Believe it or not, The O’Reilly Factor attacked basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar again last night. This time, Bill O’Reilly didn’t “just ask” Abdul-Jabbar if he loves this country. No, O’Reilly whitesplained that Abdul-Jabbar’s call to seek out and expose bigotry is dangerously akin to the Salem witch hunts.
Last night’s attack came less than three weeks after O’Reilly’s “questions” to Abdul-Jabbar, “Do you respect your country? Do you love your country?”
You may recall that last week, substitute O’Reilly host Laura Ingraham and her guest, Fox News contributor Deneen Borelli, went after Abdul-Jabbar for saying, “More whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism.” Borelli accused him of being “divisive” and “playing the race card.” Ingraham criticized him for ignoring “what works” – meaning, of course, he should tell blacks to stop complaining and start behaving better. “We’ve been talking about race for decades and decades and decades and decades,” she complained. Jabbar’s comments, she thought, didn’t “move the dialogue.”
Well, I’d love to know how she thinks O’Reilly’s finger-pointing last night “moves the dialogue.” Even though he did camouflage his hostility and condescension in a veneer of respect for Abdul-Jabbar:
Writing in Time magazine Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - a sincere man - opines about racism, quote, “The best way to combat racism in the face of selective attention and situational racism is to seek it out every minute of every day and expose every instance we find. And not just racism, but also sexism, homophobia and every other kind of injustice,” unquote.
Nice of O’Reilly to point out that Abdul-Jabbar is sincere, eh? Otherwise, we might think he’s just another race hustler because he’s a) black and b) talking about the evil of racism.
Although Mr. Abdul-Jabbar doesn’t know it, that statement's dangerous because if his vision were to come true, we'd be a nation of witch hunters. I mean, who exactly is in charge of defining and exposing every instance of racism? Who? Do we set up a tribunal in Salem, Massachusetts?
Really? Does O’Reilly really think people who care about exposing bigotry and injustice are crazed vigilantes? Apparently, he does. Not only that, he thinks it’s the first step toward a “totalitarian regime.”
Sadly this kind of thinking is now permeating the country. Americans are being punished for even donating money to causes some people don’t like. Speakers are being cancelled on college campuses if they don’t uphold liberal orthodoxy or politically-correct mandates. And race hustlers all over the place are branding people with whom they disagree with the “R” label. You want a divided nation? Let’s keep this up.
...A call for all Americans to seek and expose racism is …a vigilante situation. Again that’s dangerous. And if you study history you know that’s what totalitarian regimes do—seek out opinions they don’t like and punish them. It’s apparent that political correctness has taken deep root in this country. Conservatives and Republican students are targets on some college campuses. They're objects of derision in much of academia. In the media it’s more of the same—political correctness dominates.
If the Fox News Channel didn’t exist, the traditional conservative voice would be buried in the media. We’re one of the few networks that give both points of view. And have not surrendered to PC nonsense.
When I spoke with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar two weeks ago, I was impressed by his thoughtfulness. I think he's a good man. But his call to expose racism, homophobia and every other kind of injustice would only lead to more injustice. Most Americans are good fair people and the flawed among us will eventually expose themselves. We don’t need witch hunters.
If you think about it, what O’Reilly is saying is that we have to let racism and injustice run its course because we can’t trust minorities and “PC” people to root it out without turning into crazed demons. Which African American Abdul-Jabbar, although “sincere” and “thoughtful,” apparently wouldn’t understand the way a white, multi-millionaire who plays a working class guy on TV does.
And another thing: why is O'Reilly making a federal case out of this rather innocuous comment by Abdul-Jabbar? Is O'Reilly really expecting Americans across the country to take Abdul-Jabbar's advice as marching orders? Or is O'Reilly exploiting the "sincere" and "thoughtful" remarks of an African American icon as race bait?
Or maybe O’Reilly just doesn’t want his own racial attitudes getting too much scrutiny.
Because in O’Reilly’s fictional world, all the news and commentary shows that have a republican/conservative host don’t exist. All the conservatives that regularly appear on every show don’t exist. All the far right websites don’t exist.
Yeah, let’s practice keeping our thoughts to ourselves, shall we, Bill?