Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘I’m Sick Of The Idea That Being Wealthy Is Risky’ [Video]

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry got into a heated discussion about welfare and the misconceptions associated with the topic.

On her show Saturday morning, MSNBC news anchor Melissa Harris-Perry grew visibly frustrated over a guest’s assertion that the “big thing” missing in the President’s “you didn’t build that speech” was an emphasis on taking risks, raising her voice and slamming down on her desk as she gave an impassioned rebuttal insisting that, no, the real risk is in being poor in America, reports Mediate.

Harris-Perry started a discussion based on a new book titled “Why Americans Hate Welfare” by Princeton professor Martin Gilens.

According to the anchor, the book examines public opinion surveys that found that Americans approve “spending for the social good,” but oppose that spending when it’s labeled as welfare.

According to The Huff Post, Harris-Perry wondered how this could be the case.

“The answer, according to Gilens…[is] that Americans hate welfare because media, at the behest of conservative politicians, have relentlessly linked welfare with black people, and have hammered home the idea that welfare recipients are undeserving.”

Then the MSNBC Host contrasted this theory with Mitt Romney’s GOP convention speech on Thursday, in which the Republican presidential candidate said that Americans deserve better.

“It does feel to me [that] part of the American story is class mobility. If there is no class mobility, we are not America, right?..And data now shows that in our current moment, class mobility is very low,” Harris-Perry said. “I just feel like, from the bottom, you have to be able to say, ‘I deserve the ability for class mobility.’

However, financial expert Monica Mehta, who was among guests on Harris-Perry’s show, interjected that class mobility is “enabled by taking risk.”

“What is riskier than living poor in America?” Harris-Perry erupted in response. “Seriously! What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America?”

She continued after slamming her hand on the table: “I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t.”

“I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness,” Harris-Perry said.

Later on in the show, Harris-Perry offered an apology for “losing my temper earlier,” adding that it’s been a particularly hard week.

Harris-Perry described the property as a site of crime in her neighborhood, so her goal was to rebuild the home and contribute to the safety and security of the community. Harris-Perry called the home “just a physical thing” but also a “symbol of hope.”

Just a few days after the segment aired on her MSNBC show, Harris-Perry’s new home was destroyed by Hurricane Isaac, as you may be aware. “House was vacant except for my dreams,” she tweeted.

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