Bill O’Reilly: Exploiting the race card but avoiding the real issue
Bill O’Reilly happens to be on while I’m at the gym (obviously I need an excuse to watch him), so I sometimes tune in to make the time go by a little faster. He is probably seen by most people as a conservative—which is why he is so poisonous. Right now he is plugging the immigration surge/amnesty bill as good politics (all those low-income, uneducated, benefits-hungry immigrants our economy so desperately needs can hardly wait to vote Republican out of gratitude for passing the bill), much to the delight of Sen. Marco Rubio. After all, he is looking out for you—never mind that it will add 30-40 million non-White Americans in the next ten years and who knows how many more given that, as in the past, whatever draconian enforcement provisions end up in the bill as sops to the Republicans will not be implemented, especially considering that the 90% apprehension requirement has been abandoned. The Democrats would love to get the big surge in numbers by agreeing to stricter enforcement that they know full well will never happen.
(O’Reilly recently debated Laura Ingraham on immigration, Ingraham laughing at his naivete in supposing that the likes of Obama and Napolitano will secure the border no matter what the law says. O’Reilly countered masterfully by saying he trusted Sen. John McCain[!]. )
O’Reilly does a much better job of looking after himself. The last part of his show is basically an infomercial plugging his books and personal appearances. He is nothing if not a money-making machine. His money-grubbing is so blatant that it always amazes me that he is so popular. Why aren’t people offended by his obvious greed?
A segment he did on Salamishah Tillet (June 18) caught my attention because of what it says about the “conservative” mass media on race. Tillet is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania who, in O’Reilly’s words, put on “an incredible display of racial hatred on national television.” Tillet talked about the “moral panic—a fear of the end of Whiteness” due to “a decreasing White majority.” The result is that Whites are circling the wagons by opposing late-term abortion. Apparently, her idea is that these Whites see late-term abortion as a way of attacking the embattled White race because the bodies of White women are “crucial” in “reproducing Whiteness, White supremacy, White privilege.”
O’Reilly’s guest, one Leslie Miller who is described as a “liberal talk show host,” rejects Tillet’s argument but says she is well aware that the “White Aryan Resistance, skinheads, etc.” are concerned about the end of majority White America. O’Reilly makes no objection.
O’Reilly, ever conscious of ratings, knows that his overwhelmingly White audience will eat this up. He also knows his audience will love this video of dreadlocked rapper Lil Wayne rapping to an appreciative Black audience while stomping on an American flag, featured on O’Reilly’s June 20th show.
Blacks behaving badly, and expressing their hatred and contempt for White America. Although he would never suggest that all Blacks have similar ideas, the segments plug in to two stereotypes of Blacks—White-hating Black intellectuals (Cornell West is perhaps the best-known example) and uneducated inner-city Blacks and all that that the latter connotes in terms of welfare dependency, being out of the workforce, drug use, criminal behavior, and, yes, lack of intelligence (O’Reilly says Lil Wayne is not smart enough to know what he is doing). His White audience inevitably comes away with the feeling that O’Reilly is on their side—that he is standing up for White America against the forces of darkness, even though the glaring fact of Lil Wayne’s race is presented as completely irrelevant to the segment. After all, he’s looking out for you in his no spin zone. The fact that Lil Wayne and his audience are Black is never mentioned. But we all get the message (wink, wink).
It would be like TOO running articles about individual Jewish criminals that feed into Jewish stereotypes but then say or imply that it has nothing to do with being Jewish. We have eschewed this for obvious reasons except in cases where larger issues are at stake, such as when Jewish spies are not indicted because of the power of the Israel Lobby or, as with Bernie Madoff, the crimes were enabled by the fact that he is Jewish, or when Jewish financial fraudsters like Marc Rich have been welcomed into the Jewish community following major contributions to Jewish charities.
One would think that seeing such images of Blacks would make any rational White person conclude that becoming a minority in a society where they are hated by so many people, including Ivy League professors like Tillet and West (a sign that such attitudes are acceptable and even favored among the elites that run the country), is not a good idea. And of course, Blacks are only one group with a historical grudge against White America; at TOO we often emphasize Jews as a hostile elite, and it’s not hard to find White haters among Latinos, especially the activists. But O’Reilly lets Miller’s comment on “White Aryan Resistance, skinheads, etc.” slide, implicitly agreeing that the only people who are concerned about the eclipse of White America are uneducated, evil Whites who are completely outside the mainstream. Such fears are portrayed as completely unreasonable.
How about a rational, unemotional discussion of what minority status means for White America? I suspect that O’Reilly’s audience would be thrilled if he expressed concerns about what will happen to Whites when they become a minority. But O’Reilly knows that if he is going to keep his massive income stream flowing, he couldn’t possibly express such concerns. After all, that’s the reason that Pat Buchanan got fired from MSNBC.
So O’Reilly titillates his audience by pandering to their fears without explicitly addressing the problem. The “no-spin zone” does not include even mentioning that the eclipse of White America could possibly have any downside for Whites. Couldn’t we have a rational discussion about it rather than simply having it portrayed as a pathology of skinheads and guys wearing swastikas?
What about Tillet’s idea that people who are concerned about abortion are really concerned about the eclipse of White America. She doesn’t provide any evidence for her proposal, so it verges on the sorts of “explanations” routinely produced by psychoanalysts. You can make up any story you want if it achieves your goals—in this case, vilifying White America and the anti-abortion movement.
But I think she may be on to something. Since mainstream political discussion must be carried on within very strict boundaries, the millions of Whites who are concerned about their future must rally to other causes that oppose elite opinion. Anti-abortion certainly fills the bill, and it is especially attractive because anti-abortion people believe in their cause with a moral fervor. I recently saw a movie, Blue Valentine, that depicted an abortion in progress. As the physician was about to snuff out the life of the 12-week old fetus, I had an involuntary and completely unanticipated moral revulsion. In the end, the woman in the movie decided against it, to my great relief.
It struck me that I had never seen a depiction of abortion in the movies. Certainly depictions of abortion must be vanishingly rare, despite the fact that abortion rights are a prominent cause of the liberal elites who run Hollywood. Hollywood knows that glorifying abortion or even simply showing an abortion would be box office suicide.
Morally defined ingroups are a touchstone of White identity, likely stemming from our hunter-gatherer past—a proclivity that is endlessly exploited by our hostile elites. Elites never tire of framing their causes in moral terms—so that, for example, the eclipse of White America is now a moral imperative that could only be questioned by people who are routinely portrayed as psychopaths — people like the “White Aryan Resistance, skinheads, etc.,” as Leslie Miller would have it (and Bill O’Reilly has no objection to that characterization).
The abortion issue is one where millions of people have an unshakable belief that snuffing out life is morally wrong, especially in the case of late-term abortion which was the topic under discussion when Tillet made her charges. So they feel morally empowered enough to challenge the powers that be.
But it’s obvious that even if the anti-abortion forces won their battle, it would do nothing to help the cause of White America as it slides inexorably into minority status. So O’Reilly is once again encouraging his audience to think that he is on their side and that if we can just win this cultural battle, all will be well. It won’t be. He sells out his audience on the most important issues: Immigration and the future of White America.
Because the moral imperative of their own survival is off the table, Whites look for other issues or other ways of framing issues that are morally acceptable, and O’Reilly leads the charge. His audience is morally uplifted and feels good about itself. They’ll keep tuning in.
Besides moral arguments, another tack is to rely on the Constitution because the of the Constitution’s undeniable legitimacy. Issues like gun control and “limited government” are justified as in line with the wording of the Constitution and the Founders’ intentions. But again, neither of these are going to save White America. They are all side shows.
The fundamental problem is the displacement of White America. What we need are honest discussions in the mainstream media of the likely consequences of Whites becoming a minority. Can we reasonably expect that non-Whites will hate us any the less when we are a minority?
Whites have to understand that not becoming a minority is a moral imperative that they should be just as proud to assert as their opposition to abortion. One thing we can be sure of: Bill O’Reilly will do nothing to aid this cause. Might hurt the bottom line.