By A. Peter Bailey, NNPA Commentary –
(NNPA) So-called conservatives in this country spend much of their time accusing Black folks of “playing the race card” when practically any comment is made about expressions of white supremacy. The leader of the conservative mantra on this subject is Fox “fair and balanced” Cable News’ reigning propagandist, Bill O’Reilly.
On his television program and in his newspaper column, O’Reilly regularly scolds those whom he considers “playing the race card.” In a recent column he pontificated about speaking to a gathering of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network during which he told the attendees that “…branding the tea party as a racist group would be a huge mistake that could actually create racism….”
Though calling the tea party gang and their supporters such as O’Reilly “racist” may be a mistake calling them White supremacists is right on target. A survey conducted at the University of Michigan on what Blacks and Whites consider to be “integration” backs up this description. Black, according to the survey, regards integration as 50 percent Black, 50 percent White with a Black or White person in charge.
For Whites, it is 15 percent Black, 85 percent White with a White person always in charge. That is a White supremacist position probably shared by most tea partiers and their journalistic supporters. That’s why they regard the Obamas being in the White House as an abomination, a serious violation of the natural order of the universe.
A Black person who points out this fact of life is “playing the race card,” according to O’Reilly, a charge, by the way, he never hurls at Whites. He didn’t accuse Newt Gingrich of “playing the race card” when, prior to passage of the health reform bill, Newt reportedly said the Democrats who voted for the bill “will have destroyed their party, such as Lyndon Johnson did for 40 years.”
Nor did he hurl race card playing accusations at Investor’s Business Daily for saying that the bill “is affirmative action on steroids, deciding everything from who becomes a doctor to who gets treatment on the basis of skin color.” When his buddy and obnoxious side-kick Glenn Beck lied that “Obama hates White people” and when a tea partier’s sign proclaimed that “Obama Plans White Slavery,” there wasn’t a mumbling word from O’Reilly about “playing the race card.”
A knowledgeable Black person doesn’t expect any such response from O’Reilly and his fellow propagandists.
We just have to be aware of what such toxic flacks are saying, writing and doing so we won’t be caught off guard when one or more of their feverish followers make a move against us. Of course, in doing this we, not the Whites, in O’Reilly’s view will be “creating racism.”
Journalist/Lecturer A. Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, is currently editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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