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Archive for March 2010

Al Sharpton vs. Tavis Smiley Rift Examined…

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I sat at my desk, as frozen as a block of ice, listening to one of the most heated conversations I’ve ever heard on the radio. Tavis Smiley and Rev. Al Sharpton were mad, and you could hear it in their voices. This wasn’t “radio mad,” where you pretend to fight in order to get ratings. It was “I’m coming to your mama’s house to get you” mad, the kind of anger that normally doesn’t spill over to the American public.

The contentious dialogue was rooted in Smiley’s recent attack on Rev. Sharpton for a New York Times article in which Sharpton was quoted as saying that he feels the president is wise not to “ballyhoo” a black agenda. In a platform granted to him by The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Tavis put Rev. Sharpton, NAACP President Ben Jealous, Urban League President Marc Morial, Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree and even Dorothy Height on “super blast,” arguing that these individuals have not shown sufficient evidence that they care about the interests of the African-American community.

Bad move Tavis. Very bad.

The conversation was rocky from the start, and you could tell that Sharpton was livid. Tavis Smiley was a bit calmer, and deserves credit for calling in to Sharpton’s show to have the discussion. Smiley kept saying the words “I love you,” to Sharpton, which is usually another bad sign. When Smiley says, “I love you,” that typically means that he’s apologizing for attempting to remove your testicles. Sharpton, like other New Yorkers, won’t say he loves you if he doesn’t, which made the conversation that much more awkward. What is also interesting is that Smiley, for some reason, is convinced that he can present himself as an objective observer of the Obama administration when he has spent the last three years doing everything he can to undermine Obama’s political progress. Rush Limbaugh couldn’t have done a better job.

Rather than following the lead of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has embraced passionate advocacy over obsessive confrontation, Smiley has chased President Obama to every corner of the globe, like a 12-year old pursuing a bully who stole his bike.This has not worked to Smiley’s benefit, and I am not sure if the “anti-Obama” crusade is something that even his fellow Obama critics can understand or support.

The great black divide appears to be a spillover from hard feelings in the Democratic primary, where “Team Clinton” was tossed to the side in favor of the new black face on the block. Smiley and others had access to the Clinton White House, and now a separate team of coordinated civil rights leaders have access to President Obama. Like most politicians, Obama prefers to deal with those who didn’t undercut his rise to the White House, which makes Al Sharpton, Marc Morial and Ben Jealous preferable to Jesse Jackson, Tavis Smiley, Michael Eric Dyson and others who’ve been critical of his political decisions. I don’t agree with this approach, but that’s what politicians do. While I’ve rarely heard Rev. Jackson say a negative word about Obama (other than the infamous slip of the tongue nearly two years ago), it seems that Smiley has made a career out of criticizing the president.

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Written by gjamescadreusa

March 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

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Harlem’s Sugar Hill Remembered…

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In a time of discrimination and segregation, young people growing up in an area of Harlem known as Sugar Hill right before and after World War II found success and inspiration all around them. Explore the people who lived in Sugar Hill and hear the stories of those who grew up there. Read the related article ยป

Click here: Remembering Sugar Hill…

Written by gjamescadreusa

March 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

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KUCINICH: Dems Jumped in Bed With Insurance Companies…

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“There’s nothing liberal about the bailouts. There’s nothing liberal about standing by and watching banks use public money to get their executive bonuses. There’s nothing liberal about giving insurance companies carte blanche to charge anything they want for health care… Since when did that become liberal?”

“There’s nothing liberal about letting coal and oil write climate change legislation,” he added. “Are you kidding me?”

The 13-year congressman lamented the lack of change in economic policies, tying it to the major problems Democrats are facing.

“The minute the president appointed Tim Geithner and Larry Summers to key policy positions, and the minute that [Ben] Bernanke was named to head the Fed again, we’re looking at people who participated in the decline of the economy,” he said. “This group has done us a disservice.”

“Every area of the economy is still about taking wealth from the great mass of people and putting it into the hands of a few. If you don’t have a economic democracy, you don’t have a political democracy.”

“We have to be more defined as being on the side of the people and not on the side of interest groups that are so entrenched,” said Kucinich, who is widely regarded as a champion on progressive issues.

Dems ‘jumped in bed with insurance companies’

Kucinich said he’s deeply disillusioned with what health reform has become, suggesting Democrats should “slow down” and “take a step back.”

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Written by gjamescadreusa

March 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

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