AUDIO VERSION: (For those who prefer to read, the transcript is below though it may differ a bit from the audio version)
The platform was there. The backing was set. She had the stage and the ears to listen to her. They had to listen. What else were they going to do? Where were they going to go even if they did disagree or feel preached to?
Everyone (at least all of the women) were dressed for a message, geared up towards a cause and she had the time given to her with a well-thought-out, pre-written and memorized speech to deliver, well rehearsed and presented. With a rallying-battle cry type yell, she set the fury, tears and some furrowed brows into gear. That woman was Oprah Winfrey, the billionaire who everyone knows, says something and everyone buys it lock, stock and barrel both metaphorically as well as financially. In this case, it sounded more like a campaign style speech, ready for the 2020 Democratic Nominee position for President of The United States of America than it sounded like an acceptance speech for an award. In other words, it’s opened up speculation about that possibility as it covered a number of issues that had people’s ears.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to be Debbie Downer again nor do I hate Oprah by any means of the word. I fully admit that it was a moving speech to say the least about it and her. I applaud her for both it’s writing (which may or may not have been done by her) and its deliverance. It was genius how it flowed from one topic to the other so nicely, completely and gave its audience quite the kick of an ending. It was much like a pep rally speech and it worked. It got people to their feet though, I have no doubt that many of these actresses and actors felt that they had no choice as cameras panned over them. However, full kudos are given to her sincerely here. Well done, Oprah.
Of course, we all know by now though that when Oprah speaks, everyone listens and, in this case, most of the audience were more than ready to hear it, applaud it and give a standing ovation for her well planned words that included a battle-cry style arm in the air, complete with intonation and a yell that was obviously designed to rally troops to the cause.
Sadly, I have also had to say, “me too” on my own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. I’m no stranger to this type of assault as it has happened several times to me by differing situations. I am not alone in that as most women can relate in one way or another but, when I see someone like Oprah, up on stage, totally prepared (as she usually is), words carefully written and rehearsed, I cringed just a bit. They were words. That’s all that they were and they were lapped up and lauded as though Oprah had single-handedly solved the issue of sexual abuse in those words. Fact is, she hadn’t. She’d made a statement that caught a captive audience but, she hasn’t solve a thing for the cause. She’s simply made herself another speech like “everyone gets a new car!” on one of her Christmas shows. The words were said with the same force and sound as those words and, oh yes, a few tears to go along with it which were likely because she had the platform upon which to stand once again as her OWN Network is barely afloat and far fewer people are watching her now or listening to her. Last night’s Golden Globe Awards with news and television coverage got her to this point.
What struck me was that Winfrey was covering so many topics in one fell swoop that it was confusing, to say the least, which of the issues she was attempting to deal with.
Was it poverty?
Was it being Black?
Was it being female and Black?
Was it hard-working people who are also Whites, Reds, Browns and Purple with Pink Polka Dots not just Blacks or, was she simply aiming for Blacks with that speech?
Was it really only about the hot topic at hand? Sexual abuse and misogyny? Or was it a trial at a campaign style rant that may see her running for U.S. President in 2020?
What it wasn’t, was more than a lead-in acceptance speech for the Cecile B. Demille award. Such a shame.
Of course, there was also the same old tired out, worn out jargon about how poor she was, growing up. I could have given that type of speech as I’m sure many others could have done as well, if that was the case. I can’t live up to her billionaire status now but, I could have given the same stories about not having money during her growing years. There are many homeless or near homeless people who could have not only given a better scenario than Oprah’s story but, who could have eaten for a year on the cost of the clothing and jewelry that Winfrey wore to deliver that speech while proclaiming to save the world’s poverty-stricken people with her philanthropy that includes a school in Africa that comes with its own set of controversies and her shares that help her stay wealthy that she bought in Weight Watchers and suits her own purposes of both wealth and weight issues.
There isn’t a thing that Oprah can say that I or others I know can’t say about their own stories. Oprah is not alone in what she endured or has gone through. The one thing that most of us can safely predict or say is that unless we win back-to-back-to-back lotteries, none of us will end up living next-door to her, in a mansion, on vacations, dressed in clothing that could feed a small country for a week such as she can.
This all begs the question of how much Oprah really means and feels towards those who are down-trodden beyond words that she spews out. How much does she really care about the very people she speaks about or, is she in what she’s in because it’s what Oprah wants to do for herself? It’s likely the latter but, I will leave it there because only Winfrey, herself knows but her actions aren’t speaking the same language her words are uttering.
How long will Oprah ride on “The Color Purple” train? She got the role because she wanted it, begged for it and was a virtual unknown on the big screen. Since then, she’s done very little within the movie genre. Anything else that she’s done has been for the same reasons and she’s paid to produce it in order to give herself that opportunity. It’s much like vanity publishing. Don’t feel badly though. She can afford it and not miss a cent of it.
For those of you who think that I am putting her down, jealous of her or want to be like her, you’re wrong. I fully and openly admit that I do give the woman credit for how she got to where she is now. I am somewhat envious of how she did what she did but, then again, I haven’t learned the fine art of deception the way that Oprah has nor, have I learned to swear people to secrecy and sign legal documents to ensure that it stays that way with anyone that she has around her, working for her or even guesting on her shows.
In case you’re wondering, and this came directly from Oprah’s own mouth, the way that she got into the media business was purely accidental. She had gone to pick up some winnings from a radio station one day as a late aged teenager. The staff asked her (at a time when Affirmative Action was in place or being put in place) if she wanted to record her voice as a “test” or for fun. She agreed as a giggly teen would and, as I’m sure most of us would have done. She got the part-time job in the station as possibly, a by-product of the Affirmative Action movement in spite of having absolutely no training, idea or experience within that field. In other words, Oprah had stumbled into and benefitted from that directive and by chance as well as the colour of her skin.
It’s also said that Oprah wasn’t walking around in rags as she has proclaimed for decades. From this author’s understanding, that’s not entirely true. Her mother worked for a wealthy family who gave her expensive style clothing from their own daughter’s wardrobe often as new pieces were added. Oprah was (as one could say) well dressed according to some sources who weren’t sworn to secrecy as a lot of Oprah staffers are legally bound to do.
The rest is history as Oprah made her way to where she sits today on pure determination, begging and knowing what she wanted but, with little to no knowledge to begin with as to how to do that job.
This all leads me to my final thought.
From my little corner of life, it’s possible that we may see Winfrey taking a run at the presidential seat in the next election. If a clown like Trump can win, Oprah can most certainly win. After all, she’d be not only America’s first woman president but, she’d be the first female Black president. As everyone knows, what Oprah wants, Oprah gets and she’s certainly wealthy and influential enough to get there. It will likely all depend upon her network, Weight Watchers and how much money she stands to lose to get there. She’ll be watching Trump to see what having gone for this position as another billionaire, does for and to him first though. Oprah doesn’t have the money that she has now by giving it up for causes. She does research first and knows exactly what she’s getting herself into or can afford to lose and not lose.
One thing more I will give this woman. She’s no longer anyone’s fool when it comes to money and hanging onto it.
Wonder if Stedman has signed the pre-nup type document to live with her? My bet: he has.
Be well. Love and Light
Have a great day or evening.