MSNBC host: 'Wealthy white men' try to render Obama 'inferior and unequal'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Obamacare,MSNBC,Race and Diversity

In a new and strange defense of Obamacare, an MSNBC host accused “wealthy white men” of dreaming up the word as a derogatory term to slam President Obama and “put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal, and to diminish his accomplishments.”

Melissa Harris-Perry, in her opening commentary on her Sunday show, seems to be heading toward talking about the racially charged N-word before she reveals that the negative label she’s focused on is “Obamacare.”

The attack on the race of the president’s critics is one the White House has never endorsed or aired, though they were slow to adopt the term “Obamacare.” They’ve since shifted back to the “Affordable Care Act” as the popularity of the health insurance program has soured following its poor rollout.

Here’s what Harris-Perry said:

“Good morning. I’m Melissa Harris-Perry. I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of up by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments. President Obama has been labeled with this word by his opponents, and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he’d achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he’d never be anything more than that one disparaging word. A belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate. And so he decided, if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them.”

“And he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren’t expecting. If that’s what you want me to be, I’ll be that. Y’all know the word that I’m talking about: Obamacare.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at