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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  December 27, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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rights with sister simone. >> omg, tour'e, you're embarrassing me. my favorite kwanza principle is purpose. i didn't have to look it up. nothing says purpose like iron mike tyson. we're talking to him today. >> everyone knows my favorite principle has been creativity which is what the legendary poet sonia sanchez is all about. it is also what you think of when you think of "the cycle." ♪ >> the day after the day after christmas but we at the cycle are hard at work for you as our power c power crews trying to restore electricity to millions in the dark after an ice storm over the
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holiday. back in d.c., another storm is brewing, this time over unemployment benefits. they expire this weekend for more than a million americans who have been out of work for a very long time, if not to mention the nearly 5 million who will start receiving less than they are currently getting. we're talking real money and calls for real talk. my friend of the show and president of the center for social inclusion, mya, christmas is over and we have 2.9 people unemployed workers for every job and yet they seem to think the problem is unemployment insurance that when we give people help when they are out of work, that is the problem. and rand pauline laid it out in plain black and white. >> i do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they are paid for. if you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.
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>> is it unemployment insurance that is the biggest problem for the unemployed? >> apparently paying rent and not becoming homeless is a big problem. and if only we could push people there closer and faster, which we seem to be doing. the thing to understand here, we've had record unemployment rates as a result of the recession. we have added back jobs, which is the good news, many, many of them are low paying, not enough to cover people. but people are still going to take them. if people can get a job that pays them less than pays their bill. they still take the job and go off unemployment benefits. that's the part of the story that's not getting told. they aren't working because they can't find the work, not because they refuse to work. >> as you look ahead into 2014, we're going to continue to have big discussions over medicaid and over half states accepted medicaid and half refusing it even though the federal government pays 100% for three
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years and 90% there after. what's the landscape going to look like on that? what's the push forward going to look like to get medicaid in more states? >> this fight has been going on for a few years. it's not a new fact. naacp has been fighting mississippi, one of the states that's been refusing. this is one of the things that we're going to see more people fighting about. but one of the things that the news has not covered is that you spend so much time on health exchanges, the biggest benefit will be in medicaid expansion, we've got to watch those 24 states. >> such a great point. maya, i'm hopeful it will be the year we get serious about tackling income inequality. what kind of an economy do we want to have? what kind of an economy do we want to see our children grow up in? and i know folks on the right are sensitive to the fact that they look like the party of the
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rich because the parties primarily benefit the rich. do you think there's any place where the right and left could actually agree that would effectively income inequality? >> it's a really good question. my hope is that the right and left will agree to put more money into things like public transportation and infrastructure that helped get people jobs and to jobs that are better paying. and health care reform is one of the important ones. some republicans are trying. we hear so much in the news the polarized debate and there are republicans who support it as well. housing is the big one. it's one of the ways we create the middle class. i think that's a scenario we might see progress. >> i want to switch gears a little bit to something that i think many of us know very well and that is this phil robertson kind of debate about white privilege now, reverend jackson said this is the perfect example
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of white privilege kind of verbalized today and also seeing aflu enz a and race-baiting and i think that's in direct contrast with what we know to be white privilege. i want your thoughts on this as it debate continues to evolve and clearly takes us into next year. >> i hope it turns to the fact that so many of the long term unemployed are people of color because we don't get the kind of investments in infrastructure -- it's hard for i think the american people to hear white privilege at the same time i think anybody who is white and stands up and tells black people when they were happier and that they were happier when they did not have help, is simply unacceptable. >> or even on a more serious note, the fact that they say or we're questioning the value of a black life with bullets.
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>> there's a sort of disconnect between what white privilege means and how it is enacted. some white people feel like i don't have power, white privilege does not exist, that you as an individual white person are not able to utilize your white power or white privilege, doesn't mean it doesn't exist just like dad, i don't have a car, doesn't mean cars don't exist. >> the principle of unity is my favorite. nobody asked me, but one of the reasons that it is because we really are in this together. so we're not getting out of this economy in this economic problem if we're going to ignore the fact that more than half of blacks are going to retire into poverty or the way in which we support social security is with payroll taxes. if we don't pay attention to the fact that 26% of black and latino youth are unemployed, that actually that hurts people who are white and over 65. we have to look at race but that doesn't mean erasing people who are white and what they need.
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it means looking at what we all need and how we're positioned somewhat differently. i think unfortunately the conversation about white privilege sometimes ignores the fact there are white people -- not intentionally there are white people in pain. we're not necessarily always in pain in the same ways. so black people more likely need public transportation to get a job and white people want to pay less at the gas station. we've got to work that out. >> you mentioned that transportation issue and there was an interesting study about how people who -- metropolitan areas that have better public transit links have more likely to rise into middle class. who kind of policies can we take, about the heavily black populated areas that don't have good transit infrastructure to help people get around to where jobs are without moving them to a place like new york? >> that's a real important question. we need to actually invest in public transit. one of the conversations that's going to happen over the next 18
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months in congress is going to be reauthorization of federal spending on highways, we have to make sure we put money into inf infrastructure like roads and create more buses and subways and light rail and places like atlanta. two thirds of all low and moderate medium skilled jobs are more than 90 minutes from public transportation. >> that's the suburbanization of corporate america moved out of the urban environment making it hard for people to get to jobs. if we're paying our lowest -- our lowest earning people so little, this tiny minimum wage not kept pace with inflation, then we're doing them all a dis service. don't you think we need toe -- better minimum wage? >> absolutely, public transportation jobs tend to also be good jobs. we're not only helping people get to jobs but creating jobs that tend to have benefits. there's still unions in some of these jobs -- >> really? unions in america. >> unions in america.
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so i think your point is an important one. if you look at keeping the pace with productivity, american workers should be getting paid a minimum wage of over $18 an hour. if they were getting paid based on productivity increases. $7.25 is what the minimum wage worker is looking at. >> it's not enough. thank you. stay with us, it's going to be an amazing show. later on we've got mike tyson and the legendary poet sonia sanchez. calling for a visit with the awesome sister simone. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive" sales event is back. which means it's never been easier to get a new 2014 jetta. it gets an impressive 34 highway mpg and comes with no charge scheduled maintenance. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. sign. then drive. get zero due at signing, zero down,
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taken the world by storm. people keep asking me, am i surprised? i'm surprised he's even more a factor than we thought. this is the man we wanted and hoped for. when we talked about what characteristics we should see in the next successor we talked about the very characteristics he's doing. the brilliant thing, he's doing it naturally and spontaneously. ♪ hallelujah >> the man we hoped for. it's been a big year for the catholic church and pope francis was named "time's" person of the year. a recent poll found that nearly nine in ten americans approve of how francis is leading the world's 1.2 billion catholics.
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during his first christmas day mass on wednesday reached out to atheists in a bid for peace. while francis hasn't changed church doctrine just yet, what might he be capable? let's ask sister simone. thank you for being with us. >> glad to be with you. >> i want to start with pope francis, some of the comments he made about economics in particular have really created white a stir and one of my favorite things is trickle down economics, he's quite critical. called it an opinion which has never been confirmed by the facts that expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power. what do you make of the pope's comments on economics and the fuss and controversy that they have really created on the right in america? >> well, he certainly has stirred up the right because they've been quite settled and
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delighted with the amount of wealth they've been able to hoard for themselves. what the pope is saying is that the earth was given within our faith as we believe, given to all. and that all should share in the benefits of it. that the responsibility of those who hold property is to make sure that the common good is achieved, he makes it abundantly clear that the income and wealth disparty in our nation and world is eroding the fabric of society. this is his very strong message and trickle down economics is at the source of the income and wealth disparity. >> i want to ask you about something said on this network on monday. >> battle against abortion and contraception and still leading the legal case against contraception coverage in the obamacarrollout. in uganda, the pope has yet to
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condemn a bill that would put homosexuals in jail for life. if you don't have reproktive rights at the core of a message, it's incomplete. >> are they linked? if we want to have an agenda that promotes women's equality, doesn't a part of that have to give women control over when they have children? >> there's a development within that that women are claiming that their role within the family and church. what the pope says in his exertsation, that the dignity of every human being needs to be affirmed, whether that human being is before birth or after. it's that dignity he's attempting to lift up and how that gets lived out then, he makes abundantly clear is a choice of conscience of the individual person for each of the unique situations. but he takes very clearly about the need to see the big picture,
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to see the integration of these various issues. they are connected, absolutely. but it's women and men and families together coming to make decisions that work in their settings. >> sister simone, speaking of people coming together, i'm struck during the holiday season as is everyone about abandoning those unemployed and those unemployed who have paid into this system that is supposed to protect them at taxpayers. if after they pay into the system, how do we then abandon folks by saying we're going to insure you no longer have benefits even though you have been hard working americans who fell upon hard times and haven't been able to get on your feet. what are you doing to ensure these folks are protected? >> well, what we've been doing at the network is in the district campaign to get everyone -- all of our members across the country speaking to their representatives and making
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sure the message gets heard. it is wrong that our people should suffer in this way. 95% of the recovery, so-called recovery from the recession has gone to the top 1%. folks in congress, some of those who are opposing the expansion or the extension of the unemployment benefits, they have no idea of how hard it is to find a job. what we need to do like the pope says, if the pope says come and know the reality. don't just have ideas that are disconnected from reality. come and know the people. and that is what we have got to make sure that our members of congress do. come meet my people is what i keep saying and you will know how hard it is and how difficult it is to find a job in this economy. >> amen to that. be real with our actual history. i can understand the rights argument about letting the free market determine wages for the least among us. except we've had a four decade assault on unions which had led
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to union membership declining from about 40% after world war ii, to 8 or 9% removed from the equation. the working person has nobody to stand there taen help them and they would need government intrusion or government help in order to get on an even playing field where we're talking about things like the minimum wage. >> absolutely. the biggest challenge is that since president reagan's time, the persistent effort to shift money to the top has been totally effective. the decrease in tax rate for those at the top has encouraged more money at the top and less leakly to share. the increase in the dividend and money from stocks has really the lack of taxes on that encouraged that form of income that only a very few in our nation benefit from. wages is the key way forward.
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we must make sure we end this huge disparity between ceos and hard working people that make their wealth. >> and sister, going back to the pope. there are those on the right who would have you believe that his comments represent a departure from church doctrine and they are radical. do you see it that way? >> absolutely not. it's totally in keeping with pope benedict's statements in document charity and truth. it started with pope leo xiii. this has been consistent statements on our part. let me also say, some want to label it communism. it is not. the pope affirms individual ownership but the challenge is he says that the reason we have individual ownership is to make sure that those who have private property share it for the common good. it's the challenge for all of us to strive for the common good. and that is the call. >> what you're saying and tour'e
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was alluding to, we haven't had this system of completely unfettered capitalism where they have no right and no voice. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> up next, i made it to d.c. and so did sister simone. guess what didn't? a whole lot of santa's deliveries ♪ don't don't don't you forget about me ♪ i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn.
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pretty staggering numbers from amazon this season. 426 items per second were ordered on cyber monday for a total of 37 million. enough vacuums were ordered to find spaces deep in the earth
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four times over. and for procrastinators, the one day shipping order placed at 10:22 p.m. on december 23rd. both ups and fedex couldn't make shipments by christmas morning. some are still waiting. gub gutierrez has more. >> reporter: fedex and ups has drivers on the road and things appear to be going smoothly. ups says it expects to clear out the packages by the end of today. as for fedex it is down playing the amount calling them isolated incidents among the 275 million packages that it handled from thanksgiving until christmas. both companies are apologizing and say that they are blaming this on bad weather for the past few weeks as well as a shorp rise in online sale. one senator is demanding that
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ups refund its customers. ups is saying that it is refunding customers but only those that used its air services or international services, not ups ground. the company says it has not garn tide ground shipments in the weeks before treatment. they plan to clear the backlog by the end of today. >> let's bring it back to the table. here's my view on this. i understand it's frustrating and it didn't get here. i think people should take a little step back. if one of your biggest problems this christmas is some gift you were expecting to show up got there a couple of days late -- >> what are you talking about? >> sit back and be thankful this is the main thing you have to worry about. >> the corporations that tell you it's our job to get something from a to b fail to do their job but you're okay with it? >> i'm not okay with it. as uxts ps is doing, make
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refunds -- >> can't make up the disappointment you experience on christmas day. >> yes, you can. >> it is a first world problem. >> absolutely. >> but i'm a first world person. here goes. my issue is two-fold. one is i was a victim of the target security breach twice. my debit card and my american express. my american express was coming through ups the saturday before christmas because they wanted to make sure my holidays weren't interrupted and low and behold monday i get it the day after christmas. thank god i wasn't rea lying. >> ordered something for mom that was supposed to come two days before, which is her birthday, still hasn't come. she's not going to let you know how upset she is but passive aggressively she let's you know in small ways. what are you supposed to do? i relied on you and you let me down.
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>> i'm just observing this conversation. going in a completely different direction than i expected. josh the capitalist, be forgiving, it's the holiday season. really should be focused on the family. i have my two liberal friends here, like very upset about the consumerist aspect of that. not what i expected at all. that's what people do what they promise to do. is that too much to ask? >> they are people too, tour'e, is that why? >> okay, so now my liberal friend krystal is on the side of the corporation. i see how this is going. i gave you money, help me make my mom happy. they can't do that. >> let me say this. i think it is a positive sign that online orders were up maybe in terms of the economy and consumers spending more, et cetera, et cetera. i think to josh's point, if you didn't get the gift on that day, big deal. you'll get it the next day or day after that.
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>> there's nothing like giving a gift on christmas -- >> should be about spending time with the family. >> this is why i value and deal with the chaos of shopping in stores and taking physical goods home. my wife, on amazon, that didn't work out. most choices worked out. i go through the chaos and walk home with the gifts in my hand so i don't have to disappoint mom and my god forbid you disappoint your children on christmas and ruin the fact that santa claus existing. would that be okay? >> santa claus got sick. >> it is a valid opportunity. i think you could make it work, tour'e. i have faith in your creative ability. >> santa comes on christmas eve -- >> shattering the myth of santa claus, krystal, that's what you're doing. >> this is an opportunity -- >> it's an opportunity to teach your kids that sometimes promises get broken, even by
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santa. >> what? >> and you know why it's a good message. life goes on. you get your gift a couple of days late and you still have your family around you and still in your home. it could be worse. >> that's a message for teenagers not little kids. >> we tell -- we tell my kids, you get what you get and you don't get upset. >> how often does that not work out for 4 and 5-year-olds? >> that's a good take, krystal. >> here's something to consider, all of the liberals that watch the show and maybe some around the table. the fact that usps could street cred back. they blew it so bad. >> the amazon drone program was in effect right now, you can't stop a drone. >> tour'e can't wait for drones. >> we asked you what they could do to make up for the mess.
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lori had advice for customers orderlyi earlier. >> who would have thought of that, lori, thanks. >> mike tyson is stopping by at the table. he's been in a lot of rings but i can guarantee you, never one like this. >> i've been waiting for this moment for all my life. >> oh, lord. >> right through the canvas. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one.
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>> my mentor told me the way you fight your fights is the way you live your life. >> back again with mike tyson. author of "undisputed truth."
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he stopped by before the holidays. the only thing wrong with the interview, i wasn't there. >> joining us now, mike tyson, i've been reading your book, an extraordinary tale. the thing i get out of it is that your self-image remains really low despite this extraordinary life and extraordinary success you've had. why do you think yourself image is low? >> that is not necessarily true. i'm in parts of my area of my life i'm stronger than other parts of areas, not that collectively my whole self-image is bad, just certain images. certain areas of my self-image not so well. >> talk to us about your relationship with your mom and how it shaped the man that you are today? >> i don't know. me and my mother had a difficult relationship. my mother lived the life -- what maybe you could say her and my
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father sex in the street now, more politically correct. i never judged them for it or anything, it was just my mother and that was her life. never thought she was a bad person or anything. that was just the life she lived. >> mike, why did you decide to write this book? were there misconceptions. >> i never cared what anybody said about me, they wrote 20 books about me that never had anything to do with and people writing from newspaper clippings and stuff. and then eventually my wife told me they are going to write about you anyway, might as well give them from your perspective and plus we need some money. >> never hurts, right? >> yeah, all right, i'll do the book. >> mike, i wanted to ask you, when you think about adversity and think about -- when you think about adversity in your life, does that -- do you think make you a better boxer or
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better person as you've evolved? >> am i taking questions in my ear right now? >> he's asking if you think you've been a better person from going -- >> usually i sit where you're sitting but i got up because we wanted you at the table -- >> that's me. hey, how are you doing? that's the question. did diversity make you a better boxer or better person? >> adversity will make you stronger or weaker. i don't know. i'm happy how my life turned out. i could have went another route. i wanted to -- when i spoke and told me about the boxing stuff, i wanted to be -- it's going to sound weird, i wanted to be glamorous. >> it seems following your life that he's the first person who really gave you love and who you wanted the life from. and when he dies your life goes astray. when he was in your life, you were the most -- the best person
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you could possibly be and that experience of love is what made you the best person you could possibly be. >> i don't know if i was the best person. i was the best fighter. he knew how to reach in my soul and knew how to touch me more so than anybody else. i would have never exceeded like i did if i had another trainer. he knew how to penetrate my soul and make me rise to the best of my ability. >> so you spent your life as the baddest man on the planet. you're the man that everyone feared. >> that's what they say. >> i didn't say that. >> younger generation knows you as this funny guy part of the "hangover" movies. what is that like? >> in order to be the guy you just discussed, heavy weight champion, i had to be that particular individual. i couldn't be that individual being the guy i am now and
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particular genre that i'm associated with now. so now i have to be a funny guy and gregarious guy and that's what i am now. to get the job done, that's who i'm going to be. >> a lot of different sides. >> yeah. >> what do you see -- you just wrote this book. what do you see being next for mike tyson over the next five years? >> hope fly i'm alive. but other than that, the sky is the limit. i want to stand on my positive life here -- >> what keeps you centered? >> my children pretty much. i want to be -- as well. i want to do this in life. more responsible now than i once was before. i didn't have reason to be responsible. i had a different way of life and different lifestyle. the lifestyle i live now is taking care of the family, getting gigs, paying our bills and hopefully at the end of the day kids will have money for
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which they'll do well also. >> holiday plans? any holiday plans with the kids? >> no, staying home and going to a broadway show tomorrow. >> there you go. >> it's a day by day struggle. >> my little daughter. >> it's a day by day struggle for you, you talk about being in aa and falling off the wagon. >> aa is pretty awesome. i know you're not supposed to at a talk about it. i love the recovery program, one of the best things that saved my life and my mother and father never had. most people in life don't have these particular life skills. definitely would have flunked out and died and didn't exist if i didn't possess the life skills i possess from the recovery program. >> best of luck to you and we'll see you again. that's mike tyson. >> you look really good in this job. you've come a long way. >> he still has a long way to go. >> this is awesome.
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>> before the interview was so serious, militant, are you a millionaire? yeah, i think, i don't know. >> tour'e intimidated you? >> he would never tell us those stories. >> go back to the interviews when he was a serious militant black guy. >> we'll look that up. >> please check it out. beautiful. >> thank you. thanks so much. >> so, word on street is ari is not here because he's out getting mike tyson advice. ♪ [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see?
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a subject that everybody keeps talking about, can't get enough of, "duck dynasty." even though they said to have suspended him, it doesn't appear to be a real as you ssuspension. they want to keep arm's length from phil, we also want to dive as deep as we can in on "duck dynasty" and the whole brand. the thing that also bothers me
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is the rights will reflects and desire to protect somebody like this. when people say things that are racist or sexist, the right, part of the right quite often quickly defend them rather than saying, wait a minute, that's not what we agree with. they might say we don't agree with that but we defend that. that is really sort of corrosive to the gop brand and tells people who are black, female, gay, et cetera, that we don't really care about you. we care about the aggrieved american white male. >> it's an assumption that christians under attack. my favorite was sarah palin who came out on facebook in defense of phil robertson in an interview on fox news asked about comments and said i never actually read the "gq." i've been writing about this, the whole most read are two pieces in the last week on "duck
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dynasty." i've been getting a lot of mail of two varieties, you're misunderstanding his message, loving the sinner and hating the sin. and setting aside what he said about black people and all of this. it's not that he's anti-gay, but it's a christian world view. then i get other views, gays should live on one island away from everybody else. i don't know if that's manhattan or what, or is it -- one wishing i i should go burn in hell. how has it gotten twisted around to this message? i worry about people's kids and people in their communities who can't sit back in new york city and laugh at them and say look at you. it's making them very unhappy. >> well, and in fact, studies have found that teens in areas where homosexuality is not as
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accepted and not okay to be gay, there is a higher rate of suicide. so josh, to your point, there is a direct impact here. i keep asking myself why i'm so fascinated with this story because when it came out, i spent the whole morning reading all of the articles and every commentary out there on "duck dynasty." and the think the reason is because it is so representative of what is wrong with the republican party, that they would reflexively instinctively without reading what the guy even said, defend him at all costs, associate themselves with him. i think it says everything you need to know about why they are struggling to appeal to anyone other than sort of older white people. and the other piece of this, josh, that you also touched on, is this idea that christians are somewhat a persecuted minority in the country and there's a belief on the right among people like sarah palin, among people like ted cruz and bobby jindal,
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who defended him as well, that they are speaking for a quiet majority, that they really represent the majority of americans who won't speak out, when in fact, their view is overrepresented in the conversation. they are speaking for a much smaller group than they realize. and so there's a weird dynamic going on here and a lot of emotion around it too. >> the one thing too, going back to tour'e's point about the pulloff and pull back. cracker barrel pulled the merchandise and put it back because of the outrage of its consumers. you also see yet again and you'll appreciate this, josh, there is power in the almighty dollar and it's one that communities of color and others underserved haven't properly harnessed because we're lacking. and krystal you mentioned this, this tolerance of racism. i've experienced this now having done a segment on the show where there was -- >> calm down a little bit.
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>> because we -- if you can't be calm and actually address the issues with facts, we're not ever going to move ahead. there's so much here, especially when you the way in which people -- whether it's twitter or facebook, they don't say angry conservative christian. i'm sorry, how does anger and christian go together? we need to resolve these things by having common facts and definitions so we can address it. >> and because black people didn't take their criticisms directly to phil robertson in the 1950s then they didn't happen. we'll be right back with sonja sanchez. i'm nathan and i quit smoking with chantix.
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when my son was born, i remember, you know, picking him up and holding him against me. it wasn't just about me anymore. i had to quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. chantix didn't have nicotine in it, and that was important to me. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, stop chantix and see your doctor right away, as some could be life threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.
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cutest little girl her mama done seen took her so she understands how i'm late sometimes with her breakfast, dinner. bedti bedtime, love. >> sonja sanchez, one of the greatest poets in the last half century, the poet laureate of philadelphia. her work a crucial part of the civil rights movement and black arts movement and helped shape the thinking of many people, including me. it's my honor to have my friend, sonja sanchez, at the table with us. welcome. and you have been watching america for a long time. i'm curious, your thoughts on obama's america. >> obama's america. i don't call it obama's america. i call it america.
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we just got a black president elected. but it doesn't mean that anything really changes. in 1865, black folks had .50 wealth and 2013, we now have 1% wealth. tell me about change and i'll tell you about none change. and i do think at some point there have been many good things that brother obama has done against great odds. because no time in history has a congressman come out and said simply we're going to do everything we can do to keep this man from succeeding. and first thing i said is he dishes, go home. but they didn't go home, they stayed. but it teaches a lesson, you can't put someone in an office and then not fight for him. you have to go out and struggle, as we struggled during the civil rights days. you've got to struggle and struggle and struggle. and the other thing i said, obama needed a cabinet and nephew did it.
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and i said all over the place, people like me, we were on the road. we made students vote again. you know, for years, students said i don't vote, there is no one to vote for. no, no, there is someone to vote for now. but after you get him in, you've got to go down. and i was willing to go sit in some of those republicans' offices and say hey, go home. if you're not going to do the business for the people, we the people, you need to go home and not come back. >> is that what you think needs to happen in the next three years? what would you like to see in the rest of the obama presidency? >> oh, my dear brother. i got arrested with the grannies, you know, for -- against the war. and that was a hard set, you know. because we've gotten arrested a long time. i want -- besides just doing the old things of picketting, that's old news now. they're accustomed to this. what we need to do is what we talked about years ago, we need to sit in some of these congressmen's office. and you cannot leave your office until you do this, vote for this, until you do the work.
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mi i mean, aggressive kinds of things going on. and we need to remind people that it is -- we the people do have power. >> right. >> but, you know, we neglect it. we think we really can't do anything. we think it's impossible to do anything. and it is possible to do many things. only oh -- >> ms. sanchez -- >> from an activive's point of view. >> you are an activist and also an artist. are those separate identities or one for you? >> the question is, do you view your art and activism as separate pursuits or is that one entity for you? >> no, i think that they're quite combined, my dear brother. they're combined simply because -- someone asked me, you know, why do i write. i said, you know, i wanted to tell how i became -- i have become, became this woman with razor blades between her teeth. and -- because they were natural. i was not born with razor blades
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but the country made you say simply, oh who. so this is the game. my generation -- they talk about the great generation of the '40s. the greatest generation was the '60s. and i'll talking about black, white, green, purple people, who said simply, you've got to do what you need to do in this country to make it work. you see. and we went out. we got arrested. you know. i got put out in new york city. this is my hometown, because i challenged the educational system. not during the black studies but at that point they said get out of town. where did i go? amherst college, a private college, in order to regroup and get my act together. i'm saying simply, my dear brother. and so the poems that i wrote from homecoming, the first one, became out really very active, you know. talking about everybody. i talked about the "new york times" and my daddy. and my mama too. but at the same time now, you talk about other things. and one of the things i talk about a great deal is about peace. >> well, i hope that we can hear
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a piece from you, my dear sister. >> oh, right. >> we would love to hear from you there. >> sure. well, i thought it was on. but, you know, as my kids always tell me, mom, you are the worst person when it comes from -- let me just read then a piece i did for max roach, the great percussionist, right? and i probably won't be able to get it all down, because -- but i wrote it for his funeral. and this is simply called "ten haiku" for max roach. nothing ends. every blade of grass remembering your -- ♪ your sounds exploding in the universe return to prayer. ♪ aboom as you drum, your hinds kept reaching for the go, the morning sky so lovely imitates your laughter. you came, warrior clear. your music kissing our spines, free tapping, singing. you came, drumming sweet life on flesh. your fire speaks in the air,
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settles in our bones. your drum, soloing, our breath into the beat, unbeat. your hands, shimmering on the legs of rain. your hands. ♪ shimmering on the legs of rain. that last one is inscribed on his tombstone. >> thank you. >> oh, thank you, thank you. >> beautiful. so glad we got that in. >> thank you, my dear brother. >> sonja sanchez. that does it for "the cycle." karen finney, it's your turn. >> good afternoon, i'm karen finney. it's friday, december 27th. and you know what that means? one day until unemployment insurance runs out for 1.3 million americans. >> it was the night before christmas. >> w