MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Rails Against ‘American Tradition’ of White Nationalist Terrorism


During a special live edition of his show All In, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes offered an in-depth history lesson on our nation’s racial violence and railed against the “American tradition” of white nationalist terrorism.

Instead of his normal format of sitting behind a desk, Hayes paced back-and-forth onstage in front of a live studio audience with a bank of screens flashing both current headlines and historical images as his backdrop. He launched into a long soliloquy  that began by pointing at the recent mass shootings by white nationalist extremists in El Paso and Gilroy, California but, also noted the mass violence events that did not happen in recent weeks, thanks to law enforcement.

There’s been a lot going on this week. But there’s something else that’s been happening away from the spotlight, away from the president, that I’ve been thinking about a lot,” Hayes noted. “In the last three weeks since the killings in El Paso, there have been at least six arrestsof white supremacists who have allegedly been plotting or threatening violence.”

“There’s been a wakeup call. People are like what’s going on? There’s increasingly calls to take white supremacist terrorism seriously in the United States,” he added. “If this were ISIS, we would view it as an existential threat. Right? I mean, after al Qaeda terrorists killed 3,000 Americans, we made complete changes into the nature of the American state and how we live our lives.”

Hayes then pivoted to analyze how this strain of white nationalist violence has plagued the country since even before its founding.

You don’t actually have to look abroad to some foreign analog, some terrorist entity like ISIS, for the threat of American white supremacists seeking to use violence to impose a white ethno-state in America. Right? That’s an American tradition. In fact, it’s not just an American tradition. It’s really sort of the inception of what terrorism in America is. I mean, first there were white settlers, and they often used terror and violence to take land from indigenous peoples, but then the really first terrorist cell, first terrorist organization in America was made up of white supremacist forces in the aftermath of the Civil War. They arose because they didn’t like the demographic change that was happening. Right? They wanted to preserve a white man’s republic above all else.

“All of this was done, all of it with the explicit purpose of what that individual went down to El Paso to do, to stem the tide of the erosion of the demographic power in American democracy for the white man,” Hayes explained. “We are not taught about this history. I don’t know about all of you. I was not taught this history.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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