'Stay in the light': Oprah's advice in an age of political unrest

Oprah's advice in an age of political unrest
Oprah's advice in an age of political unrest

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Oprah's advice in an age of political unrest 01:33

(CNN)Oprah Winfrey has some advice for Americans feeling jaded amid increasing political partisanship, debates on gun control and inner city violence: "You've got to stay in the light."

Everybody is "feeding ... on the hysteria and the negativity," Winfrey said, in an interview with CNN's Van Jones on his program, "The Van Jones Show," airing Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
"The darkness is there to show you your light," Winfrey advised, citing the example of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors who are now campaigning for gun control.
"Look at what happened with the darkness that showed up in Parkland (Florida), and the darkness that showed up on the streets of Ferguson (Missouri), and the darkness that showed up in many, many, many homes in Chicago with shootings and senseless murders -- it brings out the best in people," the TV legend and philanthropist added.
    Challenged by Jones as to whether or not this philosophy was really feasible, and what she would say to those who might say "we're tired of going high, we want to go low," Winfrey was clear.
    "There will be some people who do that, but you will not eventually win," she said.  
    The workers and leaders of the Civil Rights movement proved her point, she told Jones.
    "There hasn't been a darker time, I believe, for our people, other than slavery, than what was going on in the civil rights movement. And the young people, like the John Lewises of the world said, 'No more. Enough. Find another way,'" she told Jones, referring to civil rights icon and longtime US Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
    Winfrey added that she didn't believe in the old adage of "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." Instead, she argued, "what you do is already done."
    That's why Americans needed to be humble, and accept their culpability when it came to undoing the damage done by "reality culture," she told Jones.
    "Don't act like you didn't have a role in it. Don't act like you didn't participate in it because we have become this reality culture that acknowledged and said, 'if you do whatever it takes to win, if you undercut the other guy, if you could remain the survivor, if you can get to be the apprentice, if you can run the race, if you can dah-dah-dah ...'" she said, seemingly alluding to President Trump's 14 seasons at the helm of the television show "The Apprentice."
    "Whatever it takes to win, we have consciously said, 'That's OK,'" she said. 
    However, the key to surviving the political complexity of recent years, Winfrey argued, is understanding that, regardless of political affiliation, "at the heart of this, we all want the same thing."
    It's time, she insisted, to "transcend" any negativity.
    "I know that whether you are Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or whatever you call yourself, that underneath everybody is this desire and need to be valued. To know that what you say, what you think, what you want to do in the world, your fullest expression of yourself, is the thing that matters," Winfrey said.