America cannot achieve “restoration” unless the nation acknowledges “racial injustice” and a “betrayal” of black Americans, said billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey in the most recent episode of her eponymous Apple TV series, The Oprah Winfrey Conversation.
The episode featured Winfrey’s interview Bryan Stevenson, a graduate of Harvard Law School and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization with a focus on “racial justice.” Stevenson repeatedly described America as a nation plagued by an “ideology of white supremacy.”
My experience over the years interviewing so many hundreds of people over all kinds of dysfunctional circumstances and experiences, what I learned from that is that nobody gets to move forward — if your husband betrayed you, if your sister-in-law betrayed you, if your mother [or] your father betrayed [you] — nobody can move forward in their own personal [lives] … nobody can move forward until there is some acknowledgement, some spoken, a claim to the fact that, “I did that, and I am sorry.”
So, I mean, what is true in the micro is obviously true in the macro, and I’m wondering how do you think that acknowledgement of what has been done in this country in terms of racial injustice — beginning with slavery — how should that be acknowledged? Is it reparations? What is it? How does it show itself?
“Restoration” requires governmental acceptance of what Winfrey called “systemic racism.”
“As long as you live in a country where even administrators — people who are in charge of our government — don’t believe that there is systemic racism, I don’t know how you have restoration,” Winfrey claimed.
Winfrey repeatedly described the death of George Floyd as a racially-motivated murder, using the terms “modern-day lynching” and “public lynching.”
“It seems that many white Americans are learning and also acknowledging for the first time how profoundly different life is for them than black Americans,” said Winfrey, praising whites who ask, “What can I do to change myself?”
Both Winfrey and Stevenson described protesters supporting Black Lives Matter as a source of “hope” for America’s future.
“I want to know — with hope being the superpower, watching all of those protesters of different races, backgrounds, people from the suburbs bringing their children out and marching for Black Lives Matter — does this time feel different and more hopeful than any other time in the past?” Winfrey asked.
“Absolutely,” replied Stevenson. He highlighted corporate financial support for Black Lives Matter as evidence of national moral progress. “Even from five or six years ago, if you said, ‘black lives matter, people looked at you like there was something wrong with you. Here we are now, you’ve got major corporations putting up signs that say, ‘black lives matter.'”
“Colin Kaepernick was demonized and kicked out of the NFL for taking a knee. Now you’ve got corporate executives taking knees in front of their whole staff. So this moment does feel different, and I think it’s because we’ve always known we have a horrific race problem in this country. Everybody knows it,” Stevenson continued. “It’s been there for everyone to see, and I think people are beginning to recognize that we can’t hide from it any longer. We’ve got to deal with it. It’s not going to go away . Our whole society will be undermined, compromised, maybe even destroyed if we don’t have the courage to tell the truth about our history.”
“It seems that many white Americans are learning and also acknowledging for the first time how profoundly different life is for them than black Americans. As long as you live in a country where even administrators — people who are in charge of our government — don’t believe that there is systemic racism. I don’t know how you have restoration.” Stevenson continued. “With hope being the superpower, watching all of those protesters of different races, backgrounds, people from the suburbs bringing their children out and marching for Black Lives Matter, does this time feel different and more hopeful than any other time in the past?”
Left-wing and Democrat calls to “defund the police” should not be taken literally, concluded Winfrey.
“Defunding the police actually means allowing the police to do what police are supposed to be doing so that the police are there when you call 911, and they aren’t out helping somebody who’s homeless,” said Winfrey.
All four episodes of The Oprah Conversation, thus far, have focused on what Winfrey describes as “racial injustice.” In the first episode, she described “whiteness” as a sociological advantage benefiting white people at the expense of non-whites. She also guided white guests of the show in combating their “unconscious” racial biases. Winfrey later described “whiteness” as a “weapon” occasionally used by white people against non-whites in the series’ second episode.