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Political commentator and Wake Forest University professor Melissa Harris-Perry recently underscored what many African-Americans sentiment know to be true past occupants of the White House.

Bottom line: The presidency has had its share of racist, sexist men throughout history, so the election of Donald Trump, despite his documented incidents of racism and sexism, is not a shock.

“I am not even vaguely surprised by the idea that sexual assault would not be a disqualifier for the American presidency,” Harris-Perry said during a panel discussion on gender in the 2016 election hosted by the Atlantic on Tuesday.



According to Vox, she was responding to a question from the Atlantic’s Peter Beinart about why Trump’s infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape didn’t seem to make a difference with voters.

“In fact I was mostly irritated every time people would say, ‘Oh God, we can’t have a racist be the American president.’ Because I kept wondering, ‘Since when?’” Harris-Perry continued, to laughter in the crowd. “In fact, for most of American history, racism has been a prerequisite to win the American presidency. One had to actually demonstrate one’s racism in order to become the American president. And the same was certainly true of sexism, and even of sexual assault.”

Democratic pollster Margie Omero, also on the panel, said that preliminary research from the University of Maryland found that calling out Trump’s racism “did nothing to change the views” of “whites who were harboring a bit of racial resentment.”

When it comes to gender and Trump’s many alleged sexual assaults, some voters found Trump’s behavior acceptable, or at least not disqualifying, because they didn’t really expect anything different.

“It was no surprise to women in our focus groups that men behaved badly,” Omero said. “Just like there was no surprise to men.”

Harris-Perry summed up the events of 2016 by calling it a “more normal election cycle than you might otherwise have expected.”

Watch the entire panel discussion below:

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17 thoughts on “Melissa Harris-Perry Wants To Know Why Folks Are Surprised By A Racist President

  1. As a longtime resident of Winston-Salem, NC it’s nice to see a Wake Forest University professor hitting the “big time”….(even though I went to Duke and we are rivals during basketball season)…please give my best to everyone in Winston-Salem, miss all of you ladies on Liberty Street and Church’s Chicken! And of course my friends Suz, Donna, Denny and everyone else! Melissa Harris-Perry has a good point: racism, sexism, and hatred of “others” are part of human nature, along with love, friendship and kindness.

  2. Me, and a friend have decided that 1/3 of people who voted for Trump are racists; 1/3 are people who believe Trump when he says he’s going to create millions of jobs (not realizing that the job situation is very complicate, i.e., Greed by owners, and stockholders, automation/robots that have eliminated millions of jobs that are never coming back; and the last 1/3 some people voted for him just for the hell of it, some to see what he will do, lots of life long Republicans that will vote for the candidate… matter who that candidate is, and some people voted for him because they don’t want a female President, and some voted for him simply to go against the grain. Not to mention those that voted because he said he’s going to make America great again…..I’m SMH wondering when it stopped being great. Look around the world folks ,

  3. specialt757 on said:

    Prior to President Obama, there was only a few that weren’t racists, so most of them were. So surprised? No, it’s to be expected. What is more surprising is that we have a p****y grabbing elected president. His election set women back another 100 years and just when we thought things were getting better for us, we elect a admitted sexual predator to lead our country, what a shame.

    • Because the Race Baiters and the Grievance merchants told us to
      And since many of us aren’t capable of objectively thinking for ourselves we just do what we’re told, like the Plantation Neg**** of the past

    • Black people are NOT afraid of Drumpf. We just know that he is NOT going to do ANYTHING to help ANYBODY who is not in his league . If you can’t tell by the way he’s picking unqualified people to run his different cabinets, then just you wait and see. Can somebody tell me how in the hell did Ben Carson become qualified to run Housing would it be because he claimed that he lived in the projects. Where he claimed that he grew up at does not have projects on that side of town. I was born and raised in Detroit and older than Ben.

  4. FallMornings on said:

    Be careful who you call a “Devil”. Since you are not the All Mighty you cannot make that claim. As far as anyone on this thread, YOU could be a Devil.

    • Theduke on said:

      So could you. It easy to identify the devil, you simply examine his or her behaviors. Not a complex scenario at all and this guy exemplifies the devil. If you are defending him, then you’re absolutely the devil!

  5. No wonder MSNBC shipped this DUMB BROAD off to obscurity, I knew she was batsh!t crazy when she appeared on her now defunct so called news show wearing those tampon ear-rings

    • huff she is speaking the truth. That’s why MSNBC didn’t like her because she didn’t accept their bs.
      This man is the most sexist racist crooked doesn’t give a dayum about anyone but himself jerk!
      Calling her dumb is just as sexist as trumpbucket because she’s an intelligent smart black woman!
      Wipe your mouth you have trump butt juice running donw it!

      • Well if I hear that Trump was ditteling an intern in the oral office I will censed he is “sexist” as for MHP being an “intelligent” black woman I revert back to the tampon ear-ring fiasco it’s also funny how intelligent black conservative woman are referred to as stupid, Ignorant etc. For their beliefs and WikiLeaks over the summer exposed who the
        crooked racist were (DNC e-mails) not only did Debbie Schultz have to go but the first black female DNC head (Donna B.) stepped down amongst SCANDAL hell Olivia Pope couldn’t save there azz’s

  6. L, hopefully this past election will serve as our wake up call that we must stop the hate and divisiveness among ourselves and rally around each other, be positive influences for each other, support our own businesses and pour our trillion-dollar spending back into our own neighborhoods. We have the fortitude – – we only need to act upon it.

  7. Eisenhower was a POS–he would not even respond to Mamie Till’s letter regarding the brutal murder of her son , Emmett Till in the summer of 1955.

    Next you had JFK who did not want the Negroes having their March on Washington back in the 1960’s.

    Then there was Nixon and is bogus “War on Drugs” –Then Reagan with his “just say no drug policy”, as shipments of CRACK were being pumped into the hoods across Amerykah.

    No, people of color have seen these DEVIL’s before. Therefore, we now know how to deal with them–IGNORE their ignorant asses!!!!–Focus on our ISSUES/MAINTAIN SELF!

    It is time for BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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