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Tavis Smiley slams President Obama’s Trayvon Martin address

Tavis Smiley - Obama Cover

This past Friday, President Barack Obama gave a deeply personal address about the George Zimmerman verdict and the death of Trayvon Martin. And although many applauded the president for sharing his thoughts on Martin’s death, TV personality Tavis Smiley recently criticized the president, saying he only gave the address because he felt pressured to.

“I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium,” Smiley said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” yesterday.

According to The Grio, however, an administrative source claims that Obama spent several days after Zimmerman’s acquittal in intense conversations with friends and family about the case. By last Thursday, Obama decided to speak to the nation about his thoughts, resulting in the impromptu address.

However, Smiley claims that didn’t do enough for his national audience, when Obama “left the podium, he still had not answered the most important question, that Kingian question, where do we go from here? That question this morning remains unanswered, at least from the perspective of the president. And the bottom line is, this is not Libya. This is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind. What’s lacking in this moment is moral leadership. The country is begging for it. They’re craving it.”

Smiley challenged Obama’s claims that politicians might not be the best people to lead a national discussion on race, and claimed that Obama is just the right politician for the job.

“I disagree with the president, respectfully, that politicians, elected officials, can’t occupy this space on race. Truman did, Johnson did, President Obama did. He’s the right person in the right place at the right time, but he has to step into his moment. I don’t want him to be like Bill Clinton, when he’s out of office, regretting that he didn’t move on Rwanda. I don’t want the president to look back and realize he didn’t do as much as he could have in this critical moment.”

Well, Smiley certainly isn’t the first person to challenge the president. Check out some other major Obama critics below. –nicholas robinson


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  1. VLF on July 25, 2013 at 6:05 am

    White Republicans want to go back to the good old days in America which is why Tavis mentioned ex presidents Truman and Johnson. They constantly had racial based agendas. However as soon as a black person in America has a racial agenda we are accused of using slavery as a crutch despite the hundreds of years of a head start generations of whites have. In terms of equality there isn’t any when blacks weren’t given an equal oppurtunity for so long. Even after building so much wealth for innumerable masters, industries, economies and countries we still were systematically crippled via laws and policies written for black people. Those are race based agendas. That is why slavery has a long term effect because unlike any other human trafficking there are laws and future agendas put in place by governments to devolve generations of blacks…thats the difference. If whites want blacks to be devoid of “excuses” now that Obama has arrived then they need to acknowledge that (A) throughout the years there have been many qualified blacks to run the country and (B) because of the aforementioned head start, voting wasn’t a right blacks were born with. Blacks had to fight for that right and can never fathom how it must feel to wake up knowing that you’re fore fathers were born with rights.

    • Jasper Jamieson on July 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Times a comin fo yous to get off that Mercedes Benz VLF.
      First, Obama canno speak for us, since he’s half white! Neva understood ol’ salt and peppa sayin’s he’s black. Jus nother imposta for those dummies. Second, you be thinkin that all whites had it all good? Been some that were without rights fer centuries and did someting. Gotta listen to ol’ Bill Cosby when he said “stop using that crutch.” Gotta stnad up with our white brothas and sistas and join with them to make a better tomorrow.
      You got the sounds of some Zionist conspiracies. Grow up, get outta that basement from your pa and get educated.
      Ol’ Jasper here aint’ the smartest pen in the shelf, but I learn, and don’t disappoint myself.

  2. CokeRun69 on July 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Tavis always keeps it real.BAMA is another CFR puppet with the U.N fist up his ass! holla at me TAV!!!!!!!