All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
June 26, 2014
Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, Martha Coakley, Tim Novak, Wendy Davis, Tim Wise
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
Republicans in Congress are taking a victory lap today after the
Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, 9-0, ruled that President Obama
lacked a constitutional authority to appoint three members to the National
Labor Relations Board while Congress was effectively, though not
officially, in recess back in 2012.
The ruling, which puts into question hundreds of decisions the labor
board issues after those appointments, was hailed by Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell as a rejection of Obama`s "brazen power grab". By House
Speaker John Boehner "as the victory for the Constitution and against
President Obama`s aggressive overreach."
Now, the Supreme Court did not actually strike down the president`s
ability to make recess appointments, a presidential power that is
explicitly written into the Constitution. What the high court did do is
deem legitimate the procedural gimmick Republicans had used to keep the
Senate technically in session when most lawmakers were, in fact, out of
Washington and straight chilling.
All this is part of the ongoing fight for position between two parties
trying to game each other in a permanently obstructive Washington.
Republicans wanted to keep the National Labor Relations Board and the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from functioning properly. They just
didn`t want it staffed. So they refused to make appointments.
The president wanted -- well, he wanted functional government. So he
tried to get around the obstruction. To Republicans, that move was yet
more evidence of the tyrannical overreach of "King Barack Obama", a man
that many in the GOP base want to see impeached before this is all over.
And it is those rumblings bubbling up in the base that John Boehner is
catering to with his big announcement yesterday that he is going to sue the
president over his use of executive authority.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: While the
Constitution makes it clear that a president`s job is to faithfully execute
the laws. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s not yet clear exactly what this lawsuit will look like,
but most people see it as little more than a stunt to satiate the
impeachment-hungry Republican base. And they`re not just saying it`s a
stunt here on this network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you know in your heart of hearts, this is
a waste of time now. There are far more important things you guys have to
be addressing than filing lawsuits past each other. By the way, Rome`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rome`s burning.
GOP is supposed to be opposed to waste of time lawsuits. In fact,
they and the right, and the infrastructure of the right have spent years
and years wailing against just this sort of thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an opportunity to stop frivolous lawsuits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have frivolous lawsuits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excessive and frivolous lawsuits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paralyzing and frivolous lawsuits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vicious cycle of frivolous lawsuits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming from two lawyers, I can tell you, we need
to cut down the frivolous lawsuits.
BOEHNER: Or ending the junk lawsuits.
Ending junk lawsuits.
We get rid of the junk lawsuits.
We need to do something about junk lawsuits.
Let`s get rid of junk lawsuits.
Number four, end junk lawsuits.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Junk lawsuits. Hate them.
Now, as it happens, there are many, many areas in which the president
has almost certainly overreached his executive authority. This is an
administration that just argued in a heavily redacted memo released to the
public, the legal right to kill an American citizen without trial. The
administration has defended the sweeping bulk surveillance of its own
citizens, both without warrant and without specific indications of
suspicion of those who are caught up in the dragnet.
But this lawsuit, the one that is forthcoming apparently from John
Boehner, almost certainly won`t be about any of that. No, this has more to
do with moves like drafting an executive order requiring private firms that
get government contracts not to fire people because they`re gay. And that
after Congress refused to take action on the same issue. That, my friends,
that is a sort of tyranny Republicans appear to want to go to court to
Joining me now, Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate.com, where she
covers the Supreme Court.
And you know what my favorite thing about Supreme Court decision day
is, I know there`s a Dahlia column coming. There`s going to be a Dahlia,
right, up in the Supreme Court? It`s my favorite thing about big
decisions. Sit there clicking refresh.
This NLRB decision, unanimous decision, was this a surprise to you?
DAHLIA LITHWICK, SLATE.COM: Yes, if you had told me this morning at
8:00, Chris, that we were going to get both canning the NLRB decision and
the abortion buffer zone decision and they were going to be unanimous, both
of them, I would have said you were drunk. Not two decisions we thought
were going to come down 9-0.
So, really, a strange, strange today. Today in my column, I coined
the phrase fauxnanymous (ph). So, let`s try to make that a thing.
HAYES: Fauxnanymous, of course, because these decisions have been
made -- we had a unanimous decision yesterday as well. The decisions have
been unanimous, but then they`ve had concurrences that basically say, well,
here`s my real feeling about this whole thing.
In the case of the appointments, I mean, what struck me as strange is
you got your three branches. You got your White House, you got your
Congress, you got your Supreme Court. This seemed like one of those fights
between the White House and Congress that Supreme Court is very careful
about stepping into and yet here they did, they just charged right in.
LITHWICK: Right. Not only did they charge in, but then they proceed
because there`s no precedent, right? There`s -- we don`t have a heap of
case law about the recess appointment power. And so, then it really just
turns into a fight about -- you know, first of all, what the word "happens"
means in the recess appointments clause.
But also like an even crazier fight about should we dignify what the
framers would have done or should we dignify what presidents have done in
fact since the time of George Washington? And so, it becomes this kind of
strange fight about originalism but what really happens, and everybody`s
kind of super angry, as Justice Scalia writes, I guess a concurrence but
really a blistering dissent.
It`s all this kind of strange internecine bickering about something
that`s gone on since the dawn of time. So, it`s a deeply weird dispute.
HAYES: And it also is deeply weird in the sense that the context
here, of course, is this kind of, you know, obstruction the president`s
faced, in terms of filibustering of his nominee. That obstruction has been
essentially fixed through an alternate means which is getting rid of the
filibuster of nominees. So the original problem that the recess
appointment use was meant to solve is no longer there.
LITHWICK: Right. Not only that, but we`ve now got a reconstituted
NLRB. They`ll just go back and re-hear -- we`re having a big existential
fight about executive power. The problem, itself, is solved, and I would
add there`s one more valance of weird, in the opinion, in the aggregate,
gives more power to the president but also more power to the Senate and to
the House to block the president. It`s a complete wash.
LITHWICK: So, the court basically gives each of them an even bigger
hammer to bonk each other with over a fight that`s basically over, and over
a fight that has been going on since the dawn of time. It`s really odd.
HAYES: Here`s -- in terms of this lawsuit that Boehner has announced,
the content of which remains to be filed. So, it`s very hard to analyze it
from a legal prospective. But as a general manner, Congress suing the
White House isn`t something that happens that often or necessarily is the
way that we conceive of these issues being resolved between two branches.
LITHWICK: Right. You said before, you know, the courts are very
loathed to get involved in these fights between the executive and the
legislative branch. And here you have a doubly problematic thing which is
Boehner sort of announcing a generalized loathing of king-iness I guess is
the complaint. You know, this tyrannical president, you`re not going to
You know, I think one of the things to really understand is that in
addition to not knowing exactly what the offenses are and who has standing
to bring suit as a legal matter, and the court`s not wanting to get
involved, I think you have this other problem which is, you know, are you
really going to sue about the fact that you`ve obstructed everything the
president has done?
HAYES: Right. Right.
LITHWICK: It seems like not the smartest tactical move, either.
HAYES: Dahlia Lithwick from Slate.com. Read her piece on today`s
buffer zone decision which is up now which we`re going to talk about in a
moment. Thanks so much.
LITHWICK: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Overreach is not just for the executive branch. Supreme Court
today unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a 35-foot
protective buffer zone around abortion clinics. In McCullen versus
Coakley, the court tried to make a distinction between intimidation or
harassment on one hand and so-called counseling on the other. And it found
that, quote, "buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary
to achieve Massachusetts asserted interest."
Now, keep in mind the Supreme Court, itself, is public property and
nonetheless, it does, indeed, have a buffer zone. In fact, look carefully
at this aerial photo courtesy of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, comparing
the Supreme Court buffer zone, which is rather large to the buffer zone
that the Supreme Court unanimously struck down.
The black line encompassing the entire plaza in front of the Supreme
Court building is the Supreme Court`s buffer zone and the itty bitty red
line underneath is a 35-foot buffer zone the court struck down today, the
one for abortion clinics in Massachusetts. Thirty-five feet, that`s all.
Anyone wants to get into the clinic still has to pass whoever gathered
outside the buffer zone to protest.
I mean, you can`t go up to the Supreme Court`s doorstep, not even for
so-called quiet persuasion or counseling. You can`t tap, tap on the
windows of the justice`s car door windows like protesters routinely do to
women trying to access clinics. You can`t go up to the justice on his or
her way into the office, every day with a bunch of people and say something
like, may I take a moment to talk to you about your majority opinion in
Court says safety concerns for health clinics are protected other
laws. But consider this, in a 2013 survey of its abortion providers, the
National Abortion Federation found nearly 90 percent had patients who were
concerned about their safety. More than 80 percent had called law
enforcement because of concerns about safety, access, or criminal activity.
In the past 40 years, abortion providers have seen eight murders, 17
attempted murders, 42 bombings, 181 acts of arson, 399 invasions, almost
1,500 acts of vandalism, and almost 2,500 acts of trespassing, four
kidnappings and 550 acts of stalking.
Now, imagine how big the Supreme Court`s buffer zone would be if eight
federal judges had been murdered in the past 40 years by anti-court
terrorists. If federal court buildings had been bombed 42 times, set on
fire 181 times, what kind of buffer zones would those justices want for
Joining me now, Martha Coakley, she`s the Coakley in McCullen v.
Coakley. She`s a Democratic attorney general of Massachusetts.
What did the court get wrong? They unanimously found that your
arguments were insufficient, that you are unduly restricting free speech.
What did they get wrong?
ATTY. GEN. MARTHA COAKLEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, it is a little
ironic, Chris, as you pointed out that somehow, you know, the dawning of a
black robe lets them say, do as we say, not as we do, and we did point that
out in argument, particularly because this is about the rights of women who
have constitutionally protected rights to access health care, to enter
freely, to not be intimidated or harassed or have to worry about being
intimidated or harassed.
HAYES: Public sidewalks with public places. It`s the place where our
great civic democracy takes place. Why can`t I stand outside any building
I want to on a public sidewalk and express my First Amendment rights if
that place happens to be a clinic that provides abortion?
COAKLEY: Well, because we`ve had a history of violence in
Massachusetts. We have had a history of trying to do more narrowly
tailored ways in which could balance that First Amendment right, which we
acknowledged. But as the court acknowledged, we have a right to protect
safety and these women have a constitutionally protected right to access
So, this decision was particularly disheartening, particularly because
our legislature worked hard and long to get that balance. It`s worked very
well. It`s -- we believe it`s been effective.
So, the decision, itself, creates some bizarre -- well, you know, this
is content neutral, but we think you`ve overly burdened speech.
HAYES: Well, there was a previous case, Colorado case law in 2000
which basically made this 100-foot bubble around -- in that zone, you
couldn`t get closer than eight feet to people to talk to them or to counsel
them or to tell them you thought they were doing something horrific. The
court upheld that. They struck down your law.
Your -- in the Massachusetts record, you have police testimony saying
we tried to do the eight-foot thing, but we`re ending up, like, chasing
billiard balls around the place trying to enforce this and it`s
COAKLEY: Exactly, and that`s because our floating buffer zone didn`t
work. And this particular statute was a carefully crafted way in which we
could balance all the interests involved. It worked. It was effective.
It was predictable. People knew where they could go, what they could do.
And striking down this law seems to me now to say, you have to wait
until someone`s hurt or someone`s been interfered with and we will do that.
We are prepared to go back to the legislature. We`re prepared to do
whatever we need to do to make sure women in Massachusetts have access to
HAYES: Quickly, as a matter of fact, did protests go away after you
passed this law?
COAKLEY: No. We still had people there able to speak and
occasionally people would hear them and talk to them. Protests were still
-- and still do. They`ll be happening tonight. They`ll be happening on
Saturday, all across Massachusetts.
HAYES: Attorney general of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley -- thank you
COAKLEY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, last night on ALL IN, we brought you a special
investigate piece about a murder that disappeared in Chicago. Tonight,
we`re going to tell you about a twist to that story. You do not want to
Stay with us.
HAYES: Coming up tonight, "All in America" continues. We`re in North
Carolina. Birthplace of the progressive Moral Mondays movement, where
we`ve made a surprising discovery.
Plus, I had the chance to sit down with Texas state senator and
Democratic candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, one year after her epic 11-
hour-long filibuster at the Texas statehouse. Stay tuned for that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): The police report indicates the body of Tiara
Groves was found naked and decomposing with evidence suggesting she`d been
bound and gagged. The Chicago Police Department did confirm to ALL IN that
the Tiara Groves case was reclassified from a homicide to a noncriminal
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One thing we want them to do, put it back as a
homicide, get back on their job. Reclassify that and get back on their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last night, we brought you our special ALL IN investigation
about a murder in the city of Chicago that disappeared without any real
explanation. Twenty-year-old Tiara Grove`s body was found in a warehouse
on the city`s west side last summer. Her death certificate reads homicide
to this day. But as far as the Chicago police are concerned, the Tiara
Groves case was only a homicide for a few months before it was reclassified
as a noncriminal death investigation.
There`s a little wrinkle to that story we didn`t talk about last
night. "Chicago" magazine reports, a lieutenant overseeing the Groves case
reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death
investigation. A producer working for ALL IN got a look at that police
And lieutenant responsible for reclassifying the Groves case is, as
"Chicago" magazine first reported, a man named Denis Walsh. It`s a name
that might be familiar to Chicago crime reporters. You see, in 2004,
Richard R.J. Vanecko, a nephew of then-Chicago Mayor Daley punched a man
named David Koschman. Koschman fell, hit his head and died several days
A police report from that case, according to "Chicago Sun-Times", went
missing. It didn`t surface again until after the "Sun-Times" began looking
into the matter and after Chicago police ended their initial investigation
without charging Daley`s nephew with a crime.
"The Sun-Times" later reported that, quote, "The file had been missing
for months, possibly years when it mysteriously turned up one summer`s
night three years ago on a shelf in the police station at Belmont and
Western. The officer who reported finding it, Denis Walsh." Walsh,
according to "The Sun-Times", has been tied to four instances of missing
records in the case.
Joining me now, Tim Novak from "The Chicago Sun-Times", whose
reporting we just referred to there. He`s been the go-to reporter on this
All right. Tim, walk me through this case. This incident happens
outside a bar, this -- and what happens next?
TIM NOVAK, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: There`s two groups of people that
encounter each other on the street back ten years ago. Words are
exchanged. The biggest guy in the other group throws a punch and knocks
the littlest guy in the other group to ground. He cracks his head open,
dies 11 days later.
The guy who threw the punch fled the scene and was never arrested
until we started doing our stories about three years ago.
HAYES: You guys start looking into it, and what do you -- what do you
find when you start looking into it?
NOVAK: Well, we find a case there`s more peculiar. There were people
who were never interviewed. Police never canvassed the area for witnesses.
They never looked for surveillance tape. They never visited the victim`s
mother in the hospital.
The case was just allowed to die on the vine and it remained an
unsolved homicide for seven years.
HAYES: And what role did Denis Walsh play in all this?
NOVAK: Well, Denis Walsh has a couple of roles in the case. Back in,
ten years ago when the case happened, he was a lieutenant working the
police district where the crime occurred that evening. We`re not quite
sure whether he was on duty or not. The police have never said that.
But then, when the case was re-investigated following our
investigation three years ago, Mr. Walsh had become lieutenant overseeing
all the detectives on the north side of the city. He is involved in
several missing files in this case that disappear and reappear, and finally
it turned out that he had taken some of those files to his house.
HAYES: Wait a second, he took police report, police files to his
NOVAK: Yes, we`re not quite sure for how long he had them in his
house, but he did take them home three years ago for a brief period of time
before they were turned back over to investigators.
HAYES: This is a police report that has to do with an alleged crime,
a possible murder, in which the nephew of the mayor figures in that alleged
NOVAK: Well, at this point it`s not an alleged crime. The mayor`s
nephew pled guilty to manslaughter back in January of this year, ten years
after the incident occurred. So he has now admitted that he did throw the
punch that killed this young man, and the case had been classified as a
homicide. It was downgraded to involuntary manslaughter when Daley`s
nephew pled guilty.
HAYES: When you`re someone who`s worked with the Chicago Police
Department and reported on Chicago Police Department for many years in that
city, I`m just curious your understanding of the "Chicago" magazine report,
allegations from several members of the city council that they don`t
believe the stats are on the up and up. And you`re someone who`s reported
on this department for years.
What is your sense?
NOVAK: Well, the statistics that the police department keeps have
been questioned for decades. Back in the `80s, Mayor Jane Byrne was
accused of killing crime by reclassifying crime. So, this notion that
crimes are reclassified for whatever reason, it comes around every few
HAYES: Has there ever been any professional sanction for Mr. Walsh
given the roles that he played which taking a police file home, my sense
is, is a violation of the code of conduct for officers.
NOVAK: Yes, it is a violation of the code of conduct. Mr. Walsh is
one of six police officers who remain under investigation by the city`s
inspector general for their role in the cover-up of the David Koschman
case. Police actually covered it up twice. They covered it up in `04 and
covered it up again in `11.
So, Mr. Walsh is playing a center role in that investigation.
HAYES: So he is currently under investigation from the inspector
general for his role in allegedly covering up what has now been determined
to be a homicide or it was downgraded, involuntary manslaughter. The plea.
Tim Novak from "The Chicago Sun-Times" -- thanks so much.
NOVAK: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, my conversation with Texas state senator and
Democratic candidate for governor, Wendy Davis.
Plus, a special sneak peek at tomorrow night`s "All in America."
HAYES: North Carolina, beautiful place. Amazing people. I was just
down there. It has arguably experienced the most aggressively destructive
conservative agenda in the entire U.S. over the last four years, few years.
And in response, a coalition that bridges both the party line and the color
line is being built before our very eyes. We went down there to see what
building that coalition looks like on the ground. We`ll bring you that
And tomorrow night, another story from North Carolina. Something you
would not expect. The state`s Republicans bringing reparations to that
deep red state. Reparations. You don`t want to miss that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDY DAVIS (D), TEXAS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I think that people
are hungry for leadership that`s going to stand up and take positions on
their behalf. Yesterday, that filibuster was about handing that microphone
essentially to the people of the state of Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A year ago today, Wendy Davis was an exclusive guest on this
program just a day after her star-making turn as a woman who wouldn`t yield
on the floor of the Texas Statehouse.
Her now legendary 11-hour filibuster against a proposed anti-abortion
law launched Davis from a low-profile state senator to a national voice for
A year later, things look a lot different in Texas. That bill Davis
was trying to block, it`s law now. At least 21 abortion clinics have
closed, with more to come. And Wendy Davis is now the Democratic nominee
But, by any metric, her campaign is struggling. She staged a rally
last night to commemorate the one-year anniversary of that famous
filibuster and inject some much-needed energy into her gubernatorial bid.
I got a chance to talk with Wendy Davis yesterday, and I started by
asking her, looking back, after a year in which she seemed to distance
herself from the abortion issue, what was that filibuster all about?
DAVIS: It was about fighting for people, fighting to make sure that
people`s voices were heard.
And, as I said that morning when I began the day, it was about giving
voice to so many people who had signed up to testify in committee, only to
be turned away and told that their stories had become repetitive. I wanted
to make sure that people across the state who were so concerned about
reproductive rights had their stories told.
HAYES: There`s a process question here about people`s voices being
heard, and then there`s a substance question here, which is the actual
HAYES: I mean, just to be clear...
HAYES: ... you really opposed that piece of legislation that has
closed down these clinics and made it very difficult for women seeking
reproductive health services.
DAVIS: That`s right.
And since the bill was passed -- and only a couple of provisions have
been put into effect at this point in time -- we have already seen just
over half of the clinics in Texas close. And these were clinics that
weren`t only providing abortion services. They were clinics that were also
providing cancer screenings and family planning services for women around
The last piece of the bill will go into effect in September. And it`s
the most draconian piece. It`s the piece that will require all of these
centers to meet ambulatory surgical center standards, without any evidence
that there is a safety concern that requires that that be the case.
And when that happens, we expect that we will likely only have five or
six clinics left open out of the 42 in the state.
HAYES: When you announced your campaign, there was a lot of -- a lot
of high expectations. You had fund-raising base. You have an incredible
resume, an incredible personal story to tell, an accomplished legislator.
Polling has not been favorable to you so far. You recently replaced
your campaign manager. Is the campaign going as you hoped it would when
DAVIS: I`m actually very, very pleased with where our campaign is.
I wish you could be here on the ground with me, Chris, to see what I
see as I travel the state. Certainly, in my experience in Democratic
politics, I have never seen anything like it.
And we know that, oftentimes, the only accurate poll is the one that`s
taken on Election Day. I expect that we`re going to see something
remarkable happen, because I see it already happening on the ground all
over the state.
HAYES: The Democratic Party in Texas has been, frankly, moribund.
It`s not a strong entity. It has not been a strong entity in a long time.
What makes you think you can turn that around in the next few months?
DAVIS: I guess I could speak to that by referring first to the Senate
races that I have won.
And our Senate districts in Texas are huge. They`re about 100,000
people larger than congressional districts. And I won twice in a district
where both times polling and every political pundit counted me out.
HAYES: I want to talk about Medicaid expansion. Greg Abbott is
someone who sued against the Affordable Care Act in his role as attorney
general. He obviously opposes Medicaid expansion. Texas has blocked
Medicaid expansion and has more people eligible in raw numbers than any
Do you favor Medicaid expansion? Will you make that a priority if
DAVIS: I do. I absolutely do, and, you know, for a myriad of
reasons, not the least of which is that, in the next 10 years, Texans will
pay about $100 billion to the federal level that will go to subsidize
health care in California and New York, rather than come back to Texas and
work for us in our own economy.
We also will cover between one million and 1.5 million hardworking
Texans through Medicaid expansion, and there`s the expectation through
economic analyses that have been done of what it will mean for our state
that demonstrate a stimulus effect of about 300,000 jobs per year.
And what`s so important about that is not just that sheer number, but
the fact that those dollars will go to some of our most economically
depressed areas in the state...
HAYES: That`s right.
DAVIS: ... and help create job growth where it`s most needed.
HAYES: Some of those economically -- most economically depressed
areas are, of course, in -- along the border.
I would like to get your reaction to the current unfolding
humanitarian crisis as regards unaccompanied minors and whether you think
the federal government is doing the right thing right now.
DAVIS: Yes, we are hearing from Border Patrol. And I met with them
personally in McAllen on Monday. They`re processing between 1,000 and
1,200 people per day.
What I have asked at the federal level is that they send to us
immigration judges who can properly, efficiently, and effectively, while we
have these people here in our community, put them through a proper
immigration hearing process, where appropriate, repatriate them, where not,
make sure that we help move them along and to a productive part of our
community and a safe part of our community.
About 20 percent of the people who are coming in every day are
unaccompanied minors. It`s a heartbreaking situation.
HAYES: State Senator Wendy Davis, Democratic nominee for governor in
Texas, thank you so much.
DAVIS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right, fusion, you know fusion? When harnessed in
physics, it can unleash awe-inspiring power. And fusion can do the same in
politics. I will explain in tonight`s "ALL IN America" dispatch ahead.
HAYES: If you have missed any of our "ALL IN America" stories this
week, never fear. You can watch them online. You can also find a sneak
peek at tomorrow`s story and behind-the-scenes photos on
HAYES: Tonight on "ALL IN America," if you have watched our show, you
have heard the story of the conservative wave in North Carolina, a state
where all three branches of government are now under Republican control for
the first time since the 1800s, a state where that power has been used to
cut unemployment benefits, to pass voter I.D. laws, to opt out of Medicaid
And you have also heard about the progressive response to that, Moral
Well, we got a chance to go down to North Carolina to look at the
secret ingredient in the Moral Monday movement. It`s called a fusion
HAYES: You ever thought you would be working with the president of
NAACP from North Carolina?
ADAM O`NEAL (R), MAYOR OF BELHAVEN, NORTH CAROLINA: No, no, I never
did, but something I have learned through this process is that, you know,
when you have a common goal, people can work together if they try.
HAYES (voice-over): It`s one of the hardest things to do in all of
American politics, bring African-Americans and white people into the same
coalition in the South.
Reverend William Barber II is the president of the North Carolina
NAACP. He comes from four generations of pastors and, for 21 years, he`s
been preaching on Sunday mornings at the Green Leaf Christian Church in
Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Barber has been working for years to create a cross-racial,
nonpartisan coalition in the state.
REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA NAACP: What we
call a homegrown, indigenously-led, state-government-focused, deeply moral,
deeply constitutional, pro-justice, pro-labor, anti-racist, anti-poverty,
transformative, fusion coalition.
HAYES: On November 6, 2012, organizers in the state faced a new
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Ladies and gentlemen, it`s time
for a Carolina comeback. It starts tonight. God bless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with that, North Carolina`s first Republican
governor in two decades claims victory.
HAYES: With one of their own in the governor`s mansion, North
Carolina Republicans didn`t waste any time pushing forward a right-wing
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, the Statehouse voted in favor of stricter
regulations on abortion clinics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A large crowd gathered in downtown Asheville
today to protest North Carolina`s cuts to education.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor McCrory and Republicans in the General
Assembly won`t expand Medicaid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State lawmakers debate major changes to North
Carolina`s voting law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new law requires a photo I.D. to vote now in
North Carolina, also shortens the early voting period in the state.
HAYES: Today, less than six years after the state went for Barack
Obama, Republicans in North Carolina control the entire lawmaking process.
BARBER: The first work of a moral movement is to snatch people out of
depression. When these folks took over in Raleigh last year, people went,
oh, lord, they got a supermajority, what are we going to do? And some of
us said, well, what did we do in the past? What did Dr. King do, what did
young people do?
They stood up. They refused to accept reality as it was being told by
the dominant power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re asking you to disperse, cease and disperse.
We will give you five minutes.
HAYES: Since April of last year, Reverend Barber has been showing up
at the North Carolina legislature protesting what he calls an immoral
BARBER: We ought to have a mass sit-in and sit in everywhere in every
house, in every hall all over the General Assembly.
HAYES: Week by week, month by month, the Moral Mondays movement has
grown, in part by engaging ordinary folks around the state`s Republican
Joy Boothe has been living in high mountains of Yancey County, North
Carolina, since the 1970s.
JOY BOOTHE, ACTIVIST: Yes, it`s very conservative. It`s a
predominantly white community.
HAYES: Boothe was born in Southern Alabama to generations of
BOOTHE: My dad`s mom was 17 years old, and there was no health care
in the area, and she basically came out of field to have my dad, got an
infection, and died when my daddy was six weeks old. I saw what it`s like
to live in a community where there`s very little, if no -- with no health
HAYES: Last year, Boothe found herself drawn to the Moral Monday
BOOTHE: I made a vow as a child that, if I could, I would break the
cycle of poverty, you know, of domestic violence, that I would do my best
to break those cycles. So, that`s why I`m willing to talk to you today.
HAYES: Boothe`s activism has come at a cost.
BOOTHE: Not all of my relatives in the Deep South agree with me. And
as I became more involved and more visible, people stopped being my friend.
Cousins stopped being my friend on Facebook. So, it`s a big deal for me to
stand here and talk so openly to you just as myself, because I love my
HAYES: Boothe has made the four-hour trip to Raleigh half-a-dozen
BOOTHE: We must get the vote out.
HAYES: Last year, she spoke to her neighbors, nearly one in five of
whom lives below the poverty line, at a Moral Monday demonstration in
(on camera): How do you neighbors feel about what`s happening in the
BOOTHE: I will be honest. It`s hard for people to follow. It`s hard
for people to follow politics. They`re angry. Sometimes, they`re not even
know who sure to be angry at. They know it`s not fair. But that`s an
HAYES (voice-over): But it`s not just in Yancey County that the Moral
Monday movement is finding allies. It`s neighboring Mitchell County, too.
BARBER: After 13 weeks of Moral Monday last year, I got an invitation
to go to Mitchell County. And at first, I said I`m not going to Mitchell
County. In 1920, all the black folk were run out of Mitchell County
because of an alleged rape, OK? Put on a train. Get out of here. In my
practical mind, it says that`s a waste of time. That`s a stronghold.
HAYES: Mitchell County is 97 percent white. Yancey County is almost
97 percent white. In May, the NAACP officially opened a Mitchell-Yancey
County branch, one of five new the chapters in the state that are majority
Reverend Barber has found you can organize across race and party if
you focus on what matters to people where they live.
(on camera): You a Democrat or Republican?
O`NEAL: All my life.
HAYES: You consider yourself a conservative Republican?
HAYES (voice-over): Adam O`Neal is the Republican mayor of Belhaven,
North Carolina, a rural oceanside town, home to Vidant Pungo Hospital.
Last year, Vidant Health, which owns the hospital along with a group of
investors, announced they would be closing Pungo.
The president of Vidant Community Hospitals told ALL IN, "The failure
to expand Medicaid in North Carolina does affect the number of patients we
care for that would have been covered under this program, but the expansion
of Medicaid would not have altered this decision."
But it`s hard to overstate how important the hospital is to the town
of Belhaven. It serves a county-and-a-half and is the largest employer in
the town. If it closes, O`Neal says residents would have to drive 75
minutes to the nearest emergency room.
Kris (ph) Noble, a Methodist minister in town, says he`s alive today
because of Pungo.
(on camera): And what happened?
REV. KRIS NOBLE, METHODIST MINISTER: Well, it was January 12, Sunday
morning, 2:00 a.m., and I had a heart attack in the parsonage down here.
And I coded before I got to the hospital here. And I was dead for 35
minutes. They air-flighted me over to Greenville. And if it hadn`t been
for this emergency room, you wouldn`t be interviewing me right now.
HAYES (voice-over): Right now, the hospital is scheduled to close on
July 1. Despite Vidant`s statements, Mayor O`Neal blames his fellow
Republicans in the capital.
O`NEAL: The thing is, if the governor is not going to -- and the
legislature isn`t going to accept Medicaid expansion, then they need to be
coming up with their own program to help these rural hospitals, because the
fact is, if these hospitals close, people are going to die.
HAYES: The mayor has teamed up with two local NAACP chapters and
Reverend Barber to fight the closing.
O`NEAL: I have been extremely impressed by him. We don`t agree on
all issues, but on Medicaid expansion, we do agree.
HAYES: You can look at the current politics of North Carolina in one
of two ways, as permanent, enduring, a product of the unique history of the
South, or you can choose to look at them the way Reverend Barber does and
think it doesn`t have to be that way.
HAYES: Up next, Melissa Harris-Perry, who knows North Carolina, lived
there for years, and is right now in the process of moving back into the
belly of the beast, will talk about it. Stay with us.
HAYES: We`re back.
And joining me now, my MSNBC colleague and dear friend Melissa Harris-
Perry, also a professor now in Wake Forest in North Carolina, and Tim Wise,
author of the book "Dear White America."
All right, Melissa Harris-Perry, this has been done before at odd
moments. What is the history of this kind of cross-racial organizing that
we`re seeing now in Moral Mondays movements? Because it does go back.
We`re looking at Mississippi Summer, Freedom Summer in Mississippi. We
know that iconic photo of the three folks, two of whom are white, one of
whom is black. There have been moments before when it`s been pulled off.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, a couple of things.
I mean, one, when we talk about Southern exceptionalism, it matters.
The South is exceptional, but not quite in the way I think that non-
Southerners tend to think of it, which is that it`s just so utterly
backward and so utterly racially divided, because, in fact, often quite the
There`s a level of intimacy interracially in the U.S. South that
hasn`t always led to equality, but has meant that there have been moments
when interracial political movements could emerge, in part because people
are intimate with one another, because they know one another.
And so we have seen at various moments, most strikingly, of course,
immediately after the Civil War, during a period when there was this
opportunity for Reconstruction, when basically the non-landholders, the
laboring poor white agricultural workers in the U.S. South saw their
interests as potentially connected to that of the newly freed, formerly
And in those moments what we see is what I suspect will happen here,
which is to say that there are strategic partnerships, but we probably
should not expect enduring, long-term coalitional change.
HAYES: Right. And you saw that. I saw that in Pungo, right?
Because, in fact, one of the people that we spoke to, that Methodist
minister that coded, he also said, I`m conservative. Like, I don`t like
Obamacare. I don`t think even we should have Medicaid expansion. I`m
telling you, I like this hospital, we should keep this hospital, but don`t
sign me up for anything else.
It`s funny you mentioned Reconstruction.
Tim, Reverend Barber always talks about a constitutional movement.
He`s talking about the North Carolina constitution. And for a long time, I
was like, why are you so into the North Carolina constitution? And then he
explained to me it`s a Reconstruction document. It`s a document that was
written in Reconstruction.
Why -- traditionally, why do these coalitions fall apart? What are
the obstacles to them historically and, you know, today?
TIM WISE, AUTHOR, "WHITE LIKE ME": Well, one of the things that
divides these coalitions is the deliberate exploitation of racial tension
by governors, by right-wing politicians. The populist movement in the
1890s was destroyed by that.
But let`s remember, and this is really important, we have been denied
this history. There`s this idea that the history of the cross-racial
struggle has been black and brown Southerners and then nice white Northern
WISE: But the reality is, the civil rights struggle involved a lot of
white folks who weren`t from the North.
Bob Zellner wasn`t a Northerner. Anne Braden wasn`t a Northerner.
Connie Curry wasn`t a Northerner. Mab Segrest is not a Northerner, Will
Campbell not a Northerner. These were Southerners who stood shoulder to
shoulder with black folks. Now, there weren`t enough of them. But they
And that stretches back all the way not just to Reconstruction, the
colonial period in Colonial, Virginia, Bacon`s Rebellion, landless white
folks who realized they had more in common with African enslaved persons
than with the rich.
And so if we can tap into that historical recognition that working-
class people have far more in common, regardless of race, than that which
divides us, then I think the folks in North Carolina and throughout the
country who try to do this work will be on to something that is quite
HAYES: You know, I think about that in those terms, too, right? You
look at Medicaid expansion. It was nice and concrete. Right?
It`s just madness as policy. It`s just not -- I think it`s a pretty
indefensible policy, right? But, at the same time, it`s like there a lot
of people, white folks in North Carolina who are just conservatives. They
think abortion is murder. They really believe that.
HARRIS-PERRY: There`s a lot of black folks in North Carolina who
think abortion is murder.
HAYES: Right. But so then the question is, why do they get sorted in
the way they get sorted, right, because that idea that, like, your class
interests or your interest in good policy can overcome these sort of false-
conscious beliefs, that always seems to me, like, unpersuasive.
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, right, because, it`s not false consciousness.
HAYES: Right. That`s right.
HARRIS-PERRY: It`s about the salience of any given issue. Right?
And so the fact is that whiteness is a really valuable privilege. It
simply is. Right? And so to suggest that, oh, you should vote your class
interest and not your race interest is odd. Like, you know, if you have
whiteness, there`s a lot of good reasons to protect it. Right?
But I think part of what we see happening under this particular
extreme version of the North Carolina Republican regime is two things that
are really critical around the question of whiteness, one, North Carolina
white voters have often seen themselves as different...
HARRIS-PERRY: ... as a different kind of Southerner, as more
advanced, more progressive, and even when...
HAYES: Prided themselves. There`s been a brand around North
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. There`s a brand of North Carolina that is being
And the second thing is, as much as there is undoubtedly racism in
North Carolina, as there is, by the way, in New York and in all parts of
the U.S., there`s also this sense of, this is just -- this has gone so far
that it literally is stripping white privilege. Like, whiteness doesn`t
even get you over in what is now happening.
HAYES: Yes. That`s -- and, Tim, that was what I was -- to watch
Reverend Barber and the folks around him -- and it`s not just Reverend
Barber. I should be very clear. There are a lot of different people.
There are two different county NAACP presidents that we talked to that
launched this lawsuit.
But to see them organize on that, right, it`s not like come join our
movement. It`s, what is going on down here? How can we help you keep this
hospital? That`s where organizing really starts.
WISE: That`s absolutely right.
And here`s the bottom line. The whole trick and lie of whiteness for
400 years has been this idea that you can take white folks who do not have
a shirt on their back hardly and say, well, I may not have much, but at
least I`m not black.
But here`s the bottom line. At the end of the day, whiteness will not
pay your hospital bill. Whiteness will not make college affordable for
you. Whiteness will not get you a raise or allow you to survive at a
decent standard of living. So, what I think we`re seeing in the modern
economy are some of the limits of whiteness as property.
And I hope that, as a result of that, the movements like that in North
Carolina will gain traction all around the country, and we will have
HAYES: Well, let me tell you, as we left Belhaven, the mayor said, do
not give up on this Pungo hospital. We need this hospital, and we`re not
going to give up on it
Melissa Harris-Perry, you can catch her show weekends 10:00 a.m.
Eastern here on MSNBC. And, Tim Wise, thank you.
HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening.
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