The Rev. William Barber speaks during "Moral Monday" protests on Halifax Mall, July 22, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C.
Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer/AP

The January 18 ‘MHP’ Syllabus

Updated

President Obama visited North Carolina this week to promote his plan to boost the manufacturing industry, and simultaneously underscored the importance of the Tar Heel State for domestic policy implementation.

The president has had an on-again, off-again relationship with North Carolina. In 2008, voters there went for him, then sided with Mitt Romney four years later. Over the summer, we brought you news of the “Moral Monday” protests in North Carolina. Led by Rev. William Barber, the peaceful demonstrations protested the swath of legislation passed by the Republican General Assembly including cuts to unemployment benefits, new voter restrictions, cuts to public education, and restricted access to abortion clinics. But how did this state become so conservative in a matter of four years?

On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, we will introduce you to some of the key players in the extreme conservative makeover of North Carolina’s legislative body–including one man, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, who announced this week that he’ll be challenging Democratic Virginia Senator Mark Warner. We will also take a look at the progressive movements inspired by “Moral Mondays” that are gathering speed in Georgia and South Carolina

Someone had a big birthday this week! First Lady Michelle Obama turned fifty on Friday. Prior to her milestone birthday, the First Lady sat down with People magazine to flaunt her AARP card and discuss her plans once her daughters go off to college and her husband leaves the White House.

It might only be January, but it already feels like election season–especially, if you work for NARAL Pro-Choice America. NARAL President Ilyse Hogue is upping the ante and preparing her organization and its supporters to take on Governors who supported and signed restrictive abortion legislation. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more abortion restrictions were passed in the last two years than in the past two decades. As Republicans continue to chip away at Roe vs. Wade, Hogue is hoping that holding those Governor’s accountable this election cycle will help to turn the tide. On Saturday’s MHP, Melissa and her panel will discuss Hogue’s strategy as well as the recent attempt in Arizona to enact a 20 week abortion ban and Massachusetts’s effort to maintain 35ft barrier zones between protestors and abortion clinics.

Saturday’s show will take a look inside the increasingly prevalent world of online harassment. A recent Pew Research study found that 73% of adults now use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With each comment, photo, and shared link, internet users put themselves at risk for harassment. But according to the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, of the nearly 4,000 individuals who reported incidents of online stalking and harassment from 2000 to 2012, 72.5% of them were women. On Saturday, Melissa and her panel will discuss the cover story of Pacific Standard Magazine entitled “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” by journalist Amanda Hess, herself a victim of violent and vulgar online harassment.

We will also be joined on set by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to discuss his new memoir, My Country ‘Tis of Thee.   

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.

Melissa Harris-Perry

The January 18 'MHP' Syllabus

Updated