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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  July 14, 2013 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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built to blow your imagination. guts. glory. ram. he is not guilty of manslaughter in the killing of trayvon martin. george zimmerman is now a free man after this scene played out late last night in the courtroom. >> in the circuit court of the 18th judicial circuit in and for seminole county florida, state of florida versus george zimmerman. verdict, we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. we have a lot to get to over the course of the program this morning. but i want to put one thing on the table first. as people mobilize, activists made their voices heard followed
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inaction in the aftermath of the killing of trayvon martin, the goal was to ensure that the system worked through the proper process. that the killing of an unarmed 17-year-old black child did not go uninvestigated and unprosecuted. so now the first part of that system has played out. the jury has returned a verdict of not guilty, a verdict we must respect. now we must grapple what that verdict means. we must grieve the reality that no one has been held responsible for the violent lost of someone's child. we must confront as generations have done before us the stark realities of race, violence and justice. in just a few moments we're going to speak with benjamin crump, the attorney for trayvon martin's family. as we get started in our coverage this morning the verdict, trial of george zimmerman i want to bring in craig mel sin who has been covering the trial in sanford,
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florida. craig, describe for me, if you will, the scene last night. last night starkly different from what we're seeing now, last night as the verdict was read melissa harris-perry, as we got word the verdict was about to be read, there was a hush that fell over the crowd just a few feet behind me. the hush that fell over the crowd quickly subsided after the verdict was read. as you can see there moments after the verdict came down, there was singing as well. one i know, no justice, no peace. i'm proud to report the demonstrations are peaceful, orderly, a lot of folks predicting there might be civil unrest. at one point two of the camps were screaming to each other. besides that there was nothing
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to speak of. the mayor of sanford, florida, i talked to him about 30 minutes ago because i wanted to find out whether that was the case around sanford as well. no reports of civil unrece, civil disobedience. the folks who did so in an order orderly. on the surface in sanford in that regard. no demonstrators. >> i want to ask you i had angst about the idea of angry outburst, what i see, although i'm sure people are angry, but overwhelming grief. people's faces look strained and pained.
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anger can lead to grief. i wondered how you read that overall sense of mood there. >> reporter: we saw people crying. i saw a few folks crying as well when i wen over last night. that was something that didn't surprise us but caught our attention. among the screaming, fist pumpin pumping. probably talk about during the course of the show, one of the things in the past 12 hours or so, the six women who decide george zimmerman's fate, they decided they would not talk to the media, not collectively, not individually either.
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also aware the media at this point are not allowed to reach out to them either. this by order of judge nelson. anonymity effect for a while. theoretically it is possible we will never know how jurors reach the decision they reached. >> thank you to msnbc's craig melvin in sanford, florida. you have been on the ground for weeks. thank you for your reporting. >> thank you. >> i wan to brow the panel with me in the studio this morning. attorney lisa bloom is msnbc legal analyst. she followed the trial step by step. seema, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutors in the bronx d.a. office and editor in chief of he's founding board member for trayvon folks, start with you, i've been
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watching your reporting of th . did they make a point reasonable given the prosecution's case and defense case. >> when i was brought in by this network to do this project of this special case, my only assignment was to follow the evidence and report accurately on the evidence. i was prepared to call it like i saw it. if this was a defense case, i was prepared to say, look, this is how the evidence turned out. george zimmerman is entitled to presumption of innocence, burden of proof. i would make the claim this is a good day for the defense. some people would not be happy with things i was saying. there came a point about a week ago where i took time over the fourth of july weekend to review the trial itself, especially george zimmerman's re-enactment video where he talks about the
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placement of the gun behind him. i looked at the holster, the gun, the black of night. it started to dawn on me the evidence and prosecution were diverging. the evidence was going in one direction and the prosecution was going in another direction. i started talking about that on the air and others started to take notice of that, too. by closing argument there was such a surprising number of cases made by the prosecution that i had never seen in a murder case and i've covered hundreds of them in the last dozen or so years. there's almost a script to get followed. defense talks about reasonable doubt, hammer reasonable doubt. that's what they do. i don't fault them for that. prosecution needs to put the case away, connect the dots, connect the evidence to the theory of the case. the prosecution didn't do that. >> they never created a theory of the case. >> they never created a theory of the case. they asked a lot of questions in closing arguments. you know the evidence, essentially, you figure it out.
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i was really astounded at that. i have no explanation for why that happened. the outcome was entirely predictable. in my opinion not based on the evidence. >> but based on the case. trayvon martin's parents, tracy martin and sabrina fulton were not in the courtroom when it was read by the father tweeted this in response. even though i'm brokenhearted, my faith is unshattered. i will always love my baby tray. thanks to everyone who are with us and who will be with us, together we can make sure this doesn't happen again. god bless me an sabrina with tray. even in death, i know my baby is proud of the fight we, along with all of you, put up for him. joining me benjamin crump, attorney for trayvon martin's family. mr. crump, what is the latest you can tell us about the family. >> obviously last night, melissa, they were heart broken
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as any parent would be. i just talked to them moments before i got on air with you. they have renewed my energy. sabrina said something so profound. even though we got the verdict last night, we've come a long way but yet we've got a long way to go. a lot of people said that was the worst thing that could have happened to us with this verdict. she said, no, the worst thing happened february 26th, 2012. last night was a decision made by six people on a jury but that does not define their son trayvon martin. they are going to define the legacy of their child. i thought that was so encouragi encouraging. you watch her and mr. martin from the beginning of this, how
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devastated they were. they still were dignified and graceful. they have continued to grow in the roll of trying to teach people how to grieve appropriately and responsibly even in the face of just horrific circumstances. >> sybrina fulton and mr. martin, tracy martin, have been -- the extent to which they have been holding up the rest of us when they are, in fact, the grieving parents is extraordinary. it has put me in mind of the other of emmett till who in the context of her own grieving launched a social movement, allowed her son's death to have greater meaning for decades. and yet it seems such an unfair role for a parent to have to play. what is the next step for this family as they again do this amazing work of making meaning out of their son's life and
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death? >> melissa, it's interesting you ask me that, because i know talked to sybrina a lot. just moments ago she said attorney crump we have to now call up our sleeves and we've got a call to action to move forward. she talked about how we can peacefully protest to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody else's child. and we talked about reverend sharpton and dr. martin luther king, jr.,'s son, martin iii celebrating the great march on washington and the fact they will focus a lot on trayvon martin and the criminal justice system as it relates to our young people and how tracy and sybrina will be there with them and want to get as many people there as possible so the department of justice will see we are still screaming out for
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justice for trayvon an unknown trayvons. >> benjamin crump, attorney for trayvon martin's family. thanks so much for reminding us grief may be reasonable but despair is unacceptable when this family refuses to be in despair. thank you. >> up next a closer look at this case and the role of race in this case. i'm going to bring my panel in. what if george zimmerman was an african-american man. that was his attorney actually asked that question last night.
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zimmerman was black for this reason, he never would have been charged with a crime. for those that condemn mr. zimmerman as quickly and as
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viciously as they did would have taken just a little bit of time to find out who it was they were condemning, it would never have happened. it certainly wouldn't have happened if he was black, because those people who decided that they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have. >> yes, you heard that correctly. that was defense attorney mark o'mara after handed down. the client who if black would not have been charged with the crime after being shot and killed by trayvon martin. joining our discussion a reporter from msnbc.
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>> in real life i've been doing this 20 years. that's my basis for making this statement. if prosecutors do not put into evidence exculpatory evidence, meaning statements where they say not guilty in their case in chief, this prosecution in total put about seven statements where george zimmerman while there were inconsistencies between the statements essentially was saying i didn't do it and i was defending myself. now, to get the self-defense to the jury there has to be a foundation to support that. that was the support. what the prosecution should have done and what most prosecutors in this country do, you force the defendant's hand. you don't put the statements into evidence. if he wanted the self-defense charge, he would have had to testify. if he testified that one statement on the stand would have somehow contradicted the other seven, he would have been confronted with those
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statements, the video, the interview, re-enactment, confronted with inconsistencies, impeached by those. additionally i want to honey in on those. they would have made him get on the ground. >> not those dummies but him. >> it could have made him scream. that was a crucial issue. they would have confronted him with oh, didn't you take a class and get an a and you knew what stand your ground was. melissa, i knew at that point this could happen. >> adam, i want to come to you. you've been following this for msnbc. i've been reading your report on it as much as i was watching lisa in terms of her on air reporting. as we look at this defense versus the prosecution, and then, of course, the decision made by the six jurors, i want to be so careful because i keep feeling like the easy thing is to say these six jurors are horrible people.
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they don't care if trayvon martin was killed or not. instead what i want to do is back up to this case itself and ask about these failures in the prosecution or at least what seemed like to those of us who are lay people, what seemed like prosecution, vigorousness and willingness of the defense in multiple points to play the race card. i want to ask you quite specifically about rachel jeantel and the role that played in the decision of this jury. >> i don't know. i would like to emphasize, the jury didn't necessarily have to believe george zimmerman's version of the events. all they have to believe is the state did not believe what happened in the four minutes between the police dispatcher's events and the moment trayvon martin was shot. rachel jeantel was meant to fill in those four mince by saying when her phone call concluded with trayvon martin and he was saying, get off, someone was attacking him. for whatever reason the jury
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appears to not have believed her testimony. i want to each sighs, the issue is not that the jury necessarily believed george zimmerman, it's that they did not feel the prosecution sufficiently proved their version of events is what occurred. >> what do you make of mark o r o'ma o'mara's statement if he were black he would not have been charged. >> i was shocked. i had a visceral reaction to it. lets play out that scenario and go along with his claim. a black man 28 years old spots a white teenager walking through a gated community and starts following him in his suv. >> lets leave trayvon martin black. i'm saying -- this is not completely inaccurate, when a black man kills another black man that the public discourse around that is often silent
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because of of our sense of acceptance of that. that's not what i heard him saying. >> you're more generous. i'm cynical. my thought -- okay, lets say they are both black. this 28-year-old man shoots dead this black teenager. the only difference. it's not that he wouldn't have been arrested. he would stem be arrested, tried, adjudicated. they go through the system. they get arrested that night, drug tested. they don't walk into a police station uncuffed, how are you doing, as if they are colleagues of the police officers rather than the defendant. they will bag and tag the person on the ground, tag their hands, do a complete forensic investigation. in this case the only person who had a drug test done on them was the victim, not george zimmerman. he waited in the police officer for a second officer to come, was taken, walked freely do the station. this someone who admitted to discharging his firearm and
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killing someone, he was treated as the victim. if both black, the detective would not have gone house to house saying to people, you heard george zimmerman scream. now black george zimmerman. he imposed that upon the people he supposedly questioned. he questioned george zimmerman. i want to help you out. how can i help you. make me understand this. >> that's not what black george zimmerman would have experienced. >> no. >> coming up, more on the defense's reaction to the verdict. talk with reverend al sharpton and bring in michael when we come back. [ phil ] when you have joint pain and stiffness... accomplishing even little things can become major victories. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. when i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed enbrel for my pain and stiffness, and to help stop joint damage. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections.
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>> i think the prosecution of george zimmerman was disgraceful. i am gratified by the jury's
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verdict as happy as i am for george zimmerman. i'm thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty, but it makes me sad, too, that it took this long under these circumstances to finally get justice. >> that was defense attorney don west last night after the jury handed down a not guilty verdict for his client george zimmerman, a verdict in the trial it seems he believes should never have taken place. joining me now by phone is reverend al sharpton of the national action network and host of "politics nation" here on msnbc. reverend sharpton, what is your response to the idea that it was shameful or somehow problematic that george zimmerman was tried in the killing of trayvon martin? >> you know, melissa, i think more than anything i heard since the verdict, that is the most
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troubling. because what you're really saying is that you have a young male who committed no crime, had no weapon, and he was killed and how dare you even question us. we're talking like we're not in the '50s, we're talking like we're in the 19th century. what he's saying is you should just take our word for it. he's dead. the guy told you the story. so what there's five or six inconsistencies, don't question us. what else are you saying when you say don't have a trial. for people to have a trial is to examine what was said. when we examined what was said, we found out that the things the police accepted in sanford were wrong. they were absolutely wrong. there were no injuries that were life threatening or threatening bodily harm. there was no reaching for and grabbing the gun because there was no dna evidence.
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what they had let george zimmerman go on was wrong. rather than them saying that my client gives condolences to the family. he was wrong about trayvon's character, he's going to say we should not question, the most outright display i've seen of don't question me. >> there is still two opportunities to question george zimmerman. >> hello? >> reverend sharpton, are you still with us? >> hello. >> reverend sharpton, are you still with us? we may have lost that connection. thank you to reverend sharpton. >> he said he's there. hello? >> hi, i'm sorry. we seem to be having trouble getting reverend sharpton on here. so what i want to do is come to you, michael.
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that notion that there was no right -- when i say we here, the family, the population at large, the media having a right to ask how did this child end up dead. >> here is a civil rights issue. george zimmerman killed trayvon martin february 2012. no question. they believed him. the police believed george zimmerman. trayvon martin was six houses away from where he was staying, and he was put in the morgue as a john doe. no one in the police department -- a 12-year-old child was playing video games in the home of the girlfriend of his father's fiancee and no police officer even thought to knock door to door to say did this child live here. george zimmerman has rights, so did trayvon martin. that's the issue. it's not a an issue of whether he's arrested but protecting the rights of trayvon martin. questioning this, i saw one of my heroes on television, ben
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crump, another hero, reverend sharpton of there was no ambulance february 26th, 2012. these men came to sanford, florida, to protect the rights of an american child and we followed in their suit and marched with them and protested with them and stood with them with sybrina and tracy because trayvon martin has rights protected by our u.s. constitution. sorry to -- i know i said that. >> is one of his rights -- this is the piece i kept not understanding why the prosecution didn't make this case. doesn't trayvon martin have the right, he is walking with his bag of skittles. he is walking home. it is raining. it is dark. he is being followed by an armed stranger. this is an armed stranger who we have absolute empirical evidence is willing to use lethal force against him. if in these four minutes that are unaccounted for, if in those four minutes unaccounted for
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trayvon martin was, in fact, having fisticuffs with george zimmerman, why is that not his absolute right to self-defense as an american citizen. he is being followed by a stranger who is not a law enforcement officer who is armed, who is willing to kill them. >> by the way, can i say the castle doctrine where stand your ground emanates from states if you're in your castle, your car or property, 60 yards from his castle, according to castle doctrine if he shot george zimmerman in theory he would have stand your ground place. he's in a place he's allowed to be, stand your ground law, a place he has no duty to flee from. he didn't have a duty to flee from george zimmerman. if he shot and killed him, theoretically he would have a stand your ground case. >> it doesn't work for black defendants. >> we have breaking news -- members of trayvon martin are
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speaking outside the church right now. lets listen. >> my heart is heavy. also feel i'm very proud of the trayvon martin movement. all tragedies are converted to a good and positive nature. >> what's your name and relationship to the family. >> i'm a cousin of trayvon. >> f-e-l-t-o-n. >> good morning, i'm roberta felton. actually, we're the felton family. we're very concerned and very hurt and very disappointed at this point, but we know in the end god will prevail and justice will be served. and just keep everybody in their prayers. just remember, trayvon, as sybrina also said, could have been your son, could have been my baby, could have been anybody in america's baby, just walking
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to the store and coming back with skittles and iced tea. things do happen in life but sometimes it's not fair. it's just not. >> have you lost your faith in the justice system? >>. >> no comment. >> can i ask a question -- [ inaudible ] >> a lot. that's why we're able to stand here and speak. we know somehow and some way god is going -- everything is going to be taken care of. >> at this point you're speaking about peace. what would you like to see. you're proud of this trayvon support, what would you like to see come of it from this point forward? >> to me sure the tragedy has happened this time to not happen again. this is not the first time this has happened. this the trigger that did the movement to come forth. >> do you want awareness spread. >> awareness. anything in which we can help
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our children in a family to not go through this. >> where is sybrina this morning. >> mo comment. >> no comment. >> how is she doing? >> how would you expect her to be doing? put it like that. >> hi, my name is iesha felton. as my family has said, this has definitely been a tragedy. coming from you this tragedy has been the movement, which we are. we would love there to be more awareness. now not just a few people in sanford that know about it but it's everyone. we're proud of that. we just keep our faith. that's what's going to keep us strong and keep us peaceful. so we have peace in our spirit and peace in our mind so we can
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continue on. we don't want this to happen to anyone else again. there's no reason for this to happen to any other families. no one should have to go through this. >> do you have any comment or advice for young people in your community, especially the young people who might find themselves in this situation as trayvon did? do you want to say anything to them? >> i think a lot of the young people at this moment may be feeling very burdened like we all are. they have to stand strong on their faith and know god has it. no matter what, he has it. we give it to him. we give our burdens to him. so just stand strong and be peaceful and stand strong and hold one another open. >> what relationship? >> cousin. >> how old? >> 35. >> talk to me about what -- [ inaudible ] what trayvon meant to you. >> say that again.
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>> what did it feel like inside -- [ inaudible ] >> it's sadness. everybody. there is truly a burden. it's been a tragedy. so you can feel the sadness of people, but you can also feel the strength of the community coming together to hold one another up. so it's -- but it's a burden. it's sadness. you feel that strength. you feel their faith and our faith. >> can i ask you a question? >> sure. >> we have been listening to members of the trayvon martin's family who were speaking outside of their church. clearly some sort of community activity going on there, everyone in their miami heat jerseys. i want to bring back in adam. we've been discussing the not guilty verdict handed down last night in the george zimmerman trial in the killing of trayvon
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martin. adam, i want to ask you, there was a particularly painful and revealing moment there. i think it's the aunt. we don't have all the information who was asked do you believe in the justice system. she became silent and then said no comment. then the next aunt stood up and said our faith rests in god, in the belief there's a higher power that will make things better here. i just -- i felt -- i've heard this so often, the sense i cannot trust my nation, the best i can do is trust my god, yet it feels so insufficient on this day. >> when -- i noticed when she said that as well. we can talk about reasonable doubt. we can talk about justifiable use of force in the context as legal concepts. all due respect to attorney mark o'mara, the history of the criminal justice system in the
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united states is not one that's shown a lot of leniency towards african-american men. when you go back there's not a lot reasonable and justifiable about it. >> thank you. let me bring you in in part, the justice system has a big story, part the prosecutors and defense and juries. the other part is the american legislative exchange council, alec, in part responsible for stand your ground laws. george zimmerman did not present a stand your ground defense. you point out that's why the police believed him, let him go. how do we think of the justice tem in the broadest sense. not about having faith but shaping changing the laws themselves that lead to these tragedies. >> i want to take off on the point of the earlier statement we're going to leave it in god's hands. this is something that every day you hear from clients and from people who have lost resolve. my response is, unless god has a law degree, he's not going to
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help you. you have to trust me and let me do my job. i'm so saddened that these relatives are just -- they have just let it go. they are putting it in god's hands. we shouldn't respect the jury's verdict. to your point you're saying, okay, now, what can be done? it's not just stand your ground law that has given us this tragic verdict. it's also the rule of the six jurors. that's an essential problem that happened in florida. >> instead of having 12. >> just to be clear, in florida it is a 12-person jury but only for capital cases. in most cases we have a 12-person juries for all cases, whether a robbery or burglary. again, this other component that needs to be changed is the racial makeup. there needs to be more parameters on how we can get a racially representative jury, because the way that you pick a jury, you pick one by one by one. so now all of a sudden i have
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six white people. >> that's part of the alec packages going around. thank you. we have so much more. do not believe the hype. the reaction is peaceful. it is not a shock or surprise. we have more on all of this as soon as we're back. >> i'm sad and disappointed. i think it speaks to the value we place on young black men in our country. it's a very sad time. covergirl. when you experience something great, you want to share it.
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forward? at the table tourre, co-host of "the cycle. . father, i want to start with you. you were looked to be on the show, we were going to have a conversation about texas and abortion and right to life. i wanted to have a respectful conversation with somebody with deep convictions on the question of life. now this conversation has turned so different but is still about whether or not we have in this country any actual deep conviction to the question of life. i kept hearing it all week around women's reproductive life but i feel like where is the outrage on the death of this child? >> well, as we were speaking before the break or during the break, one of the things you have to feel on a day like today is the inadequacy of the
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criminal legal system to come to a satisfactory result. i can understand as a lawyer and a person who teaches the law of evidence how a jury came to a verdict of not guilty. as we were saying, my guess is in that jury room, they probably felt something other than george zimmerman isn't guilty. they may have felt the prosecution didn't prove its case and those are different -- quite different statements. there's a deep dissatisfaction if you think as a legal matter, sterile matter maybe the jury did its job but not a satisfactory result given what happened that night. of course a trial that began with an ill considered knock knock joke is being very kind to don west, as the attorney. when you begin a profound trial about profound matters making a joke about the jurors and at the jurors' expense, but even setting that aside, to begin a murder trial over the death of a 17-year-old with a joke tells you just how profoundly
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unsatisfying from start to finish this trial was going to be. >> there's no question there is a dead unarmed 17-year-old and your client did, in fact, shoot him. there may be a question about whether or not that constitutes murder or a killing, but there is no doubt that is not in dispute. tourre, as we try to move forward, as the people took to the streets in san francisco and philadelphia and other places last night, how do you read that taking to the streets? is it an expression of sadness, we will keep moving forward, i can't stand to be alone in my apartment while this is happening, i must be with other people? how to you read that? >> all of those are right for different people. different people are marching for different reasons. it's valuable obviously they were marching peacefully in a disciplined way. i had zero expectation they would be rioting. what a ridiculous right wing
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mean that we were animals that would take to the street and loot in response to this. talk about race-baiting. that is race-baiting and using this sort of myth of our animal nature against us. we're not shocked here. we are hurt. we are damaged. we are taken back to emmett till and others, on and on, we're not shocked. we knew this was possible from the beginning. we waited 45 days for an arrest. we knew the not guilty verdict was possible. it is the bitterest of pills. i'm numb and hurt and crying inside but i'm not surprised. i am not surprised that my people, white and black and asian marched peacefully and demonstrated peacefully. that's what we had to do. you know what i imagine will happen, this hyper partisan divide we have, they will find some incident that has nothing to do with this and say, look, the store got broken into, that was related to the trayvon
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martin verdict. >> i want to pick out something very important. that is the lack of shock, that one of the disprivileges of blackness in america is that you simply don't even expect to be on the winning -- that the riot, which would have only been a positive outpouring would have been over the shock of it being somehow different. i think of the outpouring of emotion in 2008 when president obama was elected. no matter what the polls said, we were a little surprised that our country had managed to do that. >> a lot of people were for hillary in part that i know because there's no way the country will ever elect a black president. we do have this expectation of being on the outside, an expectation of getting less, which is sad in a country african-americans truly helped to build. you do have a sense of having to raise your children, sons as a black mother, saying you know those police officers, you're going to want to not move your hands. you're going to want to keep
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yourself a low profile. you're going to want to be small and unthreatening. the idea walking down the street people cross the street or clutch their purse away from you when you're being yourself. you're sort of reminded over and over and over again that you're almost a visitor. the outpouring for barack obama was finally feeling like not a visitor but maybe we're home, then reminded again, a cold splash of water over your head. no, you're not. you have no right when a person is pursuing you with a gun, you have no right to resist them. >> this is exactly -- i want to talk a little more about this moment with the president coming up. the definitive moment when the trayvon martin story became a national story. i want to ask the father what do we pray on this day. that's next. >> it's truly a tragedy. a 17-year-old boy is dead. both sides had a chance to present their case and the jury decided. that's justice. the new guy is loaded with protein!
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on march 23rd of last year, president obama weighed in publicly on the killing of trayvon martin for the first time. if there was any question of just how big this story was, given that it was an isolated incident in florida, the question made clear that this was a national story. >> my main message is to the parents of trayvon martin. you know, if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. you know, i think they are right to expect that all of us as americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. >> you're wearing your shirt that said i am trayvon martin. if the president had a son, he
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said he would look like trayvon martin. >> that was one of the most powerful moments in office. during that time we were marching, gorge still wasn't arrested on march 23rd when the president said that in the rose garden, we were marching, exercising our first amendment rights to petition our government peacefully. however, i would say this. as we continue to be peaceful, let us not roll over and not continue to fight against injustices and inequalities in this country. just because we're peaceful does not mean we give up. you're talking about alec, for the first time, a tribute to trayvon martin, for the first time in eight years, not one new stand your ground law passed in any state after 28 states passed stand your ground laws in the past years, 2012, not one new law was passed. if anyone was to do something, don't want to take to the streets, march, please, george zimmerman raised over $450,000 for his defense. the trayvon martin foundation
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left $150,000, accepted them $5, send them $1. if you want to march. march across the country today. bring your families. i'm going to bring my four-month-old child. bring your kids, boyfriends, wives, parents. this is not about young people angry, upset, take to the streets and violently protest, this is about the future of this country. >> the danger of this law is to everyone, not just young black men. what alec has done, nra wants to proliferate guns. they want everyone to own one, because they can sell one, then they want more cases to carry one. take it in the bar, the church, the school. step three of that is reducing the penalties for discharging your gun. one of the reasons not to have a gun is this fear what if i drop it and it goes off and i kill somebody. what if i drop it and kill somebody i think is a burglar
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and they are not. alec has created a cure for that, a liability eraser, you can discharge your gun. we've created a big space, use it in this one and this one and you won't go to jail. that's step three of your plan. >> as we march and organize and donate, work to change the law, father, sunday morning, not all people are people of faith, and not all people of faith would worship on sunday morning. in this moment when our country desperately needs healing and work in order move forward, what's the prayer we can pray together? >> if the church is any good at being church, if it's good at it, it's building community. the prosecution's closing argument in the case made one powerful point when they said why did george zimmerman get out of the car. if we go back further, why did george zimmerman have a concealed weapon? why do you wake up in the morning and hide a gun behind your back the way you're thinking about communion and community, that's where this
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story began to be broken. what we want to ray for, we call this the greatest country on earth. presumably a gun toting george zimmerman thought his gun rights were part of a great country. okay. that's a kind of story about american history that had a very real concrete and disastrous consequence on a day where presumably whatever you think of his justification, everyone has to agree trayvon martin did not need to die whatever was happening between those two people. we need to pray for communion and community. >> father bill daley and tourre, i'm going to take this with me, broader sense of communion constituting community, if you feel you must arm yourself. much more at the top of the hour.
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. good morning. once again i'm melissa harris-perry. last night after 16 hours and 20 minutes deliberation a six-member jury acquitted george zimmerman in the shooting death of trayvon martin. >> in the circuit court of the 18th judicial circuit in and for sem nome county, florida, state of florida versus george zimmerman, verdict, we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> the jury found them not guilty of murder and a lesser charge of manslaughter. in issuing the verdict they agreed with george zimmerman's argument he shot trayvon martin in self-defense. trayvon martin's parents were not in the court room when the verdict was read. his father tweeted this in response, "even though i'm brokenhearted my faith is unshattered. i will always love my baby tray. also, thanks to everyone with us and who will be with us.
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together we can make sure this doesn't happen again. god bless me and sybrina and tray. i know my baby is proud of the fight we all put up for him. god bless. i spoke with the attorney for the martin family and asked hill about the parents of trayvon martin. >> obviously last night, melissa, they were heart broken as any parent would be. i just talked to sybrina and tracy moments before i got on air with you. actually they have renewed my energy. sybrina said something i thought was so profound. she said even though we got the verdict last night, we've come a long way, yet we've got a long way to go. she said a lot of people said that that was the worst thing that could have happened to us with this verdict. and she said, no, the worst thing happened on february 26th, 2012.
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last night was a decision made by six people on the jury but that does not define her son trayvon martin. they are going to define the legacy of their child. >> i want to turn now to craig melvin on the ground in sanford, florida, where he's been covering the trial and verdict and now the reaction to the verdict. craig, what's the latest? >> you know what, melissa harris-perry, i talked to ben shortly after the interview and i fond this interesting. he said the next step in addition to looking at pursuing civil rights charges through the justice department, in addition to looking at a civil suit as well, he said that trayvon martin's parents are looking to be able to use their son as a new symbol for civil rights in this country, to be able to provide this current generation with a symbol that perhaps arguably heretofore they had not had. i found that very interesting. we'll talk a little more about that this afternoon.
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in terms of reaction, not much has changed in sanford, florida, the law enforcement presence camped out behind me over the past few weeks, they are gone entirely. there are no demonstrators here. there were a few college students who stopped by earlier and held an impromptu press conference and talked a little about what they called the injustice of the verdict. besides that no one else has been here. i spent some time talking to folks on the ground. none of what some folks were expecting would happen happened with regards to the response. there's no civil unrest. people did not take to the streets in a violent way. i spent some time talking to the mayor of sanford, florida. the mayor told me the same thing, zero reports, not one report of civil unrest in the city of sanford last night or early this morning related to this. >> craig melvin live for us in sanford, florida. again, thank you for your reporting. >> thank you. >> i'm joined now by founder and
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president for the center for social inclusion, msnbc contributor and columnist. msnbc legal analyst attorney lisa bloom who followed the trial step by step, editor in chief and founding board meeting member of trayvon martin foundation and adviser to the family and reporter adam sur. lisa, i want to turn to you because i want to talk about this notion that trayvon martin was armed with concrete, armed with the sidewalk. i want to show you the closing argument where this claim was made. >> now, i'll be held in contempt if i drop this, so i'm not going to do some drama and drop it on the floor and watch it roll around, but that's cement.
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>> that's the claim. he said i'm not going to bring drama as though that's what trayvon martin was walking around with. >> i'd be okay if that's what it ended on. sure, if your head was banged on the concrete, that would damage, maybe kill you, but leave more than two cuts. that's what george zimmerman had, two band-aids. that's another problem the prosecution had. where trayvon martin's body was found, obviously where it ended was 25 to 30 feet from the a grass. george zimmerman's story trayvon was on top of him and he said he shimmied 25 or 30 feet across the grass while still getting his head banged on concrete somehow even though the concrete was a good distance away from him. so many pieces of the story
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don't fit together. >> lisa, michael earlier said the issue of the arresting officer simply believed george zimmerman, the man who discharged his firearm, killed this chimed, was standing there, they believed him. i wonder when you bring that up, is it even the prosecution seemed to simply accept george zimmerman's account of the story? >> i think there's no doubt about that, honestly. the last witness -- one of the last witnesses in the case was a white woman whose home had been burglarized by an african-american teenager. the prosecution failed to ask the obvious question was that trayvon martin? the answer would have been no. therefore, what does this have to do with the case? are we to assume then -- the jury came out and said this in closing, therefore it was reasonable to assume trayvon martin was a criminal because he was, quote, a match took that burglar. of course he was a match only in race. is it anything other than racial profiling to say a member of one
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race must be a criminal because the same racial group was involved in a burglary? you could just as easily say trayvon martin might be a future president because our president is african-american or a great golfer like tiger woods. an african-american walking down the street is inherently a criminal. i believe 10 or 12 blunders by the prosecution, discomfort, squeamishness to talk about race, even though they had the evidence. they had the evidence that 100% of the calls george zimmerman made about suspicious people in the neighborhood were about african-americans even though 20% of the residents of that community was african-american, not that that should matter. but they were suspicious people in his view. that was never addressed head on at trial. >> how many white people walk into that community he doesn't know? does he follow them? does he call the police on them? >> that was in my opinion the
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fatal flaw throughout the case was from the beginning trayvon martin was treated to a certain extent as the suspect, not george zimmerman. even the prosecution went along with this. to me they seem to be very reactionary through the whole trial. they were offering up things in dispute. they never offered the coherent story, a coherent narrative. you have to give that to a jury. you can't say, no, it didn't happen that way. you must say it happened this way. their failure to be willing to confront the racial issues which permeated every aspect of this trial -- >> they got the evidence in of the entire trial. they got it in and were silent on it throughout the trial as though a decision was made halfway through, you know what, this jury can't handle it. we don't want to go there. >> adam, i want to ask you about that. lisa said that a couple of times. you were following is so closely for did you feel a shift that
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occurred maybe about a week and a half ago? i have mothers and mother-in-laws in their 60s and 70s who talk about this trial all the time. we're constantly coming up with 1,000 theories. both of them were saying, gosh, it feels like something changed, all of a sudden there was an aggressiveness of the prosecution that didn't feel like it was there. >> yeah, i think jelani cobb, a writer for the new yorker put it, this is about a defendant presumed innocent and a victim presumed guilty. i think a lot of people watching the trial felt that way. when you read the jury instructions what it fundamentally came down to from the jury's perspective, they were told if you have any doubt about whether or not george zimmerman acted in self-defense he's still not guilty, because you have to be beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn't act in self-defense. there was a high burden of proof
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for the prosecution. i think just the way the law is, the way the jury instruction was, it's not surprising that the jury reached that verdict. >> thank you to reporter, adam. everybody will stay right here. we have much more on this. i'll make a turn next, we'll ask the question is it possible you could be motivated by race even if you don't know it? there is, in fact, an actual test for that. we'll talk about it when we get back. twelve bucks a night! no. they have waterbeds. ew. no! are we near a gas station? [ phone beeps] [ phone ] no. is that from the mini bar? [ both ] no. is that a cop? no. [ cop ] do you know how fast you were going? no. eighty-seven [ groans ] he's right. is that oscar mayer? [ karen] yes! [ male announcer ] in a world filled with "no", it's nice to finally say "yes". oscar mayer selects deli meat, no artificial preservatives and gluten free. it's yes food. it's oscar mayer. it's yes food. i wanted to ask you a couple questions.card. i've got nothing to hide. my bill's due today and i haven't paid yet. you can pay up 'til midnight online or by phone the day it's due.
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we're back and talking about george zimmerman not guilty verdict. race has been at the core of this case from the very beginning. not in the ways we think. often in the american context we talk about race and racism and racial bias, we think it has to be top of mind.
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you're a person who walks around thinking i don't like people in that group. i wish the people in that group wouldn't go to school with my children and live next door to me. that's explicit bias, bias at the top of your mind you know you have. researchers in recent decades have made clear some of the most powerful racial bias that many of us share across racial boundaries is, in fact, implicit racial bias. researchers at harvard university have shown us, you can go and actually take this test on tests that demonstrate we have in our own mind, without our knowledge, bias denies african-americans. >> most without our knowledge. what happens is you see an unarmed black man with a wallet, your brain, when it has constantly seen images of black men as criminals immediately and unconsciously without going
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through a step by step rational process says, gun, and then you shoot or then you run or then you cross the street itead of walking on the same side of the street as a black person. you're not conscious that is what you just did. >> literally shoot. a lot are shooting studies where you basically have a video game to play. what we know, college students, police officers, black and white folks will overwhelmingly shoot with their video game a black men with a wallet over a white man with a gun when they are seeing these simulations. >> one of the things that's so important to this body of research is that 70% of people who are white, at this point the test you just referred to at harvard, over 10,000 people have taken this test. 70% of people who are white show implicit bias towards people who are black. 42% of people who are black show
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implicit bias. that is because of -- why is that? that is because our brains are constantly being bombarded with images that suggest black people commit crimes. while the vast majority of black people do not. hello, i don't. do not commit crimes, that's not the unconscious association that has been made for us by media portrayal after media portrayal after media portrayal. >> for me the deepest of the implicits, you can actually take this test where you have to match positive words, happy, joy, flower with black faces and white faces, people have trouble matching positive words with black and brown faces. >> this reminds me of a couple of things. one in the zimmerman trial he was asked by the lead detective at one point if trayvon had been white, would you have shot him. he said, oh, absolutely. the detective said, see, no racial -- that was the
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beginning, middle and end of the racial discussion. so that issue was resolved. that's me back to brown versus board of education and doll study where african-american children rated black dolls as ugly, stupid, lazy. we hoped we would have come so far in the last 60 or 70 years. >> i appreciate this about trayvon, one point, he may not have been lying when he said i would have shot trayvon martin if he were white. when george zimmerman represents himself that way, maybe he's lying, but it is consistent with this research he could have been telling the truth, he believes that, and it's not true. >> and this is an important contribution to the discussion. we've also heard he's hispanic. he is hispanic. >> exactly. >> and he has african-american friends. none of that negates the potential for implicit bias i want to say in him or me or any of us. if we are to move on, we need to
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have these discussions of race in a respectful way where people can really examine their own implicit racism. >> that was going to be my point going back to the beginning of the arrest where there was this whole note of white, hispanic. what was the underlying message. there was a big dispute if that was a category. hispanics are not a race, hispanics can be white, black, biracial. the under lying, he's hispanic, he cannot be racist. this test shows all people can be racist. we all have something in us. i keep coming back to images we saw on television and in the paper throughout this trial, how we see trayvon martin says a lot about ourselves. when we see, many of us see pictures of trayvon martin as a young man in his hoodie, we see a child. we see a son, someone who was a victim. there are many people in america who see these same pictures and
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see a thug, a dangerous person. >> it was no surprise mark o'mara's comments because he played into that in his closing remarks. >> intentionally. >> saying he didn't belong in the neighborhood. >> the description. >> what f'ing description? >> the importance of that, and you said this. if, in fact, implicit comes to us because we're bomb boarded with these images, if that makes all of us more likely to commit violence against people of color and less likely to hire them and pick them up in a cab, then that defense has social and political ramifications across -- beyond these six people. >> two very important points that i want to lift up that you just made, melissa. one is it's what we're bomb boarded with images, it's also we don't really know each other because we actually live in a hyper segregated society.
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we are still in brown v. board land in the sense we are still greatly socially isolated from one another. the reason this is important, i don't know that george zimmerman had black friends. it's impossible not to know someone who is black. that's not actually the same thing as having black friends. one of the things implicit bias research shows, the more contact we have with one another across race, the more the brain breaks down those overly simplistic wrong associations. it's important issue because we do not have to live this way. >> michael, we are, in fact, living with public schools more segregated than brown v. board. we don't live near each other. part of what has been killing me about this case, this was an integrated community. this was supposed to be safe.
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this is black middle class striving to be in a community where our children will be safe because we like everyone else understand violence is associated with hyper segregated african-american urban communities. the baby was shot dead there. >> i think zimmerman proved maya's point. he said he knew every neighbor. why didn't you know tracy's fiancee. >> and that his son was visiting. >> why didn't you know that? >> when they say -- i still laugh when you hear the argument, well, i have black friends or he knew black people. i felt they missed an opportunity to say these black people that you know, mr. zimmerman, have they been in your home? everyone knows a diverse group of people. that doesn't mean you are real friends. it goes beyond that. >> more on this. i want to take us back in time a little bit. i want to ask what the murder of emmett till teaches us about the
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killing of trayvon martin. >> don't misunderstand me. your verdict is not going to bring trayvon benjamin martin back to life. your verdict is not going to change the past, but it will forever define it. [ male annoue was born to help people clean. so it was no surprise when he set out to give the world the hardest-working, best-smelling cleaners he could. like mr. clean with the scent of gain. that combines irresistible scent and powerful cleaning. and his lemon-scented anti-bacterial spray that kills 99.9% of bacteria. people sure loved having something that smelled as great as it cleaned. that's why when it comes to clean, there's only one mr. vietnam in 1972.
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asthma doesn't affect my job... you missed the meeting again last week! it doesn't affect my family. your coughing woke me up again. i wish you'd take me to the park. i don't use my rescue inhaler a lot... depends on what you mean by a lot. coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at, then talk to your doctor. there may be more you could do for your asthma. remain in the anales of history next to medgar evers and emmett till as symbols of the fight for equal justice for all. >> that was benjamin crump, attorney for trayvon martin's family after george zimmerman was found not guilty last night. i want to remind folks when he
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says emmett till and medgar evers, not because they were african-american men who were killed but also whose killers had jury trials and were found not guilty. i want to preserve a sense that there is justice in the justice system because i don't know how to go on if i don't preserve that. is either the civil courts or the justice department coming down and potentially bringing federal charges around civil rights? are those possibilities for avenues here? >> yes. it's something i've been wanting to say since we began the discussion to this point, was justice served. there were so many problems with this case and the presentation all the way through it. we have to remember before we judge the jury and the system, there can be legally justifiable verdicts that are not socially acceptable, that are not morally
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acceptable. there is a difference. justice looks at the case. justice is not fair. >> this is the lawyer in you that can do that. that can say. >> now i'm about to cry but that's the truth. >> that's the thing, but you take your head and go into the bar there's recognition it is possible those six people made the legally appropriate decision. >> made the right choice. >> we should not vilify the jurors, we should not. >> i agree. >> what we should vilify is the fact we have not built the justice system to be a just system. it is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. this is not a plant growing between some cracks in the sidewalk. this is a system we constructed through a body of laws. the department of justice is going to face the same challenges with this case because of how we have structured our laws.
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conscious level racial discrimination is still at the root of how we understand race in a civil rights context. but the social science tells us we're in a different paradigm. we have made progress since brown v. board and it being okay to be overtly racist and we have made tremendous strides. we are now in a new paradigm of getting to the next level of working on how race works. >> lisa, i want to ask you to respond, last night on cnn, george zimmerman's brother said something about a broader justice system has i'd love for you to respond to. >> that happens in chicago every day. there are many people who go out and shoot other people who are black and they shoot other people who are black and they are not charged for whatever reason. >> so his claim here is, look, there's lots of folks who aren't charged when there's murder, a
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killing. >> first of all, he's right in the sense we should always talk about the horrendous killing in chicago an inner cities. that's a very important thing to talk about. i think the bigger point he's trying to make, this wouldn't have gotten a lot of media attention -- people on the right say it wouldn't have gotten media attention in the races were reversed. it wouldn't have gotten media attention if it wasn't this case. it was fairly clear case of racial profiling and the police failed to investigate. now it's concluded with the prosecutors failed to prosecute aggressively in the way murder cases went down. there's a lot of strange things that happened in the courtroom, a dozen of them i've talked about in the last week. that made it news worthy. this engendered a ground swell of public support especially in the african-american community. it touched a nerve among so many people it hit home, so personal the way you have talked about it in their own life, mothers talking about their sons can't walk down the street, concerned,
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suspicious, walking while black. >> you're going to stick with us. stay with us one second. i'm going to say good-bye to you. i appreciate all your contributions this morning. we are back with more on the verdict in the trial of george zimmerman when we get back. >> we'd like to express our outrage. it's devastating and sends the wrong message to people in this country that young black men are constantly the victims of violence and we do not have a justice system that recognizes this is a crisis. soft would be great, but we really just need "kid-proof." softsprings got both, let me show you. right over here. here, feel this. wow, that's nice. wow. the soft carpets have never been this durable. you know i think we'll take it. get kid-friendly toughness and feet-friendly softness, without walking all over your budget. he didn't tell us it would do this.
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abusive husband and fired a warning shot into her own home received a 20-year sentence after using the same defense last year. however, unlike zimmerman, did use stand your ground law in defense. joining me assistant professor of english, jelani cobb, associate professor of history and institute of african-american studies at connecticut and joy ann reid msnbc contributor. mar issa alexander shoots a ceiling, gets 20 years and prrd by angela corey aggressively and personally but corey couldn't even bother to prosecute this case against zimmerman. so when the defense says what would have happened if george zimmerman was black, this is the answer. she shot a ceiling and got 20 years. >> so one thing you're pointing to is the fact the answer is already out there. we see that black victims or
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black women in this case are disproportionately incarcerated, disproportionately sentenced. all these things are true. this speaks to how violence against women in particular isn't seen as an issue that can be something that motivates us. also that women who stand their ground against perpetrators are oftentimes put in the judicial system, criminal system. the thing i want to point out, george zimmerman and the way his pattern of violence wasn't allowed. the 2005 arrest domestic charges against george zimmerman, his defense was very similar to his defense here. when his ex-wife said she pushed him -- i'm sorry, he pushed her. his response was she pushed me, hurt me. she counter-sued her. so if there was an arrest there, if he were prosecuted as vigorously as marissa alexander was prosecuted, we woopt have trayvon martin.
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violence against women for the taken as seriously as other issues of the ripple effects of violence against women leads to more and more violence. >> one of the many ironies of the case against alexander, one of her rationals for prosecuting was there were two children in the home. the idea that it could have hit a child, offered a plea bargain, didn't take it, charged her to the full extent of the law and stand your ground case fell apart. i was surprised after the jury selection took place, angela didn't see a jury of six women maybe i should be on that instead of my underlings. she is a vigorous, as she puts it, advocate for children. >> i want to show her. we're seeing her now. i have to say, give me insight into what happened with corey's disposition. i was late, tired, emotional. i thought for a mom and got confused and thought, was she on
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the defense. i'm not even being funny. her coming out and saying -- lets listen for a moment to her initially. >> good evening. we are so proud to stand before you and to tell you that when we announced the charges 15 months ago, we also promised that we would seek the truth for trayvon martin and due process for george zimmerman. >> so the smile, the i'm proud. i'm sorry, am i the only one that thinks this is strange. >> no, it's strange. angela corey is not the prosecutor for seminole county she prosecutes in did you hauva. she was reported after the outcry of the nonarrest. she makes these charges, which a lot of attorneys in florida felt was an overcharge and she should have gone manslaughter. that's what detective serino put on his paper. he thought it should be manslaughter.
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she charges second degree and doesn't argue the case. one would argue, an uncharitable reading, a republican elected official in a very conservative county whose result of her prosecution was what the majority of the people in seminole county want. this will not impact her election, no video of her standing arguing with george zimmerman. she's shiiting in the gallery with everyone else. one could argue she feels she did enough for the family to say, listen, i got you a trial. the conviction actually doesn't hurt her politically. >> you wrote that it was trayvon martin that was on trial. >> from the outset, one of the things crucial to remember here, these laws did not malfunction. we have this idea this was a miscarriage of justice. it may have been in the theoretical sense. this is exactly what was supposed to happen. when we talk about what happened
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to this point, what was in the minds of the lawmakers aligned with alec conceiving of these laws? what was in the minds of the prosecutor as they were realizing they were bringing these charges. it's a short-term loss but long-term victory for them. i agree with you also, when i saw the murder two charge it reminded me of the case where i believe they went for murder one and everyone knew you couldn't make a murder one charge stick. you can placate african-americans say we went for the strongest charge and wink and say this is not going to stick. >> no recommendations for any changes. they had this cosmetic impact of addressing the needs and concerns but with actually doing nothing. >> doesn't this lead -- in my neighborhood we have the mayor,
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when something bad happens, call us, tell us, snitch. isn't this part of the reason people don't? the language of hip-hop is the reason people don't communicate with the police. part of it feels like people don't communicate with the police because there's no justice in this. >> that was the cultural difference between don wes and rachel jeantel. he kept asking her, why didn't you go to the police? why didn't you go to the police? the police didn't arrest the man who killed her friend. a young black woman does not trust the police to do skruz to her friend. then broward county puts out a video saying we got your back. >> trayvon martin didn't call 911. why didn't he call 911 if he was afraid? >> every person sitting at this table is a parent. when we come back i'm going to ask what should we say to our
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children? >> young black man can't walk freely from the store without being murdered. it's a sad thing of the it makes you really think about sort of the dynamic in our country, race relations, a number of things. dionne wants to save on dinner with her family. what if changing from fast food just once a week could save you over $690 a year? wow, i'd love that. let me show you something. okay. walmart has a ton of dinner options, and they include bacon! yay! a meal like this is less than $3.50 per serving. really? yeah. if your family of four switches out fast food dinner just once just once a week,
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about the verdict in the trial of george zimmerman. as we look forward we will have to grapple with what we say to our children. don't forget, trayvon martin was not an adult, was the child of tracy martin and sybrina fulton. never forget the relief i felt -- i'm a sexual assault survivor -- never forget the relief i felt at my 20-week ultrasound revealed it was a
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girl. i live in a country that makes me wish my son away. >> i'm afraid for a girl. i'm thinking black girl, i'd rather have a buy. now i find as they are teenagers i'm more afraid for my boys than my daughter. because everywhere they go, everything they are wearing, their demeanor, the way they walk, are they looking at you funny. they are tiny, skin y, little kids that to me are babies. all three of my kids are babies. the world doesn't see them that way. as soon as they are out of my custody, out of their dad and my care they are waiting suspects. waiting to be arrested by police, followed around a store, made to feel uncomfortable in a store like they are not shopping. they are stealing. questioned about where they are, why are they there. you always have to teach them these horrible lessons in 2013 that you need to be really careful about who is around you.
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their dad has always had this conversation about black taxes. you can't get away with what white kids do. demeanor around police, never have we thought we had to have this case around demeanor around civilians. >> i'm a new dad. my child has had the privilege to be held by his auntie sybrina felton. i told him this morning that you have an auntie who is an angel, on this earth as an angel. i would love to give a heartfelt thank you to sybrina and tracy for allowing all of us to follow in your footsteps, in your courage and commitment to justice. you're remarkable human beings. >> i'm brand-new parent of a girl. ivities talking about her dad
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and the future. he said something profound. he probably wouldn't want me to be talking about this, he's an introvert. the world she's grog up in, he said, i don't feel safe. to me what does it mean to raise children in a country where their parents don't feel safe. we can't instruct them properly how to behave, live, succeed when we're under siege and we're under surveillance constantly. so i guess that's the other thing i want to say. this is the moment black people are the most free in the united states, given our long, long history of subjegation. if this is what it looks like, i don't know what else to say, what else to teach them. this the 50th anniversary of the bombing in birmingham, march in washington. these four little girls who died under similar situations, similar duress, i want to recognize them as well in this conversation. >> my daughter is grown. she's 21. she's not grown to me. but she's 21 years old. we go out places now.
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i think back to one of the earliest things we did that was political was taking her to rallies around amadou diallo, explaining how this can work, how we can wind up with a situation like it. we were living in the bronx, less than a mile from where this took place. now, she's 21, i talk to her about how a young man should treat her. when you go out with someone, it's his responsibility to make sure you get home safely. now i'm recognizing she worries not only about the young man who is responsible for getting her home safely, she worries about her father, she worries about me as i'm out in the public as well. so what i talk to her about is your father knows what he's doing. he'll be okay. it's another kind of parental reinsurance that no one should have to make. that's the reality we have here. >> it's interesting both of you have laid the finger on as we think about trayvon martin, the danger of the love we have for
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our sons and nephews. it's more than that it's when you love black men, even adult , that sense of vulnerability and whether you love them in an intimate, romantic way or as your brothers, your friends, and i will also say this, as much as race has been a key part of this, i do not want to miss that in sanford, florida, last night the people who were rallying. those interracial groups of people. if there's anything else we can say, for all the danger still, i appreciate this, there's still this possibility, still this possibility of building coalitions that are broad. up next, a century-old question from one of the most important philosophers in african-american life. it's a question we're still asking today. portant as your cut. now a breakthrough from vidal sassoon helps stop water from fading away the vibrant color you wish would stay. waterproof it! the vidal sassoon hair color collection
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in his turn of the century
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treatus, w.e. dubois wrote, between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question, unasked by some through feelings of delicacy, by others through the difficulty, nevertheless, flutter round it, how does it feel to be a problem? no amount of wealth, no racial privilege, no righteousness, leads to a life without problems. everyone has them. but he was pointing to something different. not just having problems, but being a problem. how does it feel to be a problem, to have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assumed to be criminal. violent, malignant. how does it feel to be trapped on the roof of your home as the floodwaters rise and be called a
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refugee? how does it feel to wear the symbol of your faith and be assumed to be a terrorist threat to your own nation? how does it feel to have the president, who looks like you, demanded to produce proof of his citizenship? how does it feel to know that when you speak the language of your parents, will be assumed to be illegal? how does it feel to know that if you marry the person you love, some will say that you are destroying the very fabric of the country? how does it feel to fear sending your son to the 7-eleven for a bag of skittles on a rainy night? dubois wrote of black men, he simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a negro and an american without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face. this then is the end of his
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striving. to be a coworker in the kingdom of culture. to escape both death and isolation. to husband and use his best powers and his latent genius. this is the dream that will continue to guide us as we continue the struggle. that is our show today. thank you for watching. see you next saturday at 10 a.m. eastern. coverage of the verdict of the trial of george zimmerman continues here on msnbc. my asthma's under control. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say?
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