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Tavis Smiley and Cornel West Blast Obama, Again; Time for Them to Shut Up

We celebrate and protect Tavis Smiley’s and Dr. Cornel West’s right to criticize President Obama or anyone else, for that matter. But they both have thoroughly invalidated their political positions because their public discourse has been contaminated by personal animus and resentment for being allegedly  snubbed by the president.

They, along with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, cry foul because they have not been invited to play on the South Lawn with Obama’s other friends, and that’s sad.

West confirmed in a New York Times interview my previous suspicions that he is admittedly embittered because he never received a single phone call from Obama after campaigning so hard for him.

“I think he had to keep me at a distance. There’s no doubt that he didn’t want to be identified with a black leftist. But we’re talking about one phone call, man. That’s all. One private phone call.”

West also shared that it was a personal blow to his ego when Obama made former Harvard University president Larry Summers one of his first administration appointments — and this was after Summers severely lampooned West, telling him that his rap album was an “embarrassment” to the university. West left Harvard soon thereafter.

Personal is the only way to describe how West went from calling Obama his “brother, companion and comrade” during the historic 2008 campaign to labeling Obama a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs” and “black puppet of corporate” barons and saying that Obama is the “head of the American killing machine, and he is proud of it”

Here’s the thing: I happen to agree with Smiley that Obama’s record with redressing the grievances of the working class and the poor has left a lot to be desired. Obama has been particularly soft-handed with Wall Street reptiles and the banks who continue to red-line minorities in terms of loans and never really punished the financial and mortgage institutions for their serial predatory lending, all of which nearly bankrupted this country. West’s points have some validity as well.

But it is obvious that the spirit of their criticisms has been motivated by egoism, that they possess this attitude of “How dare Obama ignore my requests for a phone call and spurn my invitation” to Smiley’s defunct “State of Black America” events. Blacks recognized Smiley’s personal pettiness, which incited the ire of African Americans and led to him being run off the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”

The legitimacy of the two men’s points is polluted to such a degree that many folk can’t hear what they have to say.

terry shropshire





14 Comments

  1. rawdawgbuffalo on July 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Terry you are my folk, but you have it ass backwards here.  Can you tell me how many blacks Obama has in his inner circle or why west or Tavis or any other who takes time to read before opining has it incorrect.  It aas if black folk have to protect Obama and avoid all criticism, even if it is earned.
    I am nonplussed and take issue with the  garrulity of the overall tone of this. Fact is Obama is “a black mascot of Wall Street Oligarchs”West Statement is accurate. Even if the adjective “black” is removed from the statement, Obama would still remain a “mascot of Wall Street Oligarchs” just as all of the senators and congressional representatives within the beltway, as well all Presidents before him.Telecom executive Donald H. Gips a vice president of Colorado-based Level 3 Communications LLC, delivered more than $500,000 in contributions for the Obama campaign. After being in charge of hiring in the Obama White House, in 2009, Obama named him ambassador to South Africa. In addition Level 3 Communications, received millions of dollars of government stimulus contracts for broadband projects in six states.—though Obama vowed to end “special interests” from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, and/or won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests. Just for raising $50,000 to $500,000 for his campaign. In total, 184 of 556, or about one-third, of Obama bundlers or their spouses joined the administration in some role. In fact, 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took key administration posts. Also, President Obama’s appointment of William Daley as his chief of staff is another example. Daley was an executive at JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank that received a $12 billion bailout during the financial crisis.Former director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orzsag, for instance, resigned from his post and took a job at Citigroup. Incoming National Economic Council Chair Gene Sperling earned nearly $1 million from Goldman Sachs in 2008. Former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, for instance, in a short stint out of politics, earned reported $16.2 million working in investment banking forWasserstein Perella, now part of Dresdner Kleinwort.Moreover, I perceive this essay to be a dirigible attempt to misdirect attention from what is important for people to objectively evaluate political actions and policy, as well as advance the supposition that these people are ordained “leaders” by some amorphous corpus of out of touch people, as if we black folk are a monolithic group whom cannot think for ourselves.In summary, this type of supposition  reflects the myopia and tolerance for tedium that makes most African Americans vote for democrats without question, or even a Presidential candidate because of his race, yet won’t even read the policies they proffer.Yes the President is a mascot for the interest of a government in which a small group of people exercises control for selfish purposes. Yes, these people mainly thrive due to their involvement on Wall Street. I do not know of anyone who benefited from stimulus money. The members of his inner circle benefited from stimulus money, troubled asset relief programs and even comprise his core staff.Unlike Obama jock riders, I can see this and still believe that the Preamble of this nation reads We the People, not we the corporation; something Obama seems have to intentionally forgotten albeit an expert in constitutional law.

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

      • rawdawgbuffalo on July 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        opinion cannot be flawed, and if u want lenghthy, read breiviks manefisto or Obama’s health care bill – lol
        this aint about visits to white house, its distraction, this is much ado about nothing on the grand scheme, can we agree?

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

    • Terry on July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      My man Torrance … I enjoy a spirited, albeit profane, comment about a story I wrote. But your extremely and unnecessarily long response was fundamentally and tragically flawed in that you conveniently detoured around the entire paragraph where I agree with Tavis and Cornell’s criticisms about the president’s record on the working class and poor. Please do yourself a favor, sir, and peruse back over the story again until you locate the part where I agreed with some of the issues that Tavis and Cornell raised. Had you located it the first time, before your rage overtook your reasoning, it would have saved you an exhaustive and energy-depleted typing rampage. The President is deserving of criticism, but these two men are lampooning the prez for personal reasons, not in the interest of uplifting the minority masses. That’s my problem and I do not apologize for saying it. 

      Give us a national figure that can criticize the president from a principled position and the masses will digest it much easier than from these two charlatans who are angry because they haven’t been invited to the White House. Peace. 

  2. SugaBeezyBaby!!! on July 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I wonder if they will endorse a white candidate, and if they do endorse him, what will be his position on the BLACK AGENDA? My guess is he will tell them to kick rock’s. This is crab’s in a barrel to the 16th power. These Niggggggggazzzzz loved the prez during the election,,,,, was he not giving them enough attention? Newzflash, when it comes to BLACK AMERICAN’S ,,,,UNITED WE CAN STAND, BUT ONCE WE ARE DIVIDED WE WILL QUICKLY FALL. Blackthoughtzzz!!!!

    • Justsaying on July 29, 2011 at 3:52 am

      Incorrect,
      we are the only race who does not stand UNITED. Because of this division we
      fell long time ago. What can the president actually do for the blacks and the
      working poor. The gays wanted the repeal and they got it. Sure, the Hispanic
      wanted the legal citizenship for immigrants already in the US; they have an agenda. So what do we
      want? Right. We have no collective agenda. We were so unprepared for the first
      black president that we don’t know what to ask for. Our race is broken in
      soooooo many pieces that a black president can’t help. It’s an undoing that’s
      been going on for a long time with poor local leadership, a crab mentality at ALL levels, and a sell out of the inner
      cities from our leadership long time ago. How can Obama fix that shit? We are
      always looking for someone to blame other than looking at what we can do to fix
      our communities. The only time we stood collectively for something is when the
      KKK was kicking our ass and the Jim Crow Laws were stunting our economic
      growth. We had a national and unified agenda and were moving forward like
      soldiers; Then came crack and rap music. (Lol I got that from Chris Rock).
      Seriously, I enjoyed reading the article because it made a lot of good points.
      If  you are going to criticize the
      President have a valid point and a solution or recommendation as to how he can
      help the black unemployment. There are successful black own business that are
      hiring non-blacks before they consider an unemployed black person. Just saying;
      our condition is way beyond Obama’s magic wand. The best he can do is what the
      other’s presidents have done. Pour free money into the community so we can
      further become handicap. This federal money never reaches the masses. Obama
      knows it like every other independent thinking black American; there is a clog
      in the pipe. So don’t blame him, but do criticize and have some suggestions.  Make sure before you criticize, be a
      registered voter and vote. When you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice.

  3. missmaybell on July 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I would appreciate their effort if it was that! The basis for their complaints are President Obama is Not looking out for the Black Community. Well, what are they wasting time for what can they do???? Before many even knew who President Obama is they were on the scene, collecting money and publishing books that were sold. No One has accounted for where those dollars went.If they know how, what and why these problems exist and they can solve them Please please do that—HELP the Black Community. “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”! All they do go to any person to complain No action on their part either. If your preference is any ‘White’ President is better than Obama go with that. For eons Blacks have been divided due to the house and field categories.The way they complain is accustom to someone saying the house is on Fire yet waiting for someone else to put out the flames. Just complaining forever is like that. All 3 yrs they have complained, what have they done to make a difference?????

  4. missmaybell on July 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I would appreciate their effort if it was that! The basis for their complaints are President Obama is Not looking out for the Black Community. Well, what are they wasting time for what can they do???? Before many even knew who President Obama is they were on the scene, collecting money and publishing books that were sold. No One has accounted for where those dollars went.If they know how, what and why these problems exist and they can solve them Please please do that—HELP the Black Community. “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”! All they do go to any person to complain No action on their part either. If your preference is any ‘White’ President is better than Obama go with that. For eons Blacks have been divided due to the house and field categories.The way they complain is accustom to someone saying the house is on Fire yet waiting for someone else to put out the flames. Just complaining forever is like that. All 3 yrs they have complained, what have they done to make a difference?????

  5. JAYNE DOH!. on July 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

    what are Cornel and Tavis doing for the “black community”
    it  seems to me all they are doing is just flapping their gums.

  6. Karmabytch on September 13, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I am so tired of these 2 phuckery boys opening their mouths and insulting our President.  You didn’t see these house niccas this vocal when any other white President was in office.  I don’t feel like taking up all this time with meaning less rhetoric like these 2 phuck boys.  I will say this, Corny Cornell & Whiny Tavis need to really get themselves together.  Neither one of them have done anything but try to find a spotlight to keep on themselves.  They are jealous and showing truly how they will sell outs to get attention & money.  Go do something meaningful & that really help someone other than yourself.  House niccas!  WHAT!!!!  I’m ready for the fight!!!!