Archive for Cornel West

Cornel West: MLK 50 Was ‘Coronation of Bonafide House Negro of Obama Plantation

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America with tags , , , on September 1, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West 2

On the “Smiley and West” radio show on August 30, 2013, Dr. Cornel West issued a blistering commentary about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington along with harsh criticism for Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.   Dr. West said:

“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.

“Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Barack Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton.” West then declared that Sharpton’s decline was “supported by [MSNBC analyst] Michael Dyson and others who’ve prostituted themselves in a very ugly and vicious way.”

Further, West said, the event was unremarkable because black leaders are too fearful to speak out against the nation’s first black president. “Our leadership now is so sold out,” he said. “It’s so bought out. It’s so deferential. It is so subservient that I think Martin Luther King Jr. would just shed tears and turn over in his grave.”

 

What’s Motivating Some of Obama’s Black Critics?

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , , on July 23, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West - Tavis

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com

CNN columnist L Z Granderson has written a “thought-piece” that may help some people understand why critics like Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West are so “over the top” in their criticism of President Obama and his remarks regarding the Trayvon Martin and the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.

Granderson comes to many of the same conclusions that I have written about over the years as to why the self-serving Smiley rants against the President.  Both of us believe this may have started during the presidential campaign back in 2008 when then candidate Obama sent his wife to speak on his behalf at Smiley’s corporately sponsored “State of the Black Union” forum in New Orleans.

The man was running for President.  Here’s an excerpt of Barack Obama’s letter to Smiley explaining his situation: 

In the final stretch, I will be on the campaign trail everyday in states like Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin talking directly with voters about the causes that are at the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union forum such as affordable healthcare, housing, economic opportunity, civil rights and foreign policy. I am committed to touching every voter, and working to earn their vote.

That is why with regret, I am not able to attend the forum. I understand that you have declined the campaign’s request to have Michelle Obama speak on my behalf. I ask that you reconsider. Michelle is a powerful voice for the type of real change America is hungry for. No one knows my record or my passion for leading America in a new direction more than Michelle Obama.

Tavis turned down the offer of having Michelle Obama attend.  Michelle Obama is not “chopped liver.”  She is as smart, if not smarter than her husband and she’s a damn good public speaker.  Many observers, myself included feel this was the start of the rift that got Tavis’ panties all bunched up in a wad.  From that point on, Tavis has been whining and complaining like a baby.

Smiley and West remind me of the two Muppet characters Statler and Waldorf who sit in the balcony and complain about everything.

Statler&Waldorf tavis-smiley-cornel-west

Granderson does a great job of providing a timeline of events that led us to this point.  I doubt that anyone will ever be able to figure out the “logic” that is driving the behavior of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, but Granderson does a damn good job.  His article is certainly worth the read.

Click here to read the entire article.

L.Z. Granderson LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com.  He’s also a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.

Cornel West Says, “Obama Is A Global George Zimmerman”

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

Cornel West 2

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com

I’ve never seen two guys more desperate to remain relevant than Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.   In the court of public opinion, these guys are losing their credibility with nonsensical rants against the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  Smiley and West are criticizing the President so often and so outrageously that at times you think this is some prank and that these once relevant intellectuals cannot believe what they are saying.  These guys firmly believe what they are saying and they are very calculating and deliberate about how they criticize the President.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Dr. West was asked for his thoughts on the President’s reaction to the outcome in the George Zimmerman trial.  Dr. West replied as follows:

“Well, the first thing, I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense, so that there’s actually parallels here.”

Smiley and West are so over the top in their behavior that this web site is seriously considering not giving them any attention.  These one time media standouts and intellectuals are nothing more than self-serving con men and media whores.   Smiley and West don’t care how they are viewed in the public.  I guess on one hand, that speaks to their “commitment.”

Conservative media outlets are smitten with these guys.  I guess Smiley and West have taken the position that some publicity, even if it’s negative publicity, is better than no publicity.

While Smiley and West continue along their path, this blog will seriously consider whether or not we will give them any further attention on this site.  I love that the President does not respond to either one of these guys or what they say.  Like him or not, President Obama smoothly and seamlessly continues in his job as President of the United States.

Click here to watch a video and to read the full transcript of Dr. West’s interview.

In a related story, Dr. West referred to the MSNBC television network as a “Rent-A-Negro” network and said MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton was on the “Obama plantation.”  Click here to read the entire article.

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

To learn more about Gary click here.

Tom Joyner: Tavis Is Fascinated with His Own Legacy

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Tom and Tavis

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com/January 27, 2013

Here we go again.  Can’t we all just get along?  I don’t know who’s in the news more these days.  Tavis or Rhianna?

PBS host Tavis Smiley and his colleague and partner  former Princeton professor Cornel West, criticized President Obama last week for using a bible belonging to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the President’s inaugural swearing in ceremony.  I’m not sure about the criticism.  It’s not like the President stole the bible.  The King family gave the bible to the President.

Well, Tavis’ former employer, syndicated radio host Tom Joyner apparently heard enough.  Last week Joyner wrote a commentary called “Tavis vs. MLK,” published on Black America Web.com.  Here are two prominent highlights in Joyner’s commentary:

  • Tavis is fascinated with his own legacy, and that’s not good. He wants more than anything to be remembered the way Dr. King was, and to some how make that kind of mark on the world.
  • Tavis is afraid of what will be said about him and it’s driving him crazy.

Tavis has consistently claimed that he holds no ill will towards the President and that he is simply attempting to hold the President accountable.

Most people who follow Tavis are not neutral in their view. For another perspective read Harold Bell’s recent commentary “There’s A New Sheriff In Town.”

What do you think?

(Photos from Getty Images/AP)

Cornel West: ‘Coward’ Obama Doesn’t Care When ‘Black Folk’ Get Shot, Only When ‘Vanilla’ Children Do

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West

By Black Men In America.com Staff

Oh my.  Here we go again.  In wrestling parlance, it looks as if we have a “cage match,” between the team of “Terrible Tavis Smiley” and his partner “The Professor” Cornel West against President Barack Obama and his policies.

In this latest war of words, Professor West made his comments on Saturday, December 22, 2012, on the “Smiley and West” radio show.  These two guys have no quit in them.  I guess you can say they have the courage of their convictions when it comes to putting issues they believe of interest on the public table for discussion.

Following the shooting death  of 26 children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, Saturday, West referred to President Obama and other (unnamed) politicians as “cowards” who only cares about “vanilla” children.  Smiley and West have been frequent critics of President Obama and they don’t seem to care what people say or think about them.

West, an open and frequent critic of Obama, referring to the soaring homicide rate in Chicago, said the president did not care when “black folk” get shot in his own state.

US-POLITICS-OBAMAsmiley-and-west1

Click here to listen to Professor West’s comments as he is being interviewed by Tavis Smiley.

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 UTLO.org (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 America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.

An Open Letter To Tom Joyner

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , on July 7, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

I have known Tom Joyner (nationally syndicated radio host) for many years. We are not hanging out buddies, but we have always enjoyed talking and joking with each other.  He is an “old school” soul who has done a lot of good in his life.  But, in recent years, his very public fight with Tavis Smiley (journalist) and now Cornel West (college professor), threatens his standing in many communities (not just the Black).  So, I decided to use this week’s column as an open letter to Tom.

Tom, it is well documented that you and Tavis Smiley (and now Cornel West) have had a very public falling out with each other.  I have not been privy to all the details of the dispute, only what is being reported in the media and through some of our mutual friends—but I have no first hand knowledge of anything; so my comments will be offered with that as my backdrop.

Word on the street is that the falling out started during the presidential campaign in 2008.  Tavis was clearly not a big supporter of Obama’s and was more of a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s.  You were unabashedly quite vocal in your support of Obama.

So, after Tavis resigned (or you fired him from your radio show—I don’t know which one is more accurate), I thought the beef between the two of you would be over.  Boy, was I wrong.

Last week you continued your public feud with Smiley and West and raised the rhetoric to an unhealthy level.  To lay the blame at their feet for what Mark Halperin called President Obama is a bit of a stretch.  This is what Joyner said, “But I’m even more disgusted with Smiley and West, two brothers who I did have expectations of – and thought I knew. These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first black president of the United States.” (for the entire quote, go to http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=blog_inner/29954/1573138/Cheriewhite/1).

Halperin is editor of Time Magazine and a regular guest on MSNBC TV network.  Last week, on live TV, he called President Obama a “dick.”  He was immediately suspended indefinitely from the TV network (he did issue an apology).

Well, Tom, I could make the same argument against you about your blind support for Obama. It is well documented that I, as a Black Republican, voted for Obama in 2008.  I was hopeful that he could and would deliver on the promises he made as a candidate; but just as important, use the historic nature of his presidency to bring a different perspective to some of the issues that have plagued the Black community.  This is what I hear in West’s criticism of Obama.  Smiley seems more angry and hateful and therefore I kind of tune him out.  But West’s criticism is in sync with what I have been writing in my columns for the past two years.

So, Tom, can you really make a thoughtful argument for Obama’s reelection without injecting the name of Bush, Republicans, or racism?

Can you justify why Obama would meet with Marc Morial, Ben Jealous, or Al Sharpton, in February of last year to discuss the high unemployment rate in the Black community?  These are three people who have never created one job.  Did you not find this insulting?  Do you think the president would have met with non practicing Jews to discuss Judaism?

Can you explain to me why you and the president support amnesty for the estimated 30 million illegals in the U.S.?  Especially when around 7 million of these illegals will enter the workforce and compete with other low and under skilled people (mostly Blacks).  If you are concerned with the high unemployment rate in the Black community, how then does this make sense?

Can you explain to me why you and the president are spending so much political capital pursuing a gay rights agenda even though most Blacks are against it?

But, when it comes to issues of particular concern to the Black community, the president’s response is, “I am president of all of America, not just a narrow special interest group.”

Where has the president expended any political capital on behalf of issues of particular interest to the Black community?  So, the gays get all sorts of gay rights, Hispanics get a Supreme Court Justice, amnesty, and the D.R.E.A.M. Act; and Blacks folks get “I’m president of all of America.”

So, Tom, while you have done a lot of good in your life, especially with raising $ 55 million for Black college students, this does not give you a pass on your moral obligation to educate your listeners, not indoctrinate!

You are without doubt an apologist for Obama, but the worst thing you can do is continue to lead your audience into blind support for the president.

In your profession, if you don’t deliver certain demographics, you get fired.  Next year Obama will face a similar standard.  I challenge you to lay out your argument for Obama’s reelection based on substance, not race.

For you to continue to spew misinformation or incomplete information to your audience is more damaging than anything someone with a white hood over his head has ever done.

If you truly believe in liberalism (as you claim) when will you allow a free flowing exchange of information from both parties to take place on your show and in your town hall meetings?

You have made a name for yourself in the area of education, but when will your bring that reputation to your radio show?

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 (www.excellstyle.com) & USAfrica Magazine (www.USAfricaonline.com). 

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