Smiley/West Poverty Tour Comes To Atlanta

America has been talking about the controversial “Poverty Tour” spearheaded by thought leaders Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West. Well, they’re in Atlanta today to spread their rhetoric on poverty and what needs to be done to address the issue that THEY claim President Obama is not addressing.

Both Smiley & West called in to Powertalk today to discuss their motivations behind the tour and what they plan to accomplish… take a listen and decide whether or not you think they’ll be successful at it:

More from Power Talk with Lorraine Jacques-White
  • Kallan

    what a joke. WARREN BALLENTINE is right about these guys, all they are trying to do is sell books.

  • jonpark55

    Amos and Andy reincarnated!

  • Sarah

    What’s wrong with Tavis mentioning that he was not invited to the WH along with all the other dissenters of Obama? If Arianna Huffington would have said the same thing that Tavis is saying, most blacks would be following the white lead and would not see a problem in someone white bringing up issues that affect blacks..Some blacks find it OK for WHITE people to bring up blacks issues, but if blacks bring up those same issues, them we’re hating or jealous of the first black president…I see this as personal on the part of the Obama Administration to punish Tavis, a REAL journalist with degrees in communication and journalism, because he called him out for not speaking or addressing black peoples issues…Obama Admin did not have a problem giving Helen Thomas’ press seat to Fox news when Helen was fired, April Ryan who is black and asked him the pointed question about what he was doing to address the high black unemployment is sitting in the very back, in the nose bleed section. The issue i’m starting to have with some of my black brothers and sisters, we’re using personality, skin politics and not looking at the ISSUES of these candidates, and how those POLICIES negatively will affect us..

    • The Black Falcon

      I have no personal feelings for Tavis Smiley or Cornell West one way or the other. My only question is, and I believe Derrick Boazman spoke to this, are Tavis and Cornell telling the truth? And, from what I heard, they are. Some people may say, it is the wrong time to criticize the president. Okay, with Black unemployment approaching 30-40% in some areas, when will be the right time. We gave Bush all kinds of grief every chance we could, so why is it different for Obama?

      November will mark the three year anniversary of the election of Obama and the plight of the poor in general and Blacks more specifically have gotten worse, not better. For the first two years of his presidency, Obama had democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Their accomplishment was a watered down health care bill that doesn’t take effect until 2014. Moreover, 90% of people receive healthcare from their employers. With record high unemployment rates, what use will the heath care bill be to the millions of people who are unemployed. Then there was the nearly one trillion dollar stimulus in which Black contractors received less than two percent of the government contracts generated by the Obama’s administration plan to put people back to work. (Didn’t work so well for Black folk).

      Supporters will tout the fact that HBCU’s were given more money under the Obama’s administration. Keep in mind, that money was pledged to HBCU’s. They haven’t received it yet. Haiti was pledged billions of dollars by the US government, ask the people in Haiti have they seen any of it.

      • Sarah

        “Supporters will tout the fact that HBCU’s were given more money under the Obama’s administration. Keep in mind, that money was pledged to HBCU’s. They haven’t received it yet. Haiti was pledged billions of dollars by the US government, ask the people in Haiti have they seen any of it”.

        The money pledged to the HBCU’s is for the students and not the school, if those students leave the HBCU to go to an all/predominantly white institution, that money will follow them to that school..

        Black people have mental health issues and prefer to live their lives vicariously through this black family in the WH and not worry about their houses..They have developed a high tolerance level for pain when it comes to dealing with this black man in the WH, than they would have taken from any white man doing half of what has already been done by this black mascot…

        I keep hearing this foolishness about giving him another chance, since he will be lane duck, he will do more for black people..I have to remind these people if he will not do it now knowing there is no guarantee for another term, what makes you think he will do anything for you in another term? This is what religion will do to people, make you believe in the impossible; a white man walking on water, raising people from the dead, and telling you to obey your master, a white master/man of course…

    • Gayle Morales


      Tavis Smiley does not have a degree in communication or journalism. Smiley was accused of cheating on a computer science exam his senior year in college. Smiley failed this class in addition to several other courses. He is short a few credits of a college degree.


    Smiley and West are one big joke…Tavis has never gotten over the fact that Obama snubbed his during the campaign, and sent Michele instead…Cornell is peeved by the fact that Obama won’t pay him any attention, won’t even send him an invite to the white house…

    two…grown azz spoiled men throwing temper tantrums at the expense of Obama…

    the real question is…what have Black people done to address the crisis in the Black communities…

    if Black people want more jobs, Black people need to own more businesses…if Black people want thriving communities, Black people need to invest in our communities, our banks and our people…

    the Black unemployment rate is high because we depend on white people for jobs…tell me how much sense does that make…

    Obama can’t help people who are not willing to help themselves…

    • porsha

      Amen Shakka…….. you took the words right out of my mouth.

      We as black folk need to stop pretending like we do not know why we are in this predicament…..

      We welcomed non black people into our communities and financially supported their sub par businesses with poor customer service YET never questioned the fact that they had no BLACK employees! We have allowed this for over 30 years!

      We allow 7-8 billion dollars annually to float out our hands into the hands of others. Is it Obamas job to come and spank our hands and tell us what we should not be doing if we want to gain economic power?

      Shakka, maybe some of us need to go work the fields and crops in the hot sun for it to sink in what we have done to ourselves and our communities. Maybe then we will see what we had before integration. maybe it will take us having to hit rock bottom to really appreciate the importance of preserving our heritage, preserving our communities, and above all else truly loving each other and wanting to see each other prosper and helping each other do just that….. prosper.

      Our chickens have come home to roost, and we have no one else to blame but our selves. So those who are catching it right now or feeling the crunch, step to your mirror , look in that mirror, and there you will find the person to blame.

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