Guests: Liz Brown, Jesse Lee Peterson, Michael Isikoff, James Hirsen, Tom Tancredo, Kathy Culliton, Delacey Davis
PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST: Bill Cosby is on a mission to have black Americans help themselves but ruffling an awful lot of feathers along the way. We‘ll play you his latest controversial comments so you can judge if Bill is out of line or just talking straight. Then, leave it to the “New York Times”—one of their columnists says Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” does a service to society and that there aren‘t any factual errors in it. “Newsweek‘s” Michael Isikoff is here to tell us why that‘s dead wrong. And one of John Kerry‘s campaign promises isn‘t about the war on terror or the economy. No, Mr. Kerry wants to give amnesty to immigrants who are in this country illegally. We‘ll be debating that later tonight.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room to the courtroom to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
BUCHANAN: Good evening, I‘m Pat Buchanan sitting in for Joe. Bill Cosby used harsh language at an NAACP event in May, criticizing African-Americans for not living up to the legacy of the civil rights movement. Last night, Cosby defended himself from criticism that he had aired his community‘s dirty laundry for all the world to see. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, ENTERTAINER: Dirty laundry, hey, man, let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day. It‘s cursing and it‘s calling each other (EXPLETIVE DELETED) as they walk down the street. They think they are hip, but they can‘t read and can‘t write.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: Cosby is using tough love to make his point, but is it too tough, is it fair and will it work? Here now, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” and Liz Brown, an attorney and radio talk show host at WGNU in St. Louis, Missouri. Let me start with you, Liz. Isn‘t it about time that some folks said the harsh tough true things that Bill is saying to the community?
LIZ BROWN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: First of all, I would take exception to any truth that is coming from the words of Bill Cosby. It is always easy in America for someone to hop up on the backs of African people and say bad things about them and to embrace that as truth. No, it‘s not right because it‘s not true. It‘s a vulgar lie.
BUCHANAN: But isn‘t it time, though—Liz, take a look at the statistics in the community, you know them as well as I do, 70 percent born out of wedlock in the inner city, 75 percent growing up without a father, 40 percent of young black males in the inner cities on probation, parole or in prison. And what Cosby is saying is, “Look, it‘s time to clean up our own act and time to stop blaming whitey.”
BROWN: Well, the fact of the matter is Bill Cosby is not saying any of those things. What he is saying is what America has been saying about African people for the last 200 years, that everything—this is how you describe African people and the African community, by the sum of the bad actions of a handful of a few, and that‘s inaccurate, and it‘s always easy to hear people say something bad and untrue about the African community.
It is no more accurate for Bill Cosby to define the African community by those actions than it is to define white children by the fact that six out of seven times a drunk driver hits somebody, it‘s going to be a white male. What about all the white corporate crime? It is inaccurate to describe white children in that way and it is inaccurate to describe African children in that way.
BUCHANAN: Jesse Lee Peterson, your response.
REVEREND JESSE LEE PETERSON, AUTHOR, “SCAM”: Thanks for having me on. Thanks for having me on, Pat. As you know for the last 15 years or so, we have been saying the same thing. Bill Cosby is absolutely right. I have often said that most black Americans are not suffering due to racism but the lack of moral character. Most blacks are immoral today, and that is why they are suffering.
Black women between the ages of 20 to 30, those who are having babies, 85 percent of them are having them out of wedlock. I do a lot of work in the inner cities of Los Angeles, in the public school system and juvenile detention centers and it‘s not uncommon to hear the word (EXPLETIVE DELETED) coming from these young black boys and girls, and there is no respect at all for the adults within the black community and it‘s because the parents are not doing their jobs. The fathers are out screwing everybody and their mama, and the women are out trying to find other men, and the children are raising themselves, and they are out of control.
BUCHANAN: All right, Liz, let me just ask you. Lay it out here. Look, there are some terrible problems pandemic in the African-American community. We all know that, you know it, I know it, we all have been talking about it. What Bill Cosby is saying is “Look, it‘s time to stop blaming whitey, we have got to clean up our own act.” Isn‘t that a message that needs to be heard?
BROWN: Well, I‘m certain that it is comfort to a number of white ears, for people to hear that it is not white people‘s responsibility or problem or issues with regard to the community of African descent.
PETERSON: It‘s not white people‘s problem.
BROWN: Wait a minute. And to suggest that all of a sudden now it‘s not white people‘s fault for the racism, for the institutional racism and for the continuing assault against African people. Of course there is racism.
PETERSON: You know, white people—white people are not...
BUCHANAN: Liz. Liz. White people are not causing...
BROWN: ...to give people...
BUCHANAN: Hold it, Liz. Let Jesse talk. Let Jesse talk.
BROWN: You say that it is not white people‘s fault. That‘s so easy to do that.
PETERSON: White people are not causing boys and girls to go to bed and make babies out of wedlock. They are not causing young black boys and girls to commit—Liz, hold on...
BUCHANAN: Liz, let me. Let‘s call a truce.
BROWN: ... that‘s the problem in America.
BUCHANAN: Liz, Liz. We‘re going to let you talk about racism. Let Jesse Lee Peterson talk for about the next minute. Go ahead, Jesse.
PETERSON: Liz wants to shout me down because she doesn‘t want the truth to get out. The one thing I do want to say, Pat, is that white America—there is this notion in the black community that white folks can‘t be honest about what is wrong with black people, and I say that‘s wrong. White Americans and blacks have a responsibility to tell the truth, because the truth is not a color, it‘s a character thing. And I think that white America has made a big mistake by allowing themselves to be intimidated by the NAACP and people like Liz, Jesse Jackson and others. The truth should be able to come from anyone, because we are all going to suffer if we don‘t start dealing with the lack of morality within the black community.
BUCHANAN: All right. Liz, you are going to have the first shot as soon as we get back to respond to that. So everybody, you stay with us. We‘ve got a lot more on Bill Cosby‘s contentious remarks as you can see right after the break.
Plus, is Michael Moore‘s new movie he calls a documentary a little
more fiction than fact? We ask “Newsweek‘s” Michael Isikoff. Then, there
is another tape of an LAPD cop hitting an aggressive suspect. But this
time, were they really using excessive force? We‘ll ask an expert. You
stay with us
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Dogs. Water hoses that tear the bark off of trees. Emmett Till. And you are going to tell me that you are going to drop out of school, you are going to tell me that you‘re going to steal from a store? These things have to be taken care of in the home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: All right. That was Bill Cosby last night at a conference with Jesse Jackson, appealing to the spirit of the civil rights movement. We are still talking about Cosby‘s controversial comments with the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson and radio talk show host Liz Brown.
Now, Liz, you heard that. That sounded, frankly, very eloquent to me. He was saying, look, a lot of folks went down to places like Mississippi 40 years ago. As a matter of fact, I was down there 40 years ago when those four folks were still buried in that dam, they made great risks, they made sacrifices, they‘ve done it, and a lot of people are really throwing it all away and they ought to shape up. Isn‘t that a message that a father in the community, which Cosby is, should be saying?
BROWN: Well, if that‘s—I would call that not love, I would call that abuse. And the reason I would call it abuse is because it is coming to the African community, a person who is clearly out of touch with the issues that are going on in the African community and telling inaccurate—and making inaccurate statements about the African community.
It is an elitist, out-of-touch assessment of the community of African descent. It is no more accurate to define my community by the actions that he sees, the negative actions that he sees of a few than it would be for someone else to define the white community by the Columbine gang bangers that went and shot up their school despite having everything in the world that there is to have. The fact of the matter is, is that what I understand why Bill Cosby wore dark glasses when he gave that speech at PUSH. I would have wanted to hide my face as well. To look at African people and to say those things is absolutely outrageous and untrue.
BUCHANAN: I‘ve got a question—I think we‘ve heard that. Aren‘t you putting racial solidarity above truth?
BROWN: What‘s the truth, Pat? What is the truth?
BUCHANAN: I think—you think Bill Cosby, a man who has contributed to this community, this country—hold it, you asked me, you asked me...
BROWN: ...say things about people...
BUCHANAN: You asked me to tell you what I think is the truth. I‘m telling you this. I think this is a man whose son was killed by some gangster...
BROWN: A racist gangster.
BUCHANAN: Yes, OK, yes. All right.
BROWN: A racist gangster.
BUCHANAN: A racist gangster. But who is trying to tell the truth to his community to which he has contributed all his life, to which he is a credit. He is speaking hard, tough truths about reality. Very few people are.
BROWN: You still haven‘t told me what those truths are. You still haven‘t told me what the truths are.
BUCHANAN: The truth is there is horrendous social disaster going on in the African-American community alongside the great successes like Liz Brown and other people on TV, and you know it as well as I do.
BROWN: Well, because I‘m on TV doesn‘t make me a success. There are millions of examples of success within the African community that Bill Cosby is ignoring and painting with a broad brush, simply because he said that when you see these children walking out of school, they can‘t read, they can‘t write and they‘re saying these things, how do you know that? Why do you say—why do you paint an entire race of people with that?
BUCHANAN: Let me tell you—hold it Liz, let me answer, all right? Now, you have got your point. Here is one point. I grew up in D.C. Black schools, white schools were pretty good, it was back in the ‘50s, they were segregated. They were desegregated and they were integrated, and now average black kids in these high schools in D.C. are reading at eighth grade levels when they are seniors in high schools. There is violence in there, they poured money in there, they are failing. Isn‘t this something you and I both have to address? And Cosby because he is a leader of the black community is more concerned about it than almost anyone?
BROWN: And again, that speaks to my point. For you to suggest that Bill Cosby is speaking to something and saying something that other people have not been addressing since the history of this country...
BUCHANAN: I haven‘t heard you address it.
BROWN: African people have been addressing the inadequacies and the wrongness in the educational system from the moment that this country was formed. Bill Cosby isn‘t addressing anything that African people have not been addressing since day one. What he is doing differently, however, is he is attacking and assailing the entire race of black people to make that point.
BUCHANAN: Hold it, Liz. Look, I heard him. I don‘t think—hold it, hold it. He is praising the folks in the civil rights movement. He is talking about a segment—yeah, but he‘s talking about a segment of...
BROWN: Are those the only black people in the world? Those aren‘t the only black people that have contributed. For him to suggest that nobody else is contributing except for the people that gave it up in the ‘60s. And all African people didn‘t do that, everybody contributes in different ways.
BUCHANAN: OK, Liz, I have to give Jesse Lee Peterson the final word -
PETERSON: Pat. First of all I want to say that we are Americans, we are not African Americans. We are Americans.
BROWN: We are Africans.
PETERSON: It brings a smile to my heart to hear Bill Cosby speak the truth so boldly. And I often think that Dr. King must be turning over in his grave, because he said that one day black Americans should be judged by the contents of character and not color and unless we start dealing...
BUCHANAN: Hold it, Liz.
PETERSON: Unless we start dealing with the lack of character within the black community, Dr. King would have died in vain. We have to keep speaking up about what‘s going on, and the problem is not racism but it is the lack of families...
BROWN: Of course it is.
PETERSON: ... and the lack of moral character within the black community. Our children are not being educated...
PETERSON: ...because the parents are not watching over them.
BROWN: I have got to say, Liz, thank you very much for coming on. I‘m sure there will be more comment on what Mr. Cosby had to say. Reverend Peterson, I am sorry we had a brief break in there, we couldn‘t get you on. Thanks for coming on, my friend.
OK, next up on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, we‘ll take a close look at the claims made in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Does Michael Moore have his facts straight? We‘ll debate that.
Then, we‘re going to talk about John Kerry‘s immigration plan. If you can sneak into the country and hide from the authorities for five years, you deserve to be a citizen, John says. We‘ll tell you all about that coming up next.
BUCHANAN: America‘s leading propagandist Michael Moore is set to be embraced by Chinese communists and Hezbollah. Should his conspiracy theories really be exported? We‘ll discuss. First, let‘s get the latest headlines from MSNBC news desk.
BUCHANAN: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Pat Buchanan, Joe has the night off. A “New York Times” columnist calls Michael Moore‘s so-called documentary a public service and he claims that Moore‘s charges have yet to be disproven. With me now, one of the first journalists to wade through the claims of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Newsweek‘s” Michael Isikoff and MSNBC‘s political analyst Flavia Colgan and James Hirsen, author of “Tales From the Left Coast.
Let me start with you, Michael Isikoff. Mr. Krugman, Paul Krugman at the “New York Times,” a columnist today says “There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it is yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions.”
Michael, tell me, tell us, our audience, the major factual falsehood in this film?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, “NEWSWEEK”: There are several. Although I should point out that as a totality there is a lot in the movie, and there is a lot that is quite factual, and I think it is a compelling movie that raises a lot of legitimate questions and will provoke a lot of debate, and I think that‘s a good thing.
But what bothers me is that there are a number of conspiratorial claims that are injected into the movie. And the millions of people that are going to see this that don‘t know the facts are going to believe them, and I think there are a lot of false impressions.
Number one, the whole financial nexus that is alleged and claimed in the movie between the Saudi royal interests and the Bush family—not that there isn‘t some truth to that, there is in fact—there are in fact some connections. But it‘s grossly overstated, and the impression is left that it is so great that it has influenced American policy.
One example I think which we write about in this week‘s “Terror Watch” on Newsweek.com, the movie claims at one point that Saudi interests have given $1.4 billion to the Bush family and its friends. Well, if you deconstruct where that comes from, you find that $1.2 billion of that were Saudi contracts to an American defense contractor, BDM, that happened to be owned by the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm with which the president‘s father had been affiliated.
The problem with that is that the Carlyle Group sold BDM in 1997, and the president‘s father, former President Bush, didn‘t join the Carlyle Group until April of 1998, some five months later. So trying to suggest that there is some direct connection between those Saudi contracts and the Bush family is I think a bit of a stretch.
BUCHANAN: All right, Flavia, what do you think of that? And let me ask you this: What do you think of this charge which turns out to be completely false, that the president of the United States basically concerned himself with getting some 140 Saudis out of country by special privilege right after 9/11 when Richard Clarke said it‘s utterly false? He authorized their departure. The FBI vetted them. The president didn‘t have anything to do with it. Isn‘t that really a slanderous charge that is unsubstantiated and that is part of the heart of this film?
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, first of all, I want to agree with Michael that I think some of the strongest parts of this film and most compelling ones are the cinema verite aspects, where you really see people speaking for themselves and you connect with a lot of these issues in such an emotional way, which we often don‘t do just from reading the newspaper.
And I think when you‘re looking, for instance, at the example you just brought up about the Saudis getting out of the United States, I agree with Michael Moore in that you don‘t want to get lost in the forest because of a single tree, and I think the point that he was trying to make is not necessarily that the government took them out illegally or unethically, but that myself and many Americans on September 13 and 14 were still grounded in places away from their jobs, away from their families because there was a very slow startup to getting these planes, and why was it so imperative and important that these people get out before those of us that are Americans—just like why was Bandar Bush told about some of our plans in terms of going into Iraq before Colin Powell or some very important members of people who have served under our flag in the armed forces. I think those are questions that Americans can ask themselves. And again, this movie is really impressionistic and it doesn‘t present itself as a frontline documentary.
BUCHANAN: Look, it doesn‘t present itself as a frontline documentary?
COLGAN: No, I think that Michael Moore has said over and over that this is an op-ed piece, that it‘s not fair and balanced. He presents things in a very emotional, visceral way so that the audience can connect with them and make their own decisions.
BUCHANAN: All right, James Hirsen, do you think that that‘s a legitimate defense of this movie?
JAMES HIRSEN, AUTHOR, “TALES FROM THE LEFT COAST”: Absolutely not. Look, he has called it a lot of things. He said it‘s a documentary, he said it‘s an op-ed, he said it‘s just a movie, he said he wants to affect the election. There is a difference between impressionism and cinema verite, and the Leni Riefenstahl-style propaganda.
Michael Moore goes out to 135,000 troops and puts the worst face on our military, puts the worst face on America. I mean, if you‘re a terrorist sympathizer, you‘ve got to love this film. It could be used to recruit terrorists. I‘m expecting there are going to be orders from DVDs to be sent to caves in Pakistan. The film has within it—and it‘s what Flavia describes as emotion. It focuses on emotion to the detriment of logic.
So some of the factual errors that Michael Isikoff has pointed out, you combine those with these propaganda techniques, and what you have is a film that is not a documentary. It does not present fact. And in a time of war creates danger. And so this idea of these DVDs or films being shown overseas in Muslim countries is something to be concerned about.
BUCHANAN: Let me ask you, Michael Isikoff, I understand this is being shown, the communist Chinese are going to show it. Hezbollah wants to pick up on it. Let me ask you, though, is this thing basically—is this like an attack ad which journalists would study to make sure the facts in the ad were true and you come up with a lot of allegations which have nothing behind them, and which are false and malicious or unproven, and therefore the kind of attack ad that journalists would condemn?
ISIKOFF: In part. I mean, you know, as I said before, I think that there are some totally legitimate parts of the movie and I think he raises some really, you know, solid...
BUCHANAN: Let me interrupt you there...
ISIKOFF: Questions about the war in Iraq, for instance and the horrific human toll of it...
BUCHANAN: But let me ask you this, let me interrupt you, look. Let me—quite obviously, he‘s got a film, an hour and a half, two hours length, there is going to be information there, there is very emotional moments which are effective. There are things done there that are impressive. But if the film is basically a conveyor belt for an awful lot of really unsubstantiated, malicious falsehoods, unproven things about the president of the United States, doesn‘t that, in effect, poison the whole vehicle?
ISIKOFF: Well, I don‘t know. People have to judge for themselves.
All I‘m trying to do—and what I‘ve tried to do in two pieces now—is just say, look. There are some claims in there where some things are thrown together and, you know, in some perhaps disingenuous way. As I gave you one example before about this 1.4 billion.
There‘s another suggestion in the movie at one point that early Bush administration policy towards the Taliban was influenced by its interest in promoting a pipeline deal for an American oil company.
BUCHANAN: The Unocal ...
ISIKOFF: The problem with that is that Unocal, the Unocal pipeline deal essentially collapsed in 1998, ...
BUCHANAN: All right, all right ...
ISIKOFF: ... when Unocal pulled out of the project. And it wasn‘t on the cards when the Bush administration took office.
BUCHANAN: All right. Before I go to Flavia—all right, before I go to Flavia, let me—or let me go to Flavia with this.
Look. What Michael Isikoff is saying is, that charge is flat out false. The Bush administration had nothing to do with the Unocal pipeline that the previous administration was looking at for legitimate reasons, moving through Afghanistan.
So this is untrue.
Now, if a journalist for the “New York Times” on the front page made that charge, and it were proven untrue, there would be apologies all over the place, statements withdrawing it.
Now, why is it legitimate in a movie to do this that purports at times to be a documentary?
COLGAN: Well, first of all, editing has always been the highest form of commentary, going all the way back to the Bible.
And we had to wait a long time to get an apology from Judith Miller and thousands of journalists across this country that didn‘t ask the tough questions that they should have.
And I have to take serious umbrage with James‘ assertion that this movie is somehow disrespectful to the people who wear our uniform.
I would suggest that Paul Wolfowitz, going in front of the nation and Congress and being asked, how many people have shed their blood, and not even knowing how many people have died in Iraq, I would call that unpatriotic.
Not going in with a real plan for peace. Not listening to people like you, Pat Buchanan, who were asking the tough questions before this war, and not giving the people in our military the very important, you know, stuff they need to protect themselves.
That‘s unpatriotic. And these ...
BUCHANAN: All right, ...
COLGAN: ... name-callings, and saying that somehow, someone who is critiquing the government and helping to define American policy is un-American, it‘s about as American as apple pie.
BUCHANAN: All right, now let ...
COLGAN: And I do think that this is a public service.
BUCHANAN: Let me get James Hirsen ...
HIRSEN: Sure. Let me get ...
BUCHANAN: James, let me just ask you this first.
BUCHANAN: Now, I saw what Wolfowitz did. He made a mistake. It was a foolish mistake. He didn‘t know how many American dead were in Iraq, how many had been killed.
But it seems to me that‘s different than going out and spending a year or a half-a-year deliberately presenting a case where you do not have it substantiated, and then putting it out as factual.
HIRSEN: Exactly. Look. “Bowling for Columbine” was severely criticized for factual errors by very legitimate sources. Michael Moore knew he was under scrutiny, and yet he put these things in the film. He had ample opportunity for fact checking.
In addition, those that defend it—you mention Paul Krugman. Paul Krugman, in his piece, says that the film contains flaws, that it contains unprovable conspiracy theories, and that people will probably come away from it believing untruths.
Yet, he says, it‘s an essential service.
I ask, how is it an essential service to have flaws, unprovable conspiracy theories, and untruths spread about the United States of America?
COLGAN: James, let me answer that.
BUCHANAN: Hold it.
HIRSEN: It‘s a service to the enemy.
BUCHANAN: OK. I‘ve only got one final question. I‘ve got to put it to Michael Isikoff.
Michael, if this were a piece of—if Michael Moore‘s thing was a documentary, was a piece of journalism submitted and published, as it were, in “Newsweek,” with all its facts and suggestions, implications, what would you say about the quality of that journalism?
ISIKOFF: Well, I‘d say, we‘d try to edit it quite a bit before it made its way into the magazine.
ISIKOFF: And some of the stuff made it into the magazine, you‘d probably have to run some sort of clarification.
BUCHANAN: And what would happen to ...
HIRSEN: Two words.
BUCHANAN: ... Michael Moore?
HIRSEN: Jason Blair.
BUCHANAN: All right, Flavia, James Hirsen, Michael Isikoff. Thank you all for being here tonight.
Still to come, John Kerry is flirting with the idea of amnesty for illegal immigrants who escaped our immigration agents for five years.
But our border states are already overwhelmed by the immigration wave.
Can we afford to offer another amnesty to millions of illegals? We debate that next.
BUCHANAN: A tidal wave of illegal immigration has flooded the border states of the American southwest.
“USA Today” has published a map of America showing the demographic consequences of our collapsed immigration system.
And now, John Kerry wants to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, as long as they can hide from the authorities for five years.
Kathy Culliton joins us from MALDEF, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She‘s their special counsel on immigration. And Representative Tom Tancredo from Colorado.
Congressman, let me start with you. Congressman, John Kerry is calling for an amnesty for most illegal aliens after they‘ve been here for five years.
Let me quote him. Those who work hard and take responsibility and build a better life for themselves and their families and live by the rules and pay their taxes and raise their families have a right to share in America and its citizenship in the fullest.
REP. TOM TANCREDO, ® COLORADO: They don‘t live by the rules—that‘s one reason—because they came into this country illegally. That‘s the first thing—that‘s the first rule they broke.
When you come into the United States of America, there are a variety of ways to do it legally. A million-and-a-quarter people as immigrants, several hundred thousand every single year in various visa programs to work or study.
There are—we‘re the most liberal nation in the world when it comes to letting people into this country.
But other people still choose to come in illegally. And when they do that, Pat, what they tell everybody who has done it the right way, is that they‘re suckers.
If you give them amnesty, if you say that you‘ve broken the law, you came into this country without our permission, and even though you may be the nicest guy or lady in the world and were a hard worker and all that, the fact is, there are millions and millions and millions of hardworking people out there waiting to come into this country, waiting to do it the right way, filling out all the documents, spending all the money.
What do you tell them if you say to the people who have done it the wrong way, that they‘re going to get in front of the line?
BUCHANAN: All right, Kathy, let me take that question directly to you.
We have laws on the books that are extremely generous—the most generous in the world, as the congressman said—in terms of legal immigration. And we‘ve got laws against illegal immigration.
Why is it wrong for us to demand that the Congress of the United States and the president do their constitutional duty, enforce the immigration laws and protect this country from an invasion by upwards of half-a-million illegals who successfully break into the United States every year?
KATHY CULLITON, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Look, we‘re not against immigration enforcement, not at all. And we‘re not talking about an amnesty, not at all.
President Bush has clarified that he is also in favor of immigration reform, because it‘s good for America.
The American economy is completely dependent on immigrant labor. Immigrants are fighting in the war in Iraq. And I don‘t know if people know, but major sectors of our economy would fall apart without the contribution of Latino immigrant labor.
We‘re not talking about an amnesty. We‘re talking about giving people the chance to come out of the shadows, to pass a security check and show that their job is essential ...
BUCHANAN: All right, but hold it.
CULLITON: ... to the economy.
BUCHANAN: Hold it. I mean, excuse me, but John Kerry is going to give these folks an amnesty and put them on the road to citizenship.
By amnesty, the congressman and I mean you‘ve broken the law, you‘ve broken into the country, you‘re here illegally. But that‘s going to all be wiped away and you‘re going to be put on a fast track for citizenship far ahead of folks living in Peru who have waited five years to get in and haven‘t made it.
Why isn‘t that amnesty?
CULLITON: Well, whatever word you use, we‘re talking about an earned legalization. Pat, it‘s not good for America to have the current system the way that it is.
We‘ve got a big problem. The current system is badly broken.
TANCREDO: We agree with you there.
CULLITON: The backlogs for family immigration from Mexico are 10 years long, OK. And all we‘re saying is to give Mexican-Americans the same chance that other generations of immigrants had.
CULLITON: To show that they can pass a security check, because that‘s in the American interest, ...
BUCHANAN: All right.
CULLITON: ... because our economy is dependent upon them.
BUCHANAN: All right.
CULLITON: Because if you look at undocumented Mexican ...
BUCHANAN: I know that. OK, ...
CULLITON: ... labor, there would be a $220 billion drop in our GNP, if we were to take Representative Tancredo‘s solution to heart.
BUCHANAN: All right. Well, let me talk to ...
TANCREDO: Hog wash. Hog wash.
BUCHANAN: All right, ...
TANCREDO: There wouldn‘t be—let me tell you. You wouldn‘t even see a blip in the screen, frankly, if you actually began to hire people only—only people who were here legally.
Frankly, you know, it‘s amazing. You just got done saying that there is a 10-year backlog of people in Mexico trying to come to the United States illegally. Forget about the guy in Peru.
CULLITON: No, that‘s not true. I said ...
TANCREDO: I thought that‘s what you said.
CULLITON: ... legal immigration from Mexico ...
CULLITON: ... for close family members ...
TANCREDO: Is backed up 10 years.
CULLITON: ... for their spouses and for children to have family ...
TANCREDO: Is backed up 10 years.
CULLITON: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is a backlog of 10 years.
TANCREDO: Then why would you tell people who have come here illegally
CULLITON: There‘s not a safe and legal way for people to come here.
TANCREDO: ... that they should get in front of the line.
CULLITON: There‘s not a safe and legal way for people to come here at the moment ...
TANCREDO: It‘s hypocritical for you to say that to those ...
BUCHANAN: Are you saying that because there‘s not a safe and legal way for these folks to get here, they have a right to break in?
CULLITON: No. I‘m not saying that. We need to reform the system now and into the future. We need to make in the future, that there‘s a safe and legal way for people to come in here ...
CULLITON: ... that‘s reasonable, ...
BUCHANAN: All right. But you do believe ...
CULLITON: ... that‘s in the American interest.
BUCHANAN: ... in enforcing the law as it is now.
Let me ask Tom Tancredo ...
CULLITON: Of course.
BUCHANAN: ... something.
You know, Jack Kemp said the following in a syndicated column, congressman, just today or yesterday, I believe it was, in the “Washington Times.”
“A struggle is underway for the soul of the Republican Party between a minority of protectionist xenophobes and those who are pro-trade and pro-immigration.”
He only named one individual in that column, and that fellow was Tom Tancredo. What‘s your response to Congressman Kemp?
TANCREDO: Well, I‘m very flattered. I mean, I really am, because in fact, to be able to be pointed out like that by Congressman Kemp in a piece of this nature, it indicates to me that we are making headway.
The people who are on my side of this issue, the people who are saying, look. We may be in the struggle for the soul of the Republican Party. He may be absolutely right.
And I guarantee you this. That we do not benefit anybody in this country, and certainly no Republican, by pandering away who we are—pandering to groups, telling everybody that we will change who we are in order to buy somebody‘s vote.
That‘s what he thinks—if that‘s what he thinks republicanism is all about, then he is definitely on the other side of the coin for me. He‘s absolutely right.
BUCHANAN: Well, except ...
TANCREDO: We can make the case, Pat, to everybody in America—black, white, brown, Italian, Jewish. I don‘t care what you are. We can make a case for you to be a good Republican without pandering to anybody.
BUCHANAN: All right. Let me ask you, Kathy, about this question.
I also want to mention that Kerry came out for what we say is amnesty
· and you might disagree with. He said no to drivers licenses. Bush has come out for something we say is tantamount to amnesty.
Isn‘t Congressman Tancredo at least right on this point? That there is massive pandering going on by the leadership of both parties to win Hispanic votes by not doing their duty to enforce the laws?
CULLITON: No. I think that both parties are looking at what‘s good for America and stepping up to the plate to finally reform our broken immigration system.
Even our Secretary of Homeland Secretary, Tom Ridge, has said that legalization of immigrants would be good for America.
Now, as far as the Mexican-American population, Mexican-Americans have been living in this country for generations and generations. And that‘s why the border states have a higher Mexican-American population.
Right now, the system is badly broken. It‘s not the same as it was in the past. Millions of people came here in the early part of the century without any papers whatsoever—“illegally.” And they made America strong and great ...
BUCHANAN: All right, all right.
CULLITON: ... and what it is today. We just want the same chance ...
BUCHANAN: OK, Kathy, ...
CULLITON: ... and we want to make sure to fix the broken system.
BUCHANAN: All right. Let me take your point.
Kathy says the system is broken, congressman. It ought to be fixed by the Congress of the United States.
Why have they not done anything on immigration reform or changed the laws or demand the laws be enforced—or something—when the whole country is embroiled over this issue and both parties seem to be, as you suggest, pandering?
TANCREDO: Yes. There‘s—here‘s the reason, at least as I see it.
We are looking at a gap between what the average American out there really wants from his government in terms of immigration, and what this government is willing to give him.
Why is that? It goes down to two issues. One, the Democratic Party, which sees massive immigration of people coming in legally and illegally as a source of voters both now and potentially.
The Republican Party looks at that same phenomena—massive immigration of people who are coming in legally and illegally—as a source of cheap labor.
And those—and the combination of those two things presents the most powerful block to try to get anything accomplished.
You know, she and I agree on one thing. There is a huge problem with our immigration policy. It is definitely broken. But we have a totally different answer about how to fix it.
BUCHANAN: Doesn‘t the congressman have a point, Kathy? Last word.
CULLITON: Look. It‘s the Fourth of July weekend. Our country was founded on massive immigration. That‘s what makes America great and America strong.
We are part of a very broad coalition, with all of the labor unions, with business as well and with civil rights groups and religious groups across the board. And everybody knows the system is broken.
It‘s time to step up to the plate and fix it and keep us safe and well and strong and our economy well in the future.
BUCHANAN: OK, Congressman Tancredo, Kathy Culliton. Thanks for joining us today.
TANCREDO: My pleasure.
BUCHANAN: Don‘t go away, because coming up, we‘ll take a look at a new video that shows the LAPD trying to subdue an aggressive suspect.
What exactly defines police brutality? We‘ll try to answer that, up next.
BUCHANAN: What constitutes an illegal police beating? And how can cops keep the streets and themselves safe from criminals who are resisting arrest, without being accused of police brutality?
Delacey Davis is from Black Cops Against Police Brutality. He‘s also a police officer from East Orange, New Jersey.
Delacey, you told us last week that the police should never use excessive force on a suspect. Like this video from last week, it‘s been compared to the Rodney King beating.
But let‘s take a look at the latest video that stirred up claims of police brutality. This is a cop in Los Angeles trying to arrest a suspect.
Now, would you call this excessive force, what you‘re seeing right there?
DELACEY DAVIS, EAST ORANGE COUNTY NEW JERSEY POLICE OFFICER: I think what we‘re looking at, from what I can see, beating on the ankles is not getting compliance. I can‘t see what‘s happening with the hands of the suspect.
But again, excessive force is using more than the necessary force to effect a lawful arrest. If you‘re not getting any fight back, there‘s no need to continue to use force on the suspect.
BUCHANAN: Well, let me ask you. If there‘s—if he‘s resisting and kicking, and a cop is struggling with him and what he‘s got in his hand is a flashlight, and he whacks him on the leg, is that police brutality?
DAVIS: It‘s excessive force, because we‘re not trained to use a flashlight as an offensive weapon.
Consequently, what would happen if we were in a courtroom, they would ask, what were you trained to do with a flashlight? We‘re taught to use a flashlight to light an area, to illuminate the area. But it‘s not supposed to be used as an offensive weapon.
BUCHANAN: But in this video, apparently is not—they can‘t—I guess it‘s undetermined whether or not it is a flashlight.
I want to ask you about something though. Your organization I guess is Black Cops Against Police Brutality, right?
DAVIS: That‘s correct.
BUCHANAN: Why not just cops against police brutality?
DAVIS: Because I‘m the founder. I‘m a black cop, and we‘re against police brutality. No other reason.
BUCHANAN: All right. Let me ask you. Are you against police brutality? Do you take up the issues when it‘s done by black cops against black folks?
DAVIS: We have spoken out against police officers of every race using brutality against any victim. In fact, we‘ve defended—in California—we defended the family of a Michael William Arnold who was shot 106 times - - a white male, 39 years old shot in southern California by 22 police officers—black, white and Latino police officers.
So we have no complaint about what color the actor is in terms of the officer. If you‘re wrong, you‘re wrong. And if you‘re correct, you‘re correct.
So, we are for what is right for everyone.
BUCHANAN: All right, let me ask you this, though. I looked up the murder statistics today, Delacey. And something like 300-and-some-thousand were murdered, people murdered in the United States in 20 years. And that‘s about 18,000 a year.
And roughly half of these are black folks—roughly that, say 9,000 a year. And the main killers of these black folks are other black folks.
Isn‘t this a more serious problem that ought to be addressed than the occasional act of police brutality by a cop in a struggling situation like we just saw there?
DAVIS: I think you‘re mixing apples and oranges. If you were occasionally beat by the police, you wouldn‘t think that this is less important.
The social reality is that, yes, homicide rates in every community, and particularly the African-American community, is an issue of concern. But that doesn‘t justify the abuse of people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...
BUCHANAN: You know, I ...
DAVIS: ... by the police.
BUCHANAN: ... I‘m not abuse—I‘m not justifying it, Delacey. I‘m saying it‘s wrong. But what I‘m saying is, why not a focus on what is a slaughter? I mean, there are going to be 200 black folks killed in this city this year.
Now, I agree, if somebody hit somebody over the head with a flashlight and he‘s a cop, we ought to condemn it. But shouldn‘t we focus on the bigger things?
DAVIS: Well, Mr. Buchanan, I think that it is not the position of those who are not victimized by the police to determine what the priorities are of those who are being victimized.
And the reality is, I think both of them are equally as important. It‘s not one or the other, or either and. They‘re both—they‘re both important.
BUCHANAN: Why is it more—why is it more important about folks who are getting abused than folks getting killed?
DAVIS: No, I didn‘t say that. I said, it‘s not one or the other. I said they‘re equally important. And I think you have to put your energy in both places.
For example, I deal with youth on the issue of prevention of crime and the crime that you‘ve imposed upon each other, but also dealing with law enforcement and what it does to people of color.
BUCHANAN: OK. Thank you very much again for being here, Delacey Davis.
DAVIS: Thank you for having me.
BUCHANAN: And thanks to all of you for watching SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July. Good night.
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