Melissa Harris-Perry | The Nation

Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry

 Race, gender, politics, religion and our struggles.

Did Ferguson Police Violate Human Rights During the Protests?


At the onset of Ferguson’s protests, Amnesty International USA deployed observers to monitor police interactions with the demonstrators. On October 24, the human rights organization released “On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson,” detailing the human rights concerns raised by the actions of law enforcement and public officials during the initial protests. The report highlights the excessive use of militarized policing, including tear gas, loud sirens and rubber bullets, and how these tactics posed real threats to the demonstrator’s right to protest. Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel—including Aisha Moodie-Mills, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Jelani Cobb, associate professor at the University of Connecticut, attorney Raul Reyes and civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom—discuss the Amnesty report and the Ferguson protests’ ongoing legacy.

—N’Kosi Oates

Why Did This Florida Inmate Die—And Who Killed Her?

Julie Brown

A month ago, Latandra Ellington wrote a letter to her aunt from the Lowell Correctional Institution in Florida, saying, “He told me he’s going to beat me death. He was all in my face, then he grabbed his radio and said he was going to bust me in the head with it.” The 36-year-old African American inmate was extremely afraid of one of the people whose job it was to keep her safe during her imprisonment: a correctional officer. Ten day after she wrote the letter, on October 1, the mother of four was dead.

Though the circumstances of her death are still unclear, a private autopsy revealed that Ellington suffered from force trauma in her abdomen consistent with being kicked or punched. Appearing on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show,Miami Heraldinvestigative reporter Julie Brown dives into the details of the case, explaining that Ellington was just one of four inmates to die while in the state’s custody at Lowell in 2014. 
—N’Kosi Oates

The Ebola Crisis Has Revealed Just How Unequal Our Healthcare System Is

Thomas Eric Duncan

Thomas Duncan was the first person to die from Ebola on American soil. He was also a 42-year-old Liberian immigrant, and his nephew Josephus Weeks argued in an open letter in The Dallas Morning News that, because his uncle was a man of color with no health insurance, “Thomas Eric Duncan was a victim of a broken system.” As Melissa Harris-Perry explains, “America does not have one healthcare system. It has many.”

—N’Kosi Oates

What Will Protect Black Americans From Police Violence?

Melissa Harris-Perry

Over the last few months, videos chronicling aggressive interactions between police officers and black people have gone viral. From chokeholds to taserings, to being shot and killed, the police have been caught again and again subjecting black Americans to disproportionate violence. But, as Melissa Harris-Perry explains, all citizens are protected by the fourth amendment, which states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...” Are these videos doing anything to guarantee this right?  
N’Kosi Oates

Can Ferguson’s Protests Build a Nationwide Movement Against Police Violence?

Mychal Denzel Smith

It has been more than sixty days since the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This past weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets for the beginning of Ferguson October, a series of events meant to kick off an organized movement against police violence. On Saturday, Mychal Denzel Smith joined the Melissa Harris-Perry show with editor-in-chief of GlobalGrind.com Michael Skolnik, and the author of Impolite Conversations, Cora Daniels, to discuss the movement building in Ferguson. “Justice is not just confined to whether or not Darren Wilson is arrested and whether or not he is indicted,” Denzel Smith explained. “Justice is the other demands—how we shift police culture and how the interactions between young black people and the police go from here forward and I think that’s the bigger movement.”
—N’Kosi Oates

Roxane Gay Is a Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay on MHP show

“We need more voices out there telling their stories,” says Roxane Gay, author of the New York Times bestseller Bad Feminist, “no matter what those stories are, whether they fit a convenient narrative or not.” On Sunday, Gay joined Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss pop culture, race and embracing an imperfect feminism.
—N’Kosi Oates

Is Corporal Punishment a Form of Domestic Violence?

MHP on corporal punishment

Last week, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child after using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son, prompting conversations about the morality—and efficacy—of corporal punishment. In America, corporal punishment isn’t illegal: In fact, it’s legal in every state. Nineteen states permits corporal punishment in schools. Roughly 70 percent of Americans support the use of corporal punishment. Although physical disciplinary actions are common throughout the US, the ramifications are rarely highlighted. On Sunday, Melissa Harris Perry and her panel, including Camilo Ortiz, the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Stacey Patton, explored why so many parents still rely on corporal punishment.
—N’Kosi Oates

Why Black Women Matter

Melissa Harris-Perry and Ntozake Shange

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the groundbreaking choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. The author of that acclaimed work, Ntozake Shange, joined Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday morning to share her thoughts on the Ray Rice controversy and her groundbreaking piece, and says that since the time of her poem, “domestic violence has gotten worse.”
—N’Kosi Oates

How the Voice of Janay Rice Has Been Silenced by the Media

Melissa Harris-Perry

Since footage emerged of Ray Rice physically assaulting his then-fiancée Janay Rice in a casino elevator, we have heard the voices of the Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Yet in the wake of such attention, Janay Rice’s voice has been almost entirely unacknowledged by the media. On Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel discussed domestic violence, sports and privacy.
—N’Kosi Oates

Mychal Denzel Smith: You Have to Upend the Entire System of Racism

Nation contributor and Knobler Fellow Mychal Denzel Smith joined Nancy Giles and Karen Finney on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show this weekend to discuss his cover story for The Nation on youth movements fighting for racial justice. Smith invoked the killings of Michael Brown in St. Louis, Oscar Grant in Oakland and Trayvon Martin in Florida to argue that a more connected, national movement is required to seriously combat America’s racist policing attitudes and policies. “You have to upend the entire system of racism and white supremacy that is the defining characteristic of American philosophy and government,” said Smith. He praised groups like the Black Youth Project and the Dream Defenders for getting out in the streets and forcing elected officials to address issues, like privatization of juvenile detention facilities and racial discrepancies in marijuana arrests, that have devastating consequences for youth of color and their communities.
— Hannah K. Gold

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