ColorOfChange.org today launched a campaign calling on Roger Ailes, Chair of Fox Business, to fire host Eric Bolling. Late last week, Bolling said that President Obama has a habit of having “hoods in the hizzy,” a reference to the president of Gabon and rapper Common, two recent White House guests. Clearly, the statement plays off of racist stereotypes. Bolling is the same Fox personality who said recently that President Obama was too busy “chugging forties” in Ireland to respond to the tornadoes in Missouri.

We’re calling on Ailes to either fire Bolling or admit that Fox accepts his brand of stereotyping and race-baiting. Please sign the petition and join us. Here’s the email we sent to ColorOfChange members today:

Dear ColorOfChange.org member,

“It’s not first time he’s had a hoodlum in the hizzouse.”

That’s what Fox Business host Eric Bolling said on Friday about President Obama’s meeting at the White House with the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, while photoshopping a gold tooth onto the man’s image. Then a photo of popular hip-hop artist Common, who participated in a White House poetry event last month (and was later smeared by Fox), appeared on-screen .1

It’s just the latest from Bolling, who last month accused President Obama of “chugging a few forties” in Ireland.2 Bolling’s attacks are part of a long history of racially-coded language and stereotypes that Fox uses to create a negative perception of the president.

Please join us in demanding that Roger Alies Chariman of Fox News and Fox Business fire Bolling. If enough of us speak out, it will ensure that Fox’s leaders face some public accountability for its consistent race-baiting. It only takes a moment:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/bolling

Fox Business and Fox News continue to be safe havens for commentators who try to whip up race-based fears and peddle racial stereotypes as hard news.

President Ali Bongo currently holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council and was visiting the White House on official business. While Bongo has a troubling human rights record, past U.S. presidents have met with problematic figures for diplomatic reasons or to get them to change their behavior. Hip hop artist Common is a well-educated cultural and charitable ambassador and a talented musician. We doubt that Fox would ever have referred to the White House as a “hizzouse” while George W. Bush, Bill Clinton or any other president resided there.

But on Friday, Bolling seized an opportunity to race-bait. He opened the segment by asking, “So what’s with all the hoods in the hizzy?” Later, when a guest challenged him, asking why Bolling was treating the meeting as a social event rather than an official meeting between two heads of state, Bolling said, “How do you know what they did? Maybe they did have s’mores and watch movies. Maybe they watched a basketball game.” 3

Such obvious promotion of racial stereotypes is nothing new at Fox.4,5 In fact, it’s what made Glenn Beck’s career at Fox News before he took things too far6 — a move that eventually cost him more than 300 advertisers and his 5pm show on the network. Beck will leave this coveted time slot vacant at the end of this month, and some observers believe Bolling’s over-the-top race-baiting last week was an audition for Beck’s spot — his attempt to show Ailes and other executives at Fox that he’s up to the challenge of stoking Fox viewers’ anger at President Obama in a way fitting of Beck’s legacy.7

Please join us in demanding that Fox Business Chairman Roger Ailes fire Eric Bolling. Ailes might not care what we think — but he has to care about Fox’s public image. If Ailes fires Bolling, it’s a step towards accountability. If he refuses, it will make it abundantly clear to the public and the media that stoking racial division is part of Fox’s agenda.

Please join us by clicking the link below. And when you do, please ask your family and friends to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/bolling

Thanks and Peace,

— Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha, and the rest of the ColorOfchange.org team
June 14th, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:

http://www.colorofchange.org/donate

References:

1. “Fox’s Eric Bolling: Obama Is Hosting “Hoodlum[s]” In “The Hizzouse”,” Media Matters, 6-11-2011
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201106110002

2. “Bolling: Obama Was “Chugging A Few 40’s” Instead Of Responding To Joplin Disaster,” Media Matters, 5-24-2011
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201105240034

3. See reference 1

4. “Tell CNN: Stop echoing Fox’s race-baiting,” ColorOfChange.org, 7-10-2010
http://orig.colorofchange.org/cnnfox/message.html

5. “An overview: Fox News and its problem with African-Americans,” ColorOfChange.org
http://orig.colorofchange.org/fox/summary.html

6. “Call on advertisers to drop sponsorship of Glenn Beck,” ColorOfChange.org, 7-30-09
http://orig.colorofchange.org/beck/message.html

7. “Is Race Baiting Part of Eric Bolling’s Fox News Audition?,” Media Matters, 6-13-2011
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201106130006

Rashad Robinson

Rashad Robinson

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