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    It’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s children’s story, and she’s sticking to it

    It’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s children’s story, and she’s sticking to it

    No apologies, no regrets

    Melissa Harris-Perry made headlines when she made the now infamous statement:

    “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents”

    She’s sticking to that story, writing today Why caring for children is not just a parent’s job.

    Harris-Perry throws in the veritable kitchen sink of arguments, a little of caring for the children, her own experience as a Tulane professor, her upbringing, slavery, Native Americans, Newtown, and, er, reproductive rights.  Here’s the gist of it, but by all means read the whole thing:

    My inbox began filling with hateful, personal attacks on Monday, apparently as a result of conservative reactions to a recent “Lean Forward” advertisement now airing on MSNBC, which you can view above. What I thought was an uncontroversial comment on my desire for Americans to see children as everyone’s responsibility has created a bit of a tempest in the right’s teapot. Allow me to double down.

    One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities….

    I’ll even admit that despite being an unwavering advocate for women’s reproductive rights, I have learned this lesson from some of my most sincere, ethically motivated, pro-life colleagues. Those people who truly believe that the potential life inherent in a fetus is equivalent to the actualized life of an infant have argued that the community has a distinct interest in children no matter what the mother’s and father’s interests or needs. So while we come down on different sides of the choice issue, we agree that kids are not the property of their parents. Their lives matter to all of us….

    So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear.

    We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions.

    But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it….


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