After unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer Aug. 9, Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly cut his vacation short to come back on the air and voice his outrage. The fury wasn't directed at the officer who killed Brown or the police departments that violently cracked down on protests after Brown's death but at the way the media had reported Brown's death.
In this tirade against O'Reilly and other racism deniers, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart explains that if the truth about what happened in Ferguson is that a white police officer (Darren Wilson) shot a black teenager who was unarmed—despite what Ben Stein suggests, being a black man in America is not the same thing as carrying a weapon—then saying that a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager is reporting the facts, not putting spin on the account.
As Stewart points out, people who don't experience systemic racism—who don't get profiled by police when driving or walking down the street, or followed while shopping, or suspected of terrorism at the airport—often can't imagine that racial profiling is real.
One of these disbelievers is Sean Hannity. On Aug. 13, Hannity said that when he's got a legal firearm in his car—as one does, apparently—and he's pulled over by the police, he puts his hands up, steps out of the car, and lifts up his shirt so the cop can see his gun.
Judging by Hannity's still being alive, flashing a gun at police turns out OK for him. However, Kimani Gray, a black 16-year-old who witnesses say was shot by the NYPD after he adjusted his belt, wasn't so lucky.
Neither was 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. NYPD officers with guns drawn chased him into his apartment and then into his bathroom, where they shot and killed Graham after he reached for his belt. No weapon was found at the scene.
Considering how upset some conservative news commentators get over political correctness and multiculturalism, it's amazing how reasonable victims of racial profiling continue to be.
"Here's the problem with everything that's going on in this conversation," Stewart concludes. "This isn't all about just one man killed in one town. It's about how people of color, no matter their socioeconomic standing, face obstacles in this country with surprising grace."
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