Russell Brand: Ferguson riots make Bill O’Reilly’s racism come ‘bubbling out’
In the latest episode of Russell Brand’s The Trews, the British comedian slams Bill O’Reilly for pretending to sympathize with the non-white people he and Fox News usually demonize.
As in a previous episode, Brand’s criticism took the form of a running commentary on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who began by saying that the death of Michael Brown “is now being investigated by state and local authorities, but that hasn’t stopped rioting and looting in the area.”
“I like that immediate implication,” Brand replied, then began imitating the police, “We’re investigating! You can stop rioting and looting!” He then switched back into his own voice and said, “the police shot and killed an unarmed teenager, what’s there’s to investigate?”
“The situation speaks for itself,” he continued. “He was a teenager, he was unarmed, there just isn’t a need for further inquiry — the inquiry itself is going to be sufficient,” before noting that Brown joins Trayvon Martin as an “emblem” of a “larger social unrest.”
Brand then cut back to O’Reilly, who had brought on Dr. Ben Carson, but before Carson can say anything, Brand cuts them off. “Obviously, you’re black, so we got that covered!”
He then allowed O’Reilly to say, “we have a black attorney general, Eric Holder, who in this case I have 100 percent confidence in.”
Brand interrupted and began impersonating O’Reilly, saying “in this case — but I wouldn’t normally trust a black attorney general, not with my car keys, I wouldn’t let him feed my fish. I don’t like black people! Sorry!”
“Your racism, Bill, it comes bubbling out all the time,” Brand then said in his own voice. After Carson agrees with O’Reilly that Attorney General Eric Holder will investigate the events in Ferguson responsibly, O’Reilly then asks what can be done about the people coming into the city to loot it.
“It’s almost, Bill,” Brand replied, “as if you’re living in a really unequal, unfair society that hasn’t recovered from the massive wounds of slavery and the continued subjugation of the non-white population. Eventually, inevitably, there will be flare ups.”
“There’s going to be a lot more of this happening as society becomes more and more unequal,” Brand continued. Referring to the militarization of local police forces, Brand said “the question will become, ‘Should we have a more equal society?’ or ‘Should we bolster our means of oppressing people?’”
When O’Reilly accused the Reverend Al Sharpton of coming to Ferguson to “agitate the situation,” Brand said that “when the issue is injustice, agitation is what’s required. People on the right are saying, ‘Just leave things as they are, I’m OK, I’m on Fox, I’ve got a show, Fox is making record profits!’”
“Look at where all [O'Reilly's] energy is focused — on protecting the status quo,” he said. “Al Sharpton seems to be representing an underrepresented community, speaking for people who don’t have a voice.”
After O’Reilly told Carson that he was just noting that Sharpton was there, but that he didn’t want to hear any more about him, Brand exploded into an imitation, “I don’t want anyone to comment on that! You’re too good for this, Ben. Don’t drag yourself down to his level — you’re a good one, Ben. More like you, Ben! Less like Sharpton! I like black people who come on the television and say, ‘Things are fine.’”
He then showed Carson saying, “we feel their pain, but what we have to remember is that police are individuals too, they have feelings, also.”
To which Brand replied, “I think it’s worth pointing out at this juncture that if an unarmed policeman was shot by a black teenager, I can’t imagine Fox News giving voice to someone to say, ‘You’ve got to remember, black teenagers are people too.’ They’d be all, ‘This is unacceptable! This is an indication of a society in decline!’”
“The ironic thing,” he continued, “is that the values that Fox News purports, like unity, like America, ‘this is a great country’ — they’re constantly at odds with that, because they really believe in oppression and exploitation, and the minimization of the suffering of the people who need the most support.”
Watch the entire episode of the Trews below.