Two Sundays ago on her self-titled MSNBC show, Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of guest contributors made derogatory comments about a photo of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, his wife and their grandchildren. Included in the photo was the Romney’s adopted grandson, Kieran Romney, who happens to be African-American.
During that broadcast, Harris-Perry laughed and giggled at the derogatory comments of her guests which included one guest singing a Sesame Street song and another comparing the photo to the current demographics of the Republican Party. Following the episode, Harris-Perry sent out a series of tweets via Twitter expressing her sorrow “without reservation or qualification.” She then went on to qualify her apology by claiming that she “meant no offense” for her actions and comments. On her show yesterday, she provided what some believe was a heart-felt and sincere apology for the actions of her guests and herself.
But no quantity or quality of apologies will ever eliminate one discernible fact, which is that Harris-Perry is herself a racist.
While the songs and comments of her show’s guests were immature and moronic, it was Harris-Perry herself who made the most racist comments of all. She did so when she stated, “My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?"
Now that may sound like a fairly innocent comment, but think about what Harris-Perry actually did there. She stated that her goal is that the African-American grandson of the Romneys will someday marry the African-American daughter of West. While it is true that North West’s mother is of Armenian-American heritage, based on her pictures North is clearly a baby of color. So Harris-Perry’s goal for 2040 is that one baby of color will someday marry another baby of color. How ‘progressive’ of her.
But if she was as ‘progressive’ and ‘forward-leaning’ as her cable channel suggests that she and it is, why did Harris-Perry not suggest as a goal that one of the Romneys’ clearly Caucasian grandsons would marry North West? Or for that matter, since Harris-Perry and her cable channel are such champions for same-sex marriage, why did she not hope that one of the Romneys’ granddaughters would someday marry North West? Or why has she never hoped that any one of the Romneys’ other kids or grandkids would marry one of Barack Obama’s daughters? There have certainly been ample opportunities to do so given the number of times that the Romneys’ family photos have been displayed and mocked on MSNBC and other media outlets.
But Harris-Perry has never made those kinds of comments in the past. She waited. She waited until she had an opportunity to make them about the Romneys’ African-American grandson and another baby of color. To people like Harris-Perry apparently it only makes sense that people of color marry each other rather than make the suggestion that a Caucasian baby may someday be the future husband or wife of North West. What makes this so odd coming from Harris-Perry is that she herself is the product of a mixed-race marriage, having an African-American father and a Caucasian mother.
MSNBC has come up with some very colorful (no pun intended) definitions of what racism is today – including the use of words like welfare, Chicago, arrogant, and even ‘Obamacare’, as suggested by Harris-Perry herself. While some of those definitions are clearly debatable, one that is not is when people believe that whites should only married whites and people of color should only marry people of color. That is without a doubt blatant racism, and Harris-Perry’s exhibition of that viewpoint shows that she is blatantly racist. No apology can ever cover up that fact.