The Tragedy of (Slaying) the Truth: Omarosa Manigault v Bethenny Frankel

You-cant-handle-the-truth

“You can’t handle the truth!!!”

It would appear that this was the case on the Bethenny Show, a program on TV that I wasn’t even aware existed until 2 days ago. I am familiar with Bethenny Frankel who is a product of one of The Real Housewives franchises. I never cared much for her persona because I can’t relate to her and she appears to be nasty for the sake of the stink. That’s just my opinion of this woman from what has been edited and redacted for television. Likewise, Omarosa has been cut to fit the same cloth and will forever live in America’s consciousness as  “that angry Black woman from that one show” (i.e. The Apprentice).

Go ahead and choose your sides.

I was on Facebook a few days ago and saw a clip of the pair on Bethenny’s show. My friend who posted it captioned the link “This is what happens when you put two strong-willed women in the same room together…lol!”

That statement is unfortunate because it lends to the idea that there is only space for a single individual in leadership where the female sex is concerned, and that unlike men, women cannot collaborate when there is more than one strong presence in a space in time. And this is what America drinks and lives every day.

Women are catty.

Women are each other’s worst enemies.

Women are always trying to destroy each other!

That problem is only compounded when race becomes a factor.

I’m not going to include the clip on M.O.M. because the segment that is floating around paints a false picture of what actually happened on the show. I will (knowingly) not allow my blog to be a place for what Chimamanda calls the beginning a  story with ‘secondly’ thrive; and that is precisely what the internet is doing to Omarosa this week: Not providing  the genesis (or even a glimpse ) of how this whole kerfuffle began in the first place.

As I said, I cannot relate to Bethenny for several reasons. Outside of the fact that she and I possess a vagina and require oxygen to breathe and I can’t force any sort of commonalty with the woman just for forcing sake. I can and do relate to Omarosa however, for very obvious reasons. When she said that as an African- American she has to be exceptional at everything she does in order to get ahead in this business (read ANY business), and that Bethenny had the luxury of being “mediocre” to get rewards, she wasn’t lying. Her words evoked a collective gasp from anyone watching, but her words were true. It’s what us folk call “Black Tax”: you have to work twice as hard to get half as much. And even if we all know it’s true, we wouldn’t dare speak it out loud (most of us) and certainly not in a room full of White women! That being said, I HAD to wonder what led or forced Omarosa to say such a thing in that environment. You can call her crazy all you want to, but the woman has proven time and again that she isn’t stupid. This is where the “Second Story” begins.

If you watch the segment between the two in its entirety, you will note that Omarosa came onto the stage in good faith and was very pleasant from the beginning. During the course of their conversation, Bethenny threw several barbs at her, which Omarosa quickly addressed. She said she didn’t understand why she (Bethenny) would go onto The View and say such hurtful things about her, particularly that she (Bethenny) had a real career and Omarosa did not.

“I sincerely thought we were friends”, she commented almost wistfully.

“I wouldn’t say we were friends”, Bethany replied tartly. “And I never said you didn’t have a ‘real career’. In fact, if I said that I’ll give you $10,000!”

“And I’ll use the money to support my parishioners on Skid Row.”

Well of course after the producers checked the facts, those were Bethenny’s exact words. She quickly changed her tune and said that that was what she meant.

“You don’t have a brand, Omarosa,” she said condescendingly.

Omarosa replied that she TEACHES branding and marketing at Howard University, and oh, she’s also worked at the White House.

“What do you do, Bethenny? You bake cupcakes.”

With the gloves decidedly off, the two traded jabs and the show ended with Omarosa making the effort to extend the olive branch, saying the two had an opportunity to repair things.

“No we don’t, sweetie,” retorted Bethenny to wild applause.

With the audience clearly on her side, Bethenny declared at the end of the show that they “now know what Omarosa’s brand is.”

“It’s hate!” she said into the camera in that wild-eyed, glazed over stare I can’t stand.

I don't know any darkie by the name of "Kizzy"
I don’t know any darkie by the name of “Kizzy”

God, this all seemed so familiar. I’ve seen this before, again and again…. Like in every office I’ve ever worked in in the North Fulton area.  Oh, and on Roots.

The whole affair is very disturbing. I try not read what the Yahoo! trolls in the comments section have to say, but predictably they were on the socialite’s side, declaring that Omarosa was the reason racism was still alive and that she typifies the Angry Black Woman.

Yes. Shame on Omarosa for standing up for herself and repaying that emaciated wench in fistfuls of her own coin. She is the reason racism is still alive.

To quote the late Bernie Mac: A’murrica! Listen to me!

Black women of a certain pedigree don’t usually go around courting trouble. We have enough troubles in regular life to contend with. Omarosa did not go on Bethenny’s show to pick a fight or act a fool. But because she also doesn’t shuck and jive like Sheryl Underwood or isn’t as sweet and unintimidating as Gabriel Union, audiences don’t know how to receive her and women like Bethenny certainly aren’t ready for her. This is why this clip that only tells half the story (that I still will not share) is floating around. After all, how do you explain getting ‘owned’ and told off on your own show?  You can’t… so you do what women like Bethenny do best: play the victim.

If you think you’re big and bad enough to poke a hornets’ nest, you better be ready to get stung.

  • Nana Ama

    Since you gave me a choice, I choose Omarosa’s side! And good on her for stating her truth loud and clear in the manner she chose.
    I am fed up with ‘grin and bear’ it. These days, I have no qualms about yelling and baring my teeth if something does not sit right for me. You want angry black woman? I will give you angry black woman with whistles and bells on!
    And you know what? It works! Clears my sinuses, lungs and relaxes my muscles in ways that even workouts and detoxes don’t. I am so sorry it took me this long to find out:)

    • I’m sitting proudly in my Team Omarosa jersey too! I was so, so SAD watching that segment. It’s heartbreaking the way people just tear you down, back you into a corner and then assault you for defending yourself.

      Good on you for keeping your colon free of blockage, Nana. Let it out! Lol!

  • Ataylor

    I see it differently, Bethanney gave her the stage and she shot herself in the foot with the racist comment, the men bashing, and the catty female statement. Boo, too many excuses on her part. If you are going to be a strong black women, then do it with confidence and conviction, not by stepping on others. Poorly executed and unprofessional, I would say. You cant mend a relationship when you inject that the other’s success is due to racism. Come on, that is just unrealistic and should not come as a surprise.

    Omarosa may be a nice person but maybe that should have been discussed prior to the show or don’t accept the invitation until the air is cleared..
    She is a pretty lady, but drop the tough persona. The corporate world is difficult for everyone; everyone has to be strong- they just don’t wear it like a banner.

    • Of course I fervently disagree.

      Bethenny did not so much “give her a stage” as she led her to a stockade. She kept challenging Omarosa to define what her appeal was -which she answered- and proved it by saying that if people didn’t want to see her, Bethenny never would have booked her for her show.

      I will say that I was surprised by Omarosa’s “mediocre” comment. I don’t know what race you are, but I’ll wager if you ask any African American woman who’s ever worked in a professional environment to confirm that assertion honestly, 9/10 would agree. It IS different for White women. I can’t tell you how many days my Caucasian co-workers showed up let, did not respond to clients, made errors on accounts, sat in the break room crying over some weekend gone bad, all on company time and fully expecting to be cajoled and comforted by management. And guess what? They always were! I’d be fired post haste if I ever tried that.

      The incident begs the question though: can you have true reconciliation in a interracial relationship (in this case a fake friendship) if you don’t speak your individual truth? Sure Omarosa said White women get along by being mediocre, but likewise politicians of all shades charge that Black women get along by leeching off the system. The commonality in both cases is that most Black women have the sense not to say the former in public, and Democrats would never admit to the latter publicly
      because they want poor/Black votes. If those are Omarosa’s feelings, Bethenny’s stage was not the place to say it.

      Or maybe it was. We’re talking about it now.

      And if she ever dropped the tough girl act she’d be eaten alive. It’s not as though anything she’s ever said was untrue… it’s her delivery that says she doesn’t give a crap, and that’s what people can’t handle.

      Anyways, Bethenny needs to get to writing that $10K check before she becomes an example of and proves another thing BW say about WW…..

  • Ataylor

    I still disagree with you, but appreciate your opinion.
    I am strong individual, by no means does does than mean I am better than others. Being strong affords me the ability to be of more assistance to others. This does not entitle me to make demands or demand more from others than they are capable of giving. Being strong affords one the ability to handle more stress and responsibility. It is not synonymous with professionalism and class, those are cultivated through business acumen and the ability to overcome objectives and maintain composure.
    Blaming others for your inability to maintain professionalism is where I lost my support for Omarosa. You can’t blame everyone else, other women, men, and white people. That is not a good portrayal of a strong person. Not to be unsympathetic, it is a bit tired.

  • Ataylor

    Sorry- here is the re-edited version.

    I still disagree with you, but appreciate your opinion.
    I am strong individual, by no means does that mean I am better than others. Being strong affords me the ability to be of more assistance to others. This does not entitle me to make demands or demand more from others than they are capable of giving. Being strong affords one the ability to handle more stress and responsibility. It is not synonymous with professionalism and class, those are cultivated through business acumen and the ability to overcome objectives and maintain composure.

    Blaming others for your inability to maintain professionalism is where I lost my support for Omarosa. You can’t blame everyone else, other women, men, and white people. That is not a good portrayal of a strong person. Not to be unsympathetic, it is a bit tired.

    • AM

      @ Ataylor,

      In summation of all that Malaka wrote, Bethany was being a bitch. Omarosa as per my understanding of the events, reciprocated in kind. I am team O, simply based on facts provided. Your first comment had me at eh,??!?! Somebody comes for your weave, and you are going to be practicing diplomacy? Nah mami.

  • LaToya

    I totally agree with every word that you’ve written here. I watched that entire episode and was actually floored by Bethenny’s behavior. What really offended me is when Omarosa walked off, Bethenny made a “homegirl” remark that I know she wouldn’t have made had she had that some exchange with a white women. I really could not stand that there were black women in the audience cheering Betthenny on.

    • Gurl. YES! The cheering Black women in the audience were the saddest pieces of that fiasco. You get some free ticket to a C-rate show and then you want to act like you forgot how real life is in these here streets?!

      What a pathetic crop of miscreants.

  • ccberry

    Well, let me say that I have always tagged Frankel as a racist. Omarosa is always over the top, but, I was in complete agreeance with her response to Frankel.

    Frankel can have Black people on her show day and night, but she doesn’t fool me one bit. She’s made too many insidious remarks in other instances, several when she hosted The View, (about O.J. Simpson) which no one chimed in to support.

    I drink vodka cocktails when I imbibe and I will never buy any of her products.

    I’m glad Omarosa dressed her down. In this instance, Team O!