All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, September 8th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 8, 2014
Guest: Dave Zirin, David Cornwell, Juan Cole, Etan Thomas, Rep. Luis
Gutierrez, Jess McIntosh
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, on ALL IN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVENS HEAD COACH: It is something we saw for the
first time today, you know, all of us. And, it changed things of course.
HAYES (voice-over): Renewed outrage as new video services of NFL running
back Ray Rice punching his then-fianc‚. The league goes into damage
control. The Ravens cut Rice from the team. The NFL suspends him
indefinitely, but is it too little too late? Then, the strategy.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The next
phase is now to start going on some offense.
HAYES (voice-over): The country is going back on a war footing. Tonight,
we have new details about the President`s game plan for ISIS. And, the
fallout, as President Obama delays action on immigration until after the
midterm elections. What now? The millions of lives hanging in the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: This cannot continue. Our families are
suffering. And, we need for the President to take action immediately.
HAYES (voice-over): ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I am Chris Hayes. Tonight, the NFL
finds himself the center of a firestorm with the release of a graphic video
showing Baltimore Ravens Running Back, Ray Rice, punching his then-fianc‚.
A video released by TMZ sports has reignited outrage over the NFL`s
handling of domestic violence. And, with hours of its release, Rice was
terminated from the team and suspended indefinitely from the NFL. We will
show you this portion of the video once with a warning it contains physical
HAYES: This is not the first we have heard of this incident. You will
recall that months ago another video from TMZ, the one you see here showed
the aftermath of that same altercation between Rice and Palmer, his then-
fianc‚, with Rice scene dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer at the
That newly-released video also shows that same scene from a new angle.
Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator and basically dropping her to the
floor. Rice was charged with felony assault of the incident. A charge
that was later reduced to court-supervised counseling after Janay Palmer
now Rice, who is by then-Janay Rice refused to testify against her husband.
When the first video was released and as the details of the incident
emerged, there was outrage over the NFL, having suspended Rice for only two
games. This, in a league that had seen multiple game suspensions for
marijuana possession. But, today, after the new more graphic video was
released, Rice`s contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated with a
tweet from the Ravens announcing the action at 2:18 Eastern Time, soon
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodel, announced he had imposed an indefinite
suspension and Rice will have to apply to be reinstated. Just moments ago,
Baltimore Ravens` Head Coach, John Harbaugh, addressed today`s events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARBAUGH: We had a chance after seeing something this morning -- seeing
the video this morning, we had a chance to get together with Steve, Dick,
Ozzie and myself and we had a meeting. It was not a long meeting. We came
to the decision -- we came to -- to release Ray. And, that is what we did.
So, you know that.
We had a chance to talk with Ray along with Ozzie this afternoon after we
did it. And, you know, I had nothing but hope and goodwill for Ray and
Janay. And, we will do whatever we can, going forward to help them as they
go forward and try to make the best of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Harbaugh referring their decision made by himself and others int he
Ravens` organization including its owner, Steve Bisciotti. Other than
wishing the Rices the best, as they get through this in a personal level.
Harbaugh deflected further questions about the incident and the
consequences for the NFL`s response.
Joining me now, MSNBC Contributor, Goldie Taylor and Dave Zirin, Sports
Editor at "The Nation," host of Edge of Sports Radio for Sirius XM Radio.
And, Dave, this is an astounding day for a number of reasons.
One is nothing in that video is anything other than what, basically,
everyone knew happened in that elevator when the initial fire storm
happened. And, number two, I have never seen a league or a institution as
large as the NFL as too big to fail to act more ineptly than they have over
this entire incident.
DAVE ZIRIN, "THE NATION" SPORTS EDITOR: Yes. And, they have always acted
ineptly on the issue of domestic violence. And, even the message they sent
today, both the Baltimore Ravens and the National Football League is quite
bluntly, if you are going to hit your partner, make sure you are not caught
on video tape. That was, certainly, the message that I received from John
Harbaugh`s press conference that took place right before this program.
They all said they were also shocked when they saw the video. Everybody
knows what happened on that elevator. And, maybe the showing of the video
does shock some people to seeing the reality of domestic violence. But,
the fact of the matter is Janay Rice did not give consent for that video to
I do not believe that the bottom feeders at TMZ give one damn about women`s
liberation or violence against women. And, all of this does, frankly, is
re-victimized Janay Rice, over and over. And, I am just shocked that way
that the NFL has treated this like a public relations problem.
HAYES: OK. That is true. But, Goldie do you agree with that? There is
this question about what is the significance of video if all it does is
show the thing that people knew abstractly and yet, we are seeing that the
reaction, whether overly dramatized or sort of fake outrage from a lot of
quarters, who should know better, is having a real effect?
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think Ray Rice was allowed
to lie. He lied to his teammates. He lied to NFL executives. He lied to
his coaches. He lied to this country. And, then there are people on
social media who carried that lie for him. It all fell apart with the
showing of that video tape today.
You know, I have got some reservations about playing it on constant loop.
But, I think people do need to see it. I think people do need to see the
very raw brutality that is domestic violence up close and personal. You
know, was she -- did she do something that somehow mitigates what he did to
her? She actually did not. So, that word, provocation needs to be thrown
away. I hope, you know, really, once and for all.
But, at the end of the day, what we saw on that elevator was not really
domestic violence. It was aggravated assault. It was a felony that should
be prosecuted by a district attorney, who failed in their job, who put this
young man into a diversionary program. The NFL took their hat tip from
them and then gave him a two-day suspension. So, everybody, everybody,
took a walk on this when we knew better. We knew what happened on that
HAYES: The District Attorney, Jim McClain, in New Jersey, of course, the
one who allowed that plea, essentially, be negotiated down to supervised
counseling, even though it seems all evidence indicate the district
attorney, if no one else, had access to this video tape. Dave?
ZIRIN: Yes. That is a real question, though, about who had access to this
tape and who did not. Who was able to see it and who did not? The NFL and
Roger Goodell claim that they did not see this tape before today. Once
again, treating this like a public relations` crisis, not a domestic
violence crisis, which is what it is --
HAYES: Also, let us just be clear. I mean after the suspension was
announced, everyone from the NFL to the Ravens` organization, in
particular, basically tried to say, "OK. Well, let us all move on and
reconciliation." They have this awfully staged press conference in which,
you know, now Ms. Rice was, I do not know if she was there of her own
TAYLOR: Chris, they really --
HAYES: Yes. Please.
TAYLOR: Chris, they really went further than that. They interviewed this
young woman in the presence of her attacker. Roger Goodell did that. That
violates every moral code and everything we know about domestic violence.
And, then he put on this stage show --
TAYLOR: -- put a rep on a Ricer. When they knew that she would defend him
publicly. And, then the Ravens went and made a tweet that they only took
down today showing that she had, you know, forgiven him. That they were
working through the issues.
HAYES: And, that she regretted her role that night.
ZIRIN: And, once again, treating it like a public relations` crisis and
not a domestic violence crisis. And, there may be news coming out tomorrow
that the NFL actually did see this video tape and was not telling the truth
about that today, which will cause another fire storm in and of itself.
But, we have got to speak clear about this. This is how the NFL has always
dealt with domestic violence. I was pretty shocked today to hear a leading
NFL reporter in ESPN, Adam Schefter called this the biggest black guy in
NFL history. Let us put the phraseology aside. The fact of the matter is
that there have been horrific issues of domestic violence.
ZIRIN: A former player for the Saints is on trial for habitual systemic
rape, Darren Sharper, right now. I mean, so, there had been far bigger
issues of violence against women.
HAYES: Kansas City Chief player, of course, killed his girlfriend and
himself in a parking lot outside the stadium.
ZIRIN: Yes, Kasandra Perkins. Yes.
TAYLOR: They are dead today.
ZIRIN: And, it is unbelievable. So, why are people calling this the
biggest black or the biggest scandal, something that could potentially take
down Roger Goodell?
ZIRIN: It is because it was caught on videotape
ZIRIN: Once again, PR crisis, not domestic violence crisis.
HAYES: Goldie Taylor and Dave Zirin, thank you both.
ZIRIN: Thank you.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
HAYES: Prior to suspending Rice indefinitely, the NFL released a statement
this morning on the newly released video saying, "We have requested from
law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the
video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us
and no one in our office has seen it until today."
An employee of the hotel told TMZ, the NFL saw the elevator footage before
imposing the suspension, which the league has denied. TMZ today now saying
that tomorrow they will present evidence the NFL at the very least knew of
the presence of this videotape.
According to Ravens` players speaking to Bleacher Report`s Mike Freeman,
Rice had told teammates, he had no choice but to defend himself that day at
the elevator. And, today his video has emerged by the TMZ and told a
different story. NFL`s Commissioner, Roger Goodell, was roundly criticized
in the initial aftermath of the incident including here in this program for
Rice`s mere two-game suspension for admittedly assaulting his then-fianc‚.
Then just last month, in a lengthy letter to NFL owners accompanying a
memorandum to all personal and domestic violence and sexual assault,
Goodell wrote, quote, "At times, however, and despite our best efforts,
fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent
incident of domestic violence."
So, even if the NFL did not see the video until the elevator -- inside the
elevator until today, we know from Goodell`s letter alone, the league down
played the severity of the incident. And, only took the situation more
seriously after public outcry. Today, NFL reacted again in suspending Rice
indefinitely. And, again, amid of furious public outcry, which creates the
appearance of an institution, the National Football League, simply getting
caught trying to minimize a serious domestic assault, trying to sweep it
under the rug.
Joining me now, David Cornwell, Sports Attorney and Executive Director of
the National Football League`s coaches association. All of the big pompon
circumstance that accompanied Roger Goodell`s announcement of the tough new
domestic violence regime that was coming to the NFL, now looks pretty thin
and pretty ridiculous and frankly, pretty opportunistic for them to
announce that after they announce that after they get the backlash. And,
then, today, after the video comes out in backlash, then to -- you know,
essentially, indefinitely, suspend Ray Rice.
DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: There is no question that this is a -- it
took a route that no one is pleased with and it took too long. Bu, the NFL
now has finally gotten it right. The Ravens got it right. Allowing Ray
Rice to continue to wear the NFL shield is an insult to current, former and
future NFL players. And, now he is out of the game. They got it right.
HAYES: But, how many players. Let us be very honest. How many players
have done what Ray Rice did and not been caught on tape and not have the
sanction Ray Rice had?
CORNWELL: I do not know. You do not know. But we do know --
HAYES: The number is greater than zero.
CORNWELL: Well, certainly. But, I am not sure what that proves other than
to make the point that the NFL needed to be responsive. And, listen, this
is indefensible. By condemning Ray, you stand up for the men and women who
play well on the field and conduct themselves with dignity off of it. Ray
Rice does not belong in the National Football League and he is out.
The National Football League may have taken a circuitous route. It may
have taken them too long, but they have gotten there. And, I think going
forward, whether or not there is tape or not, they are going to err on the
side of being more -- imposing more and tougher and stricter discipline on
men who raise their hands to women and it should not be any other way --
HAYES: Why did they take this, though? This is the thing that I think
that is hard for people is, you know, why has it taken this? Why did it
take first Ray Rice being in the spotlight. Second of all, the backlash
after the two-game suspension when people were getting longer suspensions
for marijuana possession and now the video, taking all of this to get in to
the point? What does that say about the league?
CORNWELL: It says that the league was not adept. It was not well-equipped
to respond to domestic violence. This is a football league. But, they
recognize the issue. Roger came forward and wrote a letter and said, "I
got it wrong and we are going to impose more discipline." Now, we can
argue about whether they should have seen the video. But if, in fact, they
did not see the video, then seeing the video warranted a stricter
HAYES: Why, though? Why?
CORNWELL: And, as soon as they saw it --
HAYES: Why did the video warrants stricter discipline?
CORNWELL: Because none of us -- all of us had our own idea, our own image
of what happened. But seeing that young lady fall and see her face hit the
back of the elevator and see her face hit that bar and the elevator, we are
lucky that we are not talking about somebody who had more serious injuries
or death. And, no one imagine, I certainly did not imagine, that it was
that vicious. That disgusting and seeing it, a picture is worth a thousand
words and they did respond --
HAYES: But, David --
CORNWELL: -- Listen, I --
HAYES: But, David, you have a guy -- I understand that. I understand
saying seeing it is it is different than you did not imagine it being
vicious and disgusting. But domestic violence as a rule is vicious and
disgusting and savage and brutal and cruel and sadistic.
And, so, the idea that we are surprised that this very strong athletic
young man did something as sadistic and cruel and forceful to this woman
strikes me as just ignorance. I cannot understand why people did not
understand when he pled to what he pled to, when she is dragged out of the
elevator unconscious exactly what had happened in that elevator.
CORNWELL: But, it sounds like you are making the point that the
commissioner made. We got it wrong. That is what he said, in connection
with the two-game suspension. He said he got it wrong. And then, seeing
the video -- and, you know, I am not quite sure I understand what the
debate is about.
The National Football League has admitted they got it wrong. It was
obvious that they got it wrong. And, then, when this video comes out --
and, you know, I guess we can debate on whether you should be able to guess
that something is deplorable as it is visually. But, there is no question
that when you see this, that it is beyond anything that most people could
have imagined --
HAYES: Just -- just --
CORNWELL: -- that this woman endured.
HAYES: Let me just say for the sake of clarification, so that I am clear
on what I am saying here. My point is this. If the NFL does not,
themselves, understand why they got it wrong in the first place, I have no
confidence and trust that they are going to get it right in the future or
that future reactions to this are going to be the proper one.
That is my point. My point is that I am unconvinced by the handling of
this at every single juncture in which has been handled in the most
egregiously reactive fashion imaginable that they understand what they are
dealing with, the dynamics of domestic violence, the severity of it and the
importance of dealing with it, as a matter as opposed to a PR matter. That
is my point. David Cornwell, Sports Attorney, thank you very much.
CORNWELL: Thank you.
HAYES: We will be right back.
HAYES: The President says we are going to, quote, "Start going on offense
against ISIS." Should we believe him when he says it will not be another
HAYES: President Obama announced he will address the nation Wednesday to
lay out his plan to, quote, "Start going on some offense against ISIS
Militant in Syria and Iraq." New reporting by "The New York Times"
indicating, thee will be a three-phase campaign that could last well beyond
the end of his term. The President says this is not another Iraq war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. OBAMA: This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. Ground
troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq War. What this is, is
similar to the kinds of counter terrorism campaigns that we have been
engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years. And, the
good news is, is that because of American leadership, we have, I believe, a
broad-based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal
with the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: First phase, an error campaign over Iraq is, of course, already
underway. Well, the next phase is expected to involve quote, and I am
quoting directly here, "An intensified effort to train, advise or equip the
Iraqi military Kurdish fighters and possibly members of Sunni Tribes."
If that sounds oddly familiar, it is because it has been a key part of the
U.S. strategy in Iraq over the last 11 years. We saw how well U.S.
training paid off when Iraqi troops turned and fled Mosul ahead of the ISIS
advanced their way to the summer. According to the "Times`" report, phase
II would begin after Iraq forms a, quote, "More inclusive new government."
Iraqi lawmakers taking leaders of today in a vote to approve all but two
key ministerial posts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Tonight, we mark what is
unquestionably a major milestone for Iraq. And, what President Obama has
made clear will be a cornerstone of our efforts against ISIL. Now, is the
time for Iraq`s leaders to govern their nation with the same vision and
sense of purpose that helped to bring this new government together in the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to "The New York Times," phase III of the campaign will
involve attacking ISIS`s positions inside Syria. It is expected to be the
most difficult step and the toughest cell as the administration works to
build an international coalition. Secretary Kerry traveling to the Middle
East this week. The Arab League issued a resolution today calling on
member states to combat ISIS.
So far, Turkey is the only Muslim country to officially sign onto a ten-
nation coalition led by the U.S. The President`s announcement comes as
congress returns from its summer recess. But, the White House expected to
seek some kind of sign-on or buy-in from Capitol Hill to the phrases that
have been fooling around. Congressional leadership set to meet with
President Obama tomorrow with senate and house briefings to follow later in
the week. But, the administration today stopped short of calling for a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is important in the mind of
the President for congress to be a partner in these decisions. They have a
solemn responsibility as they are elected representatives of the American
people to be engaged in this process. But, ultimately, it is the
responsibility of the commander in chief to make the kinds of decisions
related to our military that rests on the shoulders of the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University
of Michigan, Director of Center for Middle Eastern and North African
Studies. He is the author of "Engaging The Muslim World." Juan, what is
your reaction to the news about this three-prong strategy as it takes
JUAN COLE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PROFESSOR OF HISTORY: Well, it is
awfully difficult to pull off, because there is a political element here.
The small terrorist group, ISIS, which maybe has 5,000 to 10,000 fighters
did not take over in Northern and Western Iraq. They coordinated with
urban masses to stage an uprising against the Shiite Government of Baghdad.
And, unless you can undo that political coalition, then killing a few of
these fighters here and there with air strikes is useless.
HAYES: There is something just eerie about hearing a strategy about that
involves prong such as, you know, cording Sunni tribal leaders, who are
even calling themselves, I think part of the awakening, which is the term
of course that was used back during David Petraeus` kind of high-water mark
counter insurgency, you know, surge in 2006, 2007. To hear that again and
to hear the strategy that the second prong is to train the Iraqi army, it
just seems like we have gone in a just bizarre, surreal and dispiriting
COLE: It is true. And, you know, the problem is not mainly in the rural
areas. So, these tribes` people, you know, are not, for the most part,
urban leaders. We have to get the notables of Mosul and Fallujah and
Ramadi to give up their alliance of convenience with ISIS.
And, frankly, those tribal leaders exaggerated their importance. Moreover,
the last time this was done, as you know, they were betrayed in the end.
Some hundred thousand fought Al Qaedas, some hundred thousand Sunnis. And,
at the end, they were not given government jobs.
COLE: May of them were left twisted in the wind and even were attacked by
HAYES: So, one of the things that is made your blog so valuable for a
decade now, plus, in the wake of the Iraq war is just reading the press in
the Arab world and translating it in English and saying, this is how it has
If you could talk to Americans, who are kind of trying to get a sense of
what to expect on Wednesday, how to think about ISIS about what is coming
through in Arab World Press about it that maybe Americans are not getting,
what would you say?
COLE: Well, you know, it is -- ISIS widely hated in the Arab world. But,
people do not see this crisis in Iraq and Syria necessarily just through
the lens of these small groups of fighters. It is a problem of regional
and ethnic justice. That is the issue. People in Eastern and Northern
Syria were being treated well by the Baghdad Government.
And, the people in Northern and Western Iraq were not being treated well by
the Baghdad Government. And, U.S. policy in Iraq in particular has
something to do with skewing politics against the Sunni Arabs and in favor
of Shiites and Kurds. And, then that skew has to be changed if there is
going to be a settlement.
HAYES: Juan Cole, thank you so much. Two more eyewitnesses to the
shooting of Michael Brown. They have come forward and a remarkable pattern
is emerging. Their accounts, ahead.
HAYES: We are hearing new eyewitness accounts to the shooting of Michael
Brown. Described by the St. Louis dispatch as outsiders, two men were
doing work near the apartments when Michael Brown was shot at the time of
the shooting. Both men have now given statements about what they saw to
the St. Louis county police and the FBI. One man speaking anonymously with
local Fox affiliate KTVI back in August accounted what he saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE WITNESS: I started hearing pops and when I looked over,
I did not even know it was that guy. But, I have seen somebody staggering
and running. And, when he finally caught himself, he threw his hands up
and started screaming, "OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Then the witness says three officers
UNIDENTIFIED MALE WITNESS: The one just started shooting. They did not
say, get on the ground. They did not say anything. At first, his gun was
down and then walked through him. He got about 8 to 10 feet away from him.
I heard a shot. I heard six, seven shots. I heard them, but it seemed
like seven. Then he put his gun down. That is when Michael stumbled
forward. I would say about 25 feet or so and then fell right on his face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The other man who did not know Michael Brown or Darren Wilson had
no ties to Ferguson, so told the St. Louis Post Dispatch a similar story
over the weekend. They heard a gunshot and then saw Brown running. When
Wilson fired another shot at Brown, his back was turned. Brown stumbled
and then he stopped. Put his hands up, turned around and said OK, OK, OK,
OK. And, there are now more than half a dozen eyewitness accounts for
Brown`s death that we know of.
There is Dorian Johnson, who has spoke to us just days after the incident.
Piaget Crenshaw, a Canfield resident, who spoke to the media after seeing
Brown die. Michael Brady, who lives here in Canfield, whom I have also
spoke to, and others who have spoken to newspaper reporters and other media
Now, all of these witnesses do not say the exact same thing. But, the
contours of most public accounts are similar in several key respects. Most
involve Wilson following Brown, firing at least one shot as Brown fled and
several more after Brown turned and held his hands in the air.
Yet, there is another version of events that Brown attacked Officer Darren
Wilson. That is based on exactly zero eyewitnesses. To be clear, at this
time there are no witnesses, that we know of, that have been made public
who have said publicly that Michael Brown charged at Darren Wilson.
Meanwhile, the grand jury continues to meet every Wednesday. Darren Wilson
continues to collect a paycheck from the Ferguson Police Department and the
fallout in Ferguson continues. Tomorrow, the Ferguson City Council will
When MSNBC Trymaine Lee reports the city will announce a plan to establish
a warrant recall program, A special docket for dependents who are having
trouble paying their outstanding fines and a creation of a citizen review
board among other things. We will have more on that tomorrow.
HAYES: Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson is selling his
controlling stake in his NBA team after an e-mail surfaced he sent to the
team`s general manager, which at its core basically said the following.
"We have way too many black people at our basketball games and wanted to
know how we can get more white people." It is interesting to know how it
came to light in the first place.
You see, Hawk`s general manager Danny Ferry was reading a scouting report
to members of the team`s ownership group in June. And, that report,
according to both Yahoo! Sports and the Atlanta Journal constitution
referred to the free agent, Luol Deng, NBA veteran who is born in Sudanb.
And, according to both publication, this is what General Manager, Danny
Ferry, read allowed. This is two people who are listening Hawk party
ownership group, quote, "He is still a young guy, overall. He is a good
guy, overall. But, he is not perfect. He got some African in him, and I
do not say that in a bad way."
ESPN reports that after the meeting, one of the Hawks stake holders called
for an internal investigation based on the remarks, being in the team
researching player. Possibly thinking, what exactly was I doing in a
scouting report and what the heck did that it even mean? And, it was that
investigation that was called for that then unearthed Levenson`s fateful e-
mail from two years ago, the e-mail that has now come to light that has
caused Levenson to apologize and to sell the team.
He wrote, in an effort to make the arena look full, thousands and thousands
of tickets are being given away predominantly in the black community adding
to the overwhelming black audience. To make the Hawks` audience less
black, Levenson suggested, quote, "Some white cheerleaders." And, he had
even bitched to his executive team that the -- too black, you know when
they put it on the two people and hard around them they kissed.
Then came some offensive rumbling, which was soaked in some pretty nasty
stereotype, being my theory, where Levenson is the black crowd scared away
the whites. There is simply not enough affluent black fans to build the
significant season ticket base. Black people are scary and poor, check.
Regardless of what time the game starts, we have the latest arriving crowd
in the league, black people, always showing up late.
There are few fathers and sons at the game and black men are absentee-
father, check, check, and check. And, Levenson tried to couch his e-mail
in the language of a business making a dispassionate analysis of the
demographics of this customer-based. He seems to ultimately be saying, a
white fan base is more valuable than a black one. Joining me now, NBA
Veteran Etan Thomas. He used to play for the Atlanta Haws, among others.
Etan, your reaction to reading this e-mail from Mr. Levenson?
ETAN THOMAS, FORMER ATLANTA HAWKS PLAYER: You know, honestly, something
just really kinds of seems a little fishy to me about the entire situation.
He kind of fell on his sword too quickly for me. I mean he did not really
give up a fight and say, you know, "No. I did not really mean this. You
know, I love black people." He did not say any of that.
He just kind of threw himself at the mercy of the court. And, what I
suspect is that he is watched from afar what was going on Donald Sterling
and the Clippers and what they actually sold for. Because, remember, you
know, Donald Sterling was punished, but he was not really punished. He
sold the team for over $2 billion when he bought it for infarction of that
THOMAS: So, I suspect that he saw that and he kind of sees an opportunity
to cash out. That is kind of what I think more happened.
HAYES: My big question was when I saw how this all come about and I agree,
the entire way in which it was announced on a weekend and then released and
then he is going to sell was strange. I have never quite seen anything
like it. "Oh, this email from two years ago, has now come to light and
there I go. I am very sorry. And, therefore, it is an excusable. And, I
am selling my stake." I agree, that whole trajectory is a little bit odd.
HAYES: But, there is also the fact that what else is in that
investigation? That is my question, right? They brought this in law firm.
They did all of these interviews. There are all these documents sitting
there. If there is one email like this, you have got to wonder what else
is in that document throve?
THOMAS: Well, that is definitely true. And, looking at the particulars of
what he said in the email, there are a little troubling and they were a
little familiar. I hear a lot of different discussion of saying that no,
it was just business, you know? It really was not racist or anything like
that. Just business practice. Actually, Kareem Abdul Jabbar who have the
upmost respect for, wrote a great part and piece in the "Time" Magazine.
He said that it was really just that he is a businessman and not really
like somebody like Donald Sterling. But, I have to respectfully disagree.
And, I love Kareem. Kareem is somebody who I idolize growing up, but I
have to respectfully disagree with him on this, because it is kind of like
how real estate agents back in the day in 60s with integration.
It says, OK. Listen, we do not really want you to come into our all white
neighborhoods. Not because we are racist or we do not like you, it is just
from a business standpoint. Your black face is going to lower our property
HAYES: That is right. The property value`s argument, which is I am not a
racist, but the other people will and they will sell at the price.
THOMAS: Exactly. And, also that is the same thing that Donald Sterling
and Shelly Sterling also did in their apartment complexes, black and brown
people. So, there is a lot of similarities here. But, now, you cannot do
that in 2014. You cannot cower under the umbrella of it is just business.
It is not really racism, because people will find you out and will be able
to see, just as my daughter says, that you are full of garbage.
HAYES: Well, this is the key sort of elephant in the room, right? With
the league is. It is the league that is predominantly black in its
players. It is predominantly white in its ownership structure and it is
demographic base is the blackest demographic base of any fan base.
The NBA`s youngest audience, 45 percent of the viewers under 35. Also, has
the highest share black viewed, this is the television viewers at 45
percent, three times higher. Three times the NFL or NCAA basketball. And,
there is this perpetual worry that guide the league in how it conducts
itself of appealing the white people of being fearful it is going to be
seen as too alienating black. Do you feel that when you are in the league?
THOMAS: No. And, this is the thing. One of the examples that he gave
was the late Abe Pollin. And, I played for the Wizards.
THOMAS: I played for them for eight years and I saw how Abe Pollin
conducted business and the way he characterize it was a
mischaracterization. We did not have all white cheerleaders. We had a DJ
and he was spending country music. You know, the thing about it, is that
when you look at everything happened in actual crows, we had people of all
races, black, white, republican, democrat, Muslim, Ethiopian.
And, you know, for him to be able to use the late Abe Pollin as an example
-- you know Abe Pollin was here when -- he did not do that. It just -- the
entire thing is really, really a mess.
HAYES: Well, it is a great thing about going into an NBA game. It is how
incredibly diverse the fan base is. Etan Thomas, thanks a lot, man.
THOMAS: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: The human toll President Obama`s broken promise on immigration is
HAYES: This week in broad news that immigration advocates had been
dreading. White House said the President would break his promise from June
to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer, that was
his promise and, instead, punt until after the midterm elections.
The executive action by the President could potentially keep millions of
undocumented immigrants from facing the deportation. The White House has
now promised to act by the end of the year.
Facing reporters earlier today, White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest,
suggested the decision to delay grew from concern that acting before the
midterms could create a political firestorm that could keep congress from
passing comprehensive immigration reform.
But, the move was widely seen as response to pressure from Red State
Democratic Senators and some from blue states facing reelection this year.
Some of whom directly urged the White House to delay an action they worried
could doom their chances and throw the senate to GOP.
"The New York Times" reported today, the White House requested polling data
in key senate races and received number from Arkansas and Iowa to very
competitive states, which showed voters overwhelmingly sided with those
opposed to the President taking action on immigration. An anti-deportation
rally at the White House today, immigration advocates accused the president
of playing politics with people`s lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MERCADO, WE BELONG TOGETHER CO-CHAIR: This cannot continue. Our
families are suffering. And we need for the President to take action
immediately to relieve the suffering. Every day, a thousand families are
separated. Every day that passes, it is another thousand families. The
situation is untenable and we need for it to end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Earlier, an 8-year-old Florida boy broke down while discussing his
father who had been deported.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED BOY SPEAKER: For President Obama, I want to have a family
like yours. I was crying for my father one night. My mother, sister and I
were praying for my father.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois.
Congressman, your reaction to the announcement by the White House today
will be delaying.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) ILLINOIS: Well, Chris, let us talk about -- I
will talk about the politics first, you know? When you play it safe,
politically, that is take four or five states and say, well, I am not going
to make a decision so that I do not affect these democrats in these states.
You usually do not get good, public policy that you can be proud of. It is
But, the other things it does, Chris. If you have too fuel polling places,
if you charge people to votes, if you make sure that they have to have lots
of ideas. If you make a difficult for people to vote. You suppress vote
that way, right? You also suppress vote when you do not keep your
promises. And, you know what? The political equation here is, they look
at those state, but what about Colorado. What about Illinois. I got a
governor. It is wonderful advocate.
HAYES: But, is not that exactly the issue here? The exact issue it seems
to me is that when you zoom in those states that are contested, it is the
case that Colorado is a notable outlier in places where there is really
heavily fought contested senate seat with a large Latino electorate. But,
that is largely not the case in the state they are most worried about.
That is Louisiana. That is Alaska. That is Arkansas. That is Iowa.
And, so, it seems -- and I am not defending it on the merits. But, the
political calculation here, we pull this, it was toxic. Those races are
close and we do not want to give over essentially, you know, shooters shell
on the foot. That does not seem like a crazy political argument.
REP. GUTIERREZ: Yes, but here what happen, Chris. You know, we have a
coalition, right? So, I believe that gays and lesbians should have the
same right to marry that I do and we should respect that, that people
should get a better wage, right.
REP. GUTIERREZ: That we should make sure that women are the same as men.
REP. GUTIERREZ: Right? But, when you take these kinds of actions, you
break down the coalition that make sure that there is justice and fairness
and that we have ideals and that we have principles. So, you know, what
happens in 2016, when all those issues are back on the ballot and you have
a disgruntle saddened dissolution to electorates --
HAYES: Wait. Let me ask you that. If the President were to act -- that
is a great question. If the President were to act by the end of the year
and it is big. You have been in this program saying, I think it is going
to be bold, 4 to 5 million people. Let us say, he acts by the end of the
year. Do you really honestly think, I think this is also part of the
calculation, anyone is going to look back in November 2016 and say, "Well,
he waited three months."
REP. GUTIERREZ: Well, here is what I got to do. I got to make sure that
Dick is still there.
REP. GUTIERREZ: My senator. He is a champion for immigrants. And,
champion for all the things that I know, Chris, you and I believe in and
want a fair state for people, right? And, there are a lot of people like
him. So, first of all, I am going to continue to encourage people to vote
and to register and to get out to vote in spite of this action of the
president, but he has made it harder for us.
Secondly, you know, I already called the White House. I am sure I am going
to see the president. I am sure there is going to be a broader group of us
meeting with him and sitting down and talking with him, so that we can get
those 4, 5, 6 million people and get them their documents, right?
What is this really all about? So the President says, "Oh, Luis, I want to
educate people better before I make the announcement." Well, look, there
is nothing I can do to change the President`s mind. There is nothing I can
do or say tomorrow when I meet with them or when I see Secretary Jay
Johnson who I think is wonderfully situated o really be helpful, because I
really think he is a man of compassion when it comes to immigrants.
Look, I want to work with them, so that we can get that. Not so much
because of the political calculation, but because I care about all of these
wonderful constituencies in America and I care about immigrants and I want
to keep them in the fold of justice and fairness.
HAYES: Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
REP. GUTIERREZ: So, I am going to work with the President. I want to work
with this administration. And, you know what, I, too, believe -- here is -
- I want to say this. I have not given up on this President, on this
administration, and I still believe, and I want to reiterate, I told you
first months ago, I think it is going to be millions.
I think it is going be 4, 5, 6 six million people. We are going to work to
get there. And, I still believe, and I want people to know, do not give up
hope because we are going to get it done. And, this President is
eventually going do it.
HAYES: They have raised the stakes in the White House. Congressman Luis
Gutierrez. Thank you very much. What a few sources told me how the White
House understands their political odds this term, that is ahead.
HAYES: We are back. Joining me now, MSNBC Contributor, Josh Barro,
National Correspondent for the Upshot of the "The New York Times, Jess
McIntosh Communications Director for Emily`s List. All right, So, I had
people tell me that they thought the White House made this announcement
that they pushed it off, because they thought the odds of the dems holding
the senate had improved in the intervening six weeks, which runs contrary
to all the analysis I have seen.
Although, box today noted there is a pretty wide gap between the prediction
of the odds of the republicans taking the senate. You got FiveThirtyEight,
the Upshot saying, it is more than likely. Sam Wang, who is the guy who
got all the states right in 2012 saying, who thinks the dems are going to
hold it. Josh, what do you think?
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean I think clearly the last six
weeks have not been good for the democrats when you look at the polling --
I mean I am biased because I work at The Times.
HAYES: You are defending the Upshot.
BARRO: Yes. It has moved in that direction. But, yes, I think if you
talked to people who are you know working in electorate politics, the do
not feel better about the democrats for the states than they did six weeks
ago. And, I think it is what you are describing in the last block.
The states that are competitive in the senate are states where it does not
look good to essentially do an end-run around congress and have a much
broader deportation delay program. I do not think that is going to play
well in Arkansas. I do not think it is going to play well in Alaska. And,
I think the White House has realized that.
HAYES: Jess, what is the case for democratic optimism?
JESS MCINTOSH, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR EMILY`S LIST: Well, I think
right now, I mean we can have as much data as we want. It is all
completely irrelevant. What we, in the beltway and in the political
chattering class think of as the home stretch, voters think of it as the
beginning. They are not paying attention yet. WE are over Labor Day. We
are back to school. We have just started in.
The issue profile favors democrats. Remember when midterm elections used
to be about putting in as many as anti-marriage equality ballot initiative
as you could because you knew that, that was going to be the issue profile?
That would motivated the voting base. This year, it is raising the min
much wage, ending gender discrimination in pay and paid sick leave. Those
BARRO: No. The problem with this message for democrats and democrats have
convinced themselves, this is a good message for this election, is that
Barack Obama has been president for six years. And, so if you are trying
to run on the idea that we should have a minimum wage increase, voters look
at you and say, "Well, you have been president. Why have not you done
And, he has a story about why he has not done that. But, I think it is
difficult to basically sell this message about I have been trying really
hard for all this time and everything that is happened that is wrong in
this divided government is republicans fault.
HAYES: Well, here is --
MCINTOSH: Democrats do not run against each other this midterm. They are
running against republicans.
HAYES: That is a good point.
MCINTOSH: And, the republicans have gone so far as to adapt our messaging.
I mean you had the Labor Day, the RNC tweeting out, all republicans support
equal pay, despite the fact that they all vote against it. That is not a
party that is comfortable with its message platform.
HAYES: Here is what I would say is that the irony here is that the
argument about why you should vote for democrat -- let us say the minimum
wage, right? Is most germane to the house which is also the place where
there is the least competitive risk.
That is also part of the problem, right? It is just a matter of fact when
you say, what is the account for why we do not have a higher minimum wage?
What is the account when we do not have a good equity bill? It is all the
But, of course, the house is also not the place where the most contested
race is, so the democrats have this mismatch where they have to fight this
on the terrain of the senate races. Jess, which I think you would agree,
in uphill state in terms of Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana that are very
MCINTOSH: Well, they have the map. Republicans have the map this year.
But, we have the issues and we have the candidates. That is the case for
BARRO: I think the other problem with this issue for democrats is the
minimum wage poll is very well. It is popular. It is an advantage for
democrats. But, I think when middle class voters look at it, they favor a
minimum wage increase, but they do not necessarily see themselves as
directly economic benefiting from a minimum wage increase.
HAYES: If you make $15 or $20 or $30 an hour, even though they may drop
very well, it might help people up the scale.
MCINTOSH: That changed more and more.
BARRO: But, the thing is most people cannot be directly given a raise by
the government. What they need is an economy that is growing faster. A
tighter labor market and democrats have a case about why their policies
would create that, although the fact that the President has been so focused
on deficit reduction for the last three years, actually erodes his
credibility on these broader macroeconomic issue.
HAYES: Josh Barro and Jess McIntosh, thank you both. That is all for this
evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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