tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 16, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
susan del percio, thank you as well. that wraps up the hour for me, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. i'll be back tomorrow 3:00 p.m. eastern. reverend al sharpton with "politicsnation" starts right now. good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, the honeymoon may be over. african-americans propelled joe biden to the white house, and yet nine months into his presidency enthusiasm is waning. a new poll finds biden approval among african-americans fell from 85% in july to just 67% in september. for those of us in the community, it's not hard to understand why. we all appreciate an end to the racist rhetoric of the trump
years and biden's handling of the pandemic has quite literally saved lives. but african-americans also remember specific promises made during the tumultuous year when black lives were threatened and black votes were under attack by the trump-controlled gop. less than a year later, police reform and voting rights appear dead in the water, and the most progressive parts of the infrastructure bill are being cut. but it's not too late for a turnaround. next week the senate takes up a voting rights bill backed by senator joe biden that isn't perfect, but could lead to breaking the log jam on the issue. and a report that the biden administration is weighing executive action on policing after the collapse of the bill
named for george floyd who would have turned 48 years old this week. but progress must come quickly. former president trump is already kris crossing the country, holding rallies in anticipation of a 2024 campaign. allies say voter restriction could believe the centerpiece of a second trump term. republicans are ready to pounce on any dip in passion, and so democratic politicians must galvanize their most fervent supporters by doing what they said they would do. anyone who has been married knows that honey moons don't last. but failure to patch up this particular relationship could lead to a divorce from democracy for america. joining me now, congressman hakeem jeffries, democrat of new york, and chair of the democratic caucus.
congressman, i'm going to get to police reform in a moment, but let's start with that pew poll from july to september. biden's approval fell by 18 points among black voters, 16 points among hispanics, and 12 points among women. those three groups that biden won by very being margins in 2020, but the same poll found a big national support for two pillars of biden's agenda -- the infrastructure bill and the package of economic and social programs. so if voters are looking for a return on what they promised, what exactly is it that they are upset about? >> goalkeeping, rev. great to be with you. with respect to the african-american community which strongly supported president biden, i believe will continue to strongly support president biden, one of the realities of the pandemic is that we have
been hit particularly hard, both as it relates to the public health side of the crisis and the economic implications of the crisis. so there's a lot of pain and a lot of suffering that endures. now, president biden has led decisively in this area, working toward crushing the virus, passing the american rescue plan, which provided substantial relief and assistance to everyday americans, including the african-american community traditionally left behind by major governmental interventions such as the new deal and the gi bill, and i think president biden will continue to lean in and engage as it relates dealing with the public health crisis and the economic crisis, particularly as it relates those communities like ours that have been hit the hardest. and that will begin to rejuvenate some of the enthusiasm that perhaps these polls are reflecting has suffered a little bit.
>> i don't disagree that he will continue to enjoy the majority of the black vote and other votes i could. the question is turn out. he had an unusual turn out, the largest turn out we've seen and he got a vote that was the biggest vote in the history of presidential elections and the history of the country. but if people feel like what they turned out for, stood in line for, many cases for hours, that there was no delivery or no real attempt at delivery, how do we deal with that? i know you mentioned police reform today. are we going to see some action by the congress or some executive orders by the president? it's a question of enthusiasm. >> great question, rev. and i think two things we'll have to do collectively moving forward, moving the house and senate, as well as president biden and the administration.
one, we've got elevate some of the things that have already been done. for instance, the child tax credit, which has been enhanced and improved and we're working on getting extended has lifted african-american children who are currently in poverty out of poverty. that is a significant accomplishment. we're going to keep it going and we need to talk about that a little bit more. this administration through american rescue plan has poured an incredible, unprecedented amount of resources into historically black colleges and universities, so much so that many of these colleges are now wiping away student debt because of the resources provided by the biden administration. >> so let me get you to expand on that because there's been reports that there were millions cut from hbcus. that is not the case. there has been a lot of money
put into hbcus? >> an unprecedented amount and we got to build upon that in terms of if build back better act, which we're working on collectively right now led by bobby scott. but there are things we have to lean into, to your point, rev, and get done. for instance, we're going to have to pass voting rights legislation and hopefully the senate's going to take an important step next week in that regard to deal with the epidemic of voter suppression, particularly as it relates those communities, african-american communities in the south and other places that are systematically being targeted. because we have a senate republicans like tim scott who have walked away from the negotiations around police reform, the administration is going to have to continue to move aggressively in this area. they have been opening investigations and going after
some of the individuals who have engaged in violence such as the death of ahmaud arbery. we expect they'll continue to do more. the attorneys general coming before the house judiciary committee on thursday will be certainly asked about these issues. >> lastly, i need your opinion about what a new gop gerrymandering map in texas is doing. whites in texas make up 40% of the population but now control 59% of the districts. hispanics have 39% but control just 20% of the districts. and blacks make up 12% of all texans, but control a tiny portion of districts. 2.7%. the texas house passed this bill at 3:00 a.m. thursday night, so democracy quite literally is dying in the dark. is there anything that congress
can do about this? >> well, part of the freedom to vote act would prohibit this type of aggressive gerrymandering designed to bring about a republican partisan advantage where the demographics of a state, in that case, texas, don't measure up. we also, i think, are going to see litigation filed against this particular map because, as your numbers so clearly illustrate, this is a racial gerrymander that is a classic one and should not pass muster in terms of the constitution. i expect that the courts will hear this and hopefully the supreme court ultimately will do the right thing because the constitution still prohibits racial gerrymandering. >> all right. we're certainly going to be watching and really, really closely on this. thank you for being with us, congressman hakeem jeffries. joining me now is our msnbc
political analysis and republican strategist, rick tyler, and democratic strategist deshonda jefferson. deshonda, i want to start with you. you heard congressman jeffries take on subpoenas in the january 6th investigation. are you confident that the select committee proceedings can have a meaningful impact? >> well, first of all, congressman benny thompson has already said that he's ready to move forward with contempt, with criminal contempt charges. he's ready to move forward with a vote on tuesday. after that it will go to the full house. he ain't playing. what we saw on january 6th was very clear. that wasn't an insurrection. that was a direct assault on our democracy. i wish that both parties would care about our country enough to do the right thing, but it looks like democrats along with two republicans have to take the
lead on this and we got to get to the bottom of the what exactly happened on that day. >> rick, a new york judge has ordered former president trump to sit down for a video deposition on monday for a 2015 alleged assault that happened outside of trump tower during a demonstration. the assault was between an employee of trump's security team and a protester. trump has a long history of trying to dodge and delay depositions in the many, many legal proceedings he's been involved in over decades. what do you think will happen this time? >> well, his lawyers are trying to keep him from giving a deposition because they know that he's most vulnerable there. you can't lie -- you can lie to the camera, you can lie to the press, you can lie to the people, but you cannot lie to a deposition attorney. that will get you in really serious trouble. trump is always seemingly add
odds -- he is. he's at odds with the truth and he can get himself into real legal trouble. the question will be whether there's enough political will to hold a former president to account. by the way, bill clinton did purger himself and he lost his law license. so that's the kind of seriousness deposition holds for this president. >> now, deshonda, let's get back to our topic of the day, biden's dip in the polls. in september only 44% of u.s. adults polled approved of his job, a steep downhill compared with his 55% approval in july. how worried should the white house be? >> i'm going to tell you. i live in virginia and i'm very worried because people are looking at his polling numbers. i don't want them to hold what
biden has done in washington, d.c. -- i don't want them to hold it against virginia democrats when we go to the polls next month. he should be very worried, and quite frankly, as a communicator, i don't think he's doing enough to really speak to the american public. he needs to not just sell what he's doing, but talk to us. what is his vision? not so much continuing the campaign. he's president, okay? use that bully pulpit, be in the rose garden, do an evening address, really talk to us, to the american public about what he plans to do to continue to improve our lives. he has not gotten around to his campaign promises. and let's be honest, it's only october. the man doesn't have a magic wand. congress isn't doing everything he wants. so there is a part about managing expectations. >> and messaging. >> but he hasn't done -- >> if the problem is manchin or
sinema, he needs to come out and say that. i mean, a lot of this -- he's bearing the brunt of others. i want to catch up our viewers about the latest with the texas abortion ban. after a panel of judges on the fifth circuit court of appeals on thursday granted texas the ability to allow the ban to remain in effect as the court battle continues, on friday the justice department announced that they will ask the supreme court to pause the ban as it continues to travel through legal system. as the news on this changes every day, what should voters be paying attention to? >> well, gosh. voters -- obviously i'm a loud, proud democrat. we love coming out voting for president, but sometimes we don't realize really what is at
stake. when we didn't elect hillary clinton, this is what we got. we got three new conservative justices who've been waiting to take aim at roe v. wade. and to be quite honest with you, i wouldn't be surprised if the supreme court continues to dig their head in the sand. you know, the problem is -- we've got to be ever vigilant about protecting the gains we've had. we got to make sure we continue to turn out. we may not be happy or have seen the progress we want from biden, but we've got to continue to support him. next year in the midterm elections we got to turn out even harder and we've got to hold democrats accountable. democrats who aren't acting like democrats need to be held accountable. >> and they should be he would accountable, and i think the president needs to come out more and lead the charge himself and make people understand the
position some of these democrats put him in. i want to talk about school boards and staff by looking into threats faced by teachers and personnel due to mask and vaccine mandates and the manufactured fear surrounding so-called critical race theory being taught in schools. much of this dangerous activity aimed at america's education system has been fueled by far-right forces encouraging people to use these platforms as a stage for their political agenda. why are they target schools? what is their end game here? >> it's what you just said, rev. they are manufacturing a crisis and they're doing it specifically and timed it for the midterm elections. it's having an effect here in virginia. i don't know. you may know. i don't know. about teaching critical race
theory, it's been the subject of a lot of controversy. i just -- i don't know -- louden county is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country. it's also one of the most quickly diversifying because it used to be all white and now it has a huge influx of many minorities, hispanic, and many others. school districts have to deal with them. to insert into all this that the teachers are somehow teaching people to dislike america or dislike white people, people ought to find out what the curriculum is. but the way they're acting in these school board meetings is frankly embarrassing. >> in many cases, when you ask them what critical race theory is, they can't even tell you. >> it's a single thing, a post-grad school course offered in the late '70s. >> and they have no knowledge,
but it's being used in virginia. thank you both. coming up next, last summer's peaceful racial justice marches were occasionally marred by violence. the culprits have been exposed, and that's exactly who black lives matter leaders warned about. but my colleague richard lui with today's top news stories. richard? >> good saturday to you. stories we're watching this hour, former president bill clinton remains in a southern california hospital for a an infection. the 75-year-old former president is responding well to antibodies and could be released today or tomorrow. a source close to two entertainment unions says a deal is in sight to avert a hollywood strike. if there's no deal, productions halt monday. the source told nbc news both sides have made progress, but
more than one agreement must be addressed, and nothing is settled. the hunt is on in texas for the man who opened fire on police this morning outside a bar in houston. one deputy was killed and two were injured. authorities say deputies may have interrupted a robbery and were ambushed from behind while trying to make an arrest. one person of interest was detained. more "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton right after this short break. ♪ ♪ ♪ bar in houston. this short break. bar in houston this short break hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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. for this week's "gotcha", i want to go back in time to summer 2020. when hundreds of thousands of americans gathered in cities across the country joined by allies all over the world to peacefully march in protest of the murder of george floyd and so many others. proclaiming with one voice that black lives matter. george floyd would have been 48 years old this week, and just as his daughter said, he has changed the world.
but if you recall, those inspirational gatherings were sometimes marred by violence. leaders in the movement had continually called for peaceful protests. you heard me advocating on this show many times as i did on platforms and eulogies and organizers were mocked for suggesting those isolated incidents of violence were instigated by white supremacists looking to sow discord. now that the national press has largely moved on, those leaders have been vindicated. just this week a texas man admitted in court that he traveled to minneapolis last spring with the intention of sparking violence. and then once he arrived, he made good on his plan, shooting 13 times into a minneapolis
police precinct. that man is a member of a white supremacist group whose name resembles a wish to start a race war in this country. minneapolis police point to a vandal they called umbrella man , who carried an umbrella or a skull mask while smashing store windows during black lives matter protests last summer. according to police, the man has ties to white supremacist organizations and purposely tried to incite racial tension. this didn't stay in minnesota. police in virginia says white supremacists started riots at the otherwise peaceful marches in their city. the mayor of richmond thanked black lives matter protesters for trying to stop white supremacists from inciting violence. even with infill traitors trying to discredit us, we did not top
marching. thousands gathered at the end of august 2020 to demand an end to police violence a stop to systemic racism and the permanent removal of knees on our necks. not one act of violence was committed that day. these white supremacists and others like them are cowards. they hid under cover of dancer and tried to sully the reputation of a justified racial justice movement, because they know their own beliefs are shameful, unpopular, and evil. while it might have been worked on a few people, the truth is out now. those who would malign our movement with violence and lies, we see right through you. and we will not let your antics become anything more than a tiny speed bump on the road to racial justice. i gotcha.
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drop in enthusiasm among african-americans for president biden, which could have real consequences for democrats in the midterm elections. that is especially true in states like georgia where joe biden won by less than 1%, in large part because of black voters. black voters also showed up in record numbers to elect two senators that gave democrats 50 seats in the senate. and those black voters went to the ballot inspired by joe biden's promises on issues such as police reform and voting rights. joining me now is w. mondale robinson, founder of the black male voter project. mondale, let me start with this. nationwide 6% more of black men
voted for donald trump in 2020 than in 2016, up 13% to 19%. your group helped flipped georgia for the democrats by mobilizing 1.2 million black men. what are you hearing now from black men in georgia but also across the country? because on sunday i'm president of national action network, so i'm aware of your work around the country. what are you hearing about how they feel about president biden now and why? >> thank you for having me on the show, rev. let me start by correcting something. that number that you quoted 6% of increase in black now and then participation for republicans. not only do i doubt it, i know for a fact that it's wrong. that was an exit poll that was quoted in "the new york times." it is not based on reality. and the reason i know that is for what happened in georgia.
if you consider that 140,000 black men that did not vote for barack obama that were eligible to vote for barack obama in 2012 came out and voted in a democratic primary, the democratic primary in 2020, even after the presidential race had already been determined, we know that the increase in black men not only overwhelmingly went to democrats, but there was no increase if you look at the numbers, not just in georgia, in all 17 of the states we worked in. i want to push back on that, first of all. secondly, as it per contains to black men and our attitude towards joe biden or any politician at this moment, i'm not going to hold you, rev. black men are not excited about joe biden. they were not excited about joe biden during the election cycle. this is why people missed the enthusiasm that existed in black men in 2020. they were polling, are you happy to vote for biden, and brothers continually said no. but what they weren't asking were, are you excited about the possibility that we could get criminal justice reform? are you excited about the possibility that we could have
qualified immunity eliminated? are you excited about us funding trades in a way that could benefit black men with felony convictions? that's what black men are still excited about. but the problem is their lack of movement on promises made to black men and then the party telling us -- we must still support this administration even though we've got nothing -- how you apologize -- >> we're having a little technical problem. >> -- on how we're doing. >> we're going to try to straighten out -- because your voice faded. but i heard others clearly make the point that you've made that the data was on exit polls were questionable and not supported by facts, so i think you're
right there. and i absolutely have said even to president biden that we were voting for things. and again, i don't think that the point of black men in particular since black men have been the ones facing the biggest impact on some of the criminal justice abuses. to your point, let me raise this. when president biden rallied in georgia to encourage voters to vote for jon ossoff and reverend raphael warnock, he said, and i quote, you can break the gridlock that has gripped washington and this nation. we'll be able to make the progress we need to make on jobs, on health care, on justice, on the environment, on so many important things. so if biden didn't deliver and he's got time to show that he can, but if he doesn't, how would that impact the turnout of
black men in the november election and the midterms? >> i think this is the greatest form of inaction on these promises, rev, would be the greatest form of voter suppression we're not talking about at all in this country, because black men are not going to be excited to go back to the to veto for candidates of the party that controls all three houses in our legislative and executive branch. and them not delivering anything they said they would. and you can't say to black men in 2022 that all we hear about is joe manchin with a "d" besides his name and kyrsten sinema who has a "d" besides her name. black men are going to look as if they got three heads when they talk about what we need to support them. it's not going to ring true. >> i want to share with you and our audience two early estimates that suggest the 2020 census may be undercounted. black people three times as much
as they were undercounted in the last census in 2010. the census may have undercounted black children up to ten times as much as a decade ago. what would that undercount mean for black communities in states like georgia? >> this is detrimental not just to our physical health but also to the resources that are dedicated to our communities. and we know this is not -- this is not anything new. if we look at the numbers that alicia garza and her organization, how they track black men, in georgia we have some of the undercounted black men. 40% of black men are uncounted. so i think we are at risk of being made more invisible by the census and the undercounting of our communities. it's par for the course, but right now it's extremely damaging, especially, as we know, as america continues to brown and darken in these newer
generations, it is extremely dangerous for what it means to be black in these united states. >> w. mondale robinson, appreciate you coming on. glad to have you on the show. coming up, the racial inequality in our criminal justice system isn't limited to adults. shocking new details about the disproportionate jailing of black children in one tennessee county at the midwest of a single white judge. stick with us. i'm alicia menendez. ahead for us on "american voices," trumpism infiltrates the virginia governors race. the former president putting himself front and center in the hottest political race of the year. as school boards face fights over masks and vaccines, you'll hear from one florida school board official who stood up and spoke out about threats facing herself and her family. that all starts 6:00 p.m. eastern, "american voices" right here on msnbc.
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has allegedly jailed hundreds of kids, overwhelmingly black, for minor, indistinct crimes. at the chilling heart of the report, a 2016 school fight that resulted in the arrest of nearly a dozen kids as young as ten years old, not for doing the fighting, but for failing to stop it themselves. joining me now, mara knight, senior reporter at nashville public radio and coauthor of that propublica report. thank you for joining us tonight. i've seen a lot. i've been out here a while, but to read the central story in your piece with propublica, that nearly a dozen children were jailed from that fight i just mentioned, charged with a crime,
that does not exist under your state's laws. the so-called criminal responsibility for a school fight they couldn't stop is infuriating. it's not even a law. of course your report contends that was just one instance in rutherford county, not far from nashville, by the way, where essentially you had a filter system where kids were held in detention in some cases on vague charges. and this juvenile court judge, donna scott davenport, in the job since 2000, had been recommending jail for cases sent to her, a rate ten times that of the state average. for misdemeanor, that would not merit arrest if the alleged offenders were adults. in some cases, kids were put in isolation, basically solitary. i mean, how does this happen without regulators noticing the
disproportionate punishment? and how far up did the failure go? >> thank you so much for having me. yeah, you set it up really well. there's one thing i want to correct, which is that there was an 8-year-old involved in this. >> wow. >> an 8-year-old with pig tails was handcuffed, put in a police car, taken to the juvenile detention facility. yes, overseeing all of this was judge donna scott davenport, and it goes up incredibly high. we found in our reporting there were failures from the county all the way up to the state that did not catch this illegal filter system. one example is the tennessee department of children's services licenses juvenile jails every year. they came every year, sometimes twice a year, and inspected this jail. was in black and white. in its standard operating procedures, it never once flagged it.
>> go ahead, finish your statement. >> that's one example. the other thing is that the state no longer produces any statistics around juvenile court, so that number you cited being ten times higher, right now we don't get any reports about juvenile court, so we have no idea what is happening in this state at all. >> now, i want to make sure that we give you judge davenport's response to this accusation. as mentioned in your piece, at first she declined your interview request, to which you attached 13 pages of questions. and then previously we know she told lawyers that she, quote, can't tell law enforcement what to do. and also told a local newspaper that she wants the children that come in front of her to leave better than they came in. this is in quotes. so where do things stand now in rutherford county? i know a class action lawsuit against the county was settled in june of this past year. the filter system that sent
these kids to detention was end a few years ago. and i know since the story has been published that this judge is no longer affiliated with the state university she taught at. any developments i'm missing? >> no. you covered it pretty well. i mean, now we just kind of wait and see. she's up for re-election next year. in tennessee it is exceptionally hard to remove a judge. you need a two-thirds vote from the state legislature, both chambers, house and senate, ask that's very unlikely that would happen. so really she's up for re-election in august. it's up to the voters. but i will say also that, yes, she oversees this whole system, the courts, the juvenile jail. she has immense power, and she wields that power in astounding ways. she doesn't direct law enforcement.
we have a memo we obtained that shows she is, in fact, telling law enforcement what to do. she has a memorandum that says children are to be brought immediately to the facility to be processed . that policy has since stopped, but to say she didn't direct law enforcement is just not the case. >> all wow. >> that's incredible overreach for a judge to be telling law enforcement what to do. >> this wasn't the only story i read this week that reminded me of how separate our justice systems are. i read about another study this week from the university of california davis that found black residents of chicago were eight times more likely to receive a ticket for bicycling on the sidewalk. latino residents were three times more likely. going back to your report on the rutherford juvenile court, i know not all of the kids that
were arrested were of color. one young white man in your report took part in a class action lawsuit that was filed against the county and settled. still, do you think this could have persisted if these children had been overwhelmingly white and not just the judge's pronouncement, but the lack of oversight? >> that's a great question and a lot of people have thought that it wouldn't, including two officers that were at that arrest saying would this be happening at a white school? it's hard to say the numbers around exactly who is being jailed and the race of those children because we have to remember juvenile court is sealed. but all the lawyers we spoke to, the members of this class, which, by the way, there are almost 2,000 members of this class, more than 1,500 children were illegally detained in this proceeding. they're overwhelmingly black and brown. so just like any other aspect of
the criminal justice system, there is overly represented populations, and those are black and brown children. >> thank you. great reporting, by the way. thank you for being with us. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. are black and brown. >> great reporting. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. oughts stay with us fine, no one leaves the table until your finished. fine, we'll sleep here. ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win.
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[ sirens blaring ] i want to take his mask off... and see the life leave his eyes. [ eerie music playing ] trick or treat. as i stated earlier in the show. george floyd would have been 48 years old this week. as i have commemorated his birthday and how he was killed, it can lead you to despair and dismay when you think of how we won a criminal trial in convicting the police officer who had his knee on the neck but stalling on stopping this from happening in the future. but then i remember a few years ago when efforts were made to
build the martin luther king monument on the banks of the potomac river in washington. i was honored to break ground and stood there with his family, sons and daughters and ambassador young and john lewis and reverend jesse jackson. ten years ago today we gathered as we announced that this monument was open. ten years ago today that monument to martin luther king was erected. i remember in hours like this, martin luther king said we must build out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope. so as i and others try to push president biden and others, we do it with the hope that we know even in dark days, things can
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hour of politics nation. alicia picks up our coverage now. >> hello, everyone. it was a big story this past week and will be a big story next week. accountability on the attack on our democracy. it has been nine months since the unthinkable became reality. and yet trump still believes thely that the election was stolen from him, which was a lie. and now we go to his former senior adviser, steve bannon. congress gave him until yesterday to comply with a subpoena for records concerning january 6. he failed to comply. so it has been recommended he be held in criminal contempt. if approved by the