Bill O’Reilly loves to comment on black culture. It’s a shame that all of his ideas about black culture seem to come from movies such as “I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka,” which he probably doesn’t even realize was a comedy.
Who could ever forget his visit to Harlem’s famous Sylvia’s restaurant, where he was amazed to note that there was no one yelling “M-f’er, I want more iced tea!” O’Reilly has a long history of commenting on the problems of the black community, never letting his absolute ignorance on the topic get in his way.
Media Matters has put together a montage of O’Reilly comments regarding black culture in America. O’Reilly loves to tell black Americans what is wrong with their community and culture, and that can usually be distilled down to this: just do what white people tell you to do, and you’ll be fine.
O’Reilly seems to have a particularly tough time with black children born out of wedlock, which is a persistent theme in his comments. During one part of the Media Matters clip, O’Reilly tells Bernard Goldberg that young black men are angry that they didn’t have a family, because their father abandoned them. He hits the theme of missing black fathers repeatedly. Missing from O’Reilly’s world view is the fact that many black families are fatherless because the father is in jail, often for minor things such as drug crimes that frequently get whites a slap on the wrist.
When O’Reilly does take on the issue of black incarceration, it is from the standpoint of who commits crimes, particularly murder. At one point he says:
Young black men commit homicides at a rate ten times greater than whites and Hispanics combined.
It is unclear where he got that information, or how he chose to parse the data he used to make that statement, but according to the FBI, his claim is false. In recent years more murders have been committed by black males under 30 than by young white males, but the difference is more by a factor of about 2 to 1. It is also worth noting that , since 2008, whites committed more murders than blacks in every age group from age 30 on up.
The last part of the clip explains where O’Reilly is coming from. He thinks that black people would be just fine if they would only learn their place, and behave more like white people. He says:
But there was a different attitude in America after World War II. Because we had won a hellacious war, white America was kind of unified, and standards of behavior were very similar. That unification made it easier for society to function.
So there you have it. The solutions to all the problems in the black community, offered by the white man who was shocked to find that going to a restaurant in Harlem was just like going to a restaurant in a white community. Forget about issues of poverty, drugs, crime, and discrimination. Just act white, and it will be alright.
Here’s the montage, from Media Matters: