Thursday, September 27, 2007

On Bill O'Reilly

At first glance, this is just fun. We can enjoy watching a Fox News blowhole makes some idiotic and racially ridiculous remarks, and then tries to bluster his way out of his self-inflicted head shot.

If you look a little deeper, though, you may see something more disturbing.

Bill O'Reilly is a jerk, a blowhard, a sexual bully, hypocrite, and an arrogant self-promoter who never let the facts get in the way of one of his silly tantrums.

But is he a racist? Well, what he is not, I presume, is the simple, evil, ugly racist, the vile creature that can drag a man to death behind a pickup truck or burn crosses on a family's yard. That kind of racism is vulgar, simple--and obvious.

O'Reilly, though, demonstrates a much more subtle, and I fear pervasive form of racism. It is the prejudice of ignorance and the bigotry of low expectations. Admittedly, Bill is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and a rather repulsive person, but what is shocking is not what he said, but what he thought about it. He thought he was sharing some kind of enlightening observation with his audience, that black people are, what do you know, just like "us."

This is the racism that allows many to say, "I'm no bigot," but would shudder at having a black boss, neighbor or son-in-law. This is the racism that allows home buyers and real estate agents, without saying a word between them, to only visit houses in certain parts of town.

It isn't shocking that Bill O'Reilly said that Sylvia'a Restaurant and its patrons were like any other. What is shocking and sad is how many Americans would, like Bill, be surprised at such an obvious "revelation."

1 comment:

From the other side of town said...

Bill's got a hot daughter?

Seriously, everybody knows that Bill is fluent in "jive."