Really, Oprah? Seriously?
In the mind of Oprah Winfrey, the Trayvon Martin shooting was the “same thing” as the killing of Emmett Till. Trayvon Martin was shot while beating a man’s head against the concrete. Emmett Till was so brutally beaten to death by (real) racists – for simply talking to a white girl – that his face was unrecognizable.
First, a bit of background on Emmett. Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was savagely beaten to death in Mississippi at the age of 14, after he allegedly flirted with a white girl. Emmett’s mother insisted that post-murder photos of her son’s horrifically disfigured face be released to the press – to show the world what had been done to her son – based solely on the color of his skin.
I chose not to publish those images in this post. If you are so inclined, you can view them here.
Now, let’s get back to Oprah. Shame on you. As is the case with all of the other Trayvon Martin comments made by respected “leaders” in the black community, one of two things happened here. Either your comments were terribly misinformed – or you had an agenda – and knew exactly what you were doing. Only you can truly know which of those options is true. Here’s what you said:
“It’s so easy during these times – Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin – parallel to Emmett Till. Let me just tell you. IN MY MIND – SAME THING.
Um, you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we’ve come. Look at how far we’ve come.”
Like I said, shame on Oprah. For two reasons. Like Obama, Oprah Winfrey does her best to not only play to black Americans, but to play to (liberal) white Americans as well (as opposed to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Lewis Farrakhan and Malik Zulu Shabazz, who are only interested in race-baiting). As a result, her comments were meant to placate both demographic groups.
But, as soon as she, a:) made the comparison to Emmett Till, and, b:) said, “In my mind – same thing,” she completely lost me. Anything she could’ve said after the “um” part was irrelevant. And, guess what? She should’ve alienated every other fair-minded American. However – and unfortunately – I’d bet she lost very few black Americans who heard her comments – which, I suspect, was exactly what she intended.
Again, shame on you, Oprah, shame on you.