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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  August 12, 2018 8:30am-9:31am PDT

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan this is "face the nation." a year after charlottesville what is the state of race relations in america. this year virginia officials are taking no chances and have declared a state of emergency. in an attempt to head off a repeat of last year when violence sparked by rallies led by so-called alt-right groups, killed one counter protester, heather heyer, and led to the death of two state troopers. charlottesville officials have denied all permits to stage an anniversary protest. organizer and his group are taking their rally this year to
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the front gates of the white house. president trump is also taking the offensive this year condemning all types of racism and violence in a tweet. last year his response sparked outrage in a national debate. >> you have some very good people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> but those remarks and images of white nationalists carrying torchs on the lawn at the university of virginia won't easily be forgotten. today we'll take a look at the divisions in america and how the state of race relations are impacting us as a country. we'll be joined by two key senators, virginia democrat tim kaine and south carolina republican tim scott. plus charlottesville mayor nikuyah walker and have a conversation about race with author and historian jon meacham, black lives matter activist deray mckesson. former white supremacist
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christian pick and cbs political analyst jamelle bouie. all ahead on "face the nation." good morning and welcome to "face the nation." right now all is quiet in lafayette square, streets around the white house are closed and police are preparing for protests later today. both unite the right and counter protesters have permits to march. we traveled to richmond late last week and talked with virginia democrat senator tim kaine at the city's black history and cultural center of virginia about race. and how virginia and the country are recovering one year after charlottesville. you have said that virginia has a lot of scar tissue when it comes to race. but it feels on many of these issues that it's very much an open wound. who has actually changed since
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charlottesville? >> i think what has changed is charlottesville was shocking, it was shocking that local guy like a jason kessler would have called this unite the right. people from out of state would come in -- he is a local guy. most of the people arrested for violence were out of staters who came in to bring their hatred and bigotry that was shocking. what i see that has changed good bit in virginia, margaret, people standing up and saying, we're not going to let our state be defined this way. energetic activism, it was the most directly in the virginia elections in november of 2017. we elected a statewide ticket including second african american, justin fairfax. elected more members of the lower legislative house than any year since the 1870s, who was elected of 15 people that got elected with this energetic turn out 11 of the 15 were women. african american, asian
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american, latino american, immigrant born, lgbt, transgender it was a real rainbow coalition of who the virginia of today is. >> brennan: and cory stuart wants to protect confederate -- >> again look who won last year. wasn't the people who want to go backwards who were winning elections. charlottesville was a shock and what i think it has created is an energy of people of goodwill standing up and staying there will not be hate. hate will not define who we are. we're on a path of progress. >> brennan: when you were mayor of richmond, you dealt with some of these questions about how to confederacy. >> all the time. >> brennan: this was the capital of the confederacy. is it troubling that those monuments are still standing? >> it doesn't trouble me that they're still standing. it means we have to always be in dialogue about right way to represent. >> brennan: the rallying point for unite the right rally was yet of the removal of robert e
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lee. >> that was not it, margaret. i want to challenge you. charlottesville was not about statutes it was about hatred and bigotry and division. this was not a save the statue rally it was unite the right rally. statues don't make you mark around chanting "jews will not replace us" they don't make you say blood and soil from nazi youth rallies. thing that's important about charlottesville, the fact about statues diminishes the gravity. >> brennan: nationwide, there is conversation generally about race. from president trump himself he makes the argument that the unemployment rate, jobless rate for african american community is at a record low. he frequently says statistics make the point that he's improving lives for the african american community and for minority. do you think he has created real opportunity? >> no. i think he's been a failure. the unemployment rate is low
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generally, that's good, it was coming down when he took office, that's good. i give him that. he didn't get all the credit because it was coming down significantly when he took office. but how about gaps in income. they are significant. how about gaps in wealth. they are significant. and what i think i'm most concerned about with this president is his pension to divide us, to attack people because they're immigrants. to attack people of their religion, attack minorities. to use vulgar language to describe countries where people come who might be latino or african. there is a concerted effort that he is been engaged in to divide people including dividing based on race no. where was that more obvious, no where. than in the aftermath of charlottesville. when somebody drove a car into a crowd in columbus, ohio, between his election and when he was inaugurated and that somebody
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happened to be somebody from the middle east he called it terrorism and went to columbus to comfort families who had been injured. when somebody of a middle eastern background drove a car into a crowd in barcelona he called it terrorism. but when this happened in charlottesville, 90 miles from the white house, in the home of an american president, suddenly he says, well, there's good people on both sides. he could not distinguish who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side in a white supremacist neonazi rally, that was infuriating. virginians really saw that for what it was, because a state that's been scarred like we have with the divisions of racism and hatred and slavery when we have president who can't call it out, it was outrageous. the people who came to charlottesville to demonstrate their hatred i'm sure had those emotions before there was a trump. but he's stoking it.
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i think that is very, very damning that -- >> brennan: why do you think that? why do you think he's stoking that? do you think he's racist? >> i don't know him. i have no idea about who he is as a person. whether it's a sincere feeling or whether he thinks it gets him some political edge or gain, i don't know the answer. but i don't know which of those two is worse. if it's not your view but you do it to try to get a political edge and try to stoke division, in some ways that's every bit as morally bad as holding views that are bigoted or race. >> brennan: do you think embracing identity politics something that democrats like yourself should be doing? >> i don't call it identity politics l. is critique, or political correctness. it's a quality. jefferson put a quality in to the declaration of independence as america's north star. now, he was an imperfect person, he was far sighted enough to see we hold these truths to be self
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evident. we have to be true to the equality principle. we have to reject division and embrace equality. that's not identity politics. that's not political correctness, that's being true to the fundamental virginia and american value that a quality is the north star we should pursue. >> brennan: advisors to the president, like steve bannon said more democrats talk and focus on issues of identity, issues of race, that it's a political benefit because the message is we're about actually improving people's lives economic nationalism. that is going to continue to win for republicans. >> i'm not telling any republican or any elected official what to say. what i am saying is, as a nation, if we're not committed to equality what are we committed to? we're imperfect people. we may never get to a quality in the pure sense of it. but that's got to be our north star. and if somebody says, that's identity politics or that's political correctness you say, no. if we're not for equality as a
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nation, what are we? of course we are. that's the very foundation of who we are. >> brennan: the criminal justice system, democratic colleague elizabeth warren says it's 100% racist front to back. >> there are deep challenges. >> brennan: do you believe her? >> there is systemic racial inequities in the justice system. what i'm saying we have this policy we're not living it perfectly in any sphere, criminal justice i think would be one where there is significant problems. look at the disproportionate incarceration rate. now, to say the entire system is racist, i know fantastic professionals, law enforcement professionals, judges, prosecutors who are doing their best every day to reduce inequality. but if you just look at the results, the outcome, who is incarcerated. >> brennan: you have raised the issue of race and discrimination as directly tied to how the
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president discusses immigration of national security. what do you mean by that? because he makes the case, this is just about security, this is just about stopping child traffickers and he's about rule of law. >> he used vulgar language to describe certain language. he uses unfair stereotypes. give me a break. he will suggest that everybody who comes to the border is a member of ms13, give me a break. statistics show that is not true. when somebody perpetuates a stereotype that is false, you have to ask why are they doing that? and i think he is stoking division. and it's against folks from third world countries, folks whose skin color are different than his. folks whose religion he doesn't approve of. >> brennan: the supreme court upheld travel ban that was predominantly applies to muslim countries. >> version three. after version one was struck down. after version two was struck down. they finally did a version that
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could limp across the finish line by 5-4 vote. even in that approval the court called out the president's language. look, the burden that is on the shoulder of any of us in lead irrelevant ship now is to try to pull this country together not divide people. what i challenge the president on is, i don't think he's behaving like a fall guy. he's behaving as dividers. we have leaders at all levels to make plain that we're all for nation, all commonwealth. >> brennan: you can see more of our interview is senator kaine on our website facethe thenation.com. one year log tim scott criticized president trump's response to the charlottesville violence. >> what the president should do before he says something is to sit down and become better acquainted, have a personal connection to the painful history of racism and bigotry of this country. >> brennan: within we come back we'll see what senator scott has to say now.
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>> brennan: we sat down earlier with south carolina republican estimate cot. he joined us from mount pleasant just outside charleston. we asked him how americans should understand this moment when later today white supremacists will be rallying in front of the white house. >> certainly it's obvious that we continue to exercise our freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution. should also be an opportunity for us to thank the good lord that we have signs of progress in this nation and that we have much progress still to be made. the fact of the matter that i'm thankful to live in a state where i have seen the evolution of the human heart. i hope that the rest of the nation takes the time to find a way to break bread with someone who is not like themselves to say to those folks who believe there is one superior race that they are dead wrong that this country will always come together in a way that blesses
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each other because we're one nation under god and i believe that we are indivisible. >> brennan: trump mentioned the riots in charlottesville in tweet said he condemns all types of racism and acts of violence. last you said the president can be racially insensitive, do you still believe that? >> certainly his tweets yesterday morning were a positive sign of a better direction for the nation without any question the president condemning all acts of racism and violence is a positive step in the right direction. and more importantly after my meeting with the president he asked me last year for charlottesville, what can he do to make a difference in this country bringing people together. i laid out something that i thought would be very powerful that was the opportunities i was bringing more resources back into distressed communities. we celebrate the success of this economy without any question but the reality of it is, that there are pockets in this nation where
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the recovery has been uneven and the opportunities supported by the president will have a positive impact, a powerful impact in communities that are distressed and disproportionately communities that are black and brown. >> brennan: when will those communities feel the impact of that money being disbursed? when will they see it, where? >> you have the treasury department to finish their guardrail, good news i was in mississippi on thursday and there are a number of projects waiting for the guidance to be delivered. we are probably about 30 days away from the final regulations that will allow opportunity funds to be created and opportunity funds to be populated with new investment, new resources and hopefully minimizing gentrification at the same time. >> brennan: do you think that that has helped the president restore that you said had been compromised last year? >> i think there are a number of steps the president has taken to move us in a better direction
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opportunity zone was my number one ask, he said yes, that was good news. number two, he has spent more time meeting with african american pastors and business leaders, many of whom on business side brought to the white house meeting with the vice president, invested more time and energy in that direction. then another bright spot is the president's plan and objective to work with both the house and the senate to reduce recidivism which focuses on prison reform. i think if you look at the actual steps from the opportunity zones to the meetings with pastors and business leaders, reducing recidivism and without any question the lowest african american unemployment rate in the history of the country. >> brennan: you recently met with president trump about prison reform, sentencing reform is also being discussed. but there is opposition within your party to some of this, also opposition from attorney general jeff sessions that coupling these things together. what process are there for
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actually getting this through the senate and for reducing mandatory minimums? >> the house passed a few weeks ago a prison reform legislation with over 300 -- i think 336 votes or so that was bipartisan effort. that bill has i think positive prospect from getting out of the senate. the question is, is there a way for us to add on top of prison reform legislation criminal justice reform that would give relief valves on nonviolent perhaps first time offenders as opposed to having to deal with the mandatory minimum having a way to reduce the sentence. that is a far more treacherous ground for us, that the president engaged in the conversation, have a meaningful conversation. >> brennan: you recently shined on to a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. something congress has tried to do over the past hundred years, 200 times and failed.
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why are you the only republican signing on to this? >> i think i'm the first republican, by the time we get this out of the senate there will be several republicans. there are some democrats as well. >> brennan: there are 26 cosponsors including yourself. they're all democrats you're the only republican. >> sometimes it's good to be first. so i look forward to looking for ways of bringing more folks on board. the fact of the matter is lynching issues, we should have dealt with many years ago. it is still an issue that raises fear and trepidation in communities of color and frankly in any community in this nation we should all stand together until lynching is a hate crime, be done with it and move on. we'll see bipartisan coalition coming together on that bill. >> brennan: do you feel alone in your party on some of these issues of racial justice? >> i honestly think that a lot of republicans are leaning forward to the fact of the matter is that the meeting at
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the white house was set up by judiciary committee, senator grass low to meet with the president talk about specifically how the criminal justice system can be improved for those folks who are the most vulnerable in the system. that was led by senator grassley who others have said, he would never allow criminal justice piece of legislation to lay the judiciary. here we sit on the cusp of seeing that happen. lindsey graham led on the issues of young african american males being disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. michael lee has worked on fairness in the criminal justice system. ted cruz is working on that as well. there are a number of us working on the issue, the fact fact that i'm the leading cosponsor of the lynching legislation is true. but it does not necessarily tell the whole story on other republicans who are engaged in the process of making sure that we have a level playing field in
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the criminal justice space. >> brennan: you're going to deliver their votes on your lynching bill? >> well i'm not going to ever say that i'm going to deliver anything that i cannot guarantee that i'm going to deliver. i am confident that i will have more than just myself as republican on the bill. this will bring more republicans on board by the time we're finished than before we started so thank you very much for that. >> brennan: republicans like to refer to themselves alls the party of lincoln. do you think that that legacy of being compromised by the party of trump? >> i think we are going through hard times without any question. rhetoric is not always repful. the fact of the matter is rhetoric on both sides. i can name some congress members on the left who have said some poisonous and toxic things. i can certainly say folks on the right. the truth of the matter is the party of lincoln is in fact standing strong in many ways, criminal justice is a clear
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example of the opportunity zones with legislation supported by the other side but none in the end voted for it. frankly it was passed on all republican votes. now i have a lot of friends on the other side who are excited about it. there are strong signs from the white house to the both houses of congress that we are making progress at the party of lincoln. but the fact of the matter, i am more interested with the progress of one nation, one american family than i am just republican party. i am not first republican i'm first american, my goal make sure that each and every american has a chance to experience their full potential. and that means sometimes you have to walk alone, sometimes you have to say things that may not be popular. and that's necessary in the times in which we live. >> brennan: do you think current debate over immigration into this country, the travel ban as well, that that has hints in the president's rhetoric of racism? >> well, i think the president
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is looking to cure the nation, there's no question that -- some of his tweets or things he said, spoke out against it i had comment or two about calling countries blank-holes. i don't think that's helpful without question i'm not sure that was racial. i think it was just not helpful and offensive. for me i think the president's approach is clear on the issues of immigration. i was surprised and perhaps pleasantly surprised when the president suggested that he was willing to allow 1.8, 1.9 million daca eligible folks to come -- stay in the country and find alt to permanent. truth of the matter is the daca members about 800,000 people so when president announced the number that was million higher than the actual folks that are eligible for daca, that to me was a good sign that he was willing to negotiate. unfortunately sometimes the democrats seem to be more enamored with the issue than the
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solution. that the probably our fault. >> brennan: i really appreciate you coming on the program today. and talking to us and sharing your thoughts. >> have a great day. >> brennan: we'll be back in a moment. ew at that exact moment ... i'm beating this. my main focus was to find a team of doctors. it's not just picking a surgeon, it's picking the care team and feeling secure in where you are. visit cancercenter.com/breast money managers are pretty much the same. all but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. tremfya® is fors caadults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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energy lives here. >> brennan: be sure to join us next week on "face the nation" when we'll be looking at the role of women in the 2018 mid terms. both as candidates and as voters. we'll talk with new york democratic senator out on the campaign trail. that is next sunday on "face the nation." ♪
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>> brennan: welcome back to "face the nation." last year nikuyah walker was just one charlottesville resident infuriated by the local response to the protests on august 12th. so she went to the next city council meeting. >> take place in this town, it will require people in power that can handle it. >> brennan: she decided to run as independent candidate for city council and ended up getting elected mayor. we spoke with her in charlottesville earlier. >> do you think this community a year later has healed? >> absolutely not.
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because the issues were not the rally or just statues, the issue is racism that we have here and that's the challenge. and that's a lot of work. and it takes commitment. while people don't want alt-white, white men in khaki pants and polo shirts walking through town and they want to make it clear this they don't identify there, they have been very comfortable with racism and how it's in the community. >> brennan: you think that the community still hasn't fixed some of the problems at the root of this kind of -- >> a year isn't long enough. we're talking about issues that have been going on here for centuries. >> brennan: do you think charlottesville is representative of other cities in america? >> think if you start talking about the issues that we're facing around the country that relate to race and class, you
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can put charlottesville up there as city to study and you'll find all the major disparities exist. we hear these stories all across the country. we heard them in florida where trayvon martin and ferguson and cleveland. like we hear these stories about people who are just shocked at where we are in our communities in regards to racism. but even once the facts are presented people really don't want to change. to help truly heal that. >> brennan: i think the images of last year shocked many people because they think of charlottesville as thomas jefferson's hometown. world class university. world class hospital. arts community. you ran on the platform -- what's the illusion? >> while it is thomas jefferson's hometown we're
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talking about a president who inflates people and built his empire off the backs of black people. so that's the truth that we don't want to tell, right? you're talking about world class university but who is in that university? who is able to walk those grounds versus who built the university. that university was built off of slaves. >> brennan: one of the rallying point for unite the right rally last year was around the confederate statues, monument to robert e lee, he's still out there. the fact that that salt to you is still standing there has to be very frustrating for you. >> i often say to people you have to have people who want to be on the right side of history. the law is the way that it is now. we have a judge at our circuit court, he's creative and working around whatever legal measures
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are in place, to take the statue down. seems to be a lot of support and research in making sure that it can stay up. >> brennan: because of the way that the state functions unless my understanding is, designated or determined to be symbol of white supremacy, the war monument can't be -- not a war memorial. that's the question is whether it's a war memorial or not. >> brennan: what does it represent to you? >> the hate that it caused. the hate that it drew here that people were able to mobilize hand decision previous council made about removing the statues, get that many people into this area to make sure that we understood that they want to do everything within their power not to let that happen. that means absolutely, it must come down. >> brennan: to you, it's a clearance to the question, is it a sign of white supremacy you're say can yes. >> yes, it definitely is.
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that statue went up in the '20s. the war ended long before that. >> brennan: why pretend that that part of history i guess is the argument didn't happen. >> it's not about pretending that it didn't happen. we look all over this nation and you have symbols of white supremacy up. all over the place that you can look and it says that white is superior, it tells a story, people look around them and all they see is symbols, portraits of white faces, that story of just white dominance overall is something that we have struggled with as a country. >> brennan: in the year that has passed have you seen anything bridged? have you seen from the top down in this country or in this community. >> we have a community here who
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not all the people in the community but we have a good segment of the population who has come together to fight, you know, has taken on the call to make sure that justice and equity is a part of their every day lives. and have and understand that they have to take that in every room that they walk in. >> brennan: we'll be right back with our discussion of race in america one year after charlottesville. i'm ready. with tremfya®, you can get clearer. and stay clearer. in fact, most patients who saw 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks stayed clearer through 48 weeks. tremfya® works better than humira® at providing clearer skin, and more patients were symptom free with tremfya®. tremfya® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or have symptoms
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>> brennan: for some perspective on the state of race relations we brought very special panel together today. deray mckesson works with former obama communication at crooked media the author of on the other side of freedom. the case for hope which comes out next month. christian picciolin six former white supremacist whose organization now seeks to pull other people out of the life that he left behind. he's also the author of the book "white american youth." jon meacham is historian and author his latest book is "the soul of america: the battle for better in a else" and the chief political correspondent for "slate" magazine written about the history of -- perhaps most importantly, dad to 10-year-old
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baby boy named carter, congratulations to you. ten day old. i should say. i want to start with you jamelle i mentioned charlottesville resident you heard a lot of frustration from the mayor. we look nationally, latest cbs poll shows that racial tensions in the past year have increased and percentage of americans saying that, 61%. majority of this country thinks it's getting worse, why hasn't there been national healing? >> i think as principally is simply that the president seems to see a political advantage in intensifying racial strive and conflict. >> brennan: you put this solely on him? >> i don't know how completely distribute the blame but it does matter that the president from trying to find avenues for racial understanding or healing, tends -- instead goes after black football players and makes a show of getting into spats and
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fights with celebrities. instead still has not been able to bring himself to fully condemn white supremacist even statement yesterday we condemn racism against all sides sort of nonsensical what happens in charlottesville, it was white supremacists going after black communities, other communities of color. i don't know -- it's impossible to kind of break out numerical distribution for how much blame goes to whom. but i think if the president is supposed to be this national voice of unity, it really does matter that the president has explicitly rejected that calling instead spanning the flames of i think racial strife. >> brennan: jon, you've written this book "the soul of america" inspired by what happened in charlottesville and you've said that this is a moment almost like what we saw in the hours after the civil war. >> absolutely. i think this moment is not new.
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i think it's the most vivid manifestation in memory of some of the worst instinks in the american character. >> brennan: not a trump effect, per se. >> he's exacerbated it. he's marshaled fear and manufactured it. i think the reason he's at the pinnacle of power for many reasons. we have white supremacist march or rally in washington today. in 1925 there were 50,000 klansmen coming down, h.l. lincoln covered it. same thing 3-5 million members of the clan in the 20s. institutions of the republic worked in order to fight that. what has happened before doesn't mean we'll relax. what it does mean we look at these moments where the perennial american problem around this, which has been going on 400 years from when we were british north america to got to love sunday you can
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mention -- through the constitution all the way to the civil war and forward. it is the perennial issue in the life of the nation. and so while we shoot think that tomorrow can be absolutely going to disappear, tomorrow can be better there is a lesson within the last 50 years that with the civil rights legislation in the 1960s, things got better. so, surrender to the fear and oppose to embracing the hope, to your points a real set back in terms of presidential leadersh leadership. >> brennan: deray, you made it clear trying to make better tomorrows, as a protester but you began doing this as an activist well before there was a trim president trump. why do you think black lives matter needs to be out there on the streets today counter protesting instead of ignoring. >> always about protests of
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telling the truth in public that's important. there will be many people out. you ask the question, too, what healing looks like, a mantra that truth comes before the reconciliation. people are willing to tell the truth about where we are. what does it mean where people killed by stranger and actually killed by police officer, one in 11 homicide is committed by officer. some of the disparities like new york city, 90% of the people arrested for marijuana are black and brown. you don't believe inned 0% of the people who use marijuana are black and brown. we arrest more people for weed then all violent crimes combined. those things are about race. until we actually are able to walk into that say like this is actually happening and we should do something structurally, to change it, i think will always be here. trump's success in here, a moment where it's a lot of emotion, a lot of rhetoric but no real substance. even the prison bill he's putting forth could be done administratively that doesn't need congress but he traps us in
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this conversation that isn't moving us anywhere. i'm interested how do we continue to tell the truth whether it's on the street or in spaces like this or board rooms. and actually sets us up to change structures. >> brennan: you are talking the president sentencing reform that could address mandatory minimum. >> not been a part of this iteration of the bill we've seen so far. the first step. but all the things that they're proposing like not shackling pregnant women they can do that now. but again, like, this is about saying this is what's happening in this country we can actually doing something structural to address it. people talk about truth and reconciliation without acknowledging that truth comes first. >> brennan: i want to ask you here because there's criticism about having conversations like this which is that somehow we are stoking racial division by talking about it rather than healing. you have made the point you need to talk about things. you were recruited into white
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supremacist movement when you were 14 is that right? >> that's correct, yeah. 1987. >> brennan: is talking about this how it works? >> you know, i think we have to talk about it because there are two things that extremists love. they love silence and violence. first silence they grow because they're unfettered they can convince people. if we're violent we playwright into their hands because they come to places like washington, d.c. or charlottesville or even skokie, illinois in the 1970s because of their progressive communities. their whole job to provoke and intimidate. i think we cannot be silent about it but we can't adopt their tactics and be violent. >> brennan: for these counter protesters today your advice would be -- >> be vocal, vigilant but don't be violent. >> brennan: do you agree with some of the journalism around what you've seen, unite the right rally, that actually things have gotten harder in the past year, that they're more splintered there has been a negative impact on that movement.
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>> i've seen it myself. several of the leaders of the organizers from last year have publicly stated not to go to the rally. but i think it's a pr move for them. i think they're trying to mainstream even further because they know that their image from last year didn't sit well even with american white racists in some cases. so now they're even going further into the mainstream they are starting to drop some of that oppressive language. >> on that point there's good evidence that some of this mainstream movement has been successful. senate candidate, cory stuart openly allies himself with these figures, has taken -- has been seen in photos with white supremacists has white nationals who have worked with them. that united states senate candidate -- >> brennan: endorsed by the president of the united states. >> exactly. that for me is evidence that even if there was a major set back in charlottesville the
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larger conflict here is far from settled in that white supremacist and white nationalists, however you want to call them, are making their way into mainstream politics and pushing arguments that are making -- that are finding their place in mainstream. >> that david duke was a louisiana house of representatives for three years. >> and said last year that this -- we got to take our country back this is why we elected donald trump he said that in charlottesville. this is a political strategy that's been unfolding since january 1966 when edward alfred pollard wrote a book called "the lost cause" where he argued that the war was over but the battle for ideas, the argument against what was called consolidated government them, big government, fight against washington this would be the war by other means. and it was the entire intellectual and cultural architecture of the resistance
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to the implications of the verdict of the civil war. and it's been unfolding not simply in the south but complicity of the north for 150 years. >> brennan: i want to talk more about this on the other side of the commercial break, stay with us. we hope all of you will be back with us in a moment.
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>> brennan: we're back now with our panel. jon meacham, i want to begin with you republican national committee this morning is using their platform to discredit senior african american aide to president trump who was fired who now says that she has actually heard him use racial slurs. why is a republican party addressing this? >> because it's holy unsubsidiary of the trump administration has been since he was clearly going to be the nominee. the reply -- >> brennan: suggest a politica- >> for republicans and trump? well, right now the political cost is barely -- because they're in power. basically broadly put the
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republican party and conservative movement in the united states is not always the same thing basically sold their soul to donald trump in exchange for lower tax rate and supreme court justice. i don't think it's much -- i don't think it's a hell of a lot more complicated than that. so now having done that they have to defend the often indefensible and you have otherwise serious people who will say the craziest things in defense of donald trump that they would never have imagined saying before. this is why -- this was the cost of power. >> brennan: senator tim scott on this program was not fully defending the president but saying he has found ways to work with him. that is -- >> that's the code, right? that's what they're saying to get through the day. i think they're going to have extraordinarily difficult time in the mid term and long term. not mid term elections built
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middle term and long term, because they know this isn't what they want to be. this is the party of -- whether you agree or disagree the party of eisenhower and ronald reagan and john mccain and whatever you want to say about those folks. those were characters of the first rank i believe. but in a public sense. and now you have this remarkable take over and as i've sometimes joked is the first recorded case of the hijacker boarding a plane and passenger side with the hijacker. >> it is, too, like rhetoric doesn't match reality. trump can say whatever he wants. that administration is calling for the death penalty for drug dealers, that is wild. this administration has said that war on poverty is over only about 200,000 people in poverty. this is wild. we see his -- obviously seen kids in cages.
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it doesn't match the rhetoric that we see him now suggesting he has moved at all. >> brennan: i want to ask you about that rhetoric because it's racially tinged not only quite so clear, people can dispute what the president actually meant when he it tweeted this week about the nfl players and their protest what did you hear? >> you know, he has only attacked black athletes. he has history of attacking black people who criticize him. he didn't say anything or made like whole -- but he's come out against some of them. think about nfl, people -- colin was not protesting the flag he was as racist history that so much of that racist history bleeds over to the president. that is just true. is it the police are killing people. you've seen it. i've seen it. what is what colin was saying and that's what the other players saying. trump is like dismantling the fbi and people are seemingly okay with that, if i said those things about the fbi like they
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would be in my house again. they already visited my house once. says it just like normal -- like, okay, like, no, that is -- even just came out criticized sessions which i missed a day ago. >> i think there's something about how to interpret those statements, how other republicans interpret those statements of how his statements make their way into politics. focus on virginia again because i'm a virginian that's what i do. in last year's gub election, towards the end starting running mailers attacking kneeling football players, talking about the confederate statues and using frump language that was meant to energize white rezestment. >> brennan: the argument is it's about patriotism not racism. >> to echo deray, when you are
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only attacking black football players, when sort of this language tied up in language like blue lives matter, it's really difficult to say that this is about patriotism especially when the players themselves are saying repeatedly this is about police brutality. you add that in to the slippery conflakes of say, criminal gang and immigrants broadly, add that in to it is confederate statues, it gives strange credible. >> knees are not dog whistles this is a bull horn for somebody like me 30 years ago would say the same things. what he's doing is he's creating the conditions that make people afraid then using fear and manipulation to continue that cycle. calling out thugs as the football players like he said or just african americans in general, this is all coded language that's been polished and made more palatable because
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he knows it speaks to people about issues that they have a hard time arguing, like freedom of speech. >> brennan: we'll be right back in a moment. the world is full of different hair. that's why pantene, the world's #1 conditioner brand, has conditioners for every hair type. from air-light foam for fine hair, to nourishing 3 minute miracle for thick and curly. and the moisture-infusing gold series collection.
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>> brennan: i want to thank the pam for joining us for today's discussion and for our viewers. thank you for watching. important conversation. i hope you enjoyed it. until next week for "face the nation," i'm margaret brennan. bowls to serve teriyaki. see that right there? you can't say that. i can't tell people to try my bowls? no.
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