For residents of Milwaukee, a struggling rustbelt city, team pride may not
be enough. As a local union leader told Dave Zirin, the billionaire owners
of the NBA are blackmailing city and county leaders into bankrolling an
arena in one of the nation`s poorest and most segregated cities.
And joining me now from Washington D.C. is Dave Zirin, sports editor at
It certainly sounds, Dave, like blackmail. Give us the stadium or we take
the team away.
DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: Not only that, I don`t endorse
this, but previous human societies would have cut Scott Walker`s hands from
his body in protest of this kind of bribery in public graft.
But Joy, it`s difficult for me not to think about the passing of Julian
Bond in the context of this story. Julian Bond lived his life according to
principles of social, racial and economic justice. And this Bucs stadium
deal is the antithesis of social racial and economic justice. Not only I
say that because it is an obscene example of corporate welfare, and I don`t
only say that because higher education and the living wage bill for the
county of Milwaukee were gutted to pay for the stadium.
I say this because the county of Milwaukee is now going to owe the Bucs`
ownership $4 million a year for 20 years to pay for it. Now, how are they
going to get that money? The word they`ve used is going after scofflaws.
I think we just have -- I hope we all learned from Ferguson what that means
when the police are basically put in the role of being aggressive tax
collectors, going after poor and minority people, imprisoning them, being
more aggressive with ticketing, more aggressive with traffic stops so they
can generate more local revenue, in this case to pay for a stadium for a
couple of the richest people in the United States.
I mean, this is so absurd. One of the county officials said if an alien
came down to planet earth and saw this, they would say, what are you guys
doing? And I think it`s about time we stepped back and said, when it comes
to public funding for stadiums, this is the one case where the emperor, or
in this case governor Walker, truly has no clothes.
REID: And I mean, Dave, it seems like this issue comes up time and time
again. I remember, we went through this in Miami when I was living down
there with the Marlins demanding a stadium. The public, even if they don`t
know all the economics of it, they seem to get the idea that this is a big
wealth transfer to the rich. Why is it that these stadium deals succeed
almost every time?
ZIRIN: It`s because of graft, pure and simple. It is because of political
contributions. The bipartisan nature of the Bucs ownership to me gives all
this away. You mentioned Mark Lazry, big Hillary donor. He also is
someone who employed Chelsea Clinton at his hedge fund. And then of
course, John hams who is not only the co-chair of Scott Walker`s finance
committee, he also bought acres of land around the area where the new
stadium will be built because of the expected gentrification which once
again, gentrification is an issue of economic and racial justice. And
that`s why I have no doubt in my mind that Julian Bond would be on the
front lines opposing this stadium build.
And I think frankly it`s our own cynicism that prevents us from actually
hounding Scott Walker about this to the degree where he would slink away in
shame. And the fact that every state in this country to some degree is
complicit in these kinds of awful, awful stadium deals.
But the fact remains, these are one of the few things that right wing and
left wing economists largely agree upon, that there is no economic benefit
to cities to giving billionaires millions of dollars in public funds.
REID: Yes. And then I wonder, because as you say, this isn`t just the
NFL, this isn`t just the NBA. In Glendale, California, there was hockey
team of the coyotes which did the same thing. It does feel brought, what
can the public do, if anything?
ZIRIN: What the main thing that the public can do, there`s nothing else
they can do at this point, is to raise hell and protest about this. And
they can make sure that the jobs that are produced by the stadium
construction are produced as living wage jobs as much as possible, union
jobs, and to make sure that these stadiums are actually places that raise
up the city. And the demand that should be made on top of this is that
public spending should come with public ownership. I mean, it`s ridiculous
that the money magically turns into private profit for hedge fund owners.
And I think that`s the demand that we need to push, and there is great
model for it in the teams that Scott Walker says is his favorite NFL team,
and that`s the Green Bay Packers. It would be amazing if he took the
principles of the Green Bay Packers ownership structure which is
(INAUDIBLE) and actually applied it to how he views other sports teams in
the state of Wisconsin. But alas, we don`t see those principles coming out
of the Walker campaign.
REID: Well said as usual. Dave Zirin, thank you very much, man.
ZIRIN: Thank you.
REID: Thank you.
All right. And here in New York, I want to also thank Susan Del Percio,
Gordon Chang, David Cay Johnston and Jamal Simmons.
Still to come this morning, has the time come to decriminalize sex work?
Amnesty international says yes. And the leaks coming out of the Freddie
Gray case in Baltimore. How the defense seems to be trying its case in the
More in Nerdland at the top of the hour.
REID: Welcome back. I`m Joy Reid in for Melissa. We`re following
breaking news out of Indonesia where Indonesian officials say a plane that
lost contact with air traffic control has been found. The twin turbo prop
plane with 54 people on board was en route to the town of Oksibil after
leaving from the city of Jayapura. The flights usually take about 45
minutes but the plane lost contact after about 30 minutes after takeoff.
Joining me now in London is NBC News correspondent Kelly Cobiella. All
right. Kelly, what are witnesses telling Indonesian officials?
COBIELLA: Well, Joy, villagers in the area has told local officials that
they saw the plane flying low and then crashing into a mountain. And today
Reuters is reporting that the wreckage has been found citing an Indonesian
transportation ministry official. But officials in Indonesia are
cautioning against confirming this. They say they haven`t actually located
this wreckage yet. Keep in mind it`s the middle of the night there.
They`ve sent search and rescue teams to this remote part of eastern Papua,
but because of the conditions on the ground, mountainous, dense jungle, of
course, nighttime, they`re waiting until dawn to actually verify this, to
start this search, that`s in about eight hours.
The plane in question is a twin turbo prop. It`s owned by Trigana Air
Services, a local carrier in Indonesia. Indonesia search and rescue
officials tell NBC News that the pilot actually radioed in at one point
saying the visibility was too poor to land and that that was the last
communication. This plane was flying in heavy rain, strong winds and fog
in a mountainous area, a difficult place to search, joy, dense jungle. In
fact, some planes that have gone down there have never been found, but it
looks like that will not be the case in this instance -- Joy.
REID: All right, Kelly Cobiella in London, thank you very much, and stay
with MSNBC for the latest.
Now to the criminal case surrounding the death of Freddie Gray which
continues to make its way through court. Six Baltimore police officers
have been charged in Gray`s death with charges ranging from misconduct in
the office to one officer depraved heart murder, all have pleaded not
guilty. Gray died from injuries sustained in the back of a police van.
Gray had been arrested after police said he made eye contact with an
officer and run away. He was handcuffed and put in the back of the van.
But he was never seat belted in which prosecutors say it`s contrary to
And at one point he was placed head first into the van lying on his stomach
with his hands cuffed behind his back and his legs shackled. Officers
allegedly ignored this pleas for medical attention. He was found
unconscious in the van, and his severe injuries included a nearly severed
spinal cord at the neck and a crushed voice box. Gray`s death sparked days
of protests in Baltimore including riots on the days of his funeral.
Although the officers` trials will not begin until October, we`re already
seeing the case litigated in the public spear. Both the defense attorneys
for the officers and the prosecutor`s office have been furiously filing
public court motions, each accusing the other side of misconduct and trying
to frame the narrative before the trial begins.
The defense has among other things accused Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby`s
office of covering up evidence that Freddie Gray may have had a history of
intentionally injuring himself to get cash settlements, including once in
police custody. The officers provided no evidence of such a history. But
they claimed that a prosecutor stopped internal police investigators from
exploring evidence of the so-called crash for cash schemes and allegedly
said they shouldn`t, quote, "do the defense attorney`s jobs for them"
according to the Baltimore Sun. Prosecutors say they have turned over all
evidence to which the defense is entitled. The defendants` claims harken
back to just after Gray`s death, when police report claimed that another
man being transported in the same police van as Gray heard him banging his
head against the walls as if trying to injure himself. That man, Dante
Allen, later gave interviews denying he ever said that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONTE ALLEN, WITNESS: We went straight to the police station. All I heard
was like a little bang for about four seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: As the trial approaches for the six officers, all of whom once again
have pleaded not guilty, it now seems that at least part of their defense
may be that Gray, handcuffed in the back of a police van with no seat belt,
caused his own death.
Joining me now, Seema Iyer MSNBC contributor and host of "THE DOCKET" on
MSNBC Shift and a criminal and civil rights attorney. Hector Cordero-
Guzman, professor at Baruch College School of Public Affairs. Judge
William Murphy, Jr. attorney for the family of Freddie Gray and former
Circuit Court judge for the city of Baltimore. And Aimee Meredith Cox,
assistant professor of African-American Studies at Fordham University and
the author of "Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of
Citizenship" which is now officially on my reading list.
All Right. I`m going to go straight to you Billy Murphy. On these claims
by officers about Freddie Gray and the supposed history of crash for cash
schemes, is there any evidence of that?
WILLIAM H. "BILLY" MURPHY, JR., FREDDIE GRAY`S FAMILY ATTORNEY: None
whatsoever. And they haven`t produced any. Nobody has heard of any such
evidence, and it`s a classic example of the defense reacting to a rumor by
putting it on the prosecution and accusing them of not giving evidence to
substantiate the rumor.
MURPHY: It`s a crazy tactic but it evidently is working, because we`re
talking about it on MSNBC.
REID: Yes. And the days that the Prosecutor Mosby filed the charges
initially against the officer, she said this case is not going to be
litigated in public, and yet it is, in a sense.
MURPHY: Well, but it`s not the prosecutor who is doing it. The prosecutor
is reacting to the brazen attempts of the defense to change the subject.
Think about it. What`s this got to do with what the police did to Freddie
Gray? We know that he went into the van as a healthy man. He may have
been injured during the arrest as well. And he comes out with a partially
severed spine, 80 percent severed spine and three broken vertebrae. How
does that happen? How could it not be somebody`s fault?
MURPHY: And to blame it on Freddie Gray is the height of absurdity.
REID: And you know, Seema, I want to come to you on this as a former
prosecutor. It does feel like part of what we see in these cases of
police-involved killings is an immediate jump to try to say that the person
caused their own death, that something they did is to blame and not the
police actions. So, that pattern seems to be continuing here.
SEEMA IYER, ATTORNEY: Well, if there is this cash for crash scenario, then
it definitely deserves to be investigated. I am surprised that anyone
would make these accusations, any lawyer would make them without some type
of good faith basis because it`s what we learn as lawyers. You don`t make
frivolous motions, right? But it`s certainly relevant if there is some
type of causation connectivity to his death, to the autopsy.
MURPHY: But there is already been a pattern of the defense making
unsubstantiated allegations. And they pick up on slides of rumor to a back
of the -- why haven`t you given me the evidence to support this
IYER: Well, have they been given all the discovery?
MURPHY: Well, they were given something like 52 gigabytes of discovery.
IYER: Okay. So it seems like quite a bit.
MURPHY: Yes. And they`ve been given information about 30-some witnesses
in the case. And so this attack strategy is normally a sound strategy
unless you`ve got irresponsible allegations, and that`s what we`ve had so
REID: Well, the question I would have also is just getting the allegations
out. Even if you don`t have anything to substantiate them and getting them
in the Washington Baltimore --
AIMEE MEREDITH COX, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES AT
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: So this is about narratives not just that are fought
in the courtroom but what happens in public opinion. It`s very strategic.
So, in some ways it matters less whether or not these allegation are true
but what it does to not only delegitimize the fact that black men, and
women and even children are being killed across this country and have to
prove their humanity in the face of this killing, but also this larger
narrative of collective protest, right, is a way to squash these collective
challenges to state violence.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: Here`s the key word. What we`ve seen over the last few
years is the delegitimizing versions of what happens. There is something
that happens that the police claim the person caused for themselves because
they were afraid, and the community and everybody outside looks at the same
set of facts or what they know and say, no, that`s not really what we
observe. So more and more we`re seeing the police side sticking to one
version and the public realizing that what may have happened is something
CORDERO-GUZMAN: What we need to look at is why are we in the situation
over and over again? And my conclusion is that poverty, inequality, racism
and guns just don`t mix.
MURPHY: Well, what we`re seeing is a 350-year-old pattern emerge in the
public eye for the first time. The police role in the black community has
never been legitimate. First they policed slavery, then they policed the
aftermath which was just as bad as slavery. In 1964 we saw some changes --
CORDERO-GUZMAN: A video shows a new version of what happened could come
out, and for that reality that -- to be shaken up a little bit.
MURPHY: But here`s what happened in 1968 that white folks just whitewash.
Richard Nixon relegitimized racism by inviting the Dixiecrats into overtly
racist Democrats into the Republican Party where they have found
legitimacy, where they have found their home, where they have found a
voice, and now the narrative is racism no longer exist.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: So that they`ll continue to be racist.
REID: All right. We`re going to hold it right there. We`re going to have
more of this discussion on the other side of the break. And I also want to
ask about potential for change of venue in this Freddie Gray case, but more
on this issue of policing after the break.
REID: So, we`re continuing to talk about this issue of policing, and there
was a case recently in Alabama where an officer was pistol-whipped by
somebody he stopped with his own gun, and one of the statements that you
seem coming out from the union representing those officers are, well,
officers are really sort of holding back now, they`re afraid to act. But
then you still see these additional incidents around the country. One of
them that I think a lot of people were particularly outraged by was a woman
in Texas who was subjected to a vaginal cavity search during a routine
traffic stop. I want to play a little bit of sound of her talking about
her experience. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My hands are already handcuffed behind me, you know,
so she pulls my pants down, and then she tells me to bend over. So, you
know, I kind of hesitated because I`m like, bend over, you know? And I
just -- I bent over, and she proceeded to stick her fingers in me, and I
popped up immediately and said, no, what are you doing? You can`t do that
to me. And she tells me, you know, I can do what I want to do because it`s
a narcotics search.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: So, whether it`s this case, the Sandra Bland case --
IYER: No. A body cavity search has to be done in the precinct after
certain steps have been taken. The traffic stop was fine, right, she was
legitimately going through a stop sign, so that`s step one. Pull her over.
I smell marijuana, can I search your car? Yes. He searches the car.
Again, we`re fine. We don`t find any marijuana. At that point I think the
inquiry stops. You give her a ticket for running the stop sign, it`s over.
That`s it. You don`t strip search people --
MURPHY: On the side of the road.
COX: And so we have to talk about --
IYER: -- and then rape them.
COX: So, we have to talk about police violence in this larger history of
the sexual assault of black women in this country. This is a continuation
of a historical legacy and we really don`t talk about how sexual violence
has played out in policing until recently on black women`s bodies. So if
you think about the fact that black women make up roughly less than 15
percent of the population and 60 percent of those black women before the
age of 18 have experienced some sexual assault, right? And for every one
woman that comes forward and talks about the sexual assault, there are 15
others who say nothing. So if you think about the public shaming and
silencing of sexual assault and then you have a case like this where a
woman can be violated on the side of the road in public by an officer of
the state who is there to protect, what does it mean for all the other
women and girls who have been sexually assaulted? So this trauma, this
terror, I would say, are not just about these individual cases of Sandra
Bland, but what happens to the larger population of black women in this
CORDERO-GUZMAN: It`s about power, it`s about authority and it`s about the
assertion of that power and authority, and don`t let anyone question that.
Which is why the narrative about the policeman being pistol-whipped is
exactly an attempt to reinforce that power, saying, unless we have absolute
power to do whatever we want and we`re the ones that decide how we`re going
to do it, when it`s going to be done, and anybody that defies us are going
to be under our --
REID: I want to ask Billy this question because if Sandra Bland could not
even assert her right to smoke her cigarette in her car, how could a woman
in the case of the vaginal cavity search even assert her right to say no to
that kind of violation?
MURPHY: Well, I did a video called "The 10 Rules of Dealing with the
Police" and one of the things that teaches is that you can`t win the case
on the street. You have to be restrained, you have to laid back, you have
to be polite, you have to be cooperative. But cooperativeness has its
limits. You don`t have to cooperate in a body cavity search, you don`t
have by putting out your cigarette. Although that`s probably the better
tactic. You have rights and you have to be courageous enough to assert
your rights. And police will change only when we put those lapel cameras
on them so that we can monitor everything they do.
MURPHY: And that`s right around the corner if we keep up the pressure.
Then we`ll have real evidence and we won`t have the swearing contests that
the police always seem to win.
REID: Yes. All right. Well, I want to thank all of you. First of all,
thank you to Hector Cordero-Guzman. I appreciate you being here.
CORDERO-GUZMAN: Thank you.
REID: And up next, she is the mother of the 14-year-old boy who was shot
seven times by police, reportedly while running away from them. And she
joins me live in studio after the break.
REID: On August 7th, two police officers shot and killed a 14-year-old boy
in Trenton, New Jersey. Here`s what we know. According to the attorney
general who is investigating the shooting, officers were responding to
reports of gunshots when they approached 14-year-old Radazz Hearns and two
friends at about 10 p.m. that Friday night. Two of the young men complied
with the officers` orders, but Radazz ran away. Two officers, one a state
trooper and the other with the Mercer County Sheriff`s Office opened fire.
Bullets struck Radazz in the legs and buttocks, according to the attorney
general. According to Radazz`s attorney, the teen was shot seven times,
five in the right leg, one in the left and one bullet lodged in his pelvis.
His attorney says that he was in the hospital for a week and is now
recovering at home.
According to the state attorney general, witnesses saw Radazz reaching for
his waistband as he fled. The state AG also said a gun was later recovered
near the scene underneath a car. But Radazz`s attorney says, the 14-year-
old didn`t have a gun and that he was only trying to hold up his pants as
he ran away. Officials have not said whether the officers saw themselves
saw Radazz allegedly reaching for his waistband and we were unable to reach
the attorney general`s office. The Mercer County Sheriff or the New Jersey
State police for comment. Radazz`s attorney says that he has not been
charged with any crime, and the attorney for one of the officers involved,
none of whom have been identified, told the website NJ.com that Radazz,
quote, "Certainly had a gun."
And the attorney also said the actions of the police officers were
justified under the law. These officers did nothing wrong. It`s a
justified use of force. New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
whose district includes Trenton has called for a federal investigation into
the incident. And the U.S. attorney`s office said late Friday that it will
observe the state`s investigation. Meanwhile, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson
has asked his constituents not to jump to conclusions before the state
attorney general finishes his investigation.
And joining me now are Slimes Jackson, mother of Radazz Hearns, and Samuel
Anyan, attorney for the family. And thank you both for being here.
SLIMES JACKSON, MOTHER OF RADAZZ HEARNS: Thanks for having us.
SAMUEL ANYAN, ATTORNEY FOR RADAZZ HEARNS` FAMILY: Thank you.
REID: And I`ll just start Miss Jackson by asking you how Radazz is doing.
JACKSON: Well, you know, he`s progressing. He`s still in a lot of pain,
so he`s still working on walking normally again.
REID: And then so I want to go to you on some of the discrepancies in the
facts of the case, Samuel. The police say that Radazz ran from them and
that he had a gun and that a gun was recovered. What is wrong with that
narrative, in your view?
ANYAN: All right. Let`s talk about what happened. On the night in
question, Radazz and two of his friends were walking towards the corner of
Louise Avenue and Calhoun Streets in Trenton. At that time, an unmarked
van approached them, and three individuals jumped out of the vehicle with
their guns drawn. At that time, Radazz did what anyone would do, is he
turned around and ran in the opposite direction. He took about three or
four steps and was struck seven times.
REID: What about this issue of a gun that was found? How close to this
intersection to where he was shot was that gun found?
ANYAN: Well, we understand that the gun was found further down on Calhoun
Street. The issue with that is that the gun was found underneath a
vehicle, but there are no vehicles that can park on Calhoun Street probably
for about 50 to 100 yards from where the accident occurred. What we know
is that there was no gun found in the path of travel that Radazz traveled
in from where he encountered the officers to where he was shot and fell.
REID: And when was that gun recovered?
ANYAN: The gun was recovered 12 hours after this incident.
REID: And Miss Jackson, has Radazz explained to you or told you why it is
that he ran away rather than stay and talk to the officers?
JACKSON: My son was scared. He did not know what was going on. If
someone, you know, pulls up out of a vehicle with their guns drawn, I`m
going to run, too. I don`t know what was going on. And also, he just
wanted to get away.
REID: And Samuel, were any of the three teens, the three boys, charged
with any crime?
ANYAN: We understand that one individual was detained for the night, but
no one has been charged with any crime.
REID: And the one young man who was detained for the night, he was
detained but not charged?
ANYAN: He was detained and released the next day.
REID: Released to his parents.
REID: And is it your understanding that Radazz is facing any charges at
ANYAN: At this time Radazz is facing no charges.
REID: So the question would be in terms of the shooting. What have you,
Miss Jackson, been told by police in regards to the shooting itself? Have
you had communication with the police?
JACKSON: No one has spoken to me. I have no information on their behalf
of it, no.
REID: And what about as far as the identities of the officers who were
involved in the incident? Because much of it does seems to be sealed from
ANYAN: Right. And that`s the problem in this whole ordeal is that there`s
been no transparency between the attorney general`s office to the public,
and that`s what`s causing the unrest.
REID: Is there a timeline that you know of for this investigation when the
family can expect to have some conclusion as to what happened?
ANYAN: We`ve been given no assurances as to a timeline as to when this
investigation would be completed.
REID: And I wonder in general, Miss Jackson, what is the relationship like
between police in your community and the young people, young boys and girls
of color in the community?
JACKSON: Well, it isn`t a friendly one. You know, the kids would hang
out, the teenagers hang out, associate with one another. The cops will
come around and pull up on the sidewalk and, you know, tell them to
disburse. You know, just nagging and picking. It`s not a friendly
relationship with the cops, no.
REID: And you`re now looking to the federal government to also get
REID: That`s what`s you`re hoping for. All right. I want to thank both
of you, Miss Jackson, and thank you as well, Samuel, for being here. We
appreciate and we wish Radazz as well.
JACKSON: Thank you very much.
REID: Thank you. All right. And up next, writer Michael Denzel Smith
joins me to talk about the rebirth of black rage.
REID: The camera footage that shocked the nation into sitting up and
taking notice of the police violence that for many African-Americans comes
as no surprise has also captured the community`s long simmering but rarely
publicly discussed feeling in response to that violence, and that feeling
is rage. From the candidate confrontations of the Black Lives Matter
activists to the streets that erupted in Ferguson and Baltimore, to the
demands for justice from the families of those who have been killed, the
righteous rage of African-American people is having a moment. It`s a
moment that has a long historical precedent, and it reminded the nation
contributing writer, Michael Denzel Smith, of another conspicuous display
of black rage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Bush doesn`t care about black people.
REID: In an article entitled "The Rebirth of Black Rage," Smith writes,
black rage announces itself at the women`s convention in Akron, Ohio and
says, "Ain`t I a Woman?" Black Rage stands before hundreds of thousands at
the Lincoln Memorial and says, "America has given the negro people a bad
check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds." Black Rage
says to the democratic national convention, "I`m sick and tired of being
sick and tired." Black rage says, "F the police and fight the power."
The man who wrote those words, Mychal Denzel Smith is here with me now
always. Good to see you.
MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "THE NATION": Thank you.
REID: And you know, I love that you focused on that moment when Kanye said
George Bush doesn`t care about black people. George Bush said it was the
worst moment of his presidency with all that happened there? Why do you
suppose that moment was so powerful? Let me start by saying peace to the
memory and legacy of Julian Bond who makes all the current organizing
possible because of his work.
SMITH: But I mean, it captures something like very real that people feel,
right? That you know in your heart, like George Bush does not care about
you as president, right? He disregards your existence because, I mean,
he`s never paid attention to black people very much, you know. But Kanye
goes on national television and says it, and says it in just a very cutting
and decisive way that gives voice to that feeling. As we watched people in
hurricane, watch the way from the winds of Hurricane Katrina, the
floodwaters, you know, the negligence of racism in the United States.
And so it gives birth to that moment, but then it sort of seeps away
because we have, like -- we became invested in the institutional, right?
Like the black rage sits on the outside, for the most part, and it cuts at
the core of white supremacy. But what we`ve done in the wake of the civil
rights movement in the advances that we had is that we`ve run for office.
And this is not a bad thing, but what it does, then, is mean that we have
to compromise because that`s what electoral politics is in this country.
REID: Yes. And I`m glad that you mentioned Julian Bond because of course
SNIK (ph) versus SCLC was at that time the question of whether it was going
to be black rage or black compromise or sort of, you know, confrontation or
whether it would going to be trying to work with power to get them to do
what we wanted them to do and the SNIK (ph) folks were often told, you
know, calm down at the march in Washington, for instance. Do you feel that
black rage has been marginalized so much that it`s just unexceptional as a
strategy now to combat violence against black people?
SMITH: I don`t think so. I think it`s more necessary than ever. I think
that what we`re experiencing is, you know, the limitations of what
electoral politics can do, and the ways in which we have to push our
politicians like, whether it`s Bernie Sanders or Jeb Bush, whether it`s
Hillary Clinton or it`s Jeb Bush. We have to push everyone to change the
parameters of the conversation and that`s what black rage does in its best
form. Is it gets us to stop talking, not just about like, well, we should
get police body cameras. Like, that`s you know, the biggest compromise
that we`re willing to make. Instead of talking about the ways in which,
you know, the laws and the policies put police in our communities and make
them more aggressive towards us, and the stigmatization of a lot of the
things that are defined as crime in our communities that are, you know,
black people are policed far more.
REID: Yes. Well, let me play you this moment from President Obama that
has become sort of the -- moment for him in 2015 and talk to you a little
bit about this dichotomy between black grace and black rage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Is there too greater demand that black people give grace in order to
be given justice?
SMITH: Yes. Because I mean, how can we be graceful in the face of such
injustice? Right? Like, I mean, we`ve managed it thus far, but why do we
keep doing it when we have the outcome of that, is it that injustice
continues? And I think, you know, even in that moment though with Obama in
that church like singing "Amazing Grace," I think that`s the product of
this new moment of black rage, because, you know, he is been one of those
moralizing figures who talks about our shortcomings as a people. Right?
Like every time I can get a chance to talk about racism, it`s always
couched in this sort of politics and respectability and responsibility and
what we need to do. And in terms of like recently where he`s been has been
less of that talk and it`s been like visiting a federal prison and like
talking about, you know, our failures in drug policies, things like that.
So even President Obama, who has been the hope and change --
SMITH: -- has been pushed by this.
REID: Well, we saw it, became Luther, they sort of merged and became one
person. I really appreciate. Always great to see you, Michael Denzel
Smith. Must read his article, "The Return of Black Rage."
But actually he`s going to stick around for us. Because after the break,
we`re going to get into the debate over sex work and the major
international organization that says, it`s time to decriminalize it. But
before we go to break, we have more on the passing of civil rights activist
Julian Bond. Bond was a lifelong advocate of equal rights, serving as one
of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
which was -- to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Bond also preceded
as chairman of the NAACP for ten years. And he served in George`s
legislature for 20 years where he advocated for programs to help minority
and low-income residents.
Just moments ago, President Obama issued this statement. "Julian Bond was
a hero and I`m privileged to say a friend. Justice inequality was the
mission that spanned his life, from the leadership of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to his founding role with the Southern
Poverty Law Center. To his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature
and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Michelle and I have
benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship. And we offer
our prayers and sympathies to his wife Pamela and his children. Julian
Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be
remembered than that." Julian Bond was 75.
REID: On Tuesday, Amnesty International, the largest human rights
organization in the world, voted to establish policy that would push
governments to decriminalize sex work worldwide. The organization spent
two years collecting research opinions and experiential stories from UN
agencies, sex worker groups, prostitution survivors, HIV AIDS organizations
and other sources before calling for a policy that seeks attainment of the
highest possible protection of the human rights of sex workers. The
organization has enumerated human rights issues that it says must be taken
into account when decriminalizing sex work including, ensuring that the
policy seeks to maximize protection of the full range of human rights in
addition to gender equality, women`s rights and non-discrimination related
to sex work, in particular security of the person, the rights of children,
access to justice, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples
and the right to a livelihood.
Urging states to take appropriate measures to realize the economic and
social and cultural rights of all people so that no person enter sex work
against their will. And every state`s obligation to ensure sex workers are
protected from exploitation and can use criminal law to address acts of
exploitation. The organization says, it`s addressing the issue raised on
international human rights standards and is creating the policy in an
effort to help governments across the globe protect the rights of all
people, including marginalized sex workers. It also aims to reduce the
risk of harassment, violence, abuse by law enforcement and exclusion from
health care and housing services that many sex workers currently
experience. Amnesty International says its policies can be stated while
still outlawing sex trafficking, child prostitution and other instances of
But opponents of the organizations policy are concerned that
decriminalizing sex work will further enable the exploitation of women by
decriminalizing the actions of pimps and sex buyers. Sidney McCain, for
example, the chairman of the human trafficking advisory council at the
McCain Institute for International Leadership maintains that sex work and
sex trafficking cannot reasonably be separated. Sex work fuels the demand
for commercial sex which is the in disputable driving force behind the sex
trafficking industry. Supply will always meet demand, and in this
equation, supply is often too vulnerable to men, women, and at its very
Joining me now, our Seema Iyer, our criminal defense attorney, and host of
"The Docket" on MSNBC Shift. Chloe Angyal, senior editor at "The
Huffington Post." Amy Meredith-Cox, assistant professor of African-
American Studies at Fordham. Mychal Denzel Smith, contributing writer at
the Nation.com. And from DC is Andrea Powell, founder and executive
director of Fair Girls.
And Andrea, I`m going to go to you first. For those who are skeptical that
decriminalizing sex work will do anything other than proliferate it, how
would respond to that argument?
ANDREA POWELL, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAIR GIRLS: So, first, I
want to speak from my perspective as the executive director of Fair Girls,
and we work with young women and girls who have experienced sexual
exploitation. And one of the core violations that they`ve experienced is
over half of the girls that we`ve served, some as young as 13, are arrested
for prostitution prior to getting help and being identified as victims of
exploitation. And so one thing that`s really motivating us to speak out is
the fact that we know that that arrest destabilizes their entire life, it`s
humiliating and it leads to further pushing them underground into that
world of exploitation.
Pimps and traffickers actually say to these girls, you are going to be
arrested if you try to get help. And by doing so, we confirmed that and we
don`t uphold their human rights. And so, really what I say to people who
say, well, if we decriminalize and we further, you know, give opportunities
to pimps and traffickers, I actually think that potentially the opposite is
true. If we give sex workers and those who are involved in sex work as
victims, the opportunity to speak out without fear of arrest and further
abuse, we`re actually giving them the power to take control of their lives.
REID: But Andrea, in some instances, isn`t the potential that law
enforcement is the only intervention, that potentially a third world child
who possibly couldn`t have chosen to go into this line of work, might that
be the only intervention that child might get?
POWELL: Right. So if we`re talking about decriminalization, we`re not
talking about the fact that we want children to have the right to be
involved in sex work. That is always sex trafficking under the trafficking
victims protection act. Any child who is involved in a situation of
commercial sex, whether he or she says she wants to or not, is
automatically considered a victim, and currently there is a nationwide push
to be sure that children aren`t arrested and prosecuted. Currently only a
few states out of all of our states have that policy, but we`re definitely
pushing in that direction. And that really speaks to where we`re at as a
country in talking about decriminalization kind of overall. We`re still
trying to make sure children aren`t being arrested.
REID: Okay. I want to get the panel in on this as well, and Chloe, I
mean, I guess, maybe I`m just a huge skeptic on this idea that this will
somehow solve the problem.
CHLOE ANGYAL, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Right. So, Melissa
Gillibrand (ph) was writing at The Nation this week about that she`s been
on this for a long time, and she made a really good point that I think
Andrea speaks to which is that a lot of the violence, in fact most of the
violence that sex workers are experiencing is coming from police. Not from
their clients, not from their pimps but from the police, that policing is
the problem. So, I`m really glad that we`re doing this segment immediately
after talking about policing because we cannot separate these issues. You
know, we`ve been having a really necessary conversation about unwanted,
unnecessary, unwarranted police violence, and that conversation has focused
largely on young, unarmed black men, as it should. It should also focus on
people who are additionally marginalized because they are pushed further
from the mainstream, further out of the limelight because they are
practicing what is currently an illegal activity.
IYER: I want to understand this. I think this is ridiculous. Okay. So
there is a few points. One is the consent issue because the policy is
saying, oh, if you consent to this, then it`s okay. That`s why the pimps
aren`t going to be prosecuted. I think the pimps have to be prosecuted
because that`s how we find weather sex trafficking exists. I think the
problem with decriminalization of prostitution is because that is the
vehicle to investigate whether sex trafficking also exists. Not to
actually prosecute, though. At least in New York, there is a tremendous
headway with you arrests the prostitutes, you give them every single
opportunity in the world to get the services like housing, and then you
don`t prosecute them.
Because this is the way we find out if there`s sex trafficking. And I`ve
seen hundreds of prostitutes testify for the defendants, for the pimps,
because they won`t cooperate with the prosecution. People don`t
understand, prosecutors aren`t just to put people in jail, prosecutors are
ministers of justice. They`re trying to protect these women. When you
come to me and say that it is okay to be called a ho because that`s what
these girls -- they get up there and testify and they say, it`s okay that
they call me a ho. I`m a ho. That`s who I am. Then tell me there`s no
problem. Tell me there`s no problem with slavery.
POWELL: I think we put into question of how practical it is to criminalize
one side of an interaction and not the other. And in fact, a lot of sex
workers who have been talking to journalists this week have said that
criminalizing pimps, criminalizing demand makes it incredibly difficult for
sex workers to securing their own safety.
IYER: -- coerce bonding, it is a form of the Stockholm syndrome and people
are testifying about this because these girls, let`s say you`re 13, Joy,
and you get roped in but you don`t get arrested until you`re 16. Then
what, Andrea is saying, okay it`s all right --
REID: I want to continue this after the break and we definitely will, I
want to ask that question about whether it`s ever consensual or whether
people ever choose to be in this life. But when we come back, we`re also
going to hear the perspective from a pimp.
REID: One of my quests Seema Iyer who also hosts the online program "THE
DOCKET" on Shift by MSNBC. Spoke in April with Dennis Hof who runs a legal
brothel in Nevada called "The Moonlite Bunny Ranch." His legal brothel is,
of course, quite different from all the cases we`ve been discussing. After
all, this is a brothel featured in an HBO Reality show called Cathouse.
Still, I want to play a portion of Seema`s interview where Hof addresses
his opinion on decriminalization and the background of the women working
for him. And Seema, here you are reading an excerpt from his book, "The
Art of the Pimp" that references a friend critical of his business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IYER: There`s always something tragic in their background that led them
into this type of work, always.
DENNIS HOF, AMERICAN BROTHEL OWNER: Always is a broad word. It`s an
employment opportunity. Whether you think it`s a good one or bad one,
different people go into the business for a different reasons. But if you
think that every girl has been molested or had an incestuous relationship,
you`re just basically wrong. In illegal prostitution, it`s exploitive,
it`s dirty, it`s a disease ridden, it`s drug ridden and it`s a terrible
business until you legalize it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COX: Yes. I just wanted to say I worked for over a decade in a homeless
shelter in Detroit, largely composed of black women, black girls, young
black girls. And I`m most concerned with how we whether it`s through
policy -- legislation, how we protect our most vulnerable populations. And
that is for black women girls trans-folks, how do we create strategies to
protect those populations? How do we connect sex work inevitably to
poverty? To access to health care. To the ability to be able to feed
yourself and your children. And so, I`m skeptical, I`m sorry, I`m
skeptical of the state`s ability to do that, to provide that access. But I
think we`re also not making a clear distinction between legalization and
Which is a very important thing for us to make those distinctions. But I
want us to think about the fact that sex work, how do we think about sex
work as labor, how do we think about labor rights? And I do feel that in
this conversation, we are also kind of blurring the lines between what we
mean by sex trafficking, and sex work. Which is a really, really important
distinction to make. And depending on who you are, you know, typically who
you are status-wise, whether you`re seen as a sex worker or a victim of sex
COX: And I think that`s really dangerous, especially when we`re talking
about black women, girls and trans-folks, right? And so this idea of being
voluntary and involuntary is really important to think about --
SMITH: And -- the critical flaw right now in this conversation that we`re
having right here right now. There is no sex work advocates here. And I
think we also have to recognize that trafficking happens across different
types of labor. Right?
SMITH: And that the violence that sex workers are facing happens across
different types of labor as well. The criminalization does not help. And
I think the people -- the reason is that people can`t separate the
demoralizing behind whether or not sex work should be existing. And like,
I don`t think Wall Street should exist, but I think, you know, workers
should be protected. And I think that that`s what we have to tease out.
REID: Yes. And Andrea, can you just sort of button it up by talking about
that sort of distinction between criminalization and legalization?
POWELL: Sure. So, when you`re talking about decriminalization, you`re
mainly focusing on nonarrests. And so, what that means is, law enforcement
come across a young woman, and yes, over 90 percent of the girls that we
serve at Fair Girls are young women and girls of color. When you`re
talking about legalization, then you`re involving the state. Then you`re
have a situation in which you can organize kind of on this top level, and
it`s controlled in a different way than decriminalization.
Decriminalization strips away the fear of arrest. And that`s really what
the amnesty policy is looking at.
And I wanted to point out that here in the District of Columbia where we`re
based, we`re seeing a shift with law enforcement in continually not
arresting those who are on the streets, either identifying a sex workers or
potentially being exploited a sex trafficking victim. And instead they`re
turning to service providers to link those young women and girls and boys
up to services while they focus on the pimps, who are the real criminals.
And while this is a relatively new effort, and a long time coming, we would
like to explore this further and explore this model of decriminalization to
really see if it`s going to work.
REID: I`m sorry to have to cut you off there, but that is our time. And
thank you so much to Andrea Powell in Washington, DC. And thank you to
Mychal Denzel Smith, Seema Iyer, Chloe Angyan and Aimee Meredith Cox at the
table. That is our show for today. And thank you at home for watching.
Be sure to be back in Nerdland next week when Janet Mock and Ari Melber
will hold down the Fort. Melissa will be back the week after.
And now it is time for a preview of "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT." Alex.
ALEX WITT, MSNBC HOST, "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT": I don`t know, Janet.
And now, I`m going to have a tough time following your footsteps. You did
a great job. Good to have you there, Joy.
REID: Thank you.
WITT: Thank you.
We`ll also going to have the latest everyone on the plane crash in
Southeast Asia. A plane takes off and vanishes for hours. Where it was
Donald Trump face to face with Chuck Todd on "MEET THE PRESS." What he
said about immigration, Iran and ripping up contracts?
And straight out of Compton, a huge hit at the Box Office this weekend.
I`ll look at the lasting influence of NWA. So, don`t go anywhere. I`ll be
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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