MSNBC's Harris-Perry: Blacks Still Not Seen as American Citizens

"Refugees" in America

On MSNBC Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry argued that African-Americans are not seen as American citizens by the public. 

During a segment on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Perry and her guest, University of Connecticut's Jelani Cobb, agreed about the popular perception of African Americans. Harris-Perry really got things rolling when she noted that the term "refugees" was used to describe those in need of rescue in the aftermath of the destructive hurricane. The implications, she maintained, is that African-Americans aren't really citizens.   

"I'll never forget just how difficult those images were of New Orleanians literally wrapped in American flags or waving American flags and being labeled not as Americans needing rescued, but as refugees," said the host. "They're literally showing, displaying their sacrifice as citizens and we still couldn’t see them as Americans."

Cobb tried to connect the "refugees" of Katrina with Walter Scott and other African-American victims of (white) discrimination, who must struggle to "establish" their "humanity." The truth, argued Cobb, is that African-Americans really are "refugees" in America. 

"The problem wasn’t with the idea of people being called refugees, it was that it was an honest depiction of what people's status actually was," said Cobb. "If you are a citizen, is there any question someone should shoot you in the back like with Walter Scott? If you are a citizen, a true citizen, a human being, is there any question whether you should be shot for going into the store for skittles and iced tea?"

Harris-Perry is a recent TR Media Hall of Shame inductee for, among other things, helping former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal push her "transracial" narrative, mocking Mitt Romney for having an adopted black grandchild, and claiming that the minimum wage kills workers and telling a university audience she hoped Trayvon Martin "whooped the sh*t out of George Zimmerman."

Video via Breitbart News