tv Politics Nation MSNBC March 7, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting. every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted. >> on this victory lap of a weekend for president biden, he's letting his actions provide the encouragement to a nation looking to a much brighter spring and future. fresh from his big legislative win yesterday on covid relief, new poll numbers from abc news show nearly 70% of americans approve of his response to the pandemic. including most independent voters and more than a third of republicans. this morning, the president was at the white house marking the anniversary of bloody sunday, and attacking the current flood of voter suppression bills from republicans with a historic executive order to protect voting rights. it's a poetic end to a week in
which the absence of the late john lewis was especially felt both in congress where his own signature voting legislation was passed, and of course, today as we joined the president in remembering the sacrifices lewis and so many others made in selma, alabama, 56 years ago. i have talked to civil rights activist ben jealous and attorney ben crump about keeping up that fight in 2021. >> but first, politics. joining me now, white house deputy press secretary karine jean-pierre. i want to, karine, give you plenty of time to discuss today's president's voting rights order, as you know i'm all over that and been on that issue a while. but first, i have to get this question out of the way. the order by and large pertains to federal agencies and practices, more resources and
guidances to empower those agencies to expand registration, particularly at disenfranchised communities and for disabled, possible time off for federal employees to vote, and i'm pleased to see assistance to eligible current and former federal prisoners. but we know that more than 250 voter restriction bills currently being floated are coming from republican lawmakers in state level positions. so how does the order impede their ability to impede others from voting? >> well, good afternoon, reverend. thank you so much for having me on today. and as you mentioned, on this 56th anniversary, as we're commemorating what happened 56 years ago on the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama, as we're remembering john lewis and reverend williams, who were at the head of that protest when
hundreds of protesters -- peaceful protesters were there, wanting to make sure that they had -- their right to vote wasn't denied, and what we saw that day, what was seen that day by many americans and many people around the world was that the state troopers beat them and tear gassed them. and that, as you know, reverend, because you have had such a strong voice in the civil rights movement and continuing, that led, spurred gres congress to act, and it gave us the 1965 voting rights act, which johnson signed. what the president wanted to do, president biden wanted to make sure he took action, not just gave words to this moment, but actually signed, as you just laid out, an executive order that would -- that was an initial step, as you're asking me this question. it's not the first step, it's an initial step to make sure that we head to a place that we have more voting access to make sure that we're leveraging the
federal government to make sure that folks have access to voter registration, that we're giving more information for voters out there. so this is just the beginning, reverend. there's so much more that needs to be done, as you know. he supports hr-1, that was passed this week, as you were talking about. and there's so much work that he needs to do and wants to do. >> and it's an important first step. i remember a year ago today, mr. biden and i and stacey abrams spoke at the church in selma. this was all virtual, we spoke virtually, and he made a commitment then if he was president, he would support strong legislation which he has done with hr-1, and the george lewis bill, and the executive order, which was not even committed, so this is an important step. but i want people to understand that it is a first step, and we
need hr-1 passed. the republicans should not try to block that because then the federal legislation can supersede some of the state things. the president has singularly done all that he can do. the legislature must now deal with federal law. >> yes, that's right. the president is willing and wants to and is encouraging his support clearly for hr-1, but working with congress to make sure that it's passed. so like you just said, like we both said, this is an initial step. this is a first step to continuing to move, and as you know, the president has been very vocal on racial equity as a whole. one of the first executive orders he signed when he walked into the white house on day one was making sure that also there is -- that making sure there was racial equity throughout the government, and signing an executive order that moved that forward. and susan rice, ambassador susan
rice, is leading that effort in the white house and working with agencies to make sure there is equity as well on the federal level. so there's a lot of work to do. this is just the beginning. as you know, as you just iterated, the president is very much supportive of this and has -- and wants to continue to work towards making sure that we have voter access and also racial equity. >> and there's a hot of opposition, which is why i'm going to keep raising that voice, you say, and where i agree, i'm going to say that. where i disagree, i will. on this, i totally agree with the efforts being made, but we all have to push it. the president scored his first big policy win yesterday with the passage of his covid relief bill. but again, it passed without a single republican senator voting in favor. after months of negotiation and historic suffering from the american people. i'm wondering, can you tell us if the president has expressed
any anger over the lack of republican support? and how does he expect to govern when the entirety of his opposition just does not seem to care about that suffering? >> well, here's the thing. yesterday was such a historic day, reverend. when you think about the american rescue plan and what it's going to do for american families and businesses, the relief that they so need right now in this moment because they have had, many people are getting the brunt of what's happening right now with the economy and covid-19, and that is what matters. $1.9 trillion bill that's going to give people that check, make them whole, there $1400 check they need for their families. make sure we fund a national vaccination program. make sure we help the small businesses that have been affected. make sure we open up schools safely and have that and keep educators on the pay roll and get our student, our kids back
into school. so these are all critical things that happened yesterday. and that was like the second step. now it's going to go back to the house, going to go to the floor, and we expect we're going to continue working with speaker pelosi and other congressional leaders in making sure that happens in the house. and here's the thing, the president's going to continue to move forward, reverend. this bill, this piece of legislation has bipartisan support from the american people. the last poll that i saw had 77% support from the american people. more than 50% from republicans. about 59%. this bill is what the american people need and want right now. and so republicans on the hill, they're the ones that are going to have to go back and answer to their constituencies, answer to the american people as to why they didn't vote for this, because at the end of the day, this bill meets the moment. the moment, the critical crisis that american people are
feeling. american families. when you hear that people -- that families, parents can't put food on the table to feed their kids, this is what we're dealing with right now. this is the problem -- >> literally dealing with. that's no. >> literally dealing with. >> that's for real. i'm out of time, but i have to raise this very briefly. this was the first week of women's history month, and much has been written about the historic diversity of the biden administration. its predominantly women press officers two months into the job, does it register to you that you're part of the history? you, certainly the vice president kamala harris, who did her first ceremonial interview on this show last week, and then i look at you and ashley and symone sanders. i mean, this is the really diverse in terms of women, and
in terms of black women. i mean, does it occur to you, or is it just business as usual because you're in the middle of all of the activity? >> well, it definitely occurs to me, reverend. thank you for highlighting that. this is the most diverse administration ever. and that was something that was purposefully done by the president, by the vice president when they were building the teams. and so that is critical. that's important, when we talk about, we're talking about racial equity, we're talking about voting access, we're talking about giving relief to the american people. having folks who represent what our wonderful diverse country looks like is so critical and so important. and you see that through the leadership of this president and vice president. and so it's critical, and it's important to have that, especially, especially in this moment, reverend. >> all right. karine jean-pierre, we thank you for your time this evening. joining me now is senator
michael bennet, democrat of colorado. first, senator, thank you for being with us this evening. let me go right to the point. the american rescue plan includes money for direct stimulus payments, unemployment, child tax credits, school aid, and vaccine assistance, among many other desperately needed measures. and yet, not a single republican voted for it. what does this say about today's republican party to you? >> i think they have so far decided they're going to blockade joe biden just look they blockaded barack obama and the country can't allow that to happen again. we will not let that happen again. i don't understand, you mentioned the child tex credit, which is the will i wrote. that bill is going to cut childhood poverty in this country by almost 50%. the most significant decrease in childhood poverty in generations. and they're on the wrong side of history on that.
>> let me stop you right there because i want you to elaborate. tell us about your efforts on expanding the child tax credit. you started this push in 2015, and your hope was to cut child poverty in half. expound upon that. >> this with sherrod brown and cory booker and kamala harris did this together. the american family act, it takes the tax credit from $1,000 to $3,000 a year. it makes it fully refundable so the poorest kids in america have access to it. 90% of american children are going to benefit from this bill, more than 10 million children are going to be lifted out of poverty. over half of african-american children that are living in poverty will be lifted out of poverty. they couldn't bring themselves to vote for that bill, but they were supporting the trump tax cut when he was cutting taxes to the richest people, and they abandoned the american people when we were cutting taxes for working people.
i think we're able to show a stark difference in the parties' priorities, and that's going to make a big difference going forward. >> as a member of the intelligence committee, do you think republicans are doing enough to explain to trump voters that the election wasn't stolen and that the rise in membership in white supremacy groups needs to be stopped? >> not at all. not at all. i said on the floor the night that they were challenging the results, trying to overturn the results of millions of voters, that they shouldn't come to the senate floor and complain that people feel disrespected because they think they believe the lie that donald trump won. they should be out there telling people that donald trump won, we're having a race for party chair right here in colorado, reverend, and none of the candidates running for the party chair will concede that joe biden won the election to the presidency of the united states. so this is what's happening.
and it's another reason, by the way, why hr-1 is so important, because when you have people not only denying that an election was won, but now passing legislation to suppress the vote all over the united states of america, we need to do something about that. and that senate bill 1 and hr-1. >> interestingly enough, when you look at the polling that's available, the american people are bipartisan on things like covid relief aid, as well as the elements in the bill that you and others have championed. it's their senators, it's their elected republican officials that seem to be unable to do it. the polling shows 70% of the country supports what is going on with the covid response. this is a real gap between the republican community or base or republican voters, at least a large part of them, and their
own elected officials. >> no question about it. there's -- my state is about a third republican, a third democratic, and a third independent. i'm looking forward to going to every single part of my state, not just to defend, but to celebrate the american recovery act, which we passed yesterday. it's going to mean a huge amount to working people, to small businesses, to the public health infrastructure, all across the country. we're going to be able to do the vaccinations and the testing that's required as a result of this bill, and you're right, rev, i mean, even in the most rural parts of the state, a place where i might not get more than 25% of the vote usually in an election, these are positive and popular provisions. just like infrastructure is popular. but they can't get anybody in washington to build high-speed internet to rural areas because
the republicans are so worried they're going to get primaried by the right wing because in order to succeed with the right wing, you now have to peddle in the conspiracy theories that qanon and others are promoting. and it seems to me that under those circumstances, the democratic party has the moral obligation to win in states like ohio and wisconsin and pennsylvania so we retain the majority. >> thank you, colorado senator michael bennet. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. joining me now is my panel, angela wry, host of one-on-one with angela eyre. i'm sorry, and political strategist and of course david jolly, former florida republican congressman and an msnbc contributor. let me start with you, angela. and the reason i got tripped up is i'm used to when i was a kid, james brown used to say get on
the one, now we say on one, but those numbers again. recent polling has president biden with high approval ratings. 70% of americans approve of his handling of the pandemic specifically. do you expect the passage of the american rescue plan to bolster those numbers even further? >> i do, rev. and let me tell you why. there are three things in particular in the american rescue plan that i think haven't gotten enough attention, and once people really start understanding what is really there, it certainly will help the biden administration, but most importantly, it will help the american people. i'm thinking in particular of the work of senator raphael warnock, senator cory booker, and the agricultural committee chair in the house, david scott, who worked on $5 billion in relief to black farmers, indigenous farmers and latinx farmers. we have talked a lilt bit about student loan debt forgiveinize,
but the fact there will be no taxes on whatever is forgiven when joe biden's decision decides to move on that with executive action, is another important pillar. the last thing is funding around a vaccine, and the reason why i'm touting this before anything is really rolled out in a robust and meaningful way in our communities is because i'm hopeful that with this targeted funding, there will be an awareness campaign about where to go to get the vaccine. i'm fresh off my first dose, rev, and i think it's important for people in our community to understand where to go and why it's so important. >> absolutely. >> that means leveraging black vendors. yes, his approval rating will go up if he relies on the people. i think they have demonstrated they have the ability to do that. >> i'm fresh off my first shot, too. david, let me g republicans to you. republicans demanded the stimulus payments are being more narrowly targeted this time around, and democrats actually took that suggestion into account for the final bill.
and still, they're making bad faith arguments about how the democrats wouldn't compromise so they couldn't vote for it. will the american people see through this? we saw when they tried to block the affordable care act, started going to their home districts, there were town hall meetings. saying wait a minute, we need this kind of aid. we need this rescue. >> yeah, rev, there's a lot of things that are coming into play here. and particularly in republican districts. you have state and community leaders that were beneficiaries of this bill that said, hey, our town, our county, our first responders need the federal assistance. so why would you consider voting against it? but i think we're also seeing something play out that dovetails with what angela said. look, republicans represent a disproportionate amount of relative whites, middle to upper income communities in america, where the job displacement and economic loss simply wasn't the
same as it was in other communities. and so that's why, while 60% plus support this bill, i think republicans have their base falling in line because republican voters are acting and republican leaders just with the reflexive partisanship we saw during the obama years that they'll just oppose whatever the democrats and biden put forward, and republican voters will reward them for that. >> angela, republicans have also been holding up president biden's cabinet nominees for weeks. not allowing the votes to be held. even after complete hearings. what gives? i can't hear her. okay, i think we lost your mic let me go to david, then. david, the former president talking about republicans and trump has sent cease and desist letters to republican organizations, demanding they
not use his name and likeness in their fund-raising materials. do you think he genuinely wants them to stop, or will he just demand a percentage of the ad buys or some other licensing deal where they have to pay him to use his name, like at many of his hotels? >> that's it, rev. i'm laughing because, look, this couldn't happen to a better group of people that the leaders of the rnc and the nrcc and the nrsc who the leader they exalted, who they helped get elected has turned around and said, hey, i'm done with you now unless you're go to give me a cut of the profits of your fund-raising. donald trump will make his money from here forward through domestic politics and international business. his domestic business brand is falling as a result of all the events we have seen. internationally, though, it's as high as it has ever been. he knows he can make money in domestic politics, so for him to say to the people of his very own party, you can't raise a dime using my image unless i get
a cut of it, suggests that donald trump has been in this all along just for donald trump and lining his own pocket. >> surprise, surprise. >> surprise. >> angela rye, david jolly, thanks to both of you. coming up, as we remember what giants before us did 56 years ago today, we must not forget that the fight for our rights is far from over. that's why i'm asking you all to rise up. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's other top news stories. richard. >> rev, good sunday to you. some of the stories we're watching this hour. this week marks the one-year anniversary of the w.h.o. declaring the covid pandemic. to date, 29 million confirmed cases of covid-19 hit the united states, and more than half a million lives have been lost. >> the cdc criticized texas and mississippi for reopening too quickly. it warns ending mask mandates leads to more outbreaks and
fatalities. texas is in the bottom ten states for vaccination rates. >> the pope is wrapping up his historic trip to iraq. he traveled to the war-torn city of mosul, visiting four churches badly damaged by isis. the pope's mission was to call for better relations between christians and muslims. more "politics nation" with reverend al sharpton right after the break. k. ucose control. the patented blend is clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels. boost glucose control products contain high quality protein and key nutrients to support immune health. try boost. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. get 2 unlimited lines for only $70. and now get netflix on us with your plan. and this rate is fixed, you'll pay exactly $70 total. this month and every month. plus, switch today and get a free smartphone for each line. the best value and award-winning customer service.
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for this week's rise up, i want to talk about the movement and what could seem like the endless struggle for racial justice and civil rights. i have been preaching since i was a child. jesse jackson and reverend william jones made me the youth director of new york operation bread basket when i was a teenager. and even then, it sometimes felt that we were still fighting the same fights that our ancestors had. dr. martin luther king jr. marched on washington in 1963, to demand equal justice under
the law, and though things have improved somewhat since king's famous speech, we're still fighting those battles. indeed, last summer, nearly 60 years later, we marched on washington in a show of commitment to those same ideals of racial justice and equality, to declare with one voice that black lives matter. i have been fighting this fight my entire life. so i know it can be exhausting. but we know what we're fighting for, and a new study from the university of massachusetts shows that all our marching, our protesting, and our fighting has had tangible results. this study shows that cities that had marches and demonstrations and black lives matter protests showed a significant decrease in police killings, according to the study, there are more than 300 people alive today that might otherwise have been victims of police violence.
all that because of our feet on the streets. the same study found that places with black lives matter protests saw an increase in mitigation measures like body cameras and community policing and the eric garner law signed in new york, and that more frequent protests led to a greater decline in police homicides. your activism is saving lives, from ferguson to new york to oakland, and all across the country, but like the generations of freedom fighters who came before, our fight is not limited to marches. the battlefield for racial justice is as widespread as we are. in the streets, and in the courts, and at the ballot box. our votes ushered in this congress that passed the george floyd justice in policing act this week, but the fight for equality continues as republicans have vowed to block it in the senate. all while the trial of george
floyd's killer gets under way in minnesota tomorrow, and given how rarely police perpetrators of violence are held accountable, it may be hard to keep the faith, but just like our ancestors before us, we must. no matter the outcome of this particular trial, we know now that our peaceful protests have positive, tangible impacts on our community. and now that we know exactly how effective we can be together, we have to keep going. keep rising up together, marching peacefully and demanding that this country finally deliver on its essential promise, liberty and justice for all. ♪ a pair of jeans that fit just right ♪ ♪ and the radio up ♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's. jackson hewitt knows your job description may have changed this year. to say...
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as conservatives hold up the nominations of anita gupta for associate attorney general and kristen clark to head up the justice department's civil rights division. but civil rights activists like myself are pushing back, calling it for what it is, another right-wing smear campaign against qualified women of color. joining me now, ben jealous, president of people for the american way, and ben crump, the attorney general for black america and civil rights attorney. let me go to you first, ben jealous. president biden has nominated arguably the most racially diverse slate of cabinet nominees in history. now, we see growing frustration over the obstacles that the nominees of color are facing. here's just part of a short clip that the people for american way, which you head up, is running. look at this. >> i am shirley sherrod, ten
years ago, the far right twisted my words in an effort to destroy my career. now, i see them doing it to vanita gupta. we cannot let it happen again. >> tell us about this campaign, ben. >> we have to make sure that these heroes get through. you know, i first learned of ms. gupta when i was in my 20s and she was, too. she had discovered in texas 38 people who had been wrongfully convicted, and she got them pardoned by a republican governor. it was at the height of the drive to mass incarceration, and she went right into the the belly of the beast, and she delivered freedom for 38 people, and vindicated their families. to see the far right wing go after somebody who is such a hero, who has been so skilled at getting bipartisan consensus
about the need to vindicate people when they have been wronged, it breaks my heart. that's why i'm personally so committed to making sure that we fight back. >> now, attorney crump, this week, the house passed the george floyd justice in policing act. it would ban choke holds, neck restraints, and no-knock warrants in drug cases at a federal level. tomorrow, nine months since george floyd was killed by a minnesota police officer, the trial starts. at least jury selection. how hopeful are you and the family, because you have masterfully handled this case, as you have others. how hopeful are you that this trial will send a strong message to put an end for racial profiling among police and that this legislation can pass the u.s. senate? >> well, reverend al, as you
have skillfully put what is at stake, we have two trials. one in the court of law in minneapolis, but we have a trial going on in the united states senate as well as to whether we can get real reform and systematic change in policing in america. keith ellison, your friend, the first african-american attorney general for the state of minnesota, is going to zealously prosecute this case, and that's why it was so important that he motioned and got the appeals court to reinstate the third degree murder charge so the jury can have options to make sure that derek chauvin is criminally held accountable for murdering and torturing george floyd, and hopefully, that video that we saw will not only get justice in the court of law for the family of george floyd but also we can
get justice for all of our families when the united states senate do something that you have been working on for decades, reverend al, and that's meaningful police reform. and that's what we have to have. we cannot lose this moment. >> now, ben jealous, the fbi director, christopher wray, testified this week, and he said that domestic terrorism, quote, has been metastasizing around the country for a long time now. and it's not going away. this is his quote. what else can be done to emphasize this as a top concern? >> well, this is why we need to frankly rebuild the u.s. department of justice. under trump, we had a doj that gave aid and comfort to domestic terrorists. we saw that in their insurrection on january 6th.
when you saw trump's staffers actually helping to organize the insurrection. some of them now have been charged. and it's so critical, and that's why having ms. gupta in is so important. we have got to make sure that we can get heroes back in charge of the u.s. doj and not those who would give aid and comfort to the types of people who have tried to pull a coup at the u.s. capitol. >> now, attorney crump, we see republicans all over the country passing restrictive voting laws, supposedly to, quote, protect people's votes. mostly and shamelessly in areas of communities of color. even president biden today called it, quote, all out assault on the right to vote. what gives? and what is the importance of that? i have heard you stress to people that those of us who protest and march, that we also have to vote to protect the right to vote, and we have to be peaceful so we don't have juries feel that there's violence on
both sides and therefore the police may have to overreact, but that we really want to be citizens that have the right to vote and peacefully protest and treated equally before the bar of justice. >> reverend al, this is nothing more than an attempt to make sure that those young people of color in cities like atlanta, detroit, milwaukee, and others that came out in record numbers with george floyd and breonna taylor and ahmaud arbery on their mind saying we can vote for a better america, a more just america, where some people, the enemies of equality, don't want them to be able to vote, to be able to elect the leaders who will not only lead in the white house but also in the senate, to have the descendants of people who used to pick cotton now
picking presidents and vice presidents. they are afraid of that, but we have to continue to say the most basic of all our constitutional rights is the right to vote and a democratic government. >> attorney crump, briefly, the young poet amanda gorman, who spoke at the president biden's inauguration urging the nation to confront the injustices of the past and work to create a better future, says she was tailed by a security guard on a walk home. she was racially profiled, she said. is this why we need legislation? we had the '64 civil rights act in the '60s. we had the '65 voting rights act. we need legislation in this era to deal with these problems today. >> exactly. i mean, that young lady, the most talented, beautiful, skillful young sister that we have to offer the world, even
she is profiled. it tells us that none of our children are safe. so we have to continue to say that it's not enough just to talk about diversity. we have to see it, and every fashion and form in the government, and especially in our policy. >> ben jealous, you and i worked very closely together down through the years, including when you headed the naacp. and when you were the head of naacp and you and i and other civil rights organizations, four, five of us worked a lot with the obama administration, marc morial and others, there was a black attorney general, eric holder, then a black attorney general that succeeded him, loretta lynch. both were under attack. now, we're talking about someone that would be number three in justice, and the head of the civil rights division, kristen
clark, and they're under attack. we continue to see this pattern that they don't want to see a justice department that reflects the population of the country, and they come with smear tactics. >> that's exactly right. and that's why we at people for launching the our fight campaign, it's not just that we have all these nominees who are under attack and going to be under attack as they go through the nomination process. but as you and i saw during the obama years, we should anticipate that the far right wing will continue to attack them. continue to smear them. and it's tragic because when you look at the protests in the country, they were also in places like portland. when you looked at the crowd in minneapolis, it was like three quarters white. what young people understand is that black folks are the canary in the coal mine, the kind of repressive violent policing ultimately impacts all communities, and you see it in the opinion polls. while we get it the worst, black folks get it the worst, it
doesn't simply stop with us. >> that's right. >> you know, so we have to -- we all have a vested interest in a police force, in a public safety system that we feel like if it's safe for black people, guess what, it will be safe for everybody else, too. >> all right. i'm going to have to leave it there. ben jealous and attorney crump, i'll see you in minneapolis with the family. thank you both for being here. >> coming up, kicking off women's history month here on "politics nation." and one particular platform is looking to send a message to communications industry heads. that is right after the break.
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women of color in the communications industry. joining me is the ceo and founder of color comm, lauren wesley wilson. first, thank you for being with us. and tell me briefly about the hashtag the hash tag i am colorcomm, tell us about that campaign. what is the pledge? >> our pledge, i am colorcomm is focusing on the representation in the communications marketing and advertising industry but we're actually calling on all industries to get involved with the #iamcolorcomm, what is our pledge to make the industry more inclusive. we have our allies participating and joining in. so we're calling upon all of us to say that we're here, we're represented, no more excuses, and how we are doing our part to
make change, actionable changes. >> now, you say more often than not a problem in the corporate america is that they do not know where to find women of color to hire. how is the colorcomm fighting back against that outdated line. i constantly hear rachel nordlinger, is constantly telling me there are not enough black women in the corporate rooms, in the newsrooms, and i'm dealing with exclusion. i know exactly what you're saying because i hear daily, what is colorcomm doing to confront that, how we can really key in on this. >> we're working with companies because what we find and what we believe is that this is an excuse. we are here. we are represented, we are working in this business, and so there are a number of things that we're doing. one, we have programming and conversations to advance people of color. but more importantly, we're
working with companies to partner on and share with our members and our community the executive leaders who are here because now in this day and age, it's not an excuse to not be in leadership if you're a person of color at these companies where you work. >> as we go from black history month to women's history month, what can we focus on on the intersectionality of race and gender in the workplace, and beyond. >> well, i think that's a great point that you brought up. intersectionality, especially as we -- on the heels of black history month, we ended that, and we're headed into women's history month. so often, we don't recognize the duel intersection between black women and women of color and women's history month. our focus is to shed light on the intersectionality. that is what colorcomm focuses on through our programs, our initiatives, keeping women of color working and having the tools to advance in this business. >> lauren wesley wilson, our
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56 years ago today, people marched across the edmond pet us bridge in selma, alabama. every year people go back. i was 9 or 10 years old in 65. i've got most years. this year we had to speak virtually. last year, one year ago, i spoke at brown chapel, ame church, along with then candidate joe biden and he spoke later and stacey abrams, and as we then gathered to march across that bridge, when we got to the bridge, we were stunned when john lewis pulled up obviously battling with health conditions and decided he wanted to speak
even though we thought he couldn't make the march that year, that he was beating that on that bridge, many years before. and as we held him up that day, i looked at him standing there, being hoisted up. it would be the last time he was on that bridge alone. it gets very frustrating and sometimes discouraging to have to fight to maintain the right to vote and it sometimes will tempt you to give up that fight and say it's all rigged but then i remember just a couple of years before last year we marched across that bridge, i was honored to march right behind john lewis and the first black president of the united states. i held the banner along with amelia boykin, who's going across that bridge in a wheelchair. john lewis and amelia boykin, and reverend jose ya williams
and others, were beaten and tear gassed on that bridge. they never gave up. they never became one that said it's too frustrating, it's too discouraging and they lived to see their efforts, for the black family in the white house, and now a black woman as vice president. so after what they went through, how dare you and i, a generation after john lewis and amelia boykin, how dare we talk about how hard it is. think of what they went through, and what they got done, and all we have to do is maintain it. nobody's tear gassing us, and nobody's beating us, at least not the way they did them. all we need to do is fight our own sense of give up, our own sense of despair, our own sense of having not enough determination and their name and the name of our children, depending on us, like we depended on them. let's keep the pressure on. that does it for me.
thanks very watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern, my colleague alicia menendez takes up our news coverage right now. thank you, rev, and become to "american voices," a lot on deck in the next two hours, including today's executive order signed by president biden expanding voting rights. in the president's own words, let the people vote. >> today on the anniversary of bloody sunday, i'm signing an executive order to make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and have true access to voting. every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted. >> more on biden's order and the president's new push to congress on voting rights when texas congressman joins us and south carolina congressman jim clyburn will be here on the