It was an encounter that left Melissa Harris-Perry on edge.
In a blog post for a Wake Forest University website, the MSNBC host and professor recounted a heart-stopping experience she had while in Iowa with her students for the recent caucuses.
Harris-Perry said that she was sitting in a hotel lobby when a frantic man approached her and began asking how she got “credentialed to be on MSNBC.”
“When he started speaking, it was like he was picking up in the middle of [a] sentence, finishing a conversation we had begun earlier, but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him,” Harris-Perry wrote.
She said he was speaking quickly, but she heard him utter “Nazi Germany” and “rise to power.” However, it was his next statement that caused her to freeze.
“[He said] ‘I just want you to know why I am doing this,’” she wrote. “Oh - there is a this. He is going to do a this. To me. And he is going to tell me why.”
It was then that her fight-or-flight instinct kicked in. She said that she and her friend leapt out of their seats and began causing a ruckus, capturing other patrons’ attention and causing the unidentified man to run away. Moments later, her students came filing into the room.
“I had little time to fret because moments later, a dozen of my students came tubing into the lobby, barely able to contain their enthusiasm,” she wrote, “literally bursting at the seams with stories of what they had seen and experienced in their caucus locations. I don’t know if he was there to kill me. I know they were there to save me.”
We’re glad you’re okay, Melissa!