The Blaze’s Erica Ritz Contributed To This Report

According to MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-PerryMSNBC Host Melissa Harris Perry Says 9/11 Gave America an Imagined Racial Enemy

  • 9/11 vaulted America into a “nationalist fervor” that was similar to “having post-traumatic stress disorder”
  • Makes racial joke about African-American men wearing NYPD hats
  • 9/11 provided an opportunity for a new “racial enemy” in America
  • America “identifies who we are…through our notions of whiteness and of the racial enemies that are the non-whites”
  •  9/11 gave America a chance to shift its racial hate from “Reagan’s ‘welfare Queen’” to “imagine” our enemy as ”somehow Muslim, or Arab, or Sikh, or something else.”
  • Americans an ability to “stomach a kind of horrific racial violence in the name of national security”
  • Those that are “activating terrorism against us” are “imagined racial enemies”

During a speaking engagement Monday, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry made some startling accusation concerning 9/11 and Americas War on Terror.  Perry, who anchors The Melissa Harris-Perry show on the weekends, remarked that 9/11 vaulted America into a “nationalist fervor” that was similar to “having post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The former neighbor to President Obama even used a racial joke to make her point, saying she knew the city was suffering from PTSD because “for about a year, there were African-American men walking around the city of New York with NYPD hats on. That can only be explained as a PTSD response.”

The Tulane Professor of Political Science continued, noting that 9/11 provided an opportunity for a new “racial enemy” in America, explaining:

“Americans in part identify who we are, and who deserves what, through our notions of whiteness and of the racial enemies that are the non-whites.”

She noted that the terrorist attacks gave America a chance to shift its racial hate from “Reagan’s ‘welfare Queen’” to another “imagined” racial enemy that was “somehow Muslim, or Arab, or Sikh, or something else.”  This gives Americans an ability to “stomach a kind of horrific racial violence in the name of national security,” which Harris-Perry notes is a repeating part of American “history.”

Harris-Perry was speaking to the Take Back The American Dream Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday:

 

Some quotes from Melissa Harris-Perry:

  • “Americans of course responded in very typically American ways to [terrorism], something that many people in the rest of the world had already experienced.  We began with a kind of nationalist fervor that was justified as reasonable patriotism.”
  • “I’d like to point out that we clearly must have been having post-traumatic stress disorder because for about a year after September 11th, there were African-American men walking around the city of New York with N.Y.P.D hats on– that can only be explained as a P.T.S.D. response.” 
  • “The other thing that happens in that moment, I don’t want to miss this, is that a new version of what America typically needs emerge, and that is a racial enemy.  Americans in part identify who we are, and who deserves what, through our notions of whiteness and of the racial enemies that are the non-whites.
  • “And in this moment, the new racial enemy became not so much Reagan’s ‘welfare queen,’ who was imaginary, but instead this imagined other that is somehow Muslim, or Arab, or Sikh, or something else.”
  • “We became willing to stomach a kind of horrific racial violence in the name of national security.  It is something that we have been willing to stomach as a people over and over again in our history.”
  • “The Patriot Act was not an act of a Republican president acting alone.  The Patriot Act was a bipartisan decision by both parties.  It was not bought and paid for by corporations; it was bought and paid for by our fear.”