Even if you agree with Bill O’Reilly’s sentiments about “racial agitators” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in Ferguson, Missouri, his whitesplaining scolding about their behavior is not exactly the kind of talk that’s likely to soothe any tensions. In fact, it looks a lot like the behavior O’Reilly was condemning in others.
O'Reilly's animosity toward African Americans in Ferguson soon emerges
Friday night, The Five took over The O’Reilly Factor’s time slot for a vacationing Bill O’Reilly. But O’Reilly said he was so angry about the developments in Ferguson that he called in to sound off.
The discussion started with a queston about that day’s release of a surveillance video allegedly showing slain teen Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store.
O’Reilly called the story “just bull.” It was not clear if he meant the attempt to link the video to Brown’s killing or the entire story.
“Here’s the deal,” he said. People believe “what they want to believe.” They’re not “waiting to see what really happened.” He complained about “a number of forces in play that are trying to convince people of the truth, unquote… when they have no blankin’ idea what happened. None.”
O’Reilly continued, “So decent people step back and say... we want to know why this unarmed young black man was killed by the police. But we’re not gonna break into stores, we’re not gonna set fires, we’re not gonna accuse, we’re going to wait and see if the system works.” He took a swipe at Attorney General Eric Holder, saying he has a “rooting interest to get stuff done. This isn’t the IRS scandal.”
I believe O’Reilly meant to be even-handed here. But his use of the word “we” doesn’t just suggest which side he’s on but that there’s a bunch of “them” that he disapproves of. "They" don’t just include the African American protesters but the African American attorney general.
Also, O’Reilly discounted the information we already have: we know the police shot and killed an unarmed youth and there have been three eyewitnesses who have come forward to portray it as a murder. Not that I disagree with O’Reilly’s call to step back and let the system play out nor that the police officer deserves the presumption of innocence. But we do have a lot of information from bystanders and no official contradiction from the police.
But O’Reilly – deliberately or not – further cast the African American residents of Ferguson as an out-of-control, unreasonable mob. “There may have been a reason” Brown was shot down, O’Reilly said and then suggested one: Brown “was not a regular guy, alright? We see it on tape. We saw what he did in that convenience store. He’s not a regular guy, alright?”
Fox lets O'Reilly sound off on what's best for everyone in Ferguson... and beyond
O’Reilly has no personal expertise in race relations, police or even government service. Yet he went on to lecture the Missouri authorities as well: “I also will say, that the Missouri Attorney General should have taken this over from the jump. …They’re in over their head there in Ferguson. They don’t know how to handle it. They don’t know how to hold a press conference. They don’t know how to answer questions. They don’t know how to do anything.”
O’Reilly also pronounced it “insane” not to allow police to use “every weapon at their disposal.” Even though he thought it an “unnecessary escalation” to deploy tanks and other such equipment in Ferguson. “I would not have done that had I been the attorney general of Missouri,” he grandiosely announced.
O'Reilly loses it thinking about black 'grievance'
O’Reilly saved his biggest dose of vituperation for Sharpton, his National Action Network and Jackson. Although not named, their followers must be presumed guilty and dangerous in O’Reilly’s mind, too, either out of complicity or stupidity:
Look, I hate this “no justice, no peace” slogan. ...Whose justice you talking about? Yours? Al Sharpton’s justice? If you want Al Sharpton’s justice, you’re gonna have anarchy in this country, alright? That’s the kind of justice that guy peddles. No justice, no peace? ...Justice is meted out through our system …not out in the street.
…I’m telling you, you have to stop these exploiters. ...We all know who they are. ...They are really harming the nation.
…We’re living in an age now where people are not disciplined in their thinking. They’re easily led. And that’s frightening. Because the mob can really damage a country. And these guys who know how to exploit, these race hustlers and agitators, alright? They know how to push these buttons, yeah. You remember the lynchings back in the 19th century? Yeah. You remember Jim Crow, right?
(sarcastically) Well, nothing’s better! This is the same stuff that your grandparents had to go through! And you’re going through it now. You can whip people up! The demograph gods have done that throughout history and that’s what they’re selling! Grievance! And it makes me sick! And that’s why I’m on the phone with you tonight.
Despite all that seething – which suggested that Sharpton, Jackson and their followers are the real problem in Ferguson, O’Reilly never pointed to any specific thing Sharpton or Jackson did wrong there. In fact, even the ultra-conservative Breitbart.com has acknowledged Sharpton has done some things right in Ferguson. Not only that but – sit down, O’Reilly – the Bretibart columnist recommends conservatives emulate some of them.
Watch O'Reilly's inflammatory August 15 tirade below.
“Why can’t the blacks behave like the folks in my white, wealthy, background checked, suburban, HOA approved, gated community?”
Just like Cliven Bundy, Billo’s always willing to share what he knows about the negro.
Interesting how some try to ridicule old white men’s opinion on race. Who is doing all the looting in Ferguson? Who commits the most violent crimes in America? Can’t help but wonder how Jesus, MLK JR. and Nelson Mandela would react to all the comments below and the eternal grudge culture towards whites held by blacks. Where Is Love.
Doug Saint Carter