tv The Cross Connection With Tiffany Cross MSNBC August 7, 2021 7:00am-9:00am PDT
this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. so please get vaccinated. >> the texas state legislature prepares to gavel in another special section in an attempt to with a six month high. and that's just this week. and this time the epicenter is my neck of the woods, reporting more than 134,000 new cases this. >> if there's any silver lining to be had here, the dire numbers
seem to be inspiring more people to get the vaccine. the daily number of first doses has doubled since the start of july. republicans have turned and said to their favorite scapegoats, immigrants. >> joe biden has taken to himself to try to single out florida over covid. this is a guy who ran for president, saying he was going to, quote, shut down the virus, and what has he done, he's imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border. >> as the biden administration is allowing people to come across the southern border, many of whom who have covid, most of whom are not really being checked for covid. those who do have covid, some have been released into our cities. >> and americans all over this country. ought to be damned angry what's happening to their country. total invasion.
people are going to die because of people coming in illegally with covid, with the fentanyl drugs that are crossing the border. >> joining me now to get into all of that foolishness this morning is dr. chris purrnell, and an early participant in the moderna vaccine trial, and katie fang, and co-host of money court, premiering on cnbc this wednesday. congressman, i want to start with you, because you know, i hear those words and i'm so grossly offended by that awful, hateful rhetoric. and as someone who yourself was undocumented, and made records when you were elected to congress, and you're also outfront on this vaccine mandate issue, i'm just curious your thoughts on what we just heard. >> this is a tired, archaic playbook that department work for them during the past
elections. donald trump spent four years scapegoating immigrants, and now we see how the florida governor, as people die on his doorstep, is trying to blame immigrants for it. this is -- i agree with joe biden. this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. this is surely a pandemic that continues to be prolonged, because people have mass vaccinated themselves, and because of the policies put in place by republican governors. one third of the cases are coming from florida and texas. a tenth of the cases are coming from the state of florida. >> right. and we didn't hear a blip about the maga crowd, who is also, you know, dancing in these conspiracy theories about the vaccine. so dr. purrnell, i'm curious, because as a public health official, these vaccine mandates are controversial among some groups. you know, people don't like the government mandating things. however, look at what happened
in the nfl. when they say, hey, you want to play in this league, you have to get vaccinated. and now, 90% of the players are vaccinated, according to them. what's at risk, if more people do not get vaccinated? and where do you stand on the vaccine mandates? >> the more people who don't get vaccinated, the longer the pandemic continues. remember, the virus is looking for a susceptible host. vaccination is our most powerful tool against the virus. as long as we have unvaccinated people, the virus can mutate. and while this delta variant is very concerning and rightfully so, the potential for other variants to emerge will still be there. i fully support vaccine mandates. we live by a social covenant. we live by a social contract. we talk a lot about individualism in the united states of america. we need to talk more about collectivism. no one is safe unless all of us are safe. >> the unvaccinated pose a threat to all of us.
one of the things that comes up in conversation a lot is the constitutionality about all of this. a friend of the show and a friend of mine had a great piece in "the nation" this week where he says that vaccines -- vaccine mandates are, in fact, constitutional. and he goes into the point saying that for the public and even private institutions and business, wear masks before entering establishments, that's something that can happen. but from your legal perspective, where do you stand on the vaccine mandates? >> i am vaxed, we laxed, and i still wear a mask. and i think that's what everybody should be doing right now. from a legal perspective, as you've seen, there have been legal challenges. but they have yet to be sustained by the people that are complaining about having to be vaccinated. but more specifically, we're seeing legal challenges that are arising in court, dealing with things like the executive order, that governor ron desantis just passed into law recently, in
terms of whether or not kids going back to school in just a couple of weeks are required to wear masks. there are two lawsuits that were just filed in the last 24 hours, wherein parents of children are alleging that if you force my kid to go back to in-person learning but don't require the mask to be worn in the classroom, that's a violation of the americans with disabilities act. that is also a violation of the florida constitution, which allows for a safe and secure public school. now, also interestingly, florida in a complete waste of money, its board of education just voted within the last day to allow for private school vouchers that are kids that are complaining that they're being bullied because they are required to wear masks. well, here's the thing, tiffany. most, if not all of the private schools here in florida require the wearing of masks for in-person learning in the classroom. so we're seeing that there is, as the great doctor as just told
us, a militarying move towards protecting the collective great. the collective good of everyone. there is no downside to requiring that masks be worn, private businesses are allowed to do what they need to do. and as of this moment right now, there has been no sustained challenge in court in terms of the requirement of wearing a mask at minimum. >> no legal downside and no downside to our health. it's baffling to see people reject basic health safety measures. i want you to take a listen to jen psaki. >> florida is not the only state. seven states have a probation on school districts from requiring masks in schools. and some states have even banned businesses and universities from requiring workers and students to be vaccinated. >> this is a very scary space we're in. i've said this before. it's not necessarily the virus
that's killing us, it's ignorance. so i'm curious, since you're a part of the federal government, what is the role for the federal government to play in this debate that shouldn't even really be a debate? >> well, the cdc has established that we should wear masks. in new york city, the mayor has come out for mandatory screening of vaccine cards or a 72-hour negative test, covid test. so this is practical measures. i agree with the doctor. there are far too many breakthrough cases, so people that are not vaccinated are prolonging this pandemic. we are feeding the virus when we don't vaccinated or wear a mask. these are particularly, with the children going back now in september, how could we not think of making sure that our kids are protected, that they all have to wear a mask in school. certainly, this is a very
practical -- and in my opinion, a life-saving measure. so the federal government at some point will have to step in. we have four stringent policies that will protect everyone, particularly those people that have already been vaccinateded themselves and don't want to have a breakthrough episode. as we see happening all over the country. >> dr. purrnell,tive same question for you and katie. i'll start you. here's my thing. i don't trust all of these vaccination cards. people are manipulating them and showing them saying, oh, yeah, i'm vaccinated. then you find out, nope, that was fake. how do we get in front of that? and i do understand the hesitation about people saying, i don't want the government having access to, you know, some bar code that, you know, has access to my health information. but i don't trust everybody like that. and i think a lot of people feel that same sentiment. what's your take? >> tiffany, unfortunately, right now, fear and ignorance are running amok. and fear and ignorance are trying to take on science. and so we need to enact and
carry out those basic public health guidelines and measures that are going to keep all of us, most of us, the most vulnerable of us safe. that's the health equity approach. so having people wear a mask indoors, having people encouraged to get vaccinated. having people to show proof of vaccination, once again, these are measures or policies that will keep us all safe. as long as we have elected officials and politicians who have no degrees in science, i would like to point out, no battleground in public health, making outlandish, making racist, making xenophobeick, white extremist statements, all of us are threatened. the health of the entire nation are threatened. so all tools out of the tool kit need to be on the table in order for us to beat back this pandemic. >> katie, dr. purrnell raises a good point. i don't want to get shut down again. i've been having this debate with my teen for the past couple
of weeks. some people feel like money makes the world go around. people will get comfortable with losing thousands of lives every day before they will get comfortable with losing billions of dollars every day. if we don't enforce this mandate, it looks like we're headed for another shutdown. what are your thoughts on that and the fake vaccine cards? >> listen. if you had to sit there and fundamentally weigh a human life against the almighty dollar, you're right, some people are going to choose the dollar over the life. but most of those people are coming from a place of privilege, right? most of those people are probably vaccinated. you and i both know that governor ron desantis is vaccinated. and i'm not advocating the death of anyone, but i certainly don't think that ron desantis would go have his kids amidst adults that are you could with the delta variant with over 2,000 cases in last hour line. i have to have a driver's license to drive a car.
there's a database that's maintained that proves that i have a driver's license. the same idea is made about gun owners. well, guess what, this thing is a killing machine. covid is a killing machine, just like car. you've got to have a driver's license to operate one. maybe you need to be able to prove that you have a vaccination and a legit vaccination card. >> and you make a really good point about these people. they are vaccinated while spewing this nonsense. for the folks that align with them, they're making a fool out of you for political points. thank you for making that point. dr. chris purrnell, our favorite doctor, and katie, of course. and up next, the eviction ban has been extended through october 3rd, but what happens then? we'll discuss that after the break. ns then we'll discuss that after the break. instead of burning our past for power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron.
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eviction moratorium after congresswoman cori bush took a bold stand and forced the president to take action. >> i know what that feels like and this is not -- this should not be who we are. it should not be what lawmakers allow. we should be doing everything that we can to make sure that we end the suffering, not perpetuate it. >> now, bush likely saved millions of americans from being forced out of their homes when biden extended much of the moratorium until october. and this is despite his own concerns about its constitutionality. >> i can't guarantee that the court won't rule that we don't have that authority. but at least we'll have the ability, if we have the appeal, to keep this going for a while. at least, i hope long enough. >> so this leads us to the supreme court. now,wide biden seems to be relying on the humanity of the nation's highest court. but the question is, does the court even have the humanity.
asking for millions of people facing homelessness. joining me now is andre perry, author of "know your price," and diane yentil, president and ceo of the national housing coalition. diana, i want to start with you, because understand the fear of not being table to pay your rent and the fear of facing this deadline. i want you to paint the picture for us. what happens as we keep kicking this can down the road. what happens in october when this moratorium expires again? >> joe biden extending the eviction moratorium really threw a lifeline to about 6.5 million renter families who remain behind on rent, having fallen behind during the pandemic and are at heightened risk of eviction when the moratorium expires. so this extension of the moratorium provides more time for states and cities to get the
emergency rental assistance out to the tenants and landlords who need it, to keep tenants stably housed. there are sufficient resources to cover all of the arrears that renters crewaccrued during the pandemic, but the money is getting out much too slowly. so now states and localities have to do more and better and faster to get this money to tenants. two months may not be enough time and we may not even have two months if the courts strike the eviction moratorium down before then. >> so you talk about the money getting out way too slowly. and that's a really good point, even the old moratorium left some people struggling. in states identifying the individual who is need this money has been caught up in the bureaucracy, while people struggle. andre, how can this process be improved for people who are literally facing homelessness, within a matter of days, weeks, or months?
>> well, there's really no short-term solution to this crisis. the housing authorities simply were not built to distribute these funds in this way. they've created an enormous bureaucracy around this particular set of funds for pandemic assistance. so they're going to have to create an infrastructure to distribute funds. and it's simply not there. and so, i do think that these next few months, you'll see legal challenges to the ruling or to the cdc upholding or extending this moratorium. i also think that it looks bleak that the extension will hold up. and so we're really looking at a severe crisis. i do believe that because of the delta variant, many landlords and also legal authorities will not allow the mass evictions, but we're going to see a slow
burn after two months are already people were being evicted and you're just going to see more and more people. but unfortunately, there's just not an infrastructure. ly i will say this. that eventually we do need a federal registry of some sort for landlords and tenants. because what the problem is, that they can't figure out who's an actual landlord, who's an actual tenant, do they qualify? and that's a problem. >> right. that's a huge problem. ann, a lot of these local and state governments don't even have the staffing to handle this kind of incoming, which is why the existing funds have not been distributed. however, you said something that you don't think that the infrastructure around this is going to allow people to slip into homelessness. i want to push back on that a little bit. because congress right now does not appear to have the votes to pass a new moratorium, which is why we're relying on the courts. but housing and industry real estate groups spent more than $100 million on lobbying congress to stop them from
extending the covid-19 eviction moratorium. and the list you're seeing, that's a partial list. there have been more people lobbying congress. diane, do you think this will have an impact on how members of congress vote? >> well, i think that these same groups, the national association of realtors, the home builders, the apartment associations, they have been pouring resources into lawsuits for almost a year now, attempting to overturn federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums to very little effect. you know, thefbl fighting to allow landlords to have the right to evict struggling renters during a deadly and global pandemic. and despite the money that they've poured in and despite the power that these industry groups have, they have until now failed at their goal of striking down the eviction moratoriums. now, the cases that they have
brought before courts are the ones that have reached the supreme court and that is why the current eviction moratorium is on such shaky legal ground. and again, the need to get that emergency rental assistance out, if these same trade organizations spent just a fraction of that same effort on educating their members about the availability of emergency rental assistance and encouraging them to take the money, to pay the rent arrears, we would be mush further ahead in solving this crisis that we face. >> absolutely. and we have to give it up again to congresswoman cori bush who fanies herself an activist and says now that an activist is in congress, things will look different. thank you so much. i have a feeling you'll both be back to talk about this subject a few more times. after the break, pardoning, gun-waving magaites while leaving an innocent man in prison.
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okay, so get this, the republican governor of missouri announced that he has pardoned mark and patricia mccloskey. you remember those guys, the gun-toting barbie and ken couple that brandished firearms at peaceful black lives matter protesters who were simply walking past their homes. not to their homes, past their homes last year. these slingers from the wild, wild midwest actually pleaded guilty to their crimes. however, governor mike parson, republican, issued no pardon for an actual innocent man, kevin strickland, who even prosecutors say should be set free after they have taken 43 years of his life. now, meanwhile, the justice department is investigating alleged abuses by phoenix police, while a new york county wants to allow cops to sue protesters who, quote, seriously annoy them. joining me now to get into this,
i could think of no one better, brittany peck nick cunningham, an msnbc contributor. brittany, so happy to have you on the hoe. you look so relaxed. happy to have you here. >> oh, thank you. thank you. i feel relaxed. but i feel angry, as well. i mean, this situation in your neck of the woods, missouri, i'm so utterly offended. let's just say, hypothetically, that a black couple was waving their firearms at a crowd of maga protesters who were simply walking past their house. how do you think governor parson would respond to that? >> we know exactly how governor parson would respond to that. those folks would be arrested, tried, convicted, and would still currently be in jail. this is par for the course for this former slave state that also happens to be my home state. this is the same state that has refused mask mandates and lockdowns, and is one of the leading causes for the spread of this second wave of covid-19. this is also the same state
where the attorney general picks fights with our beloved mayor in my hometown of st. louis, all because she actually wants to protect people from getting sick. it's the place where white male chauvonism runs completely unchecked. even the prosecutors say mr. strictland should be released because he's innocent. we used to say this about elections, but i think it goes for this, so goes missouri, so goes the nation. this country and certainly the state of missouri will stop at nothing to secure what it thinks belongs to them. that's the land, that's all of the property. and that's black labor and black bodies that it will continue to steal and lock up. >> i want to get into this kevin strictland story a bit.
i want you to take a listen to his interview with a reporter that is both outrageous and heartbreaking at the same time. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> how do you start over your life at 62? >> you know, i -- i kind of jokingly talked about that recently with a friend of mine. i guess i'll get me a cardboard box and get up under a bridge somewhere. >> is that really, that's how you're going to start? >> i mean, what do i have? i mean -- i mean, if they were to tell me to roll out now, they'd take this chair. i would have to crawl out the front door. i have nothing. >> that was lindsay davis with abc news. brittany, this is so -- it's just heartbreaking. it's heartbreaking. and you can imagine the anger, the sheer understandable righteous anger that people who look like us feel. is this criminal justice something that can be reformed? you sat on president obama's counsel for something like this.
what's the solution here? i'm exhausted with marches, protests. i'm ready for action yesterday. >> you know, i'm going to be honest, i stopped calling this the criminal justice system a long time ago, because very clearly, there's no justice in it. if you watch that interview and your blood is not boiling, you actually need to check your moral center. what we just saw is infuriating. and this is not by happen stance. this is an intentional message that is supposed to be sent to the rest of us, that this country, that this state, that its institutions do not care about the innocence of black people. all they care about is ensuring that we stay in our place, that we're there to be used for their labor, and we're there to be able to have them raise their money off of our backs. i agree with you, tiffany. it is high time for action. the governor should have already pardoned mr. strictland. and let's be clear, there are lots of other folks who have been criminalized for things that should not have been criminalized, that are incarcerated like him. >> and that's the whole point.
kevin strictland's story, sadly, is not unique. i want you to take a listen to something mark mccloskey said, which is equally outrageous and sparks a lot of ire. >> it seems as if the democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens. >> they're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. they want to abolish the suburbs altogether. so make no mistake, no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical democrats' america. >> brittany, if i could swear on tv, i would have two very choice words for that entire segment, that couple. hearing that, how can we convey to people, who may not have ever experienced the disparities in the criminal justice system, how cowe convey that there are two justice systems in this country, and it's going to take the work of everybody to right these
increasingly past wrongs that we continue to see? >> you know what i really think is critically important to convey? it is the fact that this inequitable justice system, this inequitable legal system exists is actually hurtful to all of us. now, i know looking at the mccloskeys, it doesn't actually appear to look that way. and these are folks who are pulling on a very old tried and true script to try to scare white america into fighting for what they rightfully believe is there. this is an attachment to a culture of white supremacisted that lead them to believe that anyone fighting just for equity, just for fairness, just for a fair opportunity and shot is actually to be seen as a threat to that supremacy. and guess what? we are a threat to that supremacy. because we want to make sure that we are living in a world and a space that is equitable to all of us. i'm not a threat to white people, but i damned sure is a
threat to white supremacy and i have no problem with that. so it's up to us to make sure that people of good conscience do not fall. we do not allow people to believe this fox news theory that we're all out to get you, and instead invest in a world that works far better than all of us. if they can treat kevin strict strictland like this, they can treat anybody like this. next up, the latest industry to face a reckoning for its use of indigenous imagery for profit. we'll get into it. indigenous i profit we'll get into it. ♪ it's grilled cheese time. ♪ ♪ yeah, it's time for grilled cheese. ♪ ♪ after we make grilled cheese, ♪ ♪ then we're eating grilled cheese. ♪
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changing and there's nothing wrong with that sometimes. >> i grew up with it. i'm so used to it. >> as sports teams finally abandon their offensive names and logos, travel is the next industry facing pressure to fall back with the offensive cultural appropriation. hotels, restaurants, and resorts have long used indigenous names and imagery for the profit of their white owners. but that's starting to change this year. a proposed resort that would have offered visitors tepees to sleep in was rejected after tribes objected. joining me now is crystal ecklehawk, executive director of illuminative. listening to those sound bites from people, you know, the guy who said, i just like to keep things the way that they are. i'll be blunt. i don't really care what you like, you're not a member of the
community. and how dare you that you want this community to suffer for your cultural appropriation. i wonder about people who have that same outlook. >> it's great to see you. it's great to be back. unfortunately, folks like the gentlemen that you just got that sound bite from him, there are folks like that out there, but i was encouraged by the three to four people that came before him they were like, why do we want to be a part of celebrating something that causes harm to children and to another community? i think you can start to see that we're seeing it with the polling or from that sampling of cleveland fans right there that people are really starting to understand this reckoning and that change is good. change is good because this is no longer causing harm and there is something positive for them to embrace going forward. >> and we are seeing change, to your point. airbnb apologized for an ad
featuring a true sioux experience. in colorado, the governor created a task force to get rid of a mountain name for kit carson who led that 300 must have mile long walk of the navajo in which hundreds died. there's another mountain honoring governor john evans who authorized citizens to go out and essentially kill native americans. so i'm curious, what is your expectation of interior secretary deb holland, the first native american woman to hold such position. what are you expecting to see from her. what responsibility does the federal government have in addressing this? >> the federal government has a huge responsibility. first and foremost, let's name it, the federal government is the one that really committed these acts of genocide. these massacres were ordered by the united states military. so the federal government plays a central role in recognizing
and understanding and renaming this truth and finding something to rectify it. so i have great confidence in secretary holland and that these types of things are a massive priority for her and also for the administration. i mean, we are really starting to see a new era and a new chapter. we were just in d.c. last week where we gifted a totem pole. and i believe that this administration, it is a new days, there's a deeper respect and understanding about the importance of protecting and strengthening tribal sovereignty and really dealing with nations on tribes, on our nation-to-nation basis. i feel really hopeful and i think what americans need to understand is that in order to embrace this history, this is good for all of us. it is good for everyone, these types of changes. and it doesn't affect our
ability to go out and enjoy beautiful places. in fact, i think it's strengthened, when we can really acknowledge the true history and embrace the traditional indigenous place names for a lot of these mountains and places. >> i echo that. and to that point, look, i think we all have some responsibility to have one, curiosity about our fellow countrymen. native americans were here first. and in doing that, i may lose my amen corner out there, but i know that i have said things and my friend has called me to the carpet on it and corrected. i have said things like "spirit animal" or "low man on the totem pole," that, one, i'm using them incorrectly, and two, they're offensive. so i've tried to not say those things. what's your word of advice, particularly when it comes to native american culture? >> one, thank you for that acknowledgement, tiffany, and for work that all of us have to do. we all sometimes struggle with the things that we don't know. and what our research found was
nearly 90% of schools in the country don't teach about native americans. there's such a level of ignorance that's perpetuated through the education system that's why a lot of people don't -- i'm going to say -- know better. but there's an opportunity as you learn to make these changes. and these changes go a long way. when we say these types of things, it perpetuates a lot of harm and a lot of hurt with native american people. that's why we need to reform our education system so people who truly learn the history of native people and all people. this is how we're going defeat racism and learn about each other and really learn about and embrace each other and not harm one another. >> and it's a global movement. the government there just agreed to pay $280,000 in reparations to families there, the aborigines there. thank you for bringing some
insight to this conversation. we would definitely love to have you back. and coming up, you or i would ignore consequences if we ignore a subpoena, right? but republicans in congress? we'll try to make that make sense after the break. y to make sense after the break. we can transform our workforce overnight out of convenience, or necessity. we can explore uncharted waters, and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change-- meeting them where they are, and getting them where they want to be. faster. vmware. welcome change. super emma just about sleeps in her cape. but when we realized she was battling sensitive skin, we switched to tide hygienic clean free. it's gentle on her skin, and out cleans our old free detergent. tide hygienic clean free. hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
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welcome back. and you already know, it is time to make it make sense. >> hi, tiffany. every question today. if everyday citizens get arrested for ignoring a court-ordered subpoena, why aren't ex-presidents or senate and is there any recourse for making them comply? >> talk about it, michael. i assume you're talking about the january 6th committee, which is trying to figure out exactly what happened that day and whether any members of congress, trump officials, or even trump himself were involved in the storming of the capitol. now, republicans in congress have been, as you know, just a bit uncooperative so far. and there has been no indication that they'll suddenly open up and share what they know with the committee. but some of those republicans are material witnesses in the investigation, like, for instance, jim jordan, who has repeatedly suggested that he
spoke to trump during the actual insurrection. now, if he and others like him refuse to talk about, well, then you end up talk about subpoenas, legal documents that compel a witness to testify or provide evidence. now, in the courts, refusal to comply with a subpoena is a crime that will put you in jail. but in congress, it's actually not so clear. now, there is no real precedent subpoenas against members of congress, we're in totally uncharted territory here, folks. >> i don't know what, you know, specific things we can do to compel, and i'm not even sure where this investigation is going to lead, who we're going to need to talk to. >> now, as for former administration officials, donald trump might try to block them from testifying by claiming executive privilege, but the doj said not so fast. last week they said that's not going to fly now that there are no trump cronies in charge.
so what happens if they still don't testify? well, when it comes to sitting members of congress, they could potentially be called up before the ethics committee, or congress could ask the justice department to prosecute any subpoena dodgers with what's called contempt of congress, which is a crime. in theory, congress could also use what's known as inherent contempt power, and have the sergeant at arms actually make arrests. now, that actually used to be pretty common up until the 1930s. now, whether dems in charge of the committee would actually exercise that power, that's another story. so far, they refuse to even definitively say they will issue subpoenas. i've asked right on this show. and it leaves unanswered one very important question about the republicans. >> i would support subpoenas to anybody that can shed light on that. if that's the leader, that's the leader. if anybody is scared of this investigation, i ask you one question, what are you afraid
of? >> great question, congressman, what are you afraid of. but it may be a while before we see any subpoenas. committee staff will likely spend the six-week august recess gathering documents and phone records and conducting private interviews before resuming the public hearings after labor day. and just yesterday, former gop lawmaker, congresswoman denver riggleman, a trump-endorsed congressman, was hired as an adviser to the select committee. now, chairman bennie thompson has also said he plans to press the doj for access to the insurrectionists who are facing charges for their role in this riot. now, you know the ones who say donald trump told them to do it? that's what he's talking about. in the meantime, it's about keeping up the public pressure on the committee to make sure they hold these perpetrators accountable. president biden spoke some of his harshest words about the capitol rioters thursday as he signed a bill to award capitol police officers the congressional medal of honor.
>> a mob of extremists and terrorists launched a violent and deadly assault on the people's house. it wasn't dissent, it wasn't debate, it wasn't democracy. it was insurrection. >> so, michael, you can bet we will definitely be watching. for those of you at home, if you've got burning questions about politics or policy that you need an answer to, holler at your girl. in 60 seconds or less, tell us your name, where you're from and record your question. you can send that in an email to cross email@example.com. coming up, purging the voter rolls in georgia, the rise of hbcus, and we know we have to talk about rihanna getting that paper. there's much more "cross connection" right after the break. someone once told me,
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all right, welcome back, everybody. now, if you're tired of defending the right to vote, understandable. i'm sorry to say, though, that fight is not yet over. this year alone, 18 states have enacted 30 voter suppression bills. in texas, governor greg abbott continues to try to jam through a restrictive voting rights law, vowing to call special session
after special session, with another one starting today. now, even as texas state dems remain in dc, after fleeing the lone star state a month ago to impede its passage, and in the state where i grew up, georgia, over 185,000 no contact notices were sent out in an attempt to purge the voter registration roll. joining me is natasha brown, co-founder of black lives matter. let me say, you look relaxed. you certainly deserved a breather. who knew you would come back to this unimaginable fight. rasenberger, the secretary of state, who everyone wanted to hail a hero during trump's attempt to overturn the election, and we knew this man is always the same person. he is no hero to democracy. now he's trying to purge 185,000 voters from the rolls. tell me about these people he's trying to purge.
i have a feeling they look like you and me. >> you know, it is a consistent concerted effort to get people of color off the ballot. when you look at this list of 185,000 people, 44% of those folks are folks of color. when you look at the black folks actually in the state of georgia, we're 32% of the population, but year overrepresented, 44%, overrepresented in the purge list. so this is a tactic that is specifically designed to be able to marginalize and take black voters off the list. when we're talking about why we need voting rights legislation right now, it's because not just for the future, it is happening now. we are seeing an aggressive plan used in georgia where they're not only dropping people from the voting rolls, but also removing elected -- they're moving election officials from these boards. they're also shifting and changing the dynamics by literally weaponizing the administration process. so that's why we have to have
for the people in the john lewis voter advancement act, because we're seeing this kind of ongoing effort to remove black voters, voters of color and democratic-leaning voters from the voting rolls in georgia. >> i've lost my confidence in congress. i don't know if we're going to get the for the people act passed in a stringent enough way that it affects this level of voter suppression. so you led a campaign going after the private sector. is that something that could be revisited? and for the folks sitting at home who are so frustrated by this, what is something that we can collectively do to help elevate this and stop it in its tracks? >> i feel your frustration, at the end of the day, yes. but my confidence never lies in congress, my confidence always lies in people. and congress are those representatives that we sent to dc and they should represent the people and we have to hold them accountable in doing that, which is why i believe we have to have direct action as we've been seeing all week. we saw until freedom leading an
action at the airport in dc yesterday where 29 young folks were arrested, every single day we're seeing the poor people's campaign, my organization, the black women's roundtable. we need direct action that we're literally not going to accept that our rights are negotiated. so there are a couple of things that people can do. one, i am encouraging folks to get active. the way that democracy happens is when people are engaged in it and we're holding elected officials accountable. it's not up to them, it is up to us. so they should really be forcing a couple of things. one, there should be no recess without voting rights legislation being passed. second, we've got to put more pressure on biden. at the end of the day, he has to use the full power of his office to push for voting rights. we saw that yesterday was a 56th anniversary of the voting rights act. so here we are right now and we actually have less voting rights
protection now in 2021 than we did in 1965. that is unacceptable. and so we literally, the people have to rise up, we have to support organizations on the front lines. we have to demand. it's not up to congress, it is up to us. we have to demand that democracy is not just a propaganda point, but it is real and we have to do that by putting pressure on congress to pass voting rights legislation. >> natasha, you always give me goose bumps when you say we are not asking you to believe in a system, we are asking you to believe in you. this place does not have the right to deny us our voice or humanity. so thank you for all the work you continue to do and i hope the people listening will follow you, because we are all soldiers in your army. so thank you so much for joining us this morning. we'll talk to you soon. let's talk more about voting rights with my panel. senior entertainment reporter for the undefeated, espn's platform on sports, race and culture. brad jenkins, returning
champion, founder and ceo, and my long-time friend david johns, the executive director of the national black justice cool lagz. coalition. >> this impacts everybody and i think people are so caught up on the path to the ballot box, they don't consider once you've been denied access, it's the policy that happens after that will directly impact your life. i'm curious because you have worked in the obama white house, entertainment, you've touched a lot of different spaces. what is your group doing? what are the marching orders that you're telling your folks right now? >> tiffany, i got goose bumps from natasha. a huge shout-out for black voters matter. everything that stacey abrams and the black women's roundtable is doing in georgia, if not for that, we would perhaps not have a democratic senate, we would not have perhaps a president biden and vice president harris. huge shout-out to them. you hit the nail on the head. the thing that i think about is
that the republican party is so empty that they can't win with ideas. they can't win with actually making communities and families' lives better. they have to suppress the vote of black and brown people. and so, agreed, we are working, the other incredible thing about voter suppression is not just latin americas, it is latinx and asian-americans. there are tens of thousands of asian-americans also thrown off the rolls and we know they came out in a record number in the general election and senate runoff. an attack on one community when it comes to voter suppression is an attack on all black and brown communities. we have to stand up and 100% have to push for the passage of the for the people act. >> and the api community, you made that point, they were integral to the senate runoff in georgia. the fastest growing demographic in the country and often the most overlooked demographic. i'm happy you brought that up because this impacts everybody, like you said. >> david, jasmine crockett is a
state legislator from texas who is here in dc holding the line for the voter suppression in texas. i want you to take a listen to an interview she had on msnbc and we'll talk about it after. >> and i can tell you what i'm not doing, which is i will not be at the capitol -- you know, it's been really tough. i can't sit here and pretend that it's been easy to corral this many elected officials and get us all on the same page. but we agree that if democracy goes, we have nothing else. and so we are still standing in agreement and so there will be no quorum today. >> if democracy falls, we have nothing else. david, i know you work in this space as well. what are your thoughts on all of this? >> first, i just want to say thank you for black women and girls, so much of what we are thankful for in the world is a result of their labor and it's not lost on me that they continue to be on the front
lines. it also incenses me that we are having conversations about legislators being arrested for doing their job when there are white insurrectionists in particular who stormed our capitol who are frolicking. >> there are foundational holes in our democracy that need to be filled. this is a required part of showing that our social democratic experiment will continue and i hope that people will carry the same energy into the election cycle next year and beyond. >> i could not agree with you more. and really a lot of this -- this is a temper tantrum that republicans are throwing, that they've long time thrown. speaking of temper tantrums, i want to shift us to the baby. music festivals are driving the baby from their lineups after the rapper went on an offensive and misinformed homophobic rant at a miami music festival. >> you didn't show up with hiv, aids, any of those diseases that
will make you die. >> now, he has since released apologies for his, quote, insensitive, end quote, comments about hiv and aids. the damage has been done. in 2021, it might be time to put the baby to bed. kelly, first of all, i'm disgusted at these remarks, but, two, i have to say i was happy to see how the culture responded. homophobia exists in every community, but particularly in the hip hop community, it shows how far we've come. what's your take on it? >> yeah, you know, look, hip hop is now 40 years old as of this month, and, you know, we talked for the last couple of decades about the homophobia problem that hip hop has had. it's significantly less homophobic now. there still is a long way to go, but like you said, people like little naz x have gone such a long way to open the floodgates
and have open and honest conversations that make it where we have all of these allies speaking out against, you know, the comments that dababy made at the festival in miami. and i think that feels like a good place, that we're able to actually have a conversation. and even conversations like this on msnbc about hip hop and about where hip hop has gone and where hip hop is going. so i think there's good news on the way, even though that was a really unfortunate apropos of nothing. >> let me just say, black women have called out dababy for a long time after he paraded megan the stallion's person who shot her and he had him on stage. so, david, you are with the national black justice coalition and focus on these issues specifically. what's your take on it? >> three thoughts. one is this is beyond superficial conversations about the perpetuation of stereo
types. this is about the disregard for science and compassion. the reality is that black people are still dying as a result of the stigma associated with hiv/aids and we are dispro proportionately impacted. that causes so many people not to be tested, to not know their status and not be connected to care so they can thrive with hiv. and beyond the assumption, which is just wrong that this is a gay thing, black heterosexual women are impacted by hiv more than any other community. there's been a lot of talk about cancel culture and lack of accountability. dababy will be 37 in december. he went for two years to the university of north carolina in greensboro. not that lack of access to
explain his statements, but it doesn't entitle him to an expectation of labor, that people would volunteer having after been offended by him to do this work. there are resources for folks that don't understand why this is important or how we can do better to address this, i encourage you to visit. >> and follow david, because my long-time friend, i assure you, those were tame remarks from mr. david johns. i want to talk about queen ri-ri, who has officially reached billionaire status. rihanna is worth a whopping $1.7 billion. in large part, this is thanks to her cosmetics company, making her the richest female musician in the world. we love to see it. so, brad, let me ask you, because this does feel like a moment. she is a self-made billionaire. she didn't come from, you know,
money, her wealth didn't come to her through a sex tape. she went out there, had talent and built this empire. i'm curious, what is your take on it? >> i'm a huge fan, and i will say now that she is a billionaire, she's not the typical billionaire. she actually came and spoke to the white house back when i worked for president obama and briefed us on all of the philanthropic efforts she was doing in her home country of barbados, which has been battered even more recently by covid. he's been investing and re-investing in black and brown communities, but she's been doing it, because, look, she grabbed the throne when it came to beauty and fashion because there were so many black and brown people who were not getting that premium beautiful makeup, fashion and design. now she's a billionaire. so all the shouts, god bless ri-ri. enough of these billionaires going to space.
more billionaires like ri-ri. >> i love that. good point. kelly, we love to see it and i think it's something interesting that this happens this week, we celebrated black women's equal payday. so on one hand you're really excited, on the other hand you're still kind of pissed off. on the spectrum of things, i'm curious your thoughts. >> listen, we can't ignore the fact that the reason why rihanna is now $1.7 billion rich is because she saw a need. there was something that was missing in the beauty space with regards to black women. as a dark-skinned black woman i go into a makeup store and i go for one shade because that was all that was offered to me. now there's a wealth of colors and spectrums, and not only did she do ta with the makeup space, she did that in the space, i
wondered why companies didn't sell bras for women who had breasts. she made an inclusive undergarment company that is doing very well, and now we have $1.7 billion reasons why we're going to have to wait for another rihanna album, and that's the only downside. >> that's the one casualty. absolutely. >> and i'll be okay with that. >> she understood the assignment very well. we're way over time. david, on august 11th, the senate passed a bill that would recognize this day as hip hop celebration day, which i am thrilled about, a child i grew up with hip hop and consider myself somewhat of a connasoire. i kind of listen to some of this mumble hip hop and i think you kids don't know good music. what's your take and what should
hip hop be doing? realizing producers are yelling in my ear we're way over time. >> we all should continue to thrive because we're part of the culture and hip hop reflects culture. i also want us to acknowledge the ways it evolves and that mum pole rap builds upon the things that we celebrate and enjoy connected to the innovations. i'm super excited about the fact that we might actually have access to the catalog. i'm still pissed that she was able to marry r. kelly at 15. i encourage everybody to find ways to get engaged in passing legislation that advances opportunities for all of us to thrive. >> i appreciate that. that was a really good point. and for the 30 gen-zers watching, don't at me. you guys are an awesome panel. it was great. don't go anywhere. because ahead, is there really a power struggle between the progressive and moderate wings of the democratic party? i can feel twitter buzzing away
already. because, really, the question is, is it something else at play? we're going to discuss that next. before we go i've got to get a quick shout-out to allyson felix, who won her 11th olympic medal today, taking gold with the 4 by 400 relay team at the tokyo olympics. she is now the most decorated american athlete in track and field history. we love to see it. we'll be right back. ly pay for y! with customized car insurance from liberty mutual! nothing rhymes with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in... crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond. ♪ ♪ ♪
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the establishment back, shontel brown on top, and another data point this is not bernie sanders' party. >> calling out progressives for targeting moderates, could so-called woke culture threaten democrats' chances in the midterms? >> the squad has grown in numbers in small part, but still not a huge amount of people in the democratic caucus. >> so as you see, these days framing policy differences within the democratic party as a civil war of progressives versus moderates is all too common in media coverage of their politics. it's the same re-deductive framing we saw in ohio's
election, where shontel brown defeated aoc endorsed nina
turner. is this race really a proxy war for democratic divides, and does it really tell us anything about how democrats will do next november? let's get into it. joining me now, my friend and nemesis, dr. jason johnson, msnbc political contributor and professor at morgan state university and returning champ, eric bowler, author and editor. love your morning newsletter. >> jason, i want to start with you because i loved your piece where you talk about this and you make startling claims. i think twitter was equally surprised. you say that nina turner was more establishment candidate and shontel was not. before we dig into that, i've got to say you and i talk about this stuff, our separate group chats talk about this stuff. when i talk to people outside of our
circle, there is never a conversation about, oh, this is
the establishment, this is the progressives. break it down. give us your thoughts. >> that's not how regular people talk. regular people don't say this is progressive, this is the establishment. i know a lot of people who are voters who can't tell you what medicare for all actually is. it's not because voters are stupid, it's because some of the language that's being used is not how they look at things. this is what i think is important for everybody to understand. we now in this country have a progressive establishment. that is a good thing. it's like our revolution. it's a lot of the people who came out of the sanders campaign who are pushing for more progressive policies. we saw that with corey bush in shaming our administration into doing something about the eviction moratorium. so it is good that we have an establishment left to push the moderates and conservatives of the party. when you're talking about what happened in ohio, if i told you there was a candidate that raised twice as much as their opponent, had three times as many endorsements, thousands of
out of state volunteers and a 35 point lead two months before the election, you assume that person is going to win. and that was the position nina turner was in. if you blow that kind of structural lead and name recognition, you really have to look at yourself and how you blew that lead rather than claiming it was an outside force. i can't think of another example of someone blowing a lead that big outside of a scandal. >> you just opened a hornet's nest. eric, i want to turn to you, because, again, i think a lot of this is the media framing around this and you always have such great insight, calling out the media in what they can do better. what's your take on this fight? >> i think we're in the dog days of summer. political press is kind of scratching around for good stories, and i think the press misses the trump circus, the scandal, the hate tweets and
things like that. the press has complained openly that the biden administration is so boring to cover. so i think ohio in 11, it was a way to gin up conflict and re-fight the 2016 hillary, bernie sanders battle. but that's not really what unfolded here. this idea that there was a schism in the party and this was moderate versus liberal, if it had been a very liberal black woman candidate versus a center right male white hedge fund democrat, sure, that's absolutely the narrative. but shontel brown's voting record, i predict to be identical to what turner's would have been. so the press falls back to the dems in disarray, there's a schism. the democratic party today is probably the most united it's been in modern history. people forget that barack obama butted heads with the democratic
party, bill clinton was at war with the democratic senate. today democrats are passing key legislation with unanimous votes. so i think it's the press trying to create some drama, trying to create some conflict, where it just doesn't really exist. >> yeah, and it's a little frustrating. jason, you definitely know this. sometimes it feels like these fights really just live on twitter. i mean, i get so much of, you know, you're a pawn for the establishment or you're a hard core bernie bro. it's just dumb. i tell you how i feel every week, jason tells you how he feels. i'm for the party that empowers the rising majority of this country, people who look like me. jason, it lives on twitter, but do you think this is real life? >> no, no. what we have to understand, it's not that twitter is not real life, but twitter is the whole country and, look, tiffany, you used to live in cleveland, too. if you go to ohio city, tremont,
north summit county, they're not having conversations about what's happening on twitter. we're asking, okay, what are you going to do about the potholes on lee and harvard, what are you going to do about the homeless situation, how are you going to clean up the lake and get ppp loans to businesses so they stay afloat. that's what people are talking about. and this is important because twitter sometimes brings up these arguments. there's a push that shontel brown won this race because outside dark evil money came in. let us be clear. number one, outside money comes into campaigns all the time. it was nina turner that decided to nationalize this race. they said had i kept my name out, i wouldn't have gotten involved in the race. we have to realize that when candidates nationalize their races, you bring in outside money. had the conversation stayed on potholes and local issues, probably nina turner would have
won because there wouldn't have been any reason for outside forces to come in and support shontel brown. >> i don't feel like this conversation is over. we'll continue this on ig live. please don't be late. and eric, thank you so much for joining us. and don't go anywhere, because after the break hbcus, black colleges and universities, are paving the way for students to get their degree without financial headaches. we're going to dig into it coming up next. but with my hiv treatment, there's not more medicines in my pill. i talked to my doctor and switched to fewer medicines with dovato. dovato is for some adults who are starting hiv-1 treatment or replacing their current hiv-1 regimen. with just 2 medicines in 1 pill, dovato is as effective as a 3-drug regimen... to help you reach and stay undetectable. research shows people who take hiv treatment as prescribed and get to and stay undetectable can no longer transmit hiv through sex. don't take dovato if you're allergic to its ingredients or if you take dofetilide.
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what you're looking at is the senate floor. they're now in session getting ready for votes on that $1 trillion infrastructure bill, and a white house official tells us that this afternoon vice president kamala harris will travel up the road to capitol hill for meetings on that bill. we're going to stay on top of this. we will continue to bring you the latest throughout the day, so stay tuned to msnbc. now, moving on to hbcus, they're finally getting some
well deserved love and attention. more than 20 historically black colleges and universities will be scrubbing student loan debt using federal pandemic funds, and it's so necessary. more than 85% of black students reported more debt than their white counterparts. while hbcus only make up 3% of schools, they account for 17% of bachelor's degrees earned by black students and nearly a quarter of degrees in the s.t.e.m. fields. since the pandemic, total university enrollments have dropped by 3.5%, but hbcus are experiencing the exact opposite. howard university is seeing a 7% increase in graduate enrollment. one of those insufferable howard fanatics and professor from howard university, thank you both for joining me. i am draped in howard people.
when i was reading about this, you know you were the first person i thought of. you actually got your ph.d., masters and undergrad, in that order, because of financial hardship. so tell me why this is so significant. >> it's really important, and i know this both from personal experience, it took me seven years to finish undergrad, because i ran out of money and couldn't go back to school until i had money to complete my studies. and then having been a faculty member at another hbcu, i saw students experience the same thing. this is disproportionately likely to happen to black students and it's part of the reality we know of the economic terrain of black america, they can't swing the debt associated with education costs, it's huge because it's one of the big drivers in the income
disparities and wealth disparities between black and white. and one other point i'll take here is that in addition to hbcus producing an outsized share of black college graduates, they also have an outsized impact on the fortune of those graduates, so when the report looked at the likelihood of people skipping from the bottom 20% to the top 20% of the income distribution, there were a bunch of black colleges that were more likely to send their students in that direction to better financial fortune than there were for institutions that had much higher profiles. >> that's very interesting, and i just want to say to folks who don't know your story, they should follow you. he has a new book out as well. dr. tollsen, we happy to have you on the show. i want you to take a listen to this take on hbcus and we'll talk about it on the other side.
>> when i went to howard university, there were perceptions about blackness that i had and private conversations that i needed to have outside of the conversations that we have with white people, private debates that needed to be had, debates about sexuality, debates about gender, debates about geography, et cetera, and you don't really get to have those conversations if you're trying to prove to people your humanity when they don't believe in your basic intellect. there are different axes besides black and white and one of the beautiful things is when you're in a place where you're surrounded by other intelligent, brilliant black people, that card of intellect and card of humanity is off the table. >> i mean, he spoke such a truth there, dr. tolson. i'm curious your take, because these institutions are so vitally important.
you served as obama's executive director on hbcus. why are hbcus so typically underfunded? >> this is a very exciting time to be at an hbcu. i started my clear in louisiana in 2002 and i've been at howard university for the last 16 years and i remember when i came to an hbcu, there was also a question of, are hbcus still relevant and that used to irk me so bad. i always said we can't be in a posture of trying to defend our relevance, we have to assert our excellence. i think the nation is starting to understand that there's a value proposition in hbcus, that the output from white institutions is not enough to meet the demands of an educated workforce and hbcus have provided advanced opportunities for underserved segment of the population. and in terms of the underfunding, we really have to
look at the founding of hbcus in the late 1800s to early 1900s and the civil rights act of 1964. this means that hbcus spent their first 80 to 50 years under jim crow laws, most of them in the south. so there was legal discrimination that was going on in a good portion of hbcus existence. so it adds a compounding effect to things that happen today, in terms of alumni support, philanthropic support, state appropriations, grants and contracts, all of these are areas where hbcus are not performing to the capacity they should be and we need a collective effort to look at all of these different dimensions of funding and make sure that hbcus get what they deserve. >> so that was a really good point. he talked about alumni support and i think all of us on the
screen understand sometimes when you leave an hbcu, you're not inheriting a trust fund, you're inheriting a payroll because you have family to support, cousins, your nephew who needs to go to prom. what's your take on funding from alumni and if there's something more that we could all be doing? >> sure. so one of the things we find is that, in studies, we find that african-americans are more philanthropic than any of their white counterparts, but the matter is scale. when we look at the number of needs that have to be met from the comparatively small group of people, there's still a smaller group of people, a percentage of african-americans who have bachelor's degrees and the gap has been narrowing, but still a smaller percentage than the white population. and when you start with your church, you start with your family, when you start with your community, when you start with the fact that you may live in a community that has less tax revenue that's coming back, and
then look at the fact that there's still an income gap even outside of the wealth gap, that you are likely generating less revenue in your household than your white counterpart is. so the dollars don't go as far as they could. if you're looking at where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of creating a more equitable society, you can't find anything better than the hbcu system to invest. >> i could not agree more. thank you both. it just occurred to me not only are you both howard folks, you're also both men of alpha by alpha fraternity incorporated. i think we touched many parts of that. so thank you for joining me. we'll definitely have to have you both back. and next, sometimes you need to get away and take a break alone, and other times you need to do that with your tribe. i did that last week and i'll tell you why ain't nobody fresher than my click after the break. don't you just love the look on the kids' faces...
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when a woman risks her position, her livelihood and her very life to speak an uncomfortable truth that this country resents, she is undoubtedly a member of my tribe. cut from the same cloth and welcome at this table. the magic that exists when such women gather is unmatched by any other. it's the truth tellers for me. now, if you watch the readout or follow a certain group of women on social media, you know that i was away last weekend locking arms with such women. and, listen, i know there are a lot of challenges in the world right now. we're navigating the perils of policy that will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on most of us. we suffer through collective trauma as we watched a global pandemic bring with it a wave of sickness and death, and financial ruin to many. some of us were part of a movement to declare that our own
lives mattered and we watch in horror countless black bodies being harmed and murdered, and not to mention the attacks on our fellow countrymen. through these times this group of women found space to connect, confess, champion, fight, fellowship, support, share, uplift and love. and as we led conversations around protecting our mental health, just as simone biles and naomi osaka declared, we thought it was high time that we lived it. the amazing angela rye and fearless jemele hill convened an unforgettable experience in cab oh san lucas, mexico. it was the company for me. joy reed, erin haines, natasha brown. we had many intense conversations, discussed the liberation of black americans, the chokehold on voting rights, the battle cries of black women, the hardships, we plotted and we
planned. but to be honest with you guys, we mostly laughed and cried, and laughed some more. we sang and danced, we jumped off a yacht into the ocean and floated. we ate whatever we wanted and forgot to count the calories, we connected and poured into each other and drew nothing but love from the collective sisterhood. we held hands, and it was fitting that we gathered around black women's equal payday, because just as jay-z said we measure success by how many people are successful next to you, here we say you're broke if everybody is broke except for you. bosses, we're all committed to helping each other and you secure the bag. we work tirelessly and fearlessly, like many of you. we each work for the people. so in the words of dr. christina greer, it's life-saving to normalize rest.
we all must catch our breath sometimes. beyonce once said as much as she loves her husband, there is nothing like a conversation with a woman who understands you. i echo that a million times over. the truth is, it really didn't matter if we convened in cabo, compton or cleveland. it was the women with the range for me. so i wish for all of you to find or create that safe space with your tribe and exhale, whether it be on your porch, breaking bread at your kitchen table or sitting poolside on a weekend trip. when life has you against the ropes you deserve a moment to breathe before getting back into this fight. so thank you to my tribe, angela and jamel and all my other sisters, for creating an unforgettable experience to do just that. and now the work resumes. stay tuned.
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>> it was the plastic. >> it absolutely was not the plastic. >> it don't smell like the plastic, ma. >> it was a fart. that was a fart, grandma. oh, another, that came from within you. >> after a successful first season, aquafina is back for season 2, premiering august 18th on comedy central. the show was inspired by her own childhood in queens, new york. and it's not only funny, but it's a brilliant platform for asian-american actors and stories that's rarely seen in hollywood, considering that
asian and pacific islanders account for less than 6% of characters in popular films. joining me is actor and star of aquafina is nora from queens. that show is hilarious. first of all, i have to say plastic on the furniture is not unique to the experience. >> no, it is not. i know, i know. but it is universal, right? >> it is. >> and those of us who grew up with plastic on their furniture are sharing our painful memories, and i cannot believe you started at ten minutes to noon with fart jokes. >> it's "the cross connection." we like to mix it up. bring a little flavor to cable news. it's laugh-out-loud funny and aquafina is hilarious and i love seeing you in this role because i think most people associate you with your role on "law & order". you're a long-time theatre actor and have a breadth of
experience. what's your favorite part about working with this amazing ensemble cast? >> it is that, i go back a long way with lori chin, who plays my mother. and the two young performers of the moment that i just love drawing energy from and riffing off of. there's a lot of improv in the show and that's not new to me, but it is territory that i love exploring and i've always enjoyed that part of any kind of role. and it doesn't always come your way, so i really enjoy that part of it. it's really a fun set and i think -- i hope that it wears off, it crosses over to the audience. >> it definitely leaps off the screen. it's laugh-out-loud funny. i want to get into the lack of representation of the community, in many sectors, but particularly hollywood.
you spent a lot of time in theatre. is it better in theatre, is there more work to do there? if there is more work to do, we can we as consumers do to help make sure what we see on stage or on screen reflects the rising majority of this country? >> sure, i mean, i think to answer the second part of your question, the answer to that is really about owning our power or our ability to use our dollars and patronize not only the shows, the movies, buy tickets to the movies and plays, but to patronize the sponsors of the shows that are on television, because they are supporting this content. and i have always encouraged my own community who are not always known for kind of getting out of the house and pouring themselves into a cause to put their money where their mouth is. and in recent years we have seen a shift in that in my own
community, and that's been exciting. people renting out theatres for the opening week of "crazy rich asians" and that kind of thing. >> which was so awesome to see. >> to answer the other part of your question, it is kind of the same in the theatre. it's a broad level blanket kind of lack of representation that having this kind of conversation can hopefully help. >> and something else, one of our producers pointed out, chris carney was explaining to me that there's also an issue with straight actors playing gay characters, but gay characters rarely get to play straight actors, which is something i hadn't consider before. i'm curious your thoughts on that. >> the whole notion of new -- not new to me, but an emerging idea of a appropriation is on the table now in a way that it wasn't when i was a young actor. and people acting outside of their own experience was once thought of as transforming for actors and british actors played
black characters and all that kind of stuff, and then we realized that that just caused an incredible lack of equality in the business because i was never allowed to play a white character. i could only play an asian character. but there were plenty of white actors who were able to play asian characters. and that transfers over into gay roles now and there are many more gay and transactors who are fit for the roles and ready for the opportunities and it's not appropriate to say we couldn't find somebody. it's super important and a great conversation because the audience is not itself aware necessarily of the nuances. it's an art form and it's a sense of self-expression for an artist, but there's also politics and fairness. >> yeah, i echo that, and i appreciate you. we're way over but i wanted to let you finish your thought because it was so important. you are always welcome to come back on the show. >> i'll take you up on that.
>> thank you. coming up, you don't want to miss tomorrow's show because on "the sunday show" with my friend jonathan cape hart, u.s. amazon to the united nations will join capehart for her role on representing the united states on the closing ceremony. that's tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on msnbc, right here. we'll be right back. right way. i just stuff everything in. it has to be cold water, it's better for the planet. the secret is, with tide pods it all works. of course, it does. no matter how you wash, it's got to be tide. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. switch now and get 2 unlimited lines and 2 free smartphones. and now get netflix on us. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile. voiceover: riders. wanderers on the road of life. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination.
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i missed you last week. i'll be back on "the cross connection" next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. stay tuned, because my friend lindsey rider is in for alex whit. >> you've got that post-vacation glow. i loved all your pictures. we've got a busy day of breaking news. we're going to get right to it right now. good day, everybody. we're going to get to the albany county sheriff, right now holding a press conference on a criminal complaint filed against the new york governor. let's listen. >> not that i'm aware of at this time. again, we are in the very infant stages. [ inaudible question ] >> we have not even talked about that at this point. [ inaudible question ] >> i would rather not, sir, at this point. again, we're in the very infant stages of this investigation. i do not want to go any further on that. we have a report on file that alleges criminal conduct against our governor, and