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Oprah on Race in America: ‘People Think If They Don’t Use the N-Word They’re Not Racist’

Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker’s latest film “The Butler” and recent racially charged stories of racism have reignited a passionate discussion about race. Last night Winfrey and Whitaker sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360″ to discuss the film and well, race.

Cooper asked Winfrey her thoughts on the juror in the George Zimmerman’s murder trial who declared race was not a part of the case. She responded:

“People [don’t] feel that it’s race because they don’t call it race. That’s not what they call it. A lot of people if they think if they are not using the ‘n’ word themselves … and do not have-harbor ill will towards black people, that it’s not racist. But you know, to me, it’s ridiculous to look at that case and to not think that race was involved.”

Winfrey also took the time to clarify the comparison she made between Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till when she stated, “they were the same thing.”

“The truth of the matter is, Emmett Till became a symbol for those times as Trayvon Martin has become a symbol for this time. I mean there are multiple Trayvon Martins whose names never make the newspapers or the headlines.”

On the film, she noted that it “brings context” to the discussion on race.

Watch the interview above. “The Butler” hits theaters Friday, August 16.


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