Bill O’Reilly made headlines last week for giving one of the most impassioned monologues of his career in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict. Though last Monday’s ‘Talking Points Memo’ had less to do with Zimmerman and more to do with the major and dire problems facing blacks in America, the reaction was heated and widespread. But one MSNBC commentator, Michael Eric Dyson, may have taken his criticism just a little too far. During an appearance on Melissa Harris Perry’s show on Sunday, Dyson claimed that O’Reilly is not qualified to talk about the problems facing the black community:
DYSON: Asking for equal attention paid to crises at a time of enormous distress for our vulnerable children to be assisted, so Mr. O'Reilly, I would love to have that conversation about protecting yourself behind white picket fences. Come in the streets where you went to Sylvia’s and were surprised black people don't throw bananas at each other or swing from trees.
“That unbelievable,” Pat said exasperatedly. “That's unconscionable.”
So what did O’Reilly say that could possibly cause Dyson to imply that he must think black people throw bananas while swinging from trees?
O’REILLY: The reason there's so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family. Without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate toward the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs.
Watch the full Talking Points MemoHERE.
“Stop,” Glenn said. “The same thing could be said for the white, quote, culture. Same thing could be said. As the family disintegrates, so does society… I fear all our communities are starting to do this, to where you minimize the effect that men have on families and society. And men aren't necessary… When you start to do that, you start to have trouble on the street, because guys, I don't know if you have raised kids, but women and men and boys and girls are different. I mean Pat, when you come home with your sons, were there times that you could speak to your son that your wife could not? Are there times that your wife could speak to your daughters when you couldn't?”
“There's no question about that,” Pat responded. “It's just that the numbers are higher in the black community, about 70%. When you have those kind of numbers who are fatherless, bad things are going to happen… there's a mother and a father for reason.”
In his monologue, O’Reilly was speaking to the fact that in the absence of a stable family, children are more apt to get involved in a culture that is ultimately destructive.
“And so what happens to society,” Glenn asked. “Boys will look for something to join. Boys will look for somebody who has some power. Boys will look for someone who's settling some scores. It's not a race thing. It just happens to be African-Americans are farther down the road.”
“But when O'Reilly point that is out – look at the stats, you can't cite statistics anymore without saying that you believe blacks are throwing bananas at each other and swinging from trees,” Pat explained. “It's unbelievable.”
“Bill O'Reilly luckily has enough clout and power that he can stand on his own,” Glenn concluded, “but no man is an island.”