As Oprah Winfrey gave her “inspiring” speech that sparked many to believe a presidential run is in her near future, the internet lit up reminding us of some of the horrible things she’s said in the past.
Winfrey said in part, “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
In an interview with BBC from 2013, Winfrey was asked by Will Gompertz about racism and how it has changed over generations.
She responded by saying that it has “gotten better,” leading Gompertz to ask, “Are you saying problem solved?”
Winfrey responded, “I’m saying problem not solved. I’m saying that, you know, that’s the beauty of a film like ‘The Butler,’ and it’s the beauty of a film like ’12 Years a Slave,’ and it’s the beauty of what we’re seeing on stage with Scottsboro Boys is that it allows people to see where the root of the problem started. It allows people to see, ‘Oh, that’s where it all started, this is how far we’ve come, and now this is how much farther we need to go.’”
“As long as there are people who still — there’s a whole generation — I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid, South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, for my own community in the South — there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”
The context of Oprah’s statement is clear – old white people need to die in order to solve racism. The meaning of what she said cannot be taken any other way.
WATCH (comment starts at 2:20):
The 59-year-old added that President Obama was treated with disrespect because of the color of his skin and said she feels fortunate to have been born after segregation ended in the U.S.