For progressive racialists like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, everything is seen through the lens of victimization and race, while every descriptor is really a code-word for racism.
In today’s example, Harris-Perry was interviewing Latino conservative activist Alfonso Aguilar about Rep. Paul Ryan, who will likely soon be Speaker of the House. When Aguilar described Ryan as “hard-working” (which anyone who’s followed Ryan knows is true), she interrupted him to ramble on about how this was somehow possibly unfair to slaves and working mothers:
Harris-Perry cut in to tell Aguilar that the use of the term “hard worker” was problematic since she had a picture of slaves working in cotton fields on her office wall to remind her of when to really use that term. Her rambling response also included an attack on Republicans for demonizing working mothers.
“I just want to pause on one thing,” she said. “Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, 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. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do.
“But in the context of relative privilege, 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.”
She then went on, over Aguilar’s protests, to slag all Republicans as being the demons she was conjuring in her imagination.
This from a woman who once wore tampons as earrings on national television:
Yep. I’m going to take her seriously. You betcha. Gravitas, man.
More seriously, Harris-Perry, far from being an intellectual, is herself intellectually trapped within the racialist framework the Left has built over the last 60 years. She can’t conceive of any other way of seeing the world other than through a lens of victimization and structural racism, so she employs a common weapon of the Left to browbeat and dominate her guest: deconstruction. Aguilar’s words don’t have their common meaning and they don’t mean what he intended they mean: Harris-Perry will instead tell him what they “really mean” –or at least mean to her, relativism making all opinions equal, no matter how asinine– thus implying that he and his fellow Republicans are racists, however unconsciously. Most targets of this, including, I admit, your humble host, will likely be taken aback by such an unfair imputation and stumble through lame denials, instead of cogently counterattacking. Thus the Left time and again wins the cultural battle.
At least in this aspect, they really are hard-working.