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The W - Current Events & Politics - Oprah plays the card?
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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.34
Click Here (cnn.com)

"If it had been Celine Dion or Britney Spears or Barbra Streisand, there is no way they would not be let in that store," a friend of Winfrey's told the Daily News.



She's going to *discuss* this on the air when her filming resumes.

I'm willing to bet that she got a lot nicer reaction than I would have gotten had I try to get in there 15 minutes after closing.

(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 25.6.05 0203)


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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
Just another case of a Hollywood star who throws a fit when things don't go exactly her way. Nothing to see here.



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Last Updated June 23, 2005
DrOp
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Since: 2.1.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.87
A couple of things:

1. Nowhere have I read about Oprah being SO outraged, etc.

2. I will wait until she says something herself before I form a final opinion.

3. Your title is VERY misleading. I don't get "Oprah is playing the race card" (yet) from this story.



Jonny_English
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Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.21
Wow...petulant celebrity AND race card in one handy package....GO OPRAH!
ges7184
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Since: 7.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
    Originally posted by DrOp
    A couple of things:

    1. Nowhere have I read about Oprah being SO outraged, etc.

    2. I will wait until she says something herself before I form a final opinion.

    3. Your title is VERY misleading. I don't get "Oprah is playing the race card" (yet) from this story.


Um, from the very article linked above:

"Harpo Productions spokeswoman Michelle McIntyre said Winfrey "will discuss her 'crash moment' when her show returns from hiatus in September."

"Crash" is a film dealing with race relations. The phrase "crash moment" refers to situations where a party feels discriminated against on the basis of skin color."


Sounds like she's playing the race card to me. Don't know how else to interpret the spokeswoman's statement.



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Since: 20.6.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.54
    Originally posted by CNN article
    The store said the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed. It said Winfrey and her team arrived at a time when "a private PR event was being set up inside."
Far be it for private enterprize to open up AFTER THEY CLOSE for a damn celebrity, no less a black one!

I never liked Oprah Winfrey, and after having read that article, I like her less. THE STORE WAS CLOSED, OPRAH!!!



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Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.22
It's an issue of race and priviledge. If she was Britney Spears, Hermes probably would have stayed open. But only someone as famous and rich as Britney Spears or Oprah would expect a store to remain open just for them (assuming they were actually closed).

And in, hopefully, the only "I can't believe I'm citing the New York Post" moment of my life:



    The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."


I think before anyone claims she's playing the race card, or accuses Hermes of racism, they should wait to hear both sides.





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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
(deleted by Mr. Boffo on 25.6.05 1149)
Jaguar
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
Not only the New York Post, but their gossip column? CNN should be ashamed of putting that in their story.

"Well we're not speculating! These other people are speculating and we're just reporting it to punch up the story!"

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ges7184
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Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
    Originally posted by Leroy
    It's an issue of race and priviledge. If she was Britney Spears, Hermes probably would have stayed open. But only someone as famous and rich as Britney Spears or Oprah would expect a store to remain open just for them (assuming they were actually closed).

    And in, hopefully, the only "I can't believe I'm citing the New York Post" moment of my life:



      The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."


    I think before anyone claims she's playing the race card, or accuses Hermes of racism, they should wait to hear both sides.




Fair enough with your last comment. However, perhaps you should listen to your own advice before throwing out that statement that the store would have been opened for Britney Spears, unless you know Hermes or have some other evidence that leads you to believe that to be the case.



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DrOp
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Since: 2.1.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
I need help understanding why it seems as if whenever a minority expresses his/her perception of an incident as colored by racial differences/experiences/perceptions that is has come to be labeled as "playing the race card."

Now, I would never suggest that people don't sometimes use race inappropriately because that, unfortunately, does happen.

But, if you look at the history of America--issues of Race and Class permeate throughout. We like to preteed and believe that this isn't the case, but sadly it is. The NY Times ran a series on this over the past few weeks which was very intriuging.

I suppose what I am asking that we try to value the perceptions of others that are based on their personal experiences in this country. Unless you have grown up poor, urban/rural, and minority in this country (or lived among people who grew up this way)--how can we realy be sure whether someone is "playing the race card" or not?

I'm sure it would be awesome if all her success could make Oprah's experiences as a AfAm female miraculously go away, but unfortunately--money, class and status do not mitigate race.

When I stand in line at the grocery store--in my dress slack, shirts and shoe---and an elderly woman in front of me turns around and upon seeing me, clutches her purse (which she was not doing prior) or when the gentleman buttons his wallet pocket (again, open beforehand)--I sometimes can not help but think that those actions and choices are feuled by racial perceptions.

I'm not calling those individuals racist--just that it feels as if they are lumping me into a category of Black male (violent, criminal, devious) that based on my appearance, job, education, etc.--That I don't necessarily belong to. That's why situtations like this are so frustrating for a lot of people.

Perception is reality, No? And aren't those perceptions and thier transracial/transcultural collisions what Crash is really about?




ges7184
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Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
I would suggest that when's it Joe Schmoe suggesting that he's been discriminated against, it's one thing. But when it's Oprah fucking Winfrey?!!!!!!! The person that millions and millions of Americans apparently adore, and is one of the richest people in this country because of that fact! The same woman who can point at a book and instantly make it a best-seller. And she's going to make a claim that she's a victim? Even if things went down exactly as being reported, up to the North African comment, is it really THAT big of a deal? I would suggest as far as treatment goes, Oprah is still way on the positive side of that equation! And if there is any truth to the fact that the store was really closed as they say, and her claim to discrimination is that they wouldn't open the store just for her, and she's going to compain about it? Well, yes, that will really irk me.

Look, there will never be a world completely void of racists. It's just not going to happen. We can only eliminate institutional racism, not individual racism. But as long as we create an enviroment where all people have equal opportunity, I think we have succeeded. If the worst racial problems we got going right now is the lack of special treatment as far as store access, and quite frankly, old ladies who grip their purses tight when in the presence of a minority, then I think we are doing pretty good.

(edited by ges7184 on 26.6.05 0928)


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StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.84
    Originally posted by ges7184
    I would suggest that when's it Joe Schmoe suggesting that he's been discriminated against, it's one thing. But when it's Oprah fucking Winfrey?!!!!!!! The person that millions and millions of Americans apparently adore, and is one of the richest people in this country because of that fact!

See DrOp's post above. Or the story about Danny Glover's inability to catch a NY cab. Or the Chris Rock line, "There's a white one-legged bus boy in here that wouldn't trade places with me, and I'm RICH!" Money isn't everything, and it can't change everything.

- StingArmy
DrOp
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Since: 2.1.02

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
See, I tend to think that when Danny Glover can't get a cab that it says WAY more about how the "Average Joe of Color" will be treated than not. If a movie star can't get a cab in NY, do you think I can? The fact that Oprah IS adored by millions and millions and that this happened purportedly in the manner it happened is what makes it SO fascinating.

And yes Ges--the North African comment IS a big deal. Dude--that type of generalization (i.e., projecting the behavior of a few people upon everyone that looks like that person--whether AfAm, Hispanic, Jewish, Homosexual) is dangerous and a huge deal. It may not be a big deal for you--as you are not AfAm and won't be lumped into a category basedon the behavior of others.

For me, this types of actions (IF racially motivated) send off huge red flags in my brain. I, being of color,have to think--THAT can happen to me. When I see the Black guy on the news who got beat by the police and turned out to be college professor during a routine traffic stop--I think "Holy Shit--that could have been me coming home from teaching one of my graduate courses."

I am not suggesting that we should feel sorry for Oprah because she did not get to shop. All I am saying is that status and class do not exempt one from prejudices and inacurate perceptions. It would easy to say "get over it Oprah" but that allows us to too easily ignore the underlying issues that cause people top even view these instances as problems in the first place.



messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.19
I am going to speak as a native Frenchman here.

A) Parisians are the rude people they're characterized as by the world (and unfortunatly, this makes all the French look bad). Much like New Yorkers, they're pretty self-centered and wouldn't open their store late for anyone. That has nothing to do with whether someone is black or white, but simply the big city mindset of "I am important and you are not, now stop bothering me."

B) However, racism is prevlant among the older generation of French (les vieux francais, they're called), many of whom lived during the colonial period. My grandparents, wonderful people otherwise, lived in colonial Gabon and have racist tendencies, and Gabon was treated pretty well as colonies go.

This is changing with the younger generation, but it would not surprise me if there was a racist undertone to this whole story.

And, as Drop said, people can make decisions based on race without being KKK members. We all have some inherent biases that we make decisions on, many times subconciously. I tend to think of Southerners as less intelligent, a tendency I am aware of and work extra hard not to fall prey to. But many people are victim to the false impression that they could not possibly have any biases, and thus do not conciously think about the ones they have when making decisions.

Racism is not only burning crosses on someone's front lawn, it's the jokes we tell, the nervous mannerisms we get when viewing someone of a different race, a decision not to open up a store for someone 15 minutes late that we tell ourselves is not based on race but maybe subconciously could have been. Those are all racist actions that doesn't make us racist, but simply unaware of our racist biases.

All of which is to say, there is way too much subconcious racism left in the world we try to bury, it exists in Paris, this whole story could have definitely involved racism, or it could have been a big-city store owner not caring who is knocking at their door, they by god were closed.





Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Jaguar
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
My personal view here is this: The store wouldn't open for you, Oprah. It wouldn't open for me either, so I don't feel bothered by that. That you can go ahead and get over.

However, if Oprah felt it was racially motivated, then I feel she almost HAS to call attention to it. If one of the world's most powerful black women isn't going to stand up to racist bigots, then who will? If Oprah's gonna back down and let some hateful person get their way, what does that say to everyone else?

So, a part of me will always think, "Is this just some kind of stunt? Is Oprah just blowing the out of proportion to save face or to shame the people at the store?" But if it is true, I'm glad she said something about it. I'm a very easy going kind of guy, and I tend not to call people on their general idiocy in order to avoid needless confrontation, but letting outright racism slide by is only going to allow it to get worse.

-Jag




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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
Messenoir, you bring an interesting perspective. I'd just like to point out that I've heard (not sure how true it is) that France, and indeed Western Europe as a whole, seems to be becoming increasingly xenophobic, in part because of the hatred of the "guest workers" which are moving around because of the policies of the European Union. Boy is that a long sentence. Anyway, my point is that if that's the case, it may not just be the older generation that is annoyed with minorities.



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ShotGunShep
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.91
DROP, I think there is a problem when people LOOK for racism. From your examples, there are plenty of other reasons the lady may have gripped her purse. Maybe she didn't even mean to grip it and you somehow subconciously interperet her movement as defensive.

Racism exists, and when it occurs, it should be called out. But I think a problem exists when something goes wrong and a minority is involved, race is FIRST looked to as the answer.

Too many people get conditioned at an early age to see race has the driving force in our world.

Here is an example from my life. A few years ago I was at a football game and was approached by the younger brother of a friend of mine who happened to be black. He asked me to give him a dollar. I told him no. He immediately responded by calling me a racist.

Now I am not sure if the kid was kidding or not, but even if he was kidding, the thoughts still went into his mind. And those thoughts can grow in angry individuals from joking status to real belief.


DJ FrostyFreeze
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Since: 2.1.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    there are plenty of other reasons the lady may have gripped her purse. Maybe she didn't even mean to grip it and you somehow subconciously interperet her movement as defensive.
I cant speak for DrOp personally, but your alternate explanation of this lady's actions would hold more water with me if that kind of thing didnt happen as often as it does.




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DrOp
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Since: 2.1.02

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
ShotGun-- I personally don't go looking for race.

Here's a question? Can I really play a card that I can't hide? To me, the concept of "playing ANY card" means that the card was previously unknown/unseen/hidden (the proverbial Ace up my sleeve) and drawn out at a opportune time for the wielder. It's not as if I can be Mariah Carey and blend into mainstream white culture with few people questioning my ethnicity.

I am a beleiver that subconsciously and consciously, issues like race and class are inescapable in our country. Everywhere and in everything we are bombarded by packaged images of people and what they represent. For some people race is always present, because, well, it's always present.

I'm brown and male and under 35 and tall and bald all the time. Nothing I can do will change that (and I don't want to cvhange it). Because of how I look and how the images/perceptionso f young AfAm males have been constrcuted, I realize that I am prone to be initially mispreceived. I have seen the shocked look of parents who meet me in person for the first time and realize I am AfAm after speaking to me on the phone and assuming, because of how I speak, that I was white. Are they racist? Of course not. They have (as most of us have) been socialized to think that *most* African Americans speak a certain way. It's very similar, IMO, to the way the southern accent is sometimes perceived to mean that a person has lower intelligence.

Here's another example. Does that ever happen to you? I grew up in the inner city, now I live in the burbs. I work in the city and somtimes, when I am sitting at a crowded corner (you know the kind--ripe with young kids of color standing and milling)-I may realize that I forgot to lock my car doors. One of my initial reactions is to now lock the door. Why? Am I afraid? Do I think I might be carjacked or approached for money? Why do I feel that way?

For me, I have the benefit (if you want to call it that) of being on the other side. I was once the college kid home for the summer, on his way to work, standing at a bus stop and have had individuals incars look over while at a stoplight--see me (with or without others) and lock their car doors. Now, *I* know that I am waiting for a bus to go to work, but they don't. Regardless, it still feels pretty bad to feel instantly precieved to be something you aren't. That's all I'm trying to say. I hope this helps to clarify where I am coming from in my previous posts.




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