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Melissa Harris-Perry delivers an "Open Letter" to Nicholas Kristof.
Melissa Harris-Perry

MHP on the problem with the 'perfect victim'

On Friday evening, while potential Republican presidential contenders scurried to Iowa to court support, and East Coast residents hurried home to beat the snowstorm, and those of us in cable news cracked ourselves up with under-inflated balls jokes, a New York Times Op-ed columnist was on Twitter sending some advice to activists, tweeting quote:"Activists perhaps should have focused less on Michael Brown, more on shooting of 12-yr-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland."And that is why my letter this week is to Nicholas Kristof. Dear Mr. Kristof, It's me, Melissa.Just wanted to say thanks for the strategic advice you offered Friday afternoon. It was a great reminder of how important it is to endure injustice until just the right victim comes along.Back in 1955 it was Claudette Colvin who had to learn this hard lesson. She was 15-years-old when she refused to move when the driver on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, ordered her to get up. She endured arrest and eventually challenged the law in court.  But civil rights leaders felt the working-class, pregnant teen was the wrong symbol for the movement.

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