Tavis Smiley and Cornel West stopped by CNN’s American Morning to discuss their “poverty tour” and to express their disappointment with President Obama for failing to stand up for the poor and for not ever publicly mentioning the word “poverty.” Carol Costello wasn’t entirely convinced and asked why Obama should “concentrate on one segment of the population” when he is the President of all Americans? Yet Smiley and West passionately tried to convince her why.
Smiley argued that “the poor get demonized” in society today and no one in Washington is advocating on their behalf. As a result, “I think this debt ceiling deal was really a declaration of war on the poor – the Congress, the President, respectfully have declared war on the poor,” Smiley feared. And West backed him up stating “the poor and working classes are living in a state of emergency” today and that Obama should make them a priority the same way banks and wars were prioritized in the past.
The fact that the debt ceiling was raised at the expense of opening up a “crater in the floor,” without any new taxes on “the rich and the lucky” is what Smiley found most disturbing. Their overall message: “don’t be afraid to talk about the poor” in the future, and with Smiley and West on the scene, it seems likely their statements will be able to at least get some people talking.
Watch the clip from CNN below:
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org