While promoting her new movie, billionaire Oprah Winfrey made the startling comparison of the 1955 murder of Emmitt Till and the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, saying “in my mind, same thing.” She has also claimed that racism prevented her from buying an almost $40,000 purse in Zurich, Switzerland (a claim she has begun to back away from after being challenged on its validity).
On the 8/16/13 edition of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper debated UCLA professor Mark Sawyer about whether or not there is a clear and present danger presented by racism on modern American society, or if Oprah and people like her are exaggerating their accusations.
Disagreeing with Sawyer and Winfrey that there is a legitimate way to link the deaths of Till and Martin, Horace said it “isn’t even close.” He added that perpetuating this accusation is “unfair and unhelpful.”
Horace told guest host Laura Ingraham:
The question here isn’t does racism exist or does racism not exist. The question is how relevant is that in impacting what goes on in the real lives of most Americans - black and white. And it is irrelevant. It’s not the #1 issue. It’s not the #2 issue. It’s not even the #10 issue. Family formation and educational attainment have far more to do with what happens in the lives of not just black Americns but everyone.
As for prevalent use of the n-word in slang and hip-hop music, Horace suggested that Winfrey - who acknowledges that the use of the word is not productive but is apparently unwilling to criticize black role models who use it - could have a tremendous impact by “telling people it’s never appropriate” to use the term.
Horace is erroneously identified by Ingraham as representing The Heartland Institute.