tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC December 12, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
was such an icon that telemundo interrupted its live broadcast to announce his death. he died on the same day mexico celebrates the feast of a special and significant day for mexican and mexican americans. and anne rice, author of "interview with the vampire" and the widely popular series "the vampire chronicles" passed away yesterday after suffering a stroke. she was 80 years old and inspired many with her gothic fiction. she sold more than 150 million copies of her books globally and even got two oscar nominations after adapting a screenplay from one of her novels. amc recently announced that it's working on a series of "lives of the mayfair witches" novel. and her son wrote, her support for me was unconditional. she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt.
as a writer, she taught me to defy genere boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions. we remember both vicente fernandez and anne rice for their countless contributions. a brand-new hour of "american voices" begins right now. tonight, 48 hours since deadly tornadoes ripped across half a dozen states and the damage remains unimaginable, as the death toll continues to rise. at this hour, a total of 48 are confirmed dead. that number expected to rise, especially in kentucky, where the governor believes his state's death toll alone could exceed 100. homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas was there today assessing damage. >> we've lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and others. but as the governor so poignantly and powerfully stated, we will get through this. we will grieve together. but we will also recover
together. >> we take you to kentucky in a few minutes for an update there. and breaking news from capitol hill. the committee investigating the capitol attack just released its contempt report to hold former trump chief of staff mark meadows in contempt of congress. joining me now for the latest, nbc news reporter julie circumstancen is in washington with more. julie, tell us, what is in this report? >> reporter: yeah, alicia, the committee -- the january 6th select committee just dropped this report in the last 50 minutes or so. there's a lot of information in here, and most of it coming from the thousands of pages of texts and e-mails and documents that mark meadows himself actually turned over to the committee when he was still cooperating, briefly in the last couple of weeks. there's a lot to get into here, but the biggest takeaway is the committee is saying, look, meadows refused to provide documents that he himself produced to the committee and turned over with his lawyer saying that all of these documents are not subject to the
executive privilege that he is asserting for why he cannot testify before the committee. remember, last week, he actually told the committee that he's done cooperating, he's not appearing for his scheduled deposition and the committee is going to vote on this contempt report tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. some of the things it says in here, meadows indicated in a january 5th email that the national guard was on standby to, quote, protect pro-trump people. you and i both know, as somebody who was in the building on january 6th, that it took a really long time for the national guard to get there, for the president to mobilize all of the troops. well, now this information shows that meadows apparently said that the national guard was ready to protect the supporters of the former president. it also says here that meadows tried to connect trump with state lawmakers, to pressure them to overturn and object to the election results in their states. there is details where they tried to recruit the lawmakers to do so. now, again, there's also things in here, like a january 2nd call between trump, state and federal
officials, to does overturning certain states' counting of electoral college results. and later, by the way, this also details that madows was the one who sent that john eastman memo to the vice president's staff, telling him options, basically, all unconstitutional, as how the former vice president could object to election results on january 6th. i mean, there's a lot to get into here, but this of course was the last resort from the committee. they did not want to hold meadows in contempt of congress, because we know with steve bannon, this process is lengthy, and it doesn't always mean, even if prosecuted by the justice department, that they will ultimately get the testimony that they want. and they say in here that meadows is a critical part of their investigation. and so they're holding this contempt vote tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. and the full house is set to vote on the contempt report, which we expect to be approved unanimously tomorrow, as early as tuesday. alicia? >> so julie, i did just ask my p.a. to print this document for me. i am told it is 52 pages, so i
do not expect you to have a deep and robust analysis on that just yet, given the rate at which we can all read and process this information. so i do want to ask you, do we know anything more? can we clarify the timing of this? >> all we know now, we have this report. and we've seen this with jeffrey clark and steve bannon, it's kind of these steps that they have to take. they're trying to outline a timeline here in this 51-page report, with all of the information that meadows willingly handed over to the committee. but there are still missing pieces here, as the committee went to have mark meadows elaborate on these things that he's handed over, he refused to do so. and they've tried to do this many times. you remember, he was first subpoenaed in that initial batch of subpoenas back at the end of september. this has been almost a three-month process that they've tried to get mark meadows in the room with them. they failed to appear for a scheduled deposition just this past wednesday. and of course, we also know that
mark meadows is suing the panel for the subpoena, because he's claiming that he's many, quote, in an untenable position to defy his former boss, president trump, or to face prosecution by the justice department. >> so for those of you who are just joining the news this hour, the january 6th committee has released a report on its reasons for holding former trump chief of staff mark meadows in criminal contempt. this is essentially, julie, they're laying out the case for why they believe that he should be held in criminal contempt. >> exactly. it's their job to prove why he should be held in criminal contempt. of course, they're not the ons who actually prosecute him. that would be biden's justice department. but basically, what's going to happen is they have to release this 24 hours before the vote. that's happening tomorrow at 7:00. we expect this to be a short and sweet process as we've seen with jeffrey clark and steve bannon. the committee is going to meet, liz cheney, the vice chair, bennie thompson will make their remarks, they'll say what this report says in a more succinct
matter, why mark meadows should be referred to the justice department for contempt of congress. and then that is expected to be approved unanimously, meaning all members on the committee, including both republicans liz cheney and adam kinzinger are expected to vote for this report. and on tuesday, the full house could vote on this report and refer these charges, speaker nancy pelosi would refer these charges to the justice department where they could move to prosecute mark meadows. >> julie, you -- in your reporting out of this report, you said something and i want to make sure that we underscore it, which is that this report accuses meadows of contacting state election officials and encouraging investigations of fraud, even after such allegations have been dismissed by states and federal courts. we move this. it's now part of this report. how do you think that changes the calculus moving forward? >> i mean, look. that's why the committee wants to hear from meadows so badly. that's why they gave him time and time again to comply and cooperate and to show up.
and answer questions that they have, because he's the one who turned over all of these documents, right? if his lawyer is claiming that he can assert executive privilege by not elaborating and answering the committee's questions on the very things that he turned over, they're like, well, what is under the executive privilege that you're asserting, if you willingly handed over these texts and e-mails? i mean, some pretty bizarre stuff in here that is coming to light, that mark meadows himself turned over. >> julie, thank you very much for that reporting. now to the supreme court's fallout on the abortion ban. they have now set the stage for other states to create constitutional loopholes. california governor gavin newsom now plotting a move to get dangerous guns off american streets. the democrat calling on california lawmakers saturday to pass law targeting gun sellers and manufacturers. newsom tweeted the supreme court is, quote, letting private citizens in texas sue to stop abortion? if that's the precedent, then we'll let californians sue those
who put ghost gus and assault weapons on our streets. this call for action does two things, prioritizes americans's lives and calls out the absurdity of the supreme court's handling of the texas abortion law. friday, the court rules that texas abortion providers can move forward with challenges to the law in court. but for now, the law remains on the books. here's some fresh perspective tonight from "the washington post," writing, quote, friday's decision was a very modest victory for the abortion providers. but people should take care not to give the court credit for something it didn't do. it certainly didn't reaffirm the right to an abortion. it also failed to make clear that states cannot nullify constitutional rights by insulating unconstitutional laws from judicial review. meanwhile, abortion access, a constitutional protection since 1973, virtually history in texas. remember,s is not just texas. the supreme court also deciding a separate case for mississippi that's directly threatening the
future of roe v. wade. we should also note that a number of republican-led states are already chipping away at access to abortion bills. 19 states have placed restrictions on the pills, but it's a state of how far the gop wants to go against its never-ending war against reproductive freedom. joining us now, melissa murray, msnbc political analyst and "new york times" columnist, michelle goldberg, and former texas state senator, wendy davis, founder of deeds, not words. thank you all for taking the time to be with us. i want to start with this move from governor newsom. jill wine-banks tweeted this, will save lives, not endanger women's lives, and show the absurdity of the texas abortion vigilante decision and the supreme court is, quote, blinded by zeal end to abortion.
what does this decision say about the high court? >> i think it was inevitable that some blue state was going to do this. as a new yorker, i'm a little bit disappointed that california got there first. and, you know, there actually were some gun rights groups that were hesitant about the texas abortion law for precisely this reason. because it was completely foreseeable that if you could circumvent something that the supreme court has said is a constitutional right in this manner, other people would try to do the same thing. i think given the intensity political nature of this court, i'm not sure if they will be bound by a desire whether or not to appear hypocritical. it's easy for them to imagine finding a pretext to strike down such a law going after gun sales, while figuring out a way to allow it to stand for abortion, particularly given the likelihood that they will either overturn or substantially gut roe v. wade in the new year.
nevertheless, it's really important that democrats step forward and say, if these are the new rules, then we're going to play the same game >> so to michelle's analysis of this report, i want to bring in this column, who writes, oral arguments, kavanaugh expressed well-founded anxiety that if the texas abortion dodge was allowed, others, perhaps less palatable to conservatives, would be sure to follow. blue states outsourcing enforcement of laws limiting gun possession or inpringing on religious freedom. worried about whether suing to block the law in state would be effective, but when the final ruling were affected, those qualms were nowhere to be heard. what position has the court now put itself in? >> it's really important to remember here, alicia, that the clinic providers were suing the state court judges and clerks
here, because the real threat to them is the threat of these private lawsuits brought by individual citizens. so what they were seeking is a lawsuit that would allow them to get some kind of injunctive relief that would stop these private lawsuits from happening. the court did allow a lawsuit to proceed, but only against the licensing officials in texas. those are the individuals charged with provide professional licenses to these abortion providers and so it seems likely that a court would simply say that these licensing officials are prevented from disciplining these providers if they provide abortion, but they wouldn't necessarily stop the citizens from suing the provider in the first instance. which is what the providers would hope for. so this decision is not a victory for reproductive rights, it's a victory for court. >> wendy, to that point, how duds friday's ruling change the
fight for reproduct ifreproductn texas? >> i'm hearing a great deal of frustration, alicia, because people who are trying to find abortions in texas find themselves exactly where they were when this all started on september the 1st. essentially back to square one. and i think the headlines have been a bit misleading about what the supreme court actually did. it did texas no favors this past week, and did as melissa and michelle both said, leave the door open for these private vigilantes, who are emboldened by the bounties that will be paid to sue abortion providers. and because they fear so greatly the liability and personal risk to their doctors and other abortion care front line workers, they have not pushed the envelope on this law.
but with the supreme court's decision this past week, they have essentially said to these clinics, the only way that you'll get relief, if at all, is if you break the law, allow a challenge to you breaking the law, and then you can claim the unconstitutional nature of this. and governor newsom, of course, seizing upon this, decided that he was going to call their bluff and do it with regard to one of the constitutional rights that these conservative justices, of course, hold dear, the second amendment. >> i also want to zoom out and look back to eight years ago. we all remember watching you filibustering for 11 hours in your chamber. take me from that moment -- i think there are a lot of people sort of tuned in at that moment, eight years ago, and if they don't live in texas or if this is not an issue they follow closely, they tuned out. how did we get to where we are today with texas leading the nation on this issue?
>> when i was in the senate, alicia, it seemed like every single session, there was some attempt to make abortion a newsworthy issue so that these far-right lawmakers could attract the political support of people in the extremes of their party. and every year, it got worse and worse and worse. and i couldn't have imagined in 2013 that we would look back at that law as the good old days, compared to where we are now. and honestly, i want america to understand this. it's not going to stop here. it's going to keep going. it's likely that it will extend to the plan "b" pill at some point. it is even a possibility that it could extend to contraceptive care, which is rooted in the same constitutional protections for privacy and liberty, under which roe v. wade was decided.
so we're probably not at the end of this. and the sad thing is that other states are going to follow suit and do what texas did. so many legislatures are already talking about similar laws. and of course, state all over the country, if the supreme court overturns roe v. wade, they have trigger laws in place, that says that the moment that that happens, and if it does happen in response to this mississippi case, then abortion will be illegal in their states and women who need abortion care are going to have to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to get it. most women won't be able to do that. >> melissa, michelle, wendy, thank you all so much for your time. ahead, a day of action on capitol hill. we'll talk to someone who was at the forefront of that fight. plus, new york's attorney general drops her bid for governor, instead, setting her eyes on deposing donald trump. stay with us. eyes on deposing donald trump. stay with us
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back to our breaking news. a rising death toll from friday night's storms across six states now stands at 48, but officials fear that number will rise, especially in the state of kentucky. the governor says the last live rescue was saturday afternoon. at least 1,000 homes are leveled. the devastation, unimaginable. >> to the people of america,
there is now lens big enough to show you the extent of the damage here in graves county or in kentucky. nothing that was standing in the direct line of this tornado is still standing. >> let's go live now to dawson springs, kentucky, where nbc news correspondent ellison barber is on the ground, tracking developments. ellison, where do things stand at this hour? >> alicia, about 2700 people live in dawson springs. when you first come off of the highway into this community, there are parts, areas where you think, oh, maybe they were spared. it doesn't look like there was a massive tornado that came through here, but then you keep driving and that's when you start to see the homes, the neighborhoods, almost entirely gone. there are homes without roofs. windows blown in. cars scattered all about, that have been moved, turned over, flooded from the storm.
we watched as search and rescue teams went door-to-door, looking for anyone who might not have survived. we spoke to a woman who said she lost three of her neighbors. we saw neighbors helping each other, oftentimes through tears, devastated for the lives that were lost and worried about the many people here that are still unaccounted for. listen to what one woman told us that she is from this community and has spent most of her life here. her home, uninhabitable. listen. >> we lost three neighbors. and i mean, material things, that can all be replaced, but our lives were so blessed to be alive. very blessed. >> reporter: and that woman was digging through what was left of her belongings, trying to salvage diapers. she told me her grandson, who is 11 and has autism, he needed them, so they were trying to find whoever was left to have
them. they have a family member who they can stay with, but when they will come home, when they will have a home again, they will have no idea. and we do not know, alicia, how many people are missing or dead in this community. it is incredibly hard to get information. there is no cell service. it's very difficult to make any kind of phone calls here. a lot of people have not been able to contact their loved ones to tell them that they are okay or check on loved ones that live in communities nearby. alicia? >> absolutely unimaginable, nbc's ellison barber, thank you very much. still to come tonight, art in prison. jacob soboroff takes us inside and reveals the impact it is having. plus, new york's attorney general on the quest to depose donald trump. and an update on the breaking news in kentucky, where efforts are underway right now to find survivors of friday night's storm for dozens still missing, as officials across six states reveal 48 dead. and that number bound to rise. we are back after this break. n. we are back after this break
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president biden has been championing the success of the child tax credit and helping lift children out of poverty. here he was this month. >> thanks to the american rescue plan, we've cut child poverty in america by more than 40%. think about that. millions of children who spent last christmas in poverty will not bury that burden this holiday season. >> this millions of kids, however, could be in for a much harder new year. just a couple of weeks, the child tax credit expires, which would cause an estimated 9.9 million children to slip back below the poverty line or fall deeper into poverty. senate democrats have a fix. their build back better act extends the child tax credit through 2022. but like so many democratic priorities these days, it's being held up by west virginia senator joe manchin, a democrat. so tomorrow, a coalition of activists will head to washington for moral monday, on a mission to change manchin's
mind. leading the charge, reverend william barber, founder of moral mondays, and co-chair of the poor people's campaign. the reverend is also president of repairs of the breach. reverend barber, as always, thank you so much for joining us. tell us about this effort and why you think it could actually change the senator's mind? >> we're hoping to put a moral voice on this and a face on it. what we know is we're not going to stop fighting. we're saying, get it done in '21. and we say, build back better, voting rights protection, voting rights advancement act. the for the peoples act, raise the minimum wage to 15. in washington, d.c., they like to split you up. but peoples lives are not split up like that. and even when the president says that we end -- you know, cut poverty in half, that's according to the government measurement, but if you look at a living wage measurement, supplemental measurement, even before covid, $140 million
people living in poverty and low wealth, over 52% of our children. this build back better plan, 39 million families would be affected by the child income tax credit. 17 million in earned income tax credit. 18 million low-wage, home health workers. the people who come in our homes and help us. 4 million families would get health insurance that don't have it now. and 52 senators, 50 republicans and two democrats, are blocking millions of people. it is a form of abuse, political abuse, it is sinful, it is wrong, and so the people from 33 state impacted people, are coming to say, this is not biden against manchin, this is manchin against us. they're coming from all over. and 39 other organizations. and we're going to engage in direct action. we're going to protest. we're going to push. we're going to put a face on it, because lastly, what happened in this, we got hung on 6 trillion, 3 trillion, 4 trillion, when the
real issue should have been not how much does it cost to do this, how much does it cost not to do it. before covid, $250,000 people are dying a year from poverty and low wealth. manchin's position and sinema's positions continue to cause people to die. and it's all because of greed, just straight-up greed and catering to the wealthy rather than caring about low and poor-income people, of every race. it's not a black issue, it's an issue of every race and we've got to fight to change it. >> reverend, i have about a minute left, but i want to ask you about the child tax credit. "the washington post" reports from late july through september, about half the families receiving the child tax credit payments reported spending at least part of that money on food. and about four in ten spent it on rent, mortgages, or utilities. that kind of tells you everything that you need to know. what is your message to lawmakers who aren't behind extending this. >> i hate to say this, but my message is, what the hell is wrong with you.
in the middle of christmas, you don't want people to eat after we're still fighting through covid? why would you get up in the morning and the only thing you can use your power to do is give more money to billionaires rather than invest in poor and low-wealth people. and the investment, we also know, is that it's not about entitle, it's about investment. it will come back. it will pilled the economy. people are sick and tired of this kind of greed and outright political abuse and moral sin sinfulness. and that's why it's not just me or people like me, it's impacted people. we're going to put a face on this tomorrow and in the days to come until we get this done. >> reverend barber, as always, thank you so much for your time. we'll be watching tomorrow. in kentucky, the search for survivors continues after that deadly tornado outbreak. today, the governor, he expects the death toll hit triple digits in his state alone. an update from the city of bowling green is ahead. but first, the committee investigating the capitol attack issuing its report on why former
trump chief of staff mark meadows should face contempt of congress. joe wine banks will explain it to us after the break. banks wit to us after the break. snacking can mean that pieces get stuck under mike's denture. but super poligrip gives him a tight seal. to help block out food particles. so he can enjoy the game. super poligrip. woman: i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. with skyrizi, 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months
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no heavy perfumes, and no dyes. finally, a light scent that lasts all day. new downy light! we bring you breaking news this hour. the january 6th committee has just released a report outlining the reasons for holding mark meadows in criminal contempt. joining me now to discuss, jill wine-banks, former watergate prosecutor and cohost of the hashtag sisters-in-law podcast.
jill, you have had a chance to read this 52-page report. what do you make of the committee's legal rationale for holding meadows in criminal contempt? >> it is very strong, alicia. and that's, of course, i have perused it for oh, just the few minutes that it's been available, but it is clear that there's no executive privilege, that this is a delay tactic on the part of meadows. that he knows for the than this. that the court ruling from the court of appeals about the january 6th documents only strengthens the argument that the committee has the right to do this and has a need for the information. mark meadows a key figure -- he was with the president on and before january 6th. he knows what the president knows and when he knew it. he knows whether he worked with the committee, the january 6th
organizers. there are so many things that only he can tell. and if congress is going to have any oversight role and any role in preventing a future occurrence of an assault on our democracy, they need this information in order to craft legislation. so i think that it's a very strong letter. i think the doj will take it seriously. and will refer him for contempt. and hopefully he will then decide that maybe he will cooperate. and try to get out of what is a criminal case. that doesn't force him to testify, it only forces him to defend himself and go to jail or pay a fine, if he is found guilty. >> one of the things i am struck by during my cursory reading of this, jill, because i, too, have been reading this during the commercial break, just the breadth of what he was dealing with, right? as you said, the text messages with organizers on january 6th, where they say to him, things have gotten crazy, and i desperately need some direction.
please, all the way to traveling to georgia to observe an audit of votes, days after then president trump complained that the audit had been moving too slowly. i mean, there's across the board, his hands were on every piece of this. it's as he communicated with trump on january 6th, regarding events at the capitol, engaged in multiple elements of planning and preparation of efforts to contest the election. contacted state election officials, encouraged investigations of fraud. even after such allegations had been dismissed by state and federal courts, these are incredibly serious accusations, jill. >> they are. and he was also in touch with the department of defense through kash patel. at that point, the secretary of defense esper had been fired and chris miller had been appointed as the acting secretary of defense. we know that the defense department did not meet the obligations that it should have met in protecting the capitol and supplementing the capitol police.
the national guard was not dispatched until way too late. that's something that we need to know about. so he is involved in both the state attempts to stop the election and turn it over. he's involved with trying to interfere with the electoral college being approved by the congress. he's involved in why the defense department didn't react appropriately. so he does have a broad scope of information that relates to his role and the president's role. and he is the chief of staff to the president. >> jill, i want to bring in now "washington post" reporter, david fahrenthold, because this past week, new york attorney general, letitia james, dropped some big news. she announced she is seeking to depose donald trump, expecting to issue a subpoena as part of a civil fraud investigation into the trump organization and whether it has manipulated the value of its real estate properties. he also announced that she is dropping out of the race for new
york governor. despite her own sudden loss of competition, current new york governor kathy hochul went on the mic to say this. >> this is a very bad day for donald trump and the nra, when we have -- when we have tish james, one of the finest attorney generals in the country, very focused on making sure that justice is done. >> so david, this is one of two parallel inquiries into the president. the other is being conducted separately by cy vance from the southern district of new york. remind our vieweviewers, becaus there is so much to keep track of here, exactly what james is investigating in this case. >> what she said she's investigating is whether trump committed fraud in his business before he ran for office. so she's looking at allegations that he lied to property tax officials or to lenders about the value of his property, because he lowballed it to property tax officials, and they overstated it to lenders to make himself look like a better credit risk. there are also allegations that
he avoided paying income taxes on a $100 million loan and he manipulated the value of a conservation easement, but gave him a $25 million tax break in new york state. >> david, "the new york times" called james' move to depose trump unusual, noting that it comes at a critical juncture in the case being investigated by cy vance and the sdny, what might the ag's motives be here? >> well, she's been building this case for a couple of years. and she's deposed other people in the trump organization, sort of starting at the bottom and moving up. you talk to allen weisselberg, trump's coo in early 2020. she talked to eric trump, who's sort of second in command of that organization in late 2020. so if you're building up the organization, that's the way you would do it. but the problem is, as you said, there's this also criminal investigation at the same time, looking at many of the same subjects. and i think trump's argument will be, when he probably seeks to quash this subpoena, look, this is an attempt to get around my protections in the criminal
case. they say they want this for a civil case, but if i say something they can use against me in a criminal case, they will. it's a back door in making him testify in a criminal case, when normally that wouldn't happen under new york law. >> jill, i have about 30 seconds. you know what that means. i want your final thoughts. >> david absolutely correct. there is a difference between the civil and the criminal. and the big difference is intent. the intent that has to be proved for a criminal case makes it much harder to be successful, so there is a way to proceed for the fraud that happened and it would have been unconscionable and negligent for attorney general james not to have proceeded once michael cohen testified that there was this fraud going on in terms of telling tax officials it was worth less and loan officials that it was worth more. so it's the right thing to do. and both of them should proceed. i hope that they will both continue their investigations. >> david and jill, thank you
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back with our breaking news coverage of the tornadoes that battered half a dozen states this weekend. this hour the official death toll across arkansas, missouri, mississippi, tennessee, illinois, and kentucky stands at 48. officials say to take the numbers with a grain of salt given search and rescue efforts are ongoing in hopes of finding survivors. here is what the kentucky governor andy beshear had to say. >> we have over 300 national guardsmen out active in our
communities, going everything from -- doing everything from going door to door though in many communities we don't have doors anymore. they are going rubble to rubble searching hopefully for survivors but otherwise to at least have certainty for families that we can advise them of their loss. >> at least 1,000 homes now rubble in kentucky. we'll continue to follow the story throughout the evening. this is a busy sunday evening with breaking news from capitol hill the committee investigating the january 6th attack released a report on contempt of congress charges facing former chief of staff mark meadows laying out why the committee wants the house to approve the charges. there is a vote on that tomorrow. ahead at the top of the hour on "the mehdi hasan show" the creator of the 1619 project nikole hannah-jones at 8:00 p.m. eastern only on msnbc. we'll be right back. is the planning effect. this is how it feels to have a dedicated fidelity advisor
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- the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now. we've been talking about climate change as a future problem instead of a present one. >> the reality is the humanitarian crisis is going to spill over. >> because, yes, marches and protests can spark change, but so can money. racism is not good for business and that's been proven time and time again. what if art can change the world? that is the question at the
certainty of msnbc's film, new documentary by the artist j.r. you've likely seen his work but now a deeper look at how with paper and glue he is putting the question to the test. we have a preview. >> reporter: hope is a rare commodity inside california correctional institution, one of the roughest of the state's 35 prisons. the lieutenant led me on to a level 4 yard, maximum security. lieutenant, this is the yard but where is everybody? >> well, unfortunately, just before we got here there was an incident. >> reporter: this trail of blood the result of a stabbing likely ordered by one of the racially or ethnically based gangs that dictate much of what happens inside these walls according to the lieutenant. >> especially on the level 4 yards it is very controlled and manipulated by gangs. >> reporter: so the odds that the blood on the ground over there is a result of gang ordered violence are pretty high? >> quite possibly, yeah.
>> reporter: what are the odds you'd see a white person and a latino person or a latino person and a black person hanging out together on this yard? >> hanging out? it would be pretty rare. >> reporter: as part of an effort to try and break up the racial segregation the gangs impose the prison did something dramatic. in 2019 it invited the french artist j.r. on to the same yard to bring together inmates to work on several murals including this one in which they posed together visible only from the sky. the projects featured in the new msnbc films documentary "paper and glue." when we were on the yard last week still visible was another mural jr and the inmates created. >> even though there was a stabbing today there is blood on the floor, right beyond it is something that says there is a way out. >> 15 of the 34 involved in this program have gone to our level three. >> reporter: a transfer to level three or lower security was possible due to avoiding trouble while incarcerated. the transfers provide a path to parole out of a system that is badly over crowded. this is a gym that used to house
inmates. >> the entire floor was full. >> reporter: to be able to release more inmates the prison system began to stress rehabilitation programs like educational and vocational classes. >> we have this facility providing massive opportunities for the incarcerated men who have a desire to change their life and the way they do things. >> reporter: two of these three inmates transferred to this yard after working with j.r. all three are serving life sentences. on the level 4 yard would you three guys be hanging out together? >> no. >> no. >> reporter: how come? >> politics would separate us. >> reporter: does politics mean you can't have a white guy standing in between two latino guys? >> you wouldn't be able to sit at a table with them or play sports with them. >> reporter: what did you think when j.r. showed up? >> the most incredible thing was them treating us with humanity and just showing us that we could work together side by side. and to be a part of a project so big that experience, itself,
helped me visualize myself as a member of society again. >> reporter: you have a big smile on your face right now. >> just remembering it. it's a fond memory. >> i think people on the outside look at a prison and they think about the people that might be here as murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and would say why do you want to give them progressive, positive programming? >> most of these guys are going to get out at some point. what do we want to breed, a less productive person or more productive person? >> tonight msnbc films presents an encore presentation of "paper and glue." catch the award winning documentary from oscar winning producers brian grazer and ron howard tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. that is all the time i have for today. i'm alyssa menendez and i'll see you back here next weekend 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." for now i hand it over to mehdi hasan. >> hi. how's it going? thank you so much.
have a great rest of your sunday. tonight on "the mehdi hasan show" democracy dies in plain sight. the latest on the trump gop rolling coup. professor tim snyder is here to explain. plus the assault on democracy doesn't stop at election sub version. free speech in the teaching of history in school is also under attack. creator of the 1619 project nikole hannah-jones joins me to discuss. and one small starbucks in buffalo is making national headlines after becoming the first such store to unionize. i'll talk with the leader of starbucks workers united about the symbolic victory for labor at a time when workers across the country are expressing frustration with wages and working conditions. good evening. i'm mehdi hasan. before we get started on those stories tonight it's been another day of search and rescue in western kentucky where dozens are feared dead after a series of powerful tornado r