Last week, as part of a discussion about Donald Sterling and race in America, Bill O’Reilly “just asked” basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar if he loves and/or respects this country. Tonight, The O’Reilly Factor followed up by maligning his comments on ABC's This Week, accusing him of "playing the race card" and attacking him for not recognizing what guest host Laura Ingraham whitesplained are the "real" problems facing black America.
Abdul-Jabbar has been in the news, including his appearance on Fox, because he has spoken out and written very eloquently about the shocking racial rant revealed in secret recordings of Sterling. Abdul-Jabbar is not only one of the most accomplished African American basketball players in this country, he once worked for Sterling. But apparently, he made the mistake of not consulting with Ingraham before talking about race yesterday. Abdul-Jabbar said:
I did a little bit of research. More whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism. …That’s why we have shows like Ghostbusters and don’t have shows like Racistbusters.
If you ask me, Abdul-Jabbar’s Ghosbusters/Racistbusters line suggests that when he said “believe in,” he meant “care about” or “interested in” more than “think exists.” But PolitiFact (an outfit I normally love) decided to fact check the literal claim. They acknowledged it was hard to find polls to prove anything one way or the other but eventually ruled the claim “Mostly False.”
Leave it to Fox News to seize on PolitiFact’s ruling as an excuse to suggest that African Americans are just too sensitive about race and too irresponsible about their own shortcomings. The fact that they were able to turn Sterling’s racism into a segment making African Americans the villains is a pattern we've seen before. It’s exactly what they did with the Trayvon Martin case. What’s especially disgusting, though, is that they should choose such a great figure as Abdul-Jabbar as their racial punching bag.
To her credit, Ingraham noted that Abdul-Jabbar was really saying that “whites and blacks have a different view of race in America.” She also claimed that “the real outrage” is that “economic opportunity isn’t there for people hardest hit – black Americans and Latino Americans.” But after that, she repeatedly suggested that “the real outrage” is how shiftless, derelict and divisive blacks are.
When you listen to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s comments, his comments are very divisive and it’s the same rhetoric that we hear from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and desperate politicians like Charles Rangel. They play the race card.
Listen, the facts remain that America is an exceptional country. I would never say there aren’t racism in America but it’s a minority of a number. It’s a small number and that number cannot prevent black individuals from striving and from achieving. …You work hard, you apply yourself, you’re successful. Playing the race card I think is very divisive and it’s the worst tactic to play, especially in this day and time with high unemployment, record numbers.
Excuse me, but when did Abdul-Jabbar say anything about not working hard? Did Borelli even read his nuanced, thoughtful columns before suggesting he’s a race hustler? I wonder if she even saw or read his later comments on ABC when he said, “It’s not something you can constantly be harping on, but when it’s appropriate and they see people doing things that don’t line up with how we’re supposed to be feeling about things, then people have to speak up.”
Ingraham piled on with a baseless prediction:
A lot of kids look up to folks like Abdul-Jabbar and they hear that, I bet, and they think, ‘Gosh… why bother? It’s gonna be harder for me to make it. These white people don’t like me."
She went on to complain that Abdul-Jabbar’s comments don’t “move the dialogue.” She moved her hands apart to demonstrate the divisiveness she was now blaming on Abdul-Jabbar – while overlooking how she was using a moment about a white man’s hideous racism to malign African Americans.
Then, she went on to whitesplain about “what works.” She said, “Personal responsibility, staying together as a family, getting married before they have kids. Those things work. Let’s support people to make all the right choices.”
Civil rights attorney Andell Brown, the other guest, pointed out that Abdul-Jabbar had said nothing to knock personal responsibility and that his own life is a model of achievement. “His statements taken in total are saying that we have a race issue in America that we cannot turn away from,” Brown began to explain.
Ingraham interrupted so as not to delay one second her superior understanding of African Americans:
What’s the bigger problem facing black people today? …With all due respect, we’ve been talking about race for decades and decades and decades and decades. We’ve had workshops, sit ins, symposiums, hour long, day long specials on television. But the problem facing the black community is an economic one, it’s a family one. I think those problems are much deeper today – not 50 years ago. But today, those are the things holding back so many Americans including black Americans. But not just black Americans. All of us.
The fact is, it was Sterling, not Abdul-Jabbar, who “played the race card.” It was perfectly appropriate for Abdul-Jabbar to weigh in with his own perceptions. That Ingraham, Borelli and Fox would use those comments to smear him and other African Americans says way more about them than anything about him. Shame on them.
They all should be fired, for those remarks.
If you spend enough time on Fox Nation, you’ll find people posting “I wanna f**K Harris Faulkner/MIchelle Malkin/Andrea Tantaros- Does that make me a racist?!”, just out of the blue, in somewhat heavy insistence as a talking point, and it stops when their screen presence isn’t scrutinized by the ones too far gone to tolerate even a “token” presence.
Putting aside the extremely disturbing logic behind that anyone would be stupid enough to word it like that, as well as the even more disturbing that only the female names get this, I find it to be a little more than mere coincidence that these posts start appearing when Ailes needs people who aren’t blonde and white making more face time. Yes, I am aware Tantaros is Greek, but she has very olive skin, which oddly enough, lumps her into “not white” with the Fox crowd. Ask me how I know.
Faulkner was pretty much shoved into a corner before those comments started making the rounds on her. She was on a few of the lower rated news block shows, and how much she appeared even on those seemed to depend on what “token” cred was going for that week. I think her increased presence now is an offset. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more black contributors, as well- Who are all conveniently complicit with this kind of talk against their race.
MSNBC was rightfully shamed, and responded by firing the people behind the camera found to be involved- As well as putting those two clowns on notice. AND they issued an apology where you don’t have to be working in the media to see it- The very few apologies I’ve seen out of Fox, it was one quickly uttered line that was cut from the website hosting, or a posting that you were taking the article’s word on, because they don’t link it, and it takes all day to find it on Google if you care enough.
Funny how Fox News Latino acknowledged that, while Fox News, Nation, and sites like Newsbusters are trying to create a fictional double standard. Kinda harkens back to our point that they’re hoping the Latin community only reads that section, and won’t notice that the rest of the network is strangely silent on the action and apology.
Meanwhile, Fox News is allowing habitual racism and sexism from it’s hosts, hiring known bigots as contributors, and actively defending racism from the right, while demanding cartoonishly unreasonable outrage from us when it’s from the left.
That’s the difference between MSNBC and Fox News. Hell, that’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican- We clean house on that kind of stuff in the fastest time frame possible, they defend it while screaming “The left does it, too!”, and expecting unrealistic consequences for ours, while nothing is done for theirs.
I hope that makes sense to you, Tom- It is, after all, the point of this conversation.
They talk about racism, yet they have one black woman co-hosting “Outnumbered” and the rest are predominantly blonde mouthpieces.
The Fox “News” frauds need to practice what they preach.
How about Zimmerman, you have racist Hispanics shooting black people. We need this to stop. I have no clue on how to stop things like Zimmerman.
Fox needs to back off!!!