Boyce Watkins and Wendy Williams' Comments on the Oprah Winfrey-Ice Cube Feud Incite Passionate Reactions from Thousands – Professor to Set up Public Forum on the Issue

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Dr. Boyce D. Watkins, a prominent professor at Syracuse University speaks with Wendy Williams in New York City about the Oprah Winfrey – Ice Cube controversy, alleging Winfrey’s possible bias against black men. Professor establishes web forum to allow the public to address differences

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But if you are a rank and file black man, you are more likely to be put on the show if you are ‘on the downlow'(secretly gay) or beating your wife. I rarely see the spotlight placed on black men who are on the front lines working hard in their communities to educate and empower their people.

Dr. Boyce D. Watkins, Finance Professor and author of What if George Bush were a Black Man? has received an overwhelming and highly emotional public reaction to his recent article on the feud between Oprah Winfrey and the rapper Ice Cube. Speaking to Wendy Williams in New York City in front of 11 million listeners, Watkins now admits that he was shocked that people were so emotional in their feelings about Oprah Winfrey. “The last time I checked, her name was Oprah Winfrey, not Jesus Winfrey, so she is not above being questioned,” says Dr. Watkins, who has also appeared recently on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. “ Every radio station I’ve spoken on has had the phone ringing off the hook, and my email is about to crash from all the messages. Whether people were in support of her or against her, the feelings are always passionate.”

Email responses to Watkins’ statements have been in support of Winfrey by a 2 to 1 margin, but there are many who are relieved that someone has challenged Winfrey’s portrayals of black men. “We have those who worship Oprah like she’s a God,” says Watkins, “and we have those who are thanking me for having the courage to confront the issue openly.” Dr. Watkins argues that the highly emotional feud between supporters of Winfrey and those of Ice Cube points to a rift between men and women, especially in the black community. This has led him to set up a public forum on his website to allow people to make their comments public. "Most of the comments were strongly along gender lines," says Watkins, who has given investment advice in Essence Magazine and USA Today. "I saw alot of men who feel that they are being ignored, disrespected and mistreated, and I saw alot of women saying 'so what?'"

Watkins tries to make it clear that he is not against Oprah Winfrey. “I told Wendy and other media that my PhD is in Finance, not ‘haterology’. I am not trying to embarrass her or bring her down,” says Watkins. In a column written for several magazines this month, Watkins (who is a big fan of the rapper Ice Cube) points out the fact that Ice Cube and other rappers have been very offensive to women over time. “Ice Cube has spent years calling women degrading names,” says Watkins, who appears in Black Enterprise this month. “Now, he wants to get on a show hosted by one of the women he has been insulting. Sorry my man, it doesn’t work like that.”

Dr. Watkins, who is going to be a visiting scholar with the Center for European Economic Research, explains that the presence of very prominent black men on Winfrey’s show does not mean that she does not have a bias against black men. “If you have a Grammy Award, next to your Nobel Prize, next to your Academy Award, then you are OK with Oprah,” says Watkins. “But if you are a rank and file black man, you are more likely to be put on the show if you are ‘on the downlow'(secretly gay) or beating your wife. I rarely see the spotlight placed on black men who are on the front lines working hard in their communities to educate and empower their people.”

Watkins hopes that his forum can serve as a place of healing and understanding for the nation, especially for people of African-American descent. “These vehemently emotional opinions on both sides of the fence call for the need for understanding,” says Watkins. “This is what I aim for in my commentary and writing.”

Dr. Boyce D. Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University. He is also an advocate for education and runs the Step Up and Go to College Program, designed to get inner city students to go to college. He has been a guest on Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, Hannity & Colmes, and cited in The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and many other outlets. For interviews, please call (315) 487-1176. For more information, please visit http://www.boycewatkins.com.

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