Republicans have their panties in a wad today over the nerve of Melissa Harris-Perry voicing an opinion on a photo of Mitt Romney, man of the 2%, holding one of his kid’s adopted black baby.
Harris-Perry was doing an episode on ridiculous moments in 2013 during her Sunday show, which included much poking fun of Democrat Anthony Weiner’s weiner problems. She even handed out three “race cards” to her panelists to play at any time during the show.
Watch “2013: The year in political ridiculousness” — “Look back in laughter” here:
But Melissa doesn’t get to say these things just because she’s black. This special privilege of black people has to end, according to Fox News and the GOP.
Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, “Disgusting: Harris-Perry should apologize immediately for mocking Romney’s adopted grandchild.”
Melissa Harris Perry apologized, as liberals are wont to do after right wing persecution takes hold of the media’s endless pity and blind spots. But she never personally attacked the grandchild, and it’s obtuse to pretend that no one gets how absurd it is that the man who ran one of the biggest race-baiting races in history has an adopted black grandchild. It reeks of blind privilege and a failure to connect the dots.
You see, a rich black baby will not have the same experiences as the majority of black people in this country. It’s not about color. It’s about privilege. The privilege that comes with white skin growing up in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation as Mitt and his wife did.
This episode of right wing victimhood was naturally brought to you by Sarah Palin, Queen of Self-Pity, who started the entire thing because nothing says I’m not a racist like demanding apologies from black people for having an opinion on race.
Kurtz explained in a Fox News article, “Maybe it was supposed to be okay because the host is African-American. But I think the segment took a horribly wrong turn.”
Yes, please do weigh in, whitest of the whites of the Whites Only Channel. Let us hear what is permissible for another human to think and feel about their own history! He explains that his objection is based on:
Harris-Perry chimed in that “my goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the marriage between Kieran Romney and North West. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”
Then came comedian Dean Obeidallah, chortling that the photo “really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party, the RNC. At the convention they find the one black person.”
Kurtz was confused, because doesn’t an adopted black child show diversity? “Forgive me, but isn’t adoption a good thing? Is interracial adoption something to be mocked? If the racial aspect had to be addressed, doesn’t the adoption show an open-mindedness on the part of the Romney family?” Yes that’s exactly what mean Melissa said – she said adoption was a BAD THING and interracial adoption should be mocked! No, wait. She said nothing of the sort. She was ribbing the man who got booed by the NAACP.
See, according to Kurtz, owning a black baby shows that the Romneys are “open-minded”. This sentence does not ring racist at all, even though it reveals that Kurtz can’t help himself from seeing everything in colors, which is almost like a person of color reflecting on the inherent structure of inequality that racism upholds for the top 2%, but not.
Mitt Romney’s contempt was not unnoticed. “Many African Americans displayed their disapproval of Romney giving 99% of the vote to Obama in some communities.”
Sure Romney hated 47% of the country, those people – those Obama voters who wanted free things. WINK WINK — we don’t see you at all. But to say his policies hurt black people and he certainly had no clue about their general challenges or priorities made the black baby on his lap a little “ridiculous” is an understatement.
Mitt Romney attacked President Obama over providing food stamps to so many Americans in a time of need, and made the nodding wink of “welfare mothers” central to his values. Even though Mitt Romney’s own mother, Lenore LaFount Romney, talked about how his father George was on welfare relief after he was a refugee from Mexico, compassion seems to escape Mitt.
And then there was Romney’s pitch to African American voters that resulted in him getting booed: “Mitt Romney’s big solution that he tried to pitch to African American voters can be summed up as if you give the wealthy and corporations more, they will create jobs for you.” This included killing ObamaCare, which is also known as affordable healthcare. It turns out that even black people want access to doctors. Shocking, I know.
According to NAACP official Hilary Shelton, Mitt Romney tried to rig the crowd at the convention by flying in his own non-member African Americans to cheer for him. So there is that big “outreach”.
Republicans have a hubristic habit of demanding apologies from black people that only reinforces the appearance of clueless privilege. (Who can forget George Zimmerman demanding an apology from African Americans?)
Demanding apologies from black people for calling out your glaringly obvious racism proves a point. But it’s not the point that Republicans think they are making.
While it is best to leave children out of any kind of political commentary, this is not good outreach for Republicans and in truth, no one was making fun of the grandchild — they were making fun of Mitt Romney. Republicans obviously don’t understand what racism is. It’s a structure to keep the oppressed down, not a discussion of race.
Republicans set themselves up for this stuff by championing policies to hurt the very children they use as props to shore up their image (see Sarah Palin). It’s called hypocrisy, and it begs to be made fun of. BEGS.
Race cards and weiners, oh my! Rush Limbaugh likes to say, “It’s entertainment.” But as you know, the first amendment and the right to be politically incorrect during comedic moments belong exclusively to Republicans. Dissenters need not apply for freedom.
Image: Fox News
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.