Thursday, April 11, 2013

MHP Blasted For "Caring for Kids" Remarks

What Melissa Harris Perry says in an MSNBC Lean Forward ad is not new. Hillary Clinton said it this way: "It takes a village to raise a child". In fact, she wrote a book about it.

In her new "Lean Forward" ad, the MSNBC host argues that the U.S. should invest more in public education. "We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we've always had kind of a private notion of children ... We haven't had a very collective notion of 'these are our children,'" she says in the ad. "So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that 'kids belong to their parents,' or 'kids belong to their families,' and recognize that kids belong to whole communities."

Last week, conservative media watchdog Newsbusters criticized Harris-Perry's ad for its notion of collective responsibility. Newsbusters' Ken Shepherd wrote that "the notion of collective responsibility for children was a philosophy that undergirded the Cultural Revolution in Communist China under Chairman Mao."

Shepherd was not alone in his dissatisfaction. On Saturday, Sarah Palin tweeted about her criticism of the ad: "Apparently MSNBC doesn't think your children belong to you. Unflippingbelievable."

Members of the conservative media attacked Harris-Perry throughout Monday, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

The Daily Caller's Jeff Poor reported that Limbaugh called Harris-Perry's comments were "as old as communist genocide." The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reported that Beck characterized Harris-Perry's comments as "My kids do not belong to me. My kids are not my kids. They’re the community kids."

It's hard to believe that Melissa got a ton of hate mail and nasty emails for suggesting that we all have responsibilities to the children in our communities.  Conservatives took her remarks as an attack on the nuclear family and an intrusion to the role of parents. She didn't retreat, rather she doubled down to defend her position.

Read her followup remarks on MHP Blog. Her comments are  well worth the time you'll spend to read them and they serve as a reminder of what so many of us experienced and learned in our communities.

Related articles:

New York Times

Huffington Post

No comments:

Post a Comment