Key organizers of the wave of recent protests over police remedy of African-Americans lashed out at Oprah Winfrey on Friday more than comments she created to Persons magazine criticizing their movement as “leaderless.”
“I assume it’s fantastic to march and to protest and it’s fantastic to see all across the country, people today performing it,” she stated in a video interview posted Thursday on the magazine’s web-site. “But what I am searching for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what we want. This is what has to alter, and these are the methods that we want to take to make these alterations, and this is what we’re prepared to do to get it.’ ”
Her remarks came during an interview advertising “Selma,” the film she developed about the 1965 protests in Alabama over voting rights for African-Americans. Her critique, and the reaction to it, underscored the rift that has opened between older black trailblazers and a younger crop of black activists given that the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.
“You have been PAINFULLY quiet, @Oprah, until this movie,” wrote Charles Wade, an organizer who has been active in Ferguson.
“How about some of the black elite sit at the table w/us and go over our demands?” asked Tef Poe, a Missouri-based organizer.
This is the second recent clash in between younger protesters and older black activists.Advertisement Final month, a faction of protesters briefly took over the stage at a march in Washington sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton, complaining that the veteran civil rights leader and tv character was trying to take credit for a movement they spawned.
The divide is not just about generational differences, but about techniques, with older activists emphasizing peaceful marches whilst the younger protesters preferring much more confrontational actions, such as staging “die-ins” at shopping malls at the height of vacation shopping and blocking highways.
In the interview, Winfrey suggested that the protests that have unfolded in New York, Ferguson and elsewhere have so far lacked the disciplined tactic of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. “I think that what can be gleaned from our film, ‘Selma,’ is to really take note of the strategic intention needed when you want actual modify,” she stated.
Of the demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, she stated, “These marches just didn’t occur, and they weren’t happening haphazardly. They had been taking place out of an order and a design and style for modify.”