Wattree Defending Tavis Smiley and Cornel West - What is this World Coming to?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Wattree Defending Tavis Smiley and Cornel West - What is this World Coming to?

Okay, so maybe Hell can freeze over. If someone had told me yesterday that I’d be sitting here defending Tavis Smiley and Cornel West today I would have assured them that such a thing would only happen the day after Adolph went snowboarding through the pits of Hell.

But one must learn to prioritize one’s demons. While Tavis and West constitute a bitter threat to the poor, middle class, and Black communities in their effort to enrich themselves through yet another tour featuring self-service, demagoguery, and disinformation, it seems that the Washington Examiner has found themselves another grinnin’ young deludetant in the person of Ms. Star Parker, so we thought we'd nip this distraction in the bud.


In her article, "How to Keep the Poor Poor," she says, "Media personality Tavis Smiley and Princeton philosophy professor Cornel West have just published their latest contribution to American poverty propaganda, ‘The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto’ . . . To the extent this book is taken seriously by anyone, the result will only be more entrenched poverty."

While I make it a point to never go anywhere near any of Tavis and West’s personal enrichment pamphlets, if they’ve remained true to form, I find no reason to doubt any part of what Ms. Parker has said above. But then she goes on.
"Smiley and West's message is simple. America today consists of a few powerful, rapacious rich people and a lot of unfortunate, exploited poor people. The rich are rich because they are lucky. The poor are poor because they are unlucky. And the only way to solve the problem is for an activist government to manage the economy and redistribute wealth."

That’s where the red flag went up. Even though I consider these two hustlers the quintessential demagogues, unless they’ve made a radical change in their bamboozlery, they never say that the rich are rich because they’re lucky and the poor or poor because they’re unlucky. In order for their flimflam to capture the imagination they have to be accurate in their premise, so they rightly point out that many of the rich are rich due to corruption, and many of the poor are poor due to social manipulation.

You see, Tavis and West understands that it’s very important that they maintain accuracy and not overgeneralize during the setup, so when they drop their false resolution on you they’ll seem like reasonable men, not clumsy and transparently idiotic like Ms. Parker does when she voices her corrupted version of their corruption of reality.

Ms. Parker’s spin on the Tavis/West resolution is, "the only way to solve the problem is for an activist government to manage the economy and redistribute wealth." We know that’s a lie because liberals don’t talk that way. The entire sentence is nothing more than a string of conservative talking points tied together - ie, ‘activist government,’ ‘manage the economy,' 'redistribute wealth.'  Liberals have more finesse than that - even duplicitous liberals. The kind of gross inarticulation that Ms. Paker has engaged in has the glaringly obvious print of conservative clodhoppers all over it. So we know they didn’t say that, or even allude to it.

Tavis and West would say something more like, the majority of the rich (except for ourselves, of course) got that way through corruption and social manipulation, and the poor are poor because Barack Obama (that jive, Johnnie-come-lately-sucka who butted before us in line and won’t invite us to the White House or return our phone calls) won’t do nothing to help you. But for you Obama-lovin book-buyers, we want to point out that we love our dear brother.  So we're not saying vote Republican - just don't vote for Obama, and let the Lord decide the election." Then they’ll proceed to tell us everything that’s wrong with the country (primarily, Obama), but fail to tell us what’s wrong with us, or them.

Then Ms. Parker goes on to criticize Tavis and West for saying, "The 150 million Americans in or near poverty are there as result of unemployment, war, the Great Recession, corporate greed, and income inequality." What? Is she denying that? That’s one of the few things they’re saying that’s true.

One of the things that drives me up the wall about ultraconservative ideologues is how they can look you dead in the eye and spew hordes of total nonsense, inaccuracies, and flat out lies, then look at you like you’re the one that’s crazy. How can anyone with a brain say that we’ve got to keep the rich on a national welfare program because they're the one’s who are creating the jobs? Can’t they see that the only way that people are going to be hired to make tennis shoes is if the poor and middle class have the money to buy them? No one is going to hire anyone to make tennis shoes that they can’t sell. So it's the poor and middle class who create jobs.


So while Tavis and West might be greedy and self-serving bogeymen, the Republican Party is the Devil, and if Ms. Parker can’t see that, she’s a fool.

Eric L. Wattree



Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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