Kirsten Andersen

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MSNBC host digs in heels over controversial PSA claiming children belong to ‘whole communities’

Kirsten Andersen
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NEW YORK CITY, April 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is digging in her heels in the face of public outrage over her recent PSA telling viewers that children belong to “whole communities,” not just their parents.

“We’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and your responsibility,” she said in the 30-second spot. “We haven’t had a very collective notion of ‘These are our children.’ So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that ‘kids belong to their parents’ or ‘kids belong to their families,’ and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

When pro-family and conservative commentators objected to the anti-family, collectivist tone of the ad, Harris-Perry released a statement calling their criticism “hateful” and said she had “no intention of apologizing” for her remarks.

In a follow-up segment on her show Saturday, she dug in even harder.

“I can see that some people are genuinely upset about what I actually said,” she said, but added, “I stand by that statement.”

Said Harris-Perry, “I believe our children are not our private property, they are not just extensions of ourselves. They are independent, individual beings.”

Harris-Perry claimed the ad was meant to highlight the role of society and government in child rearing. 

“This isn’t about me wanting to take your kids, and this isn’t even about whether children are property,” she said. “This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good,” she said.  “And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years.”

Conservative commentators slammed her remarks, comparing her views to those of Karl Marx, the Nazi party, the Soviet Union, and even Chairman Mao Zedong. 

“This is Marx, Engels, ‘The Communist Manifesto,’” said radio host Rush Limbaugh. “The nuclear family has always been under attack by communists, by leftists. The nuclear family has always, just like religion, must be destroyed and in its place, the community, collective.”  Added Limbaugh, “Melissa Harris-Perry, what she is saying here is as old as communist genocide.”

Limbaugh wasn’t alone in comparing Harris-Perry’s views to communism.  “The notion of collective responsibility for children,” wrote Newsbusters’ Ken Shepherd, “was a philosophy that undergirded the Cultural Revolution in Communist China under Chairman Mao.”

Political strategist Robert Lee, writing for PolicyMic, said that Harris-Perry’s collectivist views on education bear striking similarities to philosophies adopted by the Nazi party and the Soviet Union during the 20th century.

“Melissa Harris-Perry is demonstrating some of the most evil views about family and society,” Lee wrote Monday, “and there is no quicker route to destroy and dehumanize individuals than through a collectivized education system.”

“This belief system that children start to belong to the community at large is what served as the foundation for many of the most horrific acts the world has known,” Lee added.  “The idea that children can be disassociated from their parents is a dangerous precedent to collectivism, which will result in nothing less than a crumbling society.”

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