Bill O’Reilly opened a segment last night in which he rhetorically asked, “Is there a rise of hate crimes in the U.S.A. in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict?” Anyone remotely familiar with The O'Reilly Factor and/or Fox News, in general, knew in advance what answer would be presented. But O’Reilly’s own behavior didn’t just undercut his thesis it suggested he was hiding the truth.
O’Reilly cherry picked four examples of black-on-white crime to support his declaration:
All over the country, police are arresting black men and some girls for assaulting white people. The national media pretty much ignoring the story but two cases here in New York City have removed all doubt that serial hate attacks are going on.
Really? Two cases in New York City “removed all doubt?” I guess O’Reilly offered up the other two cases just for good measure. But four cases in a country the size of the U.S. is not just statistically insignificant, it smacks of spin in what O'Reilly touts as a No Spin Zone.
O’Reilly offered no broader statistics, came up with no black-on-black, white-on-black or white-on-white crime stats for comparison and then interviewed a law professor, rather than a sociologist, social worker or researcher with actual knowledge of the answer he purported to seek.
The interview with Associate Professor Donald Tibbs, of Drexel University, that followed was surprisingly respectful. That is, if you don’t mind O’Reilly’s biased question asking if his examples were “payback” for the George Zimmerman verdict (even though O’Reilly later admitted there was no real evidence to suggest the same). However, Tibbs did argue that racial violence has been on the rise for several years, not just since the Zimmerman verdict. He did not say whether that meant only black-on-white racial violence. Nor did O’Reilly ask for clarification or for any statistics whatsoever. It’s worth noting that this article by Huffington Post’s Radley Balko – who did wade into the weeds of statistics and studies – concluded that the rise in interracial crime was probably a result in increased integration more than racism.
“Young black men are angry they don’t have a father around!” O’Reilly declared.
I’d love to know the last time he went into a black neighborhood and talked to any young black men to test that hypothesis. Because I recall that when another African American professor invited O’Reilly to visit some poor neighborhoods and see what’s actually happening there, O’Reilly scornfully refused, saying he didn’t need to go because he once taught in a poor school. He never mentioned that that two-year teaching stint was 30 years ago.
I will say that O’Reilly seems to have shifted his tone here, perhaps because I think he was genuinely stung by Levar Burton’s criticisms of him. And I’ll give O'Reilly props for that. But, Bill, if you want to be any kind of conduit for a solution to problems in the black community, you’ll need to understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes, rather than just lecture at them from yours. And that means really looking at the situation without throwing around inflammatory soundbites that only your majority-white viewers could love.
Hate against women is a topic that is long overdue, right Billy?
Loofah crimes are on the rise! Bingo!!!
To make things even better for Billy Boy here, hate crimes against whites are barely a blip in most states unless you take interracial families and marriages and count each member separately. Seriously, the FBI has started making them a statistic, instead of counting the spouses individually as their own demographic. In those terms, the pecentage of white victims goes waaaaay down, and the number of white offenders goes waaaaay up, because guess which ethnicity still sees colour in love?
Oh, I’m sorry- Are facts like this hurting you, Billy? Are they screwing too hard with your cherry pick?