MSNBC Guest Complains That Criminals Are Discriminated Against

Daryl Atkinson MSNBC

MSNBC has found a new victim class to champion during a segment on Melissa Harris- Perry’s show.

Daryl Atkinson, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice senior staff attorney was on to present to the world that people with criminal backgrounds are being discriminated against. During a segment that talked about President Barack Obama’s movement to ban a box on applications that ask whether the applicant has committed a crime other than a traffic violation, Atkinson made this statement,

“The president’s action on Monday really affirms values that we hold dear in this country. Values like inclusion and equal opportunity for all people because people with records face legal discrimination in many areas of life. The 65 million Americans, one in three adult Americans, that have a criminal record history, face barriers in employment, housing, education; even volunteering in their children’s school.”

Why should a bank be made aware of a person who committed grand theft auto last year when making a hiring decision that involves the handling of large amounts of money? Why should a school be made aware of a candidate’s background that includes convictions of drug distribution? Why should a hospital be made aware of a candidate’s criminal records that include sexual assault before making a hiring decision where they will be in a position of caretaker of those who are sometimes in helpless situations?

The comments follow a decision from the president to use a series of Executive Orders that would ban the box on federal applications during the hiring process.

“It is relevant to find out whether somebody has a criminal record. We’re not suggesting ignore it,” the president said during a speech at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. “What we are suggesting is that when it comes to the application, give folks a chance to get through the door. Give them a chance to get in there so they can make their case.”

Obviously, Atkinson has a point that employers should not be able to make hiring decisions based on criminal history because that is a measure of a person’s character (sarcasm), but the MSNBC guest took it a step further and brought racism into an issue that has nothing to do with race.

Atkinson said,

“Because African-Americans and Latinos are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, it results in the social and economic exclusion similar to the Jim Crow South.”

The only problem with this analysis is that the Jim Crow Laws of the South were enacted, by Democrats, to segregate the African American population from ‘White Society.’ By contrast, the box that asks about a candidate’s criminal background is merely asking about the past behavior of the candidate, they do not exclude somebody based on their race. That does not stop MSNBC, the network that called those who questioned Obama’s policies as racist, from stooping to a new low and bringing race into an issue that it doesn’t belong in.


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