As LU reported Monday, Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC had a hissy fit on air over the description of newly anointed House Speaker Paul Ryan as a “hard worker.” Harris-Perry explained that the phrase is insensitive because it conjures up images of “folks working in cotton fields” (read: slaves) and is, therefore, unacceptable.
The assessment of Ryan was made by outgoing Speaker John Boehner, who is a Republican. But if Harris-Perry is sincere in her umbrage over the use of this term to refer to people who did not arrive on these shores via the Middle Passage, then there are is a liberal in her midst she needs to take to the woodshed. As coincidence would have it, the offender works at MSNBC. The person’s name? Melissa Harris-Perry.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple had a piece today cataloging Harris-Perry’s fondness for the phrase “hard work.” She used it, for example, in February in a debriefing by NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders, who was covering a snowstorm that had blanketed sections of Ohio. “At the end of their chilly discussion,” writes Wemple, “Harris-Perry said, ‘Kerry Sanders in Perrysburg, Ohio — doing the hard work today while the rest of us are warm and toasty right here in 30 Rock.'” [Emphasis added]
Sanders, for the record, is not even black, much less descended from slaves.
On May 3, Harris-Perry saluted Baltimore teens who were serving as liaisons to the city’s police force, urging them to “stay safe, stay positive, and keep doing the hard work.” [Emphasis added]
She transgressed again later the same month when she used the phrase hard work not once, not twice, but three times in reference to perceived limitations of Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson:
I think that hard work is necessary but insufficient condition for success. Which is simply to say, must we work hard? Absolutely. But does hard work necessarily lead to success? No. And so I always want to think about the other side. [Emphasis added]
I understand that in Harris-Perry’s world, doing what she says is far more important than doing as she does. In her case, that also includes her insistence that rich folks, like her, should pay their taxes cheerfully so that poor (dare it be said?) hard-working people who depend on government handouts can be sure of collecting their checks. In April, it was revealed that Harris-Perry and her husband owed nearly $70,000 in delinquent taxes.
(h/t: Alex Griswold, Mediaite)
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