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.