PSA: Black women are nobody’s scapegoat.
Honestly, if I didn’t have a minimum character quota to meet, I should be able to end this here, because IYKYK. But mediocre white Republican men don’t, so even though they can’t be carefully untaught to hate, the rest of us can at the very least hold them accountable.
It’s in no way Oprah’s fault that Dr. “Meh”met Oz is running for Senate in Pennsylvania. His medical career began in the mid-1980’s and he didn’t appear on her show until the early 2000s. She’s mostly tried to stay out of this whole mishegoss.
“One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office,” Winfrey said in December through her spokesperson Nicole Nichols. “Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it’s up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them.”
Look, I don’t fully understand how the Jizz-ard of Oz went from America’s TV doctor pal who supported a person’s right to bodily autonomy to a New Jersey hack quack shill snake oil salesman and Donald Trump’s sole choice to run against the experienced Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania for Senate. But Oprah didn’t call up Trump and say, “Here’s one thing I know…Mehmet Oz should be in the Senate.”
Blaming Oprah for Oz is very strange to me. The folks who say this act like any of us, 15 years ago, would have predicted the bullshit to come, to say nothing of blaming a Black woman for the response of white voters to the actions of a white grifter. It's ridiculous. Stop.
— email@example.com (@cmclymer) November 3, 2022
It’s so easy to blame a Black woman, isn’t it? White men have always used women as their preferred scapegoat, but it’s even better for them if they can do it to a Black woman. It’s so obvious. It’s like blaming Mark Burnett for giving Trump a TV show. Trump existed before Burnett. Oprah may have boosted Oz, but she is a separate entity of her own who isn’t responsible for her former employee’s life choices.
Sigh. So I want to address the calls for Oprah's perpetual atonement for Dr. Oz. He made his first appearance in the early 2000s. Twenty-ish years ago. At the time, he was known as a cardiologist. He was brought on to discuss health, not politics. 1/
— Portia ♍️ McGonagal (@PortiaMcGonagal) November 3, 2022
However, the reaction from Twitter has shown an interesting divide on this take. I’ve seen Black Twitter defend Oprah, but I’ve also seen other takes which demand that she denounce Oz.
Yet another Oprah product Dr Phil said he wouldn’t get on a plane if John Fetterman was the pilot. He’s not a pilot, you fucking fraud. He’s also not a fascist piece of shit like you and Dr Oz. Oprah, thanks for two shitbags. Cue the Oprah sycophants. #FettermanIsTheBetterman
— THEE QUEEN FRO® (@FROzenLiberal) November 3, 2022
Then there’s Black Twitter dragging white celebrities for blaming Oprah.
Look at this white feminist fuckery!
– Black women vote at the highest %
– Oprah, a tenacious Dem-supporting black woman, first intro'ed Oz decades ago before he was MAGAtized
– WW voted for Trump TWICE
– Bette, a WW, met/smiled with Oz (+ Weinstein) many times.#ApologizeBette https://t.co/YypkFurzRx
— Jo Lorenz • The Progressivists (@iamjolorenz) November 3, 2022
As a white woman, I have no place speaking for a Black woman’s lived experience. As a Jewish American, I can empathize with being treated like the cause for every chip on every MAGA shoulder. What I can do is be a witness to the way the GOP treats all communities other than rich, white, Christian Republicans, and then be the best ally to them that I can be.
Please buy Twitter.
— Amee Vanderpool (Please subscribe to my Substack) (@girlsreallyrule) November 3, 2022
I do personally believe Democratic Black women should be in charge of everything. And I also believe in holding an individual responsible for their own actions. If seeing Dr. Oz on that ballot makes you angry, then channel that energy into a contribution to John Fetterman and phone banking to tell your Pennsylvania pals to get to the polls. And follow more Black women on social media.
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Tara is a reported opinion columnist at Occupy Democrats. She's a woefully underappreciated and unrepresented writer currently shopping for a super cool novel that has nothing to do with politics while also fighting fascism on a daily. Follow her on Twitter @taradublinrocks