Oprah, rodeo clowns and faux racism
By Neal Larson
You’ve probably never heard of Oprah Winfrey, who has been so racially oppressed that she’s been consigned to a life of poverty and relative obscurity. But in case you have heard of her, you might be aware of her recent trip to a high-end shop in Switzerland where, she says, a customer assistant steered her away from a $38,000 alligator skin handbag toward a more affordable alternative. Oprah, convinced every misunderstanding and poorly-handled situation is rooted in hatred for black people, pointed out this great injustice in a recent television interview.
Never mind Oprah, while shopping, was dressed casually, and that her network does not air in Switzerland. It probably doesn’t compute for Oprah, but there are actually people, other than the Amish and North Koreans, who have never heard of or seen her. (Oh, the horror.) It never occurred to her that an average-looking shopper (like her) probably wouldn’t be buying that particular handbag, regardless of race. When pressed with this possibility, Oprah seemed to back away from her original accusations that the incident was undoubtedly racial. Her only expression of regret was disingenuous, though, apologizing not for her premature assumption, only for the situation getting “blown up”.
Pardon me for pointing out the obvious, but I doubt anyone who can unhesitatingly afford a $38,000 handbag is really being kept down by much of anything. Oprah, on her own merits, has risen to great heights. When that happens there are just some accusations of oppression that must be relinquished.
Meanwhile, at the Missouri State Fair, a rodeo clown wearing a Barack Obama mask has been permanently banned from working at the fair, after the announcer worked the crowd up into cheering for a bull to run after the Obama effigy. The announcer and the rodeo president are now gone from the picture, too. Now, rodeo clowns everywhere must undergo sensitivity training. Because we all know THAT’s going to work.
The race-obsessed on the left have predictably cited this as a case of unquestionable racism. I probably could have told the rodeo clown before he put the mask on it was a bad idea. He apparently didn’t understand “the rules”. The rules that say any criticism or mockery of Obama — especially if it involves his image — is clear racism. A Nixon mask, not racial. A Reagan mask, not racial. Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43 masks — not racial. (Perhaps we need a psychological exploration of why we have no Carter masks, but anyway.)
However, you put on an Obama mask and it may as well be a white hood.
The left, who look under every rock to find something to be offended about, were also indignant at the implied harm to the President. Somehow these people were oddly silent when liberal radio talkers Mike Malloy discussed, and Randi Rhodes joked about, killing George W. Bush. Nor did they seem concerned when the British mockumentary “Death of a President” depicted the assassination of Dubya. No outrage or demands for resignation when all that happened. In the name of free speech, the left defends a crucifix in urine and ridicules the consequent offended Christians, yet stirs up an international outrage and demands sensitivity training and government investigations when President Obama’s made fun of at a stinking rodeo. Oh, the stench of hypocrisy. Worse yet, perhaps it’s NOT hypocrisy. Maybe Barack Obama is actually more sacred to them than Jesus Christ.
I had hoped five years ago, Obama’s election would be a clear message that America had put many of its racial challenges in the past. Nope. It’s only getting worse, thanks to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and now Oprah Winfrey, and the other ever-so-predictable racism-mill operators.
Faux racism seems to be everywhere, and it’s not even a good imitation of real racism. Al Sharpton’s brand of racism is pleather — easily identified as counterfeit upon close inspection. Problem is, too many people aren’t closely inspecting, and after a quick glance from a distance they are duped into thinking Trayvon Martin’s shooting, a mask at a rodeo, and the sale of an expensive handbag are tantamount to lynchings and cross burnings, when absolutely no evidence exists to suggest it.
Hopefully someday everyone of all colors will see the sick industry run by Sharpton and the rest, which thrives on fomenting division, even creating racism out of nothing. The sad and unrealized truth, is that blacks and other minorities will always feel inferior when a perceived leader is always calling them a victim. Equals are not perpetually coddled by their peers.
And the last thing Al Sharpton wants for black people, is for them to feel equal. He’s making way too much money on their feelings of victimhood, opression, and inadequacy to let that happen.
Neal Larson of Idaho Falls is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. His email address is email@example.com.