The Obligation of Successful Black People

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posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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In another thread, I've been discussing Oprah Winfrey and her success. It's been brought to my attention that some think she should do more to highlight issues that affect black people.

I wonder about this. I mean, she's done SO much to help people without regard to race and I'm sure she has brought issues to the forefront that deal with black people and their issues, but perhaps she hasn't specifically done things to help and further black people and their issues.

To me, I'd much rather see her (or anyone) help people in need regardless of their race, but I wonder... Do you feel that people of color or other minority who become famous or otherwise successful, have an obligation to specifically highlight issues that affect thier race or minority?

If so, how much is enough? Is what Oprah does for people in general enough?

Oprah Winfrey Foundation


Amongst her various philanthropic contributions, she has donated millions of dollars toward providing a better education for students who have merit but no means. She also has developed schools to educate thousands of underserved children internationally and created "The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program," which gives scholarships to students determined to use their education to give back to their communities in the United States and abroad.


Angel Network


To date, Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than $50 million, with 100% of audience donations going to non-profit organizations across the globe. Oprah's Angel Network has helped establish scholarships and schools, support women's shelters and build youth centers and homes—changing the future for people all over the world.

Source

There are many more things she does to help people who need it.

My question is, are Oprah and other successful black people obligated to focus on 'black issues' because they're black?

[edit on 5-12-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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Benevolent,
My last reply was deleted when I sent it, Argh.
Good question.

I don't think it is a healthy attitude to aim ones aid towards a specific group due to ones own race, color, religious back ground, etc.
But it is human, it is part of the way we survive, to preserve those who "look" like us.
Separatism is all too prevalent in our society. Perhaps people have no identity in themselves and they seek it in the "pack".

She does an excellent job btw.
WIS



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
In another thread, I've been discussing Oprah Winfrey and her success. It's been brought to my attention that some think she should do more to highlight issues that affect black people.


You can bet that those calling for her to do more for Black people are the ones who run the charities or have programs specificly aimed at the Black community. Why? Because they're the ones that will be getting the money. If I was in their shoes i'd be doing the same thing.

Oprah is one smart Momma and I don't think she's going to be swayed by what the voices outside are calling for her to do. She's too strong to be played like that.

She is doing what she can with what she has, and i respect the hell out of her for that.



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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I don't think Oprah or any other black celebrities are under any obligation to focus on only "black issues" if they choose not to. Whatever the "color" of a celebrity they still have their own morals and beliefs and what they want to accomplish with their fame.

Maybe Oprah wants to be known as an advocate for all people and not just for one group.

If white or black celebrities choose to be "color-blind" and just help anyone of any race, I think that's okay.



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 09:01 PM
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This is a type of racism pervasive among both blacks and whites.

If blacks don't tow the line of the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton etc., they are made out to be almost pariahs.

It's most evident in poliltics and public life. I brought this up in PTS with statements said about Supreme Court Justice Thomas (Paper: Justice Thomas is Black(*) ). Michael Steele was also targeted as an "oreo."

It's like there's supposed to be only one way to think and act "black".

[edit on 12/5/2006 by djohnsto77]



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 09:01 PM
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Double post glitch

[edit on 12/5/2006 by djohnsto77]



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It's been brought to my attention that some think she should do more to highlight issues that affect black people.

Wow. I'm a little nervous to jump in here, but here goes. This is what I said in another thread


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
I feel like she should do more to highlight issues that affect black people, not like she should do that everyday, but I mean, she is black. I don't know if you've been reading the thread about the police shooting in Queens, but the young 'almost-widow' handled it the way I wish Oprah would. Let me explain. There are issues, like police brutality, that affect mostly people of color. I am not aware of Oprah addressing that on her show. However, if she had re-framed the issue as a 'police problem' as opposed to a 'race/class problem,' a few lives may have been saved. Remember, it was the historical equivalent of 'soccer moms' who got the abolition ball rolling, and the suffrage movement. So, in conclusion, lol, my problem with Oprah is that I don't think she's fully utilizing her platform. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I'm allowed to have an opinion.


So, in response to BH's question,


are Oprah and other successful black people obligated to focus on 'black issues' because they're black?

I never said that Oprah should focus on 'black issues.' The example I used, police brutality, is a serious enough issue that I feel like, any black person with a camera should be talking about it. I understand that other tv personalities, or whatever, may not have as much freedom as she does, in terms of topics covered. So, it falls on her. At least, until blacks own a substantial enough portion of the media to change public opinion, like another former minority group who shall remain nameless.

I'm not telling her what to do with her money, I'm asking for on-air time, once a year. People listen to her.


Originally posted by mrwupy
You can bet that those calling for her to do more for Black people are the ones who run the charities or have programs specificly aimed at the Black community.

Nice, Mr. Love and Light. I'm trying to save lives and you're taking cheap shots.



posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you feel that people of color or other minority who become famous or otherwise successful, have an obligation to specifically highlight issues that affect thier race or minority?

No. I want Oprah to give me a new car.



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 07:49 AM
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HH, Just so you know, I have been wondering about this issue for a while. Although your response about Oprah initiated my starting of this thread, it's not entirely in response to you. I have heard similar statements about other famous black people (and other minorities) and wanted to ask the question in a more general way.

And it's not so much a particular issue, like police brutality, that I'm concerned with. Sure she could probably do more (although she HAS done shows on police brutality), it's the general idea that a black person should address black issues because


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
I mean, she is black.


And my question is should black people feel an obligation to address black issues specifically? Should gay people feel an obligation to address gay issues specifically? OR is it good enough to just be a great philanthropist and help people? If not, why not?

And if the very fact that she's black means that she should address black issues, should white people address 'white issues'?

Please don't be hesitant to jump in. I need your voice. I need your opinion to understand this. Really. You know that even when I disagree with you, I totally respect you.
I don't get the reasoning behind the above quote of yours and I'd like to.



posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you feel that people of color or other minority who become famous or otherwise successful, have an obligation to specifically highlight issues that affect thier race or minority?


Nobody has any 'obligation' to help anyone else. If, from the goodness of her heart, she feels CALLED to help people, then I applaud her. If she feels CALLED to help people of one ethnicity over another ... that's her business.

In my opinion - true charity is color blind.

She can help, or not help, anyone she wants. It's her money. She earned it. She can do as she pleases with it. From what I hear it PLEASES her to help the poor in Africa a whole lot.


Rumor has it that she's a real pain to work for ... but she's definately generous with her money.

edited for spelling error (I can't spell worth beans!
)

[edit on 12/6/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
OR is it good enough to just be a great philanthropist and help people? [my emphasis]

The thing about philanthropy is, if you really mean it and aren't just doing it to avoid some taxes, it's never "good enough". There are always going to be impoverished people, oppressed people, hungry people, etc.



And if the very fact that she's black means that she should address black issues, should white people address 'white issues'?

Don't they?

I mean, doesn't everybody? The people who give to the ASPCA do it because they love animals. The people who give to children's charities care about kids. Nobody doesn't care about babies and puppies, so there's usually not a whole lot of drama surrounding those groups.

OTOH, there are charitable organizations that draw a little controversy, like Gay Men's Health Crisis and the United Negro College Fund, because a good number of Americans don't like blacks and gays for whatever reason.

So, yes, members of those groups who have managed to overcome those 'cultural obstacles,' for lack of a better term, should feel an obligation to help those who haven't been so fortunate.



You know that even when I disagree with you, I totally respect you.


I know, and that's why we get along so swimmingly.


edit for clarification

[edit on 8-12-2006 by HarlemHottie]





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