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EAR TO THE STREET

Bill O'Reilly's full of motherf*%@#% bull

 

So Fox News blowhole Bill (Bull Connor) O'Reilly walks into a Harlem soul food restaurant with the Rev. Al Sharpton recently (there's a punchline in there somewhere) and sees -- shock of all shocks! Stop the motherf--kin'

presses: black people behaving civilly. Nobody yellin', trippin' or actin' a fool. (Writer's note: Bill, I removed the "g" because we all know Black people don't like enunciating their words. Just keepin' it real.)

 

"I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship," O'Reilly belatedly told National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan "Happy Negro" (so named by Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins) Williams.

 

"There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."

 

Craziness? Craziness! Whatyoutalkinbout, Billy?

 

Sylvia's is a Harlem landmark (open since 1962), a national soul food treasure.

Great people have dined there: Nelson Mandela, Magic Johnson, Bill Clinton, my wife. What type of craziness did he expect to see?

 

Hmm ... DJ Quik behind the wheels of steel. Women in booty-shorts rump-shaking to the bass. Waiters pimp-slapped for poor service. Guys shooting craps in the bathroom. Girls braiding hair at the dinner table. ("My fault, girl." One of your extensions fell in the chitlins.) O'Reilly was going to dinner at a nice restaurant in Harlem, not a dogfight in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects.

 

Now, I've been in soul food restaurants from D.C. to Cali and I can write a book (okay, a long, long letter to the editor) about the stuff I have seen.

None of it has risen to the level of craziness. Much of it had to do with laziness. Such as: an hour-long wait for fried chicken, menus with less than half of the items available (real-life explanation: "It's a seasonal menu." I didn't know mac & cheese was seasonal) and servers with more attitude than Florence the maid on The Jeffersons (Me: "The yams good?" Server: "I don't know? They aight. Why, you want some?") Never I have heard anyone ask for more motherf--kin' iced tea. (Writer's note No. 2: Bill, I tried to work in the word motherf--kin' as many times as possible because we all know Black people like to cuss.)

 

O'Reilly says there was no racial intent in his comment. Yeah, motherf--kin' right! Any comment about race is, by default, about race. If we buy his argument, then every Jimmy, Ross and Trent (respective surnames: The Greek, Perot and Lott), not to mention William Bennett, Rush Limbaugh, George Allen, Michael Richards, Don Imus and countless other public officials deserve apologies for character hits they took for racial comments that weren't racial in intent. All this obfuscation is starting to make my head hurt.

Anybody got some Tylenol to go with my motherf--kin' iced tea?

Damon Hodge joined Las Vegas Weekly, in 2001. His specialties include hard-news stories, music reviews, pop culture commentary and occasional forays into social advocacy journalism. Hodge has won numerous awards from the Nevada Press Association. Email him at damon.hodge@gmgvegas.com

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