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Bloviating With Bill: Contestant #3

Reported by Deborah - February 16, 2006

Ruth White from Henderson, Nevada was the third winner to appear on The O'Reilly Factor. The topic of discussion was the high percentage of unmarried women raising children in the African-American community and O'Reilly's contention that children raised by single women are put at a disadvantage. The archaic term he used was "born out of wedlock" claiming that 75% of Black children and 25% of White children have unmarried mothers. White was unmarried when she had her first child at age 16 and argued that O'Reilly's statistics were off as well as his theories on the subject. 2/14/06

Ruth White, charming and upbeat, was definitely not a confrontational opponent. It's a good thing because O'Reilly opened the so called debate with a pretty ridiculous question.
"How did you get pregnant so young? I mean, didn't you know that you were in a high-risk state there?"

White was diplomatic enough not to react to the absurdity of his contention that a 16 year old girl would be thinking about statistics and answered him in a very simple and sensitive way.
" It had nothing to do with high risk. We didn't even know statistics at that point, but the point is I was falling in love. I fell in love with someone and thought that he was going to be around. He promised me the picket fence and all of that and then moved on when I got pregnant."

The notion that this meeting was going to be a debate quickly vanished when O'Reilly told White how he wanted to help young girls and White acknowledged his good intentions and went on to tell him how she doesn't believe he's a racist.

O'REILLY: But what I'm trying to do here is to prevent girls from getting into the situation that you're in or were.

WHITE: And I agree with that.

O'REILLY: You do?

WHITE: I agree with that; 100 percent I agree with you. And I don't think that you're racist, because I know a lot of people think that you are, based on some of the things that you say, but you're not. You're talking about an issue that I feel, too, about women who get pregnant out of wedlock.

However, the statistics that you quote are — they're incorrect. And I can tell you why I believe they're incorrect. No. 1, a lot of these statistics talk about they don't know the difference between race, nationality, ethnicity or color of skin.

O'REILLY: But this comes from the National Center for Health, which is really the bible of all — not just teenage pregnancy — but of all diseases.

WHITE: Is that a disease? You consider that a disease?

O'REILLY: But I'll tell you this. They haven't been challenged at any scientific level. So we have to assume that there's an epidemic in the African-American community of out-of-wedlock births, and surely this leads to poverty and crime.

At this point, White seemed to move away from challenging O'Reilly and instead began to defend herself. O'Reilly was quite supportive of her individual achievement of raising successful kids under difficult circumstances. White made the point that there are a lot of women out there doing the same thing but the idea that her accomplishment was not only admirable but unique seemed to have more resonance.

Here is a copy of the transcript of Ruth White's meeting with O'Reilly. A video is also available.

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