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This Week in Racism

Oprah Accused a Swiss Person of Racism

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey tried to buy a $40,000 handbag while in Switzerland for Tina Turner's wedding, but was told by a shopkeeper that she "couldn't afford it." Nevermind that Ms. Winfrey made $72 million last year. That ain’t “hood rich.” That’s...

Photo by Flickr User whoohoo120

Welcome to another edition of This Week in Racism. I’ll be ranking news stories on a scale of 1 to RACIST, with “1” being the least racist and “RACIST” being the most racist.

-You might have seen advertisements for Oprah Winfrey’s new film, The Butler. It’s Oprah’s first acting role in 15 years, so she’s out making the press rounds. Oprah’s doing the usual prerelease gladhanding; appearing on TV shows, doing interviews, and accusing Swiss people of being racist.


The Big O told Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell that while in Switzerland for Tina Turner’s wedding, she attempted to purchase a $40,000 handbag, but was denied when the shopkeeper said it was “too expensive.” The shopkeeper didn’t even want to show Oprah the bag, for fear of “hurting her feelings.” All of this, despite the fact that Ms. Winfrey made $72 million last year. That ain’t “hood rich.” That’s just plain, old, regular rich.

She’s quoted as saying, “I could’ve had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card, but why do that?” I’m hazy as to which black card she was referring to. Is it the black card that invokes the 200-year history of bigotry perpetrated against people whose heritage is derived from Africa, or is it the AmEx “Black Card” that would have allowed her to easily purchase the bag?

I’m not saying Oprah wasn’t within her rights to be offended, but how easy would it have been for her to just politely state, “Actually, I am incredibly rich, and can easily afford this bag, and 30 more just like it. Also, here’s $20,000 for your trouble. Good day to you.” Instead, she thought her best bet was to go on national TV and humiliate the shopkeeper who probably has never seen a rich black person before.

This is actually the second time Oprah has claimed a European store was racist after she tried to buy a gift for Tina Turner. She accused an Hermes store in Paris of discrimination in 2005. The gift in question was a watch for Tina, who was her dinner partner that evening. The store manager claimed that they were closed for a private event. I can believe someone from Switzerland wouldn't recognize Oprah. Like, it's Switzerland, you know? The Hermes store in Paris? Yeah, right. That guy knew who he was dealing with. Maybe the lesson here is to avoid Tina Turner at all costs? The woman is clearly trouble. 5


-Back in the good old USA, the campaign for former Mayor Steve Lonegan, Cory Booker’s New Jersey Senate opponent, felt like mocking minorities and Mayor Booker’s city was the easiest path to winning their contest.

As you can see in the above screencap of Lonegan’s tweet (which was quickly deleted), he’s insinuating that Newark is actually just a collection of foreign countries because of the city’s heavily diverse population. The best part of this was that the tweet went out during the candidates’ foreign policy debate.

Lonegan was not personally responsible for the tweet, as his staff is responsible for updating the account in question. The candidate was quick to make it clear that he did not find the tweet funny, “or reflective of the way he thinks,” according to Lonegan staffer Rick Shaftan.

Folks, this is the Democratic primary. Just let that sink in. 7

Photo by Flickr User GageSkidmore

-Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets Ann Coulter receives this week’s Ann Coulter Award for Excellence in Racism for continuing her personal crusade to tell black people what’s wrong with them.

Ann chose to defend this statement from Bill O’Reilly on race in America:

"The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family. Right now, about 73 percent of all black babies are born out of wedlock. That drives poverty. And the lack of involved fathers leads to young boys growing up resentful and unsupervised. And it has nothing to do with slavery. It has everything to do with you Hollywood people and you derelict parents."


Coulter vehemently agreed with O’Reilly, saying, “If African-Americans started marrying again at their pre-Great Society rates, it would wipe out the entire black ‘culture of poverty’.” After that, she found the time to plug her book, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama, because let's not forget what this is really about: cashing in with cheap hit-piece books.

God, if black folk would just get married, all of our problems would be solved! Coulter sites a report from Erol Ricketts, a black demographer from the Rockefeller Foundation who found that black people outmarried white people from 1860 to 1960, and this directly resulted in low crime rates in the black community. What ruined black culture? What drove black families apart and created the statistic O’Reilly cited? According to Ann, it’s… social-welfare programs designed by liberals! If you had that in your Ann Coulter Crazy Pool, you win a new microwave. Congrats. Enjoy your Hot Pockets.

First of all, marriage has been dropping across the board for decades now. According to a poll by Pew Research, barely half of all adults in the United States are married. That’s an all-time low. People aren’t getting married as much because of things like widespread acceptance of contraceptives (which Ann Coulter is terribly upset about) and the high cost of starting a family (which Ann Coulter could give two shits about). Just because a kid is born without its parents being married doesn’t immediately correlate to the father not being involved. That’s an assumption that O’Reilly doesn’t even bother backing up with facts.


Secondly, O’Reilly’s statistical range ends in 1960, which is not only D-Day for the American conservative who hated hippies, but also the beginning of the massive explosion in the American illegal drug trade. According to a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4 percent of the population was willing to admit to smoking weed. In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by an arm of the Department of Health & Human Services, found that 22.5 million Americans were using illegal drugs. This stat includes weed, coke, hallucinogens, heroin, and illicitly obtained pharmaceuticals. Perhaps the real reason for the spike in crime within the black community is how prevalent the drug trade is in the economy of the ghetto? If a man with a child to feed can make minimum wage working at a fast-food restaurant, or slangin’ on the corner, what choice will he make?

Claiming moral superiority is a well-worn trick of the close-minded, absurdly wealthy, and shows a distinct lack of empathy (and that includes Oprah's need to belittle that Swiss shopkeeper). This is especially true in a country where 65 percent of the population has no friends outside their own ethnicity. It singles out a whole group of people for problems completely out of their control. It's not the Swiss person's fault that they live in a racially homogenous culture, nor is it a black man's fault that one of the only reliable sources of income available to him is selling crack. Ignoring the lack of good jobs for black people in America, and the lucrative nature of selling drugs is laughable. It’s also kind of RACIST.


@YesYoureRacist’s Ten Most Racist Retweets of the Week [all grammar sic'd]:

10. @jeasysah: #notracist but fuck Chinese are the rudest people ever. Just plain ignorant.

9. @doitlikearaisin Im not racist but the amount of durga durga's on this boat is unbearable. Theyre so loud, rude, oblivious and annoying

8. @mirandadelasole I Can And WILL go off on black bitches alllday. Not Racist but they piss me off open they big ass mouth without thinking

7. @KursedKambo: They say Asians look alike…well so do black people in my opinion. #notracist

6. @ashleymanzo_: i'm not racist but if you're a asian, mexican, or a black guy, there's a 100% chance i won't like you. unless you're white

5. @jorgesouthbeach: I'm not a racist but if you've ever ridden a f*cking camel I don't trust you.

4. @brianlira2: Honestly am not racist but why can't black people act civilized I mean wtf my dog didn't do shit to u .

3. @babarjamil: I'm not Racist, but I hate Jews and their supporters as they are the biggest enemies of Islam

2. @jamieakabeaks: I'm not racist but England should be predominantly filled with white skin.

1. @mcstocksie: Im not racist but I dont believe in interracial couples, honestly.

Last Week in Racism: "Asian Girlz" is the Most Racist Song of All Time