Steve Harvey apologized to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West for calling them "Uncle Toms," but he’s not taking back his what he said about their Obama-hating.
Last week, Steve caused a stir when he called Tavis and Cornel “Uncle Toms” saying they used their personal “beefs” to undermine the efforts of President Barack Obama. Tavis and Cornel’s "Poverty Tour” has received a lot of attention since it first launched.
Yesterday, “Dem Poverty Boyz” responded to Steve’s remarks during an interview on Michael Baisden’s radio show.
“When you are trying to talk about issues that affect the people, name calling gets in the way,” said Cornel. “Name calling is nothing but another weapon of mass distraction. ”
Tavis added, “You don’t let haters get you down, you have to stay focused on the issue. That’s why you haven’t heard neither one of us respond to Steve Harvey, or Tom Joyner. We don’t call people names. We stay focused on the issues.”
After seeing how fast his comments spread, Steve took to his radio show Tuesday morning to apologize for calling Tavis and Cornel out of their names.
“In retrospect, I probably should not have called these men ‘Uncle Toms,’” said Steve. “I wear so many hats that sometimes as a comedian, I cross the line, which I will continue to do. I apologize for referring to them that way.”
Steve continued, “But everything else I said, good. I’m not retracting my statements. I’m just apologizing.”
While Steve is regretful for the name calling, he obviously still feels that both Tavis and Cornel’s Poverty Bus tour and criticism of President Obama stem from personal vendettas surrounding inauguration tickets and Barack’s declining to appear at Tavis’ 2008 State of the Black Union summit. However, the president did address Tavis’ conference via satellite the following year.
“I don’t understand when people reference me as having a personal beef with Barack Obama,” said Tavis on Baisden’s show. “He didn’t come in 2008, but I’ve never said anything negative about Obama other than things holding him accountable. One year later when he was the President, he spoke. If you think my beef is with him because he didn’t show up in ‘08 when he was a senator, but he did show up in ‘09 when he was president, what then is the beef about?”
Cornel closed the exchange joking, “When somebody calls me an ‘Uncle Tom,’ that’s just like calling me an Eskimo or a star in the National Hockey League, that’s just ridiculous.”
—Maurice Garland | reprinted with permission from Loop21.com