Bill O'Reilly's guest believes there is no institutional racism in America
It started well enough. Bill O'Reilly decided to take on the race issue. Sadly it is an issue he and his like minded guest should stay away from.
Bill O'Reilly first asked Kirsten Powers where he was going wrong on race. She said she simply could not understand why he was unable to see that racism is a serious problem in the country. O'Reilly responded that he does not think it is an epidemic in society nor does he think it is ingrained in society.
That assertion alone makes one wonder on what planet or in what country does O'Reilly really live in. It is the ability to make the reality of so many people invisible that is the epic virtual codification of his privilege, his white privilege. He conflates the fact that racism is global with the institutional racism Kirsten Powers was alluding to.
"You must understand that what's being sold is," Bill O'Reilly said. "That we are s society of racist, white supremacy, white privilege. That's what is being sold. If you don't get it then you must be living in a hut somewhere with no electricity."
Of course his like minded sidekick Monica Crowley was there to buttress his argument. "Are there individual racists in this country?" Monica Crowley asked. "Sadly yes. Does institutional racism exist anymore? NO IT DOES NOT."
Really? What explains minorities (and women) getting less pay for the same job? What explains minorities getting harsher sentences for the same crimes? What explains minorities paying higher interest rates with comparable credit ratings?
Crowley explains that there isn't institutionalized racism because it is not codified into law. She is correct that racism like the Red Lining that occurred a few decades back is no longer present. However there is now 'virtual redlining'. Making a crack sentence harsher than cocaine sentence is a proxy for giving minorities harsher sentences. Allowing the use of a gun license and not a student ID is a proxy for making it more difficult for minorities to vote. Institutional racism is codified through proxy. So while her argument is literally true it is functionally false.
"You have people on the far Left," Monica Crowley said. "Who believe that America is a nation that was founded on genocide, theft, crime, and lies, and slavery. And therefore we are undeserving and unworthy of our power."
Now where do I begin. Firstly, a country should not re-litigate its genesis. Most countries have at best a checkered past. That said a benevolent country should atone for its mistakes. America has been doing that for centuries, at times very successfully.
One should not run away from our history however. Monica Crowley claims that many on the left believe America was founded on genocide, theft, crime, lies, and slavery. That is not a belief. That is a statement of fact. Europeans came to this land, wiped out a large percentage of its native inhabitants, stole their land, and threw them on reservations as they purchased other human beings and forced them to work the land for free. Those are facts that as a country we continue to atone for.
Does that mean we want America to fail. Hell no. We know that every country, every culture, every people have committed in history their share of misdeeds. As we grow, the goal is to learn from the past, and atone. The problem comes for those who want to hold on to a false reality.
Bill O'Reilly ignoring the question about having a black friend with a visceral overreaction says it all. Until more of us can relay truth not as a sledge hammer but as an instructional manual than aids in giving direction, we will continue in our national quagmire.