bill-o gets his soul food on(Image by darkblack)

Sometimes it seems to me that Bill O’Reilly only opens his mouth to change feet. In a truly cringe-inducing conversation with professional African American Cultural Apologist Juan (“Wan”) Williams, Pox News’s assistant principal recently told of his life-changing visit to Sylvia’s, the famous soul-food mecca of Harlem.

Bill-O was apparently flabbergasted that actual black businesspeople are perfectly capable of running a five-star dining establishment all on their own without any help whatsoever from The Man.

Media Matters:

During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful,”

And clean! And articulate!

(A)dding: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.”

Why is that such a shock, Bill? And where the hell have you been eating all your life that you’ve never been to a black owned and operated restaurant before? Hello? Is it 1955 in there?

O’Reilly asserted: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’

Um…do what, now? Was that honestly what he expected the place to be like?

O’Reilly: You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.”

The amount of condescension dripping off that statement could stun an ox. What was he thinking he would find there? A wait staff swinging from the chandeliers with bones through their noses?

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, that probably isn’t too far off from what he was expecting. And a big black pot in the center of the room that they were going to chuck him in and dance around waving their spears in the air.

You know, demagogues like O’Reilly and his frequent guest and co-host on The O’Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin like to make a lot of histrionic screeching sounds about how Teh Left are the real racists in this country, but the fact that he thought he’d stumbled on some kind of magical Lost World when confronted by a group of pleasantly dressed, upscale black Americans out having a good time speaks volumes about his real attitude toward people with skin darker than his own. It is apparently a shock to him, even, that black people are capable of independent thought:

O’Reilly also stated: “I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves.

What, rather than have uptight white assholes like yourself do it for them?

They’re getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They’re just trying to figure it out. ‘Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it.”

Right, because in Conservatard Woof-Woof Land, no-one should ever listen to Al Sharpton. He’s a “rabble-rouser”, which means that he works tirelessly to give voice to the needs and concerns of black people who can’t afford to dine at Sylvia’s on the weekends. And we can’t have that, now can we? If black Americans are going to matter, then by god, they better be bourgie.

I think The Late Great Steve Gilliard said it best:

I know a lot of white people have this fantasy that Al Sharpton stirs up trouble and makes things worse when there is a racial confrontation.

But that is a fantasy.

[snip]

What people need to understand is that Sharpton has both a broad base of support and a great deal of respect. If people think his views are unrepresentative, they are delusional. While I make no excuse for his antics with the Dems or his hotel bills, there is a simple reason that he can still command respect among black New Yorkers.

It’s because when things get tight, he doesn’t run.

He stood by the Central Park Jogger defendents long after the case was no longer news. And he was vindicated as DNA cleared them. This took ten years.

Give yourself a treat: go back and read that whole Gilliard link. Gawd, I miss him!

Sharpton has credibility and has a following among a lot of people, and they trust him, because he won’t be cowed by pasty racist pricks like Giuliani or O’Reilly, and such people can think for themselves very well, Bill, you cracker Westbury trash.

To listen to O’Reilly, you’d think no one ever even bothered to sit him down for the basics of Black History Month, the only time some whites can patronizingly be bothered even to acknowledge the existence of African American history.

Let me offer you a quick remedial refresher, Bill: have you never heard of the Harlem Renaissance? James Baldwin? Duke Ellington? Sydney Poitier? Here’s a tip: Black Americans have been at the center of pretty much every significant cultural movement in this country since the beginning of the 20th century. Ever heard of a writer named W.E.B. DuBois, Bill? Frederick Douglass? George Washington Carver? How about Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison? Jessye Norman? Amiri Baraka?

Do you suppose that Bill even knows that there are black universities? Black Shakespeare companies? Or that the first black opera company in this country was founded in the 1870′s?

He probably doesn’t, and would doubt their existence if anyone tried to fill him in. Because to men like Bill O’Reilly, capital-C “Culture” is strictly the province of wealthy whites like himself. He doesn’t understand that to express shock and amazement when a person of color does something as well as or better than a white person is the very definition of racism.

But that’s how Bill thinks, and really, how all the lily-white chucklefucks (of all races) at Pox News think. The Republican mind has never advanced beyond the 19th century colonial paradigm. It’s all self-righteousness and the Agony of the White Man’s Burden.

I only hope that someone in the kitchen blew their nose into his mashed potatoes. It would serve him right.