MSNBC Host on the War on Terror: America Needed a Racial Enemy

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


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Speaking last Monday at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington D.C., MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry shared an interesting progressive perspective on our response to the 9/11 attacks: namely, that they gave the United States the opportunity to once again wreak “horrific racial violence” against an imaginary enemy.

The three-day Take Back the American Dream Conference 2012 is a creation of former New Left radical Robert Borosage, founder, director, president and/or board member of various progressive organizations like the Institute for America’s Future and the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), the organizers and hosts of the conference. CAF describes itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement.” In addition to speakers like Borosage and Melissa Harris-Perry, the conference boasted leftist rock star Van Jones.

Ms. Harris-Perry, or Harris, or Perry – let’s just say MHP, as she goes by on her website –anchors the weekend Melissa Harris-Perry Show on the leftist mouthpiece MSNBC. A former neighbor to now-President Obama, MHP is also a Tulane Professor of Political Science, having previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University after studying at Wake Forest, Duke and even seminary.

There must be something in the rarefied air of such prestigious academic institutions that renders its intellectuals incapable of acknowledging the reality that lesser mortals easily grasp. One doesn’t have to have a wall full of academic honors to see that on 9/11, America was attacked by a very real enemy who had openly declared war on us, had been waging it for many years before 9/11, and have been ever since. Apart from rabid conspiracy theorists and the lemmings brainwashed by the fact-challenged hatemongers at MSNBC, the average American sees this truth clearly. But progressive professors who aren’t satisfied with the simplicity of Occam’s Razor feel compelled to abandon inconvenient facts and shoehorn the sweep of history into their race-obsessed, anti-American theoretical constructs.

Thus for MHP, the obvious reality that Islamic fundamentalists are waging war against us isn’t enough. For her, former President Bush’s War on Terror (which the Obama administration briefly renamed “Overseas Contingency Operation” before settling on “Mission to Win the Hearts and Minds of the Victims of Our Islamophobic Colonialism”) was not a justifiable response to deadly aggression, but racist warmongering. She noted that

Americans of course responded in very typically American ways to [terrorism], something that many people in the rest of the world had already experienced. We began with a kind of nationalist fervor that was justified as reasonable patriotism.

I’m not sure how responding militarily to an act of war is “very typically American.” Perhaps it’s because Americans don’t take lightly the murder of thousands of our fellows on our own soil, and we don’t suffer bullies gladly either. These and a “reasonable patriotism” would seem to be positive national attributes to anyone except a leftist who views America as the world’s bully.

MHP remarked that this “nationalist fervor” was similar to “post-traumatic stress disorder.” She paused here for a smirking aside, which got a big laugh from her smug, starstruck audience:

I’d like to point out that we clearly must have been having post-traumatic stress disorder, because for about a year after September 11th, there were African-American men walking around the city of New York with NYPD hats on. That can only be explained as a PTSD response.

On the contrary, it’s very easily explained as a symbol of patriotic solidarity with the courageous NYPD and NYFD first responders, both black and white, hundreds of whom lost their lives at the WTC (and many, many more injured). But that doesn’t fit the racist paradigm of leftists like MHP who are incapable of seeing any blacks as proud Americans or as individuals who don’t subscribe to the left’s identity politics. For MHP, all New York black males must be resentful, distrustful victims of police brutality and racial profiling, and so any deviant behavior on their part, like expressing support for the police, can “only” be explained as some sort of mental disorder.

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  • Bobo

    "Ms. Harris-Perry, or Harris, or Perry…."

    Those crazy, newfangled liberal woman hyphenated names… I know, let's pretend they're all confusing 'n silly! LULZ

    • MikeWood

      Have you anything to contribute to this debate other than a facetious quip? Do you not think MHP is making a gross distortion about the motives of americans that deserves to be challenged? Do you not think that adopting her kind of conflict perspective, which is a racial variant of Marxism, is both irresponsible and perverse?

    • deprogrammer

      Doesn't speak to highly of the author of the article that her hyphenated name so confused him that he couldn't figure it out.
      So either the author is bog stupid, thinks his readership is bog stupid, or he tried to cover his own confusion by trying to make a joke. Not impressive over all.

      • pagegl

        Let's assume you're not too stupid to understand light sarcasm. Then again, let's not, it would explain the typical reading comprehension issues damn near every leftist brings to this site.

        • deprogrammer

          Nah, I doubt this guy is capable of sarcasm, light or otherwise, his analysis of the speech indicates him to be such a thick headed dullard. He's simply not capable.

    • Anonymous

      Idiot leftist buffoon. The utterly stupid practice of hyphenating surnames, as a political statement of womYnzzzzzzz, cannot be sustained. Leftist dope, no doubt you studied policy B_S nonsense and not math, but such names, if persistently adopted, grow in length exponentially (wrt base 2) and after only a few generations will required an untenable amount of storage space.

      Now go and buy tranquilziers for yourself in advance of Dear Leader's electoral defeat next November: you'll need 'em.

  • Dave

    this woman is the TRUE racist, bigot, hater!!…..Absolutely vile and pathetic!

  • oldtimer

    Another teacher in our government paid for education system. This is what is teaching your children. And guess where Obama wants more money to go… to education, so more of these types can brainwash America's youth.

  • RonaldCarnine

    Well MHP I'm sure the families of 911 are really pleased by your comments. How else would they have known that their loved ones were cannon fodder for the USA. This kind of baloney does not deserve one word of press, but I guess its too late for that. I believe in the freedom of speech, that MHP has the right to say what she wants, but I also believe in the freedom of hearing, in other words I don't have to listen to what comes out of this idiot's mouth. Hopefully, American's everywhere will boo such trivial crap and continue to honor those who died and to loath those responsible. Islamic theology and its corresponding violence should be hated by freedom loving people everywhere.

    • Sage on the Stage

      Mr. Carnine: Unfortunately,too many "educators" such as MHP are tenured and entrenched in our colleges and universities, where compliant and sometimes timid administrators don't have the courage or honesty to hire those with differing viewpoints, and rein in the excesses of the PC elite(such as MHP). So the issue has gone beyond freedom of speech and freedom of hearing; yes, she's an idiot, but she's an idiot with clout, and taking her class would be a complete waste of time, effort, and money. How to dilute the entrenched PC on our college campuses? And make them places where real learning occurs?

  • tagalog

    She conflates Muslim, Arab, and Sikh? Well, I guess we know how ignorant she is from that, don't we?

    Those Indian types along with those Middle Eastern types and -well, just the Muslims- they all look alike, right MHP?

    • deprogrammer

      Did you watch her speech? She was commenting on how indiscriminate a lot of people were (and are) in their bigotry. Wow, your inability to grasp what is said and do research is impressive.

    • HermitLion

      Well of course Sikh are exactly like muslims! Anyone who claims people of brownish skin can have different mindsets is obviously a racist ;)
      And since only whites are racists, Tagalog – you're white now.

      • deprogrammer

        Yet another FPMer who opened wide and took the whole FPM load. Try watching the actual speech.

        • tagalog

          I'm sure if I'd seen her actually mouthing the speech, I wouldn't find it curiously ethnocentric that she would identify Sikhs in the same breath as Arabs, who she identifies with (presumably all) Muslims.

          • deprogrammer

            I watched the speech on line. She is commenting on racists who are unwilling to distinguish between different people. I suspect you won't look because you would rather believe the lie then find out the truth.

          • tagalog

            That's your considered opinion, is it?

          • deprogrammer

            I've dealt with good FPMers long enough to know.

          • tagalog

            How long is long enough?

          • deprogrammer

            You didn't bother to watch it did you?

        • Judas

          I'd rather jam a pencil in my eye. No one needs to watch a replay of this speech to realize her insinuations would and could only appeal to a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals sheltered from the real world by their view from Mommy's basement. Now don't you have an online role playing game and a bag of cheetos to get back to?

          • RoguePatriot6

            LOL!!!!!!!!!!

          • deprogrammer

            Of course that has to be true. It can't be that you would need to actually think and do research for yourself. Don't worry FPM will take care of all your thinking for you. Just relax, open your throat and let them go to work. It seems quit popular with FPMers.

  • Steve Chavez

    IN THE 80'S, I USED TO BE ABLE TO KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE COMMUNIST PARTY USA FRONT GROUPS but they started to multiply and I quickly lost track even in my city. TODAY, THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of these good sounding names so how do they do it?

    HERE IS HOW. I went to a "peace" meeting and the host told his followers to start their own group with a good sounding name including using "peace" or "human rights" in their name. About a month later there was a protest with and the bottom quarter of the flyer was filled with sponsors. I later realized that all those people that I saw in the meeting were THE HEADS OF A GROUP AND THEY SIGNED UP AS MEMBERS IN EACH OTHERS GROUP. So instead of having one group with twenty members, you now had twenty groups with twenty members each. GREAT TRICK HUH!

    THESE CPUSA DUPES ARE THE LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES TODAY INCLUDING THE WHITE HOUSE! They are also JOURNALISTS/JourNolists and TV hosts, Editorial writers, and professors who begin the indoctrination process in their journalism class.

    TRACE ALL THESE GROUPS AND THEIR HEADS AND YOU WILL QUICKLY FIND THAT THEY WERE "ACTIVE," COMMUNIST CODE WORD, IN COLLEGE IN THE 80'S, a time when the Communist Party USA, with funding and help from the SOVIET KGB, were taking over Central America!

    • Oleg

      It's absolutely true, and not just with the openly Marxist groups but the eco terrorist groups as well, they create dozens of front groups with overlapping membership lists to make it appear as though they have a plurality. So if you have 20 groups where the head of each "group" is a memaber of every other group, so 20 groups times 20 members equals 400 but in reality it's a Bernie Madoff style accounting tactic. I think in part it's also a scheme to get more funding from whoever is bankrolling them, usually money laundered through the Tides Foundation or something similar.

  • cheeseburger

    From the article:

    “And in this moment, the new racial enemy became not so much Reagan‘s “welfare queen,” who was imaginary, but instead this imagined “other” that is somehow Muslim, or Arab, or Sikh, or something else.”

    My reply:

    This woman is an Islamic Fundamentalist, and a Communist. She is a friend of Pol Pot, Stalin, and John Wayne Gacy. She prays five times a day to to Allah the Evil, and is in favor of the sexual molestation of six year old girls, as commanded by Muhammad in the Koran, Sira and Hadith.

    In other words, she is the embodiment of Evil, and a worshiper of Satan.

    Other than that, she’s ok. :)

    • deprogrammer

      You are a hysteric.

      • Looking4Sanity

        and you are hysterical…at least you would be if not for that whole stupidity thing you've got going on.

        • deprogrammer

          Oh, snap BURN. You follow previous posters stream of incoherent insults with another stream of incoherent insults. You truly are a good FPMer. Your mother must be so proud.

          • Looking4Sanity

            At least I HAVE a mother, butt baby.

          • deprogrammer

            I've always found it amusing how quickly FPMers indulge in their really detailed homo-erotic fantasies.

          • Looking4Sanity

            …said the talking turd. And I thought Mr. Hanky didn't come around until Xmas.

          • deprogrammer

            So homo-erotic AND anthropomorphic sacterlogical fetish? You have serious issues.

          • deprogrammer

            scatological that is.

  • robert levine

    she is a racist!!!! She totally ignores WWII where we fought and defeated the Nazis(white supremacists) and the Italian fascists(white supremacists) What a buffoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • dmw

      Yeah, same thought I had (about our war with Germany and the, you might say, quintessential "white men" (Aryans) of the era who had to figure out a way to incorporate the Grand Mufti and other Arabs into the Aryan fold (in order to get them on the Axis side — because of their inherent hatred of Jews — and to even mobilize an Arab SS Division). But more importantly: unless I missed something or misunderstood what I was taught in a sophomore college introductory Sociology course, Arabs were considered an Ethnic group, not a race; and most of the inhabitants from North Africa all the way through India (including Arabs) were considered to be Caucasians. So Professor MHP, unless I'm wrong, it's not a 'race' thing. Maybe it's more an ethnic or nationality thing (and certain characteristics associated with those). Myself, having never met certain ethnic groups in the South Pacific or Amazon, I seem to have a prejudice and don't want to get close to people who are Cannibals — not even someone like ("white man") and Caucasian Jeffrey Dahmer. Uh Ms MHP, like the economy, it's BEHAVIOR stupid!

    • Looking4Sanity

      Not a buffoon. A historical revisionist. If it doesn't fit her agenda, it must be expunged from the record as if it never happened.

      Facts are such stubborn things!

  • http://baersmail@aol.com motherartist

    What if something good came out of the northern part of Europe? What if in the past people who were not all the way Northern European or lived around others looked up to the good that had come out of Northern Europe and (because they were jealous) tried to become more like Northern Europeans and thus were predjudiced towards Northern Europeans? What if the good thing that came out of Northern Europe would be good for all humans? What if that good thing was a different but equal status of the genders?

    • http://baersart.com Jane Larson Baer

      What if early humans were sexist but when they got to the north of the old world the conditions (Neaderthals, long winters, small farmsteads, no empires) the reproducing male/female couple became attached like a male/female set of twins. The early art of northern europe is a male/female set of twins proper and inventive, looking at one another. What if that belief system worked in the north and for thousands of years there has been a north/south struggle in the old world for and against sexism. What if criminal less northern european whites sent to the southern colonies in the us were convinced by ciminal slavers that they could be liketheir betters if they bought slaves…but then they learned their lesson by northerners who (like northern europeans) had for centuries felt the equality of genders and from that that equality of others.

      • http://baersart.com Jane Larson Baer

        now what if race-based placement has gotten a person who does not appreciate the northern sacrifice to free slaves and does not appreciate the northern european thousands of years of battling more sexist southern arabs,now muslim. What if this race-based southern-identifying placement doesn't seem to notice the great suffering of arab, african and muslim women for a less good belief system than that of less sexist northern euorpeans and Americans of that heritage and culture?

  • BS77

    what do you expect from MSNBC? Look at their cast of garbage peddlers!!!!

  • Patti

    Please research The Century Foundation where Perry sits on the Board with MF Global, Hassan Nemazee pal Steve Rattner, Jon Podesta and others. Also, please note that Perry sat in Jeremiah Wright's "church" on the Sunday after 9/11 and defends it. Unless they have been scrubbed both are easily searchable. She hails from the Gus Savage/David Axelrod wing of the Dem party.

  • Looking4Sanity

    I'm still trying to figure out how a country that sacrificed millions of its own citizen's lives to free blacks and put them on equal footing with everyone else is suddenly "racist" in the eyes of these Leftist cretins.

    For the last 50 years, this country has bent over, both backwards AND forwards, to accommodate blacks. The result has been the creation of an entitlement minded black society that whines for ever more preferential treatment while bemoaning a nonexistent boogy man…"racism". When will they finally figure out that it is these lily white Leftists who have been playing them for fools all those years?

  • kong.ming

    We're selling out the USA to red China so people like her can run her fat mouth about her delusions in an air conditioned university palace while making six figures.

    That and paying for the old lady's dog walker on the AARP commercial.

  • Spider

    I wonder if miss Melissa knows that the pseudo religion she most fervently defends considers women esentially as property. And by the looks of her photo she would only go for about $1.50 on the streets of Islamabad. But since no one there has that kind of money she could be traded for one goat and one chicken. And any aranged marriage to her would be reserved only for ones worst enemy.

  • RoguePatriot6

    "We began with a kind of nationalist fervor that was justified as reasonable patriotism."
    So, loyalty to our country has to be justified? I honestly never imagined seeing the day when patriotism would have to be "justified". I guess to progressives (communists or American haters) you would have to. Let's just come out and say it "PROGRESSIVES HATE THIS COUNTRY". Bush only got it half right when he declared war on terrorism, he should have delcared war on all these knuckleheads too.

  • RoguePatriot6

    Before the usual troll crowd shows up and start pointing fingers screaming "Warrmonger, you would suggest declaring war on U.S. citizens", please give it a rest. Barrack Obama has declared war on the middle class, the unborn…oh…I'm sorry I forgot, they aren't really human are they…my bad. Truly disgusting!!!!! Let's not forget the class warfare along with racial tension that hasn't been present since the 70's. He is slowly turning this country into a police state and what's worse we are swallowing it, hook, line and sinker.

    The likes of Theodore Roosevelt, Regan and Bush fought hard to protect the U.S. from it's enemies however the liberal progressive administration looks at the patriotic citizens of this country as it's enemies.

  • RoguePatriot6

    "For MHP, all New York black males must be resentful, distrustful victims of police brutality and racial profiling, and so any deviant behavior on their part, like expressing support for the police, can “only” be explained as some sort of mental disorder."

    Why…yes…of course. To be black and any other way, is to be a "sellout" or "oreo"….I'm sorry did I offend anyone? These are perfectly acceptable racial slurs nowadays. Isn't it cool being liberal? When you find yourself doing what you accuse others of doing all you have to do is change the rules and get the lame stream media to broadcast your ignorance. Then you demonize all those opposed by labeling them what YOU really are. Liberals constantly accusing conservatives as being racists is an excellent example of what I'm talking about.

    "Melissa Harris-Perry is an accomplished academic."
    Really? Wow, she needs to get her money back because it's plainly obvious that the education that she received has made her pretty dumb.

  • the sceptic

    Is Borosage Jewish? Why is it that 90% of the time when I hear some radical leftist that's white, they are jewish? Jewish people are just 3% of the population of the US, but massively disproportionate on the extreme left of opinion making.

    Read the book "culture of critique" by professor kevin macdonald. Jewish people need to wake up. Communism sucks and so does the extreme left. If you like communism so much, move to cuba.

    • Anon

      Borosage is not Jewish. Nor is his wife Barbara Shailor, Hillary's Communism Czar at the State Dept

  • Ghostwriter

    What world is Ms. Perry-Harris living in? Three thousand Americans die and we don't have the right to be angry? Is she out of her mind?

  • Oleg

    This is typical of MSNBC, which is why their ratings are basically in the trash can, grab every leftest looser they could find that failed at everything else, and give them a talk show. MSNC is really how Mark Levin describes it, it's like watching a never ending parade of mental patients in a padded cell through a peek hole, except they have TV cameras present and when each inmate comes on with their psychotic ravings they call it "The This Show" or "The That Show".

  • mrbean

    Yassah, dah white mans dun keepin us down. I beez Buckwheat's sista and Ah beez edjumacated in Black Studies at Harvawd wher dah professaw Dupont dun tolt meh dat white mands beez dah vlue eyed debil. Yassah, yonowatahmsayin' mettt…..mettttt….mettttt.

    • Ghostwriter

      Sadly mrbean,it's people like you who give people like Melissa Perry-Harris ammunition to call conservatives racist. You're not funny. I'm not laughing. That post belongs in 1912,not 2012.

  • @rushetteny

    Here's footage of the Take Back America Conference from 20 years ago

    [The 90's Election Specials raw: DNC 6] http://mediaburn.org/video/the-90s-election-speci… via @mediaburnvideo

  • Glennd1

    Another aspect of such scholarship is that it isn't at all uniformly agreed to across disciplines that study man. Anthropologists and historians aren't nearly as certain about the overwhelming centrality of race in determining outcomes in society. No, that kind of overreaching, blind, rage-filled self-righteous worldview cannot exist in a truly scientific context – it is innately political. It demands that the current set of affairs is unacceptable and needs "change" – a priori. Just hold on to that single thought for a moment, how utterly anti-intellectual it is. For more on how baseless most of the "science" the likes of MHP – and most of her friends in all the social sciences – is, see Jim Manzi's book, Uncontrolled for great insight about how badly most of the research that drives this theoretical drivel is.

    That's what galls me most. The data and theories these Progressive preachers go on and on about are nowhere near true, nor predictive but still they are used as to justify the wildest of conclusions and accusations. What is most amazing his how a mixed race women who's gone to the nations finest educational institutions, has her own TV show and is a mini-celebrity in her own world can somehow miss how she herself achieved all that success. Why did she try to get good grades? Why didn't she cut class and instead to extra work? Why did she go meet the professor during office hours to talk about the things she didn't understand? I could go on, but you know she knows what I mean. Her entire life is given by exceptional personal effort, simply copying the habits of all successful people in America – black or white, man or woman – and voila, she's a wild success. Why is it that she thinks others can't do what she did? Does she think she's somehow better than the other, poor, oppressed minorities? How did the oppression not keep her down?

  • Dennis Metz

    What is so pathetic is the fact that it is ok to point fingers and talk about whites, when blacks have had and use whites as the enemy for years. funny how blacks after preaching to whites for years not to be racist and accept them can say that white america needs a n enemy while blacks and black leaders have made a living making whites the enemy. that is their motivation for their people

    it is sad that blacks are the first to point finger for things they are masters at. in case any one missed it the university of minnasota deluth http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/spec
    they talk about white privilige but I bet you wont ever see a black leader say he is ashamed or any black say they are ashamed they got a job they did not deserve because of affirmative action

  • Dennis Metz

    white people are the only people stupid and ignorant enough to be intimidated into being ashamed of their race, blacks have worked very hard to make sure whites are ashamed of themselves and have to prove they are not racist while blacks sit back and laugh will they remain racist and live on affirmative action programs

  • Dennis Metz

    so all those welfare hoe hoes that are putting out 6 to 15 kids per hoe and forcing the taxpayers to spend millions on new schools , feed and cloth them and send their mammy to college while they pay day care for the little kids is all made up in someones mind? wow I guess the WTC building burning was all a mirage and the thousands that died at the hands of terrorist. or was it an inside job as many would have us believe?

  • Arius

    Marching moron alert! Melissa Harris-Perry is a member.