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:
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.