Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley over Barack Obama and a Black Agenda

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton got into a spirited back and forth with TV talk show host Tavis Smiley on his radio show on Monday Feb 23 2010.. The dispute was over President Obama and whether or not he was going to have a Black Agenda.
Tavis felt Sharpton and Charles Olgetree who was also on the phone weren’t pressing Obama enough.. Sharpton felt Tavis was off the mark for his approach and accused him of ‘distorting their words…I gotta be honest alot of this felt like egos got in the way.. It felt like a case of hurt pride and postering for the sake of being the HNIC.. Take a listen and lemme know what you think…Hopefully both men will show leadership and set an example for others in the community on how you can have a blow up and still get along and show genuine love..This could’ve been handled off the air..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csEsz8sHFyU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yilCZwefX3s

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

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Comments

  1. The whole discuusion is a non-issue. I can’t understand why all the talk about it. The real issue that is being lost in the discussion is the needs, i.e., jobs, business support, foreclosure remedies, and food for the Black community. Who appointed Al Sharpton or Tavis Smiley as leaders. Just because someone has a media platform, high visibility in the media or celebrity status/fame doesn’t make them a leader for any group.

  2. I agree with Adekunle that the discussion between Al & Tavis is a non-issue. Both men have done some good in the Black community and are considered leaders by some only because they have stepped up and put actions behind the words while the majority just sits back and hopes for someone else to handle everything for them.

    If this was front page main stream news, Blacks would be complaining that whites are trying to divert our attention from the real issues. Double standard???

  3. First of all, when did Blacks in America hold a plebiscite and nominate Al Sharpton or any of these other negroes as “the leaders” of Black America? Because evidently I didn’t get the memo. As far as I’m concerned Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and those other self-serving “civil rights hustlers” don’t give a damn about the average Black man or woman in this country and are only interested in enriching their own bank accounts,ie…Faith Based Initiatives.

    Lastly, although I have my suspicions of Tavis Smiley, I think Tavis is correct concerning pushing Obama on a “Black Agenda”. The Democratic Party consist of competing interest groups, Blacks being one of them. Black people overwhelmingly vote Democrat (much to our detriment) and over 95% of us voted for Obama in the ’08 presidential election. Yet Obama and the Democrats have been mute concerning chronic unemployment among Blacks, the disproportionate foreclosure rate among Blacks or providing universal healthcare for all American citizens.Conversely, Obama and the Democrats have provided outreach to Hispanics, women and the LGBT communities concerning their interest because these groups play to win. It’s time to get in the game Black people!

    To quote Fredrick Douglas “Power concedes nothing without a demand”.

    • I think we need to be honest in accessing leadership.. Who choose Sharpton and Tavis.. we did.. We listen to their shows, we go to their rallies and 9times out of 10 we don’t object to them speaking on our behalf on issues of concern.. As result they get asked to speak on our behalf in other arenas.. President Obama recognized them as leaders.. He didn’t call you or me to go discuss policies at the white house..he called Sharpton and probably would’ve called Tavis had he not been pushing him.. Thats what made them leaders at least in this situation.. we haven’t rejected them like we do Michael Steele or Clarence Thomas..

  4. Tavis is right we black leaders are giving the president a pass we are Americans too, the president should address our issues.

  5. With all due respect Dave, speak for yourself because I don’t listen to Al Sharpton’s radio show nor have I EVER attended one of his rallies,ie…photo ops. I think Sharpton and those of his ilk have been hand picked and are financed by the status quo to act as leaders over the masses of Black people much the same way so-called leaders are hand picked by the Western Powers in developing countries to suit the status quo’s own ends.

    • No Talib.. u misunderstood my point.. the question is who made him a leader?? Who made him a leader are the people that recognize him as such.. The people who listen to his shows, go to his rallies, etc etc.. Thats what made him leader.. Does that mean he has say so over what u do? probably not.. but to the degree that Sharpton’s take on an issue in the eyes of people who make decisions can have influence makes him a leader be default..
      If Sharpton gets on the radio and says police brutality is over.. to the degree that actual funding and policies couls happen on his assesment means we would have hardtime countering that..
      Is he hand picked and propped up by outside forces.. maybe maybe not.. The ultimate test comes from the relationship he has or doesn’t have with the community… For example, there was no way Sharpton could come to oakland and be involved with the Oscar grant case.. Way too many activist with stronger ties to the community.. hence when his name was suggested the community said.. thanks but no thanks.. They had other leaders in mind they wanted to roll with…In other places Sharpton would’ve been welcomed..

      So when i say WE.. I mean us as a collective body of people.. We choose him..

  6. Both of these dudes are egomaniacal.

    But for the record, if a leader were to follow the “Human Agenda” – which would be to insure that all humans were treated equally (simply put) – then there would not be a need for a “Black Agenda.”

    Secondly, I think that most of us can agree that many of the people in the black community voted for Obama because they believed that he could identify with the “blackplight”, and would work to rectify the imbalance…to which there have been no signs of such efforts; hence the debate.

    Now, as it relates to “ballyhooing” – which literally means “to advertise or publicize by sensational methods” – I agree with Sharpton. The President does not need to sensationally focus on the black community – much like he is currently doing for the rich community – because it is unfair and in direct contrast to what a President of a multi-cultural society is supposed to represent. He can’t be a “black” president. but rather, a President who is black…..which by the word “president” I am speaking ideally.

    However, he does have an obligation to focus on those most impacted and/or disenfranchized if he is to really uphold what the Constitution “used” to stand for….liberty and justice for ALL. And who would deny that “liberty and justice for all” does NOT exist in the U.S. of A? And I think that this is what Smiley is saying; that there are fundamentals that have been systematically made unavailable to the minority communities to prevent them from playing on an even field, and as president, he should offer special focus to these areas.

    Again, it’s semantics.

  7. Marion Berry says:

    First of all I can not believe the number of times Michael B. played this conversation on his show today! Michael B. what was your point? It was as if you were attempting to aggravate the situation even further – STOP IT!
    Second of all, both men need to display maturity for the positions they both have in the community not just the “black” community! Both of you have a number of individuals who respect you and to openly display this type of behavior is totally unacceptable.
    In terms of the contents of the conversation (argument), neither one of you were on point. You both need to remove your egos then address the issue in a manner which shows that you both are well educated and well versed individuals!
    Get together privately, have a “come to Jesus” discussion, make up! Then show up in public with a UNITED front !
    “FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT”

  8. Lynn Morales says:

    This is a dog on shame. Both of them should be ashamed, especially Rev. Al. I totally disagree with Tavis on his views on the President, but Rev. Al was pure ghetto here.

  9. stephen jones says:

    It is very strange that Mr. Sharpton has forgotten his own words. I have heard him say flat out that President Obama owes the black community nothing. Like the saying goes: if you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance then baffle them with your bull shit. President Obama has been a complete disappointment to me a black man. It looks as though he may be able to redeem himself, if he can get a meaningful public option passed that will put him back on even par with me. Of all the participants in this conversation it is clear to me that Mr. Smiley should be our President. It has only been one year so lets wait and give President Obama another year and then start to make our decisions.

  10. I just hate to see two of our best brothers going at it in public.
    Both Tavis and Rev Al are right and both are wrong.
    Tavis should of called Rev All before he responded on air and should not of responded on something written in a socalled mainstream newspaper, and he is right to challange Obama on the many things hes not doing for us. Al is wrong for taking offense like he did on air with Tavis, and hes right to defend his position of went down with him and the leaders who met with Obama.
    At the root of this is Obama. I didnt vote for him, I know he did nothing in Chicago and hes done nothing as president for black folk. He sounds good , and looks good, got a nice family, but he is not really from our tradition. He has been whipped up by the white media for us to admire, and he minds the store while the same stuff still goes on.
    I hear some people say some bad things about Tavis and i think its not fair. He has been consistant, he has not changed that much through the years and I think we should back him on his position about Obama.
    Obama is the biggest con job ever pulled on black folk. While Tavis has always been there for us, visible and out front, Obama was invisible. In Chicago, he would show up for the concerts, but was never a part of anythiing black that I knew about. Politicans like Gus Savage,Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, Dorthy Tillman were all visible and always helping Obama was never around, but was in Chicago. I dont want to down a brother, and I know that alot of people are convinced that he is the second coming himself. But show me evidence now and in his past where he is deserving of any praise. Because CNN says hes great? Tavis, you are right and you know this brother was never around and never a part of anything black from the time you were at BET, through all of your State of the Black Union events. Obama is a fraud.
    And I know you cant say it publicly.

  11. BrooklynGirl says:

    I wonder how many of you who are are pushing the PRESIDENT OF THE USA needs to engage in a “black agenda” is going to feel when the first Hispanic president, Jewish president, Asian president is elected. Can I assume that you’ll all be okay when those presidents push their “_________ agenda”.

    Get a grip people……you’re probably the same people who were whining when Bush catered to his “wealthy base” and ignored the plight of the middle and lower case. This BS is setting a TERRIBLE precedence….the president is elected to govern the entire nation. Black people aren’t the reason Obama was elected…..WHITE YOUNGER VOTES are the reason Obama was elected…..do you see them pushing a “Frat Boy agenda”?

    And Tavis…really honey? It’s time to STFU…..he’s never gotten over the fact that Hillary lost and he started his “personal” attacks on the president before he was even inaugurated.

  12. I agree with Sharpton, this time. Tavis has given a negative view of President OBAMA every since he’s been in office. This man doesn’t have time to deal with “Black Agendas” in the middle of 2 wars, healthcare reform and Republicans beating him down for every choice he makes…….COME ON BLACK PEOPLE. Put your own pride aside for a second and let the man handle mainstream issues (which are also our issues). He can never come right out and say “OK, I’m gonna deal with the BLACK AGENDA first” Just because he doesn’t say I’m gonna help BLACK FOLKS don’t mean he’s not tryin to do it i.e. unemployment extension, education and healthcare, they all affect Black folk and are part of his agenda. We cannot expect him to seperate ourselves from mainstream America so bluntly.

  13. This is so typical of the rhetoric among blacks across this nation. As many have already indicated these men (notice I didn’t say gentlemen) have lost sight of the issues facing today’s AMERICAN Communities. It is not longer a black & white thing. We have all been affected by what the politicians WE voted into office have done. it is time for all AMERICANS to come together and take a stand.

    Past administrations have had their own private agendas based on their needs or the needs of their friends (can anyone say Haliburton or Bechtel??). President Obama’s agenda should be that of and for the AMERICAN PEOPLE. Until all people in this country are recognized as AMERICAN racism will be in your face. Until people educate themselves and their children racism will bein your face. Until AMERICANS stand up and say NO MORE racism will always be part of our lives and this countries political fabric.

    Al & Tavis…get off your high horses and get back to what’s important….THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!

  14. Jeffriggs@gmail.com says:

    Of course there needs to be a “black agenda’. All politics is local. The Jews, Latinos, Whites Women, Gays, etc. all have personal agendas. If they had our attitude we would not hear about ‘Don’t ask don’t tell. or the upcoming Immigration debate.
    Those are agendas pushed by specific groups. The Black agenda has benefited America in the past. (Civil rights movement) To quote Obama.” A rising tide lift all boats”
    Because of the civil rights movement all minority groups have benefited. The things we ask are not unreasonable.

    This is the Kennedy qoute that Obama misused

    “My dream has always been to make the poor richer, not to make the rich poorer. And, in fact, it is an added bonus if the rich get richer while the poor get richer, as well.

    “No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is made better off. A rising tide raises all boats.”

  15. I agree with Sharpton. He has always been there for blacks. He has always advocated for us. Tavis Smiley on the other hand lost credibility when he supported Clinton over Obama. Any thinking person understands that Obama is no superhuman and cannot repair unemployment, end two wars, and fix healthcare in a year. He gets no support from Republicans who have wanted him to fail from day one.They are bending over backwards to make sure nothing gets down so Obama will be labeled as an “empty suit.” Instead of attacking Obama, we need to have some understanding.

  16. I never like to see Black public figures go at it either, but at the same time they are people with regular feelings just like the rest of us. Tavis took a swipe at Al, Al took offense (understandably), and Tavis got ethered. Tavis has been mad at the president ever since Obama didn’t show up to Tavis’ little forum during the campaign season. Tavis has a right to raise his questions, but Al made a good point: Tavis is far from an objective facilitator when it comes to the president. Regardless, both men would do well to remind themselves that the sun doesn’t rise and set on they ass. Say you want about Obama — because of him, my kids will grow up in a world where a Black person can be president. Through that feat alone, he’s done more for Black people than most.

  17. Are yall crazy, the man is doing things for the Black Community. He is about to sign a bill for 85 million dollars for HBCUs for each year for 10 years. Are yall niggas crazy, the man has to be the president of the United States not black people.

  18. Barack Obama is President of the United States…. UNITED means ALL folks, not just Black folks. Get real Tavis. Are you a secret agent for Beck and his cronies who would love to see our President’s political demise? I am disappointed that Smiley hasn’t thought this through. Hmmmm…. what blinds him?

  19. Sharpton is a leader in some peoples minds.
    Ask Alton Maddox jr. about Al Sharpton today vs 25 years ago, negreos change, but still are held up as leaders.

  20. Amen leslie! Negroes have short memories. Isn’t it interesting that both Maddox and Sharpton were involved in the Tawana Brawley incident. Yet Sharpton has been elevated to HNIC status and Alton Maddox remains disbarred. Go figure. Also, don’t forget ole Rev wore a wire and was an informant aka “SNITCH” for the FBI.

  21. Since Martin Luther King in my opinion we haven’t had a leader until now. (President Obama.) King said and we all agreed, that we want to be judged by the content of our character, and that we wanted to be treated equally. Guess what, we’re judged by the content of our character, and we now have the opportunity to be treated equally. President Obama does not have a Black Agenda he has a HUMAN Agenda. Mr. & Mrs. Obama has laid the plan out for us pure and simple. We just need to take advantage of it all. He’s making college affordable, Mrs. Obama is leading us toward good health. They are calling on all of us to STEP UP, as Parents, Teachers, and Leaders of our Communities. Our leader is the President. Stop arguing among yourselves and help out the first President that has ever directly tried to help us. ALL OF US EQUALLY! Remember what he said, there is no Black America, No White America, No Gay America, it’s the UNITED STATES of America. Haven’t we experienced enough horror to know that we are all in this together. How many more terror attacks, or earthquakes, are school killings has to happen before we realize that no one person stands alone. Black People we have three years hopefully seven to show the world what real BLACKNESS is, we are a strong proud people who’s days have finally come. Let’s show everyone our greatness. Let’s just follow the President’s Lead. He’s got the plan for all of us. He’s here to help us all. You news people (black or white) who make your living trashing our President to promote your own agenda… do what you have to do, America is smarter than you think!

  22. FIre and Brimstone says:

    Tavis has been the only one to remain consistent in this matter. Long before Barack Obama announced his run for the presidency, Tavis started his Covenent project in hopes of moving forward on the issues that plague to black community and holding the next president accountable. Even though Sharpton was aboard at the time, he has completely changed his tone. He sold us out for dinner at the White House.

    Contrary to the things I read on this blog, Smiley has never made a personal attack on the president. He may be critical of some of his policies but has never “attacked” the man personally. Smiley also never (openly) supported Clinton for president. Some may think that because she was the only one that had the courage to show up for his forum during the primaries and address the black community directly.

    Tavis is right to call for more accountability from these so-called leaders regarding their dealings with president Obama. We can’t fall for this We Are the World bs. There are definitely things that need to be addressed that are specific needs of the black community. There has been no better time in the history of the U.S. to push these issues. Black folks with sense voted for Obama because they felt he would at least be sensitve to the issues in their communities and so far he has not. If he can’t do his part to help make life better for the people who supported him more than any other group then why the hell should we waste or time and energy supporting him for a second term. Sorry, but the pride of having a black man in office with his pretty wife and kids just isn’t enough for me.

  23. Tavis needs to give his vendetta against Pres. Obama a rest. I have no interest in his upcoming “Conversation”, because it will just be an Obama- bashing fest. Sometimes I wonder if Tavis is being paid to try to the President down. I’m with Rev. Sharpton on this one, and I want to say how proud I am of him for the work he’s doing with Pres. Obama and Secretary Duncan on education. The way out of poverty for our people is education, and I applaud the President for his efforts on this.

  24. let’s not forget sharptons working with Newt Gingrich also on education. But with all the boogie and such we only see the surface and not under the surface.

  25. President Obama should not be taking on black issues! He is the President for all Americas and not just black america. Second, Tavis is just mad that him and Clinton got beat badly and now he is losing his supporters!!! As usual things are alway centered around MONEY….Which is the root of all Evil. Third, President Obama has only been in office for year and people think he can Change all of these problems that took years to create. Fourth, we really need to pay attention to what President Obama preached from the begining which was CHANGE must come from the bottom then work its way to the top. Meaning it doesnt matter who the President is we need to start Electing good local Representation, such as Senators, Congressmen, Sheriffs, and House Members!

  26. niggas plz every president since fdr had some kind of black/urban agenda, wasn’t until gw bush came into office he went by the pull up your boot straps mentality, lot of peeps feel we live in a post racial america on this from some comments on this board, think again lol.

  27. FRUITOFISLAM19 says:

    There is no post racial America.Never will be.
    Stop wasting your time wishing a dream. IF
    President Obama doesn’t help his own people,
    he’s just a big fraud.Whose really pulling his
    strings? Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton have
    their own agendas. When will we as black people
    learn that who ever is in the White House won’t
    help us even if its one of our own people. Do for
    self and wasting years daydreaming about being
    accepted by your open enemies, the white people.
    Anyways most presidents throughout US history
    really never gave a damn about black people
    in the first place!!!

  28. I’m always reminded of the message from the legendary Wizzard of Oz. when I hear our people talking about leaders. Remember how Dorthy and her friends traveled all the way to Oz looking for the wizzard to guide her back to Kansas. The Wizzard turned out to be an ordinary guy however wise, wise enough to show Dorthy that she always had the power to go home, the power was within her. I think that is what a leader does, he or she helps us help ourselves. I saw the new Chairman of the Board of the NAACP being interviewed the other day on MSNBC. tears came to my eyes, she was very young, smart and articulate, just the kind of child you would want to call your own. But more than that she talked of the future of the NAACP in a way that you know would have made King proud. The NAACP’s future is to help All people not just a certain group. In order for us to be equal we’ve got to stop separating ourselves. I love how Al Sharpton has tranformed himself. I believe him to be sincere, that’s why I think President Obama chose him to work with his Administration. I just hope Mr. Sharpton doesn’t let anyone distract him. Al Sharpton is a symbol for all inner-city folk. You can make it if you try. The power is in you. Your leader, if you need one is the President, he’s the best example of greatness our community could ever hope for.

  29. FRUITOFISLAM19 says:

    On another point, who elected Tavis Smiley or Rev. Al Sharpton to be leaders for the black community. Some of our so-called black leaders would sell us out in a heartbeat if the price is right.

  30. WhitesRule says:

    A couple of left-wing niggers fighting….who cares ?

  31. After reading WhitesRule’s comment is there anyone who still believes we live in a “post racial America”?

  32. timezone says:

    al sharpton sold out over 20years ago, because he has nationally syndicated radio show by a company that sells it’s listener’s out everyday and would make them vote congress people out if they tell them to because they would effect the way they make their money instead of really informing their listener’s they give you sharpton to numb you down in a state dumbness? and you blindly think he is a leader? a fbi informant that worked with the mob and is still listed as a confidential informant that’s your leader? A person who’s 2004 presidential run was fronted by Roger Stone? A known key player in the florida 2000 election miscount? connect the dots folks.

  33. I use to be a huge Tavis Smiley fan until he refused to support Pesident Obama in his bid for the Presidency. I think he is a hater and a wounded jerk. He claimed for years that his agenda was for and about Black people and when we finally get a chance to put a Black man in the white house he gets egotistical and jealous and sells out on the Black community, He so deperately wants to be a major player and he’s not. I’m embarassed of him as a so called Black leader. I don’t recall him requiring any other President to have a Black agenda. President Obama is not a Black President he is THE President of the USA. I have no respect for Tavis Smiley and he needs to go somewhere and shut up because he does not represent Black America

  34. carolina says:

    I’m eating this up the black people up on here who are into the post racial america cliche it tells me they are probaly those who voted for bush in 04.

  35. One of the comments I read on this page needs to be addressed, it was made by fruitofislam19.
    “IF
    President Obama doesn’t help his own people,
    he’s just a big fraud”

    That is such an out of touch statement, President Obama has in his family, white, black, asian, and so on- and so- on. So who are his folk? When I hear people still using the N word and saying things like our President won’t help his own, I can tell right away that their mind is closed. When will we realize that we are all in this together. The President happens to represent all of us. Let’s stop separating ourselves and get into the game. No one is trying to keep you out. If someone is, then do something about it.

  36. FRUITOFISLAM19 says:

    @edie
    Sorry to break to you but your post racial america doesn’t exist.I sorry that some black people are so vile and stupid to quickly forgive our open enemies in exchange for nothing.Nothing+Nothing=Nothing.Like I said if President Obama doesn’t help his own people he’s a fraud,period!The black community for a long time suffers from high unemployment, horrible public schools,crime,drugs,guns,broken families.Its up to us as black people to help other black men and black women to accept the responsibility to rebuild our communities,rebuild our families because family is the backbone of society. We must get the guns and drugs out of our community and teach our children a proper education about themselves first as well as other cultures and different races that make up the human race.So WE MUST DO FOR SELF and stop waiting for Barack Obama to save us. He’s not Jesus for crying out loud.Like what I said before Tavis Smiley and Rev. AL Sharpton have their own agendas and can’t be trusted.My mind not closed, I just prefer to live in reality like most sane brothers and sisters do and not a fantasy dream that died many years ago. Anyway most US presidents never helped black people in the first place. They instead wanted to destroy us instead.

  37. Well said FRUITOFISLAM19.

    @edie
    You criticize FOI19 for stating “IF Obama doesn’t help his own people, he’s just a big fraud” but you’re the same individual who referred to Black people as “inner city folks”. Now if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black. No pun intended. In other words, check yourself and instead of chastising FOI19, you may want to enlighten your Caucasian “brother” or “sister” WhitesRule, seeing as how you’re a proponent of a “post racial” America and all.

  38. Talib, if you took my comment as criticism then I apologize. Inner-City, Ghetto, the Hood. All those words are words that have been used to describe the neighborhoods where I was born and raised. I’ve seen a lot of good come out of places like that, which is the point I was trying to make in my reference to Mr. Sharpton. I don’t walk around with a closed mind. I view every human been as a child of God, whether they think of me that way or not. A lot of great Black Americans have shamed themselves and died for the rights that we have today. I just think we do ourselves a dis-service when we remain planted in the past. No one is blocking us from getting ahead. That is the message that our President is trying to send to us as Balck Americans. Let’s keep our eyes on the Prize. One thing I know about some of our white brothers and sisters, they love to see black people fighting each other. When I was a child I remember hearing grown-ups saying that one thing white people were afraid of was an educated black man. That saying has always spoke volumes, I have never forgotten it. So Talib, not trying to critize, just trying to understand. When I see or hear something that I think is not right then I will speak up. So should we all. I just want the conversation to move from separating ourselves as a group. I’ve always wanted to be treated equally. That is what the movement was all about. Equality for All. My career was in radio, I use to play the songs of Marvin, Miles, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Stevie and the like. I listen to the words they wrote and was comforted by the melodies. I also read about the pain they endured just because of the color of their skin. I am humbled by their contribution and I am willing to push forward and learn from the things that they wrote. Our past should be the strength of our future.

  39. @edie

    Black people are not seperating themselves. We’re the only racial or ethnic group that has been trying to fit into this society ever since our ancestors were brought here almost 500 years ago. So much so that we’re the only racial or ethnic group in this country that has almost zero knowledge of our original African culture. Which is the reason why we don’t respect and love ourselves. Because you have to know yourself to love yourself and this verbal dust up between these two so-called leaders,ie…Sharpton and Smiley is indicative of the ignorance and SELF HATE that permeates among Black people.

  40. discourse is cool, but can be redundent, al sharpton is laughing all the way to bank.

  41. Talib you’re right in so many ways, I’m just tired of the same ole conversations coming out of our communities. Always waiting on someone to lead us out. I just so believe that if we spend more time on the simple things that President Obama and Mrs. Obama point out on a regular basis, we will be heading in the right direction. (Education, reading to our Children, making sure we know where they are and that they are safe, cleaning up our surroundings, abandon buildings, and so on.) There is so much to do in our own back yard. Do we need some funds to help out? Sure we do, but there is so much we can do that doesn’t cost anything but a little time and a whole lot of love….

  42. i read this story early this morning and i have been following it throughout the day…it is appaling that two influential blackmen would engage one another in the public in such an immature fashion, whats even more appaling is that both of these brothers are viewed as leaders. i am reminded of a section of the bible “woe to the shepards who feed themselves and not the flock”. I am further reminded about the analogy of the house negro and the field negro. Unfortunately, i dont know who is who…………..

  43. Personally, I’m not sorry to see this at all. This should wake Black America up to the fact that these media appointed windbags are all about their own egos and posturing and grandstanding.

    Truth is, there has been NO real “Black Leadership” in the traditional sense of the word (aside from the occasional local activists such as Geoffery Canada in Harlem and Rev. Eugene Rivers who works with ex-cons in Boston) since the sad events at the Lorraine Motel and the Audobon Ballroom (Martin and Malcolm’s assassinations for the historically challenged). Since then, we’ve had a lot of posturing and tired rhetoric about the same old same old, but no real course of constructive planning or action.

    These jokers knoew that if Black America actually got it together with real solutions, they’d have to go out and get real jobs. So since they cannot solve the true problems of fratracide, fatherless births, poor education, poverty, injustice system, etc. they are masters of distraction just as their white counterparts in the tea party.

  44. anybody catch al holding court over at sylvia’s soul food resturant the other night, being the center of attenion again like he was a the defacto black head of state for america.

  45. Right-Now says:

    I just want to know one thing…Do we really need a leader??? Why we as black people are always looking for someone to hold our hand or to lead us. Are we incapable of making moves ourselves? Are we incapable of knowing what right? It time to grow-up and stop looking for hand outs. If we don’t like our situation we need to change it; we are the ones with the power to do so.
    Just my thoughts on the topic above……

  46. philly_proud_dad says:

    Not to get entirely of subject, but I don’t think that we as Black Americans have given President Obama an opportunity to address so called “black issues”. He’s been given nothing but opposition when it comes to “human issues”, that I think that it is a little premature to believe that he has abandoned us as a race. If America can’t agree to provide reasonable healthcare to all people or atleast have a civil dialogue about it, how can we expect him to start initiatives that benefit a particular race. It makes it even harder to do his job considering the fact that due to all of the socialist/communist propoganda, he will most likely be a one term president and will not be allowed to see his vision to fruition. Unfortunately we are still a nation of sheep and choose to follow what we believe to benefit us and not look at the big picture. How much further do you think he would be if he stood up one day and said let’s all have National Solve The Problems of Black America Day. This is all about finesse and democracy people. Relax, I think you will be surprised by what our Commander and Chief has in store for us as a country and more importantly as a race. Back on subject now. Sharpton=opportunist and Smiley=pawn . NUFF SAID!

  47. S. White says:

    Why are so many folks trying to make our President walk on water??? I have seen questions in regard to who he has had dialog with. What is his true agenda?, etc (check this site — http://www.redstate.com/…/president-obamas-new-best-friend-al-sharpton-murderer-and-professional-bigot/

    I’ ve seen folks get attitude and ready to fight over the Tavis / Sharpton commentary in regard to Obama having or not having a Black Agenda. If he is to have an Agenda, shouldn’t it be one that would benefit all citizens of this country. One that would empower all of us and not one that is Polarizing.

    He (Obama) is no worst or better that any of our other Presidents that have come before him. I applaud him (or anyone who runs for our Country’s most Esteemed and Executive Position) because it is as if one is coming into battle with very little armor. President Obama will have and is having to contend with the fallout of years and years of behind the scenes ineptness, “in the Closet” maneuverings with all types of questionable Agendas and Individuals that it’s almost a laughing matter (in laughing to keep from crying or losing it).

    As far as who President Obama has dialog with, if this dialog is positive, should it matter with whom he has the dialog with? Look closely , The Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, an so on, they have all had associations with not too savory characters. They have all had agendas. They’re Politicians and that is the nature of the beast. There is no harm in listening and keeping your enemies near.

    Now if in the process of having dialog, an individual starts to enmesh or loose oneself in the negative aspects of the person you are having dialog with then you have a problem. It was told to me when I was very young, you can’t please everybody all of the time and if you lie down with dogs you could get up with fleas. It seems some of our Politicians and self-appointed leaders have not come to understand this and instead will degrade their convictions, loose their moral compass and cheapen themselves in order to gain a political pat on the back from all who come to them with their hands open and an agenda no matter how unworkable, unsavory or unscrupulous. At some point a Politician will have to consider what is best for the majority of his constituents and make a critical decision. That is the angst of a Leader.

  48. I really hate to see when influential people in our community air out our dirty laundry in front of the whole world & act like children. I really don’t think Al Sharpton knew about the conference that Tavis was putting together & was offended when he found out about it because he was not invited. Tavis is burning a lot of bridges in the name of “love” because his mom is a minister & that will bite you in the butt.
    He has lost his friendship with Tom Joyner over his dislike for President Obama & now Al Sharpton. You can’t keep speaking negative of a president & expect people to follow you in the name of love. Just because he is a African American president doesn’t mean he is in office just for our needs & that doesn’t mean he is doing everything wrong or nothing at all which is how Tavis has the presidents image. The bible say you are to respect your elders & Tavis didn’t in this case. Believe me I’m not a Al Sharpton fan, but I’m for right. If something tragic go wrong in our community & you need someone to speak on your behalf, Al Sharpton will come running & people will start to listen that is for sure.
    As for Tavis when do he has to explain or answer for what others have said in the media. He should know of all people that is one of the most divisive tactics the media use. Tavis Smiley will never be the next Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with this in “love” mess he is selling.

    Peace!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley over Barack Obama and a Black Agenda Civil rights leader Al Sharpton got into a spirited back and forth with TV talk show host Tavis Smiley on his radio [...] [...]

  2. [...] 10-Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley: Many of us been waiting for Floyd Mayweather to get at Manny Pacquiao.. That hasn’t happened yet so we go the next best thing.. two Civil Rights leaders going at on the airwaves.. Now in my opinion it wasn’t over trivial stuff.. It was a spirited debate over how President Obama was doing and whether or not he was being pushed enough and respecting a Black Agenda.. Tavis felt the President has not been on the case the way he should.. Al Sharpton who had just visited President Obama, took issue with the way Tavis was coming at him.. He felt Tavis was grand standing and trying to act like his annual State of Black Union Roundtable was the be all end all..This played out on the air and generated tons of debate.. [...]

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