Last weekend was spent in Canton, Ohio visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame and getting primed for the start of another NFL season, but don’t worry. This isn’t a football post. I can’t get away from politics even when I’m trying to.
Tavis Smiley is talking again which means again he’s talking trash about President Obama. These two guys don’t like each other and for his part, Tavis is never going to let the world forget how much he doesn’t like Obama. The president doesn’t respond to Tavis’ slams because he’s the president and he doesn’t have to respond to non-entities.
So I will. Because I don’t like Tavis. If possible, I like him less than he likes Obama and for the same reason he hates on Obama. Smiley is a con man. A self-promoter. He talks a good game but what if anything has Tavis ever done except write a lot of shitty books, find others more talented and intelligent than him to latch onto and leech off and whore himself out to whatever corporation needs a fast-talking Negro to get in good with the Black folks?
Tavis went on Meet the Press because host David Gregory is almost as terrible at interviewing as Tavis is and that’s saying something. In what was billed a panel to discuss race, Tavis tried to start a rap battle with the president over his remarks about Trayvon Martin saying his flow was weak and his words weren’t kicking either.
“weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid”
“This is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind. He’s the right person in the right place at the right time. But he has to step into his moment.”
“I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But … he did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium.”
At this point there’s no reason to believe Tavis is capable of saying anything remotely fair about Obama, but is “intelligent” off the table as well?
The president isn’t deaf to the cries of the Black community. He can’t always acknowledge them without his relentless critics saying, “There he goes again. Being Black” or have jealous little toads like the worthless Mr. Smiley sneering he only spoke about Trayvon due to the protests. But did Tavis notice how Travyon’s parents thanked the president for his kind words about their murdered son? The praise of Trayvon’s parents trumps Tavis’ hateration and it isn’t a close call.
It’s a lose-lose situation for Obama. Say something and he gets slammed by his enemies. Say nothing and he gets slammed by his supporters. James Baldwin said, “To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger.” The president is always in danger of being Too Black or Not Black Enough. He chose to act and commit his support of Trayvon and his family. I’m glad he decided to lead from ahead instead of hide behind the myriad issues and events in the Oval Office Inbox.
Here is the funny thing about clout. For somebody to have it, somebody else has to lose it. The rising of Obama’s star came with a settling of Smiley’s. Prior to Obama, Tavis had a prominent place as commentator on Tom Joyner’s radio program. He had his State of the Black Union conferences broadcast on C-SPAN. He had his books telling Blacks how to get themselves together. Mostly, by buying more of his books. He had a radio program on NPR. He had a show on PBS.
With the exception of his 30 minute talk show broadcast just before midnight on my local PBS station, Smiley doesn’t have any of that going for him anymore. Smiley’s downward spiral really kicked after his book that was supposed to put Obama on notice, “Accountable” tanked hard. Characteristically, Smiley didn’t blame the book stiffing on writing a bad book. He blamed Black folks for being so in love with Obama they didn’t buy it so y’all better feel terrible about that!
What really chaps Tavis’ ass is he knows he didn’t make Obama and he sure can’t break him. Tavis is irrelevant and Obama made him that way.
The argument Tavis makes is he has been called to hold Obama’s feet to the fire. It’s the only way to ensure the president doesn’t completely ignore our issues. That’s how Tavis sees it and he’s sticking to his story.
This is mine.
Tavis isn’t keeping “MY” issues out there. I don’t need a spokesman and nobody elected this fool to be MY leader. I voted for Obama twice and didn’t see Smiley’s name on the ballot even once. He’s a self-promoter, a swindler, a con man and out for Tavis Smiley more than he is about anybody else. Remember that “poverty tour” he and his boy Cornel took? What came out of it? Any calls for legislation? Did he ask Congress to convene hearings? Did he even present an action plan for the president to work on?
All he and bunk buddy West did was pulled off a media stunt, get a little undeserved attention at the same time yet another book was coming out. When conservatives talk about “race hustlers” they point at Sharpton and Jackson. They should be pointing at Tavis “Sub-Prime Loans” Smiley.
While it’s good for visitor hits on my blog, talking about Tavis’ trash talk is a never-ending story. Like any race hustler who craves attention like a moth to a porch light, I’m giving this unimportant has-been exactly what he craves. The election of Obama was a mortal blow to the unelected “leaders” of Black America. Smiley and West were never elected so they can never be tossed out of office. They offer no legislation, sign no laws, and offer nothing but talk and then more talk. Tavis and his ilk is only as important as Black people let him be. Ignore him and he’s as played out as Rae Dawn Chong ripping into Oprah.
Rae Dawn and Tavis would actually make a good couple (if she could squeeze between Tavis and Cornel West). They’re two nobodies whose only way to find relevance is taking smack about more successful somebodies.
- Tavis Smiley’s Criticism of President Obama (Again) (bmia.wordpress.com)
- Hater 101: Tavis Smiley On Obama Trayvon Speech “It’s Watered Down Kool-Aid” [Video] (bossip.com)
- Tavis Smiley slammed on Twitter for criticism of Obama’s Trayvon Martin remarks (clutchmagonline.com)
- Tavis Smiley: Obama’s race speech ‘weak as Kool-Aid’ (washingtontimes.com)