In tonight’s Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly questioned the forces behind the racial protests breaking out in New York City.

Calling to mind the Tea Party demonstrations, O'Reilly said those who feel something is unfair should demonstrate dissent peacefully. 

But he said that protesting comes with responsibility, including knowing the facts behind what you're protesting. 

He said many protesters in Ferguson, New York and elsewhere have been misled into thinking that police officers are targeting black people.

"The claim that American police are hunting down young black men is a blatant lie," said O'Reilly, also cautioning that people should not try to deny that in some places, African Americans are not being treated with respect by police officers.

O'Reilly said the Factor has learned that the New York City protests are being coordinated by "hardcore, far-left activists," calling out a group called This Stops Today and other "grievance organizations."

"These demonstrations you're seeing are not spontaneous descent from regular folks. Rather, they are well planned disruptions from professional anti-establishment provocateurs. That's important to understand because it is the American system that's being attacked by these people, not the individual sagas of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Unfortunately, the deaths of those two men are being used by the far left to foment unrest," said O'Reilly. 

He called them "professional agitators" using social media to spread the word about the demonstrations.

O'Reilly said Eric Garner's own daughter downplayed the racial aspect of the deadly confrontation, but said many politicians - including Hillary Clinton - refuse to do the same. 

"Inner city drug gangs, like the ones in Chicago right now, are a plague upon the land. Murdering thousands of innocent people across the country and destroying poor neighborhoods. When was the last time you heard Hillary Clinton or most other politicians for that matter put that on the table?" he asked.

In the follow-up conversation, Geraldo Rivera agreed that social media is driving the protests, but believes the turnout is driven by "genuine outrage" among young people. 

He said the demonstrations indicate young people are finally "getting off the couch" to protest what they see as black people getting the "short end of the stick."

The debate got heated when Geraldo argued that black mothers are more fearful right now about their sons being "jacked up" by cops than by criminals. 

O'Reilly pushed back on that claim. 

"I do not believe that in Bedford–Stuyvesant, New York or in East New York, or in The Bronx, that mothers are more fearful of the police than the local dope dealer on the street with a Glock. I don't believe it!" he said, calling the argument a "myth."

Rivera said that may be right based on the stats, but it's not the "reality" of what people are feeling right now. He said he acknowledges that black-on-black crime is the "underlying cause" of the confrontations with police. 

Watch the Talking Points and the spirited debate above.