TV talk show and radio host Tavis Smiley seems to be a bit frazzled by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
“There is no such thing in America as race transcendence, and Obama’s going to find that out real soon,” Smiley tells the AP. “There’s no such thing as ‘post-racial’ in America, because if you push the envelope too far, you’re going to hear about it.”
Smiley’s negative outlook on Obama seems to stem from Obama’s decision not to appear on Smiley’s annual State of the Black Union cablecast on C-SPAN last February, which prompted Smiley to criticize Obama on-air. Smiley’s remarks sent black bloggers into a frenzy, with Smiley at the center of their apparent rage.
“Just because Barack Obama is black, doesn’t mean he gets a pass on being held accountable on issues that matter to black people,” Smiley says. “This is what I do—asking critical questions. Now some of you regard it as keeping a brother down, holding a brother back. Because you regard it that way, you don’t understand that this is the role that I’ve always played.”