On Thursday, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell and his guests discussed the “Finger of Fury” Arizona governor Jan Brewer gave President Barack Obama after greeting him on a tarmac this week.
Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell called Brewer’s move “impolite,” noting that Brewer didn’t have to accept the invitation to meet him in the first place. But, “if you’re there, you treat the President with respect; you don’t point a finger in his face.” If you’re angry with him or need to hash something out, he continued, do it inside. Not to mention that good relations with the President could be of enormous benefit to Brewer’s constituents, the people of Arizona. “So it’s dumb,” he summed up, “and it’s disrespectful.”
O’Donnell expressed amazement over how long Brewer and the President actually spoke with one another. “And he wasn’t talking most of the time,” he added. “She was doing most of the talking.”
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, meanwhile, said the image of Brewer wagging her finger in the President’s face reminded her of the famous 1957 photo of Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan. The photo, taken as black students made their way into the newly-integrated Little Rock Central High School, shows Hazel yelling at Elizabeth to “go back to Africa” as she made her way to school:
Harris-Perry said she was reminded of the photo not because the meeting between Brewer and the President depicted racial tension (although that’s probably going to be people’s go-to assumption when you compare an image of a white woman shouting at a black man to a very famous, even iconic, image from the civil rights era) because Hazel later confessed to having been sort of “caught up in the frenzy” of the moment and “enjoyed the show” of being able to yell at Elizabeth.
Have a look, via MSNBC:
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