If Bill Clinton was the first black president despite appearances, then perhaps Bill O'Reilly ought to be considered the first black prime time cable news host.
Time and again, Mr. O'Reilly has used his platform at Fox News to speak honestly about the problems facing the black underclass. While most television commentators prefer to focus on what others should do to help blacks, Mr. O'Reilly maintains—with logic and history on his side—that blacks must first help themselves.
Bill O'Reilly Getty Images
For a recent segment on the Easter weekend shootings in Chicago, which left nine dead and 36 wounded, Mr. O'Reilly played a clip of the city's police chief calling for more gun control laws. The host then pointed out that Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and that plenty of jurisdictions with fewer such restrictions experience much less gun violence.
Mr. O'Reilly's guest for the segment was Corey Brooks, a black pastor and community leader in the Second City. Mr. O'Reilly said that, "according to the police, the killings are predominantly young black males involved in drug gangs. This has been going on for years now. It's embarrassing. It shouldn't be happening in America."
The pastor's response mentioned in passing "dysfunctional break-ups of the family," but his larger point was to insist that what plagues the black poor is largely beyond their control. "You're dealing with young black men who are hopeless. You're dealing with a situation where the educational system is awry. You're dealing with a situation where you have an influx of drugs and hopelessness." Mr. Brooks called for a "better educational system," more "resources" and "more utilization of summer programs and things that these young people can do to enhance their lives."
The pastor is right that we need better schools in our inner-cities, but as Mr. O'Reilly has been saying for years, better schools won't help people who don't value education to begin with. Nor will more jobs help people who lack a work ethic. And so long as having a black man in the White House trumps having one in the home, the situation is unlikely to change. Ghetto residents do not need more people making excuses for black pathology, which is mostly what they get from cable commentators, especially the black ones. What blacks need is an honest conversation about black culture. Mr. O'Reilly is providing a public service by conducting one.