MSNBC 2016

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

What happens when political seasons change on the plantation?


MSNBC 2016

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.


On my cable TV channel, its number is 60

Representing liberal 2520

But in 2016, when Obama rides off into the sunset

Or, if Hillary Clinton became President

What will be the fate of black people on MSNBC?

Will they be replaced because of a new presidential anomaly?


What will be of Touré?

Massa breathes over his shoulder

Brotherman can’t even argue that Jews’ white skin gave them advantages

Advantages to succeed in America despite being survivors of The Holocaust

Those that came here with nothing and then “made it”

He didn’t argue enough about the Black Holocaust

The one still going on from 400 years ago

The one that could be somewhat addressed

With reparations


Then, he had to apologize for using an apt term: “Niggerization”

Controversial term, but apropos

Mitt Romney’s racial coding towards Obama

Would he have to tread even more lightly with Hillary?

I guess so, to maintain his “family” ties on The Cycle

He’s comfortable

But will be on an island

Alone, for controversial statements

Will his “family” give back-up when he’s under attack?

Or, will he get a “nigger moment”

Finding differences between “liberal” and “tolerant”

White liberals talk in the abstract

We can walk hand-in-hand

But only tolerate you

You’ll learn which side they’re on


Touré has analytical skills

Smooth as silk

Debunked “post-racial”

He must straighten his spine

And, open his eyes

Come back Touré, come back!


Yo Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike!

Guess what day it is?

Guess what day it is?

For you, it seems that every day

Every day you’re on MSNBC

It’s Hip-hop day



Sometimes I want to call you “Mike D”

Sounding similar to a Beastie Boy:

Center stage on the mic”

And they put him on max

It’s the news cycle

Dr. Dyson should have a rhymer’s name

He reduces his intellectual acumen to sound bites

Almost freestylin’ to get his brilliant analyses across

I almost hear The Sugar Hill Gang every time he speaks


He sells himself cheap

He’s meek on Brother President

He knows “every brother ain’t a brother”

So, why doesn’t he say something?

It’s ok to be a critic of Obama

And, not drag him through the mud

That’s the Fox News mission


Dr. Dyson finds it’s easier to verbally joust with Dr. West

That’s petty, brother!

It’s getting hectic, brother!

Debate is commonplace

Sadly, you and West are taking productive conversation South

Get together and hash out your differences, brother!

America needs both your voices

Focus on the issues at hand

Don’t act like kids!

Don’t act like crabs in a pot!


Next, to “Rev. Al”

Once part of the prophetic tradition

The black minister holding a mirror to America’s face

To show its fallacies

What it could and should be

That includes President Obama

Al’s personal Jesus

Obama’s disciple


Rev. does America a disservice

Especially black brothers and sisters

The ones that know, all too well

High unemployment

Dilapidated schools

And, like Chuck D said

“Prisons packed back-to-back…with black”

Al has to go beyond praising

Obama’s trinkets of health care and such


He talks about gays and their civil rights

He doesn’t talk about white gays having it both ways

Experiencing discrimination AND enjoying white supremacy

What about that, Rev?


Are you still legit black communities, Rev?

Remember the old days in NYC, Rev?

You stood up for black people back in the day

Or, were you just a “stand-up guy,” Rev?


It’s not just about marching for Trayvon, Rev.

Or, touting your daily “We got cha!’” segment

Your Politics Nation should hold the President accountable

It’s beyond having Obama speak at your little NAN conference


Obama’s using you, Rev.

Maybe you want to get used

Do you sing to him, like Bill Withers:

Oh, you just keep on using me—until you use me up!


You’re his press secretary, Rev.

Or, is this quid pro quo for services rendered:

Get TV time on MSNBC

Get appointed a “national leader”

De-emphasis on being a snitch

Used on a MSNBC ad at the Washington Mall

Get to look like a leader of the masses

Its protector—like Batman

A towering figure


Sorry to say, Rev.

You’re not looking over the masses

You’re looking into the abyss

A place of illusion

As in, you got “juice”

As in, you “have the President’s ear”

Not believing your words go in one ear and out the other

You take dictation, my brother

Your press secretary office is at MSNBC


2016 will provide a rude awakening for you

Your duties will be reduced to commentator

Your spot will be taken over by white women

Especially, if Hillary wins


Rev, you’re eloquent at the pulpit

Though choppy on the tube

Your usefulness will end

Maybe you expect this

You’ll take the money and run

Do speeches and books

You’ll get “hooked up” by Obama, your main man


[The following 5 lines use the cadence from Jay-Z’s rap on Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie”]


You’ll show them how to do it, huh:

Get papers, best tables
Ride high, work stable

Lead marches and forums, raise money for causes

MSNBC got some Negroes white folks love too


Now, to sisters Joy Reid and Melissa H-P

Sisters—we’ll miss ya!

But then, maybe not


Joy tiptoes on eggshells when it comes to Obama

She’s his least critic

Those tiptoe skills may come handy if Hillary wins

She’ll have experience

Who knows?

She might lose her 2 o’clock gig

But then her worst experience:

Steady correspondent work, guest panel work, or a show host fill-in

Oh, happy-happy, Joy-joy!

She’ll still have a gig, though!


Melissa may remain in the MSNBC hinterland

Weekend duties may be her haven


But Sister Harris-Perry

Every time I see you

You make me think of Bob Marley

No, woman, no cry;
No, woman, no cry. Eh, yeah!
A little darlin', don't shed no tears:
No, woman, no cry. Eh!


Yes, “No woman, no cry”

Shedding tears in apology to Romney and the audience--not needed

His family pic with his black grandbaby opened a door

A guest panelist made a reference to a Sesame Street song

His black grandbaby was not like the others!

It’s the truth!

The baby stuck out like a sore thumb!

Sister, you should have reminded the viewing audience

The venom spewed on Obama and family

Romney trying to spin Obama as “the other”

Not being American

Mitt was trying to be clever

Using race as red meat for rednecks

At best, he was a coward to do so

He opened that race deck and lost “in spades!”


Sister, you were being nice with your laughter

Again, why apologize when you didn’t have to?

You worry about criticisms from Scott Brown and Sarah Palin?

Really, are they worthy?

Are they intellectual titans?

You know they’re more like “Forest Gump”

They’re not worthy to touch the tassel from your academic cap and gown

Is an apology, especially to Romney, the price to remain on the MSNBC plantation?

I know a Sister is trying to make a little extra loot

But, DAMN!


Next is Karen Finney

Sister Finney, do you even claim “us?”

Regardless, Sister Finney, you’ll be safe in MSNBC land

Sister, you’ll be all right--you worked for Hillary Clinton

If Hillary runs you’ll get insider information

And, give her free publicity

Benefits to you, Hillary, and MSNBC


Let’s move to Tamron Hall

Sister’s all over the NBC universe

NewsNation, Today’s Take, and Deadline

Well entrenched

Being tight with NBC all-star Andrea Mitchell, helps

She keeps busy

Handles it well

Maybe doesn’t need MSNBC

But, she’s valued

Yet, diminished when doing “fluff”

Common drudgery for brothers and sisters

She’s at her best when she deals with critical issues

Guests get afraid, very afraid

She’s more than safe—she’s a stalwart

White women pose no threat to her

If Hillary would win, she’d have to look elsewhere

Hall wouldn’t be her MSNBC secretary or publicist

After Finney and Reid, who else would Clinton need?

Remember—they’re free!


Jonathan Capehart deserves special attention

I have to deal with him extensively

Brother-man maybe the safest of all at that TV plantation

He should get quite comfortable

For he is consistently docile and confused

Not because of his sexuality

He believes the battle for LGBT rights is on par with black civil rights


Let’s consider his thought process

He wrote in 2012, “Both African Americans and gays have been targeted because of who they are”

Forgive me for my language, dear brother

White gay males can “butch up” anytime they need to

White gay women can become “Lipstick lesbians” for a minute

Can’t escape being black—God knows some have tried

Blacks can straighten their hair

But the afro’s always inside

I write this to reveal truth:

White gays can be chameleons

For black gays, there are fewer benefits to playing heterosexual

Brother Capehart, you should know that most of all

You can hide from being “parade gay”

But your skin color—you can’t trade


Of course, having rights are right—for everyone

Gay IS NOT the new black

Gays haven’t been stolen from their native continents

Atrocities towards gays can’t even compare to black Americans

White gays sure don’t deserve reparations


Brother, is addressing white supremacy part of your repartee?

Do you realize, at times there are few “Kumbaya” moments between blacks and gays?

There are times when “We Are The World” is a lie

Especially when inequality engulfs black life


Tell me this, Brother Capehart

How far are our white LGBT brothers willing to fight for black or brown issues?

Would they risk jobs, friendships, jail or other comforts?

Do you seriously challenge our white LGBT brother and sisters on these issues?

If not, or a little, you’ll be a fixture on MSNBC for years to come

Again, confusion and passivity have rewards

Buy that more expensive house or car!


[The next 2 verses are sung to Peter, Paul, & Mary’s “Puff The Magic Dragon”]


Look! A magic Negro named Michael Steele

And he promised to do the will of the White-guy GOP

The RNC’s found a source to why they lost

The RNC went searching fast to counter Palin’s gaffs, so...


There’s a magic Negro named Michael Steele

That caddied in the country club in a cult called RNC

Look! A magic Negro named Michael Steele

Who sought to get the non-white vote for the guys at RNC


Ah, Brother Steele!

Representing MSNBC’s ideological and political diversity

A black conservative--how fascinating!

You’re even respectful towards The President

No wonder you don’t head the RNC anymore!

However, you gave me chuckles when you were in that position

On TV trying to be cool or hip

Thankfully, you are true to yourself on your MSNBC gig

Can you admit when the GOP doesn’t tell the truth?

Can you highlight when they twist the meanings of data and quotations?

If you can concede GOP ideology is geared to diminish black humanity

Though you’re still a Republican house Negro--you’re safe!

Don’t worry! Be happy!


Brother Craig Melvin

You’re probably safe, as well

MSNBC anchor, NBC correspondent

Good combination

Besides, you provide no threat

White women won’t get all the jobs

Even if Hillary wins

Besides, you anchor on weekends

I don’t mean to belittle or condescend


Then, there are several other brothers and sisters

MSNBC seeks their perspective

Robinson, Taylor, Petersen, et. al

All, brilliant

Part of the MSNBC black cadre

Sadly, I pose these questions

Are you allowed to criticize The President?

Are you just his political/ideological black bodyguards?


I’ll admit, MSNBC has some value

It presents to America

Some of America’s best and brightest

Who just happen to be clothed in darker skin

A welcome sight

A welcome alternative to rump-shakers


Black movers, shakers, intelligentsia

Black politicians, heads of agencies and organizations get some air time

Sporting their knowledge and analysis

Worthy role models

They are brothers and sisters concerned about America

In all its glory and dysfunction and how it treats people of color

They provide a window to black thought and culture

And MSNBC gobbles this up

Proving they are looking “Forward”


However, black critiques of white people and institutions must be tempered

Brothers and sisters chained

MSNBC is corporate

A conglomerate

Paying bills with monies from other corporations

The ones they should be critiquing

Besides, brothers and sisters getting cash is cool

But at what cost to their souls?

They can’t speak truth to power

Especially, when it comes to Obama


So, what happens to the black presence of MSNBC in 2016?

Do brothers and sisters go back in the shadows?

I’m just prognosticating

I don’t want brothers and sisters to lose jobs


But, if some gots to go

They should go out with a bang

Swing for the fences with righteous indignation

Tell the truths that are self-evident:

There is more inequality than ever before

Obama has problems talking about or with poor people

He’s more comfortable around white suburbanites and rurals

The GOP is evil and filled with rednecks

Obama kisses GOP and corporate asses

He has part of Bill Clinton’s cabinet

Obama is, at best, a moderate Republican

He’s Bush II on steroids—willing to dismantle entitlement programs and continue bailouts


Please, my MSNBC brothers and sisters

Proclaim this to the highest mountaintops:

It’s comical to view Obama as a Progressive


He has to be pushed to deal with racial issues

He talks down to black people

He’s like Santa Claus—he knows when you are sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows who you’ve been talking to, and every step you take

He grins too much

He’s a drone master

He has gangster proclivities—invading Pakistan to get Bin Laden

He’s mixed-up: bloodlust disguised as justice is not as good as good-paying jobs

Work for work’s sake isn’t right when you’re barely afloat

Ask him how that national $10.10 an hour thing going?


If you think I’m being harsh on Brother President

That’s inaccurate, because I’m just getting started

My criticisms are numerous

However, I realize that Obama has the right to be as great or as incompetent as any other president


Anyway, these are some of the observations and issues black MSNBC-ers should consider

If they don’t, black folks could view MSNBC as more entertainment than information

This makes MSNBC as important as “The Haves, And The Have Nots” or “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”

Or, maybe a black music video where brothers and sisters sing, smile and dance!


Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr., M. S. is an ordained Baptist minister living in East Lansing, Michigan with his wife Karen Kelly-Blake, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU). He earned his Master of Science degree in Community Development-Urban Studies from MSU and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of Charleston (SC). He has co-authored several articles on faith-based community development and is also a poet and hip-hop cultural analyst whose work have appeared on Black Commentator, Michigan Family Review,, the Online Journal of Urban Youth Culture and Black Agenda Report. He is putting on the final touches on a book of political parody and poetry; no publisher yet.  He would appreciate any input on where and how he can get it published. He can be reached at [email protected] .