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MSNBC Host Snaps in Heated Segment: 'What in the World Is Riskier Than Being a Poor Person in America?


"I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky.  No! ...Being poor is what is risky!"

(Photo: MSNBC)

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry apologized for "losing [her] temper" Saturday morning after snapping at a panelist over the president's "you didn't build that" speech.

The panelist said the president neglected to mention the risks taken by entrepreneurs in his now-notorious speech, when Harris-Perry slammed her hand on the table to say the real risk is taken by the poor in America.

She demanded to know:

“What is riskier than living poor in America?  Seriously!  What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America?  I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner.  I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t.  I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky.  No! ...Being poor is what is risky!

We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness.”

Watch the extremely heated exchange, below (skip to 8:16):

The commentator who provoked the reaction looked a little uncomfortable, while panelists who presumably agreed with Harris-Perry seemed sympathetic to her outburst.

"I'm sorry, but you know the whole notion of 'job creators'...consumers are job creators," comedian and CBS contributor Nancy Giles responded, after saying she agreed with Perry.  "We're the ones who make, the ones who help make, business, and who help make industry."

There was little discussion of how dangerous it is to be poor in the rest of the world compared to in America, or of how objections to a bloated social safety net have nothing to do with how people look.

While MSNBC noted Harris-Perry's apology, they also directed readers to her Facebook and Twitter pages where, they note, viewers were seemingly supportive of the rant.

"It's up to you as to whether or not you wish to accept that apology," they write.

(H/T: Mediaite)



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