Archive for Barack Obama

Critics Were Right About Obama’s Incompetence

Posted in Black Interests, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , on October 4, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Obama Bites Lip

By Raynard Jackson

During the past six years, some Republicans and conservatives have described President Obama and his administration as totally incompetent. I have harshly criticized those who would use such incendiary language because it showed total disrespect for the office of the presidency.Though I still think this language is totally inappropriate, I have come to agree with the point they were trying to make: this administration is in way over its head. Obama and his team constantly lie to the American people (IRS, Benghazi, illegal immigration), they put the interests of others before the interests of Americans, and they are obsessed with the notion of being “liked.”

Two weeks ago, President Obama told us that he “intends to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) without putting American boots on the ground.” Everyone who follows politics and foreign policy knew Obama was lying. This is what his former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had to say, “There will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy… I think that by continuing to repeat that [there will be no boots on the ground], the president in effect traps himself.”

Obama refuses to admit the obvious simply because of the upcoming mid-term elections. His liberal base would defect en masse from Democratic candidates all across the country if he actually told the truth.

Then again, this is the same president who has constantly lied to those in the country illegally about giving them amnesty by executive fiat. He has now promised to do it after the elections in November. Remember, one of the main tenants of liberalism is “intent.” Obama will argue that he didn’t “intend” to put boots on the ground, but circumstances on the ground changed. He “intended” to give illegals amnesty, but if Republicans take over the senate, he can’t.

As a U.S. Senator and a candidate for president in 2008, Obama was a very harsh critic of Bush’s war in Iraq. Yet, in six years as president, he has continued the Bush doctrine in foreign policy (attempting to spread “democracy” around the world).

According to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), “Since becoming president in 2009, Obama has launched over 330 drone attacks in Pakistan alone; Bush only launched 51 in four years.” When you add in Yemen and Somalia, according to this same report, the total jumps to 390 drone attacks and have killed more than 2,400 people (273 of whom were innocent civilians).

Many Democrats called for Bush to be tried as a murderer and a war criminal. So what does that make Obama?

This administration thinks that everyone is “entitled” to be in the U.S., whether they entered legally or not. They are providing five-star accommodations for illegals, while American citizens are increasingly homeless, more likely to be unemployed, and less educated.

In essence, Obama and his administration actually think he was elected to be president of the world. They think they and we Americans should be willing to sacrifice our own standard of living to provide relief to those around the world who are less fortunate than us. Not even Jimmy Carter displayed this level of arrogance and disdain toward his own country and its people.

We are not responsible for the problems of the world. How do you justify allowing illegals into the country under the guise that “they are just looking for a better life in America” when Americans are looking for the same thing – in their own country?

In the 1980s, Cuba unlocked its jails and dumped the worst of their worst into the U.S., which led to the drug cartels wreaking havoc in Miami. Now we are allowing the most unskilled illegals to enter into our country from Central America and wreak havoc on the inner cities as well as the suburbs.

As president of the world, Obama really believes that we should have no borders, even if it jeopardizes our national security. Our intelligence community has already publicly and privately admitted that terrorist from the Middle East have already entered into the U.S. from Mexico.

Obama really thinks the sheer strength of his magnetic personality will get Iran to give up its nuclear program, get Putin to return U.S. traitor Edward Snowden to the U.S. and cause Bashar al-Assad to leave the presidency of Syria.

In trying so hard to be liked, world leaders don’t fear or respect him. As Niccolò Machiavelli said, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

Obama is neither.

Raynard Jackson 2013 Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.

Tavis Smiley: Black People Are Not Better Off Under Obama

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Money/Economics, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on October 16, 2013 by Gary Johnson


By Black Men In Staff Writer

Last week Tavis Smiley, who seems to show up more frequently on the FOX News Channel appeared on the Sean Hannity Show.  While discussing the government shutdown the conversation shifted near the end of the interview.

Host Hannity“Are black Americans better off five years into the Obama presidency?”

Smiley“Let me answer your question very forthrightly: No, they are not,” Smiley said. “The data is going to indicate, sadly, that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category.”

Smiley:  “On that regard,” he added, “the president ought to be held responsible.”

Smiley:  “I respect the president. I will protect the president. And I will correct the president. He’s right on this government shutdown. Republicans are thwarting the rule of law with the Constitution. If they let this debt go into default, they’re trampling again on the Constitution.”

You can click here to watch the entire interview Of course, not everyone agrees with Tavis.  James E. Causey, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Tavis is wrong. Causey writes:  “Things are bad, but blacks are better off than we were before Obama took office.  Click here to read Mr. Causey’s article.
What do you think?

Tavis Smiley’s Criticism of President Obama (Again)

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on July 22, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Tavis Smiley

By Gary A. Johnson

Black Men In (July 22, 2013)

Here we go again.  What did Tavis Smiley say this time?  Tavis is consistent in his criticism of President Obama.  To many people, Tavis is probably more well know for criticizing President Obama than he is for any of his other accomplishments such as the “State of the Black Union,” and some of his earlier best-selling books.  If your name is Tavis Smiley, criticizing President Barack Obama will definitely keep your name in the headlines.

During a discussion on Sunday’s “Meet The Press,” Smiley criticized President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin’s death and the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.  Smiley took to Twitter following the president’s unexpected comments and tweeted the following:  “Took POTUS almost a week to show up and express mild outrage. And still, it was as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”

Trayvon Martin’s parents said President Obama made a “beautiful tribute to their boy” and shared that they were “honored and moved” by his words.  That wasn’t good enough for Tavis.  Many have wondered if President Obama will be able to do anything that would satisfy Mr. Smiley.

While on “Meet The Press,” Smiley also said:

I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation; he was pushed to that podium. A week of protest outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House pushed him to that podium. So I’m glad he finally arrived.

But when he left the podium, he still had not answered the most important question, that Keynesian question, where do we go from here? That question this morning remains unanswered, at least from the perspective of the president. And the bottom line is this is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind.

You know my position with regard to Tavis Smiley.  I think he is a self-serving whiner who craves the spotlight.  If you look at his total body of work, Tavis is an accomplished and hard working media personality, author and advocate worthy of the hype.  While Tavis continues to legitimately make valid points on issues such as hunger, black unemployment and other civil rights issues, the way that he raises these issues can be called into question as self-serving.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why Tavis Smiley is invited to be a guest on FOX News and the premiere Sunday talk shows.  Tavis is black and he is an articulate and consistent critic of the President.  That makes for lively conversation on television that translates into higher ratings.

Tavis historically has had a close relationship with former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.  If Hilary Clinton runs for President, it will be interesting to gauge the support she gets from Mr. Smiley.

I don’t mind Tavis criticizing President Obama.  I do have a problem with “how” he criticizes.  Again, it appears to me that most of what Tavis does these days is overly self-serving.

Tavis has received a blistering response from many in the “Twittersphere” and social media.  People are expressing their opinions about
Tavis via our site’s e-mail box and our Facebook page.  Tavis appears to be unfazed by the comments.  Tavis accused President Obama of lacking courage by “kicking the race can down the road.”

Tavis also stated that President Obama has lost his moral compass.  Is it possible that Tavis has lost his way too?

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

Gary Johnson has written several articles on Tavis Smiley.  To review some of his past commentaries click on the links below:

The Bridge: Obama, Race & Politics

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on September 23, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Some people still don’t get it.

But anyone with eyes, ears and a working brain knows that President Barack Obama has brought out all the racism in America that many people lied about. Many people lied about racism being on the decline and how Obama’s election ushered in a “post racial society.”

But to the contrary, his election has ushered in a neo-racial society, meaning that racism has reared its ugly head in the forefront of our society once again, because some factions of America are filled with venom and ignorance, as opposed to a true love for this nation.

We see it with the death threats against the president, the filthy little white woman who shook her finger in the president’s face and all of the overt messages of hatred that the ignorant can no longer hide.

I said it during the presidential campaign and I said it when Barack Obama was elected.

His election will be used to polarize a nation, rather than unite it.

And it has been.

Although many Americans are smarter and more open minded than the nation used to contain, there are still pockets of racism that will hold on with tooth and nail to a world they are comfortable with.

That world is a world where Blacks and whites are bifurcated in language, culture and living quarters.

And it’s both good and bad.

It’s good because Obama’s existence is forcing racism to be played out in the most public manner possible on the world stage.

It’s bad because all of the venom held by the confused angry racists has finally boiled to the surface.

And it’s hurting the image of America on the world stage. The entire world can see that America is still very much focused on race and racism. No matter who denies it or pretends that it isn’t a major issue.

Most of the anger stems from the same place that always provides anger—the pain of lower and middle class white America.

The recession that launched under George Bush’s watch hit the nation hard, but was taken more to heart by whites than any other group. This group traditionally holds the belief that they are more American than anyone else, and accordingly, should benefit more and suffer less.

Unfortunately for them, the recession did not discriminate and ravaged communities all across racial lines. That ravaging left many whites angry, feeling desperate and looking for someone to blame.

And we know who they look for to point fingers at.

Ushered into the White House on a tide of desired change that followed change in society, particularly the nation’s demographics, Obama is now the icon for change, and for many angry, frightened whites, the icon for all that is wrong.

His iconic existence facilitates the anger of those angry whites who ignored the eight years of wanton warfare and economic depravity waged by George W and focus on the rapid changes sought by the nation’s first Black president.

Those of us who paid attention and who have working brains understood the schism between the young progressive whites who supported change and the backwoods redneck dirt farmers who refuse to move beyond outdated ideas of Black people, inflamed by the rich, white demons who hate Blacks, but who also hate poor people, which includes those dumb ass white racists on the bottom of society.

The political lies employed by the right wing crazies place the blame for all things wrong in the world on President Obama, ignoring what began on the previous president’s watch.

And where were these people when Bush was grinding the nation and the world economy into the ground?

Curiously silent.

From what I can see, race and racism are in the forefront like never before.

While the first African American President represents change, he also represents everything that is wrong and ugly about America.

He represents change because a great deal of people of all colors had to come together to get him elected. Frankly, many of us never thought we would see the day.

But he also represents everything wrong and ugly, because stupid Americans have begun to raise him as a scapegoat for all that has gone awry, using his image to fill the rosters of hate groups and hateful racist activities, while claiming that there is no more racism, because of his election.

As for the Blacks who are raging against Obama, they are no different than the bonehead Negroes who opposed Dr. King and who supported Reagan and both Bushes.

Even the self hating ignoramus Negroes come out of the woodwork in order to disagree with things that don’t exist.

The strongest taboo in America is to admit to racism. America has spent more than forty years denying that the vestiges of racism have a strong toehold on pockets of the nation.

But what else would explain the upsurge in hate groups and the sudden widespread interest by older whites in the minutia of national policy?

It’s like watching a sporting event where one team scores, yet the announcer says that the other team is playing hard and leading the game.

We saw this with the beating of Rodney King, where an entire nation and a jury refused to see the beating of a Black man by a group of white men.

But this November, a clear message will be sent to the entire nation and to the entire world:  America is NOT post-racial and the American people who desire to see the nation progress, or at least not falter will come together to send the racist, ignorant ratbrains out of business.

At least out of the White House.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

Obama Fundraiser Critical of The Campaign’s Strategy

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , on July 10, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Roy Donahue “Don” Peebles is a real estate entrepreneur, author and political activist.  Peebles is the Chairman and CEO of the Peebles Corp., the largest African American real estate development and ownership company in the US, with a multi-billion dollar development portfolio of luxury hotels, high-rise residential and commercial properties in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Miami Beach.

Lately Peebles has spoken out about the presidential campaign, particularly about fund raising strategies.  Earlier this week Peebles was quoted in the New York Times saying that he found certain attacks by Democrats on Mitt Romney’s wealth to be “offensive.”

“What I get concerned about is the message from the Obama campaign that we only want someone who has not been successful to run for president. What do we want here? You can’t be successful and run the country? We don’t want somebody who has been successful to run it? That doesn’t make sense,” Peebles said. “So I look at that and I see that those things are becoming offensive to some of his strongest supporters, financially.

“It would be unrealistic to think that that kind of thing would not impact the enthusiasm for those who are supportive of the president, financially, and certainly would turn off others who were on the fence to say, ‘You know, what the heck with it. I’m done,'” Peebles continued. “And they go on to Romney.

Peebles said he does not think criticism of Romney’s time in private equity are out of bounds as long as they focus on his performance there, and said he preferred the Obama campaign spend more time focusing on Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

But he also took issue with Obama’s recently revived talking point about raising taxes on those who make $250,000 or more a year.

“I’m so tired of hearing that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Yeah we are,” Peebles said. “The super vast majority of wealthy Americans do not wake up every day and say, ‘Let’s see how we can pay less than our fair share of taxes.’ They say, ‘We’re going to follow the law and we’re going to hire some good accountants to tell us how to do it. And we’re going to pay no more or no less than our fair share.’

“So to say that wealthy individuals are not paying their fair is unfair and delusional,” he said. “So what should be said is that the wealthy Americans should have their tax rates raised because we need more money. Now by the way, if they got all these tax raises it still wouldn’t put a dent in the national debt.”

Click here to read the entire article at the Huffington

Office of Public Engagement African American Outreach Update

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on November 19, 2011 by Gary Johnson

Last Wednesday, the White House hosted more than 150 civic, academic, faith and local leaders from throughout the United States for the African-American Policy in Action Leadership Conference. Among those in attendance were Martin Luther King III, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, NAACP Chair Roslyn Brock, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, former Essence magazine editor Susan Taylor, and prominent African-American minister Rev. Freddie Haynes. Participants heard from cabinet and senior administration officials on a wide range of issues, such as the economy, job creation, healthcare, and healthcare reform.

President Obama speaks at the African American Policy Conference, held at the White House on November 9, 2011.

The White House also released a report entitled, “The President’s Agenda and the African-American Community.” The report highlights how the Obama Administration has reformed investments to reward work, improve education and increase college access and affordability, keep Americans in their homes, increase access to health care, and invest in small businesses have made a significant impact in African American Communities.

President Obama dropped in for a surprise visit. In his remarks, the President asked for leaders to listen to the dialogue and engage with leadership around issues related to African American communities. President Obama urged everyone to, “participate here in a spirit of persistence, determination and unity,” in order to “emerge from these difficult economic times stronger than we were before.”

Public Engagement Highlights

Veterans Day 2011
Veterans Day is a time for all Americans to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes. Ensuring that our nation’s veterans get the access opportunities they have earned is a top priority for President Obama, as well as for government agencies like White House Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of Transportation. President Obama’s announcement of executive actions to help middle class families in this difficult economy included new initiatives to get Veterans back to work.

Leading veteran services organizations joined President Obama last week to announce their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act. The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans and  help them translate military experience to the private sector job market: These initiatives include a Veterans Gold Card through the Department of Labor, which will provide the intensive and follow-up services veterans need to succeed in today’s job market, and the creation of a veterans job bank designed to put veterans in contact with companies that need their skills and are eager to hire them.

President Obama Signed Proclamation Designating Fort Monroe a National Monument
President Obama signed a Proclamation to designate Fort Monroe a National Monument under the Antiquities Act this week. Until recently, Fort Monroe was the third-oldest Army post in continuous active service, and is integral to the history of slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military. This announcement is part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy. According to an economic analysis commissioned by the Fort Monroe Authority in 2009, the implementation of the Fort Monroe Reuse Plan will help create nearly 3,000 jobs in Virginia.

We The People
Our Constitution guarantees your right to petition our government.  Now, with We the People, we’re offering a new way to submit an online petition on a range of issues — and get an official response. We the People on is a tool that provides you with a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Blog Highlights

First Lady Michelle Obama on Making a Difference in Cities with Food Deserts
For too many American families, serving healthy food as part of a regular diet isn’t actually an option. That’s because, in many communities across the country, there is no place to purchase any groceries, much less fresh fruits and vegetables. These neighborhoods are known as food deserts, and in recent years, as economic difficulties caused grocery stores to shut their doors or consolidate locations, they have been proliferating. Eliminating these food deserts and making sure parents in every part of the country have access to fresh produce and healthy choices is a primary goal of Let’s Move!

Keeping First Responders on the Job
Tyrone Booth and Jesse Carpenter are police officers in Flint, Michigan — where Vice President Biden visited earlier this month. Because of budget cuts, they’ve seen their department shrink since the start of the recession. In fact, at various times in recent years, each has been laid off from the force. Both are keenly aware of the ways in which these reductions have put public safety at risk. Keeping Americans safe is a top priority for President Obama, which is why the American Jobs Act will provide $5 billion to help states and local communities keep first responders on the job.

White House Champions of Change Program

The Champions of Change series is designed for people to look into their communities and nominate everyday heroes who are demonstrating commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or their fellow citizens. That is why we are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

In honor of Veterans Day, the White House recognized six individuals as Champions of Change who are committed to helping veterans and military families. These individuals represent organizations and businesses who are working to improve the lives of veterans and military families by providing vital services or jobs to veterans. Watch the video from the Champions of Change discussion with White House and Joining Forces officials which focused on how these individuals were able to provide such critical services and jobs to our veterans and military veterans. Take a moment to learn more about Champions of Change or nominate a Champion in your own community.

Get Updates

For more information about how the White House is working with the African American community, visit where you can access the latest blog posts, videos, and schedule updates.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at

Heather Foster
Associate Director of African American Affairs

Leave It To Cleaver

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama with tags , , on September 22, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Last week, as I was riding the local train in Washington, DC, I began to ponder on the thoughts that had begun to flood into my mind.

I was president of my senior class at Soldan High School in St. Louis, MO.  I had a lot of my friends who worked hard to get me elected.  So, during this train ride, I wondered how my classmates would have responded if I decided to put all my energies into helping another school across town?

I also pondered what would happened if members of a fraternity or sorority helped elect one of their friend’s as national president; and then they never showed up at any of their own meetings.  But, they seemed to always find time to attend other fraternity’s or sorority’s meetings.

I know, I know.  The thought of that happening would be unimaginable and unthinkable, right?


Cause that is exactly what is happening before our very eyes.

Blacks are 13% of the American population and gave Obama 96 % of their vote in 2008.  They are the second largest voting block in the country (behind the white population, who is 74 % of the population).

Obama has done everything in his power to ignore the Black community and finally, some of the Black community’s frustration is spilling over in public.  What took you so long?

As I have said in previous columns, the White House has made a political calculation that they can ignore the Black vote and suffer no consequence.  “Blacks will get mad and do nothing.”

While I am elated that Blacks are finally speaking out, the question is—what are they going to do?

If the recent comments from members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is any indication, I am not very optimistic!

They have been quoted in several newspaper interviews ranting and raving.

John Conyers (Congressman from Michigan) said about Obama, “We want him to know that from this day forward . . . we’ve had it… We want him to come out on our side and advocate, not to watch and wait.” Or what?

No one in America fears ignoring the Black community.  What are members of the CBC going to do if Obama doesn’t change his approach towards them?

When the CBC kicked off their jobs tour during the August recess, Obama did the same thing– in Iowa.  That shows you how much Obama thinks of Blacks and jobs!

In the immortal words of the Doobie Brothers, from their hit song from the 70s—What a Fool Believes, “But what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power, to reason away.  What seems to be is always better than nothing at all.”

The CBC and the Black community want to believe in Obama’s presidency; but there is nothing tangible he has given them to believe in.  “But what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.  What seems to be is always better than nothing at all.”

So, members of the CBC have begun to blame the Tea Party for the high unemployment rate in the Black community.  People of good will within the Black community must call out these members of the CBC for what they are—race baiters.  You can’t blame the Tea Party for Obama ignoring his own people.

In 2009 and 2010, Obama controlled the House and the Senate.  He had the votes to ram through any legislation he wanted—and he did nothing.  Can you blame that on the Tea Party also?

Look at what CBC Chairman, Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said, “If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House…There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president.”

I found Cleaver’s statement to be extremely offensive to my sensibilities and he should have been called out on these statements.  Where was Al Sharpton, Marc Morial, or Ben Jealous?  Total silence.

So, let me make sure I understand Cleaver and the rest of the CBC.  The Black community’s agenda is predicated upon the skin color of the person in power?  Because Obama is Black, he should not be criticized by other Blacks for ignoring us because we are Black?

So, in a kind of perverted way, you have the first Black president using race to hurt his own (by trying to prove to whites that he is not going to be a “Black” president); and you have the CBC using race to allow the president to get away with it (not criticizing him strictly because he is Black).

Boy, I now have a headache.  So, it’s ok for Blacks to use race to hurt other Blacks; but it’s not ok for whites to use race to hurt Blacks?

Blacks somehow believe that by not criticizing Obama on his lack of constructive engagement with the Black community that somehow their problems are going to get dealt with through osmosis?

I guess, if you leave it to Cleaver!

“What a fool believes……”

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (, Freedom’s Journal Magazine (, and U.S. Africa Magazine (

Tavis Smiley: Obama Is The First President Who Hasn’t Invited Me To White House

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Gary A. Johnson with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

Earlier this week Princeton Professor Cornel West recently spoke to The Huffington Post about media coverage of black issues.  West made the point that President Obama is avoiding journalists who’ve offered tough critiques of his administration, such West’s friend and business partner Tavis Smiley.  “Obama won’t touch him with a 10-foot pole,” West said.

On Wednesday, Smiley backed up West’s viewpoint during a C-SPAN sit-down with him to discuss their 16-city poverty tour.

“Prior to his being elected, he came on my radio programs and TV programs with regularity,” Smiley said. “Once he got elected and my critique of him — about holding him accountable to various things didn’t sit so well with him or the people around him — he has not, at this point, come on my TV or radio programs one time since he’s been in this White House.”

Smiley said that Obama, whom he’s known for years, “is the first president in my professional career that hasn’t invited me to the White House.”

Is this a case of Tavis and West being Obama haters?  Or does this unlikely duo make a valid point?  Tavis comes off as such a self absorbed and pretentious crybaby.  This often gets in the way when he levels valid criticism against the President.

Comedian and radio host Steve Harvey has an opinion.  Here’s what Harvey had to say:

“I was a huge fan of Cornel West,” he said. “[But] Tavis, I seen him coming a mile away. His anger started when he had a town hall meeting, President Obama couldn’t come because of the campaign trail and he sent Mrs. Obama.  He has held that grudge every since.”

He continued, “You don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man…you keep masking it saying it’s not about hate. Then what is it about? Poverty existed before January 20, 2008. Where was your damn bus then?”

“Who in the hell got 2-3 days for your ass?  I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for two, three days, let alone the President of the United States.  We got three wars going on, the economy crashing and we going to sit down with Tavis ass for three days?”

Harvey then speculated that Smiley is being funded by someone to say these things and produce the poverty tour.  Harvey continued his rant by referring to Smiley and West as being affiliated with (which stands out for “Uncle Tom Look Out”).

Despite the criticism, Smiley remains focused.  In an interview with the Associated Press, Smiley said that the Poverty tour has gone exactly the way he and West planned.  “I am very clear on who I am and who I am not, what I can do and what I can not.”  “I have a platform that I can use to bring awareness, to draw attention and create a conversation.”

He went on to add that, “and its not just about raising awareness, it’s about starting a dialogue about poverty and the poor in this country.  I don’t get intimidated by haters. . . The question that I would pose to the critics is not why are we doing what we are doing or saying, it’s ‘if you care about poor people why aren’t you doing anything?'”

Let me be as clear as I can be about my position.  President Obama should be held accountable and criticized.  To say that he should not be held accountable and criticized would be a ridiculous position to hold.  Personally, I don’t like the President’s economic advisers as a collective body.  I don’t think they have served him well.  I would also like to see a little more fight in the President, especially, when addressing critical issues to the American people.  The Republicans and Tea Party members don’t seem to have suffered from taking hardline positions on issues.

It is still very early in the election campaign for President and anything can happen at anytime.

Now back to Tavis, Cornel West and Steve Harvey.  Last month we were talking about Tavis, Cornel West, Tom Joyner and Al Sharpton.  Is Tavis turning into an Obama-hater?  Or is he simply following his conscious and doing what he believes needs to be done and said?

What do you think?

Click here to visit the Poverty Tour web site.


Update:  On August 16, 2011, approximately three days after referring to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West as Uncle Toms, Comedian and Radio Host Steve Harvey apologized on the air to Messrs West and Smiley for referring to them as Uncle Toms.  Harvey stated that he respected both men and claimed that the Uncle Tom portion of his remarks were part of a radio bit meant to be funny.  Harvey was clear that he was only apologizing for the Uncle Tom reference and that he still vehemently disagreed with the position of the two and that he (Harvey) stands by his other remarks.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.

Obama Talks About Being A Father

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Fatherhood with tags , on June 19, 2011 by Gary Johnson

President Barack Obama says kids need quality time, structure and unconditional love from their parents, calling being a dad sometimes his hardest job, but also the most rewarding.   You can learn more at

Obama On A Roll

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links with tags , on May 2, 2011 by Gary Johnson

President Barack Obama is on a roll.  Here’s what happened on his watch the past week:

  • Osama bin Laden was killed with a bullet to the head.
  • The federal government’s reaction to the devastating tornado in Alabama was quick, decisive and organized getting immediate relief and help to the people in need.
  • He pushed back on Donald Trump by releasing his long-form birth certificate (a move I opposed) and mocked the egomaniac at the White House correspondents dinner.  NBC interrupted Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” to break the news to America about the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Did anyone pay attention to the fate dealt to the Somali pirate under President Obama’s watch?  Dude doesn’t play!

The reaction around the country to the killing of Osama bid Laden has been a complex range of emotions dating back to 09/11/11 to a collective U.S. flag waving “fist pump.”

Many politicians from both sides of the aisle have given President Obama his just due.  Say what you want, but Obama has proven to be one tough dude in stressful situations.  At least for the moment, he and his advisers and our men and women in the military deserve our heartfelt congratulations.

Did you see the impact of social media with the news of Osama bin Laden’s death?  In city after city, people poured out into the streets.  Chants of “USA!  USA!,” rang throughout ball parks and stadiums around the country as news of bid Laden’s death alerted cell phone users late Sunday night.

There’s a renewal of pride and patriotism and that things can be accomplished “the right way!”

Thank you Mr. President!

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