Oprah Winfrey’s conception of what constitutes racism is strangely egocentric.
An assistant at a designer store in Switzerland did not recognize her andignored her, so Winfrey assumed with her worldwide fame the incident reflected a racist attitude from the clerk. Winfrey related the incident when she spoketo Entertainment Tonight about Paula Deen’s recent loss of work following her admission that she had used the N-word.
Winfrey said of Deen, whose home she had stayed at when she interviewed her for Oprah’s Next Chapter show, “In the very first days I tried to reach her and then I decided to stay out of it as I saw it blowing up. In time she will be fine. For me, it all just felt kind of sad.”
Winfrey said that once the brouhaha settles down from Deen’s admission, there could be a real conversation about racism.
It shows up for me if I’m in a boardroom or situations where I’m the only woman or I’m the only African American person within a hundred mile radius. I cansee in the energy of the people there, they don’t sense that I should be holding one of those seats. I can sense that. I can never tell, “Is itracism? Is it sexism?
It might be egocentrism.