The May 24 ‘MHP’ Syllabus

Updated

The Atlantic published a cover story on Thursday that has media outlets buzzing about a topic that has been a part of our nation’s cultural discourse since the end of slavery: reparations. In his feature-length essay, “The Case for Reparations,” Ta-Nehisi Coates argues in favor of a dialogue about granting the black community a form of recompense. But he does not make the well-known “forty acres and a mule” argument you’ve seen in history textbooks. Coates discusses modern black poverty as a result of public policy. Join us on Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, when Coates will join us to discuss the nuances of his case for reparations.

On MHP, we have brought you a range of environmental stories: the chemical leak in West Virginia and the increased concentration of lead in U.S. soil, the coal ash that leaked into North Carolina’s Dan River. On Saturday, we will turn our attention to Vernal, Utah, a small rural town of less than 10,000 residents where a reported 13 infants died just after being born in 2013. While infant death can be attributed to any number of causes, some environmentalists believe the uptick in stillbirths and deaths might be related to the air pollution caused by oil and gas drilling. Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, will join us to help explain the unsettling trend.

We’ve been covering North Carolina’s “Moral Monday” protests since they began last summer. On Saturday’s MHP, we’ll report on the first “Moral Monday” protest of the year, where 1,800 people called on their state legislature to expand Medicaid and end voting restrictions.

This week, New York Magazine published an interview with the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, in which she expressed some ambivalence about becoming a mom 19 years ago. But the New York Post translated her comments into headline language with the phrase “I was a bad mom.” McCray isn’t the only public figure who has received backlash for her mode of mothering. Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was accused of abandoning her children because they lived with her husband while she completed law school.

Why is motherhood – and the way moms view it – a source of societal contention? NewYorker.com executive editor Amy Davidson will join the panel to help us answer that question.

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

Melissa Harris-Perry

The May 24 'MHP' Syllabus

Updated