In this May 30, 2013 file photo, Oprah Winfrey speaks during Harvard University’s commencement ceremonies in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
10 Questions You Should Be Asking
by Yvette Carnell
Are the natives restless again? As Oprah beats the drum of racism, Black America’s got her back, as never before. The billionaire empress is now caricatured as the victim of a lowly Swiss sales clerk who, according to Oprah, refused to show the Queen of All Media a $38, 000 pocketbook because she’s nigra. Bad saleslady! Good billionaire!
But before you go jumping on the Oprah bandwagon, here are just a few things you should consider, both about race in general and this case in particular, before forming a final conclusion.
The Black Elite, who often consider themselves “special” Negroes, separate themselves from ordinary Blacks until they need us. If Oprah is concerned about race, then why isn’t she hosting a ‘stop and frisk’ panel on OWN? She seems only concerned about herself, and what she perceives as mistreatment at the hands of a White woman. Is it all about her…. and her $38,000 purse? Just as it was about her experience at an Hermes store awhile back?
Oprah is currently promoting the movie “The Butler.” Is it impossible for Black folk to even consider and question the timing of Oprah’s accusation? Or do we just run to the defense of every Black person who cries racism?
The saleslady at the store said that she never refused to show Oprah the purse because of race, saying she makes money from commission, and not showing Oprah the purse based on racist grounds doesn’t make any sense. Doesn’t she have a point?
Also, the saleslady says Oprah was treated warmly and shown several purses in the store, something which Oprah never denied. Does that sort of treatment sound like the treatment of a woman with a racial axe to grind?
Is it possible that Oprah, coming from one of the most racist countries in the Western World, has her own baggage, and felt slighted, even though that’s not what the saleslady intended?
Could the saleslady’s attitude have been more about class than race?
Why does Oprah Winfrey, a billionaire, still seem so desperate for White acceptance? As the saleslady pointed out, the owner of the boutique was at Tina Turner’s wedding along with Oprah, so why not take it up there, as a private matter? Why did Oprah feel the need to answer a reporter’s question by recounting this incident? Why did Oprah feel the need to bring international attention to her not being allowed to buy a $38,000 handbag?
Is it morally acceptable for any elite to turn an ordinary person’s life upside down over a perceived slight? Doesn’t that make Oprah a bully?
Why do we believe that Black Elites are any less cunning and flawed than White Elites?
Who gives a damn about a $38,000 pocketbook anyway when there are so many other larger issues at play?
Listen Black America, a whole nation has apologized to Ms. Winfrey over this nonsense, and you should get over it too. You shouldn’t have allowed yourselves to be used as a tool and worked into a frenzy by Ms. Winfrey’s PR campaign in the first place.
Save that for a time when Ms. Winfrey can bring more to the silver screen than “The Butler”, which is nothing more than a 2013 rendering of “The Help.”
Maybe when Oprah decides to use her platform to share authentic Black stories, we can be there to support, but until then, let her fight her own battles.