All In With Chris Hayes,Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 22, 2013
Guests: Joaquin Castro, Judith Browne Dianis, Masha Gessen, James Peterson, David Sirota, Vince Warren
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
The unfolding battle to protect your right to vote in this country. It`s
being waged on multiple fronts in multiple states. We`ve got full coverage
of a whole host of developments in a moment with Texas Representative
Joaquin Castro and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Also tonight, as the outrage over Russia`s anti-gay laws continues to grow,
we`re beginning to get a disturbing picture of what life is like there for
its LGBT citizens. My guest tonight is Russian, openly gay and about to
flee the country.
Plus, stop and frisk and Edward Snowden, what do they have in common? A
whole lot more than you might think. That is coming up.
But we begin on the front lines of voter suppression, with multiple
developments across the country, not the least of which is the attorney
general of the United States Eric Holder suing the state of Texas, two
states suing the federal government back, and a prominent Republican
lambasting the Republican governor of North Carolina over that state`s
brand new voting requirements.
Today, the Justice Department announced plans to file a new lawsuit against
the state of Texas over its voter ID law and intervene as a party in
another case involving Texas redistricting. Attorney General Holder said,
"We will not allow the Supreme Court`s recent decision to be interpreted as
open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights. We
will keep fighting aggressively to prevent voter disenfranchisement. We`re
determined to use all available authorities including remaining sections of
the Voting Rights Act. This represents the department of latest action to
protect voting rights but it will not be our last."
A federal court in Washington had previously held that Texas failed to meet
its burden of proving its redistricting plans and its voter ID law were not
discriminatory. But that was set aside when the Supreme Court gutted a key
section of the Voting Rights Act, leaving Texas Governor Rick Perry at
liberty to implement the strict photo ID law.
With today`s action, Attorney General Holder is fighting back under another
section of the Voting Rights Act which still stands. Meanwhile, states of
Arizona and Kansas are suing the federal government to allow those states
to go ahead with their plans to demand proof of citizenship in order to
register to vote. They`ve been stopped from doing so by another Supreme
Court ruling, though in that same ruling, the court did say that states
could sue the federal government over the issue, which is what they
announced they`re doing today.
Georgia and Alabama are also affected by that same Supreme Court ruling, so
today alone, voting rights in five states are in direct play because of
various lawsuits, and that`s not all. Today brought an absolutely
remarkable moment in a state that has become the frontline of the voting
rights battle, North Carolina -- which has passed the most restrictive
voter laws since the recent Supreme Court decision.
Governor Pat McCrory signed the restrictive voting measures into law and
important to recall he defended it against left wing extremism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Let me be direct. Many of those
from the extreme left who have been criticizing photo ID are using scare
tactics. They`re more interested in divisive politics than ensuring that
no one`s vote is disenfranchised by a fraudulent ballot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This morning, at a CEO forum in Raleigh, just seconds after
Governor McCrory left the stage, a well-known left wing extremist, former
secretary of state, retired General Colin Powell, took the stage as keynote
speaker and basically let Governor McCrory have it. No audio was allowed.
But here`s what he said, "I want to see policies that encourage every
American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote. It immediately turns
off a voting bloc the Republican Party needs. These kinds of actions do
not build the base. It just turns people away.
You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud. How can it be
widespread and undetected? What it really says to minority voters is we
really are sort of punishing you."
Joining me now, the host of "POLITICS NATION," my colleague, Reverend Al
Sharpton. A special two-hour edition of his show will air tomorrow, "March
on Washington: The Dream Continues."
And, Rev, I`ve got to ask you your reaction to the Colin Powell comments,
which I just could not believe he did that with the governor right there.
REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST, "POLITICS NATION": I thought it was a very
courageous thing to do for him because of given his audience, and the right
thing to do. And I think that Colin Powell has shown the kind of
leadership in this area we need.
Here is a -- we`re talking about, Chris, the right to vote. We`re talking
about people fabricating that there`s some pattern of fraud that has to be
dealt with here, when there is no pattern of fraud, when we`ve done the
study. The Justice Department has even done studies. It`s like 0.003
So, clearly, this is set up as Colin Powell said, to deal with trying to
deal with minority voters not being able to vote. This is the same battle
just done with a little more nuance and polish than we had to fight to get
right to vote for blacks and minorities in the first place. And this is
outrageous 50 years after the march on Washington. We have to deal with
this issue. But deal with it, we will.
HAYES: What`s striking to me is that Colin Powell said what he did. He
said it in the context he said it in. But also how few figures there are
in the Republican Party like Colin Powell who have said the same thing or
are in the position to say the same thing. That, to me, is precisely the
SHARPTON: I think that they`re in the position they choose to hide behind
their position rather than use their positions to lead. It is -- in my
opinion, it is totally breathtaking that you don`t have responsible leaders
in the Republican Party that have said what Powell said today before now
and should have come out today and said it, because, again, we are dealing
with a solution looking for problem rather than a problem looking for a
This is blatant voter suppression. It is un-American. It should be
confronted by the leaders of both parties.
HAYES: And that`s what -- what`s remarkable to me is that you`ll
occasionally hear people, if you get into arguments about this, I don`t
think there are essentially good arguments on the other side supporting
these rules. One argument you`ll hear is, look, we`re just talking about
handful of people at the margins. This isn`t going to be that big of a
deal. If you look at the voting population and folks who don`t have ID
there`s not a big overlap.
And what`s interesting about that to me is, if it`s that not big a deal,
why are you going through so much effort to push these laws in every single
state that you have control of the legislature?
SHARPTON: Because it is a big deal, and they know it`s a big deal. Any
number of studies show the number of people that would not be able to vote
when we look at the lines that we had to go rough last year just to
mobilize the vote, they know it`s a big deal. And it`s our right to vote.
And let me quickly add, you hear a lot of them say, well, why shouldn`t
people have ID to vote? People do have ID to vote.
SHARPTON: What is wrong with the ID we`ve always had? The ID when Jimmy
Carter ran and Nixon ran and Bill Clinton ran. Now, all of a sudden, we
get to President Obama, we all of a sudden need new ID when there`s no new
circumstance, no new evidence of fraud.
It is blatant voter suppression. And we`ve got to deal with it as it is.
Just a nuanced way of trying to suppress votes.
HAYES: That is the Reverend Al Sharpton. You`re going to want to stick
around tomorrow, see his special. Thank you so much.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now from San Antonio, Texas, Democratic Congressman
Joaquin Castro, and co-director of the civil rights organization, the
Advancement Project, Judith Browne Dianis in Washington.
Congressman, I want to ask you what today`s intervention by the DOJ on
behalf of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit over Texas` law. What that means
for voters in Texas and you and the political future of folks like you.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Well, Chris, hopefully it means that
Texans will be able to vote in the way they`ve been used to voting for many
decades now. I was in the Texas legislature in 2011 and before that for
several years and saw the Republican majority not only passed this voter ID
law but also make it harder to register to vote, to register others to
vote, to do mail balloting.
So, it`s been a series of hurdles that they`ve tried to put in the way to
make it harder for Texans to vote and these laws disproportionately affect
low-income voters and minority voters. They know what they`re doing.
They`re trying to shave off if it`s two, three, four, five points. We all
know people win a lot of elections in those small margins. That`s what
they`re trying to accomplish.
HAYES: Judy, the lawsuits are being done under Section 2 of the Voting
Rights Act, if I understand that correctly. If left standing by Shelby
County decision the court handed down earlier this year. What do you say
to folks who say, hey, look, Voting Rights Act still in operation,
government could use Section 2, they`re going to work it out in courts,
there`s no problem here?
JUDITH BROWNE DIANIS, THE ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Well, Chris, I mean, it`s
important that the Supreme Court took an ax to the Voting Rights Act and
actually when they got rid of Section 4 which really meant Section 5, it
means we can`t prevent discrimination before it happens. It was a really
But that`s not going to stop us. It`s going to be a harder road for us to
go through. But we`re going to bring the litigation. The Department of
Justice -- thank goodness, you know, Attorney General Holder is there at
this moment, because he was able to push their resources from their Section
5 preclearance part of their department over to Section 2. And clearly
they`re showing that they are aggressively going to protect voters.
So, we`re glad that we have a friend at the Department of Justice.
HAYES: Congressman, one of your colleagues I saw quoted today, Republican
colleague of yours, who said -- who asked the Department of Justice to stop
these lawsuits until congress could come up with a legislative solution,
because, of course, the Supreme Court decision kicked it back to Congress
to come up with a new framework for determining which jurisdiction should
be subjected to preclearance.
What do you say to that?
CASTRO: Well, I think it`s a cynical answer because Republicans know right
now that there is such gridlock in Congress because of the Tea Party
control of the House of Representatives and how much John Boehner has to
tend to them. So, they know that if you send something back to Congress,
nothing is going to get done.
HAYES: Judy, I think it`s really important for people to understand, I
think, in the context of this discussion about voter suppression, that it
isn`t just African-Americans necessarily who are either being targeted or
hurt by these rules. We are seeing in states like in this case in Arizona
in which the issue on the -- and Kansas, the issue on the table is whether
you are a legal immigrant or not, whether you`re a legal citizen.
What effects do those kinds of laws have? What do we know about effects of
those kinds of laws? And what does today`s lawsuits by those two states
DIANIS: Right. Clearly what we know is that the GOP in passing these laws
and in trying to make the moves that they are trying to do in Arizona and
in Kansas is really also about Latino voters. I mean, they`re going after
Anybody who they think is not voting for them in record numbers like they
voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, every, all of those people
including young voters like in North Carolina, going after college
students, the GOP is after you. They wan to silence people that didn`t
vote for them in the past. And so, what we know is that, you knows, this
fight is -- it`s like, you know, it`s a battle among these states. Who can
be the best at voter suppression?
It`s kind of like the, you know, battle of the barbecues, Texas versus
North Carolina. Now, we have Arizona and Kansas entering into it, all
about trying to rip off our democracy and silence people at a time when
people are clearly at unrest, that they are upset about the way this
country is moving, and instead of getting people on issues, the GOP has
decided to manipulate the way that we vote.
HAYES: Congressman, do you hear -- you`re in August recess. You`re back
in your district at the moment.
Do you hear people talk about this issue? Is this something that is a
concern of constituents of yours? Are you hearing it when you do
CASTRO: Certainly. Now, people are absolutely concerned and very confused
about whether they`re going to need a photo ID, whether they`re still going
to be allowed to vote in the same way they have before. Many of these
folks are senior citizens, 70, 75 years old.
And so, there`s a lot of confusion and a lot of concern out there, and I`m
glad that the Justice Department is filing suit.
It`s sad really that it`s come to this in Texas, but the Republican state
leadership has really done this to themselves, and I`m hopeful that the DOJ
will be successful in this effort.
HAYES: Congressman Joaquin Castro and Judy Browne Dianis of the
Advancement Project, thank you both.
DIANIS: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: OK. Up next, new videos from Russia showed just how dangerous it
is to be openly gay or transgendered in Russia right now. My next guest
lives in Russia. She is openly gay and is fighting against some new laws
there. She`s worried the government may come and take her kids. She will
be with me here in studio when we return.
HAYES: Where is the white liberal outrage on stop and frisk? That`s the
question Dr. James Peterson is asking in his new piece for "The Grio". I`m
going to try to give him an answer later in the show.
If you can talk to just one person about what it`s like to be openly gay in
the increasingly anti-gay country of Russia. It`s author Masha Gessen, I
get to interview her right here in studio, next.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: What you just saw was video of a transgender woman in Russia being
beaten, harassed and humiliated. Yet another disturbing snapshot of LGBT
life in that country, the community faces several harsh and expansively
written anti-gay laws, including one that bans so-called gay propaganda.
With the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, just months away, pressure from
the global community is building by the day.
Today, Russia responded to an International Olympic Committee request for
clarification on how the law would affect athletes and visitors. Russia`s
deputy prime minister says the country will com with the Olympic charter`s
anti-discrimination provision because, and -- get this -- its laws do not
Dmitry Kozak writing in the letter, "The Russian Federation guarantees the
fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee
in its entirety." Kozak defended the controversial ban on so-called
propaganda, a law so broadly written it allows authorities to arrest and
detain anyone so much as wearing a rainbow flag pin.
Arguing the law is not discriminatory because it applies to everyone.
"These legislations apply equally to all persons, irrespective of their
race, religion, gender or sexual orientation and cannot be regarded as
discrimination based on sexual orientation."
But "The A.P." reports the letter did not address what would happen to
Olympic athletes or fans or guests or visitors if they make statements or
gestures that could be considered propaganda. Yet, the IOC says it is
satisfied with Russia`s response calling Kozak`s letter strong.
Meanwhile, the response from the international community in a variety of
sectors is escalating as every day Russia edges towards pariah status over
Actor Wentworth Miller, star of the show "Prison Break" is making headlines
after he turned down an invite to an upcoming film festival in St.
Petersburg, explaining, "As a gay man, I must decline."
Miller not only came out in the letter to a festival organizer but wrote he
is "deeply troubled over the treatment of gay men and women by the Russian
government. I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory
occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being
systemically denied their basic right to live and love openly."
If there`s one person to talk about to about what it`s like to be openly
gay in Russia, my next guest might be that person.
I`m joined by Russian journalist Masha Gessen, an out gay woman, mother of
three. She launched Russia`s Pink Triangle Campaign last year, the
country`s first effort to fight these anti-gay laws. She`s also the author
of "The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin."
It`s really great to have you here, Masha. Thank you.
MASHA GESSEN, RUSSIAN JOURNALIST: Good to be here.
HAYES: Can you set the context for us about what has changed in the last
year or so? My assumption is that being gay in Russia before these laws
was not necessarily an easy experience. Has something really changed?
Have things gotten worse? Is it just kind of the way Russia is?
GESSEN: No, things have gotten significantly worse. Russia was never a
gay paradise. Same-sex marriage was not on the agenda.
But Russia was moving in right direction. And certainly, in my own
experience, I`ve been back in Russia for 20 years and have been out the
entire time. I spent probably the first decade being the only publicly out
person in the whole country. And then, gradually, it just became
normalized, as you would expect it would be. And --
HAYES: So, the trajectory was moving in the direction of progress.
GESSEN: Absolutely. And there were gay bars, there were gay
organizations, there are gay publications, gay Web sites in the major
cities. And as you would expect, things were worst in the countryside than
in the bigger cities.
I`d say, you know, Russia was behind the West in many ways, but it was not
moving backwards. What`s changed is for the last year and a half, it`s
been moving backwards and moving back not only toward extreme homophobia,
but this hate campaign has caused extreme violence.
HAYES: You, right now, are my understanding, considering leaving. You`re
leaving Russia. You have three children.
HAYES: Why are you leaving? What are you scared of?
GESSEN: The head of the committee of the family of the Russian parliament,
who has been moving force behind these laws on the federal level, has said
the committee plans to introduce legislation that will create a mechanism
for removing children from same-sex families.
So, I don`t think it`s a good idea for me to stick around until that
mechanism is created because my family will --
HAYES: They`re going to come take your kids?
GESSEN: -- be the first targeted. Yes.
HAYES: Where are you moving?
GESSEN: New York.
HAYES: We`re very happy to have you here, even though the circumstances
We`ve talked to a number of activists, American LGBT activists working in a
variety of ways to pressure the Russian government on these issues. One of
them is a dump Russian vodka campaign. There`s been talk about either
boycotting the Olympics or doing things around the Olympics.
What is your feeling about the effectiveness about that? Whether this is a
good idea? Do you and other LGBT activists inside Russia support these
GESSEN: Some people don`t, but my sense is that most LGBT activists and
most LGBT people do. But it`s easiest for me to talk for myself --
GESSEN: -- and explain why I support these efforts, and I support all of
The reason I support all of them is because the reason that Russia has done
as much as fast as hatefully as violently is because it felt like nobody
was watching. The first trial balloons of this legislation on the regional
level were floated a long time ago. For the last year, this hate campaign
on television has been ongoing. It`s been there on almost a daily basis
and the world did not pay attention.
So, Russia figured it was the one minority that it would use as a
scapegoat, that Putin could use to mobilize his constituency in a
nationalist xenophobic fervor and get away with it. And the fact that it`s
not getting away with it now, as you said earlier, Russia`s inching toward
a pariah status, that`s exactly right. That`s a big surprise to them and
it`s making them squirm. And we need to keep the heat on.
HAYES: The next question is, is this working? Do you think this is making
them reconsider? Are they starting to get worried what this means for
Russia on the national stage?
GESSEN: I think so. What we`ve seen with the Olympics is a perfect
example. They`ve really squirmed because they stepped into a trap they set
On the one hand, Putin said to his own public, we`re going to stand up to
the depraved West. We`re going to protect our cultural values. We`re not
going to let those homosexuals who are a sign of the apocalypse as the
patriarch told us, we`re not going to let them enter our country.
On the other hand, they try to privately -- on the other hand, the Olympics
is his personal project. He personally went to lobby the International
Olympic Committee when Russia was chosen to hold the Olympics. We wanted
to be back in office as president to host the Olympics. It`s his thing.
So, he wants it to go off without a hitch. And when the IOC started asking
for assurances that gay and lesbian athletes were going to be safe, they
really started squirming.
The letter you cited earlier is a perfect example. They`re trying to talk
out of both sides of their mouths. It took them more than a week to come
up with the response. It`s very unconvincing because basically what
they`re saying is the laws are equally discriminatory against everybody.
But, yes, as long as the pressure is on, it`s not going to make them
reconsider those laws, but it will possibly make them dial back the
campaign of hate and it can prevent the passage of further laws including
the law on removing children from same-sex families.
HAYES: You talked about the campaign of hate on TV. And just what does
that look like?
GESSEN: What it looks like is, for example, the deputy head of Kremlin
propaganda machine coming on television and saying banning gay propaganda
is not enough. We need to ban gay man from being donors of blood and
sperm, and should they get into car accidents, I`m quoting now, "we need to
bury their hearts underground or burn them for they`re unsuitable for the
aiding of anyone`s life."
This is very classic sort of dehumanizing war rhetoric.
GESSEN: It`s showing the enemy is less than human, and on the other hand,
the enemy is extremely dangerous.
HAYES: We played clips of somewhat notorious fascist big Mohawk thug who
goes around luring gay men into interactions and then humiliating them and
putting videos on YouTube. Some of the most upsetting stuff I`ve seen. It
looks like you`re staring into the very darkest heart of fascism. I mean,
the very core deepest worst kind of stuff that people and governments do
when they hate together.
GESSEN: I think that`s absolutely right, and the thing to keep in mind
about is that it`s instigated by the Kremlin.
HAYES: Journalist Masha Gessen, thank you so much.
GESSEN: Thank you.
HAYES: Appreciate it.
We`ll be right back with #click3.
HAYES: Coming up, in their haste to stoke racial resentment, FOX News gets
a big detail wrong -- the detail having to do with race.
And later, is all this coverage of the NSA an outgrowth of white privilege?
Our guests will debate whether or not liberals are favoring certain rights
for certain people over others.
But, first, I want to share the three awesomest things on Internet today,
beginning with video that is awesome in the sense that it is just
absolutely crazy. Bayou Corne, Louisiana, is the site of what "Mother
Jones" calls the biggest ongoing industrial disasters in the United States
you haven`t heard of.
The State is suing a mining company called Texas Brine for allegedly
causing a massive underground sinkhole that is slowly but surely swallowing
the town. The sinkhole spans 24 acres in its last measure and it is
growing. The entire town of 340 people has been forced to evacuate.
Unfortunately, the trees surrounding the sinkhole don`t have that option.
Check that out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): The Assumption Parish Emergency Response team released
this video on Wednesday. An entire grove of trees getting sucked down,
believed in upwards of 750 feet deep. Notice they don`t fall over. They
get sucked down into the massive hole below. Just amazing and terrifying.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, speaking of underground
caverns, I had an incredible opportunity last week to take a little field
trip, 180 feet below the streets of New York City to tour the multibillion-
dollar construction project to build a new subway line up 2nd avenue in
This is what it looked like down there. Incredible feat of human
engineering and ingenuity and I was in awe of the men and women, who are
working so hard every day on this project. I`m so thankful to have these
photographs taken by my executive producer, Denis Horgan.
And, that`s exactly the awesome part of this. See, Denis, as his father
would use to say, would lose his head if it wasn`t screwed on tight. And,
so of course, after we came back up and were walking down the 30 blocks
back to the office, Denis somehow dropped the memory card full of these
photos on it, lost in the street and gone forever.
Until the other day, when an envelope showed up at in a Connecticut Church
in which Denis`s son, Jack, received his first communion, and so it must
have been this photo also on the memory card, that a man who picked up that
tiny card in 5th Ave. New York City, identified jack`s name and name of the
church and put the card in an envelope and sent it all the way to
And, so tonight we have our pictures but also an acute reminder of just how
kind and empathetic and gracious people can be and are every single day.
Thank you, Alfredo. Third awesomest thing on the internet today,
demonstration and activism from a guy in a field in New Zealand with a
flock of sheep. This is what sheepocracy looks like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: What do you want?
FLOCK OF SHEEP: (Crying aloud)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: When do you want it?
FLOCK OF SHEEP: (Crying aloud)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: How do you want it?
FLOCK OF SHEEP: (Crying aloud)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Who`s your daddy?
FLOCK OF SHEEP: (Crying aloud)
HAYES: All right. All right. Now it`s getting a little creepy. You can
find all the links for tonight`s #Click3 on our website,
allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.
HAYES: One of the central articles of faith in modern right wing mythology
is that white people are the true victims of racial prejudice and animus in
America. Now, it takes quite a bit of reality avoidance to construct and
maintain this myth, as any cursory glance of data on incarceration or
income and unemployment can inform you.
You know, somehow, Fox & Company have been remarkably effective in getting
people to believe this. They love trotting out this recent survey from
republican Pollster Rasmussen, showing that 33 percent of respondents
thinks most blacks are racist, but only 15 percent say most white Americans
In the wake of Trayvon Martin`s death, George Zimmerman`s acquittal and
national conversation on race profiling, suspicion and unequal justice.
Fox has been working overtime, to try to find some mere image crime that
they could shove back in the faces of liberal media and say, "Look, white
people are the victims of black people."
It is, let`s not be -- it is a grossly cynical undertaking. But, I suppose
it`s their job. First, O`Reilly and others on the network showed this
awful video on loop of three boys beating the crap over another boy, who
they believe had snitched on them. The assailants were black and the
victim was white.
They attempt to inflate that incident into some kind of racial symbol more
or less failed. And, so, Fox started to look around for another story.
And, when the truly horrific details emerged of the brutal murder of Chris
Lane, they got a little ahead of themselves.
Chris Lane was an Australian transfer student at East Central University in
Oklahoma apparently murdered in cold blood by three teenage boys who
reportedly committed the crime out of boredom. It is a horrible,
upsetting, enraging story. But, nearly, immediately Fox rushed to turn
this into a story of racial hate and white victimhood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Allen West has tweeted this.
"We were bored and decided to kill somebody." Three black teens shoot
white jogger. Who will president of the United States identify with this
time?" Excellent point. I wonder when celebrities are going to put on, "I
am Chris Lane t-shirts?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Fox News White House Correspondent Ed Henry even asked about the
three black suspects at a White House press briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Do you have any reaction to the Christopher Lane case?
JOSH EARNEST, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I`m not
familiar with that, actually.
HENRY: In Oklahoma, this 22-year-old Australian.
HENRY: 22 or 23, I have seen different reports. A baseball player, came
from Australia, was targeted apparently by three African-American young
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Except they weren`t three African-American men. One is black, one
is half black, half white. The other is white. That was an official at
the Stevens County District Attorneys Office told MSNBC. And, then we also
learned that it appears the three assailants after the cold-blooded murder,
went out looking for their next victim, according to this man was his son,
a black teenager in their school, who is being threatened by the boys and
called his dad and panicked about it.
His dad ended up calling the police when he saw the three teenagers outside
his house. In fact, that is how they got arrested in the first place. Of
course, mistakes happen in reporting stories all the time. But, this is
one of those revealing mistakes that show how much Fox & Company wants to
use this horrible murder as a means of pushing a certain story line.
The whole thing was so reverse engineered and over determined. They
couldn`t bother to wait and check the facts. The irony here is that it is
the right constantly accusing us on the left of making everything about
race, turning every action and events in America into a product of the
grievance industry, whatever that means.
Yet, in 2009, FBI data shows that 209 black people were killed by white
people in instances where we know the race of both the victim and offender
and it`s certainly not like every one of those violent crimes is a major
story in the progressive media or even any of them so far as I can recall.
And, that`s because we`re not sitting here engaged in the act of combing
through death notices, so we can manufacture accusations that will rile up
our viewers. But, that is precisely the ghastly undertaking at Fox news
every single day. We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEESHAN, 18 YEARS OLD MALE: In the beginning it started out as a police
officer was stopping me, asking me a series of questions. Searched my
pockets. I would let them. Unaware of this is not supposed to be happening,
violating your civil rights.
It`s like total submissiveness to make them feel as though I`m not putting
up a fuss. As I grew older, that`s just not me. It`s my friends, my family.
Hundreds of thousands of people who look like me. It became a lot more
frightful to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is a big surprise victory this afternoon in the battle
against "Stop and Frisk." As a New York City Council voted to uphold two
pieces of legislation collectively called the community safety act in which
overrides Mayor Bloomberg`s vetoes of both measures.
The first bill would set up an independent inspector general to investigate
and monitor the NYPD., while the second measure will expand the right to
sue the NYPD over racial profiling. The movement against "Stop and
Frisk" only continues to grow.
It`s essentially taken over the entire New York City `s mayoral race and
just last week a federal just declared the policy unconstitutional and
wrote in her opinion that "One way to prove the city has a custom of
conducting unconstitutional "Stops and Frisks" is to show that it acted
with deliberate indifference to constitutional depravations. The evidence
at trial revealed significant evidence that the NYPD acted with deliberate
"Stop and Frisk" is one of the two biggest issues in the news right now
about the relationship of how government relates to its citizens and their
privacy. The other one, of course, the ongoing development and story of
the NSA`s massive sprawling spy operation. With revelations just about
every day that it`s collecting more and more and more information.
And, an interesting and provocative new piece, MSNBC contributor James
Peterson takes to task those focusing on the NSA story while for the most
part ignoring the "Stop and Frisk" story by asking, "How can we have a
discussion about civil liberties and security and privacy and safety
without connecting it to the physical surveillance to which black and brown
Americans have been historically subject?"
Joining me now is MSNBC contributor James Peterson, director of Africana
Studies at Lehigh University, founder of Hip Hop scholars and David Sirota,
columnist for salon.com, just joined nfswcorp.com as well. James, what
caused you to write the piece?
JAMES PETERSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, I think a few things
caused me to write it. One, wanted to sort of put on the table the fact
that I have had some of these experiences, myself, and try to give a
broader sense of what might be the way forward for us to connect the dots
across some of these very, very important conversations.
I`m following folk talking about "Stop and Frisk" and following folk
talking about the NSA. But I have seen very, very little of the
intersection of these very, very important issues. And, I think when you
talk about the surveillance state, we`ve got to connect the dots here. And,
so, I felt very, very strongly that we needed another voice to sort of try
to do some of those things.
And, I`m not a legal expert, you know? And, I am not an expert on
surveillance studies, but I -- sort of do a little bit of news and a little
bit news media. And, what I was finding we weren`t connecting those dots
and felt there`s an important conversation to have in a holistic way about
ways in which physical surveillance has been around for quite some time.
And, I think that the digital surveillance we`re thinking about now is an
outgrowth of that. But, the physical surveillance to me seems to be more or
less invisible in terms of the public media and national scene when we talk
about some of these issues.
HAYES: I thought -- you know, I thought it was a great piece for this
reason. I thought you got at the heart of what shows up in my social
media feed any time we talk about particularly the NSA issues, but either
of the issues, which is this kind of bifurcated word.
HAYES: In even in the worst way -- I want to be careful about how I say
this. A coding of each issue racially --
HAYES: -- Like NSA is a white person issue and "Stop and Frisk" is a black
person issue. And, I see this all the time in the way people respond to
these stories. David, I`m curious how you responded to James` piece.
DAVID SIROTA, COLUMNIST FOR SALON.COM: Well, look, I share the concern of
somebody who`s written a lot about and talked a lot about on radio here in
Colorado. A lot about police brutality and the disproportionate use
of police power against people of color.
I think -- I have a similar concern; but my concern is more with, although
not exclusively with, but more with the media. I mean you look at people,
let`s say people breaking these stories about Edward Snowden and the NSA,
Glenn Greenwald, a good example. This is somebody writing about "Stop and
Frisk" wrote a whole book in part about stop and frisk and racial
profiling. And, what I`m concerned about is people who are concerned about
both sets of issues -- what we see in the national media is that only the
NSA and privacy and digital surveillance issues tend to get the kinds of
HAYES: That`s interesting.
SIROTA: -- that "Stop and Frisk" and physical surveillance get. And, I
think that`s a problem and I think, perhaps, the calculation there among
the national media is because the NSA surveillance affects everybody and
because stop and frisk only affects, or is disproportionately targeted at
SIROTA: -- that the national media should only cover the NSA story and
not "Stop and Frisk."
HAYES: And, then the --
PETERSON: Chris, listen --
HAYES: Yes, please.
PETERSON: I want to be honest here, also. I feel like if we work
together, we can get more accomplished. So, if we can find a space or an
issue where we can cut across some of these racial lines and class lines
and understand the ways in which oppression in this case, surveillance,
whether physical or digital, works together, and we have to actually work
together against the state, against the government, to make them honest, to
make sure that we sort of resolve some of these issues. You know,
generally speaking, Chris, I`m much more interested in working together in
a consensus than in some of the ways in which we debate and discuss
politics these days.
HAYES: And, I agree. So, here`s my question for you, because I also feel
that one of the differences between these two issues is that -- what I was
saying before, these issues get coated racially, that I see a lot of people
respond to me when I cover the NSA, is like concern about the NSA and
whatever it is doing is an outgrowth of privilege, itself.
Because if you`re trying to get, make sure your 16-year-old son isn`t
jacked up by cops every day, like you`re not that worried about whatever,
you know, screen of data that is happening in some remote. And, you know,
there`s something to that, but then at the same time it also feels like
this is a way of marginalizing a story about what the government can do
that really is connected in a very direct way to what the government`s
doing up and down from the federal down to the local level.
PETERSON: Sure. I`m trying to push back against that marginalization.
SIROTA: Yes. Let me just --
HAYES: Go ahead, James.
PETERSON: I am trying to push back against that marginalization, but it`s
difficult to do that, because what you`re saying is the real -- it`s the
real experiences of a lot of folk obviously in New York City, but
Pennsylvania also has ""Stop and Frisk."
I think the Zimmerman trial is important here as well. When you see
vigilanteism on the rise, when you see these vigilante murders and see the
ways in which stop and frisk and stand your ground work hand in hand and
proliferation of guns, things sort of become very, very immediate for black
and brown folk. I think that`s where some of the frustration lies.
SIROTA: Two quick points. I mean, one of the things that I took also away
from the article was that we should also be asking questions of
policymakers because you do have a number of policymakers, for instance, in
congress, who`ve raised real questions about NSA surveillance, who haven`t
raised questions about stop and frisk, especially on the republican side.
You got a lot of tea party republicans running around saying they care
about surveillance, but they don`t say a lot of things when it comes to
stop and frisk.
One other point, Look, I wrote an article right after the Trayvon Martin
verdict in which I brought all these issues together. And, some people
said that`s really great. But, other people said it was marginalizing
physical surveillance and physical preemptive violence --
SIROTA: -- against people of color by actually bringing it together. So,
I`m really glad to see this kind of discussion happening, because I
completely agree. These issues need to be seen as a part of one entire
HAYES: The thing, of course, that unites them, I think, is the 4th
amendment of the United States. I want to bring in a lawyer who works with
the 4th amendment of the United States. I want to bring in a lawyer who
works with the 4th amendment of the united states constitution, right
after this break.
HAYES: Talking about civil liberties and the question raised by programs
like Stop and Frisk and the NSA surveillance. Still with me, Msnbc
Contributor James Peterson, and David Sirota of Salon. Joining the
conversation, Vince Warren, Executive Director of The Center For
Vince, I want to read you a tweet that I think in some ways is
representative of some of the feedback I`ve gotten in the internet, it is
"Sugg 4 @chrislhayes: Pick random Black/Brown NYers and poll them on what`s
closer 2 being # JEDgarHooverized? #NSA or #STOPnFRISK. Then LISTEN."
You are someone that works in both spheres. You guys sued New York on this
lawsuit over Stop and Frisk. You are also suing the federal
government over surveillance. Do you see these with each other? Do you
see them connected?
VINCE WARREN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS:
Well, you know, they are not in tension with each other legally at all.
And, in fact, one way to think about the broad scope here is to look at
what the government had been doing since 9/11.
They take the largest number of people and they try to do preventive
policing, preventive spying, preventive militarization. Massive groups of
people, they don`t look at what the human costs are. And, they are
essentially trying to get the risk factor of bad things happening to zero
through the policies.
HAYES: But -- if that is the case, isn`t that what they should be doing
after 9/11. Is not it the case that the old mentality is you wait for a
crime to be committed, and then you prosecute it and this actually goes in
the national security sphere and it goes to policing sphere and new
mentality that`s brought crime down and prevented another big attack like
9/11, is you stop them from happening in first place. Isn`t it precisely
they should be doing?
WARREN: You can`t do that, because if you even try to do that you`re doing
that on backs of the communities that you`re surveilling, the backs of the
communities that you are stopping, and the backs of the communities that
you are spying on. Three examples, number one, the stop and frisk case.
Obviously, black and brown New Yorkers with stopping massive numbers of
people who are innocent with virtually 0% success rate.
HAYES: Massive majority of whom have no guns, no drugs, no weapons.
WARREN: No. Nothing.
HAYES: Right. That`s right.
WARREN: The second example are Muslim Americans. The New York City
police department has decided they are going to be national in scope and
spy on Muslims in New York. In New Jersey, we have a lawsuit in New
Jersey. Massive numbers of --
HAYES: Students on rafting trips, for example.
PETERSON: That`s right.
WARREN: And, millions of dollars in this, zero results. Now, what they`re
saying in both of those situations is that the reason why we`re doing this
is because we`re keeping you safe. If you stop us from doing this, you
will be left safe, essentially putting the 4th amendment against people`s
feelings of personal safety.
Last thing I`ll say is in terms of the racial dynamics, there is this adage
or old sense that civil liberties are for white people and civil
rights for black people; but, they all begin to come together when we look
at the massive amount of work the government is doing against all of our
communities and there are opportunities for folks to come together even in
the work that we do at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
HAYES: David, how do you put guts on the NSA story when even I come in
here and I think about it, where it just seem remote. I just think to
myself, I guess there`s a database somewhere that might have some thing I
have, and I don`t know. What`s that going to do to my life at the end of
SIROTA: Well, look, I think that`s a fair question and I think that`s
where imaginations can run wild. Look, I wrote a piece today for nsfwcorp
about how we have to wonder whether members of congress have to fear what
the NSA has on them before they cast votes about civil liberties. Is there
a J. Edgar hooverish kind of situation going on in relation to members of
congress when they meet with the NSA?
The other thing I think you think about is, "Look, you may be comfortable
with the NSA surveilling America under a president you like, but are you
going to be comfortable with it under a president or politician that you
SIROTA: And, what about when your mayor gets access to this or your police
department gets access to this? Those are the kinds of questions that are
HAYES: James, I think we`re going to see that, you know? -- we see that in
different jurisdictions where people have very different relationships
necessarily to who the executive is. Do you think we`ll see a change if
and when President Obama were to leave office?
PETERSON: We might, but I think at the core here is that there`s no data
that suggests that stop and frisk reduces crime. There`s other
things, community policing, different demographic patterns or different
things that factor into that and that`s the same thing about the NSA
and war on terror .
If we really want to prosecute this war on terror, we have to
change foreign policy and stop making these clumsy violent interventions we
make around the world. There`s long form harder work that has to be done
if you want to addresses these issues. Surveillance is not the answer.
HAYES: Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional
Rights, David Sirota columnist at salon.com and MSNBC contributor, James
Peterson. Gentlemen, thank you very much. I really appreciate that.
SIROTA: Thank you.
PETERSON: Thanks, Chris.
WARREN: Thanks, man.
HAYES: That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show" starts
live from North Carolina, the frontline in the voting rights battle. Good
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Good evening,
Chris. It`s a beautiful night here. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate
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