Born on December 8, 1968, Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst for MSNBC, where she has hosted the weekend program AM Joy since 2016 and frequently serves as a substitute for other MSNBC hosts. She is also a columnist for The Daily Beast. During the runup to the 2004 presidential election, Reid was the Florida deputy communications director for America Coming Together. In 2008 she was a press aide for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in Florida.
Reid views conservatives as being inherently racist, sexist, and insensitive to the needs of minorities and the poor. When the Supreme Court in April 2014 upheld a Michigan voter initiative banning the use of race as a factor in that state’s public university admissions policies, Reid stated: “If this court has a central narrative, it could be that those who have held the advantage for most of this country's history deserve to have it back if they can find the legislative or political means to take it back.… [T]he courts with conservative majority have a novel means of explaining why they feel duty-bound to side with the haves and the have mores. Time has passed, they say. And unless discrimination is violent and obvious and in-your-face, it's gone. Past and over. That's something only the privileged could believe.”
During her coverage of the Republican National Convention in July 2016, Reid reported that virtually every speech at that event had a “subtext … that brown people are dangerous.” “There was a lot of really angry rhetoric,” she added, “a lot of talk about murder and death and tying it all back to immigrants.... If you're a person of color, this is a weird place to be.”
When a deranged gunman who had served as a volunteer for Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign shot and wounded Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others on June 14, 2017 in Virginia, Reid, in an interview with Protestant minister William Barber, wondered aloud whether people should temporarily refrain from criticizing the congressman's past actions and positions, which she considered repugnant: “Scalise has a history that we've all been forced to sort of ignore on race. He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn't know what it was. He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage [exclusively as a union] between a man and a woman. He voted for the House health care bill, which … would gut health care for millions of people.... And he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons.... Are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?”
In October 2017, after White House chief-of-staff John Kelly -- a retired U.S. Marine Corps General -- accused Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson, an African-American, of having misrepresented the tenor of President Donald Trump's recent phone conversation with the grieving mother of a black American soldier who had been killed during active duty, Reid posted a tweet criticizing Kelly for his “segregated Boston upbringing and dehumanization of a black woman.”
In a November 2017 Daily Beast piece titled “As We Rethink Old Harassers, Let’s Talk About Clarence Thomas,” Reid classified Thomas as well as President Trump as “predacious men” and “sexual raptors armed with immense power.”
In the wake of a November 2017 mass shooting that left 26 people dead at a Sutherland Springs, Texas church, Reid condemned anyone who offered their prayers without also demanding stricter gun-control measures. “Enough with the 'thoughts and prayers already,'” she tweeted. “The Bible teaches us that faith without works is dead. Do something or say nothing.” In a separate tweet, Reid said sarcastically: “Remember when Jesus of Nazareth came upon thousands of hungry people, and rather than feeding them, thought and prayed?” And in yet another tweet, she described the National Rifle Association as an organization “soaked and bathed in blood.”
Later that month, Reid said that the Electoral College enables America's “rural minority” to wield “disproportionate power over the urban majority” in presidential elections.
In December 2017, Reid described President Trump as a man with “a black hole inside of” him, and condemned “Trumpism” as a “guttural” disposition that exploits “all of your base fears of other people, your anger, your rage, your neediness.” She also cast Trump as “an authoritarian of the first order” – a man who “has the … dance of authoritarianism down to a science.” By contrast, Reid characterized former President Barack Obama as “the emblem of what presidencies used to be … the sort of model of the presidency as aspirational…and above the fray.” This was reminiscent of a tweet she had posted a month earlier, lauding Obama for the “soaring rhetoric” that had helped give him a “mythical quality.”
Also in December 2017, Reid described U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “the organization that deports people’s grannies.” During a discussion the following month about immigration reform, she scolded Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist, for his use of the terms “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrants.” “[W]e're going with 'undocumented immigrants,'” Reid stated.
In January 2018, Reid grossly mischaracterized the position of National Review’s David French, who had recently written: “[E]ven if a nuclear weapon as big as the largest North Korea has ever tested were to impact squarely on Manhattan, the vast majority of New Yorkers would survive the initial blast. A strike would devastate central Honolulu but leave many suburbs intact. If the missile misses a city center even by a small amount, the number of initial casualties plunges dramatically.” In response to those remarks, Reid – noting that both Hawaii and New York City were heavily Democratic and mostly nonwhite – inferred that French was in essence saying that such an attack would amount to nothing more than a temporary inconvenience from which the country as a whole could recover quite well. “We have truly entered the age of insanity,” she tweeted, “when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, 'don't worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities.” French responded that Reid's interpretation of his words was “not only antithetical to my deepest beliefs,” but was also “directly contradicted by two long pieces I’ve written that were specifically intended to highlight the horrific risks of an all-out conflict with North Korea.”
In a series of January 31, 2018 tweets, Reid derided President Trump’s State Of The Union address for its references to “church,” “family,” “police,” “military,” and “the national anthem” -- words which Reid described as “tropes of 1950s-era nationalism.” Those “terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for,” she added, “allo[w] his base to reminisce about an Ozzie and Harriet past they don't really value anymore based on their support for his 'values'.” Reid also characterized Trump as “anti-immigrant, backward-looking, anti-innovation, and anti-progress”; condemned his “seeming eagerness to flirt with war with North Korea”; claimed that “his version of 'family values' excludes the families of immigrants”; and criticized the president for “mak[ing] it sound like the biggest issue in the United States, the biggest threat is MS-13, a gang nobody that doesn’t watch Fox News has ever heard of.”
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