Thursday, September 27, 2007

RACISM CAN ALWAYS GET ME WRITING

In the midst of learning a new job and working my two current jobs I haven’t been able to do much in the way of posting. Despite the enormous amount of work I have been doing I have simply not had all that much to say. Thanks to the glory that is Bill O’Reilly I now have plenty of fodder.

I’m sure that by now most of you have heard about our dear friend Bill’s trip to Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem. Back in ‘97 I went to Sylvia’s and enjoyed some delicious macaroni and cheese. I hear that the quality has changed somewhat since Sylvia has passed, but that is beyond the point. Bill also seemed to have a wonderful time at the restaurant as you can see from the comments he then made. According to him, the comments were an attempt to discuss the fact that America as a country needs to get away from race-based thinking because there aren’t all that many differences between the races. To prove his point he made some of the most wonderfully racist comments I have heard in ages.

“And 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. It was the same, and that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A.”

That’s a great observation. This guy really gets it! If he were actually trying to show his fans the lack of difference between the races would he have begun the statement with something like “I couldn’t get over the fact,”? No I think not. He claims that his words have been taken totally out of context. Sorry, you can’t take that out of context. You can’t hide the genuine surprise that is inherent in that statement. Wow, black people owning and running things that aren’t fucked up, what a concept. At least he brought it back to a statement about equality…sort of. But that wasn’t the half of it. The crowning statement was to follow.

“There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced tea."

He must have been there on a day when the patrons were truly on their best behavior. I know that when I go to a primarily Black restaurant I hear people cursing and yelling for iced tea all the time. In fact, when I don’t encounter such behavior I am almost as surprised as Bill O’Reilly. When I go to a restaurant and no one yells I just don’t even know what to do with myself. He went on to follow the priceless iced tea comment with this:

“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.”

My question for him is this, how would he expect any business to run for decades if the kind of craziness that was lacking at Sylvia’s was the norm? Does he think that the Black patrons would put up with going to a restaurant where people are yelling across the room for M-Fing iced tea? I somehow doubt that they would. However, it seems to me that what he is trying to say is that much of white America sees Black America as rowdy, uncouth, and irresponsible to the point that a neighborhood, and even national, landmark would be ripe of that type of behavior. He certainly seems to feel that way. If he is right in his defense of his statements and they were honestly made to make a point about how there really isn’t much difference in the races he needs to re-examine his surprise. If that is truly how the majority of white America feels then our country is truly a sad place.

15 comments:

Katrina said...

You know, I heard he made uncouth statements but I never heard what they were. Wow, what an asshat.

HD's father is racist. It's weird though when he'll say something because it's few and far between. So you forget that he his until he says something stupid like he did during the Bears game. Can't remember who had the ball but it was a black player and he starts running down the field but only got a few yards. His dad comes out with, "You better hold on to that boy boy." Come to think of it it might've been Hester, probably was since he'd dropped it earlier.

Now that could be taken one of two ways but HD and I know which way it is to be and it's not the innocent one. He tries to throw it off by saying that's how he was raised but that's just an excuse of course. Because HD isn't like that and that's how he was raised.

I don't know, I don't get it. It's sad that there's still so many people out there like him and Bill, just sad.

Anonymous said...

WTF! I was actualy drinking Iced Tea (okay, from a vending machine)when I read your blog. I was thinking "Damn, I need me some MF'ing Iced Tea, not just any Iced Tea, but some MF'ing Lipton Iced Tea(Okay, so it was green tea). I'd daydreaming of me and Samuel Jackson, the international icon of MF, sipping Iced Tea.

Mom said...

Natalie, please let me know if anyone comes to your blog via a google search on "people cursing and yelling for iced tea all the time".

Truly a sad place...

I'm going to a talk tonight by the superintendent of our schools, on "the history of civil rights in the Twin Cities during the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the connections between the history of schooling, political context, and current policies within the Twin Cities metropolitan area" -- should be interesting...

Love ya!

Kiyotoe said...

And the REALLY scary part is that the comments that have been attributed to him are probably nowhere NEAR as bad as the stuff he kept to himself.

stuff like "wow, there's no Kool-Aid on the menu" or "Gee, it's clean and professional in here, more than just fried chicken on the menu".

I've been to Sylvia's a hundred times, there was even one here in Atlanta for a while and I can't think of too many other establishments that match the standards of Sylvia's.

I can't stand Bill O'Reilly. I'm getting ready to write a post about racism too. I'm gonna call it "The Big Comeback". Stay tuned.

notfearingchange said...

wow

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Y'know, I've always disliked O'Reilly, but now I actually hate him. Stupid ignorant man.

RastaManErn said...

I lurk on several political blogs and I have seen enough Bill'O clips over the years to know what an ass he is. There is nothing quite like a bigot who does not know he's a bigot, but will continue to say bigoted things despite the world calling them on it.

MediaMatters is being attacked for even posting and addressing the clip of Bill'O. People are asking, "what's the big deal?". The big deal is Katrina, the Jena 6, "breaking a few eggs" in Iraq, and fence across the Mexican border. People can pretend there is no racism in the US all they want. Reality will continue to smack them in the face, however.

The Doc said...

I should learn to never be surprised at anything O'reilly says. The man's a festering cesspool of willful ignorance and tenacious denial. And yet, every time he's in the news, I'm surprised at what he says...

Natalie said...

Katrina- There is certainly a nurture aspect to a person's social mentality but not everyone follows the way they are raised. Common sense and experience can change someone's mind.

Anon- I would actually really enjoy some M-Fing lipton green tea from a vending machine right now.

Mom- That does sound interesting, call me this weekend I would love to hear more.

Kiyotoe- I can't remember where it was that I went and there was Kool-aid on the menu. I thought it was a nice idea. sometimes you just want some kool-aid. On a more serious note, I eagerly await your post.

Notfearing- Wow is right, people are just real funny.

Mrs. L- I felt the exact same way.

Ern- I actually tried to give him a small bit of the benefit of the doubt on this one because I did hear people (and not just his friends) saying his words were taken out of context. After reading the full transcript I came to the conclusion that they are either all idiots or being paid off. Sure, much worse has been said but you are right, it is just one more thing in the huge pile of racist crap we experience in this country.

Monica said...

oh my god Sylvia's sucks. they have the worst soul food in all of NYC...but that isn't the point...at all. the fact that it would take a dude as old as bill having a surprisingly pleasant visit to a Black establishment for him to realize that all Blackfolk are not some ignorant ghetto stereotype is just sad. how do you manage to function in a world clouded with such a thick fog of ignorance? Furthermore, i think it's irrespobsible, and incorrect to foster the belief that all fo the races are the same. it isn't an insult, it's just true. we are all different.

Monica said...

amy ruth's in harlem has kool aid on the menu. best service ever and the food ain't half bad.

terry said...

"it's almost as if they were HUMAN!"

that's what i got from his completely asinine comments.

i guess i shouldn't be surprised he said what he said... but i am. the man should die a painful death.

sladek said...

More left wing liberal bias, thats funny, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson don't have problem with what Bill said, and Al was with Bill during this dinner...get your facts from the real source not Media Matters or CNN...

RastaManErn said...

Hey Sladek, why don't you ask everyone here about their impressions of Jesse and Al? I'm sure they will be on par with what we said about Bill'O. Second, I guess you missed the statement that began, "After reading the full transcript I came to the conclusion that..." And finally, this has nothing to do with left-wing or right-wing. It's about one bigot (Bill'O) and his moronic defenders (you).

You may now go play in traffic.

Natalie said...

Monica- I agree that we all have our differences undoubtedly. Yet, I would argue that the amount of fundamental similarities inherent in being a human outweigh the differences. Not that they shouldn't be acknowledged of course. As for kool-aid, sometimes you just want a glass.

Terry- I don't know if I would go as far as death, the man has a right to an opinion as asinine as it is. Plus, without him what would I blog about?

Sladek- OOOHHH my first hateful comment! Ern has said everything I would have said. I would almost never listen to what Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson have to say on important issues. I think they are media whores just like O'Reily. And yes, I did read the actual source and my opinion is what I wrote.

Ern- Here here.