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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 27, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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>> forward march.
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>> there you see senate minority leader chuck humor. we saw the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, seated right next to senate majority leader mcconnell. both are said to offer remarks in just a few moments.
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forward march.
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>> forward march. ladies and
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speaker of the united states house of representatives. >> good afternoon. it is an official, personal, and very sad honor to welcome our colleague, john lewis, back to
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the capitol, to welcome his family and his many friends to acknowledge his sacred life. please stay standing for the invocation by reverend dr. granger browning jr. ebenezer ame church. >> let us bow our heads in a word of prayer. eternal god our father, i come before you today in the name of jesus. thanking you for the many different faiths and beliefs and religions that make up your beloved community that come to celebrate the life and legacy of john lewis. we come today thanking you for the faith foundations that his mother and father established in troy, alabama. we thank you for his leadership of snic and the march on washington. we thank you for how he was bloodied for us, bruised for us, marched for us, sat in for us, and was willing to give up his life that we might have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. on today, as his colleagues and
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friends and especially family members come, as he lays in state in this hallowed rotunda, we come on this day recommitting ourselves to march as he marched, to ballot boxes and to this year for mailboxes, and for voting rights, and for civil rights, and for human rights. and we'll keep doing that until that day justice rolls down like mighty waters like a mighty stream, and finally on july 17th, we want to say thank you that he crossed another bridge, not the edmund pettus bridge that we pray one day will be named the john lewis memorial bridge, but the bridge from earth to glory. when he got there, elijah cummings and the congressional cloud of witnesses welcomed him home as they marched down the street paved with gold, we want to say thank you from emmett till to george floyd, say thank you for allowing our deaths not to be in vain. and when he got to the little white throne, we want to say thank you. we heard you say well done, thy
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good and faithful servant. you have kept your eyes on the prize, and now enter into the joy of the lord. after you said that, gabriel told the angels to lift every voice and sing. we heard dr. king in the background saying free at last, free at last, the consciousness of congress is free at last. in jesus' name we pray, amen. >> the honorable mitch mcconnell, majority leader of the united states senate. >> please be seated. in his memoirs, john lewis described a childhood home that was quite different from the place he lies today. that farmhouse in pike county,
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alabama, had no running water or electricity, it stood on the first land his father's family had ever owned. in a part of the country where segregation had led to almost total isolation along racial lines. it would have been hard to conceive back then that the young child tending his family's chickens would be age 23 be leading the movement to redeem american society. that he would be addressing hundreds of thousands of civil rights marchers from the steps of the lincoln memorial. i was lucky enough to be there that day. i marvelled at the massive crowds. the sight gave me hope for our country. that was john's doing. even on that day, as his voice echoed across the mall, i wonder
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how many dared imagine that young man would come to walk the halls of the congress. america's original sin of slavery was allowed to fester for far too long. it left a long wake of pain, violence, and brokenness that has taken great efforts from great heroes to address. john's friend, dr. martin luther king jr. famously said, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. but that is never automatic. history only bent toward what's right because people like john paid the price to help bend it. he paid that price at every nashville lunch counter where his leadership made segregation impossible to ignore. he paid it in every jail cell where he waited out hatred and
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oppression. he paid that price in harassment and beatings from a bus station in south carolina, to the edmund pettus bridge. john lewis lived and worked with urgency because the task was urgent. but even though the world around him gave him every cause for bitterness, he stubbornly treated everyone with respect and love. all so that as his friend dr. king once put it, we could build a community at peace with itself. today, we pray and trust that this peace maker himself now rests in peace. all of john's colleagues stand with his son john miles, their family, and the entire country in thanking god that he gave our
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nation this hero it needed so badly. may all of us that he will leave behind under this dome pray for a fraction of john's strength to keep bending that arc on toward justice. >> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable nancy pelosi, speaker of the united states house of representatives. >> to the family of john lewis, welcome to the rotunda. under the dome of the u.s. capitol, we have bid fare well to some of the greatest americans in our history. it is fitting that john lewis joins this pantheon of patriots, resting upon the same catafalque of president abraham lincoln. john revered president lincoln,
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his identification with lincoln was clear. 57 years ago, at the shadow of the lincoln memorial, where john declared our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all people. words that ring true today. mr. leader, between then and now, john lewis became a tielten of the civil rights movement and then the conscience of the congress. here in congress, john was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the capitol. we knew that he always worked on the side of the angels, and now we know that he is with them. and we are comforted to know that he is with his beloved lillian. and may be a comfort to john's son, john miles, and the entire lewis family, michael collins,
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the entire staff that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time. god truly blessed america with the life and leadership of john lewis. we thank you for sharing him with us. may he rest in peace. john lewis often spoke of a beloved community, a vision he shared with reverend martin luther king jr., of a community connected and uplifted by faith, hope, and charity. and indeed, john had deep faith. believing that every person has a spark of divinity, making them worthy of respect. and he had faith in the charity of others, which is what gave him so much hope. and as he wrote in his book, release the need to hate, to harbor division and the enticement of revenge. release all bitterness. hold only love. only peace in your heart. knowing the battle for good to
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overcome evil is already won. john the optimist. through it all, john was a person of greatness. he also was a person of great humility. always giving credit to others in the movement. john committed his life to advancing justice and understood that to build a better future, we had to acknowledge the past. exactly one year ago, it was a privilege to be with john and members of the congressional black caucus, madam chair, karen bass, for a pilgrimage to ghana to observe 400 years since the arrival of the first slaves from africa. some of the descendants of those slaves would build this capitol, where john now lies in state on the lincoln catafalque. i wish you could have seen the response that john received when
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he was introduced to the ghana parliament. my colleagues are shaking their heads. it was overwhelming. i wish you could have seen him at the door of no return, which enslaved people were sent through onto the death ships to cross the atlantic. i wish you could have seen what it meant to him. he knew that the door of no return was a central part of american history, just as is the edmund pettus bridge, the march on washington, the selma march to montgomery are. when john made his speech 57 years ago, he was the youngest speaker at the march on washington program. how fitting it is that in the final days of his life, he summoned the strength to acknowledge the young people peacefully protesting in the same spirit of that march, taking up the unfinished work of racial justice. helping complete the journey begun more than 55 years ago.
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we have all seen the photographs of john being brutally beaten in selma, which painted an iconic picture of injustice. what a beautiful contrast to see john and the mayor of washington, who is with us today, at the black lives matter plaza, standing in solidarity with the protesters, an iconic picture of justice that will endure and will inspire our nation for years to come. john firmly focused on the future. on how to inspire the next generation to join the fight for justice. his quote, to find a way to get in the way. as one of the youngest leaders of the freedom rides, march on washington, and march to montgomery, he understood the power of young people to change the future. when asked what someone can do who is 19 or 20 years old, the
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age he was when he set out to desegregate nashville, lewis replied, a young person should be speaking out for what is fair, what is just, what is right. speak out for those who have been left out and left behind. that is how the movement goes forward, john said. imagine the great joy he had traveling the country to share that message of action with young people. no need to imagine. it is my personal privilege right now for me to yield to our beloved colleague, the distinguished gentleman from georgia, congressman john lewis. >> i grew up in rural alabama, 50 miles from montgomery. outside of a little place called troy. my father was a sharecropper farmer, but back in 1944, when i was only 4 years old, my father
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had saved $300. and with the $300, he bought 110 acres of land. my family still owns that land today. how many of you remember when you were 4? what happened to the rest of us? it was many, many years ago when we were visited the town of troy, visit montgomery, visit tuskegee, visit birmingham, i saw those signs saying white men, colored men. white women, colored men. white waiting, colored waiting. i would come home and ask my mother, my father, my grandparents why. they would say that's the way it is. don't get in the way. don't get in trouble. but one day in 1955, 15 years old, in the tenth grade, i heard about rosa parks. i heard the words of martin
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luther king jr. on the radio. 1957, i met rosa parks at the age of 17. in 1958, at the age of 18, i met martin luther king jr., and these two individuals inspired me to get in the way, to get in trouble. so i come here to say to you this morning, on this beautiful campus with your great education, you must find a way to get in the way. you must find a way to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble. use your education. you have wonderful teachers. wonderful professors. researchers. use what you have. use your learning. use your tools. to help make our country and make our world a better place,
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where no one will be left out or left behind. you can do it, and you must do it. it is your time. in a few short days, we will commemorate what we called in mississippi summer project, but more than 1,000 students from all over america, many from abroad, made a trip to mississippi to encourage people to register to vote. and a summer night june 21th, 1964, 3 young men that i knew, two whites and one african-american, nicolas ferner, annie goodman, and james shanie, went out to investigate the burning of an african-american church that was used for voter registration
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workshop. these three young men detained by the sheriff, taken to jail, taken out of jail, turned over to the klan, where they were beaten and shot and killed. and i tell students today these three young men didn't die in vietnam. they didn't die in the middle east. or eastern europe. they didn't die in africa or central or south america. they died right here in our own country, trying to help all of our citizens become participants in a democratic process. as young people, you must understand that are forces that want to take us back to another period, but you must say that we're not going back. we made too much progress, and we're going forward. there may be some setbacks. some delays, some disappointment, but you must never, ever give up. or give in. you must keep the faith and keep your eyes on the prize.
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that is your calling. that is your mission. that is your moral obligation. that is your mandate. get out there and do it. get in the way. in the final analysis, we all must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. we all live in the same house. and it doesn't matter whether we are black or white, latino, asian american, or native american. it doesn't matter whether you're straight or gay. we're one people, we're one family. we all live in the same house. be bold. be courageous. stand up. speak up. speak out. and find a way to create the beloved community, the beloved
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world, a world of peace, a world that recognizes the dignity of all human kind. never become bitter. never become hostile. never hate. live in peace. we're one. one people and one love. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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ladies and gentlemen.
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♪ ♪
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♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me ♪ ♪ i once was lost but now i'm found ♪ ♪ was blind but now i see ♪
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♪ many dangers toils and snares i have already come ♪ ♪ twas grace that brought me this far and grace will lead me
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home ♪ ♪ when we've been there 10,000 years bright shining as the sun ♪ ♪ no mistake to sing god's praise and when we first begun ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah
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hallelujah ♪ ♪ hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen --
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♪ ♪ when peace like a river attendth my way ♪ ♪ when sorrows like sea billow s
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billows ♪ ♪ whatever my lot thou has told me to say ♪ ♪ it is well it is well with my soul ♪ ♪ it is well ♪ with my soul ♪ it is well it is well with my
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soul ♪ ♪ and lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight ♪ ♪ the clouds be rolled back as a scroll ♪ ♪ the trumpets shall resound and the lord shall descend ♪
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♪ it is well with my soul ♪ it is well with my soul ♪ it is well it is well with my soul ♪ ♪ it is well with my soul
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♪ it is well it is well with my soul ♪ [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, please
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rise. the united states house of representatives. >> god grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference. living one day at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. taking as he did the sinful world as it is. not as i would have it. trusting that he will make all things right if i surrender to
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his will. i may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until you're escorted to pay your respects by the sergeant at arms.
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we have been watching and listening to and quite frankly, moved by this ceremony in the capitol rotunda. john lewis. the first black lawmaker to lie in state in that capitol rotunda. moving remarks.
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moving music as well. fits his rendition of amazing grace. one for the ages, but undoubtedly, undeny bly, the most moving part was hearing the late congressman in his own words when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to stand up, speak up, speak out. find a way to get in the way and get in trouble. good trouble. necessary trouble. as we continue to watch his former friends and colleagues pay their respects. this will be the scene for the next day and a half in the row tun da as john lewis lies in state. i'm joined now by eddie, chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university. back with me also is heather mcghee couture, color of change, both are msnbc contributors as
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we look at the congresswoman karen bass there. pay her respects. professor glaude, i'll start with you. over the last few hours, we've heard from a number of folks who have talked about the john lewis they all remembered. what leahe represented to them. what he stood to them. for you, professor, who was congressman john lewis? >> without congressman john lewis and others, you know, we wouldn't be possible. i'm sitting here thinking as i'm looking at the coffin, draped in the flag, how many walked into the rotunda with him. cloud of witnesses who didn't have flags draped over their coffins. thinking about sammy young. murdered because he tried to integrate a restroom in tuskegee, alabama, 1966.
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a comrade of john lewis'. thinking about jimmy lee jackson. murdered in marion, alabama, by a state trooper. a comrade of john lewis. i'm thinking about all of those bodies at the bottom of the mississippi river that nobody knows their names. they're the cloud of witnesses in the capitol rotunda right now. and then the second thing i'm thinking about, brother craig, is you know, at the end of when he had his skull cracked in selma at edmund pettus bridge, they asked him to speak. the only thing he could say is why couldn't the federal government send somebody. remember that? then as we're putting him to rest, the federal government is sending troops to shoot flash bombs and rubber bullets at protestors. lord, we need an example of sacrifice. of selflessness now. we need to lift up that example in john lewis today. >> as we watch these lawmakers bow their heads, many of them
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teary eyed, another interesting piece of history. that cat a fog and that is what it's called if you notice the black draping underneath the flag draped casket. that is seemingly nondistribute platform of pine board and black cloth. it is connecting john lewis with john f. kennedy. thorou marshall and lincoln as well. it was that same platform that held up the casket of the 16th president of these united states. it is the son of two former sharecroppers. lying in state there in the capitol rotunda. professor, before you joined us,
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as we watch all these lawmakers simultaneously, a number of them, all members of the cbc, the congressional black caucus, professor, in terms of how he should be remembered in 30 seconds, i know that's terribly unfair, but how should we remember congressman lewis? >> you know, echoing heather mcghee earlier, he's a founding father. he helps us reach for an america that is just. it should be understood as a saint. a saint is not a perfect person. it's someone who exemplifies the virtues that define the good life as we imagine. but he's a child of the south. of our tradition. we have to remember him as the best of who we are. yeah. risked everything. and hopefully as an example for
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us to risk everything right now. so we need to lift him up. >> heather, word came down a short time ago. when asked at the white house, whether he would be paying his respects to john lewis as he lies in state here for the next day and a half, president trump said he would not. surprised? dispoi disappointed or both? >> to be honest, i don't think john lewis would have wanted him there. you know, the degree to which john lewis saw the threat that donald trump posed to everything that he fought for was so clear. john lewis did not attend his inauguration. john lewis was very clear that donald trump could be the u
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unmaking of the america he fought so hard for. so i think all of us now as we mourn, grieve, honor him, need to do something very concrete, which is just light up the senate switchboards because mitch mcconnell said some very well written words about john lewis' sacrifice and now it's time for us to make sure that every eligible american citizen can vote without oppression or fear from their government and that's what the voting rights advancement act, the john lewis as it is now in the house, will do. it's passed time. it's been years since we, as ruth bader ginsburg took away her um brbrella in the middle o rainstorm and our democracy has not look ed the same since and that's what absolutely needs to happen right now to honor this man. this hero, this american founder, john lewis. >> heather mcghee, thank you. professor glaude, thank you as
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well. thank you both. and that is going to wrap up our special coverage as we continue to remember and honor the life of john lewis. nicole wallace will pick up our coverage after a short break. l coverage after a short break when you shop with wayfair, you spend less and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams. spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wayfair today.
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hi, everyone. i'm nicole wallace. we have a lot to get to this hour, including a coronavirus outbreak on a major league baseball team just days aftering day. but we begin with what has been a day of tribute for a man who was once treated so poorly by his nation. members of congress now filing past his casket. the casket of civil rights icon, long time georgia congressman, john lewis, as he lies in state in the rotunda of the united states capitol. this comes after his family and some of his colleagues gathered in the rotunda to pay tribute to the man known as the conscious of the congress. house speaker nancy pelosi talked about what he brought to his job as a legislator. >> here in congress, john was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle. on both