On Saturday, December 12, UW Political Science Assistant Professor Megan Ming Francis joined Melissa Harris-Perry on her MSNBC show to talk about the history of racist rhetoric, state terrorism, and violence in the United States. Asked what we can learn about our understandings of terrorism from the history of lynching, Francis noted that racism has continually been used to stoke racial fears against a marginalized group. Based on the research for her recently published book Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State, Francis discussed how racist rhetoric was used to justify lynchings. She further noted that this type of rhetoric can be compared to what we are seeing today and that it "is dangerous because it leads to a particular type of violence against people." The 7-minute segment entitled "The Racial Terror of Lynching" is available for viewing on the MSNBC website.
The Melissa Harris-Perry Show is on MSNBC at 10 am on weekends. The show provides edgy analysis and guest-driven discussions of political, cultural and community issues. Last Saturday's episode focused on "what we mean by 'radicalization', a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric, historical consequences, and legislation to support families in need." In addition to Prof. Francis, Harris-Perry was joined by the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York Linda Sarsour, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), and New York University Professor Thomas Sugrue, among others.