Omarosa And The Difference Between Asserting Ourselves And Reinforcing Bad Stereotypes
Omarosa resurfaced on daytime television yesterday as a guest on Bethenny Frankel’s talk show, and boy, oh boy! I’m pretty sure she boosted Frankel’s ratings with her antics.
During her time on the couch, reference was made to Frankel “bad-mouthing” Omarosa during an earlier appearance on The View. Omarosa challenged Frankel for speaking negatively about her and her “career” to the hosts of The View, when, according to Omarosa, the two of them were friends. When Sherri Shepherd asked Bethenny if she was like Omarosa, Frankel said said this:
“I have a real career. I have a brand. I have a very popular cocktail. I have two New York Times’ best-sellers. I have my own show.”
Quite the dig for a “friend.” Friends don’t talk smack about friends, especially not on nationally syndicated TV, Bethenny. But what made it even worse was that Bethenny, who feigned amnesia about her own comments, offered Omarosa $10,000 IF she had in fact said “I have a REAL career.”
When the transcript revealed that she had indeed used those words, she conceded and told Omarosa that she would give her $10,000. NO apology for what she said, mind you, just a pay-off to add insult to injury.
In a following clip Omarosa bluntly stated that the difference between herself, as an African-American woman and Frankel (and all white women everywhere), is that white women can be “mediocre” and be rewarded while black women must be extraordinary, in a sense, to even get noticed. She went on to tell Frankel in no uncertain terms – and as smugly as possible – exactly what she thought of her (“I worked in the White House, you baked cupcakes, get a grip!”), barely allowing her to get a word in edgewise.
I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of Omarosa’s crass ways as first made famous by the premiere season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. Although quite brilliant, I have always found her to be a revolving door of reinforcement for every negative stereotype piled on top of black women: Abrasive, attitudinal, condescending, scheming.
Though I completely agree with her assessment of the road to success for black women vs. white women, I am upset that her valid point ended up going over some people’s heads by her defensive and rude delivery. I believe she was, indeed, clapping back after Frankel badmouthed her on another show – and she certainly had every right. However, her delivery is always the problem. It’s like the child who gets jabbed subtly by another child and when they react, they react so ferociously that no one notices the instigator of the fight, just the one reacting like a fool.
Instead of being strategic in her approach, Omarosa went for blood: She took Frankel’s $10,000 AND two-pieced her with the ill-delivered “mediocre white women” comment. Aka, “No, heifer you ain’t getting away with this that easy.” Thus, she not only embarrassed herself again in front of millions, she continued casting a bad light on herself, and in a way, black women, by doing everything BUT rolling her neck, popping gum and patting her weave.
Her analysis of white privilege and her appeal to Frankel to see and acknowledge it was spot on. I couldn’t have said it more directly. It could have led to a much broader conversation just waiting to be broached between black and white women. Instead, her abrasive and domineering approach allowed Frankel to look like the victim of yet another “angry black woman” (or perhaps the “infamous” black woman) who was just looking for a few more minutes of shine on national television.
La Truly is a writer, college professor and natural hair and holistic lifestyle enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.