Tavis Smiley & Dr. Cornel West launched a new radio program this weekend branded as "Smiley & West". I actually enjoyed the commentary. It was interesting to hear Dr. West on the other side of the microphone.
Tavis Smiley fell out of favor with me over the past couple of years. His rantings and attacks against President Obama regarding a "Black agenda" represented the last straw. I thought then, and still believe, that his position was somewhat misguided, especially considering the existing political realities. I think we need a class discussion rather than a discussion that is framed in terms of race. If you always make race the issue....you lose the nations attention. Five decades ago MLK understood that the next battle would be economic justice and that it had to be framed in the context of class. This was why he pushed his poor peoples campaign.... it was not just a "Black peoples campaign" (although Blacks were a main focus)...but a poor peoples campaign. MLK's vision was so great that it allowed him to be far ahead of his time when it came to issues like poverty and economic justice. How Tavis Smiley and Cornel West so easily miss this point is a mystery to me.
But in the radio program, it sounded as if Smiley was reluctantly beginning to recognize his mistake. I still don't care much for his style or his political approach... but he is still an excellent interviewer. I see the new show being useful.... as long as he doesn't allow his personal views to pollute the program.
Listen to the first show: (5 minute interlude...program picks up again @ 6 min. mark).