Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tavis is not smiling.


"In the final stretch, I will be on the campaign trail every day 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... That is why, with regret, I am not able to attend the forum"


This is what the "O" man wrote and told Tavis Smiley as an explanation why he couldn't attend his "State of The Black Union Conference" on Saturday. Now I have to tell you, I started to write this post with every intention of ripping Tavis Smiley, because there is something very unsettling to me about the guy. Sorry, there just is. Tavis seems to be all about Tavis. And I can't help but think that he wanted the "O" man at his event more to lend it star power than for substantive reasons. Still, I don't want to rip what he is trying to do. (Lord knows we do enough of that as black folks) I do like the fact that he wants to deploy 1,000 volunteers all over New Orleans to help that city rebuild post Katrina. And the networking and all the symposiums at his conference can't hurt either. Plus, the damn thing is free. Supposedly he will have 4,5000 registering for the weekend, and getting the ear of that many black folks all at once can lead to some positive things.


But still......Maybe it's the fact that Tavis always features the usual suspects like Sharpton,West, Jackson, Dyson, and the rest of civil rights inc. that bothers me. Nothing wrong with those guys, but is it just me, or does anyone else think that we need to feature some new blood now?


"I think it's a missed opportunity on Mr. Obama's part...Now I am not interested in demonizing him for his choice, but I do disagree with him."

Of course you do Tavis. He dissed your party, and I am sure that doesn't sit right with your ego.

I would love to be in Mr. Smiley's head right about now to see what he really thinks of the "O"man. "Will you get off the stage Negro, I am supposed to be the young black savior here."


I do see that Hillary was there, and honestly, she needed to be there more than the "O" man did. Already her backers are ripping the "O" man for missing the event, and accusing the "O" man of taking his peeps for granted. But I suspect the Ice Queen was there because black folks have been bailing on her quicker than you can say hope. She said all the things you expected her to say. But mostly she reminded the black folks in attendance just how much her husband did for them, and how much she loves black people.


Poor Hillary, I know she wishes she could have done like the "O" man did and stayed on the campaign trial. I mean honestly, what percentage of the black folks in attendance do you think are going to vote for her? Twenty maybe? Alright if you count all the participants and the CBC members in attendance, twenty one. But you get the picture. In spite of what Tavis and his people would like to believe, that ( even with mostly black people) was not a pro Hillary crowd.


So Tavis, good luck with your continued career and quest to save black folks. I just can't wait to see what next year's state of the black union looks like.
















89 comments:

Anonymous said...

For some reason I get the feeling Tavis hates Obama. I don't know the reason but he seems bitter at Obama for something. Anyway, I'm glad Obama didn't go he is trying to be the president of all Americans not just African Americans.

If Obama had showed up at Tavis so called black union address then the Clinton would have tried to paint him as only wanting to champion black causes. Hillary at this point would show up at a dog show if it would get her votes.

I got a feeling no matter what Obama says are do he will catch hell from people like Tavis. You can't please everyone Obama.

Anonymous said...

Field , my husband can't stand Tavis either. I never understood why but he always keep saying the guy seems self-absorbed.

The Angry Independent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Angry Independent said...

Field,

You hit the nail right on the head when you wrote that "Tavis seems to be all about Tavis".

I wrote my take earlier today...

I have already gotten some hate mail... (that usually means i'm telling the truth & i'm on the right track).

Copy & Paste
http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com

Or

Follow Link & scroll down to the commentary on Tavis.

Or do a search for blog post "My Take On Tavis Smiley & the State of the Black Union".

Anonymous said...

Tavis is in love with himself. I've always thought him greatly narcissistic, and listening to him over the years certainly has not diminished my opinion. Surely, he knows that Obama should be on the campaign trail in view of the fact that these next big castings can deliver him or not. Tavis just wants to be ornery, is all.

marci said...

hey field - apologies for my comment yesterday.. my father cooks and i cross london nearly every sunday to be sitting at the table in time for his breakfast..
don't know much about tavis but his shady appearance travels the atlantic.. heh..
am gloriously inebriated on obama aid.. wish we had him here..

jose said...

straight up, you know what next year's state of the black union's going to look like: last year's state of the union. unfortunately, your call for fresh blood won't be heard because for some reason having these events lends the top dogs legitimacy to them, which is fine, but it also means that they're the standardbearers for the "monolith" that is Black people. I'm bothered as much as you are, but I think all we can do is what we already do on such a regular basis, and that's get the word out about the activists not just on the fields, but behind the keyboards.

p.s. - didn't Obama decline this offer 2 years in a row?

NSangoma said...

~
... and accusing the "O" man of taking his peeps for granted. ...
field negro at 12:23 AM

We are not the "O" man's peeps; he is not legacy, he is not descended from Africans enslaved in the Americas.

The "O" man's father was a Luo. the Jo-Luo sat on the sidelines whilst the Kikuyu Embu, and Meru (the Mau Mau Uprising) did the heavy lifting (fighting) against the British Empire in Kenya.
`

Christopher said...

The Democratic nominee will be determined, I believe, by the outcome of the March 4th primary races in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

It is absolutely critical that Obama focus his energies on these races. This means making the endless campaign stops to meet and greet potential voters, appear in local TV markets and prepare for the final debate with the Borg Queen in Ohio.

Tavis Smiley is a bright guy and he understands this. He knows it all comes down to March 4th. That said, he could've scheduled his even later and not in the midst of a presidential primary.

As far as the Borg Queen agreeing to appear, if she were the front runner, does anyone really think she would've made the time? Please.

field negro said...

"Tavis is in love with himself. I've always thought him greatly narcissistic.." [Anon 3:13AM]

There is nothing wrong with loving yourself if you are an actor or entertainer,but when you are in the civil rights business, or a so called leader, that's a dangerous thing.


"Hillary at this point would show up at a dog show if it would get her votes."

anon.2:04 AM, that was too funny!

marci, no apology needed. It's all good between us :) Don't ever thing you have to apologize to me for anything. Nothing is ever personal (unless you are a right wing wacko, or house Negro). And please tell me you guys aren't sipping the ObamaAid across the pond. Geez

And Jose, you are right. And the State of The Black Union will look the same the year after that if we have these same clowns trying to lead us from the top down ad not the other way around.

Chris,it looks like the "Borg Queen" is slowly losing it. Did you hear her rant aboput dirty politics yesterday? It was kind of sad. And you know what; if she beats the "O" man I will still vote for her over the Viagra poster child, Mr. Straight Talk.

John B. said...

Nsangoma:

So the sins of the father (or the father's people, actually) are visited upon the son? What kind of reactionary bullshit is that?

John B. said...

Hey,

Check these out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fd-MVU4vtU&eur

http://www.amigosdeobama.com/lyrics.htm

Awesome!

hennasplace said...

Field:

You have a point about seeing the usual suspects at the State of the Black Union Conference. What bothers me is that the conference is not interactive where the audience participates with asking questions to the panel. It is a controlled event where the panel can pontificate. Tavis should be cautious that his annual event came become as effective as the NAACP and their annal dinners look something of the geriatric recreation room. I think more should come out of the event other than grandiose speeches. I would like to see some ideas come out of the event such eradicating poverty within the black community, better educating children, how people can become better citizens and parents.

Christina Springer said...

Ladies and Gentlemen - In one ring we have a herd of field Negroes, who given a chance in the big house, forgot to poison the food. Watch them mill about lowing and wondering where that freedom they were promised went!

In the other ring, we have crabs in a barrel! See them snap and pinch each other trying to pull the others down. Watch the master chef boil the first one to the top!

In the third ring, singing, dancing dogs -yipping, baying, and howling in three part harmony.

But, don’t miss the tightrope walker tenaciously tiptoeing above these base distractions! We are all riveted on him. It is the possibility of a fall which holds our breath.

Thanks for a lovely show, Field. I greatly enjoyed this post and the comments. Now, back to my regularly scheduled inner programming.

Christopher said...

Field,

I sure did.

I have a post up on my blog yesterday and takes the Borg Queen to task, stating, "Hillary Has Finally Jumped Off the Deep End."

She's revealed herself to be crazier than either John McCain or Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme. It's one of the most spectacular meltdowns I've ever seen.

Johnston said...

"I started to write this post with every intention of ripping Tavis Smiley"

What you changed your mind? I don't always agree with Smiley since as an atheist, his theistic approach annoys me. But your criticisms are nonsense. Are Obama and Clinton not in love with themselves? Nobody runs for president without a huge ego. Hell, writing a blog is pretty egotistical too. Then to complain about the events always having the same people (false if you actually watch the stuff) when Smiley was extending (again) an opportunity for Obama to participate is dumb. But of course, Obama can't be at such an event without risking white support. He is after all running for president of America, not Black America even though he is "Black." That means putting Black people and their concerns on the back burner while expecting their support (and receiving it). Obama really is a Democrat!

And John B, that "sins of the father" reactionary bullshit comes straight from the Christian bible.

MsTee2u said...

Tavis did enough to rip himself. For him to cause this kind of rift and have this sort of a temper tantrum all because he wants what he wants when he wants it...only shows what kind of nigga he really is. (Classifying him as that as opposed to a black person per Chris Rock's analogy of both) Then to do so during an election as HUGE as this one then that proves what a crock Tavis Smiley is and he will never ever get my support on anything else ever again. FUCK Tavis Smiley.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

When did Tavis become the "speaker for all black people"? Excuse me, but wasn't he 'just' a news anchor a few years ago? He's right up their with the Sharptons, Jesse's..etc..etc..pure opportunists, in my mind.

Crabs in a barrel, there's no escaping it.

Kellybelle said...

I was flipping back and forth to the SOTBU. Tavis looked silly, tossing Hillary softball questions and giving her free air time. I saw the point when she said "My husband apologized for slavery," and paused expectantly for applause.

She got crickets.

And I got up and started getting ready for Obama's rally in downtown Cleveland. He was wonderful. I didn't faint, but I did sleep in my "Obama 08" t-shirt and download his ringtone.

Nader just announced his candidacy.

Kellybelle said...

Funky Black chick:

Tavis Smiley himself says he's not a "journalist" as such; he says he's a "media personality." You know, like Oprah. Or Star Jones.

szechuanpork said...

Remember the Central High desegragation reunion in Little Rock? Tavis showed up and afterward he put up these huge signs (maybe 10 miles away at a university) saying Have Lunch with Tavis Smily, or something close to that. Anyway, I have no problem with slimy self promotion, but I won't participate either.

Phil4Real said...

Smiley like a lot of us wear our egos and success on our chest. Black people have fragile eqos already. This is another example. Even our leaders show this weak trait. If Tavis was not so upset and ego driven would he express his disappointment to the media? We have to stay out of the media. Our business is always accessible. Tavis next time shut the phuck up. I'd like to know if there were any other participants that decided not to show? I also think Obama should've used more tact when he decline the invitation. We all know Tavis thinks he's the second coming of MLK. Obama could've handled this in a way that Tavis would understand and respect his need to continue to campaign instead of attend the Forum. We have to become less emotional and think 3 steps ahead. That didn't help Obama, but it also didn't do much for Hilary. Once a candidate has been decided that's the time for us all to begin debate in our communities, jobs, and on the streets. Black people have some of the biggest mouths, we should use it to help the O'man out.

Histoy is here!

Christopher said...

I saw the point when she said "My husband apologized for slavery,"

What am I missing here?

Unless Billary's kinfolk owned slaves, how can he be issuing apologies for slavery?

Am I missing the larger point?

What Hillary Clinton should be apologizing for, in my opinion, is sending Billary to South Carolina to play the race card against Barack Obama.

Obama didn't deserve this treatment by the Clinton machine.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi FN,

Maybe someone can tell me what was the result from last year's State of the Black Union? (Beside Tavis selling a lot of books.)


Christopher,

"Unless Billary's kinfolk owned slaves, how can he be issuing apologies for slavery?"

A President may apologize for the government's part in Slavery, Jim Crow, etc.

I don't think what Bill Clinton did was an apology though.

justice58 said...

"My husband apologized for slavery,"
-----------------------------------
As if that's gonna have blacks "skinning & grinning"!

(Major Eye Roll)

Hillary--Time to step aside..Game over!

Ivan Ivanovich Renko said...

We are not the "O" man's peeps; he is not legacy, he is not descended from Africans enslaved in the Americas.

Nsangoma, really. That's probably the most specious nonsense ever posted with regard to the O-man's "blackness."

Do you seriously think that man has an easier time of getting a taxi in Manhattan than, say, Danny Glover? Or you, for fuck's sake?

Lease a clue, brother-- if you got dark skin in this country, you are a Negro, whether you people got here in the 18th century or the 21st. And you will be shat upon for being a Negro; your ancestry notwithstanding.

Christopher said...

mes deux cents,

I see, Thank you for explaining this.

My family didn't even immigrate to the USA until 1930. Before then, my grandparents were trying to scratch out a living as farmers in Northern Italy.

Again, I appreciate you explaining this to me.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Field, I've covered these events, and here's my take on it, here:

http://www.blackcommentator.com/173/173_guest_stills_tavis_smiling.html

jp said...


The "O" man's father was a Luo. the Jo-Luo sat on the sidelines whilst the Kikuyu Embu, and Meru (the Mau Mau Uprising) did the heavy lifting (fighting) against the British Empire in Kenya.


So fucking what. Nobody gives of shit right now what the Luo did in the 1960s as far as this topic is concerned, when people see Obama they melanin and broad nose, same as you me. That determines his cultural treatment and is meaningful.
`

jp said...

Obama has to do this to keep his appeal broad, the minute he steps on that stage with Tavis his appeal marginalized. This is real polics, I don't have a problem with him playing that game. He lives on the South Side Chicago and has a relationship with Bobby Rush for God sake, he's not impervious to the needs and hopes of Black America. I wish Tavis and these other peacocks getting their feathers in a bunch would leave him alone. Will you see Hillary on stage with the NOW folks? No because it carries the issue.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

As for Tavis hating on Barack, he believed the brotha should have announced he was running for POTUS at his event in Hampton, VA last year.

The SOTBU was originally slated to be held in Jamestown, VA - NOT Hampton.

Why?

It was supposed to celebrate when African-Americans came to America and the beginning ofour history.

Excuse me, but our "history" meant celebrating we were stolen from our native land and brought here as slaves. For over 400 years.

And what was there to celebrate about THAT?

Which was what the Black members of the press, especially from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, asked Tavis. I know because I was there in the press room as a living witness.

Tavis' events are nothing more than "Showtime at The Apollo". Never about anything constructive.

And everytime, the members of the Black Press get treated worse by Tavis' team than the corporate owned media - they get access to individuals who lobby softball questions like he did to the Borg Queen last night.

Everytime Hillary was mentioned yesterday, either by Sheila Jackson-Lee or Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, their remarks were met with crickets chirping and the young people looking ready to pimp-slap somebody. But when the young lady from Dillard spoke and let it be known they were fired up for the "O" man, Tavis' hateration was so saturated, he couldn't help trying to sandbag her with the question "What happens to your energy if Obama loses?"

I don't care - that question was out of line, even for Tavis. Plus, that young sista is part of the female demographic that Tavis absolutely hates - young Black woman under 30, 40 and 50. Tavis only respects women his mama's age and older - sistas like that young co-ed from Dillard, or even me as a 40 something, get dissed by him and threatened when you call him out on his BS.

I'll say this again:

TAVIS SMILEY = HATER.

BLACKinUSA said...

In D♭ "It's his party and he'll cry if he wants to..."
Field, Tavis has come along way from the Tom Joyner days. Not hatin, props to the brotha. But I be damn if he sets the Black agenda for me. The "O" man is on a quest and none of the self appointed "Black Leaders" are needed for him to make it. Maybe Tavis could be the "O" mans press secretary.

Christina Springer said...

"Maybe Tavis could be the "O" mans press secretary."

Good Lord! Why would an intelligent man like Obama purposefully and willfully put his image in the claws of a crab that snip snapped his way to the top of a barrel? Silliness.

Damn good show today, Field!

BLACKinUSA said...

Christina. That comment was totally rhetorical. I should have emphasized that. My bad!

Los Angelista said...

I was really disappointed in Tavis. He let Sheila Jackson Lee go on and on about Clinton. Whatever. And Clinton was SO condescending with her, "My husband did stuff for you negroes!" vibe. And her saying Bill Clinton apologized for slavery? I was SO taken aback when she said that mess.

Bill Clinton went to Africa and spoke about misjudgements and regrets. That's not an apology. That's just saying slavery is evil. Gosh, Thomas Jefferson said slavery was evil even though he was making babies with one.

I loved Dick Gregory though. His Kobe joke was really funny.

Christina Springer said...

BlackinUSA, Of course your statement was! That's what made it perfectly irresistable. I'm kind of like Alice and rabbit holes that way...any opening is an adventure.

Woozie said...

Tavis Smiley has an unfortunate name.

It sounds like a stage alias for a minstrel show.

At least it does to me.

burpster said...

Hang on to your hat Oholics. Here comes Nader.

field negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GailScott said...

Tavis should have graciously accepted Obama's decline, he should have allowed Michele Obama to attend in Barak's place, and he should have gotten a commitment from Obama to attending the next State of the Black Union if and when Obama becomes president.

That's what a smart person would have done.

field negro said...

"Tavis' events are nothing more than "Showtime at The Apollo". Never about anything constructive."

That pretty much sums up how most of the people posting here feel about Tavis. If someone can show me something constructive that has come out of the SOTBU events I would love to hear it. And I am being serious.

"Maybe someone can tell me what was the result from last year's State of the Black Union? (Beside Tavis selling a lot of books.)"

Tavis raising his profile a notch.
mes deux cents, I hope that answered your question.

'"I started to write this post with every intention of ripping Tavis Smiley"'
What you changed your mind?
I don't always agree with Smiley since as an atheist, his theistic approach annoys me. But your criticisms are nonsense.."

What changed my mind? I didn't want to be just another crab. But then I started writing and realized that not all crabs should escape the barrel ;)

And if you are really an atheist, his "theistic" approaches should more than just annoy you, since he can never find a solution to the problems he is supposedly confronting.

tryexcellence said...

It's called "HATERATION". Remember Tavis moved to Los Angeles to work for Tom Bradley and assume the throne as Mayor of the City of Los Angeles upon Bradley's death.

Although he's doing political/social commentary, Tavis' ultimate goal was to run for office and to one day become our first black president. He's pissed that Barack beat him to it.

Also, Tavis feels that he is the sole and apparent heir to the old guard civil rights leaders and not this contrived black man Barack who is undeservedly referred to as black by way of his African father.

tryexcellence said...

"I don't care - that question was out of line, even for Tavis. Plus, that young sista is part of the female demographic that Tavis absolutely hates - young Black woman under 30, 40 and 50. Tavis only respects women his mama's age and older - sistas like that young co-ed from Dillard, or even me as a 40 something, get dissed by him and threatened when you call him out on his BS."

Somewhat off-topic but I agree with this comment. I don't have any data or facts to support my belief, but I get the sense that Tavis only speaks lovingly of black women when he mentions and dotes on his mama.

Also, I was deeply offended by Stephanie Tubbs-Jones trying to inject gender discrimination on yesterday's SOBU when she said we need to look at policies and their affect black women. I agree with the statement, but she only brought it up to divide black men and women and garner the black female vote for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Obamaholics, if you are complaining about Tavis' treatment of Obama, wait until the Right wing machine goes into action against the very liberal Senator. A lot of you sound like petulant children not getting their way because someone was mean to their chosen candidate. Its called politics people, get used to it.

hennasplace said...

The only thing that could be constructive is people who attended the event or watched it on TV would start grassroots efforts within the communities in which they live. I think the purpose of the State of the Black Union is to motivate individuals to finally do something, but that has yet to materialize and for now the even is just one informmercial that ran 8 1/2 hours too long.

As for Trexcellence's comment about the "contrived black man Barack who is undeservingly referred to as black by way of his African father", is a black man and he identifies himself as so. I do not think anyone is the position to decide who is black and who is not. I can make an argument that we not as black as our ancestors because we just stop building schools and opening businesses for ourselves. Where is our self-determination that Malcolm X talked so much about in his speeches? I am going to venture a guest and say that most of the people writing comments were born after MLK and Malcolm (I was born the year Malcolm was murdered) and makes us the post-civil rights movement.

Does being black mean you have to listen to 50 cents? I personally do not listen to hip hop other than The Roots, Common and Mos Def, and really do not care for the rest of it. Let me know where I turn in my black card. Some of us have it easier than are forefathers, but I am concerned about black people who live below poverty line as the civil rights movement forgot about them. Therefore, I really do not anyone say who is or who is not black enough as it state of mind.

ThePoliticalCat said...

Field, I just discovered your blog (I'm a tad slow even on my fast days) and I am blown away. I'm respectfully requesting a link from you, but disirregardless (as we say in these parts), I'm linking you anyway. Glad to have discovered your blog, I've been looking for voices that aren't white/male and the Big Dogs of Blogging sure don't fit the bill. Not even those who are female. Especially those who feature posters who take people Of Hue to task for railing against "their betters."

Anonymous said...

Field, why should we care who plays Obama on SNL? It's a comedy show, and that means they can use men to play women, or do any damn thing they feel like.

I'm for Obama and I'm also tough enough not to run crying every time some irrelevant perceived slight occurs.

And I truly hope that if some Obama supporters are so hung up on his skin color that this sort of thing seems meaningful, they will grow up and find a better reason to vote for the man.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

sidenote:
Lark Voorhies siting..Comedy Central...now...lol

Maybe you'll be able to stomach Method Man & Redman in How High...lol

NSangoma said...

~
... So "expletive deleted" what. ...
jp 12:28 PM

The Luo apple does not fall far from the tree.

The Luo branch does not extend far beyond its roots.
`

tryexcellence said...

@hennasplace

I totally agree with your point. Trying to make the point that some black Americans (in this case Tavis Smiley) believe that blacks who do not share "the black by way of slavery" experience are not black. I don't agree with that position.

I know that as a result of colonialism and the African Slave Trade African people were dropped all over the world. None of these people are any less black or African than the other. And certainly a man who is the product of parents from Kenya and Kansas is literally African American or black.

Anyway, this is somewhat off topic.

field negro said...

"Field, I just discovered your blog (I'm a tad slow even on my fast days) and I am blown away."

"thepoliticalcat" It's the folks who comment here. As you can see, they are quite informed and opinionated. And they can be sooo tough on the host :)

As for that link, I appreciate it. And as is always my practice, I reciprocated.

anon 4:15PM.I really don't care who plays the "O" man oin SNL. I just thought it was interesting that they would choose this fellow don't you? Did you actually see the skit and hear the supposed black cadence in his accent? If you did, I think you would reconsider your position.

funkee black chick,every time I see that movie "How High" I want to cry :)

baatin. said...

'The "O" man's father was a Luo. the Jo-Luo sat on the sidelines whilst the Kikuyu Embu, and Meru (the Mau Mau Uprising) did the heavy lifting (fighting) against the British Empire in Kenya.'

nsangoma, i call bullshit on your post. the jaluo also participated heavily in kenya's struggle for independence, and have had from their ethnic group some of kenya's most inspirational figures, among those from many other ethnic groups (not just the gikuyu, embu and meru). tom mboya, oginga odinga(raila's father) and robert ouko (assasinated) among them. ever heard of paul ngei? please quit posting mis-information. maybe you yourself can leave some of the heavy lifting to others who know what they're talking about.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Field, in your sidebar about SNL and Obama being portrayed by a white guy;

1. Eddie Murphy did a skit where they made him up to look white and have him go places to show that whites get treated better than Blacks. Funny as all get out, 25 years later. So those of us who remember this, that's why we're not getting our knickers in a bunch behind that.

2. I've never forgiven Kenan Thompson for using his SNL gig to participate in an unflattering skit about Cynthia McKinney after she had her incident with the Capitol Hill PO-PO and labeling her loony. If anything, he should have walked and told SNL go to hell. Additionally, he did what the Congressional Black Caucus did; sling McKinney under a bus for telling the truth while they circled the wagons around "Dollar Bill/Cold Hard Cash" Jefferson.

You remember him, don't you? He of the $90K found in his freezer by the FBI for allegedly taking bribes.

Shazza Nakim said...

I am holding off for a few days about my experience with the State of the Black Union convention but I have in on my blog outline the General Focus of the event under THE FATE OF BLACK LOYALTY.

Understanding that "To Much That Is Given, Much Is Expected", the 80% Black Vote for Obama is questioned as Votes earned or where they votes EXPECTED. Either way, an open dialogue needed to be addressed and the UNION was the perfect place at the perfect time to do it. Everyone that attended agreed which is why the tone was more POLITICAL then economic, religious and social this year.

In the end, what makes the general speeches and Town hall meetings and the State of the Black Union relevant is that here; the issues are talked about on accountability on a DEEPER level. The issues that Black Americans are inclusive and not selective because those DEEPER issues affect a larger swath of Blacks than most ethnic groups. Moving forward, BLACK PEOPLE will not get that opportunity again which is why Tavis stated to Obama that it was a missed OPPORTUNITY. Not for him, but for Black People.

befree said...

Tavis is everything WE don't want black men to be in our community, college educated, entrepreneur, abused & poor black child who made something out of his life, no Tavis is such an embarrassment to the community by starting the Tavis Foundation, what the hell is wrong with this jealous bastard? Then this loser holds symposium for the last 9 years talking about black issues...SMDH... How do we get these kinds of people out of our community....they are ruining it! How dare he become the first African American moderator in U.S. history of a presidential debate? I can't stand him either....who cares that he as a PBS show that covers diverse topics and not baby daddy shows..... what kind of unaccmplished black man has authors no less than eight books, pitful! I want to get rid of ALL black men and Black women who do these kinds of things...

field negro said...

shazza, I just checked out your site and your wonderful post. Good job fam. BTW, I realized that you weren't linked here on my BR, and corrected it.

befree,I am sure you want to towel yourself off with all that sarcasm dripping all over you :)

Tavis huh?

Symphony said...

I won't fault Obama for not going when I wasn't willing to sit on the couch and watch it.

I'm okay with holding this conference for people to talk but lets not pretend its imperative, at least in its current format, as a symbol of love for Black folks and something that is making the community better.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what true motives that Tavis Smiley has for holding these events so I won't comment on his intentions. But I will comment on all of you who have the nerve to try and place some sort of moral superiority over Tavis.

I would like to know what some of you people have done to try and strengthen and empower the Black community? I would venture to say that most who are posting here are successful Black professionals who worked hard in life in order to run away and escape from the Black community from whence they came and don't so much as even look back to help out the other Brothers and Sisters who were left behind. You worked hard in order to have a "ghetto rescue."

Anonymous said...

"It was kind of sad. And you know what; if she beats the "O" man I will still vote for her over the Viagra poster child, Mr. Straight Talk"

Could you explain why Field Negro?

TLW

dc_speaks said...

http://www.star-telegram.com/dallas_news/story/486413.html

I just thought that I would put this out here.

what are your thoughts, FN?

Anonymous said...

Befree your wish is already being granted. Integration and Affirmative Action has been taking away the best and the brightest out of the Black community for decades now.

TLW

Anonymous said...

Christian Progressive Liberal:
"Tavis only respects women his mama's age and older - sistas like that young co-ed from Dillard, or even me as a 40 something, get dissed by him and threatened when you call him out on his BS."

That's 'cuz he views you as competition if ya know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Obamaholics, if you are complaining about Tavis' treatment of Obama, wait until the Right wing machine goes into action against the very liberal Senator. A lot of you sound like petulant children not getting their way because someone was mean to their chosen candidate. Its called politics people, get used to it.
---------------------------------
'Sup Bill!

names4things said...

Tavis is not my spokesmodel. He has a great timeslot, an interesting show on occasion, and a predictable lineup. But for reals, no one is obligated to kiss his ring. I saw him recently tell James Taylor (and I paraphrase)"all the brothas say you have more soul than any other white man singer out there!"
Not having heard ANYone but Tavis say this, I had to assume his SOTBU would be equally dissonant. Sounds like I was right. Not hating, just not believing Mr. Smiley.

field negro said...

"It was kind of sad. And you know what; if she beats the "O" man I will still vote for her over the Viagra poster child, Mr. Straight Talk"

"Could you explain why Field Negro?"

Sure, I would love to. First, I take my right to vote seriously. (People died to give me that right). I won't waste my vote on Ralph Nadar, and I don't trust John McCain. (100 years in Iraq? I don't think so) So even if I have to hold my nose when I go in the voting booth, I will vote for Hillary over him if those are my only choices.

Shazza Nakim said...

Reading the comments on here I get the sense of a lot of SELF HATE. I really do. I can't help but speak from my personal experience and meetings with Tavis Smiley. For all the people who HATE this Black Man, and I can only assume those that speak the loudest, KNOW the lease about how he WORKS Tirelessly in pushing the African-American agenda. KEYWORD: WORKS!

Tavis has several foundations that support Black achievement and no person that comes across his path he does not get their commitment to invest for the Black community. Tavis does more for the Black Community than an Oprah and even far more than the entertainers we invest billions in. His cross cultural and political investment makes him a center piece for communication which is why he is able to gather a THINK TANK of people for the SOTBU. People do not just attend a fuction like this because they have free time. They do it because they believe in what the organizer believes in.

Tavis is a huge FUNDRAISER and has opened funding avenues for OBAMA back when he was running for Senate. He donates for many charities including those that help black children as well a those helping Black Children to be adopted.

You all can check out his web site for the rest but from where I stand, I read nothing BUT SELF HATRED for a man NO ONE HAS TAKEN THE OPPORTUNTY TO RESEARCH OR KNOW.

Tavis constantly takes the Bulls-eyes from mostly BACK SEAT ACTIVISTS and non-productive Black organizations. He left BET because he wanted to change the content and was fought all the way. In the END you want a Tavis Smiley in your corner, then again you could always have a Allan Keyes or Larry Standings. I hear they LOVE BLACK PEOPLE TOO.

Anonymous said...

Reading the comments on here I get the sense of a lot of SELF HATE.
*************************

Can't blacks folks agree to disagree without being called self-hate?

Anonymous said...

"Sure, I would love to. First, I take my right to vote seriously. (People died to give me that right). I won't waste my vote on Ralph Nadar, and I don't trust John McCain. (100 years in Iraq? I don't think so) So even if I have to hold my nose when I go in the voting booth, I will vote for Hillary over him if those are my only choices."

First I agree with you that we shouldn't take the right to vote for granted and go out to vote. Secondly, it has always annoyed me whenever somebody tells me when I express interest in voting for a third party candidate that it is a wasted vote. There is no such thing as a wasted vote in my opinion. If I feel that voting for that person is the right thing to do and is in my best intrests then I will do so. I don't care for any of the mainstream parties and feel that there is no difference between the two. So this is the reason why I can't in good conscience vote for either one because neither one is good or speaks about the things that I care about.

TLW

rikyrah said...

Reading the comments on here I get the sense of a lot of SELF HATE. I really do. I can't help but speak from my personal experience and meetings with Tavis Smiley. For all the people who HATE this Black Man, and I can only assume those that speak the loudest, KNOW the lease about how he WORKS Tirelessly in pushing the African-American agenda. KEYWORD: WORKS!


Sorry, no self-hate here.

I tired of Tavis because of his repeated condescending commentaries on Tom Joyner insulting Black folk about their support of Barack Obama.

Unlike a lot of Black folk, I've been supporting Obama from early on.

Just recently became an Obamaholic, but I supported him with my money, time, effort, and feet months ago.

I'm tired of Tavis insulting Black folks that they can't read and choose for themsleves who they want to support.

Quite honestly, he continued that same line of bullshit at the SOTBU, where he was constantly condescending and questioning the ' emotionalism' of our support of Obama.

My question, if I had been ther would have been..

I'll have to doubt the RATIONAL thought process of folks supporting someone, Hillary, who the polls have told us, a YEAR OUT

THAT HALF THE COUNTRY HAVE SAID THEY WILL NEVER EVER VOTE FOR HER.

Now, explain to me the RATIONAL thought process behind supporting someone with THOSE kinds of negatives.

Folks have to make up their damn minds about Obama.

You've got those who perpetrate that him voting record is akin to Sam Brownback...which is why we can't vote for him.

Then, there are those who say he is ' too liberal'...and, to be honest, I never thought LIBERAL could be used as a bad word IN BLACK CIRCLES.

Then, there are those who bitch and whine about him not 'talking about Black issues'.

Just exactly what the hell is a Black issue?

I'll give you one that I believe IS a Black issue - retroactivity with regards to those hideous drug sentences....relates to criminal justice, and ' just-us', and the feeding of young Black men and now women to the Prison Industrial Complex.

Well, guess what? Hillary's already told you that she intends to get elected on the back of sending ANOTHER generation of young Black men and women to the Prison Industrial complex - she's AGAINST retroactivity, which puts her to the right of Scalia, and ON PAR WITH UNCLE CLARENCE.

She's ready to get elected on the backs of young Black men and women and tell me again why MY support of Obama is ' emotional'.

Obama is more progressive. Obama is the only chance of ridding ourselves of the Imperial Presidency. If Obama implements HALF of his transparency in government policies, it will transform how government is scene by the average citizen.

Obama was against this war.

Not only did she vote FOR the war, she refuses to apologize for her actions that have cost 4,000 lives, mutli-thousand permanent casualties, nearly 1 TRILLION DOLLARS that could have been used elsewhere.

She refuses to apologize for her vote, and would have had us in IRAN.

Once they race-baited Obama, it wasn't even about Obama anymore.

It was about ANY future Black politician with political aspirations hire than a safe, gerrymandered Congressional seat.

If she is allowed to racebait her way into the nomination, then this will be the future blueprint as to how to take out ANY Black politician, which is why I will NEVER vote for her. I will NEVER be complicit in setting into cement the ceiling for future Black politicians.

Tavis is SUSPECT, because, he didn't just fall off a turnip truck. Stevie Wonder could see the race-baiting being done on Obama, and he didn't say JACK about it.

A LOT of the ' usual suspects' are SUSPECT because of theirl silence.

If a Republican had done to Barack Obama what the Clintons did, the ' usual suspects' would have been up in arms.

As it is, they were doing Marcel Marceau impersonations.

I fully expect the GOP to go after Obama with race-baiting full throttle.

But, here's the rub...

The GOP has never pretended to be THE FRIEND of the Black community.

And, the Clinton's did..but, when push came to shove, and this Uppity Negro began to beat them...

They pulled out Lee Atwater's manual and used it without abandon.

And, anyone who stands with that race-baiting heifer AFTER she's done that to Obama is SUSPECT, A TOOL, AND NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

If the shoe fits, then Tavis should wear it.

rikyrah said...

Sorry for my incorrect spellings up above.

Kim said...

@Rikyrah

That was eloquent, passionate, and on the money. I wished I said it.

I made it a pont to go to Obama's website and find out where he stands on various issues that I cared about (healthcare, the criminal justice system, the economy). Its his plan for education (in particutlar early childhood education) that hooked me.
I am a mother of a 21-month old daughter in Charleston, SC. We have no rating system here for the daycare centers, in fact we have less than 5 nationally accreditated daycare centers in the area (maybe 10 for the entire state)and its nearly impossible to get your child in one. You don't have to have a license to operate a daycare center in this state. You can apply for one and still operate a center. In 2007 the SC Department of Social Services just began to post which day care centers had fines and complaints on its website. However, its so buried within the website, it will take you forever to find it. Financially my husband and I make too much to get our daughter into head start. We've had to go by word of mouth to find suitable and safe day care. Although the center my daughter currently attends is pretty good and resonably priced, we are now looking for a child care center that isn't just a babysitting warehouse. We are looking for a place that will reinforce what we try to teach her at home when we're not working (letters, colors, etc.) Sen. Obama's zero to 5 plan which addresses the problems I mentioned above is something that is desperately needed here in SC.

I've watched SOBU every year, including this year. And as I watched it this year, I started to wonder, "Now what?" We've talked about the same issues year after year and all that seems to come out of it is another book for Tavis to sell. And when Tavis talks about holding Sen. Obama accountable, I'm wondering "accountable to what?" What issue is Sen Obama not addressing that Tavis feels he needs to address. Which of Obama's plans for the economy, health care, education, etc. that he takes issue with? Maybe I missed a few of his commentaries on Tom Joyner, but I have never heard him speak specifically about any of Sen Obamas plans for this country. I mean what exactly is his beef? I find it insulting when he says my vote for Obama is purely emotional. And if we are to hold Sen Obama accountable, well shouldn't Tavis be held accountable as well for all these conferences yet nothing much seems to come out of them, except for some great speeches (loved Dick Gregory).

Oh and did anyone catch the Wal-mart folks on the show talking about the traveling african-american related exhibit? I mean it seemed to take up an hour. Couldn't Tavis had just mentioned the exhibit and kept it moving? What is Tavis' relationship with Wal-Mart anyway? Didn't Sen. Obama point out Hillary was on the Board of Directors at one time? Oh yeah, isn't Andy Young down with Wal-Mart too? Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but hmmm....

Daudi said...

The "O" man's father was a Luo. the Jo-Luo sat on the sidelines whilst the Kikuyu Embu, and Meru (the Mau Mau Uprising) did the heavy lifting (fighting) against the British Empire in Kenya

Nsangoma, I have to call your bullshit on this too. By your logic, MLK sat on the sidelines while the Black Panthers did the heavy lifting. He spoke and he marched but that was all bullshit and had nothing to do with civil rights since he didn't kill nobody. Pio Gama Pinto, Laibon Lenana, Jaramogi Oginga, Kinjeketile, Tom Mboya, Agwings Kodhek..Achieng Oneko..Daniel Moi..all names of people who are not GEMA who had a lot to do with independence for Kenya. The British did fear the mau mau but they feared the Maasai more. That's why even though the Maasai had as much fertile land as the Kikuyu, the British were content with taking the Kikuyu land and leaving the Maasai alone. Incidentally, when Kenyatta was arrested by the British in 1952, he was not arrested as part of the Mau Mau but as part of the KAU leadership which inluded Achieng Oneko (Not Gema) Even though you intended it an an insult to the Luo and especially Obama, this is really and insult to all Kenyans..

Anonymous said...

ITA with rikyrah.

I did not watch the SBU, but according to the good people here Ms. Hillary had the unabashed gull to say "My husband apologized for slavery...". What nerve! The candidate with "35 years experience" and a friend to the Negro is as such because hey, look what my husband did. I am somewhat shocked a "you people" did not slip into the mist of that declaration. Which is why I call BS on Tavis' brand of accountability.

Anonymous said...

It's simple :

Clintons & Wal-Mart are big time buddies

Tavis needs Wal-Mart for his projects

Conclusion : potential lion's den for Obama .
+++
To many loose cannons at Tavis's event. God and only knows what might have come up had Obama been there , and God might have to hedge his bets , with Dick Gregory there- cause Dick's picnic is short a few burgers .

west coast story said...

I'm with you a 100% on this one, FN. I started to watch it on CSPAN and when I saw the usual suspects I thought "move along, nothing to see here folks." I confess that I kept dropping back in and there really was nothing there. This is not a results oriented group, it's all about talk, talk, talk. It's a chance for black folks to stomp and clap and feel like they did something for the community. Not.

There were no fresh voices, no dissenting points of view. I was amazed to find that agree more with what Michael STeele was saying because his focus was on what we are going to do for ourselves. I'm all about doing for self and all those grey heads were crying about what whitey done do us and honestly, I'm so not interestred in that anymore. Because while these folks were flapping their lips, more people were getting shot up in Oakland.

I'm glad that Tavis helps some young people. That's always a good thing. But the damn thing was 45 minutes into it and Tavis was still talking. He's a terrible moderator which is why this year sucked so badly. He needs to have Ogletree or what's her name from NPR do the moderating because Tavis is in love with the sound of his voice. His questions take five minuest to ask because he has to editorizize us to death. I'm not impressed with anyone's ego.

Anonymous said...

Just a general question here.
What's up with the people who make it a point to say that they, unlike other Black people, have supported Obama from the beginning? I admittedly did not because I felt that campaigning started way too early and these people should have been in DC doing what we pay them for. So, if I support him now, am I not a true supporter? I've read bloggers and heard my friends who are ardent Obama supporters also say this and I don't understand the purpose unless it is to convey to us johnnycomelately's that our support is not as important as yours? Just wondering.
CM

rikyrah said...

So, if I support him now, am I not a true supporter? I've read bloggers and heard my friends who are ardent Obama supporters also say this and I don't understand the purpose unless it is to convey to us johnnycomelately's that our support is not as important as yours? Just wondering

Actually, my revealing this for myself, is in the context of Tavis Smiley, who literally has been insulting Black voters as being 'so emotional ' in their support of Obama...joining an ' emotional' wave. And, if they were actually THINKING, they wouldn't be supporting Obama.

No, I was there, long before others, doing my best to convince others to join me. I'm happy as hell for all the Black support for Obama, but my pointing it out was in response to Tavis....I called other Black folks 'skeptics' who had to be won over...not 'haters' like Tavis.

elle said...

christian progressive, Smiley isn't a hater, he's a player hater.
HATER= an individual who has attained player status yet chooses to hate still
PlAYER HATER= an individual that is jealous of players, and hates on them.
Got this from the Star & Bucwild morning show.
just wanted to correct you, ain't no way Smiley is a playa, he's just another wannabe player hater.

Shazza Nakim said...

Tavis Smiley never stated that Black people should not Vote for Obama, his message is that Black people shouldn't vote for Obama BECAUSE he is Black. That is a BIG DIFFERENCE since he isn't running to be a Black President, Barak is running to become President of the US.

This election, for Black people is a tightrope between doing the right thing for the right reasons and doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

To vote for someone and NOT know the issues but say I do it because you are inspired isn't enough. Even if the person is a Good Man, there is still a degree of research and asking for commitments on the DEEPER issues that affect Black communities.

Black people have voted by inspiration in the Past and have been burned for it. To ask these type of questions isn't anti-Obama it is Pro-democracy and a reminder that the Black Vote should not be taken for granted or "expected".

Check out THE FATE OF BLACK LOYALTY part I and II for a detailed analyst on the subject.

west coast story said...

I think it is far worse to not vote for Obama because he is not black enough. Black people are demanding far more from Obama than they do from a white candidate. The frequest quote is that nothing will change for black people under Obama. Ergo, vote for Billary. That just doesn't make any sense to me. I like Obama a lot and leaned strongly in his favor from last summer. But had Chris Dodd made a better showing and been able to last in the campaign longer, I would have had a tougher choice to make.

This isn't about voting for someone just because he's black. This is about punshing someone because he's black but not quite black enough and not "one of us." He hasn't been blessed by the usual civil rights old guard. I believe that is an insufferable position to take. It seems that this old guard is afraid that a black presidency will make them irrelevant.

It's funny but I haven't heard anyone chastising women for supporting Billary because "it's our turn." Her experience is questionable. She's been an elected official for seven years. Obama has been an elected official for 11. Finally, as some talking head noted, if experience were the primary qualifier, neither Obama nor Hillary would have lasated in this campaign. The front runners would be Biden and Dodd.

Dan Morehead said...

I think Tavis is an important voice. I think Obama is an important voice. Here are Cornel West's comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXj3_pjTTwg

But, as a former student of West, I think he's more important than Tavis or Obama.

west coast story said...

I am not a Cornell West fan. Frankly, I'm not a fan of a lot of the so-called civil rights old guard. West had unkind things to say about Obama initially in a "he's not black enough" vein that said a lot about the kind of person West is. I believe black people need a whole new agenda. What I saw on CSPAN on Saturday ain't it.

Cheryl said...

I am a Tavis Smiley supporter but was some what disappointed by 2008 SOBU. I wanted to have more discussion about the priority issues in the Black community. One such issue is health care and there was little to no discussion. Please check out the lasting post about SOBU on drsmithshealthcorner.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

So you didn't bother to post Tavis' response to Obama's letter? Tavis replied that he never once received a letter, phone call or message that Obama would not be able to attend and never had knowledge Obama wanted to send his wife instead. Tavis says he still would not have accepted Mrs. Obama. Had he received that letter, I'm quite sure he wouldn't have gone off on Obama like that. Appears to me it was an indication of timing on both parts. Tavis felt dissed because he never heard back. Obama is careful of whom he associates himself with as the white vote is the key to his success. Not the black vote. He has to tread a thin line but I think he's doing a fine job of it.

bizzyb

please send responces to nubian124@yahoo.com
and i will pass them along to
bizzyb

Angie said...

I think he tries to hide his hatred but he doesn't do a good job of it. For instance, he brings people like Newt Gingrich and other republicans to bash Obama's plans for economic recovery under the guise that 'that 'Tavis is giving time to both the issues'
What is amazing to me is that he did not come down hard on Bush or his buddy Clinton when it came to these issues. I think it is pure hatred for Obama because he didn't come to his black state of the union conference. Travis is such a baby that when Obama said he would bring his wife to come, he stated that is not Good Enough!
As if he only had to answer only to him. Grow up Travis !

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