Bill O'Reilly: Republicans are "afraid of black people"

A moment of unpleasant honesty?

Published October 31, 2014 3:05PM (EDT)

   (Fox News)
(Fox News)

On Thursday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," Bill O'Reilly got into some hot water with his guest, PBS radio host Tavis Smiley.

On the topic of white Republicans' relationship with black Americans, O'Reilly said, "I think they're more intimidated than uncaring. I think they're afraid... I think they're afraid of, uh, black people, yeah."

"Why? Are black folks scary?" responded Smiley, clearly uncomfortable.

"No, no, the white Republican power structure is afraid of black Americans. They don't know how to treat them; they don't know how to speak to them... They don't know anything about the culture, and they don't want to be called a racist bigot, so they stay away," O'Reilly said. "That's just my opinion."

Although the sentiment is upsetting at best, it does seem like O'Reilly was just telling the uncomfortable truth about a political party that refuses to interact with black voters.

When Smiley asked why Republicans wouldn't want to engage more fully with black Americans to understand their points of view, O'Reilly responded bluntly: "Because they feel it's not worth the trouble, the few votes they might siphon off, to get involved with it. That's how they feel. I know that for a fact."


By Joanna Rothkopf

MORE FROM Joanna Rothkopf

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