Ethics Dunce, Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Division (Yes, It’s Still Rolling!): Oprah Winfrey

oprah

Oprah, Sharpton…Sharpton, Oprah. At this point, not much difference. A lot less than between, say, Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till…

At this point, Oprah’s not just a passenger on the Train Wreck, but doing her best to be its engineer.

Last week, in an interview, Oprah thoroughly debased herself by opining, in defiance of history, facts and fairness, that the death of Trayvon Martin and the torture and lynching of Emmett Till  were equivalent episodes. “Let me just tell you: in my mind, same thing,” Winfrey said.  About the same time The New York Daily News ran this despicable inflammatory front page:

Daily News Emmett Till

I decided to let it go. I had already written about how untrue,  dishonest and intentionally divisive comparisons of the Martin case to Till were, and frankly, I would rather write about something other than the most revolting and damaging episode of society-wide race-baiting within my lifetime. I had already scolded Oprah for one race-related ethics foul this month, and she is only one among many offenders in these depressingly divisive times. (Full Disclosure: I was once employed as an ethics expert for a regular feature in “O” Magazine) Oprah, however, is making the rounds promoting “The Butler,” and she doubled down on this irresponsible position while talking to Anderson Cooper. From Mediaite:

“Expanding on the Emmett Till analogy she employed a week ago, Winfrey said, “the truth of the matter is Emmett Till became a symbol for those times as Trayvon Martin became a symbol for this time. There are multiple Trayvon Martins whose names never make the newspapers or the headlines.” Responding to a question about the juror in the George Zimmerman trial who thought race was not a part of the case at all, Winfrey said, “A lot of people, if they think they’re not using the ‘n- word’ themselves, they actually, physically are not using the ‘n-word’ themselves and do not harbor ill will towards black people, that it’s not racist. But, you know, to me it’s ridiculous to look at that case and not to think that race was involved.”

Oprah, you have done many fine things for women, blacks, society, and the culture, but you really need to shut up about Trayvon Martin being like Emmett Till, in any respect other than the fact that they both were young, black, and are both dead. You sound like Al Sharpton, and you sound like an ignorant race-huckster. Millions of  people trust you: stop trying to mislead them and make them think they are living in the days of Bull Connor and Mississippi burning…and may I add, What the hell’s the matter with you?

  • Emmett Till was brutally murdered for being black. George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
  • Till’s killers were acquitted by a racially prejudiced jury that willfully ignore the evidence. George Zimmerman was properly, justly, and necessarily acquitted because there was not sufficient evidence to show he was not acting in self-defense.
  • Emmett Till did nothing whatsoever to, with, or in the presence of his killers. The evidence shows that Martin was the aggressor in a physical altercation with Zimmerman that placed him in reasonable fear of his life. He did not, according to available evidence, set out to do Martin harm.
  • Till’s killers were openly, proudly, defiantly racist. Zimmerman denies being a racist, and those who know him, including African-Americans, say that he has never exhibited racist conduct or attitudes. Nothing in the fatal incident proves that he was motivated by race.
  • Till’s tragedy is and was a stark example of the terrible civil and human rights violations that took place in America prior to civil rights advances. Martin’s tragedy is a stark example of how cynical politicians, national leaders, race-grievance hucksters and  the news media can distort an event, spreading hate, distrust and ignorance while ruining reputations and lives, for their own perceived ideological agendas.

There are no substantive similarities at all between the two, and for Oprah Winfrey to use the promotion of her film about civil rights enlightenment to spread the hateful and factually wrong claim that there are is contemptible. Someone should call her on it, to her face, and call her as well on her fact-free (but typical of Zimmerman persecutors) assertion that “it’s ridiculous to look at that case and not to think that race was involved.” Why is it ridiculous? Apparently because Martin was black, and Zimmerman is sort of white, and Oprah wants all right-thinking Americans to agree that the only reason whitish people ever have disputes with black people is that they naturally dislike them, fear them, and want to hurt them.

Damn her for that.

Oprah is the one sounding like a racist here.

It is unethical, and she has disgraced herself.

________________________

Sources: Mail Online, Mediaite 1, 2

21 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce, Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Division (Yes, It’s Still Rolling!): Oprah Winfrey

  1. Got dragged, kicking and screaming to the taping of one of O’s show’s. (I had the means of transportation for that day.) What a farce: audience full of young, blond suburban women screaming every time she opened her mouth, from which I never heard anything profound. Never saw such tight security, either – she and her minions probably supplied the training for the TSA.

    How and why this woman has gotten to be what(ever) she is today is beyond me, although she surely knows how to play the race game. I think had her skin been white, and without the constant playing to white guilt, she would be a nobody.

  2. You’re not going to let that cake off the griddle, are you? Oprah is shilling a movie and this is one way to raise awareness. The worst part is that people have used this sort of exploitation from a youngster’s death to promote themselves:

    Last week an illegal immigrant 18 year old graffiti artist, was caught spray painting the building of an abandoned MacDonalds, in Miami Beach. He fled police and they caught up to him. Instead of going quietly (this is a misdemeanor offense) he charged at a policeman, who tasered him once.. He ended up dying. Massive rallies ensued about police brutality, including the life history of the poor cop who was doing his job.

    There is no discussion of right or wrong, and toxicology report will probably indicate the real reason he died… When an authority figure kills someone else, esp a teenager, ethics go out and emotions rule the day.

    http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21011378106241/miami-beach-police-chief-comments-on-taser-death/

  3. And don’t forget her hysterical cry pronouncing the “millions” of hangings, when, from what I’ve read, history shows it to be less than 4,000. A disgrace nonetheless, but where did the million come from if nothing more than to promote her own agenda of racism. Shameful indeed.

  4. How many ways can I say this? We are a nation of morons, unable to analyze situations and reach our own conclusions. We glom onto celebrities (Hollywood and political) and take what they say as gospel, are too lazy to vet what they say, and allow these people to think they have (1) intelligence; (2) something worth listening to; (3) a real, intellectual reason for their celebrity and “pronouncements.”

    Oprah and her ilk are a key part of the “dumbing down” (if that’s still possible) of America.

    • The quadrillion-dollar question is, how do we fix this? That’s the problem I’ve been working on since as far back as I can remember. It’ll take powerful memes to get people to stop following their instincts and start thinking critically. It will take time, effort, courage, wisdom, cleverness, and patience to create a healthy, enlightened, self-improving society. But hey, I really don’t have anything more important to do. I’m not sure anyone alive has anything more important to do.

      • To Ablative and Cephalopod:

        First. Do away with public schools. When we were an agrarian nation, still forging our way across the continent (yes, killing Indians and buffalo by the thousands along the way) the family unit and the small town were the only way to survive. Those days weren’t perfect, by any means, but it does seem from my reading of history that smaller cultures made for better behavior and tolerance of more independent thought than today’s gigantic institutions, our need — or the pressure to — “fit in,” and a Federal government that has decided how we all should think, feel, and act.

        The “electronic age” that Woodrow Wilson warned us about is also part of the problem. No truth in the general media, so you go to the Internet. And there’s more crap and lies on the Internet than I care to consider. The trick is discerning what’s crap and what isn’t.

        These are only two lame examples, of course. But my son was home-schooled, spends hours on the computer, knows more history/literature/art than any teenager I’ve run across, passed each year’s California Achievement Test (a must for home-schoolers) with flying colors, and when he expresses an opinion can actually support it. This is not a credit to us (his parents), but I think the fact that he (1) was not subjected to the “group-think” of regular school, and (2) found friends on his own he could relate to from a much smaller and very different pool of kids made part of the difference. Also, just to brag, because he’s pretty brilliant, and naturally analytical. (To be completely honest, he’s also a teenager and can be a real pain in the ass…)

        Lincoln was self-educated; “Read” for the law because the law school “business” did not exist. And became a pivotal president and icon in our history. Just another example.

        PS FYI, on most issues my son is fairly conservative; on others, more liberal. What that means to me is that he can actually THINK, and not be a “groupie” for anyone.

        • Congratulations to you, but I don’t trust most parents to school their own kids. Unfortunately, for many children, public school is the only education they can hope to have.

            • Now? Difficult to say. Licensure, perhaps? Make public and private school teachers pass an exam every few years. We require licenses for lawyers, doctors, or even truckers, but not for teachers. What does that say about our priorities?

  5. As the old saying goes…Everyone has a right to their own opinions, but no one has the right to make up their own facts.
    Oprah is just another Al Sharpton and obviously a racist.
    I have seen many people that were not raciest before, but now they have changed their opinions.
    This administration has promoted race problems to the hilt instead of improving matters.

  6. How many ways can I say this? We are a nation of morons, unable to analyze situations and reach our own conclusions. We glom onto celebrities (Hollywood and political) and take what they say as gospel, are too lazy to vet what they say, and allow these people to think they have (1) intelligence; (2) something worth listening to; (3) a real, intellectual reason for their celebrity and “pronouncements.”
    ***************
    Totally agree.
    Ugh.

  7. Don’t forget the part about how Oprah was so concerned about the Zimmerman verdict that she was tweeting about a stupid Wanda Sikes show at the time, and had no clue there was a verdict watch:
    http://twitchy.com/2013/07/14/oprah-apologizes-for-post-zimmerman-verdict-tweets/

    That was then.
    NOW all of a sudden, Trayvon Martin is so very important to her.
    If these racist droolers weren’t so pathetic they would be funny.
    Anybody who listens to or follows Oprah is a freaking idiot.
    We also have her to thank for the nitwit community organizer we have playing president.

  8. When has Oprah ever NOT played fast and loose with the facts? I don’t think she’s an Ethics Dunce, because she nearly always believes the bull**** she spouts on a regular basis.

    We members of the ‘skeptic’ community know how truly dangerous Oprah is… I can’t begin to calculate how many people have suffered because of the weight she gives to complete idiocy.

    • I don’t absolve her of ethical culpability just because she believes her own drivel. If you are listened to and trusted by that many people (which she has actively sought out), you have a non-negotiable ethical duty to research, fact check, and/or find people smarter than you to help do those things. You can’t just keep barging off half-cocked and be forgiven because you truly honestly believed it.

      • I think she has nobody to tell her no.Nobody around her is willing to tell her that she should check her facts, or vet her guests better.

    • If she believes that legally and historically absurd nonsense, then she is unethically ignorant and incompetent, as well as reckless. Someone with her following and assumed credibility must not be that ignorant about the law and history.

      • Oh, I agree that she’s ignorant and incompetent to the point of lack of ethics. I just don’t see this as outside her normal pattern. In the past, she’s sponsored fad diets, ‘alternative’ medicine, supernatural woo, and worst of all, anti-vaccination hysteria with astonishing credulity. Oprah is the equivalent of the wacky cousin who keeps sending you chain emails, but people believe and worship her because she’s on TV.

  9. Just making predictions here about Michelle Obama: She is either going to be a talk show host on Oprah’s network, or, she’s going to replace Barbara Walters on The View. She might even appear on multiple networks as a host of several shows, with her husband making guest appearances.

  10. Lost respect for Oprah a long time ago. I use to watch her as a teen in the 80’s, but haven’t for years. She’s an angry, bitter apologist for a myriad of deviant behavior. She advocates anything opposing Judeo-Christian values and ethics. She was the creator of the sensational, confessional talk show format. Her partisan Obama worship and now blatant race baiting is obscene.

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