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Melissa Harris-Perry: 'I Stand By' 'Kids Belong to Whole Communities' MSNBC Promo


"I believe our children are not our private property."



MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday strongly reaffirmed the sentiment behind her recent promotional ad for the network in which she declared that children are part of the collective.

Addressing the outcry on her show Saturday morning, Harris-Perry said it would be "too easy" to simply dismiss that some people are just "haters."

In the ad, Harris-Perry said that "We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities."

"I can see that some people are genuinely upset about what I actually said," she said.

She added, "I stand by that statement. Families have first and primary responsibility for their children. The private sphere of our homes and families deserves great deference in policy and in practice...but I believe our children are not our private property, they are not just extensions of ourselves. They are independent, individual beings."

Harris-Perry -- who is auctioning off the sweater she wore in the spot for charity -- said the ad "isn’t about me wanting to take your kids, and this isn’t even about whether children are property."

"This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years," she said.

She said a budget debate, after all, is "a conversation about finding the balance between rights and responsibilities -- private earnings and public investments."

"Our kids who will inherit our nation belong to all of us and we have a collective responsibility to them. I hit a nerve with a 30-second promotional ad, and the nerve that I hit is connected to the central nervous system of our democracy, at the synapses of civic engagement is the electrical current that forges our more perfect union."



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