* Former writer & editor for In These Times and The Nation
* Former Fellow at the New America Foundation
* Longtime MSNBC television host
* Held President Trump and his voter base in contempt
* Views the Republican Party as a haven for racism and sexism
* Claims that racism pervades American society and its criminal-justice system
Chris Hayes was born on February 28, 1979 in the Bronx, New York, and was raised in the relatively affluent neighborhood of Riverdale. His mother worked for the NYC Department of Education, while his father was employed by the NYC Department of Health. Chris Hayes notes that his father also served a stint as a Chicago “community organizer” who worked “for people who had trained with [Saul] Alinsky.” And Chris’ younger brother, Luke, is a Democratic Socialists of America member who, under the auspices of Organizing For Action, worked for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Luke also worked on political campaigns for such notables as Tim Kaine and Jamaal Bowman, and helped lead a far-left organization called Rank The Vote NYC.
Chris Hayes graduated from the prestigious Hunter College High School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 1997. While attending the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, he was found to be in possession of marijuana at the event’s check-in location but was not punished for his transgression. Reflecting years later on that incident, Hayes speculated that his white skin had earned him lenient treatment from the criminal-justice system: “I can tell you as sure as I am sitting here before you that if I was a black kid with cornrows instead of a white kid with glasses, my ass would’ve been in a squad car faster than you can say George W. Bush.”
After receiving his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Brown University in 2001, Hayes relocated to Chicago that same year and became a freelance reporter for the Chicago Reader. He then worked as a reporter and senior editor for the socialist magazine In These Times, to which his first contribution was a November 2003 article entitled “Domestic Partnerships between Same-sex Couples Finally Recognized in Cook County.” In an August 2004 article, Hayes urged the Democratic Party to become “the party of bold, innovative, universal programs that have a just impact on the distribution of wealth, health, and opportunity in our society and also lay the groundwork for a lasting progressive majority.”
In 2006 Hayes moved to Washington, D.C. to write for the far-left magazine, The Nation. He also became a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute. By 2007, Hayes had become the The Nation’s Washington Editor. Around that same time, he married a young woman named Kate Shaw, who was employed as a law clerk for liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
From 2008-2010, Hayes served as a fellow at the influential New America Foundation.
In 2010, Hayes joined MSNBC television as a contributor. By 2011, he was regularly filling in as a guest host for fellow MSNBC personalities Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. Hayes’ MSNBC weekend morning show, Up With Chris Hayes, debuted in September 2011.
Just prior to the official premier of Up With Chris Hayes, Hayes noted the significance of “diversity” when booking guests for the program: “Cable news is very white, male and straight. I feel extremely strongly, given the fact that I can’t do anything about my own white male straightness, that I have the duty to double down in efforts to make sure what we present is reflective of the diversity of the country at large in a way that cable news doesn’t always do a good job of.”
During Memorial Day weekend in May 2012, Hayes admitted on his show that he felt “uncomfortable” referring to a fallen soldier as a “hero”: “I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. And I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that’s fallen and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine tremendous heroism, you know, in a hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me we marshal this word in a way that’s problematic.”
Following the second inaugural address of Barack Obama in January 2013, Hayes penned an article praising the president’s pledge to fight climate change. Hayes subsequently claimed that the “Environmental Protection Agency actually has the legal authority to begin regulating carbon under the Clean Air Act — [with] no need for congressional approval.” He also asserted that the “White House currently has the authority to block the Keystone XL pipeline,” which, if fully operational, would become “a huge new source of emissions into the foreseeable future.” Hayes concluded his article by emphasizing the potential ramifications of the “climate peril”: “I am almost certain that 50 or 100 years from now, the only issue that will really matter to people is what we did about the climate.”
In March 2013, MSNBC announced that Hayes would be hosting a new weekday primetime show, All In With Chris Hayes. This new program would replace that of Ed Schultz during the 8 p.m. time slot.
In April 2014, The Nation published a lengthy piece by Hayes which likened present-day fossil-fuel companies to Confederate slaveholders, and argued that such companies should be forced “to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth”:
“In 1860, slaves represented about 16 percent of the total household assets—that is, all the wealth—in the entire country, which in today’s terms is a stunning $10 trillion….
“Given the fluctuations of fuel prices, it’s a bit tricky to put an exact price tag on how much money all that unexcavated carbon would be worth, but one financial analyst puts the price at somewhere in the ballpark of $20 trillion…. Since all of these numbers are fairly complex estimates, let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that we’ve overestimated the total amount of carbon and attendant cost by a factor of 2. Let’s say that it’s just $10 trillion.
“The last time in American history that some powerful set of interests relinquished its claim on $10 trillion of wealth was in 1865—and then only after four years and more than 600,000 lives lost in the bloodiest, most horrific war we’ve ever fought….
“[T]he climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition….
“Because the abolitionists were ultimately successful, it’s all too easy to lose sight of just how radical their demand was at the time: that some of the wealthiest people in the country would have to give up their wealth. That liquidation of private wealth is the only precedent for what today’s climate justice movement is rightly demanding: that trillions of dollars of fossil fuel stay in the ground….
“[W]hat we need to save the earth is to forcibly pry trillions of dollars of wealth out of the hands of its owners …”
In the same article, Hayes also stated that the “movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline is probably the largest social movement in American history directed at stopping a piece of capital investment.” Moreover, he commended those who were taking aggressive action to protest fossil-fuel companies: “[P]eople you see getting arrested outside the White House protesting Keystone XL, showing up at shareholder meetings and sitting in on campuses to get their schools to divest, are doing something about it.”
In December 2016 — a month after Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — Hayes, still distraught over that election result, authored another piece for The Nation which examined the legacy of the outgoing President Obama. “The president succeeded in repairing our institutions — but millions of Americans wanted to blow them up instead,” the MSNBC host contended, lauding the Obama administration as a “historic success” which had overcome “unprecedented obstructionism” from a “Republican Congress.” He declared that Obama, whose tenure in the White House had begun in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, had ultimately had left the U.S. economy “in better shape than almost any other similarly positioned economy.” Hayes even went on to assert that Obama had been the best Democratic president “since Franklin Roosevelt.” “As a political project, Obamaism would also appear, at first blush, to be a staggering success,” wrote Hayes. Moreover, Hayes explained the Democratic Party’s heavy losses in the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election, as follows:
“Part of this is the natural entropy of governance: The party in power bleeds political capital. But something else happened at the level of political narrative, which is that the Democratic Party under Obama became associated with institutionalism. Its message was: Things are getting better; America still works; just hang on, because daybreak is around the corner. This allowed the Republicans — the party of plutocracy and deregulation and the US Chamber of Commerce — to become, in the person of Donald J. Trump, the insurrectionist party, the party of those who believe, as Trump said so many times, that ‘the system is rigged.’ And it turned out there were enough people who cottoned to that message, spread out among enough swing states, to deliver a manifestly unqualified fraud to the White House, even if he had some 2.7 million votes less than his opponent.”
In that same article in The Nation, Hayes alleged that President Obama’s “extraordinary political talent to connect with citizens from all walks of life [is what] made him one of the greatest figures in American history.” “A century from now,” Hayes added, “schoolchildren will be celebrating his [Obama’s] birthday.”
By contrast, Hayes referred to President-elect Trump as a “man who is in every way — from ideology to temperament to skin color — a repudiation of our nation’s first black president.” Hayes also proposed two explanations for Trump’s electoral victory: (a) “America [had previously] elected a black man president and about half the country proceeded to lose its goddamn mind,” and (b) “The white working class realized that the American dream is a sham. Then a con artist [Trump] promised to restore it, and they bought the con.”
On December 5, 2017, Hayes condemned President Trump’s expected announcement that he would: (a) recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and (b), unlike all other presidents during the preceding two decades, would abide by the 1995 law calling for the U.S. embassy in Israel to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Quoting an Israeli-Arab legislator’s recent description of Trump as a political “pyromaniac,” Hayes warned that the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be “an extremely provocative move.” Among his remarks:
In March 2018, Hayes penned an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he denounced President Trump’s recent calls for “law and order.” “If all that matters when it comes to ‘law and order,’ wrote Hayes, “is who is a friend and who is an enemy, and if friends are white and enemies are black or Latino or in the wrong party, then the rhetoric around crime and punishment stops being about justice and is merely about power and corruption.” Hayes also claimed that Trump’s emphasis on “law and order” really meant “the preservation of a certain social order, not the rule of law.”
During the January 10, 2019 airing of All In With Chris Hayes, Hayes delivered a monologue which concluded with the assertion that Donald Trump’s voter base wanted a white, “ethnically pure America.” Some key excerpts:
During the May 22, 2019 broadcast of All In with Chris Hayes, Hayes blamed President Trump for the recent deaths of six illegal migrant children. Even though some of those youngsters had traveled hundreds of miles in dangerous caravans, without their parents to care for them, and in harsh conditions wherein they were exposed to a variety of potentially deadly diseases, Hayes saw fit to attribute their deaths instead to the “President’s rhetoric.” Said Hayes: “We have news tonight about the sixth migrant child to die after being detained by border authorities. This time a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador who died back in September and only now are we learning about her. If you refer to immigrants as an ‘infestation’ as the President has, if you promote bigoted stereotypes about their unique depravity and talk about them as a nefarious band of infiltrators, you will promote the conditions for cruelty as surely as effect follows cause. There is a body count to the President’s rhetoric now, and unless something changes, it is going to grow.”
In anticipation of a June 26, 2019 primary debate between the Democratic Party’s various presidential hopefuls for 2020, Hayes reflected back upon the Republican primary debates of 2015-16: “We all watched those Republican debates which were insane. They were the ugliest, most depraved, indecorous displays that anyone had ever seen…. [W]e watched them [the candidates] go after each other…. And then at the end of it people thought, well, they have all destroyed each other and they have nominated this complete, ridiculous buffoon [Trump] who is now the President of the United States.”
On July 18, 2019, Hayes described President Trump as “kind of a dumber, more vulgar version of Nixon.” He later added: “I think he’s radicalizing people. I mean, it’s happening in real time. Like, we’re watching it happen. It shows up in the public opinion polling data. The antecedents were there, we know they were there, it’s not like Donald Trump invented racism.”
In January 2020, Hayes rebuked President Trump for having ordered the drone-strike assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a leading figure in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Characterizing the killing as nothing more than a political stunt, Hayes quoted the government of Iraq when stating that the strike was a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty.” “There’s absolutely no reason for anyone in the U.S. to credit anything the president or his administration says about matters of life and death and war and peace until it is demonstrably verified,” Hayes added.
During the July 9, 2020 broadcast of All In With Chris Hayes, Hayes attacked the Trump administration’s border-security policies, claiming that the administration was stocked with “villains” who were “systematically essentially kidnapping children seeking asylum in the U.S.” – a reference to the children of adult migrants who had been apprehended while crossing illegally into the U.S. with their sons and daughters.
After what Hayes characterized as Joe Biden’s “clear electoral victory” in the presidential race of November 2020, the MSNBC host argued that Donald Trump and many Republicans – by questioning the legitimacy of that election – had placed “American democracy … under assault.” Further, Hayes accused such Republicans of engaging in a “coup attempt” and trying to “subvert the will of the people and overturn a democratically elected government.” During the weeks and months that followed the 2020 election, Hayes repeated his Republican “coup” accusations many times. On December 10, 2021, for example, he stated: “Trump and his allies did everything they possibly could, tried every possible avenue to overthrow a democratic election and install an authoritarian ruler in defiance of the people’s will.”
On March 24, 2022, Hayes named former President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as the two leading threats to democracy worldwide: “Donald Trump, frankly, an aspiring authoritarian, who admires authoritarians and tried to overturn a free and fair election. Still trying to do it and of course, in Putin’s Russia, where his fascist ideology and wounded national pride has turned into a brutal assault on the battlefield.”
On June 29, 2022, Hayes likened the pro-Trump, U.S. Capitol rioters of January 6, 2021 to the white-supremacist militias who had attacked state capitols and killed innocent black Americans during the post-Civil War era of Reconstruction. Describing the January 6 protesters as “a violent right-wing mob refusing to accept defeat at the ballot box by a multi-racial coalition and storming the seat of government to take it over by force,” he continued: “Immediately after the [Civil War] ended, of course, southern states were under federal occupation. Formerly enslaved people were freed and given the right to vote. And these places in the south began to see a new form of multi-racial coalition politics: black, white, fusion elected governments throughout the south, from the municipal level all the way on up. And those governments were opposed by the dead and reactionary white racist old guard.”
Hayes then spoke of: (a) an 1874 battle wherein a white-supremacist militia called The White League – whom Hayes described as “the Proud Boys of their time” — attacked police officers at the Louisiana state house with deadly force; (b) “the notorious  Colfax Massacre — which was also in Louisiana — where the same group, The White League, captured a federal courthouse defended by an all-black militia and murdered dozens of African Americans”; and (c) an 1898 incident where a mob in Wilmington, North Carolina “took to the streets shooting and killing an untold number of black citizens … and they put unelected white men into place in the city government instead.” Hayes concluded his rant by saying: “And remember, those tactics, the armed violence and the coups, the attempt to overturn elected government like in Wilmington, in Wilming — it worked over time. It worked. And the free black people in the South, many of those jurisdictions, didn’t see their freedom, their true democratic rights again, for another 80 years. Those are the stakes. That’s what happens if the mob is allowed to rule without repercussions.”
In March 2017, Hayes released his newly published book, titled A Colony in a Nation, which characterized the disproportionately large number of incarcerated nonwhites in the United States as a “colony” whose members were suffering mightily under the dominion of a racist government. In a supportive review of the book, national correspondent Ryan Cooper wrote the following in The Week magazine: “He [Hayes] argues that for a fairly large segment of American society, the United States is not a democracy. Instead, a great many American citizens — disproportionately black and brown — live in a sort of internal colony. Their democratic rights are not respected: They have little or no access to due process, they are nearly helpless before predatory business, and they are alternately brutally repressed and mined for profit by a tyrannical state. The Trump presidency is that colony’s boundaries expanding.”
Moreover, Hayes likened the public rage that had sparked protests against police brutality, to the public rage against the political injustices of yesteryear that had led to the American Revolution. A barometer of modern-day injustice, Hayes explained, was that the percentage of the American population that was in some way under the control of the criminal justice system, rivaled the percentage of the Russian population that had once been under the tyranny of the Soviet gulags.
Black activist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates provided the following cover blurb for Hayes’ book: “A Colony in a Nation is a highly original analysis of America’s arbitrary and erratic criminal justice system. Indeed, by Hayes’s lights, the system is not erratic at all―it treats one group of Americans as citizens, and another as the colonized. This is an essential and ground-breaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went so badly awry.”
In March 2017, Hayes published an essay from his new book in which he equated modern-day American policemen to those who had been employed and corrupted by King George III during the era preceding the American Revolution. More specifically, Hayes attacked the “sanctity of police authority” and the “draconian” enforcement of present-day drugs laws that, by his calculus, were intended to intimidate black people in the United States.
During the July 26, 2018 broadcast of All In With Chris Hayes, Hayes praised then-Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as follows: “She … has a tremendous amount of distinct political talent. I mean, like, just to be clear, like these people are not created out of thin air, like she is very good at doing this. That doesn’t just like, it is a little beyond the message.”
In March 2018, NBC News published a piece by Hayes in which he cast America as a nation that was, and always had been, racist to its core:
“School segregation declined for decades and then sharply reversed, so that schools in all regions have been getting more segregated. In the South, the percentage of black students in majority white schools was 23 percent in 1968, rose to 44 percent in 1991 and by 2015 was back down to 23 percent. Meanwhile, the wealth gap between black and white families has exploded and the inequality gap between whites and blacks has also increased or held steady in everything from infant mortality to homeownership.
“All of this is the result of a political movement that has existed since the country’s founding, whose power waxes and wanes, but endures — always endures. That is the movement to preserve American racial hierarchy and white supremacy. It has gone by different names at different times, but it has not ceased to alter the trajectory of American history.
“More apt, perhaps, than the metaphor of the moral arc is the idea that American life exists on a planet whose very gravity is white supremacy.”
In August 2020, Hayes suggested on his weekly podcast — titled Why Is This Happening? — that “every Confederate monument in the country should be torn down” – along with statues of such iconic figures as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, because the subjects of those monuments and statues “owned slaves and partook in this irredeemable and unforgivable system.” Asserting that the teaching of U.S. history traditionally has whitewashed many of the unsavory elements of the nation’s past, Hayes further stated that Christopher Columbus’ actions in the New World were “an abomination against God,” and that President Andrew Jackson was guilty of “ethnic cleansing.”
During a Business Insider conference in December 2018, Hayes said that American voters were more concerned with the “quality” of political candidates – as well as those candidates’ capacity for “building broad and inclusive messages” – than with their political ideology. “I do think there’s a conventional wisdom that being too far to the left is a kind of dispositive attribute for a candidate, and I think ideological dispositive blockers are off the table,” he stated. “There is no position, in an ideological fashion, that a candidate can take that would render them unelectable.”
In the same conference, Hayes would not offer a prediction as to who the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominee would be, but he intimated that Kamala Harris – if she were to decide to run – would make a highly formidable candidate. “If you asked me to place a $100 bet based on the field and the candidate, I think Kamala Harris is underpriced,” he said.
During a media panel at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention on January 17, 2019, Hayes characterized the Republican Party as “essentially a segregated entity” that “is almost entirely all white,” in contrast to Democrats, whom he praised for representing “all of the diversity of America.”
On March 6, 2020, Hayes portrayed the Republican Party as a party of white racists: “White people in America have two parties to choose from, and between those two parties, they sort in all kinds of ways. So, people that are college, post-graduate atheists who live in metro areas, like, those are Democrats, and people that are rural and go to church every week and were high school graduates, most likely Republican. For black voters in those two categories, they’re both going to be in the Democratic Party because there’s only one party they can be a part of, because of the structural white supremacy in the American political coalition.”
On June 24, 2021, Hayes – noting that while Republicans were willing to bargain with President Biden and the Democrats on an infrastructure bill, whereas they had been unwilling to compromise with former President Barack Obama — accused Republicans of being racists. He also said they were sexists, because they had displayed more contempt for Hillary Clinton than for Biden. Said Hayes:
“Barack Obama faced total opposition, on the right, from the outset. Now, Joe Biden has faced a lot of opposition, too. But there is just no universe, as someone who covered this from Washington, D.C., up close, in which 11 Republican Senators would have come out, posed on that driveway, to strike a deal like this with Barack Obama in his first six months in office. No universe. The hatred of Barack Obama was so boiling hot from the [Republican] base. The base doesn’t hate Joe Biden. And we’ve seen it over and over, since the campaign. When t-shirt vendors at Trump rallies couldn’t sell any derogatory Joe Biden shirts. The Barack Obama, the Hillary Clinton stuff, however? That, still, sold like hotcakes. Huh.
“Boy, look at those three faces [shown on the television screen]: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. Now, what could it possibly be about Joe Biden that does not inspire the same visceral ire of the Republican base? That doesn’t render him toxic and threatening, in the same way as those other two figures? Joe Biden. The 78-year-old, white man, is not a living embodiment of the existential threat that the Republican base fears. And that existential threat, that fear, of the country being governed by people other than them, broadly construed — that’s what they really care about. The rest? They couldn’t care less.”
In April 2019, Hayes interviewed left-wing activist Mariame Kaba on the topic of “how to abolish prisons.” When introducing Kaba, Hayes referred to her as someone who “envisions a world that she’s working towards in which prisons don’t exist, in which police don’t exist.” Among other proposals, Kaba called for the implementation of “restorative justice”; advocated for the end of “prisons, policing, and surveillance”; and declared that capitalism should be permanently “abolished.” The activist also condemned the federal government’s “$172 billion” in expenditures on “this current adversarial, punishing, oppressive [criminal-justice] system.” And Hayes agreed “1,000 percent” with Kaba’s assertion that media outlets tend to unjustly portray murderers and other violent criminals as “monsters, sociopaths, [and] immoral remorseless killers.”
On October 5, 2020, Hayes took to Twitter to suggest how leftist leaders should handle conservatives and others who were questioning the efficacy of the public-health establishment’s guidelines for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. “The most human and reasonable way to deal with all these people, if we survive this,” said Hayes, “is some kind of truth and reconciliation commission.”
On October 16, 2020, Hayes tweeted that in “ostensible liberal democracies,” Rupert Murdoch — the billionaire businessman who founded Fox News — “has to be up there as the most-single-handedly destructive person of the last three decades.” Thirteen days later, Hayes expanded on that theme with the following remarks:
“The most powerful person in conservative America is 90-year-old Rupert Murdoch himself, not an American. He’s the founder and executive chairman of News Corporation. He controls Fox News, the overwhelmingly, almost monopolistically, powerful right-wing cable channel where the vast majority of conservatives get their news. Rupert Murdoch has done incalculable damage to this country and the world over the course of his career, and he is ultimately responsible for what Fox News says and does.
“Rupert Murdoch is the person responsible for all of the anti-vaccine nonsense coming out of Fox that has led to untold thousands of unnecessary [COVID-related] deaths. He is responsible for the increasingly dangerous rhetoric around January 6th that Fox News is spewing that essentially seeks to either excuse the insurrection or to dismiss it as some kind of false flag conspiracy, somehow perpetrated by the federal government itself.”
On February 23, 2021, Hayes drew a parallel between a Republican congresswoman who was an outspoken gun-rights advocate, and terrorists including Osama bin Laden. Said Hayes:
“Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado where guns are welcome and seemingly encouraged on the premises, has built her political identity around guns. Boebert vowed to carry a Glock around D.C. and on Capitol Hill. She released a video to make sure that we all knew it.
“Last Thursday [February 18], she Zoomed into a virtual congressional hearing with just a mess of guns piled on the bookshelf behind her. AR-15-style rifles, a handgun just laying across a bunch of books. Boebert, who’s raising four young boys later tweeted the guns are not in storage, but are, quote, ‘ready for use.’ Apparently, she just leaves them out because she fears she may need to fire multiple rounds of ammo for someone who comes into her — den?
“You know, lots of people immediately noted that the use of guns in that way as props, and the implicit threat that comes with them, has a, you know, long, not necessarily great, history among various movements around the globe.
“Osama bin Laden, for one, liked to pose in front of a bookshelf with a gun prominently displayed. The Irish Republican Army would display guns in its propaganda posters and its murals. Cuban revolutionaries, they posed with guns all the time, too. And no single side of the spectrum has a monopoly on this aesthetic. I mean, you can see it all over the world. It is unquestionably the aesthetic of armed struggle, of revolution, or insurrection.
“A movement or faction that puts images of guns, the celebration of guns, front and center in its political aesthetic, is a movement who’s engaging in something other than what we might call the normal rhetoric of elected democratic politics.
“You can’t escape the meaning of it. It communicates that they’re committed to, or at the very least open to the possibility of violent overthrow of the government or the existing order. And now, in the Republican Party, it seems like it’s becoming common and unremarkable. […]
“Over decades, the right has built up this entire ideology around the Second Amendment rooted in, frankly, the fact the ridiculous idea that the U.S. government itself denied itself a monopoly on the legitimate use of force; because the founders had gone through revolution themselves. […]
“Many Republicans are now signaling they retain the right to use violence to over throw the government at any time, and that’s actually the core of part of their political principles in the Second Amendment and they’re willing to brandish that claim as a threat in pursuit of their political aims.”
During the May 18, 2021 airing of All In With Chris Hayes, Hayes spoke with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) about the success which Israel had experienced in protecting its civilians by using the Iron Dome missile-defense system, which it had constructed with U.S. help, to shoot down rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Hayes then speculated as to whether the U.S. should also provide the Palestinians of Gaza with a similar missile-defense capability:
“You know, there’s been these images I’ve seen of the Iron Dome system, right? This missile defense system the U.S. partly funded that has been intercepting Hamas rockets into Israel. And those rockets are being fired, as a Palestinian human rights lawyer said on this show last night, ‘indiscriminately [at] civilians, a war crime by definition.’ And the Iron Dome has worked quite well…. But I look at those images, and I think, ‘Well, good, that’s good. I’m glad that those rockets are being intercepted. And also, there’s some part of me that’s like, ‘Can we get an Iron Dome for Gaza? Can the American taxpayer foot the bill to protect innocent children in Gaza where there’s two million people in one of the most densely populated parts of the world so they don’t have death rain down upon them?’”
In that same broadcast, Hayes made no mention of the fact that Hamas routinely stationed its weapons and missile launchers in densely populated civilian areas, for the purpose of making it more difficult for Israel to strike military targets without harming civilians.
On April 11, 2022, Hayes was angry at Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to order his state’s Child Protective Services to investigate, as child abuse, reported instances of minors undergoing transgender surgeries. Said Hayes:
“We’ve been talking quite a bit on the show about the toxic and insidious nature of recent right-wing rhetoric which paints Democrats and liberals [as] sympathetic to child abusers. Or even as child abusers themselves, without any evidence. Aside from how degrading that is in the political discourse, it’s also just tangibly dangerous for children who are actual victims of child abuse. And here’s the most recent case study of what [this] looks like on the ground. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has found it helps him politically to be cruel to transgender children. To deny their very existence. And so, the recent order he sent state officials is already hurting these children, their families, and care providers.
“This order takes what used to be normal care for trans kids and classifies that care as child abuse in the eyes of the state. And Abbott has instructed licensed professionals like doctors and teachers to report claims of trans children receiving transition care. Again, a health care decision being made within a family by the parents of the kid, and the state coming in and reporting it and ratting it out. Adding that existing laws contain criminal penalties for not doing so. And this in turn is forcing state employees who work in family protective services to investigate these families for child abuse, ok? Showing up at people’s homes, again, agents of the state under a Republican Governor, they’re showing up at people’s homes for the crime of allowing their child to receive crucial medical treatment under supervision of a doctor. And while this barbaric order is just a few months old, Governor Abbott has been trying to push it for nearly a year. […]
“Now, as NBC News reports today, families of trans children are now fleeing the state so their kids continue to receive treatment. And it’s not just families who are fleeing either, the Texas Tribune is out with a great new report today, horrifying as it is, outlining how child protective services workers in Texas are quitting en masse to avoid complying with the order. […]
“[A]s Republicans try to score very cheap political points by painting their enemies as child abusers and smearing trans adults as trying to groom or indoctrinate children. They are chasing out the people whose actual job, day in and day out every time when they wake up in the morning and go to work, is to actually protect children and investigate abusers. Greg Abbott’s order is child abuse.”