'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Saturday, July 13th, 2013

July 13, 2013
Guests: Shane Bauer, Maya Wiley, Pardiss Kebriaei, Stephen Xenakis, Ryan
Coogler, Glenn Martin, Victoria Law, Marion Barry, Michael Skolnik, Dorie
Clark, Aura Bogado

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning, my question, what is
your best campaign slogan for Eliot Spitzer? Keep it clean.

Plus, Mos Def makes a very different kind of viral video.

And the hottest director in Hollywood joins us live.

But first, batten down the hatches, there`s a verdict coming. And we all
know what that must mean. Race riots!

After 24 days at trial, 12 days of testimony, and 56 total witnesses, the
trial that has consumed the nation has gone to the jury. The deliberation
process is now in its second day and six women will decide the fate of
George Zimmerman. They are tasked with making the ultimate decision over
whether George Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder or a
manslaughter, or if he is to be acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-
old Trayvon Martin, to which he has pled not guilty. So, while most of us
anxiously await the verdict, there are others who have already decided what
the end result will be. Not what the verdict, so much, but in its wake.


MARK O`MARA: First of all, my client will never be safe, because there are
a percentage of the population who are angry, they`re upset, and they may
well take it out on him. So, he`ll never be safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark Furman, how on guard must they be?

MARK FURMAN: Well, I suppose that they`re going to prepare, as they would
for anything that`s gone sideways like this, I just think it`s kind of
pathetic that a court of law cannot be in a vacuum of the legal system
without the influence of the public threatening to do great bodily harm to
people and property.


HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, yes, the fear-mongering has begun in earnest. And it`s
not just the media raising concerns about post-verdict reactions. The
Broward County sheriff`s department in Florida put out a video on Monday to
show you how you should calm yourself down if you feel some kind of way
about the verdict and you suddenly feel the need to riot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not your hands!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to stand together as one. No cuss, no guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s give violence a rest, because we can easily end
up arrested!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know your patience will be tested, but .

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: Law enforcement has your back.


HARRIS-PERRY: Even the Seminole County sheriff, Donald Etinger got in on
the riot act yesterday.


DONALD ESLINGER: We will not tolerate anyone who uses this verdict as an
excuse to violate the law.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, if you`re African-American, get your riot gear ready,
because apparently if George Zimmerman is found not guilty, clearly, you
will automatically want to riot, because apparently that`s what we do when
things don`t go our way. Isn`t that what happened in 1992? For six days,
Los Angeles rioted because the four officers who were tried in the 1991
beating of Rodney King were acquitted. The L.A. riots as they are known,
resulted in more than 50 deaths is and $1 billion in damage. And history
has always viewed them through the prism of racial frustration boiling
over. But the problematic language comes when the word "race" is attached
to the word "riot." It creates this overly simplistic and misleading
phrase, race riot. And it automatically assigns a violent outcome to what
might otherwise be understood as simply an uprising for justice. And if we
were to look at the true history of race riots that did a large amount of
damage, it`s actually not the L.A. riots or even the Detroit riot in 1967.
It`s - think here of the Tulsa race riot of 1921, when a mob of armed white
men charged into a black neighborhood, left an estimated 300 people dead
and 8,000 homeless. Or think of the Rosewood riot of 1923, in which
hundreds of angry white rioters killed an unknown number of black victims
and left the town destroyed. The actual history is that the majority of
perpetrators of race riots in this country have not been black on white,
but rather, white on black.

So when there`s fear-mongering of race riots over a possible acquittal in
George Zimmerman`s trial, it reinforces what he is alleged to have done,
profile Trayvon Martin. You see, it misses the most important point of
all. And in fact, protest does matter in a democracy. The fact is that
George Zimmerman might not even be on trial if there had not been initial
protests from the Million Hoodie March in the streets of New York City, to
the 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles, where everyday people gathered to show
their desire for some kind of justice, some kind of accountability in the
shooting of Trayvon Martin. These are not riots, but people taking on a
system that they feel has silenced them and shut them out, and that
condones the killing of unarmed black children.

So if people take to the streets after the verdict, don`t rush to judgment
that there`s going to be violence. What we can be sure of, is that the
focus will be the same thing as it was in the beginning, justice for
Trayvon Martin. At the table, Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of
Globalgrind.com. Michael is also a founding board member of the Trayvon
Martin Foundation and an adviser to the Martin`s family. Maya Wiley,
founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion. Aura Bogado
who`s contributing writer with "The Nation" and news editor at Color Lines.
And Toure, co-host of MSNBC`s "The Cycle." Thank you all for joining us.



HARRIS-PERRY: So, Michael, I brought up the history of race riots, not
because my goal was to say, oh, I think it`s going to be white folks that
will take to the streets and riot against black folks, but rather that the
asymmetry in the notion of who is violent and who seems to be dangerous,
feels to me like it`s at the very core of the entire George Zimmerman

opening and thank you for that. It`s been a remarkable 16 months and a
tragic 16 months, to stand with this family who has been nothing but
graceful and dignified in their fight for justice for their child.


SKOLNIK: . has been an honor and a privilege. The only person that has
been violent in 16 months is George Zimmerman .


SKOLNIK: . when he put a bullet through the heart of an unarmed 17-year-


SKOLNIK: We have marched, we have rallied, we have petitioned, and not one
arrest, not one act of violence. I have marched, white people, black
people, Latinos, Asians, gays, straight, doesn`t matter. Muslims, Jews and
Christians. We have marched for justice - Not just because George
Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin and killed him, because for 45 days .

HARRIS-PERRY: There was no .

SKOLNIK: There was no arrest. So, we also have to put that into context.


SKOLNIK: What happened in Los Angeles was not just about Rodney King, it
was because the LAPD`s treatment of African-Americans in Los Angeles, and
that was the boiling point. So as we move forward, no one in this family,
no one who supported Trayvon Martin has called for any such thing, and for
any media member to go out there and fan the flames. Shame on them.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yep. I see you sitting here in your hoodie, which has been
for so many of us engaged in this case, it`s been a sign of solidarity, and
yet it also has been read, in this same media, as a sign of racism with the
language that was used when -- it was Chris Rock, wasn`t it, who wore the
Trayvon Martin sweatshirt with .

SKOLNIK: Jamie Foxx?

HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, no, Jamie Foxx, I`m sorry. It was Jamie Foxx. How do
we move to a place where whatever this verdict is, we do not lose sight of
the fundamental issues of the criminalization and profiling of black men
that`s going on here?

really important to start naming what this is masking, right? This - all
of these talk -- all this talk about race riots is really masking this
generalized white anxiety about black buddies on the street being joined by
white buddies, by Latino buddies, by native folks, by Asian folks, coming
out in solidarity for what they feel is just. And we heard that really
echoed in the defense`s closing argument yesterday.


BOGADO: Where, you know, the - Mark O`Mara, the defense attorney paused
for four minutes, and made everyone wonder, what was Trayvon Martin doing
for those four minutes? Why didn`t he walk home? God forbid that a black
child can be free and walk around for four minutes or 40 minutes or 40
days, if he wants to, frankly.


BOGADO: Right? And I think, again, that there was a sort of extension of
this idea, this crazy idea of the black body as a weapon, when he, you
know, pulled into the jury room with this huge piece of concrete .


BOGADO: . and said, he was armed with a piece of sidewalk.


BOGADO: Something that he can`t even actually pick up, right?

HARRIS-PERRY: We have got to talk about this. Maya. This moment, where he
comes in, carrying this piece of sidewalk, and the discourse that we have
heard, repeatedly, that Trayvon Martin was armed with sidewalk. I keep
thinking, this is great. Because we now no longer need the Second
Amendment. Because .


HARRIS-PERRY: Because, you don`t - you don`t really need guns, right? As
long as you just pave all the streets and make sure there are sidewalks,
and everyone is equally armed. I mean that is really about this notion
that the public - I mean literally saying, public space and infrastructure
in the hands of an African-American youth constitutes a weapon.

MAYA WILEY, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: There is something that police officers
and college students have in common. And that is that they are more likely
to shoot a black man with a wallet than a white man with a gun. And that`s
what the research tells us. That .

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s the implicit attitude. Yes.

WILEY: It`s the implicit attitudes test. And what that tells us, it
creates shooter bias.


WILEY: So on one level, we say -- and there are two elements to this. One
is stereotypes, which we`re talking about, right? The stereotype of the
black kid with a hoodie means he must be dangerous, he must be a criminal.
Oh, and I don`t know him and he does not live here. Right? The stranger
phenomenon. But the second is that we don`t -- we are generally afraid of
bad things happening. Because what the science shows, and George Zimmerman
has actually expressed this, both of these elements, when he has described
what happened. He was generally afraid of crime, and we know he called the
police 46 times over a period of six years, always reporting a black man in
his neighborhood.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, this point is a useful one, I think, Toure. That when
you bring up the implicit attitudes test, the implicit attitudes tests do
not show open racism. They don`t - they don`t demonstrate that someone
uses the "N" word or walks around having this top of mind stereotypes.
What they show is these very deeply ingrained beliefs that folks have in
this momentary decision making, which is most important in shooting, and
less important in voting, for example.

WILEY: Right.

HARRIS-PERRY: Because we don`t - we don`t vote in a nanosecond .

WILEY: Right. Right.

HARRIS-PERRY: But police do make a decision about shooting, for example,
in a nanosecond. How then, Toure, are we to read whatever this outcome is?
So, whether it`s second-degree, whether it is manslaughter, or whether it`s
an acquittal, should we read this as being just about the envelope of that
courtroom, whether or not that prosecution made the case well enough or
not, or is it a reflection on what these six women on the jury are having
to weigh on their own implicitly?

TOURE, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE" You know, it`s going to be difficult. I
mean we`re going to have to pull the jury really later on, when the
documentaries come out and when the books come out to really know the
answer to that question. I`m wondering if this will be five mothers and a
non-mother who say what John Guy said, that this is a mother and a child`s
worst fear, of being followed as you`re coming home from school, or will it
be five women and another woman, who I believe is Hispanic saying, wow,
like a black man in the dark is very scary. And just because you`re
Hispanic doesn`t mean you`re not going to be afraid of a black man in the
dark. This is what you`re talking about with this implicit bias. Seeing a
gun in the hands of a man who is not armed. This has all been acutely
painful, because once again, we see the fear that flows from a black male
body, even when you`re doing nothing, and the to, perhaps, coin a word,
killability .


TOURE: . that flows from that, we can kill these men, and have - face no
penalty because of that. And throughout this moment, we see a movie about
Oscar Grant, which we`re going to talk about later.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Yep, yep.

TOURE: We see Iona Jones` (ph) case has come and gone with minimal penalty
there. So, I mean and obviously not a black male there, but like a black
body that can be killed with no penalty. That`s the thing that makes us
feel so worthless and makes it so painful.

HARRIS-PERRY: And it makes you feel like rioting, not because - but it
makes you feel like, I want to throw a brick at something. Not necessarily
at property, right? I`m not making a claim that we should go and riot, but
it does give you this sense of, like, if I go through the courts, if I do
it all right, then what`s next? We`ll talk more about this, I promise, as
soon as we get back. Those out there who believe in fear-mongering,
apparently, the revolution will be tweeted. Yes, a bloody revolution in
140 characters or less. That is hashtag next. It`s not a real brick, see.



HARRIS-PERRY: Even before George Zimmerman`s trial ended, conservative
fear-mongers were hard at work stoking the race riot embers. On his
infowars.com, site conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was quick to isolate 21
violent and racially charged tweets, as representative for the African-
American community could do as a whole in the event that there`s not a
guilty verdict. Tweets like, "Trayvon Martin needs justice, give me the
pistol, I`ll kill Zimmerman myself." Or, "If Zimmerman win, I`m going to
go kill a white kid by mistake." To Jones, the handful of 140 character
social media events is proof that, quote, "There is the possibility of mob
violence and riots with no shortage of violent thugs willing to
participate." And that`s a big part of the problem. There are no ifs,
ands, or buts about it. These tweets are wrong, but it`s not a desire to
riot that fueled these tweets, but rather a sense that justice will once
again be denied. So, Toure, I want to ask you about that. There`s a
lovely piece on Msnbc.com right now by Tremaine Lee, who`s been reporting
on this from the beginning, in which he talks about the neighborhood, 13th
street, Goldsboro Neighborhood, right there in Sanford, where people are
going to be waiting together to hear what the verdict is. And it gives
such a sense that whatever people`s emotions are going to be here, it`s not
just about Zimmerman and Martin, it`s about this long-standing sense of
injustice in this community.

TOURE: Yeah, well, I mean, you know, obviously, I think the expectations
for riots are nationwide, that we might rip up, you know, 30 rock, and L.A.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yeah, they are just a crow bar away.




TOURE: We need to take the crowbar away from you. I know - and I
appreciate it that - that prop with that what you`re doing, but you`re
doing laughing to keep from crying, right?


TOURE: Because there`s this expectation of violence from us, which goes
back to slavery, that we must keep them under control in any way possible,
they are three fifths of a human, they are animals, they might explode in
violence at any moment. And as your friend "Nerdland" friend Blair Kelly
pointed out to me on email, as you pointed out in the opening, violence in
terms of riots has been used against the black community far more often
throughout history than we have used it. So, I mean this idea that we`re
just going to explode if we don`t get this verdict, that many of us don`t
expect to go our way .


TOURE: . is absurd and ahistorical and insulting. And this is racism.
This expectation of violence. And this is what George Zimmerman applied to
Trayvon Martin in the dark.


TOURE: Well, he surely will be violent. He is planning violence. He`s a
burglar, he`s going to get us.


TOURE: I must stop him. And here, O`Reilly and these other lunatics come
in to say, well, all of you are the same.

HARRIS-PERRY: And that sense of the vulnerability of -- because what, you
know, what that makes me think is, OK, then I want all of my black male
loved ones to stay inside after the verdict. Not so much because I think
they`re going to riot, but because if there`s this expectation laid across
us out there, then they become vulnerable in public space, in just the same
ways that Trayvon Martin was vulnerable walking home. But, of course, my
first thought is, let me keep my brothers and sons and nephews and husband
inside, and I wonder why we don`t necessarily have these same reactions
when we think about the vulnerability of women of color`s body. You know,
on this show we have talked about CeCe McDonald, who was a victim of both
racial and anti-transviolence. We`ve talked about Marissa Alexander, who
got 20 years for shooting a ceiling. And the .

TOURE: She was standing her ground!

HARRIS-PERRY: She was standing her ground and that it didn`t work for her.

TOURE: In her house.

HARRIS-PERRY: Is there a reason, do you think, that we tend to not sort of
take on women victims in the same way?

BOGADO: Well, it`s interesting, because you bring up gender, and this case
isn`t about gender. Yet every time that we hear the media refer to the
jury, it`s six women.


BOGADO: It`s actually five white people and one person of color, right?

HARRIS-PERRY: But their race isn`t named.

BOGADO: Right.

And I know that - let me put my hoodie back.


BOGADO: But I know that when I tweet about this, I consistently say, you
know, five out of six jurors are white, and people get back to me, and
they`re like, but it`s women, but it`s women, and we`ll see, we`ll see how
that plays. I noted yesterday, that there was one juror who was apparently
wiping a tear from her eye and it happened to be the one juror of color,
right? So we`ll see how that plays out. But it`s interesting, that all of
a sudden when it comes to the jury, because they`re women, they are seen as
women, and their whiteness is not seen.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yep. Right. Because it`s the unmarked category.


WILEY: Yeah, and I was going to say that this goes back to what we`re
talking about, you know, how do our brains -- this is your brain on race,


WILEY: It`s not the frying egg, but it`s the - you know, we only use two
percent of our brains consciously. 92 percent - is - 98 percent is
unconscious. But what that means in this case is, when we`re talking about
gender is, where white women have experiences, they`re assuming their
experiences as mothers. But they also have experiences of people who are
white, who are constantly seeing images of black people in handcuffs, which
is actually a very small fraction of the black community .


WILEY: . but when you`re constantly seeing those images on the news,
violent offenders, they are black. What that does is it creates the
impression. And remember what the defense did in this case?

HARRIS-PERRY: Yep, they .

WILEY: They called a white woman to talk about the two black men who
terrorized her in her home, right?

That was to reinforce to white women on that jury that, yes, you need to be
afraid, be very afraid.

TOURE: But what about the witness right before her, right? He`s got one
black witness, they kept trying to say, he`s a friend, right. No, we`re
friendly, but we are not friends.

SKOLNIK: And to give abstractly neighbor, right? And I think also - I
mean Mark O`Mara`s language in his closing argument, right? That he fit
the description .

WILEY: Yeah.

SKOLNIK: That he didn`t belong there, that, you know, he didn`t know who
he was .


SKOLNIK: . that the four minutes, what was he doing in those four minutes.

HARRIS-PERRY: That he came from the darkness.

SKOLNIK: That he came from the darkness.

WILEY: Right.

SKOLNIK: All this coded language, this sucker punched him. All this coded
language that he was using, right? Just remember, jury, that`s what a
scary young black man.

HARRIS-PERRY: And it`s just - let me just - Is that just good defense
tactics, or is that representative of stoking something uglier? Right?
It`s one thing when I have a complaint about the media, but is that just
like, I`m trying to get my guy off?

SKOLNIK: Look, look, that`s his job, right?


SKOLNIK: That`s Mark O`Mara`s job. And you`re in central Florida.


SKOLNIK: You`re playing into that. However, however, that has
ramifications after the verdict comes out.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yeah, that`s right. And beyond just that jury. Up next,
we`re going to stay on this topic, but we`re going to shift a little bit.
Because I want to talk to the critically acclaimed movie director, because
this film is drawing parallels to the Trayvon Martin shooting in some just
stunning ways. "Fruitvale Station" comes next.


HARRIS-PERRY: The new movie about Oscar Grant is receiving major Oscar
buzz. "Fruitvale Station," which already won both of the grand jury prize
for dramatic feature and the audience award for U.S. dramatic film at the
2013 Sundance Film Festival opened yesterday in select theaters and will be
widely released on July 26th. The film chronicles the last day of Oscar
Grant`s life. He was the 22-year-old who was shot and killed by police in
the early morning hours of January 1st, 2009 at the Fruitvale BART station
take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, off the train. Get moving!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, bro, all right, bro, I hear you! Damn, bro!
Man. You arresting us? As (inaudible) - you`re just going to hold us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what I`ve been saying this whole time. But she
didn`t want to listen .


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where your friends at, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: We ain`t got no friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve got no friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see one of those punks right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the platform, and need to back up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, chill, chill, chill, chill.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sit down! Sit down!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be cool! Be cool!


HARRIS-PERRY: As A.O. Scott noted in his "New York Times" review of the
film, the deaths of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin aren`t mutually
exclusive, writing, quote, "The incident captured on video by onlookers
inside a protest, unrest and arguments similar to those that would swirl
around the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida a few years later." Ryan
Coogler, the writer and director of "Fruitvale Station" joins me now from
Los Angeles. Ryan, I watched this movie last night and it is incredibly
compelling. Tell me why this is the story you wanted to tell.

kind words about the film. I wanted to make the film about Oscar Grant,
you know, for many reasons. I`m a bay area native myself, you know, I was
born and raised there and I was actually here when the incident happened,
and in the days following the incident, when the video footage came out,
both on the news and on the Internet, you know, it struck a chord and
everybody (inaudible) in the bay area. Me watching the footage myself, you
know, I was shocked and went through a wide range of emotions and I
couldn`t help but to see myself in Oscar`s situation. You know, I was the
same age as him, and he looked like me, he wore the same kind of clothes
that I wore, his friends looked like my friends. And I was - was wearing -
you know, wearing - type of very emotional place. And I couldn`t help but
think, what if I didn`t make it home to the people that I love, you know,
the most and what if I was killed unnecessarily like that. And I think
like watching - I think watching like what happened with the trial
afterwards, watching how it was a push/pull, you know, politically on his
character, you know, people on one side wanted to make him out to be a
saint who`d never done anything wrong and use it for whatever political
(inaudible) that they had, people on the other side wanted to demonize him
and make him, you know, a sum of every mistake that he ever made in his
life. But anyway, he was a criminal, he was a thug, that he got what he
deserved, and that was all he was. So up to the point that he wasn`t a
human being anymore. You know what, I really wanted to get back to that
humanity of who he was and the people like he meant most to, you know, in
his personal life.

HARRIS-PERRY: And Ryan, that is the part, that sense of like your personal
investment in it and the humanity of Oscar is so clear in this film. And
it`s, in part, because you take us for the last 24 hours of his life. And
kind of all the things that he`s doing, right? Like on the one hand,
managing whether or not he is going to sell drugs, and on the other hand,
trying to get a card for his mom. And then one of my favorite parts is
when he buys the card for his mom, for his sister, and he`s like clearly
actively messing with his sister. Why do it that way? Is it to give us
that compelling human story? Was there some other way you`d imagine
telling Oscar`s narrative?

COOGLER: For me, it was always about that. It was because I think there
are a lot of issues that come with, you know, a lot of people don`t get to
spend time with characters like Oscar. For them, characters like Oscar is
somebody they see on the news headlines. You know, a young black male
killed, a young black male arrested. For so many people in America, they
don`t really get a chance to have a close intimate proximity with people
like Oscar and people like myself, for that matter. So what I was really
interested in was showing him on this day, when for most of his operations
on that day were domestic, you know, like everybody human being. You know,
we spend most of our time doing domestic things.


COOGLER: I mean I wanted to show him spending time with people that he
loved with and dealing with him in that fashion, you know.

HARRIS-PERRY: We just saw an image on the screen here of his daughter,
running up to him, and the girl who plays the daughter is unbelievable.
But you also make a decision at the end of the film to end it on Oscar
Grant`s still-living actual daughter. Why do you want us to see him,
ultimately, through her eyes?

COOGLER: Because that`s the last piece of him that`s left in this world.
You know, Oscar was killed, he had a four-year-old daughter at the time,
who he had a very close relationship with. And that was something that
often wasn`t really talked about in all the political push/pull of the
case. You know, a lot of focus went on shoot the seeing and the
settlements. You know, people weren`t really talking about the fact that
this guy had a daughter that`s still here. And so often, the ripple effect
when young African American male`s live is taken, the ripple effect exists
on the people who are still left behind. You know, Tatiana Grant is a
beautiful, smart young lady that has to grow up for the rest of her life
without her dad. You know, she has her family, she has her mom, so - you
know, but she`s going to feel that scar from this event, from this
situation that she had no control over, you know, for the rest of her
lives. And there`s so many young African-American males that lose their
lives on a day to day basis .


COOGLER: Be it through black on black crime, be it through officer-
involved shootings, you know, when they are unarmed. And I mean I think
that ripple effect is what people don`t really think about, you know?

HARRIS-PERRY: Ryan, stay with me for a moment. We`re going to take a
commercial break and I`m going to bring the panel in. And I`ve got a few
more questions to ask you about this extraordinary film, as soon as when we
get back.



UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I hear guns outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, baby, those are just firecrackers.
You`re safe inside with your cousins.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: What about you, Daddy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me? Baby, I will be fine.


HARRIS-PERRY: That`s another scene from the new movie, "Fruitvale
Station." I want to bring my panel back into the conversation on the link
between Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin, and how some young black men might
feel like targets versus citizens. No way, given the timing of the release
of the film that we`re going to be able to do anything but to compare them.
What do we learn from Oscar Grant`s story that connects us with Trayvon

TOURE: Wow. I mean Ryan, I saw your movie, I loved it, it is brilliant,
it is complex, it is nuanced. Right, only in Wayne LaPierre`s minds are
there good guys and bad guys, and the rest of the world. People are
complicated, and the brother is struggling with whether or not, because he
(inaudible) to deal drugs, he makes the decision to not do that, and then
the next moment, he`s showing his thuggish side, and then how much he loves
his mother and his girlfriend and his daughter. And, you know, I mean it`s
so complex, but, of course, he is profiled, as we see, in the little clip
that you see, right. He`s on the train, the cop doesn`t see him do
anything wrong, but you`re a black male, I`m rounding up the black men, you
come with me. You know, and of course we see this idea that when the cops
come and George Zimmerman tried to present himself as a law enforcement
figure, you have to be so pliant, right? My mother and my father taught me
that from being a little kid. You have to be so pliant, yes, sir, no, sir,
I`m not doing anything, or you might get killed by accident. I thought it
was my taser!

HARRIS-PERRY: Right, right, and I wonder if that`s part of what happens,
is if we take away the right to be outraged that your friend is being
harassed by the police, the right to have a human reaction to that kind of

WILEY: Yeah, you know, black parents are forced to raise their kids with
lessons white parents are not.


WILEY: All of us have friends who have to tell their children, if you see
a police officer, it`s not, you`re in trouble, go to the police officer.
If you`re in trouble, stop talking, hold still, put your arms up, do not --
so, you`re actually walking around every day in fear of people who are
supposed to keep you safe .


WILEY: . and we know that it`s different. Now, one thing I think it`s
important to say here is, we do not have to live this way. One of the
things that`s so important about understanding that 98 percent of our
brains are operating subconsciously is, we can change it. Some of this
research on police shooter violence actually shifts when they get the
proper training.

HARRIS-PERRY: The training. Yes.

WILEY: So, this -- and there`s new research going on right now, that to
demonstrate how to do that. There are police chiefs in this country that
are coming together, trying to figure that out. So I think it is important
to note, there are changes we can make, and some people are trying, and
they need to be supported.

HARRIS-PERRY: Ryan, I want to ask you about one last scene in the film.
One that has been a little bit controversial and polarizing. And that`s
the scene where you - that you generate, right? A lot of what you are
using are from text messages and from phone calls, from records that we
know about what Oscar did on that last day. But there`s a moment when he
spends some time with a pit bull. And you sort of make that moment up,
right? We don`t know whether that existed or not. Now, I thought like I
got it right away, like the ways in which pit bulls are also profiled, the
assumption that a pit bull is always dangerous, that there was a kind of
similarity to that with black manhood. But I know that some people feel
like it was gratuitous, that you`re just trying to make him a guy who likes

WILEY: Right.

HARRIS-PERRY: How do you see that pit bull scene?

COOGLER: You know, it was definitely - it was definitely a scene, it was
multi-layered for us. It had nothing to do with Oscar being an animal
person or somebody who likes animals in particular. But I think you hit
the nail on the head with one aspect of it, about the pit bull being a dog
- that it`s funny, because young African-American males gravitate towards
that dogs. And many times with pit bulls, when you see them - you hear
about them in the media, when you hear about them in the news, it`s always
for doing something bad, it`s for being a fighting dog, for more than a
human being. But people who own these animals, they`ll tell you, that are
some of the best dogs in the world. You know, so there`s a disparity
between what most of these animals do in real life and what they`re shown
doing in the media. The same thing exists with young African-American
males. We`re shown in the media, you know, only for a very slim percentage
of how - of how most of us really are. You know, there`s that connection
there. And the situation with the dog, the dog dies in the street and
nobody really cares, life goes on, even for Oscar. Oscar is forced to
leave the dog right there in the street. And so many of young African-
American males die in the street senselessly. You know what I mean?


COOGLER: And it seems like people don`t really stop, people don`t really
slow down and watch unless people have an intimate relationship with those
individuals. And I think it is a human rights issue that everybody should
pay attention to. It affects all of us.

HARRIS-PERRY: Ryan, it`s an incredible film. I want everybody to go see
it. I want you to go see it with your loved ones and I want you to go see
it and take a deep breath. Because it`s an intense one. Thank you to Ryan
Coogler in Los Angeles, director of "Fruitvale Station."

COOGLER: Thank you so much.

HARRIS-PERRY: Also thank you to - thanks - also thank you to Aura Bogado
and Maya Wiley here in New York, Michael and Toure are going to stay with
us. We`re going to see you in the next hour.

But up next, the new Mos` Def`s video that you have to see.


HARRIS-PERRY: It didn`t sound like it would be particularly painful. The
word, waterboarding. It sounds more like an activity you do during a day
at the beach. Certainly not torture. Well, maybe a little torturish. But
much better to think of it as the CIA described it, as enhanced
interrogation technique. And anyway, if waterboarding was used to elicit
information that was necessary to the security of the country, who could
argue with that. It was a compelling argument after 9/11, when the CIA was
using waterboarding against suspected terrorists and our nation`s security
was the paramount concern above all else, above international laws
condemning human rights abuses, above the United States own constitutional
mandate against cruel and unusual punishment. An easy sell to the American
people given the very visceral and still fresh memory of September 11th.

But when the late author and "Vanity Fair" columnist Christopher Hitchens
voluntarily signed up to find out firsthand what it meant to be
waterboarded, he and we got a very clear, indisputable picture of what the
practice really is. As Hitchens wrote in his column detailing the
experience, "You may have read by now the official lie about this
treatment, which is that it simulates the feeling of drowning. This is not
the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning. If
waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as
torture. Hitchens was only able to endure it for 18 seconds. But the
impact of his experience lasted much longer. In last year`s book, "Kill or
Capture: the War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency," author
Daniel Klaidman writes that upon viewing Hitchens` video, Attorney General
Eric Holder was, quote, mesmerized and repulsed by what he saw. He went on
to launch an inquiry into the United States interrogation techniques. Even
though President Obama had already banned waterboarding almost immediately
after taking office in 2009. On Tuesday, James Comey, the nominee for FBI
director, put a fine point on our country`s evolution on waterboarding,
during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and specifically
a question from Senator Leahy.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VT: Do you agree that waterboarding is torture and
is illegal?



HARRIS-PERRY: That easy answer continues to allude us when it comes to the
question of how we`re currently treating the Guantanamo Bay detainees who
have been on hunger strike since February. Force feeding. It doesn`t
sound quite as benign as waterboarding, but still, we`re told by our
government, necessary, compassionate, even. Except, now we know, we got a
good look at exactly what constitutes force feeding, when rapper and actor
Yasiin Bey. Bey formerly known as Mos Def accepted an invitation from
U.K.- based prisoner rights group reprieve to undergo the same forced
feeding reportedly experienced by 45 people at Gitmo every day. This week,
reprieve produced and launched the video of what happens. The procedure is
so graphic that we can`t show you it. Only show you Bey`s response
afterwards on television.


YASIIN BEY: Stop! That`s just me, please stop! I can`t do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, stop, stop.

BEY (sobbing)


HARRIS-PERRY: Needless to say, Bey was forever changed by the experience,
whether it will do anything to change the United States` policy towards the
detainees at Guantanamo Bay still remains to be seen. Should it? That`s


HARRIS-PERRY: This week, not one, but two federal judges have condemned
the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. On Thursday, the chief judge
of the Washington D.C. federal district court ordered the military to end
the genital searches of detainees when they`re moved from their cells to
meet with attorneys. The judge called the searches religiously and
culturally abhorrent to Muslims and suggested the searches were intended to
deter detainees from meeting with their lawyers. In a separate decision on
Monday, U.S. district judge Gladys Kessler responded to requests from a
Syrian detainee to end the force feeding of up to 45 of the 102 detainees
who have been on hunger strike since February. Although Judge Kessler said
she`d lack legal jurisdiction to end force feeding at Gitmo, she wrote in
her ruling that the practice was, quote, "painful, humiliating, and
degrading" and she made a point of noting the one person she says has the
power to directly address the issue. President Obama. Here at the table,
Glenn Martin, formerly incarcerated and now vice president of public
affairs at the Fortune Society which provides education and advocacy for
former inmates. Victoria Law, contributor for "The Nation" and author of
"Resistance Behind Bars." Shane Bauer, an investigative journalist, who was
imprisoned in Iran for 26 months, and Pardiss Kebriaei, who is an attorney
who represents some of the Gitmo detainees. And in Washington, Dr. Stephen
Xenakis, a Ret. Brig. Gen. in the Army. He is a psychiatrist with
Physicians for Human Rights and was at Guantanamo Bay just a few weeks ago.
Thank you all for joining me.

Doctor, I`m going to start with you because watching the video by the
artist formerly known as Mos Def, and some people have said that he is
exaggerating how painful and awful force feeding is. As a physician, is
this an accurate representation -- is force feeding painful? Is it the
sort of thing that would cause a person to cry out?

mean, it really varies. Over the years, I`ve passed NG tubes, nasal
gastric tubes that are used in the force feeding to, you know, many, many
patients and their comfort level really depends a lot on, you know, what,
you know, what their gag reflex is, and, you know some people can`t
tolerate it at all. I mean some people will tell you, stop, I can`t do
this. Others, over time, sort of learn how to do it and can adjust to it.
So it varies a lot. And it depends on, you know, what the reasons are.


XENAKIS: You know, you`ve got some very sick patients that need to have
the tubes passed.

HARRIS-PERRY: Doctor Xenakis, is there anything particularly troubling
about doing the force feeding on detainees, many of whom are Muslim, during
the holy period of Ramadan?

XENAKIS: I think it -- absolutely. I mean, you know, it violates what
these people`s -- what their wishes are and it violates their intent to
express their distress and despair and discouragement at the conditions of
their confinement. You know, physicians universally, and this is a
position that not only Physicians for Human Rights, but in the World
Medical Association, and now our own American Medical Association, has very
forcefully spoken out. It is - violates our ethical guidelines as
physicians to, in fact, participate in that. Because we are -- we are
going against the wishes of the detainee or the patient.

HARRIS-PERRY: Pardiss, I want to ask you about this idea of kind of the
ethical guidelines. Because on the one hand, there`s the medical doctors
associated with it. Our own president has suggested that this goes against
the ethical position of the country. I want to listen to the president
saying, is this really the kind of country we want to have? Let`s take a


again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from


OBAMA: I have asked .


OBAMA: I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the
United States where we can hold military commissions. I`m appointing a new
senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department, whose sole
responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third
countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen so
we can review them on a case-by-case basis.

Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are
hold - being held on a hunger strike. Is this who we are? Is that
something our founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave our


HARRIS-PERRY: Pardiss, what do you make of these statements?


again, President Obama said the right thing. There was a lot of emotion
and power in that. What are we doing? We have 166 people detained at
Guantanamo, 86 have been cleared by his own administration. So, I think
that`s the right question to ask. What are we doing anymore, what has the
situation become where we are sustaining life with procedures like you just
saw. And for the record, I don`t think that that`s a dramatization. I
have sat across from men who have described that to me. I have heard that
for years, and I found it extremely painful and hard to watch.

XENAKIS: Very hard to watch.

KEBRIAEI: But I think the point is, you know, we`re still waiting, we`re
still waiting for action to go with President Obama`s statements. It`s
been two months since that speech. It`s been over five months since the
hunger strike started. We haven`t seen a single transfer yet, and those
need to start happening. And ultimately, you know, as far as forcefeeding
goes, I think Judge Kessler made an important point in her decision.
President Obama has the authority to affect policy at Guantanamo. He has
the authority to affect force feeding policy at Guantanamo, and ultimately,
he has the authority to do away with the need for force feeding altogether,
by beginning to transfer people and to close the prison. And that is
ultimately what we need to be talking about and what we need to be seeing.

HARRIS-PERRY: Doctor, in just 30 seconds, tell me this. Is it more
ethical to allow people to potentially die, because part of what the
president has said is, this is -- we can`t allow people to die as
detainees, so we have to do the force feeding. Is that an actual ethical
problem, or do we simply not engage in force feeding as a country?

XENAKIS: Well, it`s really the risk of dying is far down the road. And so
right at this point, when these people have refused to eat, because of
they`re expressing their discouragement, it`s not an ethical problem. I
mean the ethical, responsible action by the physicians is to assist them,
to counsel them and to work with them and to engage every - all the parties
there to do what has already been expressed. I mean, is to move on. And
to locate them where they want to be, in their homes.

HARRIS-PERRY: Dr. Xenakis in Washington, thank you for joining us. Coming
up next, we`re going to stay on this issue, and we`re going to bring it
even closer to home. Because I want to show you what solitary confinement
means, the best I can, here in 30 rock. Also, later in the hour, the
disgraced politicians who just will not go away. We`re going to talk to
the king of comeback, former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry is sitting at my
table. Plus, my letter of the week, all in the next hour. More Nerdland
at 11:00.


HARRIS-PERRY: Imagine in your world was limited to this: 11 feet, 7 inches
long -- 7 feet, 7 inches wide. No windows, a bed, toilet, a sink. Unable
to move more than about 8 feet in one direction or another. Little to no
contact with other people all day.

The exception, a 90-minute period of time to move into a concrete pen for
exercise. And then it`s back into the tiny box, for days, weeks, months,
years, decades, in a space very much like the space -- actually, not like
the space -- not with the big, high ceilings, just in the tiny space like
the one I`m in now, except with no idea when or if the isolation is going
to end.

Those are the dimensions of life for nearly 4,000 people living in long-
term isolation, in the security housing units or SHUs in California`s
prison system, more commonly known as solitary confinement.

Those housed in indefinite isolation are left to contend with the slow,
steady erosion of their mental health into depression, psychosis, anxiety,
hallucinations, rage, consequences that led to a lawsuit filed last year by
the center for constitutional rights, on behalf of prisoners who spent 10
to 28 years in isolation at Pelican Bay, one of the country`s first super
max facilities, built specifically to house inmates in long-term isolation.

On Monday, prisoners responded to the policy with a hunger strike that
began at Pelican Bay and spread to two-thirds of California`s 33 prisons,
to push for an end to long-term solitary confinement. At its peak, nearly
30,000 California prisoners joined the protests. Yesterday marked day five
of the day strike, with more than 12,000 prisoners continuing to forego
meals in demand for their rights.

One of my guests today has experienced firsthand what it means to live in
solitary confinement and what it feels like to be inside a cell at Pelican
Bay prison.


SHANE BAUER, JOURNALIST: This cell is one of eight in a pod. At a little
over 11 x 7 feet, it`s smaller than any I`ve ever inhabited.

We`re in a SHU cell right now. The inmate is outside. This is where he
sleeps, and another cell mate sleeps up there. It`s pretty bleak.


HARRIS-PERRY: That was Shane Bauer, an investigative journalist who
visited the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison, as part of an investigative
report for "Mother Jones" magazine. Shane was also imprisoned in Iran for
26 months and spent four of those months locked in solitary confinement.

Also here, Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior attorney at the Center for
Constitutional Rights, the organization that brought the lawsuit
challenging solitary confinement at Pelican Bay.

Glenn Martin, vice president of public affairs for the Fortune Society, a
nonprofit organization that works to help formerly incarcerated people to
reenter our society.

And Victoria Law, author of "Resistance Behind Bars," and a contributor to
"The Nation," whose column this week detailed the hungry strike in

Let me start with you. You write that Pelican Bay is worse than your
experience in Iran?

BAUER: Yes, I think it`s hard to generally compare kind of American
prisons and Iranian prisons. Iranian prisons, you know, people are
physically tortured and things like that. But specifically dealing with
solitary confinement, the cells at Pelican Bay are smaller than the cells I
inhabited. There are no windows in these cells.

I have met people at Pelican Bay who have not seen a tree in 12 years.
Just the duration of time is really much, much longer in California. My
wife, Sarah, spent 13 months in solitary confinement in Iran.

I know of no case of anybody spending a longer period of time in Iran in
solitary confinement. In California, there`s 500 people who spent at least
ten years in solitary confinement. There`s a man who`s been in Pelican Bay
who`s been there for 42 years.

HARRIS-PERRY: That notion that it can go on for decades, Victoria, your
writing here is compelling, in part because it reminds us that human
contact, like even contact with guards, the ability to call your family,
all of that goes away.

What happens to people`s minds, to their emotions in this kind of context?

their minds start to deteriorate. A lot of people have reported getting
agoraphobia, because they`re unable to live outside of this tiny little 7 x
11 foot box. And also, when we`re talking about security housing units,
that`s only one form of solitary confinement that California and the United
States practices.

So, in California, there are also women in these security housing units as
well. And as you may know, women in prison are often primary caregivers of
their children before they go to prison. And when they`re in the security
housing units, both they and male prisoners in security housing units are
not allowed to make phone calls. So manage going 10, 15, 20 years without
being able to call your loved ones. The only time you`re allowed to call
your loved ones is when someone dies.

HARRIS-PERRY: And in fact, the children, not just you not being able to
call, but you, small child, not being able to hear from your parents.

LAW: Yes.

HARRIS-PERRY: Part of the reason why we wanted to do this, back to back
with the Gitmo hunger strikes is this sense of, when we talk about Gitmo,
people are like -- well, I mean, those are terrorists. Those are people
who have done potentially this terrible -- these are, for the most part,
American citizens, for the most part, men of color, for the most part, poor
people, people who have had drug addictions of various kinds.

This is how we treat people in this country, in this -- is there -- does
this tell us something about who we are as a country?

know, I think the other thing it does, though, for me, Guantanamo was my
first exposure to solitary confinement. And I think a group us working on
Guantanamo for a long time thought it was an aberration and the exception.
And it was only when I started representing a man who is now at a super max
facility, a federal facility, in Florence, Colorado, the ADX prison, and I
saw -- I met him and saw the conditions that he was in and I heard from him
that I realized the connections, that I started here.

There are tens of thousands of people who are held in those very conditions
that you were just standing in. And what`s happened at Guantanamo is
really sort of exporting those policies. But it started here.

HARRIS-PERRY: We practiced on our own people.

KEBRIAEI: And it is far from an exception.


KEBRIAEI: It is far from an exception.

HARRIS-PERRY: Glenn, every time we do a prison segment, and you`ve been a
guest, you know, several times, every time my executive producer rolls his
eyes and says, really? Because we lose audience. People actually turn the
TV off. And yet, the relatively sensational docu-dramas that we do on
"Lockup" on this network are extremely highly rated.

How can I get Nerdland to care that this is happening? That this matters
for who we are as a people?

GLENN MARTIN, FORMERLY INCARCERATED: I think -- you know, I`m glad you`re
contextualizing it because, unfortunately, we live in a country where, when
we sensationalize criminal justice issues, people pay attention. And so, I
would argue that we have more crime on television than we have in real life

So, we`re addicted to punishment. We`re addicted to incarceration. And if
the country is addicted to incarceration, California is like a heroin
addict that just hit the lottery.

I mean, essentially, you have the majority of their state work is our
correctional officers. The correctional officers are extremely powerful.

And so, you have to understand, there`s a national lobby now pushing to
sustain these prison systems and to build them, essentially, because they
have become part of the economic engine in states like California.

HARRIS-PERRY: That strikes me as so important. Victoria, this idea that
the people who are working there now constitute the majority of those state
workers, because I just kept thinking, I`m sorry, didn`t I just hear a
Supreme Court ruling telling California to shed prisoners?

And the next thing I know, we`ve got hunger strikes in this a state.

LAW: Yes. So the Supreme Court ruling happened in 2011 that stated
extreme overcrowding in California prisons violated the Eighth Amendment
against cruel and unusual punishment. And instead of making plans to
release people, California started shifting people around, so now they`re
transferring people in state prisons to county jails. So they are no
longer in the state prison system.

Earlier this year, they closed, they converted the Valley State prison for
women into a men`s prison to shift the men`s overcrowded population into
their. And subsequently crammed the, roughly a thousand women into the
remaining two women state prisons, and then opened the smaller women`s

Women who had been transferred from Valley State prison for women, who were
in the SHU in Valley State were transferred to the SHU at the California
Institution for Women. They were in the SHU for determinant sentences,
meaning they had an end date for a similar violation, like having too much
toilet paper or owning tweezers or, you know, having too many books in
their cell.

And when they got to the California Institution for Women, they were told
that because there is no place else to put them in the prison, because it
is so overcrowded, they will remain in the prison, in the SHU, until they
are released. But in the meantime, they have to continue being under all
the same restrictions that people in the SHU are in.

HARRIS-PERRY: And at this point, it could be small things -- having too
much toilet paper, having too many books. I think that`s the other thing
in your piece that just stunned me, that people are being put into this for
prison infractions, not because they`re the murders, child killers, you
know, like that`s not what`s happening, right? It`s prison infractions
against prison rules, not crimes against society.

BAUER: And it`s not even that, a lot of the times. A lot of inmates that
have indeterminate terms in California have not actually committed rules
violations. They`re deemed to be gang affiliates. And when you look at
the evidence of what is considered, you know, evidence of gang affiliation,
it can be quite arbitrary.

I`ve seen possession of academic books about the black panthers used as
evidence, Sun Tzu`s "Art of War," journal writings about African-American
history that is called afro-centric ideology, is considered to be
indicative of gang activity, using words like tio and hermano, uncle and
brother in Spanish, that could indicate gang activity, extremely arbitrary

You don`t have to actually hurt somebody. And most of the people that have
arbitrary terms are considered associates, not even gang members, kind of,
you know --

HARRIS-PERRY: So if you read my syllabus for Afro-Am 101, you can end up
in a 7 x 11 cell.

BAUER: Yes, if you were teaching that syllabus in prison, it would
definitely increase your chances.

HARRIS-PERRY: Stay right there. I want to talk more about this and push a
little more on the particular role of women. And I want to talk to you,
Glenn, about alternatives for incarceration. What are the other things we
can be doing here, when we come back.


HARRIS-PERRY: Hunger striking prisoners and solitary confinement weren`t
the only reason that the California prison as a system was in the news this
week. A new report by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that
between 2006 and 2010, doctors with the California Department of
Corrections sterilized nearly 150 female inmates without state approval,
and after allegedly coercing the women into undergoing the procedure.

According to the report, women were signed up for tubal ligation surgery
while they were pregnant and prison staff targeted women that they deemed
most likely to return to prison again after being released.

You talked a little bit about some of the particular challenges that women
face. This one felt appalling to me.

LAW: Yes. It`s not a new story, either, so people who have been working
around prison issues, particularly around women prison issues, understand
that women`s reproductive rights are under attack, both outside and then
inside prisons, where women are being coerced into sterilization. Women
are also denied abortions, when they seek abortions, and are told to get a
court order, which is a very lengthy process, and it can make it possible
to actually get an abortion.

And only 18 states is there legislation that prohibits the shackling of
women while they are in labor and delivery. For viewers who don`t know
what shackling looks like, it`s like when you handcuff a woman and have a
chain that runs down to a belly chain, which is the weight of a bicycle
chain, and another chain that runs down to their ankles, which are shackled

So, it`s -- the sterilization of women in prison is on a continuum of
attacks on what women are and are not allowed to do with their bodies. And
then there`s the eugenicist behind that the idea that you are in prison,
you are there for an unfit mother, regardless of why you are in prison, and
you should not be allowed to reproduce.

HARRIS-PERRY: And, you know, in the context of everything going on in
Texas this week, like, reading that news, and I kept thinking, Glenn, part
of what happens when we do these segments is people then write to me and
say, what else are we going to do with the criminals? We`re going to have
to put them in jail, and, really, once you`ve committed a crime, you are an
unfit mother. Who cares?

And who cares if you go on a hunger strike? What are the reasonable
alternatives to incarceration that we have?

MARTIN: I think part of it is that in many states, the prosecutors are
driving the narrative about incarceration and punishment and so on. And if
you`re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But the truth is that, we
do have alternatives. And even victims rights groups, if you ask them,
what do you want to happen to this person, the first thing they`ll say is,
I want to make sure they never do this to someone else again.

So, that`s where we should start. What is it that we can do as an
intervention to stop people from reoffending. In New York state, for
instance, we have invested heavily on alternatives to incarceration, and
our prison population is actually down by 20 percent. We`ve closed 10
prisons in the last 10 years, whereas, you look at California and Texas,
that have really gone in the opposite direction, California has really hung
on to punishment as a response to crime and criminal activity, and look at
the results they`re having now with the folks striking and so.

So, essentially, you invest in alternatives to incarceration, you reduce
your mandatory minimum laws, and you find things that can happen in the
community that respond to criminal behavior, where you don`t diminish
public safety.

And at the fortune society, for instance, we see hundreds of individuals
each year, that are not just facing charges on non-violent crime, but also
violent crimes. Where we`re able to work with them intensively for 6 to 12
months and turn their lives around, essentially, which is a win/win.

In California, the recidivism rate is 58 percent. I can`t think of any
other industry that can have a failure rate of 58 percent and be continued
to operate.

HARRIS-PERRY: Be allowed to.

But I know what folks are thinking. But isn`t that expensive? Isn`t
expensive one-on-one sort of alternatives to incarceration more expensive
than simply locking people up in these tiny cells?

KEBRIAEI: But whether it`s more expensive or not, I think that we`re just
-- whoever we`re talking about, whether we`re talking about violent
offenders or non-violent offenders, and most of the people we`re talking
about on hunger strike right now are nonviolent offenders, solitary
confinement for 22 1/2 to 24 hours a day for decades is torture.

And we need to start recognizing that that`s torture, just the way that
waterboarding and other more sort of obvious, blatant forms of physical
assault and abuse are torture.

HARRIS-PERRY: And we have a constitutional verdict against that. I mean,
we are not allowed to torture our prisoners.

KEBRIAEI: Absolutely. And we have clients in our Pelican Bay case who say
every day is an affirmative struggle not to descend into madness. You
know, I haven`t shaken a person`s hand in 13 years.

And we need to start recognizing that that is just wrong. It is inhumane
and it is torture. And it doesn`t matter who we`re talking about. And
that happens to tens of thousands of people in this country every day.

HARRIS-PERRY: You write that at points, you`d hoped to be interrogated.
That you thought, if I could just be interrogated today, at least I would
have someone to speak with.

BAUER: Yes. I mean, human interaction is fundamental to our own identity,
let alone sanity. I mean, when you don`t have somebody to talk to, you
just kind of fall into this abyss where time is your enemy. And you just
lose all context, for everything, and it becomes a situation where the most
important thing is to have human contact, no matter who it`s for.

And I wanted to add to your last question, solitary confinement is more
expensive -- far more expensive. Pelican Bay costs $12,000 per inmate more
to have them in solitary confinement. And what we have essentially done in
the last 30 years, especially in the early to mid-`90s, we`ve kind of
traded rehabilitative programs for this punitive, solitary measure. And we
see now in this hunger strike, in this particular hunger strike, is while
solitary confinement is at the core, it`s really -- if you look at the
demands in each prison, people are calling for the return of educational
classes, vocational --

HARRIS-PERRY: Adequate food.

BAUER: Exactly. Nutrition, a rise in wages from 13 cents an hour to $1 an
hour. A lot of these demands are things that did used to exist in
California prison.

HARRIS-PERRY: I feel like we had this fight in the 1970s and here we are,
having it again. I want to also say, I`m so thrilled to have you at my
table, in part, because I was one of the many of millions of people who
just wanted you to be home. You`re home, it is your birthday, and we`re
all glad that you are here and that you are continuing to use your voice to
advocate for others.

BAUER: Thank you.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to Pardiss, to Glenn, to Victoria, and to Shane.

Let me also let me say, I am totally beside myself, because coming up next
is former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. He`s going to talk about, you know,
political bad boys on the rebound. I can`t believe we booked him. I`m so

But first, my letter -- wonder who it`s to. A famous fugitive, and I`m
going to tell him where I think he ought to go.


HARRIS-PERRY: Espionage, international intrigue, secret government
surveillance, bad airport food. The Edward Snowden saga continued on
Friday, when the leaker who revealed information about the NSA`s
surveillance records spoke out from the Moscow airport, where he`s been
holed up for three weeks, to demand that the U.S. stop interfering with his
attempts to escape prosecution!


EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I did not seek to sell U.S. secrets. I did
not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety.


HARRIS-PERRY: Which is why my letter this week is to Edward Snowden.

Dear Ed, it`s me, Melissa! I hear you`re looking for a country. Well,
wouldn`t you know it, I have an idea for you. How about this one?

Come on back to the USA, Ed. Now, I know you`re not super pleased with the
government these days, and I feel you. The information you revealed about
surveillance raises serious issues about the behaviors of our leaders and
how they justify and hide those practices from the public.

But here`s the thing. It`s time to come home and face the consequences of
the actions for which you are so proud.

Now, I know you must feel you`ve already given up a lot to reveal
government secrets, your well-paid job, your life in Hawaii, your passport.

And maybe your intentions were completely altruistic. It`s not that you
wanted attention, but that you wanted us, the public, to know just how much
information our government has about us. Now, that is something to know

But by engaging in this Tom Hanks-worthy, border jumping drama, through
some of the world`s most totalitarian states, you are making yourself the
story. Now, we could be talking about whether accessing and monitoring
citizen information and communication is constitutional. Or whether we
should to allow a secret court to authorize secret warrants, using secret
legal opinions.

But we`re not. We`re talking about you and flight paths between Moscow and
Venezuela and how much of a jerk Glenn Greenwald is. We could at least be
talking about whether the Obama administration is right that your leak
jeopardized national security.

But we`re not talking about that, we`re talking about you. Now, I could
imagine you`d say, just stop, talk about something else.

But, see, here`s the problem. Even if your initial leak didn`t compromise
national security, your new cloak and dagger game is having real and
tangible geopolitical consequences. So, well, we have to talk about you.
I mean, we`re talking about how maybe now you`re compromising national
security by jumping from country to country, causing international
incidents and straining U.S. relationships with Russia and China -- real
important relationships.

And we`re talking about how you praise countries like Russia and Venezuela
for standing against human rights violations and refusing to compromise
their principles.

Seriously, Ed, where do you even come up with that? What are you thinking?

Now, I understand you don`t want to come back. I mean, to do so would mean
giving up your freedom, definitely before a trial and likely for several
months or years thereafter.

I get it! It`s prisons in the U.S. that commit actual human rights
violations. We just talked about it. More than 80,000 prisoners are held
in solitary confinement, some for years, some indefinitely. Despite the
fact that solitary`s cruel and psychologically damaging. I know those
aren`t the human rights violations, though, Ed, that you were complaining

But you might have nothing to worry about anyway. Because unlike most of
the people in solitary confinement, including Private Bradley Manning, on
trial for giving data to WikiLeaks, you have cultivated for yourself a
level of celebrity. And that celebrity itself may just act as the
protection, another kind of cloak, if you ever find yourself in a U.S.

You have made quite a spectacle of yourself, and the Obama administration
will be very careful about how it treats you, unlike how states treat all
those other prisoners. So come on home, Ed, then, you know, we can talk
about something else.

Sincerely, Melissa.


HARRIS-PERRY: We thought they were gone. We were sure they were over.

But recently, we`ve seen two political outcasts surge back into relevance,
perhaps because of the sex scandals, which initially took them down. Maybe
that`s why America suddenly cares about two local political races in New
York City.

Now, you likely know about fiery former congressman, Anthony Weiner, he of
the unfortunate selfie photos of his private parts who announced his
mayoral run back in May. He`s now a front-runner along with the former New
York governor, Eliot Spitzer -- who this week decided he`s running for city

Spitzer was the infamous client nine in a prostitution scandal that ended
his term as governor. And now ironically, he`s up nine points in the
latest poll.

Here`s the newest candidate for New York City comptroller on Jay Leno last


JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Now, let me ask you. I don`t say this in a glib way.
Did Anthony Weiner and his whole scandal and him running for mayor suddenly
make it easier for you?

ELIOT SPITZER (D), FORMER NY GOVERNOR: No, no. Let me be very direct
about a tough issue. The public is forgiving in certain circumstances and
has been forgiving of people throughout our political history and our civic

But that doesn`t mean the public will be forgiving of me as an individual.
It needs to see contrition. It needs to see growth and understanding. And
whatever one`s record may have been before fall from grace, you need to
show that you have changed in some way.


HARRIS-PERRY: With us is one of those politicians who have overcome his
own fall from grace, former Washington, D.C. mayor, Marion Barry, Jr., who
is currently serving as a city councilman. Also with us, our global grind
editor in chief, Michael Skolnick; and Dorie Clark, author of "Reinventing
You," which I assumed these guys read, and Toure, co-host of MSNBC`s, "THE

Mr. Barry, I have got to start with you on this Weiner/Spitzer scandals and
the comeback. Any advice for these guys?

MARION BARRY (D), FORMER WASHINGTON, D.C. MAYOR: First of all, you should
remember, this is different than my situation. I was The United States
government spend $10 million, $15 million trying to catch me doing
something. They went through my trash, they did everything else. They
followed me around at night. So mine is one of government prosecution,
persecution, and setting me up.

But the good news is that the jury, nine black people, wanted tor; acquit
me of all charges, 14 charges, and three people; wanted to convict me on
all of them. That was the beginning of it.

HARRIS-ERRY: Well, but that big jury, the jury that really mattered, was
the people who ended up putting you back in office.

BARRY: What happened was, that gave us a luncheon -- first of all, in the
black community, I think we`re more forgiving than anybody, because of our
spirituality and our history and et cetera, of slavery, et cetera. And
also, you have to have courage. You can`t be fake. You can`t say, I`m
sorry, and please forgive me, you can`t be fake about that.

You`ve got to be real. But you`ve got to be real before you got there.
And, Marion Barry was real before I got there. Ando what happens then, we
all are going to go through something in life. All of us are going to get
knocked down by something. And the question is when you get up?

HARRIS-PERRY: So this is interesting, you laid on some of these questions
of like race and spirituality and redemption.

But, Michael, I`m thinking, apparently white folks are feeling pretty
forgiving these days too. I mean, we had Vitter, right? My senator came
back, no problem. Sanford`s come back.

And now it looks like Weiner Spitzers are going to win, or at least Spitzer
is likely. Weiner is --



SKOLNIK: This is wild.


SKOLNIK: I`m a New Yorker. We had Giuliani, we have Bloomberg. And now,
we`re looking at Weiner Spitzer?! This whole situation has been -- the
whole race, both races have been turned upside down in this city. And
certainly, I believe, I believe, that Spitzer certainly got in this race,
because he saw that Weiner`s polling numbers were looking pretty good.

TOURE, MSNBC HST: Sure. Absolutely.

SKOLNIK: And certainly that`s an inspiration for Mr. Barry here. They
both looked at and said, you can come back. You can have nine lives as you
have had in politics.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right, and also with Vitter and Sanford, who have just done
it on the right.

Dorie, I`m wondering, though, is this all post-Bill Clinton? Basically, is
this in a certain y bi Clinton`s fault? Not only because there was a sex
scandal involved with President Clinton, but that there was also an issue
of -- I just want to listen for a second, because it`s such classic
political TV.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I`m going to say this again. I did not
have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody
to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false.


HARRIS-PERRY: No, no, no, they weren`t. They were totally true.


HARRIS-PERRY: And so this goes to the various point. People always felt
like Bubba was so genuine and so -- so even when he comes back and
apologizes, it`s like, we feel him.

Is this because post-Clinton, you just can`t go -- scandal`s over?

DORIE CLARK: I actually think, Melissa, ultimately when there`s a fall
from grace for the politician, the American public is looking for two
things the. They`re looking for humility and contrition. They`re looking
for someone who really, truly apologizes.

And the second, they`re looking for people to go away for a while, because
they get sick of them. That`s why I think that Eliot Spitzer has a better
chance than Anthony Weiner. Anthony has just been a year, year and a half.
It`s not enough time. People are still thinking that, you know, they still
feel the sting of it.

HARRIS-PERRY: And his last name is funnier.

CLARK: It absolutely is.


HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, yes. When you say there`s a poll and Weiner`s doing
well in it. Oh, there`s a Weiner poll. And Spitzer only becomes funny
when it`s connected with Weiner, right?

TOURE: The Clinton connection is really apt for me, because both these
politicians are like LL Cool J, they need love. And they`re coming to the
voters for absolution. Will you absolve me? Will you tell me that I`m OK?
That you accept me back.

The city is the girlfriend that they want to win back. They did wrong, now
I come back on bended knee. I will do right again. I won`t do that stuff
again. Please forgive me. OK.

HARRIS-PERRY: But part of it is that the girlfriends, or in this case, the
wife, didn`t initially leave. I wonder how much -- it feels like me that`s
one important part of this redemption story.


BARRY: The other problem is, what I said earlier, you have to have been
doing things that people appreciated long before. I was a strong -- wait a
minute, I was a strong supporter of President Clinton. When D.C. gave him
92 percent of the vote.

And also, you have to have a wife that`s not out lashing at you and doing
this kind of thing. My wife, Effy, I was in the courtroom for eight weeks
sitting there. She was knitting, but she was strong, she didn`t say
anything negative me. Not like Sanford --

TOURE: Well, yes, Jenny Sanford quickly abandoned mark. And I understand

BARRY: That`s the point I was making.

TOURE: And you don`t know New York as well as you know D.C., obviously.
New Yorkers were not feeling Governor Spitzer at the time his scandal came.
I don`t think there`s any New Yorker who could say anything that Anthony
Weiner did for us in the House of Representatives that makes us want to
return him to public life.

BARRY: I`m not a New Yorker, but who says this is going to win? I don`t


TOURE: Though, I agree with him that Spitzer is probably not going to win.
I think we agreed on that before the show.

HARRIS-PERRY: You think Spitzer won`t win?

TOURE: Spitzer will not win. We have polls --

HARRIS-PERRY: For the comptroller?

TOURE: Excuse me, I mean Weiner.


TOURE: Weiner will not win. Spitzer has this name recognition advantage.
Spitzer --

HARRIS-PERRY: I was going to ask, if you think that might be -- sometimes
the simplest explanation, and maybe right now Spitzer is polling, because
it is the comptroller race! When was the last guy running for comptroller
on Jay Leno!

CLARK: People don`t even know what it does. They don`t even know how
spell it.

TOURE: You know what it does, it gives you a stepping stone to mayor in
2017. That`s what it does.

SKOLNIK: But I would agree with you, I think Anthony Weiner, he`s just
trying for too much. He went too far.


SKOLNIK: Go back to city council member, or maybe even try for Congress,
but mayor?

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s the humility. Climb a little bit.


HARRIS-PERRY: All right. There`s another kind of --

BARRY: Right about that, because after I got six months in prison,
sentenced by this racist judge, I then ran for the city council. I don`t
think he needs -- you can`t (INAUDIBLE), in my view, and be successful.
They`ve still got to see you and test you and see whether or not you B.S.-
ing or whether or not you`re for real. And we did that for two years.

HARRIS-PERRY: Hold on, I promise, we`ll come right back, we`ll take a
quick commercial break so we can pay for the show, because there is more
scandal, there`s some insanity in Virginia politics I want to talk about as
soon as we come back.


HARRIS-PERRY: Columnist Ruth Marcus writing in "The Washington Post" this
week offered that there are two swift routes to political downfall. One is
sex, the other is money. The first is humiliating but survivable. The
second tends to be terminal, even criminal.

Now, you may have noticed that her piece wasn`t titled either Anthony
Weiner or Eliot Spitzer is unfit for office. She mentioned the scandal-
plagued Virginia governor. You know, old transvaginal Bob McDonnell.

According to "The Washington Post" and other papers, McDonnell, along with
his family, accepted expensive baubles, favors, and about $145,000 in
straight cash from Johnny Williams Sr., the CEO of a pharmaceutical
manufacturer, Star Scientific. All of this while McDonnell and his wife
took steps to promote the company`s products.

Reports of McDonnell`s gift taking blew up this week. Ken Cuccinelli, Coch
watch, the Republican who began his investigation last week as attorney
general and now the candidate who wants McDonnell`s job may try to distance
himself. But the Coch is in deep too. He owned up earlier this week to
accepting gifts from Williams, including stays at his waterfront party and
a catered Thanksgiving dinner.

Dorie, are the money scandals different than the sex scandals?

CLARK: I think they are, because they go to the heart to the kind of
ethnics that we want and expect as public servants. I think this is the
greatest gift possible for Terry McAuliffe, who`s the Democratic candidate
for governor for the Virginia governor. His greatest claim to fame, he`s
the world class super star fund-raiser, which is not necessarily thought of
as the cleanest profession in the world. Now, he is Mr. Clean, compared to
McDonnell and Cuccinelli.

HARRIS-PERRY: He put out an, let`s take no gifts, and sent it to
Cuccinelli, saying, sign this thing saying there`ll be no gifts, right?

CLARK: Absolutely. He`s taking the lead role on this, which is fortuitous
for him because there are plenty of questions about him and his electric
car company, which was not performing very well. He was running on the
strength of being a businessman.

Now, all of that is off the table. It becomes an ethics race, and it`s one
that he can win.

HARRIS-PERRY: You have to let me ask this. You have to, because,
obviously, in the news right now, there is a money scandal surrounding you,
right? And so on the one hand, you knew you were talking about the initial
scandal, which is definitely about this, you know, from the FBI setup

But talk to me about, now, this new scandal, is this the one --

BARRY: There is no ethics scandal.


BARRY: We have the most tightest ethics law in America --


BARRY: Yes. And part of it requires you to report money from people who
have a contract with D.C. government. I brought it out. I reported this
in my report myself. I could have tried to hide it.

But I have 31 years of public office, there`s been no allegations of me
taking government money, no kickbacks or bribes or anything. My character
is what got me through and going to get me through this in the sense that I
respect my colleagues as they go out looking at me, but there`s no scandal
there. No scandal.

HARRIS-PERRY: And your constituents love you. I was just in D.C.
yesterday, and I was talking to a woman who was working for the Amtrak, and
she was like, oh, you`re going to have -- the mayor is going to be on your

BARRY: Mayor for life! Mayor for life!

HARRIS-PERRY: So, what -- I see you`re wearing a "Free D.C." hat. What is
it that no matter what, in a way, you`re Teflon in that city or at least in
that ward?

BARRY: I`m not Teflon, the citizens who have been watching me for 31
years. Over 100,000 young people went through my summer drive program,
unprecedented in the nation. And people not elect me because I`m a name,
because of how I act or my charisma, but because I have served very well.
I rebuilt downtown Washington, D.C. when I came to Washington, 65 downtown
was a sleepy southern town. Now Washingtonian --

HARRIS-PERRY: So you feel like there`s this legitimate connection. And,
Toure --

BARRY: Same thing with President Clinton. President Clinton had done it.
On the other hand, if you look at Spitzer, who`s governor, ran on an ethics
platform, it`s a hypocrisy that goes with it.

TOURE: Well, yes, the illegality doesn`t kill you, the hypocrisy does kill

BARRY: Absolutely.

HARRIS-PERRY: And it feels to me, Toure, like this argument is one that I
often also heard in Chicago about the Daley, for example, and people would
say to me, well, maybe they`re dirty, but they`re dirty for the people,
right? You know, whatever`s going on, they`re bringing -- it does make me
wonder if part of it is that we have just decided, we just don`t expect our
public officials to be fully honest or completely -- like, we`re just
comfortable with it, in a particular way. Is that any part of what`s going
on here?

TOURE: I think there`s something to that, that we have a very low
expectation of politicians in this country. But if they pave the roads, if
they give us city parks, give us city bikes, give us things that we can
tangibly hold on to and know, we`re going to vote for them again. That`s
what we really want.

You know, I`m so -- I`m dying right now to get a piece of tape, right? We
can play it on 2016. In other show, they say, what happens in the break,
stays in the break. Oh, I knocked the apple cart down. I want a piece of


HARRIS-PERRY: I`ll tell you what, you can come back and we will have --
you can come back and we will have this fight. No, I`m going to tell --
I`m going to tell Nerdland, what happened in the break was that Toure said
to me that Hillary Clinton was going to be president of the United States
in 2016, and I said, Hillary Clinton ain`t going to be president of

But we can totally have that fight, we can totally have that fight when we
come back.

And Marion Barry is down for Hillary Clinton too.

BARRY: I can`t wait!

HARRIS-PERRY: I have lost total control, because Toure and Marion Barry
are at my table.

Thank you to Marion Barry, to Michael Skolnik, to Dorie Clark and to Toure.

Up next, God help us, the man fixing a problem that the politicians can`t
or won`t. Speaking of keeping your roads paved -- well, our foot soldier
of the week is coming up next.


HARRIS-PERRY: You know, the old adage, if you want something done, you
have to do it yourself. This week`s foot soldier took that saying to heart
and to the streets, literally.

Check out the screen behind me. It`s a sight we`re all familiar with.
Potholes. Well, our foot soldier decided he`d had enough of the
problematic pavement predicaments.

Ron Chaney is a t-shirt designer in Jackson, Mississippi. And on Memorial
Day, Ron and his girlfriend were driving to a holiday breakfast, but before
they could eat, they were already fed up, because of how bumpy Jackson`s
potholes made the ride.

Ron found himself not for the first time complaining about these potholes,
and that`s when the couple saw an inspiration in the form of a bumper
sticker on a van, which read, "Quit bitching and start a revolution." That
was all the push Ron needed.

Armed with a shovel, a push broom, he decided to get to work. He knew of a
large mound of asphalt which sat unused long enough to have plants growing
out of it, which was visible off the highway. So as a taxpayer and
business owner, Ron felt it within his right to repurpose that asphalt.
Not for his personal use or gain, but for the benefit of all Jacksonians.

With his gear and asphalt in tow, Ron hit the streets to fill potholes. He
and his girlfriend quickly developed a system, which they got down to 10
seconds per pothole. He poured, she smoothed.

As a designer, Ron decided to add some artistic flair and a message to each
pothole he fixed. He added small paints and with spray paint left a
message, citizen fixed. That first day, the duo they filled 12 potholes,
but Ron used his next free day to fill up even more potholes.

Neighbors and social media quickly took notice and my people thanked him.
Without a proper sealant, Ron knows that these fixes are just temporary.
But the reason he labeled the potholes as "citizens fixed" was to send a
message to the local government that the roads can be fixed.

Along the way, Ron set a goal to hit 100 potholes and this past Monday, he
achieved that very goal. The Mississippi Department of Transportation paid
Ron a visit this week, and while they asked him to stop using DOT asphalt,
they informed Ron that they`re not going to prosecute.

The message from Ron story is a simple one, if you see a problem within
your life, whether it`s in you community, your school, your job, your city,
your county, you do have the power to take action and make part of the road
just a little bit smoother.

For literally filling in the holes that plague our daily lives, Ron Chaney
is our foot soldier of the week. And to read our interview with Ron, go
check out our Web site, MHPShow.com.

That`s our show for today. Thanks to all of you at home for watching.
I`ll see you tomorrow morning, 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

And we`re going to start with Texas. Did you hear about tampon-gate? It
would appear that women into the capital of Austin were told they could not
bring their tampons into the venue apparently because the only thing that
should go into a woman`s vagina is the government. More on that tomorrow
at 10:00.

Right now, it`s time for a preview of "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT," hosted
today by Richard.

Hi, Richard.



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