Discussing Paul Ryan’s bid for Speaker of the House Monday, Melissa Harris-Perry made an unusual claim about the term, “hard worker.”

Alfonso Aguilar, Director of the conservative organization American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership said:

“But let’s be fair. If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan. He not only works with Republicans but with Democrats. You know very well that I work on immigration issues, trying to get Republicans to support immigration reform. Paul Ryan is somebody who has supported immigration reform, has worked with somebody like Luis Gutierrez. Luis Gutierrez is very respectful, speaks highly of Paul Ryan, this is somebody who is trying to govern.

At which point Harris-Perry interrupted Aguilar and then proceeded to wander down a completely unhinged tangent about slavery.

“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 roll. I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker,” because, I actually keep an image of folks working in the cotton fields on my office wall because it is a reminder of 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 are working, who don’t have health care, we don’t call them hard workers, we call them failures, we call them people who are sucking off the system.”

Alfonso was all:

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We’re all:


We would be surprised if not for the fact that this is the same woman who donned tampon earrings:

Melissa Harris Perry tampon earrings comet scientist shirt feminism

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