All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, October 13th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 13, 2014
Guest: Deborah Burger, Jess McIntosh, Evan Smith, Trymaine Lee, Reza
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The intent was
to demonstrate Greg Abbott`s hypocrisy.
HAYES: Wendy Davis doubles down on a controversial campaign ad.
AD NARRATOR: A tree fell on Greg Abbot. He sued and got millions.
HAYES: Plus, the first and only debate in the marquee race. We`ve
got the latest live from Kentucky.
A Texas nurse tests positive for Ebola and the CDC tries to explain
what went wrong.
Plus, more arrests in Ferguson as protesters square off across a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missouri is the new Mississippi.
Then, he called Bill Maher`s views frank bigotry. Reza Aslan joins us
And, Scott Brown may be down at the polls. He`s got the frat vote
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Breaking news right now: tonight from Kansas, where a man who admitted
to the hospital of flu like symptoms is being tested for Ebola. We`ve seen
a number of scares like this in recent days. This one is different. The
man just returned from working as a ship`s medic off the coast of Africa
where he treated patients with a variety of different diseases. The
hospital described the care being taken to avoid any contamination.
This news comes as the CDC is re-evaluating its response to the Ebola
epidemic after its first known transmission to the virus in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: We have to rethink the way we address
Ebola infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The patient -- the second patient and first to get Ebola in
the United States has now been identified as Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who
contracted the disease while helping treat the first patient with Ebola in
the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan. He was diagnosed in this country and died
Notably, Pham was not among the initial 48 people identified as having
contact with Duncan, before he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian, a
hospital having sent him home under the mistaken belief he had a sinus
infection. Pham was part of the medical team treating Duncan after he went
to the hospital a second time, when he was finally diagnosed. She was
wearing personal protective equipment and extensively following CDC
protocols to avoid contamination. It`s still not known how the nurse
contracted the virus. Health officials are investigating.
In the meantime, they`re monitoring an additional 50 hospital workers
who may have been exposed while treating Thomas Eric Duncan.
Here`s what`s so troubling about this latest development. There are
now over 8,000 cases of Ebola in West Africa. It`s been clear from the
beginning that thanks to international air travel, the virus would
inevitably spread outside that region, which is seeing the worse ever
outbreak in the disease`s recorded history. But the big hope containment,
the reason we`ve all been told there`s no cause for panic here in the U.S.
has been that in developed countries, we have the know-how and
infrastructure to prevent an outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The chances of an Ebola
outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We know how to
prevent it from spreading. We know how to care for those who contract it.
We know that if we take the proper steps, we can save lives.
FRIEDEN: This is a tried and trued protocol. This is what we do in
public health. It`s what we do in this country for a variety of infectious
diseases and it`s what we do at CDC globally in Ebola cases. I have no
doubt that we`ll stop this in its tracks in the U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But there have been two cases of Ebola transmission outside
West Africa, one in Madrid and one in Dallas. In both cases, the people
got sick were nurses in the developed world who should have had all the
resources they need to stay safe.
Clearly, something isn`t working. It`s a reminder of why the
situation is dire in the African countries where the virus originated. WHO
today declaring it the worst health emergency of the modern era.
Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC News freelancer who contracted Ebola in Liberia,
wrote in a tweet today, "Now that I`ve had firsthand experience of a
scourge of a disease, I`m even more pained at how little care sick West
Africans are receiving."
Joining me now is the co-president of the National Nurses United, the
largest union of registered nurses, Deborah Burger. She`s also a
Deborah, National Nurses United have been sounding the alarm about
this. And I think I was first inclined to think perhaps you were being an
alarmist. But we now have the case of a nurse getting the disease even
after the CDC protocols were implemented. We now have another patient in a
Kansas hospital who is being tested and, presumably, similar protocols
happening there. What`s your reaction to this?
DEBORAH BURGER, NATIONAL NURSES UNITED: My reaction is just pure
anger. The fact that we have been saying that our hospitals are not
prepared to deal with such a highly communicable disease, a deadly disease.
We`ve been trying to raise the alarm to our employers to the general public
to our congressional representatives, to the CDC, to say that we know that
they`re grossly unprepared to deal with this.
HAYES: The Dallas nurse who has contracted the disease, at first, the
CDC`s reaction seemed to be that she must have not followed the protocol.
Those protocols for wearing protective gear are quite involved. Not super-
easy, necessarily, to follow. They then seem to walk it back today and say
there must be a problem with the a protocol.
Your reaction to the initial statement from the CDC.
BURGER: Well, the initial statement from the CDC was ludicrous
because these personnel were trained to use the equipment. And what we`re
saying and what`s borne out in our surveys is that nurses weren`t given the
hands-on education and training to use these pieces of protective
equipment. They haven`t had the practice or the drills or the education.
And you only become familiar with it and comfortable the more you use it.
And, right now, those guidelines and that ability to practice with
that equipment is not being provided in our hospitals.
HAYES: Are you confident that the hospital officials are saying
there`s a low-to-moderate risk that he, in fact, has Ebola, he does not
only have a fever, he is apparently vomiting. He was working on a medic in
a ship off, I believe, of West Africa. This isn`t a ludicrous idea that he
could have contracted -- contacted the disease.
Are you confident the protocols being used in that hospital right now
as we speak as disseminated by CDC are sufficient?
BURGER: I`m not confident at all, because right now, the CDC has two
standards of care for use of personal protection equipment. What they
recommend for hospitals to use is completely different from what the people
that work in the CDC lab use for their work when they`re dealing with the
deadly virus Ebola. And we`re concerned that they`re setting a precedent
for two levels of care.
HAYES: So, explain that to me. So you`re saying that the protocol
that`s being disseminated and established by the CDC is less rigorous or
less protective than the CDC`s own protocols for their own workers?
BURGER: Exactly. If you were a worker dealing with one vial of
Ebola, you would be in a negative pressure room, you would have a positive
pressure hood to wear, you would have a hazmat suit. You would have a
buddy that cleans you when you came out of the isolation area into a
separate isolation room.
However, when you`re in a hospital and you`re a nurse, they recommend
a fluid-impermeable gown, booties, maybe leg coverings, a mask, a face
shield and head covering and double gloves.
So, those are two entirely different levels of care.
HAYES: And clearly in the case of Texas Presbyterian, they were
And finally here, I want to ask you about this question. It was
shocking to a lot of people that the nurse in question was not one of the
48 being monitored. I think everyone assumed obviously that the folks
being monitored would be some of the people that treated Mr. Duncan when he
was sick with the disease which is when it was most communicable. Were you
surprised that she was not among those monitored?
BURGER: No, I wasn`t surprised. The thing is that none of the
personnel actually had buddies that they were buddied up with when they
were providing care in some of those areas. And so there is always the
possibility for contamination and exposure when you`re not actually paired
with another person to monitor your movements.
HAYES: That`s very interesting.
Deborah Burger, National Nurses United -- thank you very much.
All right, in Kentucky, right now, as I speak, the first and only
televised debate for the marquee race between Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell and challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes is underway. We will
check the latest on the race, next.
HAYES: Big debate tonight between Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky
and her rival, Mitch McConnell. We`re going to talk about that in just a
moment. Of course, it happens just over three weeks from Election Day when
voters head to the polls for the 2014 elections. And the last furious days
of the campaign have officially kicked off with big debates with the states
that will decide the future of the U.S. Senate and with the control of the
Senate balanced on a nice edge, the races are tightening.
New poll out today shows a crazy upside down race in Kansas, where
independent Greg Orman is up by three against Republican Senator Pat
Roberts. It`s a statistical dead heat.
Also today in Arkansas, Republican Congressman Tom Cotton was not
subtle about his campaign message. He mentioned Obama 74 times in his
debate while debating Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. The latest polling in
that race has Republican Tom Cotton up by seven points.
And in Iowa, a recent polling has Republican Joni Ernst up by three
against Democrat Bruce Braley. That`s Braley with an R to those watching.
Tonight, at this hour, all eyes are on Kentucky, perhaps the marquee
race in the country, where Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is battling in
a deep, deep red state against the most Republican in the country, Senate
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Right now, the two are facing off in their first and only debate of
the cycle. It`s a big moment for Grimes. And she`s going to the debate
with her campaign being trashed left, right and center.
Much of the criticism stems from the meeting with the "Louisville
Courier-Journal`s editorial board last week when she refused to answer
whether or not she voted for Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you vote for President Obama in 2008, 2012?
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D), KY SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, this
election isn`t about the president. It`s about making sure we put
Kentuckians back to work. And --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you vote for him?
GRIMES: I was an `08 delegate for Hillary Clinton. I think that
Kentuckians know I`m a Clinton Democrat through and through. I respect the
sanctity of the ballot box, and I know that the members of this editorial
board do, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It was a non-answer that fit into the critique of Grimes from
those on the left, center and right that she is too relentless on message.
In fact, NBC`s Chuck Todd said the answer, quote, "disqualified her,"
something that Mitch McConnell turned into an ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Kentucky expects her to cast a tough vote on
anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you`re not going to answer?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: I`m Mitch McConnell and I approve
TODD: I think she disqualified herself. I really do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: "The Republic" said yesterday that Grimes, quote, "is running
the worst Senate campaign of the year." So, you think she`d be getting
But here`s the thing, she`s not at all. She heads into this debate
basically in a statistical tie with Mitch McConnell in a state that Barack
Obama lost by 23 points in 2012. What does that say about Mitch McConnell
and what does it say about voters and how they feel about the powers that
be incumbents in Washington and the modern campaign?
Joining me now, Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List, which
endorsed Alison Lundergan Grimes for Senate in August 2013.
All right. Your response, Jess, to this not answering the question?
At one level, it is preposterous. It is preposterous. She`s running as a
Democrat. People say who they voted for.
And then at the other, it`s just like, well, she`s not going to say
anything that could be used in an ad.
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Look, I think Republicans are trying
just as hard as they can to make this election a referendum on President
Obama. And Alison is trying just as hard to make sure this election is a
referendum on the incumbent who is on the ballot, who is Mitch McConnell.
So, she is not going to say who she pulled the lever for in a private
voting booth. And he is not --
MCINTOSH: And he is not going to say what he wants to do to raise the
minimum wage and gender discrimination in pay, whether climate change is
real. Why he thinks marriage is between a man and woman.
HAYES: What you just did there was a graceful pivot. I think it`s
the gracefulest plotting point to talking points that`s invited from this
MCINTOSH: We are 21 days out. We are not arguing whether or not a
pivot was graceful enough. There are issues that actually mattered to
Kentucky families that she is willing to talk about and he is dodging all
over the place. And that is why she has kept him as close as she has in
HAYES: The other thing, look, this is the way a modern campaign has
been erected. A modern campaign is a kind of video game for avoiding
gaffes. And what she has done for all -- whatever people say about, oh,
it`s ridiculous she didn`t answer this and I think her stances on coal are
preposterous, I think a lot of things she said are wrong.
And, yet, right, she has done the thing -- I love this quote in the
"New Republic" piece saying there`s a reason McConnell hasn`t won one add
for talking, right? She`s winning the video game in incredibly difficult
MCINTOSH: I think the way you started, this is a deep, deep red
state, and this is the most powerful Republican in the Senate. People have
been writing off Alison Lundergan Grimes since before she announced.
Remember she was going to get steam rolled by like the vaunted Mitch
McConnell oppo machine and she was crazy to even think about taking him on.
This woman has kept him below 50 percent and within the margin of
error in poll after poll, month after month. This is not a bad campaign.
This is a very, very good campaign, objectively.
HAYES: Although that raises another question about whether the modern
campaign system is broken, in some fundamental way.
MCINTOSH: I am so happy to have that at times.
HAYES: Exactly. It`s not Alison Lundergan Grimes, like, you know,
she`s got to operate in the genre she`s operating in, which I understand.
But I think it says something about the way we`ve constructed campaigns in
the sort of political media complex that it is essentially advantageous to
make sure no one ever runs a clip of you saying anything.
Mark Udall said something about Medicare that was a completely
truthful, in some ways trivial statement that`s going to get spit back in
his face in an ad, and called a gaffe.
Speaking of gaffes, here`s Mitch McConnell on climate change, which I
think is a bigger gaffe. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If climate change is a problem, and, do you
believe it is or not?
MCCONNELL: I`m not a scientist. All I can tell you is that country
after country after country, given a choice between pursuing this goal and
their own economic growth are choosing economic growth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m not a scientist. I think that`s a gaffe. No one is going
to call it a gaffe, but it`s a preposterous, bankrupt thing to say.
MCINTOSH: Absolutely. And the reason why it matters so much is
because it has substantive implications for the people whose vote he is
asking for. In that same interview, he said that he opposed marriage
equality because he believed that marriage is between a man and woman and
wouldn`t say why.
This affects Kentucky families. I feel like that is what we need to
hold people accountable for.
HAYES: I agree. On substance, this new ad from which Alison
Lundergan Grimes attacks Mitch McConnell for voting for Reagan`s amnesty
back in the 1980s. Immigrant groups calling it morally reprehensible.
What do you think?
MCINTOSH: I think she`s talking -- I haven`t scene the ad yet, but I
think she`s talking to the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell saying that he
opposes amnesty while he voted for it before. I think it`s a character
attack on whether he`s going to stick to principles whereas she will.
HAYES: Yes, all right, all right. I guess that`s the best answer you
can give. Although, presumably, I`ve heard she`s for immigration reform.
It`s hard to see how that helps bring that about.
Jess McIntosh, you`re very good at this, thank you.
MCINTOSH: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Alison Lundergan Grimes was just one of the red states
statewide candidate that Democrats were most excited by this cycle.
One of the others is Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who is running
for governor, who, unlike Grimes, is losing by some big margins. Latest
poll has her down by 11 points to Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott.
In a deep red state, the president lost by almost 16 points last cycle.
She`s apparently decided if she`s going down she`s going down swinging, as
evidence`s by an ad she ran against Texas State Attorney General Greg
Abbott who was hit by a tree while jogging 30 years ago, and has been in a
wheelchair ever since.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: A free fell on Greg Abbott. He sued and got millions.
Since then, he spent his career working against other victims. Greg
Abbott, he`s not for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That ad, I think understandably, got a lot of flak from across
the political spectrum. But over the weekend, Davis defended the message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: The intent was to demonstrate Greg Abbott`s hypocrisy. He
rightfully had an opportunity to access the justice system when he was at
the receiving end of a tragic accident. But ever since, he has been
actively fighting to close that door and deny that access to others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Again, the Davis campaign was doubling down the ad. Earlier
this afternoon, Davis had two supporters in wheelchairs to highlight what
she says is Abbott hypocrisy.
Joining me now from Austin, Texas, is Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-
chief of "The Texas Tribune."
Evan, this ad has gotten a lot of national attention. How is it
playing in Texas?
EVAN SMITH, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE: Not a whole lot better. A lot of
people on the right and some on the left are jumping at Davis. Not so much
for the substance of the ad, but for the tactic of using the image of the
empty wheelchair at the beginning of the ad, that`s seen as maybe touching
the third rail. Not something that was particularly smart or politic for
her to do.
But what`s gotten lost is the substance of the ad. She`s been taking
hits I said mostly for the tactic.
HAYES: Yes, and what`s struck me about the ad, you can cut off the
three seconds and run the next 27 seconds and it`s a perfectly attack ad,
it`s a negative ad, but it`s basically look, this guy is not siding with
you, he`s not helping other people. Of course, if you do that, then the
natural rebuttal is going to be like, really, you`re going after this guy
himself who`s in the wheelchair, so maybe this was some kind of preemptive
way of rebutting. But the way it comes off is a little tough to stomach.
SMITH: Let me say a little bit differently. She has been running a
series of ads in which she`s alleged that Abbott is not for the average
Texan, but is working on behalf of powerful friends and no one paid
attention. If you cut off the first image of this ad, the one that`s
gotten all of the attention, no one would be talking about this ad. I
wouldn`t be here talking to you about this ad. It would be just another
We have entered the Doug Flutie phase of this campaign. It`s the
fourth quarter. We`re in four-down territory. She`s losing the game.
She`s got to put the ball in the end zone. That`s what she`s got to get
done here. Might get caught, might not --
HAYES: And politics ain`t bean bag as they say. So, I mean, I guess
all is fair in love, war and politics.
But why is it the case? I mean, Matt Iglesias had a funny tweet where
he said, you know, Wendy Davis` biggest problem is Texas voters are very
conservative, #analysis, which cracked me up.
Is that fundamentally the issue here? She`s on tough territory. Or
is this campaign not lived up to the expectations?
SMITH: Can I choose both?
SMITH: I think the answer is both. On the one hand, she was always
pushing a big rock up a big hill in a state that`s not just red, but is
blood red. Any Democrat, anybody running statewide for the last 20 years
has really been the underdog by a significant margin, and even Wendy Davis
going into this race was going to be the underdog. The campaign has not
been executed flawlessly, which was a necessary condition of her being
competitive in the race, and I think this latest thing, which you can sort
of see the first three seconds of this ad being something of an unforced
error, the substance of the ad notwithstanding. The tactic is an unforced
I would say it`s another example of how this has not gone exactly up
to expectations. She`s done everything she possibly can to stay in this
race and to be competitive. But in the end, as you said, the polls are not
looking very good. She can conceivably lose this race like Bill White in
2010 against Rick Perry, which just a few months ago, would have been
HAYES: What does this mean for Democrats? I don`t want to write the
obituary yet, we`ve got three weeks. Lots going to happen.
SMITH: It will only be over on election day, as the cliche goes.
HAYES: Right, and that`s a very true cliche, as we`ve seen time and
time again. Even thought that Todd Akin was going to be the next senator
from Missouri. So, a lot can happen down the stretch.
What does it mean, though, for Democrats in Texas? How central has
this race been into the effort to build a stronger Democratic Party in
SMITH: Well, the reality is the battleground Texas effort which was
the marshaling of the Obama 2012 forces in Texas to try to turn the state
purple, if they couldn`t turn it blue, at least get it closer. It was said
to be a long game. So, 2014 wasn`t necessarily their focal point. Now,
there are some people saying well, if we don`t get Wendy Davis into the
governor`s office, this is really about 2016, it`s really about Hillary.
The reality is there`s been more talk of Democrats becoming
competitive than there has been any visible signs of competitiveness. On
the other hand, until battleground came and until Davis became the nominee,
the Democrats were absolutely dead in the water.
SMITH: It almost doesn`t matter what happens in 2014, it is
improvement over what we`ve seen for the last two years.
HAYES: And what`s striking to me, particularly if you compare to
Kentucky, in Kentucky, the margin was bigger than the presidential, but
Kentucky does have state-wide elected Democrats, Governor Beshear and
Lundergan Grimes is a statewide elected Democrat. That`s not true in
Texas, where there hasn`t been a statewide elected Democrat since Ann
Richards if I am not mistaken.
SMITH: Indeed. `94 was the last time we elected a Democrat
HAYES: And fascinatingly enough has smaller margins than in the
presidential, which means that it`s possible that those kind of
trajectories continue to diverge a little bit.
Evan Smith, always a pleasure. Thank you.
SMTH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Some good news tonight as the Catholic Church
signals more tolerance for gay people and divorcees. Religious scholar
Reza Aslan will join me on that and much more, ahead.
HAYES: Big, boozy fratty tailgates at college campuses, it`s the
first thing that comes to mind when you think of midterm elections, right?
Clearly, it`s the first place any tried and true campaign manager will tell
you to go. But frat campaigning or as I like to call it, frat-paigning is
trickier than it looks. This campaign season has offered a study in
contrast. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has been tapping the frat well
with consider success.
She got an enormous amount of attention last month for attending the
tailgate party last weekend where she easily assisted this man in doing a
keg stand. While the incumbent senator declined to do on herself.
Here`s Senator Landrieu wearing a white shirt doing the wobble, a
dance that resembles the electric slide at another more recent tailgate
this time at Southern University.
But not every college football party/campaign experience goes as well.
As I learned from watching this video of former Massachusetts Senator Scott
Brown, who is now running in the granite state at a University of New
Hampshire tailgate this weekend.
Some of the students yelled obscenities about his current opponent,
incumbent Senator Jean Shaheen and his former opponent, Senator Elizabeth
Warren, and told them to go back to Massachusetts.
HAYES: He`s available, voters of New Hampshire. Here`s the thing about
campaigning at a college tailgate party. Yes, they are the youth voters.
They are also drunken college boys who can and will say really dumb stuff.
And now you`re on tape with them saying dumb stuff. Take it from
another former Massachusetts senator, John Kerry, seen here in Iowa. Iowa
State (inaudible) in 2006 with a beer bong shoved in his face.
As a general rule, a lesson for Mary Landrieu, friends don`t let
friend`s frat pain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORNELL WEST, PROFESSOR, UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: I didn`t come here to
give a speech. I came here to go to jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Professor Cornel West made it very clear last night why he was in
Ferguson. Today, he made good on that statement and after joining clergy
members as they confronted officers in front of the Ferguson Police
Department. West was one of 42 protesters taken into custody according to
"St. Louis Dispatch."
The protest took place this morning in driving rain, which didn`t seem
to dampen the spirits of the crowd. At one point, a clergy member lied
down inside of an outline of a body drawn in chalk. Protesters were
chanting that black lies matter, but all lies matter.
Tonight just a few minutes ago, protesters are being arrested outside
of a Wal-Mart in Ferguson and as "Washington Post" reporter, Wesley Lowery
on the scene reports so far civil disobedience is taking place at St. Louis
University, Ferguson Police Department, St. Louis City Hall, Wal-Mart and a
fundraiser for county executive candidate stinger, who is being hosted by
Today`s demonstrations were a culmination of four days of civil
disobedience and protest marking two months since unarmed Mike Brown was
shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson was still drawing
In wake of the shooting death of Vonderrit Myers who was killed last
week by an off-duty St. Louis police officer. Police say Myers fired at
the officer first. Protests have spread all over the St. Louis metro area.
Over the weekend, hundreds of people march through blocks through
downtown St. Louis versus sitting occupation out front of the Ferguson
Police Station and a much larger gathering at St. Louis University where
according to MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee, more than a thousand people showed up.
For the most part, St. Louis police, the metro police, have kept their
distance and marginally avoided the kind of big confrontation we saw back
August. But amidst all this activity, in what`s being called Ferguson
October, there`s a tension, a sort of divide between the different
generations of activists and protesters on the scene.
And last night, a remarkable moment during interface service that
division cracked open when young protesters demanded that older protesters
listen to what they had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don`t you talk about the union?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re in pain. Let them speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us, this is not an academic issue. Like I said a
few weeks ago, people who want to take the time to break down racism from a
philosophical level, you all did not show up.
Your tanks and the armored trucks were there, and the tear gas was
there and we were getting hit with the rubber bullets and we said you know
what I can`t stay home for this. I can`t stay home for this. They are
killing us literally. Missouri is the new Mississippi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBc national reporter, Trymaine Lee. He`s been
covering events in Ferguson since Michael Brown`s death and he is down
there right now.
Trymaine, this weekend has seen a kind of expansion of the scope of
all of this. It`s striking to me how much that initial protest in August
focused on Ferguson, on the dynamics of Ferguson, and the racial make-up of
the police there. What we`re seeing now is something that`s overtaking the
entire St. Louis metro area, it seems.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: That`s correct. What you saw
earlier, the anchor action, the Moral Monday-style protest, kind of
throwback where clergy presented themselves. They surrendered themselves
to the police in the name of Mike Brown.
A very orderly of about 43 people were arrested. But after that, you
saw groups at the Wal-Mart, I was at city hall earlier where they hung up
banners and wanted to see the mayor. People gathered. A few arrested.
More what we saw in the police station, it spread across the region in a
very remarkable fashion.
HAYES: Yes, and if you`re the mayor of St. Louis or the St. Louis Police,
you understand that there is going to be no walling this off as this plays
out in the future with the grand jury still deliberating about possible
charges against the officer in question.
This is, you know, this is an issue now for St. Louis Metro Police.
And it`s been interesting to watch the police respond tactically to the
protesters in a kind of back and forth that`s been playing out in numerous
different confrontations. What have you gleaned from that?
LEE: I think law enforcement learned a lot from the early days, the first
few days after Michael Brown was killed. It seemed that police weren`t
sure of what they`re doing. The protesters were angry and just kind of
Now you`re seeing -- I`ve talked to many protesters who spent night
after night in the Shaw neighborhood where Vonderrit Myers was killed and
they said that those police officers would stand back. They`d sometimes
beat their night sticks on their shin guards or the ground to kind of
distort and distract them.
And they described an ambush where they didn`t see it coming. So the
tactics that are being employed now are much different than those kinds of
It`s more tactical, on both sides, on the police side. They`re being
more tactical not being just random and also the protesters have gotten
more organized and more intentional about their efforts.
HAYES: And I thought that interfaced service last night I believe it was,
and he`s been a guest on this show both when we were in Ferguson and just
the other night when I was here.
He spoke -- there is just this raw frustration that`s an anger
directed not only at the police, not only at the institutions in power,
locally, but a broader sort of leadership class that a lot of folks in
Ferguson don`t feel like are serving them.
Are sufficiently militant and agitated over what they`re seeing, I
thought that moment was remarkable. You were there at the service. What
was it like?
LEE: You don`t have to look too far, any previous civil actions, a young
John Lewis with the freedom writers. You look at Torey Rustle and look at
all of these young, emerging leaders from this movement here and they don`t
have time to talk to a clergy member.
They say they were here 65 days, getting fired at with rubber bullets
and tear gas. So I talked to Torey Russel who really delivered this fiery
speech last night. He said they come down here now and try to tell us how
to organize. How to take action in the street?
We`ve been taking action for 65 days. They pointed to one very
prominent civil rights leader who came to town to try to offer trainings
on, you know, civil disobedience and the non-violent protest and getting
paid for this.
That frustrated him to no end. He said he was getting calls right
before the session last night and he just couldn`t take it anymore.
HAYES: There`s some polling out that shows how wide the racial gap is in
St. Louis. When asked if the shooting of an African American team was
justified, 62 percent of whites said it was along with 35 percent of
blacks. You see a 30 point margin there and that`s -- how palpable is it
on the street there?
LEE: It`s palpable in many stances. On the other hand, it`s kind of an
invisible line. They`ve grown more diverse. But you`re not seeing white
members of the Ferguson community out here, you know, one way or the other.
You`re not seeing counter protests.
Everyone is kind of at bay. The marker had been those I love Ferguson
signs. It seemed the white law enforcement officers have remained in
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, thank you, man.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, he called the Bill Maher talks about Islam undeniably
bigoted, scholar and author, Reza Aslan, will me live next.
HAYES: The Sunni militant group known as ISIS has an English language web
magazine, something I learned today and while there are lots of criminal
gangs and extremist groups committing atrocities around the world, none of
them I think are rebel in their own cruelty in quite the way ISIS does.
Which is demonstrated in the content they are publishing in said web
magazine, it`s called "Dabiq." Their latest issue includes an article
explains to the world why they`re enslaving women and children from the
concurred and persecuted Yazidi minority.
The group attempted to ethnically cleanse in their offensive in
Northern Iraq, which, don`t forget, is what reignited American intervention
in Iraq in the first place just over two months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In recent days,
Yazidi men, women and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their
lives. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands are hiding high up on the
mountain with little but the clothes on their back. Earlier this week, one
Iraqi in the area cried to the world there is no one coming to help. Well,
today, America is coming to help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president cited the plight of the Yazidis as he announced the
country back in August he had authorized targeted airstrikes against ISIS
and humanitarians operations to aid Yazidis.
And now in their new pro-slavery web magazine article, ISIS cites
religious justification for the enslavement of the Yazidi women in part
because it may cut down on the sin of adultery, I am not making that up.
Which of course further cements the notion ISIS militants are perhaps
the most monstrous interpreters of religious text in recent memory, but in
addition to being revolting, ISIS publishing an Islamic justification for
the sexual enslavement of a persecuted ethnic minority is sure to add fuel
to the fire.
The ongoing debate over what ISIS represents in relation to the rest
of, quote, "The Muslim World." It`s a debate that`s been gathering and one
that`s now metastasized in a big fight about political Islam in what they
believe or don`t believe, condemn or don`t condemn.
Another person who`s been thrust to the center of this debate is a
religious scholar and writer named Reza Aslan. He appeared on CNN to rebut
the Bill Maher take on Islam, this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you don`t think that there`s anything more -- the
justice system in Muslim countries you don`t think is somehow more
primitive or subjugates women more than in other countries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear what you just said? You said in Muslim
countries. I just told you in Indonesia, women are equal to men. In
turkey, they have had more female heads of state in Turkey than we have in
the United States. Stop saying things like Muslim countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Reza Aslan has then published an op-ed in the "New York Times" in
which he argues that Bill Maher is not the only one getting it wrong when
it comes to understanding Islam. There`s a real lack of sophistication on
both sides of the argument when it comes to discuss religion and violence.
Aslan has been on the show before. I`ve argued with him about faith,
Christianity and Islam. I`ve been wanting to talk to him about how he
thinks people`s faith including Muslims get it wrong when it comes to
Plus, I`ll ask him to respond to the cable news host who accused him
of playing the race religion card. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop saying things like Muslim countries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s a problem for Pakistan. So let`s criticize
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was playing a little bit of the race-religion part
on you guys. He was saying you`re calling everybody the same. His tone
was very angry. He wound up kind of demonstrating what people were fearful
about when they think of the faith in the first place, which is the
hostility of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, that very man whose tone was recently described as
angry. You`ve always struck me as such a happy, go-lucky individual.
REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR, "ZEALOT": Chris, I promise, I will do my best not to
scare you with my tongue.
HAYES: What did you think of this whole thing? I sort of watched the
thing with some morbid curiosity. Particularly, that last comment from
Chris Cuomo at CNN that your tone exemplified the anger that makes people
ASLAN: Look, I think people in minority religions or races particularly
the oppressed minority races and religions have heard that comment a lot.
When you`re confronted with some kind of generalization or bigoted comment
and then you respond to that generalization or bigoted comment with passion
and I was quite passionate in that interview.
Then it`s thrown back at your face, aha, you`ve proved what we`ve
always thought about you, which is that your people are angry or scary
irrational. It really was an embarrassing moment for Chris Cuomo I have to
HAYES: So there seems like there is a bit like of a conflation happening
and I understand why that conflation happens, but I`ve been catching flak
for it myself of race or religion. When Ben Affleck said that`s gross and
racist, people say Islam isn`t a race.
There are white Muslims and south Asian Muslims and black Muslims and
all kinds of Muslims. So what are you getting at when you`re talking about
racism sort of showing itself in relation to this conversation that`s
happening about the faith of Islam?
ASLAN: Well, it is the incorrect word to use, no doubt. I mean, you can
use bigotry. You can use islamaphobia or xenophobia. For most people,
Islam is a Middle Eastern or Arab thing despite the fact that Arabs make up
17 or 18 percent of the world`s Muslim population. Those American Muslims
are bringing that "desert stuff" into our country. There is something
deeply racist about that comment.
HAYES: Well, anti-desertist, I think.
ASLAN: OK, that`s very good, yes, anti-desertist.
HAYES: So let`s get to the some of the stops. I thought your ad was
remarkably clear about this. I want to cite this poll that Bill Maher and
Sam Harris has sort of built a lot of this around.
This is a Pew Research poll. I think it was conducted in 2013 of
different views. This is views of Egyptian Muslims, 74 percent of Egyptian
Muslims say Sharia should be official law.
That is of course sort of chronically derived religious law and 86
percent of those say that there should be a death penalty for converts
(inaudible) that`s about 60 percent of folks when you multiply those to 64
percent when you multiply those two together.
Now that`s a troubling polling result. I think both you and I would
ASLAN: Well, the second number is a troubling poll result. The first one,
you have to understand that those very same - that very same poll showed
that of that 70 something percent, there was a massive diversity abuse of
what they even meant --
We are talking about marriage and divorce laws and inheritance losses,
well, there are penal laws, but you`re right, 64 percent wanting the death
penalty for converts out of Islam is incredibly frightening until you read
the rest of the poll wherein 75 percent of Egyptians wanted religious
If that sounds like a contradiction, it is. Religion and religious-
lived experience is full of contradictions. So 64 percent wanting the
death penalty, that`s scary. But, of course, in neighboring Tunisia, it`s
about 12 percent. Let`s say Lebanon, it`s 1 in 6. In Turkey, it`s 5
So the larger issue is can you look at a scary poll of a place like
Egypt, the largest Arab country in the world and use that to make some sort
of broad generalizations about the lived experience of 1.6 billion Muslims
all around the world. You can`t.
And here`s the problem. What I think Maher and Harris are getting at.
They want to condemn believes. Frankly, look, I`m going to be honest with
you. If you are some kind of ultraorthodox Muslim who believes every word
of the Koran is literal.
And that gays are going to hell and that anyone who converts should be
killed, I don`t really have a problem with you as long as it`s just your
belief. I don`t care what you believe. It`s actions that we need to be
focusing on. We need to condemn actions, not beliefs. You can criticize
believes, if you want to.
HAYES: I think it`s fine to condemn believes, actually. But the more
germane is that people saying they are religion is about as much identity.
The perfect example of this is the Catholic Church. There`s this huge
diversion. I was raised a Catholic, my father is a Jesuit seminarian. I`m
Catholic. Does it mean that you check off every part of the catechism? Do
you think that every instance of non-appropriative mean --
ASLAN: The entire apostolic creed.
HAYES: That`s right. And non-procreative sex is a sin or else you will
rot in eternity for hell. No. I thought the pope this document came from
the pope today sort of thought as the belief system and the tone and what
religion really is in the guts of it more than what you answer to a poll.
ASLAN: That`s right. There is a fundamental misunderstanding about the
difference of a religious text and the experience of a religious community.
I think that`s what a lot of the simplistic, knee jerk criticism of
religion doesn`t seem to get.
You can scour the scriptures for some awful bits of savagery and say
aha. That`s the religion. Except that for the people who live this
religion, some of them agree with that, you know. Some of them don`t.
Some just ignore it.
Some interpret it away. Some focus on other aspects of the scripture.
Religion is an infinitely diverse experience and I was trained by Jesuits.
HAYES: And they`re the best in the entire world at reading bad stuff.
Reza Aslan -
ASLAN: And also evolving to the social situation of the world in which --
HAYES: Thank you. That is ALL IN 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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