Ice Cube Is Right, Oprah Winfrey Does Have a Problem With Black Males, Says Professor

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Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University professor and author of "What if George Bush were a Black Man?" agrees with the rapper Ice Cube that Oprah Winfrey has shown little respect for black men.

The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch

Dr. Boyce Watkins, author of "What if George Bush were a Black Man?" and recent guest on "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch" agrees with the rapper Ice Cube that Oprah Winfrey often discriminates against certain genres when it comes to having black men on her show. "Her show is catered to an audience that doesn't have much respect for black men, especially rappers like Ice Cube", says Watkins, who writes about Winfrey in his book.

Watkins says that Winfrey is more likely to have a black man on her show if he is either non-threatening to her audience, or if he is being chastised for having done something bad toward women.

"I am not sure if its because of her difficult childhood," says Watkins, who has spoken regularly in support of black males in the criminal justice system. "But most of her shows featuring black men tend to consist of either men who were secretly gay, cheating on their wives, or have committed terrible crimes against women. I shudder to wonder what the soccer mom in the middle of Idaho thinks after watching one of her shows."

Watkins doesn't feel that Winfrey's show tends to represent the good in rank and file African-American males, and serves to misrepresent them as either criminals, abusive spouses or athletes. "I am waiting for a show that shows how black men are just regular people," says Watkins, who is a visiting scholar with the Center for European Economic Research this summer. "She doesn't seem to have much interest in supporting black men or the causes which affect us the most."

Watkins also admits that he has tremendous respect for Winfrey's achievements. He feels that her status as a rich and powerful African-American has served to inspire millions. He also cites her strong response to social justice as being a responsible use of her wealth and power. "Many people forget where they come from and forget to help others," says Watkins, who founded the "Step Up and Go to College Program" to help inner city students go to college. "Winfrey is right there with Bill Gates when it comes to using her wealth for the good of the world. I don't agree with her all the time, but the world is better off with Oprah Winfrey."

Watkins feels that Winfrey should pay close attention to the things she has in common with men such as Ice Cube and the rapper Ludicrous, given the fact that they've come from poverty as she has. He also argues that by having an established film maker and entrepeneur such as Ice Cube on her show, she can show the other side of black men.

"By having Ice Cube as her guest, she can show her audience the 'scary black man', and make the point that he is just like they are," says Watkins. "Ice Cube's family films were entertainment for EVERYONE, not just black males."

Dr. Boyce Watkins has lectured around the world, and frequently appears as a guest in national media such as USA Today, The New York Times, and Hannity & Colmes (Fox). He is also the author of "Everything you ever wanted to know about college". For more information, please visit or

For interviews, please call (315) 487-1176.

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