Thomas Roberts   |  July 24, 2013

Poll shows disparity in how people feel about race relations

A majority of Americans believe that people are not judged by the color of their skin in this country, but there is a sharp disparity when the poll is broken down by race. Bishop T.D. Jakes, the founder of the Potter’s House will share his thoughts with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> americans are still weighing in on president obama 's candid comments on race relations in america. today a new nbc news/" wall street journal " is giving us a first picture of those views. 54% that martin luther king 's dream is very much alive and people are not judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. but there is a sharp disparity when that poll is broken down by race. 59% of whites agree, compared to 19% of blacks and 54% of hispanics. joining me in the studio is bishop t.d. jakes . i say found and pastor but you're a producer and writer and 30 books and 12 on "the new york times" best seller. good to have you here.

>> thank you.

>> first, start with the poll numbers that show such a clear distinction between how blacks and how whites view colorblindness in this country. what do you make of those numbers?

>> i'm not surprised by that at all. i think people live in the realm of their own realities and write the books they read and the fact of the matter is that we are a melting pot and amalgamation of a diversity of people and each bring a set of circumstances that causes america to be different for them. and i think that it's not only true as it relates to that, but also true generationally.

>> here's a breakdown when americans are asked specifically about race relations . this is according to the nbc news/" wall street journal " poll. 52% say they are either very or fairly good. down 20 points since 2009 . by race 38% of african- americans say race relations are good compared to 52% of whites and 60% of latinos. given these numbers, what do you make of president obama 's comments last friday in the wake of this zimmerman trial?

>> when you say race relationships is good compared to what? for somebody who is my age who remembers the '60s, then maybe i'm comparing it to that. it depends generationally how people respond. it's based on their set of experiences and when you are not a victim of compromised race relationships how can you say they are good? they are good because of what? so i'm not surprised by that. in reference to president obama 's remarks, i thought that he did a very good job of articulating a message that the set of experiences that we bring to this country as a african- americans are riddled with wounds and scars and that this trayvon martin incident for many african- americans , not all, but many of them brought up some of those scars again.

>> i want to talk to you about something else. the megafest that you're having next month. this is every year, it seems like it's gotten bigger. how large is it now?

>> well, we don't know what to expect this year. quite frankly, we are having it in dallas for the first time when we traditionally had it in atlanta we drew over a hundred thousand people per day and up to 300,000 per day would go through those turnstiles and now we're in dallas and it's a new ball game. we headed to south africa and that went very well and phone is ringing off the hook and people are registering and tremendous program put together and all kind of spiritual events as well as oprah is coming with her life class and we have a lot of drama going on in my life right now.

>> the focus this year, i understand, gun violence .

>> uh-huh.

>> parentless homes and race.

>> yeah.

>> latest statistics 35% of kids in this country live in a single parent home. in these single parent homes 85% on are headed by mothers, 15% headed by a single father . give us a stigma attached to single mothers , for example. how do you create a form for talking about family structure in today's environment?

>> i don't think that our purpose is to stigmatize single mothers but challenge men and better understand the affects of fatherless in our society and applaud those men that are involved and engaged in their children's lives in some way and how important that is. oprah and i are going to do a life class to provide tools and tips for men who are struggling to stay relevant in the lives of their children, and it is some of this is getting huge response. people of all walks of life are hitting our registration but to be a part of that life class , even adult children are still wounded by the absent of fathers.

>> before i let you go. confusion in the past over your position on same-sex marriage in this country. i want to give you an opportunity to clear it up or maybe clear it up for myself. is it a case -- is this a case of you, you know, hating the sin but loving the sinner or is that an oversimplification or is it more complicated than that?

>> first of all, to those people who want more information about our event, i want them to logon to as it relates to my position, my position is a reflection of who i am as a minister and clergyman and a biblical take on same-sex marriage but i'm intelligent enough to understand that congress doesn't move through the pages of the bible to make a decision. and i'm proud to live in a democracy that embraces an ideoology that allows us to have a discussion and debate and i respect that that our democracy allows us to have different ways of life and they all live in this country. when our government makes a decision, they cannot always make them in alignment with my biblical views. it's important to have a separation of church and state . while we celebrate the freedoms that we have and the discussions that we have, i just think that it's important that we have the right to believe the word of god just like other people have a right to believe what they believe.

>> the potter's house, everyone is welcome.

>> everyone is welcome. we have everything at the potter's house and we are loving and teaching and all working together and striving to be a little bit more like juices.

>> jesus.

>> you don't spent live time talking about politics. why is that?

>> i don't spend a lot of time talking about politics and i'm frustrated. i spend a lot of time talking about that at home with my wife. i come out when i think i can make a difference and i did become more verbal with the trayvon martin case . not so much i thought i could make a difference in the trial but hi to make a difference in the wound of the people believing and suffering as a result of the pain, their disappointment so i did do a forum about that but i don't always get involved chasing cameras. i'm happy at home.

>> were you surprised by the verdict?

>> i was surprised. but not just because i took for granted that the prosecution had done a good job. but i was surprised because when the jurors asked for information about manslaughter, it led me to believe that they were contemplating some medium range beyond murder too. when they came back immediately with innocent i was surprised about that. i thought they would have went for manslaughter, even though i don't think that the prosecution did as good a job as they should have.

>> one of my friends on facebook wanted me to ask you what is bishop jakes favorite bible scripture?

>> campbell.

>> i think that is probably a good spot to leave it. i was supposed -- tv show .

>> oh, august.

>> oh! yes!

>> the best part. i'm going to trade places with you! i get to ask a question. b.e.t., my body and soul . it is going to cover a plethora of issues from politics. we have done some talk shows of gun violence .

>> okay.

>> also --

>> we wish you success but not too much success.

>> come on now!

>> always good to see you.

>> enjoyed it.

>> bishop t.d. jakes , thanks to you and we will be right back. is.

>>> we asked you answered. should weiner drop out of the race? keep the comments coming on twitter and facebook as well. who was that guy?