All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, March 20th 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 20, 2015
Guest: Dan Krauth, Phillip Atiba Goff, Matt Duss, Tracy Clayton, Mike
Peska, Bart Bibler
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN:
An incredibly racist fake movie trailer made by police officers in Ft.
FRANK ADDERLEY, CHIEF OF POLICE, FORT LAUDERDALE: There is someone
with a hood, KKK, in the video.
HAYES: Tonight, three officers are fired, another quits. How deep
into the department does this go?
Then, as the president reaches out directly to Iran --
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To everyone celebrating
Nowruz -- Nowruz Mubarak.
HAYES: -- he gets slammed for his treatment of Israel.
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: He has such an
extraordinary sense of identity, with sympathy for many of the other Middle
HAYES: Plus, the ban on the words "climate change" under Florida
Governor Rick Scott.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we wanted to keep our jobs, we better not use
HAYES: Tonight, another worker says he was punished for his
environmental views. He joins me live.
And disturbing allegations from fraternities around the country,
prompting new questions about whether the Greek system is completely
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: (AUDIO GAP) New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Stunning video tonight out of Ft. Lauderdale`s Police Department, as
officials announced the firing of three police officers and the resignation
of another for racist text messages and the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADDERLEY: All four officers` conduct involved racist text messages
exchanged between themselves and a former officer, Alex Alvarez, created a
video that was racially biased.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The text messages include comment such as, "get that N-word
out from under that wagon," and quote, "We are coming and drinking all of
your beer and killing" -- and the n-word again.
As to the video, it is in the form of a movie trailer and suggests
that, quote, "the hoods are coming after African-Americans."
Here is the first 23 seconds of the video which includes offensive
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: The video goes on to show a KKK hood, an image of President
Obama with a gold grill in his mouth and the gold necklace, a reference to
a runaway slave, and an image of a black man on the ground as he is bitten
by a dog.
Police Chief Frank Adderley said the video was brought to the
department`s attention by the ex-fiancee of one of the four officers and
that it was seen by other members of the department. He said the offending
officers claimed the video was a joke and that every Ft. Lauderdale police
officer will now have to attend a, quote, "human diversity class on an
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler insisted at today`s press conference
the four officers do not reflect the department as a whole.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK SEILER, MAYOR OF FORT LAUDERDALE: It`s a department of over 500
sworn police officers. You`re dealing with about 1 percent of the police
department. That is not a reflection in my mind of a problem within the
police department. It`s a reflection of a few bad apples in a bunch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Dan Krauth, investigative reporter with WTVJ
in South Florida, who was at today`s press conference.
Dan, tell me a little bit more about how this all came to light.
DAN KRAUTH, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, WTVJ-TV: Good evening, Chris,
this all started with an estranged fiancee of a rookie 23-year-old police
officer who made that video, that you just showed to your viewers here.
She came here to the police chief, showed him the racist video and text
messages. And that started the five-month long internal investigation
which ended today, with the termination of three officers, and that rookie
officer who actually resigned back in January before that investigation
HAYES: What kind of questions, and what kind of reaction was there in
that press conference today. Obviously, this is pretty incendiary stuff.
It`s coming on the heels of high profile cases of demonstrated racial bias
in police departments. What kind of questions was the chief facing?
KRAUTH: Well, I can tell you that a member of the Dream Defenders
organization watched the video with me. She came her to the police
department after she saw the press conference to the NBC News. She called
the video hurtful, and she says this is deeply disturbing. And she says
this all comes down to a problem of trust. They are unable to trust the
members of a law enforcement community when something like this happens.
I asked the police chief, what do these officers say in their defense?
They said this was all a big joke, but obviously, no one is laughing here
tonight. So, leaders are calling this despicable, deplorable, and quite
frankly, very, very racist.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, obviously, the police chief, as you can see
there, is an African-American man. That said, you`ve got to ask if a video
like this was created and this wasn`t just thrown together. I mean, there
was some thought put into this. Presumably it was disseminated, presumably
officers other than the officers who created it saw it and they didn`t say
anything if, in fact, it was the ex-fiancee who`s the one who blew the
KRAUTH: This could have went on and on, Chris. It is deeply
disturbing because this was the first African-American police chief in the
city of Fort Lauderdale. He started back in 2008. He was born and raised
in this community. So, this behavior of his officers is very disturbing.
This video was made on an iPhone app or iMovie. Now, we talked about
the video, but there are a lot of disturbing text messages.
I`ve been reading to 50 pages of text messages, very disturbing
comment. The officers were back and forth over a few month period of time,
used the N-word repeatedly, especially when talking about suspects who are
captured, who are still on the loose. They referred to one as giving the
noose to tie around their neck, and another text message, he said, we want
to go into their community, drink their beer, and kill them. It talks
about black people and how they also have the death penalty, very deeply
and hurtful messages in those text messages that were released to us just a
few hours ago.
HAYES: Investigative reporter Dan Krauth, thank you very much.
The news out of Fort Lauderdale comes on the heels of news that a
Ferguson police officer was fired and two others were suspended after
racist emails were uncovered by the U.S. justice department. Part of what
the DOJ said was a pattern of racial discrimination in the department,
which leads with the question -- if you were to do a department by
department audit of thousands of police departments in this country, what
exactly would you find lurking beneath the surface?
Joining me now, Philip Atiba Goff. He`s co-founder and president of
Center for Policing Equity, works with police departments on diversity
training and racial equity throughout the country.
What`s your reaction to that question as we see this really -- I mean,
if you`ve got a change to look at the text messages, which are online,
they`re genuinely despicable. I mean, they`re bragging about someone,
almost dying in their care, it`s casual throwing around the N-word. I
mean, what are we to make of this with the mayor`s testimony this is only
four people out of 100?
PHILLIP ATIBA GOFF, CENTER FOR POLICING EQUITY: Well, I think the
thing we have to make of it is when you have these things that are sort of
barroom or locker room behavior and there is a badge and a gun behind it,
that the keyword is exactly is what the Dream Defenders said, the key word
is trust. It`s not about the character of the four officers and whether or
not we have a character problem. It`s about there`s an actual harm that`s
being done when communities learn that this is what police officers are
doing in their spare time, sometimes on social media, sometimes in videos
And that harm to the community isn`t just hurt feelings. It`s a
desire to call the police or not when something terrible has happened,
which if they don`t call the police, puts the entire community in greater
peril. It endangers public safety.
HAYES: It`s really striking to me that the way this comes out is that
the ex-fiancee of one of the officers brings the tape forward, because I
got to think that it wasn`t not just the four officers who saw the video,
it wasn`t just the four officers who heard them use the N-word. I mean,
presumably there was folks around them who kind of knew what these guys
thought and how they talked and that didn`t trip any wires.
GOFF: Yes, and the question there is, well, what other sorts of
behaviors were they doing on the job that should have been, right? So, it
leaves a great doubt in all of our minds, because it`s possible that you
got these people that think these incredibly hateful, vile, and disgusting
things, and yet, they`re going along and doing their jobs fairly well. But
that`s the seed of doubt that`s in all of the community`s members` minds at
this point, right? That is not happening that way.
HAYES: That is extremely charitable.
HAYES: Let me just says, it`s deeply implausible to me that anyone
with the kind of views expressed in these text messages or expressed in the
video. And again, we showed you the part we can show you because the other
parts are so patently offensive, we can`t show them to you. That these are
just straight up stone cold, anti-black, racist -- with racist messages,
that these folks can go in communities which we know from the press
conference today were predominantly black communities interact with people
there and do their job in a lot of -- with a modicum of professionalism.
GOFF: That`s exactly right. And so, the possibility, I leave it out
there, because I`m a scientist and we have to allow for that to be
possible. But there is nobody in any black community that feels under
siege by law enforcement that doesn`t feel like this is a kind of little
vindication. Like maybe these are the e-mails that my officers are going
through, and that`s the damage. That`s the absolute power, not just in
Fort Lauderdale, but everywhere.
And that`s I think what law enforcement has to take up as a mantle for
change in this. You ask about an audit all nationwide, I`m hearing
constantly from community members that says, you know what? Let`s get
access to all the emails, let`s get access to all the text messages,
because I am so concerned with what I see on television and what I`m seeing
in my community, that I no longer trust that law enforcement not only
shares my values, but that law enforcement sees me as fully human.
That`s the thing that we`ve got to fix. When you`re saying, well,
it`s a systematic problem in the department, if it`s seen that way, not
just in your department but nationwide, then we got to do better than to
say, well, this is an isolated event.
HAYES: Yes, my mind went back to one nugget in the Cleveland Police
Department, Department of Justice report which found pattern and practice
of racial bias, in which there was a sign in one police precinct that refer
to it as a forward operating base, which is a term from the U.S. Army, from
the Marines, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. This idea of being in
enemy territory, which I think is a view that you hear a fair amount from
police officers if you frequent police message board and things like that,
and shows up in this video.
GOFF: That`s exactly right, and that`s when police are doing
training, and that`s why we`ve been talking about training throughout the
country, when we do the training in defensive tactics, it`s really
important that their diversity training and that their community-oriented
policing training isn`t separate from that, right?
When they`re doing defensive tactics, the best defensive tactic they
can do again is building community trust.
HAYES: Right, having a relationship, viewing people as people, is
part of actually the tactic of doing good policing and keeping your people
Phillip Atiba Goff, thank you very much.
GOFF: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: All right. We have a update on breaking news we reported last
night, the investigation of a death of a African-American whose body was
found hanging in a tree near Port Gibson, Mississippi. Authorities today
confirmed that his name was Otis James Byrd. He was 54-years-old and had
been missing for two weeks.
There were no signs of a struggle, but while NBC News reports
investigators are leaning towards suicide, officials say it is too early to
say what happened. The FBI, the Justice Department civil rights division,
the U.S. attorney`s office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are
all still on the scene investigating. Primary autopsy results are expected
We`ll keep following the story and bring you the very latest as it
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Let me quickly correct something I said just a moment ago, the
Department of Justice found a pattern of excessive force in Cleveland, not
racial bias, in their report.
OK. There`s nothing like a field trip to the statehouse to crush the
spirits of a bunch of 9 and 10-year-old children. A group of fourth
graders from Lincoln H. Ackerman School in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire,
put together a bill and got it introduced in the statehouse to name the
red-tailed hawk as the official state raptor of New Hampshire.
When Mr. Cutting`s fourth grade class arrived in the house gallery to
watch their bill come up for a vote, they were greeted by enthusiastic
applause from all around. The welcoming spirit was short lived, and Mr.
Cutting`s fourth graders soon learned their elected representatives are not
there to make friends. The arguments against their bill were many. The
legislator has more important things to do. New Hampshire doesn`t really
need a state raptor. More than one lawmaker questions the children`s
choice of the red tailed hawk over other more deserving raptors.
But perhaps the lowest blow came from Republican State Rep. Warren
Groen who accused the children`s beloved red-tailed hawk of being pro-
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. WARREN GROEN (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: It mostly likes field
mice and small rodents, but it grasps them with its talons and then uses
its razor-sharp beak to rip its victims to shreds and to basically tear it
apart limb by limb. And I guess the shame about making this a state bird
is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kids, it`s never too early to learn about the pervasiveness of
anti-abortion politics apparently. The bill ultimately failed. The
children went home disappointed and according to their principal, asking
questions about Planned Parenthood. No word on whether they`re looking for
a new candidate for state raptor with stronger anti-abortion credentials.
HAYES: President Obama`s latest outreach to the Iranian people is
bringing accusations he is selling out the U.S. and its closest ally. A
new video message in honor of Nowruz, the Iranian new year, the president
called on the people of Iran to speak up in the favor of piece.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Our negotiations made progress but gaps remain. And there are
people on both our countries and beyond who oppose a diplomatic resolution.
My message to you, the people of Iran, is that together, we have to speak
up for the future we seek.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The message was not received well by conservatives here in the
U.S. who oppose a nuclear deal and who accuse President Obama of renouncing
Israel in favor of Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is unusual in American history -- a president
addressing a serious adversary, an enemy of the U.S., where the leader
leads chants of "Death to America" and in the midst of it, he takes a swipe
at the most loyal ally in the region. Obviously, he was referring to
Israel. If only he would address as warmly the Israelis as he does the
Iranians and their leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Florida Senator Marco Rubio, likely presidential candidate,
made a similar argument, while defending Israel in the Senate floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: They deserve to be treated with more
respect, not less, than the respect this president and the White House is
giving the supreme leader of Iran. For he would not dare say the things
about the supreme leader of Iran now that he is saying about the prime
minister of Israel, because he would not want to endanger his peace deal or
his arms deal that he`s working out with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to Rush Limbaugh, the president was speaking
directly to his people, the Iranians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What in the world is going on
here? So, the president of the United States addresses his people, the
Netanyahu wins in a landslide, and Barack Obama is so ticked off, he
decides that Israel is not worthy of friendship any more because this
victory of Netanyahu is such a diss that he`s going to side up to the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That echoed an argument made earlier this week by Mike
Huckabee, another potential 2016 candidate, that President Obama has a kind
of natural allegiance with the model east.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HUCKABEE: He has such an extraordinary sense of identity with and
sympathy for many of the other Middle Eastern natures. I think he resents
the strength of Israel. I think he resents very much the strength of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, John Boehner announced today that he`s planning to
visit Israel and meet with Netanyahu, the man he invited to come lobby
Congress after the president`s potential nuclear deal.
The trip -- get this -- is scheduled to happen this month, just in
time for the March 31st deadline for negotiations. Now, imagine the
scenario if a deal actually comes through, with the speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives hold a joint press conference with a foreign
leader to condemn a foreign policy breakthrough by his own president? That
certainly would be unprecedented.
All this comes as the nuclear negotiations enter a critical phase.
Talks in Switzerland adjourning today. Secretary of State John Kerry
travels to London tomorrow to meet with his counterparts for Britain,
France and Germany, and try to solve the remaining issues.
I spoke earlier with NBC`s Ann Curry and Hooman Majd who were
reporting from Switzerland for an update of where the talks stand.
ANN CURRY, NBC NEWS: They`re not resolved when it comes to the
system, the plan, of sanctions relief. This, of course, would be about the
sanctions that the world has imposed on Iran to try to limit its
responsibilities involving nuclear development. And specifically one of
the most important places that sanctions have come from is the United
So, what`s going on is that, of course, Iran wants a pretty quick
release of those sanctions once it agrees to all of the requirements in
this deal. However, it`s very clear that the United States and many others
who are in these talks want to prevent Iran from having too many sanctions
relieved too soon.
HAYES: Hooman, I`m curious how you think the letter by the Republican
senators, authored by Tom Cotton, and the victory of Netanyahu and the
pressure he`s placing on it, how the kind of access of resistance to this
deal has affected the desirability or getability of a deal?
HOOMAN MAJD, NBC NEWS: Well, I think the desirability hasn`t changed
very much. Getability is perhaps a little affected. It has been reported
that Iran has brought up both the letter and Netanyahu and even Congressman
Boehner and other people involved in the resistance to the deal.
That may be a negotiating tactic, to use that as a negotiating tactic
to try to get concessions from the Obama administration that they might not
ordinarily have gotten, but I don`t think it has been the single biggest
factor for Iran.
HAYES: While opponents of the deal may have failed thus far to
sabotage the talks, you can bet they won`t let up with the deadline
looming. In the minds of many conservatives, both in the U.S. and Israel,
the Iran deal has come to stand in for their worst darkest fears about
President Obama. It advances a narrative that`s been around since he first
ran for president. Barack is illegitimate, his allegiances are
fundamentally foreign, and aligned against the U.S. He is essentially a
Manchurian candidate working for our enemies.
And according to that world view, when it comes to these so-called
clashes of civilization playing out between the West and Muslim world,
President Obama is on the wrong side.
Joining me now, Matt Duss, president of Foundation for Middle East
And, Matt, I`m amazed at how quickly we have coalesced on this talking
point across the board, Barack Obama is choosing Iran over Israel.
MATT DUSS, FOUNDATION FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE: Right. I mean, there is
a couple things you have to take here. First, on these criticisms of
President Obama and his Nowruz message -- I mean, this is something he has
done every year --
HAYES: Every year.
DUSS: -- every year since he took office. And I think it`s a very
smart tactic. And if you talk to actual Iranians, especially Iranian human
rights and democracy activists, they recognize this is a very effective
tactic. He is saying to the people of Iran, listen, the propaganda that
you`re hearing is false. The United States does not hate you. We have a
problem with the policies of your government but we want a peaceful
relationship with you.
Obama`s critics on the other hand want to tell the people of Iran,
listen, your leaders are right, we hate you -- I just don`t get this.
HAYES: That`s a really good point.
There`s also the fact that, you know, the resistance that we`re seeing
now, with the sort of digging in resistance but probably hate as much if
not more than Tom Cotton or Netanyahu represents the fact that we could be
in the precipice of a massive reordering of the geopolitics of the region,
something akin to Nixon going to China, if that`s not too grandiose a
DUSS: Well, I think at this point, it may be -- that may be a bit too
far. I think President Obama`s goals here are a bit more moderate. He is
saying let`s deal with this nuclear issue and if we can close this file and
establish some measure of trust on this really outstanding issue, it might
create the opportunity to move beyond this nuclear issue, into other
issues, or we might be able to find common goals.
It`s not to say that the U.S. and Iran will be the closest of friends
despite what many conservatives would like us to believe. It`s just to say
that we can kind of dial down the tension that has defined the U.S.-Iranian
relationship for over 30 years.
HAYES: I have been struck to another talking point we`ve seen
emerged. General Petraeus saying that Iran is a bigger threat, a bigger
enemy of the U.S. than ISIS. This comes on a day when a horrific,
murderous attack, mosque in Yemen. It`s unclear who has done it. Though,
some media are, ISIS is claiming credit for this, hundreds are dead, right?
And I`ve seen already in last week, I saw a few different people, Tom
Friedman in a column in "The New York Times", General Petraeus, Michael
Oren, former ambassador to Israel, earlier, last year, basically saying,
look, maybe if it`s between ISIS and Iran, maybe ISIS is actually the
lesser of two evils.
DUSS: That makes absolutely no sense to me, you know? I mean, let`s
just look at what ISIS is doing, burning people alive, just beheading
people all over the place. I mean, this just seems crazy to me.
Listen, I don`t -- I`m not defending the Iranian regime. I don`t
think anyone will. They`ve done countless bad things. They say horrible
things. They have supported terrorism.
But Iran, at the end of the day, is a state actor. We have cooperated
with them in the past, in Afghanistan very productively until that was cut
short by President Bush`s axis of evil speech. And while we`re on
President Bush, I mean, if we`re calling someone, these critics suggesting
that Obama loves Iran, let`s look at how Iran benefitted from the Iraq war.
By that standard, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are both sleeper Iranian
HAYES: Yes. Also, I should say that President Obama today calling
for the release of a "Washington Post" reporter who is being held in Iran
DUSS: Also something he`s done in the past, criticizing Iran on their
imprisoning of dissidents.
HAYES: Jason Rezaian who has been held by the Iranian authorities,
President Obama calling for his release and his colleagues.
Matt Duss, thank you very much.
HAYES: All right. We told you last week that officials in Florida`s
Department of Environmental Protection were banned from saying the word
"climate change" in official reports and communications. Now, an employee,
current employee, says he was suspended for doing so. And that exclusive
interview with him is ahead.
HAYES (voice-over): Alice Groves`s daughter was found dead in this
abandoned warehouse on Chicago`s west side of July of 2013. The police
report indicates the body of Tiara Groves was found naked and decomposing
with evidence suggesting she`d been bound and gagged. She was just 20
The Cook County medical examiners office could not determine a
specific cause so they determined of Tiara Groves a homicide by unspecified
means. A copy of the death certificate obtained by All In through Chicago
Magazine also noted recent heroin and alcohol use, which it said
contributed to what was not an underlying cause of, her death. One homicide
in a city where every year there are hundreds.
HAYES: We`ve got an update on a story we first brought you last
summer involved in the case of 20-year-old Tiara Groves of Chicago.
Groves`s death was ruled a homicide by the Cook County medical examiner and
was later reclassified by the Chicago by the Chicago police department from
a homicide to a noncriminal death investigation.
Last week two people were charged with concealing her death, not with
murder. The two charged were identified as 30-year-old Leondra Martin, a
friend and neighbor of Groves, and 39-year-old Desmond Collins, a convicted
sex offender. They could face up to three years in prison if convicted.
Chicago Tribune reports Collins told police that Tiara Groves
overdosed on heroin at a local hotel and he and Martin later wrapped her
body in a sheet, carried it to a car and ultimately hid it in a warehouse.
Chicago police spokesman said the two staged the scene to make it look
like Groves had been killed inside that warehouse.
The Groves case was highlighted in an investigative series by Chicago
magazine alleging the Chicago police department under reported the number
of homicides in the city in 2013 by reclassifying certain cases as death
We went to Chicago to look into the story and spoke with the Groves
family. Here is what Tiara`s mother Alice told me last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So you lost your daughter and you`re told it`s a homicide. Is
there any point where the police come back to you, the detective come back
and say actually we have determined that we don`t have sufficient evidence
to determine this is a homicide. We`re reclassifying this as a death
investigation. Do they ever say that to you?
ALICE GROVES, TIARA GROVES` MOTHER: No. No one never...
HAYES: No one ever comes to you and says this is not a homicide.
We`re so sorry. But we don`t have enough, we just can`t do it. They don`t
come to you?
GROVES: Nobody come tell me nothing, nothing at all. It was like she
was a piece of trash just throwed away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Alice Groves now tells the Chicago Tribune that charging two
people with concealing Tiara`s death is not justice. Quote, "they got away
Tiara`s sister Kenyatta Groves (ph) told All In this week her family
found the charges devastating and believe it`s all about the numbers for
the Chicago police department.
Tiara was, as Kenyatta (ph) told us, the backbone of our family.
HAYES: New developments tonight on a story we first brought you last
week from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting that officials in
Florida`s Department of Environmental Protection were banned from using the
words climate change in official reports and communications and that this
unwritten policy began in 2011 after Rick Scott, an established climate
change denier, came into office.
Now we spoke to Christopher Byrd, a former senior assistant general
counsel for Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER BYRD, FRM. COUNSEL, FLORIDA DEP: Shortly after Rick Scott
elected in 2010 and was inaugurated at the beginning of the next year,
2011, the general counsel`s office called a staff meeting with all of the
lawyers to warm us that things were going to change a under the new
administration. And within those changes were certain policies that would
prohibit us from using these terms: climate change, global warming,
sustainability and even sea level rise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, Governor Rick Scott denied this reporting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, were you aware that scientists were
being told not to speak about climate change? And will scientists in the
future be able to speak about climate change in their studies?
RICK SCOTT, GOV. OF FLORIDA: First off, that is untrue. At our
Department of Environmental Protection -- looks there`s lots of
conversations about this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, that`s untrue he says. But despite that official denial,
straight from the governor`s lips, further reporting from the Florida
Center for Investigative Reporting indicates the ban is widespread across
multiple government agencies, not just the DEP. And in fact just yesterday
we got to see what that looked like as a real life example in action. At a
Florida Senate subcommittee hearing, Governor Scott`s chief of emergency
management Bryan Koon seemed so determined not to say or even repeat the
words climate change that lawmakers in the hearing created a running joke
about it. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
BRYAN KOON, FLORIDA CHIEF OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: What were those
words you were using?
SATE SEN. JEFF CLEMENS, (D) FLORIDA: I used climate change. But I`m
suggesting as a state we use atmospheric reemployment. That might be
something that the governor could get behind.
KOON: So -- but my understanding is at this point is that we will
require that future versions of our mitigation plan will be required to
have language discussing that issue.
CLEMENS: What issue is that?
KOON: The issue that you mentioned earlier regarding...
CLEMENS: I`m going to turn the chair back over -- well, maybe I
shouldn`t right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, now on top of all of this, there is a current
Department of Environmental Protection employee who says he was suspended
from his job for
sharing his views on the Keystone XL pipeline and climate change during a
coastal managers forum in Tallahassee. DEP officials say he`s on leave.
And that man joins me now. Bart Bibler, an employee of the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection.
Mr. Bibler, tell me what happened.
BART BIBLER, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: I
participated in a conference call. And one of the agenda items on the
Florida coastal managers forum conference call was a report by the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Commission regarding habitat and wildlife adaptation to
sea level rise.
The next agenda item was agency updates where several other agencies
that they did have some plans regarding sea level rise, or climate change.
And as I was introduced, I first said that I was glad to see that the
subject was being discussed in land management plans. My role at DEP is
coordination of all state land management plans. And yet that I personally
had a strong position on stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, because to me
it is the litmus test of whether we`re going to deal with climate change or
HAYES: OK, so you said that in this conference call, which seems
maybe slightly off topic, but not a huge violation, what happened next?
BIBLER: The conference call moderator was very shocked by my
statements, asked me whether that was my personal opinion or the position
of my division of state lands. I made clear it was my personal position.
She also said she was concerned whether the Florida Coastal Managers
Forum would be allowed to continue having conference calls as though I had
done something that crossed the line.
HAYES: And then what happened next?
BIBLER: I -- after the conference call, I typed up my notes about the
different reports by different agencies regarding sea level rise and
climate change and I sent I sent it to my boss and her boss, the division
director, as well as the conference call moderator.
HAYES: And how did they respond?
BIBLER: Well, the moderator was concerned because the way I typed up
notes was using her word document of the agenda, and just adding those
reports. And she thought that I was trying to make it look like her agenda
had these reports with the words climate change and sea level rise in them.
So she called my boss who then directed me to revise the document so that I
removed the word agenda and
showed that this was a meeting summary, partial meeting summary, which I
did. And I resent the document.
HAYES: And then you were ordered to seek psychiatric evaluation?
BIBLER: Well first, I was given a reprimand, and told to take two
days of annual leave, and not come to the office.
At the end of the second day of annual leave my boss delivered to me a
letter stating I was to be on compulsory lead indefinitely until I got a
doctor to state that I was fit to return and conduct my job
HAYES: Wait. OK. And this is all because you said you thought the
pipeline was a bad idea, it was your personal opinion and then wrote up
notes in a way that made the conference moderator fear you were imputing to
her an official agenda that dared to use the terms global warming, climate
change, sea level
BIBLER: That is correct.
HAYES: So what -- now are you still an employee?
BIBLER: I am still an employee, but I`m must obtain a psychiatrist to
essentially to sign these release forms stating that I am fit to return to
HAYES: You have to get someone to say you`re sane because you spoke up
about the fact that Florida is going to be swallowed by sea level rise is
what you are saying.
BIBLER: Essentially yes.
HAYES: This is remarkable.
Well, we`re going to stay on this story. We`d love to get some
official response. Governor Scott, if you or any of your people are
watching this, anyone from the DEP, we would to talk to you, get your
account of this. Bart Bibler, currently an employee of the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection as it stand now. Thank you very
BIBLER: Thank you.
HAYES: Can you -- all right.
Here is a question, should fraternities be banned permanently
everywhere? We`re going to talk about that ahead.
HAYES: Well, file this one under too good to check, there is a
delicious rumor swirling around the internet today that President Obama may
have bought the Hawaiian estate used in the filming of Magnum P.I., the
1980s detective series starring Tom Selleck.
TOM SELLECK, ACTOR: What`s going on?
No, no, not my house.
HAYES: Also possibly he`s going to buy those shorts.
Magnum P.I. of course, lived in the guest house on the beachfront
estate known as Robin`s Nest. The estate, the real one, was listed by
Sotheby`s International Realty, sold for $8.7 million. It looks like a
pretty nice place.
So, did President Obama buy it? We got the answer today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sale of a well known home in Hawaii, once
again, sparked rumors that the president has personally may have purchased
property apparently was bought by a Chicago attorney that has ties to the
first family. Any truth to this? Are the Obamas behind this purchase?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They are not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So who did buy the estate? According to the associated press,
it was a close friend of the presidents, one of his best friends, a man by
the name of Marty Nesbitt who didn`t have any partners or co-investors in
Nesbitt is a businessman from Chicago who was treasurer for President
Obama`s run and is chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation which will build
the president`s future library.
Still unclear is whether the house will come with the two lads (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The slightest variation from their routine could
result in unpredictable and dangerous mood swings.
SELLECK: We certainly wouldn`t want that, would we?
HAYES: Tonight All In can report that North Carolina State University
has temporarily suspended all social activities, including alcohol, for the
school`s fraternity community. That move comes less than 24 hours after
the administration put Pi Kappa Phi on interim suspension after what
appears to be their pledge book surfaced filled with racist and sexually
violent handwritten notes.
North Carolina TV station WRAL obtained the book, which had comments
like, quote, "dude if she`s hot enough she doesn`t need a pulse."
"The tree is so perfect for lynching."
"It will be short and painful just like when I rape you."
And quote, "You can never trust an [n-word] as far as you can throw
We have not been able to independently verify the contents of the
book, which had been condemned by both NC State and the fraternity`s
It`s the second suspension of a fraternity at the school in just a
month. Alpha Tau Omega was suspended several weeks ago after drug and
sexual assault allegations surfaced.
Meanwhile at Pennsylvania State University, revelations the fraternity
kappa Kappa Delta Ro kept a private Facebook page with 144 active members
that posted photographs of hazing, drugs and naked, unconscious women. The
chapter has since been suspended and a criminal investigation is underway.
Earlier this month, video emerged of members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at
the Univeristy of Oklahoma singing a racist song.
The university expelled the two students in the video, the Oklahoma
SAE chapter has been shut down.
There is ample evidence, though, these incidents are not isolated.
SAE itself has said, quote, several other incidents with chapters or
members have been brought to the attention of headquarters staff and people
are continuing to come forward with their experiences with the Greek
In a fantastic piece titled "A Black Girl`s History with South Frat
Racism," Buzzfeed`s Tracy Clayton talked about, among other things,
arriving at Transylvania College in Kentucky freshman year to find a
confederate flag in every window on the second floor one of the boy`s
dorms. She would later find out the floor with the Confederate flags in
the windows was inhabited by the men of Kappa Alpha Order, known as KA.
We`re going to speak to the author of that piece next and ask the
question are we looking at a few bad chapters at a few schools or an
entirely broken system?
HAYES: All right joining me now Tracy Clayton, the aforementioned
staff writer at Buzzfeed who wrote the essay "A Black Girl`s History With
South Frat Racism" about her time at Transylvania University, not college,
I got that wrong; and Mike Peska, host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist,
contributor at NPR and a former member of AE Pi at Emory University...
MIKE PESKA, SLATE: That is correct.
HAYES: And some bigwig at the Inter Greek Council.
PESKA: I was the vice president of the IFC. I was also softball
of the year, but that`s the first was probably more to the point.
HAYES: Oh, that`s for Monday`s final block is on software.
PESKA: Right. We`re doing to the infield fly rule.
HAYES: Your story was, first of all it was a great story. It was
very powerful. Just tell me a little bit about what your experience was
like out at Transylvania.
TRACEY CLAYTON, BUZZFEED: Long story short, it was kind of a mess,
I like to say that I got two very great educations. I got a great
education inside the classroom, because it a really, really good, really,
really distinguished school. They like to call themselves the Harvard of
the south. I figure everybody likes to call themselves the Harvard of
HAYES: Of someplace, right.
CLAYTON: You know, but I also got a really great social education
outside the classroom. Transylvania is a very small, very white liberal
arts college in Lexington, Kentucky. I`m from Louisville, Kentucky about
an hour-and-a-half away.
And when I started I think we had like ten black students either on
campus or in the class, I`m actually not too school, but it was a school
record. The school was founded in 1780 just to put that in perspective. So
it had taken like that long to get ten black students in one space at
And you just really feel the pressure of being "the only one" in a
situation like that. And as if being like the only black person wasn`t
enough, we had just so much Confederate regalia and pageantry all around
the campus. And every day was just going to class passing rows of
HAYES: Particularly this fraternity Kappa Alpha, which sort of
occupied this floor in one of the dorms that sort of just had Confederate
flags up, had like southern heritage history days where people kind of
dress up like they were in the 1850s.
CLAYTON: Well, sill some background, the actual dorm is named after
Jefferson Davis who was an alumni of Transylvania. Just to jog your
memory, he was the president of the Confederacy. So the second floor of
Davis Hall, which is where the fraternities lived, there was -- the first
thing I saw when I got to campus to move in was a Confederate flag in each
and every window on what I think was the second floor. It could have been
And it turns out that those flags were there, because it was one of
the unofficial emblems of the KA fraternity.
HAYES: The KA fraternity who takes as their spiritual founder Robert
CLAYTON: Yes. Robert E. Lee is their spiritual founder who, of
course, was Robert E. Lee.
HAYES: So let me just sort of pause there, right.
So obviously this is something that isn`t necessarily a story
particularly about fraternities, because it`s more about sort of southern
institutions, but fraternities are part of that.
We saw that with SAE obviously in Oklahoma, right? Like southern
racism -- it doesn`t need fraternities to exist, but there is a connection
insofar as the institution of Greek Life is coming from a time where a
bunch of basically white dudes got around and broed down with each other in
a way that maybe when that`s continued into 2015 like has a lot of
reactionary aspects to it.
PESKA: The history of fraternities are interesting. And they were
founded as a reaction to strictures in society, and they kind of waned
during the Vietnam War when the whole culture became the counter culture.
Now they`re coming back.
Great guys, but for their formal would dress up as Confederate
the girls would rent outfits as southern bells. That was -- now to be
fair, this was 1890s, no it wasn`t it wasn`t it was the 1990s.
But you know, the president -- I told you I was vice president of the
IFC, the president was a Jewish guy from Long Island who was also a KA.
Does that make sense?
So, the symbols, though offensive, I don`t even think -- I don`t even
know that they knew necessarily how offensive they were and I think that
has changed. And I`m not here to defend the KAs who are great guys to bro
down with, but definitely weren`t doing the right thing at Transylvania.
HAYES: Well, but then here`s the question, why -- so let`s start from
ground -- like should we have -- why should we keep them?
PESKA: I think...
HAYES: Why should there be Greek?
PESKA: I`m not here to defend the excesses, the bad ones. I`m also
not going to do the thing the few bad apples and there are racist grocers
and there are racist toll collectors, there are racists in all walks of
I think it`s complicated. I think that society has a little bit of an
issue with men of the ages of 18 to 22 when we used to make them warriors
and now what do
do with them? And we see from time to time when they`re in the military,
sometimes there are problems. When they`re on sports teams sometimes there
When you get a bunch of young men together of that age, sometimes
there are problems.
I got great stuff out of my fraternity. My best friends from life
were in many fraternity. I wouldn`t want to throw that away. I would also
say without a fraternity, I might be great friends with a bunch of good
HAYES: If you go back and you rerun your experience at Transylvania
and you take away Greek life, do you think your experience both as a
student, as a black student improves?
CLAYTON: Yes. I would have immediately felt more welcome. And I
would have felt safer. I really can`t -- it was -- it kind of blew my mind
that I had to explain to people that seeing these Confederate flags do not
make me feel physically safe, seeing people walking around draped in these
Confederate flags do not make me feel safe. And it`s a distraction to me
as I`m on this campus spending a bunch of money trying to get an education.
So without like the trinkets of the Confederacy just strewn all about
campus, I would have had more energy to focus on what I was there to do.
It still would have been hard, because I still would have been one of
ten, 20 black students, but it would have been...
HAYES: But that institution was a place, was a kind of -- a focus, a
point for that kind of nostalgia and that kind of sort of celebration of
this white supremacist past.
CLAYTON: Yes, it was. And Transylvania in particular from what I
have been told, what I know, is sort of run by a lot of old Confederate
money. Like there were a lot of old distinguished families in life and
then they gave a lot of land and a lot of money to the school.
HAYES: Can fraternities change in sort of meaningful ways, right. I
mean, there`s something you`re pointing to which is profound, which is like
18 and 22-year-old men are like kind of a problem as a generalization. Can
PESKA: Yeah, and I think they are. And I think I would fault the
school as much as the fraternity. The fraternity takes its cues from
And I think just being in that hot house environment, in that that
ecosystem you can make mistakes. I think about the story you told about
the N.C. State kids, like on the one hand it`s a terrible thing, on the
other hand is it a national story? We all said stupid things. Though the
racism does really bother me.
HAYES: We didn`t institutionalize and passing it down in this kind of
pattern and practice, that to me is the problem, yeah.
PESKA: And it`s good that they`re getting a come uppance.
HAYES: Tracy Clayton, Mike Peska, thank you.
That`s All In for this evening.
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