Is Fox Host Bill O'Reilly Racist or Misunderstood?

Published February 11, 2008

 Is Bill O’Reilly racist or just misunderstood?

Posted Oct. 1, 2007 – It looks like a lot of BET.com users aren’t at all surprised about Bill O’Reilly dishing insults after eating at Sylvia’s soul-food restaurant in Harlem last week with the Rev. Al Sharpton. 

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The conservative Fox News host raised eyebrows when he told his syndicated radio show audience he "couldn't get over" the fact that Black patrons at the famous Harlem restaurant weren’t crazed thugs screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea."

But O’Reilly says his comments were taken out of context, adding that he was actually defending Blacks with his comments.  He told his show’s audience that his grandmother and many other Whites feared Blacks because they didn’t know any and because they had been swayed by violent images in Black culture.

In response, BET.com users landed on both sides of the issue and sounded off on topics ranging from whether or not O’Reilly is right, stupid or just plain racist.

“I’m not surprised by his comment,” BET.com user Cutendaface writes.  “He's always hated Black people. He meant what he said and he said what he meant. True colors always come to the surface.”
 
Johnsonj2, another BET.com user, agreed saying, “Why is it so shocking that this man makes a statement like this? We all know what and who he is and each time he opens his mouth about something it shows….”

Go to the next paget so see why  some users say Bill isn’t worth the attention.

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“When are we going to stop worrying about what people like this idiot think?” BET.com user jbetts asked.

Still others, like Suzetta, thought his comments should be a wake-up call for Black people to be on their best behavior in public.

“People react to the way they see the majority acting,” she writes. “There would not be a surprise if most African Americans acted differently, but they don’t. We need to do better and encourage our friends, relatives and neighbors to do better also, and change the way we act.

We need to realize that when we act like thugs, we implant that perception for our entire race.”

Another BET.com user, Reeko, co-signed.
 
“We sometimes can act like we have no home training, good common sense and good judgment. Blacks are in a great position now to define who we are as a people, but will we?”

But users, like Tuesdaygirl, weren’t buying the whole “they think that because we act like that sometimes” argument.

“For those of you that say some Whites like O’Reilly get their opinion of us [Blacks] from what we put out on TV, that’s a cop out. We see negative images of Whites on TV… but if one Black person gets arrested or curses in public … we are all deemed like that … ,” she writes.

Movietruck wasn’t really trippin’ over O’Reilly’s “blatant racism.” But instead, challenged Blacks to step up to the plate and put out better public role models.

“[O’Reilly] so comfortably does it with no fear of the Black response. For the previous three decades the dominant Black male image was I’m brown, Public Enemy, and Tupac Shakur. The dominant Black male image this decade is Mr. Yes Massa’, Flavor Flav…”

What do you think? Is Bill O’Reilly racist or just misunderstood? Click “Discuss Now,” to the right, and let your voice be heard!

Written by BET-Staff

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