On Christmas Eve, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a photo of himself, his wife Ann, and their gazillion grandchildren.
In response to the photo, an MSNBC panel, conducted by the infamous Melissa Harris-Perry, proceeded to mock one of the grandchildren, young Kieran Romney, who is adopted and black.
“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” panelist Pia Glenn offered as a caption for the photo, which the Romneys tweeted on Christmas Eve. (Lyrics of the original Sesame Street song are, “One of these things just doesn’t belong.”)
“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Glenn said.
Comedian Dean Obeidallah joked that the baby is a token.
“It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person.”
Of course, these people were excoriated, and why not? Good grief, it’s like reading the banter of elementary school children! And the panelists show themselves to be what they claim to denounce: those who would isolate a child who is externally different from most of his family members–than most of his countrymen.
After taking a well-deserved Internet pummeling, Harris-Perry–who is half white and half black herself–put forth an apology.
Now, she is taking an Internet beating for that, but that’s just gratuitous.
But there’s something even more disturbing than the behavior of Harris-Perry and company. That something is the logic implicit CNN’s Dr. Marc Lamont Hill’s commentary on this incident. From Right Scoop:
Some would say maybe that it’s an exploitative picture that they’re exploiting the kid by hauling out this black person …
Embedded in this seemingly ridiculous notion is a frightening idea: that Kieran Romney’s race was bound to be mocked and that his grandparents, knowing that he is different, set him up for ridicule by publicly acknowledging him as their grandchild.
The notion of “some,” that the Romneys are exploiting the child by including him in a family photo and by sharing it, is merely a foundation–a fabricated pretext to shift the blame from the MSNBC panel to the Romneys for the actions of the former.
The Romneys should have never post the photo; or they should have never included the child in such a photo. But because they did, the Romneys deserved what they got from the MSNBC panel…according to Dr. Hill’s logic.
“You deserve to be assaulted because you tempted us by wearing that short skirt/being out too late at night/leaving your meat uncovered. Wear a burka.”
“You and your grandson deserve what you got. He got mocked because you showed him to us. Don’t try to exploit him again by include him in pictures with your white grandchildren and we won’t be tempted to mock him or you.”
Right. The buck-passing never stops with these people.
(h/t The Other McCain)
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!