MSNBC news host Melissa Harris-Perry was offended by the phrase "hard worker" during the Oct. 24 broadcast of her program (video below).
Alfonso Aguilar, of the American Principles Project's Latino Partnership, told Perry that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who may be the next House speaker, is a "hard worker," notes Mediaite.com.
Alfonso, I feel you, but I just want to pause on one thing, because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role.
But I want us to be super careful when we use the language "hard worker." Because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.
So, I feel you that he's a hard worker, I do, but in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out, that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working, but we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures, we call them people who are sucking off the system.
Aguilar seemed stunned by the connection, but Harris-Perry insisted: "Really, you all do. That’s really what you guys do.”
Aguilar countered, "That is very unfair."
Ryan won't be doing all that hard work alone. He has hired David Hoppe, a longtime lobbyist to be the head of his staff should he (Ryan) be successful in his bid to become House speaker, reports The Washington Post.
As the next speaker of the House, Ryan would have to deal with the very conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus who made Speaker John Boehner's tenure so difficult.
Hoppe used to be vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization, so he may serve as a strong bridge between Ryan and the caucus, which has advocated shutting down the federal government.