The State of The Black Union celebrated 10 years of bringing dialogue and some of country’s greatest African American scholars, politicians and theologian minds together for the betterment of the African American community. Only at the State of The Black Union conference will concerned African American and American citizens alike, hear important dialogue and commentary about the state of America, unbiased and undiluted.
This year, the RNC was represented by its’ first African American GOP leader Michael Steele. Not his first appearance at the State of The Black Union, Michael Steele’s presence was marked by a few grunts in the audience as he outlined the GOP’s plans to woo African Americans back to the Republican fold.
President Barack Obama, once again a no show, in a physical sense, sent a video message to the conference Saturday. In his statement, President Obama reassured African Americans that he understood their plight by commenting that “tough times in America means tougher times for African Americans.”
“We have done more in the past 30 days,” President Obama emphasised, “to bring about progressive change then we have in many years.”
State of The Black Union moderator Tavis Smiley released “Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise.” Smiley called this new release the “logical successor to the other two texts,” “The Covenant” and “The Covenant In Action.”
Smiley, seen by some in the African American community as a Obama “hater,” did not shy away from publicly addressing his sentiments toward the President. “I want,” he began opening the afternoon session, “we want Barack Obama to be a great president. I believe he can be a great president, but only if we make him be a great president…his accountability is our responsibility.”
The “dance” that Tavis Smiley claims that all African Americans are gonna have to learn to do with Barack Obama may be difficult for him to accomplish. Even though Tavis says that he will “critique in love” President Obama’s political maneuvers, it is increasingly becoming doubtful that “love” will have anything to do with it.
Smiley wants to hold President Obama accountable for his presidency. Perhaps African Americans should hold Tavis Smiley accountable of doing that “dance” of diplomacy. If the State of The Black Union is to work the way that Tavis wants it, pride and an overly critical tone is not the way. This does not mean turning a blind eye to Barack Obama and turning him into a deity as Tavis Smiley accuses the African American media of doing.
What it means is that Tavis Smiley will have to dig deep within himself and strive to be diplomatic instead of dogmatic when it comes to the Obama presidency. Until it is warranted.