I thought for sure that I had written something about Tavis Smiley’s and Cornel West’s ongoing crusade against The POTUS, Barack Obama. I searched through the blog and found nothing. Then realized that I had written so extensively on a FB friends post that I thought I had penned a 2000 word magnum opus to why Tavis and Cornel were on some bitter, spiteful BS, when it came down to their criticism of the Pres. So now that I know I’ve never really addressed this issue fully and after hearing what Mo Kelly said when talking to Roland Martin on blackamericaweb.com on Wed, 12/18/12 I decided to get to it.
First off let me say that I had the utmost respect for Tavis Smiley and Cornel West as two of the top African American intellectuals in the game today. The key word is had! Don’t get me wrong, I still have respect for them but nothing close to what I started off with. They both showed me over the past 4 years that they were willing to try to sabotage the first Black President (this statement is debatable if you do some research, well the first that they acknowledge), that this country has ever seen to advance their own careers and agendas.
Cornel started his crusade after he felt like he was slighted when Barack only gave him one inauguration ticket, which by the way was the same amount I got, and he wanted some more for his mother and a friend. After this he started spewing his critique venomously with the key word love attached to it to make it seem as if it was all about love. Then he went to a dinner or junket that the President was at and said that he felt like the President was treating him wrong by not sitting down with him after he had worked on his campaign tirelessly. At this junket he says that the POTUS kind of shoed him off by ostracizing him about the harsh words he had been saying about him, he said verbatim that he felt like Barack was talking down to him during that conversation.
Shortly thereafter Cornel and Tavis teamed up to do a show called Smiley and West on PRI and the onslaught began. From that point they were able to get to face time on every political show on this side of the TV. On these shows they tried to position themselves as the hard hitting Black pundits that were willing to take Obama to task for Black people and poverty.
They started to denigrate any Black political pundit that didn’t speak like them and have recently called people like Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and Melissa Harris-Perry sellouts because they aren’t being overly critical of Obama. (read here)
They were doing this all the while pushing what they called The Poverty Tour, which travelled to a few states and talked to people about poverty. They set up a website and promoted themselves as the people that were standing up to the plutocrats and oligarchs for the impoverished, but something was missing. If you went on their website, there was no place on it that highlighted a way to get people out of poverty. They spoke about how they talked to brothers and sisters about programs to end poverty and the things that were working in the communities that they had visited, but not even one link to these programs on the website.
Shortly thereafter Smiley and West published a book entitled The Rich and the Rest of Us, and put together what was dubbed The Poverty Tour 2.0, A Call to Conscience. The 2.0 tour swung into effect a few weeks before the national election and visited four critical swing states. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida! Why did they pick these states to do their tour in? Simple, they were going to be the most talked about 4 states leading up to the election, so they knew they could get national coverage and sell some books, all the while acting as if they were trying to be the champions of the poor. This was also done out of shear spite for Barack, out of the anger that neither one of them got the seat at the table that they thought they were supposed to get. Cornel has even gone as far as criticizing Jay Z for fraternizing with the POTUS.
So now that they had their platform and book, their hard hitting pundit’s license, a newly revamped 2.0 website, and a tour scheduled, you would have thought that you would have been able to visit their website and find all sorts of resources to eradicate poverty in The US. But unfortunately for us, there are none.
Yes you read that correctly, there are no links to organizations that are on the ground in all these states that battle poverty. There are no plans on the website that point to a clear cut way to eradicate poverty and the book is a bunch of facts about poverty, but no real solutions. Yeah, I know you’re thinking, that’s not possible, then what was all the touring and book writing for?
Exactly my point, this is what Mo Kelly talked about, they have no solution for the problem, but they both have made a lot of money from elevating themselves to the “hard hitting pundit seat” and have created no solutions. They are so brash with what they are doing that they don’t even have links to grassroots organizations on their website to help them get more attention. It’s the same old national websites that have been plugging away at this problem for years with the same outcome.
Ask yourself this, why don’t they have links to these sites that they claim are grassroots boots to the ground organizations on their web page, that’s supposed to combat poverty?
I know why, because they have corporate overlords too, that tell them who they can put on their site and they really don’t care about solving the problem if they don’t get the credit for it. How can you sell poverty eradication with no plan to eradicate it, what exactly are you two selling Mr. Smiley and Mr. West? It seems as if you all have become the poverty pimps who are selling yourselves to the highest bidder all while claiming you love the people!
Now Tavis is getting mad because someone has called him out, to the tune of trying to gag him! SMH, I thought better of you Cornel and Tavis, but I now see the path to obscurity is lined with the claw marks of those trying their hardest to stay in the limelight by becoming the crabs in the barrel that they once frowned upon. After this last fiasco, we will soon see PRI dropping their show in more markets until they have no platform, and I say good ridden.