I’m Black and I Want More “Stuff” and “Things”: An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly


Jesse Hagopian writes at Common Dreams:

On election night, as it became increasingly clear that Mitt Romney was going to lose the election to Barack Obama, I watched Fox News host Megyn Kelly ask you, “How do you think we got to this point?”

You responded by saying,

Because it’s a changing country. The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters — many of them — feel that this economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming Black vote for President Obama and women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things. And which candidate between the two is going to give them things?

It is my hope that a great artist takes brush to canvas to capture the contours of your furrowed brow when you uttered the words, “It’s not a traditional America anymore.” It was a look of depraved beauty that made my heart sing. Watching you, Mr. O’Reilly, before a national audience, realize that all of your racist lies and hatred could not change the fact that people of color exist and will not by bowed by your insane denunciations, was an inspiration to me and millions of others.

Yet, on one account, O’Reilly, you are utterly correct: Black people definitely do want “stuff” and “things” as you so eloquently put it. And I am one of them. To very loosely paraphrase the late rap crooner of the West Coast, Warren G: I want it all, money, fast public transportation, fully funded public schools, Medicare for all, social security, an end to all wars, and every damn thang.

While you are right that Black people do want “stuff” and “things,” your paranoid fears (refracted through the racially outdated retina you use to view the president) that we will receive a cornucopia of benefits from President Obama is merely another thing about the election you incorrectly predicted.

Obama has refused to champion the causes of raising the minimum wage, refused to establish a jobs program to address the millions of unemployed, ignored legislation to protect public sector labor unions, and ignored the mass- incarceration crisis that has left one in thirty-one Americans is in the custody of the prison system, with more Black men today behind bars today than were slaves on plantations in 1850. As the African American radio broadcaster and author Tavis Smiley said recently, “Reagan wouldn’t say ‘AIDS.’ Bush wouldn’t say ‘climate change.’ Will Obama say ‘prison-industrial complex’?”

Read more here.

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  • Eazy-E

    You need to check your facts man, Warren G isn’t dead… Maybe you’re thinking of Nate dogg? And you call yourself “black”? ;-)

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      Somebody wake up the goddamn ombudsman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes

    Yeah, Obama has a jobs plan that he’s tried to get through congress, but.. you know, it’s congress. So… uh, so much for that claim.

    • lucifershal0

      He also had this awesome idea to pump millions of dollars into “solar energy” companies in California who all went bankrupt. Great fuckin job idea that wasn’t blocked by congress. Obama really hasn’t done shit he said he was. The next 4 years will be making him the worst president in our history. I’m just gonna scratch out this whole 8 years like it never happened :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes

        Actually they didn’t all go bankrupt, about 94% of them are still doing great. The right screams Solyndra and Fiskars and Tesla, but they weren’t the only people who received money.

        • J.d.

          But why is California one of the biggest states in bankruptcy yet ran by Democrats? I hate both parties. This two party system isn’t working. Its time for some real change

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes
  • BuzzCoastin

    Blacks are already arrested & incarcerated 7 times more than Whites
    Blacks already outnumber the NBA’s White owners
    Blacks are the first to be overlooked for a job, except sports
    Blacks can attract cops better than Whites
    & No Black Big Wigs benefited from the Bankster Bailout

    so they are already way ahead of Whitey in some things

  • Ewop

    I feel sorry for the lady sitting next to O’reilly because from what he is saying, she as well as other women are included in the 50% of the voter who just want stuff. The Republican party has become the party of rich white men and ignorant poor rednecks who can’t get a head in a country they feels is theirs and need someone else to blame it on.

    • Matt Staggs

      Oh, I suspect that you’ll find plenty of middle class white folks who vote Republican. A lot of the poor white vote goes to the Republican party because the GOP has done an excellent job of marketing itself as the “traditional values” party. Fear and racism certainly plays a part in the voting habits of the latter, but as I’m pretty much in the belly of the beast here in Mississippi I’m in a good position to tell you that the reasoning why those people vote the way they do is a little more complicated than what the democrats (or media) will tell you.

      • emperorreagan

        Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant was a good take on the white working class, I think.

        My take is that the democrats have consolidated their base (urban areas & non-whites) and are minimally interested in reaching out to poor and working class whites now. Maybe not a bad play given the shifting demographics of the country, but it’s just as cynical as what the republicans do.

        • lucifershal0

          So black panthers aren’t racially motivated towards votes for democrats? I’m sure their lifestyle is just so much better with “Traditional values”. Fuck both sides. Believe in what you want and surround yourself with similar minded people. You can’t trust media with politics dude.

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    ‘Obama is a Rockefeller republican in black-face’ – Cornell West

    • David Howe

      yes he’s a Rockefeller Republican. yes Cornell West chooses his words poorly

      • Jin The Ninja

        i disagree. it was one of the best things cornell said that year.

  • Deb

    Excellent article! Short, sweet and right on. Bill O’Reilly and all his sort (particularly Fox viewers?) are relics who are content to reside in the land of lies and racism even while protesting that ‘they’re not racists’.

  • justagirl

    what a load of horse shit. even if this is true – white dudes want “stuff” and “things” too. how else would you explain Cabella’s?

    • I_abide

      I am outraged by this comment. Real men shop at Bass pro… I know this because I giggle like a small girl and dance whenever I go into the store.

      • GunGuy

        That was you on saturday?????

      • lucifershal0

        got my last Glock at a bass pro. Personally think Cabelas is overpriced and the used gun associates are just horrible with customer service. Bass pro was really easy to deal with and pleasant.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I’d been telling people for years that Rupert Murdoch was a model of Xian piety and simplicity. Now that Bill O’Reilly has called out the povos for their rampant materialism maybe the world will finally take notice.

  • Gort

    loofah.

  • Jimmy

    Yeah if we can give Tax cuts to the Rich, and give money to Israel, China and Saudi. Why can’t the people on the bottom who really need help, get it. It is our tax dollars any way.

    I hate to see spoiled rich people cry.

  • Simiantongue

    Ah yes, little Willy O’Reilly and another lament for the white race. Willy is ever the progressive bigot. Never partaking of that old invective filled racism. He knows better than to attract attention with flagrant name calling. Instead he’s of the new school of dog whistle racism. Frame-flipping, where he posits that the bigot is the victim. Where people of “other” races are not the victims of an establishment of white American hegemonic power, but are the beneficiaries of some imagined war against hard-working whites.

    The new racism does not seek to name-call, because they are well aware there is not a rational leg to stand on in that hate filled perspective. But still the hate filled, phobia based, bigoted feelings remain and people like little Willy seek to express it while trying to retain some semblance of credibility. So in typical political fashion he simply reverses the roles of oppressor and oppressed. It’s not about white power any more, it’s framed as people of other races attacking white privilege. Which “white privilege” in itself betrays his thought process. Little Willy does the same with his “christian privilege” frame-flipping. Instead of christianity being an oppressor it plays the role of the oppressed. Psychologically little Willy is not a overly complex person to understand for the most part.

    • Radical Centrist

      I agree with some of what you say, but a couple points:

      “victims of an establishment of white American hegemonic power” — um, by way of reminder, it was some white people who ultimately overturned said racial hegemony (since, by definition, white people had a stranglehold on the political process in the Civil Rights era — it started with blacks marching in the streets, but it had to finish with whites in courtrooms). Overturning the status quo required the moral conviction, effort, and sacrifice of (at least some) white people. (Likewise with the Apartheid system in South Africa.) There were white activists murdered along with blacks for advocating for civil rights for ALL people. Watch the film _Mississippi Burning_ for a refresher. Some of us evil, inveterately racist whites actually do find racism immoral, on principle.

      And I draw your attention the the election we just had. If there was some white racial hegemony in America, we just watched it get its collective ass kicked, for at least a second time, by history.

      Meanwhile in California, non-hispanic whites are now an ethnic minority. I wonder if that means we anglos can now invoke all those affirmative-action programs that have been used by latinos for the last three decades? Yeah, I’m not holding my breath. If you’re a poor latina illegal immigrant, you’ll get a free ride through higher ed in California, but if you’re a white male, you’re out of luck: you’ll have to keep working a survival job. You’ll never have access to the programs that could help you move up, you’ll have to do it all on your own. Better have relatives who can help you financially. (If this sounds like bitterness, it’s just a matter of observing the experiences of some of my relatives — so I can understand O’Reilly’s audience, somewhat… As a society we’ve gone from whites being unfairly privileged to formerly-disenfranchised groups being unfairly privileged; we’re not quite a post-racial “I Have A Dream” society just yet…)

      “It’s not about white power any more, it’s framed as people of other races attacking white privilege” — actually, O’Reilly is more complicated than that. White racial trepidation is only a superficial hook for him. Really, O’Reilly represents the general “fear of change” reactionism that characterizes most right-wing conservative politics. His political rhetoric simply taps into a general anxiety among working class and poor whites: they simply don’t like where things are going. They’re pissed, but they don’t think it all through, so they’re easily persuaded this is all about race or culture, when in fact it’s all about money. (In fact about 90% of what happens in this world of ours is actually exclusively about money, though you’d never guess it from the rhetoric of our social dialog…) Non-rich whites get jiujitsu’ed into thinking the cause of their collective discontent is somehow about race, but it’s not the assault on “white privilege” they’re really mad about, it’s the erosion of “middle class privilege” that is their real problem. While they are railing about (minority) welfare queens and gay marriage and abortion, rich (white) men are shipping their jobs abroad, gutting their economic rights, and undermining their ability to provide a better life for their kids. It’s the “What’s The Matter With Kansas” problem, duping people to vote against their real interests, and it has been Karl Rove’s playbook for over a decade, borrowed/recycled from the works of Communist theorist Antonio Gramsci (“Why do the laborers I organize keep voting for the candidates put up by the factory owners and bankers? Political moral theater…”)

      The right wing are too often shrill, provincial fascists, while the left are too often soft-headed, irresponsible fools, who seem to forget that the books must be balanced and the bills paid. A pox on both their houses, I say…

      And while I’m at it: “Black Jesus” is just a running dog for Wall Street and the banks. Appointing Tim Geithner as Sec of the Treasury? That said all that needed to be said about the real chances for “hope and change”…

      Thank God Elizabeth Warren is now a Senator. Take that, Wall Street!

      • lucifershal0

        I agree with most of your comments and I personally don’t care for O’Reilly either. Your point about California and the whites becoming a minority is dead on. I would agree with southern Florida as well. I’ve lived in both places the last few years and if you wanted good service you had to speak some espanol. Speaking english just got ya a dead stare kinda look. I also agree with you on education being that if you’re white and your parents can’t afford to send you to school, you’re basically fucked! I’m racking up debt as we speak trying to goto school AND work a ft job. The dem/liberal majority and minorities seem to keep being raised thinking the government is going to pay for everything, food, bills, clothing, schooling and everything else. A “Free ride” is what they want and that’s exactly what they are getting thanks to the last election. I’m not afraid to admit I was discouraged with the election results. But instead of staying upset over it I just keep going to work, and living my life like nothing is fucked. The way I look at it is Obama can’t be re-elected after this. I hate both Republican and Democrats and wish the Independents got a chance to run the white house at some point. But this isn’t a fair world sometimes and I’m afraid that won’t happen. I find it funny that people that don’t know me personally react so negatively against particular comments I make sometimes but when most people actually sit down and talk politics with me realizes I have more in common with them than they first thought. I’m very in the middle on a lot of shit which makes trying to weed out the real assholes in politics very difficult. Personally I don’t trust any of them but I also believe if you don’t vote you have no right to really bitch about shit. Why sit and get upset over all the crooks in washington or wallstreet? Stand up and vote for the other person who you think is the good guy, which I’m sure is not indeed at all good either. People with power will and have found plenty of ways to take and take and take. Just the way it is. Good points on your post by the way.

        • Carl_Brutanananadilewski

          The vast majority of people don’t expect a free ride. They expect to be helped out if they are in need. That’s a big difference. And even with President Obama being re-elected there is no spigot of free stuff being turned on. Getting onto public housing usually requires a 2-3 year wait unless you are homeless. Food stamps barely pay for your food. And making education cheap as possible is a wise investment in America’s future because uneducated people cannot power an information age economy. Our social safety net is quite spartan for those who are on it (especially compared to the safety nets of all other first world nations) and the vast majority of those who are on it wish otherwise because we live in a society where we are judged by our wealth and those lacking it are usually judged as failures and most people don’t want to be seen as failures. Guess who takes 65-85% of assistance programs depending upon the program? The elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, and children take the vast majority of money spent on welfare in this nation, not able bodied people too lazy to work. And you do know welfare is limited to five years total for ones lifetime so the idea that people are expecting to live their whole life doing nothing is pretty silly and nearly impossible to do.

          • lucifershal0

            Good points. but you also have to understand getting accurate numbers for the amount of people on welfare is something that is hard to do. Why do most people on welfare drive new vehicles and handicap stickers especially in minority neighborhoods? They’re taking advantage of the system, having children with different men to get the most out of the system. I see it all the time. My cousin deals with minorities on a daily basis as he is a homicide detective and 90% of his murders are dealt by african americans or hispanics. You can’t make that shit up man. But you also have good points. So I’m not going to disagree with you at all.

      • Simiantongue

        “um, by way of reminder, it was some white people who ultimately overturned said racial hegemony…”

        The civil rights era did not overturn white hegemony. Or even reverse it’s direction. Claims that the civil rights movement was a great equalizing force are exaggerated greatly. You’re talking differences in magnitudes of scale. The civil rights movement allowed people of other races a place at the gaming table of society, mostly alongside lower class whites, grudgingly.

        But the table is still owned, the rules were set, the entire house “establishment” is a white hegemonic structure.

        Don’t get me wrong being given an opportunity to sit and play even to that extent was a critical step forward, as people of other races before that were almost always excluded. But what were talking about here is a socio/economic class system. Where people of other races are considered the underclass by default, along with many whites. This skewed system is not just divided along racial lines, it’s a lot more complicated.

        Although I use the term “given” in that last paragraph deliberately as “given” denotes a “giver”. But were not talking individual conscious actors but a socio/politi/economic “system” that is adapting to new paradigms. The demographic of actors at the top of that system are well aware of their interests and seek to secure them. Though race is a part of that it’s still only one aspect of their motivations.

        Since there are other motivations other than race, this brings us to…

        “And I draw your attention the the election we just had.”

        Very simply. “Only Nixon could go to China”. A larger consideration other than race is the war on the underclasses. The mantra today is “austerity measures”. They’re not talking about cutting military spending, which, when spending is slowed rather than increased every year is referred to as “cuts”. Austerity measures are not stopping for the top percentage with trillions of dollars in handouts. Those will continue. They’re talking about cutting social safety nets like medicare and privatizing social security. That couldn’t possibly be done with a republican in office without causing an uprising. Back in 08 Obama came out of the political woodwork from obscurity. Selected by those at the top, setting new precedence with campaign financing from corporate backers.

        Both Obama and Clinton vied to play the lackey for monied interests. Stumbling over themselves to show that they would tote the proper interests. In this case a racial minority or a woman is actually what was needed. It’s not a step forward for racial equality it’s a power play in a much larger war, of which racial minorities will be the biggest losers.

        “Actually O’Reilly is more complicated than that”

        No, he’s not more complicated. His reactionary conservatism certain plays a role, that is not at odds with his his simplistic frame-flipping the bigot as the victim. One simply follows from the other and there’s more to it, but who has the time and patience to write and read about that dullard.

        I agree part of his job IS to “hook” working class white people to elite interests, by using fear of other races. It’s a wedge strategy, or divide and conquer. If Little Willy didn’t actually believe that, he wouldn’t have found himself as a talking head on FOX in the first place. It’s not really about Little Willy as a person because if he didn’t hold those views FOX would have someone in that job who does. Although he is just some ignorant git I think it’s still fair to take pot shots because he’s such a tool. It’s okay in my book to be ignorant but if you’re going to stand up in the public spotlight and declare it then you’re fair game.

  • geminihigh

    Wanting things is fine, wanting things and not being willing to work for them is the issue. Few people enjoy working for things. Some take pride in their hard work, or at least like to gloat about being proud of working hard and being a tough guy or whatever, but few really enjoy hard work, hence why it is hard. I hate work, no matter how much I make I still feel like I am having time and my vary life essence stolen from me. Yet I still keep on trying knowing that the alternative is being a ward of the state. All of Jesse Hagopian ‘we shall overcome’ type rhetoric falls flat on its face when you have citizens of all races dependent on the welfare state for their survival. Blame racism, Bill O, and the Man all at once, if you want freebies from the state and aren’t willing to get it on your own dime, you are a slave, and Jesse Hagopian is ultimately a modern day…(insert term frequently used by Malcom X and the Spirit of Truth. Hint: Begins with the word ‘house’) by keeping minorities distracted with a false sense of empowerment for telling them that they are pursuing a righteous path by demanding it from the government. Fuck it, use ‘white guilt’ if you have to, you are in the right!

    The state is your family. The state will take care of you. Then when you have proven how useless you really are, the state will eventually come for you, one way or another.

    • lucifershal0

      Excellent writing! :)

  • Haystack

    I thought it was interesting that he felt comfortable using the phrase “white establishment” to describe what he’s defending. It seems that Fox are done insinuating and have just resigned themselves to being openly racist from now on.

    • lucifershal0

      Hey when we going to get a White Entertainment Channel? WET has a good ring to it! But I’m no racist, I have a several color tv’s and computers.

  • ClubMan

    he is not only an ASSHOLE.. HE’S INCORRECT. It is the WHITE
    ESTABLISHMENT that wants..and HAS ALWAYS WANTED…”things”. The white
    establishment is “used” to having “things”. The gov’t has always been
    there for them to give them “things”. This HYPOCRITE ASS-WIPE is mad
    cause his bread-n-butter band wagon is taking on a new driver and he and
    his ILK aren’t GUARANTEED all the PRIVILEGES he’s seen as his
    BIRTHRIGHT!

    • lucifershal0

      A little racist clubman?

  • ricciricci

    If you find yourself swayed to write because of Bill O’Reilly, you are not listening to Bill O’Reilly. IF this election was an indication of a SHIFT in American politics, why did we see the same group of RED STATES vote for the GOP, again, for the umpteenth time? IF there are more black people voting than ever before, why is it the states that have the MOST minorities remained SOLIDLY RED RED RED? (NOTE: these are also states that have a very large number of people with their “hands out”) Finally, if your logic allows, O’Reilly claims Minorities and Women placed Obama in office, yet as I stated, MOST of the minority vote was squandered in RED STATES so the only resulting conclusion would be that WHITE people placed Obama in office because THEY want “stuff”. There is no other mathematical way to explain the BEAT down Barack handed to both McCain and Romney. What you are witnessing when you listen to anything on FOX is a group of white men and women (and the token or two minority goons) who know for a fact, after two BEAT-DOWNS, that a large majority of WHITE America doesnt listen to them or care about them or worse; cannot be swayed by them.

    • lucifershal0

      Beat downs? Obama had 7million less votes this time than the last. How the fuck is that a BEAT DOWN? Voting fraud helped the Obama campaign win re-election and the evangelicals didn’t want to vote for a mormon. Neither did I so I wrote in my vote. I think your math is a bit off sir. I think ultimately alot of people were undecided and just didn’t show up to vote. This was the worst election for both parties in years. Red states will almost always stay reds as long as people are keeping with their values. Look at this because it actually makes sense, the MAJORITY if Red states have the most lenient gunlaws out of all the 50 states. The Blue states usually have the worst and most horrible gunlaws. Alot of “registered” republicans, independents own firearms and support 2nd amendment views. Yes there ARE democrats who have and purchase firearms BUT are more for restriction on sales and limits. This is a huge issue I have against liberals and democrats as I love working on firearms, shooting, and hunting. Religiously I’m not a believer in god or christ or buddah or allah or any of that bullshit. I also agree with your point on both people wanting handouts. This should tell you the country is lazy as fuck. We are not a communist nation. If you want something then get a fucking job and earn it. Would you agree to disagree or agree somewhat?

      • ricciricci

        We cant have a conversation if one American counts votes that dont count and the other stays within the guidelines of our election process. Who CARES about the popular vote? The election process is a reverse pageant show where a few of the judges offer a ton of praise and most of the judges simply nod in your direction. In both elections Obama crushed his opponent in electoral votes. Nothing else matters. The discussion, currently, about the changing demographic is also a bunch of crap. YET, I agree with most of what you say. LOL.. America found “easy” money in the 80s and has been one large fat stupid lazy child ever since. Like a fat stupid lazy child everything is the fault of the “obvious” person on the other side of the fence regardless of any lack in logic. There are easily 2-4 generations of Americans who are just incapable of doing what is required to LIVE without living-off of others. Its just the way it is and it wont be changing. This is the group of people who find strange excuses for the high tax rates of the 50, 60, and 70s, and even more bizarre explanations for the tax rates of the early 1900s. They disregard the simple fact that regardless of any petty reason why, people who were “Americans” worked hard, were taxed high, and pretty much accepted that was what had to be done to keep our nation great. Then someone decided to desegregate and everything fell apart. We’ve been limping since the Civil Rights Movement hit its second wind in the mid to late 70s. [I shrug my shoulders here because I have no answers other than a nationwide hard-fast lobotomy followed by a scooby-doo brain transfer for at least 150 million of us].