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Tavis Smiley Crafts Superior Debate

Xenophon's picture

Tonight was just one of those nights. First - to Tavis Smiley – Great Job Tavis!


They say that video will be up in the morning.

But, to all the candidates – when someone ask you about disproportionate unemployment, please don’t come back with some shit about education.

Finally: Barrack – come on man. You mean to tell me you can’t kick ass with home field advantage? Maybe you better go lecture at Smith.

I can’t believe he bombed at the Apollo of debates.

Hillary did well.

But Dennis and Grandpa (Mike Gravel) were still on point.

If you missed it.

Well . . .

Tavis Smiley and crew, with the Covenant, threw a platform into a void (I couldn’t tell you a plank in the Democratic or Republican platform). Just when I thought we weren’t going to have shit to talk about. Here comes Tavis and crew with the Covenant. Tavis you are the Man!

Thanks for showing us how it’s to be done.

Big Momma must be so proud of you right now.

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shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

I thought Tavis did well. Better than Wolfie, for sure, even though that's not saying much.

And the questions actually made sense, instead of the usual inane "gotcha" baloney that nobody cares about besides the Beltway Cocktail Circuit.

Xenophon's picture
Submitted by Xenophon on

I was glad to hear thoughtful questions that at least exposed the inadequacy of a candidate's patterned response. Plus, it opened the field to new positions on a different set of issues. Maybe they'll pick up one.

Keeping Faith,


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

as an answer, maybe THE answer, to economic disproportionality? Aside from the inherent value of an educated electorate and workforce, there are all of the ancillary support structures that are necessary to a real educational commitment including universal prenatal and childhood healthcare, nutritional support (two free hot meals per day in school), safer streets, mentoring and tutoring outreach programs, taxpayer supported low cost higher education, the list goes on. If we are going to change the course of our destiny as a nation from the current path of mindless materialism and authoritarian subjugation, there is no better place to start than public education.

Xenophon's picture
Submitted by Xenophon on

If you go back and listen to the question the problem is access to jobs! It was constructued between two populations of applicants with the only distinguishing factor being race. Of course, the black population was nearly five times less likely to get a job than the white population. Black folk aren't getting jobs because they are not getting hired. Please tell me how education explains why the illiterate illegal alien gets the landscaping job and the G.E.D. or HS graduate who is black does not?

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Roberts SCROTUS decisions lately? (well, in fairness anybody anywhere anytime who reads even one is reading "too many" of those things.)


Black folk aren’t getting jobs because they are not getting hired.

definitely sounds like you have been under Bad Linguistic & Grammatarian Influences someplace, and I fear for your mental wellbeing.

Go check the grill. Eat a meal. Have a drink. Your head will clear shortly.


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Xenophon: You’ve conflated a couple of distinct phenomena here, so let me tease them apart for answers. First, let’s look at black-white economic inequality.

On Page 1 of the following report: Educational Achievement and Black-White Inequality, National Center For Education Statistics, Statistical Analysis Report July 2001,U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement NCES 2001–061 ( is the following:

“Main Findings: Evidence on Labor Market Outcomes
• Black-white gaps in employment and earnings increased during the 1980s for both men and women.
• Recent research suggests that black-white differences in educational achievement account for much of the black-white wage gap for men, and all of the black-white wage gap for women.”

That is to say, differences in education account for much, but not all, of the difference in employment success between whites and blacks. Is the remaining difference the result of continuing bigotry? Sadly, this is most certainly so.

What can be done to ameliorate residual white-black bigotry? The answer again is more education, both vertically to erase the existing white-black educational achievement differential, and horizontally by broadening the American educational process to achieve something closer to the Scottish model. (Racism in Europe and the Role of Education, ERCOMER Conference, Utrecht, October 20–22, 1997.

Last, you ask about the effect of illegal aliens on the employment prospects of black citizens. I submit that this is not a racial matter, but an economic one. When competing for the same jobs in a labor market without enforcement of legal hiring restrictions, as now exists in this country, unscrupulous employers will prefer illegal aliens to either black or white citizens because they will not organize into unions, go out on strike, demand improved or safer working conditions, require Social Security or income tax or unemployment withholding, or necessitate health care insurance subsidies. Illegal aliens are cheaper for the employer, and they will remain cheaper until fair employment and immigration laws are enforced and/or some form of guest worker program requiring worker rights is put into effect.

Substantial residual bigotry certainly exists in this country, but it is shrinking in prevalence with each generation. Education is THE key element in improving the lives of our citizenry regardless of race. Fairly enforcing immigration law, along with all other laws, is a principle requisite to the success of any civilized society and would do much to reduce lower tier economic differentials within the American citizenry.

Hopefully this is a sufficient answer to your questions. If not, please respond and we can continue the dialogue.

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

...sounds absolutely reasonable to me.

"Getting a job" is something a worker does.

"Hiring" is something an employer does.

Blacks aren't getting jobs because they aren't getting hired. It's that simple.

Employers don't want to pay a reasonable wage.

And poor American citizens- blacks and whites here in Michigan- aren't getting hired because they are educated enough to realize what a slave wage is and demand better.

Pour out the drink, kick over the grill, and tell it like it is, Xenophon.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Xenophon's picture
Submitted by Xenophon on

OK my bad. I should have waited for the transcript. The lead off question by DeWayne Wickham was as follows:

“Concerning the link between education and poverty according to the bureau for labor statistics the unemployment rate for black high school gradates was 33% higher than the unemployment rate for white high school dropouts to what do you attribute this inequity that keeps many black families locked on the grip of poverty?”

Tell me how education fixes that one

What can be done to ameliorate residual white-black bigotry? The answer again is more education, both vertically to erase the existing white-black educational achievement differential, and horizontally by broadening the American educational process to achieve something closer to the Scottish model.

Bringiton, oh how I wish that education would ameliorate white bigotry. I’ve got every piece of paper there is . . . still don’t help. Till their grandchildren look like my grandchildren we are going to have static. Nope, racism is root level in the American psyche – for all of us. I’m sad to say.

Xan – I think kellyb covered my near tautological formulation. And yeah it’s that bad. Remember the Swift plant in Colorado. Or the neo-chain gang? Literally until we have no worker protections and slave wages they will not hire black folk. We want jobs, we’ll cut grass, shovel shit, wash dishes but, since we are American citizens we still have to be paid $5.85/hour. That makes us too expensive, Xan I’m telling you it’s that bad. I’ve stood on the day laborer lines waiting for work and been told we can’t hire you go home.

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

The education to emphasize is those who would rule us pit whites against blacks and hispanics against them both in order to control all of us.

Hispanics would not be migrating here if the corporations hadn't destroyed the economy in Mexico for the lower classes. Which is just about everybody. You know, the same way they're wrecking things here.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky