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Thread: Oprah

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    PWS
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    Re: Oprah

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Just because people have had WORSE things happen to them doesn't mean that Shania didn't have a horrible reaction to her situation. It's all relative and everyone handles stress and hardship differently. I don't fault her for going on TV, writing a book, trying to revive her music career, whatever. Honestly, what other skills does she have?

    I had a friend who was like Penelope from the SNL sketches. If I'd only had 4 hours of sleep, well she'd only had 2! I would finally have to say, "Well, okay, but I'm still very tired." One doesn't cancel out the other. Pain is pain and we all handle it differently.

    I watched part of the Freedom Riders episode and found myself rolling my eyes at Oprah and her hyperbole. Yes, these are incredibly brave people who did things that SO many people wouldn't have dreamed of doing at that time. They are absolutely heroes. I teared up several times over the 45 minutes of the show that I saw. However, at the beginning of the episode, in voice over, Oprah said something about how without those people, our country would be completely different. Well, no. Maybe the time table would have been different, but other people would have stood up and the changes would have come. Sometimes, when Oprah's trying to be sincere, she comes off as incredibly fake and patronizing.
    I didn't see the show so I don't know exactly how OTT Oprah was, but I have to say that, having been in college that summer, in my opinion the Freedom Riders did make a HUGE difference. I hope that eventually things might have improved for African Americans even without their work, but I think it would have taken decades more...and we certainly wouldn't have Obama as President without them (whether you like him or not, I'm sure you can agree that's a significant event for our country). It was like they dropped a bomb on a complacent society, by sending those middle class white kids from the North into that extremely segregated world....and because they were there the cameras were there to see what happened not only to them but to the blacks who were with them. Fire hoses, dogs biting, beatings of non-resisting people, the murder a little later of people trying to register voters (I remember their bodies were found the day I left on my honeymoon). It really opened people's eyes. I"m not saying the North was any wonderland, but the South in those days...just wow. And things changed legally incredibly fast....I still recall the 2 sets of water fountains in the airport in Birmingham...and you could see the screw holes where they had removed the white and colored signs. But none of that change would have happened if the Freedom Riders hadn't stirred things up. They made it a "story" and gave people hope that protest would work and produce change. The mother of my sig. other lived in "Bombingham", as we called it then, and was one of the "planted whites" at a lunch counter sit in... a white woman who would NOT make a fuss if a black person sat next to her... and I know her husband, while supporting her, was really worried that they'd have a cross burnt. She would never have been doing that if the FR had not taken place. Not that year, and probably not for another 20 or 30 at the rate things were NOT changing in the South.
    I don't mean to imply they were the only people working on this... obviously people had been working on civil rights issues for ages....but the pace of change was just glacial. The Freedom Ride(s) really helped to speed things up and open (white) people's eyes. Mine among them... a college friend of mine went, and I had NO idea what she was doing or why before she left. Not that I disagreed, I just was like, huh? What?
    OK, off my soap box and back to Oprah....so has she finished with the reruns now and into new shows? I saw the soap opera one being advertised and remembered that even though I don't watch her all that often I'd seen that one a number of years ago.

  2. #1542
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Oprah

    No, I totally agree with you that the Freedom Riders made a HUGE difference. My point was that Oprah made it sound like if those specific people hadn't done what they did, Jim Crow Laws would still be in effect. Rather than saying, "What these people did changed the face of our country" she said something like "Without these people, our country would be very different." Two totally different statements, IMO, the second one implying that ONLY those specific people could have done what they did and without them, the change would not have happened. My point was, that wave was coming and if it wasn't those specific people, it would have been others stepping up. It's probably just me being annoyed with Oprah's over-dramatizing of everything. Oprah seems to have an almost pathological need to place herself in the middle of history all the time, complete with stirring music and dramatic lighting.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

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    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: Oprah

    Well, she IS on a successful television show, you know. You just can't do those shows in a flat manner. Also, Oprah is addressing this period of history like a black woman whose future was strongly affected by what was done then and still continues to be affected by those happenings. I see her as paying homage to the path-pavers. I don't think that you can give them TOO much credit; a lot was sacrificed, done, and learned.

    I have no idea from which perspective you are opining, but it's obvious that Oprah doesn't take this history for granted.

    PWS....impressive post and insight!
    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

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    Re: Oprah

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Just because people have had WORSE things happen to them doesn't mean that Shania didn't have a horrible reaction to her situation. It's all relative and everyone handles stress and hardship differently. I don't fault her for going on TV, writing a book, trying to revive her music career, whatever. Honestly, what other skills does she have?

    I had a friend who was like Penelope from the SNL sketches. If I'd only had 4 hours of sleep, well she'd only had 2! I would finally have to say, "Well, okay, but I'm still very tired." One doesn't cancel out the other. Pain is pain and we all handle it differently.
    I agree with you. I think you missunderstood me. The only thing I was saying was that it doesn't interest me as far as reading her book or watching her show. She is one of many with a story to tell. And yes, of course, all is relative. I said that, too.

  5. #1545
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    Re: Oprah

    I thought the Freedom Riders show was very powerful. I cried at several points during the show. I'm 53 so it was happening when I was too young to know what was going on, but now, it touches me deeply.
    Count your blessings!

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    Re: Oprah

    I saw just a bit of the show. I have it recorded and will watch later. I have so much to watch now. I have recorded all the Oprah shows and the Behind The Scenes shows and have not had time to watch many of them. Plus, I recorded some shows on her network such as the Judds and Shania Twain. Did anyone see that? I caught a little bit when she and her sister went to her parent's grave. I'll comment more after I watch all of it.

    REF. the Freedom Riders. Does anyone watch Mad Men? A season or two ago, they had that in one of their storylines.

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    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Oprah

    When you say the wave was coming, Crit, you have no idea how right you are.

    I grew up white in the deep South where certain things were carved in stone: black people were simply inferior; frequently childlike; irresponsible; undependable when not being micro-managed; intellectually inferior; promisicuous; excelling only in music and dance (this was before the professional sports ephiphany).

    These judgments prevailed, even though black people were 80% of my town's population. Even though they were given enormous responsibility in terms of caring for children who were not their own, teaching in their own schools, preaching (with divinity degrees) in their own churches, and providing goods and services that were ESSENTIAL to the local economy. The local cusine was created by them several centuries before their descendats were cooking and serving it to us in our homes and restaurants. Yet, they would not dream of trying to make a dinner reservation. Or sitting in a real seat in a movie theater. Or checking into a motel on a road trip.

    My parochial grade and high schools were "white only." My Girl Scout troop, 4-H club, and junior sports leagues were, too. I was not permitted to play with the black girls my age, and not permitted to visit their homes. I never questioned this. It was the norm.

    I started watching the evening news when I was 12 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Talk about ephiphanies! When the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 I was 14. We watched as groups of white adults in our town banded together to prevent black citizens from registering to vote. On our black & white TVs we watched a church burning in Birmingham, and saw the pictures of 7 little black girls who died in that fire. We watched as peaceful protesters had dogs and firehoses set upon them. And it was like we were watching and waiting for everything to blow up and CHANGE. It was coming and we could not wait for it to happen.

    Almost everyone I knew was shaken awake by these events, and with the staggering truth of the injustices we had become inured to (and helped to perpetuate). We were forever changed in that era of civil rights and the Freedom Riders were a very important part of it. So were Dr. King, the Kennedy brothers, and Lyndon Johnson. They all helped to bring that tide in.
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

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    FORT Fogey Debb70's Avatar
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    Re: Oprah

    Very interesting Poppy Fields. Did you grow up in LA?

    I grew up in NC in the 1960's and 1970's. It took a long time for things to become integrated in the schools. Brown vs. The Board of Eduation was in 1958, but my school was not integrated until 1971!

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    Re: Oprah

    I'm so annoyed that Oprah's shows aren't available online or OnDemand. I missed the Chaz Bono episode and really wanted to see it. Maybe they'll re-run it this summer.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    Re: Oprah

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    No, I totally agree with you that the Freedom Riders made a HUGE difference. My point was that Oprah made it sound like if those specific people hadn't done what they did, Jim Crow Laws would still be in effect. Rather than saying, "What these people did changed the face of our country" she said something like "Without these people, our country would be very different." Two totally different statements, IMO, the second one implying that ONLY those specific people could have done what they did and without them, the change would not have happened. My point was, that wave was coming and if it wasn't those specific people, it would have been others stepping up. It's probably just me being annoyed with Oprah's over-dramatizing of everything. Oprah seems to have an almost pathological need to place herself in the middle of history all the time, complete with stirring music and dramatic lighting.
    But the show was about "THESE PEOPLE" and what THEY DID. Not what-ifs.
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