Melissa Harris-Perry MLK Day sighting

Seems to me former MSNBC host and Wake Forest University professor Melissa Harris-Perry has been out of the spotlight for a while now. Just in case you’ve missed her, however, she was the speaker at the 39th Annual MLK Noon Hour Commemoration at Union Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. While Harris -Perry did honor Martin Luther King’s efforts to secure the franchise for African-Americans, she used the opportunity to take a few shots—namely at the winston-Salem Journal, President Trump and –last but not least–her employer:

Institutions such as Wake Forest University benefited from slavery, from the unfair labor practices of Reynolds (Tobacco Co.) and from North Carolina’s racist policies over the decades, Harris-Perry said. “(WFU officials) are not even being called to task for the decisions they are making in our neighborhoods,” she said.

There is no widespread call for WFU to pay reparations, she said. And no one is questioning WFU about its labor practices toward its most vulnerable employees, she said.

At WFU, food-service workers are fired every summer, and then rehired when the students come back in August, Harris-Perry said. As a result, the employees and their children live in poverty during the summer, she said.

“Children are starving in the city of arts and innovation,” Harris-Perry said.

I honestly don’t know if Harris-Perry has tenure at Wake Forest, but there has t be some reason why she would openly slam her employer in public–apparently without fear of losing her job. I have to wonder how many working people out there–the ones Harris-Perry supposedly is standing up for–believe they have that luxury.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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