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Tom Joyner Goes After Tavis Smiley, Says He Wants to be Martin Luther King

tavis-tomby Dr. Boyce Watkins

I remember being in 11th grade and seeing two young girls get into a fight with one another.  This was no ordinary fight, since the two girls had once been inseparable.  When you saw one, you saw the other.  Then, for whatever reason, a boy came between the two of them, and it ripped their friendship like a helpless pig in an Oscar Meyer slaughterhouse.

The fight wasn’t just nasty because the two women were going at each other’s throats.  It was made even more toxic by the fact that they’d once been so close.  All the dirty laundry and nasty secrets were tossed out into the street, and both girls ended up making themselves look silly.  All the while, the boy who came between them was sleeping with both girls at the same time.

I think about that fight when I observe the now-defunct relationship between former on-air buddies Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley.  These two men were once Frick and Frack, tag teaming the most powerful black radio platform in the country.  I remember these two extraordinary men speaking up for black people in their own righteous, albeit corporate sponsored, kind of way.   While I am not a fan of “Black liberation brought to you by McDonalds,” I’ve always admired the way Tom and Tavis have been able to work their magic and make a living, all at the same time.

But like those two girls in high school, a man has come between Tavis and Tom and destroyed their friendship forever. That man’s name is President Barack Obama.

Tom has been enamored with Obama from day one, supporting every policy that comes out of the White House as if he were an employee of the administration.   He defends the Obamas like they are the black royal family, with power that is not to be questioned by any of those who dare to believe that we live in a Democracy.  Tavis, on the other hand, seemed to have alliances with Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential election which led to him overplaying his hand and going all-in on the pending Obama presidency in a way that left him both defeated and marginalized after King Obama entered into the White House.

I felt bad for Tavis when he went after President Obama, largely because I didn’t feel that his attacks were always genuine.  While I certainly admire his crusade on the important issue of poverty, I couldn’t help but feel that there were more peculiar motives at work.  Additionally, I must honestly say that Tavis might have over-estimated the power of his own voice, since black people were unable to hear his words at that time (it’s hard to talk to anyone when they’ve fallen in love).

What made me saddest was to see Tom being forced to sever his relationship with Tavis in order to save his show from the backlash that comes with having your co-host use your platform as a daily soap box to bash a man (Obama) who millions were convinced was a political reincarnation of Jesus Christ.  When you decide to raise up a stink that is going to get this kind of reaction, you should probably not do it in someone else’s house.

This week, Tom wrote an interesting article on Black America Web about his former friend Tavis.   Joyner found himself responding to recent remarks Tavis made about President Obama having the audacity to leverage the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King during his recent inauguration.  Said Tavis:

“Obama is a politician, and a pretty good one, but King was a prophet. And while I can appreciate the president’s fascination with King’s legacy of unarmed truth and unconditional love, I’m feeling some sort of way about King being used symbolically for public pomp and circumstance, but disregarded substantively when it comes to public policy.”

Tom then replied with this remark:

… I believe that Tavis is the one fascinated with Dr. King’s legacy, but more importantly Tavis is fascinated with his own legacy, and that’s not good. He wants more than anything to be remembered the way Dr. King was, and to some how make that kind of mark on the world.

Dr. King wasn’t concerned about how he would be remembered, he was concerned with doing good and doing right. In the end, that made him great. Tavis has done a lot of good things but his obsession with becoming great is destroying him. The whole issue with the inscription on the King Memorial illustrates the differences between Tavis and Dr. King. Days before he was killed, believing that death was imminent, Dr. King dealt with it publicly in his Drum Major speech.

Dr. King knew good things would be said about him in death and he was humbled at the idea of it. Tavis is afraid of what will be said about him and it’s driving him crazy. …

Here’s what I find to be interesting about Tom’s comments:  Notice that Tom pretty much focuses all of his attention on the flaws of Tavis Smiley and not on the flaws of President Barack Obama.  It’s not as if Tavis is wrong about the Obama Administration’s neglect of the problems of poverty, racism and mass incarceration.  The Obama Administration recently stated that immigration reform is its top priority, this in spite of the fact that black voters gave Obama far more support than the Hispanic community.  If Obama didn’t have a lovable African American wife, this move would be considered nothing short than a slap in the face to all of black America.

The president, even while agreeing that the War on Drugs has caused the black community irreparable harm, has barely used his pardon power to help achieve retroactive sentencing for the tens of thousands of men and women who remain behind bars with sentences that were the result of the 100-t0-1 crack-to-powder disparity.  Part of the reason we now have a culture of single parent households and so much urban violence is because the federal government supported efforts to bring drugs and guns into black communities.  President Obama is complicit with this legacy via his own inaction, and anyone who has spent time in urban neighborhoods knows that this kind of political neglect is simply unforgivable.

My point here is simple:  Tom, like many of us, realizes that going after the easy target makes for a comfortable argument.  Tavis and his imperfections (which I can’t entirely disagree with) are the simple target.  The difficult target for Tom Joyner is the Obama Administration, which has used its power to create the divisions that have undermined the quest for unified African American leadership.  This was a deliberate strategy to silence all of black America by only inviting the weakest voices to the table of negotiation and keeping strong voices outside the discussion.

So, here’s my advice to Tom:  Stop talking about Tavis and start talking about the issues.  You and I can agree on at least a couple of things:  Poverty, violence, black unemployment and mass incarceration are serious problems in the black community, and we also agree that President Barack Obama can help.  Finally, we hopefully agree that no president in American history has received this much support from the black community, which means that we have paid the extraordinary price to lend the Obamas an unprecedented amount of political capital that they are now investing in other special interest groups.   Some of the time he is spending catering to gay and Latino communities belongs to us, and the president knows it.

The bottom line, without question, is that WE ARE OWED SOMETHING FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION.  If Barack Obama were a white man, there would be no way he could get away with getting this much black support without doing something for our community, so a man with a black face should not be allowed to get away with this either.  In fact, if Barack Obama had been born white instead of bi-racial, Tom Joyner would be protesting in front of the White House with his best friends, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West.

This nonsense must come to an end, and we must begin judging politicians by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. So far, President Obama has played the race card beautifully, but at some point, he must produce something to prove that he has our interests at heart.  Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, no matter what their motives may be, are speaking to the issues that matter the most for our community.  So, even if they have personal reasons for pursuing their agenda (which would make them no different from Obama, Joyner or anyone else), this does NOT invalidate the agenda altogether.

As far as Tavis and Tom are concerned, I don’t know if they will ever be friends again. But they might be able to learn a lesson from the two girls I knew from the 11th grade.  Once the girls realized that they’d been pitted against each other, they apologized, rebuilt their friendship and remained friends to this day.   Also, after seeing the women commit themselves to a unified front, the boy they were chasing found them much more difficult to manipulate.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

 

254 Responses to Tom Joyner Goes After Tavis Smiley, Says He Wants to be Martin Luther King

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  2. Marty

    April 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Tom should just stick to what he does best. Not even close to politics. Stop being a homer and be genuine. Everyone should hold Obama accountable. African Americans need to look at how what he has done is benefiting their community. Personally, it’s not adding up well for us.

  3. Rev. George Brooks

    March 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Tom Joyner wants to be the number one Negro of black radio on the white folks media plantation. And he can’t get Tavis Smiley to become a Negro clown the likes of himself. Which is what his white-Jew masters want Tavis and Carnel West to become, and to stop saying anthing against the Jewish-controlled Negro who is merely sitting in the presidential chair in the White House. Whom David Axelrod, Peter Rouse, Jacob Lew and a host of other Jews are actually in complete control of. With all of the blacks in the media simply following what the Jews have scripted for them to follow, including Al Sharpton on MSNBC. Sharpton sold out for a paycheck when coming on TV to give up his leadership right to speak out against anyone or group that civil rights groups feel are in conflict with any right of black folks. Now he is not allowed to find even a slight fault with the president and his Jew bosses, no matter what it is. Even the drones, which are killing innocent men, women and children. Or the racism that is taking place in Israel, with many leaders around the world speaking out against, including former President Jimmy Carter, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Desmond Tutu and others. Joyner is a disgrace. — Rev. George Brooks

    • Romona

      April 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Mr. Brooks, Sir;

      Please tell me that you are not Really a minister. With so much hate spewing from you; please say that you are only pretending to me a minister.
      What church are you affiliated with? Please tell the world. I cannot imagine sitting in your audience on Sundays and you speaking to the congregation like this. It does not make sense. A minister is supposed to unite, find a way to say both sides and allow the audience to agree or disagree. Come to Jesus or not come to Jesus.
      What college did you attend to become a minister?
      I do not hear you speak ill or disrespectful of any of the Republicans, Fox news, the conservative radio station host who believe that President Obama is not their President because he is Black. The Republicans are very disrespectful and have; if President Obama says yes, they say no to policies. They say no to policies that they have supported in the past but are only now disagreeing with because our President is Black.
      They say that President Obama should not be President because he was not born in the United States.
      1. Mitt Romney’s dad (George Romney) was born in Mexico after his dad fled America so that he can continue to have the five wives that he had and to not be put in jail. But, George Romney ran for President (although we know he was not born here) anyway and the Republicans said nothing.
      2. Ted Cruz was born in Canada and the Republicans said they want him to run for President and they do not care that he was born in Canada.
      3. Why are you not speaking on that, Sir?
      We did not see Tavis or Cornell go and march in New Orleans, other cities or states or Washington, D.C. when:
      1. Former President Bush did not take care of the Black people in the Superdome or in the city.
      2. Former President Clinton put the disparage jail (prison) time for the difference with crack cocaine (what more Black people used) to powdered cocaine (what more White people used). More Black people are still in prison for Clinton’s policy. Oh, we forgot that Tavis said that President Clinton was our First Black President and this may be the reason he was more for his wife to become President than President Obama.
      3. President George W. Bush and Clinton allowed business to go overseas and were paid to go by American tax dollars which in turn, stopped good jobs for happening here in the United States of America.
      4. We did not see Tavis march against any of the Bushes, Clinton or Reagan for their injustices against Blacks in the prison system.
      5. We did not see Tavis or Cornell go to Fox and talk ill of the Bushes, Reagan, or any Republican politician or radio host. Oh, I forgot, the Republicans would not let them.

      Everyone reading your comments has to believe that you are really a white guy who is ONLY pretending to be Black? You have to be. If you are really Black and a Minister, why are you not encouraging both Mr. Joyner and Mr. Smiley to come back together to unite Black America? Is it because you are not Black? Is it because you want to see division in the black community? Are you being paid by anyone to cause such pain? And, if so who, why and how much?

      Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not agree all of the time with formers President John F. Kennedy and Johnson but they were not disrespectful.
      If Tavis does not see President Obama addressing certain issues, why does Mr. T. Smiley not reach out to President Obama; if he really want to be helpful for America.
      Thank you again Mr. George Brooks for listening. Please address my questions and if I do not see them, others will and it may assist them in understanding your point of view better and who you really are.

      Thank you again,
      Have a great day and an even better week.

  4. Xavier James

    March 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Enough crazy white folks already hate obama.In this economy-Why do so many so called black leaders want so many favors from the black president? Then they get mad because Obama wont buck the establishment and is unwilling to risk his family or take a bullet for their begging as*es.

    • Marty

      April 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Blind leading the blind. A comment against the man does not mean you hate him. Obama has disrespected you and you don’t even know it. He wanted the job, he got the job, now do the job well. Brother you need to wake up and stop giving up what little progress you’ve made.

  5. charles davis

    February 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO,HE CAN,T GET A WHITE BILL PASS, IN THE HOUSE SO HE IS SUPPOSE TO GET A BILL PASS FOR BLACK PEOPLE, WAKE UP, WE AS BLACK PEOPLE HAVE A BIGGER PROBLEM,OUR YOUNG BLACK MEN KILLING EACH OTHER DID OBAMA START THAT OR CAN HE STOP IT, HELL NO,WAKE THE F—– UP.

    • Marty

      April 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Honestly, I expect him to do what we ask him to do. Most things are reasonable. No different for him as with those other elected bozo’s. It doesn’t matter whether he started it, he is the one in office NOW. Get to working on the problems and stop using these distractions as an excuse. At least try to do something. What a wasted vote!

  6. kJamesVersion

    February 1, 2013 at 5:05 am

    YOU ASK AND DEMAND NOTHING . . . YOU GET NOTHING! WHEN BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA (NO MATTER, WHO WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE)HAD AN AGENDA, SUPPORTED BY THE BLACK VOTE …WE, GOT RESULTS!

  7. kJamesVersion

    February 1, 2013 at 5:05 am

    YOU ASK AND DEMAND NOTHING . . . YOU GET NOTHING! WHEN BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA (NO MATTER, WHO WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE)HAD AN AGENDA, SUPPORTED BY THE BLACK VOTE …WE, GOT RESULTS!

  8. Mali-Ma

    January 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I love president Obama, I campaigned for him, I volunteered for him from the first election to this last election. As a matter of fact I worked so hard in the last election I have never seen myself get so involved in an election especially after the first debate where he did poorly and the pools started turning around in favor of his opponent.
    My question is whenever someone from the black community mentioned about the president helping the black community – the excuse we give is: He is the president of America not just black America. Ok that’s true. If that is the case, if we look at the structure of his cabinet why is that 70 – 80 % (Percent) his cabinet (appointees) comes from one community which is the Jews community which is the smallest community in the United States? Should the rest of America ask the president, what about us Mr. President why are we not been appointed in your cabinet? Is this fear to the rest of America?
    To my brothers and sisters who keep giving this excuse “Is the President of America not just Black America” I want you to answer this quest for me. Why is that 70 -80 % of his cabinet comes from the smallest community (Jews) in the country? Some of you do not even know this at all, all you see is white faces but who are they?
    I volunteered for the President not only for him but as a sense of pride for our race and for our great, great forefathers and mothers that were brought here in Slave Ships, those who did not make it across the Atlantic Ocean but perished in the middle passage. May the peace and blessings of God be upon their beloved souls. A people that were brought here as slaves if one of their siblings ascend to that level of power (President of the United States) that is so great.
    I also believe that there are hidden powers that brought this man in to the presidency and he has to abide to what they dictate to him and we as ordinary people have no control over that, we can cry all we want. After all he was just a junior senator just think of people, this is their man is working for them. New world order baby..!
    We are not the only ones that are disappointed; our African brothers & sisters are so disappointed. As a matter of fact the African content received more aid under President Bush than they ever thought off from our brother (President Obama).
    All I can say let’s all wait and see in the next coming 2 years because after that he will became a lame president and no one cares about him anymore.
    I love you all and I will always do because I am you and you are me.

  9. Ernie

    January 31, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Tavis showed his discontent about Obama when he invited the traditional African American leaders that represent large number of African Americans (Nation Action Network, Urban League and the NAACP to the White House and did not invite Tavis. What Tavis don’t realize in that he is only an talk show host and only represent himself, These individual listed above represent millions.
    Tom Joyner, is right on time when he say that Tavis suffer from illusion of grandeur

  10. Aziz Muhammad

    January 31, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Beautifully said, Mr Watkins, the unseen hand is manipulating a unified front , to create this barrier so therefore , creating this disunity , between to powerful brothers , to keep us well informed. Know Thyself , And Know Thy Enemy !!!!!

  11. Dollarsdoug

    January 31, 2013 at 12:20 am

    We as a people have had far too much faith in politicians, and they’ve let us down time and again, whether as GOP or Dems.

    The next President will turn away black leadership at the door, telling them they didn’t force Obama’s hand, so why ask them for anything?!?

    Whether Tavis, Boyce or Joyner are right or wrong, this debate shows that we’re in a tailspin and can’t get on the same page to decide a proper course of action. This is going to fall into our children’s laps, and they’ll be unable to unwrap this ball of string….

  12. Joseph

    January 30, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I love your opinions you are on point in your comments and insight you are not to be partial just speak the Truth

  13. Brenda Bell-White

    January 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I agree with Xavier and Patricia, President Obama has done nothing for African-Americans. We have to remember that the president promised nothing and he has done nothing for us. President Obama states he is the president for all of America not just black America; I could buy this more if we got some of what the rest of Americans are getting i.e., jobs, let people out of jail that were sentenced under racist laws (crack vs. cocaine sentencing disparities are not the only sentencing disparities blacks face in this country).

    President Obama states that trickle down economy doesn’t work, we all know that, but yet he expects blacks to accept the trickled down impact from what he does for all of America. We do not live in a fair and just America – racism is still alive and well, trickle down and same thing for everyone does not even get us on par! People wake up Blacks were left out of the “new deal” under Roosevelt due to racism & Jim Crow – remember that! Well, Blacks have been left out of the current deal under President Obama why – could it be racism & the new Jim Crow?

    It is hard for us to accept this, but we cannot afford to continue to turn a blind eye on the realities of this presidency, our people and our community continues to suffer and the gap between blacks and whites continues to widen! Black folks have to notice after 4 years that it is ok for President Obama to rally around every issue for every other group except blacks, this is really messed up! I used to work with black folks like this, these type of black folks are not helping us, in fact they are an obstacle; they are as much of the problem as the racist they cater to.

    President Obama has and continues to kill more black and brown people by drones in Africa than ever would have been tolerated by a white president! Give me a break people wake up and demand from President Obama as you would from a white president that ignored the needs of our people/community! Black folks have fared worst under Obama, check the statistics! Something is critically wrong with this picture; more so than the criticism of Tavis, West or Dr. Boyce.

    I want my grandchildren to be able to say more than “we had a black president”, I want them to be able to say “we had a black president and he improved equality in this country for black folks via his policies, increased employment for blacks, there was an end to mass incarceration, and an end to the disenfranchisement of African-American voters that had/have a felony (what in the world does going to prison becoming a felon have to do with voting – absolutely nothing – we need to be fighting this)!

    Please remember people that the crack vs. cocaine racist sentencing did not just imprison dealers, users were most affected! Even if we do a criminal act, we still should be treated equally in sentencing people!! I worked for many years as a manager in my state’s department of corrections it is not an equal or fair system – white staff look after white clients/residents, black staff are afraid to look after black clients/residents.

    I am unapologetically African-American, I love myself and my people and I don’t apologize for this. I looked after black clients/residents and all other races, but I definitely looked after my own and followed policy to the letter. This is a lesson for President Obama and all blacks that blindly accept his platform of doing nothing for black people. So, tell me again how his being president is so wonderful for us! We should teach our children/grandchildren to have expectations of black presidents/leaders as we should white presidents/leaders.

  14. Phillip Battle

    January 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    o.K.—— Obama is da MAN!!!!!! Now what—– can we move forward and unite? Listen this immigration bill is no joke– we know all the monies that was saved by hiring illegals– come on yall- keep it REAL– lock up the Black Americans (male and female- young and old)and don’t educate them in that mess of PUBLIC SCHOOL- siphoning Billions of dollars to those who aren’t spending a penny of it in our communities;as well as continuing the good old slave system of CHEAP LABOR – through the Penale Institutes- since King,Malcom,Harriett,and all of our heros and sheros showed the evilness of America and it’s slave system-the powers to be have made a promise to marginalize Black Americans- now the time has arrived– PUT A BLACK MAN IN THE PRSIDENTS OFFICE-LET THEM (BLACKS) PARADE AROUND LIKE IT’S A BIG DEAL– LETS KEEP THEM (BLACKS) UN-EDUCATED AND LOCKED UP– ALLOW THE ILLEGALS TO COME IN -WHY OUT-SOURCE THE LABOR-IMPORT THE LABOR-AND STARVE THOSE BLACK AMERICANS– THEY CANT FEED NOR HOUSE, NOR EMPLOY THEMSELVES- WHAT GOOD ARE THEY TO EACHOTHER? How’s that- as an example of what’s going on?

    Please— Brothers and Sisters– all this knowledge we share and wake up to the same old NOTHING that exsisted the day before.

    WHERE’S THE PLAN?

  15. Lola

    January 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Affordable HC Act- important to me
    Pell Grants- important to me
    Preventing my home from foreclosure- important to me
    Credit Card Reform Act- important to me
    Drawing down wars (Irag and Afghanistan)-important to me
    Lilly Ledbetter Act- Important to me

    Signed a Black Woman that has benefitted from President Obama’s policies.

  16. juan

    January 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

    all of you folks who are so anti dr boyce, get the fuck off of his page, stop subsribing to his newsletter, you all support the potus so blindly that he is setting yall up for serious failure and yall just happy to see a brother in the white house, thats not enough, clarence thomas is a supreme court justice , a brother, and still a devil, stop giving people passes because of their skin color, how in the fuck can immigration be the presidents top priority while thousands of brown and black youth are dying out here by the second. i dont agree with everything anyone says but we must address poverty, mass incarcerations, and racism now(i mean damn you all have never seen so much racism as you have seen under this brothers presidential run ) so sake the fuck up take your head out of your ass and grab your guns because once they blam the president and declare marshall law, who yall gonna run cryin to …joe biden..or hiliary clinton

  17. Mz

    January 29, 2013 at 12:47 am

    “He defends the Obamas like they are the black royal family, with power that is not to be questioned by any of those who dare to believe that we live in a Democracy.” -THANK YOU

  18. rickydoc flowers

    January 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    jesus man, when are you going to give it a rest, when are you going to stop trying to bring obama down, you and your little cohorts, tavis and cornel arent even in the ring with obama, youre like fleas complaining about elephants dancing and all youre doing is discrediting yourself and marginalizing your voice with your little sneaky lightweight attacks that nobody is supposed to see thru – give it a rest

    • Kevin

      January 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      @Ricky, I must agree with you. It seems that Dr Boyce, Tavis and Cornel simply hate Obama.

      Dr Boyce won’t admit it but he is exactly what he claims some black voters are. (Of the mindset that just because Obama is black, he owes us something)

      The reality is many of us voted for many different reasons. I respect Tavis, Tom, Cornel and Dr Boyce, however I must agree with you, Dr Boyce is way off on some opinions and its becoming unflattering from someone who should know better.

      God Bless Us All. He Does and Will as long as we believe.

      • Mz

        January 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

        @ Kevin
        Grow up and stop being a bandwagon negro and learn to think for yourself. No one hates anyone-it’s all a difference of opinion. Do you realize that one of the reasons we have so much Black on Black crime is because we can’t agree to disagree? Tom Joyner has used his broadcast against Tavis as an ultimate evil! I, for one am for differences of opinion. I like to hear the position of others. I don’t need to tune into The Tom Joyner Morning Show to get the gospel. Tom is no more astute than Tavis, Boyce, Jesse, Al or anyone of the other so-called black leaders. There’s a goal and people often differ in their ideas as to how it can be reached. Obama fades away in four years but the plight of black people doesn’t. With everyone wanting to quiet those who speak up against Obama’s “I’m not the President of Black people” b.s what happens next? Nothing. You just get your silly a y z morning show with it’s little known black history facts…Meanwhile Immigration reform and Gay Rights replace African-American poverty, umemployment, lack of education-mass incarceration and crime. I know, being a black man you can identify with one or all. That is of course, if you’re a special kind of negro.

    • Joan

      January 29, 2013 at 6:53 am

      Your assessment is correct rickydoc.

      And Dr. Watkins, the Obamas’ are the black royal family.

  19. doug mcnair

    January 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Forget about Pres. Obama. He can’t help himself. He’s only half-Black. His whole life has been dedicated to keeping his Black side from overriding his white side. After all, Barrack Obama was raised by his white mother and his white grandparents.He really has no Black conciousness. Why else would he appoint white men to the top four positions in his second administration? Because he put three white men and one white woman in the same jobs in his first administration.

    I blame Michelle Obama and her mother, Mrs. Robinson for not trying to influence the President to be more loving when it comes to putting Black Americans in powerful jobs that they had’nt held before. Like Secretary of Defense,Director of Central Intelligence Agency,White Chief of Staff,and White House Press Secretary. Michelle and her mother are two strong Black women yet they couldn’t persuade Barrack Obama to appoint at least one Black person in one of his top positions. They are worse than he is. They grew up Black but forget where they came from.

    The really sad thing about President Obama is not that he’s not Black enough but that he’s not man enough to solve America’s problems. When he consistently runs aways from his Blackness, what do you think?

    • Robert

      January 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Has anyone forgot where you live ? There is a method to my madness. This health care bill everyone thinks is so great. First of all it was done in the middle od the night. Your democraticc representatives voted for it and do not even know what they voted for. Second, this mandate. The United States government CAN NOT mandate citizens to buy anything. Jobs, many more will be lost behind this health care bill, because how many employers will be able to pay for it ? they will start cutting hours to 20-25, start laying off people. Its already started to happen. How many people can survive on 25 hours a week ?. Now a sweeping democratic bill on immigration reform. What about all the people that stood in line the correct way ? What do we tell them.

  20. wanda

    January 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I disagree with anyone that tries to deify either President Obama or Dr. King. Dr. King was a great, great man who did a lot for the cause of civil rights, including giving his very life for the principles he strongly believed in. But he wasn’t God, nor did he invite that type of comparison. He was a man who set out to impact the world in any way possible and before he died, encouraged all African Americans to do the same. President Obama is the direct benefactor of what Dr. King fought for
    His election to the White House showed just how skilled of a politician he is. He’s an example of perseverance and determination, something that we as a community needed to see. But, again, he’s not perfect either, nor can we expect him to magically and sudden fix our problems. Only we, collectively and individually can do that.

  21. r e moody

    January 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I swear i don’t know where to start. I am becoming extremely frustrated with this site and Dr.Watkins. He seems to take every oppurtunity that he can to take jabs at President Obama. No matter where he starts out it comes back to how bad a President Obama is for black people. This is a President who has suffered congressional obstruction at historic levels. The Republicans have utilized the filibuster more in Obama’s first term then the last few Presidents combined. We’re talking only four years to the prior 20years. What the hell does that tell you? I know what it tells me, it tells me that you have politicians who cringe at the idea of having a black man in charge, and they will do anything they can to undermine him.
    It has been hard as hell for Obama to accomplish what he has,and if you look at the record it’s a lot more than what he’s given credit for. If he’s having such a hard time getting through race neutral policies,what in the world would lead any reasonably intelligent person to believe he can get through congress anything remotely smelling of an Afrocentric agenda. The best he can do is couch whatever he’s trying to do for black people in as race neutral as possible policies. There has been no President in history who has had to walk a tightrope the way Obama has.
    Don’t you think this man is keenly aware of the situation too many of us of the darker hue find ourselves. I’m also sure he that he has a clear view of the landscape in which he finds himself and knows he must be more than clever to accomplish what he needs to. There were things that would have been totally impossible for him to get through in a first term. But with that behind him he is freeer to concentrate on issues that have more of an impact on us as a people. I’m not an apologist, i am a realist. I think a dose of realism would serve Dr.Boyce and others of a comparable mindset well. I know i said nothing of Tom Joyner or Tavis Smiley. The reason. The real point of Dr.Boyce’s story was to disparage President Obama, no matter how it was couched.

  22. egchicago

    January 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Soooo many crabs. Malcolm, I thinkg we need a bigger bucket. Right on Mr. Joyner!

    • Mz

      January 29, 2013 at 1:09 am

      “crabs in a barrel” is such an overplayed reference these days. It’s really sad if you are from the Chi. As a Chi-Town native, I am disappointed that you have no expectations of this administration. Especially, from what we see, read and deal with each day. CPS is notorious for failing to educate many of i’ts students-clearly, you have fallen under that umbrella.

    • James Bell

      January 29, 2013 at 2:39 am

      There were also African slave trappers, hunters and traders! Always will be just as there will always be haters! I may never experience this joy again in my life.. Im enjoying the emotional high from having the Leader of the Free World a African American man. A young,and very intelligent “Brother” with a young very intelligent beautiful wife and children admired around the world!! I pray to God for his safetyd I pray to God to lighten the heavy hearts of his haters..

  23. Camari Ellis

    January 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Interesting article.

    I would have to disagree with your statment below.

    “If Barack Obama were a white man, there would be no way he could get away with getting this much black support without doing something for our community, so a man with a black face should not be allowed to get away with this either.”

    Black Folks, love Bill Clinton almost, more then Jesus Christ. Ironically, Clinton, signed the crack cociane bill and enacted welfare reform.

  24. Pudding

    January 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Boyce: Once again, you take every opportunity to diss President Obama. Your motives are not to achieve advancement in the black community. Your motive is your own financial advancement. Your low brow blog continues to exist because you use it to garner readership by promoting outrageous positions such as your stand against President Obama. Also, you are probably being paid a little on the side by Republicans/conservatives.

    Some black folk, such as you, can only throw stones at the great achievers because you are so incapable of achieving anything yourself. And that has created such self hate that you want to emasculate those who can and do achieve. You will never amount to much more than a mouth piece for the white man and you are on the same level as ‘house ni*gers’.

    Don’t think for a moment that 99% of us recognize the real deal. Because it really don’t take no light to see through you.

  25. Mary

    January 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hmmmmm. Four years ago, Cornel’s tirade was because he wasn’t invited to the inauguration. Now, four years later, the timing of this round of tirades coincides with the inauguration. I’m guessing that the trigger was not receiving an invite……..again. I think we’re over-thinking this, people. This is just three “girlfriends” throwing a hissy fit for not being invited to the dance.

  26. Charles

    January 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    This man has done nothing,i wish these two brothers would expend more energy doing something to benefit the people rather than criticizing each other,and also that our people would wake up and realize that there will always be this division and its time to do for selves.First order of business is to get a handle on what is going on in your community,what is going on in your home.Turn from the idolization of people who talk a good game ,but do nothing………

  27. Ron J.

    January 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve read the artile by Dr Boyce, even though I don’t agree with ever word that is mention, their’s some truth to some of it. As far as TJ, I’ve always listern to him and will comtinue listen to him. Now lets talk about the subjects at hand, The biggest problem with Tavis and West is, they need to come out the closet. Two men that love eaxh other and love to be in control but can’t because the’re hiding from the world who and what they are, I have no issue if they want to lover, that’s their business but don use Dr King’s name to cover it up. This is not the first time this was brought to the surface. If you’re mad or angry, so be it. Someday it will all come to light. So, to Mr and Mrs West or Mr and Mrs Smiley, you know the game you’re playing. For the rest of the people that wrote a comment, they was all very good, some I agree with some I didn’t agree totally but in part.

  28. Barbara

    January 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I am so glad the “high and elite” will walk by me on the street and turn their black heads. I know times are hard at this very moment, but I know the so-called-rich will not speak and the black race is the worse of them all. Why don’t some one write a book. Hate is everywhere “holding a slave mind”.

  29. Rod

    January 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Dr. Watkins,
    Although I agree with the spirit in which you write, I do need some clarification on a couple of things. You compare the situation between Tavis and Tom to the fight between two high school girls. How is it a fight when Tom Joyner is the only one throwing punches? I don’t think I’ve heard Smiley mention Joyner’s name once since he left his show. Yet Joyner can’t seem to keep Tavis’ name out of his mouth. There is not much of a fight there.

    Secondly, I really need you to tell me why you feel Smiley’s critiques of Sen. Obama at that time was him secretly aligning with Clinton. Now keep in mind I am not an Obama maniac and tend to look at things more objectively than most. I too listened to many of Tavis’ commentaries at the time and I didn’t read into them what you and the Obama fan club got out of them. I keep hearing about these vicious attacks he made on Obama, but was he really being cruel or are we just overly sensative? Help me to remember what the “attacks” were. Did he make fun of Obama’s ears? Did he call him mama fat? Did he call Obama’s father a spearchunker? Did he call his wife ugly? What did Tavis say that was so extreme that made you decide that he was working for Clinton and please be specific? I can’t recall at any point he publicly endorsed Clinton. Personally, I can’t remember anything he said that was that unusual from his rhetoric at the time. Everyone wants to forget that he was just as hard on the republican candidates during his commentaries.

    I remember when Tavis did his SOBU in Houston and declared he wouldn’t support any candidate that didn’t support his black agenda movement. Tom, Al and everybody else was behind him and most of the people were behind him too. This was before Obama even got in the race. If Obama avoided any discussion about black issues, why wouldn’t Smiley be critical of that? Why does his criticism have to mean he was in bed with Hillary Clinton? Maybe I just don’t think like an Obamite so I can’t clearly understand this. But please give me the evidence you have that there was a Clinton/Smiley alliance. Franky I believe this is the Obamite tactic of creating some distraction to undermine the credibility of Obama’s critics with hardly any of their assertions based in facts. But I’m open to hearing your case against Tavis. You seem to be somewhat reasonable.

  30. Gerald Jenkins

    January 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    This article is just another rant By Dr. Boyce against President Obama. Th article started out about the rift betwen Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley and ended up with the same rhetoric by Dr. Boyce used in almost every article he writes. The President does not owe Black Americans Anything except to serve as their President along with every other Amrican Citizen. I am an American I am not a Black American. I AM AN AMERICAN. I am a Black Man that was born in America. I do not believe for for a minute I am entitled to anything just because I voted for the Presidnt. I am entitled to continued feedom as all Americans are. I do what I want and can walk freely and don’t have to worry about a lot of the things that people in other countries worry about. Tavis Smiley, Cornel West and Dr. Boyce need to undestand that to attack someone who is reveled by the majority of people they are fighting a losing battle.

  31. Corky J.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    No matter what educational level you have achieved, or what political office you have been elected into. We Afro-Americans or Black folks still have not learned or understood the value of open opinion and the value of supporting each other. We have been programmed to constantly disrespect each other, programmed to constantly distrust each other, programmed to constantly not purchase good’s and services from each other, programmed to constantly distrust one another, programmed to constantly show negativity towards one another. Our President is one man, but our Congress has spent four (4) whole years putting road blocks in the way of progress, and has totally disrespected our President on a consistant basis.
    But I don’t see anyone blasting them on their efforts.
    When are we Afro- Americans going to WAKE UP, and Take Off The Blinders. This is OUR TIME to come and pull together as a race for our common cause.

    We are one, our cause are one, and together we must help each other if WE are going to succeed. Corky J.

  32. Gerald Jenkins

    January 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    This article is just another rant By Dr. Boyce against President Obama. Th article started out about the rift betwen Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley and ended up with the same rhetoric by Dr. Boyce used in almost every article he writes. The President does not owe Black Americans Anything except to serve as their President along with every other Amrican Citizen. I am an American I am not a Black American. I AM AN AMERICAN. I am a Black Man that was born in America. I do not believe for for a minute I am entitled to anything just because I voted for the Presidnt. I am entitled to continued feedom as all Americans are. I do what I want and can walk freely and don’t have to worry about a lot of the things that people in other countries worry about. Tavis Smiley, Cornel West and Dr. Boyce need to undestand that to attack someone who is reveled by the majority of people they are fighting a losing battle.

  33. Corky J.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    No matter what educational level you have achieved, or what political office you have been elected into. We Afro-Americans or Black folks still have not learned or understood the value of open opinion and the value of supporting each other. We have been programmed to constantly disrespect each other, programmed to constantly distrust each other, programmed to constantly not purchase good’s and services from each other, programmed to constantly distrust one another, programmed to constantly show negativity towards one another. Our President is one man, but our Congress has spent four (4) whole years putting road blocks in the way of progress, and has totally disrespected our President on a consistant basis.
    But I don’t see anyone blasting them on their efforts.
    When are we Afro- Americans going to WAKE UP, and Take Off The Blinders. This is OUR TIME to come and pull together as a race for our common cause.

    We are one, our cause are one, and together we must help each other if WE are going to succeed. Corky J.

  34. Mike

    January 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Why not wait until after this man’s presidency and then complain? I am appauled at some of our brothers and sisters, I am sure a lot of the complainers will have something negative to say no matter who the president is! Give our president a chance. Immigrants need their status clarified so they can continue to make a living legally. What are your excuses?? why not get up and try to figure out how you can help yourself! If the president had focused solely on black issues,he probably will not have won re-election. After all he is the president of the united states of america not united blacks of america. Congratulations mr president, keep up the good work. Way to go Tom Joyner, way to go TJMS!

  35. Harold

    January 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I am the Harold that feels Boyce, Tavis and Cornell West are obssessed with jealousy. President Obama is not perfect but who is. You guys never say anything positive which is why I know your problem is pure jealoulsy and envy. You all need help.

  36. CG

    January 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    People like you would have us all stay slaves “Let this man run the country”? Didn’t know questioining authority was prohibited. What a pathetic race we’ve become.House N…nvm

    • Candace

      January 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      I was skeptical of Tavis about Obama also, for the last five years Obama has not made an effort to even crack down to see who his supply the guns to the south side of Chicago for them to keep killing each other. Even Michelle has not did nothing about this problem and she was so called raised on the South Side of Chicago. We he (Obama) did speak to us he told us to take off our house shoes, with him in office we are able to buy house shoes, he changed the Income Tax bracket so that we hardly get anything back but take so some much of our incomes by taxes. So Tom need to speak on issues with Obama what he is not fighting for as we struggle with raciest remarks, by him being in office. For him to say that his greatest force is to reform imigration and we as African Americans gave him our support by voting for him a again and for what?

  37. Gwen

    January 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I have always heard “crabs-in-a-barrell” being used to describe our mentality. Never really understood it until recently. Grow up and do something to help and stop whinning about what one man is or is not doing. Dr. King would never have spent his time in such useless discourse. If you’re not a part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

  38. DMONEY

    January 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    This is a classic example of “Crabs in a barrel.” Where was Tavis and Dr West when Bush was in office and black people were catching hell. Poverty is not new. Martin Luther King walked the streets, the hedges and highways with his message. He was never in an office or on a television set talking bad about Malcolm X or the Black Panthers. The President is being verbally attacked and threatened on a reagular basis by the republican machine. When Susan Rice was viciously attacked by the Republicans, where the hell were they? When giving the State of the Union address and the Republican Congressman called Obama a liar, where were they? I can’t stand to see either one of them anymore. Tavis has committed the ultimate crime in the black community, come into someone’s home and talk bad one their relatives.

  39. Dannyboy

    January 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Boyce, you and the Tavis Smiley camp seem to have gotten “selective amnesia”!! Tavis, because of his undying allegiance to Hillary Clinton during the 2007 campaign and to this day, STARTED THID FIGHT!!

    Tavis tried to use the Tom Joyner Morning show to push the Clinton nomination AFTER Obama didn’t come to his State of the Black Union meeting and sent Michelle instead. Tavis, with his enormous ego and spoiled brat attitude, saw this as a slight to him. Joyner wouldn’t let Tavis use his show for his own purposes. Tavis, like the spoiled brat he is, pouted and kept making disparing remarks about Obama. Tom had enough and fired him from the show.

    Tavis has continued his campaign against President Obama and Tom Joyner. He found allies in you and Cornel West and all the other envious and jealous Black folks to attack Obama under the guise of caring about the Black community. All Tavis cares about is MONEY and so does the likes of you and Cornel West!!

    No wonder either of you can keep a job at a prestigious university!!

    • Rod

      January 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      @Dannyboy
      You may need a history lesson yourself. I remember when Tavis left the show. Tom at the time didn’t want him to go but commented that Tevis didn’t like the criticism he was getting from listeners. Tavis gave a mushey exit speech declaring he would take a bullet for Tom Joyner. He was even back on the show abou a year later giving a guest commentary. There is nothing there to suggest he was fired from the show.

      And when did Tavis declare this undying support for Hillary Clinton you speak about? I listened to many of his commentaries at the time and I never heard him say that he was endorsing Hillary. People want to forget that he was critical of all the candidates running at that time. Both republicans and democrats. Also, for the record, The Obama camp never sent Michelle Obama to represent them at the SOBU. She did not appear on the show. The Obama camp avoided this event altogether. As president, Obama did address the gathering in 2009 in a pre-recorded message. If Tavis had so much hate for Obama, why did he let him address the crowd at his gathering?

      I know it’s fun for you and everyone else to hate Tavis Smiley, but I really wish everyone woould speak from the record and stop pulling comments out of their ayzzes and passing them off as facts. That way we can have a debate based in truth.

      • David Jones

        January 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        @Rod

        Sen. Barack Obama’s letter to Tavis Smiley
        By Mary Mitchell on February 14, 2008 3:51 PM | 19
        The following letter dated February 13, was sent to Tavis Smiley asking him to reconsider his decision not to let Michelle Obama stand in for her husband at the 2008 State of the Black Union forum in New Orleans.
        February 13, 2008

        Mr. Tavis Smiley

        President and CEO

        The Smiley Group

        3870 Crenshaw Boulevard

        Suite 391
        Los Angeles, CA 90008

        Dear Tavis,

        Thank you for the invitation to participate in the 2008 State of the Black Union forum in New Orleans, Louisiana February 21-23. The exchange of ideas raised at this annual symposium are invaluable as our nation strives to address the critical issues facing not just African Americans, but Americans of every race, background and political party.

        I especially commend you for hosting this dialogue in New Orleans. On the eve of the Louisiana primary, I visited this great city for the fifth time since declaring my candidacy to share policy proposals for rebuilding the Gulf Coast so that we never experience another Hurricane Katrina. On February 9, I was deeply humbled to win the Louisiana primary with 86 percent of the African American vote and a 14 point lead among all voters who said they were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina.

        Uniting our country and creating a national constituency for fundamental change is why I am running for President of the United States. We have come a long way in this race, but we still have a long road ahead. In the final stretch, I will be on the campaign trail everyday in states like Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin talking directly with voters about the causes that are at the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union forum such as affordable healthcare, housing, economic opportunity, civil rights and foreign policy. I am committed to touching every voter, and working to earn their vote.

        That is why with regret, I am not able to attend the forum. I understand that you have declined the campaign’s request to have Michelle Obama speak on my behalf. I ask that you reconsider. Michelle is a powerful voice for the type of real change America is hungry for. No one knows my record or my passion for leading America in a new direction more than Michelle Obama.

        Tavis, this is our movement and our time. I look forward to working closely with you throughout this election. Thank you for your continued support.

        Sincerely,

        Barack Obama

        • Rod

          January 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm

          @David

          Great reply. If it’s authentic it certainly shows the Obama camp was in damage control mode. My question is do you work for the Obama administration or was this in the public domain. If it was in the public domain, the Obama admins reply was masterful. But I still don’t know if she was actually invited. All we see in the letter is Obama asking that he reconsider an invitation. We still don’t know about the original invitation. Politicians are great with words that make you hear things they didn’t actually say. Besides, I don’t think it’s wrong for Smiley to insist on talking to the candidates themselves. Bill didn’t substitute for Hillary. McCain didn’t send his wife. I don’t think it would be too much to ask that Obama was there to speak for himself.

  40. ksali

    January 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

    i never comment on these things but i was so appalled with Tavis’ commentary on channel 2′s Sunday Morning Program, until finally it clicked- Tavis’ disdain for the Mr Obama is nothing more than jealousy and envy, you know the “ol crabs in a barrel”
    mentality. Tavis my advice to you is …just go ahead and run for Presdient and get it over with and stopped denigrated Mr Obama who dared to, against all odds and succeeded!

    • Dr LUV

      January 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      I agree with Ksali… while some of Tavis Smiley’s actions, political agenda and criticism toward President Obama suggests some degree of Jealousy, I think What Dr B Watkins has pointed out and brought forth in his above article is the indicative of a greater truth that many like Tom Joyner is overlooking. Both men are not without having some degree of flaw in their stances and beliefs about either each other or the President. I admire and like President Obama, but I also reserve the right to exercise a neutrality and right to express criticism on any political action he is making or not making. I will exalt any man or human to a state that I find myself loosing my ability to exercise critical thinking skills and inability to hold them accountable for actions that would deem important to their purpose as a public servant of this Country. Many make that argument in defense of President Obama that is not the President of Black People but of the United States, which is well taken. But as President he also serves if not obligate to address and reconcile to some degree the political interests of those who elected him. Thus far, Obama does seem weak on openly addressing some issues in the Black Community that could use his presence and actions in an authentic move- especially in his last year of office. GREAT PERSPECTIVE to Dr BOYCE. Loved the Article. Well Said.

      • Dr LUV

        January 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        oops, error in my words above. I meant to say in my above Response the following:

        ” I will NOT exalt any man or human to a state that I find myself RELINQUISHING my ability to exercise critical thinking skills and my ability to hold them accountable for actions that would deem CRITICALLY important to their purposeful wellbeing of others, suchas the case of President Obama being a public servant of this Country.”

  41. David J. Grogan

    January 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    This is an INCREDIBLE article that “hits the nail right on the head” I truly applaud Dr. Boyce Wakins for this well-articulated in-depth and thought provoking article. The comprehension, understanding and/or appreciation of this type of article boils down to one’s own personal intellectual capacity!!

  42. David J. Grogan

    January 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    This is an INCREDIBLE article that “hits the nail right on the head” I truly applaud Dr. Boyce Wakins for this well-articulated in-depth and thought provoking article. The comprehension, understanding and/or appreciation of this type of article boils down to one’s own personal intellectual capacity!!

  43. David J. Grogan

    January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    This is an INCREDIBLE article that “hits the nail right on the head” I truly applaud Dr. Boyce Wakins for this well articulated indepth and thought provoking article. The comprehension, understanding and/or appreciation of this type of article boils down to one’s own personal intellectual capacity!!

  44. David J. Grogan

    January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    This is an INCREDIBLE article that “hits the nail right on the head” I truly applaud Dr. Boyce Wakins for this well articulated indepth and thought provoking article. The comprehension, understanding and/or appreciation of this type of article boils down to one’s own personal intellectual capacity!!

  45. David J. Grogan

    January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    This is an INCREDIBLE article that “hits the nail right on the head” I truly applaud Dr. Boyce Wakins for this well articulated indepth and thought provoking article. The comprehension, understanding and/or appreciation of this type of article boils down to one’s own personal intellectual capacity!!

  46. Obed Norman

    January 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I disagree profoundly with your assessment of the Obama administration but your general point about sticking to the issues is a very good point. You are giving good advice but unfortunately it is advice you never follow yourself.

  47. jackie

    January 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

    its really sad to see another black man hating on another black man. all of tavis issues is nothing new the president is one man when i see tavis and west on talk shows i can see the hate come out of their mouth

  48. Norman hensley

    January 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Tavis is one the finest interviewers in the country.
    But he hurt his reputation by going out his way to criticize the president.
    He seems to be more critical of the president than the republicans
    Sean hannity,rush limbaugh,and bill oreilly all make money off saying awfull things about the president and none of them have no soul.each makes upwards to 10 million a year.maybe tavis wants to
    To do the same thing.

  49. Tahnee

    January 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I used to have a lot of respect for Tavis before his Obama bashing phase set in. I don’t compare any politician to Christ because that was never Christ’s focus and I have now voted for Obama twice. Not because I thought I would agree 100% with everything he’d do & honestly don’t think there would ever be a President with whom I’d agree 100%. Had Shirley Chisholm won, then maybe.

    While there might be some truth to what Tavis has to say about the POTUS, his words go unheard because there seems to be a lot more to his attacks than just wanted what’s good for Black America. I was also put off by the fact that I never heard the attacks go so hard against the Presidents preceeding Obama.

    Tavis lost my respect because it seemed as if it was a personal agenda fueling his arguments & so I have no issue with what Tom has to say about Tavis.

  50. AquaBlu

    January 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Tom Joyner & Tavis Smiley

    You know what ” I am so tired of N****’S Complaining about President Obama as if He’s their (Take me to your Leader)” crap until I am embarrassed to read hear or be in the room with a bunch of idiots. What in the hell is your problem? President Barack Obama is the President of United States NOT THE PRESIDENT OF BLACK FOLK…REALLY!

    You complain about slavery, you complain about being brought here to this country (USA) against your will when you weren’t taken You were SOLD, you complain about your neighborhoods and the killings going on and nobody’s doing anything about Your children: the one’s you raised that are doing the killings.

    You complain about having no jobs when you haven’t gone to school long enough to qualify for one that pays enough to make ends meet. You complain about equality when the only one that’s holding you captive is YOU. You complain about not being treated as equal because you’re comparing yourself to someone who’s initially NO BETTER THAN YOU, but you can’t see that because you’re to0 busy waiting for a hand out.

    STOP the madness already! Nobody has control over you but you. You have been scared from rejection from your own people who SOLD you to: “ you say: the quote un quote: ( White Man ) Are you so shallow that you want to believe a group of white man came into the jungle and literally Stole or took a bunch of wild uncivilized African’s ?

    Really! You can’t go today in “ Englewood one of Chicago’s worst and most notorious neighborhoods in America and take a black boy without the whole Police Force and national guards accompanying them, but you want to make yourself believe a White men came to Africa and took thousands of Africans against their will without a fight.

    OMG! You were sold to the White man by your own people. Don’t you get it? There wasn’t a White man alive that could take an African from the continent of Africa without permission. Let’s just keep it real ” You actually want to believe white men came and snatched up thousands of Africans put them on a boat and sailed to America all by themselves with absolutely no help? Are you serious REALLY!

    If so than your a hopeless case. The only color a white man is interested in is GREEN, I say green because that’s the color of our fiat currency which is changing colors as I speak. Truth be told Money doesn’t even have a color it’s the backing of it that gives it worth like “ God’s money ( gold –silver- precious metals which so happens to be in Africa! etc. So I apologize for that statement. Look! Here’s the Deal,.

    When will there ever be a generation of Black American People who will understand and realize who’s they are instead of who they were told they are?. When will Blacks teach Blacks the truth about the real reason the word SLAVERY even exist? We were SOLD into Slavery by our so called: LEADER. This is the reason Black people fell the desire to have a Leader they have been brainwashed into believing without a Leader they can’t survive.
    There is no such thing as A Leader, you are your own person responsible for your own actions. Clearly The Bible says: Hosea 4:6 KJV “My people perish for lack of knowledge” that’s right.. There I said a lot in that one sentence. ” MY PEOPLE ” When refereeing to my people depending on the person speaking nationality is it not in which one would characterize themselves as that particular individual?

    Wouldn’t that indicate to you the speaker is of the same race nationality tribe as their audience etcetera, my sentiments exactly. In all fairness: when you know better you do better. The history of our people is quite simple: we have been wounded, betrayed, rejected and deeply hurt by our forefathers. Many of us have been blaming others for our own idiosyncrasies. WE have been wounded deeply hurt and confused as to why we were rejected.

    It’s like a child’s brokenness when they find out they were given up for adoption. Their first question is why was I rejected? Was I not loved? Their personal quest in life is to find their biological parents. The only thing that matters to them is to get clarification.

    This is what black Americans seek. For ever searching but never finding the truth, their quest in life is to find closure. Isn’t it funny how all relations need closure before you can successfully move to the next level in your life. Truth be told “ we were a business deal. Sold to the highest bidder torn apart from our mothers and fathers and from the only place we knew as home Africa.

    We were brought to a foreign land without any explanation and like a motherless child wondering in the woods of life never being able to identify with our heritage, I guess one could say “we were like a lost ball in high weeds” walking aimlessly thorough life having feeling of A Displaced person unable to identify with the culture of non-African people.

    The truth behind the whole “ Willie Lynch Letter” is that slavery didn’t start there it started at home among our own people when we were SOLD into slavery. What processed our Leaders to Sell us? The love of Money which is the root of all evil, this too is another lie that was told to us and the reason why Black people believe it’s un godly to have money ,but instead being poor is being Humble. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The Bible says: poverty is a sin, but this is a whole different subject.

    We’re fighting among ourselves like Tom & Tavis proving the crab mentality and undermined root of the problem. We fell to realize the real enemy can’t be seen but exposed when we look in the mirror and admit we have been bamboozled in to believing this whole thing started with just one side of the story when clearly we know there are 2 sides to a story and then there is the truth..

    Well we all know the truth hurts, but what don’t kill us only makes us stronger. So you see Tom & Tavis are both fighting for the wrong reasons. President Obama is not our savior nor was Dr. King. They both are mediators in a time of change in which until we ourselves the man in the mirror changes there will be none.

    Listen folks: there is no such thing as our Leader. Every man is responsible for his own actions, The only Leader that exists is God He’s in control of everything. Jesus words: and I quote” Psalm 8:4-6 KJV What is man that thou art so mindful of?” Stop looking to a mere man to solve your problem (key to the operative word here is: Responsibility. Before you can fix the problem you have to first identify it. The solution to your problem is not President Obama and your so called Leader was not Dr.King.

    These men are only vessels in which God uses for his glory. They are not God. Do you seek another man’s opinion to run your household? No! then stop thinking President Obama owes you anything because He’s half black. Get an education so you can work and afford to feed your family, raise your sons so they will be respectable men and not gang-bangers and followers of fools raping and killing their own people like heathens.

    Tom & Tavis fighting over President Obama’s character is pointless. President Obama doesn’t need defending He’s President of the Unites States of America, not President of “ The Black America of United States” REALLY! Who gives a rat’s crack? Tavis will never be like Dr. King, President Obama is a half black and half white man selected in office by the powers that be “ that’s right SELECTED not ELECTED that to is another subject.

    Now! Can you guys do yourselves a favor and research your History, study to show yourselves approved Read your bible and get the truth. Last but not least raise your children to look at the man or woman in the mirror themselves and take full responsibility for their action as they should be taught and Stop accusing others for your shortcomings and pray that God takes the blinders off your eyes so you can be set free with the Truth. Word to the wise: My parents always taught us kids: “ If U don’t have anything good to say don’t say nothing..

    God Bless America
    AT

    • Elem

      January 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Who taught you your history lessons about slavery? White people? Please stop, Africa was invaded, defeated and colonized. The initial slaves were prisoners of war, today we would refer to them as insurgents.

      You are an idiot.

    • blacjk jones

      January 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      I agree 100% Mr. Aquablu and the same thing applies today as it was/is in Africa, instead of looking at ourselves we continue to blame the so -called “White MAN” we will never see the truth because we are blinded by the “LIE” we want to keep believing——it’s a waste of time—-get with it folks We are not some guiltless race of people —we are human beings capable of Human FAULTS—-responsible for own well being—Give a helping hand to others if you so desire or stop WHINING–YOU ARE FREE!!!!!!……THINK IT!!! FEEL IT!!!!KNOW IT!!!! and take RESPONSIBILITY for IT!!!!——TAVIS CORNELL TOM and BOYCE are playing their own “GAME”(politics as usual)—-and thats OK!, the difference is….when you get caught up in their game—-their GAME start playing you!!!–Start a game plan of your own. PEACE!!!!

  51. John Dixon

    January 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

    The little girl must stop. However in defense of Tavis I do not see nothing at all wrong with holding any man including our commander in cheif (Obama) accountable. Whats wrong with that. Yeah yeah yeah, I know Obama is “big cheez” on campus and all and I understand that he is America’s president and not just African America’s president (tired old excuse) He still need to even the playing ground of opportunities for African Americans while in office.

    Tom Joyner needs to back off Smiley and let the man state his opinions otherwise in my eyes he is no different from the KKK oppresion of black people!

  52. Rev. George Brooks

    January 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Let me also say that Tavis Smiley is also chained and ruled by whites and Jews of the media, and while talking about President Obama, can’t open his mouth and say anything about the folks around Obama, because they are mainly Jews. And this also goes for Cornel West, whom I like, but no so much for Smiley, who wishes he had the knowledge that Dr. West has. But even West, who has hinted at the “people around Obama,” he, nor hardly any black, will specifically talk against any of these anti-Jesus Jews, who don’t really give a hoot about black folks. Wake up Michael Jackson and ask him, who found out too late, and it had something to do with his death. But neither Tavis, “Uncle Tom” Joyner, Joe Madison, or any of the others will bring this up either, and zero in on it strongly and loudly. They love and tap dance to that group that killed Christ. And they will fight all other blacks that are against Jews, and in Obama’s case, David Axelrod, Peter Rouse, Jacob Lew, David Plouffe, and several others that are in full control of Obama. Who is merely sitting in the presidential seat and saying and doing what he is told to say and do. It’s as simply as that. — Rev. George Brooks

  53. vee

    January 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

    OK we are losing focus again….. Stay focused….
    What I would like to know is when was the last time we (African Americans) rose up about anything, Poverty, Racism, Guns, Healthcare, Education (lack of), Right now with the guns law, who do we see, we let a Tea Party rise up against us and we did nothing.
    When was the last time Smiley, Cornel, etc. asked their celebrity friends to go home and do something in their neighborhoods that they came from, build housing projects, feed some people. We like a bunch of dummies give them our money, we don’t even force them to give some back. Actors give directors the excuse to call us everything but the child of God, and we like it, but we do not tax the Actor.
    What ever happen to all the great suggestions that were made at the conference’s Smiley conducted, where is the movemet forward on that, if the government won’t do it, then we should.
    Dr. King was a peaceful organizer, the men and women that walked with him was walking for what we have today, are we prepared to walk and organize for our children’s future.
    The last time I saw active organization, I mean, in your face organization was when Dr. C. Delores Tucker and Dr. Dorothy I. Height were still alive.
    Come on People, you want the President to pay attention then organize and take it to Washington. If not the GOP will continue to disrespect us using the
    President as the Front for being responsible for us not having anything.
    Tavis, and Tom are the least of our worries. What are we prepared to do to secure our place in this game?

    • Rasheed7

      January 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

      When was the last Time Cornel or Tavis did anything?

      Are you kidding me?? Are you that ignorant? Cornel is an active part OWS and he puts his freedom on the line regularly… Marching on the supreme court, marching in Brooklyn to support those against ‘stop and frisk’.

      C’mon black people.. Good lord you folks need to wake up and stop sounding like ignorant fools.

      Obama doesnt publicly support black issues because he doesnt have to. The black community is a mess and we cant even get the leadership to hold this man accountable to actually do something for the 90% of blacks who happen to be his constituents..

      Why vote for this guy if feel he has no power, or he that cant help us? what group of people votes for a guy who is inept?

      I dont understand this logic black folks have… walking around with their heads up their butts protecting a politician… lol

      You might as well go down to the local car dealership and stick up for the car salesman working there too (if he is black and handsome like the pres… “Y’all need to get off his back..the republicans are out to get him” ).

      We see how REAL constituencies do it. Hispanics and the Gay community, the Jews? All these groups come to the president wanting make a deal..

      You support our initiatives? and we’ll vote you in… Thats how it works. If Obama hadnt done the Dream Act? He wouldnt have gotten those hispanic votes and the hispanic community made that clear… Same with the gay community and the jewish community.. Obama wouldnt dare blow those gorups off because he knows they are SMART and ORGANIZED…

      Us black folks act like idiots… Give away our vote with no conditions *smh*

      and to make it worse we have people who will fight down anybody who would try and hold the man accountable to the community…

      How stupid and @ssbackward is that?

      I dont listen ignorant clowns like Joyner and Steve Harvey… Their shucking and jiving irks me (especially in the morning)..

      If Joyner wants to get serious and stop kissing butt? he can talk about how the NDAA destroys EVERYONE’s basic freedoms.. It is equal to TREASON!!

      If Martin Luther King was alive today, alot of these ignorant negroes (including including half the people commenting on here & steve harvey & tom joyner) would be calling MLK a ‘hater’ and a ‘crab’ for challenging the president to help improve the conditions for the least of us…

      MLK wasnt some politician’s puppet (like some of the so called black leaders we have today)…

      MLK went to the white house as an EMISSARY of the black community… He WAS the voice of the poor and the destitute…

      He went to the white house to TAKE a message to them from us… He was the voice of the people..

      Yes MLK would be hated today by the same people who rush to cover themselves in his legacy… MLK was about labor rights, and human rights.. HE may have been able to suffer alot of things….. But one thing he did not suffer was IGNORANCE and the black community is AWASH in it these days…

      WAKE UP!!

  54. Kim Worthy

    January 28, 2013 at 9:41 am

    President Obama has come between God and man for some people with his agenda, not just Tavis & Tom which is why we should worship the The Truth and not a man in the first place. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the light.

  55. Edward A. Smikle

    January 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I agree with a lot of what Tom Joyner, have to say about Travis Smiley, but do they have to do their dirty laundry in the street?. Obama, have not paid any attention to the needs of the black community since he has been in office, and probably will never do or say anything to the black community.I like Tom Joyner, fell deeply in love with Obama, I even used the term, heis our Moses. Little did ( know that he care nothing about the black community other than to use them.
    As I said none of the blck who stood up sincerely for the black race live, they are killed by the same system that we worship every day. Because we do not know the difference between PROPOGANDA, and BULL SHIT.
    A few peole male it, but the majority of us will continue to live in poverty, because we buy the CRAP, lack stock and barrell. Why because we buy the bible dtory, and until we begin to question what the bable says and how it impact our lives, we will always be poor and stupid. That is the trick that the white man played on our mind, and we accept it and turn against each other. And until we start questioning the truth of an EYE for an EYE. We will never understand. Because we are using it against each other. whit our oppressor are having a good time at our expense.
    My question to both Travis, and Tom, Do you really believed that Jesus died for your black ass?.If you do then you both are bigger fools tan I though.

  56. Rev. George Brooks

    January 28, 2013 at 9:27 am

    First of all, “Uncle” Tom Joyner can’t began to talk about anyone, for he is simply not qualified to ever be considered a leader of any kind among blacks in America. But he does think, or try think; that he is the black leader among all of the black on radio, which is more clowing than seriousness. Roland Martin and all of these others that attempt to speak out on politics, civil rights and other serious matters, are nothing more than “camouflaged clowns,” who are afraid to take on certain folks and certain groups. Namely, Jews who boss and control all of these “Negroes” in the media. Martin has actually told me that he does not have no kind of fight with Jews about anything. And “Uncle Tom” is the same. And to think that Joyner came from Tuskegee, where the serious work of George Washington Carver took place, all this guy does is act a clown, 24-7. And he has said absolutely nothing about Obama’s continued distancing himself from black folks, when black folks talk about and get on each other’s case all the time, when needed. But Joyner knows that Obama is chained to the Jews that are ruling him there in the White House, and those Jews are tied to the Jews that chain and rule “Uncle” Tom. Now just ask Tom, Roland, and all of the others on black radio to make just one complaint about Jews, including all of the racism in Israel, and watch them run like rabbits. — Rev. George Brooks

    • gee

      January 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

      I’m glad I don’t know where your church is.

  57. BlackSupaman

    January 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

    ELIJAH ALI IS THE ONLY PERSON ON HERE TALKING WITH ANY SENSE. And SATYRDEAN MISSES THE POINT AND SOUNDS THE MOST FOOLISH OF THEM ALL. ALOT OF YOU ON HERE SOUND EDUCATED BUT HAVE NO COMMON SENSE WHATSOEVER. THE BOTTOMLINE HERE IS THAT IF YOUR NOT FOR BLACK LIBERATION, BLACK UNITY, ANDJUSTICE FOR OUR PEOPLE THEN YOU ATE PART OF THE PROBLEM NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION.

  58. Truthbeliever

    January 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

    The article is ridiculous and irresponsible journalism.

    Satyrdean, keep holding on. You have the right attitude. I wish so much that the bulk of African Americans would stop blaming everybody except themselves for their shortcomings. I know it won’t be easy for you, but you have what it takes to make it. You’re absolutely right about creating your own opportunities instead of looking for a handout. It’s not very popular to have a steadfast faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but He’s the greatest hope any of us have, whether we realize it or not. I’m prayiang for you.

  59. Bernard

    January 28, 2013 at 9:19 am

    @mac- I could not agree more. The president can’t write any bills that will help turn people away from killing each other over colors. There is nothing he can do to make people care for themselves and be responsible. There is nothing he can legislate to make us as men and women choose good mates. What he is doing is trying to pass bills to allow jobs to be in this country. Now once that happens…it is up to us to be qualified for those jobs. Get up and go to work. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. Too many people think something is owed to them. The only thing that should be guaranteed is oppurtunity and it is. I’m also a Black man. I’m a Computer programmer that is married to a Nurse. We had nothing 19 years ago and we still don’t even have furniture in our living room. We do own another house and we aren’t rich. It’s not that hard but you have to willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Too many of us want to be impressive…driving BMW’s with rims & $hit. We have to be out buying expensive cloths. I met a Black woman this weekend that told me she became a millionaire 25 years ago. She told me she paid cash for her son to attend Morehouse. Before she told me all of that. She told me her and her girlfriend(another black female millionare) argue over dresses at thrift shops. Her mindset is what made her a rich. It’s our mindset that is holding us back…not any administration. If you change your mindset, you will change your life. It has nothing to do with what Barack is or isn’t doing.

    Peace,

    Bernard

  60. Courtney Omega

    January 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this read and the responses. Though varied in opinion, I appreciate that they were all intellectual and have a respectful tone considering both the topic and other posts as well. With that being said, let me have at and go in. There is some incredible disregard with the lack of addressing of black issues going on with our communities. As a black woman, mother of 2, recently divorced, I am effected on every level of the disregard. I love black people, enjoy living amongst them, working along side them, with them and for them.why are we excusing the behavior of selling out when on every other person in public eye has done this, we are in arms. I personally have never understood the back lash that Tavis received when he made his statements about Obama. No man is above, accountability. Now, judgment is not intended for man, it is intended for God solely, again however, I agree with many posts, how can we teach our children the importance of acknowledgment and accountability when we simply turn the other cheek as issues that are effecting us and them are being pushed to the side? I quite frankly had great issues with Michelle Obama saying that if she could be any one in the world it would be Beyonce. In my opinion it was a very tactless and careless statement to make, especially when considering the lyrics and on stage antics of this performer. I also think it is a slap in the face of the president to entertain and engage with the likes of JayZ. This man has made a career of degrading, insulting and disregarding black women but now gets to dine at white house amongst dignitaries and elite members of society? This is how he is rewarded? Again think about the message for our children if you do not want to seem biased with considering yourself. Think about how a child emulates behavior, soaks up information like a sponge and applies routine behavior. don’t just think, discuss and don’t just say do. Accountability brings change

    • Bernard

      January 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Courtney, I think Tavis is expecting him Barack to do things that are unreasonable. He wants him to stand up and address racism and things of that nature. White people didn’t help elect Barack for them to hear stuff thrown in their faces. They elected him to “change” the mindset of this country. Trust me when I say this. Many white folks are tired of racist views as well or they wouldn’t have voted Barack into office. I think the way he is addressing things such as making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes is apart of addressing racism. You can’t legislate against ignorance. Like I said above. Him bringing jobs into this country is working against racism. It may be racist when white folks won’t hire Blacks that have a wrap sheet a mile long but they will hire White folks with a wrap sheet. My thing to that is don’t be a black person with a wrap sheet a mile long. Stop using excuses as to why you are out shooting folks or robbing people for $hit that isn’t worth anything and then complaining because you can’t get a job 5 years from now. That’s the way the world works. Deal with it. Again, people need to change their mindset if you want change. Barack can’t change an individual’s mindset.

  61. kevin

    January 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    All of you should get together in the spirit of Dr. King, and commit to solving problems.

  62. Chris Kanyane

    January 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hello Prof,

    You mentioned immigration reform as an issue for Hispanics. You are wrong – because there are millions of Africans from South Africa to Kenya who are going to benefit from this immigration reform. You are wrong remember Barack Obama is more African in orientation not so called African American. As for the African American voting in millions for Obama well that is natural that a race grouping will vote for a leader who looks like them. for Hispanics that is different – they voted Obama not on racial basis but admiration unlike the African Americans – their vote is racially based

  63. Mac

    January 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

    What I do not hear is more black men willing to accept personal responsibility…what we supposed to pardon you because you chose to sell crack…hey you ever looked at what crack has done to our communities…seriously what is this president supposed to do specifically…let they ass out of jail to deal more crack, ad make a bad situation worst….I am never ever going to ask one man to do what millions cannot do…..Hispanics work sun up to sundown and western union millions back to Mexico, while we stand in line to buy new mjs….this speaks to poverty…violence is we cannot raise our kids why don’t Obama come and raise my three sons for me please….cause if he selling weed, or is a member of the four corner hustlers, or choose to do home invasions, or shoot at other people…chances are he’s going to die like he lived…..Get off my president and man up ..do for self…maybe Iim Republican sometimes…..but in the words of my mother…” Get yo black ass up and do something for your damn self.” Yes I am a proud Africa. American man from the projects, but I live in a gated golf community bc I deal drugs…(pharmacist)

    • al williams

      January 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Hey MAC you are right on target man,no one seem to want to talk about the real issues with some of our People,Kids not wanting to go to School as I recalled the President put in place all kinds of grants to people who want to go to school to better themselves,these kids and grown ups alike want everything given to them, these Parents need to get with the Program, I could care less what all of these so called wannabe leaders who sit in their Cushy Jobs and try and tell me what to do,the money is out there, now go and get it.

  64. Mac

    January 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

    What I do not hear is more black men willing to accept personal responsibility…what we supposed to pardon you because you chose to sell crack…hey you ever looked at what crack has done to our communities…seriously what is this president supposed to do specifically…let they ass out of jail to deal more crack, ad make a bad situation worst….I am never ever going to ask one man to do what millions cannot do…..Hispanics work sun up to sundown and western union millions back to Mexico, while we stand in line to buy new mjs….this speaks to poverty…violence is we cannot raise our kids why don’t Obama come and raise my three sons for me please….cause if he selling weed, or is a member of the four corner hustlers, or choose to do home invasions, or shoot at other people…chances are he’s going to die like he lived…..Get off my president and man up ..do for self…maybe Iim Republican sometimes…..but in the words of my mother…” Get yo black ass up and do something for your damn self.” Yes I am a proud Africa. American man from the projects, but I live in a gated golf community bc I deal drugs…(pharmacist)

  65. Harold

    January 28, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Check Mr. Smiley’s words. Are they true? That is all that matters. Mr. Joyner should not be responding to comments made about the President. Mr. Joyner stuck himself in the middle of the issue. I see Mr. Joyner as wanting to be heard and seen–seeking attention. Let’s agree on facts–not opinions.

  66. Monte Moire

    January 28, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’m not here to defend President Obama, because I don’t agree with everything he does, or fails to do, myself. I voted for him twice (2008 and 2012) because I believe him. But there are those in the Black community (Tavis, Cornell West, and Dr. Watkins) who need to come to terms with the fact that there are some things that even the president can’t do – and signing a bill abolishing ignorance is at the very top of that list. That’s what it would take to accomplish some of the objectives that they’re trying to force upon him. That’s also what lets me know that much of the ranting and raving of some of these so-called Black intellectuals are disingenuous at best, and blatant intraracial bigotry at worst.

    The president can’t just wave a magic wand and instantly make everyone upwardly mobile. It doesn’t work that way. There’s an educational process that goes along with upward mobility, and that goes for whether the person is Black, or White. While there are many in the Black community who have the skills to hit the ground running, there are others who need to be trained, motivated, and refocused in order to simply maintain a job that pays wages high enough to lift them out of poverty, even if it was given to them.

    So if these educators, intellectuals, and pundits were serious about their concern for the poor, instead of holding televised seminars and book signings, they’d be in the community with their sleeves up, helping to upgrade the skill sets of those who need it. That’s what Barack Obama did. As the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, when Obama graduated from law school he could have gone to work as a law clerk for the Supreme Court, or pursued wealth by going into any one of the top law firms in the country. He could have also tried to make a name for himself by running all over the country selling books, doing lectures, and trying to sound profound. But he didn’t do that. Instead, he quietly went back into the community and went to work helping people to get their heaters fixed. That’s the way to show that you care. Words are meaningless. It’s deeds that count.

    So for that reason – and yes, because he’s a lone Black man struggling to carve out a new chapter in our history – I’ll always give him the benefit of the doubt over lesser men who criticize him. No, he’s not perfect, but neither am I – and neither was Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln – but why does a Black man have to be perfect to be accepted as a man worthy of respect?

    Excuse my ranting. But I am so sick of people like Tavis, Dr. West, and Dr. Watkins, harping on the president about what he should be doing for the black community. Many of the very same Black “intellectuals” who can barely contain themselves today, just sat back and allowed Ronald Reagan, both Bushs, and the GOP in general, to cut our throats for the past 30 years with nothing more than a whimper in most cases, and a profound silence in others.

    Surely these “intellectuals” have enough education to know that the United States Constitution states that the House of Representatives controls ALL spending, and they also know that the House of Representatives is controlled by…… wait for it……. the Republican Party!! So exactly what do they expect President Obama to do other than what he is – trying to hold together a fragile coalition of Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, gays, women, the young, the old, etc., and design policies that are broad enough to help ALL of these groups in order to put enough pressure on congress to loosen the purse strings? These “public intellectuals” know that. Nevertheless, they continue to rant, rave, and insist that Obama attempt to play poker at a blackjack table.

    They should also know enough about history to remember what brought down the Civil Rights Movement. Many people don’t realize it, but Republican, Richard Nixon, helped to promote and signed important parts of Affirmation Action into effect – but he had his tongue firmly implanted in cheek as he was signing the memorandum. You see, he knew that many of the White folks who supported the civil rights movement and marched with Martin Luther King would have a change of heart once Black people started taking their jobs and replacing their children in college admissions across the country – and that’s exactly what happened.
    .
    We made a huge mistake while formulating affirmative action legislation. We should have insisted that it be based on need rather than race. That way, Black people would have still been at the head of the line, but we wouldn’t have given the GOP the leverage to convince poor and middle-class White people that it was an assault on their rights.
    .
    So shortly after it went into effect, White people started to protest, and hordes of formerly moderate White people raced over to the Republican Party. That ushered in the Ronald Reagan era, with his “trickle-down economics,” the assault on Fair Labor Standards Act, and the abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine. That , in turn, led directly to the rise of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the policies that led to the Wall Street collapse, and directly to the dire straits that we find ourselves in today.
    .
    Yet, once again, many of these Black “intellectuals” are criticizing President Obama for having the good sense not to repeat history by refusing to throw his fist in the air. While they say it’s all about advocating against poverty, just like with White demagogues, they’re conflating the term “poverty” with race, in spite of the fact that they know full well that even the scent of racial politics is grist for the Republican mill. That’s exactly why Obama has to avoid the issue, because the Republicans can use it to drum up support to block anything he tries to do for the people at all.

    So if these “intellectuals” were actually concerned about the best interest of the Black community, while President Obama is trying to navigate the Republican minefield they’d be in the community organizing, educating, and discussing what we can do to improve our own condition in the meantime. But of course, that’s too much like real work.

    These people should be educating Black people to understand that more money passes through the Black community than through most countries, so we could create our own jobs. But we don’t, and I’ll tell you why – because Black people are the product of the very same racist environment as White people, so we’re just as reluctant to patronize Black businesses as any Hillbilly. Unlike any other community in the world, we’d rather take our money and patronize other people – ANY other people – as long as they aren’t Black. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it is, what it is.

    So our bigoted attitude towards other Black people is the primary reason why we’re lingering at the very bottom of the social and economic ladder – and it’s that very same bigotry that’s being reflected in the attitudes of Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and others of their ilk, towards President Obama. Essentially, all they’re saying is, “Obama ain’t nobody – he’s just another nigga, just like you.”

    Think about it. Think about the kind of respect that these people afforded Bush and Cheney, and those two were trying to cut our throats – in fact, they did! But in spite of that, many of these Black critics limited their criticism to mumbling under their breath. But now, with Obama, they’ve broken out the bullhorns. And Cornel West, in his typically attention-seeking fashion , has even resorted to playing the dozens – with THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!! That’s not only highly disrespectful of the president, but in my opinion, speaks volumes regarding his lack of respect, and arrogant disdain, for the Black community as a whole.

    So it’s time for Black people to come to terms with our racist attitudes toward one another. If we’re going to hold a seminar on poverty, the major topic of discussion shouldn’t be Barack Obama, but why we’re so willing to pass by hundreds of Black businesses in the community to take our money to Walmart. Now, I’d be a hypocrite to say never shop at Walmart. I realize that sometimes our finances force us to deal with the Devil, but we should, at the very least, balance our spending. Because, until we come to terms with what is essentially a boycott of Black businesses, whining about high unemployment is silly.

    So, again, one of the many things that President Obama can’t do, is to sign a bill bestowing common sense upon the people. Learning to love and respect other Black people, and acting with common sense, are two things that no one else can give us.

  67. Kim

    January 28, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Again, all thi smack talk on the internet. What is any of it doing for the Black American people?

  68. Afrotapp

    January 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Some people are so foolish. Everyone else has their hand in the pie and receiving gifts and some fault Tavis and West for putting a universal message of the poor and marginalized and black/brown to get a piece also. Wait they say. As if a person’s history doesn’t tell you what they seem to be about. If POTUS changes it will be a revelation or due to concentrated efforts of those groups already mentioned to force it. Only problem is FBI was strong in the 60-70s to dismantle and assassinate leaders I’m sure it hasn’t stopped(Occupy movement-Gov’t had organized teleconference against a group wanting less money in government). People didn’t like King then and they only like a fabricated vision of him now.

  69. Jhezrel V

    January 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Obama did not pit Joyner and Tavis against each other. Their strong opinions and many years as friends did that. The point that you miss, Dr Watkins, is that they’ve always had their secret disdain for each other, but were able to look beyond it in light of the ‘higher’ (or more profitable) work they each knew they could achieve together. And the fact that Tavis has a hidden agenda (steeped in jealousy, I might add) in trying to bring the issue of poverty to the forefront, is a big problem for me. It means he’s a liar, and possibly delusional. Whether he thinks he’s just lying to himself, or lying to ‘the people’ is for him to work out with his therapist. Until he does, I don’t need him trying to convince me of anything he’s calling truth. The truth he seeks to expose needs to start in his own heart, as I am capable of weighing the truth of a matter for myself without the help of someone who is, seemingly, incapable of either recognizing or admitting it to himself. So, I reject, in its entirety, your argument, Dr. Watkins.

    • David Jones

      January 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Agree, and if Tavis has a hidden agenda and is a liar when it comes to poverty then what does that say about West and Boyce? How can Boyce call out Tavis, but excuse and ignore the fact that West parades around the country with Tavis as best friends and never say a word about how Tavis sold out black people for Wells Fargo with bad subprime loans in addition to taking millions from Walmart while turning a blind eye to sweat shops and low wages aimed at the poor.

  70. bahati sobukwe

    January 28, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Africans born in America are not “in-love” with President Barack H. Obama. They love that he was smart enough to win the Presidency and serve in that post with intellectual genius. Most of us instinctively understood what it is to be black in America and the obstacles you will face in winning in America. He has served with honor and our pride is invested in President Barack H. Obama. His wife,Michelle has being first class in her duties as First Lady and his children conduct have made us proud. His Presidency coming on the hills of almost five hundred years of degradation of Africans has made him our most bright and shining star. Therefore, we gave the President our permission in his first term to win the second term, because we think that he will continue to serve the country (that we live in) and he will politically do “what he can for us”. The President has shown prudential judgement in his Presidency.

    So, now, is the time for us to partition President Obama’s to make sure that in satisfying America that he cannot forget black unemployment,to continue pushing for more educational reform, the problems of the incarceration of our people and some kind of retroactive pardoning for our men in prison and returning their right to vote. To understand fully this issue, read ‘The New Jim Crow’, by Michelle Alexander. He must understand what incarceration and when out what a felon conviction means for a black man in the job market.
    Letters should be written to the President by the millions to get his attention. We do not have to be scholars to write the President asking for these consideration because he does owe us, we just have to gently remind him.

    I have resented Tavis, Cornell, and Watkins for their impatience and yes, plain jealousy, but now is the time to write letters to the President to remind him that NOW IS THE TIME!

    But, it will take a long time for me to forgive Tavis for his ignorance, and West and Watkins because they should have known better.

    • stopthstupidity

      January 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Very well said!!

  71. marilyn clark

    January 28, 2013 at 7:29 am

    a correction to dr. boyce’s story: tavis smiley was NOT a co-host on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He wrote and read a weekly commetary on the morning show.

    • Urbantranslator ( Wallace Gator Bradley)

      January 28, 2013 at 9:03 am

      I saw the Abe Lincoln movie yesterday, and it came to that all the wonderful things that people are saying about Presient Obama at the end of day , he will be remembered as the only President that didn’t deal with the concerns of the Negro in America, Police Torture of African-American men and boys in Chicago, I can say this because I voted for him 4 times. Don’t take my word for it google it.

      What will all the people who don’t like Tavis and West say when the next President tell them and all the African-American that ther is no such thing as a Black Agenda

      • Rod

        January 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        So True!!!

  72. Dan

    January 28, 2013 at 6:59 am

    test

  73. Dan

    January 28, 2013 at 6:57 am

    The role of Tom Joyner, Al Sharpton, Dr Dyson are to keep black folks in check in regard to President Obama. These guys circle the wagons while President Obama signs the NDAA law, extends the patriot act, put safety net programs on the chopping block, talk down to black people, assassinate men/women/children, ignore the killing of black people in Chicago, ignore black unemployment, ignore high incareration rates for black, and on and on and on.

  74. Satyrdean

    January 28, 2013 at 6:33 am

    You have had white presidents; in fact, all presidents prior to President Obama were white. Except for Dr. King, where were you and your cronies when the other presidents were in office? I didn’t hear about you talking about poverty, incarceration, etc. As for incarcerations/pardons for crack cocaine, murders, burglaries, robberies, etc.–which are choices made by the perpetrators–hell no. I’m an convicted felon, and I don’t expect anybody to pardon me; I did the time–rather I let time serve me–and GOD has pardoned me. Get out of the victim mode, and you and others can move on. I was brought up with instructions that “You can’t keep a good man down”. “If somebody closes one door, the I should be about creating another”, “No one monkey can stop a show”. “You are never beaten until you believe you are”. These punks can make some better decisions than they are making; that is, if those of us who have been likewise take time to instruct them on how to do so.

  75. moe

    January 28, 2013 at 6:18 am

    making something out of nothing,obama can’t save us we gotta do that……………..

  76. moe

    January 28, 2013 at 6:18 am

    making something out of nothing,obama can’t save us we gotta do that……………..

  77. elijah Ali

    January 28, 2013 at 3:36 am

    When are we as a people going to make a stand. Obama is not going to do anything for us . We need to hit where it hurts , we need to tell the congressional black caucus they need to stand up for us if they want to keep there jobs, they are our spark for a real 3rd party,if to so called tea party can do it then we can to & a lot better. Won’t you please help me start this movement, I have a small army of men & women who will man the FB pages the internet the phones go out on the streets what ever we need them to do. You yourself have the power to hook us up with the right people to help our voices on the air in the papers we need just a spark, will you be that SPARK ??? I also have ways of raising large amounts of cash when needed ! Try me I am a man of my word for word is bond . Take a look around my FB page you will like what you see there it is me it is you ! Will you please take this stand with me PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

    • DEE PARKER

      January 28, 2013 at 5:38 am

      elijah ali, i reaad your comment from this article. i am interested and i believe in what you are saying and you asked for help from bloggers. as mentioned i am interested but you left no web site for me to visit. my email is dp_2627@yahoo.com.

    • DEE PARKER

      January 28, 2013 at 5:38 am

      elijah ali, i reaad your comment from this article. i am interested and i believe in what you are saying and you asked for help from bloggers. as mentioned i am interested but you left no web site for me to visit. my email is dp_2627@yahoo.com.

  78. Haywood Fennell

    January 28, 2013 at 3:09 am

    The matters between the Two T Brothers that finds themselves being decoded by you regarding our great and needed leader, Dr, Mlk, Jr. reminds us that our issues/problems are much larger than any two people or two thousand people. Long before President Obama was born seeds for destroying our People created laws planted with hate in legislative chambers across this Nation to include the US House and Senate. For us to believe that by voting for President Obama things would begin to change is folly and a waste of our energies. We must become more diligent and work to unite, get rid of the me’s and gather with the we’s to develop a economic strategy that will raise us above the poverty lines as a starter and stop remembering Dr. King just in January and celebrate the work that he was murdered for and boycott where needed and other planned and organized civic actions so that we can command and demand. Having a new cadre of leaders is needed. Times are changing and time seems not to be on our side. Again, later for the T Brothers for it is about the we Brothers and Sisters.

  79. Haywood Fennell

    January 28, 2013 at 3:09 am

    The matters between the Two T Brothers that finds themselves being decoded by you regarding our great and needed leader, Dr, Mlk, Jr. reminds us that our issues/problems are much larger than any two people or two thousand people. Long before President Obama was born seeds for destroying our People created laws planted with hate in legislative chambers across this Nation to include the US House and Senate. For us to believe that by voting for President Obama things would begin to change is folly and a waste of our energies. We must become more diligent and work to unite, get rid of the me’s and gather with the we’s to develop a economic strategy that will raise us above the poverty lines as a starter and stop remembering Dr. King just in January and celebrate the work that he was murdered for and boycott where needed and other planned and organized civic actions so that we can command and demand. Having a new cadre of leaders is needed. Times are changing and time seems not to be on our side. Again, later for the T Brothers for it is about the we Brothers and Sisters.