Tag Archives: MSNBC

Mixed People Monday – Melissa Harris-Perry

This is one sharp lady.

This is one sharp lady.

The MSNBC talk show host and college professor has a white mother and a black father, though she self-identifies as black.

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So What Determines Your “Race”?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

Good Lawd.

From Gawker:

Former Democratic strategist Karen Finney, who was once the first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, was revealed today to be the new host of a 4 p.m. weekend show on MSNBC. Good for her, and good for MSNBC, which adds Finney, pictured at left, to an already diverse roster of talking heads that includes Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton.

Don’t mention Finney’s race to Tim Graham, however. Graham, a so-called media “watchdog” for the conservative Media Research Center, doesn’t think it’s fair for MSNBC to herald Finney’s entrance as an arrival of another African-American host—y’know, considering her skin is so light and all.




Finney has a black father and a white mother so she is actually mixed. However, much like President Obama, Finney has the right to self-identify however she chooses. What is most interesting to me though in situations like this, that show once again how silly our “race” notions are, is that the key to determining if is is ok for her to be called black (or African-American) is her lighter skin and straighter hair. But Graham has no problem labeling Obama as black (also black father and white mother) presumably because he has darker skin and less straight hair.

So I guess this is kind of an admission that what your parents are has nothing to do with your “race.” Just how you look.

Just silly. I say again people, there are no different “races,” just different blendings.


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Mixed People Monday – Alex Wagner

A very bright lady.

A very bright lady.

The MSNBC host, one of my favorites, has a  mother who is is an immigrant from Rangoon, Burma and  her father is from Iowa, and is of German and Irish descent.

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The Power of Language and Ethnic Differences

Slip of the tongue?

Man oh man, some people still haven’t gotten over the fact that President Obama is just that, the President. And with a new election coming up, I imagine things are going to get oh so crazy, again.

The latest slips of the tongue came from Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn and conservative commentator Pa Buchanan. Whether or not these slips are racial or just a subtle indicator of old habits of speaking that just won’t go away, the fact is they show that deep below the surface there are still ways of thinking and talking that we hope fade away as soon as possible.

To read and hear what they said, click here. Regardless of the apologies that of course came afterwards, I am sure you’ll agree, such speech is a sign that for some, the acceptance of a new, more colorfully mixed world of power and influence has not sunk in. Language is indeed an important component of moving our world forward.

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