Bill O’Reilly, Asshole of the Day for August 27, 2014
Bill O’Reilly has fought hard for over a decade against the “War On Christmas”. To him it’s very real and very important. He believes in the War On Christmas.
But last night he announced that he doesn’t believe in white privilege:
O’REILLY: Talking Points does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society than whites do.
American children must learn not only academics but also civil behavior, right from wrong, as well as how to speak properly and how to act respectfully in public. If African-American children do not learn those things, they will likely fail as adults. They will be poor. They will be angry, and they often will be looking to blame someone else. One caveat, the Asian-American experience historically has not been nearly as tough as the African-American experience. Slavery is unique and it has harmed black Americans to a degree that is still being felt today.
But, in order to succeed in our competitive society, every American has to overcome the obstacles they face. And here is where the African-American leadership in America is failing. Instead of preaching a cultural revolution, the leadership provide excuses for failure. The race hustlers blame white privilege, an unfair society, a terrible country. So the message is, it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you are a criminal. No, it’s not your fault, it’s society’s fault. That is the big lie that is keeping some African-Americans from reaching their full potential. Until personal responsibility and a cultural change takes place, millions of African-Americans will struggle, and their anger, some of it justified, will seethe.
The shorter version of this rant came from Vox under the headline "White privilege, in one Fox News screen grab":
This is so ridiculous. “Every American has to overcome the obstacles they face,” he says, but somehow ignores the ongoing systemic racism in the form of racial profiling, housing discrimination, and unequal enforcement of the law. Those things are real. In order to deny that white privilege exists, you don’t get to claim that “everyone has obstacles”, because if the obstacles are much larger for African Americans then that is white privilege.
If black men are harassed and shot by police, subjected to stops and searches when they are just trying to drive to and from work, but white men of the same age and income are not stopped, then that is white privilege.
In the current context of Ferguson, if Michael Brown was shot because the cop didn’t like how Brown responded to a jaywalking stop, but a white man is never confronted by a hostile policeman for jaywalking, then that’s white privilege.
Changing their behavior won’t exempt them from traffic stops without any cause other than “driving while black”. Better manners won’t save them from suspicion. If a black teen smokes a joint and gets a year in prison but a white teen does not, then how is that not white privilege? Laws are enforced differently for them, and that adds up. And it’s out of their control. When you talk about “civil behavior”, the civil behavior for a black man is a different standard. Why can’t he have one joint and not be a convicted felon, having his right to vote and get good jobs taken from him for the rest of his life, when a white man doesn’t face the same consequences for the same action? Why is an African American teenage boy not allowed a few youthful mistakes but a white one is allowed them?
But Bill O’Reilly isn’t stupid. He could figure all this out, or he could at least try to listen when even Megyn Kelly —yes, the same Megyn Kelly who claimed Santa has to be white— tries to explain white privilege to him. But he just prefers not to. He prefers his state of ignorance. It’s good for his self-esteem. It’s good for his ratings. It’s good for his paycheck. And it’s also clear that he enjoys moralizing about the failings of African Americans and blaming Beyonce. And for that, he is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Bill O’Reilly’s fourth time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
- saying “Jesus wouldn’t be down with welfare”
- saying “Jesus died to protest taxes”
- saying there’s no point in discussing the gender pay gap
Full story: Media Matters.
And here’s a good parting thought from Rex Huppke:
Bill O’Reilly denying the existence of white privilege is like a light bulb denying the existence of electricity.— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke)August 27, 2014