A quick note on Melissa Harris-Perry | VALID | #TWIBnation

A quick note on Melissa Harris-Perry

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I didn’t want to really weigh in too much about the idiotic controversy that sprung up around Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry because she’s a friend and I didn’t want to come off as if I’m just defending her because “I like her!” But in the last week I’ve seen more flat-out insane comments and reactions to her than I can deal with. In a very weird turn of events a writer from Politico took things to an even stranger level.


Soon thereafter he found out that many were not amused by his commentary and were quick to point out why his summation of the “MSNBC weekend host” was not defendable. Cue the clueless “what did i do?” tweet.


I happen to agree that Dr. Harris-Perry is the country’s leading public intellectual. She has one of–if not the–biggest platform of any public intellectual. She has the street cred, the awards, and above all else she has the brain. She’s smarter than most folks and when you read their commentary on her you realize they hate that. This black woman scholar is simply smarter than you and can deliver complex thoughts and ideas in a way that edifies many. But let’s say you don’t agree.

Let’s talk about context.

In 2014 America, news outlets erupted over the casting of a Black woman on SNL–as if she had refused to give up her seat on a bus to a White man–because Black women had been so ignored over the years  because they apparently “weren’t ready.” In 2014 America we have White feminists angry and lashing out at Black women because they had the nerve to speak up about issues that affect them uniquely and grew tired of being ignored yet called on to be united. And in 2014 a brilliant Black woman scholar was dragged through the airwaves and internet because she said something–for which she apologized fairly quickly–that they didn’t find to be suitable. Forget her work. Forget all her previous commentary. She’s a racist hack who should be fired from everything because…

Then when a respected writer describes her as America’s leading public intellectual you question his credibility for even believing that and wonder why people are angry.

Welcome to America.

Elon James White

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1 Comment

  1. Brian Roberts January 10, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Excuse me? Who the hell is Dylan Byers? I know who Professor Perry is. I’m going to consider the source and move on.

Leave a Reply to Brian Roberts Cancel reply