A curious phenomenon is taking place. Oprah Winfrey is going on the stump for Barack Obama. So what? It is not unusual for celebrities to endorse candidates for political office. But this phenomenon is unusual, for several reasons.
Oprah does not normally do this. Oprah has been on television for 25 years and has built a solid reputation for being honest and trustworthy. She never plays a race card. She addresses all issues with equal reason and thoughtfulness. She is charming, no doubt, but that is not the source of her strength. Her strength comes from her ability to be indiscriminate in seeking solutions to complex problems. She does not adopt a child from Bangladesh, to be raised by a nanny in Chicago, for personal gain. Rather Oprah builds a school in an impoverished region so the children may be successful at home. Oprah has earned the trust of America.
Alec Baldwin, Barbara Streisand, George Clooney – many Hollywood celebrities are found every two years on some stump somewhere defending their agenda. Oprah has an agenda – but it is an agenda that is respected by all. It is not self serving. It is not self righteous.
But this is even more than that. Oprah is African American. So is Barack Obama. But that is not the common denominator. Oprah does not jump on the civil rights bandwagon just because it happens to roll down her street. And neither does Barack Obama. These two are symbols of America at its best.
Oprah and Barack are examples of people who have come to terms with their ‘two-ness.’ Of being both Black and American. This is truly a new generation of American. A generation who does not look at the color of their skin and expect something in return. These are folks who genuinely believe in themselves and the American dream.
These are very honorable folks. They make me proud to be an American.