A Tale of Two Lenses

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Oprah WinfreyTwo stories hit the news this past week that made headlines on Drudge, Fox, MSNBC and the morning show Live with Kelly and Michael. On one side we heard a story of racism, oppression, and bigotry, and on the other we had profiling, misunderstanding and humor. In both cases people of status and wealth were treated in a manner contrary to their status in our society. The difference was how they reacted.

Oprah Winfrey has been a household name for most of my adult life. I remember watching her as she battled weight gain, weight loss, and personal demons which she masterfully turned into healing for herself and millions of viewers. A woman driven to overcome a childhood of poverty and sexual abuse, she rose to become one of the richest women in the world. She is no longer referred to as a person, but a “brand”. I have the utmost respect for Oprah Winfrey as a person, a woman, a proprietress, and an African-American who endured racism and bigotry during some of the most turbulent times of our history during the Civil Rights era of the 60’s. Her view of the world is through a lens I, as a white American woman, cannot fathom, and out of respect for her I would never even try.

Jase Robertson is a white male in his early 40’s living in Louisiana with his family and one of the stars of the reality hit show, “Duck Dynasty”. He appears to be down to earth, devoted to his family and has a wicked sense of humor about himself, his family, and his background. He did not suffer from racism or abuse that we know of. He seems to be the kind of guy who is pretty content wherever he is…whether it’s the woods of Louisiana or the streets of New York City.

Oprah, who even after leaving her very successful daytime talk show, remains driven to achieve, has recently been in the headlines as she pushes her new movie, “The Butler”. During an interview she recounted an event in Zürich where she believes a saleswoman in a boutique refused to show her a handbag because of the color of her skin. In Winfrey’s account, the woman profiled her due to race and assumed she could not afford the handbag and refused to show it to her. The saleswoman tells a different story. This isn’t Oprah’s first encounter where she claims racism when she isn’t served by a retail store. Oprah told a similar story in 2005 when she was refused entry into a Hermes store in France. Oprah accused the store of discrimination after they refused her and her entourage entry into the store during her visit. Of course the store was closed for the day and they weren’t allowing anyone in to shop, but Oprah’s spokesperson was, nevertheless, quoted as saying, “What does Hermes mean in French? Ku Klux Klan?” I can’t relate to this kind of frustration, Wal-Mart is open 24 hours in some areas, but then I see the world through a different lens.

Jase Robertson and his family are currently the talk of the land. To say their show is a hit is an understatement. Their popularity leads to talk of one of the brothers running for political office. Their season premier broke all previous records for a cable show, and they are currently in New York City promoting Duck Dynasty. As Jase and his wife went to check into their hotel, Jase asked an employee of the hotel where the bathroom facilities were located. The employee, mistaking Jase for a homeless person, escorted him outside and pointed down the street and wished him luck. Jase circled back around into the hotel and reunited with his wife who asked him what happened. Jase retells the story with a smile and says he was “facially profiled”. All of the Robertson’s sport long ZZ Top type beards and dress like they are ready for the next big duck hunt. Jase understands he dresses, acts, and talks different from native New Yorker’s. Jase also understands the hotel employee probably didn’t recognize him and made a mistake. Jase chooses not to be offended, but instead looks at the entire incident with humor and humility. In Jase’s words, “He just didn’t know”. It wasn’t racism, bigotry, hatred, or elitism. It was called “being human”. Jase and the entire Robertson family understand the true meaning of loving your neighbor, which in a nutshell means you don’t attack with name calling, slandering, and defaming simply because you have been slighted. It means treating people the way you would want to be treated. Jase understands people make mistakes and those mistakes rarely reach the level of institutional racism. Jase looks at world through a lens of forgiveness and humility.

Oprah, on the other hand, chooses to look at the world through a lens of race and elitism. She wouldn’t even allow the saleswoman to apologize for any misunderstanding; forgiveness is not an act she will allow since it would diminish her rage and her righteousness. Instead of even considering the possibility of a misunderstanding, Oprah simply dismissed the story she created and said she was sorry she even mentioned the city she was visiting. But the story was out there, people’s lives were changed, and whether the events occurred as Oprah said they did or not, the damage to the shop, the saleswoman, and to whites in general was done, in other words, a “drive by” as only an elite, wealthy, “brand” like Oprah could do.
So we have a choice in our lives and the choice is a daily battle within each of us. The choice is to choose our lens. Do we see every offense as an attack on our integrity, our heritage, and our race, or do we see the daily assault as an opportunity to love our neighbor? Take an honest look at the Robertson’s and Oprah Winfrey and you tell me who is living abundantly.

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  1. disqus_2AF1QOhOSp says

    You can tell a true Christian by the way they react to circumstances. God bless the Robertsons for their ability to be gracious. It is a gift from God.

  2. bahndon says

    The BIG “O” lost me when she started bringing other beliefs on the show saying they all worship the same god, and all will go to heaven.

  3. DOUG says

    to hell with them all,I can not force myself to have any respect or “TRUST” for there whole race any more,can’t trust them,there dangerous animals.

  4. Wayne Ogilvy says

    Oprah, I would trade you your discrimination accusations because of your color for the rear end whoopings I took in school as a white kid in east St. Louis any day ! And I still don’t hate you because of your skin color ! You celebrities still do not understand what MLK Jr meant when he said judge a person by their character not by the color of their skin do you ?

    1. Big_Jake says

      The race baiters (Obama. Oprah, Holder, Sharpton, Jackson, and their tap dancing, under the table, paid monkeys in the mainstream press) quote MLK every chance they get (when it profits them) but it’s all lip service and NOTHING else. MLK would be considered “too white” or “not black enough”, (like Dr. Benjamin Carson) were he alive today. Race baiting keeps their wallets fat and their names on the front page. The truth is, they unashamedly put MLK and human decency on one side of “the scales” while putting their notoriety and agenda fed bank accounts on the other. And low and behold, SURPRISE! Later Martin, your sensible social/racial views and opinions won’t foot the bill for the lifestyle they feel they’re entitled to live.

      1. Wayne Ogilvy says

        You are correct Big Jake, And I agree with you about Dr Carson, Also Allen West, Herman Cain, The list speaking of American blacks { cause according to obama & co we gotta keep it about race } goes on and on . There are so many intelligent black American’s out there speaking up about our problems but the MSM just ignores them because they can’t stir up problems and make money from the truth. God bless America and America bless GOD !!

  5. cowboybobmt says

    you can take the O out of the Hood…but you can’t take the Hood out of the O…

  6. Robert says

    It is damn hard to play the race card when you are a billionaire.

  7. Aristophanes says

    Really shows the difference between people with class (the Robertsons) and no class (oprah). I was not watching Duck Dynasty until several people said it was a good show and funny (the funny got me), so I started watching it. I love the values these people have and the love for family and the jokes they play on each other. You can tell the Robertson boys were raised with old fashion American values. I respect the Robertsons, have no respect for oprah. I stopped watching her show many years ago when it became obvious to me that she was a racist. I do disagree with the author about her statement re the Robertsons have never known discrimination. I will bet every time they go near a city or an expensive restaurant that they are discriminated against. Profiling is not done on blacks alone.

  8. Big_Jake says

    I’m so sorry Miss Oprah has ever been hurt in any way, I truly am. As a matter of fact I’m sorry ANY human being has EVER been hurt in ANY way. But my being sorry isn’t going to change the fact that this is a cruel world. ALL of us have experienced hateful and damaging events, moments that change us, shaping the way we view life and other human beings for the remainder of our lives. Some CHOOSE to move beyond those experiences and the residual fallout associated with them, and do their level best to view an individual’s character as being an honest measure of their worth. Some don’t. As a matter of fact some CHOOSE to use racial differences as the cornerstone of their careers. My wife accurately calls them s##t disturbers. They profit as long as the “pot” is being “stirred”. What sticks in my craw is that Oprah can, will and does, look squarely into the lens of a camera and chastise us all for our shortcomings and will immediately turn right around and do THE VERY SAME THING herself. All the while expecting us to blindly allow her two-facedness because she’s a minority as well as a celebrity. The reality Miss Oprah, is that even in 2013, some of us still don’t buy the load you’re shoveling. Get yourself straightened out before you stand upon your “media soapbox” and attempt to straighten us out. Examine your OWN heart. Then maybe your will see it’s better to climb down from your soapbox and join the HUMAN race than it is to continue playing the self imagined “QUEEN OF PONTIFICATION”. Or as the Robertson’s might say, “git yer own ducks in a row before ya git in the blind”. We could all use another “shooter”. Aren’t there already enough self promoting race baiters out there? Are you listening Miss Oprah? Or does your pride and preconceived racial prejudice prevent you from listening?

  9. CountryBoy says

    Excellant article……. Oprah needs to READ it……..

    1. Marina Shear says

      Even if she did, she’d probably just laugh at it with her brown-nosing staff.

      1. Big_Jake says

        Maybe, but there’s always that time of day when it’s just Oprah, the ceiling, and God above. Don’t tell me she doesn’t know how absolutely synthetic she is and that her entire money/self centric empire is merely a morally bankrupt, house of cards. There will be a judgement for ALL of us. Oprah knows it, she knows it all too well. Even Oprah can’t buy off the Almighty.

  10. bungicord says

    Typical Obama black. whine about racist abuse whenever you don’t get your way. Op and Ob both overbearing tantrum throwing niggas.

  11. libertycall says

    Oprah should be ashamed of herself. She has always been treated with respect by her mostly white audience and guests. So where is her beef? I think she’s jumped on the Obama bandwagon and she may find herself receiving the same treatment as him as his commie wife when people with integrity and intelligence regain control of this country.

  12. richardcancemi says

    Nice spanking for Oprah; she needs it!

  13. Mike Young says

    Even as wealthy as Oprah Winfrey is, she will never have Class, Respect, or Dignity, as these traits are earned, not just given away, and Oprah Winfrey has never earned Respect.

  14. bill says

    Oprah is now in competition for the Race-Baiter “commander in chief” along with rev. Al…

  15. gac says

    I never thought of Oprah as a classy woman anyway. All of the Duck Dynasty crew seem to be people of faith and dignity. I would bet they are Republican to boot.

    1. Marina Shear says

      Well, conservative anyway.

      1. gac says

        Well, Yeah. Something other than democrat as “conservative” and “democrat” don’t mix. Kinda like oil and water.


    Put DD in the White House manning ALL the important offices and run the incumbents out on rails. Seems like IMPEACHMENT is not gonna happen–time for a coup!

    1. Ron Tall says

      Dumb, dee, dee, dumb, dumb, dumb….

      lol.. Holy crap are you nutters out there.

  17. disqus_3m4UdlqpRd says

    Then there is the forgotten minority of WHITES who spent their childhood in the 1960’s and 1970’s being the victims of racial profiling, racial hatred, and racial violence from groups of blacks seeking excuses to carry out violent crimes. As young white males aged 10, 11, and 13, I and my siblings were thrust into the public school system from a Christian private school in the south as part of the US Government’s failed forced integration experiment when our family ran out of tuition money. We went from a 3 block walk to school (and btw there was another public school 4 blocks away) and bussed across town to inner city schools where the classroom ratio was approx 30 blacks to 2 whites. The other white person in my class was female who while didnt get beatings was consistently the brunt of sexual and other harassment, especially those who marveled at her “like corn silk” hair. For quite some time, until our parents finally understood the scope of the danger, we were the recipients of unprovoked regular beatings for just being white, from groups of dozens of older blacks who would hang out near and on the campus. These groups were comprised of older blacks not part of the student body albeit that was another story altogether. The schools’ teachers, administrators, and police NEVER once appeared to intervene, probably out of fear for their own jobs, lives, and families. Dunno. All I know was they were never around when the beatings happened. The final straw came when my oldest brother was dragged from the school campus across the street to a vacant lot where a group of at least 50 blacks jumped him, beat and kicked him and according to the driver who witnessed the event and saved my brother, would not stop. This driver, a lady with a handgun, drove her car onto the lot, threatened to shoot, and pulled my brother into the car. We are sure she saved his life. He remained hospitalized in serious condition for about a week with a broken eye socket, concussion, broken ribs and punctured lung, with most of the damage done from kicking (assault with a deadly weapon btw) while he was on the ground. After that incident, my family moved out of the city to suburbs where the forced bussing was reversed, bringing some blacks from the inner city into the mostly white school. Not once did I ever see anyone beat or call names to any of these blacks, nor were there groups of whites hanging out with the purpose of criminal violence. Unfortunately, these events as a child shape who we are and if I was in the same situation as the Duck Dynasty Star, I doubt I would have been able to laugh off the actions of the hotel staff. Blacks tend to stereotype all middle aged white males as prejudiced, and never having to been the victims of racial profiling or racial violence. That short sightedness would without a doubt leave anyone in a group bent on committing violent acts and deciding to attack me or my family members very surprised and unhappy at the least. Childhood events shape who we are and Okra needs to realize her precious African race were/are not the only victims of racism in America.

    1. Garden_Goddess says

      Thanks for telling it like it is. Blacks were bussed to my highschool located in an upscale area of Dallas. A friend of mine was attacked in the bathroom by 5 black girls. Another had her head bashed in when a black girl (showing off to her “friends”) decided to hit a white girl. My hair was pulled by a black girl who shouted “Everyone, this is a WHITE girl”. I did nothing to provoke this confrontation. I was ahead of her and her group in the hallway. One year after the blacks were bussed to my highschool, graffiti was spray painted all over the front of the high school, toilets were ripped out, windows were broken and equipment was stolen. One of the white girls became pregnant and was suspended. There were at least 15 black girls who were allowed to keep coming even though they were about to give birth right there in the hallways. Yeah, Okra is so abused. Give me a break.

    2. IHateLibs says

      They Still DO. Any excuse is a GOOD Excuse to RIOT for the sake of RIOTING. Then STEAL anything they get their teeny tiny Ghetto NI66ER FINGERS on

      1. f8tule says

        gee, i thought the riots were because they needed new televisions and washing machines and the like

      2. disqus_2AF1QOhOSp says

        You are absolutely right! I was married to a bi-racial man for 6 years and was spat on by black women. When my husband took me to meet his family, they asked him why he married a white woman. Today, there is still so much racial hatred perpetrated by blacks. Book out called White Girl Bleed a Lot. Too bad the lamestream media, even Fox doesn’t call this to the attention of viewers. I’m afraid to go shopping in Indy because of all the violence.

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