tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 26, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
going to get worse. people really when they check the weather report need to start looking at that air quality because it could dictate whether or not you can go outside. tiffany. >> thank you, cal. please, be safe. and that's "the reidout" for tonight and "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight, on "all in." >> adam and liz? aren't they kind of like pelosi republicans? >> the sad leadership and clear boundaries of the republican party. >> we have important work to do. and i think that's pretty childish. >> it's childish. we are doing big things right now. tonight, how trump's version of the insurrection became the litmus test for house republicans. and what the january-6th committee will be investigated when they convene for the first time, tomorrow. then. >> does this impact fertility? well, the answer is no. and that's been the data. but they -- >> despite the ongoing misinformation damage, how some of the vaccine hesitant are
starting to come around. biden's former-covid adviser, andy slavitt, joins me on that. plus, senator chris murphy on the challenges of working with republicans on anything. and with voting rights under threat, we remember the leadership of bob moses trying to register voters in mississippi. >> anyone is arrested and then taken out of the jail. then, the chances that they are alive is just almost zero. when "all in" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. today, we saw what should be a normal scene in washington in the post-trump era. with a new administration that has been very intent on restoring normalcy, norms, and conventions of governing. it was a bipartisan celebration of a landmark piece of civil rights legislation. truly, a great and important piece of legislation. the americans with disabilities act. it was held in the white house rose garden.
um, president joe biden signed a proclamation honoring the 31st anniversary of that landmark legislation, which was signed into law by a republican president. president george h.w. bush. you know, a totally routine kind of event, right? we -- we -- we love this bill. it's been an incredible piece of legislation for the country. and we are all celebrating it. also, notable because it's exactly the kind of thing that the previous occupant of the white house would just never do. almost never invited democrats to even, you know, anadigm, kumbaya. but as we know, bipartisanship is a key belief of the administration, a kind of north star in some ways as they try to will america back toward a functioning two-party democracy. i think that is their view of it. and sorks you had republican leader of the house mccarthy was in attendance. and they asked him about the select committee investigating january 6th, which will hold its first hearing tomorrow. now, you might remember that last week, leader mccarthy
nominated five republicans to serve on that house-select committee. three of whom, voted against certifying the election results of january 6th which is to say, after the mob stormed the capitol, they voted with the mob and with donald trump to take the presidency away from the man who rightfully won it and award it to the loser. not a great vote, in my opinion. now, speaker nancy pelosi then vetoed two of those republicans, jim banks and jim jordan. and then, in response, mccarthy, theatrically, got all huffy. he pulled all five. so, they are not going to be on the committee. pelosi has now appointed a second republican to the committee, herself. congressman adam kinzinger of illinois will join liz cheney of wyoming. both of those individuals who voted for impeachment also denounced what happened on january 6th and that move apparently did not sit well with leader mccarthy. >> you know, some republicans have been saying that the -- the gop should play ball on this committee. >> really? who is they? who is that? adam and liz?
aren't they kind of, like, pelosi republicans? >> now, okay. the phrase, pelosi republicans, is kind of laughably dumb. one of those things that the person that comes up with thinks is clever but is not really. but the term illuminates an actual, definitional battle happening about the boundaries of the conceptual category of republicans. and those boundaries are being etched, day by day, chiefly, by donald trump and then by all of the people subservient to him. kevin mccarthy, of course, is one of those very subservient followers. you may remember that he dutifully followed donald trump in the wake of january 6th. first, denouncing him the next day. or i think, that day. saying, you know, he bears responsibility. but then, quickly, aboutface. supporting the former president over one of his own members, liz cheney, because she was the one that refused to go along with the big lie that trump won the election. and it led to this very, very walk ard moment back in february when kevin mccarthy was asked if the president should headline
the conservative cpac conference. >> do you believe former-president trump should be speaking at cpac this weekend? >> yes, he should. >> congresswoman cheney? >> that's up to cpac. i've been clear in my views about president trump and -- and the extent to which -- extent to which, following january 6th, i don't -- i don't believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party. >> on that high note. >> it's -- it's the kevin mccarthy eye close, for me. just, woof, one, big happy family, huh? liz cheney, along with adam kinzinger, just to be clear, have, to my mind, pretty terrible politics. i mean, you know, again, that's where i am coming from. they have extremely conservative voting records. they, you know, vote for tax cuts for rich people and against abortion rights and almost everything down the party line, as much as you could define what the ideological party line of the republican party is. but, of course, that doesn't matter and it didn't save cheney from being kicked out of her position as the number-three in
house republican leadership. that's not like some back-bench committee assignment. that's way up near the top. and she was kicked out because donald trump has worked, every day, since the election, and since the insurrection, to exert the influence he has to make fidelity to the big lie. and a commitment, an enduring commitment to overturning american democracy. the litmus test for republican-party membership. now, the influence the former president has is narrow but deep. only works among a certain segment of people. but among the people it works with, it's strong. so we are still watching that happen. that's what kevin mccarthy is doing. another way of saying they are not really republicans. and the reason he is saying that is because they do seem, i don't know, troubled by the violent insurrection, the lack of a peaceful transfer of power, and the designs donald trump, clearly, has on doing it all, again, if he gets the chance. in fact, as the midterm races heat up, lots of reports
indicating republican candidates across the country are increasingly focused on the last election. running on the falsehood spread by trump and his allies that the 2020 race was stolen from him. just this weekend, donald trump did an event where he pratled on about the stolen election in phoenix with most of that state's republicans, who are running for statewide office there, attending the event. which goes to show, again, that influence. now, arizona, of course, is the one state that has actually tried to prove donald trump's false and ridiculous claims. that's in the audit of maricopa county's 2.1 million ballots, which has, not surprisingly, been just an absolute clownshow. i mean, it's still going on, apparently. get this. there was a -- there -- there was one at least nominally legitimate face of that recount who is former arizona secretary of state, ken bennett. who said today he's been shut out of the audit. they are just counting and counting because they are trying to reach the conclusion they
want, obviously. the ballots, themselves, by the way, just, oh, by the way, almost got rained on the other day when the roof of the building where the audit is taking place started leaking. workers scrambled, i guess, to cover boxes of ballots with tarps to protect them. all in all, seems like a pretty professional operation. it's the level of competence you would expect from a donald-trump project and the level of confidence and good faith we have come to expect from the republican party, writ large. but as ofish as it all is, it is also a present danger to the company. because again, day by day, trump cultivating his lie. the litmus test about adhering to it day by day. like putting a magnet by a bunch of filings. like republican congresswoman nancy mace of south carolina. freshman member of congress, back berchler, who after january 6th, denounced trump's lies of stolen election that fueled assaults on the capitol. but now, not surprisingly because, you know, she wants to have a career, as "the new york times" reports, congresswoman
mace has bach peddled into the party's fold. now, all that said, my take, the big lie, the obsession with 2020, isn't really great, politically, for the republican party. i don't think it is a very broad audience. certainly, can't imagine swing voters or independents caring much. either way, in the short-term, republicans' best bet for the midterms is probably a message about concrete things going on in the country and people's lives. i don't know, higher prices for hotels or used cars or -- or gas prices or whatever. that strikes me if, you know, you are paying me to give advice to the republican party, as a better message than the election was stolen from donald trump by the ghost of hugo chavez that had gotten vetted into the voting machines. but donald trump is not going to let republicans pursue that message and they will not break from him. we saw republicans justify going along with the big lie. remember, mcconnell was guilty of this, as well. whole bunch of republicans, even the ones that turned up against him later. in the interim, remember, between the election and the georgia runoffs, which were the day before january 6th.
they all sort of went along with it because they wanted to placate him because they had an election to win. but there is always another one coming and so the justification for that is always present. and so, there will always be present to accede to the lies, until there is some sort of definitive defeat or they win. and we stop having elections or ones that matter, anyway. so tomorrow, the bipartisan commission investigating the insurrection kicks off. and again, the politics around this commission are a perfect microcosm of the moment. back in may, democrats and republicans worked out a bipartisan compromise to form an independent commission. we had chairman thompson on the show to talk about it. and the house approved it. and 35 republicans joined democrats to vote in favor. that's a good-big majority. 252-175. that's a healthy, bipartisan majority. but then, it died in the senate where it, also, got more than 50 votes with a bunch of republicans voting for it. but a senate-republican filibuster killed it. a majority of americans, also, not that they matter that much, i guess, in all this. but they supported an
independent commission. 56%, according to a poll conducted in may. so again, 56-30 issue. because of trump, excerpting his narrow but deep influence on the parts of the american political apparatus he controls. which amounts to one-half of the viable parties. we end up in this situation. they destroyed the independent commission. we now have a 7-2 bipartisan committee. looking into what, essentially, everyone, except donald trump and his followers, and maybe, the people that broke themselves, agree, was a horror show. and stating that simple fact. daring to investigate the origins of how it came act is seen as a possibly partisan rebuke. but there remains so much about january 6th, how it came act, that is utterly relevant to every unfolding day in the course of our current-american democratic trajectory. democratic congresswoman, stephanie murphy of florida, is a member of the house select committee to investigate january 6th. and she joins me, now. um, congresswoman, let me just, first, start by asking you your reaction when you were asked to serve on this? and what it means for someone,
who is in a swing district, is going to have a competitive race, i think, in the midterms, most likely. and why you decided to say yes? >> you know, i was honored, when i was asked to serve on this committee because i believe that we, absolutely, have to protect our democracy. i took a oath of office, not only when i became a member of congress but, also, when i worked at the department of defense, to defend this country against threats, foreign and domestic. and clearly, what happened on january 6th was a domestic threat to our democracy. they were trying to use violence to shape a political outcome. and i am somebody, who fled from a country, vietnam, in the aftermath of the vietnam war. where violence was used to secure political power. and so, i am grateful to be in this country. and i believe that it is my obligation to help protect our democracy. and i'm not worried about politics because what we have, as our goal and objective for this select committee, is far
more important than any one person's political career. this is about a future of our country, our constitution, and our democracy. >> i -- i want to play for you what the newest member of your committee, adam kinzinger, had to say in reaction to being called a pelosi republican by the house minority leader, today. take a listen. >> look. i -- i -- it's childish. we are doing big things right now. we're getting to the answers of the worst attack on the capitol, since the war of 1812. >> are -- are you -- um -- do you have the perspective that kinzinger and cheney will be good-faith partners in -- in collaboration in this effort on the -- on the -- on the sort of questions before the committee's portfolio? >> i welcome adam and liz's participation in this select committee. they demonstrate that there are republicans out there, who are interested in seeking the truth. and putting country, over their party.
and it's just a shame that kevin mccarthy has resorted to name calling to try to disparage his own members. and try to create a sideshow circus to detract from the very serious efforts that this committee is making towards getting to the truth about what led up to the events on january 6th. what happened on january 6th, and how we prevent that from ever happening, again. >> what is your expectation for tomorrow's first hearing? >> i am looking forward to the opportunity to lift up the voices of several law-enforcement officers, who were, also, victims on that day. they were on the front lines. i look forward to hearing them share those personal stories but we picked just four law-enforcement officers but there were over 150 law-enforcement officers who were hurt that day. over 50 of them have provided the senate with written testimony. this is just a sampling of what
law-enforcement officers encountered, on that day. and it is so important that we allow the american people to see what they faced, on the front lines of the attack on the capitol. >> you know, sometimes, hearings. there are different ways that hearings can happen, in -- in the modern world of capitol hill. some feel like, essentially, set pieces that are designed for public consumption. some seem more focused on actual matters of policy. or getting to the bottom of questions. sometimes, that correlates to how many cameras are in the room. people paying attention. i wonder what your like -- how seriously an endeavor do you view this as the way to actually create a systematic and comprehensive record of what happened that day and what led up to it? >> this is a deadly-serious matter. and we will be approaching our job on the select committee with that level of solemnity that it deserves. the american people deserve answers. we are a democracy. at the heart of our democracy
that we have, often, hard-fought elections. sometimes, close elections. but at the end of the day, we accept those results. you cannot allow political violence to determine political outcomes in this country. and so, we need to fully understand what happened on january 6th. and we are going to see, i think, a mix of hearings. hearings where, i'm sure, tomorrow will be an emotional hearing for some of these officers, who are still suffering from the effects of the assault on their physical persons, that day. they'll be sharing their stories. but we're, also, going to have hearings that get to the facts. and lay out the details of who paid for this? what kind of organizational structure do they have? are they, still, planning on trying to overturn this election? these are, all, critically important questions that have to be answered. and we have to get to the truth. >> all right. congresswoman stephanie murphy of florida. thank you so much for making some time for us tonight.
>> great to be with you. when it comes to the fight against outbreaks of the delta variant, the uk has been acting as something of a crystal ball for what things will look like in the u.s. what happens there, tends to be what happens here just a few weeks ahead. today, our crystal ball has some good news that, maybe, the light at the end of the tunnel, my fingers are crossed, i want to tell you about it, next. tell you about it, next. i needed him to be here. your heart isn't just yours. protect it with bayer aspirin. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. welcome to allstate. (phone notification) where we've just lowered our auto rates. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ and savings like that will have you jumping for joy. now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less.
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far, the majority of cases and it is running rampant in places with particularly low vaccination rates. what we've seen is, in response, republican governors of some of those states that have those low rates, across the country, trying to mobilize their constituents to vaccinate. which is great. a great development. in deep-red arkansas, which has seen 142% spike in new-covid cases over the last two weeks, the governor there is traveling across the state, doing his best to dispel conspiracy theories and to get people vaccinated with decidedly mixed results. watch what happens at town hall earlier today when the governor says the vaccine does not cause infertility. >> does this impact fertility? well, the answer is no and that's been the data. but they -- >> so, there is no-medical evidence, at this time, that the covid vaccines impact fertility. there is a great deal of evidence that the covid illness,
itself, causes problems with pregnancy. >> that's a tough scene to watch. good for them, for doing it and i hope that more folks across the political spectrum, ideological spectrum, keep taking the message to people. there are, however, two glimmers of hope on the horizon. first, it does seem like this push is working a bit. so the rolling seven-day average of new vaccinations has ticked up a little bit, after declining for a while. up nearly 60,000, from last week. that's daily vaccinations. and while it may be too soon to call it a trend, it is positive news. some other, positive news. in england, which is a few weeks ahead of us in dealing with delta. look at that. see that going down? new cases -- new cases starting to decline, as you see on the chart here. that gray line there, somewhere in there, where is it? ah, that gray line. that's london. it's down more than 22% over the past week. the yellow line is the northeast region, which is down 42%. but the most important thing is that all the lines are tracking down. quite quickly, too.
very good to see. now, the uk, over 70% of eligible people are fully vaccinated. here, in the united states, that number is over 57%. so, still, a bit unclear, where we are in the delta trajectory, broadly. how much our curve will like the uk? but the best-case scenario, the one that we can hope for, is an outbreak that dissipates just as quickly as it broke out. andy slavitt is the former white house senior adviser for the covid response. author of "preventable: the inside story of how leadership failures, politics, and selfishness doomed the u.s. coronavirus response." and he joins me now. and andy, let's talk about that -- that kind of crystal ball of -- of the uk, which has been ahead of us in delta. is a very vaccinated society. you know, in -- in relative terms to other countries. still, got hit pretty hard. kept deaths much further down than the last wave. and now, seems to be on the decline. what do you make of it? and what it portends for us? >> it is good news, chris. and it's exactly what we observed in india. and the reason that's good news for us is because as you say,
the uk has more vaccinations than we do. but we have many-more vaccinations than india. and india saw the exact-same curve. so what it implies is we will see this same, steep drop. but unfortunately, because we have lower-vaccination levels, we are going to see a higher climb. but we -- we -- we should expect to see this measured in weeks, not months, if the pattern that -- that happened in india and in the uk happens here, in the u.s. >> yeah, and we should say some of the data coming out of india is just mind blowing in terms of broadly that spread in terms of what was caught by testing there. i mean, you have got studies saying that, like, two-thirds or more of indians with -- with the presence of antibodies. which means there's probably, you know, hundreds of thousands of deaths uncounted on the subcontinent. it's really brutal to imagine. we're probably not going to face that, because of our -- our, you know, because of our vaccination. but i guess, the question is, can you trust surveillance about
where it says we are in terms of how far we are in the wave? because my sense is we are undertesting, by quite a bit, right now. >> yes. yeah. i don't think we test quite as many as they do in the uk but as you said, we do more than in india. so, seeing both data points. you know, i think we held our breath when we just saw the india data point. seeing what is happening in the uk should give us a little bit of comfort. what it seems like it, in part, because this virus is so rapidly spreading. it's like one of those crazy wildfires that burns through all the tinder, really, really quickly. and then -- and burns itself out. that is the kind of fire i start when i am cooking, when i am grilling. i can't keep the flame going so maybe that is what we are seeing here, one would hope. >> yeah. so we have also seen interest in vaccines in terms of google searches going up. we have seen republicans put their shoulder to the wheel, particularly in places in the country with low rates. these are headlines i think from today about requirements. the va becomes the first-federal
agency that is going to mandate, for healthcare workers. new york city will require vaccines, or weekly tests for hundreds of thousands of city workers. california is requiring proof of covid vaccination for state employees. predicting significant rise in hospitalizations. what do you make of this move towards at least in healthcare settings, or in public-employment settings, requirements of vaccination? >> who wants to go to a hospital and be taken care of by somebody who isn't vaccinated? i don't think people are going to go to that hospital, if they can avoid it. so, look. i think a very respectful thing to do. something that is keeping with our, you know, the kind of tradition of rights and liberties and so forth that we offer folk ss to do exactly what new york city is doing, and say get vaccinated. in order to keep our workplace safe. in order to keep our venues safe. but if you don't want to be vaccinated, that's fine but show up here at 6:30 in the morning before work and get a test. maybe, more than once a week.
maybe, twice a week. i think the data would show that twice a week would be warranted and maybe those tests will be at people's own expense or maybe they will be paid for by the employer but it is a very fair thing to do. that way, all of us can walk into those facilities and be comfortable. i talked to the operator of the largest venues -- concert venues in the country. and they are thinking about doing the same plan. so i think this is the kind of thing that i hope we'll see, all around the country. >> that's interesting. vaccine requirement with -- with the exception of subject to -- to an intense-testing regime is a way out -- as a way of thinking about it going forward. andy slavitt, thank you so much. >> thanks, chris. ahead. why president biden's big bipartisan infrastructure deal is, maybe, in danger, falling apart and maybe just about to cross the finish line, as it has been for weeks. senator chris murphy joins me, next. for weeks senator chris murphy joins me, next ) think premium can't be capable? think again. ♪ (energetic music) ♪ ♪ ♪
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president joe biden flanked by democratic and republican senators, walked out to announce two reporters they had brokered a big bipartisan deal that would include $579 billion in new infrastructure spending. it was the kind of scene that we don't really see happen that much, anymore. because these kinds of big-bipartisan deals on major-domestic priorities really haven't happened for over a decade. i mean, back, probably got to go back to the george w. bush administration. well, today, almost exactly one month later, that deal is at risk of falling apart. the bipartisan group has been unable to hammer out key details of the plan. funding for highways and public transit, among other unresolved issues. initially, lawmakers were hoping to deliver a finalized bill, today, after a senate vote to advance undrafted legislation failed last week. but after a months-long slog, there is still no physical agreement to show for it. one of the people who works in the capitol and is watching all of this with some interest, makes these deals for a living, is senator chris murphy, democrat of connecticut. member of the senate
appropriations committee. he says he is not sure he will vote for this bipartisan package, and let me just start where things are. you know, senator, we have not done a day-by-day coverage of this because it's been a little bit of waiting about when -- when it is going to show up and if it is going to happen. there was a deadline last week. there's a deadline, now. what is your sense of, a, how real it is? and, b, how much the entire agenda stands or falls on whether this happens? >> a bunch of questions there. um, but, a, i think this is going to get done. i think it is to be expected that, after having gotten the agreement on the broad outline, the details are hard to consummate. why is that? well, it's because this bill is not just spending. it's policy, as well. every-five years, we pass new authorizations to determine how we're going to spend highway money and rail money. normally, those bills in and of themselves, are month-long negotiations.
this bipartisan package envisions, you know, spending $500 billion, in additional funds and infrastructure. but also, setting those rules for the next-five years. so the details are, you know, hard to get to yes on, for both sides. i think we'll get there. if it does blow up and i don't think it will, it's not a done deal for the president's agenda. why? because we have this second process, called reconciliation, in which we can pass all of this, plus the human-infrastructure spending that we all want to invest in, like childcare and homecare. we can do that, through reconciliation. so, my hope is that we will do both. my hope is the republicans will get to sign onto the parts that they like. then, they will oppose reconciliation but will still pass with democratic votes and pretty big investments in people's -- people's lives. separate and aside from hard, concrete infrastructure. >> you know, it's interesting to me that we just talked at the top of the show about january 6th and about the sort of continued perpetuation of the
big lie as the sort of litmus test for republicans. and what -- it's striking, to me, that that doesn't seem to be the case on -- on more prosaic and some ways, more important matters of policy. you got trump putting out a statement saying don't do the infrastructure deal. wait until we get proper election results in 2022. don't let the radical left play you. that doesn't seem to me, and tell me if i am wrong here, to have the same sting on capitol hill or draw the same blood or to have the same sort of power over officeholders as the stuff on january 6th or election stuff does. >> well, remember, that we are still only talking about a group of, maybe, 10, 11, 12 republicans in the senate. >> right. >> but for those republicans -- um, but for those republicans, i mean, i think, right now, they are faced with a decision as to whether trump and his policy arsonists are going to rule washington and rule their party. or whether this is going to be the ability to find these kind of agreements. trump thrives, in a world where
government can't solve people's problems. trump will continue to rule the republican party, if he is allowed to tell folks that the only path forward to solve their problems is the division of america. the division from us from our neighbors. if government actually steps in, and actually does something about your childcare costs. actually, supplies working-class people with tax cuts. putting more money in their pockets. then, sort of, trump's line is much less attractive. and there are 10, 12, 15 republicans in the senate who don't want to empower trump. and they see delivering on something, like infrastructure, as a means to sort of cut against his argument and -- and the future that he will have controlling that party. >> that's an interesting way of looking at it. i don't think i quite thought of it, in those terms. we should note that a lot of this stuff is very popular. this is just, you know, ap national opinion research council polling on infrastructure from last week. where you have got, you know, 83% favor roads, bridges, and ports, pipes supply drinking.
rail service, i should say, which i know is important to you, much lower on there. but -- but you seem hopeful that, that is going to get done, in the end. >> i -- i think one of my worries is that, in order to consummate this deal, some republicans are going to, you know, push for some of these numbers to come down. and, you know, in this agreement there is about $30 billion for rail in the northeast. we have $40 billion just state repair projects. projects that are just patching what we have back together. so, i haven't decided my vote on this. not because i don't want to vote for it or that i don't expect to vote for it but just i want to make it clear that, if some of these numbers get lower, in the final negotiations, it makes it hard for people, like me, who rely on rail transit to get the folks i represent to and from -- from new york and boston, every day. makes a lot harder for me to vote for it. >> a final, quick question for you. speaking of a bipartisan compromise. you introduced legislation with
senator lee, among others, on -- on reforming the war powers act. and this comes, as we have withdrawn from afghanistan, essentially, all of our -- our combat troops. there is the idea that we may continue to reserve the right for air strikes against the taliban, as we have air strikes across the world. in somalia, recently, in the last few days. briefly and quickly, how -- how would this change the state of sort of perpetual war we find ourselves in? >> well, it ends the forever war. so, it would cut off funding, automatically, for wars that aren't authorized by congress. and even when we do authorize wars, it would limit those to two-year periods of time. i just think, chris, that the american people are smarter than the washington, d.c. foreign-policy consensus when it comes to the ability of the united states' military to change political realities in far-off places. and that's why our founding fathers required that congress consent to war. so, our legislation bipartisan would just make it a lot harder for presidents to go to war, without authorization from congress and debate amongst the
american people. >> all right. senator chris murphy, we will continue to watch that legislation, which i think is quite important. appreciate you coming on tonight. >> thanks. ahead. the life and legacy of civil-rights leader, bob moses. the lessons from his work that reverberate through the continued fight for voting rights right after this. continued fight for voting rights right after this. sion: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain, stiffness, swelling. and for some, rinvoq can even significantly reduce ra fatigue. that's rinvoq relief. with ra, your overactive immune system attacks your joints. rinvoq regulates it to help stop the attack. rinvoq can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious infections and blood clots, sometimes fatal, have occurred as have certain cancers, including lymphoma, and tears in the stomach or intestines,
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was terrain that was too difficult to -- to sow the seeds of -- of equality in. they were starting in other places. but there were workers, civil rights workers in mississippi, incredibly brave activists and organizers who began to attempt to push for black equality in mississippi. as others had done across other states in the south. and when they did so, the forces of violent oppression came down especially hard in mississippi. now, while this was happening up in new york city, a 25-year-old math teacher at a private school in the bronx was reading about this all. and just felt compelled to get involved. and so, he quit his job. he went down to mississippi. and there, he found out that he not only had a talent for math and education, but also had this incredible talent for organizing. for talking to folks. for mobilizing. his name was bob moses. and in 1964, this soft-spoken math teacher with a masters degree in philosophy from harvard would become the
principal of an effort to dislodge the state of tyranny by initiating voter registration drives. >> we hope to -- to send, into mississippi, this summer, upwards of 1,000 teachers, ministers, lawyers, and students from all around the country, who will engage in, what we are calling, freedom schools, community-center programs, voter-registration activity, research work, work in the white communities. and in general, a -- a program designed to open up mississippi to the country. >> people did come. and so did the violence to meet them. in a summer of 1964, alone, mississippi journalist jerry mitchell reports klansmen had killed six people, shot 35 others, and beaten another 80. the homes, businesses, and churches of 68 mississippians
associated with the civil rights movement were firebombed. the fbi, at the time, offered zero protection. essentially, washing their hands of the whole thing. >> we, most certainly, do not and will not give protection to civil right workers and the first place the fbi is not a police organization. it's purely an investigative organization. and the protection of individual citizens, either natives of this state or coming into the state, is a matter for the local authorities. the fbi will not participate in any-such protection. >> now, this was the summer that, infamously, three freedom workers had come from the north. two white. one black. disappeared from a mississippi jail. their bodies were discovered, weeks later, in a dam. now, bob moses had to warn young people coming down that, what they were doing was an attempt to unseat a comprehensive system of violence that would not cede its authority, without more violence. >> we had to tell the students
what we thought was going on because if, in fact, anyone is arrested and then taken out of the jail. then, the chances that they're alive is just almost zero. and we had to confront the students with that, before they went down, because they now had -- the ball game is changed. >> basically, come on down to mississippi where the klan will try to murder you. they just murdered three people, who came to do what you're doing. now, moses, himself, would face all kinds of terror and intimidation. at one point, dourg a voter rej stragds drive, a sheriff cousin bashed his head in with a knife handle. bleeding, he kept going, staggering up the steps of the courthouse to register a couple of black farmers. another time, three klansmen shot at a car in which moses was the passenger.
he cradled the driver and managed to bring the careening car to a stop. bob moses would eventually gain a reputation as one of the most masterful organizers in the entire movement but the notoriety became too much for him. in fact, he eventually just stepped away from it. went back to harvard to continue working toward a ph.d. in the philosophy of mathematics. and he would go on later to launch this incredible initiative called the algebra project which he described as a five-step philosophy of teaching. there are other names that come to mind when we think of the civil rights pangtium, right? dr. king, john lewis, fannie lou hamer. moses never entered that pantheon in terms of fame but he is, every bit, as much a legend of the movement because breaking the back of white supremacy and anti-democratic forces in mississippi was key to creating the multiracial democracy we have, today. after george floyd was killed last summer, bob moses told "the new york times," quote, i certainly know this moment which way the country might flip. it can lurch backward as quickly
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professor perry, let me start with you because of the legacy of bob moses that you think when he and others face down there and the thing that provoked the most violence above all else was the simple act of going into the delta particularly and registering black citizens to vote in an election. >> yeah. i mean, i think voting rights were understood by them to be a fundamental piece of citizenship. in the delta people were working on the very land that their ancestors had been enslaved. when members of snec and bob among them entered that landscape, they knew they were entering an incredible amount of danger but also there were generations of people working before them so they had a hume
humility and grace and an organizer in mississippi he treated as a mentor of sorts in his work. you know, i think that kind of model that they had of the slow process, cultivating local leadership, humility, recognizing that many local people kept them safe of the exact kind of organizing work that was necessary to actually build a society of transformation because everybody was valued. so when we see today this turn away from the recognition of the full citizenship of so many members of our society, this rejection of the full participation of our communities, it does put one in the mind of the struggles that they faced and how critical it is that we continue that legacy. >> you know, i'm sort of a
passionate about this topic and love reading about it and reading "parting the waters" and people should see "eyes of the prize," and i was thinking they had really intense tactical fights back then, really intention. there were people in the civil rights movement who thought theity signatures to go into mississippi was absolutely nuts, that it was reckless, that it was crazy. there were all kind of battles about what the right way to secure these rights was. i think right now this broad coalition in the democratic party about whether federal legislation can happen, whether the filibuster can happen, there's some conflict inside the democratic coalition about what the path forward is right now. >> i really hope that we're all able to take a page out of moses's book. i just read the chapter where he
sets up sharp and not on does he have to convince african-american citizens they should register but he has to conduct classes because they'll be asked to interpret sections of the constitution in front of the voter registrar at the same time that he's pushing kennedy and then later johnson to pass civil rights and voting rights legislation, we've got to do that right now in 2021 and we've got to encourage. and i think also in the spirit of bob moses push a little bit on president biden to not only diagnose a problem, this unprecedented attack on our democracy talked about in philadelphia but also prescribe the solution, the political courage necessary to change the rules of the filibuster to allow voting rights legislation that we can pass before the people. for those who want to follow in that spirit of civil and voting rights leadership, we'll be joining bishop barber this week
and on saturday in austin texas to rally to the right to vote, in person, to push those in public office like president biden and our friends in the senate to use the power we have to ensure we protect this democracy and ensure every eligible voter can participate in our elections. >> that point, the sheer level of moral courage and physical courage that was exemplified, not just by bob moses but all of the folks down there, particularly the folks from mississippi who were doing what they asked. being on the receiving end of the ask to go register to vote meant that you then were in danger. there were violent reprisals against people for the act of registering. that courage is what forces the issue on the voting rights act, which is through kind of shame for lack of a better word. >> right. it wasn't like everyone rallied around want doing it. they got forced into doing it at
the national level. >> yes. and absolutely the strategy of freedom summer was in part to provide a moral witness, right? so young people coming from northern states, black and white and to witness what was happening in mississippi was extraordinary because it meant that they could no longer pretend that that wasn't the america. as it was famously said, "is this america." and bob's brilliance was to understand that that was not a savior project, that was a prong project of actually drawing forces. the slicklegacyproject.org is still working. there were people in community with bob who loved him. we continue -- the struggle never ceased.
he became an educational justice organizer but we continue to do this work. what was extraordinary, he was not limited by political expediency. he just did what was right. >> thank you so much for that. i really appreciate it. that is "all in" on this monday night. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. ali velshi is filling in for her. thank you. you don't think of big things going down in federal court on a saturday. this was really, really big. nothing like it had ever happened before. a whole bunch of top associates of the president of the united states had to march into court that day to plead not guilty to a whole bunch of federal crimes. >> good evening. seven men who once had been the