Apparently, Oprah Can’t Have an Opinion or an Ethic

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea Plaid

“Who does that uppity Negress think she is?

In this election, that insult has been hissed at Michelle Obama because of her “ingratitude” for being allowed to be Black and female in the United States. So, when I heard it (again) these past few days, I thought, “Will all y’all lay off the woman? Day-um!”

This time, the hissers aimed at Oprah Winfrey (again), who supports Mrs. Obama’s husband. And from Guanabee, no less. (Thanks to Racialicious reader Mandy for the tip!) The post:

It’s no secret Oprah Winfrey loves Barack Obama. She’s had him on her show twice since 2005 (before he announced he was running for president) and has publicly endorsed him as her Presidential candidate of choice. Which is obviously why she won’t feature Sarah Palin on her show until after the election.

    I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.

But during the primaries we noticed that, while Hillary Clinton often led in the polls with women of color, Oprah stuck by her man. So is she just blindly loyal to African Americans? Obviously a lot of people are blinded by Barack Obama, so it’s easy to understand why she would be. But is there more at play here than his charms? What do you guys think?

I’m glad that the Guanabee crew wanted to open it up Winfrey’s decision for a discussion but, to me, there’s no conversation because Winfrey herself said “not now”—you know, that whole “my house, my rules” thing. Winfrey said she’s supporting and endorsing Obama, and she’s sticking with her own…candidate of her own choosing. Furthermore, she’s sticking with the ethics of that decision. This means she’s doesn’t even look like she’s giving her very influential imprimatur to another candidate, whether or not her media brethren and sistren or her own viewers wish to give the others face time, a radio interview, or votes. Also, Winfrey, being the owner and host of her syndicated talk show, is not beholden to the same rules of broadcast journalism, namely to give other political hopefuls “equal time” in the interest of “being objective.” I emphasize: the show’s name is “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” not “NBC News,” “Fox News,” or “National Public Radio.”

So, whether we bloggers or her viewers like it or not, whether “Hillary Clinton led the polls with women of color” or Governor Sarah Palin is, according to the New York Times, “the hottest political star in the firmament,” Winfrey is being ethical.

She gave her word to support Obama, and she’s sticking to it. You know, that whole “one’s word is one’s bond” and “keeping one’s promise” thing. And no, Winfrey is not “standing by her (Black) man.” She’s his political patron, not his intimate partner. That’s what Michelle chooses to do with Barack due her understanding of their marriage, and that’s what Oprah chooses to do with her partner Stedman due to their understanding of their private relationship. Don’t get it twisted…and racist and sexist.

Mandy pointed out the same thing:

Oprah’s show is not a news show— it is a show about HER, her preferences, the guests she wants to have on, if she likes beef or not, and what she wants to give away to members of her studio audience on any given episode. The fact is, there is no reason to believe that she is “blindly loyal to African Americans,” especially when she said nothing about the issue of race (or gender) whatsoever. The only reason you can even pose this question is because SHE is Black. Would this same question even be considered appropriate to ask if another, obviously Democratic, NON-Black talk show host decided not to have Sarah Palin on his/her show because she was a candidate that was not remotely interesting to them politically?

Like if Rachel Maddow decided not to interview Palin until after the election. Or at all.

Other offered other reasons, some similar to Mandy and mine, as to why Winfrey may have delayed talking to Palin.

no_guey! wrote:

Seriously, maybe it’s the VP candidate’s stated ambivalence towards civil rights, or her characterization of community organizing as a dalliance.

Latin_Princess commented:

I watch Oprah. I’ve even been to a taping in Chicago. And that show is called Oprah for a reason… it’s all hers and everyone there plays by her rules. If she does/does not want someone on the show, nobody can tell her otherwise.

Xica_xicana had the most snap-tastic response:

This is the first time Oprah has openly endorsed and campaigned with/for a candidate, so of course she wouldn’t want to have Sarah Palin on her show. The interview would go something like this:

“So you don’t believe in teaching sex education in school? Now lets meet your daughter who didn’t know dick until it was in her….”

It is obvious that McCain is using her to play off people’s blind ignorance. This race is still being made about choosing between a white woman and a black man. Lets stop letting aesthetics determine the candidate we choose.

Some the post’s responders were making the choice for the white woman to appear on “Oprah”…and how dare that Black woman feel any different her white female fans! In other words, “Who does that uppity Negress think she is?”

Oprah gives advice on relationships, but has a boy friend who is a door mat … gives advice on marriage, but has never been married …gives advice on child rearing, but has no children … gives advice on Obama, but was a member of Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American racist church for several years. Now, her white women’s audience, which made Oprah rich, wants to know more about Sarah Palin, but Oprah says NO. No Oprah, No Wright, no Farrakahn, no Ayers, no Rezko, no mean Michelle, NOBAMA

Posted by Gina

@ Gina: Oprah is also a philanthropist and gets many people to read that wouldn’t otherwise. And her “white women’s audience” can look up information about Sarah Palin on their own time. They don’t need Oprah for that.

Posted by chana la chile

@Chana La Chile: Wow nice statement – “do it on their own time??” Remember it was her “white Audience” who made her what she is today… Opral is very prejudice in this race – her show has always been about focussing on women moving up and accomplishing new horizons – she owes it to her audience to have Palin on her show… however, I am sure many of her “white audience” is growing as tired of Opral as I am!!

Posted by Connie

So, apparently, Oprah just can’t be an ethical African American woman and a Black citizen who knows, states, and backs up her political choices. No, she’s at white women’s (and some Latinas’) bidding; she does whatever they want her to do—even if it means giving the appearance of supporting a candidate whose policies and ideas go against what she believes in—because she should be so grateful for those women enriching her Black female life. I’m disappointed that Guanabee, a sistren blog whose writers have been cross-posted here at Racialicious, would join in the hissing when some of the same white women who are so down for Palin and so mad at Winfrey would turn around and start hinting and/or hissing at them to “go back to where you came from” along with few choice anti-Latin@ racist epithets.

Don’t y’all drink the kyriarchal kool-aid, too, Guanabee.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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