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tv   Politics Nation With Al Sharpton  MSNBC  May 25, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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. that does it for me this hour. i'm richard lui. you can follow me on twitter, instagram, and facebook. for now, i turn it to reverend al sharpton and "politicsnation." good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonig tonight's lead, rope-a-dope. like any fighter getting licked by a superior opponent, president trump staggered to his corner friday on the other side of the world after a week of trading shots with house speaker
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nancy pelosi. the president is in japan on state business and see nemesis is girding for the impeachment fight. more and more democrats and at least one republican are rearing to have. in the meantime, the speaker seems set on a strategy, engage, embarrass, and repeat. go aheading t goading the commander in chief and going after a sensitive topic, his manliness. like folks say, it takes a woman. >> i'm going to be very calm because i don't want them going out to the press and saying i was anything but calm. i was extreme calm, very much like i am right now. and of us the sad when i watched nancy all moving, the movement and the hands and the craziness. and i watched. that's a person that's got some problems. >> i pray for the president of
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the united states. i wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country. >> joining me now to help score this fight, sophia nelson, former house government reform and oversight republican committee counsel, and a contributor to think on nbcnews.com, dean obeidallah, radio host and contributor to the daily beast, and michael hardy, executive vice president and general counsel to the national action network. let me go to you first, sophia. it seems the president is always rattled when he locks horns with house speaker nancy pelosi. is it that he's intimidated by a strong, smart woman? >> come on, reverend al. you know the answer to that question. remember during the presidential debates in 2016, he referred to secretary of state clinton as a nasty woman.
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he loves to denigrate women. this one's crazy, one's nasty. he's always got something to say, so absolutely president donald trump has never liked to engage with women. and we can talk about low iq, he called omarosa a dog. he's not kind to women, and we all know what he said on that entertainment tonight tape. i think that nancy pelosi is winning because she comes across as being -- it's almost like a mother to a child. you know when you mess up and your mom sends to you your room and says i'm so disappointed new and nothing hurts worse? that's how she handles him. she says she's praying for him and needs an intervention and then he goes crazy and starts saying all kinds of things and getting kelly ann to back him up. >> attorney hardy, what should not be missed in this is that
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they were meeting about infrastructure, something that is needed. i travel all over the country, streets and bridges and tunnels and other parts of the infrastructure of this country -- is crumbling. and they were to meet to talk about bipartisan way they could deal with the broken infrastructure of the country. this is serious. as well as as it does provide jobs. he storms out in three minutes saying end these investigations. from a legal perspective, what is he doing if he's telling them he will not move forward with legislation, not move forward with his duty as president, unless they end investigating him? >> he's setting himself up, rev. he's responding and nancy is manipulating him because he's going into a meeting that really would benefit him in a lot of ways to really engage on the
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infrastructure question. more importantly, though, if he always is saying that why are these investigations going on, then he's really in a way further kind of putting the spotlight on the fact that maybe there was obstruction there because he certainly has been obstructing with regard to the subpoenas that have been happening and to the directives he's been giving some of his subordinates. maybe he is covering up and he responded just the way she wanted him to. >> it seemed, dean, that this was set up, his walkout. he had posters and things celebrating his achievements, even putting one in front of the presidential seal, something that we've never seen a president putting his accomplishments over the seal of the presidency. is he starting to unravel because this seems like
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desperation. >> we just call it thursday at this point. all trump does is unravel. his twitter feed goes crazy. you talked about rope-a-dope earlier. all i can think is down goes trump, down goes trump because nancy pelosi was effectively able to troll him to a point where not only was he upset, trump world was upset. fox news put out that edited video. rudy giuliani shared the doctored video. sebastian gorka made a bizarre video defending donald trump. there's a history that nancy pelosi has with donald trump. trump has donated to the ccc in 2006 when she was one of the leaders. maybe he respected her. but he cannot deliver on infrastructure. he cannot get the republicans to approve $2 trillion to fund it. >> that's what this is about. >> so he had to leave that meeting to save his face. so it was not about coverup. the democrats were already investigating trump, various committees. he cannot deliver, he did not want to be embarrassed by that.
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the night before the meeting he wanted to shift gears from infrastructure to the new nafta agreement because he knew he couldn't blideliver. it's not her, it's hi. he's a failure, he can't even lead the gop. >> you're seeing, sophia, the drum beat get louder and louder. one republican now saying let's move on to impeachment. as he makes these very bizarre and dramatic moves, impeachment seems to be more and more something that is resonating around the house. she had to meet with the caucus and say let's be strategic here. >> reverend al, twhofrlo things the democrats have to do. the time has passed for mueller to testify in public and the house judiciary chairman have to be firm that if he testifies,
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it's going to be in public before we the people. that's number one. number two, it's past time for impeachment hearings to start. remember with watergate, let's go back in time. this was not something that was a fatit accompli. the public became informed. right now all we do is have a bunch of misinformation being put out by the white house and the president. there's a bunch of fighting on social media about who's lying, who colluded, who didn't, who obstructed. the american people need things broken down for them because they're busy, they're working. they're trying to take care of their families. they're not trying to do what we're doing 24/7. people could get the information by watching the hearings in realtime, i think that that shifts the responsibility to the senate that if the house does impeachment, reverend al, the republican senators, trust me, they like their re-election more than they do president trump. if public sentiment were to
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shift and there was a shift there, i think that's when you begin to see some movement. and then it's something that i think is viable. right now it's not, but i think it can get there. >> when you see judges say that they're not going to allow his financial records not to be turned over, and when you see that there was a deal made today to stay until the appeals, but the exchange for that was an expedited court calendar, to the average person watching at home or whenever they are tonight, what are the legal implications of that for the president if there is something in these financial documents that now may be boirordered by a judge? what's at stake here legally for the president? >> there may be something there. a lot of people want to see what's in those financial records of donald trump and what may be there for the congress to
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further substantiate a reason to move towards impeachment. >> including if he was getting foreign monies from sources that may compromise some of his decisions as president. >> that's compel right, and others that have been dealing with him maybe as a result of them knowing that he is the president and benefits that they may receive as a result of patronizing his businesses. some reports of the number of republicans that have been using his facilities, you know, throughout his term. so i think that's a concern for him. once that goes in, i think as sophia just said, if they move forward with these hearings and you have mueller coming forward and you have others coming forward to give their testimony, that really begins to set the deadline and the movement towards a decision to impeach or not impeach. >> dean, when you quoted my opening about rope-a-dope, it remind me of the '74 ali foreman
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fight where ali used to dance fighting as a boxer, just laid on the ropes and foreman punched himself out. and ali knocked him out. >> right. >> is nancy pelosi laying back and letting him punch himself out with antics like he pulled walking out in three minutes and having signs over the rose garden and in front of the presidential seal? >> i think on some level he's letting him self-destruct but she's helping the whole way. the idea of calling for intervention and yesterday trump saying you see how mean she was to me? the victim of donald trump is remarkable. to people who are progressives or moderates, this would be a sign of weakness, but for some reason on the right, victim hood is a currency that works because many feel like their victims because of race or religion they're being discriminated, not being treated fairly on social media. my show is on the progressive channel. almost exclusively, but not exclusively, people want an impeachment inquiry to begin.
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not an unanddown vote, the same thing with kenneth starr. impeachment inquiry went for two to three months. we'll see the evidence. and democrats at the end say not enough to draft articles of impeachment, i respect that. but i think they will, frankly, and that gives time for the media to focus, america to focus, to be informed what's in that report, obstruction, witness intimidation, and what trump did by accepting help from russia knowingly. >> i don't know if there will be a family intervention as the speaker suggested, but i can recommend the family at least get him a passifier. more to come with sophia, dean, and michael later in the show. coming up, in the rampup to the 2020 democratic candidates are increasingly courting the black voters.
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but instead of hopeful rhetoric, one contender is using hopeful policy to woo the constituency. that's after the break. fter thek bleech! aww! awww! ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft for the win win.
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the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. . we are one month away from the first televised debate for the 2020 democratic presidential candidates. as they prepare for that event, they're also trying to figure out how to attract black voters. some pound the pavement, shaking
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hands in black communities, some hold a number of town halls geared toward issues that directly impact minorities, and some appear on radio and tv programs like this one, using them as a platform to demonstrate their awareness of the plight. but senator elizabeth warren is taking a different tact. she highlights in a new piece, she's highlighted about her moves of letting policy proposals, not just words, do the talking, according to an extensive piece in "the atlantic." this week she put forth a plan to forgive outstanding student loans and to make public colleges tuition-free, a proposal that would undoubtedly lift up future generations of black americans better than any public event would. with me to discuss this, adam harris, staff writer at the "atlantic," and author of that
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piece about warren, and erin haze wac, specializing in race and ethnicity. let me go to you first, adam. in your piece, which was very interesting, you talk about specific policy. as you know, we had most of the candidates at national action network's definition, and even there elizabeth warren was very heavy on policy that directly addressed the inequality impact of some things to african-americans. this tact, is it working, and why do you think she's gone this route? >> so it does seem to be working. you've seen over the last couple of weeks a noticeable growth in her poll numbers. one of the reasons i wanted to talk to her was essentially to find out why she placed so much emphasis on this wealth gap. she examines housing policy and
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how there's disproportionate impact on black families. it's not an accident that black families have a harder time building wealth. so she wanted to -- her campaign is putting an intentional focus on race and wealth in america. one way they're doing that is through this higher education plan, the debt cancellation and the free tuition is a noticeable amount of press. one other really significant piece of that is this $50 billion fund for hbcus and minority-serving institutions to lift up and address that historical legacy of discrimination in america. >> erin, adam referred to the race wealth gap. i think that one of the things that has been missing, and when we talk about the have and the have not and the 1% and the 90,
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they are not the same in terms of race because the class gap, but there's also the race class gap because you see in the black community, even under a sound economy, we're still doubly unemployed than whites. you're in the going to solve the problem without addressing the racial aspect. >> absolutely, reverend al. i think that this is exactly what we're talking about when we talk about communities of color and the issue of economic anxiety. there's definitely a race angle to that that candidates are highlighting, at least the ones attempting to reach out to communities of color, really tying together issues of class and race, whether it is kitchen table issues from education to the economy to health care. you know, there are racial components to all those and racial disparities, to be specific, that voters are
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wanting to hear from candidates about how they will specifically address if you want their vote. >> adam, what has been the reaction to white voters to this? because there was a time that people were afraid to deal with these issues saying they would get backlash. what has been the response of white voters to this? and does this also run contrary to those that are saying we don't need to deal with identity politics in, in fact, she is dealing exactly with the identity of how people of color are treated differently and get different results than other americans. >> so there is a strain of the democratic party that does kind of have a concern about placing too much emphasis on identity politics, but i think a lot of candidates understand that black voters are a large contingent of the democratic voting base, and it's important to, especially in early states like south carolina, to kind of emphasize that gap. over the last, you know, several
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years, you've seen democratic candidates kind of play to black voters, going to hbcus, talking about black issues, but what's shifting where you've seen warren kind of being a pace-maker on introducing policy that directly affects this legacy of discrimination, you've also seen senator bernie sanders who recently introduced the thurgood marshall education plan that's looking at segregation in k-12. candidates are focusing on this policy because they're understanding that black voters play such a critical role in their ultimate success. >> erin, this is all in the context of probably the most polarized president we've seen in our lifetime, and where you see people marching to defend confederate statues, where you
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see continued engagements of law enforcement against people of color, where you have the rhetoric of the president himself that has been divisive, calling african nations s-hole countries. in the context of such racial climate, set in many ways by the tone of this president, this seems almost necessary, if not going over the boundaries of yesterday's politics. today it is the politics. >> absolutely. and i think that that is because there is an understanding that whoever emerges from this very crowded democratic field is going to have to face a president who has repeatedly relied on a racialized playbook. so they know that is probably something that's going to come up again in 2020, so the thought that race is a topic that can be avoided or is just going to go away is just not true. and so what we are seeing with a
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lot of the white candidates as well is that several of them are also exploring issues of white identity, just at identity. that is why we are seeing already early in this primary contest that race is really a major focus heading into 2020. >> now, adam, we also saw this week where the governor of virginia -- it was inconclusive whether he was in the photo in his yearbook in school wearing a blackface, who's a democrat. we're seeing the expressions of bigotry and racism everywhere in that context. elizabeth warren is the first one coming in with policies. does this challenge show they
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have to put substance on the table? >> i think it does. we're still very early, so one of the things that senator warren is kind of banking on is that by releasing this early, she becomes kind of the pace-setter here. as the campaign wears on and she's going into this first debate talking about these issues, she has detailed policy to accompany them, whether that's maternal mortality or housing discrimination or higher education. other candidates will be required to say, okay, what is my policy or why don't i have a policy there? that was kind of one of the things early on with free college. do you support free college or why do you not have an answer? by presenting this many policies that deal with racial discrimination, she puts in front of the other candidates this ultimatum to decide whether or not they have something substantive. >> thank you, adam harris and erin haze whack.
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. now for my weekly memo to president trump, who even decades before his time in the white house was casting a long shadow over black people. on friday night the abc network aired a special two-hour episode of 20/20" coincidencing with
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central park 5 case. five black men from new york city arrested as teenagers for the alleged rape of a white female jogger in manhattan's central park. >> there was this rising tide of these boys becoming the symbols of all that was wrong in new york. this was why we need to come down on these thugs. >> we do not want to see racial hysteria to predetermine the rights of some teenagers. >> even in the black and latino community, we that wanted to stand for them were in the minority. it was by no means a popular stand. >> the case became a fault line in had a city already polarized by crime and racial tension. the youths initially confessing to the assault, but later contending they were pushed to give false statements by new york city police.
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in the media, the firestorm that ensued, calls for the most severe punishment were made, but none more blood thirsty than yours, mr. president, spending six figures in new york on ads that buying ad add space to fall on the death penalty's reinstatement. you still have not issued an apology or on a admission that your scapegoats have been cleared by a court of law. mr. president, it is not unusual for many of us in public life to believe in a case that goes another way or is decided another way, even if we don't agree, but to call for the death penalty and then dna proves that someone else did it and admitted it. and then when the city settled
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with those that have been proven by science to have been not been guilty, you still say they should pay them nothing and face that. the gifted director ava duvernay is doing a special docu drama on that whole central park case starting on netflix friday night. i hope you watch it. i hope you see that all of us can sometimes go with cases that turn awry, but to call for people's death in the face of dna and other evidence is something, mr. president, that you ought to think about. sidentt you ought to think about but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better.
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2016, president obama's treasury department announced it would release a new $20 bill in 2020 commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment. on the new bill's face, harriet tubman, the escaped slave turned abolitionist, replacing former president andrew jackson a slave owner who orchestrated the infamous trail of tears, margins that forcibly removed several native american tribes for their land and killing thousands in the process. but on wednesday the country's current treasury secretary,
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steve mnuchin, surprised many when he said this before congress. watch. >> the $20 bill will now come out till 2028. the $10 and $5 will come out with new features beforehand. >> why the change of heart? back with me to discuss, sophia nelson, daily best columnist dean obeidallah, and national action network vice president and general counsel, michael hardy. let me go to you first, sophia. here was something that was already decided, already done, and this president, who, by the way, has praised andrew jackson a slave owner, a president, his treasury secretary now says, well, this new bill with harriet tubman replacing jackson on the $20 won't happen until president trump is out of office and out of the white house.
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>>, you know, reverend al, in my piece this week i write about this issue of harriet tubman and the $20 bill. and i state very clearly that the republican party never misses an opportunity to blow an opportunity to expand its base. this was a no-brainer here. this was something president trump could have just let go through and he could have taken a victory lap for it because he implemented what president obama's administration already put forward. but instead, mr. birther, mr. fine people on both sides, did you really expect him to put a black woman on the $20 bill? no, he wasn't going to do it. the fact that she was going to replace andrew jackson is significant. this was a slave owner, this was a person that was horrible to indigenous people, to native americans in this country historically. so president trump has been unabashed once again saying that's one of his favorite presidents. and then the republicans sit there and play dumb and say why do they think we're racist and
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sexist. it foolishness like that. it's another piece of meat to the base that says we're not putting a black person on the $20 bill and i'm incensed about it. >> the blatant thing is you're talking about a black woman abolitionist that is going to replace a slave owner, who was one that fought against many of the things that his immediate predecessor, abe lincoln, stood for, and you're going to delay it, and that only after some very skillful questioning by a member of congress. >> absolutely. i'm not kidding. i think there's more of a chance he'd put david duke on the $20 bill before harriet tubman. if there's one thing true about donald trump, everything is about his base. and he knows his base better than any of us. he wants to be king of his base. think about it. if he would remove a white man and put a black woman on a
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currency, how would that play for his base? horribly. during 2016, trump called putting harriet tubman on the $20 bill political correctness. he wasization put he on the $2, which was demeaning. donald trump can't embrace diversity. his base doesn't like it and maybe deep down donald trump doesn't like it either. >> when we see a deliberate move like this where you're not going to do something that was already decided before you were in office, when donald trump took the oath of office, maybe i missed something. isn't he supposed to be the president for all the people and, therefore, his cabinet members serve all the people? what signal are we sending, even having a slave owner president who advocated that and then
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delayed until after all of them are out of office, someone who fought against it for the abolition of slavery and for people to be treated in a humane way? >> nancy pelosi says i keep waiting to see a chance when the president will be presidential. this was a real opportunity for him to be presidential. you have harriet tubman, who was an abolitionist, a union scout, harriet tubman, who led the underground railroad, and more importantly, you have barr and others talking about spying. well, harriet tubman was a spy for the union army. the intelligence he provided saved union soldiers, helped to win battle and is preserve the union. that's the kind of person that should be on the $20 bill. >> what does it say to women, sophia, again, if it's pelosi, if it's hillary clinton, now harriet tubman? you take a shot of people of color, you stand for someone
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who, by most historians' assessment? >> it says the republican party, let's not forget the abolitionist rally republican of that time, lincoln, was the party of the 13th, 14th, 15th amendment. it was the party off the suffrages. look how far the republican party has fallen in 2019. it is a disgrace. it says they don't value women, they don't value people of color, and donald trump has ralliedly changed the party in two years. we can argue whether or not it was slipping in that direction, but donald trump has radically changed the republican party, people like me who've been republicans their whole lives, we don't recognize that party
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anymore. >> both whom were allied and stood with harriet tubman. >> that's exactly right. again, rev, you know, one of the things you want to do is to do something that really honors the work of the as i ever war to preserve this nation. and harriet tubman really is the essence of that and the direct opposite to the fight that jackson represented in not only bag slave owner, but the trail of tears and other things that he did with regard to the native population. >> this is outright blowing the horn? >> there's no subtlety with him. as sophia talked about from charlottesville through saying people from africa, s-hole countries. they want people from norway, which is white people. it's not a coincidence, it's not a mistake. he's telling us who he is, yet
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some people don't speak with moral clarity. the man is espousing white supremacist views, if he's not one, it's time to come out and say he's not one, but let's be honest, we know what he is. >> a very wise woman once said that if someone tells you who they are, believe them. maya anglou. for decades, many young black boys have felt playing sports was there only way out of poverty, but retired nfl player mar tell bennett is setting the record straight. letting them know that the classroom can also be their ticket out. this is "politicsnation." or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address
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game all too often seen as a singular way out of poverty. tackle this phenomenon of black boys being groomed for their athleticism and not celebrated for their intellect is a mission for recently retired nfl renaissance man, martellus bennett, whose children's book "dear black boy" is a call for men to dream beyond the field of the court. joining me now, author, illustrator and super bowl champion, martellus bennett. thank you for being with me. >> how are you doing manning? >> i'm doing good. i'm doing good. why was it important for you to send this message? you are a super bowl champ. you were a hero in the game, and you're telling young black boys and people, period, to develop
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your mind and not just your body. >> yes. for a long time i just always understood people when they saw me all they saw was an athlete. i see that as a reflection of how they see all black boys in the world. no one really asked what i'm interested in and what i like to do. that is the same way most black boys around the world get greeted but they have so much more to offer. when you see a black boy you are supposed to see a dreamer, writer, creator, not just an athlete. for me it's all about building it up so they can see themselves in more ways than just an athlete and how they can contribute to the world with more so than just being on a field or a court. >> now, when one of these young boys reads your book what do you hope they walk away with? >> i just really want them to understand that all opportunities are available for them. they can do everything and anything they want to wear. when they read it book it's about building a bridge to them seeing what else is on the other side because the idea of
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becoming an athlete is so large in the community except for the amount of people who can really become that and there are only 1500 people in the game. what else do you have to offer the world? be more than an athlete. that is not saying the game isn't good. it means you need to get something from the game because the game is going to get everything from you. if you do decide to go down sports, make sure you're using the game and not only being used by it. >> now, you were out spoken about people's right to stand up for their rights when you were in the game. and famously you raised a fist in protest. you say, i took it personally because i spoke at the funeral in baton rouge and you said that killing in louisiana and the one of lando castillo inspired you to become active. yet you also are saying not only protests but produce and do something with your mind and beat the odds. >> yes, i mean, i wasn't ever at the funeral but i do feel like
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the biggest way we could compare anything is by educating ourselves. the power of information is one of the most powerful things in the world because if we can inform the people, they could react and be proactive with the information they have. so for me, the information i want to hand back to the kids for my community is the information of possibilities, the information of imagination. the information of growth. so i try to, you know, so many athletes get a pedestal and they just see them as athletes but we don't see the doctors, the scientists, you know, the tech industry. we don't see ourselves in all thaes other forms. for me i'm just trying to give these people a chance to see all these different possibilities and that way they can know they can choose and all are just as important. >> and someone like you that made it in the game, maybe a lot of them will understand you're not just someone that didn't prove you could do that but you're saying that it's more options there, and as you said, only 1500 in the game. exercise your brain and dream
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big. >> yes. the idea is to just let them know that they could be more. they have more in the world. the athleticism is only valuable on the court and the faeld. once you're off the court or the field you are no longer valuable as far as that skill. every game will end. every ball will go flat. so when the ball goes flat doesn't mean your life has to flat line. from there what are you going to offer the world when the athletic ability is gone or the game is gone? it can be taken from you at any time. you can get hurt at any time. the game can be over for any of us at any time. >> martellus, thank you so much for being with us. the book is called "dear black boy." >> thank you. >> up next my final thoughts. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job
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>> on thursday of this week i was in houston, texas at the invitation of a family of a police victim who was 44 years old named pamela turner, who in an encounter with police that was videotaped saying you're harassing me. they got into an exchange. he hit her with his taser in terms of hit her i mean shot his taser, tased her, and then we hear five shots go off, three hit her, one in the face. as i stood over her body and,
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again, said we need tluro and fair investigations it is not because we are anti-police but police must be accountable. they're not above the law. when unarmed people like pamela turner are killed, that should not go under the rug. i believe most police are good. i believe good police are given a bad name not by activists but by bad policemen who say any story and walk away because this man that day, this policeman was put back on the job as this family laid their loved one to rest. this kind of insensitivity is something we need to deal with in law enforcement to make this country understand that all people should have protection under the law. sometimes critics say here comes sharpton again just getting publicity. well, i come when families call me. that is exactly what they want
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is publicity. so they want a public spotlight on their pain and the value of the life they lost. this is something this administration turned backwards when they stopped consent decrees and said they were going to be on the side of police seemingly no matter what the accusation and what the evidence. yes, we are always going to raise the question of people like this deceased ms. turner and others until we get justice and until we get fairness. and whichever way the outcomes go, we will not be careless but we will not be silent. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern for another live edition of "politics nation." until then, keep the conversation going. like us on facebook.com/politicsnation and follow us on twitter @politicsnation. up next "deadline white house" with my friend and colleague.
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>> hi everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. the country's attorney general has been given the power to declassify intelligence as part of the president's campaign to investigate his perceived political enemies. attorney general william barr who has staked out ground as the president's ideological twin on the unsubstantiated accusation that donald trump's campaign was spied on has been granted the authority by the president to investigate the investigation into trump's campaign and its ties to russia. the white house directive has unleashed a firestorm of

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