Bill O’Reilly recently showed his ignorance as he claimed, "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-fer, I want more iced tea.'" He was referring to a popular restaurant in Harlem. The right-wing FOX News broadcaster also said, “You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all.” Comments like these, which are meant to be complimentary, are completely ignorant.
Based on O’Reilly’s statements, we are supposed to believe that most Black-owned restaurants are nothing but ghettos that don’t have the same environment as the suburban white restaurants. O’Reilly’s comments are far worse than those of Imus for the simple reason that O’Reilly was actually being serious. But is anybody really surprised given Bill O’Reilly’s past?
In an interview from 2002, Bill O’Reilly referred to Mexicans as “wetbacks” and was surprisingly given a pass for his insensitive remarks. In 2003, at a charity benefit for inner-city school children, he said, “Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps!” in reference to a group that was supposed to perform. In June of 2004, he made these offensive marks about Iraqis. Do a Google search with the terms “Bill O’Reilly” and “racist” and you’ll come up with a lot more.
Let’s not forget that Bill O’Reilly has been very critical of Black music acts such as Ludacris and Snoop Dogg for the sexist nature of their lyrics, despite the fact that Bill O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment suit out of court. The moralizer of the right allegedly verbalized his fantasies about falafels, dildos, vibrators and loofas to co-worker Andrea Mackris.
Bill O’Reilly’s latest installment to his Hall of Shame probably won’t bring him down; he has the same audience as Rush Limbaugh, whose motto is “Do as I say, not as I do.” Even though his ignorant, hypocritical face will brace FOX News for years to come, it’s important that people recognize ignorance and stupidity. Bill O’Reilly is certainly counting his big bucks, but at what expense to his soul?