In one of the most bizarre segments on Fox News you’ll ever see, Bill O’Reilly sent his interviewer to Princeton to say the word “ghetto” to black students — and it went pretty much as you’d expect.
Jesse Watters, who often interviews people on the street for The O’Reilly Factor, visited the school’s campus and asked students of different races if they were offended by various loaded words and phrases, such as “ghetto,” “black crime,” “slum,” “Islamic terrorism,” and “white privilege.”
“I feel like they should be more careful in their choice of words,” said one black student after Watters asked him what he thought of the word “ghetto,” while another walked away immediately. Watters also told a white student who said she didn’t feel comfortable using “ghetto” to “just try it on for size.”
According to O’Reilly, the segment was inspired by college students who said they didn’t feel safe after seeing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s name pop up on their campuses. “That plays into the concept that college students are very sensitive individuals,” O’Reilly said mockingly.
In the segment, Watters asks students he interviews to try sucking their thumb, apologize for their white privilege, and hug him to feel better. For their part, the students seemed unfazed.
After Watters told a student she got into Princeton because she’s white and a woman, she answered, “And I’m actually kind of upset about that.”
O’Reilly and Watters seemed surprised that the students didn’t cry or kick them off campus at the mere mention of the words. “They didn’t seem as crazy as some of these other college kids, who like, start to cry when they see Donald Trump’s name chalked on a wall or something,” O’Reilly commented after the segment aired.
ThinkProgress has previously documented the history of the false debate around political correctness. “The use of the term ‘political correctness,’ particularly in the Republican presidential primary, does not have a specific definition,” wrote Erica Hellerstein and Judd Legum. “Rather it functions like a swiss army knife — it is the answer to every kind of issue that a candidate might confront. It’s a ‘get out of jail free card’ for bigotry, sexism and lying.”