On August 17, 2016, during a broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly claimed that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been “demonized” by black voters. Afterward, he condescendingly told black guests, attorney Andell Brown and Pastor Jacques De Graff that black voters would do better to choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
“Interestingly, according to the polls, Mr. Brown, only two percent – two percent – of African-Americans currently support Mr. Trump, so in any crowd, there’s not going to be very many of them. Although we certainly have had Trump supporters of color on here… but, I don’t understand why – and let’s take Trump out of the equation just for the moment, because Romney didn’t do well, and McCain didn’t do well with the African-Americans… single digits for both… So why isn’t the African-American community saying, ‘You know what? We had a black President who didn’t really help us very much. The Democratic Party hasn’t really helped us very much. Maybe we go supply-side economics and look for a guy who’s going to stimulate the economy that perhaps would be better.’ Why don’t they do that?”
Andell Brown replied:
“Well you also have to look at what Trump has said and done himself, not necessarily being, as you put it, demonized, where, in November 2015, Trump reTweeted a very highly inaccurate, casting African-Americans in a bad light Tweet that said ‘Black people killed 81% of white people.’ I mean, that was just totally inaccurate. You even addressed it on your show, Bill.”
O’Reilly then interrupted Brown, putting his hand up and conceded:
“O.K., Let me… let me just… Yes, and I said Mr. Trump was foolish to quote, ‘reTweet’ a fallacious stat.”
Right then and there, Brown jumped back in and asked for O’Reilly’s thoughts on Trump’s perspective toward black people, and O’Reilly shouted over him:
“If I were an African-American guy, I would have been outraged! But again, I’m trying to transcend Trump and go to the policies that aren’t working for the African-American community. It’s obvious they’re not working. It’s obvious. You have economics, you have education…”
After Brown pointed out that in an election, people must look at both sides, O’Reilly piped up:
“Well, they’re not! The African-Americans are not looking at both sides! They’ve written Trump off. I think that’s pretty clear!”
Pastor DeGraff responded:
“Because Trump and the Republican Party… it’s not just Trump as you’re indicating…the House of Representatives has blocked everything the President has been trying to do for eight years… the Affordable Care Act… it passed, in spite of them and it passed with compromises on a state-by-state level.”
Though O’Reilly claimed that the Affordable Care Act is in distress “because of the spending level that the federal government has put out there, so working class black families are paying far more for health insurance while some poor Americans get it free,” under the legislation, from 2013 to 2014 the number of black people with health insurance increased by 5.1 percent, the third highest demographical gain.
Following O’Reilly’s patronizing remark that black people end up paying more for health insurance, Rev. DeGraff, with justifiable anger in his eyes, snapped back:
“Black Americans, like any other group in America, are capable of determining their own best interest and black Americans don’t have a relationship with the Republican Party because of the hostile environment that they’ve fostered for eight years.”
To be sure, it comes as no surprise that as of August 14, 2016, only one percent of blacks polled by Fox News would vote for Donald Trump. Not only has he been observed in private insinuating that he doesn’t trust the black accountants keeping his books, insinuated that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Honolulu Hawaii and reTweeted a racially motivated false crime statistic at the expense of black people, he also called for the execution of the Central Park Five, a group of black teenagers wrongfully accused of beating, stabbing and raping a 28-year-old white investment banker. All of the above considered, he’s lucky to get a measly percent.
On the other hand, as Andell Brown pointed out during the discussion, the removal of the distinction between crack cocaine and powder cocaine under the Fair Sentencing Act, signed into law by President Obama on August 3, 2010, has lessened the harm done to the black community through fewer blacks being over-sentenced for possession of the drug, therefore giving black voters a favorable impression of the Democratic Party.
Featured image: Bill O’Reilly (Mediaite via YouTube).