All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, June 19, 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: June 19, 2015
Guest: Todd Rutherford, Kevin Alexander Gray, Doug Brannon, Lonnie
Randolf, Russel Moore, Lucy McBath
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Charleston, South
Carolina. I`m Chris Hayes.
And at this hour, dozens if not hundreds of mourners are streaming in
behind me to the site of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church just
behind me across the street from where we are.
This as the man tonight who police say confessed to shooting those
nine people in that church at Mother Emanuel is spending the night at the
Charleston County detention center in cell 1141B, according to the inmate
report from the sheriff`s office. His neighbor literally in the next cell,
number 1140B, former police officer Michael Slager, who is indicted in the
fatal shooting of Walter Scott in April.
Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Storm Roof made his first court appearance
at a bond hearing earlier today, attending via closed circuit TV from the
And for the first time, we heard the voice of the man who allegedly
sat with his victims at bible study for almost an hour before methodically
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE: Mr. Roof, is your address 10428 Garners Ferry Road in
Eastover, South Carolina, is it?
DYLANN ROOF, SUSPECT: Yes, sir.
JUDGE: Thank you, sir.
What is your age?
JUDGE: You`re 21 years old.
Are you employed?
ROOF: No, sir.
JUDGE: You`re unemployed at this time?
ROOF: Yes, sir.
JUDGE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Family members of the nine people murdered Wednesday night
were in attendance at that hearing and the judge gave them the opportunity
to address Roof directly while the camera remained fixed on the prisoner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADINE COLLIER, DAUGHTER OF ETHEL LANCE: To you, I forgive you. You
took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever
again. I will never be able to hold her again.
But I forgive you. May he have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You
hurt a lot of people. But God forgive you and I forgive you.
ANTHONY THOMPSON, GRANDSON OF MYRA THOMPSON: I forgive you and my
family forgive you, but we would like you to take this opportunity to
repent. Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one that matters the
most, Christ, so that he can change it. He can change your ways no matter
what happened to you. And you`ll be OK.
FELICIA SANDERS, MOTHER OF TYWANZA SANDERS: We welcome you Wednesday
night in our bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most
beautiful people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts. And I`ll
never be the same.
Tywanza Sander is my son, but Tywanza was my hero. Tywanza was my
But as we said in bible study, we enjoyed you. But may God have mercy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The magistrate judge said bond for Roof`s weapons position
charge at $1 million. Bond for the nine murder charges will have to be set
by a circuit judge and Roof`s next court appearance won`t take place until
While South Carolina pursues its investigation, the Department of
Justice said it`s now investigating the massacre as both a federal hate
crime and an act of domestic terrorism. A clearer picture is emerging
today of what may have motivated Roof to kill worshippers at Mother
Emanuel, one of the oldest black churches in the South, and an icon in the
fight for freedom, equality and civil rights.
According to a middle school friend named Joseph Meek, Roof made
recently disturbing comments about African Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MEEK, FRIEND OF SUSPECT: He was just saying how he didn`t
agree with the Trayvon Martin case, how he wanted segregation. He wanted
to be white with white and black with black, and that he didn`t believe in
what the black race was doing to the white race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At first, Meek didn`t take those comments seriously. He told
"The New York Times" that he became worried enough, he said, that several
weeks ago, he took away and hid Roof`s .45 handgun. Concerned of having it
himself was on probation, Meek eventually returned it.
Another man who identified himself as Roof`s roommate told NBC News,
"He was big into segregation and other stuff. He said he wanted to start a
Roof posted pictures of himself on Facebook, wearing flag patches from
the white supremacist regimes in South Africa and the former Rhodesia, now
Zimbabwe, and posing in front of his car, bearing a Confederate States of
America license plate.
Sources tell NBC News that Roof told police he almost didn`t go
through with the shooting because everyone at the prayer meeting was so
nice to him. But he ultimately decided he, quote, "had to go through with
Seems to be consistent with what a cousin of the one victims, Reverend
Clementa Pinckney, said she heard from the survivor of the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVIA JOHNSON, COUSIN OF REV. CLEMENTA PINCKNEY: She said that he
had loaded -- reloaded five different times and her son was trying to talk
him out of doing that act of killing people. And he just said, "I have to
do it." He said, "You rape our women and you`ve taken over our country and
you have to go."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nevertheless, some people seem a little confused about what
motivated Dylann Roof`s shooting rampage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was an evil act of
aggression. I don`t know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who
committed these atrocious crimes, but I do know -- I do know what was in
the heart of the victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: "Huffington Post" reporter Laura Bassett later tweeted, "I
asked Bush again if the shooting was racist. He said, nine people lost
their lives and they were African-American. You can judge what it is."
Joining me now, South Carolina state representative and state house
minority leader, Todd Rutherford.
And, Representative, good to have you here.
STATE SEN. TODD RUTHERFORD (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you very much.
HAYES: I have to say. Ever since I have been down here, there seems
this weird reluctance to call this what it so clearly is. We saw it today
from candidate Jeb Bush. I`ve seen it in a lot of places. You know, this
is -- it`s pretty clear now, I think, why this happened.
RUTHERFORD: It is beyond befuddling to me why they seem to continue
to believe that it is something other than what a shooter himself said it
HAYES: The alleged shooter, I have to say.
RUTHERFORD: You have to say.
RUTHERFORD: I have to say that he let somebody leave to tell the
world what his intentions were. That was his confession. He did it again
when he was apprehended by the police.
This man attempted a political agenda, a race war that he himself
stated. Why is someone, why is a whole network declaring this some act on
Christianity? He said it was because they were black. They could not
repent. They could not change their ways. They were only black because of
the color of their skin and that`s why he killed them.
HAYES: And the picture we`re getting and particularly from the people
in his life, I mean, talking about the Trayvon Martin case, talking about
wanting to start a race war, talking that he believed in segregation. This
is what it is. It`s a white supremacist.
RUTHERFORD: He carried on the symbols on his chest. He carried the
symbol on his car, of segregation. He intended to kill people only because
they were black. And other person that was in that room that happened to
be black, whether they were the nine that were killed or even more, he
would have killed them as well. That`s what he stated. Why the other side
can`t acknowledge that is beyond me.
HAYES: How important is it to name this for what it was?
RUTHERFORD: It is important to call it terrorism and call him the
thug he is. Not somebody that hated Christianity, because he simply
didn`t. The only reason they`re able to say that is it happened in a
church. It`s a soft target.
He didn`t choose any other people because he`s a coward. He`s a
terrorist. He`s a thug.
HAYES: You can hear "Amazing Grace" as the crowd sings along to a
bagpipe rendition of that hymn.
Do you think this changes the conversation, what happened here? Part
of what is, is striking is, you can call it -- you know, Nikki Haley today
calling it a hate crime. Lindsey Graham calling it a hate crime, after
initially saying this is incomprehensible. The evidence mount. They have
come to the obvious conclusion.
But then the question becomes do you see this as a one-off isolated
incident? A horrible thing from a horrible person or do you see it
something that reveals something deeper?
RUTHERFORD: Chris, you know, it is scary to think how we can protect
all the black churches in the south, all the black churches even in the
city because this is the holy city. So, we hope it`s a one off incident.
We hope that there are no more Dylann Roofs, but we have to change.
South Carolina is the only state that carries a Confederate flag in
it`s front yard, one of only five without hate crimes legislation. We`ve
got to do more. We can`t sit back and say, we don`t understand why this
young man did this when we ourselves are to blame.
HAYES: Do you think there is a taboo around the issue of the
Confederate flag or anything like that that kind of hangs over the
political discussion here?
RUTHERFORD: Listen, as a legislator that was in office, when the
Confederate flag debate went on, it was tough. Every day we dealt with the
back and forth. Every day, we dealt with the political threats out there,
but it`s something we`re going to have to endure.
Nine people lost their lives in this building because they were simply
black. One of them was Senator Pinckney. We have to take his mettle and
move it forward.
The reason why so many people are crying tonight is because he was
such a peaceful man. That`s all he wanted. We would not let him die -- we
can`t let him die in vain and not carry his mettle forward.
HAYES: Is it going to mean something to your colleagues and his in
that state house capitol in Columbia that this struck as close to home as
it did? Is it going to change what people are willing to talk or not talk
RUTHERFORD: Chris, it has to. It has to.
Sorry. Sometimes you can`t talk without losing it. This man lived
his entire life giving it to the people. All he wanted was to be peaceful.
The man that took his life, prayed with him for an hour before killing him.
How do we not acknowledge that that happened? How do we just let it
A conservative legislator called me today, Courtman Finley (ph), and
said he is going to donate $2,500 for the scholarship fund for his kids.
Another conservative legislator out of Spartanburg said he is going to
sponsor the bill to take the flag down. We are going to make progress in
HAYES: What legislator was that?
RUTHERFORD: Doug Brannon, who`s from Spartanburg, said -- he called
me, he said --
HAYES: Spartanburg is a very --
RUTHERFORD: It`s a very conservative place.
HAYES: That`s a very conservative part of the state.
RUTHERFORD: That`s right. He called me just before here, he said,
I`m going to sponsor a bill to take the flag down. It has to come down.
We have to move forward.
HAYES: That is -- I don`t know if that`s been previously --
RUTHERFORD: It is not.
RUTHERFORD: No, you`re the first-person to know this.
HAYES: OK. Representative Spartanburg --
RUTHERFORD: Doug Brannon.
HAYES: Sorry, the representative from Spartanburg called you and said
he is going to sponsor legislation to take that flag down off the
Confederate memorial on state grounds.
RUTHERFORD: That`s right, that`s right.
HAYES: That is news. That is very big news.
RUTHERFORD: He can`t do it. He`s going to get the legislation drawn
up next week. We can`t pre-file until December. But come January, we will
take that up.
HAYES: Well, that is on the record now.
Representative Rutherford, it`s a great pleasure to have you.
RUTHERFORD: Thank you for all you do.
HAYES: Thank you.
HAYES: It`s a pretty remarkable moment today in that hearing I
referenced earlier in which the judge residing over it before the
unbelievable, profound, and wrenching grief and grace shown by the families
of the victims. Before that moment, the judge decided to take some time to
give a message of his own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE: We have victims, nine of them. But we also have victims on
the other side. There are victims on this young man`s side of the family.
Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they
have been thrown into. We must find it in our heart that at some point in
time, not only to help those that are victims but to also help his family
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, my colleague from MSNBC.com, it`s great to have
you here always.
I -- the judge`s statement and I always am open to expressing empathy
for people in this case, the family members of the alleged murder and of
course it is true that they find themselves in a terrible situation, but it
was just so strange to me to begin that hearing in that moment, two days
after this murder happens, this heinous atrocities that is in the history
books of recorded atrocities committed against black people out of hatred
in this country is up there, to begin with that speech.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC.COM: The timing is clearly astounding and even in
context of what we heard from the family members pouring their own hearts
out, it`s terrible timing. The family is already going through so much in
this nation and this community is going through so much.
Now, again, day-to-day, gun violence, you realize that there are the
victims who are, bones are shattered by bullets and there are the ones who
are locked up, and we always talk about two lives lost. But in this
moment, when the folks here are suffering, grappling with so much, it`s ill
timed at best.
HAYES: A little bit of context also about this particular judge,
Judge James B. Gosnell. I`m reading from a public reprimand of the
Charleston County Magistrate James B. Gosnell. This is from, I believe,
Respondent represents that when the defendant, this is something that
happened in his courthouse, an African-American appeared in court for the
bond hearing, respondent, now I`m referring to the judge, recalled a
statement made to him by veteran African-American sheriff`s deputy that
there are four kinds of people in this world, black people, white people,
red necks and N-words. Respondent alleges he repeated this statement of
the defendant in an ill-considered effort to encourage him to recognize and
change the path he has chose in his life.
A judge today, I have to inform you, for some context, used the N-word
in open court 12 years ago. So, that adds context to what was happening.
LEE: When you talk to people in this community and so strikingly
they`re not shocked. They`re not shocked that something like this could
have happened. Their hearts ache and they`re grief-stricken, but they`re
not shock. They say that every part of this system has kind of always been
feeding into this white supremacist kind of culture that led to something
like this. You hear a judge saying those kind of things.
HAYES: Well, you -- and then you have this incredible -- there`s just
incredible thing happening down here right now, where there`s so much
anguish, and so much grief over how horrible what happened in that spot
behind me was. There`s anger and rage at the fact that this is a
continuation of a system that was built from slavery to Jim Crow, to the
destruction of reconstruction.
And then at the same time, there`s just this unbelievable grace --
astounding incomprehensible grace from the families we saw in that
courthouse today, which honestly I have not been to church in a very long
time, but they make me want to go back because I couldn`t believe it.
LEE: Both sides of it. The faithful are often the most vulnerable
because they are so open and accepting and welcoming and loving. And that
can be mistaken for weakness and time in again, and talking to people, they
talk about the resilience of this community, that they are a faithful
community, but they are a resilient and strong community.
But when you talk about the greater context of what South Carolina
meant to the slave trade, that all roads lead through this place, and when
you look around at this plantation, and you look at the beautiful, look at
the architecture, you can`t separate the root of the tree from the leaves
and understanding what is in this soil.
HAYES: The thing I keep coming back to on the case of this young man
Dylann Roof who has the patches on the jacket, right? That`s not casual.
Some point, he went to eBay or he found through some white supremacist,
like the Rhodesian flag. No one knows what a Rhodesian flag looks like.
That is someone who has really immersed himself in a deep way in the
most extreme, virulent, odious forms of white supremacy. This is someone
who researched the history of this church. This is -- I think black folks
in Charleston know the history of this church. But it`s not broadly that
people understand what the story.
So, we`re talking about someone who -- there was nothing casual about
LEE: He chose it because of the history here. And to your point, we
look to this new generation to lead us from the darkness of our past and
still time and again, we find that there isn`t that much of a separation.
And again, now, the question is, where did he pick this up from? Was
it family? Was it friends? Was it some feeling of being marginalized?
What lead him to this moment where according to reports he said he
almost didn`t do it because they were so nice to me, but he had to because
no one else will.
HAYES: And that woman -- the mother of the young man, Tywanza, who
was murdered, when she was in there, if I`m not mistaken, she was one of
the survivors and she said we welcomed you into bible study. She was in
there, when she said, you killed the most beautiful people I know. I mean,
she was looking at the person who did this.
LEE: I think it will be awhile for this to finally in this community
to be able to make sense of it. As you mentioned, there`s so much grief.
There`s anger that time and again, how much more can a community take? How
much more can a people take? How much can America -- how much more of this
can we take?
We`ve seen from the White House on down, people calling for not just
soul searching again, and we heard it time and again, but really looking
into a mirror and saying what are we about as a country? What can we do to
mend this? Because it`s not getting any better.
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, my friend and colleague, it`s always great to
talk to you.
LEE: Thank you. Likewise.
HAYES: A renewed controversy over South Carolina`s flying of the
Confederate flag ratcheted it up today. Historical reminder the
confederacy are abundant in Charleston. My tour with civil rights activist
Kevin Alexander Gray, next.
HAYES: The interfaith prayer service impromptu in the streets in
front of the church continues behind me. Now, a Jewish song of mourning
being sung for the dead as a crowd, a multiracial crowd assembles here
outside the church.
The issue of the Confederate flag in South Carolina is hardly new. At
the GOP presidential debate on January 7th, 2000, in South Carolina, then-
Governor George W. Bush was asked, does the Confederate flag offend you
personally? This was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THEN-GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH, TEXAS: I believe the people of South
Carolina can figure out what to do with this flag issue. It`s the people
of South Carolina`s decision.
I don`t believe it`s the role of someone from outside of South
Carolina and someone running for president to come into this state and tell
the people of South Carolina what to do with their business when it comes
to the flag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Up next, the signs of a violent past are still very much a
part of the landscape here including a flag associated with slavery, racism
and brutality. Much more ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This to me many is a symbol of tyranny and a symbol of white
supremacy, it is a symbol of domination.
REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It is. But again, to another
people in the state, it`s a symbol of heritage, it`s a symbol of state
rights and my great, great grandfather died in some battle in Manassas or
Bull Run or who knows where.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last night, while discussing the meaning of the Confederate
flag, South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford evoked the first major
land battle of the civil war, which happened to be a victory for the
Confederacy. Sanford was citing examples of the kind of things defenders
of Confederate flag often say when asked why it still flies high above
South Carolina state house grounds. Things like Southern pride and
Confederate heritage, but for others, particularly black folks down here,
the Confederate flag remains a symbol of white supremacy, treason and of
Yesterday, hours after Dylann Roof, a white man, walked in a church
and confessed to killing nine members of a black congregation, the
Confederate flag was still flying at full staff, while the flags on top of
the state house itself were flying at half staff.
Around the same time, pictures emerged on the Internet of him posing
in front of his car with Confederate plates. In a piece today in "The
Atlantic", writer Ta-Nehisi Coates argued the Confederate flag should be
taken down, and went on to say, quote, "More than any individual actor in
recent history, Roof honored his flag in exactly the manner always demanded
with human sacrifice."
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Web site, South
Carolina is one of nine states that celebrates Confederate Memorial Day.
Earlier today, I visited some Confederate landmarks that still
wallpaper a state that reveres it`s Confederate history, with civil rights
activist Kevin Alexander Gray.
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We always call South
Carolina like the home state, the mother state because if you go anywhere
in this country, people are going to have relatives from South Carolina.
People really don`t understand the extent of South Carolina`s involvement
in slavery. After the Louisiana purchased most of the enslaved Africans
that went to Louisiana came from South Carolina.
This was the ideological home of white supremacy, slavery and the
defense of slavery with John C. Calhoun and the nullifiers, and, of course,
this whole idea that as Calhoun and Hammond, some of the founders of the
state, said, you have to have a class of people that do the drudgery and
they considered Africans subhuman and the people that would do that work.
HAYES: Now, you`ve got crazy situation tourism-wise, where -- this
place is probably one of the biggest meccas for civil war tourism.
HAYES: People come because it`s beautiful. It`s a great city. It`s
thriving right now. It`s booming in many ways.
GRAY: It`s got (INAUDIBLE). It`s full of culture. You see the
beautiful houses, right by the ocean.
HAYES: Everything. But then you have to figure out how you`re going
to talk about this chapter.
GRAY: I got lost trying to find you and I stopped to ask someone
where the old slave mart was and they said well I don`t like to use that
word. But it`s right in the center of tourism and in the center of the
place where the slaves were brought in.
HAYES: That`s perfect.
GRAY: As I said, you can kind of feel it. You can feel it. This is
the history of this state.
HAYES: John C. Calhoun, one of South Carolina`s most famous sons,
vice president of the United States.
GRAY: The great nullifier.
HAYES: This is Calhoun Street that we`re on.
GRAY: This is Calhoun Street. There`s a lot of Calhoun streets.
HAYES: This is also a man that gave a famous speech in the run up to
the war saying that slavery is a positive good, basically us southerners,
us white southerners shouldn`t be in a defensive crouch about slavery. We
should affirm that it is a positive good thing.
GRAY: John C. Calhoun provided the intellectual frame work for
slavery and white supremacy in this country. He believed that blacks were
inferior. He believed that there needed to be inferior workers throughout
the existence of the Union or throughout the state to provide labor for the
landed class and that Africans were those people.
HAYES: All right. You once in 2000, during the height of the debate
over the Confederate flag, you burned a Confederate flag.
GRAY: I burned the Confederate flag on Confederate Memorial Day at
the base of the Confederate soldiers memorial as they were debating the
flag, because people were talking about heritage not hate, and I wanted to
make the point that, look, if this is the discussion we`re going to have
about that flag on the state house dome, then this fight is going to
HAYES: So, we`re here at a park here at southern tip of the
Charleston Peninsula, and that in the background is Fort Sumter, which is
famously the site of the first shots.
GRAY: The first shots of the end of civil war. That was, what, April
1861, and the same troop from citadel. The citadel was set up as a
garrison that prevents slave rebellions, but they were the first ones to
fire on Fort Sumter.
HAYES: Fort Sumter was fired upon.
GRAY: Fort Sumter was fired upon by citadel troops, or citadel
HAYES: Citadel, which is also here in Charleston, citadel cadets
underneath the banner of the flag of their unit and they fire on Fort
Now, there are all of these flags but there`s this one iconic flag, of
course, that we now think as Confederate flag. When did that flag -- what
is the history of that flag in this state in terms of when it starts to
become the symbol that it has become?
GRAY: Well, I mean, the flag went above the state house in the early
`60s and that flag was put up there in response to desegregation. Now,
they claimed they put it up to celebrate the centenary of civil war. But,
of course, it remained up there and we fought decades of battle to even
remove it from the dome.
If you look at the politics and if you look at the fight that we`re
still fighting these fights today, maybe they lost the battle but where we
are today it looks like they won the war.
HAYES: Up next, I`ll speak with Dr. Lonnie Randolph Jr. of the NAACP,
and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: We move forward in a
balanced way that we make sure that the compromise in South Carolina works
here, that we look and see what is going on...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mean the compromise of being able to still
confederate flag because it`s part of the proud tradition for some
GRAHAM: There`s a confederate war memorial out front and there`s an
African American memorial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that works for you?
GRAHAM: It works here.
(END VIDEO CLIP
HAYES: Senator Lindsey Graham defending the flying of the confederate
flag on the grounds if the state capitol in a very famous compromise that
was reached to move it off the capital dome and onto the grounds of a
Just a few moments ago, Fusion got a chance to talk to Senator Graham.
He apparently said he is open to debating that flag now.
Earlier today, the head of the NAACP, the national NAACP, called for
flag to be taken down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, NATIONAL NAACP PRESIDENT: Some will assert
confederate flag is merely a symbol of years gone by, a symbol of heritage
and not hate. But when we see that symbol lifted up as an emblem of hate
as a tool of hate as an inspiration for hate as an inspiration for
violence, that symbol has to come down, that symbol must be removed from
our state capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, right now joining me I believe by the phone, I
believe, state representative Doug BANNON who was just mentioned by state
representative Rutherford, a Republican from Spartanburg, do I have you
DOUG BRANNON, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you for
HAYES: Well, thank you for joining me. I really do appreciate it.
Representative Rutherford was just saying that he spoke to you today.
And you called him and told him you`re going to sponsor a bill in the next
session to take that flag down.
BRANNON: That`s correct.
HAYES: That`s pretty remarkable. What ma made you want to do that?
BRANNON: I had a friend die Wednesday night for no reason other than
he was a black man. Senator Pinkney was an incredible human being.
I don`t want to talk politics, but I`ll introduce the bill for that
HAYES: Representative, do you think other people are feeling the way
you`re feeling right now about this?
BRANNON: I know a lot of people are -- I don`t know -- I mean, I want
understand that I`m very upset about the death of my friend and his eight
dear friends. I haven`t really been talking to a lot of people for that
Again, I`m not a politician tonight. But I do have access and I will
introduce that bill in December. I will pre-file that bill in December
before we go back into session.
HAYES: All right, Representative thank you for joining us tonight on
short notice. I really do appreciate it.
BRANNON: You`re welcome, thank you.
HAYES: All right, joining me now we have, as I said, Lonnie Randolph
Jr. who is the head of the state NAACP, was key to the essentially the
compromise that was a key player in the argument that came into play for
LONNIE RANDOLF JR., SOUTH CAROLINA NAACP PRESIDENT: Discussions --
there was no compromise.
HAYES: I also have with me remotely Russell Moore who is the
president of ethics and religious liberty commission at the Southern
Tell me about how contentious this issue has been and how it ended up
with what we have now.
RANDOLF: Well, the issue was strictly the paternalistic approach that
politicians and certain people in politics take to the needs, the requests
that people of color make or have for them to do things the right way. Not
our way. But the right way. Which is the respectable way.
And that was when you did not agree with those persons at that time,
they decided that we don`t care what you think, the paternalistic attitude,
we will put it up anywhere and where we want. There was never a compromise
of this organization to say that you will move it from the state house
grounds and put it 30 feet on a poll that they paid $30,000 for and
consider that a compromise. Never ever.
HAYES: You want it down.
RANDOLF: It has to come off the ground. Why would we allow that to
disrespect -- we have gotten away -- we made some progress. We have gotten
away with colored bathrooms, white and colored bathrooms, why we want to
then go back to a second class citizenship way of life established by the
government of our state. The answer is no.
HAYES: Mr. Moore if I can talk to you for a moment, you wrote a piece
today. You wrote a piece today basically saying it`s time for the flag to
come down. I suspect there`s a lot of Southern Baptists who don`t feel
that way. Why did you write the piece and what is your feeling about it?
RUSSEL MOORE, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION: Well, these were my
sisters in Christ who were murdered in that church in an act of terrorism,
an act of white supremacist terrorism. And the confederate flag carries
with it a symbol, and a symbol that has been used for hateful purposes,
especially over the last 50 years. We had a confederate flag that
essentially went away in American history for a long time and reemerged
during Jim Crow where it was being used to terrorize people, to bomb little
children in their churches and to burn crosses on people`s front yards for
preaching reconciliation and peace. I think it needs to go, because while
some people say the south will rise again, I`m very sure that Jesus Christ
has risen again and he says that we ought to put away every unnecessary
division between us and I think this is a good step toward that end.
HAYES: Having been embedded in this debate, listening to Republican
Representative Brannon who was just on, do you think we`re at a turning
RANDOLF: Well, yes we are. Tragedy always causes us to nudge. This
is so basic and so fundamental. Disrespecting people, it shouldn`t take
religion to prove to you that you are wrong about how you evaluate and deal
with people. It is a racist event. The civil war was a racist event. It
wasn`t held for nothing more
than to control the lives of people who look like I do.
620,000 human beings lost their life, $8 billion we lost as a result
of that war, 245,000 black men lost their lives fighting with the
Massachusetts 54th. What more do we have to give?
HAYES: Mr. Moore, I wonder -- I asked the representative this
question just moments ago and I`m curious what you think. I mean, part of
this has to do with
particularly white folks in the south, white folks who may be your brothers
and sisters in your congregation, in Christian fellowship but who still
cling to that symbol.
Part of it is having the conversation with them about what it means.
MOORE: Well, that`s right. I think that there are some people who
will still say this is just a way to honor my ancestors and to honor my
I think there are ways for us to recognize where we have come from
having symbols that are viscerally hateful toward other people, and are a
visual reminder of a very dark -- and as a Christian, I would say sinful
kidnapping and enslaving and terrorizing people. And I think we can do
that in a way that can bring us together and not tear us apart.
And now is the time. Now is the time to take down this flag. I say
this as a Mississippian. The confederate battle flag is part of the flag
of my home state and I wince every time I see it. It reminds me of home
and yet I also know the great hurt that it demonstrates. It`s time for us
to move forward.
HAYES: Dr. Randolph, do you think Governor Nikki Haley, do you expect
to see her say something like that in the next few days?
RANDOLF: Oh, not after what I heard today. I`ll just have to wait
and see. I won`t try to predict what she might say but I appreciate the
representative speaking in an honest and fair and just and respectable
manner about all 4.7 million citizens of South Carolina, 1.6 million of
those who are people of color.
We don`t ask for a lot, but we demand respect from everybody. We
don`t disrespect people. My parents didn`t teach me how to hate anybody.
I still don`t know how to hate even after having endured and having had to
put up with that kind of foolishness growing up in the segregated state, a
The pain that children experience -- and don`t say that it doesn`t
exist anymore because it does. We have not moved that far on the scale of
humanity in South Carolina and the representative said he was from
Mississippi. The first two states to secede from the union, which from the
union. The first two who said you
aren`t going to take my slaves from me without a war. South Carolina
number one, Mississippi number two.
HAYES: Dr. Randolf, thank you very much for your time.
Mr. Moore I really appreciate what you had to say. Thank you very
RANDOLF: I appreciate his comments also.
HAYES: All right, the president of the United States makes an
appearance in an unexpected place. We`ll bring you the details ahead.
HAYES: More from Charleston in a moment, but first some good news for
a friend of this show, Marc Maron, host of the world famous WTF podcast
today had a very special guest show up to his garage for an interview: the
president of the United States.
We can confirm that this actually occurred because we sent a camera
crew to the garage to shoot the very footage you are looking at now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MARON, HOST, WTF: They blocked off almost the entire
neighborhood. But I apologized to my neighbors about the inconvenience but
they were excited because it was the president of the United States coming
to this house to talk to me in there. How crazy is that? He was just in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And here is just a small taste of how that conversation went.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARON: I`m honored that you came and it`s an amazing privilege for me
to talk to you.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Listen, I`m a big fan.
And I love conversations like this because if I thought to myself that when
I was in college that I would be in a garage a couple of miles away from
where I was living doing an interview.
MARON: As president.
OBAMA: As president with a comedian, I think that`s a pretty hard
MARON: Couldn`t imagine it.
OBAMA: It`s not possible to imagine.
(END VIDEO CILP)
HAYES: All right, the entire WTF interview officially drops early
Monday morning. Trust me, the president goes places he has not gone before
which is why you`re going to want to tune in here Monday night. Marc Maron
will be my exclusive guest to talk about what exactly just happened with
the president in his garage. We`ll be right back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As the mournful songs continue here into the night behind me
at Mother Emanuel, just hours ago President Obama publicly addressed the
Charleston massacre for the second time in two days and once again he
refused to ignore gun violence in this country. Gun safety advocate Lucy
McBath who lost her own son to a gun`s bullet next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It is not good enough to simply show sympathy. You don`t see
murder on this kind of scale with this kind of frequency in any other
advanced nation on Earth. Every country has violent, hateful, or mentally
unstable people. What`s different is not every country is awash with
easily accessible guns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama spoke candidly to the U.S. conference of
mayors in San Francisco earlier about gun safety after the deaths of nine
African-Americans at a black church in Charleston on Wednesday night,
including an elected official.
Obama is not re-signed to the notion that gun sensible gun safety
legislation is impossible but the people of this country need to do the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We need a change in attitudes among everybody: lawful gun
owners, those who are unfamiliar with guns. We have to have a conversation
about it and fix this, that`s how we honor those families, that`s how we
honor the families of Newtown, that`s how we honor the families in Aurora.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: An NRA board member sees things differently. On an online
message board yesterday that`s since been deleted, Charles Cotton appeared
to blame Emanuel AME pastor Clementa Pinkney for his own death as well as
the other members of
the congregation writing, quote, "he voted against conceal carry, eight of
his church members who might have been alive if he had expressly allowed
member to handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his
position on a political issue."
Cotton told the Washington Post his comment were not made as capacity
as NRA board member, but as a private citizen and that, quote, "it`s my
opinion there should not be any gun-free zones in schools or churches or
anywhere else. If we look at mass shootings that occur, most happen in gun
Joining me now, the mother of slain teen Jordan Davis, Lucy McBath, a
faith outreach leader for Every Town for Gun Safety. And Ms. McBath, it`s
great to have you here.
LUCY MCBATH, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Well, I want you to respond to that but first, we`re standing
here outside this church as these spirituals waft in. There`s a tremendous
amount of mourning and grief here and I can`t -- I don`t know what these
people are going through at all, but you do know a little bit what they`re
MCBATH: I do.
HAYES: And I`m just -- what brought you down here?
MCBATH: My mourning for other victims of this senseless gun violence.
Mourning for the people that have supported me and prayed for me across the
country when Jordan was murdered. I wanted to come here to support them,
to let them know that I am praying for them and that I want to champion for
them and help them and just really to help them to understand that we see
what`s happening, we see what`s happening here in the country and that we
are not going to let this just happen and do nothing about it.
SHAYES: Those comments by Mr. Cotton, the board member, you know, I
think he problem regrets saying it out loud but I think it`s probably
shared by a lot of people in the NRA leadership who I think genuinely
believe, I will credit them that, that more guns are our solution to this
kind of thing.
What is your response to that?
MCBATH: That`s a misnomer that a good guy with a gun is going to take
out the bad guy with the gun. No one wins in that situation.
In gun violence, no one wins and so I just think -- sadly just kind of
disheartened in that kind of comment and I think that it`s more systemic as
you said and to the kinds of biases, implicit biases that are running
through the fabric of gun violence in this country.
HAYES: One of the things that happens after a mass shooting, and it`s
horrific that it`s become so kind of ritualized and patterned. You know,
we respond in certain ways. Is people want to say, well this piece of
legislation wouldn`t have stopped this massacre.
In this case, it strikes me this -- it`s very possible I think that he
would not have passed a background check, this young man. He got it
essentially through loopholes, a gift through his father. You can conceive
of some of the legislation being produced that might have actually kept the
gun out of his hands.
MCBATH: Well, I think that, you know, we`re beginning to see that
there are some forms of legislation that we can concentrate on and we can
begin passing that would keep guns out of individual`s hands such as this
So I think it`s just a matter of really beginning to target those laws
and really work in ways that keep these kind of things from happening, that
people are getting their hands on these guns in a very easy way, an easy
manner and it shouldn`t happen that way.
HAYES: For the people that are watching right now who are saying I
agree with you, but nothing is going to change. Like I just -- yes, of
course you`re right but this country -- what are you saying to them? Why
are you doing this?
MCBATH: I beg to differ, because I believe that there`s been enough
violence and I believe that enough people want to really change what they
see systemically happening in the country.
I think if you change the heart of man which I believe is what we`re
doing here today and people are convicted by what they know is senseless
gun violence and it`s a desecration of life, I think when people are
convicted that way, they will be convicted to act.
HAYES: Ms. McBath, it`s always a great pleasure to talk to you.
Thank you very much.
MCBATH: Thank you very much.
HAYES: Really a great pleasure.
MCBATH: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, my final thoughts on the scene here in Charleston
HAYES: All night long there`s a crowd gathering outside Mother
folks have been singing spirituals and offering praise to god and mourning
their dead who are still just hours away from being on this Earth. Being
down here in Charleston, the grief is so thick it feels like a steel lid
placed on everything. It`s almost impossible to penetrate through it.
But I`ve been struck by three things in my short time here. One is
the power and death of that grief, the magnitude of the atrocity that`s
been committed here. Two is the unbelievable grace that has been showed by
so many, including those families in that court room today mustering a kind
of spiritual elevation that I can only marvel at.
The third is the kind of uneasy feeling that all of that grief and all
of that grace is also covering something like rage, or anger or frustration
with the status quo that doesn`t seem to budge as far as it should budget,
and a fear among everyone, black and white that I talk to, that if people
start digging through that grief and maybe being a little less gracious
that something -- something very contentious lies underneath it.
I don`t know what is going to happen in the days here, but the story
in Charleston is definitely not over.
That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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