Over on MSNBC we learned something interesting from liberal activist and host Melissa Harris-Perry during a discussion about the idea of Paul Ryan becoming the next Speaker of the House. When her guest Alfonso Aguilar mentioned that Paul Ryan was a “hard worker,” Harris-Perry told him top be careful because calling someone a hard worker is totes racist!
“I just want to pause on one thing because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker.
I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.
In the context of relative privilege when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care… we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them sucking off the system.”