What's Happening In Your World

News Flash: Dismantling Cornel West is Not the Same as Confronting Poverty and Mass Incarceration

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

As we enter into the second term of President Barack Obama, we find that the end of the election allows us to continue the conversations that seemed practically intolerable before Obama was reelected.  The black community is becoming ground zero for a battle of wills between those who expect President Obama to acknowledge an increased degree of black suffering and those who feel that Obama has no obligation to the group that gave him 93% of their vote.  The man who has voluntarily placed a bull’s eye on his forehead is Dr. Cornel West, who seems to be unable to “just get over it” when it comes to racial inequality.

I find it interesting that there are so many among us who will criticize Cornel West for speaking out on poverty and mass incarceration by saying that he’s only mad because he didn’t get inauguration tickets.  So, rather than seeing if poverty and mass incarceration are actually a problem, some of us are blinded into allowing a  focus on Cornel’s inauguration tickets to excuse us from addressing critical problems that are facing our communities.  That just doesn’t make any sense, and shows the lengths to which even seemingly intelligent individuals like Melissa Harris-Perry will go in order to avoid defending the indefensible.

Whether Cornel is or isn’t upset about the tickets has nothing to do with the fact that black people continue to be incarcerated and born in poverty more than any other group in the history of the United States.  Sometimes, when faced with an inconvenient truth, we find that it’s easier to kill the messenger than it is to actually deal with the message. Poverty and mass incarceration are VERY REAL and destroying the black family in America. It’s time to elevate the conversation.

 

This week, I met with Father Michael Pfleger, a respected pastor and extraordinary activist on the South Side of Chicago.  Father Pfleger and I spoke for nearly three hours about the challenges that exist within the black community.  One of the points on which we agreed is that poverty, violence and mass incarceration continue to worsen, even as we celebrate the condition of the Harvard-educated black aristocracy.  Another thought that came to mind is that we must address the collective self-esteem problem which leads African Americans to feel that we should give 93% of the vote to a political party that barely says a word about the struggles our community continues to endure (Gay and Hispanic people refuse to accept such blatant disrespect).

 

The bottom line is this:  We must suffer in silence no longer.  Also, battle lines must be laid out clearly between those who care about poverty/mass incarceration/violence, and those who do not.  The same way that whites have the right to complain about 7 percent unemployment, blacks have an even greater right to complain about 14.3% unemployment.  The racist rhetoric which claims that black people don’t have jobs because we are too lazy to work is directly contradicted by the woman who found that her job offers skyrocketed when she pretended to be a white woman on Monster.com.  Nearly every study in America says that African Americans are more likely to go to  prison, even for the same crimes, and our children are more likely to be born into poverty.  It is white supremacy and ignorance that leads us to believe that we all randomly decided to lead horrible lives.

 

The day for cosmetic politics must come to an end, for symbolism will not pay the bills.  Also, we must continue to speak up on anyone within black leadership who has been compensated into silence, being forced to pretend that conversations on gay marriage are as important as discussions of the prison industrial complex.  In fact, I dare President Obama or his evil sidekick Valerie Jarrett to even use the words “Prison industrial complex” in public.  Their ignorance toward black suffering and the prison/poverty holocaust is no less damaging than what happened in Germany during World War II:  At that time, millions of Jews died because people did not have the courage to do what was right, and today, millions of black families are destroyed (with too many youth dying in the streets) because mothers and fathers have been placed behind iron bars.

 

Cornel West didn’t cause these problems and neither did President Obama.  But the difference is that one man has billions of dollars in African American tax money available to help solve these problems, and the other one does not.  If the president and his team do not wish to address these issues, then they should give us our tax money to let us address these problems ourselves:  Taxation without representation is entirely unacceptable and represents a blatant violation of our civil, constitutional and human rights. We must speak the truth about America during this second-term, for it makes no sense that our lives have become markedly worse under the first black president in history.  Barack can do better than that.

 

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.
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139 comments

  1. The last comment was made by o. Austin, not Laura austin

  2. What about the rest of the politicians we voted for over the years. I don't remember this big clammer about they got our vote so let's make do everything for us. Clinton for one, congressional black caucus for another.

  3. WOW ! All I'm going to say is there counting on you all to think and feel just like Lafonda Harvey . Smdh ,I wonder if Bush or better yet if Obama was white ,would you good Christian soliders feel the same way ???? Be honest with YOUR DAMNED SELF !

  4. From what I have read so far about black issues and our black leaders is interesting and silly. Have all of you forgotten about the brothers and sisters of old. We as a people have truly been lead astray over the years with no signs of REAL leaders stepping up to the plate. I rememeber when Malcom, the black panthers, fred hammond, Martin luther and others would stand up boldly and fight for rights. History shows that they will kill you, discredit you, disrespect you when you begin to have a following of people who agree with your ideas or issues. The political and justice system will do everything in their power to shut us up when they feel that WE are becoming too "radical" for them. We have become scared to truly speak out against a system that has held us back for so long and quick too ridicule anyone who does. Our people have become programmed too shut up and go to your corner mentallity but still deal with the fustrations that have been placed before us. Martin Luther King stated that "a man who fights for nothing is not fit too live". If we truly want to make a change in our communities then must be prepared to brawl and die for it just like our past leaders have. Until then shut the hell up with all that bitchen or pick your cross and go out there and make a change!

  5. Where is West's bus tour across America against black entertainers and athletes who do nothing for black America? (Aren't they our role models.) do you know what they will do to these blacks with money…that will take it and invested it in place of long term growth…gone by the next game…or what ever they can make up on him or her to give people a bad view of him like they did Michael Jackson…."Obama don't care about black people" "can s you see the truth" all the black people was murder in Chicago…more then sandy what ever and he came out and said now bad that was…..and I never been to prison.. and never did crimes…I was teaching young black brothers how to have oral sex….and these cracker want to put me in prison for having this education better then them….they wanted to create a crime to put on me…and I have the arrest record with me now….the other person was black out if it was another person….what kind of education…..what is education or having power if it do not help your people as a hold…everybody on the planet know what happen to blacks in America.

  6. I viewed drone strikes conducted by nato forces recently. This is an organization which america has deep influence. I saw the ravages on young children done by these strikes. As a tax payer and one who voted for obama, I need to see these strikes end. That would be a good indication of forward thinking policies and change which was his platform.

  7. Rodney Watchman Foster

    THIS NEEDS TO COME TO A CLOSE….. Its simple to me. IF there can be a beer summitt for a arrest it can be one for this.

  8. OK now go sit yo narrow behind down.. even JIMI HENDRIX knew better how to PLAY THE GAME IN THE USA & WORLD than you, Cornel I call batman and his side kick robin.. M m M. We all know what U3 say and we also cut n paste from the WWW online and paste from the LIBRARY of the world & news feeds in this 21st century.. we've always been given the worst, the least, the last, none, most in poverty, most enslaved, highest unemployment, least paid for doing the same work, etc etc etc… "ACT LIKE YOU KNOW" at least man O man "COME ON PEOPLE" you do you; and let our president do President Barack Hussein Obama. learn to sing/play the JIMI HENDRIX guitar. MLAR much love and respect. We do not all agree with you 3 nor should we period.

  9. First of all Baraka Obama is the Worst president for America. The only reason he was elected because the other candidates were bat shit crazy.
    Obama pretends to be Martin Luther king when he is running for office, but governs the nation like a Republican!
    Even his Health care Plan is Bob Dole's old health care plan.
    The goverment has never been black peoples friend.
    In fact Barak Obama was ineffective as a senator, the state he represented was the murder Capitol every year he was there. He also expanded torture from the Gorge Bush Administration.
    Poverty is the root of all wrongs in the Black Community. Hate crimes aginst black people are up 200% according to the justice department, and Obama said nothing. Just cause he's black doesn't make him sympathetic to the struggle of the people. It's easy to blame Black people for Americas failure to live up to it's own Constitution. House niggers like you always run to protect Master when you should be killing them. Dr. West aNd mr.Smiley are standing up for The poor low class Ass.

  10. President Obama has spent 4 years dealing with a racist congress and senate,the people of this country of all colors have given him the authority to move forward with vigor and their support. He can now present proposals and get real AMERICAN to put pressure on their REPs to help him get things done. They will get the message or get left at home in their next run for office. The TEApublicans have racist their selves into a corner and now when they refuse to cooperate,the people are now prepared to vote them out. The PRESIDENT knows that as we should,the election was clear he beat those trashy TEApublicans at their game. NOW he can function without kissing their asses. It is time for all the BLACK NAYSAYERS,the ones mentioned in the column by Dr Watkins…to either join in properly or sit by and watch a real educated man become a great PRESIDENT. We as a people have always succeeded beyond all expectation at everything once given an opportunity. I have to included the incarceration also,those of us who chose to create black on black crime as a way of life have exceeded all expectation and continue to do so, DRUG sells is a chosen profession,the punishment is spelled out for all to see,choose to sell and there is a price to pay. IT is ridiculous for us asca people to ask any president to waste their time trying to get people outof prison who had a choice to go or not to go. I personally look forward to this half BLACK AND WHITE man to do as much as humanly possible during his second term that was determine by as massive ass whipping of those RACIST TEApublican. I just hope at the end,we all can be proud to say,THE NAYSAYERS,WATKINS AND ASSOCIATES. Cornel West,Tavis Smiley,and any of the closet CRABS,over came that BLACK CRABS in a barrel syndrome and embrace this HALF BLACK man and were helpful in his successful second term. In the words of SWEET WILLIE CLINTON, neither he nor any of the previous PRESIDENT could clean up the mess in one term,that this PRESIDENT inherited. Please try to,just this once let common sense prevail…PEACE

  11. Cornell West IS the reason he hasn’t been more effective with his messaging. He should have realized his “public” and presented a message in a way that could be received by “that” public. For him to state that President Obama doesn’t want to see a free black man is not a message that would be accepted by the masses who not only wanted Obama to be elected, but saw the racist tirades against him. In addition to that, Dr. West has attacked Melissa Harris Perry and other well know blacks, calling them part of the exploitive establishment. When the public hear these people speak, that doesn’t come across. Also, who does Dr. West suggest as an alternative to these prominent blacks? That point has never been made clear. He comes across as a bitter man blowing a lot of hot air. If he wants to be heard and more successful, he needs to sit down and figure out why he can’t get his message across. Don’t blame the public. His message has been heard over and over again. He’s not reaching the people and it’s his own short comings, his own inablitity to do so that’s the problem. No one elses.

  12. Cornell West IS the reason he hasn’t been more effective with his messaging. He should have realized his “public” and presented a message in a way that could be received by “that” public. For him to state that President Obama doesn’t want to see a free black man is not a message that would be accepted by the masses who not only wanted Obama to be elected, but saw the racist tirades against him. In addition to that, Dr. West has attacked Melissa Harris Perry and other well know blacks, calling them part of the exploitive establishment. When the public hear these people speak, that doesn’t come across. Also, who does Dr. West suggest as an alternative to these prominent blacks? That point has never been made clear. He comes across as a bitter man blowing a lot of hot air. If he wants to be heard and more successful, he needs to sit down and figure out why he can’t get his message across. Don’t blame the public. His message has been heard over and over again. He’s not reaching the people and it’s his own short comings, his own inablitity to do so that’s the problem. No one elses.

  13. What’s the presidents excuse for ignoring Harry Belafonte’s request to meet and sit down to talk about the conditions of blacks in this country. I guess if you don’t agree with the presidents politics and his supporters then access is denied irregardless if you have an extensive and impressive resume on civil rights and human rights such as Mr. Belafonte.

    So let me get this straight anyone who does not agree with the president and Obama supporters is a hater and you question their motives. Irregardless of the facts and position taken. But Obama supporters don’t question the motives of a politician who is the president of the US of America, have we forgotten the history of this position.

    I don’t expect anything from the president as a black person, but as a black voter my purpose for voting is so that the candidate that I choose will address the issues that are directly effecting my people and community and on a broader level the country. So when any candidate gets 90%+ of the black vote it’s not unrealistic for some of us to want our issues addressed by that candidates administration. No different than the gay community, Hispanic community and Jewish community that voted on principal and agenda. And do believe each group went to all the candidates with their agendas in hand and voted for the one that was willing to address their issues.

    I agree with Dr. Watkins in his assessment that our self esteem is low when we accept and wait for results instead of being proactive and demanding results. One of the realist things President Obama said himself in a speech during his first term was “MAKE ME DO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO”. How many black Obama supporters remember that quote?

    Instead we are so busy praising a politician who is merely a man, (not a messenger of GOD) and not giving him the ammunition needed to go back to his constituents and say the black voters have a common agenda and make certain our communities issues (education, poverty, violence, unemployment and mass incarceration) are addressed. Until we let go of symbolism, the first black “whatever” and unite we will always be disregarded even by the BLACK PRESIDENT. Doing what’s morally correct without pressure does not work in politics anymore.

    Many of us stood on line for hours to vote for the black president, but how much of that black pride, togetherness and attitude was brought back to our perspective communities. The hypocrisy needs to stop. Yes, we accomplished a once unthinkable act and that’s fine but business is business and it’s time to move on and focus on leveraging this historic opportunity.

    The buying power of blacks in this country is almost one trillion dollars and less than 3 cents on every dollar is recycled back into black owned businesses. Which in turn would create jobs, wealth and much needed resources to our communities. It hurts to say this but who will respect a people that don’t respect themselves?

  14. A prominent scholar called me on the phone today and theorized that part of the problem for the black community is that there are women who've literally fallen in love with President Obama: They live vicariously through Michelle and the girls, having almost no interest in the president's policies – the man could drop drones on little babies in another country and they would give blanket approval as part of the effort to "Stand by THEIR president" (sounds a lot like "Stand by your man").

    I wasn't sure if I agreed with the man's point of view or not, but I expect that if you are one of those people, you might want to realize that falling in love with a politician is a very bad idea. If you can't name three objective policy-oriented reasons to support the Obama Administration, that might make you into a groupie.

    I endorsed Obama long before many black people did. But he is our employee, not our master, as is every other politician that we support with taxpayer money. If white folks had 14% unemployment, they would be rioting on the steps of the White House and Capitol Hill. For black unemployment to be at this level without even an acknowledgement of our suffering is simply unbelievable…..But of course, I'm just whining over nothing – perhaps the president is too busy to care about black families who are starving to death. It's not as if negroes are supposed to matter….racism taught us that long ago.

  15. A prominent scholar called me on the phone today and theorized that part of the problem for the black community is that there are women who've literally fallen in love with President Obama: They live vicariously through Michelle and the girls, having almost no interest in the president's policies – the man could drop drones on little babies in another country and they would give blanket approval as part of the effort to "Stand by THEIR president" (sounds a lot like "Stand by your man").

    I wasn't sure if I agreed with the man's point of view or not, but I expect that if you are one of those people, you might want to realize that falling in love with a politician is a very bad idea. If you can't name three objective policy-oriented reasons to support the Obama Administration, that might make you into a groupie.

    I endorsed Obama long before many black people did. But he is our employee, not our master, as is every other politician that we support with taxpayer money. If white folks had 14% unemployment, they would be rioting on the steps of the White House and Capitol Hill. For black unemployment to be at this level without even an acknowledgement of our suffering is simply unbelievable…..But of course, I'm just whining over nothing – perhaps the president is too busy to care about black families who are starving to death. It's not as if negroes are supposed to matter….racism taught us that long ago.

    • How did you "Endorse" him before black people?

    • How did you "Endorse" him before black people?

    • he endorsed him before many black people evn knew who he was…..So did Dr. Dyson…. they actually go way back to the 90's….

    • Obama is Black Jesus!! You betta leave him alone, lol.

    • Thanks O'nae but i wanted to hear the words from Dr. Watkins himself..

    • Get a permit and have a rally to protest these conditions.

    • Me and many other black women I know voted for Obama. Nan one of us is in love with him. I love health care, especially since I was able to put my daughter back on mine which assisted her and her physical issues…etc.etc….. And as far as Michelle goes, I've got my own education, my own children and my own road to travel. Why do statements have to always be made in reference to the intelligence of our people? Enough is enough…good grief. How about we start coming up with some solutions for our communities on here? How about we put a proposal together to submit to the Obama administration regarding education, prison reform, high rate of African American males drop out rate, 75 % unwed mothers, unemployment????? What is OUR solution! What's the sense in citing a riot just to tear our own selves down?????

    • Oh no! It's Black women's fault again! It's Black women's fault that "Chocolate Jesus didn't make it rain $20 bills" to save JUST Black families, even though poverty affects not just us, but Latinos, Whites, and Native peoples as well, whom also make up this nation. Black Jesus is not just the president of Black people, and the answer to the issue of poverty should address ALL OF US, not just one constituency. It's Black women's fault that Black Jesus has not single-handily dismantled decades and decades of powerful corporate lobbyists, a government institution and other powerful conglomerate interests–the thousands of people who sway power over United States policies that dictate the direction of this country and have been doing so for 100 years. OH NO! Black Jesus didn't SAVE the USA, and so all of us who voted for him over Mitt Romney are just a bunch of stupid sheep.

    • Oh no! It's Black women's fault again! It's Black women's fault that "Chocolate Jesus didn't make it rain $20 bills" to save JUST Black families, even though poverty affects not just us, but Latinos, Whites, and Native peoples as well, whom also make up this nation. Black Jesus is not just the president of Black people, and the answer to the issue of poverty should address ALL OF US, not just one constituency. It's Black women's fault that Black Jesus has not single-handily dismantled decades and decades of powerful corporate lobbyists, a government institution and other powerful conglomerate interests–the thousands of people who sway power over United States policies that dictate the direction of this country and have been doing so for 100 years. OH NO! Black Jesus didn't SAVE the USA, and so all of us who voted for him over Mitt Romney are just a bunch of stupid sheep.

    • Paaaareachhhhhhh!!!! You betta keep on tellin the truth and shame the devil…..

      Black folks do NOT want to hear the truth on Obama….sad, but true!

    • Paaaareachhhhhhh!!!! You betta keep on tellin the truth and shame the devil…..

      Black folks do NOT want to hear the truth on Obama….sad, but true!

    • Karen Cecile Wallace

      What an odd theory in view of the fact that most Black men have a strong emotional attachment to the President as well. More misogyny here. Mitt lost women voters due to the misogynistic platform of the Republican Party. These women haters should tread lightly.

    • ….black families aren't starving to death in the u.s., cut that out!

    • Somehow President Obama is magically due to his own blackness is going to eliminate years of structural racism… come on… you have slavery, apprenticeship, black codes and/or laws, Jim Crow and now colorblind institutionalized racism.

    • Lynette Nickleberry

      If Black families are starving then shame on ALL of us, to hell with the politics. HYPEerbole.

    • Lynette Nickleberry

      Someone sounds jealous ;)

    • OMG! EVERY DAY? EVERY GD DAY!!??? Look. There were people who were in love with Reagan and people who were in love with Clinton. It happens. However, every demographic went for Obama, including the single, female, highly educated, African American group, too. Because, contrary to your opinion, WE CAN READ. WE CAN ANALYZE POLICY. WE WATCH THE NEWS. WE HAVE — wait for it, wait for it — BRAINS!!!!! (pause for shock and awe). For once, can we just be freaking proud? Is it possible that at least one or two of us may understand his policies and agree? Or maybe we agree with some but not all, but voted for the best interests of the country? (I know, hard for you to believe). I am so sick and tired and tired and sick of you and yours disclaiming the choice of 90% of the Black electorate….as if you are the only smart one in the room and ALL OF THE REST OF US ARE JUST shuffling, spirtual singing, uneducated…..STOP IT, I SAY! JUST STOP IT! We have 14% unemployment because our children don't graduate high school, and because our adults relied on the false security of good paying but low-skilled union labor and did not pursue further education or high-tech skill development. THIS IS OUR MESS AND WE NEED TO FIX IT OURSELVES instead of blaming and waiting on THE MAN (whether he be black, white, or both) to create some magic program to save us. ENOUGH WITH THE EVERY DAY BASH OF BLACK PEOPLE. I DON'T TAKE IT FROM THEM AND SURE AS HELL SHOULDN'T TAKE IT FROM YOU, EITHER.

    • ((Violins playing)) It doesn't take any scholar to figure out that black women love President Obama. POTUS not only represents a nation, but he represents commitment, in terms of wife and family. So, all of the black pin heads (I mean geniuses) of the world can discuss poverty, prison stats, lack of jobs until the cows come home – but unless the restoration of the black family takes place, this played out conversation will never end. ((Violins playing))

    • I can understand how a black woman could subconsciously fall in love with the O'bama family and live vicariously through her and them. I mean especially if u compare him and how he values her compared to the shit that the every day black woman is stuck with on a daily basis. This man values his woman. These negroes today are selfish two legged liabilities….and ignorant as hell. Who could blame them. Look at him and then look at the at shit out here trying to pass themselves off as men. no thank you!!!

    • WOW!! Boyce Watkins truly has a unique way of revealing how divided we are as a black community. Even though most of the comments to his post are opinion based, every opinion holds a piece of personal feelings towards the subject.

    • Ms Kisha Johnson, for the record some of us "negroes" aren't "selfish two legged liabilities….and ignorant as hell". There are some loving, providing, protective, educated, and unselfish black men around… most (not all) are probably in a relationship making their significant other happy.

    • what specifically do you want Obama to do about this?

    • Sounds like u had a great conversation Dr. Boyce.

    • Way to go Doc! You have successfully mastered the Republican play book…to incite anger anger and confusion by OVER-exaggerating truths and misusing statistics. For example, if white folk had 14% unemployment we'd be in a DEPRESSION! Every damn body! Furthermore, with so many BAD examples of black life why not love the example the First Family offers? Lastly, I'll speak to your national security hyperbole. As a Veteran, I FULLY understand the ugliness of war. I also KNOW that collateral death and damage is part of that ugliness. As much as I despise killing, I will to allow YOU the FREEDOMS to speak your mind. I resent the notion that OUR President is careless in his defense of our way of life just because war is ugly. I renew my recommendation to you to DO something to help the President instead of talking and defending your intellectual Cronies! Prominent scholar…Please! Who really gives a damn?

    • Maybe you can use your new mastery for counter-terrorism against the GOP…just a thought. I'm sure we'll need some help unseating McConnell here in KY.

    • President Obama is doing a good job.

    • Bobby Pearson —

      I'm not Dr. Boyce Watkins and I too "endorsed" and "supported" Senator Obama when he was first considering his first run for POTUS long before he announced his candidacy and at a time when most black people didn't even know who "Senator Obama" was and were all pretty much set on supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy for POTUS. I remember having conversations at work with other managers and co-workers about Obama who all asked "Who is he?" and they also pooh poohed the young black Senator from Illinois as being "unknown", "inexperienced", "untried" and "unproven". They all laughed at me. This is what Dr. Boyce means. And, it is a huge understatement to say I am not at all happy with Obama now.

    • There are Black men out here also who will jump on you for saying anything they don't want to hear about Obama also. So don't just say it's us… Certainly not I! Before and after the elections we as Black people are invisible to him.

  16. Bernice Roach Benbow

    Boyce Watkins · Subscribe · 1,520 subscribers.
    @anthony – one sign of an intelligent mind is the ability to understand ideas that are not similar to your own."
    West has not done this! Fact is, neither have you, otherwise you would not be so offended with fact that the majority has not accepted West's ideas of handling our president or these issues. You think it's a lack of intelligence and self esteem problems on our part, even threw in a few insults at your trained readers and 93% of AA, "Another thought that came to mind is that we must address the collective self-esteem problem which leads African Americans to feel that we should give 93%…", but that's ok like I said, we KNOW who's who and we don't forget!, ask West and Tavis!
    For the record, we are not "dismantling" West he is doing that himself and you're helping him with every article you remind us of his misconduct during a time 93% of us were standing TOGETHER! Other than himself you are doing him more harm than anyone.

  17. Bernice Roach Benbow

    We all know the old saying, "It's not what you say, but how ya say it" well, this very much applies to West and Tavis Smiley!
    The issues they address are very real ones that we as a people must address, BUT… the manner in which they choose to do so is very wrong or questionable to say the least!
    First of all let's address this manner of them appointing themselves the new face of black leadership. We as a people have been pushed and pulled by pastors, state and federal "leaders" for many lifetimes most of which have munipulated us for their own good that we now know who is for us and who is against us and do NOT need ANYONE to lead us into their marvelous light! The mere fact they refusal to HEAR the manjority of us when we said WAIT because now is NOT a reasonable time to make these demands on President Obama. He is one of us, we will see him through to another term of testing both to address our issues and those of OUR nation because we realize he is limited in a first term and he is OUR NATION'S president how he benefits our nation will also benefit us IF we are willing to prepare and include ourselves. We chose not to make unreasonable demands on him that we KNEW he could NOT fully address in his first term. YOU/WE fully understand the game for a first term, first black man needing to be re-elected! West and them thought to devide us when they thought he was weak, down and in need, those 93% of voters were voices saying "we will not turn our back on our own! We have waited ALL of these generations, we will wait through 4 more years! And… to West, Tavis and the rest, we reject YOU not the issues!

    West and the rest of these self appointed black leaders first became questionable when they did not fully support him without a personal need/want for themselves, no matter how small (tickets), Tavis didn't support him at all. As a "leader" that in itself was a reminder of all the other "leaders", so rejection was automatic because from that point on motives don't appear right! YES! We are tired of being used, but… the understanding that we are a self governing body of people within our power as limited as it is was disrespected. So when one who wishes to "lead" stands outside of the group and DEMANDS to "lead" against the group, especially when they have already proven themselves against the group and it's wishes, they will and should be rejected! You can't come with outdated leadership style of forcing yourselves and opinions on 'intelligent" people then get pissed when they reject you! Let's just say, West has already proven himself, we are still willing to allow President Obama his opportunity! And… WE CHOSE HIM UPON HIS RESPECTFULLY ASKING!

  18. THANK YOU MS. LAFONDA. When will people like West & Smiley give of themselves (freely w/o trying to sell books). When was the last time they sat down with a group of young brothers & imparted wisdom of what it takes to become successful: staying in school, studying, how to be resiliant. Go into the hood themselves & make a difference.

  19. According to J.A. Rogers there were 5 so called "Negro Presidents." It has been so long for arguement sake let us say Obama is the first. The President has had and still has challenges. Some failed attempts, and some successful. Let us consider what it is to be the first. Many of us can not and will not be able to relate because many have never been in that position. If we look at Jackie Robinson, those that know something about the "Negro Baseball League," know that Jackie Robinson was not the best baseball player, but he was the best for the job at that time in history. We must also consider Obama is President and not King Obama. In addition, you are only as good as your support system…well his support was right on for the election, but those that surround him may be a different story. Although I do not want to make excuses for the President, we must not forget there is a process in place to do things and he was learning on the fly and also had to rely on his advisers. There are a myriad of reasons for his success and failures. I have heard many critics, but very few suggestions on how to remedy these problems through the process in which he will have to do it. The Republicans will have to scramble now to come up with a plan other than business as usual (The Pary of NO). There is only so much he can do without help. Some of the members of the House and the Senate need to be replaced if he is going to make the changes we all want and need. Maybe we should direct our anger at Congress, vote that they pay for their own health care, and they should not be able to get unemployment, in addition to paying for their own retirement as well. I bet they get the message then!

  20. Now that elections are over, I hope FoxNews will fire the following: Hannity, Crowley, Ingraham, Morris, Malkin, Sanford, Foreman, Karl Rove,Palin Dick Morris and Ann Coulter. I am asking FoxNews not to invite Rush on any of show. He is now useless. Those morons wasted money lying to people. We are lucky President Obama was re-elected and they lost. What a night that was!

  21. Why am I wasting time discussing Republicans’ fate and now whining they lost elections. Now they’re blaming their candidate for his unfortunate valediction. These are same republicans who said poor whites, blacks, women is their fault (Romney); These are same Republicans who called Occupy Wall Street smelly, should take a bath (Newt). These are same republicans who said Blacks are BIT loaders. (Bachman, Santorum; Romney). These are the same republicans who said raped women to have children is god-send (I don’t which god). These are the same republicans who said women should not have rights to their bodies. (Republican memo); These are the republicans who said Obama should not have bailed out GM. (Romney and Hannity); These are same republicans who encouraged millionaires to ship jobs to China leaving American workers on welfare. (Rove); These are the same republicans who wanted to put electric fence to kill Mexicans crossing into this country (Cain); These are same republican who at Mitt rally allowed a woman to wear a T-shirt, “White House for Whites”. Now they regret. That is a lie.

  22. Well, if Tavis and Cornell want to attend the inaugural why can’t they invite themselves there? In any case I will e-mail President Obama to invite them there. We are lucky President Obama was re-elected. We, Blacks, would have been relegated again to back of the bus. And they had intention to do so. Did you hear Emanuel, Chicago mayor, called Sean Hannity? F word.

  23. How many of us pray for our leaders? We are to pray for our leaders so that God will influence their decisions and behavior and also give the community vision and inspire the citizens in business and every aspect of life. The community will be elevated when they put God first. Otherwise you come under the punishment of the rest of this evil world. Without a vision the people perish. Creative vision comes from the creator. If you do not ask how can you receive. The president is not God.

  24. Some of the problems that Blacks want President Obama to solve should be handled on the local level. Are blacks holding their state and local representatives responsible for problems affecting their community? The answer is a resopunding NO! Most blacks only vote for the President election every four years. You local politicians are responsible for the conditions that affect your ommunities, but most blacks do not vote,unless its a presidential election. Wwhen a politician makes note that you dont vote he assumes you don’t care. Guesss who gets the money allocated to solve some of your problems? The community that votes. Start putting your pressure on the Mayor, Governor, congressman, senator, etc., who represents your neighborhood. If they are not doing something to solve your problem they then become the problem. VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE!

  25. Talk, talk, talk, talk. talk, talk, talk, speak out, speak out speak, speak speak and get paid and write books that most negroes can't read. Why hasn't this very smart communist esposing extreme leftist Ivy League univ. professor, Dr. West done more in 60 years of living than just talk, talk, talk, talk and talk, The average Black man, woman boy and girl in America doesn't know who Dr. Cornell West or Tavis Smiley is. And why should they? Lokk up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Wash. Dc. and emulate the example of Black family residing at that residence. That is all Mr. and Mrs. Obama need to do for Black America. Be an example of what is possible! They didn't just talk, they delivered. Away with all of this stupid a— criticism about poverty and incarceration.

  26. Negro Please. When did the Federal Government start separting money by the color of the tax payers. Funny how all of the Haters want to write a whole new play book for Obama.

  27. Must we have "whine" with everything. The solution to 99.9% of our problems is neither money nor the government. Our problems relate to family and the lack thereof. Yes there is the prison industrial complex but we don't have to keep adding on to it. If you've been to jail once, it ceases to be a conspiracy. As far as money goes, we have more than enough. However, many times we make poor choices with it; as Detroit is the country's # 1 market for cognac – go figure. Knowing our history on these shores, I don't understand the psychosis of Dr. Watkins or anyone else asking this government for help. We have got to get off this victim bandwagon driven by Smiley, West, Watkins and who so ever will keep us from taking responsibility for ourselves (sadly like Mitt Romney said).

  28. Can I please ask a simple question (and I will check back for responses)…

    I you can’t hold government officials, and that includes the White House responsible for acknowledging what ails American communities why the hell do we vote at all????

    All this push to vote for a Black president, which comes from a historic and emotional place for many, yet we can’t have any expectations? We can except our President visiting nations around the world and acknowledging their issues YET we can’t expect an American President to take an honest interest in Domestic Policies that will bring relief to disenfranchised populations right here on American soil?????

    So we excuse this President because we allegedly NEVER held any other President responsible for what ails the Black community???? Are you serious????

    So its more important that we goo goo ga ga over our President because he’s COOL looking or has SWAG, but we can’t have any expectations????

    You expect some of the poorest people in our nation who experience generational under-employment, under education, OVER incarceration, and social INEQUALITY in EVER American social paradigm to FIX our OWN ills (many WE DID NOT CREATE BUT DO Perpetuate)…YET

    We can NOT expect the most powerful man in the world to have compassion for people of color on American soil. We applaud his support of Israel, Gays, Illegal immigrants, Latinos….but we beat up our own brethren for having EXPECTATIONS??????

    How dumb can we be???? You think Israel, Gays, and Immigrants don’t have EXPECTATIONS of this sitting President??? But we are blinded by the color of our own damn skin and can’t have EXPECTATIONS???

    Wow. Why should I have expectations of my children then (even though I know they can do better and make changes). I am sad for this people, we call Black America.

    Damn!

    • Some of these writings are obviously from people who are so filled with anger that they only know how to strike out by calling those they disagree with, names. Sadly those are the people so filed with anger they are beyond reasoning with. Now I understand the saying…” A fool convinced against their will, Is a fool of the same opinion still”

      • @Virginia

        Your reply did not answer the question of EXPECTATIONS. Every group expects something from any President of the United States. Blacks have a LONG history of addressing and CHALLENGING U. S. Presidents to address social ills, but for some reason Blacks can’t do so of a Black President.

        Ever think people have HIGHER expectations of the current President because his skin-color signifies some understanding and natural compassion??? (Which personally I believe many are mistaken).

        Political corruption begins at the Top of the Political food chain, not at the bottom. My suggestion is Blacks digress. Ignore politicians altogether and use their money and resources more wisely and put their money where it will count for something. OUR ancestors used their vote to activate Social Change, just voting for someone based on the color of their skin doesn’t meet this criteria if NO expectation of change is forthcoming.

  29. Dr. Boyce Watkins, Cornell West, Tavis Smiley etc., all very gifted intellectual minds. I find it ironic that the election of a black man as president could be so polarizing to intelligent minds. No one thinks the president does everything right for the country or for black people. However, where did all the activists go after the election? The CBC has been practically silenced, Rev. Jackson wanted to castrate him. Everyone wants to be heard when criticizing the POTUS. If I may remind you all, he is not just the president of black America. Is that the way that you “so called” leaders intent to advance the plight of black peoples? Let’s be fair about this and I challenge any/all of you to put forward your agenda. Make a difference with your actions not just your subjective opinions. If we truly desire to make a change in the lives of many then we should hold the POTUS and all of our leaders accountable. This includes leaders of local municipalities, state, and national levels. And of course let’s not forget our religious leaders.
    It is a cataclysmic failure when educated individuals try to influence the masses who may be oblivious to certain knowledge that affects them. Rather than criticizing the POTUS for what he has not done for blacks, why don’t we organize enough to petition for ourselves? Where are the black special interest groups? A major part of the problem that no one wants to acknowledge is that we have way too many criticizers and not enough doers. Black America is not a monolithic society, therefore let’s stop trying to put everyone in a vacuum. If we really want to make a difference let us all start by being a part of something. Let us educate each other, channel our spending and focus on developing a self-sufficient generation.

  30. I think there should be a truce on this issue: Cornel should stop calling Barack names and those who oppose Cornel should stop calling him a hater just because he's decided to talk about things that we know are serious problems in our community. Valerie Jarrett has been a bully, protecting Obama from having to deal with serious matters in the black community and this shouldn't be tolerated any longer. If Barack stands as one of us, then he should be willing to help us. If not, then that would officially make him "one of them" (those who support systems that maintain the oppression of black people).

    What good is having a black president if he must muzzle himself like a farm animal? Barack is too intelligent for that.

    • Barack?

    • LaTanya, that just may explain some of the problem!

    • I say let Cornell keep doing him and Barack will do the same. In my opinion there's no need for a truce since him and Smiley weren't really considerable factors in the first place. They should have presented more constructive action as opposed to just disrespectful lip service.

    • So where was cornel west and travis smiley when we didn't have a black president why is now they care so much about the poor I never see or heard him come to the black community or even talk about the when we didn't have a black president my him saying thing and call him names isn't going to make it better for people of color all they are doing is playing that divine and conquer republicans are doing they hate this because he is blackman and they are to stupid blackmen to understand that

    • Dude are you seriously saying you never heard about Cornell talking about black poverty before Obama took office? Where have you b been Mars?

    • Kimberly Carter it's LaTonya. That just may explain some of the problem.

    • i think the things west is saying is MORE apparent now, because he says so much that is disparaging to POTUS. anyway, it bothers me that everyone thinks JUST because mr. Obama is black he has to focus on all blacks. he is the president, he is choosing to focus on the poor regardless of color. its what he did before he became president. sheesh.

    • Holla at me when Smiley and West sponsor a food drive or hand out a coat or something, poor people talk about poverty all the time, they don't need assistance from well paid public speakers.

    • AWWWW People really think Cornel and Tavis aren't about that life in word and deed lol

    • AWWWW People really think Cornel and Tavis aren't about that life in word and deed lol

    • AWWWW People really think Cornel and Tavis aren't about that life in word and deed lol

    • @ Edward…After deciphering what you said, all I'm going to do is SMDH. It's very obvious you know NOTHING about Dr.West and "Travis" Smiley….

    • Dr. Watkins….you call for an end to the name calling of the President and West and than immediately call Valerie Jarrett a name. My problem with You, West & Smiley is where in the hell was the three of you and others like you when the Bush tribe was in power.

      Black condition that you guy speak of did NOT start Jan 20 2009. Someone in an earlier posy spoke of crabs in a bucket. You Sr are one of those crabs

    • Reginald…why dont you enlighten us, who could care less about those attention whores, on what you know about West an Smiley that would have me call them nothing LESS than an attention whore.

    • The spirit, the approach and presentation of concerns appears to be full of hate and self-indignation. More ego based than anything. Egoic drama. There has to be a better way. Division and the implementation of oratorical bullying is not the answer.

    • Boyce,

      Many of the people who go around talking about Obama hasn't done anything for the poor and middle class generally break down into two categories – self-serving demagogues who are out to mislead the people for their own gain, and the victims of those demagogues who are basing their opinion on what they've been told, since most of them obviously haven't read anything beyond the sports page in twenty years.
      .
      While the former group are disgusting for trying to mislead the people for personal gain, at least they’re trying to better their condition. The latter, on the other hand, are not only disgusting, but sad. These people are obviously too lazy-minded to, at the very least, keep themselves informed enough to protect their own families.
      .
      What's so sad is, many of these people or highly educated – or at least, spent a lot of years sitting in various classrooms – and others can tell you the name and birthdate of the bat boy who cleaned the bat that was used to scored the winning run in the 1936 World Series. Yet, these very same people can't, or won't, spare a couple of minutes to gather the necessary information to make sure their families aren't victimized by demagogues.
      .
      They don't seem to understand that corporate fascists are poised to take away everything we've worked all of our lives to acquire. The GOP has rigged the system to allow international corporations to pour unlimited amounts of money into buying the very people who are suppose to protect us, they've mounted a brutal assault on our educational system to render us too uninformed to understand what's going on around us, they've organized a campaign to obstruct our right to vote, they're trying to abolish the Fair Labor Standards Act in an attempt to destroy our labor unions, and finally, they've mounted a campaign to abolish Social Security and Medicare. Yet, all these so-called "defenders of the poor" can focus on is attacking Obama, and implying on sites like "BlackBlueDog.com" (The term "Blue Dog Democrat" is credited to Texas Democratic Rep. Pete Geren – who later joined the Bush Administration) that Black people are intellectually challenged for feeling obliged to vote Democratic. Really!!!? Are these people idiots, or do they think we are?
      .
      There's something terribly wrong with that picture, and it's something that the American people should take a close look at – and since many of these so-called intellectuals profess to be Black "scholars," the Black community should be especially curious about what's going on.
      .
      But then, maybe these people aren't malevolent at all. Maybe they're just not as bright as their hype has led us to believe. Maybe they're simply wannabes who, while supposedly being educated, were actually indoctrinated out of touch with reality. That used to happen all the time. The old folks had a name for such people – "educated fools."
      .
      So perhaps it would be more effective if instead of trying to reeducate these people into understanding that corporate fascists are trying to enslave our families, we should simply tell them that the fascists are poised to abolish ESPN and the Soul Train Awards. Then, perhaps they'd have an incentive to become true political scholars that they profess to be. I mean, they don’t have to be brilliant to recapture reality; all they have to do is look it up on Google under "Wake up, fool!"
      .
      So what has Obama done for the Poor, you ask? He's done the following – and this is just the short list:

      1). He stopped the nation from hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs A MONTH under Bush. I'd say that helped the poor and middle class.

      2). He stopped the nation from going into a second Great Depression. I would think, that also helped the poor and middle class.

      3). He saved the American auto industry. I’m pretty sure that also qualifies as helping the poor and middle class.

      4). He was the first president to successfully passed healthcare reform in 70 years. That not only helped, but will save the lives of many of the poor and middle class.

      5). He created more jobs in 27 months than Bush did in 7 years. That definitely helped the poor and middle class.

      6). While he was doing all of the things above, he also managed to get Osama Bin Laden in his spare time – and if you remember, Bush spent 7 years, upward of a TRILLION dollars, and killed or maimed thousands of American troops in that effort. But Obama managed to pull it off with two helicopters and a handful of men.
      .
      Bush and Cheney’s incompetence and greed in this matter destroyed and/or disrupted thousands of poor and middle class families, while the rich had to look at their ever-swelling war profits just to know that the nation was involved in conflict. The war had no impact on them at all, because the rich no longer send their kids to die for this country – that's a job for poor folks – and now they want us to pay for the war as well.
      .
      Thus, Bush and Cheney's mismanagement of both the economy, and the war in Iraq, played a major role in what got us in this economic quagmire in the first place. Yet, we didn’t hear a word from critics like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West during George W. Bush’s fiasco. Where were these two defenders of the poor and middle class then?
      .
      But Obama didn’t complain about that at all – he didn’t have time to complain, and he didn't have time to respond to the ridiculous charges of envious Black-on-Black racists. The president is an adult, with adult concerns, so he was, and is, much too busy cleaning up the mess left behind by the relative ear-splitting silence during the Bush administration of those who have suddenly discovered a newfound concern for "the least of these."
      .
      So while others were plotting, fighting for attention, and whining, President Obama was busy doing following: . . . MORE

      http://wattree.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-has-obama-done-for-poor-and-middle.html

  31. The “Rich” social Black population should find a way to hire Black youth instead of wasting our time fighting. The Jews/North Pacific Asians always find a way to create International companies and use the population wisely. Too much TALK so little action, Blacks account for 800 Billion plus of the American economy. We should find a way to tap into Africa’s resources like the Whiteman and share in the profits without abusing our distance relatives. There’s so much Talent in our community but we just can’t get along when it’s time to form CORPORATIONS. B.E.T. was never a 100% Black run Corp and we still can’t figure out the BLUE PRINT. Haven’t we learnt that airing our dirty laundry is nothing but a CRY for HELP.
    Why do Blacks always complain about crime when it comes from within regardless if the forces from outside are pulling the strings. Let start being real Blackmen and cut the STRINGS. Not enough jobs created in our community by us. What happen to FUBU not the company but the Ideology?
    GOOD LUCK LOl

  32. “I don’t recall West so vigoriously attacking any other President.”

    Then you must not of heard of him before 2008…the same year you probably learned about Obama…lol

    • Attn; Blackjack

      Unlike you I have been here through at least 12 presidents and I have not just started with politics since 2008. What I could TEACH YOU WOULD MAKE YOU CLIMB INTO A CRIB AND SUCK YOUR THUMB OR CRY FOR YOUR BOTTLE. GROW UP!

  33. Thing is… Dr. West's message hasn't changed. He's been talking about the same things for years… regardless of who is/has been in the White House. To think he should change his message… or just be quiet… because a Black Man is in the White House is to say he should be a hypocrite.

    • Janice White Jones

      I love him!!!

    • But what is West doing other than talking? How about we listen to what Bill Cosby had to say, and start at home! Quit allowing ourselves to promote the "mo money" b.s.; quit letting our kids do what they want when they want and how they want; take our butts back to school; and just have some damn manners. I mean, it really is simple. It doesn't take POTUS, FLOTUS, Boyce, West, Smiley, or even Cosby to tell us what to do. WE KNOW WHAT TO DO BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO IT!

      Also, I'll be damned if I look to Jessie Jackson as a representative for me! It's time for new blood, that isn't interested in how much air time they can get. It's time for US AS INDIVIDUALS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES.

    • He's a professor… it's his job to TEACH. And while I agree w/ you on personal responsibility… I also understand that public policy has a lot to do w/ the state of Black America. It's not enough to "just do for self"… that's the same "pull yourself up by the bootstrap" mentality that conservatives have. It's your personal choice as to whether you want Jesse to represent you… but I kind of like a man who can go to foreign leaders and get stuff done as he has just done in Gambia. But like the Bible says… a prophet isn't respected in his own house… so it doesn't surprise me that there are people like you who don't like him.

    • Jabari Exec Fowler

      The message Leslie mentioned, should BE PLASTERD OVER THIS ENTIRE DAMN ARTICLE! BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF! The responsibility for our culture is to implement responsibilities in the HOME! Throwing blame and discontent to a President because you cant advance is BULLSHIT! All this Rhetoric about President Obama should do this and do that for the black community, LOOK AT WHAT HE ESTABLISHED FOR HIMSELF, the answer is HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION with being RESPONSIBLE gets you TO THE NEXT DAMN LEVEL in life!!!!

  34. I appreciate the opinions of those who disagree with the context of this article. Ryan Mack, one of my most respected colleagues in the country, has been a strong defender of President Obama, and we both agree that we want to see Obama succeed. The point on which we also agreed is that it's possible to appreciate both Barack Obama and Cornel West at the same time, and that it's time to bring all relevant voices to the table. That means disallowing the Obama Administration to choose favorites and use a divide and conquer strategy to silence the black community…..I don't care how much you've been trained to think that Jesse Jackson's 40 years of activism is worthless – the fact is that he has a powerful voice and he should be at these meetings at the White House.

    Critical voices should not remain silent. You must speak up to get Obama to acknowledge you or the disrespect is going to continue.

    • I was listening until the "trained" remark. So people who may disagree with Jackson must be in your mind brainwashed.

    • I sure contribute alot to these post! Right on!! lol

    • @anthony – one sign of an intelligent mind is the ability to understand ideas that are not similar to your own.

    • Dr. Boyce, I can appreciate your article. What I find most difficult is understanding so-called educated black people who still refer to people of their own flesh as "crabs in a barrel" ?? And the essential question of the hour is why can't we have EXPECTATIONS? I wrote a lengthy response below (if you care to read it). I am an educator and I SEE how mass incarceration is moving on younger and younger generations (arresting children as young as 5???) Yes, the talented 10th is playing a role in silencing issues in our communities because I guess "they have arrived".

    • A so called leader knows how to inspire through logic and reasoning not insulting the very people he wants to bring along.

    • Doc you should take your own advice and not think because someone doesn't go along with you their Obamabots, kool-aid drinkers, brainwashed or whatever other cute name you can disparage others who disagree with you.

    • Boyce you don't get to decide who attends White House meetings.

    • how are you calling someone out on being disrespctful and calling someone evil at the same time… i'm really getting confulsed on your standards and their application…. is there a standard??? does it only apply to certain people? seems like you may have "favorites". I agree that poverty, mass incarceration and respect are issues that need to be addressed. But how can you call for respect and disrespect others in the same article????? let's be what we're calling others to be!!! or… your voice and platform will be worthless and hypocritical…. we need you and all other leaders to lead by example… not just with words but in action!!

    • "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits" – Paul

    • Boyce Watkins you said "one sign of an intelligent mind is the ability to understand ideas that are not similar to your own." I don't see where you, West, or Smiley practice that.

    • Bro. Boyce Watkins,

      Calling for some kind of "Black summit" at the White House assumes that the people like yourself, Smiley, and West, who I assume expect to attend this siummit represents the Black community. No one elected you people to represent the Black community, and we don't need you to speak for us.

      The Black community is communicating with the White House on a daily basis through thousands of letters, emails, and phone calls. In addition, we just touched base with the president through the polls in the last election. So the president undoubtedly knows more about what's on the mind of the Black community than you do.

      So is this so-call summit that you, Tavis, and West are calling for designed to help the Black community, or is actually about shining a national spotlight on a group of nonproductive, loudmouth, egomaniacs who crave national attention?

      If it is, here's a news flash. Your time has passed and the Black community is sick to death of you. So please, go away.

    • I understand your ideas Dr Boyce and I reject them. I am happy that Valerie Jarrett protects President Obama and just in case you did not know it 97% 0f black women supported the President. Not because of their love for him but his intelligence, coolness, family values, and strengrh. Plus they love that he is married to a black woman. I am proud to have participated in the re-election of the first black family in the WH!!!

    • Jesse Jackson has been a consistent, long-standing activist on many fronts – both domestic & international. Notwithstanding a remark or two, here & there, on a hot mic or to a someone w/an ax to grind, he has been, if nothing else, a diplomat. Looking back over his many years of service to his people and diplomacy abroad I find it perplexing that somewhere along the way, a position in the upper echelons of government could not be found for him. No one can question his dedication. If Rev. Billy Graham could enjoy a close relationship and access to the White House in his capacity as "reverend-in-chief" to as many administrations as he did, surely at this late stage, at this juncture in his lifelong career of championing civil and human rights, Rev. Jackson deserves to, at least, be "at the table" for any discussions or critical decision-making vis a vis the lives of Black people in this country. His years insight and experience are valuable and could be of use to one so new at this. Let's do it already, Mr President! And include Mr. West. Dissent is good. This is not a love-in. It's crucial to the democratic process.

    • WOW! I must be intelligent, then….I always wished some one would have told me that, when i was growing-up…,instead of figuring, that out on my own, at this late stage…

  35. Ms Coney you are so right that Boyce needs to grow up. He, Cornell west and Tavis are all like spoiled kids that need attention. Not one has had anything positive to say about President Obama or his tenture. They are worse than some of those low-down republicans. In four(4) years, certainly he must have done something they can speak positively about.
    I would like to know exactly what is it they expect the President to do. Just tell him and us too. Crime and poverty in black comminities are not new issues. And yes, leave Melissa Harris-Perry alone cause I am very proud of that sister.

  36. America gave a trillion to banks! who turned around and pimped everyone on this page.So yeah they all owe me! I cant speak for ya'll!

  37. sorry people but we have a 1 party system!

  38. when was the last time he used the word "Poor"? America is full of fake Christians! This is why America is the richest country ever but 1/3 (and rising) of the population is Poor! We need to expect more from our Leaders and Ourselves. Fact: America has almost 400,000,000 people and only 150,000,000 jobs! (how many of those 150,000,000 are good paying?)

  39. I voted for Obama so damn right he owes me! hell he kills poor people just like the last guy.Why vote for someone not to expect anything from them?

  40. Collectively as a people we tend to lose focus for varying reasons.The process of.
    indoctrination is working perfectly.We are fed bread and circuses and miss the point.
    Our president and every person in this country belong, literally to the IMF, we are part.
    of a corporation that has control and ownership of everything and person in America.
    including our president, who can only do what he is instructed to do.We the people.
    have to direct our efforts to getting our freedom back, There are articles in the UN.
    that are designed to take all personal freedoms away(agenda21), and the info is.
    available.We are distracted with foolishness while these people flirt with ww111 and.
    the prelude to it is going on as we speak and watch the American Music awards.These people now have every man woman and child owing 60,000 dollars.
    and that includes the unborn also. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.If we.
    can stay in this state of confusion while being exploited and manipulated.We will not.
    wake up unttil we are lead into FEMA camps.If you do not believe it can happen take a look at New Orleans and the new camps created after Sandy.The government has.
    said they were not going to restore those areas and are going make these camps permanent.Agenda 21…Check it out the conspiracy is not a conspiracy anymore.

  41. Leave Mellissa Harris-Perry ALONE. When you used the word whoring in one of your diatribes in discussing why or how she got the job on MSNBC that told me a lot about you DR “B”. Why you and Dr West must use such demeaning language when speaking of one of your own is beyond me. Grow Up.

  42. Dr. Watkins, PLEASE tell me what President Obama can do about poverty and crime in our neighborhoods? Poverty and crime were problems in our ‘hoods during the Clinton years too. What did he do about it? I was born in the 60’s and remember my parents having difficult financial periods but they never resorted to crime to fix our issues. I don’t get what you and West and Smiley want the government to do. Why have the 3 of you not chosen a life of crime? Why are you 3 not in poverty? What President paved the way for you guys to avoid the very thing you detest. We know of the inequality that has always been in America. What has it prohibited you, West and Smiley from accomplishing? I really just want to know what President Obama can do to fix crime and poverty. Do you have this online somewhere? Does Smiley and West have it written somewhere so a simple man like me can understand where you all are coming from?

  43. Boyce, Smiley, West: what are your suggested programs to address high unemployment, economic issues, incarceration, prenatal care, AIDS, HPV… within our community?

  44. Amen sistas…u are correct…Tavis and Cornell need to find other hobbies besides bashing Obama….Obama did put them in jail, he gives the tools its up to them….

  45. I failed to mention the Obama care health coverage. Blacks and latinos fill the emergency rooms everyday. Obama Care gives them coverage for medicare care.

  46. "carnival barking joke" Since when has Valerie Jarrett become President Obama's evil sidekick – Your irrelevant – Prison Industrial Complex, there would not be a Prison Industrial Complex if the MFs would stop murdering, robbing, stealing, drug abusingl, raping….. – We can improve things for ourselves!

  47. You are correct when you say these issues must be dealt with but so must Cornell West constant attacks on President Obama. Unemployment and incarceration did not just become a problem. I don’t recall West so vigoriously attacking any other President, nor going on speaking tours to do so. It is personal, if not he would find another way too approach the president. We all want President Obama to deal with the way blacks and latinos are being treated, but we also recognized the opposition that he met when he took office. I firmly believe that these issues will be dealt with in the next four years, there will be nothing to lose. If you are keeping up with what he has done you know its not true when blacks say he has done nothing for them. we are included in all of the bills he has signed thus far…college loans, equal pay for women, extention of unemployment insurance, tax cuts..etc. He is the president of everyone. Some of the conditions in black neighborhoods must be corrected by blacks. We cannot continue to expect someone else to solve our problems. He is working on unemployment, but we must prepare ourselves for these jobs. Maybe we are not employable because we drop out of school and need to return.

    • Yes Virginia, both you and Boyce are right.

      I like Boyce’s passion of caring.

    • It is useless Dr. Boyce to present an alternative view of what the Obama administration should take up in the second term. I think blacks hold their so-alled leaders in too high esteem and the price of seeing Obama as a polititian. Look I voted for him but throughout my adult life my vote has been for the lesser of two evils. I’m also from Chicago and Obama was the senator of my district throughout those years he never visisted the office located in the black section of his district in fact they were selling dope in front of the office and at a separate meeting he and I was at I confronted about it. He gave a political answer “I was appalled”. Point is now is the time for this man to take a stand, you cannot go through a black family without coming across some member being impacted by a felony conviction for mostly small amounts of drugs. We currently have 1.11 million men in prison and that is not including those in ounty jails or on probation or parole. Those that commit crime should be in jail but drugs are a public health issue not a criminal issue. Black folk have to wake up to the motive behind this mass incarceration, failing schools, food deserts and availability of guns in the hands of youth. All West and Smiley are saying is use the bully pulpit to look at these issues, if Obama says something about these things the focus of the world will be on this stuff.

  48. You are correct when you say these issues must be dealt with but so must Cornell West constant attacks on President Obama. Unemployment and incarceration did not just become a problem. I don’t recall West so vigoriously attacking any other President, nor going on speaking tours to do so. It is personal, if not he would find another way too approach the president. We all want President Obama to deal with the way blacks and latinos are being treated, but we also recognized the opposition that he met when he took office. I firmly believe that these issues will be dealt with in the next four years, there will be nothing to lose. If you are keeping up with what he has done you know its not true when blacks say he has done nothing for them. we are included in all of the bills he has signed thus far…college loans, equal pay for women, extention of unemployment insurance, tax cuts..etc. He is the president of everyone. Some of the conditions in black neighborhoods must be corrected by blacks. We cannot continue to expect someone else to solve our problems. He is working on unemployment, but we must prepare ourselves for these jobs. Maybe we are not employable because we drop out of school and need to return.

  49. Dr. Boyce and Prof. West continue to fight for future generations of young black children that are muted today.Your detractors will soon be eating and vomiting thier own words, when the youth awaken and speak up.I love how Obama cheerleaders tell black people they have no right to ask for programs that would improve thier community, these same idiots applaud him for doing the same for others.These so-called black people are the enemy of our ancestors and future generations.They will put the agenda of a corporate puppet in black face before they would try to improve on the foundation for black children.Keep drinking the Kool-Aid sheeple.

  50. I don't understand why everyone thinks that people are saying Obama is the Black Messiah. I feel that if he can go out of his way to say (specifically) that he is for Gay marriage and immigration reform, he can speak up about what's going on with our youth. Too me it's not about him fixing it, but letting us (and "them") know that he cares about what's important to "us". Let's take these tax dollars and create parenting programs, urban education forums and entrepreneur workshops. That's what "WE" need and I don't understand why we can't (specifically)ask for that.

  51. All that is good, and I believe in hard work and setting high standards for oneself. Cornell West has some very valid points. Don't get me wrong I love our President for all the right reasons. He is intelligent, family oriented, and hard working. However, if he can help those in other communites, he can help those in the African American communities. Yes, somebody has to stand up-and call 911. This is the time, and not just because the president is a black man. Simply put, our communities are in a state of emergency.

  52. Cornel West was criticized for his statement "he didn't invite me to the inauguration," which he seemed to use as a rationale for his relentless criticism. You don't bring about change with personal attacks – you bring about change by identifying the problem, and suggesting solutions. The problem is poverty, drugs, unfair justice, mass incarceration – but Tavis and Cornell have named these problems, President Barack Obama and Boyce Watkins has named them The Democratic Party. So will joining in the West/Smiley hatred toward President Obama resolve these problems? Will a mass exodus of African Americans from the Democratic Party resolve these issues? I'm confused as to what the West/Smiley/Watkins goal in all this is other than to provide hopelessness to the hopeful.

    • I see West and Tavis and they need to see themselves for what they are: HATERS. JEALOUSY is UGLY. its sad to see these two men act this way simply because they dont have access to the whitehouse. if they knew how to ACT, perhaps they would have received and invintation.

    • It's simple, their goal, like all the GOP big-mouths, is publicity.

    • What's the presidents excuse for ignoring Harry Belafonte's request to meet and sit down to talk about the conditions of blacks in this country. I guess if you don't agree with the presidents politics and his supporters then access is denied irregardless if you have an extensive and impressive resume on civil rights and human rights such as Mr. Belafonte.

      So let me get this straight anyone who does not agree with the president and Obama supporters is a hater and you question their motives. Irregardless of the facts and position taken. But Obama supporters don't question the motives of a politician who is the president of the US of America, have we forgotten the history of this position.

      I don't expect anything from the president as a black person, but as a black voter my purpose for voting is so that the candidate that I choose will address the issues that are directly effecting my people and community and on a broader level the country. So when any candidate gets 90%+ of the black vote it's not unrealistic for some of us to want our issues addressed by that candidates administration. No different than the gay community, Hispanic community and Jewish community that voted on principal and agenda. And do believe each group went to all the candidates with their agendas in hand and voted for the one that was willing to address their issues.

      I agree with Dr. Watkins in his assessment that our self esteem is low when we accept and wait for results instead of being proactive and demanding results. One of the realist things President Obama said himself in a speech during his first term was "MAKE ME DO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO". How many black Obama supporters remember that quote?

      Instead we are so busy praising a politician who is merely a man, (not a messenger of GOD) and not giving him the ammunition needed to go back to his constituents and say the black voters have a common agenda and make certain our communities issues (education, poverty, violence, unemployment and mass incarceration) are addressed. Until we let go of symbolism, the first black "whatever" and unite we will always be disregarded even by the BLACK PRESIDENT. Doing what's morally correct without pressure does not work in politics anymore.

      Many of us stood on line for hours to vote for the black president, but how much of that black pride, togetherness and attitude was brought back to our perspective communities. The hypocrisy needs to stop. Yes, we accomplished a once unthinkable act and that's fine but business is business and it's time to move on and focus on leveraging this historic opportunity.

      The buying power of blacks in this country is almost one trillion dollars and less than 3 cents on every dollar is recycled back into black owned businesses. Which in turn would create jobs, wealth and much needed resources to our communities. It hurts to say this but who will respect a people that don't respect themselves?

    • They provide nothing. They are nothing more than Jackson/sharpton 2.0. I haven't seen perpetrating media whores like these in a long time. Every time they speak, they become more irrelevant to people with genuine concerns.

    • Happy Thanksgiving, Sean.

    • "JEALOUSY" Rots The Bone"… In the Bible – Another name would be bone cancer. Look that up too…

    • Phil Gant, there are a lot, of Democratic "big-mouths" too, like Debbie Wasserman Shults of Florida, but when YOU, call every Republican a big-mouth, then you are talking to Me, as well and you don't even know me, so it is "simple", my friend, you are focusing your anger onto an entire class of people, instead of KISS, (keep-it-simple-stupid), and keep the argument on track, because, if someone is arguing with an idiot and a stranger walks by, they won't know, which of the two people is the idiot, maybe both! If i said, "It's simple, their goal, like all the black "big- mouths, is publicity", would be a blatant, racist remark… and we know that about 90-95 percent of the GOP is white…O.K. i got that off my chest, so lets KISS and make-up and start over… As for me actually, I am NOT a Republican! I am an Independent Free Thinker and member of The Independent Free Thinkers Society, who mostly votes Republican, because i always vote for the Candidate and never the Party. I have voted only once in my life, last year, because, up until, then, i always knew, who was going to win, since, Eisenhower's second term. I also believed in, One Family – One vote, so i let my wife do all the voting in our family and of course, since i knew who would win, I'd tell her who to vote for and she would go out and vote…True, I told her to vote for Ronald Reagan and she voted for Walter Mondale, only because,"That Woman", was on the Ticket, which is, about as asinine, as believing in One Family/One Vote…

  53. Hey Boyce Limbaugh..in the old days people in the media business had to SELL newspapers to attract advertisers to make a living…you sir is SELLING YOUR SOUL to make a living. smh

  54. President Obama is not the black Moses who will lead his ppl to a land flowing with milk and honey. Black men are in prison because they commit crimes. Our values have been reversed. We no longer believe in hard work and education. We want fast money, expensive clothing with some white man's initials on it, platinum hair, pale skin, and dressing & acting like strippers and pimps. When we get a black president who is educated, hard-working, and family-oriented, the first thing other black intellectuals do is say is he's not "down" enough with his people. Where is West's bus tour across america against black entertainers and athletes who do nothing for black america? (Aren't they our role models.) It doesnt exist. I submit to you that West's magic show and circus is just crabs in a bucket everyday jealousy. Come back home brothers West and Smiley. The bible says the poor shall be with us always. What is West's plan to help black america?? Exactly…he doesnt have one.

    • WOW, I agree with MOST of what you say, EXCEPT, NOT all Black people in jail committed a CRIME. I have been there on both sides of the jail fence and I can tell you, I KNOW the truth first hand. But the rest of what you say has great merit. My people let us continue this conversation as respectful loving Brothers and Sisters.

    • Frederick L. Nickens Please grow up. You've been on both sides of the fence huh? Were you wrongfully convicted? If not, what should Obama be doing for you, that you didn't do for yourself? If he focused his term on your 40 acres and a mule, what could really be done in 4 years that would help America and not just people like you? You get your Obama prize and those of us blacks who "obeyed" the law fall by the wayside. Lead,follow, or get out of the way "brother".

    • Lafonda Harvey & Your 16 "Likes"–

      What are your plans other than to disparage other African Americans speaking undeniable truth? Every previous POTUS over the past 20+ years has received, acknowledged, spoken of in public, and in some tangible way well beyond window-dressing and lip-service addressed serious issues within black communities nationwide and at the very least met with and sat down with panels of leaders across the occupational board from the black community. And what, Obama is somehow supposed to be waived and above doing so because he's 1/2 black? Prior to Obama-man running for re-election as POTUS he wouldn't even utter the words "African American" in public. Black people like you and others are scary drink-the-kool aid types akin to robotic Stepford wives believing whatever the POTUS, Congress, and media organizations churn out. Such is not only pitiful, but also extremely dangerous. Voices of truth and dissention against the establishment propaganda machine is necessary to stimulate and achieve rather than just talk about about change.

    • Well said Sis Lafonda Harvey !!! I was going to respond to this but I could not have it better!!

    • Where is West's bus tour across america against black entertainers and athletes who do nothing for black america? (Aren't they our role models.) do you know what the will do to these blacks with money…that will take it and invested it…gone by the next game…or what ever they can make up on him or her….Obama don't care about black people…..and I never been to prison.. and never did crime…I was teaching young brothers how to have oral sex….and these cracker want to put me in prison….they want to create a crime….what kind of education…..what is education or having power if it do not help your people as a hold…everybody on the planet know what happen to blacks in america

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