tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC October 8, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
dangerous journeys. >> lourdes, thank you so much for being here this morning. an amazing look. that wraps up the hour for me and for the week. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news right now. i'll see you tomorrow with "nbc nightly news." and a good friday morning to you. craig melvin here. the september jobs numbers are in and they are not the numbers president biden wanted to be talking about half an hour from now. here they are. 194,000 jobs added in september. that was way below expectations. experts were predicting something around 500,000. so, how is this news landing at the white house? we're going to find out. roughly 30 minutes from now when president biden is set to speak. when it starts, we will take you there live. one of the major drivers of these weak numbers, the
coronavirus pandemic, of course. a little later this hour, i'll go one on one with the nih director, dr. francis collins, who just announced this week that he is leaving this post. i'll ask him about pfizer's push to get his vaccine approved for young children. we'll also break down what that means for the future of our recovery. also this hour, we're going to drill into a unique and at times controversial approach to police reform. we'll explore what has changed in virginia since lawmakers there banned low-level traffic stops altogether. we'll do that in just a few minutes. but we start with these underwhelming jobs numbers and what the white house and congress are going to do about them. we've got a team of reporters to help break it all down. nbc news white house correspondent, monica alba, "washington post" economics correspondent, heather long, nbc news ali vitali, and "washington post" congressional correspondent, mariana sotomayor. let's start with you there, 1600
pennsylvania. again, not the numbers that the president obviously wanted to be talking about a half hour or so from now. how are they landing at the white house? what should we expect to hear from president biden? >> well, i think likely, craig, we will get a glimpse into the president's thinking on this in a moment, perhaps, of some candor like we saw a month ago. something that wasn't in the prepared remarks, where he did say offhand, look, i'm disappointed with these numbers, as well. we wish they had been stronger. that is likely something or a version of which he'll deliver when he does speak later this hour on these more disappointing job numbers. but i think that you can absolutely expect the president to point out what they view as the bright spots here. one of them, of course, is that unemployment continues to fall, trending in a direction that they will certainly tout and believe is happening faster than with past economic challenges. so expect the president to talk about that in great detail. and expect him to do what he normally does in these kind of speeches, which is to remind
everybody, we're still in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, and the delta surge in particular played a very large role in these weaker and more lackluster numbers. so the president will likely continue to talk about why vaccines mandates are so important. why he still wants to see vaccinations go up. why he hopes that people who are eligible to get boosters continue to do that. and he will tie all of those themes together, we expect, before transitioning and pivoting to his domestic agenda, and what he believes in terms of job creation could be critical with both of his infrastructure bills, which we know still have a bit of a climb and ways to go on capitol hill. so the president will likely be making that policy argument, while still saying, yes, this is not exactly the recovery that we had hoped to see, but we knew it was going to take a while, from the very beginning, he has said that this is very much not a sprint, more of a marathon, with a lot left to go. and i think you can expect the president to have that more tempered tone, but he's also
going to talk about october, we understand, as a bit of a turning point, since the delta surge did appear to peak in mid-september, i think he's going to say that he's hopeful in october with more students returning to the classroom, with more people going back to work, even though delta derailed that by a little bit, he's going to argue the economy should be getting back on track, but of course, there are still millions of jobs open that have not been filled since february of 2020, and that remains a huge issue and one again why this white house is going to try to make the point that if their bills, their build back better agenda, as they call it, can get passed, you might see tangible change from that aspect as well, craig. >> heather, let's go behind the numbers here for a few moments. your key takeaways from this report. what do we know about the things that stopped people from going back to work? >> it's very clear that obviously the delta variant of the coronavirus was a huge impact. you could see really weak higher. hotels only added barely 2,000 jobs.
restaurants added just 29,000. those are some of the weakest gains in the hospitality sector in months. so that's clearly a sign that the delta was weighing on hiring. but i think another key factor here, and this is a real issue for the biden white house, we continue to see struggles for women, more than 300,000 women dropped out of the labor force in september, mainly over those child care issues, while many schools did reopen, there were a number of outbreaks, there's issues with bus driver shortages, there's issues with after-school programs getting canceled. a lot of parents, particularly moms, were trying to still make that child care and work juggle and many simply said, i can't do it. and they stopped searching. i think the key takeaway here is that black women in particular and americans without college degrees continue to struggle the most to find jobs right now. this is a very uneven recovery.
americans with college degrees have fully recovered all job losses. those without college degrees continue to really suffer and in some cases stop looking for work at all, because they're so discouraged. >> you recently wrote about that, how uneven this economic recovery has been for the educate versus the uneducated. why do we think that is. what do we know about the disparity there? >> one of the biggest issues we've seen, there are black women that report a lot more child care issues than even white women or hispanic women, so just differences in different kmuns of how the school reopening has been or the availability of after-school programs really varies across the country. i think another key issue that really stands out to me is you hear, of course, businesses sayinge i can't find the workers
they need, but when you talk to unemployed people, they say, i apply every day. i've been sending out hundreds of resumes and i don't get any jobs or barely get any callbacks. and what seems to be happening, so many big companies are using robots and computer algorithms to scan hundreds of thousands of resumes for jobs. the problem is, many of these robots are too robotic, they are knocking people out, particularly anyone who has longer than a six-months of unemployment. well, a lot of people in this pandemic were out of work for more than six months. they are eager now to get back in and they are not getting a chance. they're not able to even have their resume seen by a lot of these algorithms. >> that's an interesting point. ali vitali, this jobs report is coming just hours after the senate voted to kick the can down the road with regards to the debt ceiling to december
basically setting up the same situation two months from now. does the jobs report change that debate at all or are we in store for the exact same showdown? >> i have a feeling we're in for the exact same showdown. there's one metric in addition to the things that heather mentioned, which have been very much in the conversation, the idea that this is an uneven recovery, that especially issues in the child care sector are bleeding into women's ability to get back to the actual workforce, but there's also percolating here that millions of americans lost their unemployment insurance benefits during this time, and to see such low job gains back that have does sort of speak to the argument that some were making here, that it wasn't getting those benefits that was keeping people from going back to work, but instead that there were other barriers to getting the workforce participation rate and getting the unemployment rate back to where they were pre-pandemic. in terms of how this impacts the debt ceiling debate, though, what it underscores is that
we're still in an economic recovery. that remains true. and when you consider the fact that the daelg, if we were to go over that cliff, would completely throw the economy into chaos, it's better for lawmakers to figure out a way forward on this that does not have that crisis happen. one of the things that was averted in the short-term is democrats threatening to potentially change the filibuster rules so they could have a minor 51-vote majority just on the debt ceiling, but senator joe manchin, what he said on this will be important going forward, because listen to how he put it. >> the filibuster is the only threat that we have to keep us alive and well in america. even when you see the kind of -- it's still realization that we have to work together. and if we didn't have the filibuster to where it could keep us coming back from time to
time, you would see total chaos. >> and craig, the filibuster is what actually brought senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to the negotiating table. he spoke with senator manchin, senator sinema, two key senators who have said on the democratic side that they don't want to see the filibuster reformed in this way. so that's pretty important, as we move forward in the debt ceiling conversation. if we are going to do this again, the filibuster will pop up again, and it will be interesting to see how that manifests, but these jobs numbers will bleed into the larger battle over the social infrastructure package. that's also something that we'll see congress contend with over the next few weeks, continuing to see women held back from this economic recovery, it's something that democrats have been talking about here for a long time. many of these lawmakers making the point that that's the whole point of the build back better agenda, is to make sure that this economy, which is currently in an uneven recovery, does have a much more level playing field going forward. but manchin has made clear and
we know that these social programs, the price tag right now, we're in the cutting phase, a lot of advocates i've spoke to say they believe that those are some of the things that could be cut, at a time when these jobs numbers bolster the idea, at least from democrats, that these are exactly the kinds of programs that you should be implementing, especially if you want to see women and women of color who have been disproportionately affected by this recession invited back into the workplace in a sustainable way. >> let's talk about that that massive spending plan is the next challenge on the hill beech heard somewhere between $2 trillion and $2.5 trillion down from $3.5 trillion. where are those negotiations now and does this weak jobs report give them more of an incentive to get that done? >> it really does. congress is facing a lot of deadlines and that almost makes
them work a little bit faster. in terms of this week, a lot of members of congress have been talking to biden direct ly dire democrats and vulnerable republicans who represent zpriskts and their message to him has been, these are the priorities we want to keep. there are differences between progressives and moderates. and they're also telling this to speaker nancy pelosi as everyone still tries to get to the negotiating table with joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. essentially what a lot of the progressives want is they want to keep all of their priorities. that would include the child tax credit, that would also include paid family leave, as well as other things that could help women and families in this situation, which is universal pre-k. being able to leave your kids and get them started on that same level playing field that a lot of people really want to make sure the next generation
gets. that is sthang a lot of moderates want, but they understand that in order to bring down that price tag, you're going to have to likely make cuts. now, what one group of moderate and also some brogive democrats have proposed is really sticking to things like i climate change. also, making sure that the child tax credit is made permanent as well as addressing health care access and they say it's best to fund that for ten years. and you might have to cut another things that are essential, like housing and that universal pre-k provision, but they say if you are able to really fund these programs for ten years, you can avoid potentially republicans scaling it back. that is what more or less progressives have said. they want to see all of their proposals be in this reconciliation bill, but you might have to scale back a year or two, and there is no
guarantee that the house is going to be under democratic control in a couple of years. and it's safe to bet that republicans may not to reauthorize a number of these provisions. so of course, under the umbrella of the economy right now and that slow jobs growth, they really -- democrats especially, you're hearing from pelosi saying, we need this bill, but questions still remain as to what that final package will look like. >> thank you, ali vitali, monica alba, heather, thank you. heather, really quickly, did you say 300,000 women had left the labor force in september? was that right? did i understand that correctly? >> that's right. 309,000 women dropped out. so we believe those are mainly moms, but we won't have that final data until a little bit later this month. but again, it just underscores what everyone has been saying here, that we saw the exact same thing last september. school reopening has not been smooth.
>> staggering. thank you. thank you, ladies. enjoy your weekend. just over 15 minutes from now, roughly, again, we expect to hear from president biden on the new jobs report. when he starts, we'll bring it to you live. also ahead on a friday, a new way to reform policing. virginia has band those low-level traffic stops that disproportionately affect people of color. how that could become a blueprint for other states. first up, the race to vaccinate children. parents waiting to see if pfizer's vaccine is going to be approved for 5 to 11-year-olds. dr. francis collins, the director of the national institutes of health, will join me to talk about that, next. n me to talk about that, next. get ready. it's time for the savings event of the year. the homeandautobundle xtravafestasaveathon! at this homeandautobundle xtravafestasaveathon, there's no telling what we might bundle! homeandautobundle xtravafestasaveathon! bundle cars, trucks, colonials, bungalows, and that weird hut your uncle lives in. so strike up the homeandautobundle xtravafestasaveathon band for the deal that started forever ago
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right now, millions of parents are wondering, when can i get my children vaccinated? 5 to 11-year-olds may be able to get the covid vaccine by thanksgiving. that comes as nearly 850,000 children became infected with covid just in september. the american academy of pediatrics says that means more than one in four nationwide case s were in children. nbc's gabe gutierrez is outside pfizer's headquarters in new york city. gabe, what are you hearing from parents as they wait for the fda to approve the vaccine for children between 5 and 11. >> hey, there, craig, good
morning. according to a new survey, 32% of parents of 5 to 11-year-olds say that they're going to take a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether to vaccinate their kids. and yesterday, pfizer announced that they were seeking that emergency use authorization for its vaccine of kids in that age group. take a look at some reaction from parents across this country. >> we're just waiting. we'll be the first in line when we can be. >> introducing something that's still brand-new is always questionable. it's just something i'm going to have to do some research on. >> after what i've seen in a year and a half, i'm very pleased about it. i think it's important, especially now, for kids to get vaccinated. >> so, yeah, craig, in terms of that timeline, the fda advisory panel will be meeting on october 26th to decide whether to authorize that vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds. if it is authorized or recommended to be by that fda advisory panel soon after that,
a cdc advisory panel will make the final decision and as you mentioned, it's possible that parents could expect that those shots could be shipped before thanksgiving. craig? >> all right. gabe gutierrez outside pfizer headquarters there in new york city. gabe, thank you. we turn now to someone who knows a whole lot about all of it. the director of the national institutes of health, dr. francis collins. dr. collins, honored to be one of your last interviews. let's start with pfizer applying to get that emergency use authorization from the fda for children between 5 and 11. give us a realistic timeline for getting that approved and how optimistic are you that we'll seat shots in those little arms before thanksgiving? >> well, the data i've seen looks pretty encouraging. they tested this in over 2,000 kids in that age range from 5 to 11. they looked see what kind of
antibodies would be generated by this one-third strength dose. they didn't want to give the full strength, because these are littler people. and it looked very good. antibody dose in an 8-year-old with a one-third dose is what you would see in a 25-year-old with a full dose. and the side effects are pretty much what you'd expect, a sore arm. let's see what the fda advisory committee has to say about this on october 26th. and for parents who are interested in knowing what the dad is, it will be all public. you'll have a chance if you want to log into that to see exactly what the data looks like and what the experts say about it. and as your reporter said a minute ago, after the fda makes a decision, then it goes to cdc and they will have another chance, in another public meeting. this is all very transparent out there. parents who say, well, i need to do my own research, here's a chance for the expert's research to be right there in front of you.
we'll see. >> that's a really good point. if if fda says thumbs up, you can be pretty sure this is really safe and effective and i would hope in that instance that parents would really see this as a good thing, because we're going into the colder weather and delta still out there. if you want to keep your kids in school and don't want them to get sick and some of them get really sick and some can even die. so this is an opportunity to protect your kids. >> better for parents to actually check the data themselves after that meeting than spending time in those weird facebook chat rooms with, you know, a bunch of anti-vaxers spewing crazy stuff. dr. collins, what about parents with kids under 5. will they be able to get their kids vaccinated anytime soon? >> not as soon. that data is being generated between kids age 2 and 4. and that will come to fda pretty soon. and not long after that, data on
kids from 6 months to 2 years. but that will have to go through the process of evaluation. so we're talking about early next year, before the youngest kids could possibly be authorized or eligible to get these doses. >> right now, the cdc says under 66% of americans 12 and older are fully vaccinated. a new survey found about a third of parents, as gabe just reported there, a third of parents from 5 to 11-year-olds have said they want to wait and see before they get their kids the vaccine. if it's been so hard to get so many adults to get the shot, what do you say to parents who are nervous about getting it for their child? >> i understand the nervousness. you want to do the right thing for your kid and there's been so much information out there and much of it just absolutely wrong that's caused people to be fearful of this vaccine, more than they might be of all other vaccines that have ever been put out there. but that's not based on any real
evidence or data. this vaccine is remarkably safe and effective. yes, there have been rare instances of side effects, those have been well described, maybe something that happens to one in ten thousand people. you want to know about that, but don't expect that to be likely. do your own research, but look in the right places. there's so much stuff out there that makes you think about the cartoon that says, i did my own research. be careful where you do it. go to a place like getvaccineanswers.org and you can see what the evidence actually shows you. and maybe don't count on facebook to be the right source of information. there's crazy stuff out there. >> doctor, i mean, cases are down, as you know nationwide. hospitalizations are down, deaths are down. how optimistic are you that we are approaching that light at the end of this dark tunnel? >> i would like to be really
optimistic, but we've kind of been to this move. this is our fourth surge and while we have gone over the top this terrible peak, we're a long way from going back down to a safe space. we are still seeing more than a thousand people dying every day so this is no time to relax your guard. if we could convince those 70 million americans who are not yet vaccinated to roll up their sleeves and get into that same space and likewise with kids, so the virus had fewer and fewer places to attack, we could send this virus packing, but it's having a party right now, because we haven't done what we could in order to put an end to this. so between all of us rolling up our sleeves and hopefully better management of things like mask wearing, we could get through this. i know people are sick of hearing this.
i know people are sick of covid-19. i kind of am, too, but the virus is not sick of us. it's having a great old time and this is no time to let down your guard. >> you mentioned the 70 million americans who haven't gotten the vaccine yet, dr. collins, despite months of an all-out pr blitz. despite their neighbors and loved ones getting it. at what point do we recognize that there are going to be millions of people in this country that really, they don't care about public health as much as some of the other ones skpm they're just not going to get the shot? >> i'm not ready to give up, but i think some of those people are still potentially interested, but have been misled by false information. and i'm sympathetic with them, although i'm not sympathetic with the people spreading around the false information. shame on them. but i do think if we can continue to get that evidence out there, to remind the people who are dying now are virtually
unvaccinated and you don't want to be one of those. and also to encourage people to think about the fact, this is not just about you. if you're the unvaccinated person getting sick, you're spreading it to others who may be quite vulnerable. you could be responsible for other people getting very sick or even dying. you don't want to do that. you want to love your neighbor. and here's a chance, it's not too late. look at the evidence in the credible places and i think you'll be convinced, it's time to roll up your sleeve. >> dr. collins, before i let you go, let's talk about this alleged retirement. you announced earlier this week that you're stepping down from your post at the nih by end of the year after 12 years ago. why are you leaving now? you're still quite young? >> well, thank you for saying so. i have been nih director for over 12 years. it's a scientific organization that i think benefits from new vision, new leadership. i have already, more than twice gone past the shelf life of a
normal nih director who usually stays for five or six years. and i've loved it and loved the institution, and it's bittersweet about making this decision. but i think it's time for someone else to step in. and nih is in a very good place right now. amazing leaders in every one of our 27 institutes and centers. nih will be fine. a new person with new vision, that might be a really good thing. >> no question, nih has been doing god's work for a long time. what are you going to do after you retire, dr. collins? how are you going to spend your day? >> i'm going back to my research lab, which i have been running, but rather on a part-time basis for the last 28 years. now, the people in the lab are like, oh, my gosh, he's coming back? how's that going to be? better clean out the office. we have all of our stuff in there. i'm really looking forward to that. >> dr. francis collins, not retiring, just leaving nih.
dr. collins, thank you for your time on this friday. and thank you for your service to your country, as well, sir. thank you very much. >> thanks, craig. just a few minutes from now, folks, we are going to hear from president biden. he'll be talking about that september jobs report, so we have all eyes trained on the white house. first, though, another major challenge for this administration. the border. thousands of migrants in makeshift camps waiting to get into america and they're not just dealing with cartels. there is, of course, covid, too. >> ambulances have been called multiple times to this plaza because people can't breathe. use
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back now with a live look at the white house. president biden expected to talk about today's underwhelming jobs report in a few minutes, the economy adding 194,000 jobs in september. experts predicted that figure would have been closer to about 500,000. the president was scheduled to speak around 11:30, but as you know, this is the white house that runs behind schedule a fair amount. we've been told that it will be closer to 11:50. but when president biden starts
those remarks, we will take you there live. he'll talk about the economic report, he'll talk about the jobs number, but there's another crisis that this administration is dealing with. the border. we are learning about dire conditions for thousands of migrants trying to cross our southern border. nbc's morgan radford visited a makeshift encampment just south of the southern border where migrants are on the verge of a looming humanitarian crisis and morgan joins me now. explain what's happening at this particular camp and what you saw. >> i have to be honest, craig. when i pitched this story, i pitched this story thinking that this was only and exclusively about covid, but the truth is, these camps are really unlike anything i've ever seen in my time as a reporter. not only are migrants there crowded on the ground, in between necessities, just sitting one on top of another, but now they're also fearing for that are lives. they're afraid not only of the cartel, which is keeping watch,
but now they're afraid of catching covid in those camps. for manuel and his young son, this is home. fleeing from el salvador, he's been here for more than 45 days. he's one of thousands of people living in this camp reynosa, mexico, hoping to get across the texas border, just steps away. you're not here because you want to be here. it's because you were threatened. >> manuel asked us not to use his full name of show his face because of fear of violence from the cartels, which aid workers say have fought over this city for years as a trafficking route. people are afraid to leave because they're afraid they will get kidnapped? >> oh, you will be kidnapped. one person is worth between $3,000 and $5,000.
if you leave this area, you will get kidnapped. >> reporter: there are nearly 2,000 people inside this encampment. you can see theme lining up for basic necessities like food and water, but now they say the real threat is covid. with so many people here in this encampment, are you afraid of covid? you're always afraid of it. you can't really maintain distance. but you're always living with that fear. >> a fear that many here say could soon get worse, since basic sanitation, like washing your hanz or showering is hard to come by. >> to shower, you have to pay ten pesos just to shower? aid workers like phylicia say they have seen a surge in covid cases in recent weeks, with up to 150 people per day testing positive. >> at one point, in each family,
there was at least one person who had covid. the kids had covid-19, the moms have covid, everyone had it. >> it's a problem that traces back to a policy called title 42, a section of u.s. health law first enforced by the trump administration and still in place under president biden. it essentially shuts down the mexican border to many asylum seekers, leaving them to wait and face a shortage of covid tests while they do. >> what's the worst-case scenario if you run out of covid tests and simply cannot bring enough here? >> the worst-case scenario has already been happening. ambulances have been called multiple times to this plaza because people can't breathe. >> reporter: to be clear, most of the people in this encampment do not have asylum or legal cases pending. most are here, just waiting for the border to open? >> yes. so this is hope you're looking at. >> reporter: this is what hope looks like right now. >> this is what hope looks like right now. >> reporter: hope to one day find a home better than this. >> and if you don't have any
place to go? this is the last chance? >> si. >> so, craig, you know, the saddest part is that there is no end in sight. every single person we spoke to there are simply waiting. they're just hoping that the border to the united states will one day open. but despite warnings from the biden administration to not try to cross the border, they could just continue living like this in those camps indefinitely, craig. >> it is a different kind of desperation. morgan radford, thank you. solid reporting there, my friend. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for that. this morning, two journalists were awarded the nobel peace prize. the announcement coming this morning, maria ressa and dmitrimoretov won the award for their work in russia. the norwegian nobel committee
said it recognized their work to protect freedom of expression, because it is necessary for, quote, democracy and lasting peace. president biden running a few minutes late for those remarks on the september jobs report. we'll take you to the white house once the president starts. first, though, policing in america. reform talks have stalled in congress, but that's not stopping local communities from making changes on their own. a big focus of that push, traffic stops. how virginia's new measures are making an impact and could become a blueprint nationwide. b. tonight, i'll be eating a buffalo chicken panini with extra hot sauce. tonight, i'll be eating salmon sushi with a japanese jiggly cheesecake. (doorbell rings) jolly good. fire. (horse neighing) elton: nas? yeah? spare a pound? what? you know, bones, shillings, lolly? lolly? bangers and mash? i'm... i'm sorry? i don't have any money.
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in march, virginia banned low-level traffic stops that disproportionately affects people of color. and now other states might do it, too. i'm joined now by nbc news national investigative reporter, simone washelbaum. so walk us through what virginia did and what kind of impact it's having. >> a couple of months ago youb had a group of public defenders and said, it's time to roll back the use of traffic stops. not all traffic stops. sto police in virginia can still pull you over for something like speeding. but broken taillights, broken headlights, a really loud muffler or even the odor of marijuana, cops in virginia can no longer pull you over for that. as far as impact, look at our data. my colleague emily siegel found so far in the first four months of this law change, the amount of blacks stopped and searched have dramatically dropped of about 40%.
>> wow, that's substantial. do we know whether other states are looking to do the same thing? >> i spoke to lawmakers at washington state who are following virginia very closely, have already pitched a bill to do the same thing, and banning the use of the low-level traffic stop. we found district attorneys very interestingly in places like san francisco, minnesota, are saying, you know what, you want to make arrests using traffic stops, we're not going to prosecute those people even if we find drugs and guns in those cars during that stop. it's very interesting what's going at the local level in terms of policing and politics. >> simone washelbaum, fascinating reporting. thanks for coming on to talk about it. our eyes are still trained on the white house. we'll bring you president biden's speech on those jobs numbers when it happens. first, though, black land loss. every year, some south carolina families are in danger of losing their land to investors at a county tax auction. but it's not just the land on
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growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a foreston. in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort. the united states owning land is one of the main ways that people build wealth. and eventually pass that wealth on to their families. but in south carolina, some descendants of former enclaved
south africans are in danger of losing the land their family has owned for generations. trymaine lee now with more on why. >> ancestors when they were able to purchase land, that is the first thing they did. >> reporter: for 400 years, they passed down their language, art and traditions. and for the last 150 years, they passed down their land. which spans the southeast coast from north carolina to florida. an area known as the gullah corridor. about 200,000 people claim family ties to the formerly enslaved people mostly from west africa. and this descendant has a farm that sits on land her great grandfather once owned. >> i'm holding a deed now that was of my great grandfather, robert green. 1862, purchased 20 acres of land
for $15. >> reporter: and i met her and her husband in 2019 at their restaurant. gullah grub. and gullah communities like theirs are increasingly under threat. every year more low country land is snapped up by buyer, many from out of state during the delinquent tax auctions. when property owners fall behind on their taxes, their land is put up for auction and often sold for less than market value. >> sold $160,000. >> reporter: about 14 million acres of black owned land from south carolina to georgia had been lost since the civil war through tax auctions, fraud, racial violence and family disputes that end up in court. on nearby hilton head island, it has increased by 70% since 1995, most going to developers who built gated mansions and golf
courses. >> they are running us off this island. >> reporter: and joseph walters is also gullah and has lived on inherited land for nearly 30 years and one day he hopes to pass it down to his son and grandson. what has it meant to have that piece of freedom in your family? >> it is hard to even comprehend, man, because you know, it is a dream come true here. >> reporter: but after missing the tax payment deadline two years in a row, he owed more than $3,000 in back tax, penalties and fees. his property was headed for auction. what is at stake here, what are we losing, more than just a house, is it a piece of the culture also? >> you lose history. >> reporter: and it is that history that he and others are fighting to save. >> african-americans are living and still maintaining and have their homes, their families and we want to keep it that way. >> and that was nbc's trymaine lee reporting there.
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over masks. in knox county, tennessee, students have seen a mask policy change multiple times in just the last two months. and kyle perry is in knoxville where he just attended a contentious school board meeting with this very issue. so what happened at the meeting and what are you hearing from folks there about this back and forth on masking? >> reporter: for most parents it is the inconsistency, the inability to stick with a decision. the school board first saying masks and then reversing its decision and now a federal judge is backing four families who say that their kids are having their constitutional rights violated under the ada. take a listen to some of that town hall from wednesday night and i'll follow that with a piece of sound from a mother that i interviewed the morning after. >> having my child's education held hostage for an agenda is not right. if we do not have a mask choice, we leave autonomy over our
bodies. >> i don't think that lot of these parents see the trickle down effect and see how it is affecting. i think what i heard a parent say, covid is not affecting our kids. it broke my heart. >> reporter: and so you have parents upset on both sides. you have some protesting outside of schools in knox county every morning when they drop their kids off and very upset parents who want their kids to be wearing masks. all of this confused by a governor who continues to sign executive orders some of which are being ruled unconstitutional by the courts and school boards that change their minds with 60,000 children caught in the middle. >> cal, thank you. and that does it for me. again, we're keeping an eye on the white house for that speech from president biden. when it happens, andrea mitchell will take you there live because andrea mitchell reports starts
right now. it is good to be with you. this is andrea mitchell reports. andrea is on assignment and i'm geoff bennett here in washington where the biden administration is reacting to a second straight underwhelming monthly jobs report. and we're moments away from president biden's response showing less than 200,000 jobs added in september with millions of jobs still available being a cross the country. it is a concerning reality for a white house trying to sell a covid recovery and a president with sinking approval numbers after what has been a rough summer. and joining us now ahead of the president's remarks, correspondent monica alba. and also with us chair of the financial times editorial board. and also former republican congressman david jolly is joining us. as does robert gibbs, former white house press secretary to pr