Radio and television host Tavis Smiley appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to spar with Bill O’Reilly about the police brutality problem in America.
O’Reilly began the program by disparaging anti-police brutality protesters across the country. Conservative cop lovers like O’Reilly tend to downplay violent incidents in which the police are the aggressors. He believes these are all isolated incidents. Smiley then corrected O’Reilly.
“My question to you, Bill O’Reilly, is: How many isolated incidents equal a pattern?”
At this point, O’Reilly backpedaled and dodged the question, something that he accused Smiley of doing earlier in the debate.
“It’s an impossible question – I’m not dodging – it’s an impossible question to answer with any credibility,” said O’Reilly.
O’Reilly continued to try to focus on the racial aspect, something that conservatives tend to accuse liberals of doing. Apparently it’s only something that the likes of O’Reilly do when it suits their cause. He noted that 135 black were killed by police. There are 1.2 million police officers in America.
Smiley wisely insisted that police brutality doesn’t only affect blacks, but people of all races are victimized by violent police officers.
“As you said earlier, there are far more white people maimed by cops every day in this country than black people,” said Smiley. “This is why this ought to be a concern for all Americans – not a color-coded issue. We’ve got to respect and revel in the humanity of all citizens.”
O’Reilly tried to use the fact that people of all races are attacked by police to undermine and downplay the problem of violence. Smiley uses the fact to highlight the problem. When there are violent police whose only goal is to hurt people, then everyone is in danger. That’s something Bill O’Reilly doesn’t seem to grasp.