Saturday, February 23, 2008

Smiley Hating on Obama

Tavis Smiley is upset at Sen. Barack Obama because Obama did not attend Smiley’s State of the Black Union meeting held in New Orleans. Smiley has used The Tom Joyner Morning Show to put Obama on blast for not giving Smiley (though not the meeting) due reverence.

Obama had campaign appearances that he could not reschedule to attend Smiley’s event. Brotherdoc could be wrong, but campaigning for President of the United States may be just a tad bit more important at this particular moment.

Brotherdoc understands how important the State of the Black Union is to Smiley, and to Black people. But attacking Obama for not attending is entirely inappropriate. I am disappointed in Tavis Smiley especially since I once held him in such high esteem for his work on BET, NPR and his nightly talk show. Smiley’s criticisms of Obama strike me as childish, and self-serving.

Obama sent Smiley a letter expressing his regret for a tight schedule. Obama even offered to have his wife, Michelle Obama, represent him. But even a future first lady was not good enough for Smiley. Smiley has made it clear that it was either his way or no way at all.

Smiley has spent the last several months hating on Obama. So much so that one wonders if Smiley thinks that he is the voice of Black America. For all his hating, Smiley has been flooded with protest. Smiley says he has even received death threats against his family. I do not agree with the threats against people’s lives. I do, however, find it refreshing that so many people have taken Smiley to task, while also voicing their support for Obama.

As for Smiley, Brotherdoc does not see that much has changed since last year’s State of the Black Union meeting. If Obama is not elected President, I do not think that much will change for the better before next year’s State of the Black Union meeting either. So Tavis, please chill on the hating!!

(image: Tavis Smiley)

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