Oprah: Just Because You’re Not Racist Doesn’t Mean You’re Not a Racist

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


oprah-butler-premiereOprah Winfrey is a cultural mover and shaker. That much is clear after her historically inaccurate film The Butler, which portrays Ronald Reagan as a doddering racist and ignores the legacy of bigotry of Southern Democrats, finished first last week at the box office. Seventy-two percent of those who went to see the film cited Oprah’s participation as a factor in favor of their buying a ticket. Sadly, Oprah has used that power to push a false racial narrative directly at odds with the racial narrative pushed by The Butler.

First, The Butler’s racial narrative. The movie, as Oprah has said, begins with a lynching in 1926 and ends with President Barack Obama in the White House. The notion is that Obama marks the culmination of a centuries-long movement toward equality for blacks in America, a popular perspective that largely explains Obama’s election in 2008.

Then there’s Oprah’s actual racial narrative. In her view, President Obama remains an exception to a broader racist rule. Trayvon Martin, Oprah says, is just today’s Emmitt Till, murdered in 1955 by the Ku Klux Klan. So what if racism in America is at an all-time low? So what if the vast majority of Americans are not only not racist, but actively anti-racist? That’s not enough for Oprah. “A lot of people think if they think they’re not using the n-word themselves, they physically aren’t using the n-word themselves, and do not harbor ill will towards black people that it’s not racist,” she said in a comment that is as challenged syntactically as it is intellectually.

This is paranoia of the highest sort. And it is absolutely crippling to America’s future. If a huge number of Americans believe that racism that is not present in action nonetheless lurks beneath the surface of our life, waiting to burst forth in a conflagration of hate such as that which allegedly claimed Trayvon, there can be no shared future.

But many on the left, including Oprah, apparently don’t want a shared future. They want emotional blackmail. The corollary to the belief that racism hides in the nooks and crannies of the white personality is the belief that the only way to expunge such racism by embracing the philosophy of people like Oprah. If you see The Butler, you’re buying a racial indulgence; if you vote Obama, you’re buying a racial indulgence. Lee Daniels, director of The Butler, told CBS News that white extras cried during the filming of the movie. Presumably, in his view, that meant they were not racist. But what about all the Americans who will never shed tears over The Butler? How will they demonstrate their non-racism, even if there has never been a shred of evidence that they are in fact racist?

That seems to be the perspective not just of many black Americans like Oprah and Daniels, but the perspective of many in various minority communities. For example, in California, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law declaring that transgender children must be allowed to enter bathrooms of their choice and join sports teams of their choice. The idea here is that this will minimize bullying, as though most Americans bear children with gender identity issues some sort of ill will. The truth is far simpler: Americans have a right to worry that their children will feel uncomfortable in a bathroom next to someone of the opposite sex, no matter what that person believes him or herself to be. That’s not wrong. That’s normal. But the onus has now been placed on children without gender identity issues to explain why they feel uncomfortable at the urinal next to a girl, even if they’ve never bullied a transgender child.

That’s nasty. More than that, it’s an attempt to shape values by implying that everyone is in need of having their fundamental racism, sexism, homophobia overcome by government action.  Americans have nothing left to discuss. America is now a country where whites are often perceived as racist until proven innocent. And the only way to prove yourself innocent is to perform acts approved by the leftist establishment.

None of this helps black Americans. All it does is perpetuate power for those who divide us in pursuit of political gain. Hillary Clinton, who has begun touring the country invoking the supposed racism of voter ID supporters, is merely the latest race hustler to attempt this pernicious trick. Unfortunately, it seems to work. And that means that Oprah’s racial narrative is far more influential than The Butler’s.

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  • Craig Robinson

    Is Oprah trying to make her hair as fat as her ass?? Racism will never die. Oprah, Sharpton, and Jackson live off this crap and continually fuel the fire. The only reason your president isn’t respected is because he’s a lying Kenyan muslim piece of shit. Not a racist statement, JUST A FACT.

  • Jake Pannel

    Oprah has it wrong….she is the racist because she only voted for him because he’s black.

  • Craig Robinson

    Hey Oprah, if you think FAT HAIR has a slimming effect, you misjudged the size of your butt.

  • Jah See

    No, they’re not. Do these look like towel heads to you? These are sheep – you know, who Libertarians like Andrew Napolitano and Alex Jones, speak so woefully about; those who would so intertwine God and State while thumping their chests, shouting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” All while the Bible is invoked by the government to strip your liberties.

  • Jane

    No – I choose my beliefs and you may in turn choose yours however, you have no need to disparage those that believe in Christ.

  • Jax

    Whites are racist until proven innocent… I’ve never done anything remotely racist. If i can be blamed for what the “whites did” in the past, then should black people be held accountable for anything someone black has ever done. truth be told, every race has murderers, kidnappers, perverts, you name it. should anyone be labeled as something they didnt do? Racism is SO pointless. its bitter hatred is all it is. racism is ugly in all colors people, not just white, and not even just against black people. In my eyes, everyones innocent until proven guilty. If i dont like you, i have a better reason than simply the color of ones skin.

  • OldSchoolHistory

    Yeah, because it’s about black people. That monkey ought to see if she make a billion dollars bitching about waaaycism in Africa.

    The concept of -isms is nothing but a bunch of nonsense anyway, and these self-centered nutjobs are rather sickening.

    I guess there’s a huge White-on-Black crime wave going on that constitutes full-on terrorism (since we have antiwhite terrorism as a state-sanctioned policy in the USSA).

    Give me all your crumpets! Please.