When I read that Oprah Winfrey was going to interview 50 Cent, I took a moment of pause.  I thought, “Why would a champion for women’s rights interview a man who has made millions by degrading women in every way imaginable?”

I thought that perhaps this was a public peace offering, similar to the decision by Elton John to perform with Eminem after a series of homophobic remarks.  I thought maybe it was also a reflection of Oprah’s development as a human being and her capacity to forgive.  Then, I came back to earth and realized that this was all about the Benjamins.  That’s why both 50 and Oprah are filthy rich.

A few years ago, I did a CNN segment with Wendy Williams and Roland Martin about Oprah Winfrey’s well-known beef with 50 Cent.  The question on that day was whether or not Oprah has an issue with hip hop and black men.  I certainly believe that Oprah has an issue with both, for very good reason.  Unfortunately, commercialized hip-hop has trained itself to become a bastion of disrespect for women and a force for the collective self-annihilation of black men.  The only thing that hip-hop artists on the radio respect less than black women is the value of a black man’s life.

Oprah, as the product of abuse at the hands of men, has no reason whatsoever to even begin to understand why 50 Cent makes the music that he makes.  Sure, we know 50 himself is the product of a dysfunctional upbringing, which makes him feel that he’s alone in the world and that everyone is a potential threat.  He takes tiny issues and turns them into petty beefs and is a man who is clearly starved for attention.  50 Cent’s personality quirks overshadow his brilliance as a businessman, leading much of the hip-hop world to think that he’s pretty much an a**hole.

“Isn’t 50 Cent the same dude who doesn’t have one negative thing to say about his ex -Chelsea Handler, but ruthlessly dogged both Vivica Fox and the mother of his child?” asked social commentator Yvette Carnell.

“Isn’t he also the same little diabolical miscreant who made a porn of Rick Ross’ ex as a way of getting revenge? Wait, did we ever find out who set fire to the mother of  his child’s home during their child support battle?” Carnell also asked.

Yes, he is and no we didn’t.  50 Cent is also the man who named his Dog Oprah at a time when he hated her guts.  Yes, a female dog is a b*tch, a word that 50 Cent uses all too regularly in his music.  So, given that 50 Cent’s dog has his own Twitter page, which proudly proclaims that the dog is “50 Cent’s Bitch,” that would ultimately mean that 50 Cent considers Oprah to be his bitch.  Now that’s what I call an evolution.

Oprah’s decision to interview 50 Cent as well as the incredibly untalented Kim Kardashian (next week) smells of the kind of desperation that we are not accustomed to seeing from the Queen of all things.  Oprah effectively crowned our sitting president, has more money than Jesus and creates best-selling books in a single bound.  Why is she interviewing men who make themselves powerful by making women feel powerless?  Has 50 Cent shown sufficient remorse to justify this kind of friendly sit down?  Is someone else pulling the strings behind this nonsense?

Perhaps Oprah is smarter than I am.  But this doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Also, my instincts tell me that 50 Cent does most of his charity work in order to obtain the publicity or to make money.  The kind of enlightened thinking that Oprah gives 50 Cent credit for is not supported by any evidence, given that his behavior over the last decade has been strikingly hurtful and immature (Yvette Carnell even mentions how 50 Cent recorded the rapper Young Buck breaking down on the phone over his IRS troubles).

I wish Oprah the best and I hope her network gets it together.  But if the interviews keep coming like this, we might all be forced to watch our hero crash and burn in public.  Oprah, please don’t degrade yourself any further.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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