Black Leaders Air Dirty Laundry Out On Tom Joyner Radio Show

| March 1, 2010 | 0 Comments


The very day I launched my website, I heard the argument between Rev. Al “OG” Sharpton, and Tavis “Kanye” Smiley.  Tavis, a guest on the Tom Joyner Morning syndicated radio show,  took another opportunity to criticize President Barak Obama for not bringing forth a a black agenda.  He further went on to express disapproval of Rev. Sharpton and Charles Ogletree for being in agreement with Obama via statements they both made in the Feb 9th edition of the NY Times.

chiq_simms_1Via his radio show, a very angry Rev. Sharpton, with Ogletree, defended his remarks as being a misinterpretation on Tavis’ behalf and accused Smiley of “messing with him”.  The show immediately heated up after Rev. Sharpton was able to chime in Smiley who earned himself a good ole fashioned tongue lashing.

The one lesson every black child learns quick and early is not to disrespect your elders, especially in public. Rev. Sharpton gave Tavis a reminder.  But the one lesson I want to teach them both is not to air dirty laundry in public.  It doesn’t ever look good live and in living color, especially black!

Leadership isn’t a role that we as African Americans have mastered, which is why there are so few.  Black leaders “mess up” allot because they are in most cases learning as they go along and are fueled by purely passion – an extreme emotion.  That same passion has been mistaken for anger, egotistical, and pompous, hence holding some of our best leaders back from making history for the masses sooner and more frequently.

Since the day black people arrived in America, we were stripped of the leader in us.  African American slaves weren’t able to be leaders in their homes or in the fields.  Even with affirmative action, most of us were unable to be leaders on our jobs, let alone leading any sort of change in and for our communities. Some of you reading this can trace your slave relatives back to only three to four short generations prior to your birth.  Others have children who are only one to two generations removed from the Civil Rights Movement.  Negros being in charge is still a new course to chart.

Al Sharpton Vs Tavis Smiley – Part 1

Al Sharpton Vs Tavis Smiley – Part 2

Al Sharpton Vs Tavis Smiley – Part 3

Click here to read Tavis Smiley actual transcript that started this firestorm of controversy in the black community

With all things considered, most will agree that the work that both Tavis and Rev. Al do for all people is awesome, relevant and necessary. However, the behavior displayed on radio was selfish and a poor example of black love, black pride and black leadership.  What we do and say, as individuals, affect our group as a whole, no matter who you are.  The leader in each of us is challenged with the responsibility that, at times, can be difficult to remember and even consider.

After listening to this recording, I began to reflect on who I am and how I have reacted when judged or even worse, misjudged.  More times than not, I haven’t felt very proud of myself in the end.  If you live long enough there is always something that is going to aggravate you.  If you try hard enough at accomplishing anything, there is always going to be a naysayer talking you down.  We will all get angry, hurt and offended by people who we love the most, especially family.  While Tavis did pick a fight, as an elder Rev. Sharpton certainly did not have to end it.  Regardless to who started what, each one of them had a responsibility to react and respond in a manner that would best represent African Americans.

I wish both gentlemen would remember that they are playing on the same team and those of us who are supporting, cheerleading, buying tickets, being spectators on the bench waiting our turn to be called in the game, are too holding you to that same high standard of expectancy that have for our President.  Next time, pick up your cell phone and talk to each other, send a text or an email. This should have been resolved gentlemen style….now what do you have to say to the hip hop generation about their behavior again???

Editor’s note:

On March 20th 2010 –

America has experienced its share of troubles this past year: the worst recession since World War I; the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with doubts about the exit plans; rising poverty in our inner cities, suburbs and rural communities; and the disproportionate power of corporations and special interests in Congress. In this “post racial” era, the question needs to be asked: Is there a need for a Black Agenda? The conversation will be moderated by Tavis Smiley. Invited panelists include Cornel West, Valerie Jarrett, Michael Eric Dyson, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Barbara Lee, Tom Burrell, Marc Morial, Ben Jealous, Al Sharpton and others.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30am (CT). All attendees must be registered for admittance. Registration ends Thursday, March 18, 2010, 2:00pm (CT).

Click here to register.

Click here for more information on the event location.
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Hip Hop Historian and accomplished photo journalist

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