Bill O’Reilly held a discussion with Cornel West that was supposed to be about assessing the agenda of Black Lives Matter. But O’Reilly seemed to conclude before West even appeared that the agenda is really about taking his money and giving it to some shiftless black folks. So, of course, O’Reilly had to lecture West about black-on-black crime.
“It’s hard to tell what the end game is here,” O’Reilly said by way of introduction, “but from what I’ve seen, the #BlackLivesMatter crew is really about money, reparations from past injustice.”
Really? In the organization’s national demands, the focus is on criminal justice and law enforcement, not money. I was also present when #BlackLivesMatter disrupted Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation and I only recall talk about African Americans dying at the hands of law enforcement and not a thing about money.
Over O’Reilly’s shoulder was a large graphic that read, “Black Lives Matter: Assessing Their Agenda.” But as soon as the interview began, O’Reilly turned to attacking African Americans over black-on-black crime, the only racial issue that he ever seems to care about.
O’REILLY: I want you guys in the #BlackLivesMatter movement to join me, alright? Instead of directing your ire toward the larger societal problem of African Americans, let’s get into the family fabric first, try to solve that and then go back to the other thing.
“We do have to begin with the system,” West said, gently rebuffing O’Reilly. “You can’t overlook the vicious legacy of white supremacy, Brother Bill.”
“I don’t buy that,” O’Reilly declared. “We have to look forward.”
Then he moved on to ask if West is a socialist “like Bernie Sanders.”
West said he’s a Christian who wants to eliminate poverty.
O’Reilly must have gotten worried. “By elimination of poverty, you want to take from those who have and then give to those who have not, correct?” he asked.
West tried to explain that it wasn’t a simple yes or no but O’Reilly seemed too concerned with the thought of some of his money going to some black welfare queen. Before West could finish answering, O’Reilly interrupted to say, “This isn’t just justice you want. You want to take from me and I’m totally innocent about the historical stuff, I’m totally innocent! You want to take my stuff and give it to other people because of what may have happened in the historical past!”
West suggested that he wanted to use tax money already being “taken” from O’Reilly and, instead of giving so much to the military, spend more on “quality education, quality jobs and so forth.”
That further disturbed O’Reilly. “We’re living in a dangerous world and we have to protect all people,” he said, nervously.
If only African Americans handled themselves better, O'Reilly implied, income inequality wouldn’t be an issue.
O’REILLY: I want a dual process of a fair economic system. I’m for the raising of the minimum wage but personal responsibility has to be taught. …You can’t continue to have 75% of black babies being born out of wedlock!
…As African Americans become more educated and more sophisticated in the marketplace, that (income) gap will shrink. You forcing it to shrink will never work, it never has worked.
West said there’s no evidence that income inequality will be reduced by the “free market.”
But as far as O’Reilly is concerned, the poor live well enough. “The poor in America live better than most other middle class in the world,” he said. “In the bible, the poor will always be with us.”
West replied, “What Jesus said is, ‘What you do for the least of these, you do for me.’”
“That’s right and we all try to do what we can,” O’Reilly said.
Watch it above, from the August 20 The O’Reilly Factor.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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