Black Spin exposes the latest bit of race commentary in the media. Writer Erica Jong, notable for her column in The Huffington Post and her book Fear of Flying penns “Oprah, Kitty and Me” in promotion of Kitty Kelley’s unauthorized biography, Oprah. Jong writes:
“Oprah seems to have gotten more mistrustful with fame, not less. And she seems to have gotten more race conscious than she was when she was younger. You never felt that Oprah was a professional Negro. She seemed totally unaware of race — but what do I know about being black?”
Jong’s usage of the term, “professional Negro” presents a fascinating notion on alleged “race card playing” or “black grievance.” Seems Jong is claiming Oprah didn’t bother with excessive race talk when the two ladies were friends.
But Jong doesn’t stop there:
“I believe that racism is far from extinguished in the world — despite the celebration that greeted the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Racism lurks in our country and all over the world. But people who have transcended prejudice have a special obligation not to carry grudges. After all, grudges hurt the grudge-holder most. We also have a responsibility to set a good example by not holding grudgers.”
What’s problematic for me is while “Oprah, Kitty and Me” should be a review of Kelley’s new book, it falls into an over-analytical hybrid of “post-black” theory and pathological industry jealously.
Excluding Jong’s rather transparent resentment of Oprah, let’s get back to this idea of “transcending prejudice”. Does Oprah escape racial prejudice? Is this really possible?
Photo Source: AP/Mary Altaffer