04/14/14 – Roland Martin is tired of the pissing match going on between black America.
“How is it that we have the ability to say, Mr. President, we love you and respect you, but when it comes to the parent plus loan we disagree with you?” Martin questions.
Click inside to hear more of Roland’s thoughts. It’s a heated one!
Read the rest of the interview below:
ROLAND MARTIN: You know, Fannie Lou Hamer said I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And you know what, Tom? I’m sick and tired of these damn black public intellectuals constantly involved in a pissing match with each other. First you have Dr. Cornell West, he’s criticizing Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr.Melissa Harris Parry, and then Dr. Dyson, he comes back, and he’s criticizing Cornell West and talking about ego. Then people hitting me on Twitter to see what Professor Eddie Glaude had to say about Dyson and the rest of them. And I wish all of them would shut up and be quiet and focus on really what’s happening in black America.
For some reason the election of President Obama has made black folks act like they stuck on stupid that somehow we cannot offer real critiques based upon public policy. But for some reason it’s always personal. Is this a personal attack? An attack on him? An attack on each other? Yet when you look at what is hurting black America, Tom, the results are real.
When you talk about what’s happening with black unemployment, black teen unemployment, we’re talking about; we lost 53% of black wealth due to the home foreclosure crisis. When you talk about what’s going on with black businesses all of these things are happening, but for some reason we have this inability to have a grown up conversation and we have so called educated multiple degreed black public intellectuals acting like black kids are on the playground who don’t know how to behave with one another. The real deal is this. Yes, we have the first black president, but he’s also the 44th president of the United States. And just like African Americans have the ability to put forth public policy and offer real critiques when it came to Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, go down the line, to Carter, to Ford, To Nixon, to Johnson, to Kennedy and go on and on and on and it’s always been the case. But for some reason we don’t know how to act now.
Tom, it’s been a month since The Wall Street Journal did a story talking about $23.09 billion dollars in loans given to small businesses last year. How much did black folks get? 1.7%. For a month I’ve tried to get the Small Business Administration to come on this show to explain what in the world is going on and how to fix it. We haven’t heard anything. But for some reason that hasn’t been the talk. We can’t somehow talk about what’s really hurting folks because we have the pissing match going on back and forth. And it makes no sense.
How is it that we have the ability to say, Mr. President, we love you and respect you, but when it comes to the parent plus loan we disagree with you? The President gave a vigorous speech on Friday at the National Action Network Convention when it came to the issues of voting rights. But we should have the sense as adults to look at Congressman John Lewis, and Reverend Joseph Lawry, Reverend CT Vivian and others who said, Mr. President; we disagree with your judges in Georgia because you are putting forth one guy who actually was the attorney behind voter ID. We can praise his speech on Friday but still criticize a nominee on Monday if that person will not stand up for African Americans.
We know the deal the President cut, yet we can still offer a real critique. So the challenge, Tom, for all these black public intellectuals is to if you don’t have anything substantive to say that’s not a personal attack keep your behind in the ivory tower and have your intellectual conversations there, because black folks have some real business out here. Black folks are really hurting. And all of you, frankly, are members of the 1%. And so if we’re going to move forward as a people it is going to require us to be adults.
To be willing, to look at one another and say; Mr. President, Congress, Governors, State Lawmakers, we are going to be principle, we are going to look you in the eye. We are going to challenge you on policy. It’s not going to be personal. It’s not going to be petty. It’s not going to be silly. What it is it’s going to be principle. That should be the operation of every single one of us.
And so I would say hit the reset button right now. Dr. Dyson, Dr. West, Dr. Glaude, Dr. Perry, all of you, make a decision to say you’re gonna advance what’s right for black folks and not some silly nonsensical Ivy League discussion.