Ever since Senator Barack Obama turned down Tavis Smiley’s invitation to be on the panel at his annual “State of the Black Union” discussion, which was held on the same day Obama announced his presidential campaign in Illinois, Smiley has been consistently critical of President Barack Obama. Joined by Cornell West, the two have pointed out and criticized Obama for not caring about the state of impoverished and Black Americans.
After the President used Dr. King’s Bible to swear in at this inauguration, Tavis Smiley didn’t hesitate to weigh in on what he thought of this. “The president wants to channel King so badly that he’s decided to use Dr. King’s Bible at the inauguration ceremony tomorrow. Obama is a politician, and a pretty good one, but King was a prophet. And while I can appreciate the president’s fascination with King’s legacy of unarmed truth and unconditional love, I’m feeling some sort of way about King being used symbolically for public pomp and circumstance, but disregarded substantively when it comes to public policy.”
Well, in typical Tom Joyner fashion, he didn’t hesitate to weigh in on what he thought about Tavis Smiley’s comments regarding President Obama. “¦ I believe that Tavis is the one fascinated with Dr. King’s legacy, but more importantly Tavis is fascinated with his own legacy, and that’s not good. He wants more than anything to be remembered the way Dr. King was, and to some how make that kind of mark on the world. Dr. King wasn’t concerned about how he would be remembered, he was concerned with doing good and doing right. In the end, that made him great. Tavis has done a lot of good things but his obsession with becoming great is destroying him. The whole issue with the inscription on the King Memorial illustrates the differences between Tavis and Dr. King. Days before he was killed, believing that death was imminent, Dr. King dealt with it publicly in his Drum Major speech. Dr. King knew good things would be said about him in death and he was humbled at the idea of it. Tavis is afraid of what will be said about him and it’s driving him crazy.”
Does Tavis have a point or his he overly critical of President Barack Obama due to personal reasons? Is Tom Joyner correct in his assessment of Tavis Smiley or his blinded by his appreciation for the President?