MSNBC Host: Right to Work Came from ‘Segregationist White Supremacist South’

Elizabeth Harrington, CNS News, December 17, 2012

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.


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  • falsedawn

    The worst thing that ever happened to the building trades unions was having judges force blacks on us. They couldn’t/wouldn’t do a “fair days work for a fair days pay” if their collectives lives depended on it.

  • Right to Work suggests that an employee must be qualified to do the job–and is paid by skills, education, efficiency and results.

    Unionization reinforces mediocre, inept, over payment for skills and education instead of earning it in the free market. Unionized workers are NEVER held to account for results.

    As the skill and educational level of too many Americans drop and when pitted against World competition, unions and their demands insure the death of American industry.

    • falsedawn

      Hello Free, Check out the link in my post. We were good hard working people. Then the filthy judges got involved and forced the blacks on us. Then everything went downhill after that.

      • The__Bobster

        Even the highly-paid longshoremen who don’t have to show up for work?

        • I watched that movie, too. Marlon Brando read comic books instead of working. And they killed Karl Malden. Those longshoreman beez evil.

        • falsedawn

          Sir, Years ago, before all this mechanization, longshoreman worked extrememly hard. It was no picnic being down in those holes in the ship working like they did. Have you ever read any of Eric Hoffer’s writing (he was a longshoreman/thinker/fruit picker/writer/gold miner)? Interesting guy.

  • qwerty

    Actually, unions were at one time more often than not used to exclude minorities and keep white wage rates artificially high.

    • falsedawn

      Sir, The wage rates weren’t artificially high. They were high because the work was excellent. Once the lousy judges forced blacks on us, our standards went way down to accomadate their presence. That’s how all this came about. I’m not trying to argue with you. I’m just telling you the way it was before blacks came into unionism big time, forced by judges (you’re right, we didn’t have blacks. But we did have American Indians)

      • StillModerated

        Mr. Honda built his American assembly plants in Lincoln, Alabama (91% white) and Marysville Ohio (95% white) because of a “shortage” of black workers there. After visiting our car factories he witnessed the shoddy practices of black UAW workers in Detroit, and consequently wanted nothing to do with them. Or he was a racist.

        • The__Bobster

          I once worked in an auto assembly plant where the shifts were segregated. The night shift came from Newark, NJ. The word in the area was to find out what time of day your car was built and never buy one built at night….or on a Monday.

          • IstvanIN

            Linden or Edison?

          • Alexandra

            I’ve suggested that when companies have recalls, it might be the result of affirmative action.

      • The__Bobster

        Bantus once had an unemployment rate lower than Whites because they were willing to take what they were worth. With AA, they’re now being paid far more than they’re worth.

    • dukem1

      I have thought the same thing for some time…The organized labor movement in the 20th century was probably the the principle obstruction to working class blacks moving into the middle class. Followers of this site may have there own opinions re the results of this obstruction, but it’s quite ironic how all this union stuff has become a rallying cry for the Dems base.

  • storibund

    The more the South is hated on by northern lefties, the happier I am.

    Kick us out of the nation! Please!

    • Johnny Clay

      To paraphrase the song, “Please release us, let us go!”

      • StillModerated

        President Bill Clinton and Veep Al Gore was the first time those 2 offices were simultaneously held by Southerners. In 1994 Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott ran the house and senate. Let us go or we’ll send you more leaders!

  • Bezrodniy Kosmopolit

    The moderator’s comment on this article is really worth thinking about: “The lefty mantra: “All our opponents are racists.” ”
    In America today, a White accused of racism is branded with the scarlet R. The left frames all of their statist policies so that any opponent can be dismissed as a racist. Part of becoming politically mature as a libertarian or conservative in America is to lose the fear of the R-word.

  • bigone4u

    When metrosexual idiots like Chris Hayes appear regularly on TV you know the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. The only thing worse than the liberal morons on MSNBC are the stupid “conservative” “news babes” on Fox: Gretchen Carlson, Margaret Hoover, et. al. None of them does more than repeat PC nonsense.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Chris Hayes? The one who compared the fossil fuel industry to the antebellum South and untapped oil and gas reserves to pre-Civil War slaves? The one the NY Times called “awesome?” The one who excoriated Romney for running ads on welfare that didn’t include black people? The one who claimed he felt “uncomfortable” calling fallen soldiers “heroes?”

    So, now, according to this MSNBC parasite, the latest phrase “right to work” is a dog whistle for “Segregationist White Supremacist South?”

    How does this Rachael Maddow clone get so many things bassackwards??

    The Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that federal construction contractors pay their workers ‘prevailing wages,’ was passed by Congress in 1931 with the intent of favoring white workers who belonged to white-only unions over non-unionized black workers.

    MSNBC parasites need to get their facts straight.

    Chris Who?? Irrelevant!!


  • Chris

    Attempt to taint it with a tenuous connection to racism. Yeah, yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

  • Chris

    This is the same tool that was “uncomfortable” calling our soldiers hero’s.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    I voluntarily refused a very good job here in Colorado after being advised by a black union organizer that I would be required to join the union as a condition of employment. It was a closed shop, meaning the company had a deal with the union to hire only union members.

    The “right to work” laws all say that one can be hired even if he or she does not want to join a labor union.

    Unions use union dues to agitate for Democrat political purposes that I not only hate, but which make me want to kill, kill, kill. I can not in good conscience pay union dues.

    Union (X) No.

  • topper

    Throw this left-wing ad-hominem garbage right back in their faces.

    Everything the progressive wing of the Democratic party does sound like a plan Satan rejected for being “too evil”. Not to mention they are all black supremacists.

    Top that you ignorant MSNBS zombie.

  • wattylersrevolt

    Right to work laws are in fact a creature of the historically low wage South. This past election was the last time for demographic reasons that the Republican Party could have won the Presidential election.,,blue collar Native Born White American Working Class Voters stayed home on election night. The Republican Party lost because of its over-the-top anti-labor viciousness. The Right to Work Laws are a glaring example of this.

    If the Native Born White American Patriot Movement adopts the Right to Work vicious anti-labor mindset of the Republican will never make any deep inroads into the larger Native Born White American Working Class.

    Right to Work laws are completely incompatible with a high wage economy.

  • wattylersrevolt

    Unions are not responsible for the collapse of the US economy…blame the the Republican and Democratic Parties policy of globalizing the US domestic labor market via job exporting and importing nonwhite foreign labor into the US. Union workers are a very small percentage of the US workforce…union memebership has been going down as well as as the real wage. And both have been going down since the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.
    Unions are the last barrier to an official policy of 70-80 hour work fact there are no laws against 70-80 work weeks. When independent contractors go up the corporate law firms that represent the CEOs of Corporations…well, we all know who has been winning that battle.

  • wattylersrevolt

    Here is a glaring example of what happens when you attack high wage Unionized White Workers with scab labor..just look at what happened with the White Meat Packng Workers in the Midwest and Arkanasas. The Slaughter Houses imported Mexican Workers and set up parallel operations. The result:the complete destruction of the high wage union jobs for White Workers. Same thing happened in Southern California to the Unionized White Dry Wall Workers..check out the Nov 1994 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine.

    Right to work laws are designed to destroy the Native Born White American Workers Union Movement and reduce Native Born White American Workers to mandatory six-seven day work weeks..that is to say..wage slavery.
    Right to work laws are inseparable from the passage of the 1965 Immigration Refrom Act. If the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed, the percentage of Native Born White American Workers in Unions would be way higher than it is today…no one would take the poltical risk of advocating Right to Work Laws.
    You are making a terrible mistake if you concede the labor issue the the race-replacement ethusiasts.

  • anarchyst

    Unions may be useful for repetitive industry jobs, but . . . here is my personal experience with “labor unions”.
    I was hired by a major employer in the Detroit area as a highly-skilled electronics specialist. As it was an “agency shop”, I was required to “join” the union.
    In the course of my employment, I was able to bring various processes “in-house”, thereby eliminating the expense of “outside contractors” (which had previously been doing the work).
    My employer decided to reward my efforts with a substantial pay increase.
    All went well until the “union” found out about it. The union’s stance on my pay raise was that “if he gets a pay raise, everyone else in the “bargaining unit” must also get a pay raise. As a result, my “pay raise” was rescinded.
    Here I am, being FORCED to pay “union dues” to a “union” that is “keeping me down”. This union would not even agree to establishing another bargaining unit job classification.
    My own efforts to gain my raise through the “union” were met with “shut up and pay your union dues”.
    It took TWO YEARS during contract “negotiations” for me to get my “raise”. To this day, I have absolutely NO USE for “unions”. I can stand on my own two feet.
    Right-to-work is the BEST THING to happen to the great state of Michigan. No longer will a union have the power to force union membership on anyone . . .