One might think that this notion of just who is and who isn't a "real American" has been one that's poisoned our politics just since the beginning of the George W. Bush era. But I'd argue that that meme is just the latest flare-up of the global social pandemic of bigotry. People are ruled out for their sexual orientation, their gender, their city in which they reside -- oh, hi, San Francisco; my fellow New Yorkers; pretty much any other place that votes blue -- and also, of course, for their race. What, and who, are we then left with?
"Real Americans" equals straight white people, mostly those middle-class to lower middle-class folks who have certain values (likely Christian in nature). That characterization is one that Eminem exploits in the video above, holding up a mirror to those who might favor him for his own whiteness. And whoever they are, they certainly aren't voting Democratic -- and especially not for President Obama. We make this assumption based upon the conventional wisdom, the conventional wisdom which Melissa will disregard when she breaks down some stats today about white voters in 2012, and explore what they really want in a presidential candidate.
Other topics we'll cover: why Mitt Romney's business experience has really nothing to do whether or not he'd be a good President; the new coalition between the LGBT community and the NAACP. We'll also take a look at Eminem's home state, as we examine all of the Republican hijinks in Michigan politics this week.
(Speaking of that State Up North, you may have heard something about Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown daring to use the word "vagina" (gasp!) in the debate over an anti-abortion bill; we'll welcome State Rep. Brown to the show today.)
Melissa will also be joined by the following guests:
- Chloe Angyal, an editor with Feministing.com.
- Keith Boykin, CNBC contributor, BET columnist, and a former Clinton White House aide.
- Peter Goodman, executive business editor at the Huffington Post, and author of "Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy."
- Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.
- Michael Tomasky, special correspondent with Newsweek and the Daily Beast.
We hope that you interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland -- and encourage others to do the same. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!