O’Reilly and the “white, Christian, male power structure”
Cross-posted from PoliBlog:
It is not uncommon for critics from the Left to accuse persons on the Right as being about nothing more than defenders of a white, male, protestant status quo. What is unusual (thankfully) is to hear a prominent commentator or politicians from the Rightward side of things to blatantly state that that is what they favor.
Along those lines I give you Bill O’Reilly on May 30, 2007 on his program The O’Reilly Factor interviewing Senator John McCain (transcription via Lexis/Nexis):
O’REILLY: .what “The New York Times” wants and the far-left want? They want to breakdown the white Christian male power structure of which you are a part and so am I. And they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically breakdown the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say that you’ve got to cap it with a number.
MCCAIN: In America today, we have a very strong economy, low unemployment. So we need additional farm workers, including by the way, agriculture. But there may come a time where we have an economic downturn and we don’t need so many.
O’REILLY: OK, but in this.
MCCAIN: So I think it has to vary.
O’REILLY: In this bill, you guys got to cap it.
O’REILLY: Because you’re estimated there’s 12 million. There may be 20.
O’REILLY: You don’t know. I don’t know. You got to cap it.
MCCAIN: We do. We do. I agree with you. But I also would remind you, again, that they have to get behind everybody else who tried to apply legally. They have to pay the fines. They have to go back to the country of origin.
If you prefer video, you can watch the exchange at Think Progress.
This is stunning. First off, I reject the notion that, properly understood, American conservatism is about maintaining the “white, Christian, male power structure”–and I say that as a white, male Christian. One cannot be in favor of freedom, liberty, merit and the marketplace if one thinks that there is a specific power structure linked to gender, race and religious confession that needs to maintained. Plus, I hate to break it to Bill, but there are a lot of non-male, non-white, non-Christian types in this country who are quite significant and have accrued a great deal of power by their talent and hard work.
And he is very much aligning himself with Buchanan here, and that is not a compliment coming from me.
Shame on McCain for not calling O’Reilly on this reactionary tripe.
I am repulsed by the notion that we should be focusing on race, gender and religion in the context of who should, and should not, be in power.
A lest ye think that this was a slip of the tongue on the part of O’Reilly, I noted the following from the Lexis/Nexis transcript of the May 29, 2007 edition of the O’Reilly Factor:
O’REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I’m Bill O’Reilly.
In “The Factor Follow-up” segment tonight, racism and the immigration Bill. FOX News contributor Linda Chavez writes in a Town Hall column, quote, “Some people just don’t like Mexicans, or anyone else from south of the border. They think Latinos are freeloaders and welfare cheats who are too lazy to learn English,” unquote.
Now on the other side, the open border people want a huge influx of foreign nationals to become American citizens, because they don’t like the white Christian male power structure that’s in place now.
And later in the same show:
O’REILLY: That’s bull. At the turn of the 20th century when the wave of immigration from Europe came over the country was in a totally different thing. If you bring in 40 — look, you bring in 40 million foreign nationals to this country, you change everything about this country. And admit it, everything changes. And then there’s where you have the reverse racism.
SCHWARTZ: Our rights change, our freedoms change?
O’REILLY: No. We have a one party system. The Republican Party disappears, because three to one the 40 million will break Democrat. So you destroy that. And then you go from there.
But that’s where the reverse racism is. The New York Times of the world hate the white Christian male power structure and want to change it by a massive amount of foreign nationals being able to vote, Laura. That’s racism, too.
The irony of making those assertions in the context of charges of racism takes cognitive dissonance to a new level.
Also, I reject the notion that immigrants from Latin America and their progeny will automatically be, over time, Democrats. Further, O’Reilly and his ilk act as if as soon as immigration reform passes the Congress that all the illegal aliens in the country become voters overnight–which is hardly the case.
BTW: we all do know who it is that usually rants about protecting white, Christian America?