ATR 55 – Oprah on inner-city kids and Toys R Us immigration controversy – 01/15/2007

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Jae Ran Kim in this episode. Jae Ran is a writer, teacher and social worker. She was born in 1968 in South Korea and was adopted to Minnesota in 1971. Her most recent essay can be found in the new anthology “Outsiders Within: Racial Crossings and Adoption Politics.” She blogs at Harlow’s Monkey and is a columnist for the New Demographic blog Anti-Racist Parent.

First up is listener feedback. Then, Jae Ran and Carmen discuss Oprah’s controversial comments about inner-city kids and education, and the Toys R Us first baby contest and what it says about American identity.

This episode features music from MoJoe, courtesy of Spectre Music.

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Duration – 45:42
File Size – 42 MB
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4 thoughts on “ATR 55 – Oprah on inner-city kids and Toys R Us immigration controversy – 01/15/2007”

  1. I disagree with your analysis of Oprah’s decision to put her school in South Africa as opposed to the US. I think Oprah was primarily convinced by the ambition shown by the kids from South Africa and simultaneously turned off by the lack of ambition shown by the kids in “inner city” USA.

    I think she could have said this more clearly, considering her influence and impact. She should have said something like “their ambition convinced me”. Instead, she described what caused her to react most strongly – the US kids asking for ipods and sneakers, and the SA kids asking for books and uniforms. Yes, if you took Oprah’s comment literally, it sounds like the materialism exhibited by the US kids turned her stomach. However, I think Oprah was really saying “the US kids just dont want to learn. They have no ambition. Give the money to the kids who will care and actually try to do something with my contribution.” Lets not forget that the philanthropist’s greatest fear is to give money to a cause which, in hindsight, turns out to be an utter waste.

    Just my perspective. Love the podcast.

  2. I’m writing in response to the email that was forwarded to the female black sports editor. While I agree that the co-worker’s intent in forwarding it was probably hostile and definitely questionable, I’m disappointed there wasn’t more discussion about the content of the email. As a football fan I’ve also noticed that there is a high proportion of black players versus a huge majority of white fans. Is there something there to talk about? And what about the assertion of “showboating” (the writer’s term) – is this a cultural thing? The rest of the email was so outrageous I don’t think it even deserves a mention, but I would have liked to see some disucssion about the other items.

    Thanks – keep talking – I’ll keep listening!

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