Hey, you have to start somewhere, right?
Stewart brought O’Reilly on as a guest, presumably (if you put aside the staged theatrics of such shows) to talk about his new book, Killing Patton, but O’Reilly isn’t in front of the camera for more than a moment before Stewart admits in their immediate banter that he had not even read the book. Instead, Stewart says, he brought O’Reilly on the show to address one simple issue – white privilege.
After joking around about handshakes and Ebola fears, O’Reilly tries to deflect the reality of white privilege by suggesting that Asian Americans (from “Asia,” according to O’Reilly when pressed by Stewart to specify more accurately) make up more high-paying positions than white people, suggesting that they instead examine, albeit sarcastically, “Asian privilege”.
Stewart then goes on to clarify and explain the systemic nature of white privilege, how it is that white men have created the system under which Americans live, and thereby, partake in the greatest amount of privilege under that system as a result, even if a handful of Asian Americans can be quoted statistically as making more money than white Americans. Bill, of course, remains resistant.
Now, either Bill O’Reilly is a sheltered, loud-mouthed idiot incapable of learning or he is a well-educated man simply living up to the demographics that fill his pocketbooks the most. Surely he can recognize the relevance and truth in what Stewart is detailing for him and the audiences at home. Certainly he must know that he is lying when he states that white privilege is a thing of the past, that today’s America is an entirely different place and time. And let us hope that a fair share of O’Reilly’s dedicated audience watches the Stewart/O’Reilly exchanges with as much relish as Stewart’s fans do and are thereby receiving such information, as well. Perhaps a few eyes can be opened. Granted, most surely remain iron-clad in their downward positions, but there is always the chance that a kernel of information germinates and bears fruit down the line.
There is no need to bore you with excerpts from the talking match here; the video is below. Watch and relish as Jon Stewart drives a foot in the door of white privilege by making the epitome of white privilege, Bill O’Reilly, finally, begrudgingly admit that perhaps, just maybe, white privilege plays a role as “a factor” in one’s success here in the Corporate States of America. From that small wedge, perhaps we can begin to tear the door down entirely.