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Monday, October 1, 2007

I See Black People: Bill O'Reilly

John Ridley's Visible Man

Bill O'Reilly: I See Black People!

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Bill O'Reilly

Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images

So, by now I hope you're up to speed on Fox News talker Bill O'Reilly's rather disgusting foot-in-mouthism. If not, take my word for it — it was a backfisted compliment regarding so-called normal black behavior. Bill was seemingly stunned that people of color can comport themselves in a black-run restaurant.

That Bill's comments are ignorant is obvious. But how could someone who lives in the Metro NYC area, works in Manhattan and talks with agenda setters daily be so completely unaware of blacks in suits who are able to order iced tea without saying M-F?

It really boils down to basic Ralph Ellison: To Bill (and plenty of people like him), blacks who don't fit his narrow view of what a black should be are invisible to him. O'Reilly crosses paths with "normal" people of color by the dozens every day, but he lacks the ability to truly see them. It's only when he's completely swimming in another environment, when he is forced to become aware of those around him, that he realizes that there is "no difference" between the patrons at a Harlem eatery and those at a "normal" restaurant. More HERE


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