Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has always had a combative relationship with the Black community. His beefs with hip hop artists from Cam’ron to Lupe Fiasco are now the stuff of Internet folklore. Beyond that, O’Reilly coddling racists and being racially insensitive himself are also well-known tropes on his widely watched, cranky primetime program the O’Reilly Factor. I say all this to remind you that O’Reilly’s latest wild comment about Blacks isn’t surprising—he’s done this kind of thing before—but it is shocking all the same due to its outright brazenness.
As Zack Beauchamp at liberal news site ThinkProgress reports, O’Reilly’s latest attack on the African-American community came during a conversation with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who is Black. The talk eventually turned to why the vast majority of African-Americans vote for Democrats. After Brown calmly explained that the Democratic Party is attractive to African-Americans because of its sober commitment to many programs that help counteract prejudice against minorities, O’Reilly countered by saying that the Democrats have made Blacks “dependent” by giving them "all kinds of entitlements." Here’s the exchange:
Willie Brown: [Democrats] moved in and offered programs and policies that allowed African-Americans to become incredibly dedicated and the anchor in many Democratic elections.
Bill O’Reilly: Alright, but that’s a nice view if you’re a Democrat. But someone else would say the Democrats moved in and gave them all kinds of entitlements, making them dependent on the Democratic party and the state, which is not a good thing.
Beauchamp notes, of course, that, despite what O’Reilly may think, most welfare entitlements like food stamps and monthly assistance go to white people. But even not considering those statistics, the plain fact is that, for decades now, the Democratic Party has been the leader in fighting for minority rights while the Republican Party has remained stagnant. If one considers things like the hugely controversial Southern strategy, through which the GOP intentionally stoked fears of Black people in white Southerners, you can even show that Republicans profited for years from whites hating Blacks.
O’Reilly can—and I’m sure will—go to his grave spouting nonsense about Democrats intentionally creating a servile Black community that will always vote for liberal politicians like a swarm of zombies. But the truth is that there are very good reasons for Blacks to not vote for Republicans, reasons that have everything to do with the GOP willfully turning its back on Blacks time and again. O’Reilly will gladly ignore those reasons, though, because the size of his Fox News paycheck will always be dependent on the success and strength of the Republican Party.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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