Filmmaker Oliver Stone made some truly offensive comments on PBS’s Tavis Smiley show Wednesday.
“I don't know why these Republican white people...They're strange to me," he said. "It’s almost as if we’re an apartheid state and they’re still fighting for the rights of whites in South Africa” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
TAVIS SMILEY, HOST: You don't think that his [President Obama's] presence or his policies has done anything to offend the Tea Party, to offend the right? I mean, the opposition to him - I'm just pressing you on this. I’m not saying I necessarily disagree that he hasn't done nearly as much as we hoped he would have done, has not been progressive enough, not aggressive enough, I’m with you on that. But there is something that has caused the opposition to be so determined against him. So if it’s not that he hasn’t done something to offend them, then what’s the opposition about?
OLIVER STONE: I know what you're saying, but I…
SMILEY: It could be race.
STONE: I really believe it’s black.
SMILEY: Okay, just asking.
STONE: I think that has a lot to do with it. I don't know why these Republican white people, frankly, the McConnells and the, they’re strange to me. They, it’s almost as if we’re an apartheid state and they’re still fighting for the rights of whites in South Africa. It’s like they’re scared. So they’ve figured out with, remember Tom DeLay is another one of those horrible white people that come along and they go back to, he was crooked.
"Another one of those horrible white people." Can you imagine the outrage if a white conservative referred to "horrible black people?"
Yet Smiley thought that was funny:
SMILEY: It's so funny to watch you say that. [Laughs]
STONE: It’s awful because they gerrymandered the states so, with this, they’ve taken democracy away from us. How can Obama be elected by a million and a half votes in 2012 and have the House of Representatives so singularly Republican? That to me is the result of gerrymandering. Also their stand on guns, their stand on white rights, the concept of blocking the voting of blacks and Hispanics, it adds up. I would think that they’re very scared this country is going to become colored.
SMILEY: That’s what I was getting at. They’re threatened by something. It may not that he’s doing anything, but they are threatened by something.
STONE: But he [sic] is threatened by the fact that he is black. You know, that’s enough.
Do these folks think this kind of talk improves race relations in this nation?