If you do anything today, listen to these clips.
Steve Harvey questions the motives behind Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s Poverty Tour and in the process sets straight the CBC and the Soul Patrol, and (by implication) firebaggers, and PUMAs. Even if you think you don’t like Steve Harvey, take the few minutes to listen to the clips.
There are three links on the page. Listen to each of them. I transcribed the clips as best as I could, but you really have to listen to them to get the full effect.
Here’s my transcript:
STEVE: Hey Morning Crew! Because you are not as deep into politics as I am, I think that there’s something you should know. Some members of the Republican party are not the only ones wanting President Obama to fail. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are doing a so-called Poverty Bus Tour under the guise of highlighting that issue — because we all know that poverty didn’t exist before January 20, 2009.
If you check their records, you will see that they have done a lot of poverty-pimping through book sales, TV appearances, speaking fees, and promoting the “woe is me” mindset among the disenfranchised and discouraged. This has been their hustle for a long time, and now President Obama has threatened that with his message of hope and self-empowerment. Just think of what would happen if more people made the effort to tap into their God-given abilities. These jokers would be out of business. Their plan is to discourage a large voting bloc of the president’s base so that their lucrative hustle will once again be secure. Just thought you might want to inform your listeners. Obama/Biden 2012.
STEVE: I’m really surprised, and, to be honest with you, I was a huge fan of Cornel West. Tavis Smiley? I see him coming a mile away. Tavis Smiley’s anger started when he was having a town-hall meeting. President Obama was supposed to come; he couldn’t come because of the campaign trail, and he sent Mrs. Obama. He has held that grudge ever since.
CARLA: And then Professor West was upset because he wasn’t invited to the inauguration, as we understand it. Is that correct? To the presidential inauguration?
STEVE: Hey, I wasn’t there either!
CARLA: Are you upset?
STEVE: For what?!
CARLA: Do you have a poverty bus tour?
STEVE: Hold up, hold up, have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration?
STEVE: Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you? So what’re you mad for? Because President Obama, who does not fill out the guest list ain’t got time to tend to that. Do you know how many people wanted to be at the inauguration?
CARLA: It’s very petty. That’s what it’s about.
STEVE: The disguise is — the disguise of it all — is he’s not doing for black America what he should be doing. But let me hip everybody to something… and understand this — and this is in layman terms: You are so wrong when you make that statement. He is the President of the United States. He is not the President of The Hood. He is the President of the United States. But if you look at what he’s pushing, no one could benefit greater than our community. Healthcare? Who is lacking in healthcare overwhelmingly than anybody else? Who is that? Who is lacking in education overwhelmingly than anybody else? And who—who do you know could stand a tax break above anybody else? So all you gotta do is fit yourself into the equation and you’ll see that he’s doing everything that he can. But, it’s not for us – it’s for the American people. And the moment we quit saying, “gimme gimme gimme,” and just plug yourself into the already existing system – which ain’t gonna change just ‘cause you want it to – then we can move on with this thing. The man is doing a great job.
Tavis Smiley was behind Hillary Clinton when she first came out. As was quite a few African-Americans. I can name ‘em. I understand that. But now that Hillary Clinton is not your candidate, the anti-Barack Obama movement… what sickens me is that you don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man. You’re not basing it on anything.
You all, please look at the facts of what this man’s platform was about and see if you don’t fit into the platform. How can he raise a flag for black people and be the President of the United States? It’s utterly ridiculous. Y’all – do you know that that would be the death to his second term, if he was standing up talking about “I’m gonna do this for black people.” He’s gotta do it for the country. We all live in this country. I would be disappointed if he did that. I really would.
CARLA: Absolutely. Just because he’s black, you know, doesn’t mean that we have to vote for him if he’s not doing the right thing for this country – we all live in this country.
STEVE: Too many nonblacks voted for this man.
STEVE: Can you read what you just read the quote was.
CARLA: This is from an article called The Root on the Internet – from theroot.com: “If anyone thinks this is a hate campaign,” Tavis said, “They don’t understand this really. If the President wants to call a roundtable for two or three days on poverty. Why not a White House conference on poverty?”
STEVE: See? right there? Once again to Smiley: You are demanding center attention with the President of the United States which is what stemmed this whole problem, brother; when he didn’t come to your townhall meeting because of campaign obligations, and he asked his wife, Mrs. Obama – who graciously came. You’ve been pissed off ever since. Now, “if you think it’s a hate tour, then let’s have the White House sit down for two or three days.” Who in the hell got two/three days for yo’ ass?
I – I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for no two/three damn days, let alone the President of the United States. We got three damn wars out here, economy crashing, and he gonna sit with Tavis’s ass for two/three days.
Now you gonna get mad again, ’cause guess what? The man ain’t got time to do this. See, once again you keep masking it all talkin’ ‘bout “if you think this is about hate, you’re wrong.”
Well what is it ’bout? Because poverty existed before January 20, 2008. [sic]
HARVEY: It existed. Where was your damn bus then? Where was your poverty bus when Clinton was the President? Or Reagan. Or the Bush Administration when we were being driven to this new level of poverty. It’s called a recession now Tavis, and it got started over eight years ago. And it started when they started rescinding all of the good things that president Clinton had done. See that’s what’s happenin’ here. So where was your bus tour back then?
Where was your crying and moanin’?
TOMMY: Yeah, Tavis.
Steve: One more time, I want to know this: Is anybody paying you?
TOMMY: And is it the tea party?
Anybody? And where are you getting the money for these buses?
TOMMY: Who owns the buses?
STEVE: I jus wanna know who he’s getting the money from for the buses. I just really can’t see you digging into your own pocket for the love and welfare of poor people, when you and I both know that we write books and show up on TV for money.
TOMMY: Is Cornel driving the bus?
STEVE: If they’re buying the bus, it’s a van.
Right on, brother.
Looks like Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington, the New Progressive Alliance, and the rest of you silly white people who think you’re going to convince us not to vote for Barack Obama by vigorously waving black unemployment numbers in our face, (or talking about “I haz a big sad that so many black men are in jail” ::coughAriannacough::) are gonna need a bigger boat.
When I was growing up, my father always used to say to me, “Life is a constant struggle.” For many people — black, white, Asian, brown — my father’s statement rings true.
Life is a constant struggle for a lot of people in this country. And it seems to me that those who aren’t struggling are the ones who rarely — if ever — have a positive word for Obama.
And yes, it really pisses me off.
You know what? I would honestly like to see a poll taken of the left. An Obamabot/Firebagger poll, to use terms from the Great Obama Wars. I want to know how many firebaggers are employed, have health insurance, or are having an easy time paying their bills and putting food on the table. (The Professional Left need not participate in the poll, because I know without question that you are lining your pockets with the anti-Obama/PUMA/libertarian crap that spews from your fingertips and sconeholes.)
But for you “regular” political junkies — do you have health insurance? Do you rely on unemployment checks to feed yourself or your family? Now ask yourself whether your support for Obama would vary depending upon the answer to those questions.
I challenge anyone to find me a person collecting unemployment who isn’t grateful for the Bush tax cut compromise.
I challenge anyone to find me a single person who is uninsured or has a preexisting condition who isn’t grateful for the healthcare bill.
Find me one person who isn’t rich enough to buy health insurance on the market, or one person who doesn’t have employer-provided insurance and stable employment prospects, and ask that person if she was screaming “KILL THE BILL!” Ask that person if he is participating in this ongoing “Obama Caved! He Sold Us Out!” public option pathos.
I’ll bet you can’t find me such a person.
Oh, and here’s a tip to those white folks who have latched onto Corny as some progressive savior who will help spread the “PRIMARY HIM!” message to The Blacks™: African-Americans in this country have been struggling since silly white people dumped our ancestors’ black asses on these amber-waved and grainy shores.
We have been struggling since we fucking got here.
This is not “playing the victim” or “playing the race card.” It’s a simple fact.
Now, maybe you don’t understand that because you’ve never wanted for an overpriced half-caf soy chai tea latte with whip. Maybe you’re too damn privileged to even contemplate what struggle might feel like. Maybe you have no capacity for empathy with respect to the struggle of others. Maybe you’ve deemed yourself “post-racial” and entitled to ignore the existing racial realities and inequities because “Hey, I didn’t do nuffink! Get over it! I’m colorblind! Stop playing the victim!” Or maybe you think we really are a bunch of dumb motherfuckers who don’t know what time it is.
Sorry, yo. We do know what time it is.
So take your hate and shove it. We’re not having it. Just look at the polls.
You’re wasting your time.
Now, excuse me. This mocha latte isn’t going to drink itself.