Recently, actor Levar Burton made some news when he discussed on CNN his fears of being mistreated by the police because of racial profiling and how he has taught his sons to behave if and when they get pulled over. Tonight, Burton appeared on the O’Reilly Factor as a follow up. I believe Bill O’Reilly meant well and intended to have a respectful exchange of perspectives but just like when he gushed over how well behaved the black diners were at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem, his clueless arrogance muscled its way through.
First, O’Reilly suggested that African American concerns about racial profiling are overblown. And he held up his own recent experience with a black copy who “didn’t like” him as an example:
I was pulled over by a black cop a few weeks ago and he obviously didn’t like me and gave me a nice, big ticket, even though I had a pretty good excuse for what I was doing. But that was alright, I was wrong, I took the ticket.
But I didn’t feel threatened in any way. I picked up the vibe that he’s not a big Factor fan but I didn’t feel – but you, on the other hand, when you’re pulled over, you feel –
Burton tried to explain that it was a matter of making sure the police officer didn’t over-react, not merely a matter of being annoyingly singled out “The difference between you and me, Bill… I want to make sure that that time between when the officer leaves his car and approaches mine, that he’s as relaxed as possible,” Burton said.
But O’Reilly didn’t get it. “…And why do you want to make sure he’s relaxed? Because that didn’t even pop into my brain. What popped into my brain was, ‘I’ll explain why I did this and he’ll understand,’ It wasn’t 'I want him to be relaxed.’”
Of course, that’s exactly the point. Burton said, “Because I live in a country and in a culture where it can sometimes be dangerous to be a young black male. The statistics are overwhelming… The over-representation in our prison populations of young men of color. It is historically dangerous to be a young black man in America.”
Instead of acknowledging that someone of color might just have a different experience and a different frame of reference, O’Reilly moved on to suggest that racial profiling is African Americans’ own fault:
Does the fact that reported crime - not convicted crime - reported crime, so overwhelmingly tilts toward African American men mitigate this? That reported crime, mostly by other African Americans, alright, is overwhelmingly in the young black man precincts. Does that mitigate anything?
Burton answered, “I don’t believe it does. I really don’t. He added that majority populations “always” “set the rules” and that blacks have “traditionally, habitually, institutionally been disenfranchised and targets of law enforcement.”
O’Reilly interrupted to say he had to run. But before he closed the segment, he issued some marching orders to Burton: “I want you to do a little research for me. I think it’s a fact that proportionally young black men commit far more crimes than any other group in this country. And I think that that’s what is driving all of this fear on both sides."
Burton replied, “We’ll talk again, Bill.”
I hope they do. And I hope Burton is wise to, or will be wise to, the kind of race baiting and racial divisiveness that goes on daily at Fox News – and calls them out on it
Oh for the record to all of you “Loyal Democrat” morons, The KKK was started by the Southern Democrats! Not the Republican Party! …Alete Imbeciles!
Comment edited. We get the point.
Ya see, The White Power Structure does Not include Blacks. That’s why it’s called The White Power Structure. Do I have to repeat that Burton? BTW kid, when did your eyes get fixed?!
Of course, Billy wouldn’t be the first News Corporation employee with run-ins with the law.
Billy lives in a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood. The only time you see minorities-mostly Hispanics-is when they are cutting the rich folks lawn and trimming the branches. Others hire Hispanic women for domestic work.
NOTE TO BILLY
Against the black Irish as well?
It’s not clueless arrogance. It’s his arrogant cluelessness that gets in the way.
If the discussion is about Racial Profiling, WTF does Loofah Lad have to contribute to such a discussion? Nothing. But he’s got a Black guest who might be able to add to the public discourse. If The Falafel King were really a news person he’d be asking his guest more questions about Racial Profiling, not talking about himself getting pulled over by a Black cop, a story that had no racial component until he gave it one.
With all my loofahs,
Anyone else going through this?
Of course, given the situation, it wouldn’t surprised that O’Reilly was lying about the whole incident.