Jewish World Review June 24, 2002 / 14 Tamuz, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

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Consumer Reports

Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men" | Here's one of the best examples of spin that I have ever seen. Writing in his best-selling book "Stupid White Men," populist provocateur Michael Moore attempts to analyze the economic condition of black Americans.

On page 62, Moore opines: "African-Americans have been on the lowest rung of the economic ladder since the day they were beaten and dragged here in chains -- and they have never made it off that rung, not for a single damn day."

Moore then goes on to say that the average income for a black American is 61 percent less than for a white American, and that white society is the reason why. He states that he is angry with this and we should all be teed off, and, well, you get the picture.

But the picture painted by Michael Moore is not sitting motionless on the wall. No, the picture is spinning like crazy, because what Mr. Moore sees is not what responsible black Americans get.

According to the latest census, black married couples earn 82 percent of what white married couples make. For married blacks, the median income is $50,729. For married whites the median is $60,080. And because the majority of African-Americans live in the South, where salaries and living costs are lower -- that income figure gap is really closer in reality than it is on paper.

What skews the overall black income statistics down are black single mothers. An astounding 70 percent of African-American babies are born out-of-wedlock, as opposed to 27 percent for whites. Government statistics show that a single mother heads 53 percent of black families, and most of those families fall below the poverty line.

So Michael Moore has spun the stats to make it look like the United States is a place where opportunity is denied to responsible, stable black Americans. This is absolutely false.

Now, there is no question that the black family structure was devastated by slavery and that catastrophe continues to this day in some situations. But wallowing in the past will not raise anyone's income. It will, however, provide an excuse for irresponsible behavior and serial failure.

What Michael Moore and many other social commentators do is to present a doomsday scenario to Americans who desperately need encouragement and hope. If you work hard and live an honest life, free of crippling mistakes like having babies in your teens, you can earn a good living in America no matter what color you are. That's the truth. There are jobs and opportunities everywhere. But you must develop discipline to succeed in those jobs.

Instead of pandering to the "reparations" crowd, Mr. Moore should be laying it on the line. There are plenty of stupid white men, but stupidity is not inhibited by color. If you are going to drop out of high school, have kids without a spouse and fail to develop a commercial skill, you most likely will be poor. That's capitalism. The strong and well educated compete, the weak and poorly educated fall. Color is no longer a factor.

But it is a crutch. I get angry when people like Michael Moore use the "whitey" excuse. Sure there is bigotry in this country. Of course it is difficult to emerge from an inner city. But it can be done, and millions of African-Americans have proved it. Don't insult their hard work and determination by denigrating an economic system that rewards diligence and persistence.

I know Michael Moore, and I like him. He's a guy who challenges corrupt authority and uses skepticism like a blowtorch. But Moore has an agenda. He believes that corporate America is rotten and that the working class gets screwed. That is true in part. But take it from me -- you can outsmart the corporate weasels, and you can market your natural talent if you understand the system. Fighting the power is mostly a waste of time if you want to improve yourself financially.

Instead of blaming stupid white men for the ills of black society, Moore and others should be asking all African-Americans to wise up and get in the game. Education, skill and pride in your work will overcome entrenched stupidity in the long run. Stable black American couples all over the United States are demonstrating that America remains the land of opportunity if you understand the geography. Forget the defeatist spin -- every American can earn a good life.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


06/170/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate