Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Letters to the Publisher

Hi all, I want to write about a letter I received last month. This letter wasn't from a reader of The Cat's Meow for Writers & Readers Ezine; most of the letters I do receive from members & readers are congratulatory in tone. It was from a woman in response to something I had written on the Oprah.com message boards. The board asked what we thought in regards to Oprah defending her close friendship with Gayle King. Which, I personally, don't feel Oprah had to explain to anyone. That was kind of her to do anyway.

I wrote on Oprah's website that it doesn't matter whether Oprah and Gayle are having a relationship or not; that what does matter is that Oprah HELPS PEOPLE in need and therefore her sexual orientation truly does not matter. I tend to believe Oprah when she says she's 100% heterosexual and in a longtime relationship with her man Stedman Graham, and that her relationship with Gayle King is a close and longtime friendship. A kind of friendship I wish I had with my women friends! The bottom line is: it truly doesn't matter what celebrities do in their personal lives! But what does matter is that they give monetary aid to people in need, when they do give. I applaud those who do.

The woman writer who wrote in to me had this to say, "I read your comments on Oprah...did you know she gave NOTHING to help NY after 9/11? She said, and I will never forget it, 'I will write my check after I see where the money goes' which is smart to do...not to say as a celebrity...but that stuck with me about her...she gave nothing to help out in that disaster...but hey...Africa needs something, she is there! That didn't help her image at all. Just wanted to share this tidbit with you...yes she has done a lot...but she only helps certain people...I don't think that is ok...if other celebrities did that they would be called prejudiced." In response to her, I defended Oprah Winfrey. And in response of me defending Oprah, the writer wrote back, "I appreciate your response...but your comment about Hurricane Katrina was interesting...99% of the people she helped that were affected by it were 'minorities'...so out came her check book and the big publicity stunt."

My response to her after that? Hey who better to HELP minorities than Oprah Winfrey, a billionaire ten times over who has experienced poverty first-hand while she was growing up in Mississippi! As an "advocate" for animals and children, I strongly feel that minorities also need our help when we have enough money to give. Think about this: you're a millionaire (or, in Oprah's case, a billionaire) and want to give back to the people who need it since there were people who helped you on your climb to success. Makes sense, no? I think so. I'm glad Oprah Winfrey HELPS minorities and the African people! If I had the kind of money Oprah does, I too would give monetary aid to help people who need the aid the most! I also defend animals and children because they are the 'innocents' of this world and truly need our help. I do not belive Oprah is prejudice in giving her aid (as that woman writer felt...), more 'choosy' in whom she gives monetary aid to is my opinion. Let's face it, New York didn't need financial aid from celebrities after 9/11 but did need it from the federal government. As simple as that.

I understand why Oprah said that about seeing where the money is going first...a lot of celebrities were burned in the past by so-called charities giving to themselves & their staff rather than the people who needed the aid! Please, that's a fact about some charities -- they pay their staff and themselves first & foremost before giving to those who are in need of that very aid! Their GREEDINESS takes preference over helping the people their charities are supposed to help. That's why Oprah said what she said. And I agree with her.

As a non-celebrity, let's say I gave my hard-earned money to a charity that's supposed to help children, and then find out that the money I sent in went to the organization's staff rather than the children my money should have gone to? I would be upset with the CEO of that charity and never give them my money again! What makes people think Oprah's money wasn't as hard-earned as mine or your's is?! Of course her money was hard-earned! She works extremely hard for her TV show, the "O Magazine" and helping other people. It's a well known fact she gives generously to her staff; even pays for their vacations! And last but not least, let's not forget about her "Angel Network" which helps people of all races, not just minorities or Africans! Not to mention Oprah's "Book Club" in which she highlights new authors whose books have touched her.

Me thinks that woman who wrote into me is suffering from 'elitism.' She was obviously a white person who is mad with Oprah for giving to those who need our help more: minorities and the African people. A very sad commentary on the way people are today. Some refuse to give financial aid unless the people they are giving to have the same color skin, or religion, as them. Not the right thing to do at all! In the eyes of our Father in heaven, we are all the same... we are all His children whom He loves unconditionally.

Thank you for listening today. I had to get that off my shoulders; it upset me tremendously. That woman writer is entitled to her opinions, but to knock Oprah who does all she can for those in need?! I love all people (except for the greedy and unloving ones) and do not feel it was right that she went on to tell me (in her letter) that she refuses to watch Oprah's TV show now, because she feels Oprah is prejudice against white people. She's not...she has helped ALL PEOPLE, no matter what color or religion they are. If I'm wrong about this, please write in and let me know. But I don't think so. I say this because I've been watching Oprah's TV show since it's inception in 1986, and feel she gives a lot of financial aid to all of the people of this world. Back to the subject of sexual orientation: celebrities have a right to their private lives as much as we do. And should not have to explain and defend what they do behind closed doors so long as they entertain us in their movies, TV shows, etc.; for that is what they get paid to do, entertain us! BUT if they also want to 'help' with financial aid that's wonderful and shows what good hearts they do have. We are all ONE... the Human race.

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