All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 06/12/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
REPORTER: Did you convince anyone?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I`m standing next
to the top warriors.
HAYES: The fight between the president and his own party comes to a
head inside the Capitol. Tonight, the fate of Barack Obama`s trade agenda
following today`s big vote.
Plus, the stranger than fiction story out of Spokane that broke the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rachel has wanted to be someone she`s not.
HAYES: Outed by her parents as a white leader of an NCAAP chapter,
tonight Rachel Dolezal is responding.
And all in the movies, 22 years after Spielberg`s “Jurassic Park”, the
theme park is finally hope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every time we unveiled a new attraction,
attendance has spiked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was awesome.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from Washington, D.C. I`m Chris Hayes.
The biggest, nastiest, most bruising battle has been waged between
President Obama and his own party during the president`s entire time in
office came to a head in dramatic fashion today. With House Democrats led
by none other than Nancy Pelosi dealing the president a stunning rebuke in
his effort to pass the biggest trade deal since NAFTA. It`s a
confrontation that`s been months – brewing for months with progressives,
including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders aligning with organized labor
and other groups in opposition to the president to argue the proposed deal
is bad news for American workers.
The president aligning with many Republicans to argue the deal which
involves 12 Pacific Rim nations representing 40 percent of work GDP will
benefit both workers and businesses and that critics like Elizabeth Warren
are simply wrong.
Now, today`s vote had to do with the president`s attempt to get
Congress to uphold a up or down vote on the final trade deal the
negotiators are currently working out. Lawmakers would still be able to
vote yes or not on that deal, but crucially, they couldn`t make any changes
to the deal the president submits. It`s called fast track authority and
the White House say, without it, there could be no trade deal.
Which explains why last night, the president made a surprise
appearance at the annual congressional baseball game where he chatted up
lawmakers from both parties. And then this morning, he showed up with
Pelosi in a morning meeting of House Democrats on Capitol Hill to try to
win over the skeptics.
The president had to win two votes today to get fast track, one direct
vote on fast track itself and another on the companion bill to help workers
hurt by free trade. It was that companion bill that was the key.
Democrats saw it as the last best chance to stop fast track and prevent or
at least improve the trade deal.
The president this morning urged Democrats to follow their conscious
and support that companion bill to help workers, despite the fact it would
likely lead to passage of fast track.
But instead of winning skeptical Democrats over, this argument made
some of them livid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), OREGON: Basically, the president tried to
both guilt people and then impugn their integrity and I don`t think it was
a very effective tactic. There were a number of us insulted by the
He said you are not playing it straight. That`s questioning someone`s
integrity. Because we are legislators, it`s the only legislative tool we
have, to stop something that, you know, is otherwise inevitable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Pelosi, who had been silent for weeks and who escorted the
president to the Democratic caucus meeting in the morning, took to the
floor to announce the opposition to the companion bill, the one the
president was lobbying for, which, of course, open the floodgates of
And in the end, only 40 Democrats voted for the companion bill and it
was voted down overwhelmingly. It marked a victory for progressive
opponents of the trade deal, and stunning setback for the president unable
to rally his party to his side.
Joining me now, Democratic Congressman John Garamendi of California
who voted against the fast track and the companion bill today; Jim Manley,
former spokesperson for Harry Reid, who supports the trade deal.
Well, that was quite a day on Capitol Hill. That does not happen very
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: I`ve been in this for a long,
long time and California and in Washington, I`ve never seen anything quite
like this. And it is an important day also because this trade deal in my
view is a really bad trade deal.
HAYES: So, you got this situation. It`s a little complicated, but I
think it`s worth actually describing –
GARAMENDI: Try explaining it.
HAYES: Because it`s – you`ve got a situation on the Senate side,
right, they managed to combine two things, right? The Senate side says,
Mr. President, we give you this authority to negotiate and give us a vote,
but we also pass this federal assistance to workers that could be adversely
affected, right? Those to things are together.
Now, the House has to pass something that has both of those things
together and the idea of the strategy here was, OK, we`ll divide them in
half, the Republicans can vote for the Trade Promotion Authority, the
Democrats vote for the assistance, both pass, both get included and we all
go on our way, right?
And yet –
JIM MANLEY, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR HARRY REID: And yet, the fact of the
matter is there is bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate to
pass this trade bill, and there is bipartisan support in the Senate to pass
this effort to try to help displaced workers.
So, the White House is three-fourths of the way there. They`ve got to
find out to get to the final third. And I think that the risk stating the
obvious, the folks are holed up in the White House right now to try to
figure out how to work this out procedurally.
HAYES: Now, here`s the thing I thought –
GARAMENDI: I think it is a little more difficult.
HAYES: Yes, please?
GARAMENDI: They are not – they are together but they both have to
pass. And if one doesn`t pass, in this case the assistance bill, it`s
dead. Except that they pulled a legislative rabbit out of the hat and it
says, oh, we`re going to reconsider it.
GARAMENDI: And it`s got to be done within two legislative days, so
next Tuesday, we go back to the floor.
HAYES: And I want to talk about that because I don`t understand how
that works procedurally. They`re going to have bill back up – I mean,
I`ve covered – I used to work across the street from Capitol Hill. That
is not usual lip the way it works. You lose – you lose.
GARAMENDI: Unless the speaker doesn`t want to lose.
HAYES: Unless the speaker doesn`t want to lose. This speaker doesn`t
want to lose. And sometimes you lose and that is his record.
HAYES: But before we get to that – I mean, what was so dramatic
today was the president goes to the Democratic Caucus meeting and said
don`t think about trade promotion authorize, we heard what the pitch was
inside of the meeting and you can tell me if that is right, I want you to
vote how you actually substantively believe, adjustment for the workers and
you believe in that, yes.
And members of Congress, Pete DeFazio saying, I`m not an idiot, OK?
I`m a grown person who understands this is the way to kill the bill. I
mean it was kind of a remarkable exchange.
MANLEY: It was remarkable exchange. And just one of the highlights,
if you will, of the sharp exchanges that occurred throughout the day. But
again, my personal view, with all due respect to the congressman, politics
ain`t bean bag and his president was asked him to take a step forward and
do the right thing and vote for this and he didn`t like what he had to hear
and so he went to the press and complained.
HAYES: But wait a second, wait a second.
HAYES: Respond to that congressman.
GARAMENDI: Well, in fact, the trade – the Trade Adjustment Act
provides support for workers that have been displaced because of trade
deals. It is basically we know we`re going to lose jobs in the trade deal,
therefore we`ve got to do that. Understandable. And Democrats support
that, it`s a good thing.
But in this case, it is the enabler for something that many of us
dislike. And so, if you dislike the result, then don`t vote for the
MANLEY: Yes, but the problem is now there is bipartisan support in
both the House and the Senate for the trade bill.
HAYES: But that doesn`t matter if you want to block it.
GARAMENDI: How much support is there? In the House it was 219. That
is two more than necessary to pass because we`re short one person. But how
many of those 219 were simply able to vote because they knew it was not
going to become –
HAYES: Yes, well, let`s be clear, the vote on Trade Promotion
Authority, I know it`s somewhat complicated, the vote on Trade Promotion
Authority happened after. At that point everybody knew it was dead, right?
Or dead in the session, right.
MANLEY: Well, I`m not so sure that folks can walk away from that vote
number one. Look, I`m here to tell you, I`m not so sure how it will play
Either Republicans will have to step up to the plate and vote to help
displaced workers or Democrats are going to have to realize that they are
in a tough spot right now, because again at least there is bipartisan
majorities in both bodies to pass trade bills.
But again, if it comes down to procedure, they`re going to find a way
to work it out. But the politics is a whole other story.
HAYES: But getting to the politics, my read is you can say there is
bipartisan support, there is a lot of bipartisan support but it doesn`t
make it good, it doesn`t make it popular. It`s not like there`s massive
overwhelming public support for the Trans Pacific Partnership.
GARAMENDI: I had calls all day long and 15-1 opposed to it, and
that`s been going on for days and days. The general public out there goes,
wait a minute, we`ve been down this – we saw this act before. We saw
NAFTA, we know the auto industry took off to Mexico. We`ve seen what
We know there is a $524 billion trade deficit in manufacturing this
last year in 2014. That is the manufacturing exit from America with
American capital running off to China and other places, leaving American
HAYES: So, here is my question, you highlighted this. Everyone`s
focus today was on the Democrats because they are voting against. But if,
you know, Republicans really want this, they can come over and say, you
know what, we`ve seen the light on trade adjustment assistance, right, and
we`re going to come and vote for that. Can`t they do that?
MANLEY: They sure can. I have a sneaking suspicion it`s not going to
happen but, the fact of the matter is –
HAYES: But that is weird it won`t. In the sense of – if you
substantively want the thing, then vote in the way that brings it about.
If you substantively don`t want the thing, then vote in the way that
doesn`t bring it about. But the actual vote in front of you matters less
than what you are trying to get in the end, right?
MANLEY: That is one of the weird aspects of the whole situation,
absolutely. A program that again is designed to help those who lost jobs
over 100,000, set to expire at the end of the year, if they want to do the
right thing and if they want to help their business interests, I`m talking
about the Republicans, all they have to do is vote for this thing.
HAYES: Well, you`re going to get this vote again on Tuesday. What`s
going to happen?
GARAMENDI: I think it`s going to go down. I don`t think the
Republicans are going t o come over. It is a distrust by the Republicans
of the president.
GARAMENDI: And there is a lot of folks reason the Republican caucus
that do not want to give the president open-ended authority as the fast
track would do.
HAYES: And your prediction?
MANLEY: I think there is a good chance the president can be able to
pull it off in the end.
HAYES: It`s going to be very, very interesting. Congressman John
Garamendi of California, and Jim Manley, thank you both.
MANLEY: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Up next, how one of the most meaningless
barometers in presidential politics finally met it demise today.
Plus, an accidental presidential announcement at a Republican donor
And the revelations about the head of the NAACP in Spokane,
Washington, that broke the Internet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know what you`re implying?
REPORTER: Are you African-American?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t understand the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He`s been labeled cranky, arrogant and prickly and now, it
looks like Ohio Governor John Kasich will be definitely adding presidential
candidate to that list. Even if he`s not officially declaring yet, he`s
been making his intentions clear. For example, he`s staffing up, hiring
people like Fred Davis, who made the famous demon sheep ad in 2010. And
he`s heading to Iowa, the first caucus state later this month.
But the clearest indication of what he`s planning to do came today
when Governor Kasich accidentally blurted out that he actually is running.
Then he quickly tried to walk it back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO; I wouldn`t have gotten in if I thought
was a clear winner.
I`m seeing people that I saw 15, 16, 17 years ago who said, hey,
you`re a kid, you don`t have the experience, come back, never thinking I`d
go back. And now, some of them are active in my campaign, you know, it`s
not a campaign yet, but they`re active in this effort I`m making to
determine whether I`m going to be a candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Governor Kasich made that slip-up at Mitt Romney`s annual
retreat for big money donors where presidential hopefuls are gathering for
a weekend of horse back riding, Pilates and skeet shooting.
We`ll go to Utah for the latest on that, next.
HAYES: Today, we bid farewell to one of the most preposterous
traditions of the presidential primary cycle, the Iowa straw poll. The
Republican survey held several months before the caucuses allow the
campaigns to gauge interest ahead of the nation`s first nominating contest
and give the candidates an opportunity to roll up their shirt sleeves and
mingle directly with conservative caucus goers, go to cookout and enjoy
some live music and doing some old-fashioned retail politics.
But since it started back in 1979, only two straw polls have ever gone
on to win the GOP nominations. Mitt Romney didn`t attend last time and
Michele Bachmann finished first, followed by Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty. A
handful of 2016 hopefuls already vowed to skip the straw poll this year,
and today, the Iowa Republican Party`s governing body put the final nail in
the coffin, voting to cancel it altogether.
Now, that doesn`t mean there aren`t straw polls it just means they
will happen behind closed door with a different set of voters. Half a
dozen presidential contenders are attending one such event right now.
The third annual E2 summit hosted by Mitt Romney at the swanky Stein
Eriksen Lodge at the Deer Valley Ski Resort in Utah. E2 stands for experts
and enthusiasts, some kind of euphemism for the donor class, and they`ve
got a very different slate of activities and cookouts and sing-alongs,
including sunrise Pilates with Ann Romney and political analyst Mark
Halperin, for some reason, flag football with Marco Rubio and tomorrow
morning, a little skeet shooting with Lindsey Graham.
And in the interview today with MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt, Senator Graham
explained the summit`s importance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The people in this room
could affect the campaign. It takes millions and millions of dollars to
run a campaign. You need two things, you need a good campaign team that
can make sure that you are effective, you need investment, you need
financial resources, to go out and win a retail political contest.
The good thing is that all of the people in that room, they can`t –
they don`t have enough money to buy what will eventually have to happen.
They can give a candidate a chance. But if you can`t close the deal in
small towns in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, you`re not going to
be the nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now from Utah, MSNBC political reporter Kasie Hunt,
and here in Washington, Brian Darling, former senior aide to Senator Rand
Kasie, what is this event exactly? It`s like between a donor confab
and Aspen ideas festival all kind of helm by Mitt Romney?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that`s not a bad way
of putting it, Chris. Yes, they take over the entire Stein Eriksen Lodge,
which is where we are, it`s obviously where people come to ski in the
winter time. Very luxurious, and they move from one session to another.
The people here, it`s invitation only. They are either close to
Romney or they`re close to one of his sons. It`s a way for them to network
also for his son`s hedge fund or venture capital firm, excuse me, Solamere
Capital. So, there is a little bit of that going on too.
But, you know, it`s very exclusive, it`s very – the press has been
very limited this time around. We`ve had to have an escort wherever we
wanted to go. They open up the speeches, we are allowed to hear what the
candidates are saying to the donors in the rooms.
But, you know, what`s happening here, behind the scenes, is probably
more important even than what is happening on stage as these attendees are
addressing this crowd. Remember now, it only takes one potentially very
wealthy donor to keep a campaign alive for much longer than we might have
seen in the past, Chris.
HAYES: Yes, I thought Lindsey Graham was remarkably blunt and
transparent about why he is there and what is going on, which is that he
needs to get the money and these people have money to give.
HUNT: That`s true. And, you know, Chris, that is the one thing that
we were talking about and you mentioned the Iowa straw poll and Lindsey
Graham brought up that you have to do grassroots campaigning. One of the
differences in the cycle is going to be the debates, the way they are doing
criteria for the debates, they are using national polls.
They`re not using early state polls and the results of that is that it
rewards people who will be able to move up in national polls over people
who are say, putting in the face time and the shoe leather in a place like
Iowa, it is much harder for someone like Lindsey Graham to go and do that
and earn a spot and I think he would say that is probably a negative. In
fact, his campaign is out saying they need to change the criteria for that.
HAYES: That is a fascinating point that I not thought of, Brian, that
basically, if you are going to do the cut-off with national polls and
you`re someone that doesn`t have a huge amount of resources, right, to
command national attention, that it essentially disadvantages you.
BRIAN DARLING, FORMER SR. AIDE TO SEN. RAND PAUL: It`s true. But if
we are talking about candidates who have a real chance, Lindsey Graham
isn`t one of them. I don`t think a billionaire is going to save that guy,
because everybody knows he`s not really running for president. He`s
running an issues-based campaign.
HAYES: He says he is running for president.
DARLING: Yes, I mean, it is a joke. It really is a joke.
When you look at the Senate, he is the fourth most popular senator
running for president right now. That is not very good. I mean, you look
at the polls, he is not doing well.
He didn`t do much in the senator career up to this date. I mean, even
in this year, he hasn`t put in many bills. He`s not been a very active
member. I think he`s getting in there to run an issues campaign so he can
push for more robust foreign policy.
HAYES: Let me ask you about the Iowa straw poll which was roundly
mocked and basically I think was seen as a kind of an embarrassment to the
party increasingly, which is why it was killed off today. What do you
think about getting rid of it?
DARLING: I love the straw poll. I love Michele Bachmann and her air-
conditioned tent and all that. But it actually got rid of some of the
also-ran candidates. Tim Pawlenty dropped out right after the last straw
poll, and it actually shows strength. If you look at two cycles ago, you
have Mike Huckabee come in second, Mitt Romney come in first place, and
they flipped when it came time for the Iowa actual caucus.
So, it has shown strength and it helped George W. Bush become the
president. He won both the Iowa straw poll and the Iowa caucus.
HAYES: Kasie, is thinking about getting rid of it, is it sort of
fear? I mean, it seems everything is done institutionally by all of these
different players, whether it`s the debate threshold is being set, getting
rid of the straw poll, is this fear of this kind of circus atmosphere,
right, this fear of having a bunch of candidates surge to the front like we
had last time around, trying to kind of manage and winnow as much as
HUNT: It`s also trying to take control of the process a little bit,
Chris, especially from Washington. And I think Brian sitting on set there
with you knows just as well this has a lot to do with Ron Paul and Rand
Paul potentially, and the way they had worked inside of the process in some
of these early states, whether it was the straw poll, Ron Paul finished
second in that straw poll, the organizers behind his campaign made straw
polls a central focus as a way to try and prove that they were legitimate
The party – Rand and Ron Paul supporters took over the state party
apparatus in Iowa.
HUNT: And it was ultimately rested back from them by Terri Branstad
and I think that, combined with the idea that there are a lot of national
Republicans who are nervous about the whole process being pulled to the
right with this focus on Iowa, they just decided that this wasn`t really
good for anybody.
DARLING: Well, you can`t keep a good man down. I think Rand Paul, if
you look at, his dad got over 20 percent in Iowa in the last election
cycle. He got over 20 percent –
HAYES: At the caucus.
DARLING: At the caucus, I`m sorry. In the Iowa caucus, he got over
20 percent. And he did great in New Hampshire. And so they get rid of
this, I don`t think that`s going to hurt Rand Paul at all.
HAYES: Although there is, of course, and Kasie`s point, about the
different kinds of selection processes, we saw back in 2008, in the
Democratic primary, Barack Obama really outperformed on caucuses and it
really does – caucuses, which Nevada is keeping for instance, do tend to
favor organizing. And organizing doesn`t necessarily correlate neatly to
broader support, it is just whether you are a good organizer.
DARLING: I mean, we get all reliant on how much they raise and how
they`re doing in the national polls, it doesn`t matter all that much. And
as a progressive I think you can agree that the Mitt Romney event going on
right now and how much money the guys can raise is far less important than
an Iowa straw poll where we`re actually going to see support and people
HAYES: The point in the opening is you can get rid of the Iowa straw
poll, there will be a lot of them and they will just look like the one at
Deer Valley. I mean, these are going to continue to happen where people go
and they are having straw polls for small groups of people, whose votes
matter a lot.
Kasie Hunt and Brian Darling, thank you both.
DARLING: Thank you.
HUNT: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: As the massive manhunt for two escaped prisoners is underway
in New York state, the woman who allegedly helped them get out of a maximum
security prison is arrested today. The latest, next.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight in the hunt for the two convicted
murders who broke out of a maximum security prison in Upstate New York.
Joyce Mitchell, a worker at the prison who admitted to helping David Sweat
and Richard Matt escape has now been arrested and is facing a felony
Joining me now from the search area, MSNBC correspondent Adam Reiss.
Adam, what`s the latest?
ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Chris, she`s been cooperative all
week. She didn`t have an attorney. They said all of the conversation were
very productive and fruitful, but tonight she`s under arrest. She`ll be
arraigned within the hour and she`s charged with providing material support
and promoting contraband.
Now, what that means is she was helping them by bringing in materials
into the jail to help them escape. She even was going to be the getaway
driver until she got cold feet. Tonight, she faces seven years in jail and
we just learned she was suspended from her job at the jail – Chris.
HAYES: Investigators have been using her to unravel more of the
details of this. And yet it is somewhat remarkable, we`re a week in this
almost, and they still haven`t found them?
REISS: No. In fact they are drilling in on this perimeter that they
have. They`ve got about a manpower of 800 people, federal, state and
local. They don`t believe they have left the area for two reasons. One,
there have been no carjackings, there have been no reporting of any cars
that had been stolen.
So, they`ve got this perimeter. They`ve got a grid setup. The
terrain and the weather here has been awful. It`s just been pounding rain
all day. And they`ve got a message for these guys. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members of law enforcement continue to go door-to-
door, in and around the surrounding area, checking homes and seasonal
residences. We`re working seamlessly around the clock with several
agencies in our hunt.
We have a message for David Sweat and Richard Matt, we are coming from
you and we`ll not stop until you are caught.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REISS: Now they say they must be cold, wet, tired and hungry. The
problem is, that will likely make them even more desperate and even more
HAYES: Adam Reiss, thank you very much.
Up next, the bizarre story of the head of the NAACP in Spokane,
Washington who identified herself as African-American even though her
parents say she is white.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTHANNE DOLEZAL, RACHEL DOLEZAL`S MOTHER: She knows it`s false. But
I think she has told herself as well as she`s told others this erroneous
identity of hers enough that by now she may believe it more than she
believes the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOLEZAL: Rachel has wanted to be someone she`s not. She`s chosen not
to be herself, but to represent herself as an African-American woman or a
bi-racial person and that is simply not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A truly bizarre story out of Spokane, Washington, continues to
unravel tonight after the white parents of a local civil rights activist
have come forward and claimed that their daughter has been misrepresenting
herself as black
for years. 37-year-old Rachel Dolezal has served as the president of the
NAACP chapter in Spokane since January of this year.
She is also a part-time professor of Africana studies at a local
university and has recently claimed to be the victim of several hate
As questions about the credible of those claimed were raised this
week, a white couple of Troy, Montana came forward to local media to says
Dolezal is their
child and that she has been deceiving people about her racial identity.
Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal have provided an apparent birth
certificate to several media outlets listing them as the parents of Rachel
Dolezal as well as supplying several family photos of Rachel as a young
child. And at her wedding to an African-American man in May of 2000, a man
she has since divorced.
Now the couple told the Washington Post that Rachel`s interest in
African-American culture began when she was a teenager after the family
adopted four young African-American children.
But the Dolezal family has been estranged for years. Lawrence and
Ruthanne Dolezal, along with their adopted sons Ezra and Zach, do not speak
with Rachel because they say she alleged abuse in the family. Rachel
Dolezal also obtained custody of her 21-year-old African-American adopted
brother Isaiah and the family is now alleging that Rachel says Isaiah is
her son. He lives with Rachel in
Local TV station Spokane spoke to racial Dolezal earlier this week
about a series of hate crimes she`s reported over the past several years,
including alleged hate mail sent to the NAACP PO Box that Dolezal has
access to. The reporter then asked Dolezal to explain a photo that was
posted earlier this year on the NAACP Spokane Facebook page showing Dolezal
and an African-American man.
In the description accompanying that post, the man is identified as
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that your dad?
RACHEL DOLEZAL: Yeah, that`s my dad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man right here is your father? Right there?
RACHEL DOLEZAL: Do you have a question about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma`am. I was wondering if your dad really is
an African-American man.
RACHEL DOLEZAL: That is a very – I don`t know what you`re implying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you African-American?
RACHEL DOLEZAL: I don`t understand the question of – I did tell you
that, yes, that`s my dad and he was unable to come in January.
UNIDENITIFED MALE: Are your parents – are they white?
RACHEL DOLEZAL: I refuse…
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, the Spokane police department along with the FBI and
the postal service say they have dropped their investigation into the hate
mail sent to Rachel Dolezal. In the meantime, the national NAACP says it
is standing by Dolezal her advocacy record.
Joining me now Lacey Schwartz. She`s the writer, director and
producer of “Little White Lie: An Autobiographical Documentary Dealing with
the Complexities of Racial Identity.” Lacey, how are you.
Lacey SCHWARTZ, AUTHOR: Good. Great to see you, Chris.
HAYES: It`s great to see you, too.
So, you have this amazing movie about your own story. You grew up as
a white Jewish kid in upstate New York only to find out later that you were
black, that your father was black, that the man you thought your father
wasn`t your father and you had been essentially passing without your own
knowledge, for your entire childhood, and the movie is an amazing movie.
And I wanted to talk about this story. What is your reaction to this,
which is dropping the jaws of all of the internet as far as I can tell.
SCHWARTZ: Yeah, I mean, first of all it`s fascinating to see the
reaction to it, right. And I think it really just shows how much people
want to talk about racial identity. And people are struggling to really
figure it out.
But I mean, you said it just before in your intro, there are so many
different dynamics in this story, obviously, with her family and none of us
know the truth, right, none of us know what`s on, but clearly whatever is
with that family has deeply affected her identity.
HAYES: The NAACP`s response to this, which is to basically stand by
her, I mean, it has been interesting to watch the fallout from this. I`ve
seen some people express anger at her, and I think the anger probably
resolves around a sense of – a kind of an appropriation or a lie or
deception, also the hate crime filings which may have been false, but I
also seen other people just say I`m not angry, I`m just bewildered or
astounded and I can`t believe she pulled this off.
SCHWARTZ: Yeah, I mean, I really think that people`s identities are
so effected by their family, clearly mine was. And you have to wonder what
is going on there. And it is really, really hard to think about – bring
up all of the hypotheticals because there could be so much stuff going on
there. And I think you see people`s reactions based on what they decided
to believe in or deal with and it
also just makes you ask why would you lie? And I think this idea of
consciously lying and the potential of that, it can imply a lot of
HAYES: There is also the idea, which comes across so strongly in your
movie is just the idea that, you know, race and racial hierarchy and racism
are very things, but race is a thing as like that person is a black person
and that person is a white person is not a real thing. And this is one of
those moments where the kind of permeability and imaginary nature of that
is really brought into stark relief.
SCHWARTZ: Definitely. Although again, because there is also this mix
of the potential of lying, right, it would be almost in my opinion maybe
less of a
Twitter frenzy, but more interesting if she was coming out and saying this
is how I came up, but this is how identify and this is what I claim as part
of it. That would be more interesting, because you have to ask yourself,
if she is lying why
does she feel like she has to.
HAYES: She went to Howard University. The report that we have
indicates that she wasn`t lying then, she was just a white student at
There is also this sense – you talked about in your film, there is
this amazing moment in your film where you talk about the sort of way that
you were kind of welcomed into blackness, that there was this sort of
outstretched arms you found in this community that is obviously incredibly
diverse within itself. And I – yeah, I thought – I wondered what you
thought of that?
SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I grew up in a space where it was kind of like I was
extension of my family. And opposed I would say a lot of times like at
Georgetown where I went to college, a lot of the white Jewish students –
and I grew up in a white Jewish community, would question me and say, wow,
it is so crazy that you are Jewish, but the black students wouldn`t say the
same thing. In that community, they understood the full diversity of who
we could be.
And that`s why I`m saying, like, this – even this conversation around
her, and even the way it`s been set up, it is very binary, right. And the
reality is it is not that binary. There are so many different ways to be
so many different things. And there are so many different ways you can
identify and I think people are really want a nuanced conversation of what
that looks like. And I do think that people are kind of turned off by the
– by the potential of there being lies being told about it. It`s like
just own it. If that is what you want to be.
HAYES: So you – OK, so you think that – and there is a lot of
trolling I saw from conservatives today that were like, well, if Caitlyn
Jenner can say I
identify as a woman, then why can`t this person say I identify as black and
why can`t there be a category of trans-racial. What is your response to
SCHWARTZ: That maybe there can, but again I don`t believe that that
she`s doing here. She`s not saying that she`s trans-racial, she`s actually
out and about saying that she is a – I mean, again, that she has a black
father. You know, that was one of the things that struck me the most is
that she actually says it right in that interview that you just played,
that is my father.
So, she`s not saying that I just feel such a connection that I
actually black. She`s saying I actually come from black people. And so
that – assuming that that is not true, then I don`t believe that that is
the same thing.
HAYES: But you do think that there could be an interesting space or
conversation for someone just like you said owning it and basically saying
– choosing a racial identity that is not the one they are essentially born
SCHWARTZ: I think that there could be a conversation within – at
least. I think we see that all of the time right with hip-hop, that there
has been – hip-hop in particular has brought black culture in.
Now, there is also a whole other conversation about cultural
appropriation and whether or not that is right and wrong. And then let`s
have that conversation. But we`re in a situation now where that is not
exactly what is happening, right. She is actually claiming that she comes
from at least one black parent. So that makes it even that much more
But I do think it is happening all over the place. And we are seeing
that conversation I think we need to see that conversation more about what
different races are. I mean, I think it is ironic that she almost felt
like somebody like
her might feel like they have to choose to be black to do that work. Well,
why can`t you be a white person who is owning your role in the NAACP?
And I think we should encourage that more and more, that you don`t
have to be exactly like this to be able to do be doing work to fight
HAYES: All right, Lacey Schwartz, great, thanks for your time.
SCHWARTZ: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right. Still ahead, All In the Movies. And the film that
at $25 million to make and only brought in 900 – that is 900 – at the box
office nationwide. Don`t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER GONNERMAN, NEW YORKER: Just about every single thing that`s
wrong with the criminal justice system is in Kalief`s story. You know,
everything from the court delays, solitary confinement, to conditions in
PAUL PRESTIA, ATTORNEY: A massive failing at every level.
One of the most appealing cases in American criminal – the history of
American criminal justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This week we reported on the tragic suicide of 22-year-old
Kalief Browder, a young man who was held at Rikers Island jail in New York
City for three years without ever being convicted of a crime and without
ever standing trial.
Two of those years Browder spent in solitary confinement. And during
his time at Rikers, Browder said he suffered repeated abuse at the hands of
inmates and guards.
Last Saturday, Kalief Browder hanged himself at his parents` home with
air-conditioning cord. Browder`s death has inspired widespread
protest and yet to this day there are many other Kalief Browders being held
at Rikers. As the New York Times reported back in April, over 400 people
locked up for more than two years without being convicted of a crime
according to city data.
At the time of that report, there were, get this, a half dozen people
at Rikers who have been waiting on pending cases for more than six years.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, citing in the New Yorker profile
of Kalief Browder this past spring when he announced efforts to clear back
logs in state courts and reduce the inmate population at Rikers.
But as the jail continues to be both an embarrassment and a disgrace
to the city, it is becoming increasingly obviously that reform is move
much, much, much too slowly.
On Wednesday, 18-year-old King Davis hanged himself in his cell. He
had been taken into custody for parole violation last Friday and was
awaiting to see a
psychiatrist. An investigation is underway.
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: There is are two villains, if you will, in the ongoing FIFA
corruption scandal. There is of course Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president
who just resigned three days after winning reelection to his fifth term.
And then there is Jack Warner, FIFA`s former vice president who is accused
of racketeering by the Department of Justice.
Warner has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, like you can see him
doing here in this television appearance last week in his home country of
Trinidad and Tobago called the gloves are off, or in this video last month
in which Warner brandished a copy of The Onion as proof that the U.S. is
out to get him.
In response, HBO`s John Oliver, who has been covering FIFA scandals
air time on a Trinidad and Tobago television station on Tuesday for a
message called the mittens of disapproval are on in which Oliver taunts
Warner to snitch of FIFA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OLIVER, HOST, LAST WEEK TONIGHT: If you turn on FIFA, do not
underestimate how much people might be willing to forgive. And if one day
jail and you are staring up at the ceiling, wouldn`t you feel better to
know you took down some people with you? And sure FIFA`s goons might come
for you, but as you say in Trinidad, don`t hurt your head, which I believe
means don`t worry about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So yesterday Warner bought himself air time on the same TV
station to fire back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK WARNER, FRM. FIFA VICE PRESIDENT: It is very incomprehensible,
how a local TV station, a national TV station, could allow a foreigner, an
American foreigner, to come into this country to embarrass its citizens, to
embarrass our people, to be critical of the way we speak.
I don`t need any advice of any comedian fool, who (inaudible) into
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, two things to note here. Warner has probably got a
about Oliver mocking Trinidadian culture. Also the music in that video is
Now in the midst of all this, you may have not have noticed that FIFA
has released a movie “United Passions,” starring Tim Roth, opened in
limited theaters across the country last weekend.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie`s budget is estimated
at between $25 million and $32 million with FIFA said to have put up about
three-quarters of the money.
Final box office numbers from North America showed the film grossed a
whopping $918, probably far less than John Oliver spent to get on TV6 in
Trinidad and Tobago.
On the other end of the money making moving spectrum, you can bet
Universal Pictures is hoping for a better return on their investment this
weekend with Jurassic World. We`ll look at that movie and two others on
this week`s edition of “All In the Movies” next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close the door.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: We can`t lock them in.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: I want to (inaudible) down.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Somebody talk to me. What is happening?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, David Edelstein, chief film critic for New
York Magazine, Stephanie Zacharek, chief film critic at The Village Voice.
All right. I loved the first one, the first Jurassic Park. I loved
the book. I`m preparing to not be crazy about this. The Times review
pretty harsh. What do you think?
DAVID EDELSTEIN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, I don`t understand, you are
telling us about The Times review. You have your critics here. What do we
care about the Times review?
HAYES: No, I`m talking about the gold standard of criticism. And I
want to see where you guys come down.
EDELSTEIN: And by the way, thanks for not making me sit on that dorky
sofa you put your film critics on these days. I really am grateful for
HAYES: How dare you call that dorkey, Mr. Edelstein.
Our director works very hard to make that shot look as beautiful as it
EDELSTEIN: We should go together and pick another sofa.
But, listen, I don`t know, Stephanie, what you thought, but I thought
it was one of the best people running away from stuff I`ve seen in a long
That said, I`m kind of sick of people running away from stuff. I
never dreamed when I was a kid that Scooby-Doo, where are you, would become
the template of all future Hollywood blockbusters.
HAYES: What do you think, Stephanie?
STEPHANIE ZACHAREK: Well, I work up on Wednesday and I looked at my
Twitter feed and I realized, oh my god, I`m supposed to be offended by this
movie and I
just sort of forgot because supposedly it is sexist. But to me the thing
that bothers me even more than the sexism of the movie – I mean, I would
concede that it is sexist, is it any more sexist than any other stupid
blockbuster that comes out week after week? No. But I am actually more
offended by bad craftsmanship. And I have to say I think this movie was
about as well made as it needs to be for a big summer blockbuster and I
didn`t mind looking at the dinosaurs, especially there`s – where those
ones, the Velociraptors that run as if they`re like holding little tiny
handbags in their hands.
EDELSTEIN: You`re so tepid about it. They are really cool, these are
really amazing. I thought – I actually thought they looked more real than
the actors – and the dinosaurs – and I was convinced that they were like
expert dinosaur wranglers off camera who would sort of herd them after
every shot. I mean, that is a triumph.
As to the sexism thing, we are talking about Bryce Dallas Howard whose
character is shall we say very buttoned up. In fact, when she becomes
unbuttoned up, she literally unbuttons her blouse and then develops
maternal feelings for her nephews. And I mean, I think it is a
ridiculously sexist movie, but on the other hand, you know, she sure is
pretty and I enjoyed looking at her.
HAYES: Can I ask you this about – Stephanie, I am someone who
doesn`t quite get the Chris Pratt phenomenon. Like, he seems perfectly
handsome and charismatic. I find him entirely inoffensive. He seems
charming in interviews, but he is like a genuine, bonafide, big huge star,
big box office draw. What am I missing?
ZACHAREK: Well, he`s sort of cute. I mean, he does look a little bit
like a meathead. But I think with him the sense of humor is the thing that
most people find attractive. Although, in this movie, I didn`t get that
many laughs off of him. I mean, there is one sequence where he gets angry
and he sweeps – he`s like the plastic dinosaurs off the desk.
But beyond that, I mean, I don`t really think this is a showcase for
him. I think it is a showcase for the critters that are running around
chomping off people`s heads.
EDELSTEIN: And for Bryce Dallas.
She`s really the heroine and the protagonist of the movie.
HAYES: David, there is a documentary about SNL that`s coming out,
EDELSTEIN: I`m sorry, S&M.
HAYES: Yes, that`s right.
No, that already came out, that was fictionalized. No, there is an
SNL documentary coming out this weekend as well. And I really do want to
see this. I was someone who really got caught up in the sort of
anniversary show and all the
pomp and circumstance around it and watching it and the fallout to it and
just the kind of remarkable cultural phenomenon that is the show and
enduring it is.
So I have high hopes for the documentary. How is it?
EDELSTEIN: Didn`t they tell you I haven`t seen it?
No, you know what, I apologize, I haven`t seen it. I was
concentrating on a great documentary called The Wolfpack this weekend.
But I hope in terms of the documentary, I`m eager to see it. I hope
it does pay attention to the fact that a lot of the people come out of
Saturday Night Live
feeling as if they`ve just been through a war and they have PTSD.
So I mean, you know it is a pressure cooker. I know it happens in
HAYES: Stephanie, is there something we should be – a nonblockbuster
we should keep our eyes peeled for this weekend?
ZACHAREK: Oh, actually there is. There is very a small lovely
movie called “I`ll See You in My Dreams,” which actually features my idea
of a blockbuster movie heroine, it`s not a blockbuster, but Blythe Danner
plays a woman in her 70s who – she is a widow, and she decides to re-enter
the dating pool, which is probably about the bravest act that just about
anybody can undertake.
HAYES: “I`ll See You in my Dreams.” I`ve not heard of it, but I`ll
look for it. David Edelstein and Stephanie Zacharek, thank you for joining
That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
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