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Bill O’Reilly: African Americans Have Been Brainwashed To Vote For Democrats Because Of Entitlements

Reported by Ellen - September 30, 2011 -

Bill O’Reilly hosted Democrat and Fox News Contributor Jehmu Greene last night (9/29/11) to discuss Herman Cain’s recent comment, “Many African Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.” O’Reilly didn’t just agree, he accused Greene of having been brainwashed, too. That was after he announced that African Americans support Democrats because of welfare entitlements and suggested they’d all be better off if they just worked harder and took fewer handouts. That’s right, it’s brainwashing instead of – oh, I don’t know – attitudes like that that keep African Americans from voting Republican.

O’Reilly cited various voting statistics of blacks voting overwhelmingly Democratic and – rather than consider the possibility they could have legitimately arrived at their decisions – called that “back up” for Cain’s view that they had been brainwashed.

Greene was rightly offended by Cain’s remarks and I suspect she was offended by O’Reilly, too, by the time the interview was over. Though I think O’Reilly intended to have an honest, respectful debate about entitlements and African American voting, he nonetheless came across as arrogant, condescending and yes, bigoted.

Greene remained polite and amiable throughout the interview, saving her fire for Cain. She said, “(Cain) basically said that the majority of African Americans in this country can’t think for ourselves.” She said that blacks vote for Democrats because of their policies, “because of the union impact on helping blacks into the middle class, because of the education programs…”

O’Reilly interrupted her to say, “Entitlements, correct?”

Greene ignored the interruption and persevered. “…because of a commitment to sustaining and fighting for working people, a commitment to fight the war on poverty…”

O’Reilly interrupted again. “I think everybody understands that black Americans vote for the Democrats because of entitlement spending. I think they all have that.”

He went on to question whether entitlements have “really worked” and then predictably concluded that they have not. O’Reilly lectured Greene, “What I think Mr. Cain is saying is that if you would go to the conservative view of self-reliance and depend more on yourself and more on making life work for you by your own hard work and education, rather than waiting for the government to give you something, you’d be better off.”

In other words, African Americans would love doing without food stamps, heat assistance and unemployment insurance if only they would quit acting like welfare queens! I’m shocked this message has not resonated more!

I don’t know how Greene managed to remain calm. But she said politely, “Actually, Bill, you’re wrong,” and told him that the policies have allowed African Americans to “work their way into the middle class,” have kept seniors from poverty, etc. After voicing her support for President Obama’s jobs plan, she topped it off by saying, “Herman Cain, he’s performing, he’s done great to build his brand up there but this conversation that he wants to have right now does no service to a national conversation about race and it is, at the end of the day, insulting.”

That got O’Reilly angry. “There are two sides to this story and you seem to be unwilling to listen to my side, which I think is reflective of Herman Cain’s point of view… and he’s saying that you are brainwashed. You’re coming across kind of brainwashed to me.”

So, let’s see… instead of trying to improve and expand upon the GOP’s outreach to African Americans, Cain and O’Reilly attack them as having been “brainwashed” for not liking them in the first place.

If the goal is really to win over more blacks, something tells me that strategy is not a winner.

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