Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly tackled the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict again on The O'Reilly Factor on Monday. The problem, he said, is that so many people in positions of leadership and on the cable networks simply don't want to have an honest discussion about race matters.
Instead, O'Reilly claimed, the whole 'grievance industry' does its best to prevent considered examinations of the complex issues. O'Reilly then contrasted the words of CNN anchor Don Lemon, who he called honest and courageous for insisting the Fox News pundit was not racist for insisting that many young black men embrace self-destructive habits and attitudes that are encouraged by the rap music industry.
'One of the big reasons Trayvon Martin lost his life was that George Zimmerman feared the image he projected that night in Florida,' O'Reilly said, suggesting that Martin's hoodie and general appearance contributed to his death.
O'Reilly insisted Martin's clothing and demeanor contributed to Zimmerman's decision to shoot.
O'Reilly called on 'the civil rights folks to stop maligning the country and face up to a huge problem that is directly harming millions, primarily in the African-American community.'
According to NewsBusters, O'Reilly listed the collapse of the African-American family unit and the entertainment industry's cynical promotion of 'gangster culture' in rap music as the two most destabilizing forces at work.
O'Reilly then tackled Al Sharpton, host of the weekday afternoon PoliticsNation program on MSNBC, 'for attacking the messenger and implying I am a racist.'
Why is MSNBC and Sharpton attacking O'Reilly, he asked? His answer was 'because I am a threat to them.'
O'Reilly was heartened to hear Lemon defend his comments, calling the anchor 'one of those honest people on CNN.'
'After his remarks, Lemon was attacked by the race hustlers,' O'Reilly stated, but 'his courage stands in stark contrast to their ignorance and corruption.'
The Fox News host concluded the segment by calling Sharpton's charges against him 'ridiculous' adding: 'Your day is done.'
Meanwhile on Fox talk radio host Alan Colmes also defended Lemon during Fox News Channel's Happening Now program on Monday, stating: 'We’ll have true equality in this country when someone like Don Lemon or any other person of color can make a statement that doesn't conform with what the so-called majority believes without being called names, without being called an Uncle Tom.'
Sherri Shepherd, one of the hosts on ABC's The View, had her own take on O'Reilly's pronouncements: 'I don't want to give Bill O'Reilly a license to say anything because he's never been a young black man growing up in the situations that a lot of them grow up in.'
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