Sometimes it is astonishing what the hosts at MSNBC will say with such ease that to most Americans comes across as extreme. Chris Hayes once declared on Memorial Day weekend that he felt "uncomfortable" calling our fallen military “heroes.” But on the August 1 All In w/ Chris Hayes, in which Hayes commented on kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro, “there was a tiny, slight pin prick of empathy in me.”
Aren't MSNBC hosts the staunch opponents of a "War Against Women"? Castro pled guilty to kidnapping three women and raping them repeatedly over a period of 10 years. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for his horrific crimes. Despite the horrific nature of his crimes, because Castro claimed during his sentencing that he “was a victim of sex acts when I was a child” Hayes feels the need to empathize with him.
After playing a clip of Castro’s statement, Hayes continued to try and justify his bizarre and extreme feelings towards the convicted rapist:
I flashed before my brain, a child being abused that there was this opening up of empathy. Maybe this bizarre hope that there's actually some possibility of redemption in the long life that he's going to spend behind bars.
Hayes had two guests, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor and Cindy Southworth, who tried to reassure the MSNBC audience that, “It certainly does not give him the right to do this to other people,” but both agreed with Hayes in saying, “I feel bad for the small child he was.”
As of right now, no other MSNBC host has taken the extreme stance that Hayes has decided to take in empathizing with Castro.
See relevant transcript below.
All In w/ Chris Hayes
August 1, 2013
8:09 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS HAYES: I want to play the one moment when there was a tiny, slight pin prick of empathy in me as I watched this awful statement was him talking about himself, saying that he had been a victim of sexual abuse, himself. Take a listen.
ARIEL CASTRO: I've stated before that I was a victim of sex acts when I was a child. This led me into the viewing of pornography throughout my whole life. What I’m trying to get at is these people are trying to paint me as a monster and I'm not a monster. I'm sick.
HAYES: It seemed like in a weird way the most honest thing that he said, but also this weird kind of distancing approach to medicalize so that he did not have to take moral responsibility, Goldie, and yet there was some part of me that when I considered, I flashed before my brain, a child being abused that there was this opening up of empathy. Maybe this bizarre hope that there's actually some possibility of redemption in the long life that he's going to spend behind bars.
GOLDIE TAYLOR: Sure. I know there's a man out there who stabbed me in my back, Chris, but I know today, and I knew even then he had been abused as a child. Hurt people hurt other people. If you poll the men and women in our penal system today, those people will over report that they were victims of violence. Victims of violence against their person, by they parents, by other -- their parents' intimate partners. And so this thing sort of plays itself out generationally. I'm certain that Ariel Castro was being very honest when he said he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. That does not absolve him of the criminality of this. It certainly does not give him the right to do this to other people.
CINDY SOUTHWORTH: One in three girls, one in six boys will be a victim of child sexual abuse before they're 18. And one in three women, or one in six men, are not perpetrating crimes against people every day. So the majority of victims are resilient and strong and fabulous and live wonderful lives and don't hurt anyone. So he made intentional choices to do these horrific acts, and while I feel bad for the small child he was, there's no excuse.
HAYES: And I agree. And that was why it was amazing to see Michelle Knight stand in that courtroom and deliver that statement and to think about the unbelievable resilience of the human spirit and what it is able to live through and conquer and redeem.