by Lena Fields-Arnold
Omarosa is back in the news again. With the launch of her new book scheduled for release in literally just a few hours, her name has been on the lips of thousands of people-mostly to vilify her.
I have heard many people say a lot of harsh things about her over the years. I have to admit, the first time I watched Omarosa on The Apprentice I experienced some of these same feelings. It wasn’t until the end of the season, when many people to this day still believe she caused Kwame to lose, that I realized-“this chick is brilliant!”
First of all, she did not cause Kwame to lose. He’d already lost the minute Trump gave Bill (the white dude) the golf outing and Kwame (the black dude) a concert. Anybody with half a brain knew what that meant. Trump loves golf. Rich white men love golf. All the people with the most money to give would be at the golf tournament. Behind the scenes Trump’s gonna throw all the support he can into the thing he knows his buddies are most likely to support.
Omarosa’s a smart woman. She figured it out too-the jig was already up for Kwame, who has since spoken openly that he does not blame her for costing him the show. AND while he has not acknowledged her claims that the show portrayed her in a bad light, he does admit that reality TV is not really “reality” and things often get edited out.
So in Omarosa’s defense, the majority of the world was introduced to her through a “reality” show that is only loosely based on reality. “Reality TV can and does alter perceptions and make a us believe a person is either a hero or villain based on what they want us to believe. It’s all about what they allow us to see, and for the most part they only allowed us to see footage that most portrayed her as cold, calculating, and for lack of a better word bitchy.
Which leads me to wonder where’s the footage of her good, helpful, and friendly side?
On the show she was described by detractors as being “controversial, blindsiding, alienating, dog-eat-dog, in-your-face and acrimonious…and dubbed as the woman America loved to hate” and …TV’s number one bad girl…“(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omarosa_Manigault)
Omarosa herself has rejected these labels “asserting that when a male takes on such characteristics, it is always seen as strong, but when a woman takes them on, it is seen negatively.”
You know what, she’s right! If Omarosa was a white man they would call her a shrewd and crafty strategist. She’d be a hero. They’d name babies after her and corporations would be begging her to come and work for them.
Why is it that when a woman is strong and assertive she is often described at domineering and aggressive. Haven’t I had these same labels put on me? A black woman has it even harder. There’s a black man on You Tube who I won’t dignify him by saying who is is who often describes black women as “beasties.” Seriously! I see white women who behave the same way as the black women he loves to villify and he doesn’t call them beasties. I have a name for him and it’s Uncle Ruckus!
I could give all kinds of examples from my own life, so we’ll just start with a recent one. I was pulled over by a police officer. All I did was ask him a question and he accused me of being argumentative. I didn’t yell, I didn’t raise my voice. I complied with all his requests. Let start by saying it wasn’t racial. This was a light skinned black cop who was young enough to be my son. Anyone reading this knows his attitude would have been different if I was 1)a white man 2) a white woman or 3) a man of any color.
But I digress, as I often do, because this is about Omarosa.
Internationally known by only her first name, Omarosa became a global TV sensation on the first season of the NBC hit reality television show, The Apprentice, starring business tycoon Donald Trump. Omarosa went on to roles on the show’s sister programs, Celebrity Apprentice, All-Star Celebrity Apprentice and dating show The Ultimate Merger. In 2016, candidate Trump named Omarosa Director of African American Outreach for his presidential campaign. After the election, she was named Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. Omarosa’s long-time relationship with Donald Trump and position within the West Wing gave her an unrivaled vantage point on the inner workings of the Trump White House during its tumultuous first year. (Shamelessly stolen from her website because why work hard when the works already been done for me. Feel free to click if you want to read more)
Before all that though she attended Central State University earning a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism, received a master’s degree from Howard University and began working towards her PhD. She’s studied at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, and has since become a license and ordained minister. She’s also worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore and the US Commerce.
Those are pretty impressive credentials for a small town girl from Youngstown, Ohio. Have you ever been to Youngstown? I have. No offense to Youngstown, I’m just glad she made it out of there.
So she gets fired (or resigned depending on who’s telling the story,) either way we got black women putting her on front street talking about “Bye Felicia.” These are the same women who glorify people like Beyoncé, Rhianna, and Niki Minaj who let’s face are glorified strippers and Cardi B., who literally was stripper.
Try going onto the average church and saying something bad about Beyonce’ and see what kind of push back you’ll get. Let me say what I just said on Facebook and every carnal Christian will come out of the woodwork and tell me to “stop judging Beyonce’.” But if I was to say something bad about Omarosa, a married, ordained minister, who has never spread her legs open wide and shaken her booty in front of a camera and they will all join in on the backbiting and hating.
In defense of Omarosa, here is an intelligent, high achieving black woman and instead of embracing her we are hating on her. Listen if you are still mad about her behavior on reality shows then you still don’t get it. It’s all a game and she has never stopped playing it! How else do you explain why she keeps ranking in the top of the game?
You’re angry at her for supporting Trump?
You ticked off ’cause she went to work for Trump?
You all pissed off about her book?
In case you are wondering-No I don’t know Omarosa. I have never met her. But I do know a couple of her friends and they are really nice people and I like them, so I figure she can’t be all bad. But that’s not why I wrote this. I wrote it because I am tired. I’m tired of strong, intelligent, successful black women being labeled and vilified simply because they have the courage to stand up for themselves. I might not like her choice of candidates but I have to admire the courage it took to support him. Plus, how many black women besides Condoleeza Rice can say they worked for a President of the United States?
But hey maybe it was just for the money. Frankly I’m not really mad about that either. ‘Cause let’s be honest if Trump called me right now and offered me $300,000 a year to be his Communications whatever, and I knew I could get a $10,000,000 book deal afterwards I’d be like “SIGN ME UP FOR SOME OF THAT RIGHT NOW!” You know you would too.
———————————————————————————————————————————-Lena Fields-Arnold is an author and motivational speaker whose work has been featured in numerous papers and periodicals. As a writer, Lena seeks to push people past their comfort zones and engage in meaningful dialogue that moves beyond the boundaries of political correctness, and leads to real understanding and mutual respect-even for opposing opinions and beliefs. Lena received her master’s degree on Executive Leadership from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and her bachelor’s in Mass Communications Wright State University in Dayton, OH. As a journalist, she has written for several periodicals and was endorsed by the late CBS News Correspondent Ed Bradley for “…being a thoughtful writer who goes beyond…” To read more of Lena’s Work visit Stuff Inside My Head- the Official Blog of Lena Fields Arnold at: https://lenafieldsarnold.wordpress.com/