O'Reilly baselessly claimed "mainstream African-American[s]" are "conservative at heart"

››› ››› ANNA DIMOND

Bill O'Reilly stated that "the mainstream African-American person" is "conservative at heart." O'Reilly defined such a person as "the person who goes to work, gets up, doesn't live in the ghetto, lives in a, you know, in a working class neighborhood or an affluent neighborhood."

On the March 30 broadcast of his syndicated radio show, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly stated that "the mainstream African-American person" is "conservative at heart." O'Reilly defined such a person as "the person who goes to work, gets up, doesn't live in the ghetto, lives in a, you know, in a working class neighborhood or an affluent neighborhood." He then proceeded to list several characteristics purportedly shared by African-Americans that indicate their conservatism, including that "[y]ou don't see a lot of African-Americans ... running around with [actress and anti-war activist] Jane Fonda." He later added: "[W]e're not talking gangster rappers, or [Rev.] Jesse Jacksons. We're talking mainstream." But Jane Fonda aside, African-Americans vote Democratic in overwhelming numbers, a fact O'Reilly did not mention, much less attempt to reconcile with his theory that African-Americans are conservative. In the 2004 presidential election, exit polling showed that Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (MA) won 88 percent of the African-American vote, with President Bush receiving 11 percent.

O'Reilly made the remarks during a conversation with syndicated columnist, author, and commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson on the recent immigration controversy across the country, and on Hutchinson's April 3 column, "Bush's Black Voter Court Shakes Democrats."

From the March 30 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Let me -- let me throw this to you. I read your column, and you didn't mention this, and I think this might be a factor, but you tell me if I'm wrong. I -- I have always believed -- always believed -- that the mainstream African-American person, the person who goes to work, gets up, doesn't live in the ghetto, lives in a, you know, in a working class neighborhood or an affluent neighborhood is conservative at heart. Their value system is church. A big church-going population among African-Americans, particularly female, if you look at the polls, they're against gay marriage; they're against far left political thought. You don't see a lot of African-Americans, you know, running around with Jane Fonda. You see a lot of African-Americans going into the military.

HUTCHINSON: Um-hmm.

O'REILLY: And I think that there is a conservative bent among African-Americans mainstream now. And we're not talking gangster rappers, or Jesse Jacksons. We're talking mainstream. And I think that they feel that look, we have to obey the law, and why don't these people have to obey the law? I -- I -- I bet you if you strip it down, Doctor, there's a lot of that going on.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
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