Sunday, February 17, 2008

tavis smiley who?

okay, okay, i have to admit something. i know it's going to come across as yet another betrayal of my "blackness," but i have to get this off my chest.

i don't give a flying fuck about tavis smiley. :/

i have never seen a "state of the black union" address, nor am i likely to see one at anytime in the near future. i haven't listened to ol' tavis' radio show, and i haven't read any of his books. i'm pretty sure neither of my parents has watched one either, and i would be willing to bet that none of my aunts, uncles or cousins has ever boosted old tavis' t.v. numbers. why, then, can't he get the fuck over himself? why is he making a stink about barack having better things to do with his time? what is the purpose of the show? to whom is it speaking?

these shows are a way for the shortlist of black talking heads to have the same conversation many engaged citizens have already had (more thoughtfully and with more nuance) in the blogosphere/over sunday dinner/at church/over gmail chat. these t.v. spots really just serve to further mask the diversity of thought within the black community for the (mostly white- this is the united states, people) journalists who watch these shows to provide them with soundbites for their articles and opinion pieces. they also serve as a way for the black news machine to further indoctrinate a u.s. black community that, like the rest of this country, has been taught to take its opinions from the media.

tavis. dude. move on.

one thing about this campaign that i really appreciate is the way that it is bringing a huge number of people to the political "table." i am really excited about that. i just wish that our modes of communication and the gathering places for political discussion could find a way to be more appreciative of that engagement. i wish that we could find ways to galvanize this unprecedented level of interest among u.s. citizens into ways to have local discussions that are then shared across the nation in a way that allows us normal people to be heard. i think the new debate formats- mtv, youtube, etc.- are the right start, but they aren't really very accessible for the over-40 crowd. my dad is probably never going to sit down and email a question in to a youtube debate. but he would probably be willing to organize a group of churches to get together and discuss the issues over a potluck dinner. i dunno. i think there must be some way for us, in 2008, to figure out how to bring all of this together.

for someone with a deeper analysis and less snark, check out jimi izrael and/or melissa harris-lacewell (smart lady crush!) at the root.

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