O’Reilly and Kelly spar over ‘white privilege’; Bill wins with dead-on ‘Asian privilege’ argument

Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly picked up the cudgel again on his show “The Factor” on Tuesday, to stress the paramount role culture in the home and a stable environment play in affording future success to America’s children.

He was following up Monday night’s debate with Megyn Kelly, as to whether whites in America had a privileged advantage over blacks in climbing the ladder to success.

Kelly, a former attorney and host of her own show, “The Kelly File,” had cited plentiful statistics explaining the stacked odds blacks faced in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere, from living in single-parent homes and low high school graduation rates, to high unemployment and growing up in poor neighborhoods. “There’s a lot of evidence pointing to white privilege,” she said to O’Reilly.

O’Reilly did not disagree with her commentary, but pointed out that it was not a matter of white privilege.

“It all comes down to family, culture, personal responsibility – all of these things which we don’t hear much about and this is what drives poverty,” he contended.

“Look, it’s not just families and culture,” she continued, adding the strong tendency of whites to move out of neighborhoods when blacks moved in, as happened in Ferguson.

She referred to promises the president made that didn’t come true, promises the Democratic governor of Missouri made that didn’t come true, and a school system left by the roadside. “The black population feels forgotten, Bill. That’s why they feel resentful,” she concluded. “They have no one to trust.”

O’Reilly said that was all true, but until the culture changed to a “you-can-do-it” attitude, the situation would not improve, to which Kelly interjected, that men like Al Sharpton only made the situation worse.

On Tuesday, in his “Talking Points” commentary, the burly host pointed to the huge achievements of America’s Asian community, whose average income, high school graduation rate, and employment percentage exceeded those of whites.

He admitted that blacks had a harder time of it than others, but noted that Asian-Americans fared even better than whites, because of their stress on education and their stable home environment. He poignantly asked, “Do we have Asian privilege in America?”

O’Reilly cited statistics from the Census Bureau to support his claims, particularly calling attention to 55 percent of black children living in single-parent homes as compared to only 13 percent for Asian-American kids.

He said that learning right from wrong, civil behavior, speaking properly, and talking and acting respectfully also were critical in coping with life’s challenges. “If African-American children do not know these things, they will likely fail as adults, they will be poor, and they will be angry,” he said.

And this is where O’Reilly threw down the gavel: the failure of black leadership.

“Instead of preaching a cultural revolution in the black precincts, they provide excuses for failure,” he harangued. “The racial hustlers blame white privilege and an unfair society, that America is a terrible country, so it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you become a criminal. Noooo, it’s not your fault, it’s society’s fault.”

“And that is the big lie that is keeping some African Americans from reaching their full potential,” he said, concluding that until there is a cultural change and a powerful message of personal responsibility invoked, millions will continue to struggle.

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Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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