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Cornel West, Tavis Smiley: Respect and consequences or political bullies?

tavis-smiley-cornel-west1There are always bullies in the midst of a movement. Traitors of a cause. The anti-progressive. The misinformed who push to diminish the black voice of justice. Thank you Cornel West. Thank you Tavis Smiley. Thank you to all those who’ve figured out how to climb their way to the top while stepping on others. Specifically, President Barack Obama.

It is the American right to freedom of expression. Taking advantage of this right these bullies, in all their audaciousness, compared the leader of our nation to an accused murderer. These black men with shared lineage and experiences of being a black in America, compared the President to George Zimmerman. In these instances, it is necessary to understand what the ramifications will be for the future. It will give the naysayers ammunition: “Look at how they tear down their own.” Negativity is contagious and their disrespect for the President and his position has now given others the green light to follow suit. They have besmirched his legacy, his work, his efforts. Attacking him is attacking a whole community.

President Obama is a married man with children, should he attack Tavis for not being married with children? It’s easy to throw stones at a house when you couldn’t even build one of your own. President Obama could attack but he won’t and he wouldn’t because he’s not that type of man. President Obama knows his brother isn’t his enemy. He knows the easiest way to shut down a bully is to let him ruin himself.

President Obama stood in front of the nation as a black man who was moved by the tragedy that could’ve been him or others like him. Unlike Tavis and Cornel, he took his fame as an opportunity of reflection and gave a calming word to those angered by the decision, reassuring those who had elected him that the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still hold true — the only thing as contagious has hate is love.

For whatever the opinions of “the bullies,” they offered no solution, no saving grace to the issue. They offered nothing other than what they have been spoon fed and hate.


  1. kYmberly Keeton on July 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Checkmate! Loved this.

  2. Jdot on August 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Cornel West’s statements drew a parallel between Obama and Zimmerman, by stating that it is criminal to rationalize the killing of innocent children, without trial, in the name of self-defense, which is what has happened with the killing of Trayvon Martin, as well as Obama’s drone program. I may not be “fan” of Cornel West, and I do not keep up with everything he says, but I think he has a point. With this parallel, he question’s the President’s moral stance on the issue. It would be hard sell for me to believe that West’s statements come from a place of total irrationality, and that he’s just “hating”, or being “negative”. It is a very hard critique, I admit, and because President Obama is Black, there is certain tendency to dismiss any sort of critical statements or disagreements directed towards the President or any of the administration’s policies, because he is Black. President Obama may be black, but under the microscope, he is a politician with an agenda, much like the others before him. Seeing a parallel between a socio-judicial agenda, and a political one, West simply spoke on it.