Racism, a touchy subject at any venue, set off a firestorm Tuesday between Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and liberal contributor Kirsten Powers, with O’Reilly shouting, “Most Americans are not racist — they’re not!”
The debate began civilly enough when Powers stated that racism “is a serious issue in this country,” while O’Reilly countered that every country on earth has elements of racism, but there is no “epidemic of racism” here.
“The world is being told by anti-American haters that we are a rank racist society and that is a lie,” he said, before bringing on Fox News contributor Monica Crowley.
Crowley argued that while there are individuals who are racist, America has no “institutional racism.”
O’Reilly cut off Crowley’s argument to accuse Powers of making snorting sounds, “and I want you to knock it off,” he said.
Things really went downhill when Powers claimed that “there are a lot of people in this country who are racist and refuse to acknowledge the impact of racism.”
That sent O’Reilly off.
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“I have to wonder why you can’t see what’s happening, because most Americans are not racist. They’re not!” O’Reilly shouted.
Powers took civility down a notch with her next remark.
“So how many black friends do you have?” Powers asked.
“If you think most Americans are racist, I am ashamed of you,” O’Reilly shot back, adding that “every country” has racism. “It’s not OK! It’s not endemic!”
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