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tv   Politics Nation With Al Sharpton  MSNBC  April 1, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open. ♪ welcome to "politics nation." this morning, where did i come from and where am i going? three days ago, i went to sacramento, california, for yet another funeral for a brother who died too early. and three days from now, i'm going to commemorate the loss of one of history's great spirits. 50 years to the tragic day. want to know how the two stories are connected?
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what dr. martin luther king jr. was killed in 1968, fighting for rights of workers, fighting, and he called it by name, police brutality. fighting for those that had no one to stand for them. 50 years later, we see the shooting of an unarmed man, killed in a ray of 20 bullets by police in sacramento. we see a state attorney general in louisiana refuse to prosecute police even after tape, an audiotape revealed the policeman said 90 seconds before shooting alton sterling, i'm going to shoot you mfer. and the president of the united states who tweets on players, who tweets on everything hasn't opened his mouth. not one word. maybe he thinks we'll remember that he was sued for racial
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discrimination in housing and called for the death penalty of five innocent young black and latino boys in central park rape case. but a packed show today including an interview with martin luther king iii and carrie kennedy, daughter of robert f. kennedy. before we get to tharkt, let's t to the latest on president trump. joining me is jeff mason, a white house correspondent with reuters. jeff, let me ask you. why do you think this white house, this president has had nothing to say about the police shooting in sacramento? they've said it was a local issue, but when you see the attorney general in louisiana, when you see nightly news deal with the demonstrations, the protests, the funerals all of us participated in, why so silent when he can talk about anything and everything else. >> he certainly can. it's hard to answer how he
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chooses when to weigh in on something on twitter and when not to. but i think you're right to point out this is not something he has engaged on very much. and you can -- it's sometimes hard to decide or hard to guess whether he's super strategic in his tweeting, but he certainly was very vocal yesterday on issues like amazon, on the california governor, but did not weigh in on this. >> now, we're also hearing aside from his weighing in on amazon and the california governor, which is ironic since this case is in sacramento, california, but aside from that, we are hearing that he's shaken up the white house. he's in control. what can you tell us whether that is exaggerated or, in fact, there is a new kind of stability in the white house? >> well, i'm not sure that being in control and stability are
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necessarily the same thing in this instance. he certainly has shaken things up by bringing in some new people over the last several weeks and that appears to be an effort on his part to want to have people around him who are not going to say no, who are really going to help him implement some of the promises that he made during the 2016 campaign that he felt that he did in 2017 but not as much on issues including trade and now north korea. whether or not that means there's going to be stability is another question. there's always sort of a question mark hanging around the white house about who might go next but it does seem like he's done quite a bit of changing around in the last several weeks. so we might be seeing a pause coming up. >> is his going after amazon really his anger or dissatisfaction with jeff bezos, the head of amazon who also owns
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"the washington post" that the president does not feel has been particularly kind to him or he would say fair? >> it certainly seems that way, yes. he's had sort of some irritation with amazon since he was a candidate. this is an issue that he's brought up for years, the white house pointed out last week, and it's also something that as you mention, he's irritated with the coverage in "the washington post." in his tweet yesterday he suggested "the washington post" should register as a lobbyist. now that's sort november line with president trump's habit of using the media as a foil or blaming the media when he's got stories coming out he doesn't like. amazon and "the washington post" are botho owned by jeff bezos, but they are separate entities. now to new york. it's one of at least 12 states suing the trump administration for adding a question about
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citizenship to the 2020 census. i spoke with new york state's attorney general eric schneiderman, a man who has been battling trump in court long before he became president. attorney general schneiderman, on december 12th of last year, the justice department requested of the united states bureau of census that they add the question of citizenship to the census application. and you've taken the lead in really taking legal action to stop that. why? i mean, a lot of people are saying, if people are here illegally, we should know who they are and distinguish them from others. why is that not a sound argument? >> so this is a direct assault on the constitution. article one of the constitution requires that there be a full count, an actual enumeration of every person here. not voters, because they count
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children, prisoners, immigrants. >> so the constitution does not say they have to be legal citizens that they need to have account of everyone here. >> the opposite. it says you must count everyone, regardless of their immigration status and this was adjusted by the 14th amendment to get rid of the infamous three-fifth clause and make sure everyone is accounted. republican and democratic administrations have tried to ensure that everyone is accounted. they work hard to pretest questions. they pretest the order of questions. the layout, to ensure that we get a full count. this is required for deciding how many congressional representatives a state has, deciding on trillions of dollars of streams of federal funding for state and federal governments. every census bureau director has said this sort of a question would absolutely interfere with the constitutional mandate,
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depress participation by scaring immigrants away from the census. now the remarkable thing is that they spend years testing this nrd to comply with all the administrative requirements. for this to pop in december of 2017 when the deadline for questions is march 31st of 2018, absolutely unprecedented. so we are determined to go into court to stop this. it will prevent the census bureau from carrying out its financial mandate. harm communities like new york, miami, los angeles. it will prevent us from having an accurate count. this is unconstitutional and fundamentally anti-american. >> for people at home, the actual count determines the congressional districts because if you undercount you have less congressional districts in your state and public funding like schools and all of that. so this has a direct impact on everyone whether they are here as immigrants, legal or illegal,
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or not. everyone will be impacted? >> absolutely. so it's another effort, we think, to punish states that have large numbers of immigrants, states that are bluer states that tend to have larger number of immigrants and are more welcoming to immigrants. but again, this is something that has a lawyer, as a lawyer for the people of the state, this offends my constitutional sensibilities. this is something that in 2009, when this came up again, all eight of the previous census directors, republican and democrat, took the position that this would depress turnout. the largest association of statisticians in the country has written to say this will depress participation. there is no question that this will prevent us from carrying out our constitutional mandate for a full count and prevent us from ensuring that the one person, one vote rule is complied with because we won't have an accurate count for drawing districts. >> if republicans and democrats in the past sitting in the white
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house has agreed with the position you're take, what do you think is the motive of the trump administration to do this? >> it seems to be another part of their overall attack on immigrants and on jurisdictions that are more welcoming to immigrants. they said the justice department's letter said we need to do this to enforce section two of the voting rights act. >> using the voting rights act? >> this is not something that anyone views as high up on jeff sessions' list of things to do. the same day they made that claim, their solicitor general's office was in the supreme court reversing their position on a texas reapportionment case. >> which was around voting. >> which was about the voting act. it's another reason our case is going to succeed. you can't proceed with a pretext of what you're trying to accomplish and that was transparently a pretext. we believe there are strong arguments in the procedure act, their failure to test this or follow any of their own standards and guidelines and we think that it's an affront to
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the constitution. we have 18 states now. we have cities all over the country. we're getting support from the u.s. conference of mayors. this will hurt particularly urbeen areas that have a lot of immigrants all over the country, including a lot in very red states. we're looking to see if we can expand our support there and we intend to litigate this. >> if it went through, it would cost a lot of money to do this? >> yes. hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for transit funding, housing funding, funding for nutrition programs. you name it. that would all be distorted. >> now you continue to fight around immigration issues, voting issues, other social justice issues. this justice department seems bent on trying to reverse a lot of the things achieved over the last 50 years as we mark this week, dr. king's assassination was 50 years ago as well as robert kennedy. seems like they're trying to erase a lot of what we consider
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progress. >> that is, without a doubt, true and it's too bad because i think we were building up a lot of momentum in the area of criminal justice reform. in new york, we appealed the rockefeller drug laws. our prison population has come down while crime has come down. we cut the numbers of stop and frisk and crime continued to go down. drug courts that provide treatment options instead of upnecessarily on incarcerating people. i don't think they'll stop the momentum because most criminal justice issues are at the state and local level. the federal justice department has a role and can help or hurt, we'll continue pushing for reforms that make us safer as well as doing justice. >> new york state attorney general eric schneiderman, thank you for being with us. >> thank you, rev. happy easter. and a reminder, registration is now open for this year's national action network's national convention.
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april 18th to the 21st in new york city as the country marks the 50th anniversary of dr. martin luther king jr.'s assassination. and as the community has efforts to stand united against president trump's eent-civil rights policy agenda. elizabeth warren, camilla harris and cory booker. go register at national action network. and coming up, my conversation with martin luther king iii and kerry kennedy. this is "politics nation" live this easter sunday morning on msnbc. from the very beginning ...
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coming up -- transparency. why is the police department in sacramento turning its back on the very principal in the shooting of stephon clark. this just days after my emotional eulogy for stephon clark. his name now a rallying cry for police brutality protests nationwide. and later, 50 years after the assassination of the r reverend dr. martin luther king jr., i talked to his oldest son about the nation's struggle to fully uphold his father's civil
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rights legacy. >> in this 50th year, i want people to look a little bit in the past but i want us to look to the future. how do we create a more just and humane society?
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the president's press secretary said this is a local matter. no, this is not a local matter. they have been killing young black men all over the country, and we are here to say that we're going to stand with stephon clark. we're going to make donald trump and the whole world deal with the issue of police misconduct. >> the president needs to deal with the issue of police misconduct. it's a national issue. it's been so for the last several years. but just last week alone, we saw the louisiana state attorney general say he will not prosecute police even after a tape showed that this policeman had said 90 seconds before shooting alton sterling, i'm going to shoot this mfer. we saw in sacramento not only 20
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shots at an unarmed man by a white and a black cop, even though they had an overhead helicopter of police monitoring and telling them where he was going. we saw them after the shooting saying mute the sound. intentionally cutting off any transparency, which is the whole objective to having body cameras and sound in the first place. and the president remains silent. this president that talks about everything and everybody, maybe he's silent because he doesn't want people like me to bring up central park five or bring up his racial discrimination in housing or bring up his birtherism. maybe he's playing to a race-based crowd that doesn't want him to even act like fairness and balance when it comes to black lives or brown lives should even matter. i think we have the obligation
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as we remember martin luther king's sacrifice to stand for the principles he gave his life. and do it nonviolently. those protesters that we see in sacramento have been nonviolent. there was one infraction last night where a sheriff hit one person. they tried to say a riot is coming. it didn't. they're operating in the spirit of king. the bust of dr. king was still in your office, mr. president. what about the dreamer, dr. king? why don't you try and implement it? we'll be right back. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand, the last four years overall. switch into a new chevy now. current qualified competitive owners and lessees can get this 2018 chevy equinox for around $199 a month. chevrolet. find new roads.
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this week, the nation will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of reverend dr. martin luther king jr. later this year, it will do the same for senator robert f. kennedy who also died from an assassin's bullet in 1968. both men, great movers of history, who lost their lives in the promotion of peace. icons of the era's dashed hopes and enduring dreams. but what is too often forgotten is that both men were parents. their children lived, losing fathers, even as their movements lost leaders.
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and the nation lost their examples. recently, i was both privileged and humbled to sit down with their now grown children, martin luther king iii and kerry kenne kennedy, to hear about the men behind the movements and how they are continuing the work of their famous fathers. i want to get into what you, kerry and martin, are doing to continue the work 50 years later. but i think a lot of people really don't understand the human side of this. thanks to you, martin, i got to know your mother well. i only saw your father twice, even though i was in the organization. but he was mostly in the south. and when i look at this picture of your father fixing your tie and i look at pictures of robert kennedy and his family, this is y'all's dad.
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how did you deal with the family, the memories of your father? how do you deal with the pain every day of having to relive it for those of us that are insensitive to -- we're talking about your dad. >> it really was about how mother prepared us from a grounding and foundational standpoint. when dad died, i don't remember her saying your father has been killed. >> really? >> she said that your father will no longer be with us. he has gone home to live with god. and when god's servants serve him well, god brings them home for rest. >> that's how she broke the news? >> we had seen it, of course, on the television. we saw that he'd been shot. we didn't know if that meant he actually was killed because it was about an hour after. >> how old were you? >> i was 10 years old. and, obviously, that was the most traumatic experience that i as a child would go through.
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the loss is uncomprehensible. i had to ultimately retrain my thoughts because the legacy is so profound, so powerful. as i travel around the world, see streets and schools and hospitals named in his honor. that is what i -- is my saving grace as opposed to thinking about, yes, i lost a father. my life is changed dramatically. >> kerry, your uncle, president john kennedy was killed. and then i know that traumatized the family and changed everyone's life. and then your father shot down as he ran for president. how did you deal with this? your uncle. now your father. and you have everybody coming wanting to either memorialize and idolize or attack and people really didn't understand you are
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dealing with the pain of the removal of a father. >> well, you know, i remember when daddy died, when my brother called and told me that, that i went into my room and i laid down on my bed and i prayed. and i said a prayer for my father and then i said a prayer saying, please, god, don't let them hurt the person who killed daddy. >> wow. >> because i didn't want any other family to go through the horror that we were going through. >> so wait a minute. i've got to stop you there. you're saying your brother called you and told you that your father had been killed. you went in your room and prayed also that no one would hurt the man that just had killed your father? >> yeah. yeah, that's what i prayed for. i didn't want there to be vengeance. i didn't want there to be
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revenge. i wanted there to be peace and love. all of us experience suffering. and all of us experience love. and it's been such an honor and a privilege and an extraordinary gift in a way for people to come and share that moment of suffering with me. that's been a source of real strength for me going forward. and kind of envisioning how we can make a society that is not based on suffering but much more based on loving one another. >> you know, martin, when kerry was explaining how people would tell her, as i'm sure you've experienced countless times, where they were. i thought about -- youth director in new york of bread basket america, your father's group, and when it went across the screen dr. king had been shot in memphis, my mother
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started crying uncontrollably. and i said, you know, we love dr. king. i saw him a couple times at our home church. but you're crying like he was like our relative. and she said to me, you would have had to grow up in alabama like i did because i grew up in brooklyn and have to sit in the back of the bus or be thirsty and have to use the colored water fountain and not be able to use the white fountain or have to relieve your body and couldn't even go to a public toilet to understand who dr. king was. and sometimes i wonder if you or kerry understand what your father's meant to so many. we'll never know what it was like to lose daddy, but i wonder, can you explain to your daughter and kerry explain to her children what their grandfather really meant? it's hard to comprehend. >> perhaps it is difficult, and i would have to say, i don't
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know that i certainly as a child understood subconsciously i understood what that really means and, of course, i think she sort of has an understanding of who her grandparents, i would say, were. sometimes she regrets the fact she was not able to meet her grandparents whereas other children in her school have two sets so that's a little challenging for me from time to time because i feel really bad and i have to tell her. but, yes, while you didn't get to know them in the same way that i got to know them, your grandparents are looking over you. they're very proud of you. what you personify every day. and again, it's about building the foundation. >> kerry, how do you raise your children? how did you because some of them are grown now. to know what their grandfather was about and how to deal with the aftermath of a nation mourning for him and his brother
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before him, the president of the united states, john kennedy? >> well, you know, i think when jack died, so many people came up to daddy and said when your brother died, i lost all my hope. and my father was always sympathetic to that and appreciative of it, but he didn't believe in it. and he would always say, we need to learn the lesson of jack's life and carry that forward. and i think that's really the point. it's not to go back and try and relive my dad's life and tell them every bit of those details but really taking the lessons of social justice and of love and compassion and working towards peace and making those real as we confront the issues in our country today. the me too movement. the fact of mass incarceration.
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the extraordinary gun violence. >> now stay right there a minute, kerry, because i want to ask you about that. you and the robert kennedy foundation have worked on any number of these social issues. and i saw the other day, and i'm going to play where your father, right after dr. king's death, addressed the issue of racism and criminal justice. i am going to play the tape, but i want you to give the context of that and connect for me the speech of your father and the work of your father with the kennedy foundation and you today. >> sure. thank you so much. so when martin's dad died, my father was campaigning in indiana. and he went and spoke to a crowd in downtown indianapolis about the death of dr. king and gave an extraordinary speech. afterwards, he -- 125 cities
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across our country started to burn that night. there was looting, violence. there was disruption across the board. and so then in response, the white city fathers across the country said now we don't have to do anything more with the civil rights movement or with african-americans because look at what they're doing to our cities. they've turned to violence. we're done. and my father's response to that was, he was asked by many of those, the african-american leadership, civil rights leadership at the time to give a speech. and he gave a speech in cleveland. it's called the mindless menace of violence speech in which he said to the city fathers you have created and benefited from a system of violence that led to the violence in the cities. and we all have a responsibility to address the -- that system of
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violence. and that's the violence of schools that don't teach kids. it's the violence of having a society where kids who graduate from school can't go to school. it's a violence of mass incarceration. so that's what this clip is about. >> there is another kind of violence. slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. this is the violence of institutions. indifference. inaction. and decay. this is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin is different colors. when you teach a man to hate and
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to fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color, then you also learn to confront others. not as fellow citizens but as enemies. to be met not with cooperation but with conquest. to be subjugated and to be mastered. this much is clear. violence breeds violence. repression breeds retaliation. and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls. >> my sincere thanks to kerry kennedy. i have more with martin luther king iii in just a moment on where his father's dream stands 50 years later. peninsula trail? you won't find that on a map.
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on what will be the 50th anniversary of his death. no matter how inclined we might be to celebrate the progress, dr. king never lived to see, we must remember that the same forces he died fighting are still with us imperilling that progress and endangering his dream. i asked dr. king's oldest son martin luther king iii where their dream stands 50 years later. martin, this week, april 4th, is the 50th anniversary of your father's passing. and gunned down. and you've talked about how your mother kept you strong and your siblings strong and grounded. and how you were stunned about all of the people that came to atlanta. and you said that you think the crowds that they quote numbers
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are underestimated. and here we are 50 years later. what do you remember about the days surrounding 50 years ago? >> obviously, that was a very dark time for us, for me personally trying to figure out how to grieve. and what we did was we -- you emulate and watch your loved one. we watched our mom. i don't remember mom crying. i'm not suggesting this was the best way to deal with it, but mother was strong so we attempted to be strong. we cried, of course, certainly during the funeral, but i remember the april 4th at 7:05 atlanta's time it came on the news that dr. king has just been shot. and all of us were like, oh, my god, what does that mean? we ran back to mother's room and
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dad's room to try to see what she knew. and i don't remember an answer at that time. i remember her working to get ready because she had received a call from andrew young and from jesse jackson to come to memphis right away. and she was preparing to go to memphis. she got to the airport, we were told later, and the mayor of atlanta, ivan allen, was walking over toward her as she came out of the restroom. and the way he was walking she said she knew that, well, maybe this is not going to be good news. and, of course, he pulled her aside and said, mrs. king, dr. king didn't make it. that's the essence of what he said. but we're here to do whatever we can to help you. the city had already opened its arms and was working with us. mom came back home that night
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and said i won't go to memphis tonight. i'm going to go back to share with my children. and that's when she told me your father and the other siblings, has gone home to live with god. when you see him, he will not be able to hug and kiss you. i don't remember all the questions but they asked a number of questions. i sort of accepted that dad is sort of rewarded. he's gone home to live with god even though it's a great loss to us. what we are going to do? how we are going to make it? our life has changed. daddy did a sermon called "interruptions." our life is changed forever. so what i remember was the
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number of people who came to atlanta. every presidential aspirant from richard nixon, of course, to robert kennedy and others. vice president humphrey was running. he was there. many from the entertainment community. obviously, harry belafonte was very close. so he was with us, along with sammy davis who came in and sydney portier and wilt chamberla chamberlain. peter, paul & mary. marlon brando. there were hosts of entertainers who came. and, obviously, aretha franklin was close because of her dad and them being ministers. so i remember all of this. one story that i must tell, two very important people at that time came. one was robert cole and his
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co-star bill cosby. >> really? >> yes. and bill cosby spent time with the three of us. and i remember him giving us some i mean, we didn't go into a chance but it was almost as if to say your dad is still with us even though he's physically not here. i don't remember what he told us. he said to my mom, i'll spend time with the kids. >> wow. >> that was a powerful experience. >> they were a very big audience. >> yes, yes. >> let me bring you 50 years later. you reenergized, realizing the dream and called on this morrow movement, this culture of non-violence, i've seen and worked with you down through the years, we've been to jail together protesting in st. louis and other places, marched together and i also would watch your mother, you would bring to
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our convention and she watched with pride as you emerged and was doing the activism of your father. 50 years later, there will be people doing things but you admonish me saying al, nobody knows what my father would be doing but what do you want to see people doing? you, martin luther king, iii, what do you want to do ceremonially but committed to? >> what i really want to see and what i'm working on is creating this culture of non-violence. i want to join with partners perhaps from the ghondi family, the medela family so it's a movement and people will say we're going to change, we're going to do a shift because it
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would be a shift for us and the initiative, we want to engage people. we want young people to lead because you and i are older but, you know, we have some input. every movement that's been successful all over the world, and so in this 50th year, what i want people to look a little bit in the past, i want us to look at the future. how do we create a more just and humane society possibility and the respect is the order of the day. we totally lost respect because when we look at defenstelevisioe of the television programming, it's so negative. people have to exercise their right to go to another channel. i want to see something whole
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some and positive. if we can create that climate through the organizations and actions, as you said, it was very profound what you said earlier about legislation and -- >> confrontation. >> legislation, confrontation, reckon se reconcile. >> there is six steps for non-violence the dad employed. the first step was information g gathering, the fourth step was negotiation. we missed negotiation. most conflicts could be resolved through negotiation. if you don't negotiate, then you go to direct action or conflict and after conflict is reconciliation. with what we have today, what today and them had was a machine and flyers to transform the world. now we have every technology
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available at our wings and we're using it in someways counterproductively. we have to change the focus. we just began to scratch the surface of what technology can do. we have to transform it so technology is used to transform our society we have a more whole some and just and righteous society. that's the leadership that is the coalition i'm working to build for the future. >> martin luther king, iii. thank you so much. >> thank you. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. capital one has pad with to give venture cardholders 10 miles on every dollar they spend at thousands of hotels. all you have to do is pay with this... at 10 miles per dollar? that is incredible. brrrrr. i have the chills. because you're so excited? because ice is cold. and because of all those miles. obviously. what's in your wallet?
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on tuesday night before going to memphis and atlanta, i'm joining the mayor of new york and others at washington square park as we remember dr. king's last speech. april 3rd, 1968 where he said that we have some difficulties ahead but that we, as a people, will get to the promise land. since i was 12 years old when my brother brought me into the civil rights movement 13 as youth director in new york, i believed we would get to the promise land though i've seen difficult days and we're seeing them now into this president but i remember linda brown who died this week who was the lead in brown versus board of education. she faced those difficult days in her time. will reface them now?
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it is the belief that we will get to the promise land that i took when i spoke at alton sterling's funeral that was killed in baton rouge by police and the state prosecutor said he would do nothing about it. i took that belief to this young man, stephon clark. i believe, despite the rhetoric from the white house, despite the attempts to reverse laws, i believe dr. king wouldn't have lied to us, that we would get to that promise land, but we won't get there unless we come together across race lines, religious lines, gender lines, actual orientation lines, we won't get there unless we believe that no matter how dark the side of the mountain is, there is some light if we just keep moving and don't give up. that's what dr. king taught a little boy from brooklyn. that does it for me, thank you for watching.
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and to keep the conversation going, like us at nation and follow us on twitter @politics nation. see you next sunday. to my colleague, alex witt. >> i just got a little religion from you, rev. look forward to seeing you again another noon. good morning to you and happy easter to those celebrating. i'm alex witt. it's 9: 00 here in the east, 6:00 a.m. out west. renewed attack examining some of president trump's claims about amazon, the post office, what is true and not true and why he refuses to stop. 3:00 a.m. tweet tearing a page from the president's playbook. the attorney for stormy daniels sends an early morning tweet. ahead, the message he spent at the odd hour. catalog of the comings and goings of the white house who might be next to go and will old mi


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