The other day, I walked into a store, and there were black people, shopping!
Can you believe that? Black people, with money, inside a store, shopping?
If I made this comment aloud to someone, they would probably think I was dumber than a box of rocks. When I heard about Bill O'Reilly's latest comments, I didn't see a huge difference.
O'Reilly recently visited Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem, N.Y., with Rev. Al Sharpton, and was, apparently, shocked about what he experienced.
According to a news article, O'Reilly told a radio audience that he couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between the black-run Sylvia's and other restaurants.
He said that there wasn't one person in the restaurant "screaming [expletive, the m-word], I want some iced tea."
Ultimately, I think that this was O'Reilly's judgment of the establishment before he visited it. This just goes to show you how closed-minded and ignorant even some of the most famous and well-respected people can be.
While the comments that O'Reilly made are in favor of the restaurant, I can't help but think that he would not have made these same comments, if he were in a white-owned, and operated, restaurant. It probably wouldn't have even been an issue.
I applaud the fact that O'Reilly has gained a little knowledge about blacks, other than what can be seen on TV. Even though O'Reilly thought he was doing a good thing by commending a black establishment,
I think he should have, probably, kept these comments to himself.
This isn't saying that a person of another race shouldn't compliment blacks, but there is a certain way to do so. O'Reilly could have simply said it is a beautiful restaurant, the customer service is top-of-the-line, and "I'm really glad that I came."
I must admit that I hate it when people take small issues, blow them up and pull the race card, when race isn't an issue. But, if a comment is offensive and out of line, that person should be corrected.
People, who don't understand what all the chatter is about, should think about this situation in another context. For example, I am a black woman and, let's say, I went to eat at a white-owned restaurant, and afterward, I was asked if I enjoyed it, and I said: "Yeah, it was great everyone had their shoes on, they weren't missing teeth and no one called me the n-word."
To several people, that comment would be highly offensive and uncalled for, and, obviously, ignorant on my part. I believe that comment is no different from what O'Reilly reprtedly said.
Jaya Franklin covers government for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.