MSNBC Panel: Rush, O'Reilly 'Jim Crow's Grandson'

MSNBC Panel: Rush, O'Reilly 'Jim Crow's Grandson'

On MSNBC’s Politics Nation on Thursday, liberal talk radio host Joe Madison referred to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly as “Jim Crow’s grandson” and “Jim Crow Esquire” during a discussion about race with host Al Sharpton and panelist Goldie Taylor. 

As Newsbusters noted, the panel was discussing the absence of Republicans at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Sharpton played clips of O’Reilly commenting about how America can be a tough place for people who do not “speak proper English,” are not “able to do basic math,” and are unable to “conduct” themselves “responsibly.” In another clip, O’Reilly said America remains a land of opportunity only for “those who are honest and responsible. If you are irresponsible, lazy, and/or corrupt, this country can be a tough place.” 

Sharpton then played clips of segregationist Democrats who opposed the Civil Rights Act; in response to their words, Madison said, “Look, what you just saw, America, is the face of Jim Crow.”

“Now, you put O’Reilly up, you put Limbaugh up, and it’s Jim Crow’s grandson, James Crow Esquire, as simply as that,” Madison said in reference to O’Reilly’s words. “We ought to quit playing games with these people. They talk in the abstract. And we know what they’re saying. We all know what they’re saying.”

Though O’Reilly did not mention race, Taylor said, “This kind of wholesale maligning of an entire race and class of people is simply unconscionable.”

Madison then made his “Jim Crow Esquire” remarks before gratuitously attacking the Tea Party, saying that if the “Tea Party or somebody else had a rally like that you had and we had on Saturday and they had on yesterday, I bet you it wouldn’t look like America.”

“And they know that. And so the only thing they can do is try to disrespect us,” Madison added. “But the reality is what you see in those photographs, that’s America. And they know it. And they know that if they don’t wake up, they’re going to be a party out of power very soon.”

Sharpton has repeatedly argued that though America does not have overt “Jim Crow laws,” America still has discriminatory laws and policies enacted by people in suits. Sharpton has said Jim Crow had a son, and his name is “James Crow Jr., Esquire,” whom Sharpton vowed to defeat.