IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 15, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

August 15, 2013
Guests: Hakeem Jeffries; Barbara Arnwine; Patrick Murphy, Krystal Ball,
Goldie Taylor, Lee Daniels


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How do you think this ruling at all
threatens your overall legacy?

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: I don`t know. It`s almost 12
years now when people have walked the streets of New York City without
having to look over their shoulder. I suspect that`s probably a pretty
good legacy.


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Really? Because I know a lot of
people who are looking over their shoulders these days. Of course, the
right-wing media agrees with the mayor. They think racial profiling and
discrimination is the best way to fight crime.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody remarks about the amazing change in
New York City over the past 15 years. Well, couldn`t this possibly be one
of the reasons? I mean, if you are just looking at cause and effect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s working. That`s why crime is down.

JEFFREY LICHTMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In cities that use Stop-and-Frisk
like New York, the murder rate is much lower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicago and Philly don`t have Stop-and-Frisk.
Chicago has got a murder rate of four times New York`s murder rate. And
Philly has it at about triple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you wish adapt Chicago`s tactics over New York
City`s, you`re accompli to mass murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the murder rate in New York City will


SHARPTON: Stop-and-Frisk, lowered murder rates in New York City?
It`s a great theory for the right. Too bad the facts don`t back it up.
New York`s murder rate began dropping well before Stop-and-Frisk was kicked
into high gear. Murders were down 74 percent from 1990 to 2002. But after
the surge in Stop-and-Frisk, the trend slowed down. The murder rate
decreased by just 12 percent. Racial profiling did not make New York a
safer city. This kind of approach doesn`t work and the rest of the country
knows it.

This week attorney general Eric Holder announced the end of severe
mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenders and said it`s time to
move in a new direction.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We cannot simply prosecute or
incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation. We must never stop being
tough on crime. But we must also be smart and efficient when battling


SHARPTON: And the world`s largest group of correction officers
agreed, calling for the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences. The
facts are clear. The time is right. America is ready to get smart on

Joining me now is New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, representing
the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. He is on a congressional task force,
looking at over criminalization in America and Barbara Arnwine, president
of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: Congressman, let me go to you first. What is your reaction
to the news that New York officials will begin appealing this Stop-and-
Frisk ruling tomorrow?

JEFFRIES: Well, the stubborn resistance to the fact that Stop-and-
Frisk program is unnecessary, unconscionable, and now has been declared
unconstitutional is really unfortunate. The numbers, Reverend Sharpton, as
you have consistently pointed out speak for themselves. Stop-and-Frisk
have nothing to do with the dramatic decline in crime that actually began
to place 20 years ago during the last two years of the Dinkins

SHARPTON: That`s correct.

JEFFRIES: Where Stop-and-Frisk wasn`t utilized but a dramatic
infusion of the number of police officers that were displayed and put on
the streets, particularly in high crime areas. The Stop-and-Frisk program
doesn`t target criminals, it targets innocent, law-abiding individuals.
And NYPD`s own numbers illustrate that fact, 88 percent of the people who
were stopped, questioned and frisked did nothing wrong. No gun, no drug,
no weapon, no contraband, nothing at all. The only thing they have been
guilty of, apparently, is being in the wrong neighborhood and the wrong
color of skin. That`s unfortunate.

SHARPTON: Fitting the profile.

You know Attorney Arnwine, Stop-and-Frisk doesn`t even stop crime.
Take a look at this.

On 0.12 percent of stops resulted in gun seizures, as the congressman
alluded to. I mean, does this really justify violating constitutional
rights of hundreds of thousands of people?

ARNWINE: Well, I think it`s just further evidence of what the judge
found about this deliberate indifference to the violations and deprivations
of constitutional rights of American citizens based on nothing but, you
know, race.

What is so bad about this policy is that not only did it result in
millions of African-Americans and Latinos being unjustly stopped, but those
who were really committing the crimes, in fact the majority of whites who
were stopped actually contributed to more possessions of weapons, more
possessions of contraband. So, they were going after the wrong people.

SHARPTON: And the percentages show that. The percentages show that.

You know, Congressman, and let me be clear. We all, I`m sure, fight
crime and want to see crime down. You know, I have worked with this police
commissioner and the ones before him with all kinds of programs.

But when you hear things like New York officer Polanco, he testified
at the trial, blowing the whistle on Stop-and-Frisk, saying it was all
about filling a quota. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stopping kids walking from school. We stop
kids walking upstairs to their house. We were stopping kids from going to
the store, kids, young adults in order to keep your activity in order to
keep that quota.


SHARPTON: I mean, we`re being played with just to reach a quota.
This is not really about getting criminals; that to me is insulting.

JEFFRIES: It`s insulting. And in fact the reality is in a democracy
there has to be a balance, Rev, between effective law enforcement on the
one hand, and a healthy respect for civil rights and civil liberties on the
other. And Stop-and-Frisk has crossed that line. Mayor Bloomberg and
Police Commissioner Kelly have obliterated that balance. And the big
problem is that it poisons the relationship between the police and the


JEFFRIES: And so, I would argue, as many others have is that the way
that Stop-and-Frisk have been abused has contributed to the inability of
the police to get the level of cooperation that they need in high crime
areas. Because of the dramatic suspicion with which individuals are
treated, it creates a poisoned relationship between the police and the
community and ultimately undermines public safety.

SHARPTON: -- which is not good for any of us in the city or any other

Let me go to another subject. Attorney Arnwine, the racial disparity
in sentencing is pretty astounding, really. Take a look at this.

Prison sentences for similar crimes were nearly 20 percent longer for
black men than white men. I mean, no one has worked at this harder than
you. What can you say about this? And how do people say that justice is
color-blind hen these kind of facts stare us in the face.

ARNWINE: And that`s why, you know, attorney general Holder`s
announcement this week was so key. It is so important that everything be
done by law enforcement to reduce racial profiling in law enforcement and
to make sure that we are not arresting people, we are not charging people,
we are not incarcerating people and prosecuting and incarcerating people
overly just based on racial stereotypes. So, it is so, so important that
we get this tank, this rottenness, this cancerous effect of race out of our
law enforcement.

SHARPTON: Do doubt about it.

Congressman, you`re working in a committee or task force in Congress
on this. Since 1980, the U.S. population has grown by about 40 percent.
But the prisoner population has skyrocketed 790 percent.

JEFFRIES: It`s a problem that increasingly folks on the left and the
right are recognizing in congress. And that`s why we`ve got a bipartisan
task force on over criminalization. We have five percent of the world`s
population, Reverend Sharpton, and 20 percent of the world`s prison


JEFFRIES: This is creating a situation where we`ve got massive loss
of human capital, massive loss of economic productivity, and that`s why I`m
hopeful that down in the Congress when we get back from the August recess,
we can really begin to tackle this problem, and that there will be
significant support for the steps that Attorney General Holder has taken.

SHARPTON: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Barbara Arnwine, thank you
both for your time tonight.

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

ARNWINE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the senator who is trying to suppress the facts
about suppressing the vote. Rand Paul says there is no evidence of
discrimination at the polls. I will show him the proof tonight.

Plus, 24 hours later, and we are still waiting for a Republican leader
to denounce a sitting congressman who invited this disgraceful rodeo clown
in a President Obama mask to perform.

And a remarkable true story of a man with the front row seat to our
nation`s civil rights history. The butler who served eight presidents hits
the big screen. "The Butler" director and Hollywood ground breaker, Lee
Daniels joins us tonight. You don`t want to miss it.

Got a question or comment? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to know.
"Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Today, people had a lot to say about Rand
Paul claiming there is no objective evidence of racial discrimination in

Janice says give me a break. We need a little truth serum injected

Garfield says I`m sure that senator Rand Paul has never been denied
the right to vote.

Park says objective? He keeps using that word. I don`t think it
means what he thinks it means.

Later on in the show we will show Senator Paul some of the objective
evidence he seems not able to find.

But first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation
that keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: Throughout his time in office, President Obama has had to
solve foreign policy crises after another -- the Arab spring, the fall of
Gadhafi, and now once again, Egypt. Violence is engulfing what has long
been one of America`s closest Arab allies in the Middle East. Yesterday
alone, more than 630 people were killed and some 3700 were injured in
violence when the military crackdown on supporters of former President

Today President Obama said neither side is without blame.


elected president in a Democratic election, his government was not
inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians.

The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by
Egypt`s interim government and security forces. We deplore violence
against civilians. While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt,
our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are
being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.


SHARPTON: The president canceled a major joint military exercise
planned for next month. And he appeared to leave open the option of
suspending all foreign aid to Egypt.

Joining me now is former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, the
first Iraq war vet to serve in Congress. Thanks for joining me,


SHARPTON: What is your assessment of the president`s response so far
to this crisis in Egypt?

MURPHY: Well, Rev., you know, the fact that the president condemned
the violence there, and he could have just been silent, not said anything,
but he came out and said we cannot condemn this. What is going on in the
street of Egypt and Cairo specifically is disgraceful, it is heartbreaking.
You have over 600 Egyptians already killed, and that`s at least.

So, what the president is saying is we are condemning this violence.
But also, we are not going to continue the regular traditional cooperation
we had. We are ending, stopping that military joint operation that we had
planned to do with the Egyptian military. And it`s going to not happen.

SHARPTON: Now, what options does the president actually have on the

MURPHY: Well, Reverend, what the president can do is he can say we`re
going to stop this cooperation, make sure that they stop the violence in
the streets, make sure they actually have democratic elections, which they
promise to do which they have not done yet. And that`s what needs to
happen. But the president is really trying to be thoughtful and deliberate

But now you have politics entering the equation. You have basically
the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. You have John McCain on one side who
criticized the president earlier and basically he said we should be being
more forceful in Egypt. And you have Rand Paul who is basically saying we
should cut all aid to Egypt. Frankly, Rand Paul wants to cut all aid to
every country.


MURPHY: Even though it`s one percent of the American budget, but he
wants to cut it all, including to Israel, by the way, which is the
neighboring state of Egypt. So, you are seeing that balance and that
tension in the Senate. But, Reverend, what you`re seeing is President
Obama as he has had, as he has done when it came to Iraq, as it came to
Afghanistan, as it came to Libya in the past, the president is being into
thoughtful and deliberate because he is playing chess when some of these
other cats are playing checkers.

SHARPTON: You know, there are some on the right that are using this
as an opening to attack the president. Before the president came out
today, listen to what Glenn Beck said.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Where is our president? Our
president is out playing golf. Why? Why is he out playing golf yesterday?
Isn`t this kind of an important thing? Why has the president not made a
statement and come out -- where? He is playing golf. Why? Because he is
a coward.


SHARPTON: I guess politics doesn`t stop at the water`s edge.

MURPHY: Well, you`re absolutely right. You know, did Glenn Beck ever
pick up rifle? I mean, to call President Obama a coward, you know, after
he has decimated al-Qaeda, after he has taken the fight to bin Laden and
brought him finally to justice after ten years, you know, again, Rev, you
are absolutely right. You know, politics should stop at the water`s edge.

But, you know, you have Rand Paul, you are using this as another
example about two hours ago criticizing the president on the funding that
happened, you know, that we gave to Egypt which we have already done that
military aid. You know, that stopping it right now won`t turn back the
clock. They have gotten that aid.

And this has been happening for decades now. We have given the
Egyptian military over a thousand m-1, a-1 tanks. We have given them 221
fighter jets. So we have been -- they have been an ally, but what is going
on right now cannot continue. And that`s why the president was very
forceful saying we`re not going to do this to an operation. And really,
doing what is necessary to stop the violence to make sure that we`re
promoting democracy there in Egypt and elsewhere.

SHARPTON: All right. Congressman Murphy, thank you for your time

MURPHY: Thank you, Reverend. I appreciate it.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, he`s that kind of guy. Right-wing pundits are
racing to embrace the rodeo clown wearing the mask of President Obama.

Plus, Rand Paul says he sees no evidence of voter suppression.
Tonight, I will open his eyes and show him the proof.

And Lee Daniels is in the house. I will talk to the director of "the
Butler", a powerful film about history, progress, and civil rights.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you meeting in school?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m trying to change the way --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are breaking the law. That judge just
sentenced you to 30 days in the county work house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t sit at any lunch counter I want to, then I
might as well be dead.



SHARPTON: Republican Senator Rand Paul seems to have some grand
delusions about himself and about what is really happening in America.

Remember, when he described himself as the true champion of minority


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There is no greater defender, truly, of
minority rights, if you include minorities to be the color of your skin or
the color of your ideology than myself.


SHARPTON: Well, as I first told you yesterday, the great defender is
making headlines again. Saying, quote "I don`t think there is objective
evidence that we`re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer.
No evidence of voter suppression. Really? What about the studies showing
that Blacks and Hispanics had to wait longer to vote than Whites? An
average of 20 minutes online in 2012, compared to just over 12 minutes for
Whites. Looks like inequality at the polls to me. And what about this
study showing that young Black and Hispanic voters were far more likely to
be asked to show an ID than Whites of the same age?

This is what objective evidence looks like, Senator Paul. But maybe
we shouldn`t be surprised that Rand Paul is so wrong about this, given the
stuff he has said in the past.


PAUL: I`ve never wavered in my support r civil rights or the civil
rights act. I`ve never been against the civil rights act, ever.


SHARPTON: He has never been against the civil rights act. Never?
What about the time already asked him directly if he would have voted for
the civil rights act back in 1964.


PAUL: Actually, I think it`s confusing on a lot of cases of what was
actually in the civil rights case. See, a lot of the things that were
actually in the bill I`m in favor of. To tell you the truth, I haven`t
really read all through it because it was passed 40 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you think the `64 civil rights or the
ADA for that matter were just overreaches and that businesses shouldn`t be
bothered by people the basis in law to sue them for redress?

PAUL: Right. I think a lot of things could be handled locally.


SHARPTON: He couldn`t give a straight answer. Rand Paul tried to
defend this nonsense in an interview with my colleague Rachel Maddow.


PAUL: I think what`s important about this debate is not getting into
any specific gotcha on this.


SHARPTON: You don`t want to get into any gotcha on this. Too late,
Senator. Did you think we wouldn`t notice that you`re so wrong on voting
rights? Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: It`s been more than 24 hours since a sitting congressman
invited a hateful rodeo clown in a President Obama mask to perform in his
home state. Congressman Steve Stockman has embraced this mockery, yet no
one has denounced him. And they have had every opportunity to this week,
especially this week.

Right now the RNC is in Boston, pretending to re-brand the party.
Newt Gingrich even urged the party to, quote "get beyond being anti-Obama."
But he has some advice. How about starting by calling out a member of
Congress who is celebrating this garbage. Why not try to have some
political courage? They would rather stand by and say nothing while the
real party leadership fuels the clown show.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is an artist, a very brave
artist, believe it or not, rodeo clowns.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You people on the Left, who the
hell do you think you are? You can`t laugh. You can`t take a joke. You
can`t take a punch, you can`t take anything.

ERIK RUSH, AUTHOR AND COLUMNIST: It is the biggest batch of race-
baiting bunk I`ve ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`d say lighten up, but they would accuse me of
being racist.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Investigate a non-crime, a non-issue.
Investigate where is the sense of humor here. Really?

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: It seems like every president before him
has had a mask that wasn`t exactly flattering.

BECK: Advance, America, advance. Don`t you dare retreat? Don`t you
dare sit down? Today I declare myself officially a rodeo clown.


SHARPTON: Yes, I agree. But here is the problem. This far right
mentality has taken over in Congress, and the party is just letting the
circus roll into town.

Joining me now are Krystal Ball and Goldie Taylor. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, rev.

SHARPTON: Goldie, it`s one thing if the talkers support this clown.
But it`s another when 24 hours no GOP leader says anything to denounce it.
Your thoughts.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, sure. You know, we`re not
very many months away from a midterm election. I`ve got to tell you,
Reverend Sharpton, the time is not now for political courage. These people
are worried about drumming up a base. Now, for certain, if you`re going to
have a rodeo clown like that, in a forum like that or any place, you
certainly have the right to do that. But what you do want to know is that
is going to be a reflection on you and your candidates going forward.


TAYLOR: It seems like this Republican Party has seemed to
hermetically seal the echo chamber on us where they really don`t want to
get out of this thing. I just don`t think that this is the kind of thing
that they want to show themselves for. But they seem to be embracing it.

SHARPTON: And let me be clear, Krystal, that we`re not just talking
about the fact he is a clown. Every president has had masks. So have
there been masks about President Obama in the past. None of us said

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: But the person that videoed it and some of those there
talked about how they played with the lips on this clown, how they had a
bull charging after this clown. And one described it is I thought I was at
a Klan rally.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: This is the kind of behavior that we`re talking about. But
talking about this rebranding meeting going on in Boston. "The Washington
Examiner" says, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin are being eyed
as 2016 debate moderators.

BALL: Which is amazing. I love the idea, frankly. I mean, it`s
funny, because their justification is we want to hear from the real
grassroots conservatives. Now anyone who was watching the debates last
time around did not have any problem hearing from the quote-unquote, "real
grassroots conservatives." The problem was that that those debates pulled
their candidates so far to the right, exposed the baseness and the extreme
nature of the party. I don`t think there is anyone better to do that than
a Rush Limbaugh and a Sean Hannity and a Mark Levin.

SHARPTON: Well, but today, Goldie, Rush Limbaugh told his audience he
doesn`t know if it will work because he is too famous. Take a listen.


LIMBAUGH: I don`t see how I can do it. I`m too famous. This
moderating republican debates. Did you see that out there? I think I`d
overshadow it. I think I`m too famous. You know, it would be a tough
call. It would be a real, real, real tough call. Anyway, well, yes, yes,
yes. It could get ratings. There is no question about that anyway. It`s
an idea that is out there.

SHARPTON: I mean, Goldie, I`m so touched by his humility.

TAYLOR: I would watch, Reverend Al Sharpton, I would absolutely watch
this clown show unfold. I would watch clown after clown hop out the car
that night, if Mark Levin did it, if Sean Hannity did it, if Rush Limbaugh
did it, I would absolutely watch, because that would be the Republican
Party showing itself for what it is.

You know, the kind of party that really does not believe in big tent
politics. It`s a party of preservation, preserving privilege, preserving
the America of yesteryear, the America that did not believe so much or did
not advance so much in human rights. And so I just think that that night
really would be a better night in television. I`d watch.

BALL: And can I just say too going back to the rodeo clown. I mean,
the reason that none of the GOP leaders have denounced Steve Stockman for
inviting this guy to Texas.

SHARPTON: The congressman, right.

BALL: Is because their real leader is Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity
and Mark Levin. And these guys have all gotten behind the rodeo clown. So
now they`re afraid to call him out.

SHARPTON: Now, Krystal, that shows you why Chris Christie is in an
awkward position. He addressed the RNC meeting today, and he took swipes
at his GOP opponents. He said, quote, "About Bobby Jindal, I`m not going
to be one of those people who goes and calls our people stupid." And about
Senator Rand Paul, he said, "We are not a debating society. We`re a
political operation that needs to win."

How does Christie, who is arguably at least by the polls the most
popular republican right now that is being projected toward a possible 2016
race. How does he navigate through all of this craziness and far right
wing extremist kind of activity?

BALL: Well, I think the thing with Chris Christie is he is never
afraid of a fight, and he is demonstrating clearly now that he is not
afraid of a fight on his own turf with his own people. But the way that he
is navigating right now is he is trying to be the voice of a more pragmatic
GOP. There are a lot of members of the Republican Party, not the elected
officials so much, but the rank and file Americans who are frustrated with
the Republican Party, who want to see them once again be a governing party.
Chris Christie is really the voice of Republicans who are interested in
governing versus Republicans who just want to blow the place up.

SHARPTON: Now, Goldie, you know, Christie, as I said, is considered
by many in the most electable republican candidate.


SHARPTON: But the far right hates him. I mean, take a listen to


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As for Chris Christie, I will do everything I can
in my little way to make sure he is not the nominee.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: This is the king of bacon talking about
bacon. Governor Christie and others have been part of this gimme, gimme,
gimme. Gimme all this money.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, some people look at
him as oh, man, he is a governor who goes rogue. And no, you know, he`s
got a shtick going there where he`s got a YouTube videographer following
him around, kind of these setup situations sometimes so that he can be seen
as perhaps a little bit avant-garde and going rogue on things.


SHARPTON: I mean, you know, Goldie, this is the fight for the soul of
the party. Tea Party mentality versus the other.

TAYLOR: I actually, Reverend Al, honestly don`t believe there is
going to be a fight at all. Most of the GOP primary base supporter is
right along the American south, along the southeastern United States. And
frankly, Chris Christie doesn`t stand a chance here. And so -- and the
other part of it is the chain going out west in Arizona and New Mexico and
other states, Idaho going out west.

And those are places where Chris Christie`s message frankly won`t play
because we`re talking about grassroots conservative Republicans who don`t
even believe that Chris Christie is a real republican. So, once you get
outside the northeast, I really don`t believe Chris Christie has a chance
in this particular GOP primary.

SHARPTON: Well, Krystal Ball, Goldie Taylor, thanks for coming on the
show tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And remember, you can catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays
at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Still ahead, my interview with Lee Daniels, director of the film that
everybody is talking about, "The Butler." We`re talking about the power of
history and the power of Oprah Winfrey.


OPRAH WINFREY, ACTRESS: Now everybody just sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m sorry, Mr. Butler, I didn`t mean to make fun of
your hero.

WINFREY: Everything you are and everything you have is because of the



SHARPTON: We`re back with a pause from the political battles of the
day, a time to rest, relax, and recharge. That`s right. It`s time for the
POLITICS NATION summer break. And at number three, we go to Taiwan and the
country`s newest resident. Meet the first panda ever born in the country.
The one-month-old cub just met her mom for the first time. She licked her
baby on the nose. They had been kept in separate cages for safety
concerns. That`s got to put a smile on your face. Oh, and here is an
instant reaction from the baby when told Republicans are threatening a
government shutdown.

At number two, we go to London and a new form of pest control. It`s a
new pop-up restaurant called pestaurant. Who is in the mood for some
insects? Perhaps some salt and vinegar crickets. They are very high in
protein, and half the calories as beef. Or maybe you prefer some roasted
scorpions, or crunchy barbecue worms. And for dessert, they`re serving
chocolate dipped ants, crickets and grasshopper pie. They had grasshopper
pie all over their face.

And at number one, we say we stay in London, where sports reporter
covering soccer took an unexpected plunge.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But he`s a man of the match here at the community
shield game match.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Now that`s the kind of thing that never happens to
you on live television.


SHARPTON: He went down off the ladder, hit the ground. But hey, it`s
live TV. And he made a strong comeback. Maybe a little inspiration for
the Republican Party free-falling right now. And that`s today`s summer


SHARPTON: It`s the remarkable true story of a man with a front row
seat to our nation`s civil rights history. Eugene Allen worked as a butler
at the White House for 34 years under every president from Truman to
Reagan. He was there during all the major moments in the civil rights
movement. "The Washington Post" profiled Mr. Allen just after the 2008
election, capturing his reaction as he voted for the first African-American
president-elected to the office. The new movie Lee Daniels` "The Butler"
is inspired by Mr. Allen`s story with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker playing
the character base on him in the movie. He clashes with his son over how
to fight discrimination.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Something special is going on down here, dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What is so special about another colored man in
jail? What are you doing with my hard earn money? Are you even in school?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m trying to change --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That judge just sentence you to 30 days in the
county work house. You`re going to get killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I can`t sit at any lunch counter I want, I might as
well be dead. We`re fighting for our rights trying to change the America`s
conscious toward the Negro.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hey! Who do you think you`re talking to? I
brought you in this world. I can take you out of it.


SHARPTON: The movie is already getting Oscar buzz with star-studded
casts led by Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey playing his wife in a first
movie in 15 years. Cuba Gooding, Jr. as a friend and another butler at the
White House. And Terrance Howard as their next-door neighbor. It tells a
truly amazing and inspiring story, and it opens tomorrow.

Joining me now is the man who made it all, the Director Lee Daniels.
He is the first African-American producer of an Oscar-winning film, and a
true Hollywood groundbreaker. Lee, we`re so happy to have you on the show
tonight. Let me ask you. Why did you want to make this movie?

LEE DANIELS, DIRECTOR, "THE BUTLER": Father and son story. Father
and son story. You know, when I got the script, my son was 13, and he said
black, I say white, he say black. I say day, he say night. I say go to
bed, he say hell no. And it was like, when does it stop?


DANIELS: And it transcends race, you know, the father and son story.
And it wasn`t until I started shooting the movie and we started seeing the
atrocities that happened to these kids that I realized it was bigger than a
father and son story. It was a movie about civil rights. It`s a movie
about heroes.

SHARPTON: And it was still a movie about father and son. I mean, how
important was it to tell Eugene Allen`s story?

DANIELS: So important, because he was an unspoken hero. And there
are so many of us out there that don`t know about him, and that don`t know
about the movement, the civil rights movement.

SHARPTON: You know, as I go through the film, a lot happened that I
saw before my time, and then during my time. And it seemed like a lot of
what you did with drama would get through that people wouldn`t ordinarily
see without you distorting it, but without it not being less entertaining.

DANIELS: I try to inject humor wherever I could, because my research
told me that the slaves that made it over here were laughing. They told
jokes. And they told jokes on the fields, in the cotton fields. And
during the movement. So I tried to -- try to tell humor, you know.

SHARPTON: It`s probably how they survived. Let me ask you. How
difficult was it to get to make the movie? I understand it was always
challenges and funds and all of that?

DANIELS: It`s always hard. I`m surprised I didn`t hit you up.


You`re the only one I probably didn`t hit up. It`s difficult. It`s
difficult to get black cinema on screen. It`s difficult to get any cinema
on screen, especially black cinema. The studios say no, no, no, no, no,
unless it`s a specific type of cinema. But if it`s something that is a
drama, a family drama. But we haven`t seen this before.


DANIELS: We haven`t seen a black family before like this. And that
was important for me too, to tell a black, show a black family in a way
that we haven`t seen them before.

SHARPTON: What scene was the most difficult for you to recreate?

DANIELS: Oh, I think the -- that bus scene, because on that bridge
there were actual lynchings that took place.


DANIELS: And they were -- and I was on the bus, with the kids, and I
yelled action, and then from nowhere came the KKK and the swastikas and the
crosses, and I yelled cut, but they can`t hear me because I`m on the bus.
So I`m screaming "cut, cut", and they`re still coming at us, shaking the
bus. And I realized at that moment that these kids were heroes, that these
kids were heroes, and there was nobody -- there was no director to yell
cut. When that happened.

SHARPTON: Wow. You said so much of the movie is about father-son
relations. Let`s watch this clip.


WINFREY: What was the name of that movie, honey?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: "In the heat of the night".

WINFREY: "In the heat of the night" with Sydney Poitier.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sydney Poitier is a white man`s fantasy of what he
wants us to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What you talking about? He just won the Academy
Award. He is breaking down barriers for all of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: About being white. By acting white. Sydney
Poitier is nothing but a rich Uncle Tom.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Look at you. All puffed up, your hat on your head,
coming here, saying whatever you want. You need to go.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get the hell out of my house. Get on out.

WINFREY: Now everybody just sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m sorry, Mr. Butler. I didn`t mean to make fun
of your hero.

WINFREY: Everything you are and everything you have is because of
that butler.


SHARPTON: Why was that dynamic so important to you?

DANIELS: Because everything he was because of that butler.


DANIELS: You know? You know, I often wonder. I showed my son the
movie. And he liked it. I was surprised. He gave me props. And I said
to him, isn`t this a great achievement for African-American cinema? And he
goes no, dad. I mean it`s good, yes. But you know, not until I see myself
as superman. And I thought to myself, this ain`t no difference. It`s

SHARPTON: That`s right. You know, it`s an all-star cast. And what
was it like working with Forest Whitaker?

DANIELS: He is a -- you know, he taught me how to be humble. He is a
very -- he is a humble human being. And it trickled down to everybody

SHARPTON: How was it to direct Oprah?

DANIELS: What do you think?


What do you, you know, it took a minute to break through. But once I
broke through, she was raw. She was vulnerable, she was fragile. And she
was a sister that just reminded me of one of my cousins.

SHARPTON: The movie also portrays many presidents and first ladies.
Let`s watch a clip of that.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You`re very popular around here. Everyone says
you`re the man that got them raises and promotions. I had no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I wish I could take credit for that.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`d like to invite you to the state dinner next

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m going to be here, Mrs. Reagan.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No. Not as -- not as a butler, Cecil. I`m
inviting you as a guest.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But the president prefers for me to serve him

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Don`t you worry about Ronnie. I`ll take care of
that. So we`ll see you next week, you and your wife.





SHARPTON: What did you want, Lee, from the actors playing first
ladies and presidents?

DANIELS: You know, I didn`t want to do tricky dick we`d seen him
before. Just a glimmer of what they were like, just a moment of the
humanity, and that they were good and they were bad. That they were flawed
like all of us were.

SHARPTON: You know, the movie comes out at a time where questions are
still out. Trayvon Martin`s verdict, the Supreme Court, and I`ll say
something to you I hadn`t told you.

DANIELS: Uh-oh, uh-oh.

SHARPTON: You and Forest hosted a screening for me and a few board
members of the National Action Network. And I was very touched. I brought
my daughter. I was very touched, because I knew some of the stuff before
me. I knew something about the butler, and I knew something after. I
walked out of this screening, and I had actually teared up during a couple
of scenes. Walked out of the screening, got in the car and they called me
to come to the studio.

And I heard the Trayvon Martin verdict that night. And between "The
Butler" and that verdict, it was a very weird experience for me. But I
think a lot of the way we were able to react was because of the butler and
seeing the struggle that we did not want to disgrace was in our minds. So
we didn`t react as emotionally and as out of bounds as people might have

DANIELS: Wow. That day?

SHARPTON: That very night when I left the screening room. The
verdict came in about 11:00. And I left you all about 10:15. And that
verdict, Trayvon Martin and in the aftermath of that, this movie comes in
the theaters tomorrow. I think it will put in context for a lot of people
no matter what their opinion of the verdict, it will put in context where a
lot of us bring to looking at this whole situation.

DANIELS: Yes, yes. We didn`t -- when we did that movie, Trayvon,
none of that was going on.


DANIELS: That was God working. Wow.

SHARPTON: I think in many ways that you will give people a great show
in entertainment. And I think in many ways you will help bring America
together, because we begin to understand each other, then we come together.
A lot of what we don`t agree on is because we really don`t understand each
other. And I`m not just talking black and white. I`m talking generations,
that father and son, one that was the butler and the other that was the
militant. I don`t want to blow the movie. People need to go, and they
need to bring their kids to see it, and their parents to see it. I brought
my daughter. I`m glad I did bring her, because I don`t know who is right,
but I know it was good we did that together. Lee Daniels, thank you for
coming on the show tonight.

DANIELS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: An honor to have you here. "The Butler" opens everywhere


SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
to know. Lynnette says, "I am a disabled veteran who loves my country. I
move forward despite the distractions of our country. I live in North
Carolina. How do I help my community?"

Get involved in things that will protect the vote. What the governor
of North Carolina does needs to be answered. Join -- Monday with my good
friend Reverend Bill Barber, William Barber is doing a great job there.

Marcus writes, "Would a 2016 ticket composed of Hillary Clinton and
Oprah Winfrey be a GOP nightmare?"

The way they`re going right now, the election in 2016 is going to be a
nightmare no matter who runs. But Oprah is anyone`s nightmare if they`re
on the other side. I believe Hillary is very formidable as well. Stay
tuned. We`ll see what happens.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of