Oprah Responds to Twitter Critic; Raises Issue Of Giving Back

The concept of giving back is a thing that is often discussed within the Black community. Our community has many achievers and well accomplished people. Oprah Winfrey is one of them. Recently, there was somewhat of a controversy recently on Twitter when a user by the name of AWALK called out Oprah for not doing enough for those in the ghetto. This is a common thing, where many call on those who have more, to do more. What happened next was unexpected.

Oprah Winfrey, who has a track record of giving money to Black colleges, was having none of it.  She responded with:

“when are u? I’ve put 500 African American men thru college . And u sir?”

Looking at the nature of the comment, I was wondering if this fellow really expected her to respond. Now, its one of those Twitter grandstand moments that backfired. When framing things in that way of how much an individual should do for a community, its a very complicated thing. How can anyone count how much is enough for one person to do?

Some say that those who make it and achieve things that many others can’t have an obligation to give back to their community. But lets look at it critically. Is that really the case? Are those who are well off obligated to help those less fortunate? Put in another way, let us ask, can we really tell rich people what to do with their money? There are many people who make their millions and never give a dime back to charity, nor help anyone outside their circle.  There is a certain amount of futility in trying to shame the haves into helping the have nots.

Perhaps the answer is more equitable chances for everyone. If there was a real effort from those in charge to ensure no one suffers and wants unnecessarily, then maybe there would be no need for charity. Just saying.

Marc W. Polite

Does Not Want It With Oprah

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  1. Many people do good but few in a position to make a real difference become activists. Becoming an activist for something you believe in makes you a target for attacks which is also bad for business. At what point should a wealthy person say ‘i’m filthy rich, i need to make a real difference and injecting myself into the political discourse is a way to do that?” It is great to do good things for people but that school in Africa does absolutely nothing to help make American schools better.

  2. LMAO at your tagline Marc! And Fausto, the rich inject themselves into political discourse daily, look at NYC’s mayor! Or for that matter, Mitt Romney, Theresa Heinz Kerry (John’s wife), the Koch brothers, and frankly, most politicians nowadays…

  3. In essence, the act of giving should be done selflessly, without grandstanding, or underlying expectations. In the words of Samuel Johnson: “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” When a person such as Oprah arrives to a position acquiring an ample amount of resources, one would assume automatically she has a responsibility to give back to those who are less fortunate. This is not necessarily the case.

    The decision to be charitable is based on personal morality, principles, experiences, or beliefs guiding ones individual behavior. Those individuals who “have arrived” aren’t obligated to lift a single finger to help the poor. Having experienced struggle in her formative years, one can say Oprah is more compassionate to the plight of the indigent. Her track record of giving back locally and globally far exceeds the efforts of some who are on the same level as she. If a benefactor is having an impact (no matter how great or small) on society as a whole, what gives one person the right to question how much more philanthropic one should be in their own community?

    Our individual views of the world are not the same, yet some of us attempt to impose our critical social theories on others, without truly evaluating our own actions. Our moral actions affect us personally as well as the world we live in. Instead of critiquing others we should ask ourselves “what more can I do to positively impact the world I live in?”

  4. fausto chavezb stop being selfish,does it hurt seeing Oprah opened a xul in Africa? what the fuss all about…Now,what have you done for your community or country??

  5. Giving back is not just a matter of money, you can not give what you do not have.Some give back in the way of helping strangers, neighbors, family, friends and community by volunteering their time, labor expertise. I am grateful for people like Oprah Winfrey who share more than generously in their good fortune. Giving is at it’s best when it helps someone to stand on their own “Giving someone a fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for life”.

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