MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Charges 9/11 Gave Americans 'Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome'

The host of MSNBC's weekend program The Melissa Harris-Perry Show used a racially charged speech on Monday to claim that the events of 9/11 sent America into a “nationalist fervor” that resembled post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

While addressing the liberal Take Back the American Dream Conference in Washington, D.C., Harris-Perry asserted that “for about a year, there were African-American men walking around the city of New York with NYPD hats on. That can only be explained as a PTSD response.”

According to a video published by The Blaze, the Tulane Professor of Political Science also said that the terrorist attacks gave people in the United States the ability to “stomach a kind of horrific racial violence in the name of national security,” something that “we have been willing to stomach as a people over and over again in our history.”

Americans, of course, responded in very typically American ways to [terrorism], something that many people in the rest of the world had already experienced. We began with a kind of nationalist fervor that was justified as reasonable patriotism.

Harris-Perry added that “the other thing that happens in that moment, I don’t want to miss this, is that a new version of what America typically needs emerges, and that is a racial enemy,” which includes Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs, “or something else.”

She added that “Americans in part identify who we are, and who deserves what, through our notions of whiteness and of the racial enemies that are the non-whites.”

The weekend program host then turned her attention to the USA PATRIOT Act, which stands for “Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism” Act of 2001.

That legislation “was not the act of a Republican president working alone,” Perry said. The law was the result of “a bipartisan decision by both parties. It was not bought and paid for by corporations; it was bought and paid for by our fear.”

We have to remember that it was our collective angst that gave permission to Democrats in the House to rally behind Republicans in the White House under the banner of nationalist patriotic security with the goal of both reducing our civil liberties and giving us an entrance into what at this moment is an everlasting war.

“We made those choices,” Perry noted to tepid applause from the audience.


From there, she summarized all of her points by discussing one of the nation's worst disasters, Hurricane Katrina, which “shamed us into an anti-war stance.”

From September 11, 2001, until about September 4th, I'm gonna give it, of 2005, we are trying to participate in the nationalist patriotic fervor against the imagined racial enemy that is those others over there that are activating terrorism against us right until the levies failed, we realized that we've allowed our own citizens to drown, to die, to dehydrate on camera, and we go “Oh!”If you can't get water to an American city for a week, how can you prosecute a foreign war?

I find it interesting that Harris-Perry uses events after 9/11 to promote the concept of America having an “imaginary” enemy, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, were in no way “imaginary,” nor were they caused by “imaginary” people.

Nevertheless, as NewsBusters previously reported, Harris-Perry regularly uses racial terms to make her points, even on the first day of her weekend program on MSNBC. During her debut on February 18, the liberal host joked about one of her guests being “the last black Republican left in the party.

Randy Hall
Randy Hall