Squeals Melissa Harris-Perry, on her MSNBC show, going to a break, just after displaying picture of Mitt Romney's family that includes a black adopted child and inviting her panel to "caption" it, which they do with mockery like, "It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person."
The line I quote in the post title, above, was delivered without a trace of awareness that the segment she'd just overseen would prompt the cry "Hey, that was racist!" I have no idea what the "Hey, was that racist?" stuff after the break turned out to be or whether Melissa Harris-Perry — if we were to look more broadly at her efforts — has been doing any good work in the enterprise of making race consciousness something that can be joked and bantered about in a relaxed and friendly way.
I see I do have a tag for her name, based on an article she wrote in The Nation in September 2011. I blogged about her perception that "A 'more insidious form of racism' — replacing the old 'naked, egregious and aggressive' racism — is now undermining Barack Obama." She thought — as I paraphrased it — "that people loaded race into their positive feelings for Obama, and now they have a special race-based disappointment."
Quite aside from racial politics, I thought children were off limits. Here you have an MSNBC panel segment planned around laughing at a baby. We scrupulously avoid using Obama's daughters as raw material for jokes. Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?
UPDATE: More apologizing — replete with tears — here.