Saturday, January 06, 2007


Oprah has just opened a $40 million dollar school in South Africa to help that country’s most needy citizens (adolescent girls). Josh made a statement in class attacking the critics of Oprah who claim the money would be better spent in the US saying, “Its not her responsibility to help everyone in the US” How do we feel about Josh’s comment. Although some of the comments in class tended to get a little side tracked there seemed to be three big issues. Should American philanthropists be restricted to where they give there attention? Do wealthy entrepreneurs have a responsibility or obligation to give back to the people they have created there fortune from? Once a person makes their money and accumulated an abundance of resources can the person use those resources how he or she deems worthy? What are the moral and legal obligations of the extremely wealthy?


carolina barberii said...

Personally, I love Oprah... she is my idol and I think everything she does is out of the kindness of her heart. Hearing that she is being criticized over the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls is very disappointing. I agree with Josh, I don't think she’s responsible to restrict herself to only helping the US. I also don't think she should donate the $40 million dollars to be divided among every school in South Africa. The purpose of this school is to benefit the country's most needy population and to ensure that they get the education they need. By only having one school the girls will get the attention they need and it is pretty much guaranteed that every single girl in the school will succeed. If the money was divided through out every school there is always a chance that some students wouldn't take advantage of the opportunity.

I don't think American Philanthropists should be restricted to WHERE they give their attention to but rather how much attention they give at all. I hate how some extremely wealthy people keep all of their money to themselves when at times they have more than they even need. I think there are many moral and legal obligations that should apply to the wealthy. I think that once you have a certain amount of money you should be obligated to give back a certain percentage to the cause of your choice or a charity provided by the government.

I completely support what Oprah is doing for the girls in Africa. After all it is HER money and she has the right to spend it on whatever she believes is right. I stand behind everything she has done so far especially this:>1=7703

vishnell said...

“This is everything I have ever worked for,” Education is the best gift you can ever have as a kid”. This is what Oprah Winfrey said in a magazine article. I think with that quote alone you already know Oprah`s motive by opening her $40 million South African “leadership academy”.

“It’s not her responsibility to help everyone in the US” – Joshua Crafton. At first when Josh said that I did agree with him, thinking she makes her money and the way she wants to spend it is up to her. Whoever and wherever Oprah feels she wants to help out is her choice because it is her money. When Mr. Brown and Mrs. Grants automatically attacked Josh by saying “You don’t think it’s her responsibility”? They explained to the class how when you make a certain amount of money you have to give back and that’s something I never knew but does make sense to me. I do think as someone being able to have all this money it is her responsibility to give back but I also think it’s her alternative where to give back.

American philanthropists shouldn’t be restricted to where they give there attention. Even though I do think its more helpful to improve education before starting education where it never was but this is up to the person donating their money because as long as their helping out, that is what matters. Oprah gives reasoning to why she chooses South Africa. In the article she explains “I understand what it means to grow up poor, to grow up feeling you are not loved.” “I wanted to be able to give back to people who were like I was when I was growing up.”

Why is she spending so much money overseas when plenty of U.S schools could use the support? Oprah said “I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there. In America if you ask the kid what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

I think from reading all these different articles I understand so much about her decision and why she did this. I respect her so much for what she is doing and think she is a great person.

“I now know this is why I never had children myself”, Oprah said at the inauguration. “These are my girls, and I love them, every one of them.”

Oprah explains herself on why she thinks these girls were worthy and exactly why she feels her money was put into the right place so I stand by her 100%

“This is the proudest, greatest day of my life”, she said, shedding a tear as the schools flag was raised.” When you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community- you change the face of a nation.”

I don’t know about you but I love Oprah Winfrey!

emonessgirl4u said...

Oprah i believe has every right to handle her money in any fashion that she deems responsible. Her belief is that her money will be put to better use by putting it towards a school in Africa and i have no problems with that. We have no right to say how she is handling her money is wrong and how she should be helping America and it's youth. She does do alot for America as it is and she is taking responsibility for another countries youth. The only thing that I am wondering is how are the leaders in Africa taking this. I wonder if they find this intrusion more troublesome then helpful. On the whole I believe that Oprah is doing what she feels is neccesary to help underpriveleged children in a country that desperatly needs it.

~* corrie r *~ said...

Just like Carolina I too love Oprah and see her as an idol for many people. I think that it is crazy that she has to stand up and defend herself for what she does with her own money. Reading the article that we discussed in history class made me very angry that people are upset with Oprah because she built a school in South Africa when they need schools. Only because South Africa doesn’t have or has limited resources in schools doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to an education. A lot of people said Oprah should have used her money to improve the schools in Chicago because she is from there. I think that if the people from Chicago want to improve the school system in Chicago they can by voting the right people in office, like we read in articles in previous classes about changing the school systems. Another thing that outrages me about this debate is that people act as if Oprah hasn’t done anything for the United States. Oprah has done more and will continue to do more for the United States. I agree with Josh when he said that Oprah is one of the biggest humanitarians. The U.S. is selfish and will always complain when someone does for someone else. Everyone should be happy that Oprah is using her money for people who are less fortunate.
In class we also talked about how wealthy people are obligated to give back to the economy which I agree with. Like someone said in class when you have a lot of money why wouldn’t you want to give back to the people or economy, these are the same people who made you who you are today. Wealthy people have the money to change or make a difference so why would they be greedy with their money. By Oprah building the school in South Africa plus all of the other things she has done for the U.S. and in any other countries is her giving back to the people or economy. So I don’t know why this is such a controversial topic.
I am 100% behind Oprah and the school in South Africa and will continue to support her ideas.

Anonymous said...

Oprah is an hero to many people in and out of the United States. She has worked hard to obtain her own show and to make her money. Many will disagree with her actions, for instance why is she in Africa? She should be helping more in America. Those were some comments said in our classroom and by many people outside them. The truth of the matter is however that Oprah is incharge of her money and can do with it what ever she deems fit. Whether the African Government is ok with this action for a school is on their terms. We have no right to tell her how to spend her hard earned money.
I personally believe that by her helping people in another country may be a good action in theory, but I do have to wonder what kind of effect it will take on the country. I hope it would be positive but there may be a backlash. It is a small posibility, but I am hopeful that this school will help the Country in more ways than one.
Michelle Asciote

Josh Crafton said...

I think that it is ridiculous that people are criticizing Oprah for being a humanitarian. Oprah opened a schoolin Africa out of the kindness of her heart for an advancement of an underpriviliged group of girls. Whether or not that school is in America or Africa should not be the concern. I agree with Carolina completely about the afact that if she Oprah divided the money through many different schools a lot of the students would not take advantage of their opportunities. I do agree that the governemnt should enforce people who make over a certain amount of money, as percentage of it should be donated to the charity of their choice. Oprah I think is an asset our country, in fact our universe. I feel that she is and has exhibit qualities of a completely selfless individual. She has given all of herself to so many needy individuals. I feel that it is people like Oprah who are innnovators of a advancement of our society.

shanicca conyers said...

I feel that if it is her money and she want to spend it on what ever she feels need help or is not doing to well... then she should do so. It is not like she never did anything for other places [America] in need... she is not the president, the governor or of such. So the ones that are complaining should do something about what they feel is not right with their own money. Oprah wants to make a difference and do things for other and there should never be a guideline or of such to spend her money. She not only helps out America she also helps the world. And as long she is doing positive with her money then I feel she can do whatever she wants. You really don't hear anyone complain about these rappers wasting money on bull when they could help save a country... a life or such.


oprah is not one of my favorite people in the world..but i see why so many people adore her...she is a nice and by far generous person but thats it...i understand why she built a $40 million dollar school to help those in need but all the "accessories" she added on to it i felt was a little ridiciuolous. I understand that the money went to the school because of the fact that it is one of the most needy population but still the money could have been evenly distributed to several schools and it would hvae still made a huge impact..but it is not my money and i cant tell oprah and neither should/could any1 elese tell her where her money should go!