Bernard Goldberg, of all people, was Bill O’Reilly’s guest last night to discuss the "collapse" of the African American family. That’s right, O’Reilly chose not a sociologist but Fox’s white news and media analyst to discuss this sensitive subject. And not for the first time, either. So it’s a safe bet that O’Reilly knew that Goldberg would take a hard-line approach. But even he couldn’t swallow the “honesty” that Goldberg wished Romney had used when he spoke to the NAACP last week – “honesty” that amounted to lecturing them that he can't help them get jobs until they reduce the number of unwed pregnancies.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for lowering the rate of out-of-wedlock births in the African American and every other community, especially for teen mothers. But there’s something about two old, rich, white guys lecturing poor African Americans that doesn't sit well with me. I doubt it will to many blacks, either. And really, if O’Reilly was truly interested in getting at the cause, he’d have had a sociologist on and maybe someone from the African American community who had a sympathetic and sensitive perspective. Instead, we got Bill and Bernie – each of whom have demonstrated hostility toward African Americans in previous segments.
Oh, and the Fox News staff. They titled the video, Goldberg: African Americans ignore collapse of the family.
Goldberg called the 72.5% out-of-wedlock birthrate for blacks “embarrassing.” Without offering a single statistic to back up his assertion, he declared that “the most important reason” is fatherlessness. “It creates chaos,” he said.
O’Reilly said that the out-of-wedlock birthrate was 22-25% during “the roughest part” of the Civil Rights era. “It’s tripled now… why?” To paraphrase Bob Dylan's immortal words, you didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing with that question.
Sure enough, Goldberg grabbed the opening and took a swipe at civil rights leaders and welfare: “One of the reasons that they, the black community, attributes to this - black civil rights leaders - is racism. Well, in 1940 when there was a lot of racism in the United States, the out of wedlock birth rate in black America was 19%.” He added that the rise “coincides with the beginning of the Great Society welfare state.”
“So that’s what’s happened. The government became the father,” Goldberg pronounced.
Of course, there could be many reasons for the rise but what a coincidence that Goldberg (and O’Reilly) fastened on just one – and one that fit neatly into their political agenda.
Earlier in the show, O’Reilly had a discussion with African American Willie Brown about Romney’s address to the NAACP. Yet, he saved the “collapsed family” discussion for Goldberg. Goldberg now noted that Brown had recommended Romney tailor his remarks to the NAACP audience and let them know what he would do for them. “That’s not gonna happen because Democrats will never speak honestly to black people because their white liberal guilt gets in the way. And Republians won’t speak honestly either because they don’t have the courage,” Goldberg said.
O’Reilly agreed. “They don’t want to be accused of being a racist.”
So Goldberg gave his own prescription for what Romney should have said:
He should have looked at that audience and said, ‘Look, I’m going to try to turn the economy around. But there’s not much I can do for a community where 72.5% of the people are born out of wedlock. I’m not gonna be able to get jobs for a 15 year-old girl who has a baby. I’m not going to be able to find jobs for a young boy…
O’Reilly interrupted. “There would have been a riot if he said that!”
Goldberg continued, “...who drops out of school because in some perverse way, taking school seriously is acting white.”
“Right,” O’Reilly agreed.
Goldberg added, “And he should have done that and he should have said, ‘Government can do just so much. You, the venerable members of the NAACP need to more than you’re doing and you’d better be more successful at it.’”
“But can you imagine if he said that?” O’Reilly asked. “Everybody would have killed him.”
Goldberg was not deterred. “And you know what my answer to that is? So what? So what? You don’t do anybody any favors – whether it’s the NAACP or any other group – when you don’t speak honestly to them. And we don’t speak honestly to black people… Nobody wants to acknowledge what the problem is.”
As they moved on to discuss the horrendous epidemic of violence in Chicago, O’Reilly was now ready to offer his own lecture to blacks. “What has to happen is the African American community has to come together and demand that (the gang violence) stop. And the reason in the long term that it’s come to this, is because young boys, once they get big enough, don’t listen to their mothers and if the mother says, ‘Don’t go out,’ the young boy says, ‘I’m going out and I’m gonna get the gang’ because they’re almost impressed into the gang and that’s what you have.”
Finally, at 5:38 into the discussion, Goldberg thought to mention that the problem is not just limited to African Americans. The "white underclass isn’t doing a whole lot better,” he said. O’Reilly agreed, saying they paralleled in the Hispanic and white communities. They’re all “likely gonna go wrong if they have no structure.”
As the segment closed, Goldberg went back to making it specifically about African Americans: “The one thing I want to leave you with: Nothing is going to change in black America for the better as long as you have 72.5% of all the babies born with no father around.”
I tell you what, Bill and Bernie. Why don’t you guys head up to Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem – you know, the place where Bill was so impressed with the patrons’ manners and behavior – and have that kind of honest discussion you advocate?
This way people of all ages can hear their bullshit and solutions not just the nodding drugged out Seniors on Meds .
The right wing approach is apparently to encourage the kids to practice abstinence. Because this has really worked for the past 2000 years, hasn’t it?
He also then used an unrelated clip of McCain at a campaign appearance getting some catcalls for admitting he voted against making MLK’s birthday a holiday in Arizona. But the clip also includes McCain saying he felt this was a mistake and he learned from it, and you can hear one of the audience there saying in a supportive way, “We all make mistakes.”
O’Reilly then spent a bunch of time saying that somehow these clips show that he was right to yell at Shelton about this, and that somehow Shelton was wrong. Except that he’s deliberately fogging what Shelton was telling him. Shelton said that the NAACP does not normally boo people who come to them, and they regularly have candidates from all parties speak there. Shelton’s point was that McCain did not try to provoke the NAACP, nor did even Bush. But Romney did. Shelton wasn’t asking Romney to change his campaign – just noting that if you walk into a room and say something you know will offend the people in it, you can expect an unhappy response. Romney clearly knew this was going to happen and planned for it.
O’Reilly and Goldberg further obscured the point by saying that for Romney to have done otherwise would have somehow meant he wasn’t “telling the truth” about himself. Which is nonsense. Romney could have made the same point without calling it “Obamacare”, and by pointing out what specific policies he would push to help the situation. Of course, that would mean that Romney would need to have a specific policy to push, and he’d rather not say…
“If you want to get rich, then doesnât it make sense to get lectured by the rich? If you want to stay poor, then get lectured by the poor.”
And Matthew, you’re proof that if one wants to continue to be stupid and ignorant, one should listen to Fox ‘News’.
Now go away.
Billy and Goldberg are full-blown cowards. It’s easier for them to criticize folks inside the studio where it’s safe, and guarded by security in their nice, clean, press suits.
We want all the masses to viral this video to every black organization in the United States. Tell the leaders of each organization that Goldberg does not have the guts to tell them face to face.
If Goldberg won’t go to the black community, we will bring the black community to him.
Use this hashtag #Goldbergcriticizesblacks and blast it to Twitter.
NOTE TO GOLDBERG
You are a coward. Be a man for once in your miserable life and tell the black community your “concerns” about out-of-wedlock birth.
If the lecture is on African American issues — um, yeah.
I can’t speak for EVERY African American in the US, but THIS African American is growing weary of old white racists such as BillO, Goldie, and Rush Limpballs attempting to speak on issues they have no knowledge of . . .
Would you rather have two poor African Americans lecturing?
If you want to get rich, then doesn’t it make sense to get lectured by the rich? If you want to stay poor, then get lectured by the poor.
What does being white have to do with anything unless you are a racist of course?
When a host lets himself be aired opposing a black leader, based on a term coined by white supremacists, that’s when you know he flat doesn’t give a sh*t.
And to be perfectly blunt, I think all his racist incidents since then have just been him rubbing in that he’ll never get fired or fined under Murdoch’s umbrella.