The O’Reilly/Sharpton racial debate: Crusader vs Opportunist

In the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial Bill O'Reilly has tried to establish a dialogue about race in America. Naturally, he has opposition. Photo: O'Reilly-Sharpton debate race

CHARLOTTEAugust 1, 2013 – In the aftermath of the media-created Zimmerman trial, FOX personality Bill O’Reilly responded to the racism hype and turned it into a debate that is long overdue. Predictably, Al Sharpton and his PC cronies struck back with the opposing view.

O’Reilly is attempting to bring an honest racial dialogue to the forefront. Sharpton is an opportunist who sees his bank account being threatened by truth.

SEE RELATED: COTTO: Black American ‘leaders’ are wrong about Bill O’Reilly

As O’Reilly focuses on a topic where serious discussion is often considered taboo, he challenges Americans who refuse to comprehend the issue of race to become more informed. But while the FOX commentator makes a valiant effort to empower blacks through honesty, ensuing debates by other media talking heads, for the most part, digress from his message.

Predictably, the discussion has now evolved to the lowest common denominator where pundits make it a black/white issue rather than emphasizing the nuances of gray.

Meanwhile, the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world are part of the problem, rather than the solution.

Americans sometimes suffer from feelings of insecurity wondering why our generosity is so underappreciated by the rest of the world. Why, we ask, doesn’t everybody love us?

SEE RELATED: O’Reilly, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Sharpton and Lemon all talking about race

Perhaps it is a case of arrogance vs. ignorance to which most Americans are oblivious. We see ourselves as generous to a fault and ever ready to provide assistance. And we are. But there is always a caveat where our generosity is inevitably followed by a huge foam finger waving in the air signifying “We’re number one!”

That is a part of the American culture and psyche most of us do not see.

As we debate race in this country, we fail to notice that 70% of the rest of the world is poor. Poor by American standards is rich from the perspective of most people on the planet. O’Reilly merely wants to tweak the system in order to improve it.

He is not proclaiming that racial problems do not exist. He is trying to correct them rather than perpetuate them for the purposes of self-gain like Mr. Sharpton. Problems will never be completely resolved in this, or any, country, but progress can always be made.

SEE RELATED: COTTO: Bill O’Reilly is right about black America

Americans who travel widely understand O’Reilly’s perspective. He is a veteran globetrotter who has visited almost 40% of the world. He has ventured to regions where abject poverty is so pervasive that most Americans, even our own poor, cannot comprehend its devastation.

O’Reilly understands global poverty and recognizes that those who perpetuate perceptions about inequality among the races in this country are, for the most part, inaccurate. When did a black American choose to return to Africa for purposes of personal advancement? Ask any black if they would like to turn back the clock in America to the environment of the 1960s.

As far as the media was concerned, the Trayvon/Zimmerman trial made good television mostly because it was profitable. On the other hand, rivers of blood continue to flow nightly from pub fights and mindless violence in cities like Chicago and Detroit. Many result from incidents with far greater racial implications than the Zimmerman case ever had. Yet they go largely unreported.

The Obama administration pretends to be an advocate for minorities and the poor but his motivations stem from political gain rather than a genuine desire to solve problems.

As Dr. Anne Wortham, Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois St. University, so eloquently wrote about the status of blacks in America following Obama’s election, “I am Black; I grew up in the segregated South. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the requirements of human flourishing and survival - all that I know about the history of the United States of America, all that I know about American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a politician.

“I would have to believe that “fairness” is the equivalent of justice. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth. I would have to think it somehow rational that 94 percent of the 12 million Blacks in this country voted for a man because he looks like them, and that they were joined by self-declared “progressive” whites who voted for him because he doesn’t look like them.

Bill O’Reilly echoes Dr. Worthham’s message.

Sadly, his PC critics don’t get it, preferring to wallow in the muck of the ultimate reality show that distorts racial problems in this country. Problems that could be solved by focused rational thinking.

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events and the people and cultures around the globe. He is foundrt of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

 His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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