Yesterday, a clip of Oprah Winfrey canvassing for the Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams was released. The charming video went viral almost instantly, with most people commending the billionaire mega-celebrity for using her time to encourage Americans to get out the vote ahead of next week’s midterm election.
Perhaps not surprisingly, not everyone was thrilled with Oprah’s civic engagement. In particular, far-right and increasingly unhinged Fox News host Laura Ingraham launched an attack on Oprah. Last night, on The Ingraham Angle she accused her of race-baiting, reports The Hill.
The incredible hypocrisy of Ingraham, who has flirted with white nationalism and lamented the changing “demographics” of America caused by immigration, accusing anyone of race-baiting, let alone a Black female activist like Oprah, was doubtlessly lost on Ingraham’s bigoted viewers.
And what were the horrible race-baiting comments that Oprah supposedly delivered? She dared to speak honestly about Georgia’s history of white on black, racially motivated violence. Speaking at a campaign event for Abrams, Oprah spoke of her relationship with the state’s darker legacy.
“I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right, for the equality at the polls. And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain,” said Oprah.
Oprah: "I'm here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated … for the right, for the equality at the polls. And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/mWMwTjIeok
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 1, 2018
Ingraham zeroed in on these comments, sprinkling in her usual condescension and ignorance and serving it all up to her viewers in on steaming brew of barely concealed hatred.
“Gotta hand it to Oprah, she’s a great speaker, but I kinda liked her better when she was giving away Toyotas and refrigerators. To try to tie the candidacy of Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp to the scourge of racism, even lynchings? Come on, Oprah. It’s dehumanizing, it’s completely baseless, it’s totally cruel,” said Ingraham.
“And I say this, to Oprah Winfrey: How is this living our best life now? This kind of broad-brush race-baiting desensitizes us to the real racists out there,” she added.
Ingraham is correct that there are “real racists” out there, but what she failed to mention is that her beloved president is one of them and, judging by the tenor of a lot of her segments lately, so is Ingraham.
Trump and Fox News have inflamed racial strife in this country, so for Ingraham to insist that racism has nothing to do with GOP politics is deeply dishonest. Oprah’s comments were perfectly reasonable and made in good faith. Ingraham’s, as always, were not.