MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said on Sunday he is “uncomfortable” using the phrase “right-to-work” because it has its origins in the “segregationist white supremacist south.”
“I’m not going to use the phrase [right to work] that is commonly used because it is such a ridiculous—let me just give people a little bit of history here,” Hayes said on his show, “Up With Chris Hayes.” He made the comment in connection with Michigan’s new right-to-work law.
“The phrase is coined by a guy by the name of Vance Muse, who is an oil industry lobbyist in Houston, Texas in the 1930s who is a white supremacist and segregationist, who—that’s what the term was first brought into use, to fight against unions as sites of forced racial integration,” he said.
“The origin of this movement is an origin of the movement of the segregationist white supremacist south against the labor union as a site of forced racial integration.”
“That’s the genesis of this, just so you understand where this phrase comes from and why I’m uncomfortable calling it by what it is,” Hayes added.
Vance Muse, a Texas business executive and lobbyist, is described by those on the left as the “Karl Rove-meets-David Duke brains behind the whole ‘Right-to-Work’ movement.”
According to the Texas State Historical Association, Muse “believed that organized labor in the United States was the source of much communistic influence,” leading him to support right to work legislation.