Upon hearing the news that Melissa Harris-Perry would have a show on MSNBC, I sort of had mixed feelings. I listened to some lectures she had given and was pretty impressed. I figured there was an inkling of a chance that she would bring some of those ideas and critical thought into the mainstream. At the same time, I did not expect a corporate media conglomerate to allow good ideas and thoughts to be broadcast to their mainstream audience, so I did expect a message from Harris-Perry to be heavily watered down, especially considering the fact that every MSNBC show has writers besides the headliner.
After watching some episodes of Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC, I concluded that my predictions were somewhat correct. The deep analysis I had previously heard in Harris-Perry speeches had been diluted, and the show seemed, to me, to be more of the typical Left Vs. Right/Republicans Vs. Democrats illusionary war we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing. However, every now and then there are a few gems that I could appreciate.
I always wondered how much of the pandering and self-restraint one could take before exploding and truly speaking what they feel in a truly compassionate way. For Melissa Harris-Perry–from what I could see–this moment came on September 1, 2012, about 6 months since being on the air. It is rare that we see such nuggets in mainstream television, but Harris-Perry captured the passion and conviction as an advocate for poor people, especially minorities, that I hope to see daily–but to which I am rarely exposed.
Although I disagree with segmented economic class structure existing within any society, I smile when I see such ferocity in defense of the disadvantaged victims of policies and thinking rooted in classism and racism.
Near the end of today’s show, Melissa made an impassioned point in the conversation we had today about the issue of welfare, and how race is intertwined with that issue in our politics. The panel — which also included business author Monica Mehta, columnist Bob Franken, Wake Forest professor David Coates, and writer/commentator Nancy Giles — had been debating the specific issue of class mobility, and America’s embarrassing lack of it.
Economist Howard Steven Friedman noted earlier this week at the Huffington Post that class mobility is inextricably linked to the cost of education, and Giles made a similar point, including health care in that calculus. Mehta interrupted, noting that such education and health care wouldn’t have been possible without risk, presumably from those “job creators” Republicans like Mitt Romney always tell us about.
Read more at MHP Blog