All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: June 24, 2015
Guest: Kenneth Wayne Jones, Bryan Stevenson, Justin Bamberg, Abbey
Clements, Shannon Watts, Keith Hartley, Charles Kruzman
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember the man for who he is and who he is and
what he meant to the state.
HAYES: A somber scene in South Carolina as the Confederate flag comes
down in Alabama. Tonight, the ongoing good, bad and ugly responses to the
terror in Charleston.
WILLIAM CHUMLEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: These
people sit in there, waiting their turn to be shot.
HAYES: Plus, the NRA reacts to the Charleston massacre.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do want to have a debate or at least we do want
to talk about the Confederate flag.
HAYES: As a presidential hopeful expands gun access in his state.
And adventures in fatherhood caught on tape, Bobby Jindal`s odd
presidential announcement, and the father who made the single greatest
catch in the history of foul balls. The father and son will join me live
when ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight, the nation is in the midst of a stunningly rapid shift on the
Confederate flag with all the backlash it inevitably provokes.
If there is a single image that captures the moment we`re in, it is
this -- the body of reverend and state senator, Clementa Pinckney, arriving
at the statehouse today where he became the first African-American to lie
in state there at least since the Reconstruction Era just after the Civil
War, passing right by the Confederate flag that continues to fly over the
capitol grounds. That flag embraced by the white supremacist who murdered
Reverend Pinckney and eight other people a week ago tonight at the end of a
bible at the black church where Pinckney was pastor.
And while Governor Nikki Haley and other lawmakers have called for the
flag to be taken down and the state legislature took its first procedural
steps in that direction yesterday, it is illegal under South Carolina law
to remove the flag without two-thirds approval from both legislative
houses. And so, with the battle flags still waving above the capitol
today, workers covered the windows with black drape so the mourners would
not have to see it.
It`s a different story in Alabama where Republican Governor Robert
Bentley could simply order the battle flag and three other Confederate
emblems in state house grounds to be removed. According to a reporter from
AL.com, quote, "Two workers came out of the capitol building at 8:20 a.m.,
with no fanfare quickly and quietly took the flag down."
Bentley told the reporter, "This is the right thing to do. We`re
facing some major issues in the state regarding the budget and other
matters we need to deal with. This had a potential to become a major
distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise. We have work to do.
It was my decision the flag needed to come down."
There`s something else Governor Bentley announced in Alabama today.
Google, one of the most openly progressive companies in the world, is
building a $600 million data center in the state. The timing, even if
coincidental, sort of seem to be symbolically potent -- out with the 19th
century and in with the 21st.
And another side of how insanely fast the politics of the Confederate
flag are shifting, the two U.S. senators from Mississippi, both
Republicans, did an about-face today, on the question of their state flag,
the last in the country to include the iconic Confederate emblem. Only two
days ago, Senator Roger Wicker said he deferred to the state legislator.
But after Mississippi House speaker called for changes yesterday, Senator
Wicker announced in a statement this morning, "I now believe our state flag
should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all
In response the senior senator from Mississippi, Thad Cochran,
initially told MSNBC he hadn`t gotten that far. But about two hours later,
he released a statement of his own, calling on the state to consider a new
banner. We should note that Cochran largely owes his job to African-
Americans who came out to vote for him during a tough run-off election
during the primary.
Well, all over the South today, political leaders are rethinking the
prominence given to symbols. The governors of North Carolina, Tennessee
and Virginia have all called for state sponsored Confederate license plates
to be phased out. While Georgia Governor Nathan Deal wants it to be
In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said it`s time to replace the
city`s high profile monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
And in Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell, majority leader of the U.S.
Senate, called on his state to remove the statue of Confederate president,
Jefferson Davis, from that state`s capitol building.
In the meantime, though, not everyone is willing to wait for the
powers that be to make changes and they`re taking matters into their own
hands. Around the country, including Charleston, Baltimore and St. Louis,
statues and monuments connected to the Confederacy have been spray painted
over with the motto, "Black Lives Matter".
Joining me now, Mississippi State Senator Kenneth Wayne Jones, chair
of the state`s legislative black caucus.
And, Senator, your state`s flag is now the focus of quite a bit of
attention. What do you make of both your senators` comments today?
STATE SEN. KENNETH WAYNE JONES (D), MISSISSIPPI: Chris, how are you
I think both of those show real leadership at the national level. We
told them in the first dialogue, tat this is not about black and white.
This is about a symbol that`s used white supremacy, that`s used for racial
hatred, violence, people are dying and this symbol is appearing. That
symbol does not need to be on the flag in Mississippi.
HAYES: Well, the governor, I believe, of your state issued a
statement today, saying, look two-thirds of Mississippians voted for this
in the state referendum about 14 years ago. They`ve spoken.
What do you see? Are there next steps being prepared now that you
have the Republican speaker of the Mississippi house on board with the
JONES: The next step that will be coming from the legislative black
caucus, we`ll be asking the governor to go into a special session so that
we can start the dialogue. Now, I think it`s only right and fair that our
governor of the state of Mississippi follow Virginia, Alabama, and South
Carolina with what`s been done already. That`s the only way we can go now.
If everybody else sees that something is a problem, why are we still
sitting there asking questions?
HAYES: So, your demand to the governor is to convene a special
session which he has the power under the state constitution to do, to call
legislators to a special session with the explicit purpose of debating the
state`s current flag which bears a Confederate emblem.
JONES: That`s right. We want the full legislators to have a
conversation about this. To dialogue about it so we can determine what the
future of our state is going to be. We can`t sit here and say something
that happened almost 15 years ago stands for this day and time. The people
did speak then. It was emotional. We accepted it.
We looked at it from one point with the legacy that it presented. On
the other hand, the people who said they were offended by it, primarily
African-Americans. And now, you got a whole different thing. It is coming
up now as a symbol of hatred. We`ve got to reexamine that.
HAYES: Have you had a conversation with your colleagues in the state
legislature there, white and black, Republican and Democrat about, this
issue? Do you think there`s broader support for reexamination?
JONES: Oh, yes. There`s a whole lot of bipartisan support for what
we`re trying to do now. There`s no way around this. And I would hate to
even begin to think that all of these other states see the writing on the
wall and Mississippi sits here as a progressive United States and leaves
something intact that is harmful to the rest of the population.
We`ve got something that`s in the middle of our flag where the rest of
the nation (INAUDIBLE) about, and we need to have that conversation.
HAYES: And it struck me the other day, John Legend, the singer,
tweeted about the fact that when he was singing at the Super Bowl, in front
of all 50 state flags, that he had to ask them to change the shot that he
was in, because it was the Mississippi flag that was behind him bearing the
Confederate that emblem and he didn`t want to be associated with it.
JONES: The rest of the world seems not to be wanting to be affiliated
with it. I mean, when you have progressive companies like Google and other
areas, other Fortune 500 companies saying, we can`t do this anymore because
we recognize what we`re dealing with and what it means to society, what it
means to the nation, we`re going to make a change, then it`s up for to us
make a change too, if we`re going to give our citizens good government.
HAYES: All right. State Senator Kenneth Wayne Jones, thank you very
much for your time tonight.
JONES: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now is Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive
director of the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative.
And, Bryan, as someone who is from the South, who has practiced law in
the South, who has seen up close the present day realities of racial
inequity, what do you make of the last week?
BRYAN STEVENSON, EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE: Well, I`m encouraged that
we`ve seen some leadership on this issue of the narrative of racial
difference that our history has created. That`s been the big problem we`ve
had all along. Everybody in this country has an inherited a burden.
We`ve all been infected by this legacy of racial inequality. A
narrative was created during slavery, and rather than confront it and
condemn it, we`ve tolerated it. In the South, we`ve celebrated it. And
these images and symbols have created some very, very real problems
including this continuing presumption of dangerousness of guilt assigned to
people of color.
So, attacking these images, taking down these images, I think it is a
critically important first step if we`re going to actually deal with our
history in an honest and meaningful way.
HAYES: You know, there is also some lesson that strikes me, as
someone -- and you`re someone who works day in, day out on behalf of folks
who are on the wrong end of our criminal justice system, and often on the
wrong side of the color line, that things that seem impossible for years.
I mean, this flag that we see across the Southern states, whether
they`re on license plates or official buildings or monuments, they weren`t
place there`d casually. This was tremendous capital and will. And then,
all of a sudden, at 8:20, the governor of your state of Alabama says, yes,
yes, I think it`s time to take it down. It`s a reminder that sometimes
victories in long fought battles can come much quicker than you realize.
STEVENSON: No, I think that`s right. I think there`s been an
awareness that this has been a problem for a very long time. There hasn`t
been the courage, the will to confront it.
I mean, this flag was resurrected not in the 1850s or during the time
of the civil war. It was resurrected in the 1950s as a symbol of
resistance to civil rights.
And while I think this is an important first step, there`s a whole lot
more, Chris, that has to be done. I mean, Alabama still celebrates
Jefferson Davis` birthday as a state holiday. Confederate Memorial Day is
a state holiday.
We don`t have Martin Luther King Day in Alabama. We have Martin
Luther King/Robert E. Lee Day. We have a state constitution that still
prohibits black and white kids from going to school together, completely
unenforceable, but it`s in there because we haven`t been able to get the
state to take it out of the constitution through a statewide referendum.
So, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. The whole landscape
is littered with these monuments and markers. We`ve got 59 in Montgomery.
The two largest high schools are Jefferson Davis High and Robert E. Lee
And not a word about slavery. Not a word about the terrorism and
lynching that really shifted the demographic geography of this country.
Not a word about the humiliation that people tolerated during the decades
of the civil rights era. We just want to celebrate the happy moments and
not deal with the reality.
That`s not what transitional justice is. Transitional justice means
you tell the truth about the problems and you reconcile yourself to that
truth, as they`re doing in Germany, as they tried to do in South Africa, as
they`re talking about in Rwanda.
We never did that in this country, because of it, we are still
burdened, and I think really corrupted by implicit bias and presumptions of
dangerousness and guilt, and that will change when we talk honestly about
what these symbols and legacy has done to us.
HAYES: I want to make sure that I understood you. I am a correct
you`re saying the Alabama state constitution in 2015 contains a provision
barring racial integration between black and white children in schools to
this day still, and you can`t get it removed?
STEVENSON: That`s exactly right. The state constitution can only be
amended by a statewide referendum. The business community put that on the
ballot in 2004 and the majority of people in the state voted to keep it in.
In 2012, it was back on the ballot again and an even larger majority
voted to keep it in. So, it still remains in the state constitution. And
we are kidding ourselves if we think that companies and businesses around
the world aren`t paying attention to that when they think about whether to
put their plant in Alabama or Michigan.
It is a barrier to progress. And yet, because we haven`t found our
voice to confront these images of the past and talk about this history with
the shame and sorrow that I think we should be, we continue to be burdened
by it. And that`s why I think we need more leadership and I hope today is
the start of a continuing conversation that really transforms the landscape
of this region that I think is really, really corrupted by these images and
HAYES: How do you understand those two votes? I mean, that is -- I
have to say, I did not know that. And I`ve spent some time in Alabama.
One of my best friends lives in Montgomery.
How do you understand that vote? How do you understand people coming
out in 2004, 2012, voting that way, knowing essentially this is purely
symbolic, precisely because of what the Supreme Court has said.
STEVENSON: Well, we`ve been practicing silence about this history for
so long. We don`t talk about this history. We haven`t learned how to
manage the shame and the guilt. We haven`t dealt with it. And so, we just
And you don`t give an inch. That`s why you don`t take down the flag.
That`s why you don`t step back. In Alabama, every license plate has heart
of Dixie on it and it is an offensive concept for people of color.
And so, the business community was kind of pushing this issue. They
got on the referendum. The political leaders said nothing about it, because
we don`t know how to deal with this in a kind of an honest way. So, the
people kept it in.
In 2012, I think that part of the increase of support had a lot to do
with the election of Barack Obama and this feeling that people are losing
their control. And so, we`ve got a lot of work to do in many states in
HAYES: Bryan Stevenson, always such a pleasure to talk to you. Thank
you very much.
Next, reaction to a South Carolina lawmaker`s remarks about what the
victims of the church massacre should have been doing to save their own
Plus, how homegrown radicals are outpacing jihadists in the U.S.
And then there`s this, possibly one of the greatest catches of all
time. Wait for it. Yes. That dad joins us.
HAYES: The debate over the Confederate over the Confederate battle
flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse continues. One
flag supporter told NBC`s Ron Allen he`s worried the conversation won`t
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS: Some people say what will change is the state of
South Carolina will move into modernity. The state of South Carolina will
make a bold statement about equality and moving away from the past.
JEFF O`CAIN, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS: That`s what they`ll say,
huh? And then when that obstacle has been taken aside, then it will be
this statue, that statue. We`re on a slippery slope here. You`re going to
try to eradicate history so it doesn`t offend anybody. It already
happened. We can`t change history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the meantime, one South Carolina state lawmaker who
supports keeping the flag where it is, is now having to answer to remarks
he made about the victims of last week`s horrific shooting. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: I`ll make another prediction. The next
flag that will come under assault and it will not be long is the American
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How far is this going to go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where does it stop? How far do you go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slippery slope, Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slippery, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who else has been doing some cultural
cleansing these days? These guys. Mark my words. The left`s cultural
crusade will not stop with the Confederate flag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As you might expect, there`s some real hot takes out there as
the back lash over the back lash of the Confederate flag rolls on. In
South Carolina, where all this began, the state legislature has voted to
debate removing the flag in the state house grounds, but there are some
lawmakers, at least 11, by the "Charleston Post and Courier`s" count, who
believe the Confederate battle flag should stay put.
Among them, Republican State Representative Bill Chumley who says the
issue over the flag has been settled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUMLEY: I think that the misuse and the miseducation of the flag has
probably pushed it to this point. My constituents are calling and talking
a lot about it and that`s the way they feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The conversation did not end there as Chumley questioned not
only the focus on the flag, but whether the nine victims of last week`s
shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston could have done more to
stop the gunman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUMLEY: We`re focusing on the wrong thing here. We need to be
focused on the nine families that are left and see that this doesn`t happen
again. These people sit in there and waited their turn to be shot. That`s
And somebody in there with the means of self-defense could have
stopped this and would have less funerals that we`re having.
CNN REPORTER: You`re turning this into a gun debate? If those nine
families asked to you take down the flag, would you do it?
CHUMLEY: You said guns. Why didn`t somebody do something? I mean,
you`ve got one skinny person shooting a gun, you know? I mean, we need to
take and do what we can.
CNN REPORTER: I want to make sure I understand what you`re telling
me. Are you asking that these people should have tackled him? These women
should have fought him that --
CHUMLEY: I don`t know what the answer was. But I know it is really,
really horrible for nine people to be shot. And I understand that he
reloaded his gun during the process. That`s upsetting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, South Carolina State Representative Justin
Bamberg, who called for a public apology from his colleague, Mr. Chumley,
who has since apologized.
Representative, thank you for joining us tonight.
I should read what Mr. Chumley`s statement today, "My view which I was
clumsily trying to express was that it was painfully regrettable that
someone was not able to intervene in this demented killer`s life to stop
him right up the moment he squeezed the trigger. Please let me be clear:
the responsibility for the despicable murders in Charleston rests solely on
the murder. If any of my remarks suggested differently, I am deeply
Your response, Representative?
STATE REP. JUSTIN BAMBERG (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, Chris, thank you
first and foremost for having me here tonight. I`ll tell you, when I saw
that last night, I was really bothered. It offended me. It upset me.
I know if the families were watching and had heard the words that he
said, you know, essentially blaming the victim for their own demise, that
is terribly troubling. So, I actually took time to sleep on it to see how
I felt this morning and this morning I felt the same exact way.
So, I saw fit to send a letter to my cohorts in the general assembly,
specifically the House of Representatives and point out that I felt his
words dishonored the body and the state of South Carolina and given the
climate and what is going on right now in the state, he owed the families
an apology for what he said.
HAYES: There are now, as far as we can tell from "Post Courier",
which is keeping a count, 34 of your colleagues in the House who have yet
to answer the "Post and Courier" or any other reporters about where they
stand on this issue. Ten refused to answer, 12 undecided.
Can you give us a sense of what those conversations in the statehouse
BAMBERG: Well, you know, you`ve got folks who are going to wait.
They`re going on wait to state their position publicly. You also more
likely have some folks who just haven`t responded. Maybe they haven`t
checked their voicemails or have missed some phone calls.
But I think the flag is coming down. And I actually had someone ask
me earlier today. They said, well, do you think the 10 or 11 who have
stated opposition to the flag coming down are going to stand in the way of
the flag coming down? And I just, I patted him on the shoulder and smiled
a little bit.
They`re not standing in the way. Where they`re standing is on the
side of the train tracks. And the train of progress is going to be pulling
out of the station here shortly, and they`re either going to get on and
ride along with us or they`re going to miss it.
And, you know, up until the vote, even after the vote, should they
want to jump on the train, I will reach down and pull them up as a brother
or sister, and we can move the state forward together.
HAYES: So, what I`m hearing is you are not sweating this vote.
BAMBERG: No, sir. At this time I`m not concerned about the vote.
You know, I think most people recognize that given the fact that this flag,
while it does not represent hate for everyone, you know, there are people
who take pride in it and it`s a family legacy and heritage thing, people
understand that this flag has become a symbol of hate for a lot of people.
And for a lot of people`s ancestors, this flag was used to terrorize
and used with murders. It needs to come down. It`s time for it to come
down. And we`re never going to move forward as a state unless it does come
HAYES: All right. South Carolina State Representative Justin
Bamberg, thank you for joining us tonight.
BAMBERG: Thank you so much, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, if things are moving so rapidly in the Confederate
flag, can proponents of gun control make another play for reform?
But next, the multitasking father at the Dodgers/Cubs game and how he
feels about providing the Dodgers with the out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPORTSCASTER: Foul grounds, reaching -- so Gonzalez had it taken away
by the fan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You may not realize it, but you`ve just witnessed the greatest
catch in the history of foul balls.
Wrigley Field in Chicago last night, the Dodgers and Cubs were
scoreless in the second winning, when the Cubs batter was a foul ball on
the first-base line, at first, it looked like Dodger first baseman Adrian
Gonzalez would make the catch by the stands. But no, a Cubs fan in the
front row named Keith Hartley holding his infant son Isaac reached in to
field play and snatched the ball away from the Dodgers first baseman.
In fact, on closer inspection, not only was he holding his infant son,
he was also feeding his infant son and he never stopped. Naturally, the
Dodgers set out to steal the candy from the baby and his father. The
manager Don Mattingly who, by the way, is the father of an infant son
himself, challenged the call, and the umpires agreed that Keith Hartley
interfered with the play. The Dodger babies got their bottle and the third
out of the inning.
More importantly, the Cubs went out to win the game, 1-0 in the 10th,
(INAUDIBLE) pushing them to nine game over .500. Most importantly, Cubs
fan Keith Hartley is here to tell us about his brush with fame.
Keith, greatest catch. Did you practice doing that? Are you in the
habit of multitasking with Isaac and the bottle and catching?
KEITH HARTLEY, CUBS FAN: Not before but I think I might make it my
new profession with all the fanfare it`s getting now.
HAYES: I have got to say that was a really impressive catch. Was
that instinct? Did you have second thoughts as it`s a you rose and dangled
infant son by a bottle nestled close to you and reach out for that ball?
HARTLEY: I had a much better grip on him than I think most would
think. I had my arm underneath both of his arms supporting him pretty
tightly. So, not much worry there.
But it was just a fun night and a fun experience that has kind of gone
viral, I guess now.
HAYES: It is kind of funny to me. I think it is awesome. Also
because you, well, until the call was reversed, you actually gave the
Cubbies another out. But it is extremely polarizing. I mean, this is --
on the Twitter feed, this is
getting more backlash than the Confederate flag. You want to -- something
you want to say to the hate here`s think you risked your son`s life?
HARTLEY: No. I mean everyone is entitled to their opinion. I`m most
concerned about him and my wife which I think I did my job in protecting
both of them, both are happy and safe and healthy now.
And I don`t need to answer to any critics. I`m a born and bred
Chicagoan. We have thin skin so it kind of just rolls off my back. No big
HAYES: How old is Isaac?
HARTLEY: Just about seven months.
HAYES: Well, that is awesome.
Also, could we talk for a second about this Cubbies team? We`re nine
games over .500. We`ve won four in a row. We`re leading the majors in
walk-off wins. I`m trying not to let myself get too excited because I know
inevitably it will break my heart but I`m having a hard time stopping
myself from getting very excited.
HARTLEY: It is a very exciting time. A lot of people on Twitter were
labeling me the anti-Bartman and hashtag #reversethecurse. So hopefully I
can only help the matter there.
But I mean, a lot of good young prospects, even more in the system.
We saw Kyle Schwarber there for a few games when we were playing the AL
inter league games and he is a very exciting prospect.
But it is look good on the north side there.
HAYES: It is looking good. We are currently -- if the season ended
today, I think we would be in the playoffs, at least in the playin game.
We are in the toughest division in all the National League which makes
I want to just show you a little father multitasking solidarity here.
This is a picture I took of myself, my wife took of me, that was me on
I`m not quite catching a foul ball. I am drinking, I think that`s a rye
But just for a note, you -- dads can multitask. This is the 21st
Century. Us dads were doing lots of things. We`re having it all. We`re
catching foul balls, we`re drinking cocktails. Just don`t hate on
multitasking dads, I`d say.
HARTLEY: Yeah. I mean, it is part of my job. I work in IT, so I
multitask all day every day so this was another day at the ballpark, as
HAYES: All right, Keith Hartley, thank you so much for your time.
HARTLEY: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, a withdrawn report about homegrown terrorism the
conservatives balked at is now getting some pretty hard evidence to back it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A chorus of protests grows around the DHS,
Homeland Security`s report on right wing extremism.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: But critics say their definition of a right
wing extremist sounds awfully close to somebody who might simply just
disagree with the
UNIDENTIFIEID MALE: This is a radical, irresponsible condemnation of
legitimate political dissent which is terrifying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no Timothy McVeighs out there right now.
They`re making a big deal out of something that hasn`t happened and may not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a
report that, quote, the economic downturn and the election of the first
African-American president present unique drivers for right wing
radicalization and recruitment including an attempt to, quote, radicalize
returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.
That particular part of the report came under harsh criticism from
conservatives. House Minority Leader at the time John Boehner said to
characterize men and women returning home after defending our country`s as
potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable. The Department of
Homeland Security owes our veterans an apology.
Within a month the entire report on right wing extremism was pulled
and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized.
A year later, the main author of that report, an analyst named Darrel
Johnson left DHS after he said his office was gutted in response to all the
Now today, we learn that since 9/11, according to the research group
America and reported by The New York Times, nearly twice as many people
have been killed by white supremacists, ant-government fanatics and other
non-Muslim extremists as have been killed by radical Muslims, that`s 48
people killed in right
wing extremist attacks. By comparison, research shows that attacks by
jihadist killers killed 26 people in that same time period.
This threat from right wing extremists seems to be something that has
weighed on the minds of law enforcement officials, at times points to a
survey that asked 382 police and sheriff`s departments nationwide to rank
the three biggest threats from violent extremism in their jurisdiction,
about 74 percent listed anti-government violence while 39 percent listed al
Qaeda inspired violence.
Joining me now Charles Kurzman, professor of sociology at the
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a researcher with the Triangle
Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Professor, do you think that American counterterrorism policy has
gotten out of balance in the 14 years since 9/11 relative to threats?
CHARLES KURZMAN, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA: Well, it sounds as
fears that many of us had about waves of al Qaeda inspired violence and
terrorist attacks after 9/11 failed to materialize. That`s very fortunate.
But many of our policies and institutions that were set up to defend
against that scale of threat are still in place today even with what seems
to be relatively diminished level of threat.
It strikes me also that there is also that there is a way in which all
of the threats from terrorism, or let`s say politically or ideologically
motivated violence, is relatively low in materials of the lethality since
9/11. Of course, if you say since 9/11, you`re bracketing the largest mass
murder for political means in U.S. history.
But Glenn Greenwald put this chart together. These are people killed
by car accidents every day, that`s 96, people killed by bees, wasps and
hornets in just 2013, that`s 62, people killed by right wing extremists
since 9/11, 48, killed by lightning every year, crushed by their own
furniture every year and killed by Muslim extremists since 9/11.
How would you characterize, in general, America`s relative safety in
terms of American citizens and political and ideological violence?
KURZMAN: Yeah, if we look at political violence and fatalities from
that, regardless of the specific figures you use, the numbers are
relatively small compared to the ordinary level of violence that we
experience as a country year in, year out. More than 14,000 murders each
year in the United States, according to the FBI, that`s more than 215,000
since 9/11, a huge amount of ordinary every day violence, unfortunately, in
HAYES: During the 1990s, we saw a huge amount of attention paid to
the threat of domestic extremism in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing,
huge amounts of resources and press attention to the militia movement. And
my sense is that the organized militia movement really did kind of
dissipate in the wake of that. What is the status of the kind of right
wing extremist movements in the U.S. today?
KURZMAN: Certainly they exist. There is relatively small scale
movements around the country. What we found in the survey of law
enforcement agencies is that there is a serious concern among a large
majority of them that there might be these organizations or individual lone
wolf type threats in their jurisdictions.
So they`re taking it seriously.
HAYES: Charles Kurzman, thank you very much.
Ahead, why gun control proponents have not given up and the very
latest entry into the busy GOP presidential field next.
HAYES: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is running for president. And
there are a few ways we know this. There`s the tweet that was unleashed
earlier today. There is his actual announcement speech from this afternoon
and there`s the video of his family sitting outside, footage that looks
like something from a security cam in which his campaign posted on his
website in which he breaks the news to his kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: I want to talk to you first and
then you can tell your friends. Mommy and daddy have been thinking and
talking a lot about this, we have decide we are going to be running for
What do you remember about Iowa?
UNIDENITFIED MALE: Popcorn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a major, in a field of 13 major Republican presidential
candidates with more on the way, popcorn is as good a reason as any to give
it a go.
That gives another 100 points, by the way, to Michael Steele in our
2016 fantasy candidate draft. Steele is still the leader. And yet there`s
another governor whose sagging popularity at home is not dissuading him
from seeking national office, Chris Christie will reportedly declare as
early as next week.
Now, a development tonight out of upstate New York as the manhunt for
two escaped convicts continues.
NBC News is reporting that a second prison worker at the Clinton
County Correctional Facility has now been arrested in connection with the
escape of David Sweat and Richard Matt.
Jean Palmer was a prison guard working in the cell block where the two
inmates had escaped from. Tonight, he`s been arrested and charges against
him are currently pending. The two escaped convicts, David Sweat and
Richard Matt, remain at-large after 19 days on the run.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At some point we as a
country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence
does not happen in other advanced countries. And it is in our power to do
something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was President Obama one day after the mass shooting in
Charleston, and this was Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz
campaigning in Iowa not long after the president spoke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) IOWA: You know, the great thing about the state of
Iowa, I`m pretty sure you all define gun control the same way we do in
Texas: hitting what you aim at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wasn`t content to just joke
about gun control after the Charleston massacre. Today, the likely GOP
presidential candidate signed two bills making it easier to buy and to
carry guns, including one that removes the 48-hour waiting period to
purchase a firearm.
And Dylann Roof`s horrific crime one week ago has spurred a movement
to remove the confederate battle flag from stores and public places, a
development both more than welcome and long overdue.
The flag controversy has also meant there has been virtually no
serious discussion about gun safety in the week since the shootings, a
develop that has surely been welcomed by the NRA, which is happy to focus
on the fight over the confederate battle flag instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do want to have a debate, or at least we want
about the confederate flag, but again, not many of us are really interested
in pushing for more gun control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a statement to MSNBC, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said
he is gravely concerned that people are only focused only on the flag
instead of attempting to take on America`s gun violence epidemic simply
because an offensive flag is easy to fix.
Murphy`s home state was the site of Sandy Hook elementary school
shooting massacre in Newtown in 2012, which spurred President Obama`s
impassioned but failed
push to get congress to do something to counter gun violence.
Senators Joe Manchin`s and Pat Toomey`s bipartisan bill to expand
meaningful background checks failed in 2013 by six votes. Since then, the
Post notes the Senate math has become considerably less friendly to any
sort of gun safety measure.
Now, it is easy to throw up your hands when it comes to gun safety.
When we come back, I`m going to talk to two people who have not given up
hope, including a former Sandy Hook elementary school teacher who survived
the shootings. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: 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: Joining me to talk about whether there is any hope for new gun
safety measures in the wake of the shootings in Charleston is former Sandy
Hook elementary school teacher Abbey Clements who survived the Newtown
shootings and Shannon Watts,
founders of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Ms. Clements, maybe if I can begin with you, I wonder what it has been
like for you, having suffered through the awful trauma that was Newtown, to
watch this happen in Charleston and just your reaction to watching how it
has been understood and parsed and played out in the media in its
ABBEY CLEMENTS, SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Well, after
hearing about what happened in Charleston, it just, it went right through
me -- the sadness, the horror, the disbelief that this happens over and
over again. And to know how difficult a road it is for the families and
the survivors and the community members there. My heart just breaks for
them, because it is so difficult to navigate the world after going through
something like this.
HAYES: What do people not know about what the path ahead for people
in a community that has suffered one of these is like?
I mean, we cover it, we go there, the lights are there, we interview
survivors, we will cover the funeral and then at a certain point, six
months later, a year later, two years later, they`ve got to still be there
and deal with it.
And I could feel in Charleston, the intensity of the trauma there.
What do people not get what it will be like two years from now?
CLEMENTS: I just think when you go through something like this, it
affects who you are. And you`re forever changed. And so the way you go to
work and your relationships, all those things change and you miss the
person who you were. And you have to figure everything out and all the
responsibilities that you have. You have to take care of things. But you
also have this tremendous sense of loss and guilt and all of those things.
So for me and for so many survivors who I have had the privilege of
getting to know over the past year or so, it is a resolve and efforts to
help change things that really keeps us moving forward in light of such
HAYES: Shannon, we are watching just in the course of a week
something that had been embedded in particularly southern politics for
decades, if not more than a century, the confederate battle flag and
memorialization of that cause which seemed unmovable. You know, voters
tried to dislodge it time and time again and they failed and activists
tried to dislodge it time and time again and they failed. And they fought
these lonely battles for years. And in the course of the week it seems
like it has just gone up in smoke.
What is your perspective as someone working on the gun issue, watching
SHANNON WATTS, GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE: Well, first of all, you know, I
refuse to buy into the narrative and our supporters don`t buy into the
narrative that this is hopeless in any way, shape or form. We are winning
in states. You know, 38 state legislative sessions just ended and we were
able to defeat 40 bad gun bills that the NRA was trying to push through.
So, the idea that we`re losing is absolutely wrong. We`re actually
winning in the states and with companies. We just need congress to do the
And you were talking about change with the flag. Change does come
quickly in this country when there is enough momentum and you have the
right lawmakers in place.
And so the flag changed, marriage equality changed quickly. If we`re
going to see the same thing happen with gun laws. We are getting huge
momentum on the ground. In Oregon, we just made it the 18th state to close
its background check loophole. We`re going to do the same here in Nevada
next year. And we just need congress to together, hold hands across the
aisle and do what more than 90 percent of Americans want them to do, and
that is close our background check loophole.
HAYES: That`s interesting. What I`m hearing from you is a real focus
on state by state victories where you may have a stronger hand to play than
congress. Is that where your organization is focused?
I mean, we are, again, pushing back on bills that would have sailed
the state houses, campus carry, guns in K-12, constitutional carry. These
bills are not making it. And they would have in the past before our moms
were on the
And working with every town, we are going to get the states to do the
right thing in lieu of congress. Eventually congress will do the right
thing. We need to get the right congress in place.
But I can tell you as someone on the ground every day with tireless
advocates, women and mothers and carrying Americans and survivors, we are
winning this fight and change will come just as quickly as the other issues
you`ve talked about tonight. It will happen.
And congress better listen to Americans. It is time for them to stand
to the gun lobby so Americans don`t have to stand up to gunmen.
HAYES: We`ve learned a little more about the gun the shooter bought,
a .45 caliber Glock, which he purchased on April 11, less than two minutes
after he was arrested, although that charge was a misdemeanor.
One of the things that happens often here in sort of the aftermath of
a mass shooting, and it`s awful to contemplate that that`s a kind of
recurring thing, is people pointing and saying, well, your law that your
pushing wouldn`t have stopped this shooting. And it`s unclear in this case
whether a background check would or would not have stopped the shooter.
What`s your response to that?
WATTS: There are a lot of different things that we can do. And we`re
doing them in states to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
There are many different things we can do. But our focus is on the
thing that will save the most American lives, and that is closing the
background check loophole. More than 40 percent of guns sold in this
country are sold with absolutely no background check making it incredibly
easy for felonies and criminals and domestic abusers and other violent or
dangerous people to have guns. And that is so ethically and morally wrong.
And all congress has to do is close that loophole. And where we`ve seen
states do that on their own, we have seen suicides, police killings and
domestic homicides cut almost in half. We know these laws work.
HAYES: Ms. Clements, one of the things that`s happened in the wake of
this is everyone trying to make sense of the awfulness of it. And because
in this case there`s a killer with a screed and a manifesto and a bunch of
symbols and the sort of clear ideological agenda it`s sort of easier to do
that than in the case of Newtown which just seemed like depthless
impossible evil to get your head around.
How do you make sense of how we make sense of the aftermath of
CLEMENTS: You know, after something like this, people who are deeply
affected are not really aware of these things that are going on around us.
I mean, they know that there is a conversation and they`re happy about
that. But they are trying to deal with everything on a day-to-day basis.
How do they get their kids off to school? How am I going to get to work
every day after something like this?
But what I will say is that after everybody leaves, and after the
conversation dies down, there`s a sense of what I am a going to do with
this? And I think that not only survivors but everybody can join this
We don`t want this to happen anymore. We don`t want it to happen in
churches and in schools and in malls, it is absolutely disgusting that this
continues to happen. And people can make a difference and people can make
a difference now by even participating in the conversation where I think
for Charleston, the hashtag #risingforcharleston and join in the
conversation. And that`s where it can begin.
And it really is powerful for people to do that.
HAYES: Abbey Clements and Shannon Watts, thank you both. 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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