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Tavis Smiley Quits 'Tom Joyner Morning Show'

We assume some of you listen to Tom Joyner's show only when you aren't listening to NPR ... but TransWorldNews has this late-breaking story ...

"Tavis Smiley reportedly quit his weekly political commentary position with the Tom Joyner Morning Show on Friday.

The move was announced on air on the show Friday morning. However, the exact reasons for his resignation were not determined.

Smiley became a frequent commentator on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a nationally syndicated radio show broadcast on African-American stations, in 1996."

On his blog, Roland Martin hints that it might have something to do with the backlash Smiley experienced for his criticism of Barack Obama. What do you think?

UPDATE: Tom Joyner on Tavis:

"The real reason [he is leaving] is that he can't take the hate he's been getting regarding the Barack issue — hate from the black people that he loves so much. He needed to feel the love."



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Unfortunately, sometimes when taking the opposing view you find yourself on the outside...Tavis should take heart that he may have it more "right" than many who want to connect their decision to support Obama as synonymous with Dr. King"s message of equality...actually, when you take time to reflect on his message, color and gender are to be removed from the determination of the person...CONTENT of the person was Dr. King's seems disappointing that so many feel good about supporting Obama...feeling that in supporting him they are making Dr. King's message come alive...tragically, this type of reasoning buries "The Dream"...take away color, gender, economic status and just view the qualifications of the candidates if you really want to keep Dr. Kings dream alive...fair and sound logic, void of emotional bias should rule in determining the next President of the United States.

Sent by ard | 1:02 PM | 4-11-2008

Tavis Smiley made the right decision. Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden are using their shows to campaign for Obama. It is their right because after all it is THEIR show. But when you use public airways for "personal political views" in a "partisan" manner, one day your show will sound like Radio Rwanda during the genocide. Tavis was a spokesperson for critical thinking and sound judgment. Congrads to Tavis!!

Sent by Mitchell | 2:19 PM | 4-11-2008

Taking the "opposing" view doesn't make you a martyr. It is interesting that "Mitchell" posted that Tom Joyner/Michael Baisden are campaigning for Obama. What do Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy and the entire Fox nation do 365 days a year? Let two BLACK radio hosts get involved in the political process and now it's biased?? Those two hosts did not invent "Race Radio" as the people named in this post have. America hates black people who think. Plain and simple.

Sent by mack | 3:52 PM | 4-11-2008

It's funny- Tavis has been criticizing Obama like it is the latest fad, but HE can't take criticism aimed directly at him? He can call Barak to task for actions, stances, and 'inactions' that he believes are flaws and questionable in the bid for the nation's highest office, but Tavis can't handle questions regarding his motivations and fervor as a journalist?

I get it, since Tavis isn't trying to get elected, he doesn't owe anyone an explanation for his positions; anyone that challenges or disagrees with his position is just ignorant or biased. Tavis can have an opinion because he is a journalist. Our job as listeners is to simply AGREE with everything he says, or keep our mouths shut.

Tavis goes on the radio and television and gives his OPINION. When people vocalize their disagreement, Tavis behaves as if it is unwarranted and unfair. I disagree with people that say Tavis should simply support Obama because he is black, or accuse him of being a shill for HRC. However, I whole-heartedly agree with the people that accuse Tavis of unfairly expecting Obama to be THE BLACK CANDIDATE, knowing that this will be THE KISS OF DEATH for his entire campaign. Especially after the Rev. Wright spot-light. As someone else put it: Obama is trying to be the President of the United States, not the President of The Black Union.

I guess Obama should quit, too. Oh, wait- he is standing up to tougher and more diverse criticism than Tavis has seen.

Sent by Trent W. | 4:12 PM | 4-11-2008

I was surprised (not shocked) when I heard this story on TJMS this morning. My first thought was no matter how big a guy's (i.e. Tavis')ego is, it must be really fragile not to take the heat.

Here's the deal: I don't buy that explanation for one minute that Tavis quit because he was just too busy. I've been listening to Tavis on TJMS since college (almost a decade) and he's always had multiple projects going at the same time. Please, he gives a five to seven minute commentary twice a week and now he couldn't take it anymore - give me a break.

The real reason he quit is because of the H--- he caught for criticizing Obama for not attending the State of the Black Union among other things like admonishing Black America to hold their candidates accountable. Just this past Tuesday, I heard a listener call in to TJMS after his commentary that Tavis is really hating on Obama. That was one over many calls in the past couple of months.

Granted, I don't think some of the uproar over Tavis was warranted especially when the guy just wants people to think critically about their choice regardless of the canditate's skin color. Even a few of my friends have wondered outloud "what's wrong with Tavis?" But maybe they should ask what's "right" with him - not to follow the pack without asking critical questions.

Sent by Moji | 4:34 PM | 4-11-2008

In response to the 1st comment - why do people think Obama's support from black people is only about emotion? How then does that explain the support he is getting from whites, lots of young latinos, and many independents? And does anyone ever accuse the many female supporters of Hillary of behaving strictly out of emotion and a hyperactive sense of feminism or McCain's supporters of an irrational and blind loyalty to the GOP? NOT!! Many of Obama's supporters are educated citizens who support Obama based on (as best they can despite the media circus)a "fair and sound logic, void of emotional bias."

Sent by Lovenia | 4:57 PM | 4-11-2008

Since when did a "leader" NOT get flack from all sides? Since when did a "leader" not feel like he's/she's NOT loved? Since when did a "leader" NOT feel hatred and scorn from even their closest friends and wonder if what they are fighting for is really worth the fight?

Pick any "leader" with conviction, with character, with a cause and you will find all the above. Tavis may have felt that he wanted to be a "leader," a "spokesperson," a "voice of the people" ... but when it got hot, when what he dished out came back in his face...he turned tail and ran. He picked up his marbles and flounced home sucking his thumb and whinning.

On Black America Web Tom Joyner said Tavis didn't speak to his Mom for TWO YEARS...but ate at her table!! Nothing but a prolonged, protracted temper tantrum. He wasn't right then and he's not right now. If you are too thin-skinned or, worse yet, too proud then leadership is not for you. To lead one must serve and sometimes when you serve you don't get a "thank you." (His mother served him food for two years and I'm sure he didn't thank her either.) A leader must stick to his/her guns NO MATTER THE STORM & know that it WILL get ugly. How dare him think he should receive nothing but accolades! How dare him think that no one should dare express the opinions while he expresses his. He's not a parent...he hasn't a clue that who you love sometimes treat you in a very unloving way. But you still love 'em and you stay in the fight. His Mama did.

Well, I say "Shame on you, Tavis!! Go on home, Baby Boy, and when you become man enough to take the heat, then you can come back into the kitchen. Until then, go get your teddy bear, drink some warm milk and take yourself nice nap.

Sent by Suzanne Smith-Wigfall | 5:07 PM | 4-11-2008

Good for Tom Joyner!

Tavis Smiley hasn't been fair to Obama.

His blind loyalty to the Clintons has has been obvoius.

Sent by mark | 6:36 PM | 4-11-2008

Well, it makes me sad to think that his voice will not be heard, on the TJMS. Mr. Smiley has a lot to offer and gives you a lot to think about.
and I can appreciate Mr. Joyners concerns. there has never been any doubt that Mr. Smiley Loves black people, and I would go down fighting if anyone said other wise.
The fact is that just as he is impassioned by his, beliefs others are also. Just as he chose to share his thoughts with us, others are now sharing theirs, and rightly so. the threats and lack of civil language to him and his family are WRONG! Senator Obama is not a Saint, he is a politician. Mr. Smiley wants to hold him accountable and rightly so.
That others do not agree with his (Smiley's) thoughts well that is our right, as well as the expression of those views.
Mr. Smiley has quoted the scriptures on several occasions so I will remind him of Jeremiah's rant to GOD and Gods response "If thou has run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee then how wilt thou do in the swelling Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5)

Sent by CEP | 7:35 PM | 4-11-2008

Tavis is taking a page out the Hillary Clinton lying handbook over what the definition of "quit" is. Tavis' pal Tom Joyner CLEARLY said (on air) Tavis was "quitting" immediately. (I admit Joyner's telling of the conversation is 2nd hand.. but come on ! You know Tavis said it!)

TJ's analysis was that Tavis couldn't "take the heat". I admit Joyner's retelling of his conversation may differ from Tavis'-- but whom do you think is making the misstatements? Joyner THEN went on to grouse about how Tavis' contract w/ Joyner wasn't up. (It sounded like TJ was contemplating if letting Tavis out of his contract set a bad business precedent. It was almost as if Joyner was saying if anyone else had abruptly quit, TJ would be suing for breach of contract. You could clearly hear the annoyed tone in Joyner's voice, re: the business aspect of it.)

Then fake Tavis has the nerve to send a lie of a press statement to EUR saying he never quit. Tavis, you're lyyyyiiing. Big L.

Tavis has NEVER been articulate He has a lisp and other speech issues. He's got a mediocre vocabulary, and he's verbose. Tavis takes 40 words to say what could be said in 15. It's terribly annoying. (Tavis, less is more sometimes.)

Add to that, the fact that Laura Washington (Chgo SunTimes) read Tavis the riot act for being sponsored by companies that aren't, frankly, minority nor working-class friendly. Of course, Dick Gregory took a swipe at Tavis DURING the State of Black America Conference (2008)-- and did it to Smiley's face. I thought Tavis' face was gonna melt when Dick Gregory brought the subject up. You've got to see the YouTube clip of Dick Gregory ranting about how Tavis' State of Black America (2008) shouldn't have been sponsored by WalMart, et al.

I am from Chicago and live a few blocks away from the Obamas. People are making a huge mistake if they think Obama doesn't have the intellectual ability to lead this nation. There is nothing average about Obama's (intellectual) abilities. The Obamas are actually representative of many (professional) Black couples/families in Chicago who are (mostly) ivy league educated, multi millionaires, business owning 40/50 yo somethings who are running world class organizations -- at least here in Chicago.

Tavis is jealous of Barack's intellectual facility (and notoriety). Only punks quit. Leaders walk thru the fire to emerge stronger and better equipped on the other side. No one should be surprised Tavis quit. When people show you who they are, believe them. -

Sent by Shanty Minister | 7:52 PM | 4-11-2008

It is obvious from this exchange that people are upset about Tavis leaving TJMS. Some of you blame him for saying what he believes and standing by it. Others call him a coward. Now can you see what this race for the White House is doing to divide people. At one time Tavis and Tome Joyner joined together for a common cause. Now because of business, and most of you know Tom is getting paid by the Obama campaign to support him. At one time Tom's web site BlacAmericaweb was full of advertisements for Obama. They paid for those advertisements. Tom is a business man, makes much money. Tavis is a business man, but his business is the education of the people. I posted earlier on my joy for Tavis leaving Tom. Just like a marriage, sometimes its time to leave for both parties happiness.

Sent by Mitchell | 10:14 PM | 4-11-2008

Well said Suzanne.

Sent by Peach | 10:30 PM | 4-11-2008

Wow, Tavis punked out.
Man, do i love this electoral season.
Best ever in my lifetime; and i been around since before they gave the vote to 18 year olds.
Anyway, i was just thinking, Hillary gets beat up by a constant chorus of males doing the female bashing thing.
She does not quit.
Her daughter gets the same Monica question when making appearances.
She does not quit.
All this says to me is that Tavis is weaker than a white girl.
Why he gotta make Brothers look weak?

Woops...sorry Tavis, i didn't mean that, I-I-I LOVE YOU MAN!!!

And T, i just gotta let you know, even if you do not believe: President Elect Obama is the Man; you just a hydra who cut off one of its heads.
I hear self mutilation really hurts.

Sent by audiodramatist | 1:11 AM | 4-12-2008

Tavis still has The Clintons and Wal-Mart and his own TV show and his annual Black "Outing". So I'm sure that Tavis will be just fine-- much as his former BET boss, Bob Johnson, is doing just fine.

Meanwhile, Tom Joyner can address his own real concern--"rescuing his radio ratings" by recruiting some fresh new younger voices with occasional controversial perspectives, who also have the spine to stand behind what they say they believe without pouting.

Sent by NjT from DC | 1:12 PM | 4-12-2008

If we as a people dont start to pull together, and stop self-destructing we will never have any amount of equality. Throughout our history there have been those to derail our attempt for equality and justice, and will, i fear, always be; but do we(those of enfluence) have to add to the negative fire. I respect Tavis a great deal, but his actions seem to be personal and not for the greater good of our people, at least in respects to Obama.

Sent by dmx4 | 4:36 PM | 4-12-2008

Tavis Smiley quits the Tom Joyner Morning Show, are "black thought police" behind his decision?

Tavis Smiley who has been a fixture on the syndicated radio program ???Tom Joyner Morning Show??? since 1996; Joyner told his audience today called him and said he quit. Supposedly Smiley said that he has too many projects. The "real" impetus of Smiley???s departure is thought to be the continued fallout from his February 14 commentary about Senator Barack Obama???s refusal to attend his ???State of the Black Union??? event in New Orleans on February 23. Smiley reportedly refused to accept Obama's wife Michelle as a substitute. (My take it that Smiley who has both a television and radio program on PBS, who writes and publishes books, etc. has outgrown the Joyner show and was overdue to move on.)

Obama???s rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Senator Hillary Clinton and the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain were also invited. Only Clinton accepted Smiley???s invitation and he greeted her respectfully and warmly at his forum.

There was a host of negative commentary about Smiley (formerly black America???s darling) over his criticism of Obama for not attending the forum in New Orleans. I believed that Smiley was correct that Obama (Obama himself and not his wife or any surrogate should attend) and published the following article on February 16, 2008 ???Tavis Smiley unfairly ???catching hell??? for implying that Obama was mistaken in refusing to participate in his ???the State of the Black Union??? Conference.

Distinguished black commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson has posted a brilliant and thought provoking piece in the April 11, 2008 edition of ???The Huffington Post" about ???black thought police??? and how they seek to shun or strangle any black who dares have an independent political thought.

I want to be free to think for myself and make my own decisions. As a conscious human being dedicated to the liberation of people of color and women and others oppressed by class, sexual orientation, mental and physical disabilities, religion, and other human factors that some use to divide and conquer people; I am dedicated to making responsible decisions that are progressive and uplifts human beings. I refuse to turn over my mind to anyone who wants to control it; whether that perspective is Eurocentric or ostensibly Afrocentric. My thought life and political perspectives are mine and if they mirror someone else's beliefs it is coincidental; but not because I was coerced into mimicking the crowd.

Below is Hutchinson's post on the matter.

Sent by Beni Dakar, Duluth, GA | 6:02 PM | 4-12-2008

Let's be real folks. If Obama was not in this race Joyner would be all over the Clintons. Was it not Tom and crew who echoed black America by saying Clintonwas the first black president? I applaud tavis for quitting. WHo needs this. You try and challenge your people's thinking and they hate. Tavis is not the only black man who is for Clinton(even though I never heard him endorse her personally)

Sent by Thinker | 12:44 AM | 4-13-2008

One more thought; Tavis was not pleased about Obama not showing up for the state of the black Union and black folk criticed him for that. Are these not the same black people that jumped on the bandwagon about Bush not showing up either? if I remember correctly, Black were upset with Bush but Obama misses the event. Tavis gets upset, and BLACK PEOPLE GETS MAD A TAVIS. Do I smell double standard? An No, I am not a Clinton supporter.

Sent by Thinker | 12:50 AM | 4-13-2008

Good bye, Tavis. I still have much respect for you. But this time, I believe you are whining again! We as Black people have had the strength to endure so many things, including the "hate" of our brothers and sisters. We have all been in situations where we were opposed by other Black people. That's a part of our history, brotha. It doesn't mean that we still can't love. Stop crying, Tavis. I thought you were better than this.

Sent by CaliforniaAfrican | 12:16 PM | 4-13-2008

I think that it is time for the Tavis Smileys of the world to wake up and realize that there are many black people who can think for themselves. They don't need a twice weekly rendition of the woes of the world from him exclusively. We do not need Tavis Smiley or anyone else for that matter to tell us how we should feel about what is happening in America.Granted, his commentaries have provoked activism among listeners to the Tom Joyner show, but there are others in the urban media community who are capable of doing the same. I have no fear that Tavis cannot be replaced. Tavis Smiley began as a welcome addition to the Tom Joyner show, but it became increasingly apparent that he was more impressed with himself then he really was with appreciating the diversity of the Tom Joyner listening audience. I sincerely believe that Tavis is like a lot of these self-ordained black leaders who felt that Barack Obama should have "cleared" his run for the Presidency with him. Secondly, Tavis is quite average when compared to an individual with the intellect and progressive thought, like Barack Obama and many others who have lifted their voices in response to one of the most exciting electoral processes in years. Tavis thought that he was "the man". One of the biggest problems in our community is that sometimes we behave like crabs in a barrel. Tavis should be ashamed of himself. I hope that Tom Joyner will bring in some of the more progressive and educated minds to really analyze the totality of issues that we as a people must face . Tavis needs to practice what he preaches. Black folks don't have to be beholding to any master-that includes Tavis Smiley.

Sent by c spence | 6:25 PM | 4-13-2008

Thank god He left. Travis Smiley was right to leave. Tom Joiner promotes a lot of racial division on his show. We as black folks know racism all to well. And voting for someone just because their black is the same as continuing racism througout our country.

Sent by Tara Jones | 8:31 AM | 4-14-2008

O'Reilly, Rush, and Hannity all use their shows to campaign their political views and partisan agenda. They even profess to like McCain after recommending he should drop out. I guess the crime of using the public airways for "personal" views is amplified when it comes from a African-American.

Sent by Don Gray | 9:18 AM | 4-14-2008

I find that some of Tavis' commentaries to be biased sometimes. I got tired of him on NPR. He comes off sometimes as wnating to have it his way. I would rather he talk about both sides of an issue rather than telling folks how to think and how not to think about the issue. I didn't like Tavis insulting Black folks by saying to not get caught up in the passion when supporting Barack. Like we don't have sense enough to think, listen, and make intelligent decisions and we need him to do it for us. Well I'm caught up. I'm caught up in seeing this intelligent Black man talking and speaking and looking so presidential. I'm caught up in seeing how well Barack's doing. I'm caught up in seeing how loving Barack and his wife are. And what's wrong with that!!?? I don't like being told not to vote for Barack because he's Black. Why not! He's not someone like Clarence Thomas, so it's not necessary to pound that in Black folks face all the time. Seeing Barack out there is what (some)Black folks have dreamed of and I am one that is caught up in the passion of seeing him on the verge of being the nations first Black president. Tavis appears to be condescending sometimes, like he's a know-it-all and the Moses of the Black community. What he found when discussing Barack, is that we're not having it - even from him and he can't take it.

Sent by Brenda | 10:40 AM | 4-14-2008

As my best friend said when I first told her about Tavis' snub of Michelle Obama...Tavis who?

The thing is Barack Obama might be black but what he represents is so much larger. Countries all over the world are watching this election as they have at no other time in history. There is a seismic change taking place that while it transcends race, will nonetheless change the narrative every time a black person travels overseas to represent their company in any type of official capacity.

Tavis needs to get past himself and realize he is not a "King maker" that the times are indeed changing, people can look to Senator Obama and ask why not me, being accountable for themselves and realizing black people (finally) no longer need a "spokesperson."

Sent by Joyous | 4:14 PM | 4-14-2008

Yes I am for Barack Obama - I am "BLACK" - and I can not understand how any African American/Black could vote for anybody else....Do they live in the same United States of America that I live in? The ones that were in-slaved, the ones that has been treated less that human? No matter what you have obtained being black you have had to work harder getting it than anybody else. You, or your parents, your sister, brother, cousin or your friends have not been treated equally just because they are/were black and don't fool yourself please. You need to look in the mirror and search you soul.

Barbie D / Florida

Sent by Barbara Donaldson | 5:44 PM | 4-14-2008

Enough already! Both sides of this issue is correct whether you are happy to see him go or not. Tavis Smiley may love black people but he is not the only voice out there; he is one of many different voices speaking to the issues that many Black American face. Tom Joyner will find another commentator.

Sent by Amy | 5:55 PM | 4-14-2008

It is obvious that Tavis Smiley is not an Obama supporter. It is also obvious to me that when he is in the minority in his political views among his own people he sulks and quits. I understand his passion for his belief, but it's all in how you handle opposing views. I would have liked to see Tavis hang in there and have a constructive dialogue. Instead, it seems like he is in the back pocket of the Clinton's. Is this stubborn loyalty for him being mentioned in Bill Clinton's book or is he caught in a position where the pressure has gotten to him, because deep down he really wants to support Obama and his loyalty won't let him.

Sent by John | 8:34 PM | 4-14-2008

What is really interesting about all of this 'supposed hold all candidates accountable' by Tavis is that he has been most critical of Sen. Obama's scheduling decisions...not his policies.

Sent by Irene | 10:57 PM | 4-14-2008

Roland Martin is waiting in the wings, there's a brother who has something to say...

Sent by Carl P Clovis | 11:45 PM | 4-14-2008

This is just another example of Black on Black division we have in this country. It is sad that we as African Americans cannot voice our opnions in a civilzed manner without having hatred, threats, and being made a traitor to our race in the public eye. CONTRARY to popular belief, we as African Americans need to embrace change... CHANGE WITHIN OURSELVES.. We have been a race that is so quick to judge, demean and divide ourselves to the point that its a wonder we're still a viable race in this American Society. Yes, We voted for Barack Obama becuase he's black. The TRUTH is we dont wanna say it out loud in public becuase it makes us look bad and we don't want to be accused of reverse racism, but in the privacy of our own homes, we say a different story becuase it is our "comfort" zone. We a blacks need to wake up to the ignorance we have on ourselves. Tavis Smiley is a GREAT African American leader and becuase of Black hatred just becuase he has his own view and opinion, we are quick to call him "Egostistical", "Uncle Tom" etc... We as blacks need to revist the hard times of the 50's & 60's so we can learn what humility and humbleness is so we can truly show the real meaning of Black Pride.

Sent by John | 1:23 AM | 4-15-2008

I apologize for the spelling errors on my post, because I know some Obama supporter will come back and judge my comment by saying I need to learn grammar anr/or spell properly.. (Sorry, I but know "us" and how we talk)

Sent by John | 3:17 AM | 4-15-2008

I applaud Tavis for his courage. He should tell Tom and the rest of you - who are all of a sudden ready to lynch him - to go to hell. Just prior to this spat, some of the same folk who are now calling for Tavis' head were his most adamant defenders, for his brilliant commentaries on black America. Now, because he is asking us to do the same thing we have praised him for, and that's thinking critically, we are ready to be-head him.

The "chilling effect" I see being created is similar to the one used by the Neo-Cons and the Bush administration when he took the country to an occupation of Iraq. A lot of people who thought it was an insane idea and spoke out about it, were derided, silenced and generally made to feel unpatriotic. I see the same thing happening here, only this time; it's among black folk against other black folk.

Sent by Joe | 9:59 AM | 4-15-2008

What if all employed Blacks put 5% of their income in Black financial institutions?... What if all capable Black males mentored young Black boys or volunteered every year with organizations that seek to provide some options & opportunities for Black youth?... What if all Blacks spent 3% of their disposable income with Black businesses?.... What if half of the Black middle and upper income groups moved back into Black neighborhoods and cities like New Orleans, Detroit, & Oakland?... What if we did these things instead of putting most of our resources, hope, energy, etc. into people like Tavis or Barack?... I am confident/certain that we would accomplish what other ethnics, i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians from India, Jews, Arabs, Armenians, etc., have accomplished within their communities without a ???viable/electable presidential candidate.??? Most importantly, this would have a greater effect on our community than 3 Black presidents or political advocates of Tavis' caliber could ever have. Just so you know, I am already doing the above and much more. Do you care to join me?

Sent by gerald3249 | 11:31 AM | 4-15-2008

Here is the thing.

Group think (90% to 10%) on ANYTHING is never a sign of health in a community. In the long run it is always harmful to the interests and values of that group.

Sent by Laron | 1:39 PM | 4-15-2008

Tavis is as irrelevant as his boss lady Billary.

Sent by bernj | 3:00 PM | 4-15-2008

what if...









Sent by dirtyblues | 3:17 PM | 4-15-2008

I applaud Tavis for his courage. He should tell Tom and the rest of you - who are all of a sudden ready to lynch him - to go to hell. Just prior to this spat, some of the same folk who are now calling for Tavis' head were his most adamant defenders, for his brilliant commentaries on black America. Now, because he is asking us to do the same thing we have praised him for, and that's thinking critically, we are ready to be-head him.

The "chilling effect" I see being created is similar to the one used by the Neo-Cons and the Bush administration when he took the country to an occupation of Iraq. A lot of people who thought it was an insane idea and spoke out about it, were derided, silenced and generally made to feel unpatriotic. I see the same thing happening here, only this time; it's among black folk against other black folk.

Look, why in the heck shouldn't Barack be chastised for so conveniently avoiding anything with the mere appearance of black. Political maturity is when we're able to think critically about all candidates. Black folk are so new to this that we haven't matured enough yet, to constructively criticize a black candidate while voting for someone else. When Baracks former Pastor's comments were lighting up the airways, he quickly threw him under the bus to avoid alienating his white supporters. It was only then that he tried to play the passions of black folk to try and get back on track from the right wing talk show hosts.

I think some of us have lost our minds. We are so quick to deride someone like Tavis and other black folk like him because he offers a view contrary some of conventional thinking with respect to politics. All of a sudden, we're so black it hurts. Some of never voted in a Presidential election before in our lives. Now all of sudden, we're experts on sizing up a candidate. If I were a white politician, I would never seek nor count on support from black folks ever again. The way we're approaching this Presidential race - with our overt support for Obama - lends itself to any future politician saying to him/herself, the hell with these black folk, the minute they have a dog in the hunt, they're going to say "the hell" with anything anyone else has ever tried to do on their behalf. A lot of the people that are so critical of Tavis for challenging Obama's political positions are some of the same people who were lap dogs for Bill Clinton. And another thing, why do those of you who support Obama have to be so venomous with our comments relative to Senator Clinton, or any other candidate for that matter.

All I can say is wait until the fall campaign. If Barack wins the Democratic nomination, I want to see some of these same people back on the blog asking for the heads of the Right Wing politicians, pundits, and 527 organizations that are sure to rip Barack up one side and down the other.

Sent by Joe | 3:48 PM | 4-15-2008

For a race of people to force you to like someone of the same race, based solely on race is the definition of "racism", the black culture is being very racist in this election.

Sent by Nic | 4:38 PM | 4-15-2008

This was long overdue. Thank you TJ! Tavis can now join his former boss (master johnson) with the Hillary campaign.

Sent by mickey searcy | 5:06 PM | 4-15-2008

I live in Cleveland Ohio on night that
Tavis had his affair Barack was here
speaking in a battle to win in Ohio
Travis I think that you very selfish.

Sent by B Carter | 10:23 PM | 4-15-2008

I was extremely pleased to hear the news of Tavis Smiley's resignation from the TJMS not necessarily because his choice to leave, but more because of what this says about black people in general. Maybe we are finally growing tired of our own so-called leaders tearing us down in order to control our thoughts and keep their pockets lined and their name in lights, maybe we are outgrowing the need for these slicksters who would tell us how to think and feel and who would use their position to turn us against one of brightest shining stars because that person proved that they would not be controlled, by these so-called speakers for our communities. When our people in our own communities stood up and said we won't allow you to tear down this man, I was proud of us. It gives me hope for our future. I am black but never would I vote for a candidate simply because they were black, but for the first time we have a candidate who is equally as qualified as any that are running and for me that is a no brainer. I understand that there is a small segment of people who have grown fat and famous off of the misery of black folk and so have a vested interest in things staying exactly the same, but I believe the majority of us does want the change that Senator Barack believes in and wants and are committed to working with him to make his dream a reality, so when I see our so called powerful and influential black leaders, such as Mayor Michael Nutter in Philadelphia and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs of Ohio turn their backs to this black man who has come from so little, to do so much in order to embrace a white woman who seems set on destroying him by any means necessary, then I am puzzled and saddened. So bravo black people who stood up to Mr. Smiley and said no not this time.

Sent by Angela | 11:25 PM | 4-16-2008

What is boring because it is predictable, black folks will jump on any black candidate bandwagon...the proof is in the pudding...need I mention Marion Berry, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick...and a hold trail of worthless mayors..congressional representative and city council members we put in office and also recite the same damn phrase when they fail to deliver the things that they promise...the white man got my hands tied...Obama is another shackled brother with closer ties to his ambitions than black people. Tavis is right to hold Obama feet to the fire...most of the supporters of Obama are young people which is great to see them participating in the process...but I wish they would delve into the issues and not be mesmerized by his charisma... there are so very disconcerting issues surrounding the supreme court and the entitlement programs...Obama and Hillary speak about AIDS in Africa but what about AIDS in the African-American community? This is one African-American woman who will tell Obama to kiss my grits...I'm an independent and find all the candidates disgustingly ill-equipped to lead this country.

Sent by Lois | 12:32 PM | 4-17-2008

i have nothing good to say about someone who lives in their moms house and does not speak to her for two years
his mom knew then what we all know now he is an azz

Sent by maleka westbrook | 9:45 AM | 4-25-2008

I for one was glad to see Tavis go; I hope he stays gone. He is not in any way impartial. And, his claim to love Black people so much falls short when he cannot find anything ever positive to say about Senator Obama. I personally think that he has exhausted his effectiveness as a journalist claiming to be concerned about black people. He shoud retire somewhere and genuinely reflect on just why he can only see the 'bad' in Obama and the 'god' in Hillary Clinton. It is a very weak argument to say that he is speaking for 'acountability' and that "the White House is not the prize; he wants more." These are but thinly disguised ways to denounce Senator Obama. And furthermore, America's African-American voters DO NOT need Tavis to guide us through the political process-we can do this ALL BY OURSELVES. So, yes, he has become a great distraction whose influence continues to become more and more negative. He is losing support both for himself and for Mr. Joyner. LET HIM GO!

Sent by Mary G. LeBlanc | 10:31 AM | 4-25-2008



In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery.

For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation.

What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/ sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.

Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?

After leaving the service of his country, the young African-American finished his final year of college, entered the seminary, was ordained as a minister, and eventually became pastor of a large church in one of America's biggest cities.

This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

Sent by RODNEY | 12:15 PM | 4-25-2008

TS had a right to quit with or without giving a reason to the public. The Contract issue is between he and TJ. I like so many of us make up our own minds based on what we know through information brought to us from outside sources and intuited to us from within.

I want to emphasize that many of us take issue with the idea that we are in support of Obama just because he is black. Clarence Thomas is black and as much as I would like to support my black brothers and sisters, I would not vote for Clarence Thomas to be President of a fast food chain, let alone President of the United States of America.

To go further, I am an African American Senior Citizen (mid 70's)female and I would not vote for C. Rice or Ophra for President and they are both black.

Until this campaign, I might have considered H. Clinton (female). However, in her any means necessary campaign, many things have surfaced that do not make her desireable in my estimation. Some things were known when she was First Lady to Gov. Clinton. Other things have surfaced since the campaign began. However, none of these things have aired in the National News Media in the manner that they have been publicised about Obama. Even the things that get National publicity for her are not pushed over and over and over and over with the same negative connotation. Example: she misspeaks. He lies. Let's not forget, she is a Republican in Democratic clothing. Check her history.

Sent by Mable | 5:21 PM | 4-25-2008

Thinker Stinker you should read on some of our sites I known ho your. I have had experiences with so call brothers like this. They talk a lot about being blackness, but. The man in the Big house don't have to be the in the white house. Sisters people see before any see gender don't forget her,How can they my sisters it's not so don't get fool.

Sent by Cal' | 9:50 PM | 4-25-2008

Tavis, Tavis, Tavis...Grow up. Barack did the right thing. He doesn't have to show up at your meetings because you called one. He had prior commitments. The green-eyed monster is showing. Despite what you've been told, you are not a spokesperson for the black community. Get over it, you're just another person on the air. Unless, by golly, Bob Johnson of BET is calling in all his favors for his friends the Clintons? Say it ain't so! Tavis caught up in politics? No way!

Sent by Dee | 1:26 AM | 5-5-2008

Tavis Smiley is an "Uncle Tom." In addition, he is not what one would identify as the quintessential Black representation of Black America... he is NOT! He is so canned and commercial it is belligerent listening to him on his soapbox. He brings very little to the intellectual table of consciousness and thought. Yeah... he address the average joe schmo on the streets of the US; however, not the heavyweights!
Tom Joyner has done more for recognizing Blacks in America with his morning talk-show than Tavis Smiley has done in his limited years on Black Entertainment Television. He's Bor Ing! Good ridden from the Tom Joyner show. Final note... PLEASE do NOT insult Barack Obama by comparing him to that narrow minded and intellectually challenged BET Talk Show Host. Come now. OK!

Sent by Adrian Jaz | 7:23 PM | 5-11-2008

How selfish of Mr. Smiley to quit the TJMS. Regardless of where his political loyalty lies during this process, I think he should remember why he does what he does. If he is truly concerned about "Black America" he should continue his commentary. No, we aren't going to see eye-to-eye on all issues or candidates and that's okay. Neither do I think that anyone should support any candidate purely because of their ethicity. However, I think he should celebrate with those of us who do support and respect this opportunity before us. I certainly hope this is not an act of jealousy. And what about how TJ has supported and helped to make him who he is today? My how fast we forget from whence we came. You shouldn't burn your bridges unless you have a boat.

Sent by Teacher who supports Obama | 5:08 PM | 5-21-2008

Tavis Smiley is a hero to all! At a time when Black politicians are pressuring others to vote for Obama based only skin deep on the color of his skin, Smiley is willing to speak his well-thought out mind. That teleprompted speeches aside, Obama is simply not yet qualified to be Commander in Chief of the free world. Smiley proves himself of sound judgement, much in the company of Philadelphia mayor Nutter. This NPR Obama network of extreme and even hateful bias is as much a part of the problem race relations as any other. Get real and get objective!

Sent by Chris Custer | 6:26 PM | 5-21-2008

Anyone who call Mr. Tavis Smiley an "uncle tom" is a total idiot
who is extreamely stupid, and not
so smart. I think that anyone who is
going to be the leader of this country
should answer honest questons from all americans, black, white, or any other
color. I don't think that just smiling and saying, I am for change is a very
good answer. When you say change, I want
to know, change "what". Many things need
to be changed, SO PLEASE TELL WHAT YOU
WORSE, and who is it going to benefit.

Sent by Mr. Brown | 8:02 PM | 5-29-2008

How bout this! Fugg Tavis, and the horse his egotistical azz rode in on!
Tavis is suffering from low self esteem, which is why he felt the need to over scrutinize Obama in the first place. In regards to so many blacks being supportive of Obama, first and foremost its because he's the best candidiate for many reason, and then, he's black, which is icing on the cake. Of course more blacks will support him because most of us are more comfortable seeing another black and supporting another black. I bet 90% or more of McCain's supporters are white, now why dont we hear all this gibberish about whites supporting him just because he is white? Why didnt the media report what percentage of whites supported McCain? They didnt want to face that truth.

Sent by keepitreal | 7:01 PM | 6-6-2008

It's great to see that many of our people are in tune to Travis "Uncle Tom" attitude. George Bush blatently refused to attend the NAACP Conference to address black issues and the nation should have been furious. Obama had prior engagements and offered to allow his wife to attend the Black Caucus and they refused; isn't she good enough? Travis was being too much of a distraction from "history" and needed to go. White folks has been voting for their presidential candidate for different reasons (unions, family, likes, looks and etc.) so people can vote for Barrack for whatever reason and it's alright. We finally have a candidate so step back people and come together for history for ONCE!!!!!!!!!!

Sent by Antonio Scott | 3:22 AM | 8-12-2008

First of all, people who use the word, "uncle tom," obviously do not have any idea who the character was. You should do your research before you toss around matters you know nothing about. Secondly many of you need to check yourself, always using the analogy of the crabs in the pot, calling people "sell out," "house nigger," just listen to yourselves. Yep their master plan is working quite beautifully. Can anyone say Willie Lynch?

Sent by nothating | 11:47 AM | 8-19-2008

I'm not big with politics but i really loved the comment that Nothating made. It don't get any simpler than that.

Sent by Boogie | 1:08 PM | 9-9-2008

Once again we've had a brother in a position to continue to make a difference in the thinking of Black America. But truth be told, Tavis allowed his personal feelings take charge of intellectual thinking(many unwanted pregnacies began this way). Also, professionally he didn't adhere to his contract. He has allowed arrogance to overtake him at times. This brother has potential above measure, but he must come to grip with his inner baggage. Tavis' attack on Barack, as well as his disrepect for Michelle was excessive. He often spoke about his christian upbringing, but the most important aspect of that christian walk is not about self. Your views are somewhat aligned with people that you support that has much focus on self and any means necessary to achieve that goal. History has shown how the GOP will pound negative information whether true or not, because a percentage will always believe & repeat it. It worked in the mayoral race in Houston against a black candidate, and it works even better when one of your own uses it. What side of the fence do you see your future after this fallout, since you are a brother that thrives on the thought process? Humility is another important character of a christian. When I accepted my call into the ministry, my promise to God was that people would see a sermon, before they heard a sermon. I don't need the bells on the sleeves, belts, or pants, as the Parisees did, to announce their coming; and neither do you! I applaud anyone who believes in their convictions, which could result in convictions for their beliefs. But, if you're arrested for being a christian, will there be enough evidence to convict you? But know that God is sitting on the throne as Judge.

Sent by Willie Walker | 8:35 AM | 9-18-2008


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