All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 12, 2015
Guest: Farris Barakat, Farhana Khera, Phillip Atiba Goff, Bob Sears, Corey
Hebert, Jason Collins
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on All In.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MOHAMMAD ALBU-SALHA: She told us that she felt that man hated them for
the way they look and the Muslim garb they wore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A Trayvon Martin moment for Muslim-Americans. The family of three
slain Muslim students now directly appealing to the President for a hate
crime investigation. We`ll have the latest from North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Everyone is a little bit racist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A historic speech from the Director of the FBI on race in police.
Plus, a major measle scare in Silicon Valley. My interview with the best
selling author and pediatrician who thinks it`s OK to delay vaccines.
And on the eve of the All-Star Game, my interview with the NBA`s first
openly gay player.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON COLLINS, CENTER, BROOKLY NETS: I don`t have time to really think
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All In starts right now.
Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, mourners have
gathered around the country concluding at a vigil at Raleigh, North
Carolina to honor the three young Muslim-Americans shot to death Tuesday
night in their apartment at a campus in the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. This has been a day of mourning.
Earlier, thousands gathered for a funeral service for the three slain
students, dental student Deah Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha and his 19
-- and her 19-year-old sister Razan.
Police have charged this man, Craig Stephen Hicks, who lived in the same
apartment complex as the victims with the murders.
The police say their preliminary investigation indicated the crime was
motivated by anger over perceived parking infractions by the victims.
The father of the slain sisters told MSNBC today, he considers the murder
as a hate crime, driven by anti-Muslim biased. And in conjunction with
major Muslim groups, the victim`s family and members plan to send a letter
to the Department of Justice, calling for a formal hate-crime
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBU-SALHA: Even though the murderer can say that it was a parking
dispute, whatever he was picking on, he came to their apartment with his
gun two or three times before the murder, on different occasions.
My daughter Yusor complained and she told us that she felt that man hated
them for the way they looked and the Muslim garb they wore. She felt the
heat has risen after she moved into the apartment. And her friends came to
visit in Muslim -- and wear our Muslim attire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, a News & Observers reporting, the FBI has now opened a
parallel inquiry to killings to determine whether or not any federal laws
Earlier today, StoryCorp posts a recording of comments made by one of the
victim, Yusor Albu-Salha when she visited the StoryCorp booth with her
former elementary school teacher last summer.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
YUSOR ALBU-SALHA: Growing up in America has been such a blessing and, you
know, although in some ways I do stand out, such as, you know, the Hijab I
wear on my head, the head covering, there are still so many ways that I
feel so embedded in the fabric that is, you know, our culture. And that`s
the beautiful thing here is that it doesn`t matter where you come from.
There`s so many different people from so many different places, of
different backgrounds and religions, but here we`re all one.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now from Raleigh, North Carolina tonight is Deah
Barakat`s brother, Farris Barakat. Farris, I just want to thank you for
joining me and start out by saying we are all just horribly heartbroken and
sorry for your loss.
FARRIS BARAKAT, BROTHER OF DEAH BARAKAT: Thank you for honoring me and
it`s really good to hear Yusor`s voice again, actually. Thank you for
HAYES: How are you feeling today? I can`t imagine the grief your family
is going through. And also at the same time, there has been such a
remarkable outpouring. You`ve been so embraced. There are so many people
across the country thinking of you, praying for you. How are you feeling
at this moment?
BARAKAT: Honestly, I just speak on my behalf and on behalf of my life and
the Albu-Salha family. Grief is not something we feel right now. The
support has been tremendous and honestly we are -- we have hugged each
other. I told him congratulations. I`ve hugged my mom and told her
congratulations because your son is now in paradise, the highest level.
So honestly, we don`t feel grief. We are happy for them. And we`re going
to miss them soon. But right now, we`re related and we`re so happy that
God felt like we`re strong enough to handle this. And we rely on His
wisdom for this plan. And we look forward to what`s happening because no
one can make sense of this but we`re strong in our faith. And trust me, it
is not grief that we`re feeling.
HAYES: What do you want people to know about your brother and his wife and
her sister? What should we know about what kind of people they were?
BARAKAT: I was asked this earlier and I wasn`t able to answer because I
didn`t want to answer and not give the chance to give the thousands of
other people that Yusor and my brother helped answer that as well with me.
There are so much to talk about my brother and my sister-in-law and there`s
an -- my brother was kind and gentle but big and competitive and on the
basketball court and off and Yusor was such the passive, kind, peaceful,
soft-spoken type and Razan was such the able designer and she was very --
she was always was creative with her ideas and always is willing to use her
talent for others. And as many times, I wanted to resort to her and say,
hey Razan I wanted to work on this project and I want to resort to her on
this occasion but sadly I`ve come to realize that I couldn`t.
HAYES: I saw -- there had been some recording about the person who was
accused of committing this horrible crime, this crime adding post in the
Facebook things that his own beliefs, militant, atheism I believe you know
that, not having a believe in God and sort of looking down on those who do.
And I saw a statement that was posted by one group of atheist, American
atheist, sort of condemning the killings in a kind of ritualized way that
has come to be expected of essentially random Muslims in the wake of some
killing by -- someone who is a Muslim, even if it`s halfway across the
world. And I wonder what`s your response to that was?
BARAKAT: Many people actually have tried to condemn this act and for
atheist I think that they need to condemn this act is kind of -- would be
hypocritical for me to expect because, as a Muslim, I know that one act of
the violence does not represent all Muslims and this act does not represent
all atheists. And to me, I tell to the community, we know that this does
not represent any sane and loving and human being as atheist can be.
So, that is my response and thank you for everything.
HAYES: Finally I wanted to ask you if you have a message for the President
of the United States, there is a wave of grief happening across this
country. A feeling like, this is some kind of important galvanizing moment
for the way Muslim-Americans relate to America and feel protected and
embraced or marginalized and I wonder if there`s something you want to say
to the President?
BARAKAT: I guess this message goes to the President but every citizen of
this democratic country, I hope that we can use this tragedy to -- as much
as it`s a grave tragedy, I think we can all agree that so much good has
come out of it, if we continue to do that, if we can continue to see the
great blessing that it is. And to hopefully, you know, the only -- it
doesn`t change anything that this is classified as a hate-crime or not, but
you know the idea is, if we classify it as a hate-crime, and maybe people
will start understanding that, you know, Islamophobia or hate or ignorance
can kill, it can affect people`s lives and can take away three citizens
from this wonderful country and even more.
And my message is, let`s fight ignorance despite hate together and let`s
use this as an excuse to do so.
HAYES: Farris Barakat, I have to say, you and you`re entire family showed
tremendous grace and again, our deepest condolences. Thank you very much
for taking time tonight, I know it`s hard.
BARAKAT: Thank you, thank you.
HAYES: This unfathomable tragedy has become a rallying point both across
the world with Palestinians protesting the killings outside U.N.
headquarters in Gaza City today and here at home with an outpouring of
support for the three promising young Muslim-Americans who were both
observant and proud about their religion and in a million ways, just
Deah Barakat was a basketball fanatic who posted this absolutely adorable
and now heartbreaking vine (ph) of Yusor Alba-Salha with the caption, she
Donations to his project to bring dental care to Syrian refugees have now
hit more than $250,000, the goal was just $20,000. On Twitter, the
hashtag, Muslim lives matter and our three winners have become a rallying
cry for so many people and it feels to me, that someone observing this,
admittedly from the outside, like a galvanizing moment for Muslim-
A Trayvon Martin moment, a Michael Brown moment for Muslim-Americans,
though obviously very different in the context and specific sets of facts
in history, likely killing of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the
senseless deaths of these three young people has struck such a profound
nerve and mobilized so many because millions of people who look like those
victims are fed up with the routine stereotyping, the marginalization and
mainstream media representations and the vilification by political leaders
seeking to score cheap political points.
Whatever the motivations for this horrendous slaughter, it takes place in
the context where subtle, persistent anti-Muslim bias is a part of American
life, and this feels like a wake-up call.
Joining me now is Farhana Khera. She `s President and Executive Director
of Muslim Advocates. And Farhana, I want to ask you about a letter that I
understand you and other organizations are planning to send to the White
FARHANA KHERA, PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MUSLIM ADVOCATES: Yeah.
Chris, first of all, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the
families of the victims. Frankly, their strength and courage these last
few days has been inspiring. And my thoughts and prayers are with them.
You know, like you were just saying Chris, the level of the way in which
the strategy is being felt across the American-Muslim community, I haven`t
seen anything like this since the tragic events of September 11 frankly.
I can`t tell you how many messages I`ve read this week of mothers hugging
their children tightly and hoping that these brutal murders are not the
future for Muslims in America. But we know this Chris, that unfortunately
this was not an isolated incident.
We know that in the last five years, there`s been a disturbing uptick in
anti-Muslim bigotry and hate crimes. And that is why we are calling on the
President and the Attorney General to act. They have been silent. We need
them to address these murders in clear and unconditional terms. And we
want the Attorney General to open a full and rigorous federal investigation
to ensure that this does not happen again.
It is -- Absolutely important for the nations to up law enforcement officer
to send a clear message to people not only in North Carolina, but across
HAYES: I should know, we do have just before it went on air, one report
from News & Observer local paper that that`s -- it appears such a parallel
inquiry may have already been initiated by the federal government.
What do you say to people that say, "We don`t know the motivations," the
wife of the person who was alleged of committed this murder says it was
about -- in the police`s words, a parking dispute which is a very weird
phrase in a context of killing three people?
But, you know, you don`t know what`s going through his head and you
shouldn`t be making this into something that it isn`t necessarily?
KHERA: Well, I think given the environment of -- in which this took place,
Chris, and especially in the last -- even in the last several weeks where
we`ve seen politicians from state houses to Governor Bobby Jindal make
anti-Muslim comments, where we`ve seen frankly just threatening messages on
social media particularly after the release of the Hollywood movie
There`s a certain environment taking place and I might add you mentioned
that the FBI has started a preliminary inquiry, we think that`s a good step
but preliminary inquiries don`t always result in full investigations and so
we`re seeking a full and open rigorous investigation. And we think that is
what`s needed because of this climate of hate because it`s not just taking
place in North Carolina, Chris, it`s taking place across the country.
HAYES: Farhana Khera, thank you very much.
Before we leave this, I want to just show some statistics on hate crimes
against Muslims in this country. And you`ll notice something pretty
They were very low before 2001, September 11th. They went skyrocketed that
year and they have remain quite and disturbingly high since then, something
to think about the context of what happened down in Chapel Hill, all right.
As same-sex marriage licenses get mandated in Mobile, Alabama. I`ll be
joined here in studio by NBA veteran Jason Collins, the first major pro-
sport athlete to come out.
But first, an astonishing speech from an expected quarter
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: Many people in our white majority culture have unconscious racial
biases and react differently to a white face than a black face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The current head of the FBI unflinching on the subject of race and
police. That`s next.
HAYES: This week I travel to Texas, home of the most active death chamber
in the country and our next installment of the All In America`s series
brought me to death row in Livingstone, Texas.
Yesterday, I sat down with the man who is scheduled to be executed in just
three weeks. Rodney Reed convicted in the 1996 rape and murder of a woman
named Stacey Stites maintains his innocence to this day. I talked with him
not only about the case, about what living on death row from nearly two
decades has been like. Relationships, he told me, are difficult to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you have friendships that have been born here?
RODNEY REED, TEXAS DEATH ROW INMATE: I don`t use that word loosely,
friends, you know what I`m saying. Friendship, I mean, I have guys that I
associate with because when you go as far as making a friend, I mean,
there`s feelings there that if you know what a true friend is, you know,
what I`m saying, you know what I`m saying and you, the next thing, you
know, the state`s gonna take them. It`s more likely the friend that is,
you know, the state`s gonna kill him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You`ll hear more of what Rodney Reed told me about life on death
row in our Facebook page, facebook.com/allinwithchris.
HAYES: Something remarkable happened in Washington today. One of the
nation`s top law enforcement official, the man who spent most of his career
in law enforcement and who`s a Bush appointee to the Justice Department,
this man right here. FBI Director James Comey delivered some brazing hard
truths on racial justice and policing in America.
The speech today at Georgetown University Comey spoke unsparingly about law
enforcement`s role in this country`s legacy of racism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: All of us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge
that much of our history is not pretty. At many points in American
history, law enforcement enforced the status quo. A status quo that was
often brutally unfair to disfavored groups.
Little compares to the experience on our soil of black Americans. That
experience should be part of every American`s consciousness, and law
enforcement`s role in that experience including in recent times must be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: His speech was explicitly framed around events since the death of
Michael Brown and Eric Garner a little more than six months ago, the idea
of this kind of talk coming from the Director of the FBI, the Irish-
American grandson of a cop, would have seemed inconceivable. The same time
Comey also sought to defend law enforcement and focus on the long
complicated antecedents to the encounters between cops and people with
collar in neighborhoods across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: Law enforcement is not the root cause of the problems in our
hardest hit neighborhoods. Police officers, people of enormous courage and
integrity in the overwhelming main (ph) are in those neighborhoods, risking
their lives, to protect folks from offenders who are a product of problems
that will not be solved by body cameras.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and president of the
Center for Policing Equity. Well, Phillip, I thought this is a pretty
amazing speech. What was your take on it?
PHILLIP ATIBA GOFF, CENTER FOR POLICING EQUITY: I was gobsmacked. I felt
exactly the way that you felt. You`re not expecting to see the Director of
the least trusted body in the federal government within black communities
come out and say everyone is a little bit racist.
That was sort of mind blowing. And I`m so glad that you`re covering this
because I think it shows the incremental changes that give people so much
hope that we can be doing something better with race and law enforcement
than what we`ve been doing up until now.
HAYES: Yeah. There`s a part where he quotes the musical avenue queue that
is a song everybody is a little bit racist to talk about unconscious. I
thought that was key because I think what ends up happening often in these
conversations that members of law enforcement police officers feel -- get
into a defensive crouch. Is your calling me a racist and this point that
every person even African-Americans as demonstrated in a lots of laboratory
environments have anti-black bias that that is just part of what underlies
anyone doing their job in law enforcement or elsewhere.
GOFF: Yeah. And what I found to be even more -- maybe sort of radical in
what he was saying is he said it`s easy to localize this problem within the
character of law enforcement. And his concern was that`s too easy.
GOFF: But the problem is bigger than that and we all need to take
ownership of those bigger problems. This speech was sort of the power of
honesty, but even more it`s the power of historical literacy. So the point
he was making were profound from any director of the FBI. But beyond that
he got specific, he mentioned the fact that he sit at the desk where the
order was received five lines to go ahead and wiretap Martin Luther King.
Saying that out loud where people could hear him is it`s a brand new day
for every FBI`s relationship with these kinds of communities.
HAYES: And in fact he talks about keeping and there`s a long portion of
the speech where he talks about why he keeps a copy of that approval of the
wiretap request at his desk as a reminder of what the history the FBI is.
And I mean, we were not even getting into the Black Panthers and
(inaudible) and all sorts of other stuff they do.
This is just on King, but I mean this is an agency that has done some
pretty narrowly things to black activist through the decades. And for him
to just acknowledge that, that itself I thought was pretty striking.
GOFF: Yeah, it`s absolute. Again it was phenomenal. And, you know, so my
phone was buzzing off the hook as soon as the text of it was released
because there were a lot of folks in law enforcement who have felt this
way, who have been waiting for leadership to come out and say it. And that
he ends the speech talking about data which he knows good and well that
major city law enforcement has been calling for a national database not
just on police-involved shootings but on all police behavior that were now
putting together for the first time.
It was a phenomenal speech. It was -- and not just a work of amazing
politics but incredible honesty and something -- a good news race story at
the time when we can really use one.
HAYES: Yeah, he said at one point it is ridiculous I cannot tell you how
many Americans were shot by police last year which is I think
Phillip Atiba Goff, always a pleasure. Thank you.
GOFF: Thank you.
HAYES: Of all the top questions of potential presidential contenders face,
I don`t think this should be one of them
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you
believe in it? Do you accept it?
SCOTT WALKER, GOV. (R) WISCONSIN: For me I`m going to punt on that one as
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Really?
WALKER: That`s a question a politician should be involved in one way or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Happy 206th birthday Charles Darwin, we`ll present some advise for
presidential aspirants based on that question, ahead.
HAYES: It`s the common presidential hopeful`s rite of passage. Travel
(ph) London extensively to beef up your economic informed policy
credentials and stepping it.
Yesterday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the latest Republican who
follow in that grand tradition, in a question and answer session at Chatham
House, yesterday this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I finish with the question that I always assume as
the tradition now to ask visiting particularly Republican, senior
Republicans who come to London and it`s not about cheese and it`s not about
foreign affairs. It`s actually about evolution. Do you -- Are you
comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you believe in it? Do you
WALKER: For me, I`m going to punt on that one as well...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Really?
WALKER: That`s a question a politician should be involved in one way or
the other. So I`m going to leave that up to you and.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . with any British politician right or left wing would
say would love and say yes of course evolution is true. But.
WALKER: To me I said it`s just one of those where I`m here to talk about
trade not to pontificate that. Another should.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Walker went on to tweet, "Both science and my faith dictate my
belief that we are created by God. I believe faith and science are
compatible, and go hand in hand." It`s unfortunate the media chose to
politicize this issue during our trade mission to foster investment in
So over the last 30 days we`ve gaffer (ph) a new cycle about vaccines yes
or no to crusades maybe not so bad to evolution, is it real. And out of
all that madness there`s still something in particular about Walker`s
answer that`s stands out.
First as a politician you`re never suppose to actually say, "I`m going to
punt on that one." That is supposed to be the subtext, the text is just
your non-responsive answer. Saying, "I`m going to punt" is like saying, "I
am evasive and untrustworthy."
Second Scott Walker, Rand Paul, and Chris Christie and anyone else there
who is thinking of running for president, I have three words of advice just
say yes -- should kids be vaccinated, yes. Did people commit horrible acts
in the name of Christianity during the crusades, yes. Should kids be
taught evolution because it`s real, yes. Next question.
HAYES: So the process of getting a marriage license in the state of
Alabama has been in chaos in recent days.
After a federal struck down the state`s ban on same-sex marriage, and the
Supreme Court refused to block that ruling -- meaning it was going to go
into effect -- Roy Moore, the chief justice of Alabama`s Supreme Court, the
state court, took matters into his own hands.
He instructed local judges to ignore the federal court ruling and the
Supreme Court and still refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex
Now, as you might imagine, complete disarray followed with judges in some
counties following the federal court`s order and issuing the licenses while
others refused licenses to same-sex couples and some just shut down the
entire marriage license operation altogether.
But today, another ruling which might provide some clarity to local judges
who aren`t sure what to do. Earlier today a federal judge ruled that
officials in Mobile should go ahead and let same-sex couples get married,
basically telling them to stop ignoring her original ruling from a few
weeks ago when she declared, in so uncertain terms that Alabama`s ban on
same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
Today`s ruling was part of a lawsuit intended to clear things up between
the conflicting federal and state rulings. And in some ways, what is most
remarkable about this fight in Alabama right now, this constitutional
crisis, is that it hasn`t happening earlier. I mean, in state after state
after state opponents of same-sex marriage have basically waved the white
flag of surrender, which is partly a sign of the evolution in public
opinion on this matter.
As recently as 2003, according to Pew Research, just 33 percent of the
country supported same-sex marriage. Ten years later, half of the country
favored same-sex marriage. And that was the year that Jason Collins became
the first active male player in any of the big four American pro sports
leagues to come out as gay.
Writing at the time, quote, "I`m glad I`m coming out in 2013 rather than
2003. The climate has shifted. Public opinion has shifted. And yet we
still have so much farther to go."
And joining me now is Jason Collins. Great to have you here. I wanted to
talk to you for awhile.
Thank you for being here.
JASON COLLINS, RETIRED NBA PLAYER: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: So, when you see what`s going on with this -- you know, we`ve got
the marriage case that`s going to come before the Supreme Court, this
Alabama fight that`s happening, what is your feeling about where we are in
this sort of trajectory of progress?
COLLINS: It is a little frustrating when you see people fighting against
change. And some people are digging in their heels, and trying to find
ways around it, but I think ultimately marriage equality is going to be a
fact in this country in all 50 states and slowly we`re on that path and
obviously with the Supreme Court case that is coming up later, in a couple
months, we`re looking forward to the outcome of that.
HAYES: Did you -- do you -- I mean, when you made the decision to do what
you did, how did that alter the trajectory of your life?
COLLINS: My life is exponentially better in so many ways. I was able to
go out and play on the court. There is a picture here from my game,
playing at Denver, I think that was my third game back in the league.
But just being able to after the game is over, not having to hide who I am.
In some of the games, especially here in New York and Brooklyn, my
boyfriend was here waiting in the family room just like everyone else`s
loved one. And that`s how it should be. It`s -- you are able to have your
private life and not feel like you have to hide anything and then you`re
able to go out there and you know do your job and play your sport.
HAYES: Did things change much? It seemed to me like it was largely was
srot a nonissue. Maybe that`s the wrong perception. From your standpoint,
how did if feel?
COLLINS: Well, it was a great -- a huge issue for some of my teammates.
One of my team mates in particular took time, especially in that first week
that I came back to pull me aside and just say this is going to be huge for
the country, it`s a great sports moment, and just how proud he was of me
and how happy he was I was back in the league and that I was his team mate.
And moments like that are incredible, especially now, you know, I have seen
it now for Robbie Rogers for the L.A. Galaxy in the soccer and then in
college with Derrick Gordon at UMass and more and more male athletes --
because for so long -- a long time women were taking the lead. We had
Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.
And I`m so grateful and thankful for every athlete, male or female, who
came out. We`re all on the same team and making it easier or better for
the next generation.
HAYES: Are there -- I wondered this as soon as you came out -- are there
closeted male athletes in this country who reach out to Jason Collins to
say what should I do?
COLLINS: Well, I don`t know -- not what should I do, but just -- yeah,
just talk. And that`s sort of been my role when I was -- later in my
career I was a mentor. And it`s just shifted, instead of mentoring young
centers about like OK...
HAYES: How to give a foul?
COLLINS: Yeah, this is how you give a foul, this is how you take a charge,
this is how you flop -- now it`s like, OK, these are some good people, good
resources to know, a good support system.
And again, we can all -- you know, we talk about sports, talk about
basketball but then we also talk about their private lives and just how
they`re doing, trying to offer another level of support for them.
HAYES: You know, it has always struck me that being, you know, 22-years-
old, under tremendous pressure, with millions of dollars, and trying to
have any thing resembling a normal private romantic life regardless of
whether you`re straight or gay is hard enough.
COLLINS: Yeah, especially for a basketball player, because typically we
are taller. So, you know, take myself for instance. I`m seven feet.
HAYES: You stand out...
COLLINS: I do not blend in unless I`m out there on a basketball court,
that`s where I blend in.
But, you know, it is important for people to feel comfortable in their own
skill and live their authentic life because it will alleviate stress.
HAYES: Could we just talk for a second about how great this NBA season has
COLLINS: Yeah, it`s been incredible.
HAYES: Yeah, I mean, it`s a fantastic season?
COLLINS: Yeah, and plus I`m a little partial to the Golden State Warrior,
my twin brother Jerin is an assistant coach with the Warriors. So he will
-- he`s actually in town now. So, I`m looking forward to catching up with
him this weekend.
HAYES: They are -- there is nothing -- I mean, if you love basketball,
is nothing more beautiful, it`s like listening to like a Tchaikovsky
symphony or something, to watch the Golden State Warrior when they are
turning it up, when they are firing on all cylinders.
COLLINS: Yeah, it`s amazing. It`s like a -- to those who play video game,
it`s like NBA Jam when the guy is on fire, like some of the shots that
STeph Curry out there, and Clay Thompson too, and they have so many
And then, you`ve got the Cleveland Cavaliers who are playing really well.
And then you have the addition of Pau Gasol in Chicago, and that
combination that seems to be finally clicking with Derek Rose. So it`ll be
fun to watch.
And then how scary is this that you could have Oklahoma City or maybe even
San Antonio as an eight seed maybe or a seven seed. And it`s just like,
you know, who wants to play against them in the first round.
HAYES: Do you think they should go -- there has been some interesting talk
about going to the best 16 teams as opposed to the best eight from each
conference, because you end up -- it`s been so lopsided in the west for so
COLLINS: I actually -- I`m a little bit mixed on this, because I played in
the Eastern Conference for all my 13 years in the NBA.
HAYES: Probably on some on the bubble teams.
COLLINS: Yeah. There is one Nets team, we were about .500 and we ended up
going to the playoffs, and -- I actually am in favor of just having the
best teams, because I think it`ll make the playoffs even better.
HAYES: Jason Collins, it`s really, really a pleasure. This is the most
important question, right.
COLLINS: Yes, let`s here it.
HAYES: Can you get me tickets to the all-star game?
COLLINS: I know a guy who knows a guy.
HAYES: All right, really a pleasure, man. Thank you very much.
Great to see you.
All right -- basketball game this weekend, in fact.
All right, there is parents who do vaccinate their kids, they`re parents
who don`t vaccinate their kids, and then there parents who delay
vaccinating their kids and one of the doctors who helps justify doing he is
going to join me ahead. Stick around for that.
HAYES: Tonight there`s yet another case of adult measles, a person in the
Bay Area in Contra Costa County has contracted measles, that`s according to
the patient`s employer LinkedIn.
Officials at the professional social networking site say they are
cooperating with local health officials. In fact, a person may have
exposed fellow passengers on the BART rail service when the patient
traveled in and out of San Francisco between February 4 and February 6
according to health officials.
Meanwhile, Wired.com has published this alarming chart from the California
Department of Public health showing the measles vaccination rates at
children of workers at various Silicon Valley companies. Those red lines
show day cares affiliated with Bay Area companies where less than 90
percent of children have had up to date vaccines.
The day care centers that fall below this crucial herd immunity level of 90
percent include some affiliated with Google, Cisco Systems, IBM, and Pixar.
Now here`s the thing, up to date is a key phrase in this story, because
delaying vaccines is the real undercovered story of this measles outbreak.
We`ll have much more on that next.
HAYES: Since the onset of the recent measles outbreak in this country,
attention has largely focused on anti-vaccers, parents who don`t get their
kids vaccinated at all, because of scientifically baseless fears.
That is a tiny part of the population.
There is a far larger group that includes thow who are delaying vaccines
for their children, because of shoddy non-scientific notions about, for
example, the danger of vaccines in combinations or in close succession, or
the effect of possible toxins.
At a recent congressional hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren posed a series
of questions to Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for
Immunization at the CDC. After dispensing with many of the concerns of
outright antivaxxers, specifically point out the lack of scientific
evidence linking vaccines to autism, mental disorders, allergies or
autoimmune disorders, they moved on to some of the concerns more widely
shared of vaccine delayers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Are there additives or
preservatives in vaccines that can be toxic to kids?
DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, CDC: Not in the amounts that are in vaccines.
WARREN; Is there any scientific evidence that giving kids their vaccines
further apart or spacing them differently is healthier for kids?
SCHUCHAT; No, it actually increases the risk period for children.
WARREN: So it adds to the danger.
Is there any scientific evidence that kids can develop immunity to these
diseases on their own simply by eating nutritious foods or being active?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And yet one of the bestselling on children`s health on Amazon right
now is this: "The Vaccine Book," which includes, quote, common sense
sounding admonitions like, quote, "vaccination isn`t an all or nothing
decision." And, quote, "it is my goal to give you a balanced look, the pros
and cons vaccination that you can make an educated decision."
In his book, Dr. Bob Sears offers up an alternative vaccine schedule where
some shots are delayed.
Dr. Sears has argued that, quote, "spreading the shots out reduces the risk
of having a severe reaction and avoids overloading babies with too many
ingredients at one time."
But most doctors and scientists, including as you heard, top immunization
officials at the CDC, say there is no science behind the delayed schedule.
And delaying vaccines is actually dangerous.
I`m going to ask the author of The Vaccine Book, Dr. Bob Sears, why he is
pushing a program that is so widely condemned among his peers, next.
HAYES: Joining me now the author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right
Decision for Your Child pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears.
Doctor, thank you.
I just wanted to be first about -- talk about sort of your qualifications
here. I mean, you`re a pediatrician, obviously, but you don`t publish in
immunology, or vaccines. You don`t research it, and you don`t study this
DR. BOB SEARS, PEDIATRICIAN: Well, I give vaccines every day in my office,
Chris, so I have a lot of experience with them, certainly. And I spent
years, even decades even, researching medical journals. This all started
back in medical school. I just hit the library and went from journal to
journal trying to learn everything I could about vaccines.
HAYES: Right, but you`re not publishing peer-reviewed work in this area?
SEARS; No, I`m a full-time practicing pediatrician. I work every day in
my office, so no, I`m not a researcher, Chris.
HAYES: So, where is the published peer-reviewed evidence to support the
notion of a, quote, overload if you follow the CDC recommended schedule?
Where does that exist?
SEARS: Chris, I don`t think there is any such research, and I actually
claimed there was.
I certainly have put out there very clearly in my writings that my
precautions on spreading out vaccines are theoretical. It`s a theoretical
benefit to kids and it`s a choice that I think a lot of parents feel more
comfortable about and might bring more parents to vaccinate if they can
spread the shots out more than the regular schedule.
HAYES: So, I`ve watched a number of your interviews. I`m sort of always
confused about whether you`re saying you`re doing this to make parents more
comfortable or you actually think there is something to it. And the most
cynical interpretation is you`ve spotted a market opportunity to be the
kind of sensible middle in the, quote, vaccine debate where you can sell a
lot of books to people by basically telling them they have their cake and
eat it too. You`re not crazy for thinking this. Just delay. You can have
the best of both worlds.
SEARS: Well, Chris, if you look back in the 80s when we were giving
vaccines to children, we gave about eight vaccines back then. And I think
almost all parents complied. We felt it was really safe and you didn`t see
a lot of reactions.
And then the `90s and 2000s, and now, Chris, that number has moved from
eight vaccines to 54 vaccines throughout all of childhood...
HAYES: Right, within the first two years.
SEARS: Some of these parents are simply just trying to question is this
escalation too much for their little babies to handle. And they want to
spread it out.
HAYES: But what you`re saying there -- this is the thing I think I find,
if you`ll excuse me, somewhat maddening about this is that throwing out
these numbers and saying they`re little babies reifies some notion that
they have to be scared of it when we have science for a reason. We have
peer-reviewed research for a reason.
We know we can conduct peer-reviewed research on this. We have
longitudinal studies about the effects of these things.
If none of that turning up negative effects, aren`t you just feeding into
those fears? Isn`t this superstition?
SEARS: Well, Chris, let`s look at data. Let`s look at Centers for Diseae
Control data. As you may already know, about 2,000 severe reactions are
reported to the Centers for Disease Control every year from vaccines, you
know, reactions that land someone in the hospital, create a permanent
disability or even death: 2,000, Chris.
Now, I will also say that these are not proven reactions to the vaccines,
these are simply reported reactions. And what does the medical community
do with that? They simply ignore those reactions, because we can`t prove
that the vaccines cause these, we`re just going to set them aside and
ignore them. And I think that`s dangerous and it does a disservice.
HAYES: Why is that dangerous? First of all, we`re talking about a cohort
roughly every year of about 10 million kids, right. So 2,000 about of 10
million kids, it`s 2,000 out of 2,500.
Second of all, if this is the concern, right, it seems to me that the
precautionary principle here is to get your kids vaccinated along the
schedule that is supported by the best most current medical research
evidence published and peer-reviewed, and then push for additional research
in other areas. And if they additional researches turns something back,
then deviate from that.
But to tell people to delay their vaccines opens up to real harm that we
are now seeing happen across this country.
SEARS: Well, Chris, in my office I definitely don`t tell people delay any
vaccines that pose a direct threat to their babies or their communities.
You know, I vaccinate for whopping cough on time, rotavirus. I delay the
meningitis vaccines by only one month, one month, Chris. I don`t think
that`s much of a delay. And I also recommend the measles vaccine at one
year and five years just as the CDC does.
So, I don`t delay anything that poses a direct threat.
I delay some of the vaccines that don`t make sense, like Hepatitis b.
That`s a sexually transmitted infection. American babies don`t catch that.
And when parents hear that my schedule is a little bit more logical and I`m
not forcing a vaccine that makes no sense down their throats, they tend to
listen to me and then want to follow that advice.
HAYES: Let me just say on the Hepatitis B, there`s been a lot of sort of I
think muddying the waters -- the CDC changed the Hepatitis B recommendation
because they found that day care centers were a site of transmission of the
disease precisely because there were larger populations of people that were
not vaccinated in those areas.
But Dr. Bob Sears, thank you for coming on the show. I really do
appreciate you coming on.
SEARS: All right. Thanks for having me on, Chris.
HAYES: Let`s turn to Dr. Corey Hebert, assistant professor at the
Louisiana State health sciences center in Tulane University, also CEO of
community health TV.
And Dr. Hebert, I know you do do some research and work in this area. This
idea -- I mean, there is an intuitive appeal of delay meningitis by a
month. So what`s so bad about that?
DR. COREY HEBERT, LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER: Well, there are a couple of
things here. And what we must always realize is that this is based on
preferences. Dr. Sears is a great guy. And -- but it`s all based on
So when we think about parental preferences, we`re -- they`re based on
emotion and they`re based on science. So, really, bogus scientific data
has no place in evidence-based medicine in the United States. We know that
of 4 million kids will get combination vaccines this year alone, and it`s
1.1 in 1 million will have a serious adverse event or vaccine injury.
Now let`s think about this very clearly, because the odds of you taking an
aspirin and having an intercerbral hemorrhage are much greater than a
vaccine injury. And we mentioned -- Dr. Sears mentioned the fact that
there is a registry. It`s called VARS (ph). And people can report vaccine
injury and vaccine adverse reactions to this. Not only can doctors do it,
but parents can do it, teachers can do it and there is really no cause and
effect, because if I get a flu vaccine, and then I walk out onto the street
and get hit by a car, that is listed in that VARS (ph) system. So, that
didn`t mean anything.
HAYES: Let me tell you about VARS (ph), I`ll give you an honest moment.
My first daughter -- we took her to some set of shots. And sure, it`s
upsetting to watch your little infant kid get shots. And she was sort of
acting kind of like -- she was in a bad mood afterwards and the thought
totally 100 percent flitted across my mind, because all this stuff out
there, like oh, man, was it the vaccine? Was it the shot? And I can
imagine if she got sick, self reporting that even if there is absolutely no
possible provable scientific connection between the two.
And what happens is everybody wants the best for their kids. So, let`s
just think about this. When is the last time a 25 to 35-year-old man or
someone limping around America because they got polio. When the last time
somebody saw that? So, they don`t know the scourge of illness. Without
vaccination and sanitation America would not even be here. So, let`s talk
Because we know that the delayed vaccination thing, let`s -- you can`t base
your whole livelihood on bogus science. We know that Dr. Andrew Wakefield
produced this study in 1998. And I`m talking to you right now as a parent,
and as a doctor, and as a researcher. When I was in training when that
came out in 1998 and I had a newborn kid. So, I was like, man, what do I
But what did I do? I looked at the data and I saw that this was bogus.
This dude got $600,000 from lawyers to sue the vaccine manufacturers. So,
that is the only guy that ever came out with that.
So, and then you have got Jenny McCarthy coming out saying that. And so
she got her degree at Playboy University. So, you can`t even justify her
coming out writing three books on this thin.
So, I`m trying to disparage anybody here, Chris, but what I am telling you
is that we must keep this in proportion.
And I want to say one more thing about this measles, mumps, rubella shot.
Everybody is freaking out about the measles, but let`s think about MMR
stands for measles, mumps and rubella. If a boy does not get the shot, and
he gets the mumps, he can get orchitis which can cause him to be sterile
and not be able to have children. Also, if a lady does not have her
rubella shot, then she can have stillborn child if she gets rubella.
So, the point is that this is much bigger than just the measles, this is a
far -- has much broader implications here.
HAYES: And there is also a collection action problem here, just to end on
this note, which is that if you think, well, these diseases basically don`t
affect anyone anymore, and individually I can make the freerider decision
because I feel kind of icky about it, well, enough people do that and you
you know what you get, you measles at Disneyland.
Dr. Corey Hebert, thank you very much
HEBERT: There you go. Thank you.
HAYES: All right, that is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW" starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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