Fox News host Bill O’Reilly hosted former colleague Glenn Beck on his show Monday night to discuss excerpts from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cultural sensitivity seminar released this week by the conservative group Judicial Watch, and concluded they taught “government workers to be racist.”
Video excerpts from the seminar, given to USDA employees in 2011, feature Dr. Samuel Betances, a sociologist and lecturer who specializes in speaking about workplace diversity, race relations and gender issues. The talk was given as part of Sec. Tom Vilsack’s initiatives to address civil rights issues and discrimination within the agency.
In the footage he says that the Pilgrims did not hand over their passports to native Americans, and adds that he doesn’t like calling people “minorities” — he prefers instead “emerging majorities.” Betances goes on to say that a better understanding of issues facing African-Americans can help society to become “an extension of each other’s quest to make American stronger, healthier and freer, for all of us.”
“Say thank you [to] black folks,” he prompts his audience.
For Beck, that was just too much. “Look at what this government is doing!” he began. “This government, under Barack Obama, is hiring people to teach people how to be racist. This is the most incredible thing, and we’ve seen a lot of incredible stuff from our government. But usually it’s somebody like [California Democratic Rep.] Maxine Waters who’s like, ‘You know what this liberal’s gonna do? We’re gonna socialize your oil companies.’ This is a coordinated, planned effort to go in and teach government workers to be racist.”
Challenged on whether Betance’s talk was actually racist, Beck urged O’Reilly to “go back one sentence from where you picked it up, where everyone needs to say, ‘Thank you, black man. Thank you, black man.’ What is it with this? We are all in this together. Here’s an organization that is our government spending your tax dollars trying to teach this nonsense. What are they teaching? They’re teaching that the white man came over and stole the land from the Indians.”
He added: “I would urge everyone to call your congressman and you tell them, ‘Pull the funding from the USDA.’ This is outrageous that they would spend your money.”
Dr. Betances did not respond to a request for comment.
This video is from “The O’Reilly Factor,” aired Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, snipped courtesy of Mediaite.