Bill O'Reilly's latest "white" dream...

As usual, Bill O’Reilly has it all wrong.

On a recent episode of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly gave his take on Hillary Clinton running for president and the competition she faces.

O’Reilly proclaimed that, “If you’re a Christian or a white man in America, it’s open season on you. Therefore, Hillary Clinton has an advantage. She can run a general campaign: ‘First woman in the White House, and I’m gonna help you by increasing the entitlement society.’ It will take a very articulate and tough-minded Republican to defeat her.”

That’s right. According to Bill-O, in addition to the never-ending war on Christianity that he loves to go on about, there’s also a war on white men being waged across our country.

Now, Bill O’Reilly has said A LOT of crazy things during his career as a talking head, but this one might just take the cake.

That’s because white privilege and male privilege are alive and well in America today.

In her 1990 essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” Peggy McIntosh writes that,

“I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”

McIntosh goes on to lay out a white privilege litmus test of sorts. If O’Reilly or any white male in America took that test, they would see that the idea of an “open season” on white men is completely insane.

But more importantly, they would see that white privilege is very, very real.

For example, if a white man wants to move, he can pretty much rent or purchase a home anywhere he can afford and would want to live. A lot of Americans can’t say that. If a white man in America wants to go buy a new TV, he can go to the store and shop around without being hassled, followed, or marked as a potential shoplifter. A lot of Americans can’t say that either.

If a white man gets pulled over by a cop, chances are pretty good that he didn’t get pulled over because of his race. Again, a lot of Americans can’t say that.

And, if a white man gets hired for a job, he believes that he was hired because he was the best fit for that job, and that race had nothing to do with it. You guessed it; a lot of Americans can’t say that.

But it’s not just all about white privilege. White men in America also have the benefit of male privilege.

For example, white men can expect to be paid accordingly for the work that they do. Their gender isn’t going to affect their pay.

White men can be promoted within a company, without rumors swirling that they “slept their way to the top.”

White men can interrupt, pontificate, and argue without ever worrying about being called "bitchy" or "uppity" - instead, they're called "assertive" and "strong."

And, white men can balance their professional and home lives, without being called selfish and uncaring.

So, when Bill O’Reilly says that it’s “open season” on white men in America, he’s either mind-numbingly ignorant or just not taking a good hard look at our society today.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the presidency of Barack Obama has brought out the issue of white privilege and the candidacy of Hillary Clinton will bring male privilege and misogyny to the front of the news. And those are conversations and lessons that we all need.


PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 7 years 42 weeks ago

I agree that women in positions of authority are often mislabed as "bitchy" or whatever. This really needs to stop. Women have shown they are quite capable of handling the same political, corporate and other leadership positions just as well as men. And, as the "suppposed", and apparently former world leader of the relatively free nations of the world, I wonder why a women has not reached the pinacle of power in this country (and no I don't mean head of the CFR or Federal Reserve). Look at the nations who already have, like Germany, England, Israel, Iceland, Ireland, India and several more. Look too at how long it took us to put the first woman into space when compared to the Russians. I am no fan of Hillary, but her gender should not even indirectly be considered as a negative factor when running for office anymore than gender should be a factor in being a CEO

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 42 weeks ago

After Barack Obama became president, blatant racism skyrocketed; the same will happen with sexism if Hillary Clinton becomes president. This is a very sad statement about the predominate mindset in this country.

How soon can I move to Mars?

ChicagoMatt 7 years 42 weeks ago

Any psychologist will tell you that personal experience trumps all when it comes to perception. If someone is told one thing, but that doesn't match their personal experiences, then they are more likely to believe their experience, not what they are told.

Women and minorities can be told time and time again that they are being treated equally now. But just one personal experience with sexism or racism can trump all that they are told.

Similarly, we white guys can be told a million times not to pre-judge people. But then it just takes one bad experience with someone unlike yourself to your mind down that path or pre-judgement.

With that in mind, how many white guys do you think have been the victims of crimes or other bad experiences at the hands of non-white, non-guys?

If a woman tends to avoid men because she has had a bad experience with them in the past, such as being abused or raped, that is considered acceptable. We're supposed to "be understanding and compassionate" towards her.

Why not extend that towards white men who have bad experiences as well? If a white male tends to avoid people not like himself, because he has been a victim of something in the past, should we not also be "understanding and compasionate" towards him as well? Why is that considered unacceptable?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 42 weeks ago

Chi Matt -- When a women becomes scared of men, do we not try to help her realize that all men are not like that?

When a white man is mugged by a black men, we should try to help him realize that he was more likely mugged by a person in a lower socio-economic class and not a black man.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 42 weeks ago

ChicagoMatt, in both cases it ultimately needs to be cured.

I had a female friend who started dated someone else (we weren't interested in each other). After every date, she would ask (as a way of complaining), "Why do guys do ___?" In every case, my reply was, "I don't know. I would never do that." She quickly moved in with him, and stayed there for 4 years. He was verbally abusive and sexually coercive. He had typical wife-beater traits like trying to separate her from her family. When she finally broke up with him, we moved in together. She soon had to get a restraining order against him. Through our 6 years living together it became apparent that she had overgeneralized to the point that she couldn't separate me from him, even though I was his opposite. We were just Men. I once went to find her in the neighboring park, because I was going to be out until midnight and I wanted to make sure that she had keys. Her reaction was that I was keeping tabs on her like he used to.

So either way, that reaction is a hindrance. We might sympathize for a time, but people have to be willing to heal and learn.

ChicagoMatt 7 years 42 weeks ago

But suppose a woman, after being abused or raped by a man, eventually recovered and began to trust men again, only to have it happen to her again. How many times must that woman be victimized before society finally says, "leave her be... if she wants to hate men and avoid them, it's understandable."

Similarly, I wonder how many times a shopkeeper must be shoplifted from by a young minority before that shopkeeper starts following that minority around their business (like Thom was talking about in the original post). If that shopkeeper can document, with video evidence, that they are losing 10% of their profits to shoplifting, and almost all of that shoplifting is done by young minorities, would society give that shopkeeper a break? What if it was 20% of the profits? How high must it go before people say, "maybe that person has a valid reason for doing what they are doing..."

This reminds me of a story that broke about ten years ago, about how CVS pharmacy was only putting anti-theft devices on products targetted towards blacks, because those products had a significantly higher chance of being stolen. They had the data to back up that claim, but still they were acused of racism.

Here's the link to the story on Snopes.

Doesn't there come a point where facts and statistics trump political correctness?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 42 weeks ago

Chi Matt -- CVS should have learned from my previous comment. They should have not described those products as targeted towards blacks. Those products were targeted towards a socio-economic class in near poverty.

ChicagoMatt 7 years 42 weeks ago

The products that caused the uproar were haircare products, which are definately race-based. No matter how impoverished a white person is, they will never need these products.

But I do see your point. It's all in the semantics.

I believe Thom pointed out once that "urban" is the new code word for "black". I take offense to that. Not all whites are "suburban", myself included.

Goldcoaster's picture
Goldcoaster 7 years 41 weeks ago

Yes, every time I drive through Appalachia I am reminded in no uncertain terms of white privilege.


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