O’Reilly , Limbaugh, Robertson: The Trifecta of New Racism

When major news of global consequence happen I get what I call CNNitis.  As a media and race scholar I watch more cable news than most people, but when major events happen I am glued to the screen. I avoid FOXNews, Shepard Smith is the only network personality I can tolerate. During his coverage of the Haitian earthquake when a bumper for the O’Reilly  show splashed against the screen. His show was to include commentary on the Haiti earthquake, Oprah Winfrey and the Black Panthers. I could not resist, despite the headache I know watch him would entail. Of course O’Reilly used the disaster to attack the Democrats but his description of why Haiti is  destitute smacks of the same racial ignorance he displayed when he  when he “discovered” that blacks had table manners. According to O’Reilly gangs of criminals populate Haiti and steal food and water out the hands of their country men and intimidate aid workers.

When his guest the president of Doctors without Boarders disagrees with him he tries to bully her into changing her mind. His other guest a former state department official who refuses to support his idea that Haitians are savage, criminal people who too primitive to benefit from American generosity. Later in his rant Laura Ingram indicated ” how can you help people who don’t want to help themselves.” For centuries whites who have no knowledge of African diasporic history, culture or daily experience arrogantly make racist generalizations with complete confidence. White narcissist idea that Europeans know the “truth” about blacks are at at the core of slavery, Jim Crow, colonialism and their ongoing effects. Originally the idea that blacks were savage, primitives without souls making them idea for slavery. Then the idea of biological inferiority made newly free African slaves unfit for American citizenship, the biological was refined into the idea of intelligence an idea that is still actively promoted. Southern strategy conservative and some  have adopted the idea of cultural deficiency. Laura Ingram’s comment come from a racist ideology that purports that black culture is at the crux of the fact that many African American have not been able to climb after poverty after a mere 42 years of American citizenship. The idea that people of African descent are naturally criminal, lazy and immoral is still a pervasive idea. One that FOXNEWS regularly promulgates.

Rush Limbaugh continues his rampage against Haiti and Afircan Americans. He continues his sociopathic rant with the idea that the people of Haiti and Africa do not value self reliance. Gladly reiterating the conservative idea that blacks are innately lazy and dependent. He also stated that funds donated to the federal relief efforts would be used to re-elect Obama. How could a psychotic racist like Limbaugh resist the opportunity to point out the innate criminality of African Americans.

Pat Robertson refuses to recant is preposterous idea the African revolt that led America to increase it’s size was a product of devil worship. He states that religious historians know this garbage to be fact. Robertson isn’t bothering with the current racist idea of cultural inferiority. He is going back to the good old fashioned idea that Africans had no religion and that it is up to white Christians through slavery and colonialism to save their souls. Illustrate how this pervasive the internalization of this racism can get, his black co-host agrees that a country that is 80 percent Catholic needs to turn to God.

Let’s look of at the haiti. African slaves rebelled against a slave plantocracy that made American slavery look like indentured servitude. France demanded and received millions in compensation for the loss of thier slaves and other property due to international pressure from American and Europe.  Slave owning countries actively undermined Haiti for centuries culminating in an American invasion and a 30 year occupation. America has had it’s hand in Caribbean and Latin American politic for most of the last century and installed and supported the Duvallier regime for 40 years. Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvallier and the cronies ripped off and terrorized the nation with support of the United States. America’s support of corrupt government throughout the world as a protection against any homegrown protest has reeked havoc in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Of course their is corruption in Haiti, yes their are criminals, but the idea that this is the primary trait of nine million people is racial arrogance, ignorance, fear and hatred. It is still to easy for white Americans to dehumanize people of African decent. FOXNEWS and CBN, their advertisers and millions of viewers still see people of African descent as less human.

In addition to political turmoil Haiti has suffered through multiple hurricanes,mudslides and famine before this disastrous earthquake. The millions sent to Haiti in the last 20 years has gone to keep millions alive.  Even without the touted corruption Haiti has been in survivor mode for over 15 years. Sadly the country was on a minor upswing before the earthquake, schools were being built and the rate of violence had dropped. There were organizations headed by Haitian Americans like Yele Haiti and Hollywood Unites for Haiti  that were working for a brighter future. Unfortunately people like Limbaugh, Robertson, Ingram and O’Reilly and their millions of followers cannot give up their “white is right attitude” and see people of African descent as humans and  full citizens of this country.

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