Melissa Harris Perry MHP The Syllabus

The December 14 ‘MHP’ Syllabus

It’s the holiday season— A time for family, celebration, gifts, and if you have children in your life, toys. Lots and lots of toys. We’ve been asking all of you in #nerdland to tweet us pictures of your favorites, and on Sunday’s show we are taking a look at toys and their economic and social implications. For example, what does it mean that in 2014, toy marketing is becoming more divided along gendered lines? We’ll have the author of that column, Elizabeth Sweet, along with:

  • Lise Eliot Author of “Pink Brain, Blue Brain
  • Byron Hurt, Filmmaker
  • Marissa DiBartolo, Senior Editor of the Toy Insider
  • Sabrina Thomas, Academic Dean for Social Sciences, Duke University

And regular #nerdland viewers know Rev. Alison Harrington well. Harrington, the pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tuscon, Arizona made waves this summer after offering sanctuary to some in her community facing deportation. She joins us for the first time since President Obama announced executive actions on immigration with an update on her efforts to aid undocumented families.

Next we will sit down with Journalist Richard Marosi, author of an ongoing Los Angeles Times series entitled “Product of Mexico.” The series took Marosi through nine Mexican states and depicts some of the disturbing and exploitative labor conditions which persist on the farms that supply much of the produce Americans import and consume. 

Then, another week, and another woman’s account of a deeply troubling encounter with Bill Cosby; this time Beverly Johnson’s Vogue column: “Bill Cosby Drugged Me. This Is My Story.” Meanwhile there has been more fallout and backpedalling surrounding Rolling Stone’s now discredited  University of Virginia sexual assault story.  When it comes to questions of rape and sexual assault, how does the public consider the notion of credibility? Who do we believe, when do we take claims seriously, and how do those elements change as stories develop? Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Alexandra Brodsky, Co-founder of Know Your IX and Editor at Feministing.com join our panel for that conversation.

Finally, what does the Panama Canal have to do with disparate health indicators in Newark, NJ? Kim Gaddy from Clean Water Action will join the show to explain why the answer to that question might be, “a lot more than you think.” As the Bayonne bridge undergoes renovations to accommodate the larger ships that will soon be able to pass through the Panama Canal, some are worried about the effects of pollution generated by the increase in shipping activity.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation—share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland. Your tweets and comments might even appear on the show!

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The Syllabus - Mellissa Harris Perry

The December 14 'MHP' Syllabus