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'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

November 10, 2013
Guest: Michael Skolnik, Ron Christie, Vince Warren, Dave Zirin, Don
McPherson, Jemele Hill, Michael Skolnik, Bryon Hurt, Anna Holmes

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning. I`m Melissa Harris-

We`ll get to race and the GOP in just a moment. But first, the latest on
the super typhoon, Haiyan, in the Philippines.

Officials say the storm may have killed as many as 10,000 people in one
town alone. Another city reported 300 dead and more than 2,000 missing.
But the death toll is expected to keep on climbing as rescue crews reach
remote villages cut off by massive flooding.

Officials say at least six of the islands in the Philippines were seriously
damaged when the typhoon brought winds of more than 170 miles an hour and
20-feet storm surges. In Leyte province, the storm destroyed 70 to 80
percent of all structures in its path. And the province`s capital city,
Tacloban, has been devastated.

And that`s where NBC`s Angus Walker is this morning.


ANGUS WALKER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This is Tacloban airport, which was
completely destroyed by the super typhoon. It`s now place where thousands
of people have come, hoping to be rescued and the Filipino air force is
flying in, transport aircraft taking people away --the old, the young, the
sick. They`ve waited for three days with no food, no water, no power, and
no way of telling their relatives that they`re still alive. And all of
them have harrowing tales to tell.

The number of dead now feared to be 10,000, and that means that the death
toll has risen ten times in under 24 hours. Rescue teams are now
discovering the true horror of super typhoon Haiyan.


HARRIS-PERRY: That was NBC`s Angus Walker in the Philippines. Officials
estimate that 4.5 million people have been affected by the typhoon,
including 1.7 million children and nearly half a million people are now
homeless. The rescue effort and the need for relief is massive.

If you would like to help the Red Cross and world food program and the
Salvation Army are just some of the organizations mobilizing relief efforts
and accepting donations.

Turning now, back to politics, here in the U.S. and in particular, to race
and the GOP. Now, you may have heard this week that new governor-elect of
Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, owes his win last Tuesday to women. Women, they
say, voted against McAuliffe`s opponent. You know, Attorney General Bob
Cuccinelli. We like to call him around here, Cuch. He`ll be undoubtedly
known as Cuch on his future drive time (INAUDIBLE) with Senator Ted Cruz --
Teddy McCuch, because of Cuccinelli`s draconian policies against
reproductive rights, certainly widely popular sex acts and the like.

Now look, I can see how you might make that mistake. If you look at the
exit polls, based only in gender, it looks like McAuliffe had a nine-point
edge on the Cuch among women, but nine well, points does not exactly a
gender gap make. Now, it`s true that almost every black woman in the state
of Virginia voted and voted for McAuliffe, but white women, well, most
white women still voted Republican.

Look at these numbers, 91 percent of African-American voted Democrat, but
54 percent of white women, a sizable majority there, voted Republican. And
this is despite the fact that the Republican candidate aggressively opposed
abortion, and as an attorney general, forced clinics to close. That he
pushed to keep on the books an anti-sodomy law and outlawed oral and anal
sex. That he refused to support the violence against women act. So why is
up with white women?

This is the same thing we saw in President Obama`s re-election last year.
President Obama didn`t win among all women. He won among black women.
White women still went for Mitt Romney. In Virginia this year, getting
black voters to the polls was everything.

Take a look at African-American turnout in Virginia over the past few
years. The state elected President Obama twice, when the electorate was
one-fifth African-American. But the year that the state went Republican in
2009, when the state put Bob McDonnell in the governor`s office, that was
when black voters made up only 16 percent of the electorate.

Now, this year, with no black candidate at the top of the ticket, the
McAuliffe campaign knew that they had to do everything they could to get
African-Americans to the polls. So his campaign was packed with former
staffers from President Obama`s campaign. They, of the legendary GOTV
operation. Both Clintons stumped for McAuliffe, and we know how African-
American voters feel about the Clintons, even Kerry Washington came out,
and it is hard to resist Olivia Pope. President Obama himself stumped hard
for McAuliffe days before the election and the message was clear.


that those family members who don`t always vote during off-year elections
are getting to the polls? Are you willing to make your case every single
hour, every single minute, every single second? Are you going to be
willing to outwork and outhustle the other folks, because I guarantee you,
Terry McAuliffe is going to be outworking and outhustling other guy over
the next few hours. You can bring this home!


HARRIS-PERRY: Man, I love that line about getting your family members to
vote, you know, your brothers and your sisters. That means President Obama
had also seen this chart, and it worked.

So joining me now, to discuss the implications of this gubernatorial race
and, in fact, race and the Republicans, are Joy Reid, managing editor of, Michael Skolnik of, MSNBC "the Cycle" co-host,
Ari Melber, and Republican strategist, Ron Christie.

It is so nice to have you all at the table.

So I`m going to start with you, Joy. What`s up with the white women?

is interesting how in a lot of ways, in sort of our politics, race is
trumping gender. And it isn`t sort of by rote that if you have a candidate
that`s against certain issues we think of as women`s issues, abortion, even
contraception, in the case of Ken Cuccinelli, it is contraception.

But in a lot of ways, the racial identification with party has become
stronger and stronger over time. And it`s really been happening since the
1960s, where the white vote has really solidified as the Republican vote
and the minority vote has solidified as the Democratic vote. And that
trumps everything else including gender.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. And it feels like me we have to be clear about that
inter-sectionality between gender and race. Because otherwise, we keep
acting as if there is some great interracial feminist coalition pushing
back against these reproductive rights efforts. And in fact, that`s just
not quite right, right? We`re still seeing race operating in this way.

So Ari, you know a lot of white women.


HARRIS-PERRY: My understanding is you`re planning to marry one. So I`m
just -- no, seriously, what lessons around race and gender and the GOP do
you take from this Virginia race, any?

MELBER: Well, I`d start with your observation about the political class,
which includes the media class, and the fact is, it`s still uncomfortable
about a lot of people to go deep into race, right? So talking about the
gender gap and looking at it on an aggregate level, actually feels more
comfortable than some of the charts you put up and really thinking about
how racially polarized our politics are for a range of reasons.

I do think that there was some spillover here in Virginia. I think this is
a race Republicans should have won. They won the governor`s mansion four
years ago by 17 points. So McAuliffe did make some inroads, but as you
point out, it was much more an Obama model of growing the coalition and
growing the base than some other crossover. He did win the majority of
self-identified moderates and he won one out of ten Virginia voters who
said they were against the affordable care act.

That is significant, because Cuccinelli was Mr. Anti-affordable care act.
He actually filed the very first legal challenge in Virginia against that
law. And so, it goes to another broad point that correlates with race,
because we see a racial division along that law and along the treatment of
that law, and along what I think is a Republican sabotage effort against
it. But you did have a Democratic candidate who was able to peel off some
of that in addition to a very diverse coalition.

HARRIS-PERRY: So Ari, part of what I like, you just did there is you said,
OK, we have race in gender, which we tend to think of as these identity
politics sort of moments, but in fact, if we pick those apart, blackness is
not necessarily standing in for -- it`s not necessarily about biology here,
right? It`s standing in for a set of thing.

And in fact, if we started breaking those charts down even more, Michael,
we`ll see women who are unmarried are more likely to vote for the
Democratic Party. We can see here that women who are of lower
socioeconomic status. So these things tend to map ton to race, but are not
necessarily caused, for example, by race.

Is there a more sophisticated way that we ought to be talking about race
partisanship, gender, and these other kind of intersecting identities in
our media politics?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, GLOBAL.GRIND.COM: Sure, I think that we should be talking
about these things in terms of policy. And I think that`s where
Republicans get it wrong. They think that we just like Obama because he`s
black. We like Obama --

HARRIS-PERRY: We don`t hate him for that.

SKOLNIK: That`s right, that`s exactly right. So I think if you look at
what happened in Virginia and Cuccinelli, you know, we learned a hard
lesson in 2009 and 2010 that we don`t want to repeat again. So we see as
going into this midterm in 2014 and 2013, this elections this year, we
certainly understand that the ramifications, if we lose, are much greater
than what we thought in 2008 and 2009. So now folks are showing up. Black
people are showing up, young people are showing up, Latinos are showing up,
women are showing up. And we`re not going to let it happen again.

HARRIS-PERRY: So I really, these numbers for me, just the numbers about
black turnout across the last four statewide elections in Virginia. So
2008, you have 20 percent of African-American, of the electorate is
African-American, the same thing is true in 2012, the same thing is true in
2013. In each of those, you end up with a Democratic winner at the
statewide level.

But in `09, up with of these election years, you have a drop down to 16
percent; you end up with a Republican win. Is this the thing that the
Republican Party is going to have to address if it is going to have a
future in a more diverse America?

Virginia, and I can tell you in 2009 and certainly in this year, in 2013,
you`re talking about off year election cycles. So traditionally you`ll not
get as many people out to the polls. I think we had about 20 percent of
those who are registered to vote who actually went out and voted. And so,
I don`t look at this strictly as a racial issue. Just in our state, we
have the fact that a lot of folks don`t show up in an off year election.

But the truth of the matter is, I do agree with you. In order for the GOP
to really be a vibrant party in the days ahead, I think that we need to
address the fact that we need to get more women, more people of color to
come out and vote for us and to look at our ideology. And unless you go
now -- see, the Republicans` problem, I believe is, the Republicans show up
to ask for the vote right before the election. No, you`ve got to show up
now, be consistent about it, and continue to say, this is why my
philosophy, my vision and our ideology is the right one not because of the
color of your skin, but because it`s the right policy.

HARRIS-PERRY: And so, this is a great point, Ron. You brought us right to
exactly where Governor Chris Christie, precisely what he said this morning
on "Meet the Press." We are going to take a look at that as soon as we get
back, because there was a Republican, a white guy, who won a pretty
substantial portion of the African-American vote just this past week and
we`re going to take a look at that when we come back.


HARRIS-PERRY: We tend to think that black voters, nearly all of them,
always just vote for the Democrats. Certainly true this week in Virginia,
the Republican received eight percent of the vote, pretty much in line with
expectations. But this week also brought a reminder that that`s not
something one should take for granted.

In New Jersey`s gubernatorial race, Governor Chris Christie won in a
landslide, 60 percent to 38. And he took, by Republican standards, an
impressive portion of the African-American vote, 21 percent, more than a
fifth. For a Republican in today`s politics, that is huge.

So I want to listen in, Ron, to Governor Christie on "Meet the Press" this
morning, saying basically exactly what you said about the need to show up.
Let`s take a listen.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The election showed was that if you
want to attract a majority of the Hispanic vote, if you want to nearly
triple your African-American vote as a Republican, what you need to do is
show up. You go and you show up and you listen, and you start to make your
argument about your policies.


HARRIS-PERRY: What do you make of that?

R. CHRISTIE: He is absolutely right. I mean, if you look back to
Virginia, look at my old boss, George Allen. When George Allen first --


R. CHRISTIE: He`s an honorable and decent man and he made a mistake, but
if you look at his first race when he ran for governor, he got nearly 30
percent of the black vote in Virginia. But look at my former boss, John
Kasich, who`s now the governor of Ohio, he got nearly 30 percent of the
black vote. It is a nearly the same percentage as Hispanic vote.

What you have to do as Republican is you have show up, you have to be
consistent about it, you need to talk about your policies, you need to talk
about why your vision is right one. And unfortunately, a lot of the
leaders, and the Republican Party at the national level, don`t get it.

HARRIS-PERRY: All right. So I think your point is -- I mean, it`s well
taken and it is empirically supported, not only by your Allen example, but
obviously by the most recent it goes around Christie.

And yet, Joy, partly of what I find surprising is that Chris Christie`s
policies, his policy position on everything from reproductive rights to
voter I.D. to minimum wage to teachers unions are things that are not that
far afield of a Ken Cuccinelli, right? And so, it does makes me wonder if
it`s a substance over style, when we looked at the gender breakdown for
black men and black women, some member black men really driving that gender
gap in Virginia.

But look here, African-American women show up for Christie at 25 percent
with black women some at 18 percent, suggesting to me that there`s maybe
like a certain New Jersey machismo circumstance here that was part -- I
mean, that`s what he performs on purpose.

REID: Right. And the Chris Christie thing I think is very deceptive. I
think it`s easy for Republicans to look into the sound bite of Christie
saying, you`ve just got to show up. But when you break down how Chris
Christie actually showed up, he did a couple of things.

Number one, he spent $25 million advertising how awesome he was about
hurricane Sandy. Number two, he didn`t hate Barack Obama while accepting
federal funds, which to African-Americans, is like, well, here`s a
Republican who actually did his job as governor, people give him point for
competency, and we know that hurricanes trump everything. This happened in

HARRIS-PERRY: And he did more than not hate Obama, right --

REID: He embraced him.

HARRIS-PERRY: He literally, physically embraced President Obama, which
matters as a deep symbolic moment.

REID: It matters as a moment for the African-Americans. And the third
thing, look, he had some valid ears. First of all, he stood down the
Democratic opposition in that state. He didn`t oppose him. He didn`t have
to be a on a ballot with Cory Booker, a prominent African-American who
could have drawn votes away if he got vote. It is straight ticket. And he
engineered that spending another $25 million.

So, he spent a lot of money to create the appearance of being this great
bipartisan governor. And you know what, I hate to say it, but he also had
a validator in Shaquille O`Neal. I actually saw interviews where African-
American said, you know what, if Shaq is cool with him, he sort of created
the appearance of having black validators.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, this eats at a little place inside of me, a little place
inside of me just died. If you`re telling me you can black votes for a
couple million dollars, a hug with the president, and Shaquille O`Neal? I
mean, I`m all down for selling our votes, but can we be more expensive than
that? I mean, is that really what`s gone on here? Or is Ron making a
point? Is there actually a substantive draw for African-American voters
to, at least a New Jersey version of the Republican Party?

MELBER: When I look at this, and I`ve done a lot of reporting on
specifically civil rights issues and the African-American vote. I think it
breaks down into three areas. One is things that explicitly benefit the
African-American community. Two is things that may help everyone, but also
help the community. And three is the outreach in tone.

So, we talked about the outreach in tone. He did over a hundred town
halls. He went into districts and did town halls in areas where he had
lost by 90, 95 percent, Chris Christie did, and still wanted to meet with
people and that counts for something on tone. On specific civil rights
agenda items, he has nothing, OK? So that`s zero in that category.
Something on tone, but then also, yes, something on other broad-based
benefits that also serve the community.

Hurricane Sandy hit everyone. It was a unity moment. And his decision to
accept Medicaid funds is extremely important and is a bigger issue for
African-American and low-income voters than it is for other people. So, I
do think there`s two pieces there.

Kasich is very different, because he actually has a huge Christian pro-
poverty agenda. He is, to my mind, on policy, one of the only Republican
governors who has been focused on figuring that out, working on not only
Medicaid, but on low-income schools.

HARRIS-PERRY: So I love all of that. And I want to link those back to
Joy`s point about getting the Democrats to stand down. Part of what gets
them to stand down is the embrace of President Obama.

In the "Time" magazine, there`s this moment where Christie is embracing
this woman, but he`s looking up at the camera. But it makes the whole hug
look like it is purposeful, in some way, but it did certainly help the
Democrats to stand down it also meant that the tea party never had to come
stump in New Jersey.

And so, I want to come back to you as soon as we come back from the break
on that, Michael. Because when some members of the Republican Party speak
for you, it sends voters of color the other direction. And we`re going to
listen to what Sarah Palin had to say, when we come back.


HARRIS-PERRY: This was Sarah Palin at the faith and freedom coalition
annual dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, last night.


is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from
China. When that note comes due -- and this isn`t racist, so try it and
try it anyway. This isn`t racist, but it`s going to be like slavery when
that note is due, right?


HARRIS-PERRY: There is a rule, Michael Skolnik.

SKOLNIK: Don`t come to me! The white person will attack the white person,

HARRIS-PERRY: There is a rule, if you say, this isn`t racist, I don`t mean
to be racist, everything after that is guaranteed --

SKOLNIK: Let me be honest, here`s a lie.

HARRIS-PERRY: Seriously! But I never like to over elevate Palin, but it`s
when that happens, right, and if you can link the Republican candidate to
that sort of moment.

SKOLNIK: But this is, my dear friend, Ron, this is your problem, right, is
that Chris Christie, sure, he`s a nice guy. Sure, he went into black
communities and showed up. And that was nice of him to do so. But you
have folks like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz who are out there, and John
Boehner, who are closing down the government, out there, when black people
looking at that Dante, I don`t want that party.

R. CHRISTIE: Wait a second.

REID: And Christie wasn`t associated with that party. He beat the
Republican -- remember, the Republican frame was underwater, 57 percent
negative rating. Christie was essentially divorced from it in his re-
election. He wasn`t running on that brand, on Sarah Palin.

R. CHRISTIE: And I hate to bring reality to the table. But the fact of
the matter is the Republicans, a, didn`t shut the government down. This
was the Democrats who decided, we want more money -- everything that Sarah
Palin just said is exactly right. We are borrowing money --

HARRIS-PERRY: The debt ceiling is not about money, Ron.

R. CHRISTIE: We are borrowing money. Oh, OK. So --

HARRIS-PERRY: The deficit -- come on, Ron. The deficit has been

R. CHRISTIE: The deficit has been shrinking because of the sequester.

HARRIS-PERRY: Granted, but all that we did here was to return to sequester
levels, right? This was ultimately not a fight about the budget. This was
a fight, ultimately, about Obamacare. It was put on the table by Ted Cruz.
I mean, does it take two parties to shut down? Sure.

R. CHRISTIE: Yes, it does.

HARRIS-PERRY: But the reality is, the notion of a shutdown as a strategic
move simply was a move of the radical right within the Republican Party.
So much so that your own speaker was trying to coral that -- I mean, the
tea party is a liability in national elections for you guys, they just are.

R. CHRISTIE: No, it`s not. You know, when you brand the tea party as
being a liability for Republicans, I say absolutely not.

HARRIS-PERRY: In national election.

R. CHRISTIE: What is the tea party stands for, limited government, making
sure to reduce the size and scope at the federal government, trying to get
rid of Obamacare because this is an entitlement this country cannot afford.
I think that is something that Republicans can run to win polls.

REID: And they`re the most unpopular single political entity, other than
the Republican House of Representatives. They have been sinking in
popularity because their brand is associated with anger, it`s associated
with irrational, anti-Obamaism, and they certainly cheer-leaded and cheered
for the shutdown of the government.

It was the tea party, particularly within the House of Representatives,
that is corrupting and corroding government, in the minds of American
people, look at every poll. It`s unanimous. And if you don`t think
they`re a liability, run on the Democrats --


HARRIS-PERRY: I`m just saying, because Cuccinelli loses and Christie wins.
And if Republicans don`t take from that, a national election is going to
require a Christie, not a Cuccinelli, then I mean, that does seem to me to
be a failure of a recognition of sort of the basic realities of what public
opinion polls are showing.

R. CHRISTIE: But the basic reality is, if Cuccinelli had another week, he
would have won this. Obamacare is so unpopular in Virginia --

HARRIS-PERRY: It is not more unpopular than the shutdown among federal

R. CHRISTIE: Yes, it is -- I will give you this. Among federal workers
who live in northern Virginia, yes. But if you look at the fact of the
matter is, Republicans have consistently gone out and said Obamacare is
unpopular --

REID: Then why is the Republican Party in the House so unpopular? Can you
explain? Why are they so unpopular?

R. CHRISTIE: And why is the president`s approval rating right now at
Gallup at 39 percent.

REID: What is the president`s approval rating versus the Republican`s
House`s --


HARRIS-PERRY: But that said, President Obama will never have to run for
office again.

R. CHRISTIE: That`s right.

HARRIS-PERRY: Republicans will. And look, for me, a robust, Republican
party that has a meaningful connection to communities of color is actually
good for the country, right? So wherever I stand from partisan
perspective, from wherever I stand from an analytic perspective, the fact
is, when I look at the Republican party and I see the possibility of a
Chris Christie at the top of the ticket and I see the possibility of a very
long bench of non-white, and some of them non-white women Republican
governors, I look at that and say, OK, actually a Christie-Martinez or a
Christie-Nikki Haley ticket looks pretty dang hard to beat.

But it will also require some -- I mean, what that ticket will have to do
is it will have to tell Sarah Palin -- they will have to do to Sarah Palin
what Bill Clinton did to Sister Souljah. I mean, remember, the way that
Democrats retook national elections was that they decided that in many
ways, the intensity of the black vote and their connection with that black
vote was problematic. They gave it a little bit of a strong arm in the
early `90s. They brought the party hard to center right. That`s how
Clinton wins twice. It`s part of his legacy and part of the legacy of why
the whole dang country is to the right. They`re going to have to do that
to the tea party if they`re going to win a national election.

MELBER: Right. And I think part of what you`re talking about, Melissa, is
the difference between politics, how do we win elections, and goals, only
winning the next election and social change, which involves competition
over issues throughout the political process. So it is good. If you dare
about changing the over incarceration approach of this nation, it is good
to have that conversation within both parties. And the fact that there are
some people, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum among them, who talk about that as
a racial justice issue, is a good thing. They are still far behind. They
are not the leaders on that in my view, but I would rather have that
competition within both parties.

Now, another thing I wanted to say is I didn`t know how much of what I said
in this segment was racist or not. Because these people prefaced their
comments by saying it wasn`t racist. To me, that`s confusing. But the
other piece about Obamacare is, you know, Ron and I have a disagreement
about the empirical facts, and we`ll find out who is right, but you seem to
believe as a factual matter that Virginia is looking at a sort of floor of
Obamacare opposition.

R. CHRISTIE: Absolutely.

MELBER: And I think we`re looking at more of a ceiling. I think the 53
percent of the place, where as we mentioned, the guy who filed the first
challenge, ran against Obamacare in a place that`s close to Washington,
that`s very sort of clued into the national discussion, I don`t think
there`s 10 or 20 percent more anti-Obama people. And that election came in
after two of the worst weeks of press for Obamacare since it started.

HARRIS-PERRY: All right. Let`s keep it going in the commercial. Maybe
we`ll do like MHP in the commercial.

Ron Christie, thank you for being here. I hope you`ll come back to

And up next, the deadly shooting of a young African-American woman and new
questions about who the law really protects.


HARRIS-PERRY: I don`t want to have to talk about this today. I don`t want
to have to stand here again and say to you again the same words that you
have heard so many times before, too many times, because the details are
all familiar by now.

An African-American victim, a life ended by a gun. Justice delayed or
denied by the very laws that were supposed to uphold and preserve it.
People victimized by the very institutions that were meant to make them
feel safe. Stories remarkable for the similarities in their circumstances,
but each time a new name.

Trayvon Martin, last year shot while unarmed, walking home in the rain in
Sanford, Florida. The man who killed him going free and alluding charges
for weeks because of a state law that said he could.

Jordan Davis, last year, shot while unarmed in that same state where his
killer is using that same law as a defense.

Jonathan Farrell, two months ago, shot while unarmed, while seeking help
after a car accident in Charlotte, North Carolina. The police officer who
killed him responding to his duty to protect and serve by firing 12 shots,
10 of which found their mark in Jonathan Farrell`s body.

And today, another new name, Renisha McBride, shot while unarmed after
another car accident on another doorstep in the middle of the night, in
another state with a law that says it`s OK to kill someone as long as
you`re standing your ground. The details of this case are still emerging,
but here is what we do know.

Renisha was a 19-year-old young woman from Detroit, Michigan, who graduated
from high school last year. According to her family, she had just been
hired to work at Ford motor company. Around 1:00 a.m. last Saturday, she
got into a car accident, and sometime around 3:40 a.m., found herself on
the doorstep of a stranger in Dearborn Heights. It`s still unclear what
happened between that moment and the moment that Renisha died. But what is
certain is that the person who answered the door shot her in the face with
a 12-gauge shotgun. The shooter, a 54-year-old white man who remains
unnamed, who lives alone and told the police that he thought someone was
trying to break into his home and that his gun discharged accidentally.
His attorneys say that shooting was justified and that he was, quote, in
fear for his life. So far, no charges have been filed, no arrests have
been made. A warrant requested on Wednesday by the Dearborn Heights.
Police was returned by the Wayne County prosecutor, who called for further
investigation before the warrant could be issued.

I want to be here standing about talking about Renisha McBride. I want her
to be just another 19-year-old girl excited and nervous to start her new
job. I don`t want to have to ask about what caused the death of another
unarmed child. Again, I don`t want to have to question the wisdom of a law
where a shooter is more likely to walk free when the victim is African-
American again. But I have to. We have to. So that I won`t have to stand
here and do it again, telling you the same story with another new name,
ever again.


HARRIS-PERRY: As the shooting of Renisha McBride begins to raise new
questions about stand your ground in Michigan, the law has survived a push
for its repeal in Florida. A committee of Florida lawmakers considered the
repeal proposal on Thursday to hearing that was prompted by the protests of
youth activist, the Dream Defenders. After five hours of commentary and
debate, a panel of Florida lawmakers voted 11-2 to reject the repeal of
stand your ground. During the same session, they also voted 12-1 to pass a
separate bill that removes the mandatory 10 to 20 life sentence for people
who fire a warning shot. It`s a move that came too late for Marissa
Alexander, who received a 20-year, mandatory prison sentence after firing a
warning shot in an altercation with her abusive husband.

Her conviction was thrown out six weeks ago after an appeals court found
that the jury in her original trial was given faulty instructions by the
judge and a bail hearing for Alexander is set for Wednesday of next week,
and her new trial is scheduled to begin on March 31st, 2014.

But according to the decision of the appeals court, as of now, she will
still be unable to use stand ground as a defense.

Joining the panel now is Vince Warren, executive director at the center for
constitutional rights, who was one of the attorneys who is recently argued
the case to end stop and frisk here in New York city.

Vince, thanks for being here.

for having me.

HARRIS-PERRY: So let`s start with the Renisha McBride case, because this
may or may not have anything to do with stand your ground, in that it`s
castle doctrine, right? This man was in his home, which I guess in every
state, you have a right, if you believe yourself to be threatened. But is
there a reason he hasn`t been arrested? I guess I`m confused about how
Stand Your Ground, how castle dock trip impact what the police do in this

WARREN: It`s a very interesting question, because I think you`re right, in
every state, people do have the right to defend themselves. And the
question is whether they reasonably are in fear of their lives. And so,
here you have a scenario where this poor lady was just shot in the head,
asking for help. And normally, that would trigger a police investigation.
It seems pretty clear-cut. But I think what is happening here is they`re
looking at extra investigations to determine, essentially, what his state
of mind was. What he was thinking. What he saw from his perspective
before the arrest and which raises this larger question, right? Which is
the problematic question, which is, is it reasonable in this society, for
us to be able to think black folks, whether they`re coming up for help or
whether they`re trying to get back into their own house or whether they`re
trying to call the police, is it reasonable for us to think that black
folks are a threat? That they`re even worthy of investigation? That`s the
overarching question.

MELBER: And the Michigan state laws, we know these things do very come
state to state. The Michigan state law says you have to reasonably believe
it, as Vince said, and honestly believe it. It can`t be pre-textural in
your mind. So, that`s what the lawyers call a two-pronged test. It`s a
slightly higher test in some states. It goes to, what is the reasonable
belief? And in this particular incident, you have an accidental discharge,
right, that also goes to a lot of questions and lawyers could fight over.
But one argument would be, well, if you honestly and reasonably believed
this, you would be acting deliberately. You can`t get as much credit for a

REID: And how could it be you didn`t accidentally open the door. I think
one of the things that is true about the stand your ground law, they have
enhanced the castle doctrine in every state. But I think what the NRA has
been very successful in doing, in a country where you have fewer gun
buyers, where fewer people are buying guns, but more guns are being sold
because existing buyers are buying more guns, what the NRA has done since
2005, when the Florida law was signed by Jeb Bush and they proliferate,
they are more than 30 states now, is they`ve worn down the mental
prohibition in choosing using your gun.

The difference between Stand Your Ground and the castle doctrine, is the
castle doctrine says, if somebody comes in your home and you are armed, you
have a right to defend yourself. But what stand your ground has done
subtly in the mind of gun owners is they said listen, go ahead and use your
gun. The liability is not going to attack you. If you hear a bump in the
night, and someone is outside your house, go ahead and open that door and
shoot, because we`ve got your back, essentially.

The NRA has made the law of the gun apply to you not just if someone comes
in, but if you decide to go out. And I think that mental fraud vision
against using your gun, because the liability has been reduced, I think it
has created a different climate. I think it has changed the climate for
gun owners.

HARRIS-PERRY: And that, in changing the climate for gun owners, around a
mental, sort of perceptual question, therefore undoubtedly connects race to
it. And I wanted to ask you about this a little bit, because I know you
use social media as a way of bringing, Michael, sort of a focus on gun
violence and gun death. You were doing it this morning.

Social media is not a full, accurate, public opinion survey. But I watched
as the Renisha McBride story became public, just, you know, sort of my
whole social media world exploded with this. Because in addition to
shifting the world for young owners, young people of color are like, it is
open season on us! I mean, like, that`s what happens in our shift, in our
understanding of what it means to be American.

SKOLNIK: I think what happened with Trayvon, when there`s so much silence
in those first couple of weeks and no one was talking about it black
people. You were talking about other folks and the media were talking
about. But white people, especially, were very, very quiet around Trayvon
Martin. And it took 45 days for that arrest. So, it is the same thing
happening in Renisha McBride. They`re silent, right? And this time, it`s
not going to take 45 days for us to talk and march and go on social media.
We are going to talk in the very beginning. There is no arrest, there is
no information, there is no police report, right?

So, this guy is saying self-defense? Prove it! Prove it was self-defense!
Don`t tell me it is self-defense. I have to believe you police officer,
who just killed Jonathan Farrell just two months ago. So, if the guy
called the police and the police showed, I don`t know it would be a
different outcome.


MELBER: And Melissa, there`s such an important connection here between
what you`re saying about using the media, social media, and pushing that up
into all of the media, to understand who these people are as individuals.
Not the criminalization of black people, particularly, a black man, in this
case, a black woman, but the names, right, the Jordan Davis and Trayvon
Martin. And that actually impacts with what CCR, where I also used to
work, and with what Vince does which is in a stop and frisk case, we
learned about innocent systemically and repeatedly profiled because of the
color of their skin. We met them. They were brought in to court process.
This is the formal legal version of it. The social media has been powerful
and what Michael and others are doing is powerful because it`s the informal

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. We`ll come back, because I want to talk about stop and
frisk. But before we go out, I want to read this quote from Dram Hampton,
the Detroit writer and filmmaker, because I think she captures this sense.

She writes, I thought that this is not a unique or original story. She
recently organized a rally Thursday, calling for justice for McBride. She
says, about every six weeks, we basically have some racial kill historic to
protest and to mourn and to be outraged about and that feeling that this is
now our new normal.

When we come back, more on how that is also part of the stop and frisk
story, when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to speak to you about the role of proactive
policing and the role it`s played in keeping New York City safe in our
post-9/11 environment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asking tough questions is not enough!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to make this community safer, yet you are
making an entire population feel unsafe.


HARRIS-PERRY: OK. Depending on how you look at it, that was part of
either New York police commissioner Ray Kelly having his first amendment
rights trampled on by a group of protesters at Brown University last week,
or it is a group of protesters at Brown University exercising their right
to free speech against the man who`s the very embodiment of the New York
police department`s policy of stop and frisk.

Among those holding the former opinion is Brown University president,
Christina Paxon, who this week announced the formation of an ominously
named committee on the events of October 29th, pending an investigation to
the disruption (ph), that clears out to punish all individuals and
organizations involved.

So Air, there is an interesting free speech conversation to be had about
this. I`m less interested in than I am in two things here. One, that it
is part of that culture of young people saying, you know what, you,
embodiment of the police, you embodiment of stop and frisk, we are going to
speak back against that, but also the speed of the institution that they
are most connected to basically has said, we`re going to punish you where
these other folks, having taken people`s lives are not being punished.

MELBER: Yes. I think, look. This is very important because the police
operate with an implied legitimacy. It`s a legal legitimacy, but it is
also a social and cultural legitimacy. And we know how differently that
relates to different neighborhoods. What we were just discussing in the
previous segment is how the police could be seen as the protector or
aggressor depending on your station in life or the color of your skin.

So, it seems to me, this is a privileged institution, the university where
he is going to speak, and expecting a certain friendly, I would say, or
respectful reception. And while he has the freedom to speak and hopefully
shouldn`t be shouted down the way working never gets this point out, I
think that kind of protest is important and powerful, because it challenges
the legitimacy of his tactics.

The fact that that operates in an environment of legal challenge, we still
have this case on stop and frisk on appeal and a new mayor coming into New
York. But this is bigger than New York, of course. New York is a city
full of liberals and black and brown people have been governed by
Republicans with aggressive racial profiling. Now, depending on how you
count it, Republicans for 25 years, there is aggressive racial profiling
using the words of the district court over the last several years.

And so, it is time for America, I think, broadly, to look at this shift and
see, culturally, why we need to challenge it, and politically why a
Democrat could actually win in this city by saying, no, we can do public
safety without making sure that every black man is stopped, which in some
years was the level of this stop and frisk.

HARRIS-PERRY: So stopped twice. So part of what I want to ask is, last
night, there was a shooting in sort of Manhattan area, right, Bryant park,
right? And my immediate thought was, great, let the backlash begin. Like,
de Blasio is not even in yet, but my bet is, to the extent gun violence
creeps into communities that think of themselves as inured from it as a
result of the policies we`ve seen under the Bloomberg administration, that
de Blasio might actually have a hard time bringing down the level of police

WARREN: I`m not sure he`ll have that hard time. But I think what`s
important about the Brown University piece is what those students were
saying, regardless of how they said it, the methodology, they were saying
what people in New York and people around the country are beginning to say.

Number one, give me a break. We know for a fact that the stop and frisk
aggressive policies are actually more dangerous for black communities than
they are safe for white communities. We know this, we know this to be
true. The folks at Brown didn`t want to hear that stuff anymore.

And what we`re talking about now, with respect to de Blasio is he`s got a
real challenge. But what he shouldn`t be focused on is the amount of spin
that`s going to happen, that every time that there is a crime somewhere in
the city, that`s going to be evidence, we need more stop and frisk. We`ve
been doing this for way too long.

REID: And it`s really kind of ironic that you are sort of 50 years after
sort of a landmark, the heroic era of the civil rights movement, we`re
still arguing about the basic right to move around the city untrammeled.
And that the idea of it in order for the majority of New York to be safe,
you must to put this population under deep surveillance. You must suspect
every single one of them of being a potential criminal and then inquire
about that. In the old South African sense of inquiring, and it would stop
you and ask who you are, and show me the papers, show me who you are and
prove to it me, or I can actually pat you down (INAUDIBLE).

And this is a requirement for an overall safe society. It puts African-
American youth and Latino youth and minority youth in general really under
a situation of being somewhat less citizens because the conditions for the
rest of the citizenship to feel safe is that you must be under deep

HARRIS-PERRY: That is beautifully said. And to connect that back to what
Ari was saying, the thing that makes the state the state is the monopoly on
the legitimate use of violence, force and coercion. And if it is a whole
population for whom that use to bound force portion is clearly
illegitimate, then it is, in fact, not a legitimate, stable state in that

SKOLNIK: I think what was interesting for the last few weeks, what
happened at Barney`s, right? There`s not one person who I met, who said,
what they did to that kid was right. Everyone said that was wrong. What
happened to that young man outside of Barney`s is what happens to every
young black and brown kid in New York when their stopped and frisked by the
police. The same policy, we think you`re a burglar, we think you`re
selling drugs, the same length of profile. So, we think that is wrong.
And every other stop and frisk should be wrong as well.

HARRIS-PERRY: Do you think it`s the class element? Because it was like we
purposefully said, I don`t really want to do stop and frisk today, in the
context of talking about Renisha McBride and folks who are losing their
lives. But it is that same sort of mind set. And yet, I wonder if the
outrage is because well, these are people who can afford these consumer
items, how dare you stop them?

SKOLNIK: Certainly. I think that`s part of it. But, you know, a $250
belt is an expensive items, but there are many young people in Brown or
Brooklyn or in East New York who can b a $250 belt as well. So I think
that sense, just racial profiling any individual should be deemed wrong.

HARRIS-PERRY: Vince Warren and Ari Melber, thank you so much.

And listen, for much more on these types of issues, I want to direct you to
an excellent article that Ari has written on former felons and the barriers
they face while trying to vote as part of the ongoing "presumed guilty"
series. It is a really terrific series. You can find it on our Web site

Coming up next, the bullying allegations rocking the NFL, we have a
fantastic panel that`s going to dig deep into the issues here. It`s Sunday
morning and we are doing football, Nerdland style. We`ll talk about
masculinity, race, money, culture, that`s how we do football.

Stay with us, because there`s more Nerdland at the top of the hour.


HARRIS-PERRY: Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry.

Until a couple of weeks ago, Jonathan Martin lined up on the offensive line
at the Miami Dolphins starting right tackle. But on October 30th,
reporters tweeted that Martin had been absent from the team facility all
week and hadn`t practiced. Others reported Martin had kind of flipped out
and smashed a food tray on the floor of the team lunchroom when a practical
joke perpetrated by teammates didn`t sit well with him.

The next day, "The A.P." reported that he left the team to receive
professional assistance for emotional issues. We later learned that the
lunchroom incident may have been the breaking point for the 24-year-old
Martin, a second-year player out of Stanford.

The Dolphins released a statement a week ago that read, in part, "We
received notification today of Jonathan`s representation about allegations
of player misconduct" -- an allegation that implicated teammate and fellow
offensive lineman Richie Incognito in a pattern of harassment of bullying
of Martin.

Incognito, a nine-year veteran, allegedly left voice mails and text
messages for Martin that led the Dolphins to suspend Incognito indefinitely
for conduct detrimental to the team. One reported example, and this going
to be hard for me to read here, "Hey, what`s up. You half N-word, piece of

Incognito reportedly Martin in a voicemail in April of this year, "I saw
you on Twitter, you`ve been training for ten weeks. I want to expletive in
your expletive mouth. I`m going to slap you in your expletive mouth. I`m
going to slap your real mother across the face. Expletive you, you`re
still a rookie. I`ll kill you."

It has been said, football is a man`s game and all standard and narrow
assumptions about what manhood apply. Those who play professional football
in the NFL are presumed to be tough guys and the toughest of them all might
be the offensive lineman who play after play, repeatedly collide with
faster, arguably more athletic guys rushing directly at them. Martin, a
tackle and Incognito, a guard, were in their second season of going through
the bone-crushing reality of o-line play, literally alongside one another,
and not just on the field.

On each team, there are teams within teams, and the offensive linemen in
particular, typically have a pretty strong bond, as the one unit expressly
charged with protecting the quarterback, often the team`s most important

They`d better be close, but a statement from Martin`s attorney, David
Cornwell, released Thursday made it clear, it`s not just Incognito being
implemented. Cornwell said, quote, "Beyond the well-published voice mail
and its racial epithet, Jonathan endured a malicious, physical attack on
him by a teammate and daily vulgar comments. These facts are not in

This alleged bullying of a grown man weighing over 300 pounds has ignited a
public debate over what means the to be a tough guy in the NFL and whether
it`s more courageous to man up and take it or to be man enough to walk

Joining me now are: Joy Reid, managing editor of "The Grio"; Dave Zirin,
sports editor at "The Nation" magazine; Don McPherson, who is former NFL
quarterback and feminist activist, I just love those things going together;
and columnist, Jemele Hill, who also co-hosts ESPN`s "Numbers
Never Lie."

So nice to have you all here.

Let me just start with you, Dave. Is staying and enduring the manly thing
to do or is walking away and revealing, basically being a whistle-blower,
the manly thing to do?

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: You know what, this is about
manhood versus adulthood. Manhood, a very narrow definition that feeds
into this gender binary of manhood in the NFL. And what does that binary
mean? It means that being a man means being able to take violence, it
means being able to inflict violence. It means having incredibly
retrograde views about women, about LBGT people, and it means being able to
be a white guy who says, I can drop N-bombs because it`s all good, it`s the
culture. That`s one side.

The other side, you have adulthood. That`s Jonathan Martin saying, you
know what? I shouldn`t have to fight this guy to have this job. This is a
union workplace.

And I`ll tell you something, we could spend this whole time talking about
this violent, bullying, rape joke making, N-bomb dropping portrait of
putrescence that is Richie Incognito, we could do that, but that would let
some off the real structural villains off the hook, because let`s remember,
these players don`t have guaranteed contracts.

So, none of this happens on the locker room level without the tacit
approval of people in charge.

HARRIS-PERRY: I want -- I think that`s so useful and it`s important to see
it`s not just -- if we make it just about this one person, then we solve it
by addressing just this one person. But I do want to listen to Incognito
talking about himself, in part as a victim of a culture that he says allows

Let`s listen to Incognito and then I want to hear your responses to it.


RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS: You can ask anybody in the Miami
Dolphins locker room who had Jon Martin`s back the absolute most. And
they`ll undoubtedly tell you, me.

All this stuff coming out just, it speaks to -- it speaks to the culture of
our locker room. It speaks to the culture of our closeness. It speaks to
the culture of our brotherhood.

And the racism, the bad words, you know, that`s what I regret most. But
that is, that`s a product of the environment. And that`s something that we
use all the time.


HARRIS-PERRY: How do you respond to that?

DON MCPHERSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, I think there`s two ways that I
listen to that. One, as an activist, in the prevention of violence,
interpersonal violence, is this is an abusive relationship.

This could be a husband talking about abusing his wife. This could be a
parent talking about abusing their child. This could be -- so many people
saying, well, this is just the way we do it when that person gets out of
line. They look to me for that leadership and that tough leadership, that
tough love I`m going to give that person, and we`re friends, he loves that,
he loves me.

So, abusive relationships take many forms and what`s happening here and
what`s happening within this, as Dave said, this is toxic masculinity.
This could be in the fifth grade or this could be in the NFL. It`s the
same type of masculinity that Dave talked about that`s very narrow in its
form, it`s very violent in many ways, it`s abusive in many ways.

But it`s not just what`s happening in the locker room. You have to look at
the toxic masculinity in the collective voices of the NFL. I`m not talking
about the league office here in New York. I`m talking about all the
announcers, all the former coaches and players who are all saying that
Jonathan Martin should take this like a man. Stand up and be a man, punch
him back, like we talked about earlier.


MCPHERSON: All this kind of bravado, all this kind of tough-guy
masculinity, which, by the way, if you take that same logic, someone that
feels abused or feels like they`ve been bullied who brings a gun to school
is justified. Take it like a man, stand up and be like a man, smile like a
man. Take it into your own hands.

And so, this bravado that you`re hearing is not just in the Dolphin`s
locker room, it`s throughout, as Dave talked about, it`s culture of
masculinity that so many people vicariously live through the NFL and sit
down on Sunday afternoons and this is where they get to display their --

HARRIS-PERRY: I love you taking to that context of an abusive
relationship. It makes so many things fall into place, as soon as you
think about this as someone in an abusive relationship who exits and the
way in which that person exits often gets policed. So, you know, I always
try to ask myself, are we responding out of some sort of knee-jerk moment,
because, look, Nerdland is a crazy place where we say crazy things.

And part of intimacy, sometimes is that you do not in every moment have to
be completely PC. Right? It`s part of how we say, I trust you, because
I`m going to say things that I shouldn`t say on air, and I`m going to
believe that you won`t say that, I`m going to say them on the air, but I`m
not going to abuse you.

So, I guess part of what I`m struggling with here is, is he in any way
right, even if he`s gone too far, about the idea that locker room intimacy,
in which people do break some rules, in order to demonstrate trust, or am I
just giving him way too much credit?

JEMELE HILL, ESPN.COM: Well, you`re talking about locker room intimacy in
a locker room where it goes beyond just dropping the PC walls. I mean, Don
has been in the locker room, I`m sure you have, Dave. I`ve been in and out
of locker rooms throughout my career, covering it as a print reporter.

They experience a closeness and togetherness that is very unique. And I`m
caught to because I`m a huge football fan, and I realize I`m trying to
impose the rules of society in this locker room, where they simply don`t
really apply, because it`s not just an abusive relationship maybe with each
other, as you use an example. It`s with the game itself.

The game requires a certain amount of mental and physical fortitude that
most people simply don`t have. The game is about paying tolerance. That`s
what it`s all about. It`s defined by that. And because of that, they take
that attitude in the locker room as well and it`s hard for them to

Now, where I`m caught is, they have to understand that while you may have
that culture inside the locker room, it clearly bleeds out of it, because
we`ve seen many NFL players involved in acts of violence against women,
other sorts of ugly incidents, you know, attempted murder. You see the
Aaron Hernandez situation.

Sooner of later, whatever`s happening there in that incubator, it comes

Stick with me, we`ve got so much more this hour.

And I`m going to specifically going to bring Joy-Ann on the Florida of it
all when we come back.

So, everyone, stay there because when we come back, we`ll get the latest
developments out of Miami.


HARRIS-PERRY: We`ve been discussing the Miami Dolphins bullying
controversy that reached beyond sports, and I now want to go live to the
Dolphins training facility in Florida, and our NBC News correspondent,
Kerry Sanders for the latest.

Hi, Kerry.

Let me ask you just --


HARRIS-PERRY: I want to talk about the latest developments here.

SANDERS: Yes, well, things are pretty much status quo. I think the really
big development is Richie Incognito, which has not even revealed if he has
an attorney, and if he does, he hasn`t named his attorney with -- released
any sort of statement, now goes on FOX News and makes this statement. And
we`ve only heard a portion of it, but sort of answers some questions head-
on there.

So I think what really is at play here now is a little bit in the Dolphin`s
camp as well as the NFL`s camp, because we haven`t really heard
specifically from Jonathan Martin, although his attorney has released a
statement. Now, we`ve heard some from Richie Incognito, and as your guests
were saying before the break here, this really stirs up a lot of problems
for the operation of the NFL. Not as if the games themselves will be
impacted. Fans will go, there`ll still be plenty of money in the
television contracts.

But for those on the outside looking in, there`s an expectation here that
this is going to lead to some sort of resolution, and it`s unclear at this
point, as this is just getting underway, whether the attorney who`s been
brought in here, Ted Wells, and is doing this independent investigation, is
going to provide something that actually then can lead to some sort of
resolution beyond maybe just this locker room.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, let me ask you, just quickly, about that question of
sort of what must undoubtedly be the NFL`s anxiety around this. Do you
have a sense, is there any sort of idea at this point about how they will
respond, particularly going into the Monday night game.

SANDERS: Well, I think a lot of people are expecting whether the team here
will be able to divorce themselves from what`s going on, off the field with
what they try to do on the field Monday night. They`re playing Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Bucs have not won a game all season.

So, if the Dolphins can go in and win, maybe there`s a suggestion that they
can make that psychological break from what`s been going on.

I mean, I`ve been in the locker room here, players telling me, look, this
is my life. I`ve watched "SportsCenter" every day. I haven`t watched
"SportsCenter" all week. Other guys telling me they have not picked up the
newspaper, they haven`t seen the blogs. Others say they can`t avoid it.

And it sounds sort of trivial, but you hear it all the time, because it is
correct. When coaches and players saying they`re just trying to focus.
Everything in their life can impact the way they play. And so, I think
there`s going to be a lot of eyeballs on what otherwise that Monday night
football probably wouldn`t have had a whole lot of people watching it, you

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, right.


SANDERS: -- against an OK team. A lot of people are going to be looking
at this one.

HARRIS-PERRY: I was going to say, probably just end up with a bigger
audience, which is a sort of sickness in and of itself.

NBC`s Kerry Sanders live from Davie, Florida -- thank you so much.


HARRIS-PERRY: Now, I want to turn back to exactly what Kerry said there,
this idea that this may actually draw viewers to an all Florida game that`s
going to happen on Monday night, Tampa and Miami.

But you`ve lived many years in Florida, you report all the Florida, is
there anything, Joy, that feels particularly Florida as opposed to
particularly NFL about this moment?

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It always comes back to, what is wrong with

HARRIS-PERRY: What is wrong with Florida? Did y`all secede or something?

REID: Being (INAUDIBLE) North Carolina, you can see what it look --


REID: Well, I mean, the thing is Florida -- I mean, football is a religion
in Florida, from peewee football to high school football, where you could
literally have school that would have on by a thread, and no one would dare
touch because it`s a football mecca, and Florida turns out so many players
that are NFL potentially, that it is really important.

And the culture of it, whether you`re talking about peewee or high school
or professional football, in Florida and probably throughout the country,
is this sense that toughness matters more than brains and sensitivity,
right? I`ve been sort of struck by the way that this has been covered,
even the stories about Martin have sort of portrayed him as sort of a 300-
pound weaklings and really emphasized his parents went to Harvard and he
went to Stanford, almost saying, he might not have been tough enough for
this game psychologically.

HARRIS-PERRY: Nothing will emasculate your son like an ivy league

REID: Right, and this is a good thing, supposedly, he`s a smart guy. But
there is this sense, even if you`re on the sidelines, there had to be rules
when my kids played sports in Florida against parents belittling and
berating the children who were playing on just the soccer field, because
the intensity of having to have boys be super hyper, masculine, and tough
and take anything dished out to them, whether physically or
psychologically, was more important than people sort of looking out for
either head injuries or their mental health. Just the way it is.

ZIRIN: What a youth coach once said to me who`s from (INAUDIBLE) in New
Orleans I think applies to Florida. He said to me, when you have poverty,
institutionalized racism and year-round sunshine, you also have the perfect
soil to create NFL players.

But let`s take it back to the NFL and the crisis there.


ZIRIN: Because people have got to remember, we came off four weeks of NFL
players wearing pink on the field.


ZIRIN: And these moms forums they`re having. Because with the concussion
crisis, they`re trying to convince moms that this is a family-friendly
sport and it is good for your son. And you know what? They are freaking
out right now, because this story runs counter to the idea that this is a
productive thing for your children to do.

And I`m sorry, like, I agree with what Jemele said, definitely, about like
part of the NFL`s enduring violence, but it makes me so angry that people
like Joe Philbin, the coach of the Dolphins, Jeff Ireland, the general
manager, what do they have in common? They didn`t play the game.

Scott Pioli (ph), who`s the former GM of Kansas City, who said Martin
should have punched him back, he didn`t play. And he even saw one of his
players last year, Jovan Belcher take his life in front of him after
killing the mother of his child and they`re still caught in this. They`re
like the Rumsfeld, William Chrystal chicken hawks of Iraq preaching about
violence that they themselves never had to experience.

HILL: And the reaction to the story, period. On Twitter, you hear so many
guys say what they would have done. And that`s what ultimately this
situation becomes, like, if it were me, I would have done -- and knowing
that you can`t bust a hammer with a grape, you know, or bust a grape with a
hammer, whatever, you know what I mean.

But still, either way, like I find that all these trumped up macho, wannabe
-- a lot of people who wanted to play football and weren`t tough enough to
play all of a sudden have something to say about it.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s part of why we love football. Everybody who knows me
knows I`m obsessed with the New Orleans Saints, right? And the bounty
system that occurred and sort of -- we did have a lot of collective shame
about that in the city. Our main angst was, ah, man, bring us back our

And now, we can, you know -- and part of it is that we are all living that
vicarious violence, right? It`s our chance where all these intellectual
folks can, in fact, sort of live that vicarious way, that doesn`t give us
head injuries and doesn`t put us in the lineup.

So much more, Joy. Thanks for weighing in on Florida.

Up next, though, the claim that a white man is more black than a black man.
I swear, this is a key part of the story. And I will bring Michael Skolnik
back for that one.


HARRIS-PERRY: Race is not a biological reality. It`s a social construct.
And apparently there`s some very interesting social construction of race
happening in the Miami Dolphins` team locker room.

Several Dolphins players speaking in defense of Richie Incognito deny he is
a racist, despite voice mail messages indicating Incognito called Jonathan
Martin the N-word.

"The Miami Herald" reports, quote, "In the Dolphins locker room, Richie
Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black
players. He was an honorary black man. Indeed, Martin was considered less
black than Incognito."

This one former player was quoted as saying, "Being a brother is more than
just about skin color. It`s how you carry yourself, how you play, where
you come from, what you`ve experienced, a lot of things."

And so I ask, when it comes do race, is it really a whole new ball game
when it comes to the locker room?

Joining us once again at the table is Michael Skolnik of

I had to bring you back for this, because, seriously --


HARRIS-PERRY: I have one question.

SKOLNIK: I`m here.

HARRIS-PERRY: Michael, honorary black man, is that a thing?

SKOLNIK: No! It`s ridiculous to think that because you`re honorary, you
can use the N-word. I would never --

HARRIS-PERRY: You and Russell don`t be N-wording it up.

SKOLNIK: No! He might be saying it to me, but I`m like, um. So this
notion that because you`re accepted in the black community, therefore, it`s
OK to use the N-word. This word is wrong. Richie Incognito said about
Martin is wrong.

I would never, never use that word. It`s a nasty word coming out of the
mouth of a white person. And the notion that it`s acceptable because he
was one of us, I don`t buy it.

HARRIS-PERRY: Don, do you buy that locker room culture, though? That
like, look, you are just -- because again, this is the point I made
earlier, sometimes things are said in the intimacy of workplaces that sound
kind of special if they are just taken out. Is that what`s going on here?

MCPHERSON: I think there`s two things going on here. One is, I`ve been
saying this from the very beginning with all of this, as the NFL has been
exposed and this culture has been exposed, is that there`s a certain
element of America learning how the sausage is made, right? We don`t want
to know how the sausage is made. We want our ugly, nasty, warriors on
Sunday to hit somebody and send over here (INAUDIBLE) like this, I`m the


MCPHERSON: In pink, don`t care what colors.

So we want that, but we don`t want to know how that happens. We don`t want
to know how that`s made and the environment that`s created in.

The other thing that -- this whole race thing about Richie Incognito is
more black than Jonathan Martin, there`s a certain amount of self-loathing
and self-hate in that statement. That to be black, you have to be violent
and you have to be a bad -- like in "Pulp Fiction," I`m a bad MF, right?
You have to be that to be black.

So these players saying, Richie Incognito is a bad dude because he`s more
like the black bad dude in the league. And let`s face it, this is the
league that lionize Ray Lewis in the last (INAUDIBLE). And the league is
very uncomfortable with Ray Lewis being the man up here. He`s not your
poster child for your Stanford, your from Stanford, you feel much
intellect, right?

So this whole anti-intellectualism that you`re hearing, this violent you`re
hearing, does run through the NFL.

HARRIS-PERRY: Because it`s important that we know we`re talking about,
that intersectionality around race and gender earlier. This isn`t just
about a construction of masculinity, this is quite specifically about a
construction of black masculinity. What we expect of black men, 69 percent
of players in the NFL, African-American men, that what we`re expecting is
this sort of narrow definition.

But, Jemele, I want to ask you a question. We have seen also not only the
alleged words to Martin, but also the alleged words to Martin about, quote,
"running a train on his sister." And I wonder if Richie Incognito is also
an honorary rape survivor? Is that why he`s allowed to say that? Because
all of a sudden we`re in a new land here.

HILL: Yes, we are. And I`ve talked to many players, both current and
former, since I`ve been running around ESPN`s campuses, so they`re easy to
talk to. And I asked them, like, is this typical or is this atypical? And
even they are perplexed by the language and even the whole N-word

They admit, it`s said in the locker room, for sure. But just to give
somebody who`s white this kind of license to just walk around and say it,
because according to the reports, you know, this is something that Richie
Incognito was saying to Jonathan Martin in meeting rooms, going around
saying it. And I`m like, why didn`t a coach go, hold on, I don`t care what
kind of honorary you are, but not up in here.

ZIRIN: Exactly. I mean, the locker room is shaped dramatically by
powerlessness. Remember, the non-guaranteed politics, people coming from
poverty, and the politics of white supremacy. That`s the environment, when
Richie Incognito says he comes from the environment.

You know, I had an interview this week with Dr. Walter Beach, who played in
the 1960s, he was an athlete activist, played with Jim Brown on the
Cleveland Browns. And Walter Beach said to me, I don`t understand it, in
the `60s at the height of the freedom struggle, no white person dared say
the N-word. And I said, Walter, I said, maybe because it was the height of
the black freedom struggle that no one dared say the N-word and maybe it
didn`t hurt that Jim Brown was standing next to you.

HARRIS-PERRY: Dave, literally, the question I want to ask you is about
John Carlos and Tommy Smith and them standing there in that moment putting
up their fists at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and the ways in which they
were also policed. This notion that you are not supposed to talk about
racism at home when you`re the home team. So in this case, the locker room
is the home team. Is that part of what`s happening?

ZIRIN: It`s very similar because what John Carlos and Tommy Smith did, and
Peter Norman, the silver medalist wearing the solidarity patch, is that
they talked out of turn. They brought it out of the Olympic locker room.
Jesse Owens said, don`t take our business out into the street about racism
here. And they said, no, there`s a bigger issue at play and we are going
to do that.

And I would argue that`s what makes Jonathan Martin the hero of this story
because he dared step outside the man box and the locker room code and say,
this shall not stand, and he`s going to pay a price for it.


Michael, I just one more time, we only have seconds before we go break, but
once again, so that people are clear, if you have many black friends, if
you are married to a black person, if you are an honorary black man, are
you allowed to use the N-word?


HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you. I just hope that is clear.

Michael Skolnik, you can go home now and have a great Sunday afternoon.

When we talk about hazing, the issue extends well beyond the professional
football field and that`s next.



BYRON HURT, FILMMAKER: There`s something to be said about rituals in our
country and in our society. But I think when it becomes abusive, when it
becomes humiliating and degrading and when hazing becomes life threatening,
I think it`s a problem that needs to be addressed.


HARRIS-PERRY: That was my guest, Byron Hurt, talking about his upcoming
documentary, "Hazing: How Badly You Want In?"

Now, whether it`s a pro-football team or a college sorority, hazing appears
to be a big part of team culture. According to a 2008 survey by
researchers at the University of Maine, nearly half of all college students
experienced hazing in high school or even earlier. And during college, 55
percent of students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience

Joining the table now is documentary filmmaker, Byron Hurt, who`s also the
co-founder of Mentors and Violence Prevention.

So, Byron, one of the things that I`m coming to grips with as a 40-year-old
is remembering that the men that I see on the field for the NFL, who I
responded to as kids, because they were grown men, are in their 20s for the
most part. And I suddenly was like, oh, yes, right! When you leave 20-
year-old boys and girls alone, they haze each other, right?

I`m wondering if there`s something we can therefore learn from college
campus culture that teach us about how to prevent it, how to redirect it.
You know, yes, they`re wealthy and they`re men, but they`re also kids.

HURT: This is true. This is true.

And it`s coming from a place. You know, I just spoke at the Wheeler School
in Providence, Rhode Island. And I spoke to the other school and the
middle school, 12-year-old kids, right? And they`re learning messages
about what it means to be a boy and a man at very early ages, right? To be
strong, to be tough, to be responsible, to be a leader, don`t cry, don`t
back down, all those other things.

But they`re also learning what it means when you`re outside of that box,
right? If you`re not those things, that you`re called a punk, weak, sissy,
wuss, the P-word, the F-word, all these negative words.

There`s really no reward for being a male and being outside of that box,
right? The risks are great, right? So the men that we`re talking about on
the Miami Dolphins, they learn this from the same culture that these young
12-year-old kids are learning it today.

And so, I think part of what we have to do is continue to have
conversations, just like this, on high school, on high school campuses, on
college campuses, in youth groups, in prisons, in all these places that are
traditionally all male and hyper masculine.

HARRIS-PERRY: So I want to back up for a second. Because it`s also true
that, you know, two of my best friends I high school were literally the
most kind, smart, gentlemen ever, that I`ve ever known, and both of them
went on to have careers, professional careers, either as players or as
coaches in football.

And part of why they could be gentle and intellectual and community service
oriented was because football gave them -- in other words, their
masculinity was secure, because they were big ballplayers and so it gave
them room to actually play around the edges of other things, because they
didn`t have anything to prove, because they had the football kind of
covering, right?

So I guess in a certain way, I`m surprised, then, that big old offensive
linemen would still be feeling the need to prove their manhood.

MCPHERSON: Masculinity is a performance. It is a performance that men
perform for each other to display this very artificial sense of who we are
as people. We don`t raise boys to be men, we raise not to be women, right?
Because we never tell them what it means to be a whole person. So it
paints this very narrow script.

And, Byron, we were part of the violence and mentors prevention program,
because we were men whose masculinity could not be questioned, so we could
talk about issues of men`s violence against women, about homophobia, about
sexism and misogyny, and people weren`t going to question our masculinity.
They can`t say, you just care about that because you`re a gay man or
whatever that was.

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s why Jay-Z can come out for marriage equality, because
he`s married to Beyonce, just like, yes, yes.


So, in this performance, football becomes this prosthetic masculinity,
right? It comes before me, I don`t have to prove it. But once you`re in
that locker room, it gets more and more boiled down to that really nasty
form of masculinity. Who`s the toughest guy out there?

Which ironically, we hear these mean talking about, suck it up, take it
like a man. So should we therefore take our concussions like a man?
Should we stop complaining about the fact that we can`t remember our last
super bowl, like Tony Dorsett was talking about last weekend. Or should we
understand that even though he`s a tough guy and plays football, he`s still
a human being, and he`s still vulnerable.

HARRIS-PERRY: And so, hazing is the thing, Dave, right, that helps to do
that. In that locker room where it`s getting narrower and narrower. And
yet, having been a college sorority lady, if the rule becomes no hazing,
then you push it underground in a way where it can in some ways become even
more violent.

Is there a way to redirect -- I sound ridiculous -- constructive group
team-building, right, in a way that still allows for that without it being
the ugly hazing?

ZIRIN: Absolutely. I just interviewed this woman named Dania Cabaio (ph)
who has organized a group called Footballistas for Life in Oakland which is
take young people -- she was the captain of the Berkeley soccer team and
she`s taking young people in one of the most economically depressed areas
in the country and actually getting them through school by teaching
principles of social justice through soccer.

I`m a big believer that sports is like fire, and you can use fire to burn
down your house or cook a meal. It is how you direct these spaces when you
get people together in a collective setting, you can have them do amazing,
beautiful things. In fact, everything amazing in our world was devised and
conceived in a collective manner. But it`s about how we do it. And my
problem with the NFL, I feel like you have people in charge, particularly
in this Dolphins organization, who are directing this in an extremely
destructive way.

HARRIS-PERRY: When we come back, Jemele, I`m going to have you answer that
question. Should we just be taking our concussions like a man?

Up next, that controversy clouding the NFL now affecting one of its most
famous players.


HARRIS-PERRY: The Miami Dolphins controversy has refocused attention on
the mental and physical toll of being a professional football player. And
this week, we got another reminder with the news that two former NFL
superstars, Mark Duper and Tony Dorsett, diagnosed with the chronic sounds
of CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease, which has been linked to
repetitive head trauma.

Dorsett was one of the 4,500 former players who reached $765 million
settlement with the NFL over CTE. The former Dallas Cowboy says that he
suffers from memory loss and mood swings. Dorsett told ESPN`s "Outside the
Lines" that his quality of living has changed drastically and deteriorates
every day.

Is taking the head injury part of the taking it like a man culture that
this is part of?

HILL: I think that`s a big reason why that issue just exploded and why
there was a concussion lawsuit to begin with. For so long, players were
just told, hey, you just got your bell rung or shake it off, or those kinds
of things. And now, we`re seeing the price and cost to play this game.

And at some point, and again, I say this as a huge football fan, whose
business is made because the NFL is the most popular sport in America, but
at some point, are the risks going to outweigh the rewards. And the
physical toll, now we`re seeing the emotional toll and these things going
on in the locker room, we`re going to have to step back as a culture and
say, what are we doing to our men with stuff like this happening.

HARRIS-PERRY: You`re kind of putting up-front the ways in which so many of
us profit from them, from our cities that profit from their sacrifices to
our professions and to the media. I mean, so many people profiting from
these bodies, which are broken. Byron, I know you have a very sort of
personal story about these head injuries, and not even all at the level of
the NFL.

HURT: Well, yes, I lost a really good friend and a teammate when I was a
high school football player named Billy Rideout (ph). He suffered a
concussion and spent a week trying to heal from it. He returned back to
the game.

A week later, and he got hit in the head again. He passed out on the
sideline. He collapsed and never regained consciousness and then he die as
a result. And it was devastating. It was devastating -- in high school.
It was devastating.

And at that time, there wasn`t all this talk about concussions, right, and
the impact of concussions, the long-term consequences of concussions. So,
it was a different time. I think if that were to happen today, I think it
would be a huge story, right, all over the country.

But I think there`s a real common thread here between the concussion story
and the hazing story. And that is about manhood and masculinity, and this
whole idea that, you know, speaking out, right, speaking your truth as a
man, makes you somehow less of a man. It makes you weak or soft. Taking
any precaution, right, to prevent any of these things, concussions, hazing,
bullying, means that the NFL and all sports in general are feminized,

That these sports are now -- you hear all the talk about, oh, just throw
skirts on all of the players, right? At some point, we`re not going to be
able to -- we should make it flag football at some point. So I think a lot
of this has the thread of this hyper masculinity being challenged, right?
And people feeling very uncomfortable with not just hyper-masculinity being
challenged, but patriarchy challenged.

This idea of the rugged individual -- the strong, tough, resilient,
invulnerable, impenetrable man.

MCPHERSON: And by extension, the way that we define power, the way that we
define control, is through that kind of masculinity. So you even hear
about that kind of talk, whether it`s in the corporate environment, or in
politics, right, you hear this talk about that form of masculinity being
the way we define power.

HILL: Well, it`s tough, though, because if you look across our country,
football is still one of the few places where people make their living
physically. Like, we`re not a manufacturing country anymore. We don`t
make anything.

And the reason part of the attraction, I think, to watching the NFL and
wanting, as you say, to be gladiators on Sunday is there are not many
physical jobs. They are the last sort of bastion of that.

But we just have to manage, you know, what are our expectations for this?
Because at some point, it`s going to be a toll that I don`t think many of
us can live with. And if you`re the NFL in business, you`re thinking, hey,
are we showing people so much, they`re seeing now how the sausage is made,
it`s starting to turn them off and they feel uncomfortable and guilty about
watching it.

HARRIS-PERRY: Is this starting to turn them off? I mean, are people
turning away from football?

ZIRIN: There are small signs at the margin that people are turning away,
particularly parents, introducing their children to youth football. Some
of the numbers are saying this.

I`ll tell you something. I look at the NFL right now, I think about boxing
40 years ago being unarguably the most popular sport in the United States
with Muhammad Ali, the most popular figure in the United States. And I
think the toll of watching Muhammad Ali decline over the course of decades,
mortally wounded boxing as a mainstream major sport in this country.

And I think of players as being more public in terms of how they degenerate
from CTE, you`re going to see that too.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, in part because he was so -- because his boxing was
amazing, but it was his voice and his mind and his spirit.

ZIRIN: And what does it say about this country that Muhammad Ali was
valorized and put on poster stamps only when he lost his voice?

MCPHERSON: Very interesting.

HILL: You also have t look at the feeder system too, what`s happening at
the lower level is the important part.

HARRIS-PERRY: All the way through.

Thank you to all of you. This is -- this week we have been talking and
talking and talking it and it`s a pleasure to have an opportunity to talk
about it on air with you -- Byron Hurt, Dave Zirin, Don McPherson and
Jemele Hill.

Up next, the woman who literally wrote the book on feminism joins me in


HARRIS-PERRY: We`ve been talking about professional sports and the
assumptions about what it takes to be a real man. Like manhood, feminine
identity is constrained by limited notions of what women want and how they
should behave. Publications aimed at women tend to focus on how to lose
weight, how to get a man, and what to buy. Yawn.

That was until 2007 when Anna Holmes joined Gawker media and launched
"Jezebel", the site that is funny, irreverent, political and distinctly
feminine. Under Holmes, the site attracted millions of daily readers and
remains a favorite among Nerdland team members.

And now, Holmes who turned over the reins at "Jezebel" in 2010 has a smart
and spunky new book that will soon be on the coffee table of every third-
wave feminist in the country.

Welcome the author of "The Book of Jezebel," the woman said
made feminism funny again.

Anna Holmes, nice to have you.

ANNA HOLMES, AUTHOR: Thanks for having me.

HARRIS-PERRY: All right. Anna, I want to look at the book a little bit so
people can get a sense of what it is.

So, my first -- it`s kind of an encyclopedia. The first one is birth
control, which is on page 35. The definition here of birth control is, the
medical advancement that allows you to avoid a life incubating human after
human until your reproductive parts eventually fail.

HOLMES: Yes, the one thing it doesn`t mention is -- because we`re trying
to be funny in some of these entries, is how birth control allows women a
measure of economic security and freedom and the being able to plan their
families. I think the readers of the book know that already. In some
cases we were being a little cheeky.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. Some of them are like that. Some of them are the
cheeky response to what is clearly this anti-reproductive rights movement.
Others of them are more sort of sincere and earnest. The Angela Davis, you
know, entry, which really does define her as the long-time social activist
and academic. Goes on to talk about her current work in feminist studies
departments at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

So, some of it is going and renaming the sheroes. How do you make a
decision about which women end up in "The Book of Jezebel"?

HOLMES: That`s a great question I don`t really have an answer for, only
because we tried to think of women who were heroines. There are some women
in here who are not considered by myself or the other writes, who might be
considered anti-feminist. Sarah Palin, for one. Michele Bachmann, Phyllis
Schlafly. So, we wanted to include them as well because we have opinions
on them we basically sat down and made a list, (INAUDIBLE) list of everyone
and everything we could think of.

And we definitely forgot people.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, I was going to say -- is there anyone left out?

HOLMES: Oh, yes.

HARRIS-PERRY: Even if you went back now, you`re like, man, I can`t even

HOLMES: Yes, Althea Gibson, Susan Brown Miller, Coco Chanel somehow didn`t
make it in there.

People have been telling us at various stops on the book tour about who
they wish was in there and we`re making notes. So --

HARRIS-PERRY: So, another one of my favorites, this one is just great, is
247, shrill. The definite of shrill being here, misogynist for "a woman
just said something."

HOLMES: I love that one. I`m also interested to note with some of these
entries, how some of these words came about. But I didn`t think we needed
to have an entomology of the word shrill for that. But, yes --

HARRIS-PERRY: So, tell me -- why a book? I mean, Gawker and Jezebel,
these are web properties. They traffic in the fact that if you forgot
somebody, you just add a new entry. Once it`s under hard cover, this is
what it is. Why a text?

HOLMES: We wanted to see if we could extend the brand just beyond the
Internet. And a lot of the readers of the site are also voracious readers
of books. I felt that it might be fun to kind of capture the sensibility
of the site, the ethos, if you will, into book form.

There`s also frustration because we forget people. We can`t just add them
in. It would be nice to have a permanent document that sums up not just
the ethos of the site but some of the fights we`ve had over the years.
There`s an entry on Scott Bayo (ph) who the site famously had a spat with.

So, something we feel nostalgic but forward looking and that you could also
put on your coffee table or next to your mood.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, look, part of what I love about "Jezebel" and about "The
Book of Jezebel" is how irreverent it is. The entry for patriarchy is just
"smash it".


HARRIS-PERRY: But I do wonder if our, as third wave feminists or we`re
sort of, the second wavers look at us and think, you`re being -- you`re
being, you know, sort of lipstick feminist. Where`s the real feminist work

HOLMES: I think that there are very serious entries in this book and very
serious posts on the site itself about economic inequality, social
inequality, reproductive rights. We try to mix the kind of light with the
more heavy. We also use lighter-hearted issues like pop culture as entry
points into more serious discussions about gender politics.

That said, the idea that the third wavers are less serious than second
wavers, I understand where that critique comes from, but I do think third
wavers, which I consider myself to be a part of. I`m now 40.


HOLMES: The third wave -- we`re not young anymore. We`re not young
anymore. As you get older, you become more serious in important ways.

HARRIS-PERRY: Anna Holmes, I love "The Book of Jezebel." Thank you for
giving me a little feminism at the end of our masculinity hour here. Anna
Holmes, thanks.

That is our show for today. Thank you folks at home for watching. See you
next Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

Up next, stay with us, MSNBC presents "Taking the Hill," former congressman
and Iraq war veteran Patrick Murphy is hosting an hour long discussion of
issues affecting the veterans community. That`s next, live from the
National September 11th Memorial, right here in New York City.

Stay with MSNBC.


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