Melissa Harris-Perry was featured in a recently-aired advertisement for MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” campaign.
MSNBC and theGrio are both a part of NBC News which is owned by NBCUniversal.
In the 30-second commercial, the talk show host shares her thoughts on why caring for children is not just a job for parents but also a responsibility that requires more accountability and effort from the broader community.
“Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility, we haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children,” she says. “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 recognizing kids belong to whole communities.
She also argues that public education is in need of more investment to yield any future growth.
“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always hard sort of a private notion of children,” Harris-Perry says. “Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the households, then we start making better investments.
Addressing the critics
Her “collective” approach to child raising has sparked some criticism among Republicans including Sarah Palin, who called the ad “un-flipping-believable.”
Tony Perkins, the head of the conservative group Family Research Council (FRC), also found fault with Harris-Perry’s statement calling it “insane, but a reality of the way the left thinks, the way the way they view our children.”
Taking to her site to address the “hateful and personal attacks” she has received, Harris-Perry penned a detailed response saying, “I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them.”
She added: “Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.”
Follow Lilly Workneh @Lilly_Works