President Barack Obama is set to be sworn-in to his second term today on the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is being celebrated nationwide for his contributions to society.

While many believe President Obama is the culmination of what Dr. King fought for, controversial commentator Tavis Smiley thinks otherwise.

In a story issued by CBS, Smiley shared his thoughts on the legacy of President Obama and Martin Luther King, stating:

Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as president tomorrow for a second term, on the holiday honoring the person I have long regarded as the greatest American this nation has ever produced. Obama will be in the foreground, but Martin Luther King, Jr. is the backdrop.

I’ve heard people exclaim that President Obama is the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream.

Well, not exactly.

Obama might be a good down payment, but he is not the fulfillment of King’s dream. We’re still a long way away from that.

The complete text can be found here.

Do you agree with Smiley’s point-of-view?

(Photo: PR)

57 thoughts on “Tavis Smiley on President Obama & the MLK Legacy

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  7. at this point taves and dr west are quite predictable! who cares what they think? there is no one stopping mut and jeff from organizing people and taking their argument to the white house steps to protest the president they love to hate. dont worry though when hillary runs and win all their poverty tour and anger will subside. isn’t it amazing how they dont hold any other black elected officials accountable? hmm i wonder why?

  8. sfloyd on said:

    Taviis go found your daddy, your real daddy. and west go get a haircut, and leae Obama alone thank God for Obama.He the Man God knows what He doing.

  9. Marca101 on said:

    Oh oh … I see Tavis and Cornel have touched a nerve again . The Obama-ites,Obama worshippers and Obama sychophants are enraged. They are so overwhelmed that a black president is in the white house for the second time,they have lost all sense of objectivity. Bush and Clinton can be criticized by Tavis and Cornel (which if anyone takes the time to research is richly evidenced) ,but how dare they criticize someone who has the same color melanin as them. Afterall you’re not suppose to criticise God or their god.It takes courage to do what you and Cornel do especially when you know you will be faced with stupid childish insults and accusations of jealousy and hatred.I wonder if these people realise that Obama is not the second coming of the Messiah and that he can never be the fulfillment of MLK’s dream.Not when black people are still using race partly or wholly as a factor when deciding who to vote for. Hopefully the day will come when people wake up and stop their blind loyalty to Obama and realise that he is merely a puppet politician whose main purpose to get power and votes and who operates on behalf of the elites.So unlike MLK,who put people first and lost his life for it.

    • Fran H. on said:

      There was a time that I liked and respected Tavis Smiley. And I could be more opened minded about Tavis Smiley’s comments against the POTUS if I believed they came from a place of constructive criticism, but I don’t believe they do. I believe they come from a place of ignored entitlement. Tavis is riffled with Pres. Obama because he would not announce his intent to run for the presidency on his State of Black America forum which aired the same day and was interrupted for the then Senator Obama’s announcement to run for president. And I believe, Mr. Smiley felt doubly insulted when Mr. Obama offered to send the First Lady in his stead (a gesture Mr. Smiley declined) the second time he invited Mr. Obama to the same forum. So in my opinion the great Tavis Smiley feels snubbed by the POTUS hence his constant berating of Mr. Obama. In any telivised/written commentary that I have heard from Mr. Smiley regarding the President, I have never heard him give the President any credit for anything. So in Mr Smiley’s opinion the President has done nothing to move this country forward? To me that speaks volumns for the content of Mr. Smiley’s character. Sure there is still lots of work to be done to move this country closer to Dr. King’s dream, but contrary to Mr. Smiley’s rhetoric, I beleive that Dr. King would be very proud of President Barack Obama as most of Black America is.
      Fran H.

      • Sometimes I have to wonder if people who support Obama blindly are in a cult.That way I could understand why legitimate reasons for criticizing Obama always fly over their heads.If you took the time to read my comment,you would have seen where I stated that Bush and Clinton were heavily criticised by Tavis and Cornel. So if your only reasoning for Tavis criticizing Obama is because Obama snubbed him ,then I want to know what Bush and Clinton did to Tavis to warrant criticism from him. Did they snub him too.I doubt it.Tavis and Cornel voted for Obama twice.They were in agreement with him until they saw that he was not doing the things reneged on his promises.Therefore they have the right to hold him accountable,just like they did Bush and Clinton.But you’re so hung up on color that you are blind.You think Tavis and Cornel are the only black non-republicans criticizing Obama when he messes up.Think again.They are just the tip of the ice berg.

        And no doubt,MLK would be proud of Obama’s presidency.However just because MLK would be proud does not mean he would agree with Obama’s policies.The two are direct opposites. MLK would have never supported sending drones to kill innocent people.These are war crimes.Obama has killed more people than Bush did.He signed the NDAA act which allows the military to indefinitely detain Americans on merely suspicions of terrorism without trial or charge. Didn’t he promise to veto it…Guatanamo will not be closed for now like he had promised in his first campaign .MLK He was against war period. MLK knew that both political parties were corrupt,he did not want power at the expense of people.He died for that cause.Lincoln and Kennedy,unlike Obama, were not typical politicians.They put people above political power and paid the ultimate price.Wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Hopefully the day when Whites (like you) will stop the hate. The Man has been elected, by Blacks and Whites so get over it. Your hateful, racist comments are all over the other web sites and now you come on here – give it a rest, you lost. We now know the power of our vote and if you don’t stop the hate we’ll elect the next one.

      • ‘Whites like me’….excuse me but where in my post did I mention that I am white.That is the strange twisted thinking of blind Obama supporters.If you criticize Obama,you’re either white or republican.For your information I am a black and ,1000% proud of it.Malcolm X,Martin Luther King,Medgar Evers and many more black men and women who broke through the toughest of obstacles,racism and poverty to succeed are some of my heroes.So your dumb comments about me being racist and hateful need to be tossed right where they belong.i.e. in the garbage.

        Again another Obama-ite who is obsessed with this man’s color.Obviously you are privy to a law that says a black man should not validly criticize another black man,simply because they are both black.Lupe Fiasco ,KRS-1,Professor Griff,Eddie Griffin,Immortal Technique,Lowkey to name a few are all known as highly intelligent and knowledgeable,well researched,social and political activists with the exception of Griffin who is a comedian.They all have the courage to criticize Obama and they are not white and sure as hell not republican.Maybe you need to research what they know about Obama,before you go off on anyone who doesn’t worship him like you do.

  10. sfloyd on said:

    Tavis what really going on, how dare you talk abou the President, are you mad because he is the President and you not get some where and sit you uncle tom asssssssssss down some where you mad because Obama is SMART and GOOD LOOKING and You Notif you don’t suport your own who will, toy are stupid as hell GET life. Better yet ask God to come into your heart and life , Tavis you are a sick Dog without A Heart. Obama is the Man what God have for him is for him.

  11. Tavis Smiley does not speak for me!

    1.) The grace, peace, intellect and resolve that President Obama has shown in light of all that has been thrown at him is one of the greatest things for us all to watch as President Obama goes about his daily work for the American people! Many of us who are keen enough to see what’s really going on about who is in The White House understand that who is great among us IS The Servant of The People…. Just as Dr. King was at his space and time in History!
    2.) How The President has kept his calm and peace makes me proud when so many in Washington seem to be losing their ever-loving minds on the real issues that are dear to the average men and women! Keep up the good work Mr. President …..and don’t give this individual who does not speak for me and I’m sure he does not speak for many others……any space….
    3.) America is about to be 226 years old and The President just got to The White House in the 222nd year (The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787)…and all of a sudden everything is his fault!? …..Come On America things would have been better if all people were included…!
    4.) We see you Mr. President, and Thank You for showing & teaching us to hold our peace & calm when so many are throwing so much at you! ….What I know of Dr. King’s work patterned after the influences of Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Dr. Howard Thurman and others …. I see more of your character President Barack Obama, Your unselfishness to others & for others …which seems more in line with the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., than anyone that does not speak for me and many others!
    Let’s Pray for him!

    Peace & Grace,


    • Robin08 on said:

      Why don’t you tell that to all the innocent children killed by US drones and Obama’s “kill list.” There have been more innocent children killed by US drone attacks than were killed at the Sandy Hook school just recently.

      Don’t compromise your own Christian values or try to equate Obama with MLK or Jesus in exchange for the first black U.S. president. Obama is just a politician who ought to be held accountable just like any other politician be he white or black the first or 41st to hold the office.

  12. Pingback: MLK’s LEGACY « DUCKPOND

  13. When I was watching the Sunday Morning show on Sunday morning and heard Tavis’s commentary, my mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe it! It was so disgusting and extremely disrespectful what he said about the President. The President has a right to celebrate this most-historic event and we have the right to be proud. So what if the President channels Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Tavis has personal issues. I just shook my head afterwards. He really looked as if he was glassy-eyed and I cannot believe CBS allowed him to do the commentary especially on Sunday (1/20/13). Hey Tavis, by the way, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a great man and he did wonders but he was not a prophet. I mean no disrespect to Mr. King; he was a martyr and he died knowing that he made a difference in this world and he went very far given the short time he was with us. Not sure why Tavis would say MLK was a prophet.

  14. Marcia on said:

    Robin I do expect multimillioners to do do more than talk crap about what other people should do and not pony up one dime or to offer one program to help the problem. Lets see them donate the proceeds for their latest books to help poverty. Right that ain’t going to happen. All I saying is unless you have a real solution you should keep you mouth closed about someone who is trying.

    • Robin08 on said:

      Marcia — Tavis has a foundation whose mission is to champion excellence, leadership, educational achievement, provide scholarship money and mentoring for our youth. Tavis has been on the scene in the black community for years making a contribution.

      It is really sad how so many black people want to treat Tavis like some kind of anti-Christ villain because he had the audacity to criticism a politician when the fact of the matter is Tavis is good brother, doing good work, with a serious commitment to the uplift and empowerment of black people.

      • If Tavis’ foundation champions all these things, why is he acting so silly? Its exactly his type of behavior that turned voters away from McCain – we are tired of the hate. He should just do the best he can and let the President do the best he can. Did he ever support the President? Did he think he was suppose to get some type of appointment and when he didn’t he got mad? There’s something wrong with him acting so un-intelligently.

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  16. Since LBJ began the “war on poverty” with his Great Society programs in the mid-1960s, the United States (i.e., taxpayers) has spent hundreds of billions…trillions…of dollars on “anti-poverty programs”. The net result? The poverty rate in America today is EXACTLY THE SAME as it was in 1964. All that money WASTED. For what? Racial peace? Political correctness? A warm-and-fuzzy feeling inside?

    We should be ashamed that we have squandered the nation’s wealth on schemes like these. Add this shameful waste to the waste of human lives and yet more wealth on the various wars and police actions we have undertaken in order to try to convince an unwilling Third World that freedom and democracy and economic liberty are the best path to happiness, and you have a record that the Democrats and Republicans both deserve to wear around their collective necks like a great, stinking albatross.

    Forget “economic fairness” and all that other libspeak. Free the American people to innovate, invest and profit from the fruits of their labors without the government at all levels scavenging every last available dime to be wasted on those among us who cannot or will not participate in our society, and you will see the vast majority of Americans prospering and happy in a surprisingly short time. Otherwise, this country will cease to exist.

  17. Ebonyrose on said:

    For supposed “intellectuals” Tavis and Cornell show an incredible amount of political ignorance. THEY are in a MUCH better position – being multi-millionaires – to do more about poverty than the President. The President doesn’t control ANY public money. Congress does. The President doesn’t make ANY laws. The Congress does. They’re not giving one PENNY to help eradicate poverty. So they need to shut the hell up! Or put their money where their mouths are, if they are serious about helping somebody other than themselves.

    • Robin08 on said:

      Oh please. You seriously did not just say that Tavis Smiley and Cornell West (as multi-millionaires — and I don’t know where you get that information) as two private citizen individuals can do more about poverty in the USA than the the president of the USA. “It ain’t no point in talking if you honestly believe that.”

      You sound like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who think private charity and not the collective power and resources of the government is all we need do for the most vulnerable among us. I suspect you probably won’t get that analogy.

  18. Marcia on said:

    Yes our president must be accountable, but Tavis and Dr. West expect him to clean up 200 years of mess in 4 to 8 years. This is not a black president, this is the President of the United States who is black man. if they want to support this President, then lets see some real action, not just talk. What do you want DONE about poverty. What are your plans to solve this problem. How are you going to stem the gap in education. Not with talk but with specific plans of where to start. If you cannot provide concrete answers stop hating on someone who is at least trying. Also Tom in his own way is trying to protect Tavis from us loyal listeners who are questioning his hidden agenda. Don’t hate on Tom and J for using humor to lighten the mood. The ball is clearly in Tavis and Dr. West’s court and a lot of public opinion says that they are the ones with issues with the President. Lastly, I don’t think anyone is trying to turn the President into a deity. He is flesh and blood like the rest of us, like Dr. King was. They both has faults, but in the case of Dr. King his work on behalf of people outweighs his faults and we hope the same is true of President Obama. Lets all just take a breath. Continue to support and applaud the President when he has done good and speak up and question when his policy is not in line with what we need as a race. For Dr. West and Tavis Smiley, you need to learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Dr. West your sound bites may sound impressive, but for me they come off just sounding like hate.

    • Stacey on said:

      So what if it sounds like hate? What is up with this hate word that everybody keeps throwing around when someone disagrees with the President? All black folk need to stand up and hate on the President before his 8 years are up because when he leaves office it’s too late. He never mentions blacks in his speeches but always mentions gays, even his wife does too. It don’t take 8 years to finally address 14% unemployment in the black community.

      The only reason you side with the President is because you undoubtedly have a job. Lose your job today and see how fast you get another one with all the competition out there. You know aint no white hiring Manager going to select a black over a white during a time like this. They’ll hire a white over a black out of spite for Obama.

      Keep supporting him and waiting for this Hope and Change to manifest. HOPE is a dangerous illusion that is always used as a tool to keep black folk waiting for some positive change. It sounds good but in the end produces nothing but discouragement. Hope and Change!!!

    • Robin08 on said:

      You’ve got a lot of nerve telling somebody to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable while in the previous paragraph you’re calling anyone who offers a critique of Obama a hater.

      It’s impossible to have an intelligent conversation if you can’t even acknowledge the legitimacy of differing points of view. Dismissing the legitimate critique of people like Smiley and West as haters just reveals the ineptitude of your own analysis because it is not an analysis of the critique being offered.

      Try reading this as food for thought.

  19. Robin08, I totally disagree with you and I for one have not confused President Obama with God. I’m educated enough to know when I agree with someone and when I don’t. Thanks for your offer to enlighten what you call unsophisticated AA on this website, but no thanks. I’m perfectly capable of doing my own homework. You and Tavis are not the smartest ones in the room.

    • Marca101 on said:

      Robin08, ‘I totally disagree with you and I for one have not confused President Obama with God.’ You have a very funny way of showing it.

  20. Auntie on said:

    I don’t know how many of you knew that Tavis was a friend of the Clinton’s back during his first term. I personally believe that Tavis had polictical aspirations of becoming the first black presidnet SOME DAY, but Obama beat him to it. How dare Obama steal Tavis’ thunder. No one knew much about Obama until he ran for presidnet, Tavis having work in LA in Mayor Bradley’s administration started to pave his way into national politics by picking up a cause, yet he never ran for, nor did he win any political office. However, Obama ran for Senator and then president. Again, how dare he steal Tavis’ chance to be the first black president. I’ve listened to Tavis on the TJMS for more than 20 yrs and until he took out his anger, frustration and resentment on Obama, I supported him, not any longer. He was removed from the TJMS commentary because he offended not just Tom Joyner but the millions of listens to the TJMS and Tavis had to go. Tavis is bitter becasue he long long long long dream of becoming president was stolen by Obama (who knew?) It amazes me that Tavis and his “poverty tour did not exist when GHW Bush was in office for 8 yrs, yet he andCornell West for some ungodly reason are on a smear campaign against Obama. Tavis sit down and shut up. You day has passed and there is nothing he can say that I will ever listen to again. Except for when Tavis officially declares himself a Republican.

    • Robin08 on said:


      With all due respect your analysis is sorely lacking. So is Cornell West and anyone else who offers a critique of President Obama just mad because he stole their opportunity to be the first black president? Obama is a nice man but he is not above reproach.

  21. Robin08 on said:

    I agree with Tavis’ point of view. I’m disheartened by the lack of political sophistication black people (generally speaking) have demonstrated in the wake of our first black president. Too many AA’s treat Obama like some kind of deity to be worshiped rather than a politician to be held accountable.

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  22. Faith53 on said:

    I am an African American woman with many prayers in my heart for our president, this post is not to bash the President, or to judge anyone’s opinion, but to state what has and has not happened during his first term in office. The President has to be held accountable for his actions and non-actions. I think Dr. West and Tavis is doing just that…keeping him accountable along with the rest of us that voted for him, black, white brown, etc. In reference to the number of drone attacks that are killing innocent men and women in Afghanistan, the number of causalities has been ongoing and growing from the Bush presidency until the present.” There were many campaign promises President Obama touted that paved the way for his Presidency. One of the promises was not following in the footsteps of his predecessor, but he reneged on many of those promises….. I recommend reading: “ The article is based upon a report that was issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross. President Obama ensured that same sex marriage was made into law across federal and state statues, but there has been no national dialogue or laws passed in reference to racial profiling that target and kill many of our black men (young and old). It is painful to see genocide going on in our black community, but President Obama has not made that issue a national priority. Racial profiling and black on black genocide should be in the forefront of the national dialogue by our President. Henry Gates (distinguished black Harvard Professor, arrested by a white policeman for ‘living wealthy while black’ (LWWB), and what does President Obama do….sit and have a beer with the policeman and Mr. Gates and act as if that resolved the issue. That was so patronizing to Mr. Gates. When elected into office during his first term, President Obama made it clear that no one in the Bush administration was going to be punished for the war crimes they committed i.e. lying to Congress, which led us into two wars that has added trillions to our National debt. Oh by the way… this debt is part of “fiscal cliff” propaganda, but that’s another conversation. when President Obama decided that no one from the Bush administration was going to stand trial for their war crimes, he said “The past is the past we have to move toward the future,” and then he turned around and hired the same people that served under the Bush that not only got us into two wars, but is the reason why we as a nation find ourselves in this fiscal dark hole. President Obama made sure he bailed out the banks, but made it perfectly clear that the middle class and the poor were not going to be bailed out, monetarily, or rescue the nation from foreclosure, last but not least ensure the banksters that got us into this mess and held accountable for bringing our nation to our knees. You can be assured no one will see a jail cell. Okay…. so the President did throw a little stimulus money to the poor and middle class, and gave us an opportunity to trade in our hoopties. Many from different walks of life, nationalities etc. have found ourselves being in the forefront once again holding our leaders accountable. Just because he is the first black President of the US, he does not get a “pass.” So….yes I am in agreement with Dr. West; Dr. King was beaten, spat upon, jailed and ultimately killed for justice for the poor, disenfranchised of all colors, creeds and nationalities.” He did not bow down to the elites, and oligarchs and they murdered him because of it. Dr. King understood what it meant to have a calling from God, and walk according to God’s will and the fruits of the spirit. I pray for all our leaders, but we still have to hold them accountable just as Dr. King held all public officials accountable during his day.

  23. Everyone knows that America has a long way to go but we have made progress. We all have benefited from Dr. King and others who fought the good fight for us to live a better life. Now it’s up to us to continue the fight. Tavis seems to want blacks to keep playing the poor me game. He acts as if we don’t have options or choices. All the issues that are destroying the black community did not come about when President Obama entered office. President Obama cannot wave a magic wand and make everything all better now that he’s in office. We are all responsible for our own lives and the choices we make. Tavis message is very destructive to the black community. He plays the blame game which has helped him increase his net worth.

    We all know racism is still alive and well in America, but according to the census, the word “minority” is going to take on a new meaning in the years to come. America is going to be forced to move closer towards MLK vision of America.

  24. Pingback: POTUS Honors MLK on National Day of Service | « Habari Gani, America!

  25. Ebonyrose on said:

    Well, if Tavis think MLK would be disappointed with President Obama … then he should KNOW that MLK would cry like a baby over what Tavis has become. What a sad, bitter, pitiful man he has become.

  26. Tavis is happy that President Obama won a second term in office because it allows him a little more time in the spotlight as well. The only reason people are interested in what Tavis has to say is because they know it will be negative. When President Obama’s second term is over his name will once again go down in history, while Tavis will be all but forgotten.

    I have never cared for Mr. Smiley. He has used blacks to enrich his own life but has offered little to bring about change but lipservice and words on the pages of his books. He’s not a man of action. We already know he can’t stand anyone asking him the tough questions. He’s becoming more transparent with each passing day. Eventually he will disappear and become the invisible man.

    I’m not sure why he thinks he’s the spokeperson for all of black america, but he doesn’t speak for me, I have my own voice.

    • Stacey on said:

      Your description of Tavis can easily be said for President Obama. Take Tavis name out of what you just wrote and put Obama’s name in and the same could be true.

  27. Stacey on said:

    I wish the Black America Web team would’ve put a link to the actual interview of what Tavis talked about in its entirety. All of the comments on this page are needless if you didn’t hear what he said exactly. So, here is a link, go listen to it.

    Personally, all of the negative feedback that Tavis receives from the TJMS crew and their loyal listeners I don’t feel are warranted. He makes a great argument but as usual he is made into a joking matter by Tom’s crew. Most issues dealing with the black community are made into a joking matter by the TJMS crew. It’s all designed to keep black folk desensitized and slow to react when we really should be fighting mad at our realities. It’s time for black folk to stop laughing at everything Tom and J Anthony Brown says. Aint nothing funny EVERYDAY!!!

    We have to remember, Tom is the same person who said, “Who Cares About the Color of Obama’s Cabinet?” As if blacks don’t matter…….

  28. OMG. Tavis, what is this REALLY about? Perhaps President Obama is not the complete embodiment of Dr. King’s dream being realized. It certainly is a huge step towards fulfillment. Dr. King’s dream (as I see it) was humungous, including many components. Ever since President Obama did not show up in Jamestown to announce his candidacy you have been on the attack. There’s a hidden agenda here of which I have yet to be able to figure out. Some years ago you were hired to address our employee resource group’s conference. While engaging during the speech you were someone else during the book signing. You certainly were not engaging. Talk about thngs that make one say hummm! That was a red flag for me. Encountering you on the Fantastic Voyage a couple of times gave me the impression you were a bit “uppity”. You were the topic of conversation at dinner one night. Others saw the same thing that I saw. Your demeanor when in the company of those who have not risen to the heights that you have is quetionable. It’s difficult for me to believe that your bantor concerning the impoverished is authentic. I have lost respect for an intelligent man who has chosen to put so much energy into criticizing the president. I’ve often heard you talk about the high regard you have for Dr. King. Surely you jest if you believe Dr. King would sanction how you are going about your agenda. Eventually, the truth will come to light.

  29. “Obama might be a good down payment, but he is not the fulfillment of King’s dream.”
    I was outraged at this statement! Martin Luther King would have been so proud of our president.If Tavis and Dr.West think they can do a better job then let them run for president and vice president.They both sound extremely jealous. So sad.

    • Raleigh Delesbore on said:

      My sentiments exactly. If the critics of Pres Obama thing they can do a better job, them why don;t they run for office. Sometimes I don;t think people think before they put their foot in their mouth. Congress makes and enforces the laws. The Pres has executive privilege and the Supreeme Court deliberate as to the legitimacy of laws(constitution)each state writes and encforces its own laws. So was or is it the impression of people like Tavis, and West that Pres Obama just comes in and make over 400 years of opperssion or in justice eradicated. So Tavis why don’t you enter the 2016 primary with Dr. West and get elected. Then everybody will get an opportunity to critizize them.

  30. Amen to the folks describing Tavis for what he is, a jealous Negro falling back to the old adage everytime a black person rises to the top, a whole bunch of Tavis’s make an all out effort to demean and or pull him/her back down to the level of the nay sayers and haters, as usual the conscietious act of stupidity, Oh, by the way poverty didn’t start with the Presidency of Obama. Dang, forgot don’t matter to the educated lack of common sense negro!!

  31. Marcia on said:

    Both Tavis and dr. West need to take a break and listen to the trash they talk. Every time Tavis speaks of the President it sound like envy. He say he wants accountablity, but where is his accountability. What actual program have he and Dr. West enacted to fight poverty or are they just asking black people to wait for someone else to do the work. When are Tavis and Dr. West going to enact real programs or at least suggestions of how we can lift ourselves up and not wait for someone else to give us something. We can and will work, but how about real suggestions and not just waiting for hand outs. Finally you are not the President get over yourself.

  32. Here is an example of what i call a highly educated idiot.Mostly what i here from Tavis and the like is anger and jeaolousy.the president is very intelligent and knows and understands how the racial and political games are played.i believe if tavis spent some time looking over his own ambitions and listening to his self….then he would probably come his own understanding of how things work.

  33. All I could say was wow! I respect people taking positions, but I hate it when our very own “black folks” take a stab at one another. Why would you choose to take a stab this day with this man? You don’t have a to be a prophet to do God’s work. Do you have a greater example of a man walking “the dream”? It’s certainly not you! Dr. King would have never said the things you said about the first Black President of the United States. He would not have taken the opportunity to put shame on something that is so great. Why wouldn’t someone want to channel someone ones legacy? Using MKL’s bible is great! Having it on this day is a great reminder of Dr. Kings Legacy. Showing his speech as good as it was gets boring after a decade. Seeing an actual activity that reminds you and white America of what it really meant will go along way in the minds of those who did not live during MKL’s generation. Even those who did are more than happy to see an event that brings Dr. Kings words back to life. Look at this man! Tavis you couldn’t be him if you tried nor could you handle his position, but I respect YOUR position. However KNOW your position! President Obama puts into perspective that we have come a long way…are we done no. This is a moment among many that chips away at fulfulling that dream. So in your statements how did you fulfill Dr. King’s dream? Don’t piss on a dream if you are not willing to walk the dream yourself. This is a proud moment. What’s wrong with you? You voted for Romney didn’t you? I smell some hater in you! I understand what you were trying to say, but you didn’t say it well.

    P.S. Poverty is not only a nation issue, but an individual issue. Many times we make decisions that put us in poverty. Individuals have to rethink how they see money and material items. We are a excessive nation.

    • Janet, so very well said, Tavis has always spoken out against President Obama, I really can’t understand why otherthan the crabs in the bucket theory… on a historic day as today, I choose to put Tavis on Ignore…

  34. Dr. Millicent Thomas on said:

    In response to Mr. Smiley: I recently listened to most of the Mr. Smiley conference on the war of poverty aired on CNN. Thank God that a member of the Congressional Black Caucus was on the panel to tell the truth regarding the policies and laws that President Obama enacted to help the poor. There is something fundamentally wrong with Tavis’s approach. During President Obama’s first term, Mr. Smiley demonstrated anger because the president did not return a phone call or make a personal visit. That was the first sign of personal envy and jealously. Mr. Smiley have orchestrated conferences with an African American focus for years. Poverty was not the totality of those conferences. From the day the president took office Mr. Smiley have been on the attack. To lend support to his personal attacks, he garnered the ultimate pontificater, Dr. West. His points are usually correct. However, when I heard him state on Bill Moyers talk show that he wanted to make sure that he is a better president, or something to that nature, my response was there is something else happening-something personal. The president is doing all he can in the midst of character assaults, challenges, and all types of obstacles. My question is, at some historical point did you (Tavis), have a liking for Mrs. Obama and was rejected? I ask that question because when you dissect all that Tavis says, his comments appear to be based on something personal. It appears that the issues of poverty are being used to hide the real reasons for these attacks. It would not be to his advantage to attach the president on a personal level, so poverty becomes a useful platform. My recommendation to Mr. Smiley and Dr. West is to either promote and support the good that President Obama is doing, or go and be a commentator for Fox News- America’s true public, fabricating, twisted media. During all the years that I listened to Mr. Smiley, I never heard him say Bush needs to put forth a poverty agenda. I have on additional point that few want to consider. It appears that from the day of President Obama’s first term, the message from white, corporate America, lobbyist and white republican and democratic supporters was and is to circle the wagons. That means, lay-off, down size and do whatever it takes to increase unemployment. If people, particularly the white middle-class, are unemployed, they will not support President Obama. That tactic did not and has not worked. Tavis, please find a better way to discuss the issue of poverty and take my President’s name out of your mouth. PLEASE! Dr. Millicent Thomas

    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:39:13 +0000 To:

  35. Ruby McDaniel on said:

    Tavis Smiley you need medication. How can you be so narrow-minded in your view of President Obama? Sounds like a case of sour grapes to me. Obama is the embodiment of King’s dream as he has accomplished what King proposed: a society that looks beyond the color of one’s skin. It’s true that racism still exists but it is less than before and a conversion of ideas takes time when you are dealing with millions and millions of people.

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