How Both Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Tricked the Black Community


by Yvette Carnell

African Americans “leaders” – or “liars,” in the case of Reverends Sharpton and Dyson – did a great disservice to their constituencies by failing to pressure President Obama. “These men selfishly took advantage of their proximity to power, and successfully used it as leverage for their personal brands, at the expense of the black community at large.


How Both Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Tricked the Black Community

by Yvette Carnell

This article previously appeared in Your Black World.

We weren’t smart. We were tribal.”

As a black media consumer who scans mountains of black media stories every day, I have to tell you, I get tired of being lied to. And the two biggest liars by far during President Obama’s first term have been Michael Eric Dyson and “Rev.” Al Sharpton.

In the lead up to the election, when Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley both implored the black electorate to push Obama for a black agenda, both Sharpton and Dyson circled the wagons, insulating the White House from any criticism from the black community, ensuring that Obama would not be held to task, certainly not during his first term.

Presumably, Sharpton and Dyson safeguarded the president to ensure that he’d win reelection. Sharpton gave up on any serious assessment of Obama early, saying he wouldn’t offer any criticism of Obama during his first term. He was rewarded with an MSNBC show.

Dyson, who initially gave a fiery roundtable lecture on how blacks couldn’t allow racial symbolism to trump accountability, recently demonstrated a complete 180 in his debate with Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford. His reward is coming, I’m sure.

But now there is good evidence that, contrary to the wisdom of Dyson and Sharpton, Obama didn’t need any protecting. He trounced Romney in Tuesday’s election, becoming one of only a handful of presidents to win 50 percent of the popular vote, and leaving me with no other choice than to believe that doing something substantive for black people during his first time wouldn’t have upended Obama’s election prospects.

The black community could’ve gotten its pound of flesh, much like the LGBT and Latino communities had already, if we’d not been snookered, listening to old “Marble Mouth” Sharpton and “Bee Boppin’” Dyson.

Being loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you will get you nowhere.”

Now we are all left hoping and wishing that, for the sake of his legacy, President Obama doesn’t forget about us during his second term. The smart thing to do would’ve been to secure something, such as legislation to reduce black unemployment or mass incarceration, before the election, but we weren’t smart. We were tribal.

To put it plainly, the black community got screwed by trusting two men who were never honest brokers in the political game they were playing. These men selfishly took advantage of their proximity to power, and successfully used it as leverage for their personal brands, at the expense of the black community at large.

Listen black people: Nobody cares about us. Not even the people who were hired to care about us care about us. My advice? F*ck ‘em. And I don’t just mean f*ck ‘em right now, I mean f*ck ‘em forever.

Al Sharpton’s nothing more than an old guy with a bad perm. And Dyson’s just a smart guy who talks too fast. Who cares. Ask yourself, for once, what do you want? What would you like to see President Obama do for black people? Put yourself and your family first. Then fight for that, no matter what. And if you find somebody with a platform who shares your view, all the better.

But being loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you will get you nowhere. You don’t need Sharpton or Dyson to tell you what to do or think. You only need courage to stand up for yourself and the people you love. Once your love for yourself and the people close to you becomes stronger than your love for Obama, or your respect for Sharpton or Dyson, then you’re ready to break free.

You don’t need Maybach money or a black prez to do it. You only need to love yourself more than you love everybody else. Love yourself, and then go for what you want. Everything else is just black noise. And it’s about time we drown it out.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.


Prof. West calls out both of them 

Tavis Smiley, Cornel West on the 2012 Election & Why Calling Obama "Progressive" Ignores His Record 


CORNEL WEST: And Brother Tavis is being very kind, because he’s right. I love Brother Mike Dyson, too, but we’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, he’s—Michael Eric—

CORNEL WEST: And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way, given the kind of critical background that all of them have had at some point.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Eric Dyson isn’t saying that Obama is progressive, but he’s the most progressive of the presidents that we’ve had.

CORNEL WEST: When FDR says, "Bring the economic royalists on; they are my foes. I’m fighting on behalf of poor people," has Obama not just said that, but done that? Did LBJ, who declared a war on poverty, that generated the kind of legislation against American terrorism called Jim and Jane Crow for voting and—come on, Dyson. But it’s not just what he said there; it’s what he’s been saying as a whole. Brother Glen Ford crushed him in that debate. Listen to what the arguments are. You see what I mean? And again, we’re sending out our love for Dyson, because he’s been our partner, and he can be our partner again. But these kind of lies, we can’t live with. 

I'm on meds now LOL

I'm trying to clean up my act and forego the 4 letter words and try to be more politically correct and diplomatic in my screeds.  So moving forward, more of my Ivy-League calibre intellect will be on display versus my "hood-ratness."  LOL

Don't want to turn folks off to a very important site with my over the top antics.

I'm certainly inclined to say "later for them"  or "f-em" but they are dangerous men with a lot of power and regrettably a larger platform and audience than BAR and its contributing writers.


Amy says that Obama is the most progressive of the presidents that we've had!!!!!

Where was she when Obama supported NATO's illegal invasion of Libya which resulted in the deaths of thousands and the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans and African immigrants?  Where was Amy when Obama increased the use of predatory drones by the hundreds in his first 3 years in office?  Is Amy suffering from some form of early dementia?  Or is she suffering from the Chris Matthew "getting a tingle up her thigh" ..everytime she hears Obama speak? 

Since becoming president, Barack Obama has:

Signed the NDAA into law - making it legal to assassinate Americans w/o charge or trial.

Initiated, and personally oversees a 'Secret Kill List'.

Waged war on Libya without congressional approval.

Started a covert, drone war in Yemen.

Escalated the proxy war in Somalia.

Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan.

Maintained a presence in Iraq even after "ending" the war.

Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan.

Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries.

Sold $30 billion of weapons to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia.

Signed an agreement for 7 military bases in Colombia.

Opened a military base in Chile.

Touted nuclear power, even after the disaster in Japan.

Opened up deepwater oil drilling, even after the BP disaster.

Did a TV commercial promoting "clean coal".

Defended body scans and pat-downs at airports.

Signed the Patriot Act extension into law.

Deported a modern-record 1.5 million immigrants.

Continued Bush's rendition program.


If Amy says this is the most progressive prresident we have..the name of the program should be changed to from DemocracyNow to "HyprocisyNow".

"AMY GOODMAN: Michael Eric

"AMY GOODMAN: Michael Eric Dyson isn’t saying that Obama is progressive, but he’s the most progressive of the presidents that we’ve had."


I'm pretty sure that Amy Goodman was quotin t Dysons opinion that that Obama was the most progressive president, not giving that as her own opinion.


I don't know what will be more interesting....

How both of them will help Obama frame the discussion to cut entitlements (or disappear to avoid recriminations) or how the Blacks, Whites and Latinos who voted Obama in will react?

I'm not too optimistic about a favorable response from anybody... Both will likely blame it on the evil GOP or say the Devil made him do it.

The only thing that may judge Obama at the end of the day may be history:  statistics which show a huge increase in poverty and/or loss of social safety net, or widening income gap, or place upon him the opening salvo to eviscerating social security, or piles of consumer/household debt during his term.

There is reason to be concerned that Obama's "remedy" for the manufactured Fiscal Cliff will create another, deeper recession.

After the second term, even historians who favor him won't be able to cut him the same slack, i.e.  "Look at the mess he inherited."

On foreign policy, I think the chickens will come home to roost sooner than later.  I suspect there were some things going on at the Embassy in Benghazi that will prove embarassing.  Peatreus's lover suggests it was being used in essence as a "CIA Black Site."--involving torture, imprisonment and Syrian gun-running.    

What may also be problematic is how emerging foreign policy challenges emasculate or sideline (or distract) him domestically.  (which is not to say he was robust in the first instance). i.e.  think Bill Clinton's second term and how it was caught up in hearings.