John M. Becker

Thomas Roberts to MSNBC: We Can Do Better

Filed By John M. Becker | July 16, 2013 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bigotry, homophobia, intersecting identities, intersectionality, Melissa Harris-Perry, misogyny, MSNBC, prejudice, racism, sexism, Thomas Roberts, Touré

thomasroberts.jpgIn an on-air conversation yesterday about the George Zimmerman acquittal, MSNBC host Thomas Roberts said that his network should do more to highlight the experiences of people and groups who are "othered" in American society such as racial minorities, women, and LGBT people.

Raw Story reports that Roberts joined fellow MSNBC hosts Melissa Harris-Perry and Touré on a panel discussing the case's racial components and what they meant for the social contract in America.

Roberts and Touré noted the absurdity of a recent statement made by defense attorney Mark O'Mara, who claimed that Zimmerman never would have been charged if he had been black. Said Touré, "I mean, this idea that if George Zimmerman were black then suddenly he would invoke, what, black privilege and not have to go through all this? That's absurd."

Watch Roberts' epic reply, after the jump.

"When we talk about these laws, don't we need to do more about our social contract with each other in this country when it comes to being 'others'? Because when we look at this we can use this as a great pivot point to talk about race relations in this country. But being an 'other,' whether it's LGBT -- because you're then suspected of being a pedophile and a rabid disease carrier. And if you are a woman, well, you certainly don't have a right to your own body and your own reproductive health. Because if you do then you're just a slut who wants to sleep around and use abortion as birth control. And then if you're Hispanic, you're just a taker, you're not a maker, and you want to come here and have anchor babies and you just want to lay off the land [sic].

"And I want to challenge this network. We have to have an 'I am other' agenda and have a forum for it because 'others' need to unite to talk about this and figure out where we're going as a country. The social contract we have currently negotiated that is so wrong, and how this is happening in a country where we have this huge group of people that supposed to be a melting pot that we treat each other with such disdain that it's not even funny."

Translation: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Can I get an amen?

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