While discussing the efficacy of a hypothetical Speaker Paul Ryan, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry cautioned guest Alfonso Aguilar against using the phrase “hard worker,” implying that it is somehow offensive to African Americans.
“I just want to pause on one thing because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker,'” she told Aguilar.
“I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.”
“In the context of relative privilege,” Perry added, “when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care… we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them sucking off the system.”
“Really, y’all do,” Harris said in reference to Republicans and conservatives.