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.

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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 can even be 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 know that because of the amount of hair on my face that there is zero chance that I will be on Oprah’s show. That being the case, I have no problem with Oprah at all. Oprah Winfrey is an amazing woman who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.

The Oprah show is largely positive, but at times it is a show of sexual anxiety, victim hood, exploitation, and dark vision of sexual relationships. Strong positive Black Men are almost non-existent on Oprah’s show. On Friday, Oprah has a live show of weekly recaps and talks about current events in a round table type of atmosphere. On Friday Jul 9, 2010 a riot broke out in Oakland California, over the police shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant, a black man, that same day Oprah was on her show eerily saying “Huuugh Jaaackmannn… I love his butt.”

What is the Message?

On Friday, March 6 of 2009 Oprah had an intervention show for Rihanna, where she famously said “If a man hits you once, he will hit you again“, in a reference to the recent altercation between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. Many of the singers acquaintances and friends spoke out on the issue. However, Oprah, at the time, did not know Rihanna and this show was done more than a month later. Chris Brown said that since he knew Oprah and had done shows for her, that he thought that she would at least lend a helping hand and not parade him through the mud. When Bebe Winans was accused to domestic abuse Oprah didn’t cancel his appearance on her show until public protect demanded it. No one is trying to defending Chris “Fake Tears” Brown, but Oprah’s message wasn’t really directed to Rihanna, was it?

The people she supports usually sit next to her, while the opposite opinion often sit in the front row of the audience waiting to be called upon When Oprah was in Africa she said “I will not rest until every black boy and black girl has a chance to prove their worth.”, then she opened up a school for girls only.

On Friday , July 16 2010 on the Gayle King show, in referring to Mel Gibson’s tapped conversations with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, Oprah stated “Most men in America speak to their women like Mel Gibson.” She can only know this if she has her own Talk Show Patriot Act and she might.

On an episode with Lance Armstrong, Oprah said “I never got married because I just wanted to always be myself.” Every relationship is a risk and marriage is supposed to be an partnership between individuals.

One episode stated that 70% black women are single. Seriously, is this a fact or a feeling?

Another Oprah show said that 1 out of 3 men are cheaters. This may be a correct statement, but Oprah’s shows somehow make it seem that these “Cheaters” are cheating alone, or as if the person they cheat with never knew that they were married. Raise your hand if you really think that the women Tiger Wood’s cheated with didn’t know that he was married. Tiger was dragged through the mud and rightly so, but the “Home Wreckers” are still being celebrated.


Shows like: “Men who have beaten Women”, “7 ways to end violence” and “Red Flags” are only offered to make viewers believe that Men are the beginning and end any violent act. Many claim that her shows are about empowerment, but do shows like “Wish Away Cancer”,  “A Lunchtime Face-Lift”, “Turn Back The Clock”, “Thin Your Thighs”, “Cure Menopause!”, “Erase Wrinkles”, “Banish Obesity”, really empower anything other than ratings?

You are probably saying “He’s hatin’”, or more likely “what’s the big deal. It’s just a talk show.” Oprah is the most powerful woman in media. Her show is seen in countries all over the world. So if she is constantly presenting misinformation, and one-sided opinions of males, black men in particular, then the question has to be asked; is she aiding in the racism and abuse that black men face on a daily basis? It is her show, she doesn’t have to be fair, nor does she have to be balanced, but if this is considered normal then America is not a mentally healthy nation. Men and Women are to be valued. Men are as much a part of the equation as women are. What kind of answer to do you get when you only solve half of an equation?


For decades Americans have accepted marginalization of individuals and groups, and here is where Oprah is no different. Oprah Winfrey as well as others have, perhaps unwittingly, taught the youth of America that in some respects that it is okay to mistreat someone if you can claim victim hood. These types of cycles persist in America because many of the root causes are not exposed and addressed; they are ignored, distorted, or deflected. Perhaps we all should be taking the lyrics of Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” song to heart. In order for our nation society, in order for nation to grow everyone needs to have value. Now more than ever Americans need equality not superiority and you can put that in your Fat Wagon and pull it.

By the way Oprah telling Barbara Walters that you wished you were white is nothing to be proud about.

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