How does one explain that the one billion dollars you spent on a presidential election got you soundly drubbed by over 100 electoral votes margin? How do you justify the loss of each congressional candidate that was backed by 300 million in ads?

In the most telling of moments of the 2012 election it was hurricane Sandy showed people racism and prejudice is not functional for a forward moving country. Racism exists, prejudice exists, and it exists culturally and institutionally, especially for whites. This polarization runs across race and across class. After the re-election of President Barack Obama tens of thousands have signed petitions to secede from the union, an absurd proposition, but the sentiment that prejudice carries trump common sense. In the midst of this loud and prevalent ignorance some are waking up. Some realize that we cannot longer look at the countries the USA has attacked over the years or will engage in the future and say that they weren’t peppered with racist notions.

Today blacks that graduate with college degrees are twice as unlikely to get hired as their white counterparts. To say that America is racist is not a rhetorical narrative. White America is not prepared to view the world how it is or how it is becoming. They want everyone to think like them, many of them have a stuck in the past mentality. When they are confronted with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-racial society they retreat to what comforts them and politicians and the 24 hours networks give them that comfort.

The media plays it loud, clear and repeatedly that they can go back to a time when half the country wasn’t free, to a time when the natives were being exterminated and their land occupied, to a time when the theft of Mexico’s land was underway, to a time when 4 million where enslaved. How can this narrative be the main one that is played over and over again by journalists, networks or any responsible party, because it is their agenda? And the disillusioned, jaded masses find solace in these and every fringe narrative propagated by the media. Then they present specials on why social media sites are often deluged with racist, sexist and homophobic rants as if the media didn’t bring people on to put it out to the masses.

The sport of politics continues on as the ratings driven media engine and fringe bloggers gently pull the racial heart strings of the prejudice and ill informed masses. In a free country demographics change, times change, but you still loudly heard the chants of “take our country back!’  Networks and commentators echoed these very same chants. Networks sieges on and repeat flawed and absurd narratives even when the rhetoric came from non-credible sources. This repetition not only reinforced this racial psychosis, but allowed people to cling on to racist notions, and live happily every after with ignorant sound bites. In the end, some believed, even subconsciously,  that race was more important that correcting the countries dire economic situation. This belief was and is so strong that some are willing to allow the country to collapse, to not hire people, and to undermine the President.

Politicians don’t have the fortitude to tell their constituents that the country no longer looks like it did when your forefather had power. Instead they fleece and exploit and lie to them to stay in office, to stay relevant. Countless commentators are willing to blow dog whistles and toss red meat as long as networks will give opportunities to commentate.

For liberals, conservative and anyone in-between the entertainment complex contains far too many bad acting participants to name, however, there is a market for hate, racism and prejudice. This market has led its followers, its donors and its noble activist to often be mistaken about the nature of the America’s problems. They become jaded, biased and socially irresponsible, quite simply it’s a sickness. This complex pits one vs. the other, lauds and celebrates party identification even though this identification inherently forces people reject factual narratives and new information. Some people feel as though they are nothing without the party, the party is a part of their identity. It is this party identity that urges people to vote against their and the country’s best interest.

The election is over and for Americans, all the ill will is no longer on the front page, the negativity is no longer blaring 24 hour a day. And on we trudge without so much as an apology, without a hint of remorse, and without a resolution to the sickness. For Americans it’s business as usual and on to the next crisis for the news media, on to the next pundit that seeks only to continue the debate and on to the next election of cruelty. Forward.

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For decades Oprah Winfrey has done many things to help people whether that help came from the Oprah show’s subject matter, giving her audience members cars or opening up a school. It has been said her 2007 endorsement of Barack Obama is what put him over the top in his bid to become president of the United States of America. First let me be clear, I have no problem with Oprah Winfrey at all. Oprah is an amazing woman who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. But what has she done with her power?

In November 2006, male prostitute and masseur Mike Jones said that over the course of three years Evangelical Leader Ted Haggard had paid him to engage in sexual activities and that Haggard had also purchased and used methamphetamine.”I had to expose the hypocrisy. He is in the position of influence of millions of followers, and he’s preaching against gay marriage. But behind everybody’s back he’s doing what he’s preached against.” Jones told ABC News. Oprah has said that she puts people on her show to empower them, so I find it surprising that this “Evangelical” leader has appeared on her show multiple times.

The Oprah show is largely positive, but at times it is a show rife with one-sided opinion, half-thoughts, sexual anxiety, victim hood, mis-truths, and dark vision of sexual relationships. Oprah did not want males at her Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, but still there have been at least two sex and abuse scandals involving the school. Her influence is as real as it is legendary, it is often called “Oprah Effect”.  She referred to Barack Obama as “The One”, in a nod to the Neo character in the movie “The Matrix”.  If Oprah says “Grilled Chicken”, then the next day KFC runs out of grilled chicken, instead of promoting the chicken Oprah’s audience would have been better served if she had held the KFC corporation’s feet to the fire about why they are putting meat and beef in the chicken that they sell. If Oprah says “Steer Clear” of beef, then cattlemen lose 11 million dollars. If she says “I love this book”, or “That’s such a handy product”, then those items will be best sellers. Which all of this power it is surprising to still see her fawn over a celebrity, misrepresent facts and give out advice such as, telling a child to take on a bully with tough body language. This advice from Oprah places the ownness on the one kid against the bullies instead of on the school system and the parents where it belongs. What good is having this much vaunted effect when you aren’t using it to help even the most helpless of us.

The Low Down Show

This show had J.L. King, author of On the Down Low, a gay black man revealing the “Down Low” lifestyle to America. The Down Low lifestyle is one in which men have sex with other men but self-identify as heterosexual. On this show it was said that a Down Low black man “Could be anywhere, ’cause we’re everywhere”. That same year Governor James McGreevy, was found to be living this type of lifestyle. Oprah invited his ex-wife on the show to cry and to promote her book. Somehow Oprahs never made the connection that White Males also lead these “down low” double lives, unless the message is that White Males can’t be on the Down Low?

Rappers

Books that are changing everything

Let’s not even talk rappers, okay let’s talk about Ice Cube.”For the movie ‘Barbershop’ she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn’t invited. Maybe she’s got a problem with hip-hop. She’s had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I’m not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?”  Ice Cube has produce and/or starred in three over the movies she has discussed on her show, but he has never been invited on. Ice Cube’s question has never been answered.

When the rapper Ludacris appeared on her show with fellow cast members to promote the 2004 movie CRASH, (a movies about racial and social tensions) Oprah took Ludacris to task for his rap lyrics. “She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in. Of course, it’s her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor. Initially, I wasn’t even invited on the show.” says Ludacris. “After the taping, she pulled me into a room and we had a five-minute conversation. The feeling I got was that by having rappers on her show, she feels like she’s empowering in them. So it was like being at someone’s house who doesn’t really want you there.I don’t see why she’ll invite Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle on her show and they speak the same language as I do, but since they do it through comedy, I guess that’s acceptable to her.” This would have been the second time Oprah did not invite Ludacris on her show for a movies that she was discussing.

Oprah has had rappers Diddy and Common on her show, both of whom have used what she calls “Degrading”, or “Bad Lyrics” at sometime or another. In an with D.J. Ed Lover, Oprah said “I’ve been accused of not liking hip-hop and that’s just not true.”  That’s what she said, but it sure does seems like it. Perhaps it is a particular kind of rap that confronts issues that she doesn’t want to tackle, or maybe she only likes East Coast rappers.

Ms. Winfrey has never said an unkind word about Eminem, who has the largest reach of any rapper and is also the most misogynist and violent as well. However, Oprah took the time out to say that Snoop Dog’s lyrics were bad and refused to speak to him on the issue. Kanye West was on the Oprah show, Kanye is known for his thought-provoking lyrics, but maybe she forgot about his songs “Golddigger” and “Workout Plan”. Oprah went on the Gayle King show and said that she likes Jay-Z’s lyrics, either you like the lyrics or your don’t. When anyone else in the media speaks like this it is usually called lying, or being hypocritical, I’m just sayin’. Although her disdain of rappers is well documented, recently, she has even been palling around with Jay-Z, in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects no less. “Jay-Z is my new best friend,” Oprah said. Maybe Ms. Winfrey and her staff are unaware of his violent and misogynist lyrics. Apparently Jay-Z has Ninety-Nine problems, but Oprah ain’t one. Whatever the case may be she gains more credibility with her supporters by not having these blacks on. By the way Jay-Z is said to have a deal with Oprah to have a show on her new network.

In life, there are many bullies and they are not all in school, but everyone is afraid of them just the same. Along with worldwide power, you also have a responsibility to make a positive change. That being said Oprah is right. Some rap lyrics are negative, some rap videos have not set very good examples and some rappers have been exploitative, but there are those in the media who have done the exact same things albeit in a different manner. Oprah like many others in the media, Bill O’Reilly included, are quick to point out the obvious wrongs, and slow to highlight the many things that are right.  Oprah as well as O’Reilly have called for clean, positive music and many rappers and singers have answered that call, but neither Oprah or O’Reilly will promote them on their shows either. The so-called bad rappers have a massive base of promotion, so how does the public know that these positive rappers exist if you don’t give them a platform?

Early on in Oprah’s career she had racist come on her show to express their point of view, but she vowed to no longer have then on and since she has went to great lengths to bring on racial uniters. Why not do the same with music? Why not with men in general and with black men in particular? Why indeed Oprah? Why attack the rappers instead of those own these entertainment companies and the individuals who are actually pushing and distributing this music, you have such a problem with, to our youth? Because it is easier to go after the rappers instead of your friends, that’s why.

Now that Oprah is ending her show, we may be seeing an end to the era of “The Oprah Effect” an era where her words and actions are followed, an era where she has set and ended many trends. OWN is launching in 2011 (The Oprah Winfrey Network is a joint venture with Discovery Communications), so in essence she’s on to the next one. Many will rejoice as she seeks to spreads much of her same power to a new era, let’s just hope that the new era isn’t just as one-sided as the last one, an era where it is alright to marginalize people like me, my sons or yours… message.

Part 1

Part 2