Obama…GO BIG or GO HOME!!!

| August 29, 2011 | 0 Comments
obama go big

I was watching “Chris Matthews” the other day, one of the many political shows I enjoy, and of course they were talking about President Obama, his leadership abilities and his re-election chances. During the conversation, noted semi-retired newscaster Dan Rather said the following (and I paraphrase): 

Obama needs to go big or go home. He needs to stand up to Congress and tie spending to job creation so he can garner support for projects like rebuilding America’s infrastructure which will create jobs for engineers, laborers, and everyone in between.

Rather went on to say:

He needs to be BOLD! The problem with staying in the middle is just like the middle of the highway, all you see are yellow stripes and dead armadillos! Obama is trying so hard to be in the middle, that it may just cost him the election and continue to cost the country.

Tavis Smiley, Steve Harvey & Cornel West

Although I know black people, even in the midst of obvious wrong-doing or ineptitude are loathe to criticize our black leaders, I must say that Rather is absolutely correct! This brings me to the beef starring Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornell West on this side of the ring, and Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey on the other. Smiley and West have been critical of Obama and his seeming neglect of poor people in general and black people in particular.  They are even in the midst of what they call the “Poverty (A Call to Conscience) Tour”. The tour is a “road trip to highlight the plight of the poor people of all races, colors, and creeds so they will not be forgotten, ignored, or rendered invisible during this difficult and dangerous time of economic deprivation and political cowardice”.

Of course, their very vocal criticism of Obama has not endeared them to many black people, and Joyner and Harvey have been especially scathing of the two. Joyner wrote in his blog of Smiley:

For a while, I thought he was still with us, even though people around me (and many of you) tried to convince me otherwise. ‘Tavis is a hater.’ ‘Tavis is only about himself.’ ‘Tavis is jealous of the president.’ I wouldn’t believe any of it. I had so much respect for him before his primary goal became selling books, and, later, selling out.”

Harvey called Smiley and West “Uncle Tom’s”. He also claims that Smiley has held a grudge against Obama ever since Obama was too busy on the campaign trail to attend a town hall meeting hosted by Smiley, and instead sent Mrs. Obama. Of West, Harvey cited the fact that Cornel West has mentioned not getting tickets to the president’s inauguration.

“Have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration? Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you?” 

Commenting on Smiley’s suggestion that President Obama sit down with him and West for two or three days to discuss poverty in America, Harvey said:

“Who in the hell got 2-3 days for your ass? I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for two, three days, let alone the President of the United States.  We got three wars going on, the economy crashing and we going to sit down with Tavis ass for three days?” 

Instead of looking at the message, Joyner and Harvey have chosen to demonize the messengers. I propose that if Bush (or some other white person) were in office, this Poverty Tour would be seen as the best thing since sliced bread, and Smiley and West hailed as heroes for focusing on an issue that hasn’t truly been addressed since Dr. King and Malcolm X attempted to do so. And let me be clear, these two brothers weren’t killed until they started talking about the plight of ALL poor people and income re-distribution in America, which is seen as a bigger threat to capitalism than even civil rights.

Obama was the first Democratic president since Harry S. Truman to not mention the poor in his State of the Union Address, so I applaud these two for even having poor people on their radar since they are NOT of the poor. Joyner and Harvey (who was recently invited to President Obama’s birthday party), on the other hand, have apparently chosen…like the proverbial monkey Harvey mentions… to cover their eyes, ears and mouths to the reality facing most black people in today’s economic climate. Black and Latina people cannot afford to be like the poor whites in this country who continually vote against their own best interest because they (poor whites) either don’t want to admit they ARE the working poor (and these days this includes those formerly in the middle class), or they prefer to vote based on social instead of economic agendas.

I, too, am becoming sorely disillusioned with Obama, as are young people and Independents, without whom, he would not have been elected. When are his actions going to match his pimp walk?  When will he realize that the Republicans are Lucy to his Charlie Brown, and will continue to pull away the football while he is in mid-kick landing him on his back with the American people squashed to death beneath him?!! So, we have two options… we can continue to blindly support Obama while he bends to almost every whim of the right and their agenda, or we can demand he grow a pair and in the  words of Dan Rather…GO BIG or GO HOME!

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Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Sylvia Burley is a Freelance Writer and Integrated Marketing & Communications Consultant. She writes on various topics including marketing, politics, entertainment, current events, and living green. A native Detroiter, she is a graduate of Michigan State University and loves singing, foreign movies and rollercoasters. She currently resides in Atlanta because she doesn't like the cold.

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