So, the white, male, dominated media is patting themselves on the back for allowing President Obama to talk about race for the second time in 5 years after being prodded/pushed to do so by black folks. Tavis Smiley had the audacity to tell the truth on Meet the Pest, I mean, Press Sunday and got a royal beat down on twitter .
To be clear, this is WHAT Tavis said Sunday on Meet the Press:
The media narrative now is that Obama walked to the podium for an unscripted address because he felt he needed to say something. But the truth is that “he was pushed to the podium,” Smiley said. “A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium.” Smiley noted he did“appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up.” But “the bottom line is, this is not Libya. This is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind. What’s lacking in this moment is moral leadership.”
And the problem is what exactly? What did Tavis say that wasn't true? According to an article in the New York Times, President Obama met with 5 of his closest (unnamed) advisers on Thursday evening who told him it was time for him to say something. My question is why did they have to tell him it was time to say something? He didn't know?
Those who don't read the Washington Post weren't aware of the calls for President Obama to speak out from prominent African Americans.
In the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, President Obama has called on the American people to engage in calm reflection. Few expected the president to denounce the verdict or call upon people to take to the streets in protest, but we did expect him to speak in a way that touched the heartbreak, despair and quiet rage that so many of us feel at this moment.You won't hear writers like Cortland Maloy on TeeVee saying things like this:
On multiple occasions, Obama has asked blacks to understand the high wire he is forced to walk on the subject of race. He has pleaded that we cut him some slack. Most have done so even as conditions in the black community have become more desperate.
In the never-ending cycle of pleas, protests and prayers over recurring injustice, we’re again approaching the quiet times. Put down the signs. Take off the hoodies. Remove the empty bags of Skittles taped over your mouths. Go in for some “calm reflection,” as President Obama put it in a statement following Saturday night’s miscarriage of justice.The white, male, dominated media forced President Obama to walk a tight rope on race, they molded him into their vision of how the first African American President of the United States of America should act/talk/think/govern.
I believe some whites were actually afraid President Obama was going to exact some kind of revenge for slavery and Jim Crow. So, in their zeal to shape the first African American President in their image, they turned him into a token with no power. Someone they could point to and say America is post racial. As if the emasculation of black men in America needed more assistance.From forcing PBO to throw Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus because he preached truth to power, to making him host a beer summit instead of a discussion about racial profiling, to toning down Attorney Eric Holders' Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing issues of race remarks, the mainstream media enabled the first black President to be the President of everybody but black folks.
When folks like Tavis Smiley, Cornell West, Glen Ford and others tried to sound the alarm, they were called F-king retarded and the Professional Left (like that was a bad thing) which allowed them to be marginalized and legitimate concerns/issues to be minimized.
I said it before and I will say it again, President Obama needs to fire everybody except Michelle.
I never believed Obama was going to be the the black people's President and only the the black people's President, because I believed him when he said there were no red states or blue states but the United States of America. But, his advisers were so afraid that if he showed any sympathy or empathy to the plight of blacks it would look like he was giving blacks "special treatment".If Barack Hussen Obama didn't have the title of President of the United States in front of his name, he could also be, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Jordan Russell, The Jena Six , and so on, and so on.......
On Friday, Obama used the words “black” or “African American” 17 times, and the word “white” only once. At times, the president appeared to be the Explainer-in-Chief, clarifying for white folks a history and legacy that they, too, share—but in drastically different ways, and usually as benefit. Yet, by not specifically addressing this audience, by silencing whiteness and choosing to center again and again on black young men, Obama gave whiteness a pass. He gave it power by masking it, and making it silent.I HOPE President Obama's surprise comments made white people understand what it means to be black in America, but unless he stops letting the white, male, dominated media frame the debate there is no HOPE for CHANGE African Americans or anyone else for that matter, can believe in.
While he warned black folks against violence, which he said would dishonor Trayvon Martin, he remained silent about the little violence we do know about—when a white woman attacked 73-year-old R&B legend Lester Chambers following the verdict. And rather than convening a national conversation about race—which would might mean having frank conversation about white supremacy and privilege, Obama talked about his daughters. Yes, Malia, Sasha and their friends are different, but that’s likely due to their security detail, and to the fact that they live in a world that most black schoolgirls simply do not.