White Privilege, Marijuana and Chris Hayes: ‘Oh My Goodness’

Clever, articulate, and apparently a fan of marijuana  – MSNBC host Chris Hayes acknowledged on Monday while chatting on Late Nigh with Seth Meyers about his new book, “A Colony in a Nation,” that he was once caught carrying marijuana into the 2000 Republican National Convention.

“We go through one checkpoint, and I think, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve got $30 worth of weed in an eyeglass case,’” Hayes explained. “I didn’t normally carry around weed, but I happened to be at this moment.”

Motivated by the “mercy” afforded him by the Philadelphia police officer who found his secret stash at the 2000 GOP convention security line, the MSNBC host felt compelled to re-examine his experience after covering the 2015 Baltimore and Ferguson riots.

“Things could have gone so differently,” Hayes noted. “This sort of mercy was extended to me, partly because I think the police officer said, ‘This is not dangerous. This person is not dangerous. I extend them the benefit of the doubt. This is going to be a hassle.’ And that benefit of the doubt — that moment, that judgment, that latitude that was granted to me — is so different than the way the system operates on so many other people.”

Given a fresh perspective on policing after inadvertently smuggling pot into the 2000 GOP convention, Hayes reflected on the possible ramifications of his actions in a 2014 Huffington Post interview:

“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 a** would’ve been in a squad car faster than you can say George W. Bush.”

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