UnNews:MSNBC host fights slavery

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MSNBC host fights slavery

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27 February 2016

Melissa Harris-Perry

"You won't have Harris-Perry to kick around any longer," Harris-Perry huffed on her way out the fire exit.

NEW YORK CITY -- MSNBC daytime talk host Melissa Harris-Perry walked off the set of the show named for her, or at least her initials, exclaiming, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" — the signature expression Dr. Martin Luther King used when storming away from a rally in Selma, Alabama where thousands had gathered to hear him speak.

Ms. Harris-Perry drafted an email broadcast to everyone at MSNBC explaining that she will boycott M.H.P. all weekend, on the network where thousands also gather, to protest the network cutting into her show to cover news of the U.S. Presidential campaign.

She becomes the latest highly-paid prima donna whose situation was compared to African American slavery since LeBron James dithered about which NBA basketball team he would grace with his "talents." That event, in 2010, spawned a prime-time television show called The Decision — as M.H.P. would be too, except that Ms. Harris-Perry will not be there.

Ms. Harris-Perry later walked back her comments that MSNBC was using her as a token Negro or "mammy," telling the New York Times that "I don’t know if there is a personal racial component. I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person." (Ms. Harris-Perry is a black person, often referred to as a "mammy.") The walk-back means that, rather than informed charges of racism, the original remarks were entirely unfounded charges of racism.

In 1987, CBS anchorman Dan Rather walked off the set in a huff when a tennis match ran long, an incident that President George H.W. Bush would throw in his face, years later. But Mr. Rather returned seven minutes later. He did not allege racism, as bandying around unfounded charges of racism, back then, would have ended a career almost as quickly as, say, being a cocaine user or a socialist, diddling an intern with a cigar, or warehousing government secrets in one's home bathroom.

One MSNBC executive signaled that Ms. Harris-Perry's email blast dissing the network "is destructive to our relationship." The executive was baffled that the star, hired to obsess over race relations for two hours each day, would react to the network's shift to hard election news by obsessing over race relations.


In related racism news today — almost exactly seven years to the date that a weary American public elected a black President to avoid yet another four-year National Dialogue on Race — and then re-elected him to try to get it to stop — the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which M.H.P would cover in loving detail, except that the sound stage is suddenly vacant, has received new publicity anyway. The group exists to promote black lives, notoriously the lives of neighborhood prowlers and coked-up thieves who defy police and then reach into one's cruiser to wrestle away his service weapon.

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The group disrupted a Donald Trump rally and faced chanting supporters using the same rejoinder first used by a naïve Bernie Sanders: Don't all lives matter? The community has agreed that this wisecrack is every bit as racist as the word "work" or "achievement" or, at some universities, the micro-aggression of referring to an American as an "American." Commentators note that the chant ignores statistics that black youths are eight times as likely to die from gunplay as whites (nearly always at the hands of other blacks), and ignores the wave of violent white cops (who nearly always shoot other whites). The group contemplated changing its name to #WhiteLivesDoNotMatter, but they are still not as inept at persuasion as, say, Republicans.

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