In Fox News' America, black folks are apes
Glenn Beck takes his coded racist rant even further
“It’s like the damn Planet of the Apes. Nothing Makes Sense,” said Fox News Glenn Beck in a recent rant against President Obama and the America he has created. It was one of the angriest and most thinly veiled racist rants in recent history but simply a continuation of his general theme.
You might remember the original Planet of the Apes. It came out in 1968 and was based on the French novel "La planète des Singes" by Pierre Boulle. It was written as a science-fictionalized account of one possible outcome if Black Nationalism did succeed in the U.S. In the film, Charlton Heston, a white astronaut, crashes his aircraft on a primitive yet futuristic society where apes run the world and humans are an intellectually inferior, enslaved and hated species. In the Planet of the Apes, humans cannot even speak. In ape society, there is a very specific class system, gorillas as police, military, and hunters; the orangutans as administrators, politicians and lawyers; and the chimpanzees as intellectuals and scientists.
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The subtext of the Planet of the Apes, whether novel or film, has never been questioned. It's not just science fiction but social commentary and Glenn Beck knew exactly the coded comparison he was making.
Fox News has a long history of using racism to stoke resentment among whites. But the strategy is pretty thin. They’ve got a few moves and simply reiterate them daily.
Black folks are coming to get you White America: This strategy was most recently used with the New Black Panther Party story. Here, Fox drags out footage of some black nationalist types saying they want to kill white babies, then it indicts the current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a black man, for not protecting “white rights.” But the racist rant occurred during the 2008 presidential election before Holder was ever appointed to the Department of Justice and before President Obama was ever in office.
Blacks are racist: Another Fox strategy is to cherry-pick stories to methodically create a narrative that black people are racist. This was recently used in the Shirley Sherrod story. This further fuels the “they are coming to get you” narrative, but it also provides cover for white racism. It’s like don’t feel bad if you don’t like black people because they don’t like you either. And in the end, it is going to come down to you or them.
Using blacks on the attack: If you ever see a black person interviewed on Fox News, they are either being attacked or being used to attack a black person in power. Also note this, if you ever hear about a report of a crime, check how often they show the mugshot of the criminal. You might notice the mugshots are shown almost always when the perpetrator is black. Now, this little trick the “news agency” is damn near pathological about.
A few other racist themes Fox News uses: Blacks are violent, Blacks are cry babies, Blacks are lazy and don’t want to work. It’s the same tactic that Fox News Founder and President Roger Ailes used as a political consultant. Ailes, of course, invented the Willie Horton narrative that gave George Bush Sr. the win over Michael Dukakis back in the 1980s.
Now as the head of a major news network, the guy seems even more dangerous. He uses his podium daily to stoke racism and resentment. Every stereotype we grew up with, every stereotype you thought you had overcome with your own achievements, this news agency deliberately and methodically tries to revive.