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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  October 24, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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what does that come down to? voting. what's under attack? voting. what needs to be done? vote. it's ironic. it's reality. that wraps up the hour for me, everybody. i'll be back here next saturday and sunday, don't worry. 3:00 p.m. eastern. now to politics nation. good evening and welcome to politics nation. today out of atlanta, georgia. tonight's lead, a fight on two fronts. right now, president biden is working hard to save one of the center piece policy platforms of his presidency. not just from republicans in congress or the maga or maga crowd, but also from waring factions within his own party who are at odds over trillions
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of dollars in spending proposed in his signature infrastructure plan. this morning, the president hosted senate majority leader chuck schumer and west virginia senator, joe manchin, in his home state of delaware. it is senator manchin's demand for cuts to the spending plans that have fueled much of the drama on the democrat side. meanwhile, republicans stand ready to pounce on any sign of weakness from biden and the democrats ahead of our midterm elections. doing everything they can to make the situation even more chaotic. killing one voter protection bill last week and threatening to do it again as soon as this week. this time to the voting rights bill named for the late jon lewis. leaving democrats with few options for moving forward other than blowing up the senate filibuster. and right now, texas is perhaps
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the best example of why those protections are needed. there's the state's gop drawn electoral map which weaken the power of minority districts and the new voter restriction law. one of the most suppressive in country. all of it giving state republican lawmakers the ability to run wild. passing legislation like texas infamous strict abortion ban without any concern or backlash from more socially liberal voters. it will be up to the conservative dominated u.s. supreme court to decide the fate of that law. when they take up the matter at the end of the month. and for all those reasons, we begin tonight talking about texas. with me now is congressman mark beasy. democrat of texas.
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congressman, thank you for join us. you co-chair the voting rights caucus in congress, but you're also a texas democrat and your fort worth district is among the many that would stand to be altered after this new map drawn up by republicans, state lawmakers in both houses, grow the number of gop seats by a shrinking minority representation that result predicted to last for years even as black and brown populations grow in texas. i cannot help but wonder if when you look at the current gridlock over infrastructure negotiations, is any part of your critical of the president for putting so much of his time and political capital behind that priority and not behind voting rights to the same extent? as we see voter protection bills shot down one after another. is this time?
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>> yeah, it's time to get something passed around voting rights. you know, i've been saying for months now, for a long time, that if you go back to mitch mcconnell stopped garland from becoming a supreme court justice and he rushed through amy coney barrett and even changed the senate rules to allow for a simple majority to allow for her to be confirmed just a couple of months after the election after he lectured us about not doing that with garland. that he was setting up for what we're going through right now. which is the 2022 and 2024 elections and of course, the once a decade process known as redistricting. and he absolutely wanted to have these three supreme court justices in republicans back pocket so they could draw these lines however they wanted to. and not only that, so they would be able to pass these voter suppression bills and know that
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they would be able to do these things and make it harder for black and brown people to vote knowing that you would have to at least get one of those. even if you won roberts, then you would at least have to get one of those three that he was instrumental in getting pointed to the supreme court, that you would have to win one of them over. so he has set this up for himself perfectly and the republican party perfectly today and we need to counter that by -- the voting rights act and passing legislation with a simple majority in the senate. we don't need to go through the filibuster for this. >> and that's exactly where we are. because we did say, we did see the president this week open the door for the first time that he may be open to some moves on the filibuster and certainly vice president harris was very strong, saying that we are not going to stop. we're going to fight. your state has been at the mercy
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of the supreme court's right wing tilt. as i mentioned at the top, the six-week ban on abortion enacted by state lawmakers last month will not be blocked in a decision from the supreme court this weekend, but it will be reviewed to determine its whole to certain legal standards. notably, whether the state can be sued federally over the law. when you pair that with the pending abortion rights case from mississippi to be heard by the court in five weeks, how should democrats in texas and elsewhere be preparing and not just at the ballot ahead of next year, but also where public health risks are concerned? >> yeah, absolutely. and let me say this, reverend al. we know what happened to section 5 of the voting rights act. we understand that completely. it's no longer. and that's one of the reasons why republicans have been able to push these maps through on the state legislative level and
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the federal level without any sort of preclearance whatsoever and they're doing the same thing to section two. they are trying to set up a showdown so they can get section two also watered down or make it to where it really means nothing anymore. so they can do whatever it is they want to do in these things as it relates to voting rights and you're going to see states follow suit in texas as it relates to healthcare. you're going to see them push for more and more restrictive laws and healthcare. around issues dealing with mask mandates and covid-19 for us to try to protect our kids before they go to school. i think what's happening right now is scary. i think that democracy is under attack in our country, probably like we've never seen before, and that it's going to take action while we still have the majority in the house and the senate, to be able to get something done. i think that we need to take
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this very seriously because it's not going to stop here. it is only going to get worse. you can believe that republicans are going to continue to up the ante an all of these sort of antics they're doing and that this is really only just the beginning. >> now, president biden continued to press to save his agenda into this sunday morning. meeting with senators schumer and manchin as negotiates drag on within the president's own party. manchin at the center of the on the democrats side, acknowledging that the president has to contend with the historic pandemic and response. his agenda still has to be executed around that and as we watch his poll numbers slip, in some cases with groups that gave him the white house, what has to change for that agenda to work for democrats and for that matter, for the nation as a whole?
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>> i think the first thing is that look, as a democrat, if there's any criticism to be taken, i know that, i've read some articles saying that even people in our core constituency don't understand what's in this deal and we need to speak nor clearly about what's in the deal. this is a once in a lifetime bill, just like the highway bill that was passed in the 1950s, that's not going to only build more roads and help can current infrastructure, but make sure that as we move further into the 21st century, that we are producing vehicles that are clean and will help our young people with issues we've seen in the dallas area with things like asthma. because we're building for cleaner air and water and in addition to that, we are going to keep up with other countries when it comes to two
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infrastructure. things like high speed rail, for instance. and electric buses. you know, making sure that we are building towards the 21st century and that we're modernizing and that we're staying ahead of everybody else. i think that's pretty simple and we need to continue to go out there and let the american people know and key supporters know that this is really again a once in a lifetime opportunity that we're going to be able to have with why we still have both of these majorities and because you can't take it for granted that even though i think that we are going to have the majority in 2022, we can't take it for granted that we are. we need to act now and we need to get this done because our country depends on it and our future depends on it and it's very important. >> absolutely. i agree. thank you very much, congressman beasy. let's go to our political panel.
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maria and michael. michael, cnn is reporting former doj official jeffrey clark is expected to testify before the january 6 select committee next friday. he would be the first member of the trump administration to talk to the panel. now this comes after the house passed a referral to the doj to hold steve bannon in criminal contempt. what are you expecting to hear from clark and do you anticipate others close to trump will eventually cooperate? i don't hear your sound. let me go do maria. let me get your audio straight. let me say to you, maria, let me ask you this. tomorrow morning, a civil trial begins in federal courthouse in
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charlottesville where a jury will decide whether the organizing of the neo nazi rally there four years ago amounted to a conspiracy to engage in rationally motivated violence. it is a lawsuit filed by nine charlottesville residents who alleged physical harm and emotional distress doing the unite the right event. which in many ways foreshadowed what we would see a few years later with the january 6th insurrection. what are your thoughts on the significance of this case? >> well, it would be interesting to see if we could get these individuals to trial and that there are consequences. we also know that one of the primary ways that these individuals organize this hate rally was the same way they organized the insurrection on january 6th, reverend, and that was through social media platforms. are there going to be reprecussionings of say how these individuals were able to unite and harm individuals? if you recall, there was the
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tragic death of one woman that was trying to protest this hate speech. are there going to be any consequences, not just to the individuals, but the social platforms that actually allowed it to happen without flagging it to authorities. it's really hard to believe in this day and age that hate speech happens. that it goes from online to offline and there seems to be no bread crumbs in between even though there claims to be millions of dollars monitoring these actions. the other is i think a lot of these families need closure and there need to be reprecussions. >> now, michael, i think we have your audio straight, so let's go back to the question about the former doj official who's expected to testify before the january 6th select committee next friday. what are you expecting to hear from him and do you anticipate others close to trump will eventually cooperate? >> i think we'll hear tales of
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irresponsibility and callousness from inside of the white house as they watched with so little information, so little action. the events of that horrible day. i think that many others close to former president trump will eventually testify. i also hope that the department of justice acts swiftly against mr. bannon so we can get his testimony and hopefully hear about some of the darker forces that were at work that day. >> all right. maria, let me go to this issue with you. in just nine days, voters in virginia will head to the polls to choose their next governor. democratic candidate, terry mcauliffe came on this show yesterday to speak with me and we spoke about how republicans and his opponent in the republican party in virginia in the governor's race, glenn youngkin, is using scare tactics and misinformation about critical race theory in schools to scare parents into voting. take a listen to this.
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>> it is literally a racist dog whistle and you've got parents, he's got them fired up about issues that don't exist. why are we doing this over here and dividing parents and teachers when we ought to be unifying everybody? >> we've seen a whirlwind of campaigning this weekend in virginia. what do you see doing, what do you see it doing down there? what are you seeing here, maria? >> well, what terry is trying to explain that first of all, critical race theory isn't even an issue in virginia. it's not even taught or touched. so families and parents are getting manipulated into an extremism that only serves the extreme right. and this is the conversation that we should be having. someone was saying well, you know, joe biden's numbers, his poll numbers are down. maybe so. but the alternative is a trump reality that was so caustic to our nation and to tribal. this idea that terry mcauliffe
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is even neck to neck with someone who has espoused to january 6th insurrection should be a concern. folks are saying where the progressives? where are the independents and the republican moderates, the ones that don't want to continue down a lie of devisiveness and instead wants us to get back to debating policy. that's why we should have this conversation on not just where we are in virginia, but the microcosm of where we are everywhere else. you want to unite everyone? vote for terry mcauliffe otherwise you're giving a green light saying it's politics as usual and that you want to live in an uncertain world where your child is actually feeling uncomfortable going to school regardless of their race. that's not where we want to go. we want to go forward in america. this is going to be a referendum of do you want to continue that uncertainty you had under trump
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or do you want to heal the country and get it back together to discuss the policies and issues that your family really cares about. >> let's go from virginia to new jersey ands the race for governor there. republican jack ciattarelli. he's closing in on phil murphy's lead. new jersey has not re-elected an incumbent democratic governor in 40 years. do you think these type governor races have national implications? >> yes, i think you're seeing independent voters turning against the democratic party in these races. one, because they seem to be listening to teacher's unions rather than parents and students. two, because they seem focused on things peripheral to their core concerns. the american people want the pandemic under control, the economy working again, these supply chain shortages worked out. whether or not we add a dental benefit to medicare is an
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interesting question that we can deal with once we are past the initial crisis. this is very reminiscent of the mistakes president obama made his first two years in office focusing on the affordable care act. the result was a republican sweep in the 2010 midterms. >> maria, on this show, i've been discussing president biden's new approval ratings that shows a decline in black support. also a significant slip in latino approval. down 16%. you do great work in helping to empower latino voters with your organization. tell me why is this decline in support for president biden. briefly, please. >> i think more than anything is that the white house has a communications problem. the fact that we have overnight almost pulled half a million children, excuse me, 50% of all children living in poverty out of poverty is because of a biden agenda. the idea that there is, that the
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american people don't understand that but yet are seeing 300, $400 in their bank accounts is directly related to that. so my counsel oftentimes to the biden administration is how do you get into these local communities? talk to the local media? how do you make people understand that the reason their schools are open and the kids are back in school is because of that biden agenda? and michael and i disagree often. the economy is going, is basically revving back up because of the biden agenda. the reason we have kids in schools is because of the biden agenda. the supply chain, he cannot help. those are far bigger issues than just one country because it's a global issue. but you want to fix the supply chain, americans? start buying american again. let's build those factories here. that will help ease the pain, but we have to give credit where it's due. he walked into a leaderless, a leaderless -- did not tell
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anybody, americans, what they were going to do, but he has more than enough of making sure people have shots in arms, that businesses are going back and that we have children in schools. >> i got to leave it there. we're out of time. thank both of you, maria and michael. thank you both for being with us. coming up, my next guest was a legend on the court and on the streets. and now he's giving covid-19 the full-court press. find out why this pandemic needs a man-to-man defensive approach when we come back. but first, my colleague, richard lui with today's other top news stories. richard? >> very good sunday to you. some of the stories we're watching this hour. crew members from the movie rust spoke with nbc news. the director of photography was shot and killed. the assistant director who handed baldwin the gun had a history of unsafe working conditions. police in new mexico where the
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set was located are investigating that incident. a large storm system sweeping across the midwest. it will threaten nearly 50 million americans this week. states from oklahoma to new jersey face the threat of hail, high winds and tornados. and two children are dead after a vehicle lost control. the organized track competition was southwest of san antonio, texas. the vehicle swerved into spectators and their cars. eight others were injured, including a newborn baby girl. more right after this short break. girl. more right after this short break. whether it's ensuring food arrives as fresh as when it departs... being first on the scene when every second counts... or teaching biology without a lab. we are the leader in 5g and a partner who delivers exceptional customer support and 5g included in every plan. so, you get it all, without trade-offs.
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vaccine. to learn more about the vaccine, go to cdc.gov. let's do this together. >> way back in january, the man, the myth, the legend, nba all-time top scorer, kareem abdul-jabbar, recorded that psa for the league and for public health. getting his covid-19 vaccine on camera and encouraging others to follow his lead. during a pandemic that has disproportionately sickened and killed black americans, but current nba superstars aren't as eager to take this life saving stand. though the league has a high vaccination rate, some high profile refusers have been making headlines and so this week, kareem abdul-jabbar wrote a new essay that quote, we don't
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respect the choice of letting your house burn to the ground without fighting the fire because it may burn the neighbor's houses, too, end of quote. joining me now, the one and only kareem abdul-jabbar himself. nba hall of famer, best-selling author, and civil rights activist. i might add. and i can keep going on, but thank you so much for joining us on the show tonight, kareem. you know, in addition to that piece -- in addition to your piece on the influence of nba on vaccine uptake, you also wrote a piece for a magazine comparing those who refuse the vaccine to those who receive seat belts in cars, saying, let me quote you again, they made the choice, but we survivors are left to deal with the grief. it's an elegant and sobering
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analogy. what responsibility do you think public figures like kyrie irving, yourself, or even me, i also got vaccinated on camera. what responsibility do we have to the public? >> i think our responsibility is to point out the safeness and most capable way of beating down this covid-19. and we all have to work for and with each other. we don't get vaccinated, we don't have the opportunity warding off the disease. it could kill us and it could spread in our community. so you know, those are two very valid reasons for us to not to be casual about this. this is serious. our lives are at stake. and we have to approach it with that type of focus or we're going to end up repeating the
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things that have already happened up until now. most of the people who are being hospitalized and dying right now are people who have not been vaccinated. it is very clear that vaccination is both safe and effective and we have to continue to put that message out there repeatedly until people get with it. >> and you know, i might add from people who know, for decades, you stood up when it wasn't popular on certain things. i remember when i was much younger, you stood with mohammed ali and all the way through the situations. this is not new. you've come by national action network and sat on the dr. ben seat. people in harlem will know what that means. the expectations we put on athletes to be role models for everyone can be daunting. charles barkley, the role model in a 1993 nike ad and i think
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that's fair. we cannot expect athletes to be all things to all people in all facets of life, but this pandemic is a five alarm fire and it's been worse in the black community. what are your thoughts on shouldering some responsibility for vaccine advocacy during this pandemic and this public health emergency? >> i think all the people who understand this misinformation is one of the primary factors in the intransigence of this virus. if we get with the program and understand what vaccines do we will be able to eliminate this virus or keep it at a point where it's not as life threatening as it's been.
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george washington made the troops get inoculated for smallpox during revolutionary war. it's been part of public administration since that time. when we went to grade school and high school, we had to get inoculated for measles, mumps, rubella, polio. this isn't people coming in the middle of the night. i went to school and a lot of the kids were scared to get the poke, but we got it and didn't get polio and were very happy about that. you've got to understand that that model applies to everyone. we have to act with sense and act together because that's the only way we'll get on top of it. >> i want to ask you this. i've known you as a great
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athlete among the best and as an activist and i want to bring up, you wrote an essay called black cops kid about growing up in harlem with a police officer father and how that impacted your approach to activism and sports. what would you say the biggest difference between the activism you see now and that of your youth? >> well i think the activism we see now the much more widespread. the black lives matter movement got protest going back, have led the -- there have never been protests as well organized and well attended as the protests over the death of george floyd. so you know, activism now i think has more of a place in the, you know, just the average
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every day person realizes that activism sometimes is the only way they can get something done that they need, you know, that comes through the political process. >> all right. it's such an honor again to have you on the show again, kareem abdul-jabbar. thank you very much for being with us. coming up, our nation has never truly grappled with the full consequences of slavery and the civil war. a new documentary airing tonight on msnbc and peacock takes a closer look. the director and the producer of that film will join me after the break. don't miss it. the break. don't miss it. ms vs. mozzarellak when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast heartburn relief in every bite. crunchy outside, chewy inside. ♪ tums, tums, tums, tums ♪ tums chewy bites
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the new documentary premiering tonight on msnbc examines the lingering impact of the civil war and why for much of the country, the war between the states is not truly over
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nearly 160 years later. here's a sample. >> we have not adequately understood who we are as a nation. >> i don't think that slavery and the civil war and jim crow should be forgotten. >> you hear the words slavery and slaves. i guess the simple term is whitewash. >> you're telling stories that aren't true about my ancestors. >> we all should learn the real history because we think we know it, but we don't. >> up next, i'll sit down with the film makers behind the film, civil war, and ask them why america remains divided over itself history and how it teaches that history. be right back. rbeight back. heartburn... claire could only imagine enjoying chocolate cake. now, she can have her cake and eat it too. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day,
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the debate over what our history should mean versus what actually happened is playing out right now in the fight over critical race theory. and while that debate rages, a new documentary premiering tonight on msnbc examines why the american civil war is still a fault line in how we view our country's founding and who it was founded for. joining me now, the director and co-producer of civil war, rachel
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boynton, and the film's producer. rachel, erica, thank you both for being here tonight. i want to play another clip from the film quickly so our audience can benefit from some context coming out of it. please roll the clip. >> and in order to make peace, we told ourselves a certain story about it. and for a long time, we had trouble telling the difference between that story and the truth. >> rachel, what is the story of the civil war and why does it endure and then of course, what is the truth? and why is it still debated? >> well, what is being referred to in that particular clip is the story of the lost cause. very quickly, after the war ended, the people who lost the war started taking over the narrative and the confederates lost the war. no question about that.
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they lost very badly. and there was enormous loss. there was enormous death and there was a need to try and make sense of it. and so the lost cause myth emerged to make the confederates feel better and it said that slavery wasn't really all that bad. that in fact, they had fought very bravely and nobly and it painted them in the best light possible and it celebrated the mutual valor on both sides. rather than focusing on what the war had actually achieved, which was the emancipation of 4 million people. i think it's an extraordinary thing that this country has failed to recognize as a national holiday, emancipation of 4 million people up until this past year. so we have a lot of reckoning left to do. >> now, erica, i wonder when you look at the debate over even the suggestion that critical race theory be incorporated into american education and the idea
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that white children may be harmed by actual history while black children must continue to look at confederate monuments and a distorted history working on a film like this. what are your thoughts? >> well, it's based in privilege. unfortunately, white people are afraid that if their children know the truth about this country, that it will make them too unhappy, too sad, too uncomfortable. and our history is uncomfortable. we have to deal with it. we have to talk about it. we have to address it. hiding it is not going to change who we are or where we've been as a nation and we won't be able to go forward. we try and sweep everything under the rug. >> now, coming out of this experience, were there any preconceptions you had that were charged by the subjects in the film? rachel, i'll start with you.
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>> i think the major thing that changed for me didn't come from the subjects from the film. it came from reading history that i had never been taught. recognizing the huge holes in my supposedly good education. it was a revelation for me to recognize how insufficient my historical education had been and to what extent our national story has not included the quote unquote african-american story as our national story. as our history. that really slapped me in the face. >> erica? >> i would say the thing that has surprised me the most is this idea that the history of enslaved people, the history of black americans in this country is still not recorded as american history. it doesn't belong in a box. this is american history. it's something that we all own and that we all hold
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accountability for and it was surprising to me how it still seems to be treated as this other thing that isn't really american history. it's a different thing. >> now i've asked this question before film makers and journalists who tackle this topic, the civil war, the confederacy, because as one of the subjects in the film summarized, you had a separatist government. constitutionally white supremacist that took up arms against the nation. i wonder in the favor of obscuring the true cause of the war, did you get the sense that they did not do so from a place of bigotry? i mean that they didn't understand what actual happened and after making this film, do you think that's even possible? erica, i'll start with you. >> it's funny that you bring
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that up, reverend al because i do believe there are a lot of people who are ignorant. i mean it in the truest since of the word. they just don't know. that's why we have to have the conversations and dialogue. i think there are a lot of people who just don't know our history, this country's history and are often surprised to learn that what they've been told isn't necessarily what happened. >> rachel? >> well, i'm hesitant to brush away individual bigotry and to not call it by its name, but that said, i think if we point the finger too much at individuals, we might lose sight of the collective problem and to me, the fundamental problem is a collective one. this is our problem. as a nation. and if there is individual bigotry in this country, it is because it is supported by history books. it is supported by institutions.
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we need to have a collective examination of how our society works, of who gets to tell our collective story of who's included in it. and i personally as a film maker, part of the reason the film is structured the way it is, why it has all these different stories in it and doesn't follow one narrative is that i'm very hesitant to kind of hang the hat of shame on one individual person here. i think this is something that we all, everybody watching the film, is part of this story. and we all play a part in figuring out how we are going to collectively find the solution. i believe that solution is through empathy. it is through love. and it is through listening and mutual understanding across the board. and an insistence on truth and fact, but also an acceptance of our common humanity. >> and even though they're individually ignorant of the facts of history are victims of a collective removal of given
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the facts, which is why i think this film is so important. it is a collective mission of what the real story is and that's what people need to know. we can't heal if we don't understand the injury and deal with the malady that it causes. rachel boyne ton and erica, thank you both. "civil war" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc and peacock. up next my final thoughts. stay with us. up next my final thoughts. stay with us ahead for us on "american voices" michelle goldberg is here to talk about the criminalization of reproductive health care. plus a republican who claimed voter fraud and then turned out to be the source of that fraud. we have all of that ahead for you, "american voices" right here on msnbc. voices" right here on msnbc. (man 2) definitely higher. (man 1) we're like yodeling high.
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on november 1st, national action network, the group i
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founded with others 30 years ago, 1991, we started in the middle of fighting the racial killing of youcef hawkins in a section of brooklyn, new york. today i stood in savanna, georgia, with the parents of ahmaud arbery. 30 years we've tried to deal with racial violence and police brutality and voter suppression. and vice president kamala harris will be speaking that night, as one i've walked with almost those whole 30 years when she was d.a. of san francisco, attorney general of the state of california to the senate and now as vice president. we all have different roles in the struggle for human rights and civil rights. we all have different ways we do it. but whether you're inside, as she is now the first black woman to be the vice president of the
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united states, just as our 20th anniversary we had the first black president, barack obama, speak. it's not what role we play, it's how we play the role and whether we get the job done. that's why i'm glad she said this week we're going to keep fighting for voting rights until we get it done. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. alicia menendez picks up our news coverage after the break. r news coverage after the break. ♪girl, i don't know, i don't know,♪ ♪i don't know why i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪oh no, babe girl, if i could only make you see♪ ♪and make you understand♪ get a dozen double crunch shrimp for $1 with any steak entrée. only at applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. regina approaches the all-electric cadillac lyriq.
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♪♪ hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. no rest for president biden this sunday. he spent the day huddling with west virginia senator joe manchin and chuck schumer at the president's home in delaware, trying to hammer out a deal on his spending package. this is a critical week for biden's two keyal bills, and i know you have heard that before. manchin wants a smaller price tag, so democrats now negotiating on a number under $3 trillion. they're looking at reducing family leave, plan b and climate change, likely eliminating dental coverage, vision and hearing among other things. despite the many compromises,

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