Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: December 12, 2014
Guest: Dan Kildee, David Cay Johnston, Tef Poe, Philip Agnew, Paniel
Joseph, Clint Van Zandt, Zerlina Maxwell, Salamishah Tillet, Kimberle
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans, welcome to the Ed
Show live from Washington D.C., I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.
It`s a busy day. Within the last few hours the House passed another short-
term funding bill which keeps the government opened through December 17th.
We`re keeping our eye on the Senate as we awaiting their vote.
For years now, we`ve watch our hyper partisan obstructionist Congress
struggle to perform even it`s most basic duties. So it`s only fitting the
final hours of 113th Congress have been high stakes drama, complete with a
looming government shutdown and open rebellion. Without a doubt the star
of this latest drama has been Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Last night the House managed to pass the Cromnibus bill, a measure to fund
the federal government through the end of September 2015. Not before
Senator Warren very publicly campaigned against it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: The House of the Representative
is about to show us the worst of government for rich and power. This is a
Democracy and the American people didn`t elect us to stand up for
Citigroup. They elected us to stand up for all the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: At the heart of Warren`s objection is a provision, which would
provide taxpayers subsidies to risky Wall Street derivative trading.
Warren has become the de facto spokeswoman for populist anti-Wall Street
liberalism. Warren is the architect of the consumer financial protection
bureau, a watchdog agency aimed at protecting American consumers from shady
practices in the wake of financial crisis. So it`s make sense that Warren
isn`t about to standby quietly while lawmakers trying to give Wall Street
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Why in the world are you spending your time and your energy
fighting for a provision written by Citigroup lobbyist that would increase
the chance of future bailout? Why, in the last minute as you head out the
door and a pending bill must be passed, are you making it a priority to do
Wall Street`s bidding? Who do you for, Wall Street of the American people?
People are frustrated with Congress. Part of the reason of course is
gridlock. But mostly it`s because they see a Congress that works just fine
for the big guys and won`t lift a finger to help them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: 57 House Democrats still voted to pass the bill, likely because the
threat of a second government shutdown in just over a year was enough to
twist their arm. The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate. Senator
Warren may fail to take this one provision and she won`t stop it either but
in her attempts she has successfully inspire a movement within the
Earlier today a group of 300 former Obama staffers wrote an open letter
urging Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016. The group site
Warren`s willingness to take on powerful interest like the Wall Street
banks that crashed our economy. They call Warren the backbone that the
Democratic Party too often forgets it needs.
We don`t know if Warren will run, we do know this puts the pressure on
Hillary Clinton or any Democrat with their sight set on 2016, because
Senator Warren is not forcing liberals to publicly choose a side and Warren
makes it very simple, are you with Main Street or are you with Wall Street?
Frustrated liberals recognize Elizabeth Warren has the backbone to fight
for the 99 percent and she hasn`t afraid to call it like she`s see it.
That means hopeful like Hillary aren`t going to get any hiding space in the
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, will Elizabeth Warren push the Democrats to the left in 2016?
Text A for yes, text B for no, to 67622 or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
I`ll bring you the results later in the show.
Joining me now is Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee and David Cay Johnston,
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and columnist Al Jazeera America. So,
Congressman is this the future of the Democratic Party with Elizabeth
Warren there, is she forcing the party more to the left?
REP. DAN KILDE, (D) MICHIGAN: Well, I`m not sure if it`s left or right but
it certainly forward, in the right direction. And I, like Elizabeth feel
that the Dodd-Frank provisions that were put in place after the financial
crisis are there to protect the American consumer and American taxpayer,
it`s one of the reasons that I`ve voted against the Cromnibus, the so-
called Cromnibus. But we also rewarded the wealthiest Americans by giving
them the ability to spend 10 times the amount they otherwise could to
support political parties at the same time it would provide taxpayers
support for Wall Street.
It just -- in for me it was a bridge to far, and what Senator Warren is
saying I think is the same thing many of us in the House are saying. And
it`s what the American people want, they want us to fight. And I was
disappointed frankly that the President didn`t stand and fight with us. I
think we could have won this battle.
DYSON: Sure, will that certainly ain`t to the right. It`s got to be to
the left. David, can you explain why Senator Warren is so opposed to this
provision, breakdown what it would do.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, COLUMNIST, AL JAEERA AMERICA: Sure, Senator Warren is
basically saying, you should as a bank be able place derivatives which are
basically bets in a casino where if you win you get rich and if you lose
the taxpayers pay off your losses. I mean would like to go to casino
Michael under those circumstances?
DYSON: Not at all.
JOHNSTON: So I don`t think she`s pushing to the left. I think her
tremendous moral authority is being use here to promote sound economics and
I think that this will only enhance her position and increase the
likelihood that she will be a President of the United States and our eras
DYSON: Wow, so Congressman, Senator Warren lost this battle. But do you
think she won the messaging war going on here?
KILDEE: I hope so and we need to drive this home, we need to make it clear
what that the House did and what the Senate stands to do, is to stand again
with Wall Street and with the moneyed interest. And if there`s anything
that Americans want to see, they want to see is fight for them. I know, I
might be would have been that the President should have said, look, send me
a full year funding bill for all 12 appropriations categories and I`ll sign
it $1.1 trillion. Anything else I`ll veto and I will stand here and you
will stay and do your job until we get that done.
That`s the position that Senator Warren has taken, it`s the position that I
take and I would encourage the President to take that position going
forward. They sent us here to fight for them, that what Main Street sent
us here to do, not to capitulate. Why are we always the ones that have to
blink, why are we always the ones that have to give? Folks sent us here to
fight for them and that`s what should be doing.
DYSON: Sure, so David back in the `90s Bill Clinton made it easier on Big
Banks, in the current climate do you think Hillary Clinton is going to do
the same thing and make the same mistake?
JOHNSTON: No, and I think Hillary Clinton`s real problem is going to be
separating herself from the terrible economic mistakes of her husbands
administration. And if Elizabeth Warren decides to run you`re going to see
whatever differences they have very brightly eliminated. And, both of them
will of course run against President Obama`s position of cuddling the big
banks, refusing under Eric Holder to prosecute the big banks and now,
welting as Dan Kildee pointed out, welting when you`ve got Jamie Dimon
acting as a whip trying to get votes for the benefit of his bank.
I don`t see, you know, anybody could run for office who`s voted for this
bill within opponent who can say, oh, you`re the Congressman from Jamie
DYSON: Right. So Congressman Kildee, why didn`t you support this bill?
Do you want to see more Democrats standing up against this kind of
KILDEE: Well, I mean I just -- I voted against the Cromnibus like many of
us did. We need to stand up. If we had stand -- had stood together last
night and if the President had stood with us. Many said that we would have
had a short-term three months C.R. (ph).
But the President could have made it clear that he would not sign that. He
should say to Congress, do you job. You have a job to send me in
appropriation bill. We have agreed on $1.1 trillion as the spending cap,
you do your job within that framework, I`ll look at it, but -- and I will
sign a full year bill not pulling out homeland security, not adding these
riders that they couldn`t get pass with a normal legislative process.
The reason they put that Wall Street package on there which I voted against
on the floor of the House when it came up. The reason they put on these is
that knew the President would be forced to sign it. I don`t think he is
force to sign it. I think we should have stood strong.
DYSON: All right, Congressman Dan.
JOHNSTON: Eric there`s also provision in this bill that will hurt many
people watching the show. If you have a multi employer pension plan,
you`re a truck drive, a carpenter, a cement mason that`s retired. They`re
going to cut your pension if this bill passes as it went through the House.
KILDEE: And Michael there was...
DYSON: Yeah, go, go on.
KILDEE: ... I was going to say the one important thing to say about this
derivative package is it we`re not saying that banks can`t design these
heads -- these derivatives to hedge against risks. What we`re saying is
you just can`t use taxpayer money to do it. And I think somehow in the
conversation that`s been lost. This is about making sure they can`t use
our money to play their games.
DYSON: Yeah, it`s a critical distinction. Thank you so much Congressman.
Congressman Dan Kildee and David Cay Johnston thanks for your time tonight.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen and
share your thoughts on Twitter @edshow and on Facebook. We want to know
what you think.
Coming up, from Staten Islands to the British Isles the race conversation
has gone global. We`ll discuss how to turn words into legislative action
And later, I`ll look the hypocrisy behind Bill Cosby`s commentary on the
black community in light of his recent allegation, I`ll have commentary and
our panel will weight in as well. Stay tuned.
DYSON: We`re still following the Breaking News out of Portland Oregon.
According to police three teenagers were shot outside of Rosemary Anderson
High School. It`s not clear if they were in fact students at the school.
Police are investigating the crime scene. The shooter or shooters have not
yet been apprehended. We`ll keep an eye on the story and bring you any
developments as they happen.
Black lives matter. The signs and chant at protests aren`t just about
Ferguson, it`s not just about the NYPD, it`s not just about stand your
ground laws. A global conversation on race and power has ignited.
We`re looking at protest in London, England. 76 people were arrested in
the peaceful demonstration for Eric Garner. We`re seeing support for the
unarmed in slain on basketball courts, classrooms and now the crossover
between the two.
My Georgetown Hoyas where the first college team to wear this particular
shirt. I can`t breathe shirts on Wednesday. I`m so proud of them. Race
is the conversation, conservatives refuse to engage. They`ve guaranteed
the issue, blamed black culture for black problems, undue suspension,
disproportionate scrutiny, poverty and punishment are absent from their
vocabularies. The conservative media has thrown their hands up as well.
Instead of saying don`t shoot, they say don`t talk to me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In fits right into the civil rights mentality of the
NAACP and other organizations with a victims yet again, with the victims
let`s fix this problem, we shouldn`t be the victims. But what about the
much more difficult problem of we`re the problem.
SEAN HANNITY, "THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW" HOST: Whether you like it or not
when he`s moving his hands around and saying don`t do it. He resisted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re the problem when it comes to dysfunction, that`s
T-shirt he should wear. You know, that`s fine I can`t breathe this week.
Next week if you`re going to be billboard or walking billboard, next week,
be a better father to your son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crime rate is driven by the disillusion of the
family. No supervision, OK? Kids with no fathers, the black neighborhood
are devastated by drug gangs who prey upon their own. That`s the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Their narrative is thuggery. If a black man is not perfect he has
already been convicted. There`s a whitewash double standard. Sweeping
generalizations about black American and black crime wipe away countless
black lives from the real conversation. Black lives do not matter in the
conservative media and plus, they`re highly hypocritical.
Thomas Jefferson had sex with underage women, 14-years-old and against her
will because he owns her. Do we consider the President a pedophile and a
rapist? I certainly don`t. But by their logic this is what they`re
Alexander Hamilton died in gun battle with Aaron Burr. Was he a gangster
and a thug? I don`t believe so. Congressional staffers walk off their
jobs on Thursday afternoon to show support for families of Michael Brown
and Eric Garner, they`re pushing the conversation on the hill.
Now we need the President to lead. President Obama commented on the
concerns of protesters but he hasn`t stood with them. Throughout President
Obama six year in office we stood behind him. When he was erupted during
the State of the Union, you lie, when we had finger wagged in his face when
he receive vicious assaults and attacks from the dark hard of bigots we
said his black life matters.
He deserves the respect and dignity due to any President regardless of
color. It`s time for him to stand by us, no more excuses. It`s time for
him to be articulate and to express the real need of America to recognize
the equal value of all lives and in this case, specifically of African-
American people and Latino people as well. It`s time for a real
conversation of race and it`s time for action.
Joining me now, Tef Poe Rapper and Activities, Philip Agnew Executive
Director of the Dream Defenders and Paniel Joseph Professor of African-
American Studies at Tufts University. Bother Agnew let me turn to you
first. Marches are scheduled across the country in Washington and New York
tomorrow, organizers are hoping for a million people. But what do you
think the real point of it is and what can we expect?
PHILIP AGNEW, EXEC. DIR, DREAM DEFENDERS: The point of it is simple.
People are sick and tired of being sick and tired and that`s what we saw in
a neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri. When a young man was murdered and
the community rolls up in a way that we haven`t seen in 40 or 50 years.
People are tired of a system that criminalize us everyday, that profiles,
that stops, that frisks, that imprisons, that kills people in our community
and once they`re dead forces the corpses to defend themselves.
People are tired, that`s what we`re going to see around the country, their
mobilizations happening at cities around the country, they`re not
spontaneous, they`re decentralized but they`re coordinated. But the fact
of the matter is, no matter what race people are - of the people going to
these marches, the consensus is clear, the way that this country is run,
the way that it operates, the way that it treats the people who have been
left on the margins is not acceptable to us anymore.
And if we can`t continue on our lives as full citizens, business as usual
will not commit.
DYSON: All right, Tef Poe what changes do you want to see coming from
these killings, these brutal murders of these unarmed black people?
TEF POE, RAPPER AND ACTIVIST: We just want to be humanized. The bottom
line is, I get tired of hearing stories about unarmed people being shutdown
by police officers. And, what happens when these cases go to trial in just
unbelievable, they leave in the hands of the grand jury, they don`t even
press charges, Mike Brown`s body left in the middle of the street for four
and half hours, Eric Garner murdered on camera.
I mean this is a live execution and we want to be humanized, we`re sick and
tired to the victims being vilified. It`s time to have a real conversation
about police brutality in America. If police brutality is legal according
to the statistics then we want this country to own up to it and say that
that`s the case.
DYSON: All right, Professor Joseph I saw the movie, cinema last night.
It`s a remarkable film, great performances. It brings a lot of huff and
legitimacy to the portrayal of a civil right movement. The film explores
also the vicious reaction to nonviolent protest in 1965. We`re still
fighting a battle for nonviolent expression and equality in 2014. Why are,
you know, why are the similarities from `65 still so striking today despite
the fact that we`re being told including by the White House that look, it
ain`t bad as it use to be so let`s not concentrate on those similarities.
PENIEL JOSEPH, PROFESSOR, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Well Doctor, the racism and
the institutional structural inequality persist 49 years later after Selma.
I think the biggest pyretic of the President is the President`s
unwillingness to acknowledge that, even though he has escaped from this
American golliwog (ph) of racism and institutional violence against black
bodies, and family has, millions of African-Americans just have it, right?
And when we think about Selma, the interesting thing about that movie is
that March 7th 1965 was Bloody Sunday, and then there was turn around
Tuesday and then the massive march, March 21st to March 25th with 30, 000
people joined Dr. King. But, the movie shows that the institution of
racism was facilitated by state violence.
Those were Alabama State troopers who were beating people on the Edmund
Pettus Bridge. And when we think about Eric Garner and we think about
Ferguson, those are American law enforcement who are beating and killing
and murdering black lives. And one thing I`ll say is that this movement is
about more than just a criminal justice system although that`s really
This is a national and really a global movement for radical social justice.
African-Americans have always been on the cutting edge of trying to save
American democracy and the black lives matter is continuing that movement.
DYSON: Let me ask both and Tef Poe and Phillip Agnew, both of you have had
very public expressions of loving embrace of President Obama but also
criticism. Tef Poe you wrote an open letter to the President saying why is
it impossible or it`s been nearly impossible for you to embrace black life
in public and express your love, and Phillip Agnew you talked about going
to the White House and the President asking you to be gradual and to
slowdown and your point was, were not going to do it.
Can you both of you briefly speak to why you felt it was necessary to
publicly articulate your love and yet your disagreement with the President.
POE: I mean I`m personally confused about who I voted for. It feels like
I voted for Mitt Romney. Under these (ph) circumstances I was better of
voting for Mitt Romney if this is the response we`re going to actually get
from an African-American President about the mass murder of Africa-American
youth by police officers.
DYSON: Mr. Agnew.
AGNEW: And for me and no, I completely agree. There was a lot of
excitement the moment we voted for President Obama. And I think it`s
important that, in our discourse about the President that we humanize him
as well, right? If we want to be treated as human, and of course I can
acknowledge the excitement about electing him.
But as Tef Poe said, look, we never thought that we`ll be in a situation
like this where the leader of the "free world" and African-American men let
be an actor in organizing background in the City of Chicago would stay
silent when people from his very community, when people from the national
community, when American citizens are being gunned down in the street, in
state sanction violence, that`s what this is.
And what we`re seeing right now is to response not only to those murders
but really a disillusionment with government, a disillusionment with the
church, a disillusionment with the state, a disillusionment traditional
avenues of recourse for our communities. And so what are people doing?
Were taken to the streets, and this is a moment, that`s what black lives
It draws a line and understand (ph) about what is humanity, what side are
you going to stand on is a cry that started with black youth project that
was taken up in Ferguson, that`s happening around the country and saying,
are you going to stand on the side of the people of humanity or in the side
of a system that is helped on this destruction. And the leader of that
system hasn`t said anything.
DYSON: Professor Joseph, you are a remarkable historian, a very eloquent
writer about this. Talk to us because, you know, there are millions of
black of people out there that, oh my god, are we piling up on the
President when that`s not -- that`s exactly not what`s going on. We`re
talking about holding a President as they did in Selma accountable for
actions of the state that he now represents.
So explain to America why it`s important to have this kind of open ended
conversation where there`s not knee-jerk loyalty and yet expressions of
empathy but also demanding in return expressions of empathy from the White
JOSEPH: No, absolutely Doc. President Obama, black people have had the
President`s back from day one. The President and the first family, and I
think right now is the moment for reciprocity. When we think about Martin
Luther King Junior, Martin Luther King Junior leveraged the power of the
black community along with activist like Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and
others to force both President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to respond,
So when we think about President Obama, these national movements that are
taking place, and we think about people like the Dream Defenders, the
gentlemen that you have on Today Show who are really an extension of the
Ella Baker, the Fannie Lou Hamer, the Stokely Carmichael of the past. The
President has to step up because we are all Americans. African-Americans
are part of this country.
You can`t speak out about immigration and speak out about all of these
other pressing social issues and not speak about black lives mattering and
not speak out in a policy way too because -- Professor Dyson, what we need,
when we think about social movement, creatively disruptive, morally
impassioned, policy specific. Body cameras for the police are not enough.
We`re talking about ending mass incarceration, and we`re talking about a
new social contract between Americans and the government. And that new
social contract includes a greater great society, a newer new deal, real
antipoverty, a war on poverty and not a war on drugs and a war on poor
black people who are put in prison by the hundreds of thousands as
nonviolent drug offenders.
DYSON: Well look, that`s an excellently stated point. There`s a pro-cop
rally next week. Protesters marching for Mike Brown and Eric Garner aren`t
antipolice. They are against the practices that lead to unwarranted
harassment from police. So what is your reaction to the rallies crapping
up around the country designed to counter the injustice marches of both Tef
Poe and Phillip Agnew.
AGNEW: You hit that right on the...
POE: I`ll just say...
AGNEW: Go ahead.
POE: Go ahead. Go ahead bro.
AGNEW: No, I was going to say you hit that right on the head. We`re not
antipolice. We`re antiracism. We`re anti-white supremacy. We`re anti-
lack of accountability on behalf of law enforcement in America. Once
again, the statistics prove that you can murder a person on camera. It
doesn`t matter -- Trayvon died, they say we need more proof.
He was murdered by vigilante that wanted to be a police officer. When Mike
Brown died they say where is the evidence? Where is the proof? Eric
Garner was killed on a camera, Tamir Rice, 12-year-old kid gunned down on
camera. And we say to this country, look, either you fix this problem or
we`re going to take to streets and fix it ourselves? We will not seat back
idle and allow this to happen any longer.
This is a new generation. This is a new guard. This is a new regime. Get
used to seeing our faces because I`m young and I got about 30 more years of
DYSON: All right and Tef Poe, Phillip Agnew and Peniel Joseph, thank you
so much for joining us here tonight.
JOSEPH: Thanks for having me.
DYSON: Coming up, Bill Cosby faces new allegations of sexual misconduct,
my commentary straight ahead.
DYSON: We continue to follow up breaking news out of Portland. We`ve
confirmed three teenagers are in the hospital with gunshot wounds following
a shooting outside Rose Marie Anderson High School. We do not know if the
victims were students. We do know they run inside the school to get help.
Police have not yet caught the shooter or shooters. Let`s bring in Former
FBI Profiler Clint Van Zandt.
Clint, what`s the latest that you`ve heard?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, as you`re suggested three
shootings, there was a two males and a female, we know that one of them
males whether a student or not, he was standing outside of this alternative
school. And as you know, this is a school that tries to help youths who
are challenged, who can`t me it in a regular school. So we had at least
three standing outside.
It looks like it may have been a drive by shooting because police have
found shell cartridges outside perhaps of the semiautomatic weapon where we
have a 17-year-old youth were shot on a back. We had a young woman who was
shot on her chest and we had another man who has been shot.
The shooter it looks like he has fled the area and law enforcement is
suggesting, their belief that this is a gang related shooting. Realize
that, since this last summer the Portland areas has seen well over a dozen
people wounded or killed in gang related shootings. And law enforcement is
operating under the premise that this is one more gang banging that`s
taking place this time outside of a school.
DYSON: All right, thank you Clint Van Zandt. There`s a lot more coming up
on the Ed Show. Stay tuned.
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Hampton Pearson with your CNBC
Stocks end weak with selloff. The Dow slides 315 points suffering its
steepest weekly loss since November of 2011. The S&P falls by 33 points
off more three percent for the week. The NASDAQ sheds 54.
Oil taking another big hit today, crude dropping over 3 percent settling
below $58 a barrel for the first time since May of 2009. And a steep
decline in the cost of gasoline helped producer prices fall more than
expected last month.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This week supermodel Beverly Johnson
is coming forward as the latest woman to accuse Bill Cosby of drugging her.
In an interview with Tamron Hall, Johnson says she is speaking out about
the incident to empower others. Tamron Hall has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY JOHNSON, SUPERMODEL: I was totally hopeless. I was on the verged
of passing out, I knew that, you know, I was going to be unconscious.
TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Beverly Johnson is a groundbreaking figure
rising to stardom as a supermodel in the 1970s. Now, she`s joining more
than two dozen women who publicly accused Bill Cosby.
JOHNSON: I`m most certainly didn`t think of my legacy as being a first the
African-American model to grace the cover of Vogue and drugged by Bill
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi dad.
HALL: Johnson says, she thought she was auditioning for a part on the
Cosby Show when she went to Cosby`s New Year home in 1986. She says Cosby
insisted she drink a cappuccino.
JOHNSON: I immediately felt something from the first sip and it was almost
like I didn`t really believe it so I took another sip. And it wasn`t long
after that that I knew I had been drugged.
HALL: Johnson says she felt the effects instantly.
JOHNSON: The room starts to spin a little and I was getting very woozy.
HALL: Johnson says she thought that Cosby expected her to submit to him
but managed to fight back.
JOHNSON: I just started to swear and curse and had -- I wanted him to know
that I knew he had drugged me. And it was -- I don`t know, I just went on
HALL: She said he yanked her down the stairs and shove her into a cab.
JOHNSON: I woke up the next day, I was totally disoriented and didn`t
remember exactly what happened and was devastated and disappointing.
HALL: Johnson says she struggled over the decision to tell her story.
JOHNSON: At the time I felt that it would hurt my career. Most certainly
he was a very powerful man.
HALL: Even keeping the secret from loved ones like her own daughter
JOHNSON: I told her what would she tell to her daughter, my granddaughter
if she ever came to her and said that, hey mom I`ve been drugged, what
would you do? And she said mom, you`re doing a right thing. I support
you. I love you. Yes, that you`re doing the right thing.
HALL: After decade of silence, Johnson decided now was the time to speak
JOHNSON: I want to stand with these women that have come out. I want to
have a platform for one out of every six women that are sexually assaulted.
HALL: An attorney for Bill Cosby had no comment on these latest
allegations. For Johnson she says sharing her story isn`t about bringing
down Cosby. It`s about empowering other victims of abuse.
JOHNSON: This is bigger than Bill Cosby. This is about, you know, women
and violence on women. This is about women finding their voice. If feel
that Cosby took my power that evening and that I took my power back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Bill Cosby has denied all sexual assault allegations. Here`s my
take, 10 years ago, I wrote a book, Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black
Middle Class Lost Its Mind? I criticize Mr. Cosby for his heartless
assault on the black poor especially for what I think are mean spirited and
misogynistic assaults on young black women for what he viewed is their lax
morals and poor parenting skills.
Five, six children, same woman, eight, ten different husbands or whatever.
Pretty soon you`re going to have to have DNA cards so you can tell who
you`re making love to. You don`t know who this is, might be your
My god, I took a lot of heat from black America for my book as many black
folk defended Cosby`s views as organic conservatism and nothing more than
you`d hear from your uncle or things you`d picked up at the local
Well, there`s a good reason, you`re uncle ain`t on television offering
carefully analysis and sharp arguments. And while your local barbershop
maybe entertaining, it isn`t necessarily the training ground for
progressive gender views, recently of course Cosby`s world has come
crashing in on him.
The ultimate arbiter of respectability politics has been alleged as a
serial rapist. A man who allegedly dropped drugs in women`s drinks over
the last 40 years and sexually abuse them or otherwise assaulted them
against their wills, and often while they were in varying states of
consciousness or unconsciousness.
I think Beverly Johnson has added heft and believability to the accusations
against Cosby because she has nothing to gain by coming forward but surely
a lot to loss.
In Vanity Fair this week she writes, "A voice in my head keep whispering.
Black men have enough enemies out there already. They certainly don`t need
someone like you and African-American with a familiar face and a famous
name fanning the flames." That kind of logic has to end.
Black women can`t be force to choose between their gender or race and
harbor secrets that shred their hearts and ruin their lives because of a
false notion of race loyalty. Black men must prove our loyalty to black
women even if it means calling out one of our most beloved icons who has
hypocritically shrouded himself behind a cloak of black respectability and
Let`s be honest here. The logic of black respectability has taking quite a
blow with Cosby`s fall from grace. Especially since it highlights the
lunacy of believing that through proper behavior or appropriate dress one
might stave off the mistreatment at the hands of police or mainstream
culture by convincing them of black folk`s humanity.
And it`s pretty shameful that we separate Cosby`s brutal assault on poor
black folk and the allegations of his misconduct against a score or more of
women. They are related. The same impose to berate, demean and degrade
poor people maybe behind the alleged behavior Cosby has displayed toward
And those who have taken pains to separate the two are missing a profound
lesson offered by one of America`s leading philosopher Shawn Carter (ph).
So it`s tough being by the Bobbie Browns, to be bobby then you gotta be
In other words your past and your present are linked and your glory and
your shame are tied in one neat bow and it ain`t pretty. That`s why we`ve
got to remain vigilant in insisting on the just treatment of poor people
and women throughout our society.
Coming up, I`m going to bring in three distinguished black women scholars
to get their take on this developing story and what it means for American
The discussion continues next.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. At this hour, the Senate has the fate
of American in their hands. Stay with MSNBC for our continuing coverage.
But first, supermodel Beverly Johnson has put a new focus on Bill Cosby.
Here`s more from her Today interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: He said I like you to do a scene where you play a drunk person.
And I knew the part was for a pregnant lady but I went with it. And then,
Cosby started to make this cappuccino. He has this elaborate machine,
contraptions, it was huge and he said that it makes the best coffee and
cappuccino in the world and you`re never, you know, taste anything like it.
And, you know, I said that I didn`t really, really drinking and it kept me
up all night but he insist it. And so, I took a sip of the cappuccino.
And, I immediately felt really strange. I started to realize that the room
start to spin a little and I was getting very woozy. I took another sip
and at that point I knew I had been drugged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The Ed Show did reach out the Bill Cosby`s representatives and
invited Mr. Cosby to appear on the show tonight. We`ve not yet receive the
We have more in the story next with out distinguished panel of scholars.
Keep it right here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: I feel that Cosby took my power that night, that evening and that
I took my power back. That`s what I feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Powerful words from supermodel Beverly Johnson, who this week came
forward with new allegations against Bill Cosby.
Let`s get right to our panel. Political Analyst Zerlina Maxwell,
Salamishah Tillet of the University of Pennsylvania and Kimberle Crenshaw
of Columbia University.
Zerlina Maxwell, Salamishah Tillet and Kimberle, all of you of course have
been engaged with this issue from the very beginning. This is nothing that
is strange or foreign to you.
Professor Crenshaw, let me begin with you. Why is it that in this country,
we are incapable of acknowledging -- because you`re famous for talking to
us about how they are interlocking oppressions but also the ways in which
those interconnections have to be talked about specifically so that black
women don`t get marginalized and the intersections between all of those
race, class, gender and the light (ph) come about.
Help us understand why it`s important to do both. Talk about black women
suffering at the same time talk about the reality that in the context of
America their lives are made marginal and therefore they`re not taken
KIMBERLE CRENSHAW, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LAW: Well Michael, first of all,
thank you for having me. You really articulated it well when you pointed
out that there is a connection, there`s been a long-term connection between
anti-racism, patriarchy in the black community and conservatism. That`s
what`s big about this story.
So we all know that women in general have had a difficult time in coming
forward when they`ve been subject sexual abuse. Basically the stigma
sticks with them. But what Beverly Johnson pointed out is that there`s an
additional pressure on African-American women. An additional double whammy
that basically says, that they have to be silent about the level of sexual
abuse that they`ve experienced. Impart because the community sees African-
American women when they come out as basically being traitors as basically
contributing to the engagement of men.
If you remember when Anita Hill came out, people were absolutely horrified
by it. They really wanted to take her out, not because they didn`t believe
her but because she violated the code of silent. And as a consequence, we
supported Clarence Thomas. We got a conservative justice and we`re not
able to talk about these issues.
So I think this is a new day. A lot of African-American men and women are
saying, we`re not going to abide by that politic anymore.
DYSON: Right. Professor Tillet, you written powerfully in The Nation
about the kind of disparity between black women and white women who are
raped and what their experiences are and if the race of the victimizer is
black or white, it makes a difference. Tell us about that and why it might
be the context for black women`s hesitation to even come out.
SALAMISHAH TILLET, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, one of the pushback
or the forms of pushback against the Cosby allegation is from particular
members of say, of the African-American community have been that the women
who have come forward are this proportionately white.
And so they`re kind of casting the Bill Cosby allegations with a no long-
standing trope of the African-American male rapist and the white female
victim. Not understating that is a racist trope that was used to just
lynching and using that to protect or come around or -- for solidarity with
And so, what`s interesting, now if you look statistically it`s true that
white women are more likely to come forward if the perpetrator of sexual
violence is African-American then they are with white men, right? So most
rapes are interracial and 90 percent are committed within one`s racial
group. And yet, white women are more likely to come forward if it`s
African-American perpetrator, which also then means that African-American
women are less likely to come forward irregardless of the race of the
perpetrator because there`s another myth alongside the myth of black man
rapist that black women just are inherently unable to be raped and that
also goes back to slavery.
So, with Beverly Johnson coming forward and putting a kind of African-
American face to these allegations which I think there are much -- many
more women of color, many more black women that we just don`t know of yet.
I think it`s a really significant moment for all the reason that Professor
Crenshaw spoke to.
And to underscore the idea of racial treason as something that has always
worked against a larger -- racial justice for black people.
DYSON: Right. Ms. Maxwell, picking up on that point, tell us how
difficult that is as a black woman to name a black man as a rapist, as
somebody who`s engaged allegedly in this kind of activity and the cast has
been set the dye, you know, has been cast so to speak, and people have been
afraid to come out.
Does this embolden women from now on, at least black women and other women
to say, I`m not going to take this, you know, being marginalized. And that
it`s not about me being race traitor, it`s about me standing up to the
vicious ways in which black women have been treated within the race itself.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I hope so. And I
think that Beverly Johnson spoke to this when she talked about the fact
that she saw Barber Bowman and other survivors come out and speak the
truth, even though there are no legal consequences. There really are only
moral and social consequences at this point for Bill Cosby for the most
And yet, she solved (ph) the women`s bravery -- their bravery and decided
she wanted to speak her own truth. And I think that that is a very
powerful statement because too often we have a machine that kicks in as
soon as you come out and tell your story, where you have to then prove that
you are not lying, which is not the case in other types of crime.
So if you come forward and say, my car was stolen, the people that you tell
your -- that your car was stolen and they don`t say, are you sure? Are you
sure? You know, the police go look for your car. So I think that, you
know, it`s not the perfect parallel but I think too often survivors have to
play their defense attorneys at every phase of the process.
And then they`re less likely to get justice because they just dropped out
of the process all together because it`s too challenging to always have to
defend yourself and prove that you are not lying.
DYSON: Right. Professor Tillet and Crenshaw, I want to ask about
something because as you know I wrote this book 10 years ago when I took a
lot of heat from people. And, I think it was reprehensible that Bill Cosby
was beaten up on poor people because it was deeply gendered. A lot of the
implications there, innuendoes and outright attacks were against black
women but they don`t matter. So we didn`t get that upset. Oh, it`s just
Bill Cosby being your crazy uncle.
Tell us about the relationship between beaten up on poor people and the
kinds of acts that he allegedly committed.
CRENSHAW: Well, Michael as you know, every time there is a critic about
black performance black respectability, it`s usually a critic of the
family. It`s usually a critic of these black women that they frame us
As we know the Pound Cake Speech was not simply an attack on black people,
it was attack on black women. And because we as a community haven`t been
as aggressive as we should be in protecting black women against
stereotypes, even when they come from our own people, basically that speech
was allowed to travel because so many people believe these stereotypes.
DYSON: Right. Professor Tillet?
TILLET: Yeah, well I also think -- and just to add to what Professor
Crenshaw said that the believability of these stereotypes around black
women. And the lack of kind of community pushing back against them are
related to why Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill (inaudible) the way they do,
why Desiree Washington and Mike Tyson even though he was obviously
prosecuted and punished. There was a community that galvanized around him.
That was a particularly important in a moment for me as a young women
coming of age.
TILLET: So I think that the idea that, you know, Bill Cosby already had
maybe a kind of everyday practice of sexually assaulting women that`s been
-- shaped his moral rhetoric I think is really to important to hold on to
it and keep pushing on.
DYSON: All right. Zerlina Maxwell, Salamishah Tillet and Kimberle
Crenshaw, thank you so much for your time tonight.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening, Rev.
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