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Yvette Carnell: How Both Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Tricked the Black Community

by Yvette Carnell

As a black media consumer who scans mountains of black media stories every day,I have to tell you, I get tired of being lied to. And the two biggest liars by far during President Obama’s first term have been Michael Eric Dyson and “Rev.” Al Sharpton.

In the lead up to the election, when Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley both implored the black electorate to push Obama for a black agenda, both Sharpton and Dyson circled the wagons, insulating the White House from any criticism from the black community, ensuring that Obama would not be held to task, certainly not during his first term.

Presumably, Sharpton and Dyson safeguarded the president to ensure that he’d win reelection. Sharpton gave up on any serious assessment of Obama early, saying he wouldn’t offer any criticism of Obama during his first term. He was rewarded with an MSNBC show.

Dyson, who initially gave a fiery roundtable lecture on how blacks couldn’t allow racial symbolism to trump accountability, recently demonstrated a complete 180 in his debate with Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford. His reward is coming, I’m sure.

But now there is good evidence that, contrary to the wisdom of Dyson and Sharpton, Obama didn’t need any protecting. He trounced Romney in Tuesday’s election, becoming one of only a handful of presidents to win 50 percent of the popular vote, and leaving me with no other choice than to believe that doing something substantive for black people during his first time wouldn’t have upended Obama’s  election prospects.

The black community could’ve gotten its pound of flesh, much like the LGBT and Latino communities had already, if we’d not been snookered, listening to old “Marble Mouth” Sharpton and “Bee Boppin’” Dyson.

Now we are all left hoping and wishing that, for the sake of his legacy, President Obama doesn’t forget about us during his second term. The smart thing to do would’ve been to secure something, such as legislation to reduce black unemployment or mass incarceration, before the election, but we weren’t smart. We were tribal.

To put it plainly, the black community got screwed by trusting two men who were never honest brokers in the political game they were playing. These men selfishly took advantage of their proximity to power, and successfully used  it as leverage for their personal brands, at the expense of the black community at large.

Listen black people: Nobody cares about us. Not even the people who were hired to care about us care about us. My advice? F*ck ‘em. And I don’t just mean f*ck ‘em right now, I mean f*ck ‘em forever.

Al Sharpton’s nothing more than an old guy with a bad perm. And Dyson’s just a smart guy who talks too fast. Who cares. Ask yourself, for once, what do you want?  What would you like to see President Obama do for black people? Put yourself and your family first. Then fight for that, no matter what. And if you find somebody with a platform who shares your view,  all the better.

But being loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you will get you nowhere. You don’t need Sharpton or Dyson to tell you what to do or think. You only need courage to stand up for yourself and the people you love. Once your love  for yourself and the people close to you becomes stronger than your love for Obama, or your respect for Sharpton or Dyson, then you’re ready to break free.

You don’t need Maybach money or a black prez to do it. You only need to love yourself more than you love everybody else. Love yourself, and then go for what you want. Everything else is just black noise. And it’s about time we drown it out.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.


209 Responses to Yvette Carnell: How Both Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Tricked the Black Community

  1. TMJ

    March 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    First of all, please excuse my lateness to the party black people but you all should quit hating the messenger and look at the obvious. Obama has not done jack doo doo for blacks in America and the shameful thing is, he is in the best possible position to stem the tides of oppression and inequality that has kept us down for far too long. Instead, what he has done is what all of these high society black folks do when they get into positions of authority. They sell out, distance themselves, and act like they don’t know you anymore. This is what black people generally do when they finally get a seat at the table; they treat their own kind like the stuff hanging at the bottom of their shoe sole.
    Yeah, we all bought into the “WOW FACTOR”. You know, the “Wow, our first black president” hype. We all viewed his election as a momentous occasion for blacks in America but now the honeymoon is over. Four years later, ain’t a damn thing has changed. The unemployment rate is still high. Incarceration rate, sky-rocketing. Disparity in minority own business opportunities, astronomically high. Funding for African American businesses, wait on it! Educational opportunities don’t hold your breath. And what does Obama do? He tells black people to shut up and help him fight! For what, more of the same?
    So, here’s some advice my brothers and sisters. If Obama is going to look the other way and treat black people just like the rest of the world then black people need to treat him just like any other POTUS. Hold him accountable. Remind him that we got his a$$ elected and re-elected. Demand that we get a fair shake. You know what? To hell with a fair because that won’t even scratch the surface in comparison to what we have endured. We need to be brought us in line with everyone else, in terms of opportunities, growth, and prosperity. WHAT BLACK AMERICA NEEDS IS A PERIOD OF PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT! One thing is for sure people, the likelihood of us ever seeing a black president again is slim to none. The likes of Mitch McConnell, Paul Rand, John Baeoner, and the GOP at large will make damn sure of that.
    And what excuse does he have? While the POTUS is dissing us, placing anyone but us in prominent cabinet and Supreme Court positions, won’t set foot anywhere near black communities, tells us to quit bitching, while he’s taking this posture in Washington, he’s being treated like crap and in many parts of the world, while in other parts, his name is being dragged through the mud. And, when they tire of whaling on him, they start in on his first lady. Seems to me, it’s time Obama face facts, take one for the home team, grow some backbone and do us this one solid. By now he should know that he’s damned if he do, and he’s damn if he don’t! And the former jail administrator is WRONG! A history of plight, poverty, oppression, dismantling of black families, lack of a father figure, products of bad environments, lack of hope for a better tomorrow, all go into making a criminal and ultimately landing him into prison. It is fair to say that these problems are not characteristic of any race nearly to the extent that they are characteristic of African American race. Please, get it right!

  2. Pingback: YourBlackWorld.net: Yvette Carnell: How Both Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Tricked the Black Community | Thoughtful Processes

  3. Larry

    November 18, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Sharpton they featured him on the front cover of “NewsWeek” along with the heading caption “The Re Invention of the Rev. Al Sharpton” before that they gave him a national radio show,they slated him a reality show they headed him a Black organization called NAN,they made him the source for those killed or brutalized by the police. They ran him around the country with the likes of Arney Duncan the Obama administration Education Sec. and the likes of Newt Gingrich these stooges were instruments in fostering the President’s program “Race To The Top” and getting rid of public education. Al was even given another sunday radio and a Tv show where he talks about education. Al also has been given a MSNBC hour long show where he is the Obama administration’s lap dog where he defends everything Obama.

    Now how did Black people allow this? Al Sharpton has now been compared to the likes of MLK. and No one has pointed this out and No one has drawn attention to how Black people have now come to accept anyting and anyone. Just try to bring up the issue of “The Black Agenda” or the subject of Black Proverty try bringing up the likes of Travis Smiley or Dr. West. Have you not noticed that Black people Nolonger meYes it is without question that some of Us have in fact been “TRICKED” by this President and some of those who have joined onto his message.What a tangle web we weave when we practice to decieve. We have always had “Traitors” among us,in the 60′s all of government at every level along with all of it’s local affilliates created a special program to deal with “The Rise Of Black People” the program than was called “COINTELPRO” short for Counter intelligence Program.

    This government program has never been abolished,disband,discontinued. In fact this program continues to exist to this very day,some of the charters have died off and in many ways “COINTELPRO” has increased,profected and broaden it’s scope using a more cerficticated,technological approach to it’s arsenal. Now again the message is indeed the same as well the motive the only difference now from the 60′s is not that many suspect that “COINTELPRO” is back and the degree to which this program is being used on the masses to include the other “BROWN” and disadvantaged people. Those that makeup Mitt Romney’s 47% and Dr.John Coleman’s term “The Useless Eaters”.

    The U.S governments program used many varying degrees of mind-control much of them have been dusted off and some have even been updated for example “Drones”, “HARRP”,”Bio genetically altered water and food sources. Have you not noticed that hardly anyone applies “Critical Thinking “to anything anymore and fewer question any alteral motive on anything of importance. Put short “Thinking” and “sound reasoning” are now things of the past. Just look at for example how they place their “Token”black leadership upon Us. take for example Al ntion the phase ‘Struggle” and absolutely No one thinks of openly speakingout against this administration about real core Black issues and holding this black president accountable? Yes the experiment continues and the degree that the hearts and minds of the masses is sliping away very very fast

  4. byron

    November 16, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I get so tired of you people saying that Obama is not just the black people’s president. We know this. But, what we want is for him to be the president for everyone including black people. He regularly addresses Hispanic issues right? He regularly addresses gay and lesbian issues right? He regularly addresses women’s issues right? He I have spoken many times concerning Jewish issues and Israel right? Blacks are and have a store it been the most oppressed race or class of people in US history! Dr. Dyson and tell Sharpton promised to take the president to task on these issues when he was running for president in 2008; they have not because MSNBC would not stan
    d for it. We are not asking for Obama to be the president of black people. But, it would be nice if he showed some concern for the black plight just as he shows concern for the plight of all the other oppressed minorities.

  5. omar blanco

    November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    As a “black” man there is nothing that I want from the government besides getting them to stop locking up our young brothers and sisters at a higher rate than whites for the same crime, especially a crime such as drug possession.

    More whites do drugs but there are more blacks in jail for having drugs. If you get rid of the crime then less young men go to jail, and more can get grants and financial aid for school. Then they will be in a better position to provide for their families and actually be there for their sons and daughters. If you keep locking them up then they become second class citizens who are unable to vote, unable to get a good job and thereby unable to support their families. Marijuana is not a drug. It’s a plant. I don’t smoke marijuana but who am I to be telling others that they can’t. Especially if alcohol is legal. But that’s for another discussion.

    If you lock someone up at a young age they are stuck with a record for life never to learn from their mistakes and forever stuck with the charges. The government can help blacks by not making it illegal to possess a plant. That’s what I want from my government. I don’t need a check or to be patronized, lobbied or pandered to by any political party. I’d like to be left alone without policemen patrolling my neighborhood looking for people who look like me and waiting for me to commit a crime when they are not in the white neighborhoods looking for weed smokers and cocaine abusers. If the police are out patrolling neighborhoods, then the probability of them catching a criminal is higher but the probability of racial profiling is also higher if most of the people you arrest are of a certain color.

    Here’s how it would work, not overnight, but over time. Don’t send a young man to jail in the prime of his life then he can get a degree or work and be a productive member of society. He can then be there for his son and daughter and with the support of a two family household young black and brown people can have the support to then become more productive members of society.

  6. GW

    November 15, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Ms Carnell, why don’t you point your high powered
    profile that you seem to have of other people
    at yourself, and see if the same kind of
    blanketed indictment that you so freely apply to
    other people also apply to you.

  7. Smith

    November 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Ms. Carnell,

    Just tell me one thing — why did you not include Melissa Harris-Perry in your scathing criticism. Were these two men any worse than this woman? If you don’t believe that to be the case and you care not to make the same criticism of a female who deserves it, then f**k you!

  8. Dr. J

    November 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I am so tired of hearing Smiley’s and West’s diatribe about what the President is not doing for poor people, and now this chick Carnell has jumped on their silliness bandwagon. Poverty existed long before Obama, and will exist long after his tenure. All of this name calling and putting down other Black leaders is counterproductive. I see these two have written another book they are trying to sell. How much of those proceeds will they donate to poor people? How much of the proceeds from Tavis books that he wrote while a contributor to the Joyner show did he donate to poverty? One of those books was written solely from contributions from the Joyner listening audience, and was on the NY Times bestselling list. How much of those proceeds did he donate to the people that contributed to the book? He used the Joyner show to promote his own agenda, and left for more lucrative opportunities. How much of the proceeds from their appearances on the “Poverty Tour” are they donating to poverty? Cornel needs to go home to his white wife, focus on teaching theology, and try to build coalitions to solve these problems; perhaps become a community organizer like the President did out of college. Many of these problems are better handled on the local and community level. Talk is cheap, and we are still our own worst enemy.

    The President cannot fix many of these problems, because the root cause of much of it is self-perpetuated; beginning with the family structure, or lack thereof. If young girls and women continue to have multiple births out-of-wedlock, and expect the government to take care of these children, then the problem will persist. Furthermore, they lack parenting skills and fail to instill values of education and a work ethic in these children. They want something for nothing, and their children adopt the same lifestyle; creating a vicious cycle. This is what Smiley and West should be addressing. Bill Cosby tried, and he was criticized. The road out of poverty should begin in the home–education and hard work. Most of our generation attended inferior schools. Yet we were successful because our families instilled in us values of education, morals, community, and hard work. We have to stop making excuses for the behavior of our people, and allow them to take responsibility for their own actions. Every time a Black male gets killed running out of a business with something he has stolen, the community is in an uproar. We want to march in front of the business, boycott the business, and have these so-called community leaders calling for justice for the PERPETRATOR. How whacked is that? Too many of our young men would rather spend their time robbing businesses, and our homes, than in school learning. The President cannot fix that! We would all be better served if West and Smiley would focus their poverty tour addressing this, rather than focusing on what the President is failing to do. The President can use all the help and SUPPORT he can get. Put your money where your mouths are, Smiley and West.

    As an educator, I am embarrassed at the behavior of our Black students. They are loud, disruptive, and are not focused on learning, but on foolishness. They are failing to take advantage of the education that is available to them; education that can move them out of poverty. The President cannot fix this. Immigrants come to this country not looking for government to solve any of their problems, but to take advantage of the opportunities that are there for those that want to work hard. They do work hard, SAVE their money, invest in businesses (not bling), support each other, and instill values of education and a strong work ethic in their children. We did that back-in-the-day, and we can do that again; if we can get out of the “gimme” mindset–that someone owes us something. Ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for ourselves!

  9. truthbeliever

    November 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Absolutely ridiculous article. We should never assume any responsiblities for ourselves. Instead, we should hold everybody else in the world responsible for our plight. We sell drugs be our communties are targeted and we’re in desperate need of the income. We have babies we can’t buy a gallon of milk for because we’re longing for someone to love. Our young males are hauled off to prisons acroos the country because the system was designed to make them falter. Afterall, their crimes are NOT that serious- they’re not mass murderers! President Obama should identify with and make special provisions for African Americans at the expense of every other race. We shouldn’t have to figure out how to graduate from high school and attend college or technical or get any sort of job training. We were tricked into mortgages we couldn’t afford so the government should pick up the tab. We shouldn’t begin to try to understand that eventually welfare and EBT cardsand housing vouchers are going to be a thing of the past. Survival of the fittest will be the rule of the day. But there’s no need for us to worry. After all, someone else bigger than us should take care of all these things. And if they don’t they’ve failed us.

  10. Kim

    November 13, 2012 at 9:56 am

    My fightis to win ppls souls. Each day God places more creativity within me to a work for His kingdom. Wealth and wisdom cometh from God. When we have more ppl to stand up to this belief we don’t need to hear what any of these so called leaders say or do. Put that energy into restoration for the loss. God can do teh miraculous. I can’t wait for the money to keep flowing for the creative dream God placed within me to HIS WORK and no one elses. God said we are to live in abundance then why are so many in poverty and appear to be comfortable with it? NO! This is not what gods word says. I will tell you if you keep putting trust in these so called black leaders and Washington you will remain in the position you are in for the duration of your life on earth.
    When God restores He gives back 7-fold of all teh devil stolen from us. And to Bobby what you said is the truth BUT…when children growing up are not receving love within thier home, lacking support in thier schooling/education they feel like a nothing. Therefore this is the number one cause for prisons being so full. When someone does not feel loved they will go out to get some kind of attention. NO! I am not condoning robbery and murder but in theri minds this is all that they know. So instead of pointing fingers at bad parenting, criminals, etc. Lets have PREVENTIVE Programs reaching out to the loss instead of criticizing them. None of know what goes on behind closed doors! And who are we to JUDGE! There is only 1 Judge. I rest my case!

  11. John

    November 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I didn’t find one point in your article that I could agree with. Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America, not only one segment of the population. It’s insulting that you believe we allowed 2 talk show commentators sway our vote. We have traditionally voted Democratic. Do you feel we should have voted for Romney? Why do you feel it is necessary to hold this President to a higher standard than his predecessors? What type of legislation do you think would prevent us from being incarcerated? And since the President doesn’t initiate legislation, have you petitioned any of your representatives over such legislation? Giving Obama hell? Please.

  12. Keeatae Hatcher Sr

    November 13, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Damn, what did they do to you? Your point is bogus to me. It’s just politics, love of self is mandatory & has nothing to do with your rant. Sounds like you’re looking for a spot on fox lol

  13. Dorothy

    November 13, 2012 at 1:07 am

    There is a mode of disagreement that is far more appropriate than the advice ‘…f*ck’em…!’ Surely, we can disagree without disrespect! From what I see in the classroom every day, Black folk – and many others – would do well to stop looking for a SAVIOUR outside of ourselves! Even if President Obama decided to act on ‘our’ agenda, exactly which agenda would that be…? What would be a satisfactory resolution for ALL OF US BLACK FOLK? Now is the time to be truly forthright and honest with ourselves, there are precious few jobs to be obtained in the country – and that is if you are highly qualified! Since you have a platform from which to speak, use it to empower and encourage! When people begin to see relevance and purpose in and for their lives, there will be no need to advise them to seek leadership from this one or not from that one…they will know from whom the most excellent advice springs and then make their own decisions to either follow or not! PEACE!

  14. Art

    November 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I have wrote to Tavis and Cornel asking them to submit just what they want President Obama to table for congress to approve on how to reduce the incarceration rate for Blacks in America.

    Tavis and his friend should really try to get Black kids to go to a Univerity or a College for an education instead of just trying to be the best basketball, and football players.Have you noticed how many Asians,Jewish,Chinese, people play in the NBA and NFL, but have the most Doctors, Lawyers, Pharmicists and Teachers in the United States.

    Let’s strive to educate our young.

  15. Maria

    November 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    What pleases me about this article is the response from readers. Just as I am delighted that so many of our people came out and voted, so I am pleased that your opinion as a contributing writer is not taking root and being cultivated in our view, and we do have opinions and views that apparently different from yours. It is unfortunate that your words are fruitless and in my opinion sadly expressed. This point of view is from another writer’s perspective.

  16. Bob Lee

    November 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Regardless as to the political clout and sociological prestige these two individuals find at the end of their proverbial rainbow, one thing will remain constant and may never change, that is : white anglo saxon protestants (including their new friends arabs, indians, and asians), will never welcome any person of African persuasion with a African central line of thinking (as if each one the aforementioned left their universal identity somewhere in the past).

    No. The idea and objective is to keep the descendants of america’s ex communicated African slave population pre occupied with challenges facing this whole white wonderful world they built for ‘themselves’, rather than staying on course with becoming an independent nation. America is no country for black people. So, what now? We watch as the entire coalition of eurasiaindopakaghanistanians who figure they might as well exploit the resources of Africa as long as no coalition of African forces is formed to resist and these American type continue pledging undying loyalty to one of the most covertly racist institutions on earth.

  17. Ralph Jones

    November 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Both Sharpton and Dyson have a perspective that they champion…just as West, Watkins and Smiley have.The difference is both Rev AL and Michael work for a news agency that has its own agenda,and as employess working as pundits for that news agency,they are responsible to promote their employers point of view.We all do that in our respective workplaces…and none of us represent anyone other than ourselves

  18. Ralph Jones

    November 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Both Sharpton and Dyson have a perspective that they champion…just as West, Watkins and Smiley have.The difference is both Rev AL and Michael work for a news agency that has its own agenda,and as employess working as pundits for that news agency,they are responsible to promote their employers point of view.We all do that in our respective workplaces…and none of us represent anyone other than ourselves