In this Oct. 1, 2015, file photo, Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel program “The O’Reilly Factor,” poses for photos in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
In a recent interview, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly revealed his own bigoted views while questioning Donald Trump about his strategy for courting Black voters who view the Republican presidential frontrunner as racist.
“Now, the minorities, let’s talk about the minorities,” O’Reilly said in his lead-up to his questions. Citing a recent interview in which Black activist and pundit Tavis Smiley called Trump a “racial arsonist,” O’Reilly added, “That’s the perception in the African-American precincts that you are a racial guy that doesn’t like them. Is there a strategy that you have or your staff has to negate that?”
Unsurprisingly, Trump denied his disfavor among African Americans, saying, “I don’t think it’s the perception at all I just don’t. I think we are going to do fantastic with African-Americans and Hispanics.”
Asked about his message to Black voters, the business mogul echoed a familiar refrain: “My message is, I’m going to bring jobs back…. The jobs have been taken out of the United States like we’re a bunch of babies….”
The answer, however, seemed insufficient for O’Reilly, who pressed: “But what about the grievance industry ran by your friend Al Sharpton where, you know, not only do you have to bring prosperity to all Americans, not just Blacks, but we owe them. We owe the African-Americans because of the historical atrocities that they have had to live through, their families, their ancestors, how are you going to deal with that?”
As Trump tried to respond, O’Reilly talked over him, finally asking, “But how are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads…how are you going – and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”
O’Reilly’s statements has drawn a barrage of criticism of commentators such as Smiley, who called the Fox News host a “race baiter.”
“You almost feel sorry for them when you see that kind of White supremacist language on display,” Smiley told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell. “I just pushed them higher on my prayer list.”
The African-American activist also pointed out O’Reilly’s tunnel vision.
“These White supremacists who have tattoos on their forehead, they do not factor into Bill O`Reilly`s equation,” he said. “But, yet you can choose a few brothers with tattoos on their foreheads, and that becomes the mantra, that becomes the quintessential example of what all Black life is about.”
Such ignorance is the reason why Black Lives Matters exists, he concluded, “because the respect and dignity and the humanity of Black life just does not exist.”