Regarding Bill O'Reilly's Sylvia's Restaurant remark:
Racial slippages of the tongue are IMPORTANT to highlight, to analyze, and to comment on since they are the underlying rug, the foundation, of more overt racist thinking. Examining the foundation is a CRUCIAL step to help whites see themselves and their privileged, skewed viewpoint(s) more clearly.
Look, we all have skewed viewpoints. For example, I'm skewed to view things as a female.
Rather than swift condemnation, more analysis should be gathered to identify why the slippage, to comment on why the defense about "context" doesn't hold, to analyze what he was assuming and to explain why it's considered racist. Some people REALLY don't know. I don't mean to sound like we should coddle, but the left has ignored these people for far too long.
The O'Reillys and the Limbaughs (they are like family dynasties) dismiss and scoff at the "liberal left" because condemnation is usually too artificial, and these guys go into victim-mode quickly--not listening, talking louder, name-calling. Yes, even though they like to besmirch anyone who claims to be victims, they are fast to act like ones themselves. They defend themselves irrationally--as if their life depended on it. And it does. Because they are caught up in their viewpoint economically, socially and politically.
The cultural damage done by Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly distorts political information, gives credence to misogynists, racists and other bullies, and allows an articulation of their twisted hate-ethics. These guys should be taken MORE SERIOUSLY, NOT LESS. I know so many smart intellectual people who proudly boast to never listen to either commentator, and I think, oh, but these are the most dangerous people in America, and we need everyone listening, and we need to address them, not ignore them.
Every little thing they do should be addressed--maybe with kindness so that they will hear, and, maybe, maybe understand. Humiliation should not be the goal. Changed Minds should be the goal. It is so necessary to our nation's health for these people to understand how misaligned their voices and their hearts. Hopefully, they will lead their followers. But they'll never do it by being attacked.
It's a tall order. Be courteous to Right Wing Nut Jobs (and don't call them that), just like we should have been courteous to Ahmandinejab. Because one person's understanding and alignment to world peace is important to progress, to moving ahead, and for learning to understand each other.
Think of the big picture: sane, intelligent Americans who are not fooled by the foolish.