tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC November 29, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PST
this morning my question. is watermelon racist? plus the story of one night in ferguson. and the response to brutality at the university of virginia. but first, a 12-year-old boy joins a list that keeps on growing. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. we start today with ferguson, missouri, where 16 more arrests were made in front of the police department last night and early this morning.
protests have continued since we all learned the news monday night for which we have been waiting for more than 100 days. the st. louis county grand jury decided not to indict officer darren wilson for sohooting and killing michael brown. in a rambling half hour speech delivered well past night fall, prosecutor bob mcculloch said there's no doubt he shot michael brown to death. there's no question when he died michael brown was unarmed. but mcculloch intimated there were many more questions. questions that only the grand jury has the privilege offed a jute kating because only they had seen all the evidence and heard all the testimony, and they, he told us, decided there was no crime in this killing. nothing for which to indict officer wilson. yes, michael brown is dead, but that is not, they decided, a criminal act. and what father or mothered was pain.
and what followed was pain, disbelief, grief, fury, protests. how could this boy be dead, but the man who shot him would not have to face a criminal charge, an open trial, a jury, a verdict? for no one was this anguish more acute and personal than for michael brown's parents, and through that pain they continued to pursue one very specific effort with fierce determination. we need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen, they wrote. join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. michael brown might still have been killed by officer wilson, even if wilson had been wearing such a camera. but if he were wearing that camera, then there would also be a recording of wilson's stop of brown, of their interactions, and of wilson's ultimate decision to fire repeatedly at brown until he was dead. and that video would have been seen by the grand jury.
instead, this week the story came first from the prosecutor who told us the grand jury's decision and then from the full testimony of officer wilson, which was released to the public, and then from wilson himself. who had the chance to tell his story to abc news. >> you say he starts to run, starts to come towards you. and -- >> and that time i gave myself another mental check. can i shoot this guy? you know, legally, can i? and the question i answered myself was i have to. if i don't, he will kill me if he gets to me. if he gets to me i will not survive. >> even though he's 35, 40 feet away? once he's coming that direction, if he hasn't stopped yet, when is he going to stop? >> that is wilson's account. we cannot mear from michael brown. many witnesses gave their accounts to the grand jury, but without video of the encounter between wilson and brean, we'll simply never have michael
brown's side of the story. back in july we were able to witness for auourselves a woman being brutally beaten by a patrolman on an interstate near los angeles. the same month we were able to see the new york police chokehold in which the city's medical examiner says took the life of eric garner in staten island. we saw what happened to lavar jones in september, when he was shot by a now former south carolina state trooper who asked lavar to produce his driver's license. that's what lavar is reaching for in this video. we saw how police entered a wall mat in southern ohio and shot 22-year-old john crawford iii to death. crawford was in the store carrying an air rifle that shoots pellets and bbs. ohio is an open carry state. now there's another police shooting in ohio, which we can see. one week ago today 12-year-old
tamir rice was shot by 26-year-old cleveland police officer timothy lowman. he died the following day at the hospital. he was a passenger in the car responding at 3:30 p.m. last saturday, november 22nd, to a 911 call from a man at an outdoor recreation center on cleveland's west side. complaining about a guy with a gunpointing it at people. this is the gun rice allegedly had on him. a bb gun, not a real one. the caller told dispatchers the gun was quote, probably fake, but detail was not relaid to the responding officers. video released wednesday by cleveland police shows rice displaying the pellet gun in the the park. it also shows the moment at which police arrive and rice was shot. as you can see in the jarring realtime video, that was virtually the same moment. we see rice standing beneath the gazebo in the rec center alone. suddenly the police car arrives
on the scene in front of the boy. in about two seconds, it's over. rice is shot by the officer and doubles over. why did this happen? in an initial statement following the shooting, a cleveland police spokesperson said, quote, upon arrival on the scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands. the suspect did not comply with officers' orders and reached to his waistband for r the gun. shots were fired and the suspect was shot in the torso. the cleveland deputy police chief at wednesday's press conference said rice was given three warnings to raise his hands. after that event race's family called for an investigation in the statement that read it is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that tamir should still be here with us. the video shows one thing distinctly, the police officers
reacted quickly. indeed, the video does show that quite distinctly. joining me now here at the table are khalil mohammed, chloe angel, senior columnist at feministing. and ray is an attorney and msnbc news contributor and associate professor at the the university of pennsylvania. and joining me from cleveland is ohio state senator nina turner, a native of the city of cleveland. thest nice to have you this morning, although i'm sorry it's under these circumstances. now we have video of the shooting, but we don't have video of the time period, the nearly four minutes when cleveland if pishls say the officers waited to give tamir rice first aid. we see in the case of eric garner that not being given proper medical assistance can make the difference. i am wondering what you know about those four minutes. what people are talking about in
the video that we didn't see. >> yeah, melissa, this is gut wrenchingly tragic. you know, every fiber of my being, every time i hear about this video, watch this video, hear people talk about it, you are just consumed with emotion. and certainly our hearts go out to the family of young tamir rice, who was a 12-year-old boy. according to reports, there was an fbi agent nearby on another call who came and started cpr on young mr. rice. but the two officers on the scene for whatever reason, and it doesn't make sense, and that's why we must let the investigation go guard, they did not do anything to try to save his life, unfortunately. >> so state senator, this is a moment, as you point out, this video makes me physically ill to watch. and we talked about how we felt about playing it. but we have michael brown's parents saying we need bombbody
cameras. we have to have these videos. what difference do you think it makes for us to be able to see this? to have this as the testimony? >> this is truth. yo see it and you cannot deny what happened. and what is it about seeing a black male that drives people crazy? to do things extreme in that way? the video doesn't lie. tamir did not have a chance, even if he wanted to. i'm not sure he knew what was going on at the time. you see a young 12-year-old boy just playing. in his mind i'm sure he did not know that what he was doing would have caused you know, that kind of tragedy to occur. we must have national commission on policing and a lot of experts, one in particular believes we need a national commission on policing, similar
to the report that president lyndon b. johnson commissioneded in the 1950s. we have unfinisheded business bigger than what's happening all across this nation. we must look at this nationally and do something about it. it must be visible. it must be right now. >> you foe, part of this that's tough is the phone call that's made. i want to listen to a part of the 911 phone call and what was said. let's just take a moment and listen to it. >> i'm sitting in the park at west boulevard by the west boulevard rapid transfer station. and there's a guy holding a pistol, you know. the guy keeps pulling it out of his pants and he's scaring everybody. >> i listen to that. this sounds like a good samaritan. we don't know the wol story yet. but it sounds like he's making a reasonable call and saying, it's
probably fake. >> but that message was not given to the police. you know, maybe they would have responded differently. we need more training and transparency. we need cultural competency. this deserves a moral response. the cries of the people across this nation from ferguson to beaver creek to cleveland to new york to los angeles, this deserves a moral response. from the the president to governor's mansions to legislatures all across this country to answer this. this is not just one person. this is a little boy. it pains me when people try to paint african-american males as more criminal and more violent. we know it elicits a certain type of response. this is unfair. it still has to be bore by
african-american and latino men in particular across the country. we have to do something about this right now. >> thank you, state senator nina turner on a holiday when so many of us had beautiful african-american boys and girls sitting at our tables, this was a tough one. i appreciate you joining us from cleveland, ohio, this morning. up next, the things we heard officer darren wilson say this week. ring ring! progresso! i can't believe i'm eating bacon and rich creamy cheese before my sister's wedding
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the st. louis galleria. the protesters numbered more than 100, chanting black lives matter, and stop don't shoot and urging shoppers to skip shopping to show solidarity. this has been central to the protesters, but i want to level it as a question. do black lives matter? >> there's a fascinating statement that says how interesting we have moved from black power to black lives matter. the diminishing of the social moov movement to help make possible a black president has become how do we save people? >> about the bare minimum common decency statement black lives matter. and i figured i would leave it for the table. of course as soon as there's outrage in communities over the shooting death and then
nonindictment of officer wilson the next point tends to be, well, what about all of the black men and boys killed by other black men and boys? i mean, i feel like we can't not talk about the fact that that is this kind of open critique that sits out there. >> yeah, but it's a really challenging response where he says there's not a house in the country. meaning the ritual of black death or the violence committed against black bodies that is both state sanctioned. right? police officers or you have individuals, as in the case with trey son martin, individual citizens who feel complete power to kill black people as they see them, if there's no real threat.
she was asking for help. what does it mean from the very beginning? that was predicated on black lives not mattering, or mattering only in the service of property or service of maintaining the power of white slave holding society. so it's a founding principle. the fact that black people have been denied humanity as a part of the democratic experience. it's not just shocking, but it's true. but now we're at another moment where that same principle is resurfacing. we have to deal with it as a nation. >> and i feel like we saw part of that sense of that kind of foundational element and that question about whether or not black lives matter occur in the context how the prosecutor made the decision to seek or not seek indictment. you've written about it, claiming it's almost farcical, this discourse that this is more fair, more democratic, and this grand jury just made a decision
not to diindict. >> whatever you think of the whole process, he opened himself up to all the charges of impartiality, first of all, by not stepping aside. and in a sense, he put it all on the the grand jury to escape accountability, and the way we've heard so much about the way he conducted that whole procedure. it was anything but by the book. and at the very least, you know, i tell people when you talk to attorneys about a particularly a legal case. p if you talk to 50 lawyers, they all have their own opinion about how this is done. and with the nation watching, he would go by a standard a, b, c, d procedure. everything about this was unprecedented. it's left so many people outraged and dissatisfied. >> either one of you want to weigh in on this. part of what i found stunning here is we've known that this sort of thing happened in
literally the kind of dark of night, right? when there wasn't media attention and international focus that the deaths of young black men went unpunished. particularly at the hands of police officers. but there was a sense of like, this is not meant to be the dark of night. this is everybody is now -- literally everyone is watching and seeing results. an thab maybe the hardest. >> what so so to your point about the immediate conversation about black on black violence, what i think is so interesting is a white man committed an act of violence against a black man and immediately it's about black masculinity. we would not be at this table have this conversation were it not for hundreds of years of an entrenched idea about the white masculine responsibility to police and particularly to protect white womanhood. that's been absent from the conversation and it shouldn't
be. >> if you don't believe it, i need to quote officer wilson so people don't think we're making this up. in his full testimony which was released to the public, he says at this point, it looks like he, speaking about michael brown, was bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that i was shooting at him. so i have a couple of things to add to this. so one t idea that black people have disproportionate rates of violent criminal activity has been the longest running script in history. at the end of slavery from the very begin ining that we could strak statistically. but litly from the beginning of freedom. why people discovered black people were more violent than they are. a use of power swelgs the fact that when black people defended
themselves against white violence, they were either murdered, lynched or charged with a violent crime. if we want to say that the evidence ov black criminal statistics proves black people are to blame for the victimization in terms of state violence, that would be true since the jim crowe period, we can't have it both ways. we can't say thatst a period marked by the lynching era where police officers were not fair. where the criminal justice system was stacked against black people in spite of the higher rates of violent crime. and all the sudden we're in racial anywhere van na. >> stick with me. one last thought on this. not only did officer wilson say michael brown bulked up in the context of being shot, but i also want to remind you what he said about how he looked when we come back.
it sounds like you don't think you were responsible. >> i did my job that day. >> do you feel any remorse? >> everyone feels remorse when a life is lost. like i told you before, i never wanted to take anybody's life. you know, that's not the good part of the job. that's the bad part of the job. so yes, there is remorse. >> that was ferguson police officer darren wilson on abc news on tuesday. when you read the entire testimony that was released by the prosecutor, part of what wilson says about the encounter is and then after he did that, he being michael brown here, he looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. the only way i can describe it, it looks like a demon. that's how angry he looked. >> so i grew up playing first-person shooters. so you are playing against demonic superville lons and a visual catalog of weaponry.
and back to super boou super do. what he's evoking goes back to the days of a theme that's a super predator who cannot be put down. or the mexican immigrant high on marijuana and is strong as a horse. the metaphors are so violent that we have to resort to extreme means, even killing a 12-year-old who can't be put down by a set of simple instructions. it also goes to then so many people who are trying to indicate why this is a problem have to take the demon and turn it into and angel. and then you have to be perfect. you must be a child. rather that saying no, no, no, this is a problem even if there was a convenience store robbery. even if there was marijuana in
his bloodstream. even if -- >> even if his parents had a criminal past. >> even if his parents aren't married. there's a weird respectability that emerges on the back side of that. >> like you said. even if all of the things that were thrown out there about michael brown were true, he still did not deserve to be gunned down. a citizen without any type of due process. but just look at that. this was a child with a toy in the park. to the officer who is drove right up to him. we see on the video, no securing of the video. how can you make a threat assessment? they drove up to him and made a split second decision because they saw a young black man with a gun. >> guns we produce as toys that look like that. remember when you had middle l aged white men pointed a t the federal officers? they're all still here among us. >> and they had stolen from the
state. >> right. >> and this is going back to black lives not mattering. stacy wrote about this in the "washington post." they are deny ied access to toy we may not agree with. >> but we produce them. that these rituals are the denying down to the most basic thing as a childhood toy. this is really a myth that most violent acts are committed interracially. one person from the same. and we'll talk about this later. in terms of the ideas of what forms of violence. domestic or sexual. those stats are primarily white men. it depends on how you're going to skew what counts. >> more than anything else, the thing that was driving me nuts was the idea of calling property crime violence. they continued the violent protests because they were
vandalizing protests. it's not good but it's not the same as killing unarmed children. khalil is sticking around. the rest of the panel will be back later in the program. up next, i want to bring in a special guest to the table. he's khalil's father. also a p pu the holiday season is here, which means it's time for the volkswagen sign-then-drive event. for practically just your signature, you could drive home for the holidays in a german-engineered volkswagen. like the sporty, advanced new jetta... and the 2015 motor trend car of the year all-new golf. if you're wishing for a new volkswagen this season...
yyou think it smellspet fine, but your guests smell this. eliminate odors you've gone noseblind to with febreze fabric refresher. smells good. so you and your guests can breathe happy. ring ring!... progresso! it's ok that your soup tastes like my homemade. it's our slow simmered vegetables and tender white meat chicken. apology accepted. i'm watching you soup people. make it progresso or make it yourself we've seen powerful images emerge from ferguson, missouri, since august 9th, the day 18-year-old michael brown was shot and killed by officer darren wilson. we saw the traumatic effects of tear gas as it was tossed into crowds. and this photo of a protester hurling a can of tear gas back at police. and this past monday night brought stunning images just
after the grand jury's decision not to indict officer darren wilson. there was haze rising around the messages of season greetings of a row of battle ready police officers. images of cars set ablaze capture the attention of news crews conveying a scene seemingly out of a modern day film noir. perhaps no image more surreal than the cable news split screen showing president obama addressing the fact as unrest continued in the streets. these are just some of the images that will remain with the ferguson story and come to define it over time. most big news stories have them. those defining or enlightening single moment snapshots that convey more than a thousand words can. to revolutionary leaders who changed the course of the nation to the strive and desperation that followed catastrophic strategies like the 2010 earthquake in haiti to the who whos of fam inin places like
ethiopia. this photo of a child being weighed is etched in the minds of the photographer who took it and the others you just saw. he's a father of one of this program's regular favorite guests, khalil mohammed. i am pleaseded to welcome the the pulitzer prize winning photographer to the table. and the power of the photograph. we have ahazing images coming out of ferguson. do you think they will come to define a generation of activists in the ways that we saw some of the civil rights images and black power images defining a generation? i do the race that we saw in the 50s and '60s was rage imposed upon african-american people who were seeking equal rights and fairness in our society. and now you look at ferguson,
and it's just sort after a strange irony that the rage is coming from a place also of miscarriage of justice. and the perception of the people who have responded to michael brown's killing. >> i -- let me -- as a kind of ethical question about documenting, photographing, talking about the moment that is movement. but not being a participant in it. i wonder given the moments where you have been present how you reconcile that. what is the value itself? >> well, i think that the image adds something to the voracity in some measure. and times there could be some
debate about whether that's a true moment of actual occurrence of some news event. but for the most part, it clarifies any ambiguity that cannot be expressed in the story by reporters. so photography has been expresseded in a very important element in conveying to the public the societal problems that we have. especial especially when you look forward and see what has happened in political change in places like africa, the continent of africa. from nigeria to south africa.
as you're looking at images for late april of 1994. nelson mandela depositing his ballot at the polling place. i'm thinking to have the father who is documenting history, and then to be the historian who also preserves it in this public space. >> first of all, you know these never quite work out. so my memory of his coverage of the ethiopia famine was receiving a letter from on a camel. nast what a child experiences when your father is half way around the world. he took me to work with him every summer from the time i was 9 to 15. i loaded his cameras. he exposed me to everything from ed koch press conferences to the broadway premier of little shop of horrors to sporting events. everything that makes up the
daily stuff of life that becomes the historical record that we look for the transition moments. those significant moments that help us understand who we are as a people, absolutely shaped and informed me. and i'm grateful he continues to work. he's st ill there on the ground in places far and near, including and most recently haiti in 2010. he called me from somalia saying his entourage was kidnapped on the satellite phone and if they didn't hear from him to call "the new york times." the world was changing. i'm grateful to know that we'll have his work to draw upon. >> i imagine that thanksgiving must be quite intense at your home. it is lovely to have you here. thank you for your body of work, for your continued work and insights on this.
the growing list of school ls under scrutiny for their handling of sexual assaults has brought increaseded attention to the unwillingness or inquadsy of colleges and universities to help survivors find justice. one of those schools, the university of virginia, is the subject of an article in this month's rolling stone magazine in which a woman's story of surviving a horrific and brutal rape exposes a devastating individual cost of sexual assault and the consequences of a rape culture run rampant on campus. the story follows this young woman's attempt to piece her life back together following the assault and what seems like a
willful ignorance on the part of administrators to recognize and respond to the vulnerability of their students. joining us is rolling stone contributing editor sabrina reuben and back with us, our panel. this article was extraordinarily hard to read. it felt not unlike watching the 12-year-old being shot on the playground. and i guess part of what i'm wondering and part as a survivor is the choice to tell the details of the rape in such detail, what that does to contributing to p what we have seen since the article was published. >> well, it was very important to tell the story in as graphic a way as the main character in my article tells it. when we talk about rape and sexual assault we have started becoming mired in euphemism.
what does that really mean? so i thought it was important to show this was a violent crime. and it was important to shine the spotlight on how violent it is. >> probably the hardest phrase is the discourse that calling her a thing. hold its leg. and, you know, i grew up at the university of virginia. there's an honor code this thomas jefferson's ghost hauntding the place and the idea of not only the violent crime but that students could see their peers as an it. >> it says something essential about what rape is. this is not about sex. this is a dehumanizing act meant to rob somebody of their power and really robbed them of the humanity. it's one of the reasons it is a traumatizing crime and so
abhorrent. >> this is the university of virginia's president theresa sullivan in an interview last saturday with nbc. i want to play this for a moment. >> i would say, jackie, i am so sorry about what happened to you. you did not deserve this and it should not have happened to you. i do not believe the information was entirely there. i think that's why we were so surprised when we read the article. the information tends to come to us in bits and pieces, and for someone who has been traumatized, that's not surprising. so she's saying we didn't have all the information, this is why we were surprised when we read the article. so people have failed this young woman, jackie. what do you see as the university's primary cull ability here? >> i think it's disengine use to say they didn't have all the information in jackie's case. jackie has told me otherwise that she did give them a fair
amount of information. if they didn't have the graphic level of information i revealed in the article, i can only think it's because they just didn't ask her. and that does say something about the way in which they try to limit their cull cull culpability. they eliminate their responsiveness by not asking too many questions. >> you were at the university of virginia recently for an event addressing the issue of sexual assault prior to this piece being published. >> i want to bring up the idea of not having enough information and therefore basically sanctioning the rights of the
women. they are adopting a zero tolerance policy. this is one that based on your article, obviously not based on jackie's coming forward before and telling them what happened. because they chose to cover that up. but i want to talk about violence against women. we have it in the nfl. we have it in the u.s. military. and now we are seeing higher education and universities that we send our children to to get information, to grow up, to become professionals and to become better citizens have for the past 40 years and i would argue much longer been covering up these violent acts against women part of their daily regimen and the educating of our future citizens and by invoking thomas jefferson's code. i read about thomas jefferson as a problematic figure of race and
gender and violent acts as a slave holder. but at this point to invoke the zero tolerance policy is good but it that has to be on a systematic level. we have to change the entire culture. we have to be implementing the change. it can't just be about prosecuting certain people here and there. but it has to be a shift on how they are protecting a white male citizenry. >> i want to talk about the legal aspect as well as talk about how the students themselves have been responding. [ female announcer ] a 3d white smile
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the ultimate arena for business. hour after hour of diving deep, touching base, and putting ducks in rows. the only problem with conference calls: eventually they have to end. unless you have the comcast business voiceedge mobile app. it lets you switch seamlessly from your desk phone to your mobile with no interruptions. i've never felt so alive. get the future of phone and the phones are free. comcast business. built for business. i want to ask you, raul, about the question of the law here. this isn't about practice or culture. this is a legal question. >> right. i think when many people read the article, the common response is to think well, these students should go to police.
under title nine, the government requires that the government looks at these types of cases as a form of sexual discrimination. so it requires the schools to handle these things is through their internal processes. and they are usually designed to protect the's reputation. i mean -- >> it's not just uvo nor it is just -- sure, there are some schools on the list being investigated by the government. some of them like arizona state, maybe they're considered party schools. but they are not the party school. it's widespread. >> and when you bring up the party thing, this is so important. the response has been, we saw on november 22nd, the university of virginia decided to suspend all
fraternities until january. most students are not on campus most of december. but the second most painful was this. the three friends launcheded into a heated discussion about the social price. listen to this. she's going to be the girl who cried rape and will never be allowed to any frat party again. and here's the thing. they're not wrong. on one hand it's appalling. on the other, they're not wrong. that's a powerful one these kids are three weeks into college. this can't be the first time they encountered this. how far back does this go? >> i would say it's a powerful thing at any age. i have to thank you for writing this. i think you've done a tremendous act of public service. i'm general junely very grateful. it's hard to read the article and avoid the conclusion that we
live in an article that hates women. just hates us. it's hard to conclude they are not seen as less than them but also less than human. the statistic about how boys and men in frats are three times more likely to commit sexual violence. but i just used a euphemism there. they are three times more likely to commit rape. think this is not just about party schools. it would be at our pearl to pretend this is a frat problem. it happens on the chess team and in dance companies. this is an american problem, not a frat problem. >> the president of lincoln university just resigned after these comments. and then your piece. is there any university that is setting a standard, that is a model for addressing this
better? >> i would say so far no college has really emerged as being a leader in the field. i think they're all scrambling to get their act together and fight your out how to deal with the situation. but i do think we are on the cusp of a culture change. and the reason for saying that is the idea that we are listening to these rape victims for the very first time. i mean, that is a huge shift between as you were saying, the catholic church. military rape. bill cosby, all these things. they all have a certain line. we as a society are beginning to talk about rape and be willing to listen to them for the first time. >> having grown up at uva, i wish the answer was they were setting a standard. it infused all of our life, and the idea that there is no honor in this moment is hard.
it's awful. thank you to sabrina and chloe. raul be back in the next hour. coming up next, a new demonstration gets under way in ferguson, missouri, and we're going to go there live. also, it's still thanksgiving, so we're going to lighten up and talk about food and race and culture and identity. maybe that's not that light. there's more nerd land at the top of the hour.
welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. protesters in ferguson zeroed in on black friday sales as a way to draw more attention to their cause. the no justice, no profit campaign resulted in a handful of demonstrations across the nation, like this one friday morning. protestered marched silently through a shopping mall in st. louis with their hands up. police eventually escorted them off the property. in terg son, walmart delayed
opening surrounded by state troopers and the national guard. no arrests reported there. less than 4 miles away, 16 people were arrested last night in front of the ferguson police police department after a protest that started at shopping malls. and in new york city, seven people were arrested after a march through macy's flagship store. today another march is set to begin. one that will go 120 miles in seven days. in the naacp's event journey to justice, protesters will march from ferguson to jefferson city, calling for new leadership in the ferguson police department. richard, what other ooents are planned throughout the seventh days of marching? >> very good morning to you, melissa. as pa rt of the journey to justice, there are the seven days you're talking about. and i was speak twg the president and ceo this morning. he told me the idea of this
march is at every stop they would be able to have teach-ins as well as rallies. now the idea is to educate those marching with them. they have to have anywhere from hundreds to thousands. they're pressing on the thousands part here, melissa. and during part of the teach-in is to reeducate and rewrite history based on what the nonindictment means to many right now. part of the realty is what he says here. >> we're marring across missouri from michael brown's hometown to the governor's hometown to really speak to the consciousness of the country and argue for specific policy
reforms. >> and the idea is the grand jury process that happened here in ferguson. each day to get a sense of what they're going through here, it will be ten miles on the first day and 20 miles each day in between and then the final day another ten miles. thooil be trying to get enough food and enough sleeping bags. and he said to be honest they're hoping they have the problem of not having enough of that, melissa. >> nbc's richard louis, thank you so much. we have all eyes on that in march. now i want to bring viewers back now to monday night. and one particular way that night was covered. between the shouts of anger and despair to constant footage of the two burning cars and several businesses. few were watching on television from afar, it could have been confusing to understand what was happening and how it fit together.
that came after bob mcculloch's lengthy remarks which includeded eventually the grand jury decision. >> after their exhaustive review of the evidence, the grand jury deliberated over two days, making their final decision. they determined no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer wilson in return to no true bill on each of the five indictments. >> almost immediately after that announcement at 8:44 p.m. local time, university of connecticut associate professor, a contributor to the "new yorker" magazine tweeted this from ferguson. on west florison. crowd angry. disappointed. then people here are largely peaceful right now. some threatening violence. others counseling calm. and the mood in this crowd is
more somber than anything else. it was not long before he indicated signs of escalating quickly. armored vehicles rolling down south florison followed shortly by a quote, this is a very bad situation. police, heavy vehicles moving in, weapons drawn. and dogs barking. it soon got worse as he described gunshots. the first i heard cut through the air and 10 began in the direction of the bullets. the crowd encountered an empty police car. and in moments it was a flame. a line of police officers in military fatigues and gas masks turned toward the police building. 400 protesters and nearly that many police filling an american street. one side demanding justice. one side demanding order.
e both recognizing neither of those things was in the offing that night. and contributor to the "new yorker." your piece. you wrote from the outset, it's been whether the authorities are driven by malevolence or incompetence. have you come to a decision about that? >> maybe a malevolent incompetence. it's difficult to just looking at those tweets it took me back to being in that space. it was difficult to really assess what exactly was happening and why it was happening. from the decision to give the announcement at 9:00 p.m. there were distinct personality traits to the groups that gathered at day and the groups
that gathered at night. and it has been since august. when they made the point to make the announcement at 9:00 p.m., that meant fewer of the people that were out in the day who could counsel calm, and it almost seemed as if benign neglect or something far more insidious behind that decision and calculation. >> a kind of provocation almost. >> right. and indead, when i was there, what i was describing was the events. when you drove to the black side of town, there was not that kind of response. as a matter of fact, it was striking in the absence of police presence there. and so, we remember back. we think back to 1992, a wester commission happened after the los angeles riots to find out if it was true that people had policed and protected high value real estate more so than they had the communities rr poor people live. they say that did not happen.
there was every reason for people to believe here in ferguson that that was what was happening. the the mayor came out later and said why. it's a long unbroken boulevard between two highway onramps. you can go from one side to the other and bedlam was developing and erupting throughout the length of it. >> i want to listen for a moment to the response of our president on that night, and then read back to you a piece of what you had to say about it. let's listen to the president. >> those of you who are watching tonight understand that there's never an excuse for violence, particularly when there are a lot of people in good will out there willing to work on these issues. on the other hand, those only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to
recognize that we do have work to do here. and we shouldn't try to paper it over. in response, you wrote in your new yorker piece the man who once told us there was no black america, no white america, but only the united states of america has become a president whose statements on unpunished racial injustices are a genera ento themselves. >> there's a particular even handedness, which is frustrating. it's defined his rhetoric more often than not. it's a detour from the trayvon martin circumstance. but more often than not the president said on the one hand there's this. and the race speech that he gave in 2008. but even then you look at the resentments that white people have and compare it to the resentments that black people have from being excluded in society in the onset of our time here. so that statement in it of itself betrayed a particular
disingenuousness. the president knows that the riots of 1960s was part of the reason he's able to have the position he has now. the other part was the real threat of protests that facilitateded what the nonviolence protests wanted. it exacerbates or intensifies the idea that there is no recourse available i, you know, people cannot understand why with all the constitutional mechanisms here have failed, people did not riot, they had become small scale conflicts. but by and large, people waited, as they did in 1992 to see how the legal process would play itself out before they resulted to full scale violence. >> i want to push back on this. i think we'reover juzing the word. vandalism, property crime, they're all distinct things that are not about, about murder,
rape, assault. >> right. >> and so i wonder about calling these violent protests. they are vol time. they are vand lieding. but doesn't another kind of even handedness occur when we call them violent that doesn't allow them to carve out this moral and et call space. >> i think that's true. it's interesting also what people took note of when things began to go up in flames. and people have been saying all along, you understand that a human life is worth more than this, right? so people became upset and irate. but what about this person dying? and the people likely to die in these circumstances? >> our friend and a friend of the show jay smooth tweeted the fundamental danger of a nonindictment is more rights. it's more darren wilson. he means an officer who could
shoot and kill unarmed. >> and if i can add to that, the fundamental danger of what bob mcculloch did is there's now a template for how these matters are handled. >> i protect the direct reporting that night. the continued think ing thinkin this. master chef junior. our foot soldiers of the week. [ kevin ] this is connolly, cameron, zach, and clementine.
we have a serious hairball issue. we clean it up, turn around, and there it is again. it's scary. little bit in my eye. [ michelle ] underneath the kitchen table, underneath my work desk, we've got enough to knit a sweater. [ doorbell rings ] zach, what is that? the swiffer sweeper. the swiffer dusters. it's some sort of magic cloth that sucks in all the dog hair. it's quick and easy. pretty amazing that it picked it all up. i would totally take on another dog. [ kevin ] really? ♪ [ kevin ] really? yoplait light is now better than ever. it still melts in your mouth. with 90 calories. and is now aspartame free. yoplait light. it is so good; it's better than ever.
hundreds of black and white americans, mostly college students, traveled greyhound and trailway buses across the south, risking arrest and their lives to test compliance with desegregation orders. in mississippi in a play about the show of defiance jim crowe signs were put up at the greyhound bus station at the same time a federal ruling went into in effect prohibiting racial discrimination on interstate bus trafbl. just a few weeks later on november 19th a group of freedom writers arrived and attempted to get service at the lunch counter of the greyhound bus station. the group was told there was a gas leak and they should not enter. they refused to be deterred. that's when a mob of cursing whites shouting kill em! set upon five negro freedom writers and drove them from the greyhound bus station.
one was jerome smith, a studenter leader with the congress of racial equality. he received such severe injuries to his skull, more than 50 years later he suffers from lingering nerve damage. after the attack, when the freedom writers who made it safely back to the black section of town called the attorney general, robert kennedy, who offered to have fbi agents drive them back to new orleans, but they refused. determined to leave town the same way they came in. they were able to elude the angry mob by going to the highway and flagging down the bus. in the book my soul looks back in wonder, jerome smith reflected on his experience as a freedom writer. he said all the fear was never in the moment itself. it was always after. when you think about what you had done, what you have been through and tremble. most times i would try to deal with moments with emotional detachment you find in gandhi's
teachings because you cannot surrender. you have to keep moving forward. words that still resinate today as young activists in ferguson missouri and around the country stand up to the status quo and demand we do better. just as the activists before them did at a small town bus station in mississippi on this day november 29th, 1961
. this morning many of you likely find yourselves trying to figure out yourself what to do with a whole lot of thanksgiving leftovers. the remains of the turkey taking up space in your fridge. maybe that homemade cranberry sauce experiment you trieded this year. then the old standbys. your aunt ice green bean casseroles or grandma's collared greens braiseded with the most delicious parts of the pig. all the parts are delicious. whatever it was, those default dishes that you can count onto grace your thanksgiving table year after year are part of your
tradition, the stories, those special foods tell about your family, culture and identity mean that if you are what you eat, then what you eat is the martive of who you are. when culinary choices are twashled to a rainfall identity, sometimes it's hard to swallow. author jacquelinewood son received the young people's literature prides at the national book awards. after she accepted the award an author took the stage to share what he told woodson he would tell everyone if she won. jackie woodson is allergic to watermelon. just let that sink in your mind. woodson respond eed to the comments in the "the new york times" in which she says the audience and i were asked to take a step back from everything i've ever written, a step back from the power and meaning of the national book award. lest i forget where i came from
by making light of that deep and troubled history, he showed that he believed we were at a point where we could laugh about it. unlike my own it came from a place of ignorance. that troubleded history woodson is referring to includes what was once a common pairing of water melon with hateful dehumanizing depictions of african-american people. to this day, that history has left some filling the need to police their plates. while others like the legendary petey green resisted the history by not only embracing it but taking a big juicy bite out of it. >> i just can't understand how we as black people started eating our watermelon in the closet. lord have mercy. so if we follow his lead, what can we learn about who we are? when we shake off the shame about how our what are with eat.
joining me now is associate professor of frin africana studies at the university of connecticut. sonny anderson, author of sunny's kitchen. host of food network's cooking for real. and attorney at nbcnews.com contributor. and author of building houses out of chicken legs. black women, food and power. her work kpans the complex legacies of african-american women and food as a culture form of work. so, how is it some foods came to have -- how is it that some foods, fried chicken, watermelon came to have derogatory racial meaning? >> it goes back to the images that you were talking about all morning. black people were negatively associated with chicken. stealing chicken. as chicken thieves.
and so you began to see this over and over in images and in popular press, in restaurants. and over time it sticks with you. ch. >> i think about how that is reclaimed. there's a kind of power in the nuevo soul food. the reclamation of greens and a way of saying we are not ashamed. this food is delicious! yes. >> in my space and food, i find myself all the time having that internal kmpgs with myself. you know, when i'm asked to go on a show and do something i love, the first thing is i'm going to show you how to fry sod good morning chicken. >> am i the black woman on tv talking about fried chicken? first of all, if it's okay with my grandma it's okay with me. and i also say, i don't want to let past privileges mess with my
present or future success. if i'm in a space where people want me to cook, and i cook everything. that's another misconception that i get because i'm black. it's only soul food. but i cook everything. and if i think i'm exceptional in one area because of past privileges, i don't want to stop my forward movement in my career, which is being on national television, sharing foods from my friends, my family and my travels. >> >> and i think part of what surprises me is how not past these prejudices are. aunt jamima being on the pancakes and syrup, like every time i grocery stop, uncle ben. i would like them to go away now. >> it's idea that we stereo type people along with food all the time. and these are particular ones. and so at some point there's a story which will not be told on air that involves me and a large
watermelon. >> i just want to know where the waterme will, on is. >> well, okay. soft that's a real thing. there was watermelo on the plate when we first started the show. in part because i was policing this. >> it's delicious. i don't get it. >> can i just say one thing? and hat tip to my good friend et that fields, who is a historian who has worked on these things. the colony of south carolina was a failure. they could not get that to work. the reason carolina rice is there were african populations, and they were bringing people who knew how to cultivate that grain. when they trieded livestock in south carolina it didn't work. they tried all these things. they were like, rice, this will be our stable. and it's these africans who know how to grow it. and the spe these that they grow is of the frin p african strain. it's part of the martive.
it's not something outside of us. >> and it's like i just want to. there's a story that you tell that i kept thinking about last year. and it's of here's the coon chicken inn. it's a restaurant chain. >> yes. >> it existeded up until fairly recently. and the whole time that the whole paula deen moment was occurring in our national kis course, i kept thinking about, is somebody going to remind us that we were literally buying food from the coon chicken inn a few years ago basically? >> right. right. all of these things have histories. they don't come out of air. you know. and so. when we get to a situation like a paula deen, we're reminded that these narratives existed in history. >> i'm wondering. so i just -- dave chappelle is quoted in this npr switch
article. doing this work about trying to think through race. where did that fried chicken stereo type come from? and he says the only reason they're even an issue is because nobody knows what white people eat, right? >> they eat everything like we do. >> but i do wonder because this idea of whiteness then becomes the norm, right? that's normal food. and everyone else is eating ethnic food. >> i remember when i was a kid, you know. the first time i heard the word beaner. which is a very common epithetic aimed at mexican-americans. we grew up eating rice and beans. i didn't particularly like beans. i remember asking some other kid wi would they call us. he said because we eat beans. i said, why don't they call the asian kids ricers or the white kids ham sandwichers? but i think with the bigger picture is whn you put the stereo types around food, it goes to the heart of the tul
churl i denty. it's a source of pride, but then as you say in the outside world, all the sudden you feel a type of shape or self conscious eating. >> yeah. when we come back, i want to talk a little bit more about this, focusing specifically on the role of black women in this big story. maybe we can get out the watermany he recollects, lon story on break. this is the equivalent of the sugar in one regular soda. and this is one soda a day over an average adult lifetime. but there's a better choice. drink more brita water. clean, refreshing, brita.
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kerchief wearing. and entitled her bold ar atistic statement a subtlety. from the legacy of african-american women's domestic work and oversexualization of their bodies to the lives sacrificeded throughout the history of sugar production and consumption to the cultural connotations of whiteness. it's also a reminder that's it's more than flavor that makes our food complex. that installation felt to me like a lot of the work we were talking about here. keking the enslavement and enslaved labor and sugar. but it also put a black woman at the sent r of it. >> it's interesting. the point at which black women were not, kind of least cape of voting rights prekd, there was a move, this was in the 1920s to
have a monument in washington, d.c. and they could not understand why black people were saying no we don't want this. can you imagine. the first black disney princess is of course a chef. and a chef from new orleans, and based on the extraordinary leah chase, who is the owner of a restaurant, so i wonder about on the one hand, the anxieties of shame that emerge. but also the legacy of cooking and our role as chefs. >> i'm 40. my age puts me into an era where i did not live through the pain -- >> post zefl rights. >> yeah. >> so i say to myself if we are as women and black women the
ones known for being in the kitchen where are we in the public now? because because all of the fame he w chefs don't look like us. we're not the ones running it. it's all of our food. it's our ox tails and greens. and yet there is the first lady. and she chooses food at the public platform, plants a garden and somehow manages to avoid -- i don't mean she's trying to avid the legacy. when you see her performing it, she doesn't seem to be performing an enslaved moment. it feels likes a free garden if there's a way to say that. i'm wondering how she manages that. >> she moves around the issue of
race this is an every person movement. the thing we have to be very clear about is everything we've been talking about has long histories. black folks have been growing gardens for centuries. this is not new. and yet, part of that platform is this new movement of guard bing is everything. and you know, we have to really think more complexly about food for every culture and particularly black culture. there's a way that discourse about localism or organic food, it's our food that's there and there's value in saying, yeah, that's our food. >> some o the foods we enjoy in our home don't gain popular acceptance until they're repurposeded as high end cuisine. now it's okay to pay a lot of
money for them. if you're eating the same foods, it's down home cooking. it's an expression of a certain type of food. it's hill billy type of food. some people go to high end restaurants and pay a lot of money. why is it only acceptable with monetary value or greater social acceptance attached to it? it's the same food. >> and i'm thinking about it in the context of the president's immigration reform attempts here where he talked about high skilled labor. high skilled labor immigrants will have protection because of their education. so much of our food sitting on everybody's table emerges from the lay dor of often very low paid sometimes wage theft ed an undoumed men and women. >> that's the the piece that we can forget why we sit in front of the beautiful table. and we pay the high price. we forget what's happening behind the kitchen door. we can just eclipse all o that. and the other thing we have to remember is, you know the foods
we eat in public or private, once they become public, they want to criticize, that's part of food policing. the story of shaming and black people catch a lot of that. >> listen, i love all food. i'm an omnivore without a dilemma. if there's a fruit tray and watermany watermelon on it. i'm eating it. it's delicious. so are the bananas and grapes. i understand people may have internal dialogue about oh, she's eating the watermelon. sometimes i break the ice and say where is more? because it's delicious. and listen, i come from south and north carolina. my parents grew up on farms. i understand how the land is worked. i also understand history. the further we go, the further we get away from people that
lived in it. it's a benefit. i understand and respect the history. i don't want it to stop what we can do in the future, which is not let these things have so much power over us. >> one of the greatest joy miss my life as the mother of 9-month-old is watching her discover food and enjoy everything being delicious. i don't want to leave this without giving a shout out to b. smith. the former model stricken with alzheimer's. far more important is she is really one of the ground breaking kind kind of celebrity black chefs. just want to send our love to b. smith and her family in this thanksgiving week. and thank you to our panel. they are going to stick around. after the break, we are going to talk to somebody else who knows food is delicious. he's 11 years old. but in his house thanksgiving
dinner arrests on his adorable shoulders. master chef junior comes to nerd land next. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because it gives me... zero heartburn! prilosec otc. the number 1 doctor-recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 9 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. ring ring!... progresso! it's ok that your soup tastes like my homemade. it's our slow simmered vegetables and tender white meat chicken. apology accepted. i'm watching you soup people. make it progresso or make it yourself
love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. on thursday like many families across the country, my family enjoyed a lovely thanksgiving dinner, and then my family thanksgiving traditions start early. my 12-year-old parker helped with the corn bread and the green beans. her little sister a.j. helped by eating them on her first ever thanksgiving. enthusiastically with two fists. in many homes the children help out with the cooking. in some homes they take the lead. fox has a cooking competition show for kids like these. master chef junior where young people between the ages of 8 and 13 cook for celebrity judges and compete for $100,000 prize. >> cooking is my favorite thing i would rate myself on a scale
from 1 to 100 a 96. i'm probably not your average 10-year-old. >> that was now 11-year-old josh, one of the contestants on master chef junior. he joins me now. what did you make for thanksgiving? >> i made the turkey. i made almost everything. >> how do you make the turkey? do you bake it? fry it? turn it upside down? i. >> i bacon wrap my turkey basic ly you start it in the oven. put compound butter under the skin. >> what's in your compound butter. >> lemon juice and lemon zest, butter and herbs. that goes underthe skin. then you put the bacon on it. it makes a nice base for the gravy. >> bacon never makes any food worse. do you prefer the cooking or baking?
>> i'm more of a fan of cooking. my mom does the baking usually. i think i want to definitely expand my world of baking. i want to expand my whole food world, like everybody does. but i'm definitely more of a chef. >> so you have a pretty expansive food world for 11 years old. i have a 9-month-old daughter. she's starting to eat food. what should parents be thinking about? do you think we don't offer the right kinds of food? too limited? what would your suggestion be to us? i think if you want a child to turn into a foodie, start them young. how old is your daughter? >> just nine months. >> oh, if you're feeding her like this, she's going to be a
master chef too. >> do you have suggestions for thanksgiving leftovers? >> i like making my thanksgiving turkey sandwich. which you put turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, then cranberry sauce top to contrast with everything. it's really good. >> you brought something here. what do we have here? >> it is a braised short rib the mashed potatoes and braised caramelized onion. >> somebody take a taste for me. it's far more me. >> pass that down. don't ask me twice. >> you were here last year. we ate pie so take a taste for me and let me know what you think. >> a little bit of everything. i love pearled onions, too. >> they're beautiful. >> right? >> mm. very good.
and it's cold. which lets you know it's delicious. >> it's still good. i know you were recently eliminated. i'm so sorry. we were really rooting for you. what are yor future chef dreams? they're not over? >> it's the only the beginning for me but i really want to start getting internships, definitely. i want to start cooking much more. i want to start cooking in restaurants. but i think i just really want to keep doing what i'm doing right now. i love what i'm doing. >> last question. you have a younger sister, right? >> yes. >> and are you bringing her along on this great journey? >> well, she's one of my beggest supporters for the show. but she's not your -- she's not really the best eater in the
world. >> more for you. >> yeah, yeah. >> so i got her into -- i make sometimes dumplings with her. sometimes i make breakfast with her. i think i don't want her to be exactly like me. but i want her to admire food because that's one of the most important things in life. >> josh, thank you for being a great master chef contestant and a great big brother, it sounds like. >> thank you. >> happy thanksgiving weekend to you. >> happy thanksgiving. >> thank you to you. thanks for hanging out and eating the yummy food cold. and thank you to psyche. up next our foot soldiers of the week. go! wow! go power...oats! go! made from oats
the rockefeller christmas tree is scheduled to have its annual lighting ceremony this week and storefronts all over the country are already displaying their holiday window decor. this time of year is also the season of giving, when charities like the salvation army send representatives to street corners to channel the goodwill of passersby and collect donations for the needy. and while we agree that charity and humanitarianism represents the best parts of human nature, not all charity is created equal. sometimes there are problems with the way we hell. one of the best examples of this challenge was after the devastating earthquakes that all but destroyed the nation of haiti in 2010 after what some called the worst natural disaster in the history of the western hemisphere. large multinational aid organizations flooded into the small island nation with troves of dollars and the best of intentions. but years later, little of that
money had reached the haitian people and large powerful aid groups had to some extent undermine local haitian institutions. as one haitian economist put it, the billions of dollars in earthquake aid have further marginalized the haitian state, haitian social organizations and haitian businesses. the case in haiti leaves many concerned global citizens looking for a better way to help. and that's where my foot soldiers of the week come in. the young men behind a small u.s. headquartered bag manufacturer have made it their mission to find sustainable ways to help the people of haiti recover. the company was founded by sam mcguire at the age of 23. after returning to the united states from post-earthquake haiti he sold his car to start the business which began hiring workers in haiti to make a line of handcrafted bags and satchels. the company set up its manufacturing base in one of the most impoverished part of
port-au-prince. he handed over the reins to his 22-year-old co-founder ben green. under ben's leadership, the company has partnered with a small local non-profit committed to helping haitians participate in their own development and aid in in rescuing children from situations of abuse, slavery, homelessness or severe neglect. a portion of the proceeds goes to helping vulnerable haitian children in addition to funding the salaries of its full-time employees. for finding a way to partner with the haitian people in leading their own recovery and building sustainable partnerships for the future, the young entrepreneurs of this company are our foot soldiers of the week. that's our show for today. thanks for watching. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. we have a packed program
tomorrow, including the news of ray rice's appeal to get back into the nfl and the story of a young woman with her eye on chuck hagel's old job. but right now, it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." hi, alex. >> hello to you, melissa. thank you so much. a search is under way for a missing ohio state football player. did concussions play a role in his disappearance? also, the call for change after the michael brown decision. what specific changes can be accomplished as a new march gets under way? the close calls between drones and planes on the rise. we're going to ask an expert if a drone can bring down a commercial airliner. and while many of us are making shopping plans this weekend, some food for thought about how hard it is to be the working poor in this country. you'll hear from the author of a new honest and very blunt book about what it's like to live hand to mouth. line with 3 gigs for $65 a month. 3 gigs ... is that a lot? that's about ... 100 app downloads, 45 hours of streaming music, and 6 hours of video playing.
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ferguson. but exactly what and how? a seven-day march that kicks off today as some places try to get back to business. back in the game, maybe. see how a new ruling could affect ray rice's football career and we hear from his wife in a new interview. new and alarming, a report on the rise of the surge of near misses between commercial airliners and drones. could the flying robots bring down a passenger jet? in time for the holidays, get rid of all your old parking tickets. at the same time, you can do a good deed. that's behind one city's latest idea. it's high noon in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we start with weather this hour and the clean-up effort under way in new england after a major snowstorm. wednesday's storm produced the fourth largest outage in new hampshire's history.
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