Oprah Winfrey, one of the wealthiest people in the world, is throwing the race card again.
During an interview with the BBC Friday, she not only said that President Obama is treated with disrespect because he’s black, but also that entire generations of racists are going to have to die for racism to end (video follows with transcript and commentary):
WILL GOMPERTZ, BBC: The issue of the civil rights movement, and the way that black people around the world are treated, particularly I suppose in, around the world…
OPRAH WINFREY: Around the world.
GOMPERTZ: Around the world. Look at place like Russia, it’s, you know…
WINFREY: Around the world.
GOMPERTZ: So is this, is this, I suppose from a movie point of view, what the movie and the messages hold and the other movies we were discussing, and “Scottsboro Boys,” are these historical comments or are we still looking at a contemporary issue?
WINFREY: Good question. Well phrased. Good job. It would be foolish to not recognize that we have evolved in that we’re not still facing the same kind of terrorism against black people en masse as was displayed with the Scottsboro boys. It’s gotten better. Are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of their skin, because of the color of their black skin? Yes. But there are laws that have allowed us to progress beyond what we saw in the Scottsboro boys and beyond the even the prejudice we see in “The Butler.”
Notice that Winfrey added “color of their black skin.” Why not just leave it as “color of their skin?”
Why do folks such as her only see racism through the prism of how blacks are treated? By looking at the problem so narrowly, doesn’t it make matters worse?
We are by far the most diverse nation in the world containing more ethnic and religious groups than any other on the planet.
Likely each of them has at times rightly or wrongly felt mistreated for the color of their skin or their religious beliefs.
When we as a nation look at this problem more honestly and not just as it pertains to one group, racism will have a chance of being solved.
Unfortunately, Winfrey has another solution:
GOMPERTZ: Are you saying problem solved?
WINFREY: I’m saying problem not solved. I’m saying that, you know, that’s the beauty of a film like “The Butler,” and it’s the beauty of a film like “12 Years a Slave,” and it’s the beauty of what we’re seeing on stage with “Scottsboro Boys” is that it allows people to see where the root of the problem started. It allows people to see, “Oh, that’s where it all started, this is how far we’ve come, and now this is how much farther we need to go.” Of course problem is not solved. You know, as long as people can be judged by the color of their skin, problem’s not solved. As long as there are people who still, there’s a whole generation – I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the south – there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.
So in Winfrey’s view, it’s older white people that are the problem, and once they die, racism ends.
Yet three months ago, she said of the George Zimmerman verdict, “It’s ridiculous to look at that case and not to think that race was involved.”
Zimmerman’s only 30 years old and is Hispanic.
It is patently absurd to suggest that racism is caused by old white people when racism and religious bigotry cut across all generations and ethnicities.
But folks such as Winfrey don’t want to look at it that way, for they have a different agenda:
GOMPERTZ: Do you think, has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he’s faced and some of the reporting he’s received is because he’s an African-American, and if he wasn’t an African-American, if he was a white guy, those wouldn’t have happened, he wouldn’t have been treated in quite the same way, he wouldn’t have to deal with quite the same confrontations?
Some question, huh? You’d think Obama was the first president to ever have challenges and confrontations. Was Gompertz on another planet when George W. Bush was regularly being attacked by his opponents?
With the race card nicely placed on the tee, Winfrey predictably hit it a long way:
WINFREY: Has it ever crossed my mind? It’s crossed my mind probably as many times as it’s crossed your mind. Probably it’s crossed my mind more times than it’s crossed your mind. Just the level of disrespect. When the Senator yelled out, “You’re a liar.” Remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African-American.
What Winfrey conveniently ignores is that she endorsed and campaigned for Obama BECAUSE he was an African-American. He wouldn’t have gotten her support or been elected if he wasn’t.
More importantly, if he was just some white guy from Chicago that nobody had ever heard of, he never would have beaten Hillary Clinton in 2008.
How sad that she forgets that.
But that’s not the saddest part about folks like Winfrey throwing the race card this way.
What’s sadder is that as an African-American woman that has attained a level of success and notoriety greater than 99.99 percent of the people that have or ever will walk on this planet, she could be a positive role model concerning racism rather than helping to fuel it.
Why doesn’t someone of Winfrey’s obvious intellectual prowess understand that?
Imagine how much better it would have been for all Americans including blacks if she answered Gompertz’s racially charged question this way:
Is some of the treatment of Obama because he’s an African-American? Maybe some. But I think that’s exaggerated. The President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet receiving greater scrutiny than any other. As a result, he’s challenged by people on both sides of the aisle, and that’s a good thing because it acts to prevent him or her from becoming too powerful.
Unlike other nations, our President is not a king or dictator, and although many claim the treatment of Obama is harsher because he’s black, I would say that for the most part, he isn’t being treated any differently than George W. Bush before him or Bill Clinton before him. In fact, I would make the case that because he’s black, he’s been treated far better by most of the media than any President in my lifetime.
So let’s not be so quick to throw the race card all because Obama has his critics. That comes with the territory, and if you don’t have big enough shoulders to take the hits, you should have never campaigned for the job.
Imagine the headlines and the positive example Winfrey could have set by telling people the truth.
Is that just too difficult for her? Doesn’t she know that every time she dishonestly throws the race card, she’s undermining a solution?
Oh. That’s right. Her solution is that generations of racists have to die to solve the problem.
Unfortunately, with folks like her out there fanning the fires of discontent, they’re inculcating new generations with racist thoughts thereby making it necessary for A LOT of generations to die off before this problem ever gets solved.
How truly unfortunate for our nation.