Kieran Romney is the newest addition to Mitt Romney’s family, but although he’s still to small to walk or talk, the dark-skinned adopted boy came under what many are seeing as a racist attack by MSNBC panelist Pia Glenn.
Glenn was a guest for the segment “What’s So Funny About 2013?” on host Melissa Harris-Perry’s show on Sunday. As part of the segment, a picture of Mitt Romney and his family at Christmas was shown, prompting jokes directed toward the infant Kieran, who was adopted by Mitt’s son Ben and his wife Andelynne.
“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” Pia Glenn offered, mocking the Sesame Street song. “And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Glenn added, as if her intentions weren’t clear the first time.
Comedian Dean Obeidallah continued in the line of attack against Mitt Romney’s black grandson, comparing him to token black GOP voters.
“It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person,” Obeidallah said.
Mitt Romney is not the only prominent conservative with an adopted black child in the family. John McCain and wife Cindy adopted their daughter Bridget during a relief trip to Bangladesh in 1991.
The MSNBC segment has been met with criticism by both progressive and conservative commentators alike.
“Leftist media hounds are not expressing an opinion with this attack; they are expressing a prejudice that would never be accepted if it came from anyone else but the lib[eral] media,” Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page. “This latest attack from the Left is despicable.”
Melissa Harris-Perry, who also is black, apologized for the segment making fun of Kieran Romney.
“I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. #MHPapology,” she wrote, adding, “As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise.”
“I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices.”
But not all have apologized for making fun of Mitt Romney’s black grandson. Glenn acknowledged the controversy, but said it was not her decision to put up a picture of Kieran Romney, writing “There are many children in the pic & only 1 black child. I don’t see that as mocking or attacking the baby.”