Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Comment That Gets Its Own Post

I wrote a post the other day about Democratic presidential hopefuls completely avoiding -- and criticizing -- FOX News Channel.

Someone sent me a comment claiming that FOX hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and columnist Ann Coulter "make no bones about the fact that they feels blacks are inferior."

So I asked the commenter to please tell me when such statements of "fact" were ever made.

Rather than give me an example (because there are none to give), I received this gem of a reply:

"If you don't think what was said by Bill O'Reilly about blacks was racist, I can see why you watch Fox. Fox is a racist network, so I cannot speak about that network without mentioning race. Remember, O'Reilly was shocked to see that blacks knew how to behave in a restaurant. "

OK. Now, the item this poster cites to make the claim that the entire FOX network is racist was a part of O'Reilly's radio show (not on FOX, by the way) and he was speaking to Juan Williams (who is not white, by the way). They were discussing race relations in America, the after-effects of segregation and such, and the effect of things like gangsta rap and stereotyped movies on people's perception of "black culture." And even though it's long, the only way YOU can make up your own mind is to ignore whatever liberal TV show or newspaper is telling you "Bill O'Reilly said ...", and make up your OWN mind if it's racist. You HAVE to read the WHOLE thing -- without context, everything can be manipulated to show anything.:

From the September 19 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, how do we get to this point? Black people in this
country understand that they've had a very, very tough go of it, and some of
them can get past that, and some of them cannot. I don't think there's a black
American who hasn't had a personal insult that they've had to deal with because
of the color of their skin. I don't think there's one in the country. So you've
got to accept that as being the truth. People deal with that stuff in a variety
of ways. Some get bitter. Some say, [unintelligible] "You call me that, I'm
gonna be more successful." OK, it depends on the personality.
So it's there. It's there, and I think it's getting better. I think black Americans are
starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the
Sharptons and the Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based
culture. They're just trying to figure it out: "Look, I can make it. If I work
hard and get educated, I can make it."
You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he's made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem.
I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful.
They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like
a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.
And I couldn't
get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and
any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even
though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and
that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A. There's no
difference. There's no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment --
people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to
Little Italy, and you're gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of
anybody's skin.
WILLIAMS: Well, let me just tell you, the one thing I would say is
this. And we're talking about the kids who still like this gangsta rap, this
vile poison that I think is absolutely, you know, literally a corruption of
culture. I think that what you've got to take into account that it's still a
majority white audience -- young, white people who think they're into rebelling
against their parents who buy this stuff and think it's just a kick. You know,
it's just a way of expressing their anti-authoritarianism.
O'REILLY: But it's
a different -- it's a different dynamic, though.
WILLIAMS: Exactly right
O'REILLY: Because the young, white kids don't have to struggle out of the
WILLIAMS: Right, and also, I think they can have that as one phase of
their lives.
WILLIAMS: I think too many of the black kids
take it as, "Oh, that's what it means to be authentically black. That's how you
make money. That's how you become rich and famous and get on TV and get music
videos." And you either get the boys or the girls. The girls think they have to,
you know, be half-naked and spinning around like they're on meth in order to get
any attention. It really corrupts people, and I think it adds, Bill, to some
serious sociological problems, like the high out-of-wedlock birth rate because
of this hypersexual imagery that then the kids adapt to some kind of reality. I
mean, it's inauthentic. It's not in keeping with great black traditions of
struggle and excellence, from Willie Mays to Aretha Franklin, but even in terms
of academics, you know, going back to people like Charles
or Ben Carson
here, the neurosurgeon at [Johns] Hopkins [University]. That stuff, all of a
sudden, is pushed aside. That's treated as, "You're a nerd, you're acting
white," if you try to be excellent and black.
O'REILLY: You know, and I went
to the concert by Anita Baker at Radio City Music Hall, and the crowd was 50/50,
black/white, and the blacks were well-dressed. And she came out -- Anita Baker
came out on the stage and said, "Look, this is a show for the family. We're not
gonna have any profanity here. We're not gonna do any rapping here." The band
was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America
doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black
Americans. They think that the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris, and
Snoop Dogg.
WILLIAMS: Oh, and it's just so awful. It's just so awful because,
I mean, it's literally the sewer come to the surface, and now people take it
that the sewer is the whole story --
O'REILLY: That's right. That's right.
There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced
WILLIAMS: Please --
O'REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was -- it
was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of
people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there
wasn't any kind of craziness at all.

So where is the racist stuff? I mean, I read that, and I find it pretty straightforward. There are people in this world who don't have a lot of interaction with black people, and all they know is what they see on TV, read in the papers, hear on the radio. They have misconceptions about "black culture" that the media feeds them.

"O'REILLY: The band was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black Americans. They think that the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg. WILLIAMS: Oh, and it's just so awful. It's just so awful because, I mean, it's literally the sewer come to the surface, and now people take it that the sewer is the whole story."

Seriously, how is that racist? I mean, to say that "O'Reilly was shocked to see that blacks knew how to behave in a restaurant" is silly if you actually read the whole thing, and not just the lines the left wing tosses out to support their agenda.

But wait! The poster had more for me: "O'Reilly intimated that Blacks could not think for themselves and had to follow people like Jackson and Sharpton. Any race that cannot think for itself would have to be inferior. "

Are you serious? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have thousands upon thousands of "followers" that consider them to be the "voices" of black America. If they see an injustice -- even if there's not really an injustice there (Tawana Brawley? Duke Lacrosse?) -- they can get those followers to come out in droves, with the whole us vs. them thing going on.

It IS bad for people to not think for themselves. But the fact that so many people do follow Sharpton and Jackson blindly isn't O'Reilly's fault -- that's just the way it is. And if he perceives that fewer and fewer people are doing that, well, that may or may not be correct, but it certainly is not a "racist" viewpoint. The poster inferred that on his/her own.

TO THE POSTER: I ask you again, please give me an example -- a real one this time, not one the left made up -- how FOX is a "racist network."


David Terrenoire said...

I don't know any of these people personally, so I would hesitate to call any of them racists without some very hard evidence.

Of course, that doesn't stop Bill, Sean, et al from calling me a supporter of terrorists, hater of troops and enemy of the US on no evidence whatsoever.

So it's hard for me to gin up any sympathy for them.

Dumbya60 said...

As an baby boomer African-American, I have experienced racism all my life, and I do not need someone who has never experienced racism to tell me anything about racism. Anyone who watches FAUX as I do on a regular basis)and truly listens to what is said even by Juan Williams (he has no choice or he would be out of a job but to go along with O'Reilly) and his hateful remarks, not only regarding African-Americans, but anyone who does not totally agree with what he says, know that the racism is there. How can you tell me about somthing you have never and will never experience or understand. Just because you have this blog, does not mean a lot. Give me some examples of the racism you have heard or experienced personally, and I will listen to you. Until that time, you need to STFU.