On MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show Saturday, a few minutes after the host’s emotional apology for a racially-charged segment on last week’s show, panelist Katrina Vanden Heuvel renews the charge that Republicans are racists.
The panelists are discussing populist sentiment in America as part of a discussion about the election of Bill de Blasio in NYC. The discussion spans a commercial break, and in the second half, Katrina Vanden Heuvel is addressing the idea that Republican populism has been successful in stirring up emotion and movement based on a message of lower taxes and limited government. Vanden Heuvel essentially says that yes, the right has been successful, but because racist.
“But I do think the right-wing populism of the tea party not only became so on obsessed with an anti-government meme, but let’s be honest. there is a race … racism threaded through the right-wing populism, I mean which is not unusual to American right-wing populism, that has not allowed for coalitions that could be built on behalf of working people in this country against the most powerful interests.”
Let’s be honest, says Vanden Heuvel. It’s not unusual, she elaborates. Where have we heard this point of view before, I wonder?
Host Harris-Perry quickly steers the conversation, suggesting that rather than focus on the contemporary Republican party, they look back at populism historically. She says that in the past it was more obvious and accepted and “in fact was in the Democratic party, right, where it was happening at that time.”
Later in the segment, New York Post editorial writer Robert George suggests that racism played its part in part in both right wing and left wing populism, even calling out the unions, but Vanden Heuvel will have none of it. “Not today though,” she insists. “Not today.”
No, today, the only racists are in the Republican party. Which is the exact sentiment that led to the segment for which host Melissa Harris-Perry only just apologized this morning.
And around we go …
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