While it's performing a long overdue housecleaning, MSNBC should point its broom in Melissa Harris-Perry's direction and sweep her off the network for her anti-democratic, violence-advocating rant earlier this week at Cornell University.
Among other things, Harris-Perry told her audience that George Zimmerman deserved whatever injuries he received at the hands of Trayvon Martin in the violent February 2012 confrontation which began with Martin pommeling Zimmerman and ended in Martin's death.
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin in a jury trial in 2013. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it "found insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges" against Zimmerman. The Martin-Zimmerman saga has appears to have caused Harris-Perry to come utterly unglued.
In the video segment below, posted yesterday by T. Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner but originally uploaed at the Cornell Review, Harris-Perry said that she hoped Trayvon Martin “whooped the sh** out of George Zimmerman.” Viewers will note that many in the audience applauded. The separate segment which follows in the video reveals a person who is obsessed with "privilege" (HT Ed Driscoll at PJ Media):
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: I hope he (Martin) tried to stay alive. I hope he knew that he lived in a state with a stand-your-ground law and I hope he whooped the sh** out of George Zimmerman.
And it's not disreputable ... (audience applause obscures her words)
'Cause he encountered a stranger who was prepared to kill him, and you know how I know? Because he killed him.”
(Video moves to another segment)
That our bodies and voices, never forget that we are artists — That white bodies become black bodies when they creatively imagine themselves as a black body, a body that is vulnerable to be shed of its privileges. That hetero bodies can become queer bodies to the extent that they are willing to lay down with their queer brothers and sisters by shedding our privileges. That male bodies become meaningful bodies, not when they act in militarism and violence against female bodies, but when they act in solidarity with women's bodies.
We must never forget the part that our bodies and voices can make, because the artist is creatively maladjusted, just as the game called all of us ... (audio trails off)
The video above only scratches the surface of how odious Harris-Perry's presentation was.
At the Cornell Review, which describes itself as "Cornell’s only conservative and libertarian publication," Casey Breznick presented an extended and excellent critique of Harris-Perry's rant.
The people at MSNBC need to read every word of Breznick's write-up. The excerpts from it which follow expose her as an utterly self-absorbed, money-grubbing, unapologetic advocate of violence, and an opponent of democracy:
What a shame and an embarrassment for Cornell it was to feature MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry as the speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture on Feb. 23.
The event, titled “We Can’t Breathe: The Continuing Consequences of Inequality,” was ostensibly meant to serve as a thought-provoking reflection on contemporary race relations and the role the teachings of Dr. King should play today in light of recent elevation of racial tensions due to the cases involving Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice.
Instead, Harris-Perry delivered an hour-long comedy routine lightly mixed in, here and there, with some serious thought. Though she did reference Dr. King on numerous occasions, Harris-Perry clearly established from the very beginning that this event was really just about Harris-Perry, and not Dr. King, one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. After a humbling introduction delivered by Dean of Students Kent Hubbell, which referenced Dr. King’s 1960 speech at Cornell and also honored Cornellians slain in the Civil Rights Movement, Harris-Perry started off by taking a “selfie” with the audience behind her.
The event took place in Sage Chapel, with an audience of about 250 packed into the pews. Despite the sanctity of the setting, Harris-Perry could not resist herself in peppering curse words throughout her speech, some of which were obviously planned and not spur of the moment. At one point, she referred to her vision of democracy–that “democracy is for losers”– as “hot sh**” and later exclaimed she hoped Trayvon Martin “whooped the sh** out of George Zimmerman.”
What would Dr. King, a pacifist, think of those who champion violence in his commemoration?
... Though the audience laughed along with Harris-Perry when she joked about the Tea Party, George W. Bush, Beyoncé, Southern black culture, and Ithaca’s weather, most in attendance were hesitant to cajole along with her when she boasted about her honorarium no fewer than three times. At one point the MSNBC host even quipping she would “be down with lower taxes” because of all the money she makes from her speaking circuit.
The cornerstone of her presentation–aside from the cringe-worthy spectacle she was making of herself–was the idea that the country must “break bodies [in order] to perfect the union.”
... “We break bodies in order to… get to where we need to go,” she explained.
Here's the question for MSNBC's Phil Griffin: If this doesn't make Melissa Harris-Perry undeserving of a national network's air time, what in the world would?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.