Mainstream conservatives like Bill O’Reilly (if one can call O’Reilly a conservative at all given his support for the immigration amnesty/surge bill) love to appeal to the implicit Whiteness of their audience. Part of that is to show film clips of Blacks behaving badly (not for the first time). As the U.S. anxiously (or eagerly, depending on your point of view) anticipates riots in the wake of the verdict in the Ferguson, O’Reilly aired this video of Jesse Watters interviewing people about an incident in Philadelphia where a 68-year-old (Black) teacher was body slammed by a student. We see him lying supine on the floor, unconscious.
Like Black on White crime, it’s not the sort of thing that is reported in the New York Times or on PBS. (Indeed, it’s doubtful O’Reilly would have touched it if the victim had been White.) The video contains all the negative stereotypes Whites have of “inner city” Blacks. Drugs are said to be rampant in the schools. Teachers are said to be not teaching and the principal is aloof from it all. Violence against teachers is commonplace, but we are told that it is less than last year (but three in the last month!). In the past year there have been incidents of fire setting, weapons brought to school, drugs use at school, and forced oral sex. The students who are interviewed speak in Ebonics, and two students say the teacher had it coming. One of the school employees has dreadlocks and does not exactly convey an academic image.
After the interviews, O’Reilly asks Watters about the ethnic breakdown of the school and is told it is 100% Black and that the school is in a poor, violence-prone neighborhood, implying that the causes are environmental. He concludes by saying it happens everywhere and results from people not being “held accountable for their actions,” and at other times he has blamed Black family patterns. These people are clearly victims of a bad environment.
But of course, it’s not a general problem. It’s a problem specific to Black America. And it’s far deeper than being held accountable. Suspension and expulsion are not deterrents for people who have no interest in school.
O’Reilly’s White audience understands that O’Reilly is on their side—that he is standing up for White America against the forces of darkness. Great for the ratings. But he can keep the money flowing because he stays safely within the bounds of political correctness by conforming to the blackout on race realism in the mainstream media.