MSNBC’s Perry: Saying ‘Hard Worker’ Is A Microaggression … Against Slaves

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 9:15 PM
MSNBC’s Perry: Saying ‘Hard Worker’ Is A Microaggression … Against Slaves

Oh, bless you Free Beacon  for catching this exchange that shows liberal political correctness in all its glory. And by glory, I mean something that sort of borders on the insane.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry invited Alfonso Aguilar to discuss the probable speakership of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), when the whole discussion took a weird turn after Aguilar called Ryan a “hard worker.” Ryan has been known that he will not be sacrificing his family time if he’s elected speaker, but saying he has a good work ethic is somehow a microaggression against slavery or something. Ironically, Harris-Perry agreed with Aguilar about Ryan as the new House Speaker, but said he should be “super careful” concerning the whole hard worker thing [emphasis mine]:

ALFONSO AGUILAR: But let’s be fair. If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan. Not only works with the Republicans but Democrats. You know very well that I work on [the] immigration issue, trying to get Republicans to support immigration reform. Paul Ryan is somebody who has supported immigration reform, has worked with somebody like Luis Gutierrez. Luis Gutierrez is very respectful, speaks highly of Paul Ryan. This is somebody who’s trying to govern.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: Alfonso, I feel you. But I just want to pause on one thing. Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role. But I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker,” because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do. But in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working–

AGUILAR: I understand that.

HARRIS-PERRY: But, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.

AGUILAR: No, no, no, no.

HARRIS-PERRY: No, no. Really, ya’ll do. That is really what you guys do as a party.

AGUILAR: That is very unfair. I think we cannot generalize about the Republican Party.

HARRIS-PERRY: That’s true. Not all Republicans. That is certainly true.

So, Aguliar was corrected for stating a fact? That Ryan is a hard worker, but we can’t say that because it somehow spits on the memories of America’s slaves. The extrapolation is a bit of a stretch. Regardless, it shows that in some liberal circles, having discussions about politics and policy is more akin to playing minefield.

Granted, this short lecture on political correctness 101 is relatively tame compared to when Perry mocked Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson, Kiernan, in December of 2013. The segment rightfully drew condemnation, and the MSNBC host apologized on Twitter (via Huffington Post):

I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they [are] wrong for hurting. Therefore, while I meant no offense, I want to immediately apologize to the Romney family for hurting them. As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise. I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices."

She also apologized on air.

The other guests on the panel, Pia Glenn and Dean Obeidallah, also apologized for their remarks. During the show, Obeidallah said the picture of Romney and his grandkids, with Kiernan, "really [summing] up the diversity of the Republican Party."

Pia Glenn said, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same. And that little baby, front and center, would be the one."

In the end, Mitt Romney accepted her apology.

So, while this odd exchange about the appropriate use of the word "hard worker" might be frustrating, a lot worse has occurred on this show.