tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 27, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
tack hold its first hearing. official coverage begins just hours from now at 9 am eastern, on msnbc. and that is our broadcast for this monday night, with our thanks for being with us. on behalf of all of my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, goodnight. tonight on all in. >> the sad leadership and boundaries of the republican party. >> we have important work to do and i think it's childish. >> it's childish and we're doing big things right now. >> tonight how trump's version of the insurrection became the litmus test for house republicans. and with the january 6th committee will be investigating, when they convene for the first time tomorrow. then >> does this impact
fertility? the answer is no and then been the data. >> despite the ongoing misinformation damage, how some of the vast hesitant are starting to come around. by the former covid adviser joins me on that. plus senator chris murphy and the challenges of working with republicans on anything. and with voting rates under threat, we remember the leadership of bob moses. trying to register voters in mississippi. >> anyone is arrested and taken out of the jail. then the chances that they are alive is almost. zero >> went 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 and restoring normalcy in conventions of governing. it was a bipartisan celebration of a landmark piece of the
civil rights legislation. truly agree an important piece of legislation. americans with disabilities act. it was held in the white house rose garden, president joe biden signed a proclamation honoring the 31st anniversary of that landmark legislation. which was signed into law in a president -- a totally routine kind of event. we love this bill, it's been an incredible piece of legislation for the country, and for all of us. also notable because it's exactly the kind of thing that the previous occupant we just never do. he would never invite democrats to end, dime kumbaya. but, as we know. bipartisanship is a key believe for the biden administration, as he tried to will america back towards a functioning to party democracy. i think that's a view of. it you have a republican leader of the house, kevin mccarthy who is in attendance, invited to come this morning. and while there, there were reporters milling about and they asked him about the committee investigating the
january 6th insurrection which will hold its first hearing tomorrow. now, you remember that last week, leader mccarthy nominated five republicans to serve on that house select committee. three of them voted against certifying the election results of january 6th which is to say after the mob stormed the capitol violently, they voted with the mob and with donald trump to take the presidency away from the man who rightfully won it and award 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're not going to be on the committee. pelosi has now appointed a second republican to the committee herself, congressman adam kinzinger of illinois. he will join liz cheney in wyoming. both of those individuals voted for impeachment also denounced what happened on january 6th. and that move apparently did not sit well for leader mccarthy. >> you know, some republicans have been saying that the gop
should play ball on this committee. >> really? who was that? adam and liz? aren't they kind of like pelosi republicans? >> now, okay. the phrase pelosi republicans is kind of laughably done. it's one of those things that the person who comes up with thinks it's clever but it's not really. but, the term illuminates an actual definition 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 by all the people subservient to him. kevin mccarthy, of course, is one of those very subservient followers. you may remember that he dutifully followed trump in the wake of january 6th. first, denouncing him the next day or i think that day saying he bears responsibility but then quickly supported the former president over one of his own members, liz cheney because she's the one who refused to go along with the big lie that trump won the election. and it led to this very awkward
moment back in february, which kind of pre-staged what would happen. when kevin mccarthy was asked if the president should headline the conservatives cpac conference. >> do you believe president trump should be speaking, or former president trump, should be speaking at cpac this weekend? >> yes he should. >> congresswoman cheney? >> that's up to cpac. i have my views about president trump and the extent to which the ballot on january six, i don't believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country. >> on that high note, thank you very much. >> it's the kevin mccarthy eye close for me. just, one big happy family, huh? liz cheney, along with adam kinzinger just to be clear have, to my mind, pretty terrible politics. i mean, that's where i'm coming from. they have extremely conservative voting records. they vote for tax cuts for rich people and against abortion rights and almost everything else along the party line or as much as you can identify 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 some backbench 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 that the former president has his narrow bit deep. only works among certain set of people but among the people it works with, it's strong. so we're still watching that happen. that's what kevin mccarthy is doing, defining adam kinzinger and liz cheney as pelosi republicans. another way of saying, they're not really republicans. and the reason he 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 desire 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 that republican candidates across the country are increasingly focused on the last election. they're 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 prattled on about the stolen election at an interminable rally in phoenix with most of that states republicans running for statewide office they're attending the event. this goes to show, again, that influence. now, arizona of course is the one state that's 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 an absolute clown show. it's still going on apparently. get this, there was one at least nominally legitimate face to that recount which was former arizona secretary ken bennett republican who said today he's been shut out of the
audit as a third count of the ballots total is still ongoing. they're just counting and counting because they're trying to reach the conclusion they want obviously. the ballots themselves, by the way, just by the way almost got rained on the other day when the roof of the building that the audit is taking place started leaking. workers scrambled i guess to cover boxes of ballots with tarps to protect them. i don't know, it seems like a pretty professional operation. it's the level of competency would expect from a donald trump projects and the level of confidence and good faith we've come to expect from the republican party at large. but, as oafish as it all is, it's also a present danger through the country. because again, day by day, trump cultivating his lie and the litmus test about hearing about it day by day and it's changing the incentives on everyone on the ground like putting a magnet by a bunch of filings. like republican congresswoman nancy mace of south carolina, one of those little filings, freshman member of congress 6th
denounced trump's lies of a stolen election that fueled the assault on the capitol. but now, not surprisingly, because she wants to have a career, as the new york times reports, congresswoman mace has quietly backpedaled into the parties fold. she now studiously avoids the subjects. now, all that said, my take, i happen to think, is the big lie and obsession with 2020 isn't really great politically for the republican party. i don't think it's a very broad audience, i can 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. higher prices for hotels or used cars or gas prices or whatever. that strikes me, if you're paying to give advice to the republican party, as a better message than the election was stolen from donald trump by the coast of hugo chavez that got embedded in 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. a lot of republicans, even the
ones that turned against him later, in the interim, between the election and the georgia runoffs which was the day before january six, they all sort of went along with it because they wanted to placate him because they had an election to win. but of course, the nature of elections is that there's always another one coming and so the justification for that is always present. and so there will always be reason to accede to the lies until there's 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 to 175, that's a healthy bipartisan majority. but then it died in the senate where also it got more than 50 votes with a bunch of republican 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 of this, but they supported an independent commission, 56% according to a poll conducted in may. so again, 56/30 issue. because of trump exerting his narrow but deep influence on the parts of american political apparatus that 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 in themselves agreed was a horror show. and stating that simple fact, daring to investigate the origins of how it came about is seen as an impossibly partisan rebuke. but there remains so much about january 6th, how it came about, that's 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.
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 an 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'm 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's my obligation to help
protect our democracy. and i'm not worried about politics because what we have as our goal and objective for the 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 want to play for you what the newest member of your committee, adam kinzinger had to say and reaction to being called pelosi republican by house minority leader today. take a listen. >> kevin mccarthy called you a pelosi republican, how do you respond to that? >> look, it's childish. we're doing big things right now. we are getting to answers of the worst attack on the capitol since the war of 1812. >> are you -- do you have the perspective that kinzinger and cheney will be good faith partners in collaboration in this effort on the sort of questions before the committee's portfolio? >> i welcome adam and liz's participation in the 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 event 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'm 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 frontlines. 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 hearing -- there's different ways of hearing what happened 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 questions. sometimes that correlates to how many cameras are in the room, if you're paying attention. i wonder what your -- how seriously of an endeavor do you view this is 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 this 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 is 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. so we need to understand what happened on january 6th and we are going to see a mix of 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.
she will be up on the day is tomorrow on that first hearing. 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. well, today, our crystal ball has some good news that maybe the light at the end of the tunnel. my fingers are crossed. i'll tell you about it next. “okay....now what?” febreze fade defy plug works differently. it's the first plug-in with built-in technology... to digitally control how much scent is released... to smell 1st day fresh for 50 days. it even tells you when it's ready to be refilled. upgrade to febreze fade defy plug.
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here in the u.s.. it's by far the majority of cases, and it's running rampant in places with particularly low vaccination rates. what were seen in response republican governors and some of those states that have those alerts across the country, trying to mobilize their constituents to vaccinate. it's a great development. in deep red arkansas, for instance which is seen 100 and 42% spike in new covid cases over the past few, weeks the governor there, is traveling across the state, doing his best to dispel conspiracy theories and get people vaccinated, with slightly mixed results. watch what happens in a town hall earlier today, when the governor said the vaccine does not cause infertility. >> does this impact fertility. while the answer is no, and that's been the data. >> so there is no medical evidence at this time, that the covid vaccine, impact
fertility. >> there is a great deal of evidence. that the covid illness itself, causes problems with pregnancy. >> that's a tough seem to >> watch good for them for doing it and i hope that more folks across the political spectrum, the ideological spectrum, keep taking the message to people. there are two glimmers of hope on the horizon. first it does seem like this pushes working. about the rolling 70 average of new vaccinations is picked up a little bit. after declining for a while. up nearly 60,000 from last week. that's daily vaccinations. in may be too soon to call it a, change its 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 strict new cases are starting to decline, as you see on the chart here. that gray line there, somewhere in there. where is that, that's london. it's down more than 22% over the past two weeks. the yellow winds the northeast
region which is down over 42%. most important all the lines are tracking down. quite quickly too. it's very good to see. the uk, over 70% of people are fully vaccinated. here in the u.s. that numbers over 57%. it's still a bit unclear where we are in the delta trajectory. how much our curve will look like the uk, but the best-case scenario, the one we can hope for, is now that it dissipates just as quickly as it broke out. -- for the covid response, offer of preventable. the east side story of how leadership failures, politics and -- he joins me now. let's talk about that kind of crystal ball, of the uk, which has been ahead of us and delta, is a very vaccinated society, in relative terms other countries. still got hit pretty hard. it 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
does it mean for us? >> it is good news, chris and it's exactly what we observed in india. the reason that is good for us is because as you say, the uk has more vaccinations and we do, but we have many more vaccinations in india, and india saw the exact same curve, so would it implies that we will see the same steep drop, but unfortunately because we have lower vaccination levels, we are going to see a higher climb, we should expect to see this measured in weeks not months. if what happened in india in the uk happens here in the u.s.. >> we should say some of the data coming out of india is just mind-blowing in terms of how broadly that spread, in terms of what was caught by testing there. you have some saying that two thirds or more of indians with the presence of antibodies, which means there's probably, hundreds of thousands of deaths uncounted and the subcontinent. it's brutal to reimagine.
we are probably not going to fix that because of our vaccination. 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. in my senses its were under testing by quite a bit right. no >> i don't think we trust quite as many as they do in the uk, but we do more than india. seeing both data points, i think we held our breath when we just saw the india data point. see what's happening in the uk, should give us a little bit of comfort. it seems like it part it's because, this virus is so rapidly spreading. it's one of those crazy wildfires that burns do all the tinder really really quickly and then burns itself out, that's the kind of fire that i start when i'm cooking, and i can't keep the flames going maybe that's what we're seeing here. >> we've also seen interest in vaccines in terms of google searches going. up we've seen republicans put their shoulders through the,
we'll wear places where they had him in doing. that in these are just headlines from today. about requirements. the va becomes the first federal agency to mandate for health care workers. new york city will require vaccines or weekly test for hundreds of thousands of city workers. california's requiring state employees, predicting significant rise in hospitalizations. what do you make of this move toward in, we stealth care, settings in public employment settings requirements for vaccination? >> if you want to go to the hospital be taken care of by somebody who is not vaccinated. i don't think people are going to trust a hospital. if they can avoid it. i think a very respectful thing to do, something that is in keeping with our, the kind of tradition of rights and liberties and so forth that we have for folks. is to do exactly what new york city is doing. and say, get vaccinated. in order to get our workplace safe. but if you don't want to get
vaccinated, that's fine, but show up here is 6:30 in the morning before, work and get a test. and maybe more than once, maybe twice a week. i think the data would show twice a week would be warranted. and maybe those tests will be at people's own, expensive the be paid for by the employer. but it's a very fair thing to do. and then 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 will see all around the country. >> that's interesting, vaccine requirement with the exception of subject to an intense testing regime is a way out. in a slavitt thank you so much. >> thank you chris. >> ahead, why president biden's big bipartisan infrastructure deal, is maybe in danger of falling apart. and maybe just about across the finish, line as it has been for weeks. senator chris murphy joins me next. joins m next
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extraordinary scene player in the white house driveway. president joe biden flagged by senators walked out to announce to reporters they had brokered a big bipartisan deal that would include 579 billion dollars in infrastructure spending. it was a kindest scene that we don't have much anymore because these priorities -- we probably got to go back to the administration. well today, almost exactly 100 later that deal is at risk of falling apart. the bipartisan group is unable to hammer out key details of the plan, funding for highways and public transit among unresolved issues. initially, lawmakers were helping deliver a finalized bill today after senate vote to advance undrafted legislation failed last week. after months long slog, there was still no physical agreement to show for it. the people who worked with the
capitol and who's watching all of this with some interest makes these deals for a living, etc, chris murphy democratic of connecticut. he says he's not sure he will vote for this bipartisan package and let me just start where things are. senator, we have not done a day by day coverage of this because it's been a little bit of waiting about one is gonna show up and if it's gonna happen. there was a deadline last, week there's a deadline now. what is your sense of how real it is and how much the entire agenda stands or falls on whether this acts? >> a bunch of questions there. but a, i think it's going to get done. it's to be expected after having gotten the agreement on the broad outline, the details are hard to consummate. why is that? it's because this bill is not just spending, its policy as well.
every five years, pass authorizations to figure our gonna spend highway money and real money. normally, those bills in and of themselves are months long negotiations. this bipartisan package and spending 500 billion dollars in additional funds and infrastructure but also setting those rules for the next five years, so the details are hard to get to guests on both sides. i think will get their. if it does blow up, i don't think it will, it's not a done deal for the president's agenda. why? because we have the second process called reconciliation and which we can pass all of this plus the human infrastructure spending that we all want to invest in like childcare, home care. we can do that through reconciliation. so my hope is that will do both. my hope is republicans will sign on to the parts that they like and the oppose reconciliation but we'll still tasked with democratic votes with big investments in peoples lives aside from hard concrete infrastructure.
>> you know, it's interesting to me that we talked at the top of the show about january 6th and the continued perpetuation of the big lie as a sort of litmus test for republicans. it's striking to me that that doesn't seem to be the case on more prosaic are as important matters of policy. so you have trump putting on a statement saying don't do the infrastructure deal, wait until we have proper election results in 2022, don't worry about the radical left playing you, etc. tell me if i'm wrong here, to have the same sting on capitol hill or to draw the same blood or have the same power over officeholders as the stuff on january six or 11 option stuff does. >> remember, there were still only talking about a group of maybe ten, 11, 12 republicans in the senate. but for those republicans, i think right now they're faced with a decision as to whether trump in his policy arsonists
are going to route washington and roll their party and whether it is going to be any ability to find these kinds of agreements. trump thrives in a world where government can't solve peoples problems and trump will continue to rule the republican party if he is allowed to tell folks that the only path forward to solve the problems is the division of america and the division of us from our neighbors. if government actually steps and does something about your childcare costs, actually supplies working class people with tax cuts putting more money in their pockets that sort of trump's line is much less attractive and there are ten, 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 cut against his argument and the future that he will have controlling that party. >> that's an interesting way of looking at it, i don't think i've thought of it in that term and we know they're this is popular. it's just a pea national opinion council where you have
83% favor roads, bridges, imports. rail service, i shall say is important to you is much lower on there but you seem hopeful that that's gonna get done in the end. >> i think one of my worries is that in order to consummate this deal, some republicans are going to push for some of these numbers to come down. and a disagreement, there's 30 billion dollars for real in the northeast. we have projects just patching what we have back together and so i haven't decided my vote on this not because i don't want to vote for it or expect to vote for it but i want to make clear that if some of these numbers get lower in the final negotiations, it makes it harder for people like me who rely on rail transit to get the folks i represent to and from new york and boston every day, it makes it a lot harder for me to vote for it.
>> final quick question for you, speaking about bipartisan compromise. you introduce legislation with senator lee among others on reforming that war powers act and this comes as we have withdrawn from afghanistan essentially all of our combat troops. there is the idea that we may continue to reserve the right for airstrikes as we have air strikes across the world, somalia recently in the last few days. briefly in quickly, how would this change this state of perpetual war that 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 if 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 consensus when it comes to the ability of the military to change the realities of far off places. that's why our founding fathers required that congress consent
to war. our legislation bipartisan which is making it a lot harder for presidents to go to war without authorization. congress and debate amongst the american people. >> all right, senator chris market will continue to watch that legislation. appreciate you coming on tonight. . >> the lessons from his work that reverberate to the continued fight of voting rights right after this. s. fore it begins? heartburn happens when stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus. prilosec otc uses a unique delayed-release formula that helps it pass through the tough stomach acid. it then works to turn down acid production, blocking heartburn at the source. with just one pill a day, you get 24-hour heartburn protection. prilosec otc. one pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn. do you struggle to fall
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the bottom of the list. >> because of that, a lot of the main civil rights organizations thought it was terrain that was too difficult to sow the seeds of a quality and they were starting in other places. but there were workers and civil rights workers in mississippi incredibly brave activist organizers should push for black equality and mississippi as others have done in other states in the south and the forces of violent oppression came down especially hard in mississippi. now all of this was happening in new york city. a 25 year old map teacher at a private school in the bronx was reading about this and felt compelled to get involved. there he found out not only had a talent for math in education but also had a incredible talent for organizing and talking to folks, for mobilizing. his name was bob moses. and 1964, this softspoken matched teacher with a masters
degree in philosophy from harvard, would become the principal organizer of the freedom summer project, an effort to dislodge the state of tyranny by initiating voter registration. >> we hope to send into mississippi this summer upwards of 1000 teachers, ministers, lawyers, and students from all around the country who will engage in what we're calling freedom schools, community center programs, voter registration activity, research work, work in the white communities and in general a program designed to open up mississippi to the country. >> people did come and so did the violence to meet them. in the summer of 1964 alone, mississippi journalist jerry mitchell said clansmen had killed six people, shot 35
others in beaten another 80. the homes, businesses, and churches of 68 mississippians associated with the civil rights movement or firebombs. now, the fbi at the time offered zero protection. essentially, washing their hands of the whole thing. >> we most certainly do not and will not get protection to civil rights workers. in 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 the state or coming into the state is a matter for the local authorities. the fbi will not participate in any such protection. >> this was the summer that infamously three freedom workers come from the north, to white, one black, disappeared from mississippi jail. their bodies were discovered weeks later. now bob moses had to warn young people coming down that what they were doing was an attempt to unseat the comprehensive
system of violence that would not cede its authority without more violence. >> we have 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 arrow. and we have to confront the students with that before they went down because they now had the ball game was changed. >> basically, come 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 faced all kinds of terror and intimidation. at one point during the voter registration drive, someone bashed his head in with a knife handle and kept going staggering up the steps to register a couple of black
farmers. another time, three clansmen shot at a car in which mr. moses was a passenger. he cradled that leading driver and managed to bring the careening car to a stop. but monsters would eventually gain a reputation as one of the most masterful organizers in the entire movement but the notoriety became too much for him and eventually he just stepped away from it. he went back to harvard to continue working towards a ph.d. and philosophy of mathematics and would go on later to launch this incredible initiative called the algebra project which he described is a five-step philosophy of teaching to urban and rural communities. there are other names that come to mind when we think of the civil rights pantheon right? most 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 in mississippi was key to creating the multi racial democracy that we have today. after george for floyd was
killed last summer, but most told the new york times, quote, i certainly don't know at this moment which way the country might flip. it can large backward just as quickly as it can lurch forward. i thought about that quote when i found out that he died yesterday at the age of 86 because i think he's right. whatever is going on with the country right now, the battle he wage for a quality continues day in and day out. be right back. k.
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for the voting rights act, states to the south pushed through laws to ensure that people can vote even though they technically could. more than half a century later we knew have a new set of barriers being placed again not saying what they're really doing but making sure some people can't vote. and it's not just across the south but across the country. but o'rourke is a democratic congressman of texas founded powered by people an organization trying to put public pressure on congress for voting rights. and we have a huge professor at
princeton university and she knew bob most since she was a child. they both join me now. and professor perry maybe let me start with you just because of the legacy of bob most is when you think about the violence that he and others face down there and the fact that the thing that provoked the most violence above all else was the simple act of going in particularly in 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. and members of snake and bob among them entered into that landscape, they knew that they were entering an incredible amount of danger but also they were generations of people who
are working before them so they had a humility and grace and never remembered a time bucks speaking of being an adult where he didn't honor. -- was an organizer in mississippi and treated as a mentor of sorts in his work and i think that kind of model that he had of the slow process cultivating local leadership, humility, recognizing that many local people kept him safe was exactly the kind of organizing work that was necessary to actually build a society transformation because everybody was valued. and so when we see today this turn away from the recognition of the full citizenship of so many members of our societies rejection of the full participation of our communities, it does put one in the mind of the struggles that snake faced and how critical it is that we continue that legacy.
>> you know, i'm sort of passionate about this topic and love reading about it and watching it and reading the waters and seeing eyes in the prize in one of the things i was thinking about when i was following bob moses all of last weekend is, they had really intense tactical fights back then. really intense tactical fights. there are people in the civil rights movement who thought the decision to go and mississippi was absolutely nuts, that it was reckless, that it was crazy. there were all kinds of battles at the time about what's the right way to secure these rights was and i think right now, this broad coalition right now in the democratic party about whether federal legislation can happen and whether the filibuster could happen and whether you could out organize voting laws. there's some conflict inside the democratic coalition between with the path forward is right now. >> and i really hope that we're all able to take a page out of
most of his book and he was working on voter registration and mississippi and i just read a chapter where he sets up shop and not only does he have to convince african american citizens that they should try to register but he has to conduct classes in the mississippi state constitution because they'll be asked to interpret sanctions of that constitution fronts of the voter registrar. at the same time that he's pushing kennedy and later johnson to pass civil rights and voting rights legislation, we have to do that right now in 2021 and we've got to encourage and i think also the spirit of bob moses pushed a little bit on biden's not only diagnosed the problem of this unprecedented attack on our democracy and about philadelphia but also prescribe a solution, the political courage necessary to change the rules of the filibuster for example to allow voting rights legislation to pass by majority votes so we can pass the for the people act.
and for those who want to follow the spirit of civil leadership you want to join barber this week on saturday for the right to vote and push those in. public office with our friends in the senate to use the power that they have to ensure to 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 by all the folks down there and particularly the folks in mississippi who were doing what they asked, right? i mean, being on the receiving end of the asked to go register vote meant that you were done and danger. you were there for the active just registering. that courage, in some ways, it's partly what forces the issue at the national level on the voting rights act which is through kind of shame for lack
of a better word. it wasn't like everyone wanted to do, if they got forced into doing it at the national level. >> yes, and absolutely the strategy was in part to provide a moral witness, right? so young people coming from northern states, black and white to witness what was happening in mississippi, right? was extraordinary. it meant that they could no longer pretend that that wasn't the america, right? they famously said is this america? and bob's brilliance was to understand that again, that was not a savior project. that was a project of actually joining forces with those who were already present. i will also say just really quickly that the snake like could see dot org is still working. they're still veterans of the civil rights movement and doing work every day who were in a community with bob and who loved him.
so we continue, the struggle never ceased. it really didn't. he became an educational justice organizer but we continue to do this work and what was extraordinary is he was not limited by political expediency, he just did what was right. now. ali velshi is filling in for her. thank you. thank you for joining us this hour. rachel's got the night off. the day was march. 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.