I don’t usually watch her; she makes me uncomfortable in her ‘know it all but pretend to be humble’ persona on TV. Now I know why.
Oprah is apparently, a disa-phobe. Phony in her ‘magnanimous mom’ way of acting like she’s cool with physical anomaly.
Maybe she’s only comfortable with her own physical bag, the ‘large lady’ thing she truly DOES embrace. Then again, HOW many diets has she hyped? See the inconsistency here?
I wouldn’t even bother except that this is the 20th anniversary of the passage of the A.D.A, The Americans With Disabilities Act. Not exactly a good time to be inquiring of a new mom “Does he have all his fingers and toes?” as she did just the other day on live TV, when a woman in the audience was rushed to the hospital with a preemie baby unexpectedly announcing his arrival.
The FIRST words out of Oprah’s mouth were ‘Does he have all his fingers and toes?”
I repeat this because I want to make myself clear on one thing on this auspicious occasion of remembering and honoring the re- authorization of a very big and important aspect of the original Civil Rights Act of 1964. That the way we either choose to dignify diversity or point it out as a ‘concern’ is a major part of the intent of the A.D.A, passed into law this week in 1990.
Yes, that’s right, the ADA is nothing more (nothing LESS!) than a reminder and re- enervation of that most important legislation which put ‘Equality’ and ‘American’ in the history books together. But it was a necessary reframing of an issue that had become the ‘bastard child’ of the Civil Rights Movement. True, People of Color (Oprah?) were the main issue, but a lesser known and therefore lesser enforced chunk of that incredible legislation was intended to protect those of us who have unconventional bodies. The A.D.A had grown necessary because too many employers and builders were simply ignoring the needs of the one in ten of us who have unique talents. I mean, special needs.
The sad truth was that, for decades in post industrialist/ public school America, a person who used a wheelchair or needed extra time to complete typing class (like me, who wasn’t even allowed to be in that class in the first place) would be ignored or excluded from ordinary life activities and employment simply because our handicaps (icky word, I know) were perceived as being inconvenient or expensive to accommodate.
By re enforcing that smaller part of The Civil Rights Act, we disparate and diverse ‘freaks of nature’ ( I say this with tongue in cheek and a loving heart), had our Day of Recognition. Because I and my then husband and co anchor at KCBS Los Angeles, Jim Lampley, had worked hard to help create awareness for the A.D.A, we were invited to D.C. to receive the Bob Dole Foundation Award as way to say thanks for our efforts. It was a moment I will never forget, and one I WISH Oprah would remember.
I met Oprah a long time ago, when I was invited to be on her show, covering a topic she seemed to like discussing ,before all that glam thing happened to her. This was the Old Oprah. Her empathy on that episode was real; I felt it. This ‘old Oprah’ is the one I choose to remember.
Count my fingers and toes, and my children’s fingers and toes as whole and human. No newborn should be subjected to ‘digitizing’ baby body parts as ‘proof’ he or she is okay. Shame on you, Oprah!