The Black community owes Tavis Smiley and Cornel West an apology. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Black community owes Tavis Smiley and Cornel West an apology.

September 7, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Cornell West and Tavis Smiley were the targets of a lot of vitriol when they launched their “Poverty Tour” and called on the President and the nation to address the issue of rising poverty for all Americans.

The vitriol and hate thrown at the two men was not coming from the right wing of the GOP or its surrogate Tea Party entities, it was coming from members of  the Black community. Unfortunately, many in the Black community did not take too kindly of two Black men objectively analyzing a Black President on if he was doing enough to address poverty. Many still feel that any criticism of the President is unacceptable.

Tom Joyner was so offended that Tavis Smiley raised the issue he fired him from his position as a political analyst on Joyner’s nationally syndicated radio program.

With the Democratic National Convention wrapping up in the Charlotte, NC, it is interesting to note that the issue of Poverty is part of the party platform.

“Fifteen percent of our fellow citizens live in poverty, and one in five families struggles with food insecurity. Many of these families work but are unable to pay the bills. The economic crisis has hit low- income American families particularly hard, but merely restoring our country to where it was before the economic crisis is not enough. We must make ending poverty a national priority.” – Democratic National Platform

While Tavis Smiley and Cornel West acknowledged that poverty was increasing for all Americans; they especially addressed the disproportional impact on the Black community.

It appears that the Democrats agree,

“We understand that poverty disproportionately affects communities of color and we are committed to working with those most affected by poverty.”

The Black community, some more than others owe these two men an apology because obviously there concerns were valid and more importantly they along with others, forced the Democrats to address the issue in their party platform.

Frederick Douglass understood all to well that power concedes nothing without a demand and that wisdom from an esteemed figured in Black history seems to be forgotten by the Black community. Just because a Black man holds the reigns of power in the form of the Presidency, he is still part of a political machine that only pays attention to those with the most lobbyist or those who make the most noise in voicing their demands.

Staff Writer; Scotty Reid

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10 Responses to “The Black community owes Tavis Smiley and Cornel West an apology.”
  1. charles lamont says:

    I’m an old white musician. I have a wonderful 14 year-old granddaughter whose mom is black. I was at Tavis and Cornel’s book signing because there are no other celebrities or public intellectuals -black or white -who will give visibility to to issue of poverty in the way that those two have. Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice and Colin Powell clearly do not have poverty on their agenda.
    Yes -the democrats are better than RomRyan on poverty but infinitely weaker than Cynthia McKinney ( my vote for president in 2008 ) on poverty and many other issues.
    Here in California we have 50 winner take all – not proportional -electoral votes. I’ll watch the polls carefully before election day but it looks like Obama’s gonna get our 50 votes. I’m going to vote For Jill Stein and hedge my vote by working against RomRyan in my precinct and in my media work.
    I’ll just put this out there -I don’t think it’s possible to be a Republican or Democratic president of this violent empire and remain a good person at the same time. The leaders of many developed countries don’t expect to have kill innocents in distant countries in their leadership duties. The killing of lots of folks including innocents goes with the job description of an American president. A candidate unwilling to kill could never become POTUS . The lesser of two evils gets more evil every time.

  2. Joe J. Thompson says:

    Why should we have to apologise to Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West for anything, because we disagree with them or think that they would serve their cause better by not critisizing, but offering helpful solutions to our leader who already has enough detractors. This is merely more distractions from educated intellectuals who are themselves walking a tightrope to please their masters of the corporate controlled media and keep the focus on themselves. We don’t need anything from President Barack Hussain Obama other than an equal playing field, so that we can do for ourselves. We all know that black and all minorities that are not alcholics, drug dependent or unhealthy are self motavited and do not need any special treatment only to be encouraged and treated fairly. Jobs are created by ingenuity and motivation of which all races have a wellspring, and if you go to any country you will see that most people given and opportunity to succeed, will. Teach a man how to fish and to take care of the water in which the fish live and then sell the fish when he or she has more than they need. We need to be self reliant and self sufficient and patronize each others abilities. Stop this crabs in a barrell mentality and be wary of the ‘distractions and pitfalls’ that promote the ‘dummying down’ and destruction of Americans, by the business conglomerates, that twenty four seven are trying to control us all with hype and lies. Tavis and Cornel have a legal right to critisize the President but they would be better served by offering solutions as well.

  3. Deanna says:

    Dr.West and Bro. Smiley know the game, they know that it is the unseen hands that runs everything in politics. (he was selected before he was elected )So by west and smiley talking all that trash about President Obama just shows white americans in 2012 how we are still divided and Willie Lynch plan is still in affect

  4. no rhyme or reason says:

    Unless you have power, there will be no holding anyone’s feet to the fire and quite frankly we relinquished power in 2008. Now shut up and enjoy the view from the back seat because that’s all we’re getting!

  5. Lonnie Radcliffe says:

    Scotty hit the nail on the head. These hero worshipping, narrow-minded, deluded negroes owe Brother Smiley and Dr. West a HUGE apology, and ALL Black people should feel deeply indebted to these two real -life heroes who are doing what the President won’t or can’t do…. that is, call attention to the huge inequality and poverty that threaten the very fabric of the Black community and American democracy itself.

    Let there be no doubt, we face powerful enemies who not only want to “put us in our place” but are also waging a savage war to put us all in bondage similar to slavery for Blacks, and middle age feudalism for White folks.

    We all better wake up and get the President re-elected. But more importantly, we have to look pass November 6, and if he is re-elected, hold the President’s feet to fire to provide material relief to the millions of Black folks who are in poverty and facing the highest unemployment rate in the country

    Lonnie Radcliffe

  6. Ford says:

    Grisso states that europeans do not have “the right to land” concept. Really. Our judicial system springs from ONE concept… trespass.

  7. Wardell Montgomery Jr. says:

    I think it is important that the Democratic National Platform agrees with West and Smiley. They have been on the cutting edge of this discussion for decades and it’s only awkward when the President is Black; one who does not want to use the words poor and black in the same sentence. Because the Right is extream, most Progressives let this president get away with murder. But the wars are another subject.

  8. Amen Brother Leon. Our people don’t have a clue who they are and what they accomplished. They don’t even know that we were the first educators of the world. Now the people we once educated are giving us the wrong education. They don’t want us to know about our great history, here and around the world. They do this because if they told us how great we really are, they wouldn’t be able to control us anymore. This is why it’s so important we have our own schools and everything else.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  9. Most Black People, (overwhelming majority) don’t have an abiding sense of their own ethnicity, or the rich legacy of Ancestral belongings. The works of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, Professor Obenga, at the Cairo Symposium for UNESCO in 1973 is virtually unknown in areas inhabited by people of African descent here in America or anywhere else. Dr Asa G. Hilliard said that we suffer from “conceptual incarceration”, and we should thank him for being kind with his “loving appraisal” of us. I am of the studied opinion that most of us don’t want to be AWAKENED from our “preferred dementia and amnesia”, because we don’t want to offend the “master’s” on our jobs or any other places of relative comfort we are involved with. We would much rather argue, and throw stones at each other, for mostly imagined, but sometimes real acts of contentiousness. We don’t necessarily owe Tavis Smiley, or Dr Cornell West an apology for thinking that the President should have made more of an effort to help the working, (some not) poor, because Mr Eric Williams book (Capitalism & Slavery) makes it VERY CLEAR what the European Asili was and is all about.

  10. Nicholas says:

    Bros. West and Smiley, have to understand that timeing is a strong componet of any negotiation or demand “Government pays attention to those with the most lobbyist or those who make the most noise in voicing their demands”, they will have a better chance of getting action if the President is reelected, or not.

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