While grilling Donald Trump on Monday evening about how he’d boost employment for black youth, Bill O'Reilly interrupted to make the truly bizarre claim that many black people are “ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads.”
For what it’s worth, a quick Google Image search for “forehead tattoo” brings up a deluge of white prison inmates and neo-Nazis with ink on their brow.
Nevertheless, the O’Reilly Factor host made the bold and wholly unverified assertion after Trump declared he will sway the black vote with a purely economic message. “If you look at President Obama, he’s been a president for almost 8 years,” he said, “and with African-American youth, you have a 59 percent unemployment.”
And then seemingly invoking his long-running obsession with the fatuous idea that rappers represent the whole of the black community, O’Reilly asked: “But how are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads.”
Perhaps realizing how that might be seen as racism, O’Reilly added, “And I hate to be generalized about it, but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to get jobs for people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”
Trump’s solution: “We’re going to have Apple computers made in this country.”
And O’Reilly offered further insight into his belief that face tattoos are an ingrained part of black culture: “You say you can bring jobs back, but if the kid isn’t qualified to do the job and can’t do the work—I mean—you’ve got to get into the infrastructure of the African-American community.”
Of course, when O’Reilly talks about what ills the infrastructure of the black community, he says nothing of the racist war on drugs or a criminal justice system that disproportionately punishes young black males. But face tattoos—that’s the real culprit.