Yvette Carnell: The Despicably Sexist Mocking of Melissa Harris Perry
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Yvette Carnell: The Despicably Sexist Mocking of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry by the Right Wing

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Yvette Carnell: The Despicably Sexist Mocking of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry by the Right Wing

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I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; racism and sexism have just as much to do with double standards as they do with hatred. Not all sexists hate women, and not all racists hate black people. What racists and sexists do  have in common is that they hold blacks and women to a much higher standard than their white male counterparts.

It is certainly possible that a racist hates you for being black, mostly because hate is the most extreme manifestation of any -ism, but hate is not a necessary prerequisite for being pegged a racist or a sexist. And that’s the danger and insidiousness of 21st century bigotry isn’t it? That bigots no longer engage in full frontal attacks, as in 60’s signs that read “Stop the Race Mixing” and “Grand Imperial Wizards for Goldwater.” Isn’t this what makes modern prejudice so hard to grab hold of?

The fresh faced WASPS don’t assail you for just being black, or female, or whatever else they’ve chosen to hold in low regard. Not at all. They do, however, make it a practice of describing women and minorities in ways that make it perfectly reasonable to assesss them as being without any redeemable qualities. They then turn right around and award white men, mostly conservative white men, with Profiles in Courage for engaging in the exact same behavior they reprimand minorities for exhibiting.

A prime example is how Melissa Harris Perry is being caricatured as a hysterical black woman for stating the obvious – that being poor in America is riskier than, well, anything. Right wing rag Breitbart.com posted the video, along with the headline, “HYSTERICAL MSNBC HOST’S ON AIR MELTDOWN OVER BUSINESS OWNERS.”

But hold on, does anyone remember CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s rant on the floor of the stock exchange? He went ballistic, even going so far as to call Americans who’d gotten caught up in the Wall Street engineered mortgage crisis “losers”. Was Santelli, a CNBC analyst who makes his living carrying water for Wall St, lambasted as hysterical for lashing out against the American people on national television? LOL! Of course not. To the contrary, he was credited with being a catalyst for the Tea Party movement.

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Black woman gets angry – she’s a hysterical nut job. White man gets angry – he’s a true American hero. See how it works? Oh. And it also doesn’t matter at all that Santelli was dead wrong and Harris-Perry is dead right. As I’m sure you know by now, the right has gone into the business of making up its own facts as well.

I’ll leave you with a bit of Santelli’s disingenuous rant, as well as Melissa Harris Perry’s righteous eruption, and you tell me who’s crazy:

 Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.


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  1. Elizabeth

    September 3, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    This is a white game. They do this all the time. A white woman is assertive, they call an African-American woman bossy.

    Whites have trigger words they use and they are good at it because they are taught to lie from birth.

  2. Ben

    September 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I’d like to suggest that we Blacks and other People of Color, stop calling ourselves “minorities” and therefore stop feeding the thought that we are “less-than” whites, which in many ways leads to our being marginalized. These white boys (I never call them white men) know that we are stronger and smarter. This is why they like to refer to us as minorities…….it helps them feel better about themselves. Have you noticed that of all the things they call the President, they have never called him dumb. It is his smartness and Blackness that drives them out of the stupid minds.

    • Shelton Howard

      September 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      I feel you Ben. The subliminal messages are very strong, and indeed, they are all around us. For instance, “Santa Claus.” This just feeds into the psyches of all our children, priming them to admire white skin. I feel you “Bro.”

    • Regina

      September 3, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      I have never called myself a minority. I always remind YT that they are the minority and they don’t like it.

    • Jaydub

      September 3, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Minority just designates your NOT majority status in this country. I am not feeling your angst regarding this issue. I wish I understood it.

  3. leh

    September 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    and the prettiest woman on TV – ever – just love her!


    September 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I watched the entire show saturday morning, and her passion was felt by all. She got caught in the moment, and expressed what the Democratic Party is about versus the Republican Party. The Democrats are for the people and the Republicans are only for special interests groups and it appeared she is tired of this. Unfortunately, she did what Dylan Ratigan did about a year ago, and now his show is gone. I hope they don’t take her show away, because she is spot on and I enjoy watching her. I enjoyed watching Dylan too.


    September 3, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Passion is passion. Neither one is crazy. I just don’t trust some in power, they tend to sling it around unnecessarily.

  6. Cortez

    September 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    BEN. I agree with u. We as blacks need to stop referring to ourselves as minorities. I never have and never will see myself as somebody’s so called minority. Hell im a grown ass strong Blackman not some child. These white devils love to throw a label on people of other races especially us blacks and we accept it without ever questioning it. Wake up Black people and start using your common sense. We need some
    serious deprogramming. Anybody can be A devil but white folks are THE devil. History proves this.

  7. Gloria Y Fredericks

    September 3, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    We are now in an era where facts don’t matter, the truth doesn’t matter, wrong is accepted as right, and making up one’s own “facts” is embraced as gospel. It has long been the case where Blacks are demonized just because of their skin color. Case in point, two or three Black people in conversation about a serious matter, it is reported as a threatening group, but two or three hundred noisy White people will be reported as engaging in a spirited conversation. Remember the reporting on Katrina, Blacks were “looting” but Whites were “helping themselves.” Will Black people ever be judged fairly or given credit in these United States of America? Not with the mentality of the republican brand of White people.

  8. KW

    September 3, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Great piece!

  9. Dee

    September 3, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Even Popeye got fed up! That’s when he said “that’s all I can stands, I can’t stand no more.” I watched the video too and Melissa was just fed up! I don’t blame her.

  10. Thomas

    September 4, 2018 at 10:10 am


  11. Printice

    September 4, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Astute young women such as Yvette Carnell, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Mechelle Alexander bear a serious listen to. They have their finger on the pulse of the racist tactics of the twenty first century, and the evolution of these tactics. Back in the late sixties when I was passing through an elective sociology class we hit upon the subject of mores and the “racism” aspect. It was concluded in our class discussions it would take several generations of integration for racial acceptance among the populace. However, there would always be some sort of separation within our society. What I see has happened, the children of former Klansman, Birchers,and other separatist, are educated and running our corporate structures and local governments.

  12. Printice

    September 4, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Part 2
    These same people will try to vilify you when you call them on their racist tactics. As I’m sure we have all noticed our children black and white have developed a lot of similar characteristics, mannerisms, and social awareness to the changes happening. I refer to the Ariana Huffington, Rachel Madow, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Roland Martin, and others that are holding up that societal mirror.
    I feel what we have reached that point in American history where a caste system will develop if we as a society allow it. You all know what needs to be done because you are being made aware daily.


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