Soledad O’Brien’s Fixation On Race Is A Problem For The Daily Caller
12:30 pm, February 22nd | by Colette McIntyre
On Thursday, Soledad O’Brien made public her plans to leave her CNN morning show Starting Point. News of O’Brien’s departure came on the heels of CNN’s announcement of a new morning show hosted by Chris Cuomo. Yet, while Starting Point is ending after just two years in production, O’Brien won’t be leaving the news channel altogether.
As the New York Times reports, O’Brien will be returning to her pre-CNN career as a “roving documentary reporter,” the only difference being that she now has a production company to call her own. The new head of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker reached a deal to help fund Starfish Media Group, O’Brien’s production company, which will be responsible for producing three documentaries for CNN. Interestingly, the deal does not stipulate any degree of exclusivity so Starfish Media Group is free to shop its programs to other networks and post them online as well. It appears that O’Brien is pleased with the deal; during her appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, the reporter said she is looking forward to “doing stuff I like to do, which is hard-hitting journalism.”
Also, O’Brien will continue to host CNN’s critically acclaimed Black in America documentary which has two new installments forthcoming. The Daily Caller shared some…interesting thoughts on the continuation of the franchise:
That’s a relief. I was worried that people might start to forget that Soledad O’Brien is black. Did you know she’s black? Because she’s black. In America. Where’s she’s black.
She’ll also be able to “take hosting and reporting jobs elsewhere at the same time.” I’m sure she’s in great demand already. Hey, maybe she can co-host a show with Keith Olbermann. He can lob misogynist insults at her, and she can call him a racist. Olbermann/O’Brien! You’re welcome, Al Jazeera America.
It seems that The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher (the author of this bold commentary) is suggesting that the half Afro-Cuban O’Brien should stop talking about race: we all get that she’s Black and she should just let it go because — hell-ooo — the President is Black and we are living in a post-racial America. But Jim, the thing is — Soledad O’Brien can’t forget that she is Black, because we won’t let her. Our society continually reminds her and all other people of color of their non-whiteness every day.
White people take their race for granted because that’s one of the luxuries of being white — we don’t have to think about race. The people on our television screens are predominantly white, our bosses are predominantly white, our political leaders are predominantly white, our professors are predominantly white, our police force is predominantly white. We are what’s “normal”; we operate on the assumption that the default is white, and so we don’t have to talk about it. Clinical psychologist Beverly Tatum framed the issue best:
If you’re driving on the highway and you are not randomly stopped, you don’t get to the end of your drive and say, “Gee, I wasn’t randomly stopped today.” You just take for granted that you got in your car, drove to your destination, without incident, like you do most days. It’s not something that you think of as a function of being a white person in this society…
What Jim Treacher fails to understand is that not paying attention to race is an advantageous phenomenon exclusive to white people. Anyway, we’re sure Soledad O’Brien has lost exactly zero hours of sleep over Jim Treacher’s concern with her “preoccupation” with race. Maybe he should check out a couple of those Black In America documentary thingies ; it sounds like they might prove illuminating.