Bill O’Reilly makes a discovery

From Media Matters, via Atrios, whose excerpt I’m just going to copy:

O”REILLY: Now, how do we get to this point? Black people in this country understand that they’ve had a very, very tough go of it, and some of them can get past that, and some of them cannot. I don’t think there’s a black American who hasn’t had a personal insult that they’ve had to deal with because of the color of their skin. I don’t think there’s one in the country. So you’ve got to accept that as being the truth. People deal with that stuff in a variety of ways. Some get bitter. Some say, [unintelligible] “You call me that, I’m gonna be more successful.” OK, it depends on the personality.

So it’s there. It’s there, and I think it’s getting better. I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They’re getting away from the Sharptons and the Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They’re just trying to figure it out: “Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it.”

You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he’s made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia’s, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.

And I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and that’s really what this society’s all about now here in the U.S.A. There’s no difference. There’s no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment — people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to Little Italy, and you’re gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of anybody’s skin.

O’REILLY: That’s right. That’s right. There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.”

WILLIAMS: Please —

O’REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.

“There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea,'” is my favorite line in the whole thing.

This reminds me of when I went up for show and tell during the third week of November in the fourth grade, and solemnly informed the class that next week, on Thursday, it was Thanksgiving. Hey, it was news to me.

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12 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly makes a discovery

  1. Tom

    So, to be clear, he wants blacks to move away from Sharpton and Jackson and the race-based culture they advance, despite the sad fact that Sharpton had to give him, a grown-ass man, what was a hand-holding, crayon-drawing of a modern picture of race for him to finally understand what every 8 year old with a black friend in the sandbox figured out long ago? And now he’s climbing down from Mt. Crackertoa with this news that is shockingly shocking to only, and especially only, his audience?

    If anything, this reaffirms what I already knew; more white people need to eat soul food. And during my drunker moments, I still consider joining Sharpton’s campaigns.

  2. pedro

    And yet, in his moment of discovery, I still find him completely ignorant. M-fucker, I want some mo’ Ice Tea indeed.

  3. Steve

    And yet, in his moment of discovery, I still find him completely ignorant.

    Well, right. The very nature of these statements indicate that ol’ Bill remains not only ignorant, but ignorant that he’s ignorant in the first place.

  4. pedro

    I find it utterly hilarious that Bill O’Reily is upset someone distorted his words.

    I could barely listen to him whining that the media took his quote out of context. Sorry Bill. All’s fair in love and media.

  5. Steve

    I’ll watch the video of Juan Williams when I get home from work, but I read the whole thing. I’m well aware of the context. The thing is, Bill O’Reilly thinks it’s important to note for his listening audience that no no, Bill himself has been among the Black Folks in their natural habitat, and they don’t actually speak like gangsta rappers in their everyday lives. Like he’s Dr. Livingston exploring the terra incognita north of 125th Street. The news that black people commonly act just like real human people, meanwhile, is not actually news, except apparently among the intrepid Caucasians of the Fox News World Geographical and Exploratory Society.

  6. Ananth

    Watch the video. He was making a point that there are poeple out there who do in fact think black folk live like gangster rap videos and what not because of what they see on TV. And, at least according to Juan Williams, he was saying to them if they we exposed to ‘normal’ black culture, they wouldn’t find it any diffrent than anything else. I don’t think he was surprised or made a discovery…..

    Flip this around to a subject you are very sympathatic too. Suppose you were telling a homophobic person not exposed to any gays that normal gays were not like Jack from Will and Grace, you would tell stories about watching sports and drinking beer and how the your gay friends weren’t all ‘oh, football pants make Tom Brady’s ass look extra doable’ even if they do in fact make his ass look extra doable…

  7. Steve

    I’ve now watched the video, in addition to having listened to the clip of that entire segment of the radio show. O’Reilly’s whining about smear merchants again, and Juan Williams is missing the point.

    No one’s taking O’Reilly out of context; we all know exactly what he said, and why. He thinks he’s speaking up for black people and being anti-racist, and obviously thinks he’s magnanimous to do so. It’s his ridiculous anthropological tone that’s so outrageous, as though he’s venturing among the Hottentots to bring back news of their customs, just by taking a fucking Towncar uptown to a restaurant. To take the idea that black people are fully realized human adults, and treat that as anything but screamingly obvious is indeed insulting. To treat it as actually worth engaging simultaneously implies that there’s nothing a white person can believe idiotic enough to disqualify him or her from the conversation, and that black people are outside the conversation, exotic others to be explained to the people who actually matter.

  8. Ananth

    There are a lot of things people believe I find idiotic, but the idea of simply dismissing those people from the conversation seems a trifle elitist, don’t you think. This is a common tactic of people who hold views that are almost of a religious nature (on non religious subjects). You get this with the global warming community no longer wanting to even discuss what the actual outcomes might be, citing nonexistent scientific consensus. You get Larry Summers (hardly a bastion of conservatism) getting uninvited from UC speaking because he dared to ask a question as to why women were underrepresented in the sciences and engineering. You get right wingers doing it too, but usually it on actual religious issues… Now before you go comparing it to evolution vs creationism, the argument is teaching creationism as a science. You won’t find too many biologist unwilling to engage in a debate about creationism….

    Secondly, fully realized human beings are not the issue. When you are exposed to a certain portrayal of all the time of certain ethnicity or culture acting a certain way, of course everyone knows that not all of them act in that manner, however the assumption usually follows that a majority of them do act that way. Right or wrong, a lot of people think muslim=terrorist, Italian=Mob,Japanese=Ninja, Army Guy=Redneck moron or poor person. You and I both know that people are not as intellectual as we would like them to be, and that is why he related the story. His tone aside, I think the liberal huffiness is a little self serving and disingenuous.

  9. Steve

    There are a lot of things people believe I find idiotic, but the idea of simply dismissing those people from the conversation seems a trifle elitist, don’t you think.

    If dismissing racist crackers from good-faith conversations about race is wrong, I decline to be right.

  10. Ananth Sarathy

    You know, when someone is on a high horse, everyone else around them only sees a horse’s ass…..

    Anyway, i have spent enough time on this. It’s time for me to help the Master Chief….

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