Hey, I hear Oprah’s really rich. That obviously means she has to give some of it to those of us in the United States. To listen to some people, this is the law for wealthy people. This is one of those times when I actually feel bad for Oprah, who at times must feel like a flood lamp surrounded by greedy moths.

Oprah Winfrey has sunk $40 million of her own money into a school for poor girls in south Africa. True, that’s a lot of money to spend on a jammy party while listening to Maya Angelou recite “While the caged bird sings,” but considering Christian Children’s Fund ads inform us we can feed an entire African family for a week for the price of a cup of coffee, $40 million has to buy you one whopper of a school.

There are many people complaining that Oprah should have invested this money in U.S. children instead of those in Africa. Well, if you’re a liberal who thinks the government does a bang-up job of running our schools, Oprah already did invest a lot of money here. You see, some of Oprah’s paycheck might have gone to Africa, but not before Uncle Sam took his usual cut, “for the children…”

My view of all this? It’s Oprah’s money. If you don’t like it, shut up, go make your own cash and open your own school in the U.S. I’m guessing the “Oprah shoulda invested the money in America” complaints are coming from people who really aren’t wishing Oprah would open a school in the states so their kid can be taught algebra by Dr. Robin Smith, but rather who are standing outside Casa del Winfrey and holding a figurative sign which reads “will work for Oprah’s money.”

If we think there should be greater investments in the children of the United States, then we too should start a talk show, say “girlfriend” a lot, have a weekly segment featuring a bald, tubby psychologist who actually had the audacity to write a diet book, and then take our fortune and invest it completely in the U.S.

I’m confused by all this. We’re constantly told that Africa is in crisis and that we need to help. So, a wealthy American does help and some people are whining because poor Africans are being financially and educationally assisted while Oprah completely overlooked the fact that “my Billy doesn’t even have an iPod“?

Is the criticism of Oprah coming from some of her viewers? Those people who made Oprah rich by buying the products advertised on her show and subscribing to her magazine, who are now appalled that they’re not getting the slightest kickback? If so, that’s not how the world works, and the best service Oprah could provide those people would be to devote a week to “rude awakenings.”

By the way, Oprah still does give loads of money to domestic charities.

That said, defending Oprah – the most touchy-feely celebrity since, well, Michael Jackson, but in an emotional sense — is foreign territory for me. But I’m also a fiscal conservative. Oprah can do what she wants with her money — up to and including sending some of it to a writer who’s feverishly defending her at his own expense.


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