Unethical Quote Of The Week: MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry

 “I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments. President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents, and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he’d achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he’d never be anything more than that one disparaging word — a belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate. And so he decided if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them. So he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren’t expecting: ‘If that’s what you want me to be, I’ll be that.’Y’all know the word that I’m talking about. Obamacare!”

—MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, on her Sunday morning show, 12/8/13



That Melissa! Setting us up for the dreaded n-word, and then deftly substituting the O-word, since it’s all racism, and really, what’s the difference?

I don’t know what made me pause my remote on MSNBC this morning. I was trying to find any Sunday talking heads show that wasn’t engaged in an orgy of Mandela beatification, and failing miserably, and though I avoid Harris-Perry like the plague, I guess I stopped to see if she was as full of racist paranoia and hate as ever.


I knew immediately that the conservative media watchdog blogs like Newsbusters would pounce on this like a fox on a field mouse, and I was right: it took about 30 minutes. The question, and it is a crucial one, is why every blog, website, pundit, commentator, bar patron, college professor, student, senior citizen, non-resident of a mental asylum, Democrat, Republican, libertarian, fundamentalist Christian or atheist, right, left, or moderate, black, white or Asian American wouldn’t reject such divisive, vicious, insidious, poisonous slander as the threat to political discourse and democracy that it is.

It should not create a partisan divide when a deranged fanatic like Harris-Perry is permitted to make such irresponsible statements using the national media. In a healthy society, it would not. A responsible news organization would not allow anyone who intentionally injected such distrust and racial discord into the national bloodstream to continue to have a forum. She would be banished to the dark and fetid corners of the wackosphere where the products of pathological parenting rant about “the mongrelization of the white race,” and “the Jewish conspiracy,” and how homos are plotting to convert our children to their perverted ways and make it legal to marry goats.

No news organization could survive providing a platform and a megaphone to any of these sad hatemongers, and Melissa-Perry differs from them only in the target of her irrational hatred. Yet MSNBC promotes her, broadcasts her and profits from her. It isn’t just Harris-Perry, of course: there are members of Congress who sing her tune as well. Why is it that the administration of the first black President has resulted in more racial discord and suspicion than the United States has seen in generations? In significant measure, it is because of the proliferation of statements like Melissa Harris-Perry’s, employed in desperate defense of a weak and incompetent leader, by those willing to tear the nation apart rather than face reality, and given authority and influence they should not have in the pursuit of ratings and profits.

I hope and trust that no reader here who isn’t a refugee from the Daily Kos or a mental defective who to be informed how indefensible Harris-Perry’s accusation is, how attaching a political figure’s name to a favored project has been a standard and legitimate practice by opponents and advocates for decades, how before Obamacare there was Bushonomics, Hillarycare, and Reaganomics, and during the Presidential campaign there was Romneycare,  and how Harris-Perry’s delusion is supported by neither logic nor fact,, just hate, and the need to foment hate. While it is true that Martin Bashir was not fit for broadcast because he could not be trusted to be civil and professional, and Alec Baldwin was not fit for broadcast be cause he could not be trusted not to embarrass his employers with public explosions of expletives and slurs, what MSNBC permits Melissa  Harris-Perry to do in their name is to promote lies that can tear the country apart at the seams.

That is far, far worse than any damage Bashir or Baldwin could do, and why Harris-Perry should have neither viewers, supporters, nor defenders in the United States of America.


Spark: MSNBC

Facts: Daily Caller

Graphic: Deviant Arts

32 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry

  1. Her statement was such a run-on of blather, that my eyes glazed. I doubled back twice to understand. She never heard of Hemingway’s advice on brevity.

  2. My first response was to laugh.
    I mean “It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments.” is a little grandiose for the word Obamacare.
    Besides which, if it (Obamacare) worked, it would make him look great and presidential and make people who use the word derogatorily look foolish. It all depends on how well it works and that is 100% up to Obama.

  3. I like our devision of labor, Jack… I try to cause you to have a massive heart attack with the links I send you, and you challenge me to find new levels of hate for these fuckstains…

    But with regards to Harris-Perry, I wish to say what virtually never person in the country said when this story was brought to their attention…

    “Melissa who?”

  4. I guess Harris-Perry isn’t on the OfA mail I g list…

    From an email dated November 27, 2013

    Scott —

    Whether you’re getting ready to pack up the car, get on a plane, or set the table, you’re probably already starting to think through how Thanksgiving dinner is going to go.

    If you’re like me, you’re getting mentally prepared to be put on the spot by one of your loved ones — especially when it comes to health care reform. (That’s why you’re on Team Obamacare after all, right?)

    Or this one, from OfA again (though before the name change to “Organizing”), dated November 1st, 2012

    14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.

    15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

    16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn’t passed.

    I could find many more examples, but these alone show what a worthless pile of shit that bitch is.

    • The healthcare plan was first called Universal healthcare and the tea party during the election started calling it Obama care and Romney Care. Then it was hammered into everyone’s head by Fox news to call it Obama Care. It should have been called Medicare for All because medicare works. Now a large population of Americans think that Affordable Care Act is different from Obama Care. We have the best healthcare in the world and a higher mortality rate than countries that have a universal health care system. Your followers don’t know who Melissa Harris-Perry is anyway, Are you ever happy about anything?????

      • I don’t know about Jack, but I am ecstatic that MSNBC is the lowest-rated news (and I hesitated to use the word) agency ever, outside of Al-Jazeera.

      • When a thing is not just accepted but fully embraced by a group, they don’t get to bitch about that word.

        Not only is calling it “Obamacare” comepletely normal and appropriate (as has already been explained, with Reaganomics, Hillarycare, Romneycare, etc), but it was fully embraced by the administration…

        At least until it became obvious to anyone with a brain that it was, as Glenn Reynolds puts it, an onion of fail. Then it became important that The Lightworker not be directly connected it it.

        It is only racist because it reflects poorly on Obama, just like everything else that makes him look bad or fails to adequately praise and glorify him.

        • The Harris-Perry bit actually tracks with the ongoing evolution of the terms to describe members of any presumptively oppressed group. Thus “Negro,” which was once the politically correct replacement for “coloreds” which was itself an upgrade from you-know-what, became a derrogatory term by edict, with Black, and then black taking its place. Those terms were deemed degrading after about a decade of approval, so the absurd “people of color” had a fling with political correctness, to be overtaken by “African American.” Whoa to them who can’t shift indignation fast enough. It is a power play in part, and also a legitimate attempt to start fresh.

          Applying this process to Obamacare makes no sense, and the racial analogy H-P tries to make is impossible as well as intellectually dishonest. What she may be doing is trying to bolster the administration’s advisors efforts to decouple the President’s name from the ACA so that its looming failure isn’t quite so obviously identified with him. On THAT:
          1. Good luck.
          2. Desperate.
          3. Too little, too late.
          4. Can’t hurt to try!

          But its transparent and silly. That H-P actually tried to analogize it to Jim Crow blacks finally rebelling against being called “niggers” by denigrating whites shows, I don’t know, insanity? Crazed loyalty? A willingness to look ridiculous in support of a beloved leader?

  5. “Melissa who?”
    Because she was featured here before is the only reason I know who the stupid bitch is.

    One day, she, and all the angry blacks like her, are going to wake up and realize that they’ve spent their whole stinking lives being angry, insulted and oppressed when they could have been embracing and enjoying life.
    That is going to really suck.

  6. From a commenter who didn’t bother to read and follow the rules here and then impugns the integrity of the blog, I get this, which, to be blunt, pisses me off:

    .” i find it amazing that a site calling itself “ethicsalarm” [sic] and tries to make itself appear to be a beacon of objectivity is so right leaning. but i guess most of the people who see this comment won’t care, either because they feel empowered by the anonymity of the internet or because they truly are so narrow minded that they cannot see the obvious bias..”

    Well, “Jerry,” there are several explanations for this perception. One is that what you perceive as “non-Right leaning” positions and individuals are, in fact, ethically bereft. Harris-Perry would be a terrific example.Anyone who finds her statement anything other than outrageous and an example of intentionally intensifying racial divisions would not be, in my mind, left-leaning or right-leaning, but simply irresponsible, unfair, dishonest, and blind. This post is not a partisan or ideological one, and if you think it is, then you believe that flagging and criticizing this kind of despicable conduct shows a bias to the right. That should, if you are paying attention, alarm YOU, and anyone who sees the world in Harris-Perry terms.

    I have no ideological agenda or loyalties whatsoever, except to the quest of getting better at distinguishing right from wrong and helping others do the same.. Here’s a starting point for you to practice: one cannot and should not make those decisions by applying litmus tests or templates, or by using the messenger to assess the message, and if an objective analyst, like me, seems to find what you regard as “your side” too frequently falling short of reasonable ethical standards of conduct, a rational individual would conclude that it’s the too frequently unethical conduct of your side that is the problem to address, not bias here.

    Nobody, out of over a thousand readers of this post, presumably from all sides of the political spectrum, has offered a justification for H-P’s remarks or a defense of them. I take that as a strong indication that they are indefensible, as I stated, and that criticism of them, as I also stated, should be coming from all ideological ports. YOU didn’t offer a defense either, just an attack on this blog for noting the truth when it makes you uncomfortable. You claim that shows a dishonest bias here. And for that, you can bite me.

    You,and people like you, right or left, are the problem—your definition of “ethical” is “the conduct of people who think like me,” in approval of positions and ideas “your side” has decreed are unassailable correct. . That’s not how it’s done here, and not how anyone ethical, or sensible should want to view the world.

    If Ethics Alarms seem to be more critical of the Left than the right (and it’s not), then the Left has too many ethical leaders and followers acting unethically. Wear the shoe, “Jerry.”

    Then use your own name and give me a valid e-mail address rather than sniping from the shadows. I stated my opinion clearly and the rationale behind it. Your entire retort: “you’re biased.” Do I find your comment unethical because you support the Left? No, I object to it because it is the calling card of a jerk.

    • Follow-up Note to “Jerry”—you don’t get comments published, and no more of them commented upon by me with an email address of “Blah@ blahblahblahblah. See above. There are rules here. Read them, follow them, or go elsewhere.

      • Update 2: “Jerry,” who is cognitively damaged, apparently, now accuses me of censoring his comments because they are critical, despite my multiple references to the EA rule that comments without a valid e-mail address will not be posted, as he continues to send essentially anonymous comments with obviously fake e-mails. Now he is insulting the blog, saying that its “pathetic” readership is due to my bias against President Obama, demonstrated by my describing him as “weak,” an increasingly prominent bipartisan verdict, and a pretty easy one at that.

        As for the readership, EA has already passed a million views in 2013, a 25% increase over last year, and a traffic level that compares favorably with other ethics sites on the web. If you enter “ethics commentary” on Google, what’s the first blog that comes up? Guess, Jerry.

        Your comments will continue to be spammed until I see a real e-mail address, and just for being an ass, I’ll require you to send a real name too. You can send it to me on the e-mail address provided here. Or don’t. Anything you send without those required features won’t be published, responded to, or even read.

  7. Healthcare was called Obamacare by the tea party to be sure their followers identified it with Obama. So that is not normal and appropriate. if all you smart guys had to debate MPH, my money would be on her.

      • What a classy blog this is! When you can’t think of an answer you just say GFY. You have bashed MHP enough. It’s the holiday season. Go have a cup of eggnog and wish someone Merry Christmas

        • I believe what my friend ablativmeatshld was expressing, albeit in his eccentric way, was that your comment was devoid of fact, perspective, objectivity, historical accuracy, and common sense, as well as stooping to ad hominem logic, to wit:

          Fact: Columnists, pundits and commentators of all stripes and positions began calling the bill “Obamacare” early and often. There is no justification for assigning that honor to “the tea party,” just as there is in fact no identifiable tea party. Obama care launched the teaparty, so this is also a tautology.

          If one likes Obama, the term is positive; if one does not, it’s negative. It is being treated as a negative now, because its flaws are finally becoming obvious. They were always likely.

          Objectivity: MHP’s rant was race-baiting at its worst, and also made little sense. As I said, sane and fair Americans, regardless of partisan slant, should recognize and condemn such naked race-baiting and historical revisionism. AMS was pointing out that you self-identify with those who do not fall into this group.

          Historical accuracy:
          Once Hillary Clinton’s failed plan was called “Hillarycare” and Romney’s was called “Romneycare,” (MHP apparently thinks Hil and Mitt are black), “Obamacare” was a foregone conclusion.

          Common sense:
          There is nothing racial about making up these words. Obviously. If one argues there is only in Obama’s case, then one is deranged (as I properly suggested about MHP) or not very bright. Or lying, I suppose. I should have mentioned that possibility, but I’ve heard enough of MHP to know that she thinks this was. As do you.

          Then you finish up by saying that critics here would lose a debate with this silly woman, which is just an insult, essentially dismissing a fairly clear case by attacking the intelligence of its supporters. “Stupid is as stupid does,” as Forrest would say, and the hateful woman you are casting your lot with herself used “Obamacare” on the air multiple times, then made the argument that it was a form of racial derision. She is black, by the way.

          Meatshield, as he’s affectionately called for short, just used his version of shorthand to say all this.

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