tv Politics Nation MSNBC December 5, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
good evening and welcome to "politics nation." tonight's lead, the struggle continues. 2021 opened on a hopeful note for black americans as we flexed our electoral muscle might like never before, ending the rein of donald trump and tipping the scales of power on capitol hill by electing the first african american senator from the state of georgia. but throughout this long year, our greatest victories have been closely followed by trials and tribulations, sandwiched between surprise senate upsets in georgia and the inauguration of the first black female vice president, with a violence insurrection at the capitol aimed at overturning those
victories. alongside the most diverse cabinet in history, we got a new generation of republican lawmakers who wear their bigotry on their sleeves. we saw convictions in the murders of george floyd and ahmaud arbery, but we also witnessed the acquittal of kyle rittenhouse. and as the year draws to a close, while we can cheer historic legislative achievements on covid relief and physical infrastructure, we're also left wondering why the fate of our social infrastructure plan remains uncertain and why proposals to protect our right to vote and reform policing have gone nowhere at all. we still have a lot of work to do. joining me now, democratic congressman from maryland and former president of the naacp,
kweisi emfumi. first of all, thank you for joining us tonight, congressman. let me start with that unfinished business i just mentioned. west virginia senator joe manchin says he might wait until next year to consider supporting the build back better act. what are you hearing on that bill, and what can you tell us about progress being made on voting rights and police reform? >> well, reverend, first of all, thank you for having me on the show. i appreciate it, and i appreciate the opportunity to give my thoughts. i don't know what senator manchin is talking about or why he needs additional time because we are three weeks from the end of the year. my guess is he will be allowed that additional time, but the issues are really clear here for a lot of us. we passed this bill in the house last year, passed it again this year. same thing with voting rights and the john lewis act. for those of us who have worked
as hard as we have, we expect at least that our brethren on the senate side will try to move expeditiously. but if you're asking me if that's going to happen, i don't know. but i can tell you this. the things that are really important seem to have slowed down, if not died at all. it was understandable last year when we did not control the senate, but it is not understandable this year. it's not defensible. we have to pass the john lewis voting rights act. we've got to go back to police reform, and we've got to deal with h.r. 1 to get rid of gerrymandering and all the things that do away with the protection of a person's right to vote. those are the priorities as i see them. again, i can't speak for senator manchin, but if he's listening, just trust me, senator, there are a lot of us hoping that you will have a swift change of heart, that you will find a way to work through whatever differences or apprehensions you may have, and that we can move this piece of legislation and deliver on the promises that we've made to people.
>> now, congressman, the biden administration is updating its covid-19 response strategy to contend with the new variant of the virus. this week, you met with small business owners in your baltimore district to talk about the challenges they've been facing. are they getting enough help, and could more assistance be necessary if the covid threat continues to linger? >> if it continues, the answer is yes, it will be a need for additional assistance. they've benefited from the paycheck protection program, the things that we have done with the emergency disaster loans and economic loans, and the shuttered venues act, where we were actually able to open up places of entertainment and other things. but restaurants continue to hurt, and a lot of businesses that are still caught up in supply chain issues find themselves up against the wall. and so if there is an increase or a real surge with this new
variant, they're going to feel the pinch, and we will have to do something. what that is, i don't know. but you can't lose the small business community. if you do, you've lost america. >> congressman, you know, when you were head of the naacp, you and i worked together in my capacity as the head of national action network. you gave me a president's award i still have on my wall. so you and i have dealt with racism and racial unrest for decades. but if i try to list every entrance of threatening or race-baiting behavior from republican lawmakers right now, we would run out of time. but i did want to bring up this supposedly holiday-themed tweet from kentucky congressman thomas massie. his entire family cheerfully toting guns the same week as a horrific school shooting. and while congressman ilhan omar is receiving death threats because of overheated gop
rhetoric. you inherited the seat from the late elijah cummings, who for decades was a voice of moral clarity in american politics. what might he say about the republican party today if you could guess? >> if i could guess, it would not be printable or allowed on this air right now. but let me say a couple things. yeah, i did inherit elijah's seat. he inherited my seat when i left, so we've been kind of in tune with one another on a lot of issues through the years. you're right. you got that award, but trust me, you earned that award. so it was my pleasure to be able to pass it on to you. i think what he would say and i would say is this is good old-fashioned racism 101. it's out of the closet and in front of everybody. it has a very dangerous aspect to it because it endangers the lives of people, and there are enough crazyies out there in
that society is all they need to do is be shook for a minute. it's almost like the movie the night of the living dead, when donald trump came and talked the way he did, these crazies started getting out of their graves and they're still doing it. and some of them are in the united states congress. it's a very vicious, a very dangerous, position to take. there are some that anguish about this as you and i do, but they are no longer the majority. >> elijah cummings seated you when you went to the naacp. is the opposition party or the party on the other side of the aisle different in tone and tenor now that you're back in congress than it was when you were there in the '90s? >> it's absolutely, absolutely different.
bob dole just passed away recently, and bob dole represented probably that part of the republican party that was dominant. he and jack kemp and a number of others who were rational enough to strongly believe in what they believed in, fight like hell for it, but at the end of the day recognize that everybody else had a right to believe what they believed, and they were quick oftentimes to try to seek consensus and get things done. that is not the case with the vast members of the majority of republicans that are serving now in the house. there does not seem to be a willingness to want to compromise. in fact, it's downright insulting some of the things i see going back and forth. and, you know, once we go down that road, it's only a few things left. i mean we are so close to civil unrest, meaning a civil war in this country, and i think we all ought to take heed to the fact that somebody needs to stop this, repudiate it, and deal with it.
if it's not the leadership of the party, then god help all of us. >> now, while we're on the topic of hateful rhetoric, congressman, take a look at this disturbing video from washington, d.c. just yesterday. masked men, members of the far-right group the patriot front, are seen watching in washington, d.c. at the lincoln memorial with shields and upside-down american flags. and according to the southern poverty law center, it has linkages to groups that participated in the unite the right rally in charlottesville. your thoughts. >> my thoughts are that people should not ignore this and say, oh, that's them. they don't represent anybody at all. they do represent quite a few people, and they feel emboldened enough to do it just as congressman massie did with that christmas photo with his family
and everybody holding an automatic weapon. those things are crazy. we're at a time that a lot of people don't want to believe we're at, but all of the indicators suggest we are there. and when i walked through the capitol on january the 6th trying to get back to my office and saw the crazy faces of the people who were there, it reminded me of when i was 6 years old and saw those same faces, klans men on the back of a pickup truck, calling me nigger. so sometimes we get hung up with the fact that, oh, yeah, things have changed and we've come a long way. but it's not a matter of just coming a long way. it's a matter of having still a long, long way to go. all of the alarms are sounding. this is not something that is fictitious that people are making up. these are things that are actually happening in our streets and putting all of us in jeopardy. >> i want to ask you one last question briefly about race and
politics before you go. this week we learned vice president harris' top spokesperson symone sanders would be leaving her post after three years working for the administration and the campaign before that. the departure led to a flood of stories questioning harris' leadership style. but as "the washington post" reports, her defenders say the criticism against her is often steeped in the same racism and same sexism who have followed a woman who has been a first in every job she's done for over the past two decades, end of quote. do you feel the vice president is being treated fairly, congressman? >> well, i believe that there's an orchestrated attempt to make it seem like she's unfair to other people, and it's orchestrated by people who have different axes to grind. but she's in the office for 10, 12 months. there's going to be turnover no matter where you are. if we ever need an example, all
we need to look back at the trump administration, where every week there was turnover, and every month there were six, seven, eight, nine people being replaced. so we should be very, very hesitant about buying into this rhetoric around this, recognizing that it's not any different from anything else. things take time sometimes to settle down in staffs because you've got to work through who you have until you get what you want. but i think it's sort of overblown right now. for those people who say, well, no, it's not and you don't understand -- no, you don't understand. donald trump went through more people on his staff than we could ever count. and so if we're going to hold her to one standard and didn't hold him to another, then it becomes a moot point. i think that she will find a way to do what she's doing, and people who don't want to be there really do need to leave. that's the bottom line in all of that. >> i think also missing from the articles is the things she has done around voting rights and others. thank you so much for being with us, congressman.
kweisi mfume. lots of political stories in the news. let me bring in my political panel, democratic strategist don calloway and republican strategist rina shah. the biden administration's new travel rules to deal with the new covid-19 variant take effect tomorrow, including a requirement that all international travelers get a test one day before they department for the u.s. "the new york times" is reporting the variant is driving a surge in demand for vaccines and boosters. how would you rate the white house's handling of this latest chapter in the pandemic thus far? >> on its face, i would say, rev, that president joe biden has really done a fantastic job in being consistent on his messaging in vaccines. i think that's something that should encourage all of us. it should leave us feeling safe and in good hands. and the very fact that he wants to react quickly to this new
variant is a good thing. but i do feel one way about how they are continuing to push out dr. anthony fauci, who is an expert and has done a fantastic job for many months leading the american public in the right direction. i do feel that it is perhaps time to not let him take to the airwaves for this administration because there is a lot of division now as we're seeing in independently-minded folks who are vaccinated about how dr. fauci's handling of this variant has been. he has said that we should buckle up and prepare for the worst. i don't believe that the science is exactly saying that, and i don't want to call into question what the medical experts are saying because i certainly am not one. but i don't believe he's the best messenger anymore, and that's the part of the white house strategy that i believe could use a lot of -- for more republicans to get vaccinated and just in general instill the sort of hope that we continue to want to see in the american
electorate about how we will tackle this pandemic. >> don, let me bring this issue to you. the midterms are fast approaching, and we're starting to get a clearer picture of what some of the most high-profile races will be. stacey abrams announced that she's running for governor of georgia again after a first run in 2018 where she lost to current governor brian kemp. now, kemp could end up facing a tough primary challenge in his re-election bid after crossing former president trump for refusing to overturn the results of the 2020 election. georgia was pivotal, pivotal for democrats in 2020 with the rising star running in 2022. will it be front and center once more? >> probably so. but i think the bigger discussion for 2022 will be the national discussion around what happens with the senate and what happens with the white house.
i think georgia is singularly important because of the star that is stacey abrams, and that's extremely important to the national narrative. but a statewide election that is something that is inherently parochial in nature and it won't have national reverberations. i think she has built a democratic voting base in georgia over the last 15 years. i think when you talk about stacey abrams, it's important to recognize the work that she and nse ew fhad and the new georgia project that people have put in to build a voter base to make georgia competitive. i don't think georgia will be a national harbinger for what we can expect countrywide, but i will take issue, rev, with the way you introed this. stacey abrams, we should all remember, did not lose that race. that race was stolen from stacey abrams by a number of perplexing and frankly chicane rouse techniques from brian kemp and the republican party of georgia. >> well, you know, i like to throw you softballs so you can hit it for me because you know i
question the results. let's put it that way. >> right. >> rina, republicans for their part got another tv celebrity to jump into the fray now that dr. oz is running for senate in pennsylvania. former president trump hasn't endorsed oz yet, but he's reportedly intrigued by his candidacy, and they both share a penchant for dubious medical information. your quick thoughts on dr. oz's chance. >> i'm certainly very troubled, number one, because he doesn't seem to reside in the state of pennsylvania. residency does seem to be questionable. but i'll leave that to the experts to sort that out. the real big thing we should be worried about is really his ability to buy into this race. of course there is another billionaire in this race also that has announced. i'm most worried about the fact that star power combined with the monetary gain that comes with it could really allow these celebrities to not only further a narrative that benefits them,
which continues to draw eyes to their questionable, dubious, debunked medical theories for dr. oz, for example. i'm really most worried about just how much money will influence this race. >> don, many supporters of roe v. wade have been on pins and needles since wednesday when the supreme court heard arguments in the case of mississippi's restrictive abortion ban. however political the reporting, many democratic strategists are skeptical that the issue will save democrats in the midterms, suggesting voters are simply exhausted by outrage over social issues and are focused narrowly on issues that affect them daily, like the economy. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, the first problem here is that the abortion issue does affect people daily because abortion providers -- abortion for what abortion providers do is only a very, very slim
percentage of the holistic, reproductive, and sexual wellness services that they provide. so if we talk about defunding planned parenthood or closing or abolishing the abortion clinics in any given area, what we're really talking about is restricting, eliminating the wide variety of sexual wellness services that everyday people use in these contexts. now, to the discussion of the election for 2022, you know, it will be an animating issue for people who are already animated around these issues, meaning that the people on the left and the people on the right who already care about abortion, meaning that this is what they get up and organize and vote for, it will remain that way for them. perhaps they'll have a renewed passion. but i really don't think that for the everyday american, this is going to be the defining factor. we saw that it was not for the youngkin/mcauliffe election in virginia. i think at the end of the day, what we're going to see is a referendum on generic republican versus generic democrat.
is the country going in the right direction, and ultimately it will be a referendum on joe biden and kamala harris' performance, which i think thus far is excellent. but we know historically the midterms go against the siting president. >> rina shah and don calloway, thank you for joining me tonight. up next, a new variant has pushed covid-19 back into the headlines, but the inequities caused by the pandemic never went away. i'll tell you how to rise up against them. and more than 100 years after the tulsa race massacre, a new push to rebuild black wall street. the details on this new market ahead. but first torks my colleague, richard lui with today's other top news stories. rev, good sunday to you. some of the stories we're watching for you this hour. a lion of the senate, and 1996 republican presidential nominee, senator bob dole, passed away this morning at the age of 98.
according to a statement from his family, dole died in his sleep. he was diagnose the with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year. a world war ii veteran, dole represented kansas in the senate from 1969 to 1996. police in michigan widened their probe of the school shooting beyond the suspect and his parents. investigators say the parents may have had an accomplice helping them hide from police. the pair were arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter yesterday after an overnight manhunt. their son, ethan crumbley, is expected to be tried as an adult for the killing of four and injuring seven at oxford high school tuesday. and a blizzard warning remains in effect on hawaii's big island today. the national weather service expects snow accumulation up to eight inches at 13,000 foot summits and winds up to 125 miles an hour. heavy rain, giant swells, and flooding also expected at lower elevations. more "politics nation" with reverend al sharpton right after this break.
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in a few short weeks, we'll be entering our third year dealing with covid-19 as a global pandemic. a lot has changed. in those early days, we would bang pots and pans from our windows to honor essential workers who risked their lives to serve us all. we listened to the doctors and experts who told us the virus was hitting black and brown communities especially hard and responded by taking action. we stood up against all forms of social injustice during black lives matter demonstrations in the summer of 2020. we went to the polls that november and elected a president who took covid and its disparities seriously. these days, thanks to a lot of
miraculous medical breakthroughs, a lot of us are able to think about covid-19 less often. in many ways, that's progress. but the truth is the inequities present at the beginning of the pandemic haven't gone away. black and brown people are still hardest hit, and researchers are starting to understand why. a new study of minority covid cases in new jersey found, quote, an individual's health outcome may be dependent upon underlying conditions rather than increased exposure, end quote. in other words, black and brown people get sicker from covid because they have less access to quality health care before and after they get the virus. even those who don't get sick can be walloped by the economic fallout of the pandemic. bloomberg found that in georgia,
black workers who lost their jobs during covid were more than twice as likely to have their unemployment applications rejected than whites. if we want to beat covid once and for all, we must not only fight the virus but the societal inequities that have allowed it to fester and spread. getting vaccinated is a must. following the guidance of public health officials is essential. but it cannot stop there. we must rise up and demand a health care system that is affordable and accessible to all and a social safety net that is effective and responsive to everyone's needs regardless of their race. if we can accomplish these things together, someday we'll look back at this pandemic not only as a time of sickness but as the moment in which we began
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earlier this year, we covered here on "politics nation" the 100-year anniversary of the tulsa massacre, site of the original black wall street that was unfortunately a target of racial violence in may of 1921. now a project inspired by the original black wall street is launching in atlanta called the new black wall street market. it's a space that allowed entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, especially minority executives. with us now is bill allen, ceo of allen entrepreneur institute and the pastor jamal harrison bryant of new birth baptist
church in atlanta, georgia. mr. allen, your allen entrepreneur institute serves as the creative engine behind the new black wall street market, which welcomed its first patrons during a soft opening just a few weeks ago. tell our viewers briefly what is the purpose of this market and who will benefit from it. >> the purpose of this market is to help us get back to ownership within this country of businesses, especially within our community. and not only do we provide spaces for more than 100 small businesses, but we want to grow and develop them. our mission is to increase the number and the size of minority-owned businesses throughout the united states, and this new black wall street market is simply an extension of that mission. >> now, pastor bryant, you've always been a visionary, and you
were the one that brought this to my attention. you've been involved in many initiatives for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. why is encouraging this kind of activity so important to you? >> it's so critical. as we know, georgia's favorite son, dr. king, said that the next step after civil rights is silver rights, that we have to have an economic agenda in play. what mr. allen and i are hoping to do is reshape the landmark of what atlanta means historically but in present tense. so we're raising up the barometer of the ecosystem of african americans here in atlanta who are hoping better to catch fire across the country. >> now, let me stay with you a minute, pastor bryant. you joined in with me and others with 200 or more pastors just two weeks ago, both rallied and
prayed in brunswick, georgia, outside the trial of three white men charged in the killing of ahmaud arbery when one of the defense attorneys objected to me and others coming in. and we made the call and were gathering in response to that insult to the black church. he said no more black ministers. keep the black pastors out of the courtroom, accusing us at some point of being a lynch mob even though the trial might not have taken place had folks like us had not spoken out and, in speaking out weeks later, a video comes out. how concerned should we still be that the successful prosecution ahmaud arbery a murderers almost didn't happen? >> we should be greatly and grossly concerned, and i am grateful that what it did was it reintroduced the church to a generation who thought that the church really was no longer
potent and influential. to have pastors come from seattle, houston, detroit, d.c. to converge into bruns wick, georgia, still has the black church still has its gravitas, its voice, and it's leadership. and it says we still have to shift some things in the system, and kudos to you, reverend sharpton, for helping us lead that fight and raising the standard for equality. >> mr. allen, let me go back to you. this week, andre dickens, a veteran city councilman was elected the next mayor of atlanta. mayor-elect dickens is a church deacon who had a humble, working class upbringing. he got an engineering degree from georgia tech. he was promising voters that he would help guide the city in a more equitable direction. do you see him as a partner in your new initiative? >> absolutely. i had an opportunity to speak with mayor dickens before he won
the runoff, and his outlook for the city both in economics and opportunities, i think it's great. and atlanta being the mecca of entrepreneurship for americans. i'm sure he will be a great leader for atlanta in that regard. >> all right. i thank you both for being with us tonight. bill allen and pastor jamal harrison bryant. good luck with your project, and thank you for joining me. next on "politics nation," the true extent of housing discrimination is revealed in the largest study on the issue to date. be right back. sharp, stabbing p, or an intense burning sensation. what is this nightmare? it's how some people describe... shingles.
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oh. -what the. oh my goodness! i don't suppose you can sing, can you? ♪ the snow's comin' down ♪ -mommy? ♪ i'm watching it fall ♪ watch the full story at www.xfinity.com/sing2 housing discrimination continues to be a major barrier to wealth and opportunity for people of color in america. that's not a surprise to any of us. but a new report from the national bureau of economic research illustrates just how deep the problem goes. researchers created identities for would of be renters with names that sounded white, black, or hispanic. they then studied more than 25,000 interactions between
those fictitious renters and real landlords in america's 50 largest rental markets. they found inquiries from white-sounding names got a 60% response rate. hispanic-sounding names got a response rate of about 57% while black-sounding names had a response rate of just over 54%. joining me now is peter christiansen, one of the researchers for this report. he is assistant professor of agriculture and consumer economics at the university of illinois. now, your research found that many destination cities, which millions of black americans moved to during the great migration, remain the most discriminatory for black people today. more specifically, the research shows chicago, los angeles, and
louisville, kentucky, the least welcoming for black renters. what does that say about the historic and systemic nature of this issue? >> that's a great question. much has been written about the historical and institutional constraints facing african american renters and home buyers in the housing market across american cities. what we're interested in this study is how those historical patterns continue to shape the interactions and behaviors of landlords in the housing market today. and we find that in cities, a broad pattern for both african american and hispanic renters of a strong correlation between the extent of segregation, which we know was shaped by these
historical processes, and the strength of discriminatory constraints faced today. >> now, you all found certain regions of the country, like the midwest and northeast, were most discriminatory toward black people while the hispanic or latinx renters saw the most discrimination in the northeast. however, the study shows that overall, black americans experienced this kind of discrimination at higher rates than hispanic or latinx people. why is that the case? >> there are certainly multiple factors that are contributing to the strength of discriminatory constraints facing african american versus latinx and hispanic renters. but we do find this very strong pattern between the level of segregation in america's cities, which differs by group. and so we find stronger levels of segregation in the african
american community relative to the white community and stronger levels of discriminatory constraints. that's true -- both of those are stronger in the case of the african american community than the latinx community in most of the cities that we study. so we think that these patterns and this correlation is continuing to shape behaviors in the rental market, and there are multiple reasons for that. >> now, finally, the study concluded that no response to inquiries meant a black or hispanic person was 17% less likely to live in the rental they asked about. what are the real-world consequences of that statistic? >> so there has been this recent, very important surge and growing body of literature in
the research community that's bringing gold-standard experimental methods to the study of housing discrimination. the question is many times, we're only studying one part, one single part of the rental search process, and so the question is how does that ultimately affect the housing outcomes of the groups who are being studied? and so this is one of the first studies that shows that in the rental market, discriminatory constraints that are revealed in this kind of experimental study strongly predict housing outcomes that are -- that are realized in the rental market. so these constraints have binding effects on those who are out there looking -- millions of black americans who are looking for housing today. >> overall, were there any other surprises or anything that stood out in this study? >> well, one of the interesting
aspects of the study that really surprised us is the extent to which we didn't find a very strong correlation between the cities where african americans are discriminated against versus latinx renters in the same houses, the same rental houses. so this suggests to us that different groups in these historical patterns that have shaped where people live, patterns of segregation, they continue to have differential effects on different communities in the u.s. and this is very important for us to understand. >> peter christiansen, thank you for being with us tonight. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. nurse mariyam sabo knows a moment this pure... ...demands a lotion this pure. new gold bond pure moisture lotion. 24-hour hydration. no parabens, dyes, or fragrances. gold bond. champion your skin.
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as we are now in the last month of this year, it is disturbing me beyond words that i could express that we are ending this year with voting rights in greater peril than i've seen in my lifetime, and that we've seen since before the 1960s. and women's right to choose may be changed, may be drastically changed. things that we took for granted. things that we felt would be
there to protect blacks and latinx and others, in voting, and everyone in terms of women's right to choose. really something that could be considerably changed as i sit here tonight. what also disturbance me is the tenor of the discussion, the rancor, the hostility. those that are proud to offend and insult and use racist and islamophobic and anti-semitic and anti-latino language. that's why today when i heard of the passing of bob dole, someone whose politics i adamantly disagreed with but who i respected as someone who may have been on the other side but had respect for those on the other side of his politics.
and when i think about how bob dole supporting the voting rights act in '65 and co-sponsored it in 1982, and today we can't get one republican in the senate, not one, to support either of the bills, the voting rights bills, john lewis bill or the freedom bill. where have we gone that we're so divided and so hostile, more than we were 50 years ago? we need to come back to where at least we have civility. we'll be right back.
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sharpton. hello, everyone, i'm alicia menendez. we begin with a disturbing sight at the lincoln memorial in dc. men hiding their faces with white masks, certainly not over concerns for covid, chanting "reclaim america." they claim to be members of the white supremacist group patriot front. if seeing this reminds you of charlottesville or january 6th, you are not alone. scenes like this, groups using intimidation to push their political ideology are becoming more commonplace in today's america. that's why the work of the january 6th committee is increasingly important. chairman bennie thompson said this week his committee has interviewed 250 people so far. that number could be higher. but some who have been subjected to subpoenas like former doj official jeffrey clark and former trump attorney john eastman say they'll plead the fifth. here is what panel member