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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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December 4th, 2014
06:23 PM ET

Rep. Rangel's message to young black men

(CNN) – Rep. Charles Rangel's life and career defies the notion that black lives don't matter.

Yet that does not stop young black men from expressing the fear that their lives are worth less in this country.

"My son was a Marine. How do you tell him not to speak out, to be submissive if you think you're being chased by a cop? Don't run, be quiet? This goes against all of the instinct that people try to teach their sons to be an example of – to be courteous and honest and all those different things," Rangel said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict New York police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, protesters in New York and around the country have taken to the streets, chanting "black lives matter," as well as Garner's last words "I can't breath."

Read: Rangel: Garner ruling 'Not gonna stand'

"It's difficult to say in this country just because you're black, that it's going to make a difference in how you're going to be treated," Rangel said.

African Americans have come a long way in this country, going from cotton pickers to human beings with rights, said the New York Democrat.

"But boy we have a long way to go," he said.

The lawmaker noted that because of this case, the United States will face accusations of hypocrisy when it comes to human rights.

"The indictments that we would give to countries because they are violating people's human rights, it's going to be very awkward for us to do this publicly until we clean this thing up," said Rangel.

Cleaning up will require "more than just body cameras," he said. "It's education opportunities, the ability to get a good job, live in a good community and be able to say you have a friend, and someone can say 'He was black?' Say 'You know, I didn't notice.'"

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