tv Politics Nation MSNBC November 28, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
hopefully ready to strike a deal on the build back better act, it's time for the party to use that momentum to counter the national push from republican state lawmakers to restrict the vote in battleground and diverse states as much as possible. ground zero for that effort right now is georgia where joe biden won an unexpected yet decisive victory one year ago made possible by activists of color. now the emerging battleground state is poised to see its electoral districts chopped up and skewed in the gop state's favor joining others ahead of next year's midterm elections. tonight we look at how the democrats are fighting back and
ask whether the federal government can do anything to help because black democrats in congress are fighting their own battle trying to keep their districts intact against republicans while some of their longest serving lions retire. i'll talk to one of those lions later at the end of her nearly 30-year run about what the party's priorities should be next year and in the next decade. first, joining me now, democrat of georgia, and chair of the georgia democratic party. thank you for being with us tonight, congresswoman. and before woe get to what continues to happen politically in georgia, i want to get your reaction to the murder trial of the man who killed ahmaud arbery, the verdict, and what did it mean for your state?
>> first, thank you for having me and having this discussion today, reverend al. i know you are no stranger to georgia, an honorary georgian so i appreciate everything you continue to do to uplift our voices here down in the peach state. last week i remember sitting in the car not exactly knowing when the verdict was going to come down and i had my 12-year-old niece on the back seat as we were going to pick up final things for our family gathering and the verdict came through and we're listening to the radio and i had to explain to her, she lives in alabama. we were all together for the holidays and she didn't understand why i was so tense and in anticipation of the verdict. but i had to explain to her that we don't always see the justice that we deserve and how this was only one case and where we saw accountability in this that we have to make sure we continue to focus on the overall system that allowed this to happen in the first place, that allowed not only -- we wouldn't have seen
this happen had it not been for someone recording this and the video not coming up. then we had a prosecutor who tried to sweep it under the rug for weeks. >> yes. >> we finally got this brought to case to see some accountability and so it meant a lot to me but also was the stark reminder of how much more work we still have to do. there is a coalition here in georgia called just georgia and they are working on work beyond the verdict and that is what i'm focused on. how do we make sure this work we did down in brunswick will be on the verdict because we still have work to do in this country so my little black son carter knows his black life matters in this country. >> yes, and that group is very effective. the georgia naacp was there with us and you know we have an office of national action working in atlanta and you came up to our 30th anniversary. we were honored you came a few weeks ago. that is why i wanted you --
>> i couldn't miss your birthday party reverend al. >> thank you. last week, let me go to the point i really wanted to talk to you about, congresswoman. last week your state back the latest to see its gop dominated legislature redraw its congressional maps to either grow the number of republican districts or reduce democratic representation by cutting into diverse and minority majority districts. has the democratic party -- as the democratic party chair in your state how do you fight back? what federal weapons do you need? are you worried about potentially losing not just the abstraction of a congressional seat but losing members like lucy mcbath in georgia? >> what they have shown us here in georgia is they are going to do -- republicans will do anything possible to win an election so they've tried to basically draw us out of being a
competitive state. we saw when we delivered our electoral votes for joe biden and the two u.s. senate seats georgia is the 50/50 state. and our congressional district lines should reflect that but georgia republicans just last week tried to draw a black woman out of her district by making it a very -- solidly republican seat. and we understand here in the south especially as a black woman in the south that sometimes we have to take this to the courts and so i was pleased to see just today we've been working on what this -- we are fighting for fair maps, not democratic maps not republican maps but we want fair maps in georgia. we want it to reflect the will of the people. we're building multi racial coalitions on the ground and we want those coalitions to be able to come together and choose the candidates of their choice, elected officials of their choice. mark elias today tweeted georgia was the number one state when it comes to litigation over gerrymandering, over our maps, for not just the congressional level but also on the state
level. so we have some work to do. i'm not afraid to take something to the courts when it doesn't work out for us in the legislature because i know we got rights as black people to vote in this country by going to the federal government, by going to the courts. so i'm not letting up. it is time to put the pressure on. we need the white house behind us, the department of justice behind us, because we have to make sure our democracy truly represents all of us. >> now, before we lose you, congresswoman, as we discuss mobilization ahead of next year, i was enthused to see working on this multimillion dollar initiative from the democratic congressional campaign committee to engage black and latinx voters ahead of midterms trying to keep engagement constant like you and others did in georgia to deliver those wins last year. what can you tell us about what you're doing specifically on voting rights and voter education? >> so, reverend al, i was just named as the first ever voting
rights chairman for the dccc so that shows our intention to make sure we are engaging not just around the electoral parts because if someone shows up to vote and their vote doesn't count, we didn't do our job. we are engaging around the educational piece. we've seen state after state after state including right here in my home state of georgia enacting laws to suppress the vote so we are going to make sure we're putting resources ahead of the election to educate vote oerns how to kat their ballots, what the changes in the laws are and how to make sure they're counted even after they're cast because there have been so many changes in our battleground states across the country. i am excited to be leading in this effort for the dccc and as people tell you your budget reflects your values and we've put the money behind the work to truly get out and meet people where they are and make sure every vote is counted in the midterm elections. >> she is leading the dccc's
efforts. she is the state chair of the democratic party, and she sits in the seat held by the late great congressman john lewis. i am sure he is proud to have a fiery woman like you sitting in that seat, congresswoman williams, thank you so much for being with us tonight. joining me now is my political panel former chair of the maryland democratic party, maya cummings and rick tyler co-founder of strategies and msnbc political analyst. rick, let's start with the new variant of coronavirus. scientists are still trying to understand the threat posed by this mutation but warned it could spark a new wave of infections and death if we don't take this seriously. with that in mind, take a listen to what an anchor on one of fox
news' highest rated programs had to say about the variant just this weekend. >> pete buttigieg, our transportation secretary, is potentially our new president in 2024 or so the democrats want, had said, we can't fix the supply chain problem until the pandemic is over, until covid is over. now we see the new variants. that is the answer is more lockdowns, more fear. and therefore he doesn't have to do his job because we'll just keep the whole thing going. >> always a new variant. >> you can count on a variant about every october, every two years. >> rick, how can we ever defeat this virus if right wing poll tags and media personalities continue to treat it like it is a political game? >> well, we're moving to the next presidential nominee faster than the variants are developing. look, rev, variants are serious. we don't know how serious this
one is yet and we will find that out meaning we'll find out whether the current vaccines and boosters are going to be effective against it. we know that it already transmits more quickly. we know it has already spread to many other countries though i don't think it has reached the united states yet. we don't know whether it is a more deadly disease. here is the problem. there is 1.2 billion unvaccinated people in africa alone. that doesn't include the rest of the world. that's 1.2 billion opportunities for another variant or a more deadly variant. until we make a commitment and until the united states takes a leadership role globally, along with the other nations, to defeat this virus, meaning it doesn't matter if the virus -- the virus doesn't care if you are rich or poor. the rich will find their vaccines but they can still be effective by global pandemic because the poor are not getting
vaccinated. that is currently the case in africa. so it requires global leadership and response or we won't defeat this virus and we'll just be a mix of these different laws and some people lock down and some won't and we won't get out of it. we have to get out of it and the only way is to be committed to defeating it. >> maya, we hope it was a restful thanksgiving for our lawmakers because when they return to d.c., they have plenty of work to do. the deadline for keeping the government open is december 3rd. the deadline for raising the debt ceiling is december 15th. and then the senate must take up the build back better act and defense spending bill to get them passed by the end of the year. that is a lot to accomplish for a congress that hasn't had a great track record for forging compromise even between the two parties or even among themselves. maya, are you confident they can get all of this done?
>> they can get it done. the question is will they get it done before the new year, by the deadlines each particular measure requires? and the answer is likely no. and with that we can expect to see some fireworks. this is high stakes politics at its worst if you will. and we, i think we'll expect to see mcconnell actually cooperating to probably try to avoid a shutdown. nobody wants a government shutdown before you go into a midterm election year. and so with that, there are a number of measures that are up including the build back better bill, which is important for democrats with regard to certainly waving the flag to say they got something done for the american people in the midterms. so i expect that, you know, there will be some high stake politics. it won't necessarily all get done by the end of the year but it will get done. >> rick, when kevin mccarthy
returns to washington this week, he'll be welcomed by a republican caucus that seems out of control. this weekend the house minority leader claimed to be in talks with democrats trying to broker a sitdown between representative lauren bobert and ilhan omar in an effort to end the controversy surrounding islamaphobia, comments made by boebert. meantime, georgia congresswoman marjorie taylor greene has been taunting mccarthy, threatening to withhold her support for his speakership if he doesn't take a hard line with republicans who don't embrace far right positions. republicans seem to be in a strong position headed into the midterms. but could party disunity threaten that? >> it absolutely could. marjorie taylor greene has finally figured out she has
something over kevin mccarthy and that is her vote for speaker although i don't know how the rest of the caucus i don't think they'd be very pleased with her because the speaker is voted by the majority of the house. it does seem likely the republicans will get the majority as things stand now. that could change. then kevin mccarthy would be in line to be the next speaker, a position he has wanted for a very long time. he needs desperately to bring unity to his caucus in order for that to happen. yes, so some of these rogue members, members who have lost their committees like marjorie taylor greene because she can't behave herself, she needs to get -- he needs to get those people either in line or he needs to capitulate to them. i'm not sure the latter is ever going to work. >> maya, starting tomorrow the january 6th commission has a long list of witnesses. it expects them to show up for depositions, about the capitol hill riot.
so far, trump's closest allies such as former adviser steve bannon and former chief of staff mark meadows have simply refused to cooperate. are you expecting the select committee to make any progress in these coming weeks? >> actually, i am. the select committee has been methodical in its effort to get at the heart of the matter to understand the role that all people played -- organizations and leaders -- played in this. the fact they are looking at and going after members of congress who may have been involved in the planning, they're trying to understand what people in the white house, particularly the president, knew about the violence that was planned, and certainly that they are looking at even how the nonprofit organizations and the funders of this effort, you know, pulled it off. it is exciting. that means they are methodically going through all of the
evidence. they are calling people to testify. a lot of people are coming and complying with the subpoena. those are not complying with the subpoena, i expect will get the same treatment that bannon got including mark meadows. and so all eyes are on the courts to find out what they're going to do with regard to donald trump. i expect we need to all hold them to the standards set by the 14th amendment which says if you undertake any insurrection against the u.s. government, you know, you can certainly lose your position in congress, in the u.s. senate, and in any office of import to american democracy. >> rick, very briefly, please, want to get your take on disgraced former president donald trump. he was just the latest republican leader to fawn all over kyle rittenhouse, posing with him for a photo at his palm beach club, this after several republican congressmen announced their plans to make rittenhouse a congressional intern.
isn't this an explicit endorsement of political violence from the republican party? >> certainly people could take it that way. look, there are three people dead. there are two people i believe two people dead and one severely injured. >> right. >> and that is something we should take into account. i don't think kyle rittenhouse is very wise to go around trying to make him a celebrity and i don't think the right wing will do itself any favors by making him a hero. what happened was a tragedy. there is no good or final outcome one way or the other and certainly not politically. so, no. >> all right. maya rockeymore cummings and rick tyler thanks for joining me. coming up a powerful tool for change is in each of our pockets. how can we harness it? next. i'll tell you in "rise up." later, congresswoman johnson of
texas joins "politics nation" and we'll discuss her difficult decision to retire after blazing the trail for black women in politics for nearly 30 years. first, my colleague richard lui with today's other top stories. good afternoon. some of the stories we're watching this hour, first off in just the last few minutes, hours, canada added to the list of countries with the omicron variant of covid joining others including australia, denmark, and the netherland. these cases are believed to be linked to travelers from southern africa. the united states will ban travelers from eight countries in the south of africa starting monday. opening arguments begin tomorrow in the federal sex trafficking trial of ghislain maxwell accused of helping long-time companion jeffrey epstein to recruit, groom, and exploit girls as young as 14 for sexual abuse. maxwell pled not guilty to the eight criminal counts. and a 26-year-old man from
guatemala stowed away in a plane's landing gear bay and survived the two-hour flight. the faa says that could have included temperatures as low as 65 below zero, lack of oxygen, not getting crushed by equipment, and not falling when the gear lowered. the 737 landed in miami saturday. more "politics nation" with reverend al sharpton right after this break. automotive donor to make-a-wish and meals on wheels. and the largest corporate donor to the aspca and national park foundation. get a new subaru during the share the love event and subaru will donate two hundred and fifty dollars to charity.
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for this week's "rise up" i want to talk about the power we each hold in the palm of our hands. i'm not speaking metaphorically. i'm talking about our ever present cell phones. there are lots of reasons to be concerned about screen time. but the ability for nearly everyone to document misconduct in real time has been one of the biggest advantages and advances for social justice in this country that we've ever seen. even before we all carried cameras in our pockets, amateur video evidence could galvanize a
nation and change attitudes about law enforcement. three decades ago los angeles police officers savagely beat a black man named rodney king. it was the kind of brutality that many people of color in l.a. and other places had come to expect from some law enforcement. but this instance happened to be caught on video by a bystander. that man gave the footage to the local news and it went preinternet viral, airing on television stations across the country and sparking a nationwide conversation about racism and police brutality. while the officers were ultimately acquitted, sparking riots, there is no denying that the video changed the discourse around policing in america forever. just last summer the minneapolis police department originally
described the murder of george floyd as, quote, man dies after medical incident during police interaction. it was the video of derek chauvin kneeling on mr. floyd's neck for almost nine minutes that drew national outrage culminating in his eventual conviction for that murder. the girl behind the cell phone was just 17 at the time. a bystander. appalled by chauvin's brutality. she did the only thing she could. she pulled out a phone, hit record, and bore witness. video also turned the tide following the killing of ahmaud arbery. there was no arrest made until 74 days after mr. aubrey was hunted down and shot by three white men. those arrests came just two days after the video of the incident was uploaded to the internet by
a local radio station. strangely, that footage was shot and released by one of the perpetrators who somehow thought the video would help him. however it gets released, it is undeniable it is an undeniable fact it is crucial when it comes to police misconduct and racial justice. in an ideal world, police would be accountable for their actions. many communities require police to wear body cameras. more should do so. there should be real consequences for officers who don't keep them turned on. until then, each and every one of us has the means to collect video evidence in our pockets right now if we choose to do so. as long as your own safety is not an issue, it is your first amendment right to record in public spaces or private ones if the property owner has given
permission. you do not have the right to interfere in most cases, so keep your distance. and most states restrict secret recordings, so do not try to hide what you're doing. it is illegal for officers to try to delete your footage. that doesn't mean some won't try. they say that a picture is worth a thousand words and the right video can be worth so much more. the right video can shed light where there was darkness and bring truth where there were only lies. sometimes a video can help us rise up and bring justice and accountability when otherwise all hope would be lost. unlike other cold medicines, coricidin provides powerful cold relief without raising your blood pressure be there for life's best moments with coricidin. now in sugar free liquid.
i find some segments on this show to be sweet because they remind me of some of the people i've met who devote their life to public service. in my next guest's case that life has spanned nearly 30 years representing her dallas area district serving as the dean of democrats, texas del grags at a time when her state has become an emblem for our national divisions. joining me now, retiring congresswoman bernice johnson, democrat of texas, one i have respected more than i could say. congresswoman, thank you for joining us tonight and you've signaled -- >> thank you very much. i'm delighted to join you. >> well, thank you for joining us. you've signaled for some time this would be your last term in congress. i think my question is more personal because i read where you said that some of your biggest, legislative victories
came with the support from your republican colleagues in texas yet between the state's so-called voter integrity law its six-week abortion ban and coreg kregs map is this the same republican party you were able to work with in the past or something new that black democrats are facing now? >> reverend, this is a new day of philosophy i have never experienced. i was in the texas house and senate prior to going to washington. i never experienced this kind of backwardness. it seems to be texas seems to be leading it for the rest of the nation. it is really very, very
unfortunate. some of the people that i work with i had worked with at state level prior to going to congress and maintained a working relationship. one of the people responsible for helping with this extreme gerrymandering was tom delay and yet tom helped me a great deal because i was in congress one term and we lost the majority. i didn't go there just to sit there. i went to do things that would help me at home and help people in general. and so when i became chair of the committee, the last time we got the majority i had been in congress 26 years with only six years being in the majority. i was not going to sit there and
do nothing so i had to work with the majority to get things done. i must tell you tom delay was one of the people that helped me the most. >> congresswoman, having watched the nation's challenges evolve over your tenure, as you prepare to retire, what should democrats' priorities be moving forward in your opinion? >> first of all we have to preserve our right to vote. that is our number one priority. we are having difficulty getting it passed in the u.s. senate. i hope that it'll be passed before i retire. you know what is so interesting to me is that every major issue that we fought for in the past is on our table again and on our plate to try to do something about it. it is unbelievable.
what kind of atmosphere that has been created by the last president is unfortunate. but we have a big ladder to climb to try to stop the rollback and move forward. we cannot afford not to keep trying at it. >> do you think the political extremism generated by texas republicans could be effectively countered and organized around in 2022? could voters angered over the abortion ban and voters' rights make him the first democrat to win that role in 30 years? >> i hope so. it is time for a major change in texas. it is almost like meanness is a sport. in texas now.
i have never known it quite this bad. >> have you decided who you will support to replace you if that is at all possible somebody could replace eddie bernice johnson? >> yes i have. let me say i have lots of friends and acquaintances that are interested and have been in touch with me. i tried very hard to pick what i considered the youngest, smartest, and most experienced person. i think i have. i have selected jasmine crocket. some of the people opposing her have been supporters of mine but i wanted someone young and i wanted someone smart and i wanted someone who looked at the office as a job not just glamour, not just title, but
work. i have watched her work this last session in the texas house and she reached out to me during the year, collaborated back and forth. when i mentioned that to her she was a little surprised i was thinking of her because i felt a responsibility to support someone -- first i wanted a woman and secondly i wanted someone who was smart and focused on getting the people's work done and i had seen that this played in her behavior. i am very proud i'll be supporting a very strong lady. >> all right. we don't take sides at this point but certainly she has been on the show. i've called her the senator. with your endorsement we may have to upgrade that calling. congresswoman eddie bernice johnson thank you for joining me and for your service through the years. after the break, a new
leader for a new era. how one of the nation's oldest civil rights groups will tackle the recent resurgence of white supremacist violence, next. . it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines, which may interact with cabenuva. serious side effects include allergic reactions post-injection reactions, liver problems,...and depression. if you have a rash and other allergic reaction symptoms, stop cabenuva and get medical help right away. tell your doctor if you have liver problems or mental health concerns, and if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy. some of the most common side effects include injection site reactions, fever, and tiredness. if you switch to cabenuva,
day, but one is just built different. the naacp legal defense fund has been fighting for civil rights and racial justice for over eight decades. the organization has had just seven leaders. the new president will be taking the helm this spring and joining me now, the current associate director counsel and incoming president of the naacp legal defense fund. ms. nelson, thank you so much for joining us this evening. i have known you. you've been in the battle field and we've been in a couple fox holes together with the amazing predecessor you've had who i think has been one of the most effective civil rights leaders of the last half century. recently you did an interview with "the washington post" and something you said made me
realize you are someone who as the kids say understands the assignment. you spoke openly about the recent resurgence in open white supremacy while still recognizing the progress we have made. what does the fight against white supremacy look like from the vantage point of the naacp legal defense fund? >> first of all, reverend, thank you so much for having me on your show. it is a delight to be here with you. you're right we've been on the front lines together for so long and i thank you for your service and for my predecessor who will continue at the helm through spring. the resurfacing of white supremacy has been just an extraordinary phenomenon in the past few years. we've all known those of us who do racial justice work that white supremacy never
disappeared. it has been part of this country's dna and never fully abated but what has been revealed the last several years is deeply alarming. it has been emboldened, enabled, and literally invited to the table of this democracy. for anyone who cares about the future of our democracy, our multi racial, multi ethnic democracy that is growing with an emerging majority of people of color every single day, we need to take this fight for justice very seriously and at the legal defense fund we have tools we use as part of our advocacy to empower black communities and preserve our democracy. we are known most for our litigation and were founded 80 years ago by thurgood marshall who would later become the first african american supreme court justice. we have brought pieces across our 80-year history that literally brought our constitution to life, that has allowed to country to begin to
live its ideals from ending state sponsored segregation in our famous case brown vs. board of education to ending red lining and so many other practices that have forced discrimination to divide our country. we'll continue to litigate, use research. >> that is what you do. you litigate, organize, do policy and naacp legal defense fund is separate from the naacp. but i wanted to ask you -- >> that's right. >> -- your brief thoughts about the verdict reached last week in the civil trial against the white nationalist who organized the racist violence in charlottesville, virginia in 2017. the jury awarded the plaintiffs $25 million in damages. the ldf, and naacp legal defense fund, released a statement promising to redouble efforts to
fight white supremacy. what are your thoughts on civil litigation as an avenue for accountability? >> it is a very important avenue. that decision last week to award $25 million in damages is critical because it strikes at the economic infrastructure of the white supremacist movement. it is a crippling impact on those five organizations that were part of the defendant pool as well as the individuals. we can't stop there. one of the deep concerns about the case was that the conspiracy to commit racial violence was not something the jury actually found though they awarded generous damages. it is important to recognize that is in fact what happened in that case. there was a conspiracy to bring white nationalist groups to charlottesville, virginia to incite violence and to cause corrosion and division and sadly did result in the loss of one life and the disablement of many others.
that type of verdict sends a message that white supremacy is not tolerated in any part of our civil society, our multi racial, multi ethnic democracy cannot countenance that type of organized domestic terrorism. and so having that economic impact on those groups is critically important to send that message and also, frankly, to defund them. >> now, before i let you go i have to ask you about voting rights. it seems obvious that there is a link between the rise in open white supremacy and the continued right wing outrage over free and fair elections in which black and brown voters were decisive in the outcome. do you see voter protection and the fight against white supremacy has parallel struggles or are they one and the same? >> absolutely. what we're seeing is a fight on three critical fronts. one is an assault on the right to vote. the other is an assault on the
right to protest. and the third is an assault on truth. an assault on the ability to receive information and expression. we're seeing that in so many laws that are proliferating across the states that limit voting rights, that are targeted against protesters, and that are limiting the limiting the dissemination of truthful history and information. and we are on cases in each of those areas engaged in advocacy, and each of those critical areas and voting underpins it all. there is no way we can change our condition if we cannot peacefully and nonviolently express our conditions at the ballot box and seek policy changes that will inure to the benefit of our entire democracy. and our right to vote is the bedrock of that. >> janai nelson, very happy to have you on, very happy to be working with you. thank you for joining me. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. in this market, you'll find fisher investments is different than other money managers. (other money manager) different how? don't you just ride the wave?
(judith) no - we actively manage client portfolios based on our forward-looking views of the market. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions, right? (judith) no, we don't sell commission products. we're a fiduciary, obligated to act in our client's best interest. (other money manager) so when do you make more money? only when your clients make more money? (judith) yep, we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different.
before i end tonight, i want to join the fashion world as we mourn the passing of virgil abloh, founder of off white. he has died of cancer at 41 years old. as one in my working action network and even on this show, talks a lot about racism in the fashion world. virgil was one that was a trailblazer and broke through and made a difference. may he rest in peace. unrelated to that, moments ago the president met in person with his chief medical adviser, dr. anthony fauci, and members of his white house covid response team. that team updated the president on the latest developments
related to the omicron variant. and clearly, as the holidays are now upon us and we're in the midst of between thanksgiving and christmas, as family and friends gather, be very conscious. get vaccinated. get boosters if you qualify. wear your masks. do what is safe and do what is healthy. protect yourself. don't have a holiday spirit in a reckless manner. we'll be right back. when the chapstick goes on. it's on. get yours on at chapstick.com
that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. my colleague ayman mohyeldin picks up our news coverage right now. >> thank you very much, rev, have a great evening. good evening you to all at home. welcome to "ayman." congress is back in session on monday with a busy session scheduled ahead of them. how will the outcome of this next month shape the midterms? plus concerns over the new omicron variant rises as cases continue to pop up in countries across the globe with new travel restrictions going into effect on monday. what do we actually know about this new variant? and the rise of far right extremism. how do people fall down the qanon rabbit hole, and how we can prevent it from happening. i'm ayman mohyeldin. let's get started.