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tv   Chris Hayes Discusses A Colony in a Nation  CSPAN  May 6, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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>> for more information about the book fairs and festival booktv will be covering and to one-half preach festival coverage click the book fairs tab on our web site, book of >> joining us now on our call-in set is msnbc's chris hayes, who has written his second book called "china in a nation. ""where did the name come from. >> guest: a line from a richard nixon quote in 1968.
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giving his rnc convention acceptance speech, and it's sort of thought of as a law and order speech.. the most tumultuous year in american political history, riots, protests, assassinations and he is calling for a return to order. he said it's time from frank talk about the problem of order in the country and there's a sort of kind of throwaway line where he talked' african-americans and the civil rights struggle and say they want the same as white americans and just dent want to be a colony in a nation, and that term stuck with me, and it seemed to capture something deep about a lot of the reporting i was doing. >> host: where did this book spring from? was there an inincident? i >> guest: we covered criminalbo justice loot on my show and we did that even before michael brown's staff, and before sort r of the explosion of "black lives
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matter" activism and what happened in baltimore but when i started covering ferguson, and then baltimore, that was a sort of catalyst. i was thinking about where the country was at and what was it about this moment that was producing this kinetic reaction and started thinking about -- started to think about why we have built the system we built. fundamentally the project of the become and writing it was trying to get to the bottom of how we constructed the policing and criminal justice system. >> host: in your book you come back to ferguson quite a bit. quite an impact on you? >> guest: yeah. i grew up in the bronx in new york city, city kid. grew up in new york city in the '80s and '90s when the cities were much more dangerous, higher crime..
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always thought about these issues before police and policing and friction as big city issues and i thought at that what struck me in ferguson, here was this essentially anonymous hamlet, municipality, a suburb, but it's a small place, place that people large largely pass on the way from the city to other places. 20,000 people, and everything that was intense and fraught about policing was in this small place, and boiled down in this kind of incredible essence and there's something about the intensity of it that really stuck with me. >> host: you take on community policing. are you -- >> guest: the -- part of the problem with community police is the term gets stretched. broken windows gets stretch, too. in fact what broken windows
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means, it means 50 different things depending on who you ask. the idea behind community policing is an approach in which police are in communication and dialogue with the community about what kind of -- what themm community wants, how a community wants to be policed. now, at some level, you know, policing is a matter of the law. but it is actually a lot more complicated than that, turns out. in any law enforcement scheme, we select a level of enforcement. that level of enforcement can wt driven by a lot of things. for instance, driven byri budgetary constraints. we could catch every speeder in america if we wanted to, would be within our power, but that would probably cost a lot more money than her willing to pay. community mysterying is a dialogue, partnership when the police and community about the p norms and order that the
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community itself wants, desires, and how police can work with the community to achieve that level of security. >> host: you write the problem with community placing then and now is so often the cops being called to enforce community norms are not part of the community. >> guest: that is exactly the issue. we talk about community policing, you have a situation, particularly since then 1980s and the rice of bren windows as -- bren windows as a model, there's a real focus on order preservation, order maintenance, and the problem is that order is a very subjective thing. if you walk through madison, wisconsin, or this campus, here in the u.s.a., on a saturday in the fall, you are going to see what looks like a lot of disorder. college football game day is
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loud, drunken, people are getting really -- consuming alcohol in all sorts of places. when i lived in madison briefly one fall, couches were outside, people passed out. that looks like disorder. that community has decided that's part of the order of that community, and it tolerated and when you have outside force that make this determination about what is tolerated and not tolerated disorder you'll end up in a situation of very intense conflict. >> host: also the fact of race inure view. >> guest: yeah.em don't know if it all comes back to it but it's inescapable. some questions about policing are fraught questions in communes that are essentially all white. they're fraught questions in societies that don't have a lot of racial diversity. there's a certain degree to which people in the martin
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society or in densely packedet areas of poverty, in whichever society they're in, have friction with the police. this is a -- you can read about it in lemi's and there are some parts that are elemental. the particularities of america and the largest prison industrial complex in the world, the most intensely imprisoned states in the world, which is crazy to think about. land of the free, home of the brave. in that respect, that decision to construct that system is inescape blue about race. >> host: this is booktv on c-span2 and msnbcs chris hayes is our guest. his book "a colony in a nation" is what it's called and if youy want to participate in our conversation, here are the numbers, 202-748-8200 east and
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central time zone. 748-88201 for those in the mountain and pacific time zone. we'll take the calls in just a minute. chris hayes, what's your take on this thing you write in the book, the dropping crime in the u.s. from '92 through today is one of the most stunning statistical and sociological mysteries of our time. >> guest: when i started commuting down to manhattan in 1992 to good to high school, i there were like 2300 murders in new york city last year, last year there were 300. think about some other metric reduced by that movement, carbon emissions, child poverty, car accident. a remark table that that happened good it's a two-at that time story. in 1996 to 1992 there's increase in time cross all categories and across the
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entire country, big cities, small cities, particularly white cities, black cities. this crime increase sort of shows up in every statistical category and in 1929 the trend reverses and goes away everywhere and the cause for that, of the basic story about what happened there, is still incredibly poorly understood. ultimately i think that the best cases are read are that it was sort of multifactor. there's a demographic component and come opinion net having to do with the drug war and the nature of the drug war and the structure of drug markets and the introduction of crack cocaine. a story about incarceration itself which in the beginningct did reduce crime rate. there's a story about lead possibly in the prevalence of lead for the period of time that produced a sort of cohort that was commit most crimes. but the fact of the matter is we don't have a great handle and
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don't have a grandlawyer and comprehensive view, and so the people that think they haveco figured out, which are police departments in major cities, who lived through it, and to their -- i say this with tremendous respect because if you were oversaw a crime department like that you would think you unlocked something profound. there's emanated from that a kind of superstition, a rain dance approach, which is this sphere that if you stop doing the thing you were doing yesterday, then the battle days will come back and we have seen this -- the politics of that play out very intensely in places like chicago and baltimore, which have experienced pretty significant and really worrying uptibbles in violence last year. >> host: hays is our guest. right from arizona. go ahead. >> caller: hi. i'd like to ask chris what he would ask president trump if he
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were able to interview him in person. >> guest: um, i think i would say something -- i would ask him to walk me through the basics of his healthcare plan. or walk me through the basics of his tax reform. i think he seems like incredibly hard pressed to give any granular details at all or just broadbrushstrokes of his pool sis and i think it would be illuminating and helpful in a sustained setting to actually have him attempt to talk through what his policy vision is. >> rashad, no, folk, virginia. you're on book tv. >> caller: hello, chris, how you doing, manage? congratulations with your book. my question is issue wouldn't
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speak ill of president trump but the lack of knowing how the system works -- i'm not an expert toy don't have a tremendous amount of advice to give mr. presume, president trump. my thing is with his attorney general and how he is trying toy implement, we have to stop crime and he should speak to the police chiefs about the lack of education and lack of interaction with the police. the police has a tendency to use gestapo tactics when it comes to police stops or traffic stops. they're using gestapo tactics, brutalizingize citizens and that right there has to cease. >> guest: yeah. >> host: thank you.. >> guest: there's a bunch of -- he says the term gestapo cack
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ticks because that is an imfeign mouse pronouncement from the floor of the convention haul in 1968 whiches the other famous convention, much more famous that what happened in miami. the guess stand co tactics by -- >> host: major daly who used the term. >> guest: no. a pittic of mayor daly who said it was also mayor daly who saidd the police are not there to cause disorder but preserve disorder. amazing quote. jeff sessions has essentially put a hold on a variety of consent decrees entered into under the obama administration. those consent decrees, including chicago and baltimore and cleveland, among others. and he has basically put those
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on hold. a judge went ahead implementing baltimore's even without the doj's thumbs up and i think that rashad is right, there's something worrying about attorney general whose perspective on the issues steeps to be a real step backward. >> host: from your book, in the world's most punitive criminal system the application of punishment is uneven in the extreme. black men, age 20 to 34, without a high school degree, have an institutional rate of 37%, for white men without a high school degree, it's 12% or three times lower. dave from virginia. go ahead. >> caller: hello? am i on? >> host: we are listening. please go ahead. >> caller: okay. i was just wondering, there are different issues that sort of disproportionately affect african-americans and people of color. i'm wondering how to get white
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america to maybe sort of feel like they have a stake in whether or not something is wrong with the black community, like, for example, white americans -- 90% of -- 9% of white americans live in poverty, 24% of black americans live in poverty. how to get white america to care of issues that are relating to black america. >> host: david, we'll get an answer in just a second. tell us quickly about yourself. >> caller: about myself? >> host: yep. >> oh. i'm just a africa -- african-american millenia, big hillary clinton supporter, democrat all my the standard probably black person as far as voting and things of that nature.
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>> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: the subject of the book is to do precisely that. it's to get white america in some ways to care about these issues. one thing i would says' something i say in the book is, a., even if you just look at white america, the incarceration rate is still incredibly high. massively disproportionate but if you just took white america we still have bun of the most incourse rated country thursday the earthed. if you look at police shootingsh of white people it's higher than other country. we have huge amounts of sort ofe social ills relative to other countries even if you just isolate for what people in this country, and one of the thingsy about this moment that i think is really interesting is we're seeing with this experience of really intense, profound, economic distress, material decline along large swaths of white working class america, particularly as the opioid
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epidemic gets more intense. a question whether we're going to use the sort of tool kit that was developed on people of color, and sort of ratchet up -- get tough language and mandatory minimums and launch a new war on drugs or take different approach? i think in that way, i think everybody has a stake in the outcome of that. everyone is going to sort of rise or fall together, depending on what decisions we make. >> host: is there a similarity between the way the opioid epidemic is being treated andla the crack epidemic of the '80s. >> guest: very -- a great "new york times" piece on that. he rhetoric has been entirely different. the rhetoric around crack was unconscionably dehumanizing. crack babies and that these people were -- brains were rotted and this demonic forces that were going to come and beat
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you up and kill you to get a hit of crack. and all sorts of myths were propagated. for instance the idea it was more addictive than cocaine, which is not true. that gave rise to crack and cocaine's sentencing disspiritsc a more intense drug. what i think has happened is the language around opioids is far, far more empathetic.pi far more about treatment. >> host: why do you think is? >> guest: i this it's largely race. crack was understood as an issue of black people, it was coded as an issue of black people in the inner cities. it was allowed this sort of dehumanizing rhetoric to flourish, and you saw on the campaign trail, whether it was chris christie or ted cruz or others, opioid is my cousin, my brother, my friend, my
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grandchild and it has a real effect on the resident ick re question and test is who the rhetoric transfers into policies that are different. there's a big temptation right now to relaunch a new war on drugs. that would be just as destructive as previous iterations. >> host: let's heart from margaret in kansas. you're on booktv with author chris hayes. >> caller: thank you very much for your tv show and your book. the think we have lost humanity in our country. since the vietnam war, i don't think we have ever held and we have been in one war after the other. and to have a war, to drop the mother of all becomes on other human beings and kind of be cheerful about it to do the horrible things we keep doing as the world becomes closer and sees this, it's an absolute despair. to look people up you have to label them first, and have a
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people that work in prisons, and i said to them, haven't you seen the people -- how many would you say are mentally ill or got mentally ill since they were placed in there? and then they laugh and say, oh, well, at least 50% of them. and i'm like, so that's the way we treat people instead of having care? and it's very easy to become labeled, and now we have a dangerous president that labels women are going to be put so back. anybody that is low, they laugh at education, science, everything good that would unite, music that brought people ggether. we have lost all that and continual wars somewhere -- >> all right, margaret. with got the let's hear from chris hayes. >> guest: i think that there's a continuity between how america chooses to incourse arrest its
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own citizens and hough it conducts itself internationally. there's the sort of animating forces or fear and punitiveness, toughness, there's this constant obsession with toughness. get tough on crime, get tough on drugs, tough on foreign adversaries or counter-parties. i think that is something woven into -- deeply into american cultural dna and i think you see it -- i think margaret is exactly right. there's a connection between the fact we're a country hat has been in a state offer in perpetual war for decades. we have become the n he longest war of the history of the republic since 2001, guides on to this day and then cars racing rates. there's soming to that. >> host: carol, fairfield, california go ahead. >> caller: hi, crews.ct is
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>> i don't think theirs a final fixed state where illth it will be solved. it's sort of kind of eternal and continuous work for the -- for american society and american citizens.en just a feeling that i thought i had some perspective to offer because of how i have grown up in city at the time i had, what i experienced first hand and ia reported, i could -- how the system was built and why. the project of the book is getting people to ask themselves that question when the think about the politic, even the
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language of crime and justice and police. >> host: is there relationship between this book and your first book "the twilight of the elite." >> guest: there is, it's attempt ing to diagnose what i say are democratic fall ours. failures of our democratic ideals. >> small d. >> guest: yes. small d. they're in an interesting dialogue with each other in that reeffect. >> host: jeff, littlefield, arizona, go ahead, jeff. >> caller: i have seen the changes over the years, and when you're -- certain places and certain situations, they can be -- [inaudible] -- >> host: jeffing i apologize, a bad connection. we're going to have to let you go. don't think either of us could hear that very well, and let's try to see if we can get in
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mallory in naperville, illinois. mali -- until ary, you're on book tv with chris hayes. >> caller: hi. thank you to become of the andl. hi, chris. saw you in chicago when you had a book discussion with natalie moore, and i must admit, the more i -- the point you did your book discussion i was about -- r don't the -- a third of the way. >> now halfway through, the more i read the more depressed i geth it is -- it's not a -- i don't know what expected but it's getting me more andmer depressed and to a certain degree i'm the part where you're talking aboutp white fear, and i was wondering if you could expound? i think that's the root of all of this. it's white fear. >> guest: yep. >> host: all right. before you do i just want to read one line from your become, which is: americans convert
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white fear into policy. ameri >> guest: yeah. to her point that one of the theses of the book is it is foundational, that the first -- the captain of the ship that ran the jamestown, the first entry l is we were set upon by the savages, and from that moment, all the way through the experience of settlement, the frontier, the project of slavery, and the incredible amount of sort of fear and terror that required, and the constant fear of the slave revolt the social order spiraling out of control that it in our political and cultural dna and part of who we are as a people because of the sort of foundational ways in which the country was constructed and we share it, we pass it along from generation to generation and politicians find new ways to
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exploit it. >> host: chris hayes, you conclude with the story of four black boys on bicycles, very quickly, what is that story and did you call the police? >> guest: the final story is just about pausing -- i saw some boys, 11, 12, on the precipice of adolescence who were acting the fool and grabbed someone's iphone and sped off on their bikes bikes and i thought about calling the police and i wanted to end on that because part of the effect of doing the reporting i've been doing in the book was to think really carefully about what are the costs of involving the police in a situation. and that's not something i ever really deeply grappled with before but something that millions of people grapple with every day, obviously, and i want to try to communicate to people what it feels like or for them
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to understand that there's a cost to policing. >> host: did you push the button? >> guest: got to read the book. >> host: "the coin in a nation" is the name of the book, his show "all in with chris hays" on msnbc. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> and in the times that day, was a piece that blew my mind. it was one of those stories that you read and you don't forget, and it was in the national section, and the headline was something to the effect of, mexican cartel lures american teens as killers, and it was an
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article about these boys from the laredo, texas, on the border of mexico. the boys names were gabrielle cardona and rosalretta. he went by bart because he was 5'3" and looked like bart simpson, and they worked with other boys in laredo and all become operatives for a very dangerous drug cartel. and so the article talked about them, talked about their crimes and mentionedded ala raid dough detective, robert garcia, who pursued the bid after the cartel sent them back into the u.s. to do murders on this side of the border on behalf of the cartel. i'm not going to read from the book today. actually don't even have a copy but i did just want to read the first few lines of this piece
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because it's what got me started on the book and what this sort of seed of wolf boys was. so here's how the piece began. it was written be a guy named james mckinley, jr., a veteran "new york times" reporter and at that point he was on the southwest border and he went to laredo to write this story that i read. so this is how it starts: when he was finally caught, resao rett as sold police he felt a thrill each time he killed. like being superman or james bond. like what i do, he told the police in the videotaped confession. don't deny it. mr. retta was 13 when he was recruited by the cartel, one of group of american teenaged from the impoverished streets 0 laredo lured into the drug wars across the rio grande and mexico with promises of high pie, fancy cars and sexy women.
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after a short apprenticeship in mexico the young man lived in an expensive house in texas, available to kill whenever called on. >> you can watch this and other programs online at doering. >> welcome to redding, california. located in northern part of the state, along the sacramento river, this city of about 60,000, sits the top of california's fertile central valley, with the nearby shasta dam playing a key role in the distribution of power and water to parts south of the area. redding was a major railroad hub during the mining and industries boom from the 1850s to the turn of the century. with the help of our charter partners we'll photograph the city to talk with local authors about their works, click stories of a california game warden.


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