MNSBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s odd interjection about hard work, slavery, and single moms made the rounds this week, where she interrupted her conservative guest, Alfonso Aguilar, on her show after he said that Rep. Paul Ryan (now Speaker Ryan) is a “hard worker.” Pretty much Perry told Aguilar that he needed to be “super careful” about how we used the term “hard worker because it might microaggress slaves.
“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,” she said. “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 said he understood that, but added that not every Republican thinks that working class women are “sucking off the system”
Well, the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple found a few examples where Perry said hard work, but didn’t offer commentary about slave murals, or references to privilege:
* On Sept. 12, Harris-Perry played a clip of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton saying, “If we women stand together and fight together, we can make our country stronger, we can make our country fairer. We women are not afraid of hard work. And that’s good because we’ve got some hard work to do.”
* On Sept. 6, Harris-Perry, in a discussion about race and policing, said, “What I don’t want to miss is that policing is in fact actually hard work, and there are things that make policing a more dangerous or less dangerous job. And I guess, part of what I’m interested in is, what those sort of facts are, what actually makes it harder or more dangerous to be a police officer.”
* On Aug. 30, Harris-Perry addressed whether a work ethic was critical to the advancement of retired brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson: “I don’t know whether or not he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. My suggestion to be actually is that’s probably is not the full story,” said Harris-Perry. When challenged on that assertion, Harris-Perry defended, “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.”
* On Aug. 9, Harris-Perry interviewed actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. from “Straight Outta Compton.” Jackson said, “This is a big-time film that could make or break [producer F. Gary Gray]. He’s not going to just let it go to just appease his friends so they put me through the ringer and all that hard work is building confidence within me, if they needed me I’d do it again.”
* On May 30, Harris-Perry addressed the corruption scandal at FIFA and took this clip from organization President Sepp Blatter: “I will not allow the actions of a few to destroy the hard work and the integrity of the vast majority of those who work so hard for football.”
* On May 3, Harris-Perry highlighted the work of a Baltimore program in which teenagers serve as liaisons to the police. Addressing the youngsters, she said, “Thank you for the work that you are doing on the ground there. Stay safe, stay positive, and keep doing the hard work.”
* On Feb. 28, Harris-Perry focused on labor issues in Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, and interviewed a union activist who attacked the governor for his policies: “He should apologize to the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin.”
And, of course, Perry offered no comment to Wemple. He was able to get a response from Aguilar, who said, “I think she saw me as the conservative on the panel and she let me have it.”
Wemple also noted the double standard as well, writing “Until we get further word, we’ll have to trust the record: When folks who share Harris-Perry’s ideology reference hard work, they’re fine. When a guy who doesn’t share Harris-Perry’s ideology references a top Republican’s hard work, he’s not so fine.”
Yeah, that sounds about right concerning almost everything within liberal circles.