tv The Cross Connection With Tiffany Cross MSNBC October 2, 2021 7:00am-9:00am PDT
to work like hell to make sure we get both these passed. i think we will get them passed. >> all right. good morning, everybody, we have a jam-packed show. but we begin the cross connection with chaos on capitol hill. president biden sound optimism as he met with democrats on capitol hill friday. now congress went home would you tell a vote on the infra fracture package. nor did they vote on the $3.5 president's social spending bill. that bill would be expanding medicare, lowishing the cost of healthcare and prescriptions and increases in investments and hbcus, provides funding for free community college and universal child care and this would all potentially raise millions out of post.
but two democratic seniors represents less than 3% of the u.s. population are blocking those policies supported by a whopping 62% of americans. >> are we going to deliver universal pre-k to this country or fought? are we going to expand healthcare to our seniors and dental or not? are we going to invest in housing so that people back home on night shift can get hot water in winter time or not? that's what we need to know. i know which are all committed to the same goal. >> are you all committed to the same goal, though? as this country awaits the outcome of this vote, senator sinema flew home to arizona friday for a doctor's appointment and a fundraiser at a high-end resort and spa so while she's making it rain in the desert, the people's patience has just about dried up. not to be forgotten, the
republicans here they plan to vote in the senate against the country's debt ceiling. eventually, this will help us default on our loans. we in the country don't know what happens if we default on our debt, it's quite literally never happened before. i know what you can if you can't pay the light bill. joining me now the chairman of bold pack, very honored to have you here with me, congressman. let's get into this the first question everybody wants to know, are these bills going to pass? >> yes, the bills will pass. we are excited. we think we have an opportunity to pass this bill. we can get done, really work to a good compromise that will move america forward. >> i think what's important, you hear people covering this,
people don't wake up reading politico or watching the political news all day might be a little confused of what itself in the bill. we went over that in the hop. i think it's important to point out they will impact people of color. what stand out about the 3.5 billion bill as your colleagues are trying to shrink it to 1.5 billion? >> the most important thing to understand is that this is the infrastructure of opportunity. i say that, because there is a certain amount you need for people to succeed that are poor, good schools, good healthcare, some good support systems. >> sorry. >> that's okay. you have some of these for child care, for example, something that's very key and you are hearing about this all over the country where women and men
can't go back to work, because they can't find solid child care. you have an opportunity for us to have the expansion of tax child credit and make it permanent to lift children out of poverty, which has great ramifications for the rest of the country. you have free community college to be ready for the work force of tomorrow. for medicare our seniors will be able to get their department am as well as hearing covered under medicare, which at this point is costing more. lastly, a lot of climate change legislation that we really need to truly fix the future. other infrastructure package does a lot of things to actually increase our carbon. right. you have more roads, input more cars on those roads. this is the actual you know infrastructure that's going to actually help bring down our carbon emissions and prepare us for the future.
>> so i want to ask. i think part of the frustration is people present this conflict on capitol hill as though it's a plot and a political thriller based on democratic infighting. while we're talking about that, what we're not talking about is gop obstruction. are you a colleague on the other side of the aisle, minority leader kevin mccarthy said his caucus will not vote for any of this. you know, i think this is challenging to people to hear that but most of the media focuses on democratic infighting. what about the gop sitting on the sidelines and refusing to govern here. >> look. this is what the gop is, they're an obstructionist party trying to turn this country back to a time that never existed or if it did exist, it was not good for a majority of the people in this country. kevin mccarthy does not have the imagination or sportsr smarts to governing a country as dynamic as ours. so what, the only thing they can do is obstruct.
the party has never in the last decade introduced anything to grow this country. all they've done is tax cuts to help this country be even poorer. so it doesn't surprise me. i which the d.c. would recognize that instead of give them cover somehow the gop as it is, they don't want to go there. i hope that changes. but it's not the case. >> obviously. right. so let me ask you about immigration if i have you. this is a huge impact for millions in this country. the senate parliamentarian dashed homes. now the democrats do have organizations, though, there are a few options him some people in your caucus have said that the democrats will take up other measures to protect undocumented immigrants and tear families, what are those measures and what is your message to the over 8 million people impacted by this policy? >> look, we will keep on trying, some of the matches is
reintroducing the bills. the dream bill in the senate. we will try different language to cover more people. unfortunately, again, this is what happens when you have a party that doesn't govern such as the republicans that want to let a broken immigration system be broken to be exploited in and this is what happens when we have a filibuster, if you can get 54 or 58 senators to agree because you don't have the other 42, you will stop popular legislation, even the dream act that hasn't passed in a bipartisan support. right. so these are the things we have to both pass as democrats in the house of representatives and look at why has immigration reform happened? the reason it hasn't happened is you have a party that doesn't want to govern and a system that doesn't allow us to govern with a simple majority. >> protesters shut down the golden gate bridge in california trying to keep attention on this
issue. so it's certainly major. i'm curious. people of color overwhelmingly, black people, members of the latino community, even in georgia, pock of the api community overwhelmingly, native-americans overwhelmingly deliver the power of the federal government to democrats. as we head into mid-terms and there has not been off and on police reform, immigration, we don't know what will happen with that. you say these two bills will pass. we'll see. what what's the message to voters after they put their lines and came out to society if a make and there is not a lot of tangible products. >> this is why the republicans aren't helping, why the republicans want to destroy the debt limit. this is why the republicans are going to try to scare everybody when it comes to immigration and terrorism, whatever else they will come up with and then try to scare people, you know, this dumb scare tactic of critical race theirry. you know, there is no message
they are putting out. if we don't pass an infrastructure bill that lifts people out of poverty, we, too, will not have a message. my message is, let's get this done. this is again the opportunity infrastructure that we need that we're not going to ever get again and we can really truly leave a lot of people out of poverty and really into the american dream. that at the end of the day is how you get people back. american males slide towards republicans. maybe we get our angelo saxon people come back and they see we are actually doing something and not just say, do something. >> i love to unpack those voters, by the way. how do you feel about your fellow arizonaian, kyrsten sinema, she has been somewhat of an obstructionist, your
colleague and home down legislator. what is your thought about her? >> my thought about her and other seniors and members of my own caucus i think have not been as helpful. tell the us what you are far? we will put down our members as a member of congressional spac caucus. i'll tell you what i am for and what i want to see and wrap a budget around it. that's hard. i want to compromisep i know she wants to xhiechlts it's hard to compromise when all you say is no. let's put down our values. at the end of the day, democrats don't win this, progressives don't win this. conservative democrats don't win this. you know what wins this, the american people? that's what we should be focusing on. >> 2024 is right around the corner. will you challenge her for senate? >> now, 2024 is, you know, three years from now. i am going to focus on getting
this bill done, getting re-elected. i have a young family. i want to focus on that, so i don't think that far ahead, it's not fair to the public. it's not fair to my constituents or my family. the first important thing i need to do is get this bill done. >> in the long run, it may be help. , there is a pack that has raised over a million and another drafted you to run for senate. i think there are people out there begging, run, run. so what are you thinking about? what is going into your consideration between now and 2024 as you make this decision? >> well, honestly, what i'm thinking about is my family and thinking about my constituents and i owe my constituents a whole lot of attention, you know, for 2022 in getting this infrastructure bill done, so i appreciate the curiosity. thank you for the questions, but at this point i'm not committing
to running in 2024. >> all right. when you or if you make that announcement, you are very welcome to do that right here on this show. we'll keep our eye on you, thank you for your service as an iraq war member. have a wonderful saturday, coming up for you guys at home, thousands will be marching nationwide, i'll talk to a congresswoman and an organizer at one of those rallies after the break. later as soul train turns 50, grammy songwriter and dancer jody wattly is here. watly is here remember maybe we'll dance today him stay tuned. mber maybe we'll dance today him stay tuned. eye, or their hearing, or their youthful good looks. but there's a lot of things these remarkable dogs haven't lost... like their ability to lick, wag, and love with the best of them.
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i found out that i was nine weeks, fin weeks pregnant and then there the panic set in how can i make this pregnancy work? how could i at 18-years-old and barely scraping by support a child on my own and i would have been on my own to all the black women and gilles that had abortions and will have abortions. we have nothing to be ashamed of. we live in a society that failed to legislate love and justice for us. so we deserve better. we demand better. we are worthy of better. in the summer of 1994, i was raped, i became pregnant and i chose to have an abortion.
>> just days after congress women bravely shared their stories, protesters are marking today to kick off the siege against reproductive rights. it comes as a federal judge questioned texas's oppressive draconian heart beat law that calls on private citizens to work as vigilantes in a state where citizens are allowed to carry a gun, training or a background check. this is a dangerous blue print for other red states as a model for their own anti-abortion bills. it sound like something straight out of gilead congresswoman barra lee and michelle kelan organizers of the freedom rally. i want to thank you. i heard you say your mother told you this is your business. since the government made it
their business, i think the testimony is quite powerful. what's your message to women today living if states that are trying to basically snatch their rights to abortion away and having to go to black alley abortion clinics. >> thank you for having me, these decision, first of all are gut wrenching, you heard corey and camilla and myself. these are traumatic decisions. it's one's personal decision period, dot, dot, even talking about it, it's very difficult i know this is a personal matter. it's no one's business. i was compelled to speak out. what is going to happen is we
will go back to illegal abortions, people will die as a result because they're going to be the black and brown people who don't have the money low income people to travel to other states. these marches, rallies and what is taking place throughout the country is so important it's important to know reproductive freedom is that it's our bodies, our lives. this is about a political movement. i want to thank all those involved engaging in these efforts today. >> it's so important. >> gravely important. you will not force a woman to carry a child to to term. these put the lives of women in danger. michelle, i want you to take a listen to loretta ross, the cow founder of reproductive justice. we'll talk about it on the other side.
>> well, i'm tired of white saviors saying that black women aren't smart enough to make our own decisions about our lives. that's what i'm tired of. that is the ultimate in racism to accuse us of being less smart, less human an less caring about our children than you do when your actions speak louder than your marily words. because you vote against children having lunches, getting good schools, getting rid of guns, so that they can survive. >> i think she makes a really good point, michelle, that, obviously, progressive movements have been hacking away in this pocket of white women who vote overwhelming republican. yet, there are still significant many who under the guise of conservative christianity who vote against things like universal pre-k for everybody, but are definitely for taking a woman's right to choose away from them.
you speak about this in mississippi. tell us what's happening on the ground in mississippi and why this issue is important to be spotlighted today? >> this is important because the case coming out of mississippi that is currently going to be argued on december 1st is a direct attempt to overturn roe. this goes beyond any type of various bans right now. this is more than the quote/unquote of clinics. this means outlawing the right to have an apportion, which is a constitutional law of the land that is defended, right, so, we only have one clinic here in mississippi. there has only been one here for more than 15 years now. this clinic operates under extreme conditions farce there is no support from the state
legislature. they're constantly under attack by the white supremacist male patriarchy of our legislature. right. they're all anti-women. they hide behind being christians and pro-life. just like loretta said, you said, these are people who vote against all kind of social programs that are created or attempting to be created to help existing families, existing children. we are a state that has not expanded medicaid. we are a state where our governor refuses to acknowledge the dangers and the realities of covid-19. we have children that are being forced to go to schools where the teachers do not have to wear masks or they're not even attempting to have children wear the masks. so, this, if if this goes opposed the mississippi law to outlaw roe v wade. this will shutter and reverb
brate, outlawing abortion. we have trigger laws, so there will be no clinics, no abortion available throughout the spire south. if you live south of the mason dixon, there will be no clinic. people in mississippi will have to travel to illinois or kansas. that is the closest abortion complin e clinks right now. indiana, ohio and pennsylvania have trigger laws. so they are no longer what we used to call abortion-safe states. the majority of the country will not have abortion provider. and this will force folks to travel long distances, right, to get a procedure that is safer than child birth and safer than pregnancy. >> wow. and to your point, not everybody can afford to travel to these other pace place is. so as a result people buy pills and things that induce abortion. it put's women's lives at risk. this is attacking women from every angle, from capitol hill to state legislatures. you know, even to the courts.
i want to you look at justice alito and his remarks about this texas law. which he seems to be defending. i'm sorry. he says the shadow docket has been used to portray the court as having been captured by a dangerous cabal. speaking of intimidating and damaging, try having orlando men be enforcers to stop women from having abortions when the court is saying things like this, really, honestly, what is our recourse? >> you know, this is a dangerous moment. there are so many forces, including the reports in many places. look at the supreme court and what he laid out trying to turn the clock back to the days of jim crowe and to the days of back alley abortions. they're trying to take away women's rights.
they're trying to take away the rights of people of color, the lbgtqi community. they're trying to take away personal rights to freedom. our personal bill to exercise our reproductive rights decisions. so it's dangerous and again political organizing is taking place throughout the country is extremely important. more states will pass these laws, so we have to stop at this level. it's a dangerous moment when you see the racist kind of laws, it's time to fight back. >> thank you again for telling your story and joining me. in the march and coming up next, nba has a high percentage of players vaccinated against covid.
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grisham. we remember when she was guzzling down all that maga cool aid. mao may not know who she is, she it will rally never held a press briefing and referred to the press as the any my ohrt people so kind of a slap in the face to paint her book i'll take your questions now. it's a house of horrors. so since she'll take our questions now, i got one, stephanie, this year, you were ready to throw all your problematic colleagues in favor of your guy went from being a genius to a began to pretty quickly. let's remember that grisham has been riding the trump campaign since 2015 and boldly stood with him at all. we remember, we have the racism, the misogyny, company ophobia, the "access hollywood" tape, the family separation policy that
tore young children away from their parents, the family grift and the erosion of our country and after all that, there are still some in the press who will offer her free book promotion and interview her as she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of our former co-conspirators just as she sought to gain trump's favor at the expense of this democracy. tough one of the deuces to the entire maga clan as a staff record label and crew. i don't care about this woman's time, a spokesperson for the birther and enabler melania. you know how disgusted we were with those free melania hashtag, trump's third baby mama not only chose to stand by him but wallow in all the deplorable behavior. while many in the media try to prevent her as a victim. we always saw her as a villain. this is the way it has gone for many former trump appointees.
they sail up, riding mediocrity, hack away at the diverse foundation of america and walk away from all the rubble, only to be swept with, met with sweet cable news contract, lucrative book deals and interviews and zero account ability. any idea how this looks to the rest of us? grisham has two traffic i arrests, including pleading guilty to a dui and lost jobs with plagiarism and cheating on expenses, she was embroiled in scandal and arrested twice. still landed a high profile position in the white house. yet, black and brown people are subjected to a punishing criminal justice system and those among us who have records can't get a job anywhere while the privileged and incompetent gets to laugh at our tears all the way to the bank. even in the case of omarosa, who was all too willing to shame the ancestors in favor of a white
supremacist. she went from trump faux to friend to outright fool. but it paid off for her as well. an arbitrator ruled trump wouldn't be able enforce a non-disclosure agreement, the white house aide turned relic offiester year, who wrote a tell-all book of her time in the trump administration. as warren hill says, you might win some, you really lost one, bigly. that's the love and support of the community. i hope it was worth it. so if you are looking for something to read at home, there are a host of thought provoking books far more deserving over gossip wags paradeing as literature. i hope you choose wisely. we'll be right back.
. leaves are at stake. it's important here. people are dying. the ignorance that has been perpetrated, the information, the misinformation that has been spread around everywhere that has made it impossible for people to get an understanding of what's going on. people that say they haven't finished doing the research yet, really haven't done any research. >> all right. the debate over employer vaccine mandates have reached the nba and kareem abdul ja bar is pushing back on the sport's loudest anti-iacs voices.
while admittedly the vaccinated lebron james is facing criticism for fought using his megaplatform. orphans, as jemel hill, they say they will be giving a path to those making ultimately a selfish decision not to get their shots. joining me now is that brilliant woman and co-cost, jemele, my fellow sports expert, so happy to have you here this morning seriously, what is up with these npa players? it's so ridiculous, hesitant to get the vaccine and refusing to use tear bully pulpit. >> thank you for having me.
this was a great week i think that was so troubling. they have really done a pretty excellent job since the make started of educating planners and containing the virus in their own beug e league. i'm sure it was disheartening to see biggest stars get the microphone and then have an opportunity show us what they don't know. >> right. >> you know, i think it is important keep keep in mind 95% of the league is vaccinated. we are talking a small minority, being 5% is very influential. the unfortunate part is that the vaccinated players in the npa, that those two decided to not be selfish about this issue, they
are then left to explain why this 5% can't get on board, because this the a league that empowers the players than this other lesion, there is this idea one band, that i have to stick together. sometimes you have to say, homey, chill out. i will need you to do the ride thing. trust me players do not like getting in other player's medical business saying being vaccinated, it is a personal decision. it is not because of the impact it has on everyone around them. >> yeah, kyrie irving somebody asked me, what is the ingredients in pepsi, while you push that, the superstar lebron
james who is vaccinated but went on this whole soliloquy he won't encourage other people, because it's their bodies. >> i was very skeptic about it all. after doing research, i felt it was best suited for not only me but my family and my friends. that's why i decided to do it. >> yeah. so what's best for you and your family and friends, maybe it's bet for everybody else. the np pa elect a new director. so far, they have been against these vaccine man dapts. is that the right move? what do you think the if you director position should be on this? >> first let me say it's about lebron. i noted this in my column, in interest of full disclosure. i who rkd with this organization more than a vote to produce a podcast that was all about the vaccine hesitancy in the african-american community. lebron greenlit this opportunity for me to do that. because he knows how important
it is that african-americans have the right information considering how the coronavirus devastated our community i think what can be offered is they aren't used to having to chime in on medical decision. you are lebron, there is already a lot he does, now he's like, i got to be dr. fauci and the nba, too? so i get why he would feel that way. but at the same time, with your voice being that important. i think it is okay if he checks some of his fellow players about it. now, as far as the players association goes, i think they are following what all the leagues are doing is that they're going to make it so tough for unvaccinated players that eventually they come on board, whether they like it or not. they will learn to like it, learn to be vaccinated. i think that ultimately this strategy will work. it has been working, again, 5%
of the players are vaccinated. they have stopped just short because i do think that the nba does not want to create more animosity. a lot isn't about them being hesitant for medical reasons. a lot is straight up stubbornness. they don't like being told what to do. i think that's very reflective of what else you see happening in society. >> a good point. 9% of the players. you zoo said it's a good week for people to be loud and wrong. look, a shoutout for my brother for doing on amazing pod cast. i am athlete. but you want you to take a listen about colin kaepernick. then we'll talk about your response to him. >> brother, have you the biggest opportunity in the world to create jobs, your jobs, people.
the people that you was talking about, the people that you so-called standing up for, to people that stood beside you, because of you. i ain't heard from him. he brought the awareness, that's why i was faking. >> what's the call to action? >> there wasn't one. there wasn't no call to action. >> now you responded. i feel away when anybody says anything negative about jemel. i did not appreciate his tweet. this is a severe question. i'm not trying to associate. can you still think of any initiative or anything community arounded that dez bryant initiated? i went to the website. i didn't see anything. i'm sincerely having that question in general about this. >> i don't know, i'm comfortable saying i don't know. i think i don't know would have
been a great answer for dez bryant to say when talking about colin kaepernick and the things he had done. the reason i responded and i want to be transparent with the audience is obviously i reported and talked about colin kaepernick for years since he originally decided to do the national anthem in 2016. i am a prur producer on his upcoming espn. his narrative per sifted for so long some of the things dez bryant was saying, i'm not trying to throw shade at dez, either, i like him. we have talked before on and off air. i'm not judging him, however, he is the same gay when he was playing and asked about colin's protest, he said, i got a family to feed. that's what he said. so now to be saying what are you doing? what's the call to action? the call to action was the work.
colin has been doing the work since 2016, before then. i can be here the rest of your show listing all the things that colin kaepernick has been involved with, all the opportunities he's created for people of color. the way he stood in the gap. can i do all of that. so what i didn't like is dez was feeding a very negative, narrow and frankly spewing false information so i felt the need to respond. >> yeah. anyway, they have been yelling we are out of time for three minutes. thank you for getting up on that west coast time. we'll have to have you back soon talk about this nfl halftime show, coming up at home, some of you may remember when saturday morning cartoons and soul train. my next guest is a legendary grammy winning singer who began on the show. you don't want to miss it coming up next.
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biggest and best we had to offer belted out the latest melodies and the baddest dancers would shake their groove thing down that famous "soul train" line. joining me is a staple of the iconic show who did both, multiplatinum gramny award winner, singer, songer, producer and beautiful jody wattly. she got her start on "soul train" at just 14 years old. i am so thrilled and honored to have you here with me this morning. it's amazing. everybody's been waiting for you all morning to come on screen. you were just 14 when you got your start dancing on "soul train." how did that even happen? >> first of all, thanks for having me on. you know, i grew up in the midwest and "soul train," everyone wanted to be on "soul train" so when my family got to los angeles that's where i was. and you know, just a world renowned show as well. >> you know, i think something that a lot of people don't know, don cornelius actually had a
challenging time getting this show on the air because people felt like, well, we have "american bandstand" and we don't know if a show targeting black folks is going to work. fools they were, we laugh at them. the one thing i like about this is even on the show, the commercials are very black, you know, you had commercials of afro sheen and johnson & johnson sponsored the show. it was just such a beautiful time for us. what's something that stood out about the show for you at that time? it could be a performance, a dance move, the scramble board that was so awesome as well. what's one of your favorite memories. >> don cornelius definitely a visionary to create such a wonderful show. the scramble board was fun, i got to do it once, and people would always ask do you know the answers before, you know, and it's like, no, they don't tell
you. but so many great memories from when i was a dancer to performing on the show, and it was always a fun time, have r competitive and a lot of shade was thrown, but it was a lot of fun. >> well, you look beautiful. i don't know if you can see, we're showing on the screen some of your amazing dance moves. and you know, i think a lot of our viewers, particularly our younger viewers when they hear hasta lavista baby. the terminator was mimicking your song. a lot of people don't know that. i was really struck by john cornelius's death. it was such a shocker to all of us. he was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and a lot of people don't know that he was suffering from seizures for the past 15 years and admitted that he was never the same and in a lot of pain. i'm curious what was your time like working with him directly? he kind of created shalomar.
what was your memories with him? >> you know, don was a very imposing figure, but always supportive of me and he is the one that put shalomar together, put me in the group, and so always when i went solo, very supportive. it was very sad, you know, to have that news. i had seen him a couple of years before. we were on a panel together talking about the documentary, the hippest trip in america, and we did a panel at the grammy museum, and he was in good spirits, but he had had brain injury and surgery and so, you know, his health was a concern. but we had some laughs there, and he was stoic, but he could drop some one liners, and he's greatly missed. >> he is greatly missed indeed, and just really created something for the culture, so we
appreciate that. and you sang beautifully, make this a night to remember. you have made this a morning to remember. i thank you so much, jody watley for joining us. you'll have to come back and we can have the second time around. so thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> and we'll see you again soon and best luck to you. and coming up at home, thousands are taking to the streets today for abortion rights. we're going to take you live right there. that's coming up after the break. don't go anywhere. don't go anywhere. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging.
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♪♪ good morning, everybody. and welcome back to "the cross connection." we have a lot of trending topics to get to. first we begin with the gop-led war against women. at this hour, women are gathering for marches in cities all across the country spurred by a renewed attack on the right to an abortion. at the center, texas, this is where the court battle against the state's near total abortion ban continues, and on friday, a federal judge in austin held a three-hour hearing on whether to block enforcement of the law and allow abortions to continue. however, this battle is far from over, which is why today women are taking to the streets in austin and beyond and joining me now live from austin is stephanie stanton, nbc news correspondent. stephanie, it looks like you got
quite the scene there. it looks like a pretty big crowd and a lot of activity behind you. set the scene for us. >> reporter: yeah, good morning to you, tiffany. let me set the scene for you. i can tell you that this crowd is pretty sizable and growing. roughly about 5,000 people here right now, let me show you what's happening here at the capital. as you said, the capital here in austin, texas, ground zero for this near total abortion ban. many of these people here have come together out of anger, out of frustration. all of them united with a single message. they want to restore women's rights, a woman's right to choose in this state. that legislation that we talked about, that was passed more than a month ago on september 1st. it essentially prevents abortions once there is a heartbeat at the six-week mark when a lot of women don't know they're pregnant. i spoke to one organizer here today, and she says a lot of the people here, obviously everyone
here supports overturning this ban. i asked her about the rest of texas, and she says even though this state has a huge conservative base overall outside of austin, she says that 87% roughly of texans support overturning this abortion ban. they support a woman's right to choose. so that is a clear message here. we are seeing activists take the stage very impassioned pleas. we have seen some musicians. organizers, people coming from all across the country here to provide support and, again, hopefully they say to overturn this ban. that is, tiffany, what they are calling on the biden administration and the u.s. supreme court to do what it can to basically nullify this. >> yeah, it's always interesting when people talk about these polls, 88% approve, but really the most important poll is what a woman decides for what's best for her body. thank you so much. be careful in that state. it's a big gun control issue there, so be careful at the march, and we'll check back in
with you if there's any breaking news. thanks so much, stephanie. and now to capitol hill, after voters of color came out in droves during the pandemic to deliver the power of the federal government to democrats, undoubtedly the question will soon become a janet jackson quote. what have you done for me lately? as centrist dems spent the week demanding massive cuts to the $3.5 trillion plan to expand medicare and child care and a whole lot of other democratic priority, senator manchin shared some advice for his intraparty foes. >> i don't fault any of them who believe they're much more progressive and much more liberal. god bless them, and all they need to do is we have to elect more, i guess, for them to get theirs. elect more liberals. >> elect more liberals. huh? well, the 2020 election gave democrats the white house, the senate, and the house. didn't that just happen? so let's talk about what it means to elect more liberals. joining me now is ja psy ross,
attorney, former public defender and roland martin, host of roland martin unfiltered, daily digital show and a bringer of all the funk, and falef leon, a journalist and harvard fellow. you're the woman on the panel, so i will start with you. look, i'm looking at what's happening on capitol hill skpshs , and it frustrates me to no end that people present this -- instead of focusing on the policies. you touch both communities that helped overwhelmingly deliver congress to democrats. what do you think the message should be to voters when there may not be a lot of impactful policy that we'll have to point to when it comes time for midterms? >> right, i think that the message should be we absolutely understand that you are a critical part of this country and that you are a critical -- you are really one of the
reasons why we got an office here. i think ha what you said, that janet jackson quote, what have you done for me lately, i've had conversations with friends and family members, all who are completely disappointed, and the disappointment is because we came out in droves. we showed up, we showed out for biden, and we wanted to see change, right? and so we understand that there are completely issues with the climate, and we understand that there are issues as well with the most vulnerable in our country, and they deserve to be protected and they deserve to have policies really that protect them. but as we showed up and showed out for biden, we want, you know, biden, we want democrats to show up and show out for us as well. >> yeah, definitely. jassy, i'll tell you what i'm over and that's this establishment v progressives debate. it feels like something on twitter. when you get down to the brass
tacks of policy, most people want the same thing. let's talk about the gop obstructing, but i'm just curious where you are on this whole establishment v. progressive debate that, again, i think lives more online than it does in reality. >> thank you very much, good morning, tiffany, good morning, panel. yeah, you know, it's this academic speech, and largely it's white academic speech that really cares about this artificial divide. ultimately you referenced janet jackson, and i'm going to reference janet jackson in another vein that ultimately democrats have control, and so as a result of having that color, largely voters of color are saying we gave you this control. we're the ones who put you in office. what are you going to do for us and help our material state, and currently that is not a whole bunch to be honest. >> at all. yeah, i completely agree. so roland, look, you talk about
this all the time, not only on your show every day but also in our big group chat, so what do you think democrats need to be doing at this moment where the narrative seems to have gotten away from them, quite frankly? >> well, what we have to come to grips with is this here. the democratic party is totally completely different from the republican party in this way. if you are a republican, you're either right or far right. the process when you talk about political gerrymandering, how districts are being put together for the house, and then also how states are, you have a far more larger tent on the democratic side. that's why you have multiple factions. you literally have centrists, moderates, progressives, liberals, and then you've got far left liberals, so you have to juggle a lot of different interests. we discussed this a couple of weeks ago dealing with the congressional black caucus. you have democrats who are from
split districts, leaning conservative. others are from far liberal districts. you actually don't have the same dynamic. you have to have more conversation. but we have to also recognize -- and i totally get the focus on biden and democrats nationally, but if you go back to obama winning in 2008, what happened in 2010, folks didn't show up? what do republicans do, they flipped almost 20 state legislatures. and so we can't ignore what happens on the state level. you just did a live hit with a reporter in austin. that was a state law. we've got to stop. if you're a progressive, you've got to stop focusing just on d.c., and realize if you do not elect people on the state level where laws are being passed, all of this is a part of it. we have to recognize the different factions here. who controls the districts, how the lines are drawn, and so that's the challenge that people have to have while you're dealing with a manchin or a sinema who comes from a
different state as opposed to a warnock or ossoff or a bernie sanders from vermont. >> that's a really good point. there's a lot of attention on manchin and sinema, but look, if we lose manchin, they're not going to get another democrat in that seat. it's west virginia, and i think there needs to be more attention paid to raphael warnock who's up for re-election in georgia where that would be a big point. do you want to say something else really quickly? >> tiffany, remember, you got to have these white voters in west virginia, they have been putting pressure on manchin. they were in their kayaks going to his yacht. they're showing up. that's how you have to do it. you've got mobilize owing. if all of these reporters keep focusing on capitol hill, you've got to mobilize people in the state. wherever he goes, he needs to see his voters. sinema, same thing. that's also going to have to happen, and a lot of people
don't want to put that work in. they just want to tweet about it or post on instagram or facebook, no, you've got to be in their face. >> exactly. we have video of the folks showing up to joe manchin's yacht. i was hoping we'd be able to show that, i think we may have missed our window. i want to switch gears now, this is kind of all along the same theme of a power shift. you guys have been hearing a lot about critical race theory. in an article publish ed this week in "the washington post" highlights the importance of teaching everyone's history in school. the article was about the 1863 bear river massacre. this is among the worst slaughters of native americans in u.s. history leaving about 350 members of the show shan nation dead. i think when people here critical race theory, most people might associate that with black people, but really it's a matter of speaking the truth about this country, the ugly truth whatever that may be. and certainly the native american community has quite the testimony dealing with white
supremacy. give us your thoughts about bear river. >> i'm glad you framed it the way you did. this is of course a bad faith debate about critical race theory. this has nothing to do with critical race theory. instead, this has everything to do with calling a fact a fact, diving into that fact wholeheartedly and hopefully learning from that fact, accessing those facts. this is about us -- in this particular case, indigenous people knowing certain historical facts exist, but our educational systems telling our children those historical facts do not exist. i think they're calling that gaslighting, saying that greenwood, north tulsa, saying that did not happen or saying the bear river massacre did not occur and that the u.s. army did not brutally kill over 300 primarily women and children, indigenous people, that the u.s. army did not brutally kill over 200 indigenous people in that
instance. those facts did happen, and we can learn from them if we teach them. we can learn about the circumstances that allowed white americans to hunt down human beings and slaughter them like animals in the name of the u.s. government. it's terrible. it's savage, but also it's something that we can learn from, but we cannot learn from these horrible atrocities if we can't even agree that it's a fact, tiffany. >> right. absolutely. you know, people say, this is not america. some of these atrocities are american as apple pie and we ought to be able to have that honest conversation. i want to switch subjects just a little bit here because let me just say felice, ellen pompeo, on the debut of her podcast, the "grey's anatomy" actress shared an anecdote about an on set clash she had with the denzel washington when he was guest directing a 2016 episode, but i don't think girlfriend was expecting the reaction that she got, but you know, she dangled
out some fire and asked for all that smoke i think is warranted. let me just say, i don't think ellen pompeo would have ever spoken to steven spielberg the way that she did to denzel washington. i don't think she would have spoken to clint eastwood that way, i don't think she would have spoken to debbie allen that way, but felice, you take it away. what do we make of this? >> i would agree with you with that, and ellen pompeo, let's start by saying what you're not going to do is disrespect uncle denzel, okay? you know, this is a typical case of a white woman, white womaning, right? so we see the disrespect. we see the privilege, then you know at the end she went back to denzel's wife saying that, you know, that she got into argument and she's not talking to him. she became the victim. so really we do not care in this case that ms. pompeo that you have a black husband. we do not care that you have
black children and you may or may not have black friends, but you are still wrong, right? and this is not okay and twitter called you out as they should have. you absolutely showed your supremacy, you absolutely showed your privilege, and this is exactly why, you know, we have to continue to call people out because like she just didn't get it. it was beyond me. >> it's beyond them, right? and roland, quite honestly she can't have that many black friends. if she did somebody would have told her correctly, right? but go ahead, roro. >> okay, so here's the deal. was she completely wrong? yes, but let's be clear. this happens on hollywood sets all the time. >> that's fair. >> if you look at john singleton and sam jackson went at it in the making of "shaft," okay, sam jackson talked about it. these things happen. the difference here is what she is saying this is my show, my
set. no, it's shonda's show, shonda's set. see, what i'm curious about is if shonda pulled her coat tail. that's the real deal here. so what actually happened with that dynamic, boo, let me holler at you. that's not how you operate when you're talking to the director. but again, these things happen in hollywood. her biggest mistake to your point, tiffany not having black friends. your black friends say, baby, don't tell that story. >> yeah, don't do that. we can have drinks and we're together, you can tell that story, but i need all the white people in america to understand, you do not speak ill will against mlk, idris and denzel. i'm just letting you know, you're going to get all the black women smoke, and the brothers is going to sit back, they got it. we ain't even touching that one. i'm just saying, okay, idris, denzel, i'm just saying.
you might want to just move long and tell that story privately, ellen. >> all right, gyasi, we are way over time. if you have one ten-second time, you can go. i want you to be able to weigh in after that sermon from roland. >> this is not the type of story you brag about. i'll just end with that. >> exactly. wise words from the gyasi ross. thank you roland martin, and felice and dynamic panel. coming up, the pandemic delayed thousands of cases in courts around the country leaving many people in jail for extended periods. we're going to dig into that next. stay tuned. that next stay tuned
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it's just math. i need help. i'm here begging you for help. >> all right, in a race against the clock, georgia's fulton county district attorney's office indicted dozens of murder suspects ahead of a deadline that if missed would have seen the accused released on bond. prosecutors are working through a backlog of 11,000 unindicted cases, after not bringing any indictments in more than a year during the pandemic. now, these backlogs aren't just happening in georgia. cases have been piling up in courthouses across the country leaving people languishing in jail cells when they haven't been charged with anything, much less convicted of any crime.
joining me marilyn mosby, states attorney for baltimore, maryland, and twi la carter, national legal and policy director for the bail project. thank you to both of you for being here. you made the very progressive decision in baltimore to stop prosecuting low level crimes. that's helped clear the backlog in baltimore. tell me how that's been working out the past few months. >> so what i can say is i think it's really important to give context for this situation. you have a newly elected prosecutor who took office in january of 2021, right? so that's like nine months into an unprecedented sort of global pandemic already underway. so in this instance, as you've already indicated there's this huge backlog of cases not due to any sort of malfeasance on the part of her predecessor but due to the fact the grand jury was gone for so long. she had to assemble teams and thousands of backlogged cases. i guess the greater question for all of us is how effective are the constraints of the criminal
justice system during a global pandemic to protect citizens from violent individuals. as you indicated in baltimore with the exception of very limited sort of virtual hearings, our courts were literally shut down for 18 months, and so what we did as you're aware, we understood that resources were going to be a problem. we had pending cases from 2019, 2020, and of course 2021, and so we stopped prosecuting minor offenses that had nothing to do with public safety like drug possession and sex work and trespassing. we dismissed over 1,400 cases and eliminated 1,400 open and pending warrants. we modified our bail recommendations twice so we were only focusing on violent individuals, and what we found is unlike the 63 of 66 major municipalities in the country, baltimore was an anomaly in that for the first time an fbi just put out data, 30% increase in violence across the country. for the first time we saw our violent crime go down by 20%.
our property crime went down by 36%. there was an 80% decrease in drug arrests. the recidivism rate was 0.04%. of the 1,500 warrants, only five of those individuals committed another offense. >> wow. marilyn, i've known you for a long time, and you've always been a leader in this space as a d.a. and on the cutting edge of this. i applaud you in doing the good work on the people -- on behalf of the people of baltimore. twila, i will turn to you now. marilyn just detailed how not prosecuting these low level crimes helped bring crime down, helped clear the backlog, gave a great defense for fani willis in atlanta. my challenge here -- because when this story was first presented about atlanta -- is you know, all these violent offenders might be back on the streets, which of course is something for citizens to care about. however, i am concerned about a system that allows people to sit in jail having not been charged with anything. this points to a problem with cash bail systems, right?
there's no proof that cash makes people show back up to court. give me your thoughts on this situation as it plays out not just in baltimore, not just in atlanta but all across the country. >> thank you so much for having me. good morning tiffany, and states attorney mosby. let's be clear, we had a humanitarian crisis in our jails and in our prisons before the pandemic, and the pandemic certainly has exacerbated the problem, but according to the prison policy initiative, for example, we have nearly 500,000 people in jail every night who have not been convicted of a crime. approximately 320,000 of them are in on low level, non-violent accusations. so if fulton county and other jurisdictions are tracking this national trend, then following what states attorney mosby just described, which is to release people from jail who are facing those particular low level and nonviolent crimes will make more
room for paying attention to the more serious offenses, but i want to be clear about that as well. the presumption of innocence is a bedrock principle of our criminal legal system and it must be protected at all times. use of cash bail is not effective. it is not necessary to have people return to court. it certainly does not ensure public safety. when we talk about returning to court, for example, with the use of cash bail, we know that our work at the bail project, for example, in providing free bail assistance to over 18,000 people around the country, we know that simply giving text reminders and having people have transportation assistance, for example, has people return to court. also, supporting them with supportive services based on what their needs are helps them not only return to court, but it helps ensure public safety. you know that the use of cash bail is flawed when somebody who might actually be a danger to the community can buy their freedom and someone who is poor
cannot. >> right. >> so to your point, violent offenses, there are studies, recent studies that show there are no direct links between ending the use of cash bail or bail reform with the increase of violent crimes. we know that in certain jurisdictions, they've had bail reform for many years, long before we've had this recent rise. it's due to the pandemic. we also know that in jurisdictions where they do have bail reform, they have been talking about minor offenses and not the serious felonies we're talking about. definitely want to reiterate what states attorney mosby is talking about. when you get folks out of jail it reduces crime all around. >> you ladies are great. we are penalizing the poor through cash bail systems. really quickly, marilyn, we're out of time, i just want to ask your opinion on the cash bail system before we go. >> i think you hit the nail on the head. i think that cash bail is just the criminalization of poverty. my prosecutors are instructed to never request cash bail and as i've stated during the pandemic, we modified our recommendation
to really only focus on individuals that pose public safety risk. if we're really going to be serious about criminal justice reform in this country, we have to end the criminalization of poverty, and that's exactly what this bail system does. >> thank you so much. you ladies are a wonderful panel. you'll both have to come back s and i'd like to commend voting rights activist, desmond mead, he received the prestigious mcarthur grant this week. he was one of the primary architects of amendment 4rks which restored voting rights of past convicted felons. coming up, an honest conversation about the legacy of president barack obama. you can join this conversation on twitter, and we'll be talking about it on your screen next. alg about it on your screen next made by artisan cheesemakers. hold up! let's go faster. -with fresh milk from america's dairyland, wisconsin. man, wisconsin people love cheese. it's great on the new turkey cali fresh. let's go faster. the eat fresh refresh at subway®... it's too much new to fit in one commerc- the eat fresh refresh at subway®... when our daughter and her kids moved in with us... our bargain detergent couldn't keep up. turns out it's mostly water.
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exactly is president obama's legacy. joining me is brittany cunningham, founder of love and power works and a harvard institute politics fellow, and a democratic strategist and former dnc spokesperson. so happy to have you guys here to have this conversation because you know you cannot say anything bad about mr. president barack obama, but i want to have a healthy conversation about some of the great accomplishments and maybe some shortcomings. while president obama was in office, he was dubbed the deporter in chief. i'm curious on your thoughts. i do want to point out president obama directed i.c.e. to focus on criminals and not families. and in the fiscal year of 2015, 91% of the people removed from inside the u.s. were previously convicted of a crime. having put that in context, i'm curious on your thought on his
role in immigration. >> people often -- the reason that we have daca, which is protection for dreamers, and at the time he actually put in place protections for their parents is because of barack obama. we have seen efforts to try to overturn it over the last few years in the trump administration and by the supreme court. luckily it's holding on by a thread, but it's just an example of how presidents can't just wave a magic wand and pass immigration reform. they need congress to do it. so it shows how elections matter and i think that the fact that he has provided relief for dreamers is actually a huge part of his legacy that people don't often talk about. i also think it's unfair to dub him as deporter in chief for the reason -- a number of reasons, he was a champion for immigrant rights, but at the same time, donald trump followed him. that is the true deporter in chief. that is the guy who separated families at the border, put kids in cages, tried to get rid of daca.
so i think that when you're looking at the last two presidencies, it's -- they draw a stark contrast when it comes to immigration. >> definitely, and brittany, she makes a really good point. however, i think for a lot of young voters and people newer to democracy, barack obama, president barack obama was -- is now the floor, right, and not necessarily the ceiling. so he did wonderful things, carried this country through the great recession, gave us the affordable care act, which i've personally benefitted from, which i've talked about, and normalized a black president in the white house. however, there were some criticisms among pockets of black people who, you know, felt like some of his speeches kind of teetered on the pound cake speech a little bit and didn't like some ways that he spoke to black folks, but overwhelmingly this man is beloved by the community. i'm curious your thought on him as the first black president as we break ground? >> you know, i spent a lot of time engaging with the obama white house, especially in the latter years when i sat on his 21st century policing task force, and you know, it's
interesting because i look not just at him but really the team he built. people like valerie jarrett, stephanie young, ashley allison, heather foster, people who were engaged in that public engagement piece that so often gets overlooked at the white house because the obama administration was really focused on making this the people's house because that's what it is. we recognize as black people that we are descended of the people who built this country for free and that includes the hollowed ground that he stood on, that includes the white house. so there was an obligation to make sure that not only was he speaking to us but that he was inviting us in. if you make this the people's house, the people are going to respond both with praise, and yes, with criticism, and i think everyone over there understood that is democracy. so not to be afraid of the criticism but rather to take it in and to understand how that can lead to evolution. so were there shortcomings, absolutely. as my friend taylor reed always
says, we do not elect saviors, we engage in electoral justice so we can set the conditions of our centering. most certainly there were also moments of evolution in that white house. we saw his change on marriage equality, for example. we saw a great deal of push that came from the outside on issues of police violence, push them, for example, to begin the process of removing military equipment from local police departments, a practice that trump, of course, went and reinstated. just last summer i moderated a conversation featuring president obama and a number of community organizers on police violence, and he himself said that maybe the recommendations that we made five years ago on that policing task force should be revisited and updated because the truth of the matter is he should be the floor. that should be where we begin to have conversations about what democracy can look like and not use that as the ceiling because the people deserve more than we had just a few years ago, and i think most certainly he would agree with that. >> yeah, i think you're right,
and one thing i would say about president obama, i want to shout out the alumni he called out, the obama alumni group is quite impressive, ashley is still at the white house on vice president kamala harris's team. he has people everywhere. one thing i'll say about president obama is he was very receptive to criticism. he invited disagreement. he asked people their opinions and just really, you know, made us all used to having an intellectual president an then it was that hard record scratch where we were met with someone politically and socially inept and morally bankrupt. so now that we've had these two contrasting presidents and now we have president biden in the white house who has compassion for people, again, may have some shortcomings, but certainly has compassion. where do you think we go from here? will we see a latino president, will we see an aapi president? what's our next move here? >> we need to have a latino
president and an aapi president at one point if we want to continue to engage voters. as a party, we need to ensure we are having a diverse field. the contrast was stark between the two presidencies and one moment that stands out to me is when the passing of trayvon martin where you saw president obama go up, talk about how, you know, he had a son. that could have been his son, it was a very emotional moment for the president. i was at the justice department at the time where we were trying to prosecute police cases and you saw on the other hand donald trump who then, you know, goes and raises a bible, you know, in front of a church and that is his sort of response to an outcry from the general public. i think that moving forward you will have our democratic party put forth people who fall in line with joe biden's values and with barack obama's values because that is what the american people want. the american people want to see leaders that actually lead. >> all right, well, we'll keep our eye open for that first
latino president. thank you so much for getting up on a saturday morning and looking so beautiful on the screen. after the break, the supreme court justices return for a very busy term, voting rights, guns, and abortion are all on the docket. we're going to discuss that with one of your favorites, elie mystal. that's coming up next. 's coming. 72,807! 72,808... dollars. yep... everything hurts. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
she drives hands free along the coast. make it palm springs. cadillac is going electric. if you want to be bold, you have to go off - script. experience the all-electric cadillac lyric. the catchy and sinister term shadow docket has been used to portray the court as having been captured by a dangerous cabal that resorts to sneaky and improper methods to get its ways. this portrayal feeds unprecedented efforts to intimidate the court or damage it as an independent institution. >> the nine supreme court justices return on monday marking the beginning of the new court -- or the court's new term. judging by the many unusual public comments from the mostly
republican pointed jurists they've been saying a lot. this very conservative court could potentially rule on everything from abortion rights to voting rights, to reparations. so to help us talk it through, someone who if he weren't so darn good at making legalese digestible probably should be on the supreme court, justice correspondent for the nation, elie mystal. elie, i got to say it's really striking to see these justices come out and speak so publicly and defend the court, and they're mostly republican leaning, you know, gop-appointed jurists. what's up with that? >> the snowflakes triggered over there, didn't he? didn't like the scrutiny. look, it's exactly that. they don't like the scrutiny. they're about to do -- the supreme court is about to do some dirt. they're about to do some evil stuff. they're about to take away a woman's right to choose. they're about to empower the gun lobby literally, by the time we get to june, you owning a gun
will have more rights than you owning a uterus. that is where they're going. >> wow. >> of course they don't want people to know about it. if you had a choice, people could know about all the dirt that i'm doing, that's option a, or option b, i can keep it all in the dark and then rug the shaggy defense, right? wasn't me. i don't know who took away a woman's right. you would choose b and that's what they're doing, and that's why they're out here riding so hard trying to gaslight the nation. they don't want the scrutiny for what they're doing. i just want to really quickly, this goes back to your earlier conversation about barack obama. you know, one of his failures president -- look, i love barack obama, halloween i dressed up as jesus and just said barack obama, like i love barack obama, but he did not focus on this, and one of the reasons why the conservatives in power now is because for eight years obama did not attack the supreme court with the alacrity that was needed to stop these people. >> yeah, and i think the left as a whole, democrats do not make the court an issue the same way
the right does. that's a fair point. i want to move away from the supreme court and talk about other cases that could land in court, and that's reparations. so this week attorney demario solomon simmons who represents the tulsa survivors, went to court and used the public nuisance precedent to argue that white supremacy still creates a public nuisance for survivors and descendants of the tulsa massacre. talk about that case and what that means for the long-term case of reparations. >> let me tell you what conservatives are going to do. it should stick in your craw. the conservatives in texas, the abortion law, have decided that private citizens have standing to sue abortion providers over giving medical services to women they don't even know. in tulsa, conservatives are going to say that the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue tulsa over its history of
violence and thievery from the black community. it's going to be the same -- it's going to be the same legal argument, but conservatives are going to use it to empower people who want to take away womens rights and depower black people who are trying to get back some of the wealth that was stolen from them. that is conservative hypocrisy at its very highest, and that's most likely what we're going to see in the tulsa case. >> i don't know, elie because there's this judge, carolyn wall who heard the case, and attorney demario feldman simmons said it seemed like she was very fair. give me some hope. >> i'm saying when it gets appealed up. >> you're right, okay, so she's just deciding if the case can go forward. so that may be good, but then by the time we get there, it may not happen. all right, i just wanted a little bit of hope. so hopefully something there because mother fletcher, 107, mother randall 106. uncle red, 100 years old. they were alive during this
horrible massacre that took place, so they certainly deserve some justice. elie, thank you so much. we never have enough time with you. honestly i feel like we could have an hour with you and still not have enough time. thank you for bringing this all into context. and coming up ahead on "alex witt reports" live, she's going to cover the women's marches taking place around the country as thousands gather in d.c. and other cities that support reproductive rights. and up next, the tony award winning playwright shaking up broadway. you don't want to miss that. stay tuned. hat. stay tuned ( sighs wearily ) here, i'll take that! ( excited yell ) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one-gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health! ( abbot sonic ) itchy? and nutrients to support immune health! scratchy? family not getting clean? get charmin ultra strong. it just cleans better, so your family can use less. hello clean bottom! enjoy the go with charmin. ♪ ♪
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for softer clothes that are gentle on your skin, try downy free & gentle downy will soften your clothes without dyes or perfumes. the towel washed with downy is softer, and gentler on your skin. try downy free & gentle. this is the 74th tony awards, and yet, i am only the first latin a writer to win in this category. the latin a community is underrepresented in american theater, in new york theater, and most especially on broadway. we constitute 19% of the united states population, and we represent about 2% of the playwrights having plays on broadway in the last decade. this must change. >> that must change indeed. when his play "the inheritance" won best play at the tony awards, playwright matthew lopez came with receipts, speaking forcefully about the need for
representation on the stage, essential words as broadway turns its lights on again after 18 months in the dark. joining me is that tony award winning playwright matthew lopez. congratulations on this amazing honor, well deserved to you, my friend. i was very struck, very struck by your words. the latino community represents 19% of the country, and only 2% of playwrights on broadway. what needs to happen to change that? >> a lot needs to happen. i think over time the most important thing is the people who make decisions about what shows go to broadway needs to start looking a lot like america right now, it's almost monolithically white, predominantly male, and it's a reflection of values, and we need to shake up not just who makes art but who decides what art gets to be seen. and once that happens, i think we'll start to -- we'll start to
need to lean a lot less on speeches like the one i gave. >> right. >> so many people celebrate a cultural shift in the country, but like you, i'm eager to see a power shift like you said to the decision-makers who decide what is art. so bravo to you my friend for making that point. i want to bring up another point that you made. take a listen to something you said, and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> we are a vibrant community reflecting a vast array of cultures, experiences, and, yes, skin tones. we have so many stories to tell. >> you made a point to say skin tones, which you know there's been a lot of conversation with afro latinos feeling invisible. why did you think it was important to say that? >> it was important as someone who is latino but who is also not afro latino, i heard that
conversation. i listened to it, i learned a lot from it, and i want to be a part of that change. i think that a lot of the times there's this desire in the media sometimes to pit us against each other, there's always this idea of the philosophy or scarcity which we actually believe in at our peril, and i think that it was my responsibility on that stage to speak for as much of the latin a community as i possibly can. >> and let me ask you, you're saying latin a, and we've had a conversation on this show quite a few times about latinx versus latino, versus now latin a, why do you say latin a? >> well, the first thing i should say is i absolutely fully support the idea of creating a more inclusive use of that word, a gender neutral usage is essential and i'm glad that conversation is being had. i have more of an aesthetic
issue with latinx. it isn't a spanish word. it's a word that isn't pronounceable in spanish. it doesn't follow the rules of spanish. latin a follows the rules of spanish and gets the point across and does exactly the same thing as latinx. i don't care if people use latinx. >> right, you're just saying language wise. >> the word i choose to use is latin a, as long as we're working towards the same goal, i think we can use whatever words we want. >> i love it. one thing i also love is you're doing a romcom for sam gender loving people. this is a star crossed couple, one will play this on the president of the united states and his relationship with prince henry, i love this i can't wait to see it. i want to ask you about the bodyguard, this time the singer
will be a latina. any idea who will be the singer and who will play the bodyguard? >> i have ideas in my head. i'm getting tons of suggestions on instagram. it's right now it's in the baking stage. i'm actually writing the script right now, and i generally don't like to think about actors as i'm working. i need to create individuals from my own imagination, and then we look at it and we say who fits here. who's right, and it's going to be incredibly exciting to find out who that person is and those recommendations on twitter are never ending and i think it's great. >> i might add to that, i certainly tweeted out who do you think should play "the bodyguard". >> it's great. i love crowd sourcing the casting process, but what's most exciting is when warner brothers came to me about it, i said, yeah, i want to do that, but i want to write a latina at the center. i want to create a role for a
latina actress. >> i love that. >> ask they were so supportive of that, and i'm grateful. >> super. i love that. please bring the cast back when it's all done. we'd love to have you. that you think so much, congratulations again, matthew lopez, for disrupting the space. it certainly needed to be disrupted. and good luck to you. coming up tomorrow, you guys do not want to miss the sunday show, he's going to have pramila jayapal. the emmy nominated jonathan capehart with the latest on the fight over president biden's agenda. we'll be right back. 's agenda we'll be right back. by going there. (man) no listings in 2178! (brad) with the possible exception of the year 2178. apartments-dot-com. the most popular place to find a place. subway®... has so much new they couldn't fit it in their last ad. so, we gonna have to go fast. ready? there's new steak, deli-style turkey, belgioioso® fresh mozzarella, hickory-smoked bacon, new hearty multigrain, and steph curry juggling avocados for some reason. dang, that's too much for 15 seconds.
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that's our show for today. thanks for watching, i'll be back next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. can i just say something? i'm so excited i'm in the new studio. you've got to get up here. it's super cool. >> yeah. i will make my way up there asap, i want to see you more. >> promise, we'll do it, it's a date. thank you, tiff. >> bye, alex. ♪♪ and a very good day from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. the duly named new studio, everyone, is high noon here in the east, i'm out west, welcome to "alex witt reports." we begin with breaking news for you, thousands of women taking to the streets across the u.s. to rally for women's rights and against restrictive abortion