Bill O’Reilly has a new scheme for concern-trolling black crime that he apparently thinks will inoculate him from accusations of racism: accuse President Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner of “passive racism” for not sending in the national guard to occupy the inner city and sending more African Americans to jail and throwing away the key.
Unfortunately for O’Reilly, it wasn’t hard to see that despite his pretense of caring about victims of black-on-black violence, his real game was ratcheting up hate against his usual targets.
How do we know O’Reilly was only interested in promoting hate and not healing? For one thing, O’Reilly’s prescription was all about punishing Blacks Behaving Badly and not about any kind of real solution:
O’REILLY: It is long past time for a state of emergency to be declared in certain Chicago neighborhoods. It is also long past time for gun-wielding thugs to be punished severely with very long prison terms.
O’Reilly never seems to profile programs that are addressing black crime or its root causes. In fact, when he was invited to visit a black neighborhood to see what measures are being taken, he turned down the opportunity, saying dismissively, “I taught in a poor school. I know what’s going on." That was more than 30 years after O'Reilly's last teaching stint.
Furthermore, O’Reilly has plenty of money and could use his bully pulpit to start some constructive programs instead of just attacking others for not doing enough. For example, last month, Roland Martin challenged O’Reilly to start a Black Youth Summer Jobs program after he complained that so many are unfit for work. If O’Reilly has taken up the challenge, he seems to be keeping it to himself.
Another clue that animosity lay at the heart of O’Reilly’s motivation? His condescending whitesplaining to African Americans and his swipe at many of their icons:
O’REILLY: Finally, a message for folks trapped in bad Chicago neighborhoods: You guys have got to speak out. You have to march, you have to demonstrate and you have to protest. Don’t count on Black Lives Matter or Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or even President Obama. They haven’t shown up. They don’t seem to care.
While he was at it, O’Reilly just happened to let it drop that he believes Black Lives Matter, Sharpton, Jackson and Obama are black racists.
O’REILLY: If it were white people gunnin’ ‘em down, you know they’d be in there. If white people were gunnin’ em down, they’d be in there. But it’s black gangs gunnin’ ‘em down.
… My opinion is, they don’t care and because they don’t care, you can slap a passive racism issue on it.
After his Talking Points commentary, O’Reilly debated Kirsten Powers on the subject. She strenuously rejected the notion that it’s racism that has blocked the actions O’Reilly wants taken and she pointed out that the problem is more complicated than his solution would indicate.
But O’Reilly “just knows” his brand of authoritarianism would do the trick.
O’REILLY: If I were the mayor of Chicago, you know this wouldn’t be happening and if I can stop it, they can stop it.
I doubt many people will be fooled by this phony-baloney interest in civil rights.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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