Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Its Bill Oreilly's Lynching Party, starring Bill Oreilly
Star Jones Reynolds Statement on Bill OReilly
Bill O'Reilly said:
'I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama
unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman
really feels. If that's how she really feels - that is a bad country or
a flawed nation, whatever - then that's legit. We'll track it down.'
'I'm sick to death of people like Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly,
and his ilk thinking that he can use a racial slur against a black woman
who could be the next First Lady of the United States, give a half-assed
apology and not be taken to task and called on his crap
What the hell? If it's 'legit,' you're going to 'track it down?'
And then what do you plan to do? How dare this white man with a
microphone and the trust of the public think that in 2008, he can still
put the words 'lynch and party' together in the same sentence with
reference to a black woman; in this case, Michelle Obama? I don't care
how you 'spin it' in the 'no spin zone,' that statement in and of itself
is racist, unacceptable and inappropriate on every level.
O'Reilly claims his comments were taken out of context. Please
don't insult my intelligence while you're insulting me. I've read the
comments and heard them delivered in O'Reilly's own voice; and there is
no right context that exists. So, his insincere apology and
'out-of-context' excuse is not going to cut it with me.
And just so we're clear, this has nothing to do with the 2008
presidential election, me being a Democrat, him claiming to be
Independent while talking Republican, the liberal media or a
conservative point of view. To the contrary, this is about crossing a
line in the sand that needs to be drawn based on history, dignity, taste
Bill, I'm not sure of where you come from, but let me tell you
what the phrase 'lynching party' conjures up to me, a black woman born
in North Carolina . Those words depict the image of a group of white men
who are angry with the state of the own lives getting together, drinking
more than they need to drink, lamenting how some black person has moved
forward (usually ahead of them in stature or dignity), and had the
audacity to think that they are equal. These same men for years, instead
of looking at what changes, should and could make in their own lives
that might remove that bitterness born of perceived privilege, these
white men take all of that resentment and anger and decide to get
together and drag the closest black person near them to their death by
hanging them from a tree - usually after violent beating, torturing and
violating their human dignity Check your history books, because you
don't need a masters or a law degree from Harvard to know that is what
constitutes a 'lynching party'
Imagine, Michelle and Barack Obama having the audacity to think
that they have the right to the American dream, hopes, and ideals.
O'Reilly must think to himself: how dare they have the arrogance to
think they can stand in a front of this nation, challenge the status quo
and express the frustration of millions? When this happens, the first
thing that comes to mind for O'Reilly and people like him is: 'it's time
for a party.'
Not so fast...don't order the rope just yet.
Would O'Reilly ever in a million years use this phrase with
reference to Elizabeth Edwards, Cindy McCain or Judi Nathan? I mean, in
all of the statements and criticisms that were made about Judi Nathan,
the one-time mistress turned missus, of former presidential candidate
Rudy Giuliani, I never heard any talk of forming a lynch party because
of something she said or did.
So why is it that when you're referring to someone who's
African-American you must dig to a historical place of pain, agony and
death to symbolize your feelings? Lynching is not a joke to off-handedly
throw around and it is not a metaphor that has a place in political
commentary; provocative or otherwise. I admit that I come from a place
of personal outrage here having buried my 90 year-old grandfather last
year. This proud, amazing African-American man raised his family and
lived through the time when he had to use separate water fountains, ride
in the back of a bus, take his wife on a date to the 'colored section'
of a movie theater, and avert his eyes when a white woman walked down
the street for fear of what a white man and his cronies might do if they
felt the urge to 'party'; don't tell me that the phrase you chose, Mr.
O'Reilly, was taken out of context.
To add insult to injury, O'Reilly tried to 'clarify' his
statements, by using the excuse that his comments were reminiscent of
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' use of the term 'high-tech
lynching' during his confirmation hearing. I reject that analogy. You
see Justice Thomas did mean to bring up the image of lynching in its
racist context. He was saying that politics and the media were using a
new technology to do to him what had been done to black men for many
years -- hang him. Regardless of if you agreed with Justice Thomas'
premise or not, if in fact -- Bill O'Reilly was referencing it -- the
context becomes even clearer.
What annoys me more than anything is that I get the feeling
that one of the reasons Bill O'Reilly made this statement, thinking he
could get away with it in the first place, and then followed it up with
a lame apology in a half-hearted attempt to smooth any ruffled feathers,
is because he doesn't think that black women will come out and go after
him when he goes after us. Well, he's dead wrong. Be clear Bill
O'Reilly: there will be no lynch party for that black woman. And this
black woman assures you that if you come for her, you come for all of
-- Star Jones Reynolds