Sanford Speaks Out is the latest blog sensation written, edited and produced by Sanford D. Horn, a writer and educator. Sanford will write about issues of the day covering a myriad subjects: politics, education, culture, sports, religion and even food.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Oprah Keeping Me From "The Butler"
Oprah Keeping Me From The
Butler Commentary by Sanford D. Horn August 15, 2013
Not being a big fan of visiting movie theaters to pay $10
apiece for a film that once it hits Redbox can be seen for a buck a day, The Butler, grabbed my attention.
This is a film chronicling a White House butler serving
eight presidents over three decades and the experiences throughout the civil
rights movement, the war in Vietnam, among other landmark periods of American
stars some top flight actors in Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, and Forest
Whitaker – each of whom I have enjoyed in one film/television program or
another, along with Oprah Winfrey.
Never having seen an entire episode of her former
afternoon chat show, my feelings toward Winfrey have been largely ambivalent. I
applauded her decision to build a school in South Africa versus one in the
United States upon learning the “needs” of the students of the potential
communities to be served. Apparently the students in the US, when asked, told
Winfrey they wanted fancy gym shoes, computers, cell phones, and other
non-academic materials, while the students in Africa asked for books, paper,
pencils, and many of the academic needs people take for granted here. Winfrey
was largely criticized by people who thought they should have a say in how
Winfrey spends her money. She was and still is free to spend her hard earned
resources as she wishes.
Fast forward to this newly released film, and my decision
not to spend my hard earned money on it – in spite of my interest in the story
and liking many of the major stars. It is due solely to Winfrey and her recent
comments likening Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till.
Winfrey said the two cases were the “same thing.” And
although she continued by invoking context, and how society has advanced so far
since the Till slaughter, Winfrey patently stoked the flames of racial division
in the United States.
Till, born in Chicago, in 1941, was a black 14-year-old boy
murdered in cold blood in 1955 in Tallahatchie River, Mississippi following and
encounter where he allegedly flirted with a white woman. While Till disrupted
the apple cart of the Southern “sensibilities” of the ‘50s, he did not commit a
crime or deserve to be murdered. Martin, was not murdered, but instead killed
within the confines of a fight he presumably started.
While Winfrey is certainly entitled to her opinion, her
clear distortion of history will not be rewarded. I will not put money in her
pocket because her ignorance will create a ripple effect amongst her large
fandom that will perpetuate her racially divisive and irresponsible belief.
Need another reason to wait for The Butler to appear in your local Redbox? Hanoi Jane Fonda has a minor
role playing, of all people, Nancy Reagan.
Sanford D. Horn is
a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.