Oprah Slays: but Don’t think you can jump on this Bandwagon!
This is an open letter to those currently supporting the continued and worthy success of Ms Oprah Winfrey being the first black woman in history to receive the prestigious Cecil B. de Mille Award at the Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday.
Me? I'm a black woman; I'm a woman of colour; I'm also known as a brown woman and an African American lady. I'm proud of that and I'm proud that what I'm about to say may shock you because I'm hoping to do just that. Yes, I appreciate the flurry over the #O2020 campaign which is now stating that the public are flirting with the idea of "Oprah for President in 2020." I say "flirting" because I can sense that this hashtag moment is basically a tongue in cheek nod to the fanciful IDEA that a woman of Oprah's background could EVER make it through the racist, sexist, homophobic, patriarchal, KKK-esque minefield
that is American politics.
Every day when I read the comments section on my blog (which I now write anonymously and/or under a number pen-names due to the number of death-threats I receive to my social media accounts, to my family and friends and even my postal mail to my personal home address in Charlottesville (yes, a definitive hotbed of racism in the USA as we know it). (below: A quick flashback to the White Supremacists' Rally in 2017, marching right through my neighbourhood in Charlottesville).
I get that many sincere fans and followers of Oprah from way back are fully aware of how much she struggled to get where she is. I get that now that she is palatably marketable to the mainstream with JUST the right amount of socially acceptable weightloss and some conservative work having been done on her face to keep it tastefully youthful plus JUST the right amount of designer wardrobe, hair, makeup and styling, that she is going to reach a fairly wide and probably well-meaning white audience. (below: Courtesy of NBC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8 )
However, let me assure you that many of those jumping on the #O2020 bandwagon have probably NEVER actually gone out and bought ANY of Oprah's books and have probably NEVER actually sat down and read her whole life-story. For many of those bandwagonesque supporters, I'm sure that Oprah's Golden Globes 2018 speech was probably the FIRST time that they have actually sat down and heard Oprah in full public-speaking mode. If that includes you, right now, let me give you a flashback right here and you can see for yourself that Oprah has been speaking not only articulately but insightfully with an academic slant that goes way beyond her usual daytime TV persona for quite some time: Here, in 2011, accepting her Humanitarian Award: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGWLw_E8IM0
and in 2015 at Variety's Power of Women Ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rfn94k717U
What I want to know is, where were all of those so-called Oprah supporters during the recent peaks of the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Where were all these fabulous commentators during the attacks in my hometown of Charlottesville? So many were silent. However now with the glitz and glam of the Golden Globes and Oprah at her finest, hundreds are basically jumping on the bandwagon that Oprah has spent DECADES to create from her own blood, sweat and tears.
I'm interested to know what you think about that.
N. L. Jones