Bill O’Reilly and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers got into a heated argument about racism in America on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday.
The Fox News host brought Powers and conservative commentator Monica Crowley onto the show to debate the prevalence of racism in American society, with O’Reilly maintaining that there’s more “racial harmony” in America than in most of the other countries he’s visited.
“The world is being told by anti-American haters that we are a rank racist society,” he said. “And that is a lie.”
Crowley agreed, saying that racism exists mostly in the fringe elements of society, and that those claiming otherwise are seeking to “degrade America, to take us down in terms of our power, our influence, our status, both here at home and in the world.”
Powers took issue with Crowley’s statements and let out an audible scoff off-camera, prompting O’Reilly to chastise her for being rude with her “derisive snort.” “Knock it off,” he told her.
“I’m not snorting,” said the USA Today columnist. “I just don’t know what you guys are talking about.”
The conversation then degenerated into an argument between Powers and O’Reilly over whether or not America does enough to acknowledge and account for its “legacy” of slavery.
“It’s not just the lunatic fringe. There are a lot of people in this country that are racist,” said Powers, eliciting a groan from O’Reilly. “I really have to wonder, how many black friends do you have, Bill?”
The host elected not to answer the question and instead repeated his earlier argument that racism doesn’t exist outside of the country’s fringe elements. “Most Americans are not racist,” he said in a particularly heated moment. “If you think most Americans are racist, I’m ashamed of you.”
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