MSNBC Panel: O'Reilly and Limbaugh 'Jim Crow's Grandson,' O'Reilly 'Maligning' Blacks

On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, liberal talk radio host Joe Madison referred to Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as "Jim Crow's grandson" and "Jim Crow Esquire" during a discussion of the absence of Republican figures at the Martin Luther King, Jr., 50-year commemoration.

After a couple of clips of O'Reilly critiquing the social problems of some poor Americans, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor accused the FNC host of "wholesale maligning of an entire race and class of people" that is "simply unconscionable," even though O'Reilly specified no racial group as he responded to a clip of President Obama in which the President complained that some Americans, "regardless of color," are still having economic difficulties.

After host Al Sharpton asked if O'Reilly is "somebody we ought to be taking seriously," Taylor began her response:

You know, unfortunately, too many people do. This kind of wholesale maligning of an entire race and class of people is simply unconscionable.

A bit later, after Sharpton played clips of segregationist Democratic Senators John Stennis and Russell Long, Madison griped:

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. 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.

He then attacked the Tea Party movement:

And the reality is if 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. 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.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, August 29, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Let us not forget there were leading Republicans, Jackie Robinson one of them, who helped lead the march in '63.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: The first black elected to a U.S. Senator in 1968 was a Republican named Ed Brook. And so while we're talking about this march, we're talking about 50 years of celebrating what black Republicans and white Republicans helped to do 50 years ago. But, no, rather than do that, we have Bill O'Reilly taking the moment to attack the unemployed. Listen to this.

BILL O'REILLY, FNC, CLIP #1: Even if jobs become more plentiful, you have to be able to do them. You have to speak proper English, be able to do basic math, and conduct yourself responsibly.

O'REILLY CLIP #2: America remains a land of opportunity, but only for those who are honest and responsible. If you are irresponsible, lazy, and/or corrupt, this country can be a tough place.

SHARPTON: If you are irresponsible, lazy, or corrupt, this country could be a tough place. Unable to speak proper English. I mean, is this somebody we ought to be taking seriously?

TAYLOR: You know, unfortunately, too many people do. This kind of wholesale maligning of an entire race and class of people is simply unconscionable. If he were truly about the business of the legacy of Dr. King, then he would know that to address not only personal responsibility, but those very structural issues that keep people, that create the kinds of barriers that people can't survive, cope, and make it on. You know, if we were to take a look, for instance, at the minimum wage and adjust for inflation, it would be at least $10 today. People need meaningful jobs at meaningful wages. That will help break the cycle. Investing in meaningful education, that will help break the cycle.

SHARPTON: But even if you don't agree with the ways that some of us may on another party or in civil rights. Or in labor have, at least propose your method of how to deal with unemployment. Don't mock them. Don't try and scorn them. Joe Madison, it is the kind of language in these times-

JOE MADISON, LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: -that reminds us of the abrasive language of 50 years ago. Let me play you where two southern senators told NBC News about minority rights directly after Dr. King's speech in '63.

SENATOR JOHN STENNIS (D-MS): Now, what about the people that are not here today? The Congress is going to be a week that it will run from any group or pass legislation in one particular group for-

SENATOR RUSSELL LONG (D-LA): I am opposed to this sort of thing of trying to acquire additional rights for one group by taking them away from others.

SHARPTON: So this kind of mocking kind of thing, we see it updated now by the irresponsible, corrupt. I mean, why can't we talk policy if you have a different view? Or it is that you just really have no position that will help people get jobs?

MADISON: Oh, they've got a position. 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. 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.

And the reality is 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. 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.