Bill O’Reilly as of late has been fancying himself a bit of a race relations expert. Which might just be a dangerous thing for a guy who once went to a restaurant in Harlem and expressed surprise that no one in the joint was shouting to the wait staff, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.”
Yet on a nightly basis, he seems to want to tell us about black people, what they deserve, what they should want, and how they should behave.
Here is a sampling:
“The sad truth is that from the President on down, our leadership has no clue, no clue at all about how to solve problems within the black community. And many are frightened to even broach the issue. That’s because race hustlers and the grievance industry have intimidated the so- called “conversation,” turning any valid criticism of African-American culture into charges of racial bias.”
“It was wrong for Zimmerman to confront Martin based on his appearance. But the culture that we have in this country does lead to criminal profiling because young black American men are so often involved in crime, the statistics overwhelming.”
“The solution to the epidemic of violent crime in poor black neighborhoods is to actively discourage pregnancies out of marriage, to impose strict discipline in the public schools, including mandatory student uniforms, and to create a zero tolerance policy for gun and drug crimes imposing harsh mandatory prison time on the offenders.”
And then he made it personal about Al Sharpton because the MSNBC host defended Lil Wayne who lost an endorsement deal with Mountain Dew after he released a song with an Emmit Till reference. O’Reilly took Sharpton to task not only for that, but for having his most recent book distributed by the same company that Lil Wayne is signed to.
O’Reilly said of Sharpton,
“Al Sharpton is in business with people who put out entertainment harmful to children.”
If we are going to play guilty by 6 degrees of separation to outlandish behavior, then why doesn’t O’Reilly just look around him? His employer, Fox News, pays Sean Hannity, Steve Doucey, Sarah Palin, and formerly that loon, Glenn Beck to share their sage-like wisdom with the nodding heads that watch their “news” channel.
I won’t argue that Al Sharpton is an imperfect vessel as a Civil Rights leader. The formerly flamboyant reverend’s past as a fire brand who often went too far in both rhetoric and deed took a long road to respectability. While one can argue that he isn’t a particularly effective or smooth host, he is quite eloquent when pontificating on the subject of race in this country. Regardless, had it not been for Al Sharpton, we probably wouldn’t even know Trayvon Martin’s name. The exposure he gave to the killing of a young black man who was doing nothing more than walking home kept Martin from being just another statistic, even if there was no ultimate vindication in the court room.
So when O’Reilly talks about Al Sharpton’s house, he may well want to look at his own.
Sharpton did not take O’Reilly’s criticism lying down either. He responded forcefully on his MSNBC show, calling it “ridiculous” that O’Reilly is somehow the “expert on what the vast majority of African-Americans want.”
“In the time since George Zimmerman’s acquittal, some right-wingers have gone into overdrive to push the most negative stereotypes of the African-American community for their own gain.”
Sharpton then continued on the sudden concern some conservatives have developed about the murders of black folks in Chicago as well as the family dynamic in black homes and Stand Your Ground laws,
“Many of us in African-American community” have been talking about Chicago for months. “Better late than never, I guess.”
“Is Bill O’Reilly saying George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because Trayvon was born out of wedlock, even though he wasn’t? That’s ridiculous, right?”
“All of this is an effort to avoid addressing the urgent topic that something is fundamentally flawed with our justice system if laws like Stand Your Ground allow a kid to be gunned down,” Sharpton continued. “But Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly don’t want to talk about that.”
Sharpton then closed by mocking O’Reilly’s status as “expert on the vast majority of what African-Americans want, we need a real conversation about justice in this country, not the same old right-wing divide and conquer garbage. Bill O’Reilly, the Willie Horton stuff has got to go.”
See the video below.