Monday, January 30, 2012

Melissa Harris-Perry: No Need to Play the Race Card

Melissa Harris-Perry delivered one of the best quotes I've seen for addressing accusations from conservatives that black people are playing the race card when they point out racist rhetoric and policy proposals this campaign season.

addressing race card charges

Harris-Perry made her statement when she was a guest on Politics Nation on MSNBC with Al Sharpton, January 11, in response to a video clip of Newt Gingrich making one of his offensive, racialized remarks about African-Americans and work:
GINGRICH: If the NAACP invites me, I will go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, let me get this right. We`re supposed to hear him directly say, Newt Gingrich, why African-Americans [should want jobs], like we`re the majority of the people getting food stamps, what he would say to us. Mr. Santorum talking about blah people that clearly don`t exist and he went on without skipping a beat continuing the sentence so it doesn`t sound like a stutter to me. We can hear people talk about 1860. We hear people using voter ID that disproportionately affect our voters but we`re not supposed to say anything otherwise we`re playing the race card. They can say whatever they want to say.

PERRY: Look, we could just play the historical accuracy card. No need to play the race card. So, let`s take for example, Newt Gingrich`s statement about paychecks versus food stamps. Well, when he was Speaker of the House, he made an alliance with the Clinton administration that assured that African-American, White, Latino, basically poor people in this country, particularly poor women with young children would not have access to many of these social safety net programs like aid to family with dependent children and welfare. He already took care of that. Let`s go to historical accuracy on states` rights. States` rights wasn`t just an idea. States` rights was always at its core about slavery. It was about how to keep the union together, despite the fact that some states would be free states and others would be slave states. So, if they don`t want to talk about race, first of all, they ought to not bring up the blah people, they are not to assume the people at the NAACP convention who are really quite middle class or at all in food stamps and certainly, certainly, if they want to play this 1860 race cards, we`re going to correct them on the accurate history.
Feel free to post the .gif in this post ( http://writingjunkie.net/gifs/history-card.gif ) if you're accused of playing the race card when what you're really doing is pointing out historical facts regarding race in America.

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2 comments:

msladydeborah said...

You worked this one Nordette!

I feel very strongly about using this approach because it helps to make the picture clear about the national story.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Newt Gingrich is an idiot. I would rather vote for anyone else than him. I'm not wild about Mr. Romney (he's just a rich person, who could never know what I, as a single mother, had to deal with in the day-to-day 'stuff' of life over the years; I am not that thrilled about President Obama lately. Although I voted for him, I was very disappointed in him since we have this bad economy (and I'm without a job), and he took the time to go to Hawaii for Christmas and spend a million dollars of taxpayers' money for planes, Secret Service, etc. THAT really bothered me. But, as I said, Gingrich is not even worth anyone listening to him. Yes, I know I am not really addressing the 'gist' of this post, I just wanted to say to others to not even both what Gingrich says or has said. As for Al Sharpton... well, I'm from Bklyn too, so although I might not agree with everything he says and does, I am still a fan. I like Mr. Sharpton. Yes, I am "prejudice" that way. ;)
Best,
Gloria