Skip to main content

Last week, there were rumblings about Tavis Smiley’s PBS program, “Reawaking America.”  The program was designed to encourage politicians and citizens to deal with poverty in America, which continues to be ignored by the powers-that-be in Washington. In fact, in last year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama was the first Democratic president since Harry S. Truman not to mention poverty for the entire address.

 

SEE ALSO: Santorum Attacks Romney On Voting Rights

As expected, Cornel West joined Tavis as one of the panelists for the event.  West is a long-time political partner in crime with Smiley, and in spite of any criticism they might have received for their challenges to the Obama Administration, you must give them both credit for being lone voices in the woods on the important issue of poverty.  With 40 percent of Black children living below the poverty line, African Americans cannot allow the political elite of Washington to fool us into forgetting about those who are suffering the most.

 

One thing that seems to keep Tavis in power is that even when Black people are tired of hearing from him, there’s always a group of powerful white folks who love him to death.  Joining Dr. West on the panel were financial guru Suze Orman and filmmaker Michael Moore, both of whom had something to say about the issue.

 

Orman is certainly a well-branded financial expert, but not an expert on poverty.  Ryan Mack’s objection to Orman’s seemingly exploitative debit card serves as additional evidence that Orman was only on the panel because she’s famous.  There’s not much in Suze’s track record to confirm, on any level, that she cares one bit about Black people or poverty. She should have been replaced by someone who has a history of actually giving a damn.

 

Tavis’ efforts on poverty are being applauded by some, including Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President of Bennett College for Women:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hated poverty. He described it as ‘an abomination greater than cannibalism.’ Tavis stands on the shoulders of Dr. King in his fight against poverty, and I commend him for his efforts.

Over the last two months, the Obama Administration has received credit for the fact that the unemployment data for the entire nation has improved.  During the same time period, Black unemployment has actually gotten worse.  This is the headline that the Obama Administration does not want you to see, but it’s the only headline that any of us need to see as it pertains to our people.

 

One of the challenges that Tavis and Cornel are set to face in their fight against poverty is that America is not a country that is wired to take care of the poor.  Capitalist societies are structured to focus almost exclusively on maximizing shareholder wealth, even if it is at the expense of workers, customers, and the environment.  Also, the distorted values of our society have led us to a place where we seem to believe that greed is good and that there’s no reason to care about our fellow man.

 

Washington has given up on its fight against poverty, and I’m not optimistic that they will ever escape the grasp of corporate greed.  Now that the Supreme Court has told political leaders that corporations can feed their coffers in excess, we’re going to see our society crippled by economic inequality unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.  Income inequality could ultimately come to destroy America as we know it, and no one in Washington seems to care.

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Interesting.  Just a couple of days ago, I received an email from 'Smiley & West' touting a new, upcoming "membership" program of their radio show ... where they are asking for $39.00/year or $3.99/month ... which would entitle the 'member' to be able to listen to additional discussion (not aired to the non-paying public), a mug, a T-shirt (I think) .... and a portion of the payment would go as a donation to a poverty organization called "Feeding America" ... whose mission it is to feed hungry children in America.

 

The other portion would go towards being able to keep them/their show "on the air."   I'm not sure what they meant, exactly, but that's what they said.

 

But first, they invited me to take a survey to tell them what I thought about that!!

 

I don't listen to the show ... and simply never took my name off the subscription list when I signed up over a year ago ... but, I never open the emails, either ... unless I've heard somebody special was interviewed (like Harry Belafonte recently!).  So, I didn't really feel right about answering it.  But, some of the questions were:  Whether or not I supported Tavis & Conrnell's show ... whether or not I would want to become a "paid" member ... and if not, why .... whether or not I would support the Feeding America organization ... and whether or not I thought the two of them were important to the fight against poverty!!

 

Personally, I would rather give my money directly to Feeding America than to fatten the pockets of either one of them!  If their "mission" is so altruistic and selfless .... they why don't they spend some of their OWN millions to get the word out and bring attention (and maybe a lot of donation money once people find out and want to help!) to the plight of Black kids suffering from hunger?

What a crock!

 

In 1975 Sylvia Porter mentioned DEPRECIATION 5 times in the index of her MONEY BOOK and 4 of them were about depreciation of automobiles.

In 2007 I checked FIVE of Suze Orman's books and not one of them mentioned depreciation. There have been 200,000,000+ cars in the US since 1995. At $1,500 lost in depreciation per car per year that is $300,000,000,000 every year. That is FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS since 1995! What has Suze Orman or the economics profession said about that?

 

Now they want us to buy Ultrabooks that go for around $1000.  Yeah, they are more powerful than netbooks that cost $400 but is the real problem BLOATED INEFFICIENT SOFTWARE?   I have run benchmarks on netbooks.  Two years ago they were 3 times as powerful as the IBM 3033 mainframe that cost $3,000,000 in 1980.   You lose enough in the first year on the depreciation of an Ultrabook to pay for a netbook.   Our concept of poverty is based on low income that people must spend for things that don't last so they are really just running on a treadmill with other people making money off the poor.  Does anybody suggest that EVERYBODY understand accounting?  It's 700 years old.  How difficult can it be.

 

Our intellectual leaders just parrot what the White folks say.  The White folks don't say that all of them should know accounting.

 

Xum

I would rather give my money directly to Feeding America than to fatten the pockets of either one of them!  If their "mission" is so altruistic and selfless .... they why don't they spend some of theirOWN millions to get the word out and bring attention (and maybe a lot of donation money once people find out and want to help!) to the plight of Black kids suffering from hunger?

====================================================================

 

 

It would seem that they would spend their own money to start up such and endeavor, maybe they have spent plenty of their own money to get on the air in the first place or to bring attention to poverty in America and around the world, however, if they have already, you would think that they would have mentioned that already.  I hope they are serious about bringing attention the poverty, but, it does seem suspect when people with money have a cause that they are not willing to put their own money where their mouth is.  If this is just another American, Western money making scheme to bilk people out of money by playing on their sympathies, like countless other "charities", etc., then I am shocked at Cornel West and had Tavis pegged all wrong.  The names Cornel West and Tavis Smiley alone should garners much support and donations for such a worthy cause without either of them even attempting to turn a worthy cause into a scam.  So, if their motive are not genuine, it will only serve to ruin their reputations and any chance of people taking the plight of the poor seriously.  

My take on Suzy Orman is that she really does know what  she is talking about when it comes to finance, personal finance, etc., but, I just personally have a problem with her because of the fact that she is so damn rich by now, promoting all her books, etc., and her rounds on the talk show circuit, PBS, finance advice shows, etc., that it would SEEM that a woman who comes from the background she claims to come from (a struggling waitress), would have free information and/or tools on her website, and would give free-of-charge seminars/workshops to poor women.  Unless there is something about her that I do not know about, she does none of this.  Hell, Suzy Orman doesn't even have a free budget calculator on her website (last I checked).  So, for West and Tavis to team up with a money-hound that does nothing to help the poor on their poverty tour/campaign, makes any honest efforts on the parts of Tavis and West seem suspect.  

 

 

I think I want to delve deeper into this West/Smiley campaign.

You know, who else is addressing these issues nationally? They have valid points.  Some people need to stop looking so much at the issue they have with them and President Obama and look at what they are saying about the conditions in this country especially with African Americans. Because truth be told, the President AND democratic majority congress could've done something more than extending unemployment benefits. That's the truth of the matter. They could've put a CCC type program into effect to help truly build America back up and spent the same amount of money the gave to the banks in the first stimulus package (Bush) and the Second Stimulus package (Obama) Both had majority Dem legistlative branches. Furthermore, the money that was set aside for social services programs under Bush went 95% to white churches. The money that was set aside to help non profits and small businesses went about the same to gov't contract and white owned businesses. Yet some want to beef about Tavis correctly holding President Obama accountable for not showing up to State of Black America when he knew damn well we were going to vote for him in MASS?? No I think those people are barking up the wrong tree on this issue.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

You know, who else is addressing these issues nationally? They have valid points.  Some people need to stop looking so much at the issue they have with them and President Obama and look at what they are saying about the conditions in this country especially with African Americans. Because truth be told, the President AND democratic majority congress could've done something more than extending unemployment benefits. That's the truth of the matter. They could've put a CCC type program into effect to help truly build America back up and spent the same amount of money the gave to the banks in the first stimulus package (Bush) and the Second Stimulus package (Obama) Both had majority Dem legistlative branches. Furthermore, the money that was set aside for social services programs under Bush went 95% to white churches. The money that was set aside to help non profits and small businesses went about the same to gov't contract and white owned businesses. Yet some want to beef about Tavis correctly holding President Obama accountable for not showing up to State of Black America when he knew damn well we were going to vote for him in MASS?? No I think those people are barking up the wrong tree on this issue.

To your point,

 

Steve harvey was critical of tavis. So I went on his website and asked him that to debate tavis on the issues regarding obama. I did the same with tom joyner. Debate tavis (and or west) on the issues. Point for point; counterpoint for counterpoint and let the public decide who's right.

Originally Posted by sunnubian:

My take on Suzy Orman is that she really does know what  she is talking about when it comes to finance, personal finance, etc., but, I just personally have a problem with her because of the fact that she is so damn rich by now, promoting all her books, etc., and her rounds on the talk show circuit, PBS,

I am not saying she doesn't know the stuff that she talks about.  The problem is what she does not talk about.

 

That is the trick that goes on throughout this society.  The things people don't tell you.  You hear unimportant information a lot and it is correct if you investigate it.  But how do you investigate what you never hear?

 

Americans have wasted trillions of dollars on cars.  How do we know cars couldn't be made to last three times as long but still cost less if there weren't so many useless variations.  But we are supposed to get our egos wrapped up in the junk.  I still remember the jingle for Chevrolet that was on TV when I was a kid.  "See the USA in a Chevrolet"

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN21l4eGZAg

 

So decades after the Moon landing the entire economics profession can't supply economic data on the depreciation of cars but we are supposed to keep buying them.  What do they say about the depreciation of computers?  LOL

 

We just need to know the right books.

 

The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand
http://www.exceltip.com/book-1570713960.html
http://www.fool.com/personal-f...unting-gamequot.aspx

 

Xum

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Yet some want to beef about Tavis correctly holding President Obama accountable for not showing up to State of Black America when he knew damn well we were going to vote for him in MASS?? No I think those people are barking up the wrong tree on this issue.

==========================================

 

In a way I kinda agree with this!!  I had no problem with Tavis correctly holding President Obama accountable for not showing up to the SOBU!!!  But, it was the way he nutted up and threw a 10-year-old-girl-like tantrum after the fact that disturbed me most!! 

 

The thing is .... poverty - and especially Black poverty - was a problem loooonnngggg before President Obama arrived on the scene!!  It got worse ... and has continued to get worse - due to the failed economic policies of George Bush's administration!!!  He started this further downward spiral at a time when we were already below ground level.

 

If Tavis and West REALLY want to get into the meat of the issue of poverty - and Black poverty especially - and bring the issue of it to the forefront .... they need to go back much, MUCH farther than (complaining about) President Obama (and his current policies) ... and show people the REAL and historical nature behind Black poverty ... the ways and reasons in which it is so deeply ingrained in our communities ... the ways and reasons WHY it doesn't (has never) gone away .. and lastly, a few positive suggestions on how to help make it better for future generations wouldn't hurt!!

 

President Obama has NOT doing all the right things all the right ways.  But neither has Smiley nor West!!! And I think a LOT of the criticism being lobbied at ALL three of them are in many ways well deserved.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×