I Love Melissa Harris Perry

Perry responds to the faux outrage about her MSNBC ad, which basically says everybody should want good schools in their communities and be willing to pay for them:

My inbox began filling with hateful, personal attacks on Monday, apparently as a result of conservative reactions to a recent “Lean Forward” advertisement now airing on MSNBC, which you can view above. What I thought was an uncontroversial comment on my desire for Americans to see children as everyone’s responsibility has created a bit of a tempest in the right’s teapot. Allow me to double down. 

One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities. 

I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together. 

So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear. 

We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions. 

But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it.”   Emphasis added.

Too often, we respond to the crazies by backing down, when we need to double down.  And I just love that “you know it” at the end — calling them out on their crude calculation, which should never be mistaken for confused concern.

Perry wants to live in an America where no one is ignorant.  Her attackers want to keep the ignorant constantly outraged over nothing.

 

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