I want to thank the readers once again hat tipping me to this article in the Washington Post.

Blacks at Odds Over Scrutiny of President
By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 6, 2009; Page A01

Jeff Johnson knows how to make his audiences squirm. The young, black radio and TV political commentator waits for the discussion to turn to the topic being talked about ceaselessly, incessantly, ad nauseam: the meaning of the barrier-breaking election of Barack Obama.

Then, in his laid-back style, he says, “The real issue for me is that history is not enough.” That’s when the mood becomes tense.

“Black folks, in particular, get irritated,” says Johnson, who travels the lecture circuit, hosts a half-hour show on Black Entertainment Television and has a weekly spot for social criticism on a radio program popular with black listeners. Get past “Obama the personality” and see “Obama the president,” he says. “Otherwise all you’re being is a political-celebrity groupie instead of a citizen. . . . It starts with acknowledging he’s my president, and not my homie.”

As the nation’s first black president settles into the office, a division is deepening between two groups of African Americans: those who want to continue to praise Obama and his historic ascendancy, and those who want to examine him more critically now that the election is over.

Johnson is one of a growing number of black academics, commentators and authors determined to press Obama on issues such as the elimination of racial profiling and the double-digit unemployment rate among blacks.

But doing so has put them at odds with others in the black community. Love for the Obamas is thick among African Americans — 91 percent of whom view the president favorably, compared with 59 percent of the total population, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted last month — and as a result, the African American punditry finds itself navigating new ground.

Ah yes, that continuing memo:

Black folks are clueless sheep. We are stupid, clueless sheep who follow The President without questioning.

First of all, no Negro that collects a check from BET needs to tell me ANYTHING about how to be a critical thinker about The President.

Second of all, no, Black folks aren’t going to take ‘hateration’ under the guise of ‘being a thinking critic’.

Of course, Tavis found his way into the article:

They are learning to negotiate what talk show host and author Tavis Smiley calls an “unfamiliar dance.” If you push too forcefully, he says he has learned, you risk your credibility in the community.

That’s what happened to Smiley last year, when he was the one in the commentator’s chair that Jeff Johnson now sits in on Tom Joyner’s syndicated morning radio program. During the heated Democratic primary, Smiley questioned Obama’s decision not to attend his annual State of the Black Union conference and said he hoped Obama would make it through the campaign “with his soul intact.”

The push-back was “brutal,” Smiley recalls. Angry listeners called him a “sellout,” an “Obama hater” and “Uncle Tom.” Surprised and hurt, Smiley left Joyner’s show but now uses the rough patch to make the case for a new book he co-wrote, “Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise.”

The book, Smiley’s third about issues facing black Americans, has a picture of Obama on the cover and outlines the president’s promises during the campaign to elevate the status of his fellow African Americans. Smiley wants readers to use the book as a tool to measure the new administration.


Double Sigh.

I’ll say it again.

I used to listen to Tavis’ commentaries on the TJMS. And, you could tell, over time, the tone, hostility and condescention that Tavis had towards then candidate Obama, and subsequently the TJMS audience. Black folk didn’t have problems with Tavis and Obama, until Tavis got out of control, and the hostility just couldn’t be hidden anymore.

When will folks be honest…Black folks told Tavis to take a pill and sit down and STFU when..



That’s what happened. When Black folk were unsure and ambiguous about then Senator Obama, there has never been any question about the feelings towards Michelle Obama, and no, we weren’t going to stand for her being disrespected the way that Tavis did, and especially since it was felt that he did that on behalf of Camp Clinton.

No, it was not going to be tolerated, which was why Juan ‘ Stokeley Carmichael In A Dress’  Williams should have known better.

Will someone ever print THE TRUTH about that?

But, it gets better, people. Our own CPL found her way into the article.

“I know what I’m up against,” he (Tavis) continues, because he is still accused of “casting aspersion on Barack Obama or having some issue with Barack Obama.”

What he is up against are people like Leutisha Stills, a regular blogger on the African American opinion site Jack and Jill Politics. She dismisses anything Smiley has to say about Obama because he is “always going negative.”

When I read this posted in the comments, I was like, G-T-F-O-H.

Of ALLL the people to name from this site, they name CPL?

CPL, who, by far is THE most critical of The President and has been since she began writing for JJP. I think that’s what made me roll my eyes. CPL is the one here that tells the rest of us to put down the Kool-Aid.


We are supportive of The President. That is true, but that doesn’t stop us from being critical of him when we feel it’s necessary.

You know we had seriously doubts about Joe Biden and expressed them.
We believe supporting blindly the 51st State is not in America’s interest.
We don’t, for the most part, believe Fredo was the best choice for Treasury Secretary.
We don’t know why Larry Summers is allowed anywhere near The White House.
You know how we voiced, loudly, our doubts about Hillpatine at State.
You know my position on Arne Duncan – a prime example of White Privilege, for no Black person with his lack of resume would have ever been allowed in any door.
There have been doubts cast on several of his appointments.
Our own CPL got into ‘ trouble’ asking about Black Appointees.

There are folks that I believe are true critics of The President.

But, don’t think that Black folks can’t distinguish between ‘ critics’ and ‘ haters’ – we can, just like any other community.

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