So, I've been asked, quite a bit, about what I think about the Melissa Harris-Perry controversy, and I've been consistent in my response: the segment turned offensive, quickly, MHP and some of her panelists owned up to it, Melissa apologized multiple times (including on-air) in a heartfelt and no-nonsense manner, and we should all just get over it and move on.
Because the MHP show has done a lot for the Black community, including my family. They focus on issues people of color face that many news outlets either ignore or extort. And though I'm not a big news-watcher (I have three kids under age five, and most of which is one news is too violent, graphic, aggressive for my children), I was hot over the Fox News segment when several reporters laughed about and insisted that Santa (and Jesus...) were White and to diversify Santa is just ridiculous. Um, ok.
What MHP has done for the Black community far outweighs a one-time screw up.
Back in August, I had the honor of being on the MHP show on a segment on transracial adoption and the importance of being educated and racially literate. It went exceedingly well.
When THE NATION requested a statement from me regarding the MHP controversy, I readily complied, happy to state my views on the subject.
I've been criticized for being on MHP (oh-my-gosh-Rachel-didn't-you-know-she's-pro-abortion!). Or, MSNBC is for liberals (aka, people who don't give a lick about God). And here's what I have to say: if you only interact and engage with people who are exactly like you, you are living a very small and very un-Jesus life.
And to not forgive a person who apologizes genuinely and without excuse, well, that's not very Jesus-y either.
I want to live a big life. A life where I meet people who don't think like me. A life where I can teach and be taught. A life where I embrace new experiences while being grateful for the past. A life where I don't hold on to hurts. A life where I am setting aside every single thing that doesn't keep me on the path to the life God has for me. A life where I am not distracted by the voices of those who seek to harm me or my family. A life where accepting "I'm sorry" brings both parties relief and joy...and the only place to go from there is forward.
I admire MHP now more than before. No, I don't think exactly like her or agree with everything she says. But I am thankful to have sat next to a woman who has a heart for transracial adoptive families, who knows when to apologizes, and who knows how to be strong and use her intellect, her grace, her presence, and her power to empower others.
For more on strong people, read this article: Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid