Versation became tense when the man began to insist

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versation became tense when the man began to insist that she explain how she got credentialed to be on MSNBC and began to advance into her personal space. The host writes that the man was also audibly muttering Nazi Germany and rise to power ( Of Teachers and Students ). To Harris-Perry s relief, one of her students observed the man advancing on her and intervened. According to the host, her student s intervention quite possibly saved her life. The combination of Harris-Perry s economic, educational, and even aesthetic privilege has kept open doors of opportunity denied to other black women and allowed the host to leave her MSNBC series with a measure of financial security intact. 9 Still, the hotel encounter reveals the real-time and lived threats that mobility and intellectualism can pose for members of this group. Aside from the Romney incident, Harris-Perry had navigated a tightrope of public perfection successfully enough during the tenure of her show, but in a moment when hostile individuals and audiences feel empowered to question her credibility and presence, her life was endangered. We may not ever determine the exact rationale behind MSNBC s scheduling and the staffing changes in the month leading into the final episodes of Nerdland, but the hotel incident shows us that the silencing Hill Collins describes as the outcome of a politics of containment happens largely on a rhetorical level where black women s successes, forms of outspokenness, and overall presence beget threat for them. After the #Istandwithmhp hashtag campaign and this encounter, returning to the show may have been too great a risk for Harris- Perry. Since much of the rhetorical scholarship regarding black women seeks to create avenues of opportunity or develop frameworks for understanding them, my apolo- gist-informed analysis shows us that we must do more to understand what the closing off of these avenues suggests about the convergence of race, gender, and communicative risk on a larger scale. For instance, even as black women have participated in social media dragging, or what I call an intense and rapid form of mocking, the archival memory of their transgressions as users of social media generally make the stakes higher for them. Within the last four years, a growing number of black female professors at major colleges and universities have had their job security and lives threatened by perceptions of their political affiliations, ideological investments, or choices to retweet controversial dialogues. Boston 9 I reference aesthetic privilege to acknowledge colorism and how fair and light-skinned black women experience social privileges frequently denied to their darker-skinned sisters. 156 Carey
University professor Saida Grundy, the feminist sociologist who had not yet formally begun her appointment in the fall of 2014 when outraged students found her old Twitter comments where she called white men a problem popula- tion and called for her to be fired, has continued to experience character inves- tigation and probes into her history despite retaining her faculty position.

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