If we're going to start calling out racism when we see it, then I say we start with Bill O'Reilly and hammer him over and over and over again. That angry old man is a lying liar with a racist attitude, and Friday's Talking Points Memo segment emphasized that.
The only thing he got right in the whole thing? Saying the Charleston shootings were an act of terrorism. They definitely were. But from there, it was "off to the racists." (Forgive the bad pun)
He begins by pointing out those people saying things he likes. Winners of the Bill O'Reilly Happy Friday contest this week were CNN commentator Michaela Angela Davis and that champion of civil rights, Rand Paul.
Let's run down some worthy statements, as well as some foolish comments.
First CNN commentator Michaela Angela Davis:
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CNN COMMENTATOR: “This is terrorism. And the reason why I'm using those words is partly to bring the history current, because that's how it felt to those living in the Jim Crow South. That's what the Ku Klux Klan is, a terrorist organization. And up until this generation, I don't think we had the courage to call it what it is.”
Ms. Davis is correct. What Dylann Roof did is flat out terrorism.
It's not like he murdered someone for profit or for any other concrete reason.
He simply wanted to terrorize black people.
Next up Senator Rand Paul:
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): “There’s a sickness in our country. There’s something terribly wrong. But it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away. It’s people not understanding where salvation comes from.”
Mr. Paul is also essentially correct. The government cannot fix disturbed people like Dylann Roof. American society has veered away from moral judgments into a world where most everything can be justified with an excuse, thus making it easier for psychopaths to act out.
Now let's get into race and politics.
Isn't funny how black men who commit crimes are thugs and white men who commit them are "disturbed people?" Dylann Roof may be disturbed in some way, but here BillO is actually making an excuse for his actions by tossing him into that category when he was clear-headed and cognizant of exactly what he was doing. He just simply cannot utter the word "racist."
Having dispensed with the kudos, O'Reilly moves on to his political targets.
HILLARY CLINTON: “The public discourse is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can, in my opinion, trigger people who are less than stable. ((EDIT)) I think we have to speak out against it, like for example a recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexicans. Everybody should stand up and say that’s not acceptable.”
Secretary Clinton referring to Donald Trump, who wants to stop illegal immigration from Mexico by building a wall.
Mrs. Clinton obviously finds that offensive, but to inject that issue into the Charleston analysis is strange to say the least.
She's introducing a totally unrelated situation to the terrorism in Charleston.
The only thing I can think of is she's trying to mobilize Hispanic support.
For some strange reason, no one in ConservativeLand can understand why on earth anyone would consider Trump's pronouncement of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals to be at all racist. To them, it's unthinkable.
Next target is "race-hustler" Marc Lamont Hill. Billo's term, not mine.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUOTR: “The problem is, we can’t eliminate these types of incidents if we don’t get at the source of the problem, and the source isn’t individual crazy people. The source of this is white supremacy.”
White supremacy, good grief!
That's like saying the Black Panthers are sweeping across America inciting violent acts.
I'm sure all of you see white supremacists walking around your town nearly every day.
That kind of lunacy makes a mockery out of serious people trying to bridge the gap of understanding between black and white Americans.
What we need here is serious analysis and honest discussion about differences, not some phantom white supremacist’s madness.
Oh, that's what we need. Some quiet talk between Very Serious People where we do not under any circumstances suggest that white supremacy is a thing still to this day when of course it is.
Here BillO could benefit from a definition. White supremacy, defined: a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.
I think a look in the mirror might help Bill understand the concept, and also what Hill was saying there. Also? Fox News, with BillO's help, famously flogged the idea that the Black Panthers were sweeping across America stealing votes and intimidating white people, too. But shhhh, because it's time for quiet, adult conversations now.
Next up, the fanatics.
Also, we don't need fanatical ideology either. Eugene Robinson gets the honors.
EUGENE ROBINSON, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: “I would also argue that the flames of this fire are fed quite often by right wing rhetoric often from people who don’t necessarily share these radical views, who don’t in fact share these radical views. But who sort of insight these feelings of white victimhood -- they’re taking something away from you. And it’s no secret where you hear that kind of rhetoric -- it’s all over the airwaves.”
Mr. Robinson, who works for the Washington Post, makes a living out of demonizing conservative Americans.
Right-wing rhetoric … that's the ticket, that's what's causing all of these mass murders.
Never mind that far-left rhetoric is far more hateful these days than what the hard right puts out.
Mr. Robinson is a fanatical left-wing individual once again playing the ideological card in a bizarre way.
DAMN. Bill just can't seem to get to the answer here. (Hint, BillO. Pick up an mirror and look in it.)
Of course, none of this nonsense addresses the key question: How do we stop terrorists like Roof.
As Talking Points stated last night, we live in a free country where crazy people are allowed to roam free until they do something heinous.
Everybody who knew Dylann Roof understood he was an unstable racist individual.
Of course none of this addresses the key question for O'Reilly, because he can't see past the plank in his own eye nor admit his own contribution to the insane racism served up from Fox News, which has only amplified in the years that Barack Obama has been President.
The problem here was that Dylann Roof's racism was all too common. It didn't stand out. It was just a "conservative thing" that his friends dismissed as kind of typical for white dudes in the South. No one saw it as unusual; no one identified red flags until after the fact.
That is because of people like Bill O'Reilly, who refuse to understand their key role in promoting and encouraging white supremacist thinking, white privilege, and hate toward people of color.
Summing up, Talking Points urges all decent Americans to understand that there is evil among us and there is no solution to that evil.
All we can do is try to minimize and isolate the actions of disturbed individuals like Dylann Roof.
This country is somewhat united against terrorism abroad.
Now we have to come together to fight it at home.
Until a white guy did something so heinous Bill O'Reilly couldn't look away, it wasn't terrorism, and it's still not to him. Not really. He keeps pretending Dylann Roof was "disturbed." He wasn't disturbed. He was a hater who had ample opportunity to step back from that hate and chose instead to act upon it.
If we were to consider "isolating" disturbed individuals, O'Reilly and his pal Sean Hannity would be two of the top names on the list.