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Tavis Smiley: ‘On Racism, Poverty, and Militarism, We Lost Ground’ Under Obama


PBS host Tavis Smiley said that while he’s “not about Obama-bashing,” “on racism, poverty, and militarism, we lost ground” under President Barack Obama on Wednesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.


Smiley began by stating, “It’s unfair to lay race relations worsening at the feet of one guy. No one guy is responsible for race relations.”

When the discussion turned to him re-visiting his 2006 book, “The Covenant with Black America,” Smiley said, “This is not about him per se, but it is true that ten years after this book, black Americans have lost ground in every major economic category, and that’s just unconscionable and unacceptable.”

He added, “I think the problem is this, that the suffering of black people for too long, even prior to Obama, the suffering of black people has been rendered invisible. Poverty is now threatening our democracy, it’s now a matter of national security as far as I’m concerned. And so not enough has been done. I judge this president like I judge any other president, so it’s not about Obama-bashing. For me, I judge you by that Kingian standard. King talked about what he called the triple threat tearing our democracy apart. And what was that triple threat? Racism, poverty, and militarism. So, I listen to the president give his laundry list of things that he thinks we ought to judge his legacy on. And he’s gotten a lot done, don’t get me wrong, a lot of headwind, a lot of obstruction, and he got a lot done, but on racism, poverty, and militarism, we lost ground.”

Smiley further argued, “I think calling president radical ideologue is far off. He’s anything but.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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