Bill O’Reilly went after Oprah tonight. While I agree that Oprah did the wrong thing, it is for entirely different reasons. O’Reilly thinks her actions are wrong because they give credence to the “victimhood” theory of black culture, and that it fuels the so-called “grievance industry.”
But the question is whether or not the act of the Swiss shop girl was racist. And, more importantly, how improper it is to play the race card so willy-nilly. We shouldn’t assume, not even for the point of discussion, that the girl was racist.
Besides, even if we take Oprah at her word, there are countless other reasons for the girl’s behavior (see Et Tu, Oprah). Oprah even mentioned that she was “dressed down.” Isn’t it much more likely that she was judged by her attire than by her color?
I mean, I’m a white man and I get that kind of treatment from snobby store clerks on a regular basis. (Never wear sweat pants in a Neimann-Marcus.). And nine times out of ten their right: I can’t afford it! I just figure they get asked to see the good stuff behind the glass so much — for no sale — that they just want to save themselves some work. It may be poor customer relations, but I never took it personally.
The point is, we need to exhaust all other possibilities before we bring racism into it. O’Reilly should have pointed out how reckless it is to play the race card prematurely — especially if you’re rich and famous.
Haven’t we learned from the media lynching of George Zimmerman (see CNN’s Opening Segment)? He’s no racist. And I’m betting the Swiss shop girl isn’t either.
If it turns out Oprah did this for the PR, and to promote her movie coming out, then I will be very disappointed. Oh, say it isn’t so, O.