Tavis Smiley concludes Blacks have ‘lost ground’ with President Obama in office

Photo source: HuffPost Live via screenshot

Photo source: HuffPost Live via screenshot

As President Barack Obama’s final term is wrapping up, his critics are coming out of the woodwork to discuss his high and low points in office. Talk show host Tavis Smiley recently stopped by HuffPost Live to explain why he’s less than pleased with Black America’s economic standing under Obama.

“Sadly, and it pains me to say this, over the last decade Black folk, in the era of Obama have lost ground in every major economic category,” Smiley said. “Not one, two or three [categories], but every major economic category, Black Americans have lost ground.”

He mentioned that even after the economic hardships and police brutality that African Americans have faced over the past decade, Black people have refused to turn their backs on President Obama.

“Although Black folk have caught the most h— in the last 10 years, including being shot and killed in the streets by cops who keep getting away with that…Black people are still the most optimistic people, they’re still the most hopeful about their future. That has a lot to do with our faith, with our belief in each other, with our love for Barack Obama,” he remarked.

“We’ve been so caught up in the symbolism of the Obama presidency, we haven’t pressed as hard as we should on the substance of this presidency,” Smiley continued. “Black people and Black leaders have been too deferential to this president…because they know he was being piled on by the Republicans. They saw the obstructionism. They saw the name calling…the death threat…stuff that never happened with White presidents. So there’s a skepticism, if not a cynicism, about what’s happened to this president on his watch.”

Do you agree with Tavis Smiley’s point of view on Obama?

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Comments

  • Jason
    January 16, 2016

    Tavis is correct, and many Blacks know this deep down. Could any Black person have predicted that white males would walk again and again after shooting / killing unarmed Black people in the streets? Black men, women and children have all been targets of these race soldier cops. Even ANOTHER black AG in Washington has not curbed the violence against black people under this Pres.

    • lottogirl846
      January 16, 2016

      I’m not sure what President Obama could have done without the help of Congress and, even then, racism is really hard to “curb”.

      • Marcos
        January 17, 2016

        Where do I start. First of all under Obamacare it’s the working poor who have been hurt the most by it. Even NY Times wrote a scathing 3 page article on that a couple of weeks ago. Second, unemployment in the black community is @ 20% among males age 18-29. And no one really likes to talk abt the epidemic of black on black crime in the inner cities. Especially in Chicago, Obamas hometown. Not sure Tavis even mentioned any of this. And now, we’re gonna elect this old white woman to solve these problems. Yeah right.

        • Nigg_Newton
          January 17, 2016

          Trump 2016!

          Obama failed us and broke my HEART!

          • Jason
            January 18, 2016

            Can’t roll with you on this one, and I believe Trump is a diversion to get Black folks to RUN to the voting booth.

          • Nigg_Newton
            January 18, 2016

            We should be VOTING regardless.

            We need a FIGHTER for BLACK AMERICA…

            Hispanics need to GO. They are not our FRIEND and there is — NO COALITION of Black And BROWN.

          • Jason
            January 18, 2016

            Why vote IF that vote does not benefit us? These politicians go hard for every other interest group (Gays, Hispanics, etc.), but they do the Nae-Nae when they come around us. WTF? Black folks need to stop dancing and get serious about our condition. Voting is about quid-pro-quo not just liking someone because they TALK about issues we deem important.

          • Nigg_Newton
            January 18, 2016

            Donald TRUMP, just told you HE WAS GOING TO rid America of Illegal Hispanics…what more do you need to HEAR!

            Get your BUTT out the seat and register and VOTE!

          • Jason
            January 18, 2016

            You think “illegal” Hispanics are the worry of Black people? What jobs are they taking that you want? Are there any? H1B Visas take more high paying jobs than you can imagine. H1Bs are mainly in IT, and they are making $100k(some exceptions) a year easily for the most part these days. Picking on the Hispanics is a trick used by corporate america to get us to look the other way while they flood the “good” jobs with foreigners.

            Still waiting hear what Trump or any of the others will do for Black people. This does not mean the “rising tide floats all boats” approach to dealing with black people.

          • Nigg_Newton
            January 18, 2016

            Yeah they are a problem. Here is why!

            Example 1:

            Hispanics come here and work in Landscaping, Construction, and Hospitality! They start at the bottom, then become supervisor, then manager, and then OWNER! (All while not hiring BLACK workers only other Hispanics.)

            Example 2:

            Once Hispanics gain economic power they bring all their family and PUSH OUT BLACKS! Just look at (South Florida, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Dallas, etc.) Name me ONE MAJOR CITY with a high Black Population that has benefited from a large influx of illegal Hispanics.

            Just name me ONE City!

            Hispanics have SURPASSED BLACKS! We are now 4th Class Citizens in our own America!

          • Jason
            January 18, 2016

            Agreed, but I think if it isn’t the Hispanics – it will be someone else. Blacks have to get building, owning and controlling if the state of Black people in the world is to improve. Maybe Blacks should follow the example of the Hispanics.

          • Cee jay
            January 20, 2016

            We should have been leading and showing them the way. Our problems are not because of the Hispanics or any other group. We are own worse enemy. We don’t trust or embrace each other our endeavors. We are riddled with self doubt and live under a cloud of defeat.

          • Cee jay
            January 20, 2016

            And whose fault is that?

          • Nigg_Newton
            January 20, 2016

            It doesn’t matter who’s at fault…IT’S HURTING BLACKS and our Black Neighborhoods.

            Do you not understand as a BLACK PERSON you are literally being RUN OUT of America!!!

            When the JOBS are gone. White America is going kindly put you in a CAGE “aka” Prison.

          • teb
            January 24, 2016

            I had to pipe in and agree to this. I hear these stories all the time. Also the foreigners are taking a lot of the IT jobs… They are sending more and more IT jobs OFF SHORE! It’s a shame to see all this happening and no one is going to do anything about it. Including Trump. He’s all hype just like the rest of them. Congress is not going to pass anything he is proposing…

          • Ladylanita
            January 26, 2016

            You’re conversing with a troll, Jason. Don’t even waster your energy.

          • Sir, you talking like BLACK FOLKS are supervisors and managers. Those jobs are going to WHITES and now Hispanics.

            YOU don’t know but illegals and Hispanics are taking ALL THE JOBS…here are the categories.

            1. Agriculture

            2. Construction

            3. Hospitality

            4. Landscaping

            5. Small Engine Repair

            NOW please stop spreading lies. Just those (5) Five areas would improve Black America…

            REMEMBER — Less illegals = More Jobs, Opportunities, Educational Dollars, and Welfare for Black America.

            We cannot continue to let illegals steal our American Dream and American Pie.

            Vote TRUMP…

            Get your FREE MONEY at http://www.SweetDeels()com

          • Jason
            April 12, 2016

            Black folks are not blocked from cutting grass. Blacks need to forget Mexicans and compete with the Asians & Whites in the business of Tech. Time to drop the small minded thinking and get with the real $$$$.

          • Cee jay
            January 20, 2016

            Donald Trump can’t do a damn thing but talk sh**.There is a body called congress that will keep his a body’s in check. Without them,he will be an ineffective loudmouth with empty promises.

          • Nigg_Newton
            January 20, 2016

            That BODY you are talking about is Republican and so is the PRESIDENT.

            Dang you are dumb.

        • lottogirl846
          January 17, 2016

          Marcos – The Economic Policy Institute put unemployment among black high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 20 at 29.7 percent as of last March; a number that was down from a high of 42 percent in August 2011.

          • Larry
            January 17, 2016

            Well ok, I think that was point Marcos was makin. So where’s Obama been while unemployment in our community is at record levels. He been on the golf course or vacationing in Hawaii. That’s where. How u even defend his weak leadership is beyond me.

          • Yuhknopaboutwapt
            January 21, 2016

            How was his presidency weak? Weak as in trying to get bills passed but having those polices rejected by congress north of 115 times – the most in presidential history, even at that time – and those numbers were estimated weeks prior to his re-election in 2012 – four years ago. What on God’s green earth must one be proposing to get rejected that many times? Oh, yeah and the republicans found a way to block senate democrat bill proposals which then infuriated voters for whom thought the left were unequipped to run the senate and led to an overwhelming Republican takeover – not because Democrats were ineffective in their duties. So now you have a president who obviously is dealing with a great wall of obstructionism and was able to get GM back on track after 5 years, slash gas prices to the lowest its been in close to a decade, providing health insurance for all economic classes and having a very high enrollment rate, as well as cutting unemployment to 5 percent (according to numbers provided as recent as Dec. 2015), all the while trying to coexist with a party who doesn’t even want to sit in the same room as him for a simple meeting for which Obama has advocated publicly on numerous occasions during his presidency but has been denied because Republican reps. don’t want to appear fragile in the eyes of the Tea Party. And this President is the one who is weak? Well, Speaker Ryan described Obama as having a successful second run. Republican speaker Paul Ryan. But what ultimately gets me is that a party such as the right can say that a president is weak when the last president left the country nearly teetering on the brink of yet another great depression. That is truly unfathomable. And by the way, Obama isn’t even top 3 in terms of presidents who took the most vacations. You need to check who the top president take the most vacations.

      • Jason
        January 18, 2016

        He could have used his pen to make things “right”. You have grandmothers shot up in a church while worshipping, and the Pres comes and sings and tells us to “wait on the Lord”? Bullcrap. He should have had HIS Justice Dept shut down that entire state. I guess this is what Blacks get for voting just to vote. I for one – will NOT be voting this year unless there is a candidate with a SPECIFIC agenda for blacks.

  • shellyTheGreat
    January 18, 2016

    tavis is probably right, BUT i think he’s also still mad that obama didn’t go to the state of the black union back in the day.

    • Nigg_Newton
      January 18, 2016

      But that makes no difference in the TRUTH…

      Obama FAILED BLACK AMERICA!!!

      • WHaleWillie
        January 26, 2016

        NN, cum ova an’ sit on WIllie’s lap. I’se keep tellin’ ya, put da hositlity aside an’ start ridin’ da wild WIllie. I’se make sho’ you get all d’em holes filled.

        WHy y’all supris’d ’bout UNcle OReo ‘Bama. Y’All ‘spected him ta be da next BLack JEsus. INstead, he be takin’ car rides wit’ casper kike JErry SIenfeld. DUnnno ’bout TRump, but would love ta take one one o’ his ex wife o’ daughta. GEtitin’ a damn pant tent tinkin’ ’bout it.

        IF CHris ROck be ’round, he be shakin’ his head at all d’is. CHris once gots inta fight wi’ TAvis SMiley. HE be reachin’ his GRimace size hands inta take da last MCnugget at MIckey Dees. CHris smak him so hard, his teet’ go flyin’ cross the way ta OPrah’s BIg MAc. I’se miss CHris. WHy dont d’ey bring him back instead d’em XFile! LOoksee, I’se just wizz’d on da flo’ an’ made an X

      • Trevor M Wilson
        January 26, 2016

        WOMAN, YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TO SHADDUP ALREADY. GOD ALL YOU DO IS FIGHT ON THIS SITE. DO YOU NOT HAVE ANYTHING POSITIVE TO SAY?

  • Karim Armstrong
    January 18, 2016

    What Travis is saying is 100% factually correct. Obama failed blacks in total. If he waa facing stiff opposition how come he managed to push obamacare, iran deal, pacific treaty, gay issues, immigration exec utive order but when it comes to black issues excuse after excuse….point at the white man… .smh. A big 200 year disappointment…!

    • Cee jay
      January 20, 2016

      Blacks have failed themselves. We became too complacent, acting if we had arrived and had the world by the balls. The struggles of the civil rights era gave us a leg up an opportunity to go places where many of our ancestors never dreamed of. We blew it,didn’t take advantage of this. Our priorities wear placed on items of short term gratification. Any person of color who does not at least finish high school and some sort of post secondary education or technological training, will be hard to compete in today’s ever changing employment environment. Stop blaming “the man” and President Obama for your failures. Get up off your asses and strive take a change in your lives.This is not a post racial society. Racism is alive and well. It was lying in dormancy until President Obama was elected,not once but twice. Majority white America hates him and openly let it be known at every turn. Majority lead congress and its leaders have refused to work with him blocking any and everything he supports and want for the citizens. The President cannot and does not govern alone.It takes all branches to work in conjunction with each other. Also,congress holds the checkbooks. ACA isn’t the worse legislation passed and hasn’t hurt each person that has it. Would you rather have the uninsured show up the ERs for care and pass the costs on to taxpayers. Wake up Black America, Obama is the president of all Americans. Tavis Smiley knows this.He should use his platform to encourage people of color and not just to sell books and keep himself relevant. I’m disappointed in him!

  • Ken
    January 21, 2016

    Oh please Tavis is so full of it . Obama has been in office 7 years and they knew he was running for two years before that . How many of these so called black leaders have been able to come up with any sort of comprehensive legislation plan that would help blacks .They have had 9 years and still have not brought anything to the table.

    Obama hasn’t failed black people blacks have failed themselves There is an entire generation who value nothing but Jordans ,weed ,and bling and you have people looking for the government to come in and clean up after them . Its time for people to start taking responsibility for themselves and these kids they are pushing out

    Unemployment is high because you have a generation who want to get high and still have a job but also want to not graduate hs or go to college and then feel they should be able to get high and make 20 dollars a hour working part time at mcdonalds . Obama has made it easier to get money for school and for young people to have the opportunity to better themselves if they so choose .

    The question is why are so many not choosing to do so ?

  • britishrosee
    August 30, 2017

    he is spot on , president obama cross the race barrier , thats all he made non racist whites show respect the way they couldnt before. people have a right to not be a racist , and white pressure is on if your a white college student and your parents are racist you have to be too is precieved , which keeps the racist train rolling ..obama just made america understand its all of our country not just whites in power . travis is stating it in a radical manner , but he means well , he is right obama made us relax , cause we had proven a black man can have power , but obama didnt use that power correctly he was caught up in not being bashed at the end of the race. he still lost cause people are angery he didnt do much for blacks but tried to pass a law to keep mexican in america? trump is doing the obset for a reason to show whites he is no nonsense and dont have to do what obama did, or didnt do . . trump is a racist because he has displayed division of races , which make obama the peace maker ,well american dont want no peace maker president . period .
    and whites and blacks are glad he left office . i like the man obama is i dont care what he did in office he had a presidencystaute about him . modest ,sharp, friendly . but he was a puppet to republicans whom makle up the senate and supreme courts so there is the answer obama did what he could do and what he was demanded by congress

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