The former child actress who charmed America in “The Cosby Show” for most of the ‘80s shocked megastar Oprah Winfrey during a recent interview when she declared she considers herself “American,” not “African-American.”
The now-grown singer and actress Raven-Symone, who played Bill Cosby’s step-granddaughter Olivia in the long-running series, told Winfrey she is in a loving lesbian relationship and is glad gay marriage is making strides legally, but rejects being called “gay.”
“I’m proud to be who I am and what I am,” she said in an interview on the OWN network. “I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’”
So far so liberal-good for uber-liberal Oprah. But then Raven-Symone got to race.
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” she said.
Take that, Al and Jesse — and Eric, and Valerie and Barack.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Winfrey said. “Oh, my lord. What did you just say?”
“I mean, I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go…I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person.”
Winfrey wanted more. Could Raven-Symone really mean it?
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven-Symone said. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America’s supposed to be?”
Check out the interview here, via YouTube. Then check out the Twitter reaction below. Oprah was right about setting it on fire — but be warned, the language is pretty ugly.
However sensible Raven-Simone might have sounded, the response from some blacks on Twitter was blazing.
Raven Symone’s personal views are a result of white privilege and she don’t even know it. But we should let her be happy in her ignorance.
— Mama Pope (@x_JessNOSimpson) October 6, 2014
Can we agree that Raven-Symone should be labelled confused as fuck?
— Alvin Blancowitz (@Aqua174) October 6, 2014
Raven Symone is acting VERY lightskin this week. — Allez vous faire (@toky0_martian) October 7, 2014
— Yemi Oyewole (@YBenzO) October 7, 2014
Raven is gonna wind up in a situation where the privilege will be superseded by what people see her as. That ‘New Black’ gets folk effed up.
— Christopher Smith (@infinitewords14) October 6, 2014
Raven Symone disappointed me. Fuck this “New Black” wack ass ideology. Kissing the white man’s ass isn’t gonna protect you from oppression
— Hoheo Taralna (@RondehoTehal) October 6, 2014
But she had her defenders.
@toky0_martian Basic common sense is light-skinned? So being an idiot or labeling oneself incorrectly is black-skinned?
— Furion Fire (@FurionFire) October 7, 2014
@The_TeenAge_FBI She didn’t mess up. She was great. Stop race hustling.
— Classic Conservative (@Lessgovmorefree) October 7, 2014
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