The Mirror

MSNBC panel makes Romney’s black grandchild the punchline

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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How uncomfortable.

On Sunday, as reported by TheRightScoop blog, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry had her guests weigh in on various pictures with “captions.” One of the pictures was of Mitt Romney and his clan that displayed his adopted black grandchild on his right knee. Guests proceeded to make fun of the fact that there’s an obviously black child in the obviously white Romney family.

Just in case anyone is confused here, Harris-Perry is black. Ironically, her 2011 book is Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America. According to her website, the book argues that persistent harmful stereotypes profoundly shape black women’s politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.

“Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?” Perry asked, hoping that one day the Romney grandchild will marry Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s child, Northwest. One of her guests, a white male, cracked, “I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party.”

During the segment, guests laughed at the picture, with one female guests singing, “one of these things just isn’t the same.” Harris-Perry did not specifically make fun of the child, but she laughed along with her panel. She called the child “gorgeous.”

TRS‘s Caleb Howe was incensed that the stereotype of Republican Party being devoid of black people appeared to persist on the MSNBC show.

“Ah the never tired accusation, borrowed from every single left wing blog and talking head during every gathering of two or more (or fewer) Republicans: He’s not a child adopted by loving parents prepared to provide him with a better life in keeping with the family’s values,” he wrote. “Nope. He’s just a token. A punchline, not a person. But it’s funny, because Republicans are racist, see? So it’s all fine!”