Oprah Winfrey has a $2.9 billion net worth. Recently, Oprah reported she experienced racism while shopping at an upscale store in Zurich, Switzerland. Oprah stated a store clerk refused to show her a handbag valued at $38,000. The store clerk did not recognize Oprah and supposedly told her it was too expensive. A female African-American billionaire was schooled in European-style racism. Her inflated ego is bruised.
However, there are two important lessons to be learned from Oprah’s experience. First, billions of dollars does not inoculate African-Americans from racism. Second, now we know why the wealthy and Rush Limbaugh howl when there is talk about raising the minimum wage. Satisfying their lust for $38,000 handbags and other high-end goodies is more important than paying lower-class workers a living wage.