Disrupt   |  August 03, 2013

The right-wing media's take on the race conversation

Karen Finney discusses the right-wing media's take on the race conversation in America with Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change and anti-racism activist Tim Wise.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> thanks for disrupting your afternoon, i'm karen finney. president obama hits the road for jobs. congress heads home and the right wing, they're still clueless.

>> this foreign born --

>> that nut case was more powerful in that room than the members of congress.

>> young black americans are the most violent group in this country by far.

>> their deep injustices we must address.

>> racism in america . for it to be so blat abbott.

>> that's right. jay-z, america is blatantly racist. that's why you're a multimillionaire.

>> policy wise, zilch, zero, nada.

>> i don't want to go through the same old arguments where i propose an idea and the republicans say no because it is my idea. 40 meaningless votes to repeal obamacare is not a jobs plan.

>> who do you want to die in america with breast cancer ?

>> it is an aimless congress.

>> the country is hanging by a thread here.

>> we begin with a look at the ongoing right wing vitriol that has been spewed in what should be an opportunity for a sincere conversation about racism in america . the three top agents of intolerance, bill o 'reilly, sean hannity and rush limbaugh continue to oopinion about the virtues. offering insulting diagnoses from crime to teen pregnancy to race. o'reilly went so far to say jay-z' wealth is evidence that america is post racial. he even took it upon himself to explain black culture to the naacp's senior vice president. we here thought their rhetoric should be called out for what it really is.

>> the hustlers come in and start to demonize america , lying about it, saying that white people want to hurt black people .

>> if any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it is caucasians.

>> the race hustlers and their sympathize descended into the gutter.

>> the president saying trayvon could have been me 35 years ago. this is a particularly helpful comment. is that the president admitting that, i guess because what? he was part of the gang and did he a little blow?

>> young black men often reject education and gravitate toward the street culture , drugs, hustling, gangs.

>> 61 people died in chicago and i have their names right here.

>> my sincere belief is that the african-american community is being devastated by the collapse of the family. white people don't force black people to have babies out of wedlock.

>> it is to perpetuate the myth within the black community that all blacks remain helpless victims of white supremacy .

>> you got that? that means it is all in our heads. with me now, executive director of color of change , rashad robinson and tim wise . thanks to you both for joining me. you know, guys, the vitriol aside, one of the things that strikes me is that time and again, these are the voices that we hear on the right wing. we never hear the establishment or rashad, the gop leadership coming out saying, hey, wait a second. that's too far. that's not right. certainly now that they're supposed to be this autopsy. they're supposed to be reaching out to people of color . where is the leadership?

>> this is an ongoing problem for the gop. that they let their entertainment lead them. these folks are entertainers. they consistently play to the fears of white folks. oftentimes people who are facing economic challenges and play to the fears and try to drive folks apart. in a country where we should be looking to our elect leeds, the folks in the middle, moderate republicans to lead, to stand up, to push back. what we're seeing is complete silence. it will be an ongoing problem as the rising american electorate as people of color change the voting bloc of this country.

>> i feel like the right wing conservatives are trying to have it both ways. if you think back to when rush limbaugh called sandra a slut, nobody had the courage to denounce him. you could hear from the republicans. publicly they would say, well, they're entertainment. that's over there. the truth is, and i've had conversations with conservative friends in washington who privately are tell you when you say how come nobody is coming out to defend this poor girl. you know we can't speak against rush. it is like they're trying to have it both ways.

>> not just that. the reality is this fear, it sells. if you have a country that's demographically changing so that in 30 years, it will be about 50/50 white and people of color . if you have a popular culture that is already thoroughly multicultural and white folks' economic anxiety apparently finally catching one the black and brown folks who have always had, what better way to scare white folks with the future than to lie. for example, to lie about out of wedlock births in the black community. do you know what the fact is? the fact is that the birth rate for unmarried black women has dropped by 30% since the early '70s by half for teenagers. so they're not even telling the truth. or with crime. chicago , yes, has been an outlier. and that's a horrible thing to talk about. violent crime nationwide, it is down significantly in the last 20 years. in the early '70s, it was three times higher than it is now. in washington, d.c. it is at the lowest rate in 50 years and black men had a greater chance of dying from homicide now than in 1950 . so this indicates the folks them don't hang out with black people . and jesse lee peterson doesn't count. they don't go into black communities. they're not getting pushed back because sadly we are a nation that hears those statistics that the right uses and we haven't taught ourselves how to fight them.

>> you're exactly right. this is something that frustrates me all the time. there is such ignorance. not just from the statistics that tim was talking about. they have no idea. and this was true when we were talking about the war on women. we talk about gay people . you name it. they have no idea how people are living their lives in 2013 america . they have no idea some of the systemic and historical reasons that things are the way they are. they have no idea. they don't really care what the facts are. they go out there and spew this venom. and then turn around and say that the president is the one who is trying to divvied the country.

>> this is the game. you absolutely are right. they don't care about the facts. the facts will not serve the results that they want. the results that they want is to continue to push for greater corporate power. to push for the wealthest americans to not pay their fair share . to push for the greater militarization. their goal is a goal to continue in a state where wealthy folks don't have to pay their fair share . tad that, they have to tell this story. this story of race. of the people who are the have-nots having put themselves there. that's a story that we not only see from the right wing but we oftentimes see coming out of popular culture as well.

>> that is that otherizing. we were talking about violence. this newfound interest in black on black crime. o'reilly loves to play the violence card. let's take listen.

>> the problem in the violence in this country isn't generated by whites. it is generated primarily by blacks. the culture that we have in this country does lead to criminal profiling . because young black american men are so often involve in crime. when presented with damning evidence and in chicago where hundreds of african- americans are murdered each year. the civil rights industry looks the other way or makes excuses.

>> this tactic of, it is all in our minds. really we should be listening to bill o 'reilly. this tactic goes back to the early 20th century in the new york tame op ed , the historian wrote that the violence card perpetuates the reassuring notion that violence against black people is not society's concern but rather a problem for black people to fix on their own. so essentially, he said talking about black on black crime. that is not an excuse to not talk about racism. but also, it strikes me that what they're doing is putting it, it is y'all's problem. further creating more divisions rather than saying, this is an american problem.

>> and let's be honest about this issue. when we use a phrase like black on black crime but we don't use the phrase, white on white crime which 92 playerly is four to five, it is four to five time more white on white crimes than black on black crime. we don't use the phrase. so this suggests this sths isn't about dealing with crime of it is about labeling peel as criminals. when o'reilly says this criminal, the disproportion of crime among black men which is true statistically. that somehow that justifies racial profiling . let's look at new york city . the stop and frisk policies in that city which stop 80% of the time people of color . in 95% of those cases they don't even give a citation because they find no evidence of illegalality. less than 2% of the time do they find drugs. this is not good crime control. this is state control of people who are overwhelmingly innocent. that is a blat an unfairness and it is unconstitutional as per that little thing called the equal protection clause which sits there right in the middle of the 14th amendment . i assume bill o 'reilly has heard of it.

>> he actually said everybody is protected equally. there are no problems. it is all in our heads. aware making this up. the other thing that they continue to say that really got my back up this week was that leaders are ignoring problems in the african-american families and communities. the thing is, although they very rarely actually cover the president in its entirety, the president has been talking about these issues for a very long time. let's take a liberty.

>> go into any inner city neighborhood and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn. they know that parents have to teach.

>> for the african-american community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims.

>> the children had a grow up without a father are more likely to live in poverty. they're more likely to drop out of school. they're more likely to wind up in prison. in too many neighborhoods today, in chicago or the farthest reaches of rural america , it can feel like for a lot of young people , the future only extends to the next street corner . so may whole life, i've tried to be for michelle and may girls what my father was not for may mother and me. i want to break that cycle. where a father is not at home.

>> the president talking very he will beganly time and again about these issues.

>> not just the president but we see it from black ministers around the country. we see it from folks working in communities to make their communities better. fox news and these entertainers on the right have no interest in bringing us together. in finding common ground. in having a real dialogue around race that we desperately need in this country to deal with the aftermath of this zimmerman case but also the ongoing way that race impacts our lives.

>> i would take it a step further and say they financially benefit by keeping us di i'ded. there is a much larger power complex and people are making a profit off this. thank you so much for joining me. so next, as you heard, bill o 'arrivaly said african- americans are ignoring the problems. we've got two leaders who are not ignoring problems.