Monday, March 3, 2008

Tavis Was Wrong And So Was Barack.....

Barack Obama was wrong for not attending the State of the Black Union. It was a golden opportunity to turn an event that is truly preaching to the collective black choir, into an event about real issues within the black community. He is the one of the most powerful black men in America now, he could have made arrangements to have an appearance at the event, even if it was a token one. It was a missed opportunity on Obama's part.

Tavis Smiley was wrong for not accepting Obama's invitation to send Michelle Obama in his place to the State of the Black Union. It would have been a wonderful platform for her and another historical moment for African American women. It was a missed opportunity on Tavis Smiley's part.

And Black America was wrong for turning on Tavis Smiley for not falling to his knees to worship at the altar of Obama. If any lesson black folk need to learn from this election is that all black people do not agree and they do not have to. And the idiots that sent death threats and hate mail to Tavis Smiley are some of the same meatheads that worry that Barack Obama will be assassinated. How can you wish hate and death on one black man, but pray for the safety of another black man?


Anonymous,  March 3, 2008 at 7:30 AM  

Like everything else the death threats and hate mail was from the overwhelmingly minority of nutjobs. It shouldn't put a light on Barack Obama's supporters.

Considering the State of the Black Union fails to follow through and, from my perch, seems to be a lot of talking I don't care that Obama didn't attend.

Black many are helped in many ways by politicians and just because those decisions and legislation doesn't have "Black" or "African-American" attached we sit back and sulk.

Black folk need to get with the program when it comes to getting policy changed and legislation passed.

I'm all for talking but talking is not enough. I didn't watch it and I haven't heard anyone posting or talking about something extraordinary other than some good one-liners so really, what did he miss?

Miss Pinky March 3, 2008 at 8:53 AM  

I agree on both points. I also agree with Tavis that it's hard to love black folks sometimes...especially when they turn on you.


wisdomteachesme March 3, 2008 at 11:09 AM  

never amazes me how deep shallow IS!

Shazza Nakim March 3, 2008 at 11:29 AM  

I do agree that the attacks on Tavis Smiley was without merit but I don't agree that Michelle Obama should have been a respectable substiture. The invitation was extended to presidential Candidates not their significant others.

Obama is running for President and it the person who will be responsible for Policy not the wife.

If Michelle Obama was acceptible for Obama to turn down another invitation for the SOTBU, then Bill Clinton should have been extended one as well. That would defeat the whole perpose of the message and the Union.

Professor Tracey March 3, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

symphony -

sorry it was more than a "minority" even Smiley was surprised at the number of negative responses he received and one death threat against a black man from one black person, is one too many. And the point of the post was the fact that if Obama had participated, he could have made it different than it's been. We will never know now.

Shazza -

I have to disagree. Hillary made a token appearance, so Bill doesn't fit in the equation. Michelle Obama is unique and is campaigning for her husband. She could have handled any mess Tavis could come up with. She also would have had extremely interesting things to say about the state of black women in America. Considering how Tavis stacks the speakers every year with TOO many black males (not reflective) of who is CHARGE in the black community, I find it every interesting that he would skip having the most high profile sister of the moment.

Anonymous,  March 3, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

Of course one threat is one too many. You have no argument from me.

So at least 50% of Black Obama supporters threatened Smiley? I don't even buy 30% or 20%.

I'll read up on what Tavis said. I do remember a Washington Post article. Like many folk I'm sure he's prone to exaggeration.

Professor Tracey March 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

symphony -

the percentage doesn't matter. Tavis has millions of viewers and listeners. 5 percent would be too many. The point is that black folk need to learn how to disagree with threatening each other. If you believe in Obama and his strength as a candidate, you don't need the threat anyone that is critical of him. That is flat-out wrong and indefensible.

And I never said "Obama supporters," There are black folks attacking Tavis just because he is critical of a black presidental candidate and won't ever cast a vote for Obama either.

Anonymous,  March 3, 2008 at 3:04 PM  

I hear you. I just know we are no different than any other living being on this planet and we won't all get along like that.

Anonymous,  March 3, 2008 at 3:06 PM  

Messed up my post. I think there are things we shouldn't do and ways we are supposed to behave like anyone else. I just don't see this as something out of the ordinary, not saying its okay, just not indicative of anything other than what it is.

rjweems March 3, 2008 at 3:14 PM  

I agree with you Shazza.

Michelle is a smart, competent woman, but that's not the point. This was not the occasion to send your wife, brilliantly competent as she may be, as your substitute. I'm not a fan of Tavis nor did I follow the State of the Black Union thingamajig. But regardless of my own personal feelings about the event, I recognize it's symbolic importance.

We would have been up in arms if Huckabee or McCain had sent their wives instead. Wouldn't have like it if John Edwards had volunteered to send his equally smart, competent wife, Elizabeth Edwards, instead (if Edwards were still running at the time).

As a wife of a pastor I've represented my husband at many events, but there are some events if he tried sending me, I'd have to respond --"Knee-grow, puleeze. You know only you can represent you at this one."

Shirley March 4, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

Did you see Saturday Night Live last week? There was a cartoon about Obama sending Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to made up and far flung corners of the world to avoid being seen with them at media events. It was pretty funny. I think he's doing the same thing to Tavis. Obama wants to be seen as transcending ethnicity. As he said in his 2004 Democratic Convention Speech:

"There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

So, I think a meeting for the "State of the Black Union" runs counter to what Obama believes in. But, who knows. I'm just guessing here.

Faith March 5, 2008 at 3:14 AM  

What do you think about the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination that was held in Geneva right before the SOTBU conference. No one on the panel mentioned it.

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