Showing posts with label Wells Fargo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wells Fargo. Show all posts

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Black People, Beware of the "Un-Niggas"

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Black People, Beware of the "Un-Niggas"
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You Think Zimmerman is Guilty Because
You Don't See The World Through the Blood of Jesus.
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Alan Keyes
No one can deny that racism is holding the Black community down - but it’s not just White racism, it’s also the racist attitudes that some Black people have against other Black people. I’ve said this many times before, but I’m going to say it again. Black people are the product of the very same racist environment as White people, so many of the weaker-minded among us are just as racist towards other Black people as any sheet-wearing Hillbilly. I call it "bligotry" - Black-on-Black bigotry.
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As a direct result of Bligotry, we refuse to patronize one another’s business efforts, and many Black business owners try to get rich on one sell when more enlightened Black people even try to patronize them. As a result, we can’t come together to get a financial foothold in society. So we’re not going to be able to address the issue of Black upward mobility until we begin to see bligotry for what it really is. And no, bligotry it’s not self-hatred, as many people suggest, because in order to be a self-hating Black person, you have to recognize your Blackness.
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Allen West
People who suffer from bligotry don’t hate themselves at all, and neither do they, necessarily, hate other Black people. They simply look upon Black people with disdain, and they think that we're beneath them as individuals. You’ll often hear them say among themselves things like, "You know how niggas are" - meaning, "those others."
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That’s why such people think they’re qualified to tell the Black community what to think. They've convinced themselves that they're an intellectual aberration that an accident of birth caused to be born with Black skin. They know they’re Black, and they love the idea of having "soul" and "rhythm." They also like being able to lay-claim to people like Ray Charles, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane - but they tend to believe there’s a distinct genetic difference between themselves and those "ignit niggas."
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Boyce Watkins
They think they’re what Black people were intended to be, but the average Black person is some sort of inferior genetic mutation. That explains why generally the first thing that comes out of the mouths of people like Allen West, Larry Elder, Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, or a Ben Carson, is an attack on Black people, generally using President Obama as their Black "poster boy." But let there be no doubt about it, when they attack Barack Obama, they’re just using the president as a symbol to attack us all.
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That’s why they have such unfathomable political views, because they’re politics consist of two issues - first, self-service, and secondly, to declare to the world that "I’m different from those other Black people that you don’t like; and I don’t blame you for not liking ‘em, because I don’t like ‘em either." That’s the extent of their political views.
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Cornel West - Tavis Smiley
But not all Un-niggas are conservative. Some go to the other extreme. People like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Boyce Watkins fall into this group. While they too play into conservatives’ hands, they take a different tact. They embrace what I call the "Moses Syndrome." These Un-niggas believe that Black people are so stupid that we need them to lead us. But since their primary agenda is exactly the same as the conservative un-nigga - self-service, and to prove to the world that they are more "special" than the average Black person - the minute the Black community’s interest is in conflict with their own, Black people can just stand by to have their throats cut. That explains why one minute Cornel West can be in front of a crowd spewing the most militant Black rhetoric, and the next minute can be sitting on a television panel with the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, and refer to him as "my dear brother Adolph."
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The reason for that is, his primary agenda is not to move the Black community forward. His primary agenda is to be seen, and to gain public admiration and approval. That also explains why in spite of all of his rhetoric with respect to his love for Black people, and in spite of how dire the need for quality educators in the Black community, West has never taught in a Black setting in his entire career. The fact is, it’s personally inconvenient for him. It’s one of those cases where the Black community’s needs are in conflict with his own, so we lose.
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West gains more personal wealth and fame at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, teaching the sons and daughters of the people that he’s constantly telling us is the enemy. So the only time you’ll see Cornel West at a predominantly Black institution is if they pay him $30,000 to do a one-hour drive-by.
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Thus, the Un-niggas don’t see the Black community as one people. They’re segregationists. They divide our community into two segments - sophisticated and intelligent Black people "like themselves" (generally including all light-
skinned Black people and ALL beautiful sisters, whether intelligent or not), and those other niggas who are holding them down. So they feel they have every right to use and victimize "those others" to advance themselves to their "rightful" place in society - thus, Tavis Smiley and the Wells Fargo "Ghetto Loan" scam. And unfortunately, far too many Black preachers are among the Un-niggas.
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Herman Cain described their attitude best when he said, "I'm a brother from another mother." They tend to think they're cut from a different clothe than other Black people, and are therefore, superior. That's why many such people hate President Obama so passionately, because his very presence is a pie in the face of their delusions of grandeur. Their attitude is, "How in the Hell did that nigga get to the White House over me?" And if you listen closely to what they’re actually saying, the message is, "Aw, Obama ain’t all that; he’s just another nigga like you - I’m the one you should be lookin’ up to - I’m the true Un-nigga."
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It’s this kind of attitude by some Black people that’s holding us down. They cause division and strife within the Black community. 
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President Obama Subsequently
Saved Our Economy From Collapse
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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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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Monday, May 05, 2014

How Did Tavis Smiley Get a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

How Did Tavis Smiley Get a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
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In a comment regarding his recent star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Tavis Smiley is quoted as saying, "I don’t know how this happened, but I’ll take it." For the first time in many years I completely agreed with Tavis. Considering the state of near infamy that Tavis has reached in the Black community as a result of his controversial involvement in the Wells Fargo "Ghetto Loan Scam," the curious relationship that he maintains with Wal-Mart, and the end of his "Poverty Tour," which seemed to come to an abrupt end with the end of the 2012 election, like Smiley I didn’t know how it happened either. But unlike Smiley, I wanted to find out how it happened, and why. So I did a little research.
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Initially, I thought that people received stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame because the powers that be in the Hollywood community deemed the recipient to be so loved, so famous, and such a superstar that he or she should be awarded a star in the interest of posterity. Based on that criteria, at least to my mind’s eye, Tavis Smiley seemed to be a very curious choice for such an honor. He seemed to fall way short in every area but one - people know who he is.
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Then upon further digging I found that the award isn’t quite as "honorary" as most of us might think. There’s no committee in the Hollywood community that nominates a recipient and says, in effect, "We deem this person to be so loved, so famous, and such a superstar that we think he deserves a star on the Walk of Fame in the interest of posterity." There’s a promotional - and/or political - element to it as well. In order to receive a star on the Walk of Fame, either the nominee, or someone representing the nominee, must apply - and then pay $30,000 thereafter, if the nominee meets minimum requirements and is then approved. The process is as follows:
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"Anyone, including fans, can nominate anyone active in the field of entertainment as long as the nominee or his or her management approves the nomination (a letter of agreement from the nominated celebrity or representative must accompany the application). Nominees must have a minimum of five years' experience in the category for which they are nominated and a history of ‘charitable contributions’." So Tavis was being disingenuous when he said that he doesn’t know how it happened, because he had to be an active participant in order to make it happen - but the question is, how active?
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Well, Tavis was very active according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to the Chamber, Tavis Smiley’s own production company applied for Tavis to receive a star, and paid the $30,000 fee. So in effect, Tavis bought himself a $30,000 star. Yet, he came out and said, "I don’t know how this happened."
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Now, I wasn’t there to watch the transaction take place, but if the information provided by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is correct, and I have no reason to think that it isn’t, the level of self-promotion, self-idolatry, and the shear disingenuousness of Tavis Smiley standing in front of the cameras and casually claiming, "I don’t know how this happened," is mind-boggling - and it should give the community a tremendous amount of insight into this guy’s character, or lack thereof.
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And this is not the first time Tavis has sought to enshrine himself. In 2009 Texas Southern University stripped Tavis Smiley’s name from its School of Communication because Tavis failed to come through with the $2 million that he promised in order to have the school named after him. So a mere $30,000 for a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is chump change to Tavis.
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What grabs my attention about this situation is the insight it gives into Tavis’ true motivation. I used to tell my son and daughter when they were teenagers to pay no attention to what people say; you should always watch what they do. I’ve found that to be a very good rule of thumb with regard to Tavis Smiley. Tavis is renowned for going all over the country, jumping up and down, and insisting to anyone who will listen how dedicated he is to helping the poor. Yet, what does he do? Instead of trying to feed poor people, or reimbursing the people who lost their homes and life savings as a result of his roping them into the Wells Fargo Ghetto Loan Scam, he throws away millions of dollars trying to aggrandize and enshrine himself by purchasing stars and placing his name on buildings. His behavior speaks volumes. 
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Ordinarily I wouldn’t nitpick about this issue. I would simply congratulate Mr. Smiley on his star and move on. But I see this as a teaching moment. People of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s ilk have been preying on and undermining the Black community for over four hundred years, so it’s time to bring it to an abrupt end, just like he abruptly ended his "Poverty Tour" after he failed to get Mitt Romney elected.
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Open your eyes Black people. Tavis Smiley is intimately associated with Wal-Mart, one of the largest and most abusive manipulators of poor and middle-class working people in America. How can a person who is genuinely concerned about the poor and middle-class maintain such an association in good conscience? 
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Until just recently, Wal-Mart was a member of "The American Legislative Exchange Council" (ALEC), going back to 1993, an organization whose primary purpose for existence is to abolish laws that protect America’s poor, middle-class, and minorities. Wal-Mart recently discontinued its official membership in ALEC in response to public pressure against the organization’s support of "Stand Your Ground" laws around the country in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin murder - but thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, we don't know what role Wal-Mart is continuing to play in secret. Yet, Wal-Mart is Tavis Smiley’s primary underwriter. They keep him propped up so they can influence the opinion of the Black community through him.
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On her site, Legal Speaks, Attorney and former prosecutor, Debbie Hines says the following regarding Tavis Smiley’s association with Wal-Mart:
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". . . Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are on a poverty tour crusade to speak out against the Obama Administration and in support of poor people’s rights. On the one hand, their actions might seem admirable. Many people seem to have forgotten to advocate for the least among us. There’s a lot of talk about the middle class but the word "poor" is rarely used. But here’s where the issue goes back to Stephanie Miller. The Tavis Smiley show is sponsored by Walmart, of all companies. And while Smiley and West have gone on poverty tours to bring attention to poverty and poor people, Walmart, by its own policies, is helping to cause poverty among its workers. Walmart assists poverty by paying substandard wages to its employees, paying little or no benefits including health benefits, decreasing hours to avoid paying benefits and working long hours on holidays. This past Thanksgiving, as if Black Friday was not early enough to start holiday sales, Walmart started with workers and stores opening at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day—barely giving employees enough time to digest their turkey dinner.
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"Apparently, Tavis Smiley fails to see the hypocrisy in taking money from Walmart as a sponsor of the Tavis Smiley show while allegedly supporting and crusading for poor people. According to the Nation, "Walmart is one of the biggest recipients of government subsidies, receiving tax breaks, free land, cash grants and other forms of public assistance, in addition to paying some of its workers so little that they also turn to the federal government for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)."
http://www.legalspeaks.com/2012/12/can-a-poverty-tour-be-supported-by-walmart/
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So just ask yourself, how many millions of dollars would Tavis’ cronies at Walmart, Exxon/Mobile, and the other members of ALEC be willing to pay to bring down President Obama? Let me give you a little insight into that, right out of the mouth of an irate Black Republican operative. In his article, "My Republican Party has Abandoned Me,"  Black Republican activist, Raynard Jackson, says the following:
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"For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, no! But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama."
http://www.freedomsjournal.net/2012/10/31/my-republican-party-has-abandoned-me/
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It's the height of irony that prior to the 2012 election Tavis Smiley and Cornel West claimed to have such compassion for the poor and middle class that they felt compelled to ride all over the country on a bus to tell the poor how badly President Obama has fallen short on their behalf. But after the election, they couldn't bring themselves to come and lend support to the Black Friday demonstrations taking place against Wal-Mart right down the street from Tavis' office.
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So let there be no doubt about it - this star, which Tavis claimed not to have known anything about, serves a very specific purpose. It’s an attempt to elevate Tavis Smiley's severely damaged profile and give him the "star power" to continue to manipulate the Black community for his Wal-Mart and other ALEC-connected corporate cronies. In the past, his cronies propped him up in the community, but his image has now become so badly damaged in the Black community that he needed something to prop himself up so his corporate cronies won't begin to see him as a liability.
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If you need evidence of how badly damaged Tavis' image has become, just ask yourself one question - when was the last time you saw Cornel West? They used to be connected at the hip. Was he even at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony?  That wouldn't be like Cornel to miss a photo op like that. Hmmmmm . . .
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But on a serious note, we must bring this sort of community manipulation to an end, because there or other Tavis Smiley and Cornel West wannabes - like Boyce Watkins - waiting in the wings. 
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Let’s end this pimp game once and for all.

***


 Eric L. Wattree
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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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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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Message to Dr. Boyce Watkins

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree
A Message to Dr. Boyce Watkins
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Dr. Boyce Watkins said the following:
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If You Really Love Your People, Why Not Share
This Knowledge With Them Over the Internet -
For Free?

"One place to start might be with the political neutering of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was a radical freedom fighter who has been reduced to a snippet in a McDonald’s commercial. Dr. Cornel West has taken issue with the morphing of Dr. King and is speaking regularly to resurrect the real Dr. King from the spiritual grave. Despite being hit by propaganda of the worst kind (most of those who try to write off Dr. West as worthless aren’t actually listening to his speeches), Cornel West continues with a kind of persistence that has to be admired. If anything were to undermine the legacy of this extraordinary scholar, it would be that the purity of truth is just too much to digest in a world that is built on hurtful and ugly lies."
 
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Dr. Watkins, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
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The Black community wasn’t doing great under Clinton, but we were doing a lot better than we are today. And one of the primary reasons that we find ourselves in the condition that we’re currently in is during the 2000 election Ralph Nader and Cornel West teamed up and got Bush elected.
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Clinton’s vice President, Al Gore, lost the 2000 election to Bush in Florida by 537 votes, and the Nader/West coalition peeled off 97,488 votes from Gore in Florida alone. So, again, West is one of the big reasons that the Black community is in the shape that it’s in today. Under Bush, the country was hemorrhaging 850,000 jobs a month. So by criticizing Obama about the condition of the country, Cornel West is like a guy who walks into a restaurant and shits on the floor, and then calls the Health Department because the owner can’t get it up fast enough. 
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And please keep this in mind - the worse the Black community is doing, the more money that Tavis and West make talking about it, because Tavis owns a publishing company where he and West write books about it, a production company, where he and West do televisions shows about it, and he owns a speakers bureau, where Cornel West makes $30,000 a speech just to talk about the Black misery that he helped to create.
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It’s easy for West to espouse his intellectually pure, but existentially impractical ideals that divide the people by advocating that we be so demanding of the Bogeyman that we promote the Devil. He doesn’t have to live with the disastrous results. Once he and Ralph Nader helped to get Bush elected in 2000, West simply slithered back into his Ivy League cocoon while the Black community went through eight years of pure Hell under Bush, and continue to suffer the consequences.
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In addition, Cornel West preaches a better sermon than he’s willing to live. In spite of all of his rhetoric about his love for Black people and the community, he's never taught at one Black school, or even a school that the majority of young Black people can even afford to attend, or even go to have lunch at without mortgaging their family’s home, in his entire life. If West truly loved Black people like he claims, he’d be teaching third grade in the hood, or at the very least, teaching at one of our great Historically Black Colleges or Universities. Black colleges and universities are good enough to drive by and pickup bloated speaking fees, but beneath his stature when it comes to teaching at one of them. His ego requires that instead of living among the people and teaching Black students, that he don the costume of the resident "Negro radical" and tap dance and gesticulate at Harvard or Princeton for the entertainment of the children of the very corporate manipulators that he’s railing against. Hypocrisy doesn’t come any more glaring than that. But, believe it or not, it gets worse.
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Isn’t it also funny that Tavis and West seems to Talk about everything bad that’s happening to the Black community, EXCEPT, Tavis’ part in the Wells Fargo "Ghetto Loan" scam where Tavis helped to herd over 30,000 Black and Hispanic homeowners into a situation that led to the lost their homes AND their life savings? The Department of Justice said that it was the second largest housing discrimination case on record - and this from two individuals who try to associate themselves with Martin Luther King.
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"On July 12, 2012 Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009."
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"Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of "Moneywise"] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere... But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the "Wealth Building" seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan." 
http://wattree.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-question-for-both-tavis-smiley-and.html
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But in spite of these isues, in response to President Obama's remarks on race in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, Tavis Smiley tweeted, "Took POTUS almost a week to show up and express mild outrage. And still, it was as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid."
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That was a very curious remark considering the fact that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West traveled all across the country on a bus under the pretext of being so passionately concerned about poverty in America that they just HAD to take a stand - but of course, that was BEFORE the election, and when they had books to sell. But after the election was over, and they didn’t have any new books to sell, they couldn't bring themselves to walk down the street from Tavis' office to support the Black Friday demonstrations taking place all across the country against Wal-Mart - Tavis' major sponsor, a member of ALEC, and the biggest abuser of the working class in America today.
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And not only did they fail to attend ANY of the demonstrations taking place across the country against Wal-Mart, they didn't even issue a comment of support. All we've heard coming from the Smiley/West camp are crickets - and as everyone knows, that's extremely uncharacteristic of Cornel West, who's renown for being willing to trade a kidney for a sound byte. Thus, that just about says it all about those two. All subjective assessments aside, the facts alone suggest that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are two of the most blatantly self-serving hypocrites that the Black community has ever suffered.
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According to Scott Collins in his article, Tavis Smiley's bumpy 10th anniversary with PBS, in the Los Angeles Times:
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"Such is the life of a public-television personality. Unlike most TV hosts, who simply do their jobs and collect a paycheck from a network, Smiley has to go out and raise most of the money for his program, which costs between $7 million and $8 million a year to produce. PBS generally contributes about $1 million of that sum. The rest comes from corporate sponsors, which Smiley has to round up himself.
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The sluggish economy and reduced corporate spending have threatened the show's viability. But luckily for Smiley, Wal-Mart, a longtime sponsor, stepped up again, this time with a three-year commitment. (PBS can only offer a maximum of two years on renewals because, as a government-supported entity, it must be periodically authorized by Congress.) But Wal-Mart covers only about a quarter of the costs.
(http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-tavis-smiley-pbs-20131212,0,6312121.story#ixzz2ndW5CAp5).
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And therein lies the problem - and, the reason for the prescription in the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics that "Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know." You cannot serve two masters. In the instance above, Tavis Smiley had to choose between the public's right to know, and his personal self-interest, and the public lost - and it's not the first time the public lost to Smiley's self-interest.
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Now add the following to the mix.  In his article, "My Republican Party has Abandoned Me," Black Republican activist, Raynard Jackson, says the following (http://www.freedomsjournal.net/2012/10/31/my-republican-party-has-abandoned-me/):
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"For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, no! But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama." 
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Now, you do the math.
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A CALL FOR BOYCE WATKINS TO COME OUT OF THE REPUBLICAN CLOSET
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Boyce (Let’s lay the Marcus crap to rest. I know who you are),
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I’m not a shill. I have absolutely nothing to hide. I’m flat-out against the Republican Party, and any Black man who can’t see why is a fool. Only an idiot would condemn the Bogeyman to embrace the Devil.
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But speaking of shills, when are you coming out of the closet as the Republican you are. As long as you don’t, everything you do or say is a fraud. If you profess to be “The People’s Scholar,” the people have a right to know your political persuasion. You might as well come on out with a sense of dignity, because if you don’t, I’m going to put the evidence together and drag you out of your Republican broom closet – in fact, I fired the opening salvo today. (http://wattree.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-message-to-dr-boyce-watkins.html).
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People have been begging me to do it for well over a year now, but I’ve been reluctant to do so, because I don’t believe you’re PURPOSELY trying to deceive the people to feather your own nest like Tavis and West. I think you’re simply deluded in your beliefs, and you don’t have the courage of your convictions.
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And finally, please don’t take this in the wrong way. I know how this sounds, but it is NOT my intent to threaten you in anyway. It’s just my way of giving you a heads-up on what’s on the horizon, because in spite of everything, including the fact that I view you as grossly na├»ve, I still sorta, kinda, like you.
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So I’m putting you on notice, brother. Well-intentioned or not, by not telling the people who you are, and what you truly believe, you’re engaging in a form of deception – and I’ve made it my personal mission to make deluding the Black community a thing of the past, and other writers have agreed to joined me on that mission. So if you don’t come out of the closet on your own, and have to be dragged out, you’re going to lose all of your public credibility – just like Tavis and West are in the process of doing right now.
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So there you have it, something to think about.
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Peace, brother.
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Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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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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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

These Are the Kind of Black Men Who Sold Black People Into Slavery

To Penguin Board of Directors,
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Here's the follow-up on yesterday's discussion that I promised you. Yes, I'm on an absolute mission, and if I'm successful, which I intend to be, I will have made a huge contribution to the Black community.  So this has gradually become a life's mission for me. As I mentioned in our discussion last night, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West represent the very same kind of Black people who delivered African-Americans into slavery when we were in Africa: "Hurry, everyone, and bring your children! The nice White man wants to take you for a boat-ride!" And these are not opinions I'm putting forward here - these are facts.  Thus, anyone who wants to argue this point, can argue with the facts. 
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So, for me, the exposure of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West as frauds represents a debt that's way past due. And they need much more than to simply be admonished. They should to be completely, and permanently, boycotted by the Black community. Everything they touch, or is associated with should be boycotted. Because as long as Black people continue to give them a platform, they'll continue to be used by Wal-Mart, ALEC, the GOP, and other enemies of the people to undermine the Black community.  So they need to be made an example of, as a warning to anyone who may be contemplating following in their footsteps. We've got to make pimping the Black community an act of treason against the community, and we should bring it to an end, once and for all.  Four hundred years is long enough to tolerate such nonsense.
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 BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
The Real History of The Poverty Tours
Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Smiley/West Wannabe
The hostility that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have for President Obama is so transparent that if it were glass we would have walked right through it and cut ourselves to shreds. These two are shameless, and it’s not only a national disgrace how the establishment media is allowing them to prance around posing as the savior of the poor and middle class, but they're actually helping them to perpetuate this fraud by providing them constant coverage and millions of dollars worth of publicly supported air time.
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These two thought that they were gonna become the Grand Dragons of the Black Community - which is a very profitable gig when you’re in the business of selling ALEC-connected corporations access to the Black community like Tavis Smiley. Tavis is the biggest corporate shill in the Black community. He fronts for Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, Exxon/Mobile, Allstate Ins., Nationwide Ins., etc. - a veritable who’s who of the corporations that are most responsible for victimizing the poor and middle class in the country, and who are spending millions of dollars to obstruct minority voter rights. That’s what makes it so ironic that they’re trying to portray themselves as the saviors of "the poor minorities."
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During Obama’s first campaign for president Smiley and West had already hitched their wagons to Hillary Clinton. She was 37 points ahead of Obama in the Black community at the time, so they were all set to gain the clout, prestige, and riches of having presidential access and being acknowledged as the new grand viziers of the Black community. But then, Obama won the election - in spite of their most ardent efforts - and caught them by surprise. In fact, Cornel West tried to jump the fence and began campaigning for Obama when it became clear that Obama might actually win, but Obama wasn’t having it. That's what caused the controversy over West not being invited to the inaugural celebration.
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At the time, West tried to frame the issue like Obama was an ingrate for not inviting him to the inauguration after he campaigned for him. But he failed to mention the fact that less than an hour after Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States West went on national television and told the Black community that Obama couldn’t be trusted.
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That’s right - on the very day that Obama went to Springfield, Illinois to maximize the historic significance of announcing his candidacy for president in the shadow of Lincoln's former statehouse instead of coming on Tavis' "State of the Black Union" jibfest, West stood up and did an impassioned rant indicating that Obama couldn’t be trusted to be president because he didn’t come on the Tavis Smiley show, as though Tavis was the gatekeeper of the Black community - and all the while Tavis is standing there grinnin' like a chess cat as though they'd caught Obama committing some sort of unconscionable act.
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Look at the video below and notice how entitled West sounds, as though it was more appropriate for Obama to come kiss Tavis’ ring than to announce his candidacy in the shadow of Lincoln’s former statehouse. I remember becoming slack-jawed at his unmitigated arrogance. Up until that moment I had been a big fan of both Tavis and West, but that was when I first realized that they were egomaniacal fools. That was also the morning that I started investigating them, and I’ve written nearly 30 articles on them since.
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The video is also ironically prophetic. Notice how even as West is lecturing the nation on how Obama is surrounding himself with people who can’t be trusted, you can see Wells Fargo and Exxon/Mobil logos floating by in the background behind him. What makes that so prophetically ironic is Tavis was later involved in the Wells Fargo "Ghetto Loans" scam, where Wells Fargo ended up having to settled a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice agreeing to pay poor and middle-class minorities $175 million as a result of the scam. This is the biggest scandal EVER perpetrated by a Black man on the Black community, but the establishment media is refusing to cover it. That’s why I’ve become so fixated on bringing the machinations of these two demagogues to the attention of the Black community.
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As This Video Was Being Recorded Tavis Smiley Was Knee-Deep in a scam
that Roped 30,000 Poor and Middle-Class Minorities into the Wells Fargo
subprime loan scheme, or "The Ghetto Loan Scam,"
That Would Cause Many of Them to Lose Their Homes
and Life savings.  
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So the Bottom Line is this - when people like myself criticize Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, or Boyce Watkins, we’re not criticizing them because they’re critical of President Obama; our problem with them is they’re cherry-picking their facts and telling half-truths to promote their own agenda.
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HEY, AREN'T YOU THE SAME GUY
WHO SAID I COULDN'T BE TRUSTED? 
A prime example of that is they are going out of their way NOT to tell the Black community that the United States Constitution gives sole control of spending to the United States House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans. So the only way that President Obama can spend any money to assist the Black community, or anyone else, is to get the Republican House to go along with him.
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That’s why it’s so important for the president to hold together a coalition of Blacks, women, gays, Hispanics, and every other segment of the American population. He needs ALL of us to place pressure on the Republicans to loosen the purse strings in order for him to get anything done. So anytime you hear Tavis, West, or Watkins pointing their finger at what President Obama is doing for any other segment of the population, they’re doing you a disservice.
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Here’s how politics works - "you support me when I need you, and I’ll support you when you need me." So whenever President Obama does anything for other segments of the population, he’s building up political capital so he can help you. But, of course, he doesn’t discuss what he’s doing for the Black community for a very good reason - as Cornel says himself (when it’s convenient), "Race Matters."
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These gentlemen know full well that if President Obama runs around bragging about what he’s doing for the Black community, the Republicans are going to use that as leverage to tear his coalition apart. They would tell women, gays, Hispanics, and everyone else in America that Obama doesn’t care about them; all he wants to do is help his own people, and that message hurts the Black community. Don’t these so-called intellectuals recognize that? If they don’t, they’re dumb. If they do, that means that they’re purposely trying to mislead you. The question, then, is why?
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So the fact is, when people like Tavis, West, and Watkins run around telling you that the proof that President Obama is not working for you is that he refuses to throw his fist in the air, these people are working against you, not for you - and they know it. You see, their primary agenda is NOT about helping the Black community. Their agenda is about tearing President Obama down, and again, that hurts you. But they don't care - and that's the problem.
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RELATED ARTICLES
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Eric L. Wattree 
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
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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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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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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Tavis Smiley: "Mr. Accountability" Shuns Professional Accountability

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Tavis Smiley: "Mr. Accountability" Shuns Professional Accountability
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"Accountability." That’s a hugely important word in Tavis Smiley’s vocabulary - that is, until it’s applied to himself.  While Smiley has gone around the country hawking a book that he wrote on the subject and has literally forged a living out of lecturing President Obama - and any other high-profile Black personality who views the political landscape differently from himself - on the need to be accountable, he's been blatantly, and shamelessly, shunning his responsibility as a journalist and his accountability to the people in favor of his own self-interest for over a decade now.
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Mr. Smiley has been in direct violation of the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists for over ten years now. Theystate the following in part:
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ACT INDEPENDENTLY

Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
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Journalists should:
 —Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
 — Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
 — Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
 — Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
 — Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
 — Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
 — Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
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In response to President Obama's remarks on race in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, Tavis Smiley tweeted, "Took POTUS almost a week to show up and express mild outrage. And still, it was as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid."
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That was a curious remark considering the fact that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West traveled all across the country on a bus under the pretext of being so passionately concerned about poverty in America that they just HAD to take a stand - but of course, that was BEFORE the election, and when they had books to sell. But now that the election is over, and they don't have any new books to sell, they couldn't bring themselves to walk down the street from Tavis' office to support the Black Friday demonstrations taking place all across the country against Wal-Mart - Tavis' major sponsor, a member of ALEC, and the biggest abuser of the working class in America today.
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And not only did they fail to attend ANY of the demonstrations taking place across the country against Wal-Mart, they didn't even issue a comment of support. All we've heard coming from the Smiley/West camp are crickets - and as everyone knows, that's extremely uncharacteristic of Cornel West, who's renown for being willing to trade a kidney for a sound byte. Thus, that just about says it all about those two.  All subjective assessments aside, the facts alone suggest that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are two of the most blatantly self-serving hypocrites that the Black community has ever suffered.
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According to Scott Collins in his article, Tavis Smiley's bumpy 10th anniversary with PBSin the Los Angeles Times:
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"Such is the life of a public-television personality. Unlike most TV hosts, who simply do their jobs and collect a paycheck from a network, Smiley has to go out and raise most of the money for his program, which costs between $7 million and $8 million a year to produce. PBS generally contributes about $1 million of that sum. The rest comes from corporate sponsors, which Smiley has to round up himself.
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"The sluggish economy and reduced corporate spending have threatened the show's viability. But luckily for Smiley, Wal-Mart, a longtime sponsor, stepped up again, this time with a three-year commitment. (PBS can only offer a maximum of two years on renewals because, as a government-supported entity, it must be periodically authorized by Congress.) But Wal-Mart covers only about a quarter of the costs" (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-tavis-smiley-pbs-20131212,0,6312121.story#ixzz2ndW5CAp5).
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And therein lies the problem - and, the reason for the prescription in the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics that "Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know." You cannot serve two masters. In the instance above, Tavis Smiley had to choose between the public's right to know, and his personal self-interest, and the public lost - and it's not the first time the public lost to Smiley's self-interest. 
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A QUESTION FOR BOTH TAVIS SMILEY AND CORNEL WEST
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Mr. Smiley, do you intend to return the Millions of dollars that you reportedly made from herding poor Black people and Hispanics into the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loan” scam to the people who lost their money and homes? And Dr. West, in your learned opinion, what is the appropriate course of action for your friend and associate to take - in accordance with the "prophetic tradition," of course?
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A discrimination lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, and several articles, including one seeded on Newsvine entitle, “Tavis Smiley - "Ghetto Loan" Peddler for Wells Fargo,” closely associates PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley, with the Wells Fargo Bank scam targeting poor and middle-class Black and Hispanic borrowers. The article quotes Kelvin Boston, host of "Moneywise, and Keith Corbett, of the Center for Responsible Lending, as calling Tavis Smiley “the big draw” of the Wells Fargo scam. Specifically, the article states the following:
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“Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of “Moneywise”] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere... But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the "Wealth Building" seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
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“Wells' plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank's overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.”
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Subsequent to the law suit, Richard Prince reported in The Washington Independent that Smiley issued a statement indicating that he would sever all ties with Wells Fargo until charges that the company steered minorities into higher-rate loans are resolved. The article went on to say,
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“Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-Span-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes. Smiley’s foundation also distributed Wells Fargo materials to young people at foundation events, he told Journal-isms.
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‘“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,’ Smiley declared. He said the move cost ‘a lot of money’; he said he did not know how much.”
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On July 12, 2012 Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009.
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What makes it particularly ironic that Tavis Smiley would be associated with this scheme to target poor and middle-class minorities is that Smiley is the primary promoter of what he calls “The Poverty Tour,” along with his friend and associate, former Princeton professor, Cornel West. During the tour, on their joint radio talk show, and on numerous media appearances, Smiley and West have gained a reputation for being President Obama’s harshest critics, indicating that the president is not sufficiently focused, and “accountable,” to the nation’s poor and minority community.
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In a statement by Wells Fargo put out after the bank agreed to a settlement of $175 Million, they said that while not admitting to any wrong doing, Wells Fargo agreed to a settlement of the law suit because the bank felt that it was the right thing to do.
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CNNMONEY quoted Mike Held, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, as saying, "Wells Fargo is settling this matter because we believe it is in the best interest of our team members, customers, communities and investors to avoid a long and costly legal fight, and to instead devote our resources to continuing to contribute to the country's housing recovery."
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The settlement includes Wells Fargo paying the Black and Hispanic victims of discrimination $125 million in compensation, and an additional $50 million in down-payment assistance to borrowers in the affected communities.
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So the question that remains is, if Wells Fargo Bank feels that paying compensating to the poor and middle-class victims of this scam is the right thing to do, shouldn’t Tavis Smiley, the most strident advocate of “accountability” and fervent crusader for the interest of the poor, feel obliged to do the same? Certainly, benefiting from the misery of the poor and minority community would run counter to Mr. Smiley's zeal for the need of the powerful to maintain accountability.
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We’d also like to put that question to Smiley’s friend and associate, Dr. Cornel West. What do you think your good friend and associate should do, Dr. West? What does the “prophetic tradition” dictate is the proper course of action?
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We’ll be anxiously awaiting your response.
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Poverty Pimp, Inc.
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What Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Boyce Watkins Won’t Tell the Black Community

In addition, there's the appearance that news is being manufactured.  People like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Boyce Watkins are going out of their way NOT to tell the Black community that the United States Constitution gives sole control of spending to the United States House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans.  So the only way that President Obama can spend any money to assist the Black community is to get the Republican House to go along with him.
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That’s why it’s so important for the president to hold together a coalition of Blacks, women, gays, Hispanics, and every other segment of the American population.  He needs ALL of us to place pressure on the Republicans to loosen the purse strings in order for him to get anything done. So anytime you hear Tavis, West, or Watkins pointing their finger at what President Obama is doing for any other segment of the population, they’re doing you a disservice.
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Here’s how politics works - you support me when I need you, and I’ll support you when you need me. So whenever President Obama does anything for other segments of the population, he’s building up political capital so he can help you. But, he doesn’t discuss what he’s doing for the Black community for a very good reason - as Cornel says himself (when it’s convenient), “Race Matters.”
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These gentlemen know full well that if President Obama runs around bragging about what he’s doing  for the Black community, the Republicans are going to use that as leverage to tear his coalition apart. They would tell women, gays, Hispanics, and everyone else in America that Obama doesn’t care about them, and that all he wants to do is help his own people, and that message hurts the Black community. Don’t these so-called intellectuals recognize that? If they don’t, they’re dumb. If they do, that means that they’re purposely trying to mislead the community. The question then, is why?
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So the fact is, when people like Tavis, West, and Watkins run around telling you that the proof that President Obama is not working for you is that he refuses to throw his fist in the air, these people are working against you, not for you - and they know it.  President Obama is trying to help ALL of the people - and that includes you.
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But the primary agenda of the people mentioned above is NOT about helping the Black community, or anyone else, for that matter. Their primary interest is to service their own hatred, envy, and greed.
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You see, they've never been able to get past President Obama's rapid rise to prominence in our society.  So instead of taking pride in what Obama has achieved like the vast majority of the Black community, they see his accomplishment as diminishing their stature among Black people, and it's killing them. So their primary agenda is not about helping you, or keeping you informed, it's about helping Obama's enemies tear him down, and getting rich in the process.
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What makes this so sickening is, while these “brothers” are telling the people how much they love them, and want to keep them informed, at the very same time, they’re depending on the people’s blind ignorance in order to promote their own agenda.  But some of us have been around long enough to have seen this before. This is the exact same tactic used by the “brothers” who were planted inside the Black community by the FBI to sabotage the civil rights movement of the sixties.
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I’ve discussed the issue of agent provocateurs in previous articles with respect to the activities of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West - including the similarity between what’s going on today, and the FBI’s CoIntelPro operation that brought down the civil rights movement of the sixties. But at this point it goes even farther than that.
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“Operation Cointelpro,” initiated by Edgar J. Hoover, involved sending so-called brothers into the community to divide the various civil rights organizations - both, against one another, and within the organizations themselves. In order to accomplish this, the FBI plants would go into the community and convince the people that certain individuals weren’t militant enough. As a direct result of this ploy, Dr. King was the victim of the exact same kind of character assassination as Smiley and West are now trying to use on Obama. The Smiley and Wests of that era used to call Dr. King, “Martin Luther Coon.” So it is indeed ironic that these two individuals are now trying to use Dr. King’s own Bible in a tactic used against him, to now defame Barack Obama. It’s disgusting, in fact.
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They’re playing the same old game of dividing the people that kept Black people from rebelling against slavery, and that has held Black people down for over 400 years. The only difference is, during slavery the turncoats would do it for a pat on the back and a new pair of shoes. But today, it involves millions of dollars.
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Just ask yourself, how many millions of dollars would Tavis’ cronies at Wal-Mart, Exxon/Mobile, and the other members of ALEC be willing to pay to bring down President Obama?  Let me give you a little insight into that, right out of the mouth of an irate Black Republican operative.
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In his article, "My Republican Party has Abandoned Me," Black Republican activist, Raynard Jackson, says the following (http://www.freedomsjournal.net/2012/10/31/my-republican-party-has-abandoned-me/):
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"For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, no! But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama." 
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So there you are, and with that kind of money up for grabs, we would be ridiculously imprudent not to minutely scrutinize the rationale behind every syllable that slips from Tavis and West’s mouth. Because Tavis may be opposed to many things, but he’s certainly not one who’s opposed to making money.
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After Tavis miscalculated his clout in the Black community by trying to punish candidate Obama for failing to come on his show, Tavis Smiley is quoted in “Black Enterprise Magazine” as saying the following:
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“I went from making about $1 million a year in speaking fees to barely $100,000 because people stopped inviting me to speak in certain places,” he recalls. “Personalities like me have a Q rating, and mine dropped lower than Michael Vick’s after the dog fighting conviction. I couldn’t engage new sponsors or get the ones who have been with me to raise their spending levels.”
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The article goes on to say, “So what did Smiley do? He rallied his troops to “stay focused on the work” as he conjured up new ideas and led his team to launch a new radio program, publish a slate of books that became top sellers, and create a traveling museum backed by Wal-mart, a long-time sponsor, among other ventures to fortify the company. “He kept going full steam ahead.”
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What the article didn’t say was his radio show was financed from the proceeds that he made off the misery of poor and minority borrowers who lost their money and homes after Smiley herded them into the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loans” scam.
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The article goes on to point out the holdings of Tavis Smiley, Inc:
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"His numerous holdings include:
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• TS Media Inc., which produces the Tavis Smiley talk show that airs weeknights on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), viewed in 96% of U.S. households with approximately 400,000 viewers nightly.

• Smiley Radio Properties, producer of his radio programs, The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West, which he co-hosts with Cornel West, a close friend and one of the nation’s leading black intellectuals, for Public Radio International (PRI). Together, the programs reach more than 500,000 listeners daily.

• High Quality Speakers Bureau, which, in addition to Smiley and West, offers lecture representation for approximately 17 social commentators and motivational speakers such as Henry Louis Gates Jr., Iyanla Vanzant, and Dr. Robin Smith. (Denise Pines, Smiley’s partner and marketing guru for 15 years, holds a minority stake in the company.)

• SmileyBooks, a co-publishing venture with Hay House Inc. that has published 22 books to date including several best sellers.

• Tavis Smiley Presents…, a unit that has managed and produced company-sponsored public events.

• SIVAT Productions, a company that develops documentary films.

• America I AM: The African American Imprint, a four-year traveling museum that has developed a number of spin-off publications and products.

"The Tavis Smiley Foundation, the philanthropic arm that has raised $322,000 to teach youth leadership skills as well as Smiley’s investments in residential and commercial properties in California and his home state of Indiana are also under the TSG umbrella. He also owns a number of Marco’s Pizza franchises throughout Indianapolis.”[It doesn’t mention how much goes to the kids, and how much goes to his “investments” - and notice that they say “raised” for the kids, not donated].
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But Tavis’ various holdings are very enlightening. They seem to explain Smiley and West’s over-the-top rhetoric. It seems that they’re generating their own news, and then they’re turning around and profiting off of the controversy that they themselves are creating. By creating controversy, that enhances their speaking fees (West, $30,000 a speech), book sales, and also enhances their television and radio audience. Then, Tavis will go back with his production company and produce a documentary on the screaming people that he’s managed to convince that they’re being ignored by the president.
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Even the latest book that they went around the country hawking was disingenuous. The title of the book is “The Rich And The Rest of Us.” Who is the “US” that they’re talking about? With all of the money that they’re pulling down, they certainly couldn’t be talking about themselves. They’re not one of “US,” they’re part of “THEM.” You’d be wise to never forget that.
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Tavis’ holdings also explain why in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, where 26 people were killed, including 20 children, West seemed to be more interested in making headlines than mourning over the senseless death of these innocent people. West said, “We can’t just shed tears for those on the vanilla side of town with the Middle Class.”
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West knew full well that the president's response had absolutely nothing to do with what "side of town" this tragedy took place. President Obama was responding as a father - as a human being - to the horrible tragedy of 20 innocent children being murdered while sitting in school. It didn't matter whether those children were Black or White; the tragedy was uniquely significant due to the horrific circumstances surrounding their deaths. Yet, even in the face of such a horrible tragedy, West couldn't resist his irresponsible urge to score a twofer for he and Tavis' team. He immediately saw an opportunity to both, criticize the president, and to garner headlines, which could later be converted to even more publicity, and cash.
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For an individual who’s supposed to be a man of God, that was a horrible thing to say - in fact, it would have been a horrible and dumb thing for anyone to say, regardless to what their beliefs. But this seems to be Cornel West’s pattern. Instead of putting his agenda aside just long enough to support initiatives that are in everyone’s best interest, he insists on being divisive, incendiary, and self-promoting. By doing so, he not only detracts from the effort to get guns out of our communities - including the Black community, which he claims to be so much in love - but in the process, he also manages to desecrate the memory of 20 innocent children.
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The man is shameless, and quite frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if his intense envy, and the resulting hatred, of President Obama might have pushed him over the edge. Because, other than Tavis Smiley himself, I've never seen another man of relative stature who seems to be so completely oblivious to his own destruction. And watching this drama play out on the public stage is absolutely surreal.
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Is West's reckless behavior what one would expect of a true intellectual? I don’t think so. He's engaged in the kind of irrational behavior of a man who can’t be trusted - and he's been headed in this direction for quite some time. It was this very same kind of thoughtless, ego-driven, and self-serving behavior that caused Cornel West to be so instrumental in getting the entire country in the disastrous situation that we currently find ourselves.
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In the 2000 election George W. Bush won the presidency by winning Florida by 537 votes. The Nader/West coalition peeled way 97,488 votes in Florida alone. So even for those who say that Bush stole the election, if it hadn’t been for the efforts of Nader and West, the election wouldn’t have been close enough for Bush to steal. Thus, all of West’s ranting about what Obama’s not doing is tantamount to a man who’s dug a ditch, and who’s now complaining that Obama’s not filling it in fast enough.
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The Black community has had its share of poverty pimps, but we’ve never been pimped like this before. The poverty pimps of the past tended to just have little disorganized hustles, but Tavis Smiley seems to have created “Poverty Pimp, Inc.” He’s gaining the people’s confidence by staying in the public eye, and he stays in the public eye by financing his own shows with the money he derives from the people’s misery. So it seems that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are the Iceberg Slim and Trick Baby of public pimpdom.
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Thus, the Smiley/West coalition is well worth watching, because it’s a coalition forged between the Bogeyman and the Devil.

Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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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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