Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shut The Fuck Up

It must be something in the liberal/progressive mind that drives them to co-opt any public tragedy in order to personalize it and turn it to their own gain, whether it's political, social, financial, or a combination.

It was disappointing, but not surprising, when Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP weighed in on the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin situation in Sanford, Florida.  They make their money and maintain their political clout by playing the race card at any opportunity.  It's even more hypocritical when so-called celebrities spout off on subjects when they haven't made any effort to educate themselves as to the facts, but instead repeat the accusations and talking points of the race baiters.

These people are well aware that they wield a great deal of influence in the African-American community, and they use that influence to market themselves.  The more attention they can draw to themselves, the more money they can make; and the more controversial the subject, the more attention they stand to gain.

In the wake of the not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial there was an eruption of people marching wearing "We Are Trayvon" hoodies, and demanding "justice".  These marches were fueled in no small part by the number of clueless, uninformed celebrities getting on the bandwagon, in some cases even trying to personalize the shooting of Trayvon to make themselves more "relatable" to the people.

Ebony Magazine has decided to keep the pot boiling by running 4 separate covers, all referencing "We are Trayvon".  Included in the cover shots are director and racial activist Spike Lee and his son, Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade and his sons, and actor Boris Kodjoe and his son.  All wearing hoodies, of course.

Barack Obama said that Trayvon  "could've been me 30 years ago".  No surprise that a former community organizer would take any opportunity to capitalize on a public controversy and link himself to the victim.  It's a cheap and effective way of gathering support and sympathy.

The latest celebrity to wade into this mess is Oprah Winfrey.  In an interview with Nancy O'Dell on Entertainment Tonite, she gave her opinion on the Zimmerman/Martin situation and recounted her trials dealing with racism, as well as with sexism in the male power structure in media.

Give me a break.

If anyone should know better from where they speak, it's Oprah.  Born the dirt poor daughter of a black sharecropper in the segregated 50's south, she rose to become one of the richest women on the planet and the most powerful woman in media.  Her comment on the Trayvon Martin shooting?  "It's the same thing as Emmett Till".  Seriously?  This is an obscene exaggeration and an insult to the memory of a young black man brutalized and murdered in 1955 by white men who (later) bragged about their deed.  For those not up on the history of the civil rights movement, the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 provided much of the impetus for the movement, as well as the legislation that eventually culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  In brief, Emmett Till was abducted, beaten, tortured, killed, and his body tossed into a river with a fan tied around his neck (with barbed wire) for the egregious act of "flirting with" a white woman.  In contrast, Trayvon Martin was shot in self defense while attacking George Zimmerman.  The two situations are in no way comparable.

Oprah certainly knows this; she's not a stupid woman, by any means.  She couldn't have achieved all she has if her thinking was this shallow, her IQ this low.  However, it panders to her audience's demographic and gets her name into the celebrity news cycle.

Also included in the interview was her recounting of how she was racially discriminated against during a recent shopping trip in Switzerland and how she has had to deal with "sexism" in media, telling how, while "no one in their right mind" would ever call her "the N-word" to her face, she could still tell what people were thinking and feeling in meetings with her and that men resented her because "they're used to being in charge".  Please.

Oprah Winfrey, media mogul, billionaire (or is it billionairess?), playing the VICTIM CARD???

Firstly, in the matter in Switzerland, she entered a high-end boutique and asked to look at a handbag.  A $38,000 handbag!  The salesperson demurred, saying she didn't think she could afford it.  Oprah says this was a racist attitude; although, she admits she was not made up as she usually is, and was shopping without her usual entourage, inferring that the salesperson attending to her may not have recognized her (don't you know who I am?).  Apparently, she isn't as big in Switzerland as elsewhere.

Let's be honest, we've all seen those celebrity "expose's" showing just what our favorite stars look like sans the $100/hr makeup artists and hair stylists.  It usually ain't pretty.  Is it really so hard to imagine that a clerk could doubt someone who looks like an "ordinary" person would be able to afford such an extravagance?  Perhaps she was concerned about a snatch & grab?

As for her complaint that she's still dealing with the "glass ceiling"?  No way. She's the most powerful and influential woman in media today, even owning her own network.  She has no ceiling!

The proof that these people don't really concern themselves with true justice is the deafening silence on matters concerning "black on white" violence.  A current example is the vicious beat down of a young 13yro old white kid by 3 much larger, older 15yr old black youths on a school bus (again, in Florida.  What's in the air/water there, anyway?).  They reportedly issued the beating because the younger kid refused to agree to buy drugs and turned them in to school authorities.  The 13yr old suffered two black eyes, multiple bruises, and a broken arm!  All of this was caught on the buses security camera. To date, none of these so-called "African-American leaders" have spoken out denouncing this attack.  I guess, in their view, the kid had it coming?

These people need to all stop, take a deep breath and think before they spout off their nonsense publicly.  Attainment of their level of wealth and influence carries with it an assumption of the duty to exert that influence cautiously, if at all, and to do so only after taking the time and effort to become honestly informed to ALL the facts of a situation.

This goes for everyone with a public platform.  From President Obama, to Senators, to Congresspersons, to professional athletes, to celebrities, to "reverends" & social activists.  If you're only getting involved because you think you need to in order to hold onto your "street cred", if you're only making public statements about controversial issues out of a need to stroke your own ego or to take a perceived enemy down a peg or two, do us all a favor:  SHUT THE FUCK UP!


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