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Harris-Perry: I was told ‘actual poor people live in the Third World’

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Melissa Harris-Perry returned to the topic of poverty on her show Saturday morning, not only to discuss its absence from both major parties’ political conventions, but the fallout from her impassioned explanation of what it’s like to actually be poor in America.

Among the hate mail she got, Harris-Perry told her panelists, one response calling her an “idiot” was particularly irritating.

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“What it said was, ‘Melissa, you’re an idiot. Actual poor people live in the Third World,'” she explained. “‘In America, they have social services.’ And I thought, no no no no no. Actual poor people live right here. That vacuum of simply talking about poverty — even beyond the question of policies — just talking about it feels to me like something that, to me, both parties needed to address.”

Part of the reason they don’t address it, said Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of The Grio.com, was conservative success over the past three decades in demonizing the poor as being lazy, which has an effect on undecided voters.

“The voters who are still available, who are white and middle-class voters, have built up a resentment over the last generation, where they feel that their ‘stuff,’ their money, is being taken from them through taxation to give to the poor,” Reid said. “So talking about the poor just stokes more resentment.”

Even as new data indicates 800,000 more Americans skipped meals every day to get by last year, writer Lola Adesioye said talking about the poor wasn’t a “sexy” issue, an omission that has major implications.

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“It’s not just about shoring up what’s already there and getting more jobs,” Adesioye said. “It really is about addressing the fact that there are some serious factors on the table that, if they’re not being dealt with, you could have more and more people falling into the poverty trap.”

The discussion, aired on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show Saturday, can be seen below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Trump furious with Steve King for crippling his re-election chances in Iowa: CNN’s April Ryan

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Sitting in with CNN's Victor Blackwell on Sunday morning, contributor April Ryan relayed that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is in big trouble not only with his party over his latest comments about rape and incest, but that Donald Trump is aggravated with him too because he may impact the president's chances in Iowa in the 2020 election.

With King reeling from the fallout from his own comments made during an appearance earlier in the week, Ryan said that his days may be numbered because senior Republicans want him gone too.

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‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’

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The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.

"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.

When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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