Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels, and Forest Whitaker star in the upcoming film, The Butler, in which Whitaker plays a White House butler who serves seven presidential administrations. To tout their new film, the trio sat down with Parade — and had a factually challenged conversation about race in America.
On using the N-word:
Lee Daniels: It’s a word I used quite a bit, until Oprah sat me down and talked to me about its power.
Winfrey: You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. . . . I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree
On “whether young people today know enough about the civil-rights movement,” Winfrey declared, “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat!”
The Tuskegee Institute estimates that 3,446 blacks were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Perhaps Winfrey should brush up on her history before lamenting this generation’s ignorance.