- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly’s comments about those in the black community who don’t want to talk race, but rather only profit and advance their agenda using racism as a springboard, didn’t sit well with Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee.

“Unfortunately, we’ve come to expect language like ‘welfare queens,’ ‘food stamp president,’ and now ‘race hustlers’ from the right wing and Mr. O'Reilly,” she said, in a statement reported by Politico. “It’s disgusting and divisive and should never be accepted in our national discourse.”

Ms. Lee’s slam comes as a reaction to Mr. O'Reilly’s broadcast chat with Rep. Paul Ryan, during which the lawmaker tried to explain and clarify some recent comments about poverty and inner-city culture that was seen as racist by some. Mr. Ryan said on the program that he had tried to smooth ruffled feathers, and had even reached out to Ms. Lee — one of the outraged — to explain how he was only trying to spark logical discussion about poverty, Politico reported.

And that’s when Mr. O'Reilly replied: “They don’t want a conversation. They don’t want to solve the problem. These race hustlers make a big living, and they get voted into office by portraying their constituents as victims.”

Ms. Lee said such phrases are “code words” — she didn’t say for what, but ostensibly to mask a speaker’s racist tendencies — that only “get in the way of solving the real problems,” Politico reported.