Update: Tuesday evening, Maxine Waters responded to Bill O'Reilly's racist and sexist comments in an interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes. "I am a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be a friend of Bill O’Reilly or anybody," she said. "And I’d like to say to women out there everywhere: Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are. Do what you do. And let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country."
Hear the rest of her response below.
First things first: U.S. Representative Maxine Waters is a queen. The longest-running Black Congresswoman is unafraid to speak her mind about anything — to anyone. Maybe that's why Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly felt intimidated enough to try to bring her down with petty comments about her appearance. But we're not having any of it.
While O'Reilly was on Fox & Friends, he and his crew decided to weigh in on Waters' recent, powerful House floor statements addressed to Trump voters. After airing the clip, in which Waters asserted that the president's supporters aren't patriotic, O'Reilly didn't feel like — oh, idk — doing his JOB and commenting on those statements. Instead, he asserted that he "didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig." As if it could get any worse than that, not only did his fellow bro, co-host Brian Kilmeade, agree, but O'Reilly requested that someone pull up a picture of James Brown for them to compare and contrast. Sigh.
Ainsley Earhardt, another co-host, came to Waters' defense, saying O'Reilly had no place to go after a woman's appearance. Perhaps that's why O'Reilly quickly tried to clean up his act afterwards, but the damage was already done
"You’re all wrong about Maxine Waters,” he said. “Number one, she’s a sincere individual. Whatever she said, she believes. She's not a phony. And that’s old-school. We’re giving Maxine a break here. I love you, Maxine.”
After catching wind of the tweets and rally cries to get him fired, he issued a statement. "As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs," he noted. "I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her 'old school.' Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize."
But this is not the first-time (or even the hundredth time) we've heard racist, sexist remarks from O'Reilly's mouth. He's also asserted that most Black people are "ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads," thus making them unqualified for jobs. He also said that Black Lives Matter is killing Americans, instead of seeking justice for the ones who desperately need it. He hates rappers, but in all fairness, they hate him too. (Make sure you check out this clip of Cam'ron trolling him on his own show. #youmad, #youmad.)
I really shouldn't be surprised at O'Reilly's ignorance, as he appeals to the same audience who calls my first lady (and I'm not talking about Melania Trump) all kinds of crazy names. But that doesn't mean I'm ever going to be OK with it. Waters is the most senior Black woman serving in Congress, and helped create the Congressional Black Caucus, in addition to a mile-long list of accomplishments. If you don't agree with her, fine. But that's no reason to disrespect her appearance — or any woman's appearance, for that matter. How would you like it if I called Donald Trump Emperor Cheeto? Exactly.
During that same episode of Fox & Friends, O'Reilly tried to make amends by inviting Waters on his show, but quickly came back to reality. "When hell freezes over, I'm sure that'll happen," he noted. I think that's the first time I've ever agreed with him.