Unfortunately for Oprah Winfrey, she fell in to the trap that so many, without cogent, logical arguments fall in to; she spoke from her heart, with emotion. And that’s the last place from which a cogent argument should be launched. It’s flawed from where it originates. Her statement that, “there are still generations of people, older people. who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and they just have to die,” is unfortunate. What Oprah has failed to do, as an intelligent person is think through her argument. She made the same assumptions that racists make and is therefore no better than to whom she refers.
Oprah seems to forget that “White America” made her who she is. Her fame and fortune can be attributed to those same older white people, older white women, who fell in love with the honest, open, tell it like it is, talk show host. Using the word “generations”, she offended all old white people by lumping all of them together. It’s no different than saying all black youth are criminals. She made a blanket statement which is the very basis of racism. What she should have said, is that many older, white people marched hand-in-hand with blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. But there are still many, mainly in the south, who are small-minded haters and their demise will do nothing to hurt the cause of equality and freedom in the U.S. She should have been intelligent, eloquent, and seasoned enough to make that distinction.
What Oprah also fails miserably to comprehend apparently, is that racism will never leave the earth. Is it possible that Oprah, the billionaire talk show host could be that stupid as to believe that old white people are the only generation of racists left on earth? Just as anti-Semitism has existed for thousands of years and will continue to exist, so has and so will, racism. Her assumption that the old white racists dying will solve the problem is both short-sighted and naive. How foolish, Oprah looked on the BBC. Her ridiculous statement only helped fuel the passion of young white racists around the world. It must also be noted that the way Oprah pronounced the final word “Die”, almost sounded as if she was the “godmother” calling on her soldiers to begin killing off old white people. “They just have to Diiiee”. An apology in this case is not in order as she said what she feels. An apology doesn’t make that go away.
One final thought, dumb Americans, even Oprah, need to stop believing that if they go to Europe and issue controversial statements, that they aren’t going to get back to the States. Oprah was merely speaking her mind and probably never thought about the controversy it might start back at home. What’s so ironic about her comments made in the UK is that she made them in a country where soccer fans have been known to throw gorillas on the soccer field and make monkey grunts at the black players. That doesn’t happen in the U.S. What made Oprah famous, her open and honest discussions is also the thing that might be her undoing. The Oprah Network is not exactly a powerhouse, mostly due to its boring and uninteresting format and the alienation of her largest base probably won’t do anything to help turn that around. And that’s not racist.