Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Take On Tavis Smiley & The State of the Black Union


I believe Tavis Smiley started out with good intentions when he began hosting these events. However, they have now turned into irrelevant talkathons for the Black elite. It's more like an orgy of Black foolishness.... simply providing a showcase for self appointed and self anointed "Black Leaders" to blame Mr. White Man for all of the problems in so-called "Black America", when in fact, the source of many of the problems facing Black communities comes from within.

Tavis, his bogus Covenant Movement, and his efforts to use the event as some sort of validation for "real blackness", has become a tired affair. I have yet to see the event turn the mirror around and focus on problems that come from within the so called "Black community" and "Black culture", and to create relevant solutions. Because after all... it's the White Man doing all of this..... he's the boogey man that causes all things bad.

They just talk, showboat, have their Black themed celebration, and not a damn thing gets done in any real sense. The State of the Black Union has turned into a business, much like what the wider Civil Rights establishment has become. It's a forum for Tavis to sell his books. I think most of the annoying Negroes on the program simply enjoy seeing themselves on television.

And Tavis's antics regarding Obama have been extremely annoying. Tavis has quickly dropped down on the list of Black folk who I actually appreciate. I'm tired of this "you have to be validated by us to prove that you are really Black" bullsh@t. I'm glad Obama skipped the "Black Party". Tavis would have put Obama in a position where he would have been branded the "Black Candidate" at a crucial time when he is trying (for good reason) to avoid it. And this is exactly why Clinton decided to show up this time...it was a tactical maneuver to try to put pressure on Obama to show up... so that Billary could put him into that Box of being "The Black Candidate". Obama was smart to stay away...especially considering the fact that you don't know what kind of stupid comment one of these "Black Leaders" might make...which could sink Obama....just for being associated with the nonsensical event.

The bottom line is, Obama is running for the Presidency of the whole United States... and not for the office of Black President or Negro-in-Chief. And the man is in the middle of running a historic campaign. I think that takes precedence over Tavis's Black Elite House Party. Author Chris Chambers put it beautifully in his take on the subject.

Clinton is going to the event simply as an attempt to win a few Black votes, and to create a "gotcha" situation for Obama. I guarantee you that during the next debate...she will bring up the issue of Obama not showing up to participate in the Tavis Smiley event. But I am hoping that this tactic doesn't work...just like her other attempts to trip up Obama. But why is Tavis facilitating Clinton's tactical moves? It's no coincidence that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, an ardent Clinton supporter, is part of the "State of the Black Union" panel. The Black Elite has come out strongly in favor of Hillary Clinton (all the more reason why I want her to lose).

Tavis Smiley knowingly put Obama in a bad position on this issue. By showing up... Obama would be tagged as "The Black Candidate", which helps Clinton...and it's exactly what she has been wanting to do. On the other hand, by not showing up, Obama somehow wouldn't be "Black enough", because he isn't bowing down to "Black Leaders"- and of course, this helps Clinton as well, because she can then use the absence against him. See how this works? See the kind of Catch 22 they tried to put him in?

I watched several of these programs in recent years, but I will skip this one. I was flipping through the channels and caught a 5 minute snippet on C-Span (i'm a C-span addict), but I had to change the channel after Dick Gregory made a joke about Black men raping women. Just the kind of imagery we need Mr. Gregory. Just what I need as a man with Brown skin. More negative bullsh@t imagery and stereotypes to deal with.

Yeah... it's a bitch being Black, but I believe today, the source of most of the grief comes from within, particularly from the Black elite.... and not from "The Man", Jim Crow, or the KKK.

I'm sure they talked about Hurricane Katrina.... but I wonder when they will talk about Hurricane Negro.

5 comments:

Rhonda said...

I co-sign...Hurrican Negro is right. I couldn't have said it any better. I didnt get to see it but from all the talk, it sounded more like the State of the Election than the State of the Black Union. I wonder when our community will realize that we need to be the ones with the solutions and that we can do things to change many of our situations. Where are the solutions?

Constructive Feedback said...

Interesting. I have felt the irrelevancy of the annual gathering of "Tavis And Friends" for years HOWEVER more of the panelist than not will call themselves "Progressives" and agents for CHANGE despite none of them being held accountable for the policies that they have hoisted upon Black America.

It must be nice to be unaccountable.

Shazza Nakim said...

I am holding off for a few days about my experience with the State of the Black Union convention but I have in on my blog outline the General Focus of the event under THE FATE OF BLACK LOYALTY.

Understanding that "To Much That Is Given, Much Is Expected", the 83% Black Vote for Obama is questioned as "Votes" earned or were they votes "EXPECTED". Either way, an open dialogue needed to be addressed and the UNION was the perfect place at the perfect time to do that. Everyone that attended agreed which is why the tone was more POLITICAL then economic, religious and social this year.

No one denied Obama's talent and ability, the Union (annually) is a self analyst of what Black people are and have done since the previous year. As an ACTIVE memeber of several Civial Rights Groups, we all attend the convention with annual reports and or concerns for the following year. The SOTBU isn't just a group Black People sittign around complaining, their is an accual agenda. As of Obama stake in the convention, he as benefited well from the year long poltical and financial support of the Union which is why many had expected to see him there.

In the end, what makes the general speeches and Town hall meetings and the State of the Black Union relevant is that here; the issues of accountability on a DEEPER level are personally addressed. The issues that Black Americans are inclusive and not selective because those DEEPER issues affect a larger swath of Blacks than most ethnic groups. Moving forward, BLACK PEOPLE will not get that opportunity again which is why Tavis stated to Obama that it was a missed OPPORTUNITY. Not for him, but for Black People who can hear ONLY those issues that affect them.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]use the event as some sort of validation for "real blackness", has become a tired affair.[/quote]

Biting my tongue, biting my tongue.

[quote] I have yet to see the event turn the mirror around and focus on problems that come from within the so called "Black community" and "Black culture", and to create relevant solutions. Because after all... it's the White Man doing all of this..... he's the boogey man that causes all things bad.[/quote]

Angry -

This statement from you frustrates me. For me as a Black Independent who has a goal of removing the Black community from the Death Grip that is clamped around our collective minds it is hard to accept your viewpoint that the "Black Elite" as represented by Tavis Smiley and Friends are the "Granters of Blackness" while failing to mention that this is the very tactic that is used by not just the elites but by the IDEOLOGICAL oligopoly that dominates the Black community.

At this point I ask that you join me and GO AFTER THE BLACK MEDIA!!! This is where the problem is. Where as their original mission was to give a voice to the Black community when the mainstream media didn't give a damn about us....now they serve the role of supporting the OPERATIVES and advancing the IDEOLOGY that they represent. Lost is any true concept of "Black Best Interests" as represented by OBJECTIVE and MEASURABLE evidence.

It is the Black Media - the opinion writers, the authors, those falling over themselves for interviews that need to have a SET OF COMMON GOALS that they reference and then make a DISPASSIONATE ASSESSMENT on if this particular person elected to represent the Black community is indeed coming through for us.

Instead - many of them are themselves ideologically biased and they end up protecting their ideological soul mates and skewering those they don't like.

Lost in all of this is the BLACK BEST INTERESTS. This is clear to see WITHIN our community.

Tavis and crew is going to continue to have their annual meeting as no truly independent entity will bother to inspect the actual results.

If Al Sharpton can make note about how without agitation a washing machine will fail to clean our clothes - why do we need to fear agitating the BLACK ESTABLISHMENT so they might be more responsive and accountable to the painful truth that remains WITHIN the Black community? Are they that fragile so as to not be able to take a bit of well placed scrutiny?

Cheryl said...

I was disappointed by the 2008 SOBU. I wanted and expected more discussion on priority issues in the Black community. The health care crisis in America has significantly affected Blacks and it is something that we need to address seriously. Senator Obama is wonderful but regardless of who ends up in the
White House it will be a fight to make real changes to our broken health care system. Please read my latest post on drsmithshealthcorner.wordpress.com