Don't Fire Melissa Harris-Perry - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Don’t Fire Melissa Harris-Perry

No, don’t fire MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry.

MSNBC now admits that “MSNBC has had an editorial and script review process in place” when it comes to their shows. Meaning: apparently the network saw the controversial Romney adoption piece ahead of time that has now backfired on Harris-Perry… and approved it.

The better thing to do? Ask this question.

Why is liberalism racist?

That liberalism is racist is well beyond question.

A horrific history of supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan has morphed today into the relatively pacific if no less poisonous perpetual race-card playing of modern progressives.

The recent incident involving MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, in which the MSNBC commentator and others on a panel mocked the adopted black grandchild of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, has now elicited a tearful apology from Harris-Perry to the Romney family. Mitt Romney, in the classy style that is typical of his family, gracefully accepted the apology.

But all of this raises another question.

The question?

Why in the world would any television commentator — and the network that employs said commentator — ever come close to finding such raw, blatant racism acceptable in the first place?

The answer is as simple as it is unmentionable in some quarters.

Liberalism — or, if you prefer, progressivism, socialism and any other descriptive that signifies the Left — is racist. To its old and historic core.

Harris-Perry said what she said not because she made a mistake, she said what she said precisely because racism is in the DNA of the American Left. And always has been. Skin color — whether using it as an excuse to enslave, segregate, lynch, divide, scorn, mock, get votes or get MSNBC ratings — is part and parcel of the American Left. It is the very oxygen needed to sustain progressivism. The names change, the principle never changes. Yesterday’s segregation is re-named today’s “multiculturalism.” Getting 90% of the vote from whites below the Mason-Dixon line for generations is now about getting 90% of the black vote everywhere. 

Bull Connor becomes today’s Melissa Harris-Perry. Or, as the saying goes, meet the new boss — same as the old boss.

But why? The defining realization in this dust-up over Harris-Perry is not that she and her guests said what she and they said about the Romney grandchild. The Rosetta Stone of this episode is the ease with which what was said — was said. There was no hesitation. None. Zero. The attack on the idea of a black child in a white family was a wholesale rejection of the idea of a colorblind America — and it was done by Harris-Perry and her guests without blinking an eye, not to mention with the knowing laughter that accompanies one’s understanding that one’s liberal peers all share the same view.

Let’s do a short video tour of history, shall we? Let’s ask the question that Harris-Perry’s buddy in skin colorism, comedian, and actress Pia Glenn, mocked by singing the old Sesame Street ditty “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same …”

We begin with the Harris-Perry remarks — and those of her left-wing panelists — here

Then, let’s go here to this one — the 1963 inaugural address of Alabama Governor George Wallace famously declaring:

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

Or let’s go here, to this video clip of the infamous Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor — then a member of the Democratic National Committee — saying “You’ve got to keep your whites and blacks separate.”

Or here to the lyrics of “N***ahs in Paris” by President Obama’s friend, White House visitor and zillionaire Jay Z. Which includes lines like:

Got my niggas in Paris
And they going gorillas, huh!

Sung to roaring approval, as seen here.

Or go here to Harris-Perry’s fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton ranting about the (black) Mayor of New York spewing the n-word and slurs against Asians (Chinese.)

Or here, to the following remarks by Washington, D.C. councilman — and twice mayor — Marion Barry. Said Barry in 2012: 

We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops. They ought to go, I’ll just say that right now, you know. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.


Or we could fill the Internet with examples of this kind of thing from liberals. So let’s re-ask the question that Harris-Perry guest Pia Glenn posed in Sesame Street terms:

“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same …”

Answer? They all belong. They are all “like the others.”


Because this is what liberalism is all about. It must have racism to sell its goods. It must have racism to get Al Sharpton his MSNBC show or Marion Barry elected or Melissa Harris-Perry ratings or make Jay Z a zillionaire star and Obama contributor and White House guest. It is no different now than when the Ku Klux Klan was — literally — in charge of writing the progressive platform of the 1924 Democratic Convention or when Democrat Roger Taney was sitting on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice issuing the Dred Scott decision that tried to write slavery into the Constitution.

All of it — all of it — is of a piece.

And that piece is — control. Using race to control. Anything. Everything. Whether the object is slaves, blacks, whites, the music market, this or that political office, boosting MSNBC ratings, selling books, keeping Rush Limbaugh out of an NFL ownership or an unlimited list of other objects/goals — using race to control is the centerpiece of the American Left. Whether the fire hoses and police dogs of Bull Connor or the ratings strategy of MSNBC and its hosts, it all boils down to the same thing.

Roger Taney is Bull Connor who is George Wallace who is Melissa Harris-Perry who is Al Sharpton who is Marion Barry who is some Latino left-winger demanding racial solidarity.

In the latter case, that could easily have been the late Mario Obledo of the California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under liberal Democrat Governor Jerry Brown. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton, Obledo decidedly rejected a colorblind America in favor of judging by skin color, saying of his adopted home state “California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.” Which is to say, if California were suddenly flooded with an influx of, say, Chinese, Korean, or white Canadian immigrants this would be a threat.

A threat to what Obledo believed was the right of control of California — by race.

None of this is given a second thought in progressive circles. Racism has been the dominating fact of life for the Left from the very beginning of its organized political activity — which is to say the formation of the Democrats in 1800. A mere eleven years after the United States government came together for the very first time in 1789 and political party formation began to stir.

It is surely not unexpected that a political party that was formed with slavery — controlling human beings by force — as its philosophical touchstone should be faced with an enormous struggle with racism in a country whose guiding Declaration of Independence proclaimed that “all men are created equal” and believed every American received their rights from God — not the State.

But in the 21st century?

There is something terribly normal when racism is so accepted as the driving force behind the American Left that Ms. Harris-Perry and her television guests can so easily toss off racial remarks expecting — and getting — laughter and acceptance from each liberal other.

Harris-Perry has now issued a tearful apology, making news. But the real news here is that this happened in the first place and the obvious thought with Harris-Perry and her liberal “comedians” that there was nothing in the least wrong with it.

That thought process is in its own way confirmation that as long as progressives are out there, they have every intention of fighting the American ideal of the color blind society.

As NewsBusters reported in their story on the Harris-Perry remarks, comedian Dean Obeidallah was also on the panel and said of the Romney family picture:

I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”

Or, in other words, Obeidallah, looks at a family picture of human beings and starts bean counting by race. The Romneys are not a family of diverse, unique individuals, they’re a bunch of whites with a black baby.

Not to be outdone, Obeidallah took to the Daily Beast and promptly kept digging the hole he had jumped into. Wrote Mr. Let’s-Judge-Everybody-By-Skin Color:

My joke was about the lack of racial diversity we see at the Republican National Convention—a topic lampooned for years by comedians. Little tip to GOP: If you can fit the name of all black leaders in your party in one tweet, you aren’t racially diverse.

Right. If only Republicans would start judging everybody by the color of their skin instead of their character, all would be right with the world. America becomes the Klan. Here’s a little tip for Obeidallah: If you preach racism under the guise of “diversity” you aren’t about diversity. You are Bull Connor with jokes.

But as Obeidallah and Harris-Perry illustrate, what they preach or “joke” about is in fact the face of liberalism.

This, of course, was exactly the kind of thinking behind the murder of Emmett Till, the black 14-year-old who was murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Or the murder of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, one black and two white, by the Klan (read: the progressives) in 1965. None of the four were seen as individuals — as human beings, as Americans. Instead they were singled out for reasons of skin color — and all were viciously killed.

They weren’t alone. Over the centuries this was the terrifying trademark of the Klan, which was correctly fingered by Columbia University’s historian Professor Eric Foner as “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.” In today’s world, progressives like Harris-Perry and her guests, not to mention the network that seeks this kind of audience, might be called “a media force serving the interests of the Democratic Party” when it comes to race.

They have zero interest in a color blind America — because without racism, control is out the window. Control of the government, control of your life, your health care and all the rest. This is why the intense fury from progressives at people like businessman and former presidential candidate Herman Cain or conservatives like Deneen Borelli or David Webb and many others. These are people — all of them who happen to be black — who refuse to be controlled. They demand to be treated as equals, as unique individuals — as Americans in a color blind country where Martin Luther King’s dream of judging others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character is no longer a dream but a reality. A reality that rejects control and demands an America of individuals.


Now Harris-Perry comes forth with her tearful apology. As seen here.

Over at the Young Turks (Young? Cenk Uygur is how old? Is there a truth-in-advertising problem here?) liberal activist Uygur defended Harris-Perry’s remarks as “slightly off” and laughed at the whole episode. The Young Turks and Dean Obeidallah would doubtless have been at home swapping race jokes with old Bull Connor.

Should Melissa Harris-Perry be fired? Resign?

Of course not.

For one reason, as MSNBC itself admits in an attack on a National Review story about the influence of commentator Rachel Maddow at the network:

MSNBC has had an editorial and script review process in place since the network began in 1996.


By the network’s own admission, all this racial garbage is quite specifically approved ahead of time by “MSNBC’s editorial and script review process in place since the network began in 1996.” The network knew this attack on a racial adoption of a black child by the Romney’s was coming — and the network “editorial and script review process” gave a thumbs up to this disgusting business.

Secondly, the same principles that apply to Phil Robertson should apply to Melissa Harris-Perry. And yes, to Alec Baldwin. (Alec hilariously asked in a tweet “If I Cry, Will I Be Forgiven?” Mr. Baldwin, no fan of this column, will be terrified to know I think he was royally screwed by his left-wing buddies and yes… just like Phil… while his employer has the right to fire him… Alec Baldwin’s firing was about intimidation. And it was wrong.) Subject to her bosses — and her ratings from her audience — Harris-Perry should have the free speech rights of everybody else in America. 

The simple fact is that if Harris-Perry were dismissed by MSNBC she would be replaced immediately with some other progressive who will continue to showcase racism. This is who progressives are. And since racism is the building block of progressivism — what would be the difference between Melissa Harris-Perry and any other progressive host?

Liberalism depends on the pernicious business of judging others by skin color. Judging by skin color is all about control. 

Melissa Harris-Perry was caught in the act of being a liberal. Of being a progressive.

Don’t fire her. Don’t make her resign. Not only is that wrong. It’s good to give her more air time so Americans can be reminded when they watch MSKKK… oops, sorry… MSNBC… of just what the liberal agenda is all about. And has always been about.

It’s about race. It’s about control.

So what’s new?

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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