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Melissa Harris-Perry is hardly "America's foremost public intellectual" (Ta Nehisi Coates)

Here's yet another reason Ta Nehisi Coates (see the link) isn't credible: he says Melissa Harris Perry of MSNBC is "America's foremost public intellectual". Not only that, but he's willing to play the race card to defend his claim [1].

Intrigued, I watched a few Harris-Perry ("MHP") videos. Unless there's some side of her that doesn't come through on those videos, she's hardly an intellectual, she's just another pro-Barack Obama, pro-Democratic Party hack.

On the first video [2], MHP discusses the decision by the Associated Press to drop terms like "illegal immigrant" in favor of Orwellian locutions like "immigrant living in the U.S. illegally".

MHP says their move is "no small thing, especially when it inspires this". The video then cuts to an outtake from the Fox News morning show discussing the change. On that clip, Steve Doocy says the move is the AP's way of doing "cheerleading, trying to push immigration reform in Congress".

MHP than lauginghly says, "the AP is pushing immigration reform in Congress. Listen, I know conspiracy theories are fun, but they are usually false. What the AP's move reflects is a change in tide in the way journalists are thinking about immigration." She then says NBC has the policy of using "undocumented" and that the "Nerdland" (i.e., her show) policy is that "no person is illegal". She says, "[illegal] is not a term that can be conferred on a body". She then says that the AP's shift is "essential" and that abolishing the use of illegal is "key". And, "when we apply the term 'illegal' to a human being, what we're saying is that their body can be against the law, just by being in a particular place. For example, in the 1960s when four young men sat down at a Woolworth's lunch counter..."

Calling that unthinking is being too kind. The idea that the establishment media isn't heavily in favor of and "cheerleading" for amnesty is absurd. See the dozens of posts at the AP link above, noting that there are many other examples that haven't been placed on that page yet. See the hundreds of entries about specific reporters and other news sources. And, see the boilerplate propaganda on the PIIPP and crops rotting in the fields pages. It's nearly impossible to find an establishment media report about immigration that isn't pro-mass immigration, pro-amnesty propaganda of one degree or another (anyone who disagrees is urged to back it up by sending specific counter-examples to me @24AheadDotCom; take all the time you need).

The phrase "no person is illegal" and MHP's related comments are things that a child would say. The adjective "illegal" is in fact used in many cases to refer to people, and in those cases the goal isn't to dehumanize them but to point out that they're engaging in illegal activity. That topic has already been dealt with in great detail on the immigration terminology page for the details. That page lists some examples of "illegal" as an adjective referring to people; like "illegal alien" none of those cases dehumanize the person in question. No one thinks that the bodies of illegal aliens are against the law. Obviously, people can be illegally in a particular place (trespassing and so on) and the presence of many illegal aliens is in fact illegal (generally, those who've previously been deported).

One wonders exactly what MHP means when she calls the Orwellian change "essential" and "key": to what exactly? If she's saying that it's key to immigration reform, isn't she admitting that Steve Doocy was right?

Note also that America's Top Public Intellectual seems to think something that angers Fox News must be right. If that's actually her position, she's being illogical.

And, of course, Perry ends her editorial by playing the race card rather than realizing that the context of black Americans under Jim Crow laws is entirely different from that of illegal aliens: the first were citizens denied their full rights, the second do not have the rights of U.S. citizens and generally speaking have no right to enter or remain here illegally. As a Top Public Intellectual, why can't MHP understand that key difference?

On the second clip [3], MHP played a heavily-edited clip of Rush Limbaugh saying two nice things about Marco Rubio, saying that "Limbaugh and Rubio are on board with immigration reform". In the interview, Limbaugh was very flattering to Rubio, but saying that Limbaugh supports amnesty is quite a stretch; even when he was carrying Bush's water, he didn't fully agree with him on amnesty.

On that clip, MHP just sits there as "Democratic Strategist" John Rowley refers to those in the Tea Parties sphere using anti-white language ("the angriest, the whitest, the oldest men in America, where they are, and they're not good on immigration") and as he downplays the impact of immigration on the amount spent on social welfare programs. Apparently a discussion of immigrants using welfare at a higher rate than natives isn't nerdy enough for America's Top Public Intellectual.

MHP also just sits there as Michael Wildes - immigration lawyer and former mayor of Englewood, New Jersey - launches into a long, misleading diatribe in support of immigration reform. Wildes gives the deportations false choice, falsely saying of immigration reform, "we can't afford not to do this". He then engages in the Lazarus fallacy. Wildes says from the "hospitality corridor to the urban corridors to the suburban corridors of our nation, we need help. We need all hands on deck. The entrepreneurial, the risk takers in our nation's history has always been immigrants". America's Top Public Intellectual just sits there, without challenging any of Wildes' fallacies; one can almost see him breath a sigh of relief when he realizes he isn't going to be challenged. MHP doesn't point out to him that we do not in fact need "all hands on deck" when referring to illegal aliens, we need more Americans to be employed rather than millions being unemployed or having left the job market altogether. MHP doesn't call him on his degrading comments about American citizens, as if we couldn't get anything done without immigrants. MHP doesn't discuss the differences between higher-skilled immigration and the lower-skilled variety.

Wildes rhetorically asks MLP who's going to build the border fence; MLP laughs and replies "undocumented immigrants". That old line packs a punch: it shows the low regard media elites have for manual labor, the low regard they have for that labor done by Americans rather than foreign serfs, and, frankly how borderline un-American they are.

The star of that segment is Raul Grijalva, a far-left extremist proud of having been a member of the racial separatist group MEChA. Obviously, America's Top Public Intellectual isn't about to call him on being a member of racial separatist group.

On the final video [4], Amy Goodman presents the standard, false, far-left line on separating families. See the link for what MHP didn't point out to her. Goodman also uses the stock line that Obama has deported more people than any president in history. That statistic appears to be deceptive [5], due to what might charitably called an accounting trick. Even Obama has admitted as much [6], but don't expect MHP to follow his lead.

Then, MHP makes the point that Obama's supposed high deportations record gives him credibility to push amnesty. That is hardly an original idea; George W Bush tried it for eight years, as large numbers noted at the time (e.g., Rich Lowry in 2005 and this site many times).

In case anyone thinks Melissa Harris Perry is America's Top Public Intellectual or close to it, I want to hear about it. Send me a tweet to @24AheadDotCom giving me an example of her intellectualism on immigration, and I'll respond by showing how she's wrong.

Want to take action? Search for those who talk to @MHarrisPerry or @MHPShow and make the points above to them. Feel free to offer them the challenge in the last paragraph.

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[1] weaselzippers . us/?p=167084

[2] youtube . com/watch?v=mhafFyUIBvk

[3] youtube . com/watch?v=-2wiK38aNCA

[4] youtube . com/watch?v=lQ5A4mZ349w

[5] cis . org/Announcements/Obama-Deportation-Claims-Disputed

[6] cis . org/vaughan/actually-a-little-deceptive

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 05:01 · Importance: 4