Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good-Bye Oprah Show: Maybe I Won't Have to Hear Black Men Complain About Oprah So Much Anymore

I added this video of the 300 Morehouse men, Oprah crying, and interview with Morehouse president on May 26. Dr. Franklin says that Oprah believes it's cheaper to educate than incarcerate and that since the airing of the Morehouse graduates paying tribute to Oprah and people learning that these men are paying their scholarships forward, donations have poured in.

I confess that I have watched all of Oprah's Farewell Season, and I will be buying the DVD set as soon as it's released. And yes, I cried watching the celebrity celebration on Monday and Tuesday, as did my aunts. My mother would have been crying with us had she been alive to witness the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The Morehouse men segment of yesterday's show moved me the most and that may be because over the years I've had to listen to some black men who seem to hate Oprah and see her as some kind of threat to black male/female relationships or black masculinity. I've told some of these men in the past that Oprah's probably done more to help black men than they realize.

Tyler Perry spoke during the Morehouse scholarships segment and said of Oprah, "You've often said that when you educate a black man, you empower families, you empower sons and daughters and you change generations." So, who has a problem with that?

The men brought Oprah to tears and I'm glad her producers decided to include it in the show. (See video above added May 26. The president of Morehouse said they pitched the idea to Oprah's producers.)

Indifference toward Oprah is understandable. Different strokes for different folks, but I've discovered that hating Oprah is another thing entirely. From what I've observed, when people truly hate Oprah or intensely object to her success, the reason they give for that hostility usually reveals more about a sense of inadequacy they battle within themselves than it does about any aspect of Oprah herself. I have yet to meet a black man, for instance, who has an intense disrespect or dislike of Oprah that did not also prove to have a problem with women in general and successful or strong-willed black women in particular that also reared its head in his personal life.

In addition, some women who dislike Oprah intensely ultimately reveal an envy of her money and success. If it's not the success issue, then their dislike usually boils down to one show they saw where Oprah agreed with a guest that said something that struck a nerve with the woman and made her feel like she was doing something wrong with her life or that she should face up to something that happened in her past, such as abuse. In that case, they hate Oprah in that way of shooting the messenger.

Again. I'm not talking about people who say simply Oprah's not their cup of tea, meaning she just doesn't interest them at all. I'm talking about people who spit out nothing but venom when you mention Oprah's name. Venom indicates a deeper issue. However, there are other people who don't hate her that much but have strong opinions.

For example there are people who dislike Oprah based on principle alone. One woman told me, "No one should have that much power!" I laughed because she implied there is something inherently evil about anyone who has enormous influence. In that case, I knew I was talking to a natural skeptic. She didn't hate Oprah. She just didn't trust her. She probably doesn't trust a lot of people and concepts. Those who think like her don't spew venom, just ice water. And they're right to warn us not to follow anyone blindly, even Oprah.

So, today is the last show. Oprah produced it. Who knows what she has up her sleeve. Perhaps some gift for her staff will be included and what she knows for sure. Whatever's coming, I'll be watching.

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