Can the racial divide in America be healed?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 2, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Back in the "Book" segment tonight. New ABC News poll about Ferguson, Missouri. Do you approve or disapprove of the grand jury's decision not to charge the police officer? Forty eight percent approve. Forty five percent disapprove. Seven percent unsure. So you can see the country is divided on the issue and it is not only along racial lines ideology also plays a part.

Joining us now from Washington, Charles Krauthammer, author the big bestseller, "Things that Matter." Which makes a great Christmas gift.

All right, Charles. In our lifetime, do you think this racial divide will ever be healed?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, AUTHOR, "THINGS THAT MATTER": Probably not in our lifetime. But when you think about the span of say the last 50 years, the division between the races has been absolutely dramatically reduced to a point that would not have been imaginable 50 years ago. Obama himself has talked about this, how far we've come. Fifty years ago, there was legal segregation against black people. Fifty years later, we have a black president, a black attorney general, a black head of Homeland Security could go through all of those. And just to talk about attitudes, forget about elected officials. You don't have to take a poll. Look at advertising by celebrities.

Willie Mays in his day was very rarely asked to do any promotion because you couldn't do that with a black athlete. Today, and this is not for reasons of ideology or racial sympathy but purely for the commercial reason that people want to make money by advertising. You see all kinds of African-American celebrities, sports, sports figures. You have actors who are promoted, who are actually being used to promote products which tells you how much the attitude and the -- has changed in the country in half a century. This is unmatched. I would defy you to name one country in the world where that attitude change has been so radical. I don't think there is one.

O'REILLY: Now, the black underclass, the people who are poor and live in neighborhoods that are dangerous and people who feel they don't have any chance, all right, that they're just -- the system is stacked against them, that is entrenched right now, and then the people like Sharpton and these demagogues that feed them this hopelessness situation and it's not your fault. It's white privilege and all this keeping you down. That's an industry in itself, is it not?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, there's no question that there's a class of racial agitators who live off this, and to some extent we really have to criticize people who know better who are their enablers, the ones who fund some of these organizations like, you know, like Al Sharpton, for example. The President of the United States should not be inviting into the White House -- forget about all the other since Al Sharpton has committed and the fact that he's a tax cheat and all that, but you go back to the original sin, the Tawana Brawley case, which was an out and out hoax of a black girl, to stress black girl making a deliberately false accusation of rape against a deputy -- I think it was a prosecutor in New York State. Sharpton was behind that the whole way. In the end he said, sue me. And he was, in fact, sued by the guy, found to have defamed him and then never ended up actually paying the fine. So this was adjudicated in a court. And a man who does that, who stokes racial hatred deliberately should not be anywhere near the White House.

O'REILLY: Why is he, in your opinion? Why? Certainly President Obama knows the controversy surrounding Mr. Sharpton. And yet he doesn't seem to care.

KRAUTHAMMER: It doesn't start with Barack Obama. Go back to the election campaign of 2004 where Al Sharpton was one of the Democratic candidates. Do you remember the deference with which all the other democratic candidates treated him? This is a man who, given his history in the Brawley case and incitement in several riots in New York City, race riots in New York City, should never have been given any of that bad deference. And in part, you know, Shelby Steele and others have written about this. Among whites, it has to do with sort of racial guilt. And they have a sense, they have to show deference, otherwise they -- well, I don't think they fear him.

O'REILLY: I don't think they fear him. He can cause trouble.

KRAUTHAMMER: They would be considered racially insensitive unless they give him a deference.

O'REILLY: Whatever. But I agree with you that he should not be in those precincts. But what about whites who dislikes black. I mean, certainly that is employ, and blacks pick up on that and they say, look, we know there's a certain white percentage who think we're low or whatever the word is. How prevalent is that?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, clearly not prevalent enough to prevent the election of a black president who, incidentally, carried North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia when he ran for election in 2008. You know, that's not exactly Minnesota, you know, Lily White from Minnesota. Clearly there are people in the country who don't like African-Americans and who probably opposed Obama on the basis of race. I would guess -- and I don't think anybody could show this one way or the other empirically, that the number of whites who felt that it would be a good thing to elect an African-American as a way to symbolize the change in the country probably outnumbered, outnumbered the ones who opposed Obama on the basis of race.

O'REILLY: All right, Charles. As always, thank you.

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