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I assume, in spite of the controversy, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are continuing their mission, leveling accusations at President Obama for his lack of focus on black poverty in America. IMO, these 2 self-appointed champions of the underclass need to re-order their priorities. Has there ever been a time when poverty didn’t exist in America? “The poor will always be with us”, goes the familiar dismissal of this segment of the population. And they will, for the simple reason that ministering to the needy is, in itself, an industry, and the have-nots somehow manage to survive with the help of charities and social services.

At this point, lamenting the ongoing plight of the poor shouldn‘t be a priority. This unproductive class of people contribute very little to the welfare of the country, spending most of their time begging for assistance. So, who needs 2 do-gooders basking in the publicity generated by their lamenting the fate of folks who already depend on the government to help them subsist?

What about Smiley and West agitating against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, instead, - lost causes that have depleted the treasury and are killing our youth? What about adding their voices to the concern about Social Security and Medical insurance and the fading viability of the middleclass? If Tavis and Cornel truly want to hold the president’s feet to the fire, they should stop playing it safe. They should gripe about more urgent things like the sorry state of our educational system and the high cost of gas.

Of course whatever they bitch about is going to fall on deaf ears because solutions are not forthcoming, and things are going to get worse before they get better. All of which is why these 2 nomads should just fold their tents and steal away in the night. Put a sock in it, guys, your hot air is just contaminating the already polluted environment. The failing economy that is plaguing Obama's effectiveness doesn’t deprive the poor because they didn’t have anything in the first place.

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Fascinating point Cynqie. Rarely do I read something that actually calls into question the value of Smiley & West's actions without dealing with their unknowlable motivation. I tried to bring up a similiar argue yestersday, albeit in a more convoluted fashion, saying it does not matter what their Smiley & Wests motivations are or even whether Obama is a good president.

Of course there efforts as well as out our could be used to deal with more important urgent tactical issues -- many of which, like many a quality education available, would reduce proverty.

Smiley & West are never really called the poverty tour directly; 'cause who can be against a "war against poverty"?

But hey this is a free country. I'm sure they will steer clear of NY City...

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Guilty as charged, Troy. I do tend to want to stifle others' right to promote their causes. Smiley and West are, indeed, entitled to speak out and crusade for whatever mission they're on. I just get the feeling that these two are more interested in ridiculing Barack rather than empathizing with him in regard to the impossible situation he is mired in. Poor ol Obama :wacko:

BTW, I LOVE the new and improved format you've facilitated. It makes everything so much more accessable!

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I guess time will tell what S&W real motivations are...

Yeah the new format is more intuitive. I also disabled some of the lessor used functions like the image gallery. I'm going to reach out to some of the old posters and see if they will check it out the new format.

I visited the old board the other day: http://www.thumperscorner.com/discus to pull email addresses and the board was down -- cause of 10,000 new accounts -- all spammers (somethings never change).

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I just don't care for Tavis and Corny.

I liked "Race Matters" by Corny...though I've always seen him totally different than

Black Americans do. The fact that he makes almost a million a year yet has never set

foot in West Africa (home of his actual ancestors) but went to Ethiopia & Paris and

married a NON-Black Ethiopian woman tells me EVERYTHING I need to know.

And Tavis Smiley lost me during a discussion on Black American women & Depression.

I'd rather have a possum for a son than him.

A LOT of Black men don't see what horrible sons they are. They don't even consider

their mothers women. They don't think beyond HER usefulness to their daily lives.

Can't stand Tavis.

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Here we are again. I can't stand suck butt smilley (I believe Troy loves him). I don't know their movitation, but more importantly I doubt their efforts will bring any measurable results. And to that point, I believe their efforts are doing more harm for the re-election of Obama, than solving the poverty issue. Now, I guess it's time for me to say... If not Obama than who? I really want Sippin' and Pimpin' to answer that question.

Of course we've had the arguments on "making him accountable" and "we can't give him a pass because he's a black man" and " constructive feedback is a positive thing" but in reality those words produce no real results. So my question is "postive' for who and how? Case in point, Toe Nail & Travisty are speaking out and suppositly making the President accountable (not giving him a pass) but there's not fruit in their baskets. It's just talk.

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I liked "Race Matters" by Corny...though I've always seen him totally different than Black Americans do. The fact that he makes almost a million a year yet has never set foot in West Africa (home of his actual ancestors) but went to Ethiopia & Paris and married a NON-Black Ethiopian woman tells me EVERYTHING I need to know. And Tavis Smiley lost me during a discussion on Black American women & Depression. I'd rather have a possum for a son than him.

A LOT of Black men don't see what horrible sons they are. They don't even consider their mothers women. They don't think beyond HER usefulness to their daily lives.

I really have no use for what Smiley and West are doing. If they want to make a poverty tour to call attention to the plight of impoverished Americans, I have no problems with that. But attempting to make President Obama the core issue and to suggest a nefarious argument that somehow, he is indirectly responsible or indifferent to their plight, is bullshit. Black Americans benefit from every single piece of legislation or policy he has attempted to establish (health care reform, extension of unemployment benefits, tax credits, fighting major cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, social security, etc). These two ego thirsty Negroes are shamelessly misguided and disingenuous.

Even though I have no personal use for Cornel West (never have), his never having traveled to Africa, visiting Ethiopia and France and marrying an Ethiopian woman means nothing. His personal decisions on traveling and who he decides to marry is neither my nor anyone else’s business. I have no idea why you are attempting to make this a litigious point of contention when such personal matters have nothing to do with his achievements nor his ability to perform professionally. Fredrick Douglas was married to a white woman (his first wife was black) but his entire life was devoted to the dismantlement of slavery and ending the oppression of black people. How did his personal choice of a mate compromise his strident war against slavery and racism? It didn’t….!

And as far as black men and their mothers is concerned, I have no idea what world you are living in. My mom passed away in December of 2008 and I think about her every single day. She was not only my mother but my best friend. My mom was a central part of my life and I deeply loved and respected her. And every black male that I personally know, was (some are deceased) or is very close to their mothers. Although I am sure there are some black men who are in conflict with their mothers, I personally have never met one. Every black man I have known has loved and deeply respected their mothers. I’ve met only one man (and he was white) who disliked his mother because (according to him) she deserted him and his father when he was a child for another man. So when you make absurd assertions like, “They don't even consider their mothers women. They don't think beyond HER usefulness to their daily lives…”, I have no idea who or where these black men are that you are talking about. As I previously said, I’ve personally never seen such behavior nor have I heard anyone (other than you) make such a sweeping callous generalization……

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Xeon, I'm sorry to read about your mom's passing but happy that you had such a great relationship with her. That positive and deep relationship may be more rare than you think. You were blessed.

Often smart, successful people only socialize, work and live with other smart and successful; this is natural. However these folks tend to have a distorted world view; for the majority of people in this country are not smart and successful; most are struggling to make ends meet.

Most don't have passports nor the luxury of time and money to travel to distant lands and indulge their intellectual curiosities. In fact most people don’t have the ability to construct the sentences that you all do so effortlessly on this discussion board

I say all this to say that when Kola says,

A LOT of Black men don't see what horrible sons they are. They don't even consider their mothers women
this does not come as no surprise to me.

Xeon, while you may live in an environment where Black men and women get married and have children, love and nourish them until them are grown. The vast majority of Black mothers do not experience this. This is an unfortunate reality and is supported by data. But you already know this, right?

I would not equate West marrying a white woman to that of Douglas, they were from different times. Douglas was half white. I also suspect the prospect of Douglas finding an eligible Sister of his caliber was very slim....

I have to be honest when I discovered West was married 4 times, unsuccessfully, I like most people relate it back to my own experiences and can’t understand it. Sure marriage is not easy but surely someone as smart as West would figure it out after a few times.

Tavis has never been married or raised a family.

Obama clearly has a remarkably stable marriage – one that withstood intense scrutiny by folks who look REALLY hard to find some dirt. Few marriages including my own of almost 21 years could withstand that...

If you want to evaluate these Brothers based upon character; my gut tells me Obama is probably stronger in that department than either Smiley are West. But that is beside the point.

Smiley and West have a valid argument. West has been consistent for years. He was said we need to make sure Obama is accountable to the poor and working class – even when West was on Obama’s campaign trail.

Xeon, I’m honestly at a lost to understand how you can say

Black Americans benefit from every single piece of legislation or policy he has attempted to establish

First Black people do not benefit from “Attempted” legislation. We can only evaluate Obama on results.

Obama's actual legislation benefited big business.

The data does not support any improvements for the majority of us. On every quantifiable level the working class and poor, which includes the majority of Black folk are worse off.

Now we can debate over Obama’s motivations and feelings, but we can only evaluate him on this results. This is why his speeches won’t mean a lot in the up coming election. Voters now are forced to evelaute the man on what he has done.

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Guilty as charged, Troy. I do tend to want to stifle others' right to promote their causes. Smiley and West are, indeed, entitled to speak out and crusade for whatever mission they're on. I just get the feeling that these two are more interested in ridiculing Barack rather than empathizing with him in regard to the impossible situation he is mired in. Poor ol Obama :wacko:

BTW, I LOVE the new and improved format you've facilitated. It makes everything so much more accessable!

What she said !!

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Xeon, while you may live in an environment where Black men and women get married and have children, love and nourish them until them are grown. The vast majority of Black mothers do not experience this. This is an unfortunate reality and is supported by data. But you already know this, right?

Yes bro Troy, I am very aware of this. But the "baby-mama-daddy cancer culture" is one that only black women can eradicate. Why? Because unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to change the mindset of many misguided young black males who see nothing wrong nor destructive about their fathering multiple children by different women and providing little to no support for the children they help create. Only black women can say no to this self immolating behavior. Only they have the power to say, “no, I will not have sex with you without a condom” and “no, I will not have multiple or even one child by you unless you marry me. I refuse to become a statistic of the virulent fatherless baby mama culture”. Until black women, as a group, say no to becoming a statistic, it will continue unabated…..

I would not equate West marrying a white woman to that of Douglas, they were from different times. Douglas was half white. I also suspect the prospect of Douglas finding an eligible Sister of his caliber was very slim....

My point was being married to a non-black woman has nothing to do with an individual’s professional performance nor their ability to achieve some measure of success if they are social or political activist (the common misnomer is “black leader”). That’s all I was attempting to say…..

I have to be honest when I discovered West was married 4 times, unsuccessfully, I like most people relate it back to my own experiences and can’t understand it. Sure marriage is not easy but surely someone as smart as West would figure it out after a few times.

Well, I don’t know what to say to that. I can’t speak to the failures or lack of marriage success of West’s private life. I don’t know anything about it. However, being married four times does suggest something is wrong. But I can’t excoriate the man because, as I said, I don’t know the details about his private life and anything I would say would be no less than conjecture and speculation. I’m not going to do that. So, that’s the best I can do when referring to that comment…..

Smiley and West have a valid argument. West has been consistent for years. He was said we need to make sure Obama is accountable to the poor and working class – even when West was on Obama’s campaign trail.

Accountable to the poor and working class? Ok……and just exactly how is he to do that? Details please…..

First Black people do not benefit from “Attempted” legislation. We can only evaluate Obama on results. Obama's actual legislation benefited big business.

Troy –No one benefits from “attempted” legislation. But riddle me this Batman; “Please detail how he can enact any financial legislation without the direct approval and consent of congress”? Again, I need to hear your details. And as far as big business is concerned, what has he done that they have benefited from? They certainly don’t see it that way. They believe he is hostile to big business. And I know what your are referring to but I’m going to let you present your argument…..

The data does not support any improvements for the majority of us. On every quantifiable level the working class and poor, which includes the majority of Black folk are worse off.

Why are they worse off Troy? Please tell me how he has failed to prevent them from being in a finically worse position than they were five years ago. Tell me what he did to make their position worse. Tell me why the financial crisis and market crash of 2008 was President Obama’s fault and how he failed to prevent it. And finally and foremost, I want you to explain how President Obama enact any major financial legislation with the Tea Baggers and rabid republicans controlling the House of Representatives. I WANT TO SEE YOUR DETAILED ANALYSIS OF WHAT HE CAN AND CANNOT DO. No bluster or rambling of how it should be, just answer the question in a clear, definitive detailed proposal that is realistic and factual. I will wait for your response……

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