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> O'Reilly's lynching comment about Michelle Obama
nebraska29
post Feb 22 2008, 12:22 PM
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Leave it to Bill to put his foot in his mouth. rolleyes.gif In highlighting a supposed call for reason adn waiting for more evidence, Bill O'Reilly made an inappropriate reference to lynching and Michelle Obama. Of course, he couldn't say "call out" or "question," he had to use a racially sensitive term and then get defensive that the offensive term....offends people. I find it very interesting that whenever people try to pile on Obama, they come off looking worse. laugh.gif laugh.gif Hillary tried it with the plagiarism accusation and now Bill-O slipped big time. rolleyes.gif

Here is his comment directly:

QUOTE
You know, I have a lot of sympathy for Michelle Obama, for Bill Clinton, for all of these people. Bill Clinton, I have sympathy for him, because they're thrown into a hopper where everybody is waiting for them to make a mistake, so that they can just go and bludgeon them. And, you know, Bill Clinton and I don't agree on a lot of things, and I think I've made that clear over the years, but he's trying to stick up for his wife, and every time the guy turns around, there's another demagogue or another ideologue in his face trying to humiliate him because they're rooting for Obama.

That's wrong. And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down.


Since then, he has issued a kind-of apology and pleaded with people that the context of his statement is what matters. In other words, he wasn't calling for her to be lynched, but rather, that he was waiting to see what would bear out in regards to her comments about being proud of America. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post also had some interesting comments on the matter.

QUOTE
There's nothing funny about lynching. There's certainly nothing at all funny or remotely appropriate about the use of a lynching reference to talk about Michelle Obama, and the word "unless," followed by "[w]e'll track it down," is way beyond the pale. It's -- I'm almost speechless, but I have more to say, of course.



Questions for debate:

1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?

3.)To what extent should racist references and terms be allowed in public discourse? If we say it's "o.k." then what do we potentially open the door to?
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Amlord
post Feb 22 2008, 02:00 PM
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1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

Cry me a river. Of course not. He was saying the exact opposite of what is being implied.

Lynching is vigilanteism and although there is a history (some say long buried) of lynching against blacks in the US, I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks that Bill O'Reilly is calling for a lynch mob to go after Michelle Obama. In fact, he has defended her and called for calm.

O'Reilly is saying that we shouldn't form a mob and beat her up (figuratively) for her statement unless we find out that she meant something that is offensive to our sensibilities by it.

What's the difference between this and Imus? Maybe that Imus's intention was to insult those basketball players and O'Reilly's wasn't? Just a thought.

2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?

My heart may start bleeding here. Lynching has a legal meaning.

QUOTE
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the phrase "mob or riotous assemblage," when used in this act, shall mean an assemblage composed of three or more persons acting in concert for the purpose of depriving any person of his life without authority of law as a punishment for or to prevent the commission of some actual or supposed public offense


Lynching may have a connotation here, but that doesn't mean that is the meaning everyone. Wiki: lynching

Now that I've thought it over, we should ban the term lynching from ever being used. We should also ban "crow" "nappy" "kinky" "gay" "limp wristed" "red" "neck" "goat roper" and many, many others. In fact, we should revise the dictionary and have a set amount of approved words which are the only ones that people can use. We don't want to offend anyone, after all. rolleyes.gif

3.)To what extent should racist references and terms be allowed in public discourse? If we say it's "o.k." then what do we potentially open the door to?

This question sounds pretty authoritarian. Let people speak their mind, so that we can judge their intent. We can judge people by what they say--their ideas, not the phonetic sounds that come out of their mouths.
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VDemosthenes
post Feb 22 2008, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 07:22 AM) *
1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?

3.)To what extent should racist references and terms be allowed in public discourse? If we say it's "o.k." then what do we potentially open the door to?


1.) No, while obviously a firebrand-ish tactic, it made sense in context. It would be equally offensive if her ancestors were killed during the Salem Witch Trials and he described it as a witch-hunt, but her skin tone is a bit more evident. He obviously picked his words carefully, but I don't think it's meant to incite or imply anything other than live-up to the outlandish quest for publicity these people enjoy so much.

2.) Interesting word choice in the question. mrsparkle.gif

I think there's a lot to be said for context. Of course [and I'll say it again] he picked the word carefully enough, but writers often link things with another to create a sense of familiarity or desperation, etc. It evokes a tone, and whether or not the Big O really did that for the quality of language or as a means with which to stoke the flames, it's over.

3.) Given my political affiliation, I must say it's okay so long as he doesn't make a direct threat against others.
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English Horn
post Feb 22 2008, 02:15 PM
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As Amlord put it,

QUOTE
O'Reilly is saying that we shouldn't form a mob and beat her up (figuratively) for her statement unless we find out that she meant something that is offensive to our sensibilities by it.


The question comes, naturally, if Michelle Obama DID say something offensive to our sensibilities, then lynching is justified, in O'Reilly's opinion? That's the part that I didn't like at all... not the statement itself, but the veiled threat hidden in "if/else" statement....
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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Feb 22 2008, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 07:22 AM) *
Questions for debate:

1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?
No. Nappy Headed Ho was a stretch... Lynching isn't a racist term.
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 07:22 AM) *
2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?
Yes lynching is fine. Lynch mob is a term used often and its implied verb lynching is too. (I'm fairly sure George Lynch of Dokken fame wasn't having racist fantasis when he named his band either.)
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 07:22 AM) *
3.)To what extent should racist references and terms be allowed in public discourse? If we say it's "o.k." then what do we potentially open the door to?
Lynching isn't a racist term. We should open the door wide and stop giving words so much power. Alternately people could stop standing around waiting to be offended.

This post has been edited by BaphometsAdvocate: Feb 22 2008, 02:20 PM
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VDemosthenes
post Feb 22 2008, 02:21 PM
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QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Feb 22 2008, 09:19 AM) *
Lynching isn't a racist term. We should open the door wide and stop giving words so much power. Alternately people could stop standing around waiting to be offended.


But the noose, as we've seen in Louisiana, is a powerful symbol that can be interpreted through association to imply a negative relationship between blacks and the act of lynching.
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Amlord
post Feb 22 2008, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE(English Horn @ Feb 22 2008, 09:15 AM) *
As Amlord put it,

QUOTE
O'Reilly is saying that we shouldn't form a mob and beat her up (figuratively) for her statement unless we find out that she meant something that is offensive to our sensibilities by it.


The question comes, naturally, if Michelle Obama DID say something offensive to our sensibilities, then lynching is justified, in O'Reilly's opinion? That's the part that I didn't like at all... not the statement itself, but the veiled threat hidden in "if/else" statement....

No and again, I don't think O'Reilly said this or implied this. Lynching is a gathering of a mob to do vigilante justice. You can see the symbolism that O'Reilly said we shouldn't all pile on her. Now, if she really meant she was never proud of her country, then let the piling on begin. What other words could he have chosen to suggest this "piling on" that everyone would grasp?
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carlitoswhey
post Feb 22 2008, 03:06 PM
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Respectfully, someone needs to stop reading mediamatters to find out what they should be 'outraged' about on any given day. I heard the clip, and it's nothing. He was defending her, for God's sake. Beyond that - Sorry, black people, but you don't own the word "lynch."
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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Feb 22 2008, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Feb 22 2008, 09:21 AM) *
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Feb 22 2008, 09:19 AM) *
Lynching isn't a racist term. We should open the door wide and stop giving words so much power. Alternately people could stop standing around waiting to be offended.


But the noose, as we've seen in Louisiana, is a powerful symbol that can be interpreted through association to imply a negative relationship between blacks and the act of lynching.

Alternately people could stop standing around waiting to be offended
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scubatim
post Feb 22 2008, 03:55 PM
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It seems to me that some here in this thread are out to lynch O'Reilly. Again.

Was that racist, or was it used in a context similar to what O'Reilly intended? I guess that is left up for interpretation, but I will say that my intent was intended as a metaphoric form. I don't think anyone here really wants to "get a rope".

QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Feb 22 2008, 08:21 AM) *
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Feb 22 2008, 09:19 AM) *
Lynching isn't a racist term. We should open the door wide and stop giving words so much power. Alternately people could stop standing around waiting to be offended.


But the noose, as we've seen in Louisiana, is a powerful symbol that can be interpreted through association to imply a negative relationship between blacks and the act of lynching.

Not sure how many ways you can interpret a noose. I would be offended if someone hung a noose in my front yard, and I am as white as they come. The word lynch can be used metephorically. An actual noose is pretty cut and dry.

This post has been edited by scubatim: Feb 22 2008, 03:56 PM
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BoF
post Feb 22 2008, 04:08 PM
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1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

O'Reilly represents much of what's wrong and has been wrong with this country. I think he should go,

2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?


QUOTE(President George W. Bush @ Feb. 12, 2008)
Our nation has come a long way toward building a more perfect union. Yet as past injustices have become distant memories, there's a risk that our society may lose sight of thereal suffering that took place. One symbol of that suffering is the noose. Recently, there have been a number of media reports about nooses being displayed. These disturbing reports have resulted in heightened racial tensions in many communities. They have revealed that some Americans do not understand why the sight of a noose causes such a visceral reaction among so many people.

For decades, the noose played a central part in a campaign of violence and fear against African Americans.
Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of the night before the eyes of their terrified children. Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deeds [sic] and their deaths. ]

For generations of African Americans, the noose was more than a tool of murder; it was a tool of intimidation that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions.
The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history. The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest. As a civil society, we must understand that noose displays and lynching jokes are deeply offensive. They are wrong. And they have no place in America today. (Applause.)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...20080212-3.html
(I have quoted three consecutive paragraphs, but presidential statements are public domain)

If Bush gets it, I don’t understand why some of the conservatives on this board don’t "gets it." O’Reilly certainly doesn’t "get it."


Here is his O’Reilly’s comment from nebraska29’s original post.

QUOTE(Bill O'Reilly)
And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels.
The “unless” statement by Bill O’Reilly highlighted above, nullifies any defense for him.

Consider what Eugene Robinson, an accomplished Black journalist, said about the matter on Countdown. Black perspective is important here.

QUOTE
EUGENE ROBINSON: I think you kind of said it, Keith. That‘s the offense. You know what lynching was? Lynching was a horrific practice of murder, torture, dismemberment, burning alive, hanging, and the only purpose of lynching was to perpetuate white supremacy in the Jim Crowe South.

It wasn‘t—the idea of course wasn‘t to lynch all black people, but by lynching a few black people, not a few, by lynching some black people, to demonstrate to other African-Americans that this could happen to you. That you have no power. That we have all the power and that we can take anything we want from you, including your life.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23275773/

This post has been edited by BoF: Feb 22 2008, 04:35 PM
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scubatim
post Feb 22 2008, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Feb 22 2008, 10:08 AM) *
1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

O'Reilly represents much of what's wrong and has been wrong with this country. I think he should go,

Apparently this is a matter of opinion that is in the minority. If the viewers felt the same way you did, advertising dollars would drop, and Fox would then drop him.

QUOTE(BoF @ Feb 22 2008, 10:08 AM) *
2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?


QUOTE(President George W. Bush)
Our nation has come a long way toward building a more perfect union. Yet as past injustices have become distant memories, there's a risk that our society may lose sight of the real suffering that took place. One symbol of that suffering is the noose. Recently, there have been a number of media reports about nooses being displayed. These disturbing reports have resulted in heightened racial tensions in many communities. They have revealed that some Americans do not understand why the sight of a noose causes such a visceral reaction among so many people.

For decades, the noose played a central part in a campaign of violence and fear against African Americans.
Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of the night before the eyes of their terrified children. Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deeds [sic] and their deaths. ]

For generations of African Americans, the noose was more than a tool of murder; it was a tool of intimidation that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions.
The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history. The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest. As a civil society, we must understand that noose displays and lynching jokes are deeply offensive. They are wrong. And they have no place in America today. (Applause.)


http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...20080212-3.html
I have quoted three consecutive paragraphs, but presidential statements are public domain)

If Bush gets it, I don’t understand why some of the conservatives on this board don’t "gets it." O’Reilly certainly doesn’t "get it."

In the quotes you provide, Bush refers to an actual noose, not the word lynch. The last quote does use the word lynching, but it refers to the historical act of killing people because they were black. We are comparing apples and oranges as I have already explained. If O'Reilly had held up a noose and looked at the camera and said "Mrs. Obama, we are coming after you." then yes, you are completely right. He used a word that metaphorically meant that the media shouldn't attack her for her statements. He is actually defending her. Yet there are those that still want to attack, or lynch, him any chance they get. It boggles the mind.

QUOTE(BoF @ Feb 22 2008, 10:08 AM) *
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 06:22 AM) *
Leave it to Bill to put his foot in his mouth. rolleyes.gif In highlighting a supposed call for reason adn waiting for more evidence, Bill O'Reilly made an inappropriate reference to lynching and Michelle Obama. Of course, he couldn't say "call out" or "question," he had to use a racially sensitive term and then get defensive that the offensive term....offends people. I find it very interesting that whenever people try to pile on Obama, they come off looking worse. laugh.gif laugh.gif Hillary tried it with the plagiarism accusation and now Bill-O slipped big time. rolleyes.gif

Here is his O’Reilly’s comment from nebraska29’s original post.

QUOTE(Bill O'Reilly)
And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels.

The “unless” statement by Bill O’Reilly highlighted above, nullifies any defense for him.


Consider what Eugene Robinson, an accomplished black journalist said about the matter on Countdown. Black perspective is important here.

QUOTE
EUGENE ROBINSON: I think you kind of said it, Keith. That‘s the offense. You know what lynching was? Lynching was a horrific practice of murder, torture, dismemberment, burning alive, hanging, and the only purpose of lynching was to perpetuate white supremacy in the Jim Crowe South.

It wasn‘t—the idea of course wasn‘t to lynch all black people, but by lynching a few black people, not a few, by lynching some black people, to demonstrate to other African-Americans that this could happen to you. That you have no power. That we have all the power and that we can take anything we want from you, including your life.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23275773/

Again, if he meant that he condoned a mob to get a rope and string her up, I would be right there with you, but it is more probable that the word was used metaphorically. Only those that are out to lynch O'Reilly would think otherwise. (another metaphor!)

This post has been edited by scubatim: Feb 22 2008, 04:20 PM
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BoF
post Feb 22 2008, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 22 2008, 10:18 AM) *
Again, if he meant that he condoned a mob to get a rope and string her up, I would be right there with you, but it is more probable that the word was used metaphorically. Only those that are out to lynch O'Reilly would think otherwise. (another metaphor!)


Read what Bush said again, scubatim. He was talking about the "noose" and the word "lynching" as symbols of a rotten, horrific past.

You have had much negative to say about school teachers recently. If a teacher "joked" about lynching to a lack child he/she should would be dismissed or suspended without pay and rightly so. Since teachers, in your opinion, should be drug tested like other professions, why shouldn't O'Reilly be held to the same standards school districts hold teachers on insensitive racial remarks?

You know, every teacher in Fort Worth ISD had to do several hours in "diversity training" some years ago, because a few teachers made offensive racial remarks. Maybe O'Reilly should do some diversity training, but then he'd probably something to get his butt kicked out of class. rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by BoF: Feb 22 2008, 04:37 PM
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scubatim
post Feb 22 2008, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Feb 22 2008, 10:25 AM) *
QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 22 2008, 10:18 AM) *
Again, if he meant that he condoned a mob to get a rope and string her up, I would be right there with you, but it is more probable that the word was used metaphorically. Only those that are out to lynch O'Reilly would think otherwise. (another metaphor!)


Read what Bush said again, scubatim. He was talking about the "noose" and the word "lynching" as symbols of a rotten, horrific past.

You have had much negative to say about school teachers recently. If a teacher "joked" about lynching to a lack child he/she should be dismissed and rightly so. Since teachers, in your opinion, should be drug tested like other professions, why shouldn't O'Reilly be held to the same standards school districts hold teachers on insensitive racial remarks?

You know, every teacher in Fort Worth ISD had to do several hours in "diversity training" some years ago, because a few teachers made offensive racial remarks. Maybe O'reilly should do some diversity training.

Ok, you have thoroughly confused me. What negative have I said about teachers? Please provide posts that I have written that is negative about teachers. Secondly, Bush is referring to actual nooses, which I have stated in plain English that nooses are pretty cut and dry as offensive. He then referred to lynching, the actual act of it. I would agree that the actual act of lynching as it was done (and I am sure still happens today) is offensive at best. When someone uses a word as O'Reilly did, it is in the metaphorical sense. There is no reason to believe he actually thinks anyone should lynch anyone.

I don't see where anyone has "joked" as you put it about anything. What insenstitive racial remark did he say? He was calling for the rest of the media to calm down about her comment. He was telling them to not attack her. He said "That's wrong. And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down." Meaning, before we (the media) attack her on her statement, let's make sure we know what she meant. If she actually has never been proud of this country before, then write all the negative articles you want. If this statement was taken out of context, leave her alone. Again, the word was used metaphorically.

This post has been edited by scubatim: Feb 22 2008, 04:37 PM
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BoF
post Feb 22 2008, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 22 2008, 10:36 AM) *
Ok, you have thoroughly confused me. What negative have I said about teachers? Please provide posts that I have written that is negative about teachers.


QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 21 2008, 07:59 AM) *
Oh, now I understand, since teachers are all 60 year-old little ladies, it all makes sense to me. I mean, I wouldn't let my kids hang out with the street junkies that only get high under bridges downtown, but teacher that get high are just fine? I don't see any difference between the two. They are both junkies.

Ask and ye shalt receive.

I would say comparing teachers to "junkies" is quite demeaning.

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carlitoswhey
post Feb 22 2008, 04:50 PM
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He could have used the words "string up" or "go after" or "persecute" or "gang up on" or any other word. It's just a word. Not, as noted, a rope. Those upset about this are the same ones who freak out about "niggardly," mistaking it for a race word.

QUOTE
You know, every teacher in Fort Worth ISD had to do several hours in "diversity training" some years ago, because a few teachers made offensive racial remarks. Maybe O'Reilly should do some diversity training

The sad thing is that those teaching our youth don't see anything wrong with state-sanctioned "re-education" of themselves regarding "diversity." Mao would be proud.
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BoF
post Feb 22 2008, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 22 2008, 10:50 AM) *
He could have used the words "string up" or "go after" or "persecute" or "gang up on" or any other word. It's just a word. Not, as noted, a rope. Those upset about this are the same ones who freak out about "niggardly," mistaking it for a race word.


Oh come off it carlito. I'm one of the few on this board who has gone after O'Reilly. I sure as hell know what "niggardly" means. It means being tight with a buck. Try again. rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by BoF: Feb 22 2008, 04:54 PM
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VDemosthenes
post Feb 22 2008, 04:58 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Feb 22 2008, 11:54 AM) *
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 22 2008, 10:50 AM) *
He could have used the words "string up" or "go after" or "persecute" or "gang up on" or any other word. It's just a word. Not, as noted, a rope. Those upset about this are the same ones who freak out about "niggardly," mistaking it for a race word.


Oh come off it carlito. I'm one of the few on this board who has gone after O'Reilly. I sure as hell know what "niggardly" means. It means being tight with a buck. Try again. rolleyes.gif


I have to agree. It's just parcing at this point. I'm not sure Big O really meant anything racist and just wanted to inject the topic with a racial element.

In theory, doesn't that help Obama? thumbsup.gif
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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Feb 22 2008, 05:00 PM
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Uhh... I had to go to the top of this thread 3 times to make sure I wasn't in the Teacher/Drug Testing thread.

What are we debating in this one again? Oh right this one is about the latest manufactured outrage.

Seriously though if Sharpton isn't going to weigh in is this really a problem?
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quick
post Feb 22 2008, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 22 2008, 07:22 AM) *
Leave it to Bill to put his foot in his mouth. rolleyes.gif In highlighting a supposed call for reason adn waiting for more evidence, Bill O'Reilly made an inappropriate reference to lynching and Michelle Obama. Of course, he couldn't say "call out" or "question," he had to use a racially sensitive term and then get defensive that the offensive term....offends people. I find it very interesting that whenever people try to pile on Obama, they come off looking worse. laugh.gif laugh.gif Hillary tried it with the plagiarism accusation and now Bill-O slipped big time. rolleyes.gif

Here is his comment directly:

QUOTE
You know, I have a lot of sympathy for Michelle Obama, for Bill Clinton, for all of these people. Bill Clinton, I have sympathy for him, because they're thrown into a hopper where everybody is waiting for them to make a mistake, so that they can just go and bludgeon them. And, you know, Bill Clinton and I don't agree on a lot of things, and I think I've made that clear over the years, but he's trying to stick up for his wife, and every time the guy turns around, there's another demagogue or another ideologue in his face trying to humiliate him because they're rooting for Obama.

That's wrong. And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down.


Since then, he has issued a kind-of apology and pleaded with people that the context of his statement is what matters. In other words, he wasn't calling for her to be lynched, but rather, that he was waiting to see what would bear out in regards to her comments about being proud of America. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post also had some interesting comments on the matter.

QUOTE
There's nothing funny about lynching. There's certainly nothing at all funny or remotely appropriate about the use of a lynching reference to talk about Michelle Obama, and the word "unless," followed by "[w]e'll track it down," is way beyond the pale. It's -- I'm almost speechless, but I have more to say, of course.



Questions for debate:

1.)Should FOX News suspend O'Reilly for his comments? Why or why not given the fact that Imus was suspended for his comments?

2.)Is O'Reilly's appeal to "context" legitimate? Is "lynching" an appropriate term for a public media figure to throw out indiscriminantly?

3.)To what extent should racist references and terms be allowed in public discourse? If we say it's "o.k." then what do we potentially open the door to?



1) No--he was defending Ms. Obama and likening what has happened to her as being caused by a lynch mob. I disagree with O'Reilly that MO's comments should have gone unnoticed, but I understand his point.

2) It is a graphic term, but after what we've all seen from the media, not inappropriate. What the media is doing right now to McCain over this non-story about the female lobbyist amounts to a media "lynching".

3) It is not a rascist term, not really. Anyone who has ever watched a Western knows there is a wholly different context for lynching. We should not let black extremists determine our public discourse.

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