Twitter explodes over Bill O’Reilly’s ‘white privilege’ tweet from Ireland

Twitter explodes over Bill O’Reilly’s ‘white privilege’ tweet from Ireland
While getting in touch with his roots, Bill O’Reilly claimed that his Irish ancestors came to the US legally and that their persecution exempts him from having white privilege. Twitter tackled him over the spurious claim.

Former Fox News presenter was visiting the old country last week, and tweeted a picture of himself in the border county of Cavan, where the O’Reilly clan historically ruled in the ancient Irish kingdom of East Breifne.

Rather than keeping the trip light and breezy, however, O’Reilly brought up his own family’s ancient history in an apparent attempt to score some political points. In the text that accompanied the photo, O’Reilly said: “Enjoying my time in Ireland. Visited County Cavan where my ancestors were evicted from their land in 1845. That forced them to come to America legally so they wouldn’t starve.

“Pardon me if I reject the ‘white privilege’ scenario if applied to my family,” he added.

The Twitterati on both sides of the Atlantic took issue with just about everything in O’Reilly’s tweet, mockingly tearing apart his claim that he didn’t have white privilege. O’Reilly appeared to suggest that his ancestral family had come to America legally in a process similar to what is required of immigrants and refugees at present. However, social media users highlighted his ignorance to the fact that US immigration policy was radically different in 1845.

Matthew Parent, a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut – whose thread of tweets tackled the claim that the suffering of O’Reilly’s ancestors exempted him from white privilege – argued that O’Reilly and other Irish Americans today have never experienced a time where being Irish limits their experience in America.

Others argued that O’Reilly’s definition of white privilege was way off.

O’Reilly’s claim that his ancestors came to the US legally was also tackled in tweets pointing out the fact that US immigration policy back then was radically different to that of the Trump administration, which is supported by O’Reilly today.

However, the “saddest” part of O’Reilly’s misinformed tweet was highlighted by popular Irish rappers-cum-postmodernist philosophers, the Rubberbandits, who saw it as a wasted opportunity for him to learn about himself on an “existential level.”

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