9/27 Tavis Smiley

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Marc’s guest this hour is Tavis Smiley who hosts signature national talk shows on both public television and radio. A former aide to the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Smiley made history in 2002 when he became the first African-American to host his own show on National Public Radio.

Recognized by Time and Newsweek as one of America’s most promising leaders, Tavis Smiley is in Baltimore to host an All-American Presidential Forum for PBS, tonight at Morgan State University. Tonight’s forum will allow Republican Presidential candidates to address issues of concern for people of color. Tonight’s debate, however, has not been without controversy. The leading contenders for the Republican nomination will not be in attendanc citing scheduling conflicts.

After declining an invitation to debate on Univision, earlier this month, critics view this as evidence of the Republican party’s lack of concern for minority issues. We’ll talk about this issue and others with public radio and television host Tavis Smiley.

                                                                                                                                  -Marcus

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One Response

  1. I tried to spend my time listening to Tavis on the radio, not typing, but I’m conflicted as I think about the republican “no-shows.” This sense has given way to the reality that the republicans and many others (i.e. half the country) seem to think of the reality of diversity as a weakness.

    How is it as an independent registered black person should feel about the notion of searching for commonality with people who don’t value or respect my presence or viewpoint? Responding to Tavis’ comments, it seems true that the republican’s decision not to speak reflects the true feeling of their electorate to not engage people with whom they disagree.

    From a larger society standpoint I often question and scoff at people’s (mission statement’s) commitments to diversity which essentially round out to being window dressing when the reality of the situation is exposed. I’ll spare readers actual examples (work life and home life), suffice to say there is a high level of skepticism in what is being said by those who speak about this… “I have plenty of ____ friends…” Spare me.

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