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Monday, January 21, 2008

No Oprah! You're Supposed to Vote With Your Gender, Not Your Race

I found this article on Times Online

Women turn on ‘traitor’ Oprah Winfrey for backing Barack Obama

Oprah fans leave a barrage of negative messages on her official website in response to the talk show host's support of Obama

AMERICA’S favourite television presenter is paying a painful price for her intervention in the US presidential campaign last month. Oprah Winfrey has been dubbed a “traitor” by some of her female fans for supporting Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton.

Winfrey’s website,, has been flooded with a barrage of abuse since the queen of daytime chat shows joined Obama on a tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in mid-December.

Her intervention was widely credited with broadening Obama’s national appeal - especially among women - and with helping him to an upset victory over Clinton in the first vote of the election year in Iowa.

et a backlash by Clinton supporters appears to have prompted a rethink by Winfrey, the African-American media titan who is routinely described as the most influential woman on television.

She did not reappear in the final days before the New Hampshire primary - which Obama lost to Clinton - and has been absent from the most recent campaigning in South Carolina, which votes next weekend.

Obama aides believe that Winfrey will return to the campaign. Her own staff noted last week that in addition to her daily broadcasts on television and satellite radio, she has also been busy negotiating a multi-million-dollar deal with the Discovery cable network to create her own television channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Yet Obama’s rivals suspect that Winfrey has been startled by the virulent reaction to her previous campaign appearance.

It started with a message on her website entitled “Oprah is a traitor” and rapidly expanded to include several discussions that attracted hundreds of comments.

In the original post, a reader called austaz68 said she “cannot believe that women all over this country are not up in arms over Oprah’s backing of Obama. For the first time in history we actually have a shot at putting a woman in the White House and Oprah backs the black MAN. She’s choosing her race over her gender.”

In a subsequent comment, 2nurselady wrote: “I don’t think Oprah is a ‘traitor’, but I do think she may be alienating a lot of her fans.”

Others have accused Winfrey of racism for siding with Obama when such a well qualified woman as Clinton was running.

Winfrey has built her career on empathising with women’s issues and offering a daily diet of redemption and hope. Her show typically focuses on women who have suffered but survived.

So hostile has the response been that some suspect dirty tricks. “All the rude and hateful messages on here can’t be from Oprah fans,” another visitor noted. “Someone’s campaign (wonder who?) is sabotaging the message boards.”

Winfrey received a rapturous reception when she campaigned with Obama last month. Yet several analysts warned that she might adversely affect his chances.

Steve Ross, a history professor at the University of Southern California, said: “The moment a star opens their mouth and endorses one candidate, they alienate half their viewership.”

It was only a matter of time before the forced race vs. gender paradox hit home with Oprah. What took these crazed idiots so long to attack her? I was expecting a "Down With the Oprah" campaign to converge as soon as Oprah announced her support for Obama.

There are things that I want to understand as an American citizen (who has the right to her independent decisions) and as a Black woman who's seldomly seen as both a Black and woman.

Now why doesn't Oprah have the right to lend support to whom she wishes? Why are these women making the argument that Oprah should've chosen gender or race? Is Oprah not Black and a woman? Why should she have to choose between her race and her gender? Why are these women voting with emotions versus logic in the first place? Why are Black women being told what to do as if we can't make any healthy decisions of our own?

If Oprah were supporting Billary versus Obama, then a large number of the Black community would've been up in arms calling her a race traitor. Absolute nonsense. Black women just can't win.

The Black woman has only a single identity & it's both Black and woman. We shouldn't have to choose to satisfy anyone's self-serving agenda.

I know other women of color go through this forced paradox of being of such and such community and being a woman. You're more than welcome to share your thoughts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post. This is my first time here. I wrote about the same thing today...

Keita Rae bka Hawa