Bill O'Reilly unloads in racial rant: Only "anti-American haters" think U.S. suffers epidemic of racism!

Fox News talking head plays to type in debate with Kirsten Powers

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published June 24, 2015 3:21PM (EDT)

  (AP/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP/Mark J. Terrill)

Fox News bloviator Bill O'Reilly keeps insisting that America has no problem with racism and with an increased scrutiny on the symbolism of the Confederate Flag, he's gone into an even deeper defensive crouch.

During his show last night, O'Reilly took issue with Americans who insist on addressing institutional racism, arguing that America suffers from no endemic of racism.

"The world is being told by anti-American haters that we are a rank, racist society, and that is a lie," O'Reilly yelled to Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers.

"I don't think it's an epidemic of racism, I don't think it's engrained in this society and every country on Earth has racist elements in it," he continued.

When Powers mentioned that the U.S. has a legacy of slavery, O'Reilly retorted, "So what?"

O'Reilly yelled, "You can't have a perfect world!"

O'Reilly argued slavery was merely a "historical injustice that the country is trying to make up for" through affirmative action and "fast-track" entitlements for African-Americans.

O'Reilly quickly lost it when Powers argued that racism in America is more widespread than O'Reilly's assertion and the debate quickly devolved with Powers repeatedly asking O'Reilly, "How many black friends do you have?"

Watch the segment here. (h/t TPM)

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Bill O'reily Conservative Media Fox News Kirsten Powers Race Racism Slavery