MSNBC's Harris-Perry Crusades Against 'Voter Suppression' of 'Transgender Americans'

MSNBC doesn't just oppose voter-ID reforms on behalf of blacks. In an interview with the DC gay newspaper The Washington Blade, weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry insisted "voter suppression efforts continue to impact transgender Americans." It came with a lot of leftist lingo.

“They don’t look like what their photo IDs are,” she said. “So if they are self-presenting in front of an election official and they have an ID that says male or female and they’re sort of gender self-presenting in a non-conforming way, of course you end up with the possibility of shame or embarrassment or not being believed to be who you are.” They also don’t have birth certificates with names and gender markers that “are not informative of what their current life is.” Biological truth is an ideological lie:

“All of those things impact the ability of people to have the kind of state-issued ID that is allowable in a lot of these states around voting,” she said. “And so the idea that a person would be a perfectly eligible American citizen who has an opinion about voting and is kept out of it because of those sorts of issues — it goes to the heart of helping us understand that these efforts are really voter suppression efforts, not efforts to keep the election process above board.”

Wouldn't it be easier for election monitors if the "trans voter" presented themselves at the polls in a way that resembled their photo ID? Common sense never gets in the way of the libertine Left.

Harris-Perry complained that some minority actvists are very cool in advocating for "trans people" on this issue. She said she has a better understanding of the issue because she said “her gender non-conforming niece frequently confronts questions when she presents herself as male, but her student ID lists her gender as female.” 

“Because I am tuned into that, I have a sense of it but I don’t think that it has been part of our civil rights framework to say wait a minute yes, race is important here, but here’s how race is at the intersection of all of these other identities as well,” said Harris-Perry.

“We’re only just kind of getting to the back end of the third wave of the feminist struggle. So part of it is ignorance, but that’s only part of it. The other part of it is for many folks they are actively homophobic and disinterested in whether or not these sort of suppression efforts impact LGBT communities and as a matter of political strategy they think talking about it is a bad idea for building the coalitions they hope to build for social action.”

On the other hand, the Tulane professor/MSNBC host is very confident that black voters will not punish Obama for backing gay marriage, and in fact Obama’s stand has caused “evolution” in the black community. From there, Harris-Perry expects Obama will follow up his vague support for gay marriage with action, with “additional evolution on policy.”

“It is completely clear to me that African American voters are not going to be punishing this president for this position, even if they are not in agreement with him on marriage equality,” said Harris-Perry. “He is not going to lose black voters. There’s been no evidence of the president losing African American support.”

She added she feels Obama’s position has actually caused others within the black community to evolve on the issue — the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Board of Directors passed a resolution in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples less than two weeks after the president publicly backed it during an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts. Hip hop mogul Jay-Z and rapper 50 Cent subsequently backed the issue.

“It’s a signal to queer communities that this president is in a position where in a second term he will back-up this evolution in personal opinion with an additional evolution on policy,” said Harris-Perry. “Certainly with compared to his opponent, the choice is exceedingly clear now and there’s no doubt from that my perspective that’s helpful. This is a president who’s going to go down in history no matter what. From the moment he’s elected he was going to be in the history books, so let’s be in the history not on the side of the restriction of civil rights. It doesn’t really go that well for anybody, ever.”

Harris-Perry had been scheduled to moderate a "town hall on voter suppression and discrimination" during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual Legislative Conference in Washington on September 20, but "she remained in New Orleans after Hurricane Isaac destroyed her home late last month." 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis