It’s time to Break It Down!
Chances are you have never heard of Jonathan Goldsmith. More likely, at least you think you have not. However, had I introduced him as “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” you might have a better shot at recognizing him. Moreover, if I told you I was speaking of the lead actor in the Dos Equis beer commercials, you would probably ask, “Why didn’t you say that in the beginning?”
Mr. Goldsmith, AKA, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” executes, in each commercial, a series of hard to imaging, if not straight-up unbelievable feats, before intoning, as only he can, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” This post, however, is not about Mr. Goldsmith.
I am confident you gleaned, based upon the Title this post is about Oprah, Inc. In an odd sort of way, Ms. Winfrey’s recent Purse Incident reminded me of Mr. Goldsmith’s character. Ms. Winfrey is one of the world’s wealthiest and most recognizable figures. Shopkeepers do not always deny her service, but when they do, she prefers to air it publicly…and air it she did.
In an Entertainment Tonight interview last Monday (August 5, 2013), Ms. Winfrey shared that she was in Zurich, in a (obviously very posh) shop that she declined to name. She did go on to say a clerk declined to show her a purse she was interested purchasing. In her version of the story, she asked several times, and indicated her interest in buying the handbag. The salesperson, as “O” explained it, never did get the purse, and/or allow Oprah to see it.
As Winfrey added, the staffer tried several times to steer her to something “more affordable.” As it turns out, the subject of Purse-gate was a bag created by American Fashion Designer, Tom Ford, valued at upwards of $35,000. Ms. Winfrey related this episode, when the interviewer asked if she ever experienced racism.
To be sure, this kind of thing is a rarity in Oprah World. After all, she is known on multiple continents, and few who know her would doubt she could afford to purchase a purse, even if it cost nearly $40 grand. Alas, perhaps in Switzerland, she managed to meander into one of the few alcoves in the modern world where someone in a posh establishment might actually not recognize her countenance on sight.
To Oprah, it apparently seemed logical to conclude that a white clerk who declined to show a black woman an object that cost tens of thousands of dollars did so because she thought the black woman couldn’t afford it, and that qualified as racial profiling; i.e., a racist and discriminatory act.
For the record, Ms. Trudie Goetz, head of the establishment, subsequently identified as Trois Pommes, denies the establishment discriminated against Ms. Winfrey. She calls the matter a misunderstanding. She said the clerk simply explained that the bag Oprah wanted to look at was beautiful, but very expensive. She therefore suggested lower priced models in leather and ostrich, rather than the crocodile model she asked to see.
Last night on a certain cable news program, that shall remain unnamed, a guest, who shall also remain nameless, suggested that Oprah had acted recklessly, by claiming racism in this incident. Not coincidentally, the party who made this assertion is white, as is the clerk, who has denied her behavior was racist, as is the aforementioned establishment owner who called the incident a misunderstanding. Well, at least they had a meeting of the minds.
Anyone who knows me well can attest that I am not an Oprahphile. However, in this case, I find “It walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck! President Obama noted in his remarks following the Trayvon Martin verdict that most African Americans have experienced such moments…many times. It’s probably been a while, but it sounds like Oprah had herself “a moment.” I agree with ““O,” The Bag Lady!” Stamp this one with a big Scarlet Letter R…for racist.
I’m done; holla back!
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