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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  August 28, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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hit new orleans exactly 16 years after katrina. msnbc will bring you the latest developments throughout the day. but right now we're following breaking news out of afghanistan, as u.s. forces scramble to evacuate americans and afghan allies by the august 31st deadline. three days away. last night president biden retaliated against the isis-k terrorist group who have been claiming responsibility for thursday's horrific suicide bombing that left several u.s. service members dead and hundreds of afghans dead. u.s. military conducted a drone strike in nangarhar province where isis-k in a large presence several years ago. u.s. officials say the target was a member of the militant group thought to be involved in planning for future attacks against u.s. forces. the devasating attack on u.s. forces on afghan in kabul on thursday killed 13 u.s. service members nine of which you see on the screen right now.
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the attack killed 110 afghan civilians and by some counts systems 20. the u.s. troops are still in danger warns the pentagon. later i'll speak with democratic congresswoman ill ilhan omar. preparations are under way to mark the anniversary of the 1963 march on washington. demonstrators in cities across the country gather to urge congress to enact federal protections for voters by passing federal voting rights legislation. 58 years ago today over 200,000 people took part in the march on washington for jobs and freedom in the nation's capitol. notably during the even, civil rights icon dr. martin luther king junior delivered his famous i have a dream speech. >> my poor little children, we'll one day live in a nation where they will not be color of
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their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. >> the march was successful in pressuring president john f. kennedy's administration to dmvr strong civil rights protections at the federal level. clearly these kinds of federal protections are much in need. texas is one step closer to passing a slough of new restrictions on voter access making it harder for people to vote despite months long opposition from democratic state lawmakers. but it's not just texas. according to brennan center for justice at least 18 states enacted 30 new voter suppression laws. the fight for voting rights continues today. 58 years later. and many would argue this time around american democracy itself is on the line. joining me now is nbc's tremayne lee on the ground in washington, d.c. thanks for joining me. how are preparations coming along this hour. >> thank you so much for having
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me mehdi. there are already hundreds gathered in mcpherson here in d.c. the plan is to gather here and march to the national mall. as you mentioned there is this push through marches and rallies to raise the alarm about expanding voting rights as a wave of republican led lirpgts across the country enact laws to vesto suppress the vote. you talk about 58 years ago today dr. king talked about his dream. in so many ways black americans and marginalized people are dreaming of equality, dreaming of access to the franchise. all the organizers for many of the biggest organizations across the country gathered their people, packed them on buses. sent them to d.c. and again all across the country trying to make noise put pressure on congress especially the senate to maybe push for some nationalized voting regulations. >> tremayne, the people you speak to there, the people who have turned up early saturday morning, are they optimistic about change?
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because in the last hour i was talking to congresswoman joyce beatty. congressman jones about the filibuster, the block in the senate. do the protesters believe this march can overcome that filibuster? >> you know i'm not getting a sense of great optimism. but i always ask activist and folks engaged do you get tired or weary of the fight because the fight has been going on decades and decades. they say there is no choice but to push, fight. so i don't know if there is optimism around the idea of senate will have a come to jesus moment and open up the flood gates for democracy and access to the franchise, as so many would hope. but there is optimism that folks are going to gather, organize, and they're going to make voices heard. that much they know np they can come together and they can push. that's what they got. >> a political come to jesus moment is what we need. well put. nbc's tremayne lee in d.c. thanks for your time this morning. joining me now is democratic congresswoman terry sewell of
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alabama. she is the main sponsor of the john lewis voting rights advancement act and derek johnson, the president and ceo of the naacp, both currently in d.c. for the march. thank you both for joining me this morning. congresswoman sewell let me start with you. h.r. 4, the new john lewis voting rights act faces a pretty depressing future in the senate despite passing in the house. it's not that you don't have the 10 republicans you need to overcome the filibuster. you have one. but you have two democrats joe margin and kyrsten sinema saying they will never change the filibuster even to let this bill pass. >> well, you know, our forefathers and foremothers had it way more difficult and they were not deterred i don't think we should be deterred. at the end of the day you can actually become a supreme court justice with 51 votes yet you can't protect democracy and restore democracy without 60 votes. i think that we're going to put
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pressure on. that's the point of today's march is to really put pressure where the pressure needs to be. that's both on democrats and republicans in the senate. we need to restore the full protections of the voting rights act now more than ever. as state legislatures across the country are making it harder for people to vote ostensibly after the most safe election ever because we were during a pandemic and states allowed folks to vote easily, i think 80s shame. and what is the voting rights act of 1965 if not to fully protect the right of every american to vote? and federal oversight is feed when states go amok. i'm happy i was able to introduce the john robert lewis voting rights advancement act at the foot of the he had mond pettis june on august 17th and pass to do august 24th with a vote of vote of 219 to 212. we look forward to taking that fight to the senate. >> 219 to 212, not a single
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republican shamefully voting for it. derek, let me ask you this. you've been to see joe biden in the white house. met with congressional leaders behind closed doors, put this message to them. so far no action. you are taking to the streets today. what do you want to hear? what do you want them to hear from you today from these marches they're not hearing behind closed doors. >> niece marches are part of ongoing strategy to put the necessary pressure online the members of the senate. this is not procedural rule about the substantive policy changes needed to protect our constitution, to protect our democracy. we are in crisis in this moment by no means should this be about a filibuster rule, a rule that was used during segregation era to impede progress. we are now standing here to say that voters in alabama matter. voteners mississippi maert voters in california matter and all citizens who have the legitimate right to cast a
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ballot should be able to cast an effective ballot. our job is to get 50 members to stand up in a -- in a place of morality to ensure our democracy move forward and not allow partisan rancor to subvert the ability for us to truly stand on the principles of our constitution. >> congresswoman sewell, you said this is your fourth time introducing a version of the voting rights advancement act. but your first time doing it without the late congressman john lewis. how is that weighing on you today. >> it's weighing heavily on me. you know, i get the opportunity each and every day to represent alabama's civil rights district, the home of birmingham appear tuscaloosa. while my job is taking care of constituents there today it's also to protect and further the legacy that is the civil rights and voting rights movement.
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ordinary americans from my district did extraordinary -- extraordinary things in order to bring about extraordinary social change. the least we can do is to make sure that we honor them each and every day. and what better way to do that than to restore to the full protections of voting rights act of 1965? as john would say he shed a little blood on the bridge in selma for the right of every american to vote. i'm looking forward to getting into good trouble as we try to not only get the senate to approve and pass h.r. 4 but today as we mobilize, you know, the simple rights movement and those activists were tacticians or strategists. they just didn't come about selma, alabama or birmingham they knew about bull connor and sheriff clark. they're strategist. we are strategizing today to make sure we are marching, mobilizing and getting the pressure- putting the pressure on the senate where it belongs.
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you know, voting rights used to be a very non-partisan issue. in fact the v.r.a. was reauthorized five times under three republican presidents, most recently george w. bush in 2006. and so but for the shell which versus holder decision we would still be living unund the v.r.a. we need to fully restore it because we need it now more than ever. >> derek how significant is it this fight is happening nearly 60 years later? have we gone backwards since the m.l.k. era? >> well, this shows the progress that have been made where individuals would be so scared of democracy they would seek to subvert it. our system is built on voter selected elected officials, not elected officials trying to select which voters they feel should participate. that's why today in all of the activities moving forward is so important, that we cannot
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continue to sinned our young people to abroad to fight and defend democracy and risk lives if we are not able to stand up for democracy here in this country. that's why this is a moral issue. we -- we with the families of the victims in afghanistan. they were standing up to protect democracy. why can't we do it here? that's why it's a substance of the bill that we must pass and stop focusing on the procedure that's outdated antiquated and built to impede progress for the naacp and our units in 47 states, members of the senate will be hearing from us throughout the month of september to ensure we pass this critical act to protect the rights of voters. >> and there is a fierce urgency of now. i think as we see all of these state legislatures, texas most recently to impose greater barriers to voting. and so while we are no longer having to count how many marbles in a jash pb, the modern day
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barriers are -- must be stochd. we're taking to the streets, an old tactic to try to bring about the mobilization and urgency of passing h.r. four, the john robert lewis voting rights advancement act. >> old battles have become new. well put, congresswoman. terry sewell and derek johnson, thank you for your time this morning. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, the u.s. strikes back against afghanistan -- against isis targets in afghanistan as american allies and civilians attempt to leave the country. i'll speak with a former afghan interpreter with about his quest to get his family to safety. and i willen omar joins me to discuss america's obligations to afghan refugees. plus tracking hurricane ida, the national hurricane center predicts it makes landfall along the u.s. gulf coast on sunday
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night as a dangerous category 4 hurricane. louisiana, especially new orleans, is on high alert. officials warn it could bring destruction to the region, exactly 16 years after hurricane katrina. msnbc will have updates throughout the weekend. tes throughout the weekend and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪ you get both. introducing the all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l jeep. there's only one. - i'm norm. - i'm szasz. jeep grand cherokee l [norm] and we live in columbia, missouri. we do consulting, but we also write. [szasz] we take care of ourselves constantly; it's important. we walk three to five times a week, a couple miles at a time. - we've both been taking prevagen for a little
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evacuations continue today in kabul with new urgency as the white house warns more violence is likely. breaking late last night the u.s. military carried out a drone strike against isis-k in retaliation for nasdaq's attack which officials now say kimd more than 100 afghans and 13 u.s. service members. with days until u.s. forces leave crowds are gathering at the kabul airport in hopes of being evacuated. but the scramble to transport people out of afghanistan continues to cause chaos. >> the children were dying because there were many people
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pushing, that they have to get to the flight. at the terminal due to that most of the children were dying, especially two years baby and six months baby. >> for years my next guest sayeed put himself in harm's way serving alongside the u.s. military first as interpreter for u.s. troops then an american soldier in the army. but now he lives with a different kind of heart wrenching fear and uncertainty for the safety and wellbeing of his family. now 31 years old living in houston, texas but his family remains stranded in afghanistan. for three years he asked the u.s. government to relocate them. worrying his efforts on behalf of the u.s. military would put them in mortal danger. joining me now is sayeed nour. what is the latest with your family members and their hopes for getting out of afghanistan? >> well, i got some great news
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last night. my family was finally able to make it out of afghanistan. and they were safely evacuated by the u.s. military in afghanistan. >> fantastic news. that is really great news that you're sharing with us. some good news on what's been some dark days for you and your family. let me ask you this. why did it take so long? i believe it's been in the process three years. >> as you know, the process is very difficult, very frustrating. and the process is very long. you know, especially for someone that work as an interpreter then work as u.s. military, i had a good recommendation from the military officers. but the process was a process that took forever for me. so you can imagine how long it's going to take for the interpreters out there, the local interpreters. so it's a very long process. they've been going through the process but so far no steps have been taken to improve the
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process. >> sayeed, you are afghan american, you grew up there, served in the american military on the front lines. what do you make of what has happened there since the middle of august, especially the collapse of afghan security forces and the rapid, rapid takeover of your country by the taliban again? >> mixed feelings, you know, as a -- every afghan, especially in afghanistan, they did not want the taliban to come back to power. nobody wanted to see them, nobody wanted to see their faces as therm how being tortured by the taliban 20, 21 years ago. the collapse of the afghan government into the hands of the taliban, nobody could imagine that it was not the expectation of the afghan people. it did change the situation on the ground, change the hopes of the afghan people. as you can see most of the people without the high risk and threats against their lives, fleeing the countrying, fleeing into the airport and hoping to be evacuated out of the country
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by the u.s. military. so a very dire situation on the ground. >> it is very bad. you have a lot of people in washington, d.c. saying to joe biden he should have stayed longer, should have kept 2500 troops in the afghanistan. you served in the military saw it from all sides as afghan a working as an u.s. soldier. do you think american troops should have stayed longer, there would have been benefit from that? or do you understand why joe biden is saying we have to end this 20-year war? >> well, i'm not saying that the u.s. forces should stayed there forever. it's all the movingen people, they have to stand up and fight for their own countries. but we should have left in a time that we could see that the movingen forces were able to take over -- to take on the taliban. . they were able to defend the countries. and we did leave them unplanned and and unprepared. i understand we've backup trapg them for 20 years. as we train more soldiers more
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soldiers die on the battlefield. as you can see the u.s. forces dropped the combat missions in 2014 and afghan soldier and movingen police were the only one fighting against the taliban. and they had lost more than 60,000 troops on the ground so far. so afghans were not prepared they were left unplanned unprepared that's why the taliban were able to take over the country. >> sayee, i am so pleased you came on the show today to tell us about the good news about your family getting out of afghanistan. i hope you see them soon. thank you so much and stay safe. >> thank you so much for having me. >> stay with us. we will continue this discussion about the relocation of refugees from afghanistan with congresswoman ilhan omar with a former refugee herbison in a bit. but after the break we'll check on the nation's capitol where voting rights rallies are getting underway. do not go away. e getting underway
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simple rights advocates are rallying around the country today to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the historic 1963 march on washington. and to call on congress to pass legislation to protect access to the ballot. in just a few hours the national mall will be full of people rallying for voting rights. hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in today's demonstrations in 40 cities across the nation. nbc news correspondent josh letterman is in the nation's capital where the march is about to start in a few minutes. josh, set the scene for us. what can we expect from the march about to start? >> yeah, well the crowds have been steadily gathering throughout the morning. they started before the sun even came up when we were here about 5:30, 6:00 in the morning. a bit of the lay of the land. a crowd gathering here in mcpherson square, a stage set up
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where there is already speakers giving addresses, marrying a lot about the filibuster, a lot about the voting law in texas. on the far end behind this crowd you have folks doing voter registration trying to make sure people are registered to vote, not only that they're registered but registered at their current address. we had a chance to speak to some of the rally goers as they arrived. i spoke to one woman who attended the second march on washington now she is back here today. and this is what she said about how it feels. >> what's it like to be here years later at another march on washington but on the same issue that hasn't really gotten that much better? >> i'm crying. i'm 74 years old and we still don't want it to be successful. we have a dream. the strength of us will prevail. i see young people who who think like i do in a peaceful way.
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respectful way. we will have leverage in this world today. >> reporter: and in a couple hours this whole group is going to march, going to do a loop down this way, through black lives matter plaza, and then down right straight past the white house as they head toward the national mall. this is one of many groups out and about in washington today. there is another rally and concert planned over at the lincoln memorial, a make good trouble event as well as folks gathering at freedom plaza to call attention to the need for d.c. statehood. mehdi. >> josh, is there a sense amongst the marchers and protesters that they have one very clear goal and that is the legislation that's in congress? we know the for the people act got filibustered. there is now the john lewis voting rights act i was discussing with congresswoman sewell that's been passed in the house is now heading for the senate, will almost certainly be filibustered as well.
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is that the clear goal to get legislation passed? that's the aim of today's protests? >> reporter: it's certainly a fundamental goal. but i would say there are a lot of other issues bleeding into this as well. you're hearing about the need for the $15 minimum wage. you hear about the need for gun control legislation, even climate change legislation. and i think the thread that ties all of those together is the folks here feel like if there was full enfranchisement in the country, there were not restrictions making it harder for people to vote as well as frankly the filibuster, they feel that those priorities would be able to get passed in congress. you hear people trying to call for more voting protections so that neck get all the other pieces of legislation that they feel is so badly needed. >> nbc's josh letterman, thank you for your reporting. appreciate it. the supreme court has blocked a federal eviction moratorium which means millions of americans could lose their
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with three days left until the deadline for the final u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, tens of thousands of afghans who worked with american forces remain desperate to get out of the country. now one famous former refugee calls on the white house to speed up the process to help those people stranded in
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afghanistan who fear for their lives and, quote, not let paperwork and bureaucracy be a death sentence. congresswoman ilhan omar who was born in somalia in 1995 she writes a p opinion we must draw bon the best of our history and open our arms to huddled masses yearning to breathe free. she goes on to say the terrorist attack was yet another reminder the people of afghanistan continue to face. now is the time to redouble evacuation efforts and do everything we can to get people out who are most at risk. and the congresswoman ilhan omar of minnesota joins me now. also a member of the house foreign affairs committee. she is author of the book "this is what america looks like, my journey from refugee to congresswoman. thank you for joining me in morning. we have seen the images of afghans fleeing on crowded u.s. military planes with few belongings hoping to start a new
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life abroad. you spent four years in a refugee camp in kenya as a kid. has the past weeks brought back difficulty memories for you? >> it has. it's really hard to watch any of these images that we continue to see on our screens without, you know, being taken back. i was a child in a family that was scattering. and, you know, searching for refuge. and it was our faith in humanity, the generosity of the kenyan people and the welcoming spirit of the american people that has allowed me now to have the ability to grow up with my children in the comfort of a country that has provided everything that i've been able to achieve. >> in your new op-ed, congresswoman, you talk about america's history of taking in
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refugees, not just yourself but hundreds of thousands of refugees from vietnam. but also the racism in in country. which america will we see. because republicans like kevin mccarthy has already suggested we'll have terrorists coming across the border in a phone call with house members. >> this is a time knowing history is really important to really distinguish, right, what we -- we need to push for and what we need to ignore. we know that the immigration act of 1924 severely restricted immigrants from southern and eastern europe from coming to our shores. we also know what happened when saigon fell and how we welcomed
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140,000 refugees from vietnam. we also know that there was an issue of welcoming syrian refugees in this country. we ultimately prevailed. what i'm asking for people to do is to, you know, allow their humanity to lead this conversation, to see these children and these families that are struggling in the eyes of their own children and their families who have struggled in the past and to know that we are a nation that has had the spirit -- the spirit of welcoming refugees and allowing for people to use our country as a place to start over in life, that is our legacy. and we can't let the afghan people down in their moment of need. we have made promises obviously that we couldn't keep.
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but the one promise that we can keep is making sure that we protect everyone that has been made vulnerable because of our mission. >> congresswoman, as a progressive, you supported bern new sanders in the democratic primaries partly because he promised to end the endless wars to take on the defense establishment. are you surprised to see joe biden now standing up to the defense establishment and sticking to the withdrawal time table, ending america's longest war? has he surprised you? >> he certainly has. and it's actually even more surprising the fact that he is not allowing the pressure that's being mounted in the media and in washington to derail the mission that he has set forth, the level of evacuation that his administration has been able to
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undertake is really inspiring. and there is important work that's getting done. even after the terrorist attack at kabul airport, we continue to air lift and evacuate people yesterday. we evacuated 12500 people. that is commendable work that, you know, our servicemen are doing, the state department. and we will continue to provide them the support they need and push them to do as much as they can in the coming days, because time is running out. >> time definitely is running out. democratic congresswoman, our time sadly run out. ilhan omar of minnesota, thank you for your time. >> thank you. another blow to american struggling to find their footing during this pandemic. the supreme court has rejected the biden administration's federal moratorium on evictions, meaning that millions of americans could lose their
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homes. my colleague tiffany cross host of the cross connection joins me now. tiffany, i was just speaking to squad member ilhan omar. i believe you're speaking to another squad member wrb cori bush, a leading voice in the fight for the eviction moratorium hasn't she. >> shaert. good morning, mehdi, happy to share the screen with you. with you dispute the zpigs rowe decision earlier this week congresswoman bush is not giving up yet. the missouri representative once homeless and living in her car with two children. says she will continue to pressure lawmakers to extend the moratorium, millions of americans as you know mehdi could be out on the street soon. and even more disappointing is that only a fraction of the billions earmarked to help during the pandemic has been distributed. there is a lot of bureaucracy at the state and local level. be sure to tune in to see how congresswoman bush hopes to keep millions in the homes. this is something impacting so many across the country.
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we'll have more on that. and we'll talk about the r. kelly trial happening. a jam packed show coming up next, mehdi. >> so much going on, thank you, tiffany cross. remember to camp the cross connection in just a bit from 10:00 a.m. eastern live on msnbc. stay with us for now. after a quick break we'll put today's voting rights marches in context. we'll put them in the context of the long fight for civil rights in america. and talk to two experts about why the strugle continues today. you do not want to miss it. you do not want to miss it ever d but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪ you get both. introducing the all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l jeep. there's only one.
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baaam. internet that doesn't miss a beat. that's cute, but my internet streams to my ride. adorable, but does yours block malware? nope. -it crushes it. pshh, mine's so fast, no one can catch me. big whoop! mine gives me a 4k streaming box. -for free! that's because you all have the same internet. xfinity xfi. so powerful, it keeps one-upping itself. can your internet do that? 58 years ago today 250,000 people assembled op america's front yard for the march on washington for jobs and freedom. protesters decried the mistreatment of black and minority groups particularly in the workforce. their protest would ultimately
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inspire not just civil rights laws but some of the equal opportunity laws protecting so many today. by the 50th anniversary of the march in 2013, the annual demonstration expanded the core mission to include securing human rights for gun violence victims, for the lgbtq i community and immigrants. today america's attention is back on voting rights for all its citizens. joining us now to discuss this is kisha blaine president of the africa. american sblg the society. history professor and co-ed tor of 400 souls. the creator of woke vote, interim president of the birmingham civil rights institute. joining us live from the rally at the lincoln memorial in d.c. dewana let me start with you. are you in any way surprised 58 years after martin luther king's historic i have a dream speech right there where you are standing that people of color are fighting for basic rights in
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america? >> surprised, no, concerned and gravely at a place where i believe that we should have made much more progress by this time, absolutely. for the effort that people of color, black americans in this country have put into building this country, have put into sustaining our economies, put into sustaining our communities, for us to still be here having to fight for a basic right as an american citizen, that is disturbing. >> dr. blaine, the issue of voting rights hasn't always been so partisan, has it? in 2006 the right to reauthorize the voting rights act in 1995 passed with nearly 20 oh 0 votes from the senate lawmakers. a lot of republican support back then. yet the john lewis voting rights act passed in the house with not a single republican voting yes. what has changed in the last 15 years? >> well, unfortunately, we have
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just seen quite frankly a move to take back rights that quite frankly should have been granted a long time ago. and we really have seen, i think, since the shelby ruling efforts to curtail black political rights, certainly efforts to suppress the vote and to restrict black and brown people in particular and other marginalized groups from being able to cast a ballot. i think what we are seeing today is a continued fight, which of course has strong echos to the trump presidency and so i'm not surprised that today we're still fighting. >> indeed we are. let me ask you this, dewanna in d.c., you spent the last few elections getting people of color out to vote. and people did turn out to vote from minority communities. >> yes. >> the black community came out in big numbers for joe biden and the democrats. >> yes. >> is the democratic party
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betraying the voting block so crucial to the election wins by not prioritizing voting rights legislation in the senate, by not doing whatever needs to be done to get it passed? by not getting rid of the filibuster? >> right, so >> right. there's two issues. one, it's not just the democratic party's responsibility to make sure that voting rights are in this country. that's every party's responsibility. however, because you have a group of people who did rally behind the platform and a party based off of information, based off of promises, based off of declarations that were made that they would fight basically tooth and nail for those rights, there is an understanding or a thought process that you would get into the same good trouble that we got into getting -- making sure that you were elected to make sure that we have those rights. it's not necessarily a betrayal. what it is is a call to action. it is us saying to you, listen, if you can't do the work of the people, not just black people,
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the work of the people that sent you to congress, maybe we need to get people in the officers who will will do that work both on the republican side and the democratic side. voting rights is not a black issue. it's not a democratic issue. it's an american issue. until we see is that we we will not have those rights. that's why we're here today. we're not here to commemorate what happened in 1963. we respect our elders for what they had to do. we're actually here to make demands. there is a make good trouble rally with a list of demands of this government. >> yes. dr. keisha blaine and dawana thompson. do stay with us, we're going to continue this important conversation after a break. conversation after a break on a date night ♪ ♪ got that bourbon street steak with the oreo shake ♪ ♪ get some whipped cream on the top too ♪ ♪ two straws, one check, girl, i got you ♪ ♪ bougie like natty in the styrofoam ♪ ♪ squeak-squeakin' in the truck bed all the way home ♪
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we're talking voting rights and the march on washington today. back with me is keisha blaine, president of the african-american intellectual history society, and dewana thompson, actiist and creator of woke vote. thank you for sticking with me. dr. blaine, i've got to ask this question. you've written a new book about the life of fannie lou hamer. you quote her line from 1964 where she famously said, "i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." do you see similarities today in the attitudes, a lot of black voters toward the struggle over civil rights and voting rights? >> absolutely. and i think we can even repeat
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that refrain. i know i'm certainly sick and tired of being sick and tired because what has happened is fannie lou hamer fought so courageously to expand black political rights and voting rights in particular in this country, and since the voting rights act of 1965, we have seen those privileges, those rights rolled back, and i mentioned the sheby case earlier. an array of state policies, state laws, and efforts to suppress the vote shows that even though we made progress, we're now moving backwards. so it's time i think to go back right to the basics, and that's why the voting rights exact important to restore. that's why we have to come together and rally around the john lewis voting rights act. >> dr. blaine, we're going to be hearing a lot about the late dr. martin luther king today. we hear a lot about his "i have a dream" speech. a lot of you know that --
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republicans to quote it. he also talked famously about his grave disappointment with the white moderate. what do you make of the work and support being offered by quote/unquote white moderates when it comes to the struggle for voting rights, especially for people of color? >> well, i think more has to be done. unfortunately we're at sort of odd place in history where so many people are quick to call themselves allies in the struggle. but even though they call themselves allies in the strug tele, they're not actually making any concerted efforts, not making any steps to ensure that black voting rights in particular are protected. and so i would say anyone who wants to quote king and who wants to claim that they're committed to the vision that he established, to the dream that he articulated in 1963, should be rallying behind efforts to protect the voting rights act and the provision that was struck down by shelby needs to be restored.
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so you can say you're committed to a vision of, you know, equality for all, and then turn around and say i'm going to support efforts to curtail voting rights for black and brown people in this country. >> dr. blaine, one last question. we're almost out of time. put this moment in historical context. you're a historian. how big a moment is this in american history? >> it's a big moment. certainly it's -- you know, i think the gathering today has so many echoes to the past, not only to 1963 but even 1941 which we don't talk about as much, the march on washington for 1941 did not take place because a. phillip randolph got fdr to concede and meet the demands. and 1963, people were again making the same demands that a. phillip randolph made in 1941. so in many ways it's not
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surprising that today we are making the same demands, and it's important to always remember there are ebbs and flows when it comes to history. dr. keisha blaine and earlier dawana thompson, thank you for joining me. appreciate it. that does it for me for today. thanks for watching. make sure to tune in for "velshi" tomorrow from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. eastern. you can find me on msnbc every sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern and also on peacock, nbc streaming network monday to thursday, starting 7:00 p.m. eastern. for now, go nowhere because "the cross connection" with tiffany cross starts right now. all right, good morning, everybody. welcome to "the cross connection." we have a ton of breaking news to cover this morning, including
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that u.s. drone strike against the isis terror group that claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in afghanistan that killed 169 afghans and 13 u.s. service members. now we're expecting a briefing from the pentagon in our next hour, and keep right here because we will bring to you live. first, there is a -- this is a critical day in the fight for democracy here at home as voting rights activist take to the streets across the country. this comes amid some key victories this week. the house passed the john lewis voting rights advancement act, so we'll have to see what happens in the senate. and north carolina judges ruled that voting rights must be automatically restored for thousands of formerly incarcerated people which disproportionately impacts people of color. with more than 400 voter suppression bills introduced in 49 states this year alone, that's including in texas where republicans just advanced a restrictive voting bill. activists know the fight has just begun. so let's get


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