Though no one remembers him or his show anymore, former MSNBC attack dog Keith Olbermann used to have a segment on Countdown with Keith Olbermann called “The Worst Person in the World,” a label he awarded to figures like his Fox News nemesis Bill O’Reilly or such formidable political threats as then-teenager Bristol Palin. It’s time we resurrect that label and award it this week to Bob Beckel.
Beckel is the left-leaning co-host for the Fox News show The Five. He’s easy to recognize among the other four personalities on that show: he’s the one in suspenders whose mumbling becomes clearly understood only when he accidentally drops F-bombs on-air.
On Friday’s show, the five hosts discussed fellow Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly’s recent, somewhat controversial commentary on race, in which he stated that the black community has to abandon a culture of grievance and victimization, and address its own problems, including crime. Beckel grumbled that the white “O’Reilly doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and claimed that he was stereotyping all black Americans as “thugs.” The other hosts disputed this interpretation, and co-host Greg Gutfeld countered with statistics on black crime, which are wildly disproportionate to the size of the black population. “Numbers aren’t racist,” Gutfeld concluded. “Facts can’t be racist.”
Beckel fired back irrelevantly that “blacks don’t just live in Harlem. There are blacks all across this country.” Nobody said otherwise, Bob; no one said all blacks were inner city criminals. Beckel’s straw man attack is typical of the left’s kneejerk response to inconvenient truths on race; they regard any suggestion that blacks bear any responsibility for their own issues or for racial tensions as a sweeping, racist smear of all blacks. That’s why discussions of race in America never get past the starting gate – no criticism of blacks allowed.
Eric Holder despicably called Americans cowards on the issue of race, but the cowards are the ones like Holder and Beckel, who don’t want a truthful discussion. They don’t want to talk about black racism (in fact, notice how they have successfully defined “racism” to mean “white racism”?). They don’t want to talk about the fact that blacks aren’t being massacred by whites but by other blacks. They don’t want to talk about instances of horrific black-on-white violence far more shocking than the Zimmerman case. They don’t want to talk about black gangs and a “gangsta” culture glamorized by the biggest stars in the entertainment industry. They don’t want to talk about the New Black Panther Party emboldened under the protection of Holder. They don’t want to talk about the fact that racial division is nearing an historical peak under the Great Racial Healer, Barack Obama. They don’t want a discussion at all. The race-obsessed left just wants whites to sign up for white privilege workshops and offer reparations.
The anger in the black community was less about an awful verdict and Florida's barbaric ‘stand your ground’ law than it was about the indiscriminate stopping and searching of blacks by police without cause, and subtle things like locking car doors when a black man crosses a street, or following black shoppers. There are many more examples.
“Barbaric”? Perhaps Beckel is unaware that Stand Your Ground laws – which were not applicable in the Zimmerman case and were not even used by his defense team – benefit blacks more than any other race. Stand Your Ground is not about, as the race-baiting left would have us believe, the right of white vigilantes to hunt down black children.
As for “subtle things,” apparently Beckel won’t be happy until women prove they are racism-free by flinging their car doors open wide when a strange black man approaches. Of course, it’s still okay to lock them when strange whites approach.
Beckel went on in the co-editorial to defend President Obama’s “the jury acted stupidly” statement on race, calling it “excellent”: “What the president was trying to tell whites and other races is that despite enormous advances in civil rights, an undercurrent of racism still leads to the targeting of too many black men.” Cal Thomas countered with an heretical notion that the left simply cannot entertain, which is that “[t]he problems in the black community aren't mainly caused by racism.” He listed the out-of-wedlock birth rate among black women, the astronomical figures on the abortion of black babies, and Democrat politicians who keep poor black children bound to failed schools.
“[B]ut there is hidden racism that blacks experience and whites don't understand,” Beckel whined. “That's what propelled last weekend’s protests as much as the killing of Trayvon Martin.” Thank goodness we have a white man like Beckel, who dismissed O’Reilly’s opinion on race precisely because he is a white man, to be the voice of Black America. He is absolutely right about one thing: “Race relations have come a long way, but those who believe racism is behind us are living an illusion.” Racism will never disappear entirely, Bob, but you know what will make it fade by and large into insignificance? Stop fanning the flames of racial anger and mistrust.
Another Democrat Fox commentator, Kirsten Powers, has shown signs lately of coming to her senses and choosing the right side of issues. Is there hope for Beckel? It looks promising. A week ago he actually warned New York’s tirelessly totalitarian Mayor Michael Bloomberg to “mind his own business.” Beckel recently acquired a reputation among his fellow progressives as an “Islamophobe” for a few comments that the supposedly tolerant left couldn’t tolerate, about ending Muslim immigration here and in Europe. And he sharply criticized the White House over the NSA scandal, saying it was “one of the most outrageous examples of the stepping on the Constitution I’ve heard,” and that it verged on “fascism.”
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 7/30/13)