During a Monday night rant on the conservative Fox News Channel, Republican opinion host Bill O’Reilly personally diagnosed the black community’s problems, lecturing that violent crime rate is due to “personal” choices made by single black mothers and insisting that more parental discipline and increasingly harsh penalties for drug crimes would be his preferred response.
In explaining all of this, O’Reilly used the recent acquittal of Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman from the killing of 17-year-old African-American Tryavon Martin to attack the work of civil rights advocates who’ve pointed out in recent months that the drug war has caused a major racial disparity in arrest statistics, even when whites are statistically more likely to possess controlled substances.
“It was wrong for Zimmerman to confront Martin based on his appearance,” O’Reilly said. “But the culture that we have in this country does lead to criminal profiling because young black American men are so often involved in crime.”
“When was the last time you saw a public service ad telling young black girls to avoid becoming pregnant?” he asked. “Has President Obama done such an ad? How about [Jessie] Jackson or [Al] Sharpton? Has the Congressional Black Caucus demanded an ad like that? How about the PC pundits who work for NBC News?”
“White people don’t force black people to have babies out of wedlock,” O’Reilly concluded. “That’s a personal decision. A decision that has devastated millions of children and led to disaster, both socially and economically.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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