Steve Harvey Calls Tavis Smiley and Cornel West “UNCLE TOM’s”

WOW….Where’s the love people?  We at BLAM respect Steve Harvey, Cornel West, and Tavis Smiley each for different reasons.  We think that there’s room in our community to voice approval and disapproval of “our people” and our process as we all try to push to the next level.  But….at the end of the day it’s all about your approach.  That’s what we advocate here….personal responsibility for getting your message heard and understood.  Not sure that’s what happening in this exchange…..Tell us BLAM Fam if you think either one of the brotha’s are justified in their sentiments and how they’re going about it?

Source: Loop21

By Maurice Garland

Earlier this week during his syndicated morning radio show, Steve Harvey went in on Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West for their constant criticisms of President Barack Obama.

After reading an email from a listener who insisted that Smiley and West’s current Poverty Bus Tour was nothing more than a hustle, Harvey added his two cents blasting the duo for using personal vendettas to go out and sully the POTUS’ name.

“I was a huge fan of Cornel West,” he said. “[But] Tavis, I seen him coming a mile away. His anger started when he had a town hall meeting, President Obama couldn’t come because of the campaign trail and he sent Mrs. Obama. He has held that grudge every since.”

To West’s squabbles about not getting extra tickets to Obama’s inauguration, Harvey offered, “Have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration? Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you?”

He continued, “You don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man…you keep masking it saying it’s not about hate. Then what is it about? Poverty existed before January 20, 2008. Where was your damn bus then?”

The Original King of Comedy, Family Feud host and suit designer didn’t stop there. After reading Smiley’s request that Obama join him for “a roundtable for two or three days on poverty,” Harvey joked, “Who in the hell got 2-3 days for your ass? I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for two, three days, let alone the President of the United States. We got three wars going on, the economy crashing and we going to sit down with Tavis ass for three days?”

Harvey ended the rant insisting that somebody is paying Smiley and West to produce the Poverty Tour, asking “where are you getting the money for these buses?” But not before performing a skit where he said he was the president of (which stands out for “Uncle Tom Look Out”) and that he spotted an “uncle tom” driving a bus.

“Make sure you don’t get on the poverty bus,” he mocked. “Because if you ain’t po’, when you ride the bus, you become po’.”

16 replies
  1. Dana
    Dana says:

    Dr. West (sad to say) and Tavis are out of line and very inappropriate!!

  2. Nata Koerber
    Nata Koerber says:

    To say Tavis Smiley 'never liked' President Obama oversimplifies the fact that his very informative show was bullied off of Black radio because he dared to invite President to the 'conversation about black america' in Nee Orleans, or address the related issues as Tavis had done so fairly with many other leaders. Losing his well-informed voice was a loss because folks were afraid…of what? Here is a link that gives voice to another side of this issue:

  3. Jakki
    Jakki says:

    We Must Remember where the President started from, that's all President Obama ask. Everything the President does is being challenged, give him a moment to maneuver and figure things out. How about just supporting him, or meet with him behind closed doors to discuss your concerns, why disrespect him publicly by insulting him, this is what makes it look like something else, (jealousy) we have to be more professional in my opinion; if you really want a reaction to your concerns.

  4. Cookie
    Cookie says:

    sighs… the government will not let obama save black/poor people. they'd kill him dead first. Lets not forget what happened to Martin Luther king! A very respected man, was killed trying to help poor people. We need to marinate on the fact that a half African man named Barack Obama(african name) made it to presidency in the United States Of America. That's a MAJOR accomplishment considering we are still getting beat down in the streets simply because of the color of our skin. Obama cant do but so much for poor/black people. I never expected anything to happen for us when this man made it. I was humble at the experience of him making it. that shows our kids that we can do what the heck we want to do! Ppl say obama is a puppet, or that its all a set up to further fool and confuse blacks. these things may very well be true, dont really care, your goal is to stay aware of whats going on, teach your kids properly about themselves to protect them so they are inspired to work for themselves and develop skills and stop worrying bout the government to respect us and do for us. We blacks in america but we dont use that as an excuse to stay poor, we educate ourselves to not rely on any source to put money in our hands and food on our table but ourselves! PERIOD!

  5. dee dee
    dee dee says:

    I do not think it's about Obama, Steve is missing the point all together, it's about proverty, something that is so real, and the reason why the president is getting a back lash from black people is because we voted for this man hoping he would make a change for the better, not the worse, and Steve Harvey and all those rich black people can easily say whatever they want, because it's not affecting them, they rich. It's not just blacks, its all poor people it's affecting leaving alot of children, families, and the elderly in places were i know he could do better. Some elderly people get there social security, and have not gotten a cost of living increase in 2 years, and that stimulus package, it was just a one time thing and all it was 250 dollars, come on now, he could have done better, and why is it every time they cut something all it affects is the poor…

    • Nina
      Nina says:

      First, a bill must pass both houses of Congress by a majority vote. After it has passed out of Congress, it is sent along to the President. If the President signs the bill, it becomes law.

      The President might not sign the bill, however. If he specifically rejects the bill, called a veto, the bill returns to Congress. There it is voted on again, and if both houses of Congress pass the bill again, but this time by a two-thirds majority, then the bill becomes law without the President's signature. This is called "overriding a veto," and is difficult to do because of the two-thirds majority requirement.

      Alternately, the President can sit on the bill, taking no action on it at all. If the President takes no action at all, and ten days passes (not including Sundays), the bill becomes law without the President's signature. However, if the Congress has adjourned before the ten days passes and without a Presidential signature, the bill fails. This is known as a pocket veto.

  6. F. Maxwell Allen
    F. Maxwell Allen says:

    I tell you what…Pres. Obama is catching HELL and I’m not sure if it’s in the best interest of his sanity to run for another term. Everywhere he turns he’s rejected or faces stiff opposition. I hope people are realizing that the POTUS is just one branch of government. Even if he had a black agenda he’d have to convince Congress to push it through – and if he can barely get a health care bill through…

    What we must realize is that we as a people need to get more involved in politics than just voting for POTUS. That’s like getting a nice haircut with a raggedy outfit. Fix it up from the bottom to the top. We need to focus at the local and state levels. Go out and vote for your mayor, governor or congressman. If we did that THEN we might be able to see Pres. Obama make the changes he promised.

    • Nikny71
      Nikny71 says:


    • Taunia
      Taunia says:

      Amen to that. In order for the President to make a difference he has to have people in office to support his vision. We can vote those people in office. Everyone wants to be a back seat commentator but cant come up with plausible solutions. The only way people are going to get over poverty is education and proper financial planning. No one is going to hire you for a 100k job with a high school diploma or less.

  7. Takenya T. Hunter
    Takenya T. Hunter says:

    From the beginning we have always been known to fight each other….to envy one of our fellow brother/sister's success. Failing to realize that success in our community is a postive reflection of our race in general…when will we break away from the old slave mentality?????

  8. Nikny71
    Nikny71 says:

    I actually heard the entire show and where this came from. I dont think Steve was out of line at all, he is frustrated as so many of us are, also in that segment he made a very valid point in saying that it's okay for everyone to verbally bash the President, call him a liar, a dick, relate him to a tar baby etc….. but he doesnt have a right to defend him?!. I appreciate Steve and all he does, he has never been quoted as saying he is perfect but he is a work in progress. This economy was bad before president Obama got into office and now the Republicans.Tea Party members are holding him accountable for not only the time he has been in office but for what was left for him when he got there. Who are the REAL Terrorists when the Republicans in office dont get their way the hold the American economy hostage?!

    • Valerie Blyden
      Valerie Blyden says:

      Good morning @Nikny71…just wanted to say thank you for your comment and say that I am in total agreeance with you.

      Very nicely worded and it is to the point.

  9. Nata Koerber
    Nata Koerber says:

    IMHO Steve Harvey is letting his personal affection for our President blind him to the fact that people of color ARE suffering, and it is not necessarily being highlighted or addressed.

    That is a BIG problem when black folks can't dialog about the issues without resorting to name-calling and crying foul.

    But BET Steve Harvey would (rightly)be bringing up/joking about the same issues if blacks had these issues if BUSH was still the President. His old skool definition of loyalty is not doing a service to President Obama or the minorities suffering from poverty.

  10. Damian Prince
    Damian Prince says:

    Its a combo of a bunch of things….Tavis never liked Obama from the jump, West is impartial and would like the Pres to have a Black Agenda which could only be possible with another 4 yrs…he can't do that and get reelected

  11. Toya
    Toya says:

    Wow…I agree with what Steve is saying but not necessarily in his delivery. It comes from a place of anger, it seems and while the basis for anger can't be discredited, the message he is attempting to get across can be because of its method of delivery.

Comments are closed.