Melissa Harris-Perry v. Rahm Emanuel: Her open letter to the Mayor

Melissa-Harris-Perry put her ignorance on display in her open letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Screen Shot/MSNBC

CHICAGO, June 2, 2013— Who can forget Mellissa Harris-Perry’s over educated know nothing’s despicable rant about the “community” owning our children, as if they were slaves of the collective. 

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is 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. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”  


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Children belong to their families until they are adults. They are totally the family’s responsibility. The community, village, government, states, or whatever has no proprietary interest in our children. This is not some kind of private idea. The communal or village ownership of children is a primitive idea notion. We are not primitive villagers.

It does not take a village to raise children. It takes families. 

Investments? We are already spending or wasting too much money on education as it is. The problem is not how much money is spent or allocated. The problem is all that money is spent. Most money for education is wasted on useless bureaucrats who inhabit the Education Industrial Complex. The children are short changed. 

Of course Melissa Harris-Perry was allowed to get away with her nonsensical and insulting drivel because she is a celebrity entertainer on MSNBC. Celebrity news entertainers are allowed to say anything, no matter how ridiculous, egregious, or stupid, and get away with it. 


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Melissa Harris-Perry is on a ranting roll, again. She pointed her frothy soup coolers at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in an open letter format. You can like or dislike Mayor Emanuel. You can agree or disagree with his governance of Chicago and his policies.  There is a lot to love, hate, agree and disagree with, just like with all elected officials. At the very least, you should be informed. 

It would help if Melissa Perry-Harris was from Chicago, lived here for a while, or had a scintilla of knowledge about Chicago’s history, especially its political history. Perry-Harris is a member of the entertainment news media. In the entertainment news media ignorance is bliss. The less they know the more blissful they are. 

Melissa Harris-Perry knows nothing about Chicago. She does not live here, never lived here, and apparently never studied its history. She knows nothing of its neighborhoods, people, culture, or anything else for that matter. What she does know how to do is craft babbling broadsides putting her cluelessness on display. 

Her appalling lack of intelligence was revealed in this statement, “And students are not the only ones who suffer when a school is closed. It also robs a neighborhood of an institution that is often the heart of a community…” 


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Chicago public schools have never been the heart of any community, unless there was a large Chicago Park District park next to or surrounding them. The parks were the heart of the communities. Chicago Public Schools were never meant to be hearts of communities. This talking point was recently fabricated by the Chicago Teachers Union.  It is called the Village People Theory. 

Schools are designed to educate children. They are not and never have been community centers, social centers, gathering places, or village squares. From Chicago’s track record, the public schools cannot even educate children. The graduation rate is the same as it was five plus decades ago. The functional illiteracy rate is the same too. 

Worse, Melissa-Harris-Perry could not help playing the race card, dealing it from the bottom of the deck. The race card is all know nothings have when making scurrilous accusations. 

The schools Mayor Emanuel closed are in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. This was not a racial or racist decision. The under performing and under utilized schools just happened to be in those neighborhoods. If there were poor schools in other ethnic or racial neighborhoods they too would have been closed. What Melissa-Perry-Harris left out is a few of the best and over utilized schools just happen to be in those same neighborhoods. Some are public, some private, and some charter. 

What she also left out is the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public School System refuse to learn how private and charter schools can get great results while spending less money. Harris-Perry is from the school of replicating failure instead of imitating success. 

Chicago is a segregated city. The reason for segregation is not racism and has not been for decades. Middle class Blacks and Hispanics can move anywhere in Chicago they choose to. If they choose to live in segregated communities they are to blame for segregation, not the mayor, not the useless aldermen, and not other people. 

What Ms. Perry-Harris left out was the total lack of leadership of Chicago’s Black and Hispanic politicians and so-called civil rights leaders and political preachers. They are to blame for segregation in Chicago too. They preach segregation. They make it politically palatable and correct. They keep people where they want them. “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”, is their power and financial base. 

If Blacks and Hispanics dispersed and assimilated to other parts of the city the useless Black and Hispanic politicians, so-called civil rights leaders and political preachers would have nothing. 

Since 1955 Chicago mayors have tried to reform public education. It has been a monster roller coaster ride. They have fought the political special interests, the unions, and other groups who profit financially or politically from the failing school system. In Chicago there is only one political concept- power and money. 

Now, it is Rahm Emanuel’s turn. It took courage to do what had to be done. It took fearlessness to act where others were too cowardly. Emanuel was frank, blunt, and to the point in his words and deeds. He did what he believed he needed to do. 

Emanuel may not be the first Chicago mayor to tangle with the complex, but he is the first to use words and actions to put children first and the adults where they belong, at the back of the line. He deserves his chance, for better or worse. 

Because the people of Chicago need a mayor who is a fighter–just one who’s fighting for, not against, them.” 

What the people of Chicago do not need is a babbling dithering bobble head with nothing to offer except a pretty face and the ability to read scripts telling Chicago’s mayor what Chicago and its people need. Melissa-Harris-Perry should stick to what she knows if she ever figures out just what that is. 

By the way, her village called. They want their idiot back.


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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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