posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:34 PM
Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about racism. After the Micheal "Kramer" Richards' incident wherein he used the "N" - word, I
think that I am not alone. But I have been thinking about all aspects of racism; language, culture and stereotypes.
Calling Oprah "a white middle aged woman" is or can be considered as being racist. In my opinion is this comment is racist because Oprah is
clearly not a middle-aged white woman. Rapper "50 Cent's" intent in calling Oprah a middle aged white woman was to, somehow, "put Oprah
down." The comment was meant to create 'separation' -- not for her color, not for being a woman, and not necessarily even because she is
middle-aged. "50 Cent's" was a "slam" against the image that Oprah presents. Yes there was a perceived racist intent....but I question even
this intent and, therefore, whether this "racist statement" was indeed racist or anything more than a publicity stunt.
I view Oprah as a woman first. Her show, after all, is demographically aimed at women. The fact that Oprah is black has had a tremendous influence,
I believe, in removing many barriers between blacks and whites and, in particular, black and white women. Oprah helped dissolve the stereotypical
delineation between black and white women by demonstrating their inherent similarities as women, as humans. The "differences" necessary for racism
to exist seem to pale against the common needs, hopes and dreams of women regardless of color. Oprah is almost an Icon of sorts among women of any
race within a particular age grouping and within the black community as a "model" or "ideal" of what can be achieved through ambition,
perseverance and work. After all, the black community has it's "role models" but few outside of sports and fewer still are those who have not
What was the motive behind "50 Cent's" comment? I think that the motive was nothing more than because of commercial interests. "50 Cent" has a
vested interest in maintaining the "gangsta" image. This image was carefully crafted to attract teens and young adults to appeal to the
"rebellious nature of adolescents". The image attracts the audience and then that audience is bombarded with merchandise from CDs to clothing.
This is how "50 Cent" and other Rappers make their money. These rappers, once they "make it big" have to maintain that image for as long as
possible --- to eke out every dollar that they can. Then, "Like Ice Tea" and "Ice Cube", if they are lucky, they can evolve. They can mutate
their image and their talents into other genres of entertainment or else they will fade away into "musical" obscurity.
Calling Oprah "anything" was nothing more than a statement meant to raise controversy, attract attention and to help "50 Cent" maintain and/or
build his image as a gangsta...but don't be too surprised if, in a year or so, we happen to see him on Oprah's show. Hell, they might even hug and
kiss and then cook some "chitlin's" together.