Kulture by Joshua Eferighe January 11, 2018
The Golden Globes are not usually known for making headlines as it’s just the appetizer to the awards season but this past Sunday at the 75th annual Golden Globes, things went a little different.
For starters, many were sporting black to empower and show support for women’s voices in the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, so there was already a different energy about this particular ceremony.
Upon receiving the Cecil B. deMille Award, an honor that celebrates contributions to entertainment, the queen of daytime television and first African-American woman billionaire, gave a speech that was so stirring, it was almost… presidential.
Back when she was at the height of her legendary career it was a fact said that whenever Oprah spoke, people listened and Sunday night was no different.
Those who were in attendance gave a prolonged standing ovation while those at home rushed to Twitter shower her with praises.
Switched back to the Golden Globes to watch Oprah get her award. Never let it be said that I don’t respect the president of the United States.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) January 8, 2018
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 8, 2018
That’s when it dawned on me: the Trump effect goes far beyond the oval office, he’s completely reshaped how we view the position of president forever.
This is no dig at Oprah, to say she’s one of the most accomplished living Americans is an understatement and she has more than enough resources to make it a race. But to be so inclined to resort to talk show hosts after what we’re experiencing under a reality show star, does not speak well to how we regard our public service offices.
What’s even scarier is that she’s seriously entertaining it.
President Trump: "Yeah, I'll beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well … I like Oprah. I don't think she's going to run." pic.twitter.com/GPBk9eaGcZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 9, 2018
Monday, two of her “close friends” told CNN she was “actively thinking about it” and Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham told the LA Times:
“She would absolutely do it.”
The idea that Oprah is the one that will get white women (53% of whom voted for Trump) to come across the aisle to dethrone Trump is inconceivable. Furthermore, many Black women feel that the call for their help is insulting when issues concerning them remain at the back of lawmakers’ minds.
April Rains, who coined the successful #OscarsSoWhite campaign, pointed out such the night of the awards:
“Stop begging strong Black women to be president: Michelle, Oprah, whatever. It’s weird. And Lord knows when Black women try to lead, y’all attempt to silence and erase us. So how would that work, exactly?”
Desus serving scalding hot tea and y'all gonna be mad.
Stop begging strong Black women to be president: Michelle, Oprah, whatever. It's weird. And Lord knows when Black women try to lead, y'all attempt to silence and erase us. So how would that work, exactly? pic.twitter.com/Iu2FOGftDY
— April (@ReignOfApril) January 8, 2018
What’s most frustrating is that there are Black women already in public service — like Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams — who would be much better candidates and who are more deserving of the spotlight.
Whatever happened to our expectations? Is experience, a deep knowledge of policy, and a law degree asking too much? I’m with everyone else. I want to see Trump out of office, too, but we should be mindful of the culture we perpetuate when we flippantly suggest high government positions be occupied by those lacking the credentials.
It’s highly unlikely that Oprah will run in 2020 but the real objective is to keep this same enthusiasm when it comes time to go out and make our voices heard election day.