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Melissa Harris-Perry Dismisses The ‘Haters’ And ‘Welcomes’ More Debate On MSNBC Promo

The morning after defending her much-talked-about MSNBC promo on All In with Chris Hayes last night, Melissa Harris-Perry made what she (and others) see as a faux-controversy her top story on her own show. “I’m Melissa Harris-Perry,” she began, acknowledging her new-found fame. “Yes, that Melissa Harris-Perry.”

“So, what I thought was a relatively benign statement about the need to invest more resources into the public education system,” she said after replaying the spot, “has caused quite a conservative commotion.” She then played some of the more outlandish criticism that appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, The Five, Hannity and elsewhere and concluded that the firestorm is “not really about me,” saying she doubts her critics think she really “wants to take their children into my household.” She also dismissed the notion that “some people are just haters” as a little too “easy.”

Instead, Harris-Perry first decided to focus on the line that she believes drew the most outrage: “We have to breakthrough the idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families.” She assured her viewers the she believes that families should have “first and primary responsibility for their children” but she also believes children are “not our private property… they are independent, individual beings.” Since that is essentially a “philosophical” argument she turned to the larger issue of the spot, which does have political consequences: “the balance between individual rights and collective responsibilities.” She explained:

“This isn’t about me wanting to take your kids, and this isn’t even about whether children are property. 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. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years.”

Ultimately, rather than dismiss the criticism of her 30-second promo as frivolous, Harris-Perry decided to heighten the conversation and “welcome” more debate on the larger issues she brought up from those who disagree with her. “This debate isn’t about me, but it is about us.”

Watch video below, via MSNBC:

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