President Obama’s Response to Republican Candidates

Thanks to C-SPAN for broadcasting this speech from President Obama

The New Yorker Chimes in on ObamaCare

Oooh it’s getting better and better, and now The New Yorker has chimed in on ObamaCare, and its impact on small business and the U.S. As a small business owner I need to know all of the facts because every decision made, and every law passed, ultimately impacts me and the companies I operate. So I decided to quickly summarize their fact checking which you can find here: http://wp.me/p11NVc-6T

Share your thoughts and if you are a small business owner, does this information lessen your stress or confuse you even more?

For those of you who are anti-ObamaCare, does this change your mind or make you dig your heels in deeper?

Let’s have some healthy dialogue!

 

 

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Paradigm Life.

January 19th and the 21st are Very Special Days: Two Reasons to be of Service

With all of the hurt and pain around us, we should invest more time in community service opportunities—working to heal through love and care.

January 19th is National Day of Service and our President, Barack Obama has called us to get up, get out, and serve those in need.

The White House released the following on their blog:

On January 21, 2013, our nation will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day), a national holiday during which we honor the legacy of the civil rights leader Dr. King through a day of service and volunteering.
This year, MLK Day commemorations will coincide with the Presidential Inauguration, so the President is asking all citizens to join him in participating in a National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19…

…President Obama has been deeply committed to engaging more Americans in service since taking office four years ago. He expanded AmeriCorps through measures such as signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009 and creating the FEMA Corps program last year. He launched the Serve.gov platform to make it easier for Americans to find and post local volunteer opportunities…

For more information about the National Day of Service, click here. To learn more about MLK Day, visit MLKDay.gov.

The Hypocrisy in Hate: From Anti-Obama to Anti-Immigrants

Jason Thompson, whose father, Tommy Thompson, is running as the GOP nominee in a tight contest in Wisconsin, is caught up in a web of hypocrisy and ignorance for his ‘birther’ comment he made this past Sunday that may cost his father some much-needed votes. Jason stated that, The election here in November will chart our course as a country not only for our generation, but our kids’ generation. We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago…or Kenya.”Thompson’s words were captured on video at the Kenosha County Republican Party fall brunch in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Attendees were not stunned or silent as he spoke, to the contrary, he was interrupted several times by applause and comments from attendees. One woman even yelled out, “We’re taking donations for that Kenya trip.” 

Thompson’s father was not at the brunch but supposedly had a ‘talk’ with his son according to the GOP nominee’s communications director, Lisa Boothe who emailed a statement to CNN that said, The Governor has addressed this with his son, just like any father would do. Jason Thompson said something he should not have, and he apologizes.

But you have to ask yourself, “what is he apologizing for?”

If Jason Thompson truly feels this way about the President and he believes like others (who speak and act the same way he does) that is okay to utter such ignorance (repeatedly), then why apologize? He knew before and after he said those words that his father is in an extremely close race against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin. He knew after the woman chimed in with her comments about taking donations for the Kenya trip that what was being said was cruel. He knew that he was not only speaking to a group outside of the confines and comfort of his home, but that he was being videotaped. He knew that this video could be released to the public and media. Yet it didn’t stop him from saying it or stopping it.

So then why did he say it? Because that is obviously what he thinks, believes, and feels. So is his father’s apology on his son’s behalf sincere or is it vote-motivated? Why isn’t Jason standing in front of more cameras and making a personal apology?

The Hypocrisy

Why do we have all of these educated people saying the most ignorant things as though they are not intelligent enough to filter their thoughts and the words that come from their mouths, or better yet, just think? Why do these people have uncontrollable mouths one moment and then later they want to apologize? Because the truth can never be hidden. Your true self will always be revealed. You can only fake it for so long. People like that want to apologize for their inability to hide their beliefs—based on ignorance, bigotry, racism and sexism—they are not apologizing for being ignorant bigots, racists or sexists. They want to apologize for revealing their true selves because they have done such a great job at showing only the mask that they want voters and supporters to see. They are not apologizing and seeking atonement, and an opportunity to right their wrongs. They are embarrassed for being found out and exposed. Let’s not even start on the so-called Christians out there flapping their lips while they are brewing up hate.

It must be painful that they spend so much time smiling in the faces and shaking the hands of people they despise, fear, and hate. They tell lies to get votes and financial support. Then they have the audacity to tell someone else to be honorable and truthful. A bunch of hypocrites is what I see. So you apologize for speaking what is on your mind and in your heart, and then you later apologize because the reality of losing a political race (or financial support) is now your focus.

Gotta get those votes. Gotta get that money. Gotta love this country—because if we were in several other countries that I’m thinking of right now, many people would not have the luxury of the First Amendment or any bill of rights. Some people would be punished for treason if they (were in other countries and) said and did what they do here in the U.S. 

I say to anyone who has no problem speaking, breeding, and nurturing hate behind closed doors to stop being cowards and liars in public (especially after your ignorance has been highlighted on the Internet and TV). You said what you said because you meant it and you still mean it—isn’t that the right you claim to have under the First Amendment? Isn’t that what they yell, scream, and fight over when they are in their rallies, conventions, and meetings? 

It’s Not Isolated

No different than the person in Morgan Hill, California (within the county of Santa Clara) who was protesting against President Obama last Tuesday with a “birther” sign (designed to look like a teleprompter) that read “Go back to Kenya you idiot“. Nearby was a chair that held watermelons with nooses around them, and a sign supporting Mitt Romney posted on a fence behind the chair. The Santa Clara property owner, Blake la Beck refused to comment when contacted by the media but did say that the display speaks for itself and didn’t mind if a picture of it was posted online. I agree, it definitely speaks loud and clear. Check it out for yourself.

Thanks to Blake, now you and I know that Morgan Hill, California exists. Go Blake!

Some people think that maybe Blake wasn’t being racist, that somehow it’s tied to Halloween approaching. Yeah okay. Hmmm or maybe Blake and others around the country placing nooses on/near watermelons with “Go back to Kenya” signs are actually telling the government and consumers to send watermelons back to Africa (the origin of watermelons). Maybe their message is speaking directly to the President so that he can make an executive order to no longer import or produce watermelons. Maybe that’s the real reason for the hanging watermelon and signs. Maybe just maybe. I hope you can truly sense my sarcasm here.

 

Some of you not from California are probably a little shocked to see a lynching scene displayed in California. I’m not. With so much anti-Mexican, anti-Latino, anti-immigrant, and neo-nazi nonsense throughout that state, nothing surprises me. Heck, American Third Position Party is a political party that was launched in California with a mission to protect the political interests of White Americans, and it is on the radar of numerous watch groups. Fear and ignorance is everywhere and comes from even the unlikeliest of people. 

Some of you have an expectation of racism and bigotry coming mostly from the south, such as the stories that I recently read that came out of Texas (Bud Johnson’s lynched chair) and Virginia where property owners created their own lynching scenes with wooden chairs and anti-Obama signs. I chuckled when I read that someone in Iowa spray-painted on the building of Obama’s local headquarters, “Muslim Lier” and misspelled ‘liar’. That’s a shining example of the ‘other side’ of what we’re dealing with.

So it seemed as though Bud Johnson from Texas was going to stand by his First Amendment rights when he told a journalist, “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns’ and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a shit. If you don’t like it don’t come down my street.” He even later added an American flag to the chair. Maybe Bud would be one of those I’m-gonna-speak-my-mind kind of people who have no problem telling you how they feel even if it’s mean. But Bud changed his tune, somewhat, days later when he takes down the hanging chair and flag, and then claims that the symbolic lynched chair representing the President was not racist. Some of his neighbors were upset by the image and said that they are glad he took it down. Watch Bud taking down the chair here

A Solution

We have a ton of imbeciles amongst us my friends, both educated and uneducated. If I had the money and resources I would give them all DNA tests and then tell them, “Now go back home to Africa!”Now that’s a sight I would love to see and experience.

 

Sources:

Jason Thompson video: http://youtu.be/ahav7acT30E

Thompson “apology”: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/political/jason-thompson-obama-birther-joke-tommy-thompsons-son-apologizes#ixzz29TfqFHhR

 

Morgan Hill/ Santa Clara article: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/political-display-morgan-hill-home-called-racist/nSX3C/

Bud Johnson article: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/12756/republican-lynches-empty-chair-in-racist-presidential-effigy-in-northwest-austin

Virginia article: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/20/13989510-empty-chair-lynchings-anti-obama-protests-gone-too-far?lite

“Muslim Lier” article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121005/NEWS01/121005003/-Muslim-Lier-Poor-speller-vandalizes-Obama-s-Iowa-HQ?nclick_check=1

 

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

>Black Power at it Again:Picking Up Where I Left Off…Let the Heads Roll!

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Yesterday I shared with everyone about the tiff between Tavis Smiley and the Reverend Al Sharpton that took place over the airwaves. Since I’m long-winded I decided to make my post a two-part discussion so not to overwhelm my readers. I look forward to hearing back from each of you. So far I’ve been told I hit it on the nail. Let’s see what folks have to say today….
What This Means to Me
One of my passions is teaching young Black students about their culture while empowering them to become great leaders at school, home, within and outside of their communities. Let me tell you what I won’t do…. I will not teach them to expect our President to ride in and overnight move mountains; nor will I teach them to ask for (and expect) any hand outs, especially not our 40 acres and a mule reparations cry. Let’s be real shall we?!? 
I also won’t discuss the suggestion that our economy be bombed by another multi-million dollar stimulus injection.  Can we take a break from looking like a country of idiots for just a second? I’m not going to teach children that just because we have a Black President that now our problems should soon go away, and that he alone can write our future. 
Yes, we all have concerns we want addressed. Yes, we have every right to do a double-take at the President and his advisors and ask, “Uh…what’s going on with us getting some jobs in the marketplace and healthcare for those of us struggling with being uninsured or underinsured?” Yes, we need help in our schools as we see our high school drop-out rates skyrocket. Yes, I’d like to ask why we have 20 and 21-year-old students in high school because states like Georgia want to have ridiculously high graduation requirements (although they rank embarrassing low nationwide in testing and graduation rates). 
These young adults are at an age when most people are graduating from college…not 12th grade. But I’m not solely looking to our President for the answers to my problems or the problems of the Black community. I need those other leaders who line that ladder to the top to be on board of the plan for change that uplifts my people…not provides handouts…that brings about long-term positive change where there is visible growth, wealth, prosperity, and equality in education and health measures, not simply while he’s in office but until the end of time. That way our President’s plan can be welcomed (even with friction) and not shut down.
What’s the “Black Agenda” Exactly?
How effective is it to have an agenda when at the grassroots level we can’t even reach those that are within an arm-length distance? How do we go to the President with our “Black Agenda” when we obviously haven’t come together on the ground level to collectively determine what the agenda is exactly? It’s obvious that there are some folks that are out of the loop so to speak….maybe because there are too many segmented agendas floating around. Have we determined who will oversee the process once everything has been put into action on our behalf? Who is assuming what role? We need every Black leader to get off their high horse and have a seat in a chair in one room and respectfully hash everything out now!
Our Measure of Time and Action
If you were the President who could you trust when it appears that a great deal of people have their finger on the trigger? Yes, he is very difficult to read…his pulse is not clear. Should it be? I’m not sure. Should he keep a solid poker face as he strategically finds a way to address our needs at the same time he’s addressing our country’s needs? Or should he just come straight out and say, “Black people have been mistreated for hundreds of years, disenfranchised and overlooked, so I’m issuing an order of blah blah blah to take place effective immediately to re-birth a nation that built this one”? Which Black leaders can he trust to be frank with, listen to, and take advice from? Maybe that is an issue…some Black leaders are upset that they aren’t part of his “circle of influence”.
So let me throw something out there….Is President Obama not moving fast enough for us? What should have already been in place by now that directly impacts Black America? I know what I would have liked to have seen implemented. Should he be moving faster because he’s Black? Some folks felt he was not Black “enough”…what must he do to be Black “enough” so that we are satisfied that he is representing us to his fullest capabilities? What must he do to prove that our needs and concerns are important to him, and that all the work he’s done within our communities over the years was not simply the layered motives of a politician wanting to gain ground and leverage? How long are we giving him to prove himself before we turn our backs on him and throw him under the bus? 
What time frame did we create for our last 18 Presidents that held office during the 20th and 21st centuries to speak up and produce proof on how they would serve the needs and interests of Black America? How well did they fair? I mean heck the situation that I see in the Black community did not just pop up once Obama was elected. 
So I’m trying to figure out what exactly the last 18 Presidents did for us that was so overwhelmingly impressive that proves that Obama is slacking? I’m not saying his slow action or inaction is acceptable, nor am I attacking him. One thing I can say is that with the exception of the long-time jokes about Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton being “Black” presidents- Barack Obama is our first (only God knows if he is to be our last). In this role he is doing something no other Black person has achieved. I understand that he has a limited window of time to get the job done (or as much as possible). I understand that unlike other countries he can’t “reign” for another 50 years. What I also understand is that although we are part of an instant gratification society, we can’t ask or demand of this president what we didn’t ask or demand of the past 18, 19, 20…or 25 presidents. If we did then why don’t we just say, “hey just refer to the last 10-18 requests we’ve submitted to your predecessors and then add this, this, and that…“?
So ask yourself, how can he best serve us while also serving the millions that also voted for him (and those that did not), while trying to secure a second term- so that we can see the fruits of all of our labor? Maybe he won’t get a second term…what are we doing to help prevent this from happening? Can we help? In what ways can we hurt his second term election?
What Are My Leaders Doing?
I know that we need help desperately. I know that I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know that it rips me up to see my people on the streets homeless and feeling helpless and hopeless. I’m tired of seeing my people being pimped out with payday loans, rent-to-own furniture, and too-high-to-sleep-at-night interest rates. I’m tired of seeing young Black girls dropping it to the floor, shaking and showing what God and their mama gave them. I’m tired of seeing these Black girls thinking it’s cute to be dumb as a rock in the woods that no one sees. 
I’m hurt every time I see a teen mother…when will birth control and adequate sex education be an option at all of our schools? 
We say that abortion is causing genocide in our community…birth control and sex education would help prevent this. We have too many young girls between the ages of 10 and 17… pregnant…some on their second and third child…birth control and sex education would help prevent this. I’m tired of hearing and reading stories about a mother leaving her baby in the trash can, park, alley, etc….birth control and sex education would help prevent this.
I’m tired of seeing our young Black men with their pants so big, hanging off their hips (struggling to walk, trot or run) barely able to hold a decent conversation above that of a third grade level because it’s not cool to be intelligent. 
I’m tired of seeing kids in my community going to and coming back from school with no books in hand. I’m tired of seeing half-empty public libraries. I’m tired of seeing school libraries being used for in-school suspension…are the kids in there reading, studying, doing class work? Not likely. I’m tired of seeing visits to the museum limited to school trips (if it’s in the budget). I’m tired of seeing Black parents working just to put their kids in designer clothes, shoes, and bags but can’t pay their rent and utilities. I’m tired of hearing my people say, “I don’t read” when I ask them, “so what book are you currently reading?” or “so what kind of books do you like to read?”
I’m tired of seeing kids “slanging” drugs and can break down how much an ounce, pound, or kilo costs but go dead dumb in the classroom. Yes, I said dead dumb. I’m tired of these so-called “reality” TV shows that depict Black people as loud, ignorant, uneducated (even when it’s a show with college students), sex feigns, hoes and players, dead-beats, alcoholics, and drugged out. I don’t need to mention these cable TV shows, besides there are so many I would need to write a separate piece just on that subject…and don’t let me start on those flippin’ grills! I don’t want to see another child or worse, adult with a grill in their mouth…please stop!
I’m tired of seeing my people more concerned about how they’re going to “front” with a fake 5-7 carat stone in their ear or on the hand; or twirling around a huge cross or some other emblem made out of crystals pretending they are diamonds (each stone roughly 1-3 carats in size). 
If my people understood the true cost of those items had they been real…maybe (but I doubt it) they would elect to wear something smaller (like 0.25 carats) or something else more appropriate. Oh and by the way the image you just saw…here’s the eye-catching description at the website that sells it for $89.99:
EXCLUSIVE All Ice 36 inches White 8mm Stones Bling Chain
– All iced out 150 karats of ice!
– You’ve seen these worn by all the rappers!
– This chain will attract crazy attention by all the ladies!
Wow 150 carats huh? Oh excuse me…karats…for only $89.99
I understand this madness clearly…they imitate what they see day in and day out. So what are leaders in my community doing about it? Speak up those of you who daily go into the classrooms, walk these streets speaking with your people, interviewing them, recording them, documenting their progress…tell me what you are doing right now to change this…besides saying, “we need the President to do….
I want education reform, I want true financial literacy being presented and taught in our communities and in our classrooms. I want Black studies, multi-cultural studies, and religious studies being taught in the classroom and not just as an option on college campuses. I want affordable health coverage where I can pick my doctor, dentist, and specialist, and not because I’m getting “aid”. If I lose my job and get independent, private insurance I don’t want to be denied service, face a laundry list of exclusions, or be put on the traditional “one year” clause because of “pre-existing conditions” or other nonsense. I want to see unemployment rates plummet while watching my people get those jobs they have been desperately applying for…and so Black men can resume being the true head of their household, with dignity and self-respect. I want to see more state regulations (especially in southern states like Georgia) in place so employees feel valued and companies can feel the sting when they mistreat their employees.
So what are leaders in my community doing about this? What do we tell our President that we need him to do to resolve these issues? What is our collective message in this Black Agenda? Where do I go to have my say, listen to the masses, and see this outlined proposal for change?
The Standard for All
Accountability should be addressed to every politician and leader who has been put into office by our vote, our say, our power, our support. Not just one or some, but all leaders should be held accountable for what they claimed they would do before they got into office, what they said they would do the first 100 days, and what they have done those first 365 days and every year thereafter. You don’t hold them accountable once the diaper hits the fan…it is to begin from day one. Just like when Jerry McGuire yelled, “show me the money”, you must tell your leaders, “show me what you can do and what you have done”.
You make it difficult for this dialogue to take place when you’re having a monologue!
Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved

Tavis Smiley “Tavis Smiley Talks” Transcript Source: http://www.tavistalks.com/we-count-black-agenda-american-agenda

Tavis, Sharpton and Ogletree Conversation Source: http://blip.tv/file/3259184

New York Times Article Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/us/politics/09race.html

Black girl in shorts Image Source: http://img.youtube.com/vi/x6UWGzx2YVI/0.jpg

>Black Power at it Again: Part One

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Something I have not done in awhile is discussed politics…in general… “Black” politics specifically. Today is the day that I bring up some issues that are troubling. Today is part one of a two-part blog post where I discuss issues that cause so many of us to shake our heads and ask, “Have we taken another step backwards?” I may tick some folks off today and tomorrow with these two posts…so let’s talk… 
Let me explain what has taken place….
What I Have Seen
We are our biggest enemies. We undercut, undermine, overrule, overshadow, shoulder climb, backstab; open our mouths when we should be listening, blame, blame, blame…pointing fingers but never looking in the mirror. Everyone wants to lead but not really. Everyone wants to have a say, but not be held accountable for what they say and do. Everyone thinks they can do a better job, but obviously the “people” don’t think so because you don’t hold the position of the office you are attacking regularly. The model of Black leadership waves above our heads in the faces (and on the backs and shoulders) of men and women who really should know better. You can’t blame “the man” for this mess!
There has been one too many school yard fights amongst our leaders over trivial things. Too many fake smiles, half hugs, and loose handshakes in front of the camera and moments later blunders of honesty on forgotten “hot” microphones. In my almost 35 years on this planet I have wondered, “When are we going to get it together individually and collectively? If our senior leaders and mentors can’t do it, how can the 35 and younger group take over effectively?” If you want to know why some Black folks old and young don’t get involved in the political process, don’t get involved in community action planning…it’s because they can’t trust their leaders to effectively lead…and they question, “what makes them qualified to lead me?”
What Just Happened
I sit here reflecting on one of the most puzzling displays of public pissing contests I have seen amongst my Black leaders. It’s not the first and unfortunately, it is not the last in our bubble. This one happened to be between Tavis Smiley and Reverend Al Sharpton (with Charles Ogletree waiting on the line and occasionally addressing particular points, questions, and attacks when he could get a word in). The argument…over President Barack Obama…over the “Black Agenda”…over what was said and not said by Sharpton, Ogletree, Dr. Dorothy Height, Ben Jealous, and other Black leaders…over individual agendas that will always overshadow the big picture without healthy dialogue…first privately then publicly.
Thanks to technology, a conversation that should have taken place privately between three influential Black men, took place publicly over the airwaves for all to tune in and tear up to shreds. What went wrong here was lack of better judgment, lack of effective communication, and lack of respect for individuals and for the “Black Agenda” This argument highlighted our very issues within our community…we have no unity but keep expecting for it to appear out of the clouds like the North Star that led Harriet Tubman and others from slavery to freedom. We point the finger at each other and say, “Your actions caused the rest of America to once again size us up” yet those very actions have also done the same.
I can see both points of view….the breakdown in respect and communication unfortunately overshadows all of it. Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show [see show transcript and video] basically said that many of our Black leaders were giving President Obama a “pass” on having to deal with Black issues…which are also America’s issues. That is a huge boulder of a pill to swallow considering Tavis pointed the finger at Al Sharpton…the thorn in many leaders’ sides over the years. Is it possible that Sharpton is making an exception for Obama? Hmmmm…not likely…maybe I’m wrong.
 Singling out Sharpton and these other leaders without dialogue was a misstep. Tavis then went to another level by misquoting more than once the New York Times as though the referenced quote in the article was a direct quote from Sharpton (and taking it out of context), when in actuality the writer paraphrased a sentiment. Instead of speaking with these leaders he calls “friends” in private and getting clarification on quotes he and others read, Smiley blasted them on the radio which in turn caused Sharpton to make contact with him for dialogue on public radio [hear audio]. It would seem that there was no other way to diffuse this, right? Tit for tat…he said he said…It got a little ugly folks.
 To me it is clear…we do not all think alike. Period. But why should we? Why should we all vote alike? It is clear that we don’t. It is clear that some of us are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. and some of us simply don’t vote for whatever reason.  Some of us are conservative while others are liberal. Some voted for President Obama…some did not. Some pray that he successfully leads us through a second term…others hope he fails before the end of this term. Some voted for him simply because he’s Black. Others refused to vote for him…because he’s Black (no, I wouldn’t be surprised that there were some Black folk who did not vote for him simply because of this fact).
President Obama received over 66 million votes. Let’s be clear that there are not 66 million Black people in the United States.  Yes, we as a people have common concerns that are unique, honestly, only to us…and yes, we as a people need those concerns addressed and resolved. Yes, there are issues that require the President to have his hands all “in the mix”. But our President is not the sole “great hope” responsible for taking care of (all of) our needs. He’s not our Moses.
Can we miraculously come together like the cartoon, Voltron, and be…one…all the time in every situation, at the drop of a hat without thought…even when we’re rolling our eyes and sucking our teeth at the person beside us? What other culture or nationality thinks, speaks, and acts collectively as one? None!
God gave us each a brain…our minds are ours to make up based on our interpretation of folks, facts, figures, and fiction. We all have our own interests in mind. We all have separate needs. Yes, Black people come from generations that walked and crawled through hell in order to make today better for each us…and yes we need to make sure our voices are loud, strong, clear and focused. Still some of us haven’t learned to work the “system”- haven’t learned how to make your voice be heard where action takes place on your behalf…not shuffled to the bottom of the pile as you’re being patted on the head. 
I’m not talking about passivity, passive-aggressive behavior, or any Uncle Tom foolery. I’m speaking strategy. I’m referring to looking at every situation and deciding if there are steps you can take before you take a stand, cause ruckus, and declare war. Looking at the situation as though it is a map and you’re in battle…picking the ones you can win quick and in a hurry (with the least amount of casualties)…then coming back to the camp to rest up, re-group, and re-think the ones you have doubts about.
We don’t need to embarrass one another, call each other out like we’re ready for a neighborhood brawl. We don’t need to always try to prove we’re right and the other person is wrong. We don’t need to ride a wave of accusation based on quotes from mainstream America’s resources when we can simply place a call and ask for clarification…then move forward.
What Was the Purpose/Agenda?
So Tavis makes a point of promoting his upcoming meeting of the minds panel discussion amongst the leaders he’s accusing basically of trying to sabotage or downplay the “Black Agenda”; along with other Black leaders that he selected…some of whom have publicly “attacked” President Obama and other Black leaders. 
So does it seem as though the agenda is clear? A back and forth, finger-pointing session it would seem. Who is the moderator of this meeting? Mr. Smiley. Tavis’ first summit slated for this month was cancelled, and the newly scheduled “discussion” was quickly organized for next month…but which leaders besides the one he mentioned going to be there to address our issues and our agenda? The scales of open, healthy dialogue don’t appear to be balanced.
I admire Tavis Smiley, have read and own a couple of his books; frequently listened to his reflections and calls to action on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; I have even watched his television program on PBS. So my eyebrows raise high when I notice a side step or two. I agree with Reverend Sharpton and others, like Dr. Boyce Watkins that Mr. Smiley should also be a panelist in this discussion, not the so-called unbiased moderator when it is clear that he is very biased against the Obama administration; and has publicly voiced his negative opinions of the President long before he took office. 
Just as he wants these leaders to speak up and share what they have discussed with our President over the course of a few weeks or so, and what their intentions are in furthering our agenda; he too should share with the public why he appears to be on constant attack mode; what solutions he has to offer, and how he plans on being an intricate part in the whole equation.
Tavis is right in that we need everyone on the same page. The problem is there are too many egos that simply can’t be checked at the door so folks can get down to work. The same reason more leaders were not obviously invited and won’t be present next month at the discussion in Chicago. Maybe Reverend Sharpton is correct in his thinking that Smiley may not be the appropriate person to make the rally cry for everyone to have a Black town hall meeting so-to-speak. 

What are your thoughts?

Tomorrow I will pick up from this point. Yes, I dig deeper and explore both sides of the table. I wish I could just share all of it in one post, but I know that you have a life beyond reading blog posts.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved

Presidential Election Results Source: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/
Tavis Smiley “Tavis Smiley Talks” Transcript Source: http://www.tavistalks.com/we-count-black-agenda-american-agenda
Tavis, Sharpton and Ogletree Conversation Source: http://blip.tv/file/3259184
Voltron Cartoon Source: http://www.voltron.com/main.asp