At a recent forum at the University of Michigan, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry explained to her audience that white people will never understand why things are racist, because they lack an innate “racial trigger,” that instantly tells them when to be outraged.
Harris-Perry, on the other hand, has a very finely-tuned racial trigger.
“I know that this moment is racist because it trips my racial trigger, because it makes me feel nauseous,” she said, according to The Michigan Daily. “I’m not generally angry, but you just made me mad.” (RELATED: MSNBC’s top offensive moments, in the hosts’ own words)
While lamenting that her ‘white allies’ would never be fully able to understand the way black people feel, she nevertheless maintained that a faculty more committed to discussing racial issues would help improve white people’s understanding of racism.
“Part of the answer to how you begin those conversations is you bring more faculty in who are teaching these courses, who are well-resourced, who are not visitors, who are not adjuncts, but who are actual faculty,” she said.
Harris-Perry’s talk was intended to kickstart Black History Month, which begins on Feb. 1. She lectured for three hours about the history of the civil rights struggle and the problems facing black people today. The audience frequently cheered and applauded her remarks.
Racial issues at UM have increasingly been in the spotlight lately. A group of minority students, the Black Student Union, recently made seven demands of the university administration and then threatened “physical action” if they were not accommodated. The university caved almost immediately and offered to renovate the campus multicultural center to the tune of $300,000. (RELATED: UMich meets demands of black students who threatened ‘physical action’)
Meanwhile, libertarian students on campus can’t even convince the administration to grant them access to a small amount of money from the vast pool of mandatory student activities fees. (RELATED: College’s ‘neutral’ policy stiffs libertarian students, funds their opponents)