No. of Recommendations: 11
A big Whoa! first--not anytime lately at age 34 with his MSNBC job on the line. It happened when he was a peach-fuzzed, liberal 21 y.o. who (in his words) was on a "sociological experiment" he created by going to the 2000 RNC convention in Philadelphia to drink in the total ambience of watching his "hero" GWB get nominated. He told the details of his bust last Friday on "All In." He had a serious motive behind the anecdote other than viewer entertainment.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes responded to NYT columnist David Brooks' op-ed piece on why he doesn't smoke pot anymore, and gave a powerful account of how race and luck helped him escape arrest. He unintentionally had a bag of weed in his luggage, and although he was caught by police, he wasn't arrested and even had his weed returned to him. Hayes said that perhaps the cops thought he was a senator's son, an incident with "a whole bunch of headaches" that they didn't need on a night with greater security concerns. "I can tell you as sure as I am sitting here before you that if I was a black kid instead of a white kid with glasses, my ass would've been in a squad car faster than you can say George W. Bush," Hayes said emphatically.

Brooks surmised that the legalization of weed in CO was "nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be." Hayes's rejoinder was that... "the one kind of person most people don't want to be is a person caught in the criminal justice system."

An ACLU report, "The War On Marijuana In Black And White," shows that even though blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates, black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for possession, adding clout to Hayes' belief that if he hadn't been a white kid with glasses, he would have left the 2000 RNC in a squad car. And he surely wouldn't have gotten his weed back.
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