Until today, I haven't written anything about "Faux News" - to me the word "Fox" and "News" simply don't belong together. The proof is in the pudding and over and over again, the Fox "news" network proves its bias: routinely cutting off people mid-interview if their opinions and expertise offend the network or their representatives' right-wing sensibilities. But now talk show host Bill O'Reilly has gone too far, telling radio listeners "...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."
O'Reilly's ignorant remarks were made in response to Michelle Obama's statement at a campaign rally that she was "really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life." Certain vitriolic right-wing media outlets immediately - and deliberately - set out to misinterpret them, trying to paint Mrs. Obama as being unpatriotic. These were Mrs. Obama's remarks, "Let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are ready for change..." Both Michelle Obama and her husband later clarified that she was referring to the groundswell of Americans getting involved in the political process and acting for change.
After more than seven years of Bush & Co. riding roughshod over the American people, trampling our civil liberties and damaging the Constitution, it's nice to think about having a new government that might make us proud. While I've always been proud to be an American, I have not been proud of the government so incompetently run by the Bush administration.
Politics aside, what is wrong with this picture is that a nationally-recognised radio and television talk show host spewed venonmous words of hate. Bill O'Reilly suggested going on a "lynching party," a criminal act associated with the Ku Klux Klan and its murderous, barbaric and violent past. Yet this man remains on the public airwaves, without so much as an apology? He owes an apology not only to Barack and Michele Obama, but to the people of the United States. Meanwhile, he might consider taking a Teaching Tolerance class at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
One hateful word is all it takes
to conjure frightening images
of ghostly riders.
hangman's nooses and
burning crosses on lawns:
hooded symbols of fear,
adopted by white supremacists
cast out of mainstream society.
racism again rears its ugly head
in the guise of a radio and television host
who casually talks about lynching
a black woman for her comments.
Who made him judge, jury
Such is the despicable behaviour
the Ku Klux Klan practiced
in ceremonies of hate,
violence and murder
that cast a pall
over the American South
and reminded us that
pure evil has nothing to do
with skin color
and everything to do
with a person's actions.
The segregated schools
and separate doctors' waiting rooms
disappeared long ago,
but the undercurrent of racism
espoused by mean, small-minded bigots
remains alive and well
and practiced with impunity
amidst the full-court glare of publicity.