Tavis Smiley Slams President Obama for His “Hurry Up and Wait” Approach to Racial Injustice

| December 9, 2014 | 0 Comments


Words by Nadia Shakur

As a African-American political voice in America Tavis Smiley continues to call it like he sees it.

Today he called the president on his insistence on telling African-Americans to wait for a change we’ve waited decades for.

President Obama did an interview on BET news with host Jeff Johnson which aired Monday night. President Obama came on the program to supposedly bring reassurance to the step taken in the aftermath of recent nation protest. The main point the president stressed was the time its going to take for change to come and how much progress has been made. Even though he acknowledged that distrust between minority communities and law enforcement is “Deeply rooted in our history” he also stated ” It will not be solved overnight”.

“It’s important to recognize that as painful as these incidents are, we can’t equate what is happening now to what happened 50 years ago,” Obama said “If you talk to your parents, your grandparents, they’ll tell you things are better. Not good, in some cases, but better. The reason it’s important to understand that progress has been made is that it then gives us hope we can make even more progress.”

Tavis Smiley addressed the statement and pointed out the national protest in response to the unarmed killing of black men being excused was a sign of the times. The state of unrest on such a national scale shows we are in the same place if not worst due to the socially accepted attitude about black life being disposable.

Tavis Smiley declared on Fox news to Sean Hannity “With all due respect to our President Barack Obama, black folk don’t need lectures on Black Entertainment Television. You go to Black Entertainment Television, Mr. President, respectfully, to lecture black folk and then you’re wrong, respectfully, when you tell them that these things take time…stop telling black folk they’ve got to wait, and that these things take time…Number two, Mr. President, respectfully, when you say we can’t compare what’s happening now to what happened fifty years ago, tell that to the parents of these kids who are being gunned down in america’s streets”. He followed up with asking the very good question “Why go to BET and give black folk a lecture but go to Stephen Colbert and tell jokes?”.

President Obama continues to tell us to wait on this process of find solutions to racial inequality but we have yet to see any progress but we heard a lot of talk about it. What exactly are we waiting for? As the most affected ethnic group in the history of American social equality why are we the only ones told to hurry up and wait? As the first African-American elected President on the campaign slogan of ” Change” we are still very much waiting for that Change.

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