Wednesday, September 26, 2007
O'Reilly surprised "there was no difference" between Harlem restaurant and other New York restaurants
Summary: Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "
During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful," adding: "I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on culture, O'Reilly asserted: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all." O'Reilly also stated: "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They're just trying to figure it out. 'Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it."
As Media Matters for America has documented, O'Reilly has made a number of provocative statements about race. During the February 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, in a conversation about President Bush's description of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "articulate," O'Reilly told Temple University education professor Marc Lamont Hill: "Instead of black and white Americans coming together, white Americans are terrified. They're terrified. Now we can't even say you're articulate? We can't even give you guys compliments because they may be taken as condescension?" Other examples include:
* On the June 7 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said of Edwin Roy Hall -- the man charged with murdering 18-year-old Kelsey Smith after abducting her from the parking lot of a Target store in Overland Park, Kansas: "[T]his guy who is charged has a child and a wife. You know, he's like white-bread guy. And we're all going, 'What is that?' "
* On the August 16, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly argued extensively for "profiling of Muslims" at airports, arguing that detaining all "Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45" for questioning "isn't racial profiling," but "criminal profiling."
* During the April 12, 2006, broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly claimed that on the April 11 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, guest Charles Barron, a New York City councilman, had revealed the "hidden agenda" behind the current immigration debate, which, O'Reilly said, was "to wipe out 'white privilege' and to have the browning of America." O'Reilly suggested that this "hidden agenda" included plans to let "people who live in the Caribbean, people who live in Africa and Asia ... walk in and become citizens immediately."
* In a February 27, 2006, conversation with a caller about the disproportionately few jobs and contracts that have gone to locals in the rebuilding of New Orleans, O'Reilly said: "[T]he homies, you know ... I mean, they're just not going to get the job."
* On the September 13, 2005, broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly claimed that "many of the poor in New Orleans" did not evacuate the city before Hurricane Katrina because "[t]hey were drug-addicted" and "weren't going to get turned off from their source." O'Reilly added, "They were thugs."
From the September 19 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:
O"REILLY: Now, how do we get to this point? Black people in this country understand that they've had a very, very tough go of it, and some of them can get past that, and some of them cannot. I don't think there's a black American who hasn't had a personal insult that they've had to deal with because of the color of their skin. I don't think there's one in the country. So you've got to accept that as being the truth. People deal with that stuff in a variety of ways. Some get bitter. Some say, [unintelligible] "You call me that, I'm gonna be more successful." OK, it depends on the personality.
So it's there. It's there, and I think it's getting better. I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Sharptons and the Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They're just trying to figure it out: "Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it."
You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he's made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.
And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A. There's no difference. There's no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment -- people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to Little Italy, and you're gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of anybody's skin.
O'REILLY: No, no, I mean, I like that soul food. I had the meatloaf special. I had coconut shrimp. I had the iced tea. It was great.
WILLIAMS: Well, let me just tell you, the one thing I would say is this. And we're talking about the kids who still like this gangsta rap, this vile poison that I think is absolutely, you know, literally a corruption of culture. I think that what you've got to take into account that it's still a majority white audience -- young, white people who think they're into rebelling against their parents who buy this stuff and think it's just a kick. You know, it's just a way of expressing their anti-authoritarianism.
O'REILLY: But it's a different -- it's a different dynamic, though.
WILLIAMS: Exactly right --
O'REILLY: Because the young, white kids don't have to struggle out of the ghetto.
WILLIAMS: Right, and also, I think they can have that as one phase of their lives.
WILLIAMS: I think too many of the black kids take it as, "Oh, that's what it means to be authentically black. That's how you make money. That's how you become rich and famous and get on TV and get music videos." And you either get the boys or the girls. The girls think they have to, you know, be half-naked and spinning around like they're on meth in order to get any attention. It really corrupts people, and I think it adds, Bill, to some serious sociological problems, like the high out-of-wedlock birth rate because of this hypersexual imagery that then the kids adapt to some kind of reality. I mean, it's inauthentic. It's not in keeping with great black traditions of struggle and excellence, from Willie Mays to Aretha Franklin, but even in terms of academics, you know, going back to people like Charles Drew or Ben Carson here, the neurosurgeon at [Johns] Hopkins [University]. That stuff, all of a sudden, is pushed aside. That's treated as, "You're a nerd, you're acting white," if you try to be excellent and black.
O'REILLY: You know, and I went to the concert by Anita Baker at Radio City Music Hall, and the crowd was 50/50, black/white, and the blacks were well-dressed. And she came out -- Anita Baker came out on the stage and said, "Look, this is a show for the family. We're not gonna have any profanity here. We're not gonna do any rapping here." The band was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black Americans. They think that the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg.
WILLIAMS: Oh, and it's just so awful. It's just so awful because, I mean, it's literally the sewer come to the surface, and now people take it that the sewer is the whole story --
O'REILLY: That's right. That's right. There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced tea."
WILLIAMS: Please --
O'REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
By Roland Martin
The GOP as a whole is completely scared of black voters, and the actions by the front-runners for the party's 2008 nomination show they are continuing the same silly political games the party has played for years.
Oh, don't bother tossing out the appointments of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state by Bush. Yes, they are African-American. But I'm speaking of the party.
Ever since Richard Nixon ran for the White House, the GOP has run on a "Southern Strategy," meant to alienate blacks in an effort to garner white voters. They've worked the strategy to perfection. When he was head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman apologized for that strategy as he sought to make inroads among black voters.
Republicans will tell you they are the party of Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but their outreach efforts to black voters are lacking.
Oh, yes, I know. Democrats have a stranglehold on the black vote, receiving upward of 90 percent in national elections. A significant part of that is a result of the party seeing blacks as the backbone of the party. But the reality is that when you have only one party that truly makes a play for those voters, of course you will see such disparities!
That's why it's dumb, dumb, and dumber for the leading GOP candidates to skip Thursday's debate hosted by Tavis Smiley and airing on PBS.
Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain have all cited "scheduling conflicts" as the reason for their lack of attendance to debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, even though Smiley personnel tell me they began discussions with then-RNC head Mehlman in February 2006. When the debate was announced earlier this year, along with a Democratic forum held in June at Howard University, the RNC promised their candidates would speak.
But those of us who follow politics knew that wasn't going to happen.
This summer, all of the Republican candidates, save Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, skipped the NAACP and the National Urban League conventions. OK, I get the former, but the Urban League? President Bush has spoken there several times as president!
The GOP keeps blowing a big opportunity by ignoring blacks. And what about the debate sponsored by Spanish language TV station Univision? Only McCain accepted the invite.
Today's generation of blacks and Latinos shouldn't be seen as the same as their parents. An increasing number of people are refusing to identify themselves with a party, and looking at issues. Latinos have been a huge part of the Republican outreach, but the immigration debate is turning that in a different direction.
Why should the GOP talk to black voters, and what would they talk about?
First, I can tell you that immigration is huge in the black community, and gets folks riled up in a hurry (you ought to see my talk show lines when this comes up). Education and health care are also major. And every GOP debate has been about faith in the public square, and we know that plays well with black voters.
Now, when it comes to the war in Iraq, the GOP can forget that tune. No one is listening. And they are completely uneven on the issue of civil rights.
Here is an example that further explains the GOP's stupidity on this topic.
Several years ago, a Republican in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was trying to unseat then-Rep. Martin Frost, a heavily entrenched Democrat. That summer, a series of black churches were being burned. My good friend, Michael Williams, a third-generation black Republican, was planning to hold a fundraiser at his home for the GOP candidate.
He called the campaign and said it would be a good idea for the candidate to make a statement on the burnings, condemning them and saying it didn't make sense. The campaign said no.
Williams called back and made the suggestion again, and the response was they didn't want to seem as if they were pandering to the black community. He laughed at that because the campaign was bringing then-Rep. J.C. Watts, a prominent black Republican, to visit black churches with the candidate. Hello! That's pandering.
So Williams told his wife, Donna, what the candidate said. She replied, "Any man who is such a coward that he can't speak against churches being burned is not welcome in my home."
The fundraiser was called off.
Here was a simple opportunity to actually show that he cared, but the candidate was so scared to say something, he turned off a campaign donor.
Will speaking at one debate turn around decades of black support for the Democrats? Nope. But not speaking will just mean business as usual, and the GOP needs less of that.
Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning, multifaceted journalist and CNN contributor. Martin is studying to receive his master's degree in Christian Communications at Louisiana Baptist University, and is the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith." You can read more of his columns at www.rolandsmartin.com
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Roland Martin
America, admit it. You love O.J.
There was a scene in the gangster movie, "Hoodlum," where a mortician looks at Bumpy Johnson, played by Laurence Fishburne, and tells his son, "That man is good for business."
Martin: "We love nothing more than watching another fool make a mess out of his life."
Of course, that's because Bumpy went to war with another gangster, Dutch Schultz, leading to a bunch of dead bodies. The mortician didn't sweat hearing gunfire. For him, the "cha-ching!" meant money from funerals.
And that's what I'm hearing right now as we deal with O.J. Simpson's arrest in an alleged armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Right now, as I type, lawyers across America are dusting off their resumes and DVDs, firing them off to talent heads at all the cable networks, looking to make their mark by cashing in on O.J. mania.
Oh, yeah, don't think for a second that I'm stretching here. Everybody saw how many lawyers are now TV hosts, commentators and pundits. O.J. is a living, breathing reality show.
Anybody and everybody who has written a book or a documentary related to O.J. will be on radio and TV, expounding on a man many of them really don't know. But hey, they've got books to sell!
You don't think this is a big deal?
When Clark County Judge Nancy Oesterle -- the appointed Las Vegas "media" judge -- approached the microphone yesterday, she commented that she had never seen such a spectacle.
Yeah, I'm sure some will say, "It's you, the media!"
But show me one media executive that ignores the O.J. saga, and I'll show you a guy or gal without a job by the end of the week.
Remember all of the righteous indignation we witnessed when O.J. was going to publish his book, "If I Did It"? People howled, protested and blasted Rupert Murdoch and ReganBooks for days. And Judith Regan, who orchestrated the deal, which included a TV show, was ousted in the wake of the scandal.
And when the Goldman family got the rights to the book and promised to publish it, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble treated it like a skunk, saying they would not promote it, and some demanded they not carry it in their stores.
Guess what? Over the weekend, the book hit No. 1 on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
So, who exactly is buying the book?
That's right. You. It's you, America. You buy the books about O.J. You watch these TV shows that go wall-to-wall O.J. You buy the magazines that feature him on the cover. And yes, we in the media churn this stuff out like clockwork. We are all rolling around in the slime of celebrity justice.
People need to stop with their high and mighty attitude and own up to the fact that we love to scream on the roller coaster O.J. takes us on and that includes my friends in media. He is a riot, always getting into trouble, and we love nothing more than watching another fool make a mess out of his life.
So, let the games begin. Let's pop some popcorn, grab some snacks, and watch another wild and crazy trial. Sure, this isn't a double-murder trial. But we'll go through every detail of that trial. Someone will drag Kato Kaelin out from under a rock -- likely someone else's -- that he's been living under. Maybe that barking dog will be interviewed on a cable TV show.
Enough with our pretend indignation. We might as well own up to the reality that we can't get enough of O.J. Simpson. So let's enjoy him as long as he's here to kick around ... and make a buck off of.
Friday, September 14, 2007
The photos provided by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority shows 6 people who were arrested for holding a Charleston woman captive in a Big Creek home for at least a week, Sept. 9, 2007, in Logan, W.Va. The FBI is investigating whether the beating and sexual assault of this woman was a hate crime. From top left, Bobby Brewster, Karen Burton, George Messer, Danny Combs, Frankie Brewster, and Alisha Burton. (West Virginia Regional Jail)One of those arrested, Karen Burton, is accused of cutting the woman’s ankle with a knife. She used the N-word in telling the woman she was victimized because she is black, according to the criminal complaint.
Each time she was stabbed she was called N!gger.”The things that were done to this woman are just indescribable,” Logan County sheriff’s Sgt. Sonya Porter said.
Deputies found the 23-year-old victim Saturday after going to the home in Big Creek, about 35 miles southwest of Charleston, to investigate an anonymous tip. One of the suspects, Frankie Brewster, was sitting on the front porch and told deputies she was alone, but moments later the victim limped toward the door, her arms outstretched, saying, “Help me,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Hip-hop artist and activist Kamikaze of Jackson, MS, was suspended indefinitely from the Kim Wade Show on Jackson's WJNT-Talk radio (1180 AM) for anti-Bush comments. Following a monthlong tour of the Czech Republic, Kamikaze was set to return as Wade's co-host, but was informed just moments before going on the air. The reprimand, which stemmed from one angry listener, was based on comments Kamikaze made in his blog.
In it, Kamikaze blasted President Bush's foreign policies and encouraged fans to scream "f**k George Bush" during his shows.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Kamikaze has come under fire for his anti-Bush commentary. In October, he was temporarily banned from Millsaps College in Jackson during an on-campus concert.
As a rebuttal, Kamikaze has recorded a new song, "Take Me Away (Mr. President)" that will serve as an open letter to the Commander-In-Chief. The song will be posted Friday and available for downloading at www.myspace.com/mrshonuff601.
Says Kamikaze, "Freedom of speech no longer exists in this country. I just toured a country that used to be under communist rule and they appreciated hearing someone speak out against a government...against a president", Kamikaze says. "I don't know if im being singled out but its unfortunate that the station caved to some random callers who disagreed with my viewpoints, but as I remember it that's what this country was founded on. If somebody hadnt spoke out against the government centuries ago, we'd still be ruled by a king and under British rule!"
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Scared "Spit" less:
Why Hip Hop Fears the Powers that Be
Min. Paul Scott
The date is September 11, 2007. The conference room of
the Hyatt Hotel is packed as 50 Cent and Kanye West
engage in a debate over who’s CD will out sell the
other. Although, Kanye West has been known to kick a
serious rhyme or two, it’s not about that this go
round. It’s about who is going to get it poppin’ at
the club next weekend and which CD is going to shake
up the world. Half the crowd is screaming G-Unit,
while the other half is throwin’ up the Rock-a-fella
diamond. But in the end who wins the competition for
Hip Hop world supremacy? The Conservative Think Tank
meeting across the street devising ways to silence
For the last few months, there has been a buildup
surrounding the same day release of the Kanye West and
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson CD’s to rival that of the
Ali/Frazier fight. I am expecting any moment to see
Don King on TV talking about how "magnanimous" the
event will be.
The obvious question is that with Hip Hop being under
the gun since the Don Imus "nappy headed ho" thing
last April, why isn’t Hip Hop more interested in
devising a counter attack?
Am I missing something?
In Atlanta, right now, the powers that be are pushing
for laws banning saggin’ pants at the same time the
talking heads are trying to blame Michael Vick’s dog
fighting rap on DMX.
So why do Hip Hop artists choose to major in the minor
instead of tackling the hard questions.
The answer is simple. It’s called fear.
Men ain’t supposed to be scared of nuthin’.So in the
larger than life, testosterone driven world of Hip
Hop, of course, this is over exaggerated,
This is not to say that black men don’t have the right
to be a little edgy. Just look back at our history.
It was not unusual for rebellious black men in the
19th and early 20th centuries to be hanged in front of
their wives and children. Not to mention the
COINTELPRO Program of the 60's in which those who
dared to speak out had their lives snatched.
It must be noted that those assassinations were not
for the victims but to plant a seed of fear in
generations to come so that if they even thought about
rebelling against authority, visions of black
mutilated bodies would flash before their eyes.
This is the historical source of our fears. No one
really wants to be a martyr, especially amongst a
people who don’t have such a good track record in
honoring their heroes.
Or maybe the rappers are scared of "revolutionary
career suicide" to borrow from a phrase coined by Huey
America has shown very little tolerance for those who
have been blessed with the treasures of capitalism who
use their fame and influence to challenge the very
system under which they gained their wealth.
Do the rappers of today really want to suffer the same
fate as Paul Robeson who was blackballed for being a
"Commie", Billie Holiday who was banned for singing
about that "strange fruit" hanging from southern trees
or Craig Hodges of the Chicago Bulls who was
blacklisted for rockin’ a dashiki to the White House.
Hip Hop has not been spared the wrath of the
establishment as rappers such as Professor Griff,
Sister Souljah, Ice T, Ice Cube experienced "Hip Hop
high tech lynchings" during the late 80's/early 90's.
Who wants to risk losing a fleet of sports cars and
houses in the Hamptons when it is much easier to bury
your head in a bag of weed and pretend that all is
right with the world?
Recently, it was revealed that the government has a
program called "Talon" that was keeping an eye on anti
-war activists including members of that peaceful,
turn the other cheek religious group, the Quakers.
Now if the Feds kept a file on that dude on the
oatmeal box, what kind of file do you think that they
have on the brotha on the cover of a CD burnin’ a
flag, raising his middle finger and yellin’ F**** the
Also, while Hip Hop headz were quick to wear T-Shirts
that said "Free Pimp C" and "Free Lil Kim", how many
are going to sport t-shirts that say "Free the Jena
Despite all the tough talk that rappers spit at each
other, when it comes to speaking truth to the powerful
decision shapers most have a fear of Bill O’Reilly
grabbin’ them by their collars in a back room and
"Listen, we can handle this like gentlemen or we can
get into some real street stuff...’
But that ain’t everybody. Some of us are not afraid to
speak truth to power in 2007.
OK, I’ll be happy to just give Bill O’Reilly
nightmares about a group of "gangsta rappers" tying
him up and making him watch 48, uninterrupted hours of
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s blog is
http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com He can be reached
at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com