On Oprah 2020
I want to start this article by saying: OPRAH OWES YOU NOTHING. She doesn’t owe your mother anything. She doesn’t owe your father anything. She doesn’t owe this country anything. SHE OWES US NOTHING. That’s the bottom line of this article. Get it through your skull.
On Sunday night, Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Cecile B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes in honor of her lifetime achievement as an actress, a producer, a philthanthropist, and an all around badass woman. She also became the first Black Woman to receive this award, making it an even more important an occasion. While I would have preferred having another Black woman present the award to her, I liked what Reese Witherspoon had to say about Oprah the Goddess.
Oprah took the stage, in all of her ethereal light, to deliver a rousing speech that had everyone standing on their feet and two seconds away from catching the Holy Spirit. There were Black women standing in the crowd with their hands clasped to their chests and nodding their heads with tears in their eyes. It was powerful. It was everything. It was Oprah.
Now, if you had never heard an Oprah speech at all in your life before now, then you may have thought this was a Black woman’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. The heavens may have opened for you. You could see clearly now that the rain is gone. Everything seemed like it was going to be okay because you had found a savior. Someone to lead you through the valley of the shadow of death and out of the hell hole that we’ve been living in as Americans. You had found your next presidential candidate for 2020.
The next morning, headlines raged about the possibility of Oprah 2020. People were debating about whether she should run or not and if she would be a good president. I saw so many irrelevant arguments such as, “If she promotes and funds people like Dr. Oz, Iyanla, and Dr. Phil, can you imagine what her cabinet choices would look like?” Do you see the cabinet in the White House now? What does your own social circle look like? Guaranteed, you have some questionable folks in your inner circle, and I know none of them padded your pockets like those three have done for Oprah. So, shut your mouth.
I finally decided to mute the word “Oprah” from my timeline because I became frustrated by the fact that a beautiful speech with a powerful message was completely diminished by the fictitious hypothetical race. Furthermore, whose to say that Oprah wants to run in the first damn place?
A few months back, I had this exact debate with an over privileged white male colleague. He was insistent that Oprah was the best candidate for 2020. She had a proven humanitarian record, she was a great businesswoman, and nobody would say anything bad about her because our country, collectively, would shame any person who dared to say anything negative about her. When I asked him why she would abandon her billions of dollars, beautiful orchard full of fresh fruits and vegetables, and front page covers of O Magazine to run this country, he said that she had a moral obligation to do so. I was so startled by his vehement answer that I didn’t know what to say.
It’s clear now that many people, mostly white people, think like he does. They believe that Oprah has a moral obligation and/or a patriotic duty to fix the things that they have helped to fuck up in this country. My response to this is simple: go fuck yourself.
Oprah owes us nothing, and neither do black women as a whole. Why should we ask Oprah to run for political office when you can’t bother to stand up for black women in your own neighborhoods, schools, churches, or workplaces? Half of these people wouldn’t piss on us if we were on fire, but you expect us to save you? You don’t say our names when we’re killed or sexually abused and forgotten. You don’t make attempts to understand us and instead choose to label us as angry black women, hoodrats, or difficult. You don’t care about us, but you expect us to fix the system, which you broke, because it’s starting to hurt you when we’ve been hurting for years? Furthermore, where was this moral obligation to save the country when people went to the polls in 2016?
More and more, Black women, collectively, are refusing to live in a world that continues to use their backs to build up the success of others. Becoming the president of a country that is resistant to change would actually be a step down for Oprah. She has neither the time nor the energy to deal with all of America’s bullshit. I would never wish that for her, or any other black women, to be the president of this country. You don’t deserve us. We all know that America would drag our names through the mud, call us every bad name in the dictionary, and critique everything about us, from the food that we eat and the clothes that we wear, to the way we breath. We would get blamed for every little thing, including if you ran out of Frosted Flakes at breakfast that morning.
If you’re looking for a savior, look elsewhere. Black women are doing it for themselves now. Oprah has an empire to continue to building, fruits to continue growing, magazine covers to continue slaying, and bread to continue eating. She already said that she would never run for president so this is a moot conversation anyway. Leave her alone, and stop asking black women to save you when you can’t be bothered to save your own damn selves.