Black News

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry Defends Obama’s Mostly White, Male Cabinet

by Yvette Carnell

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry chimed in on the controversy surrounding diversity in President Obama’s cabinet and, as usual, Melissa Harris Perry (2)sided with the president. In making her case, Harris-Perry also took a moment to take a dig at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

She told MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts that, although Obama’s inner circle is comprised of mostly white men, the president is likely to surround himself with people with diverse views and opinions. Then she brought up Clarence Thomas, and said that although he is black, he does not represent the views of the “vast majority” of African-Americans.


“I think we want to be careful, because no one wants to assume that any given physical body carries with it a set of political ideas,” Harris-Perry said.

“You know, Clarence Thomas sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States does not mean that Justice Thomas is representing, necessarily, the positions, the issues, even the Constitutional interpretation that is shared by the vast majority of civil rights organizations and by the vast majority of African-Americans,” she continued.

Although it is true that no particular physical body carries a predefined set of ideas, it is just as true that people who have experienced s*xism and racism first hand are more familiar with it, and often much more likely to take action against it.

Harris Perry, however, seems perfectly willing to put the plight of African-Americans and women into the hands of white males who she feels are better able to represent our views. It is odd to hear an African-American woman argue against more African-Americans having cabinet positions and high level positions at the White House.  Is that really what we’ve all worked so hard for in the Civil Rights movement, so that white men can represent us in the halls of power?


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