Last night on his FNC show The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly claimed that Michael Jackson wasn’t an African American icon because he bleached his skin and has white children. O’Reilly asked, “If he is such a black American icon, why did he have his kids with white men?”
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Bill O’Reilly said, “There is an old saying you can’t choose your family and it’s true. The family of Michael Jackson honored his memory today in Los Angeles, and I do not wish to intrude on that. They are entitled to grieve any way they want, but Michael Jackson’s place in America is a legitimate topic of discussion and talking points is just about fed up with all the adulation. It is basically grandstanding and pathetic in the extreme. Yes the man was an all star entertainer, but that it, so enough with the phony platitudes ok?”
Then O’Reilly really got into his attack, “The truth is that Jackson’s interaction with children were unacceptable for any adult. His incredible selfishness, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on himself while singing we are the world, should make any clear thinking American nauseous, and why are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton making this a racial deal? Jackson bleached his own skin, and then chose white men to provide existence for his in vitro children.”
O’Reilly later debated Marc Lamont Hill and asked, Okay, then why is he being held up by the African-American community as a pillar of black America when he blanches his skin?…But answer me this, if he is such a black American icon, why did he have his kids with white men? He then made a made a judgment for all African Americans by saying, “You don’t become an African-American icon when you do something like that.”
While I agree that the Jackson coverage got went way over the top, O’Reilly’s claim that he is fit to pass judgment about who gets icon status is a bit hypocritical to say the least. Has Bill forgotten about the sexual harassment suit brought against him by a former staffer that claimed that the host spoke, to her, “about sexual fantasies, masturbation and vibrators while sometimes seeming to pleasure himself.” By the way, O’Reilly settled the case out of court for $2 million.
Once again, O’Reilly’s racism is showing. How is it relevant that Jackson bleached his skin, or that his kids are white? People are free to think whatever they want about Jackson. I don’t think that the color of his children’s skin has anything to do with it one way or the other. One can question media overkill on this story, but let’s leave the kids out of this.