MSNBC’s Harris-Perry HALTS discussion; lectures ‘HARD WORKER’ acceptable term only for slaves, working moms

harris-perryMSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry brought talk of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as possible House speaker to a screeching halt when she admonished a guest’s use of the term “hard worker,” claiming that it diminished the experiences of slaves.

During a discussion, Saturday, of the likelihood of Ryan succeeding Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, as speaker, conservative Latino activist Alfonso Aguilar referred to Ryan as a “hard worker,” which brought Harris-Perry’s hackles to the surface.

“If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan,” he said. “Not only works with the Republicans but Democrats. You know very well that I work on [the] immigration issue, trying to get Republicans to support immigration reform … This is somebody who’s trying to govern.”

Harris-Perry jumped in on Aguilar’s word choice.

“I just want to pause on one thing, because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role,” she said. “But I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker.’ Because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.”

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She then brought working mothers into the mix while Aguilar looked completely flummoxed as to what she was talking about.

“But in the context of relative privilege,” Harris-Perry said, “and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working. But, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.”

Aguilar wasn’t the only one bewildered. Viewers were as well, beginning with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch.


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