We noticed sometime back that when we mentioned West many people on our Facebook page would slam him, apparently because of his association with Tavis Smiley. Admittedly we weren't all too familiar with Smiley and we had no idea what he had done to upset people. As busy as we are we didn't investigate until now.
After reading the Wikipedia article about Smiley we're guessing it's because of this.
Controversy over Presidential Candidate Barack Obama
On April 11, 2008, Tavis Smiley announced that he would resign in June 2008 as a commentator on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He cited fatigue and a busy schedule in a personal call to Joyner. However, Joyner, referring to several commentaries in which Smiley was critical of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, indicated otherwise on his program, stating: "The real reason 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." Prior to the public controversy and being elected President, Obama had been on Smiley's PBS show six times.
In 2012, Smiley participated in a "Poverty Tour" with Princeton University professor Cornel West in promoting their book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. The stated aim of the tour was to highlight the plight of the impoverished population of the United States prior to the 2012 Presidential Election, whose candidates Smiley and West stated had ignored the plight of the poor.
Whatever the case may be as to why people were upset with West over his association with Smiley we really don't care. We love Cornel West and that isn't going to change, which brings us to the purpose of this blog post.
Every once in a while we run across a great interview on TV. Thank God for YouTube because now we can preserve some of them and come back to them or share them with others.
This is one of those interviews. It's a two part video and we'll post both below. You'll be glad you watched it. West has some great insights. And if you're holding a grudge against him let it go. Same goes for Tavis Smiley. There are no perfect people out there.
We like West so much we made a meme with one of his quotes some time back. He nails it here as he does on so many topics.