Oprah Attacked By Fans After Calling Out The Benefits Of Whiteness In America
Does a Black billionaire still deal with racism? Money may make life easier but it doesn’t shield you from racism. Still, fans attacked Oprah Winfrey online when she called out the benefits of whiteness in America.
Some labeled Winfrey a “fraud” because of her wealth. This dustup came after the media mogul broadcast the latest installment of her Apple TV+ series, “The Oprah Conversation,” featuring former NFL star and race activist Emmanuel Acho.
The 66-year-old Winfrey spoke with Acho, 29, who hosts the web series “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,” during the two-part episode about race. The program included a segment inviting non-Black viewers to ask difficult questions about racism and white privilege, The New York Post reported.
“Not all white people have power,” said one guest. “There’s plenty of poor, working-class white people. But I think that when we group all of white people together and we don’t recognize the fact that there’s a lot of white people that struggle, and it’s a different struggle as you mentioned because they’re not streaming upstream let’s call it …”
The guest continued, “I think that if we’re gonna come together and really attack racism and the inequities that are in this country and are in this world, that it’s important not to group all white people.”
Winfrey responded, “There are white people who are not as powerful as the system of white people — the caste system that’s been put in place. But they still, no matter where they are on the rung or ladder of success, they still have their whiteness.”
The veteran broadcaster also said white people have a “leg up.”
“You still have your whiteness. That’s what the term ‘white privilege’ is. It means that whiteness still gives you an advantage, no matter,” she said.
The backlash to Winfrey’s words was swift.
“Why is Oprah, maybe the richest black woman in the world, trying to shame white people as privileged? Miss Winfrey, you are the personification of WHITE PRIVILEGE!,” tweeted Irene Armendariz-Jackson, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas.
Columnist Wayne Depree, tweeted, “Billionaire Oprah is now shaming white people for all their ‘easy success’ in life.”
Winfrey is currently worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Meanwhile, conservative media head Todd Starnes said, “I pray for the day that America becomes a nation where someone like Oprah will be able to become a billionaire.”
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Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted out against Winfrey as well, Fox News reported. He wrote: “Billionaire Oprah lectures the rest of us. What utter, racist BS.”
But Cruz’s tweet also got pushback, including from NPR TV critic Eric Deggans.
“The fact that some Black people have found success despite systemic disadvantage, doesn’t mean the disadvantage doesn’t exist,” Deggans tweeted. “I’d say those who succeed have a responsibility to point out problems they overcame.’