Below is a previous exchange between Elder and Smiley. You can see by the body language that Larry Elder is a threat to the progressive sensibilities of Tavis Smiley.
Ironically - in order to remain in Smiley's good graces you must accept that Black people are "The Least Of These" BUT for no other reason than what America did to us and how America must be fixed for the Black man to be fixed.
Upon viewing the most recent interview with Black Republican talkshow host Larry Elder on "The Tavis Smiley Show (PBS)" - I have to credit Tavis Smiley for showing wisdom in having learned and adopted savvy interviewing skills over the years. It showed.
Tavis Smiley clearly "Knew who he was about to deal with" in Larry Elder. Elder, the conservative,, no doubt, wanted to have an ideological jousting match with Smiley - the liberal.
In dissing Elders book that paid tribute to his own father - a hard working, "No Nonsense" Marine with a high school education - Elder's comments were laced with ideological provocations that a "younger Tavis Smiley" would have "bitten" upon, thus hopping in the "rabbit hole" for the debate.
Ironically it was Tavis Smiley's delays in "biting" that helped to develop the character assessment of Larry Elder's father.
Since Elder was using his father's life story as a proxy for his own ideological sentiments of "Hard Work", "We don't suffer the RACISM that my dad suffered from", "If there is anyone who should be angry at America it should be him - but he wasn't" - Smiley's engagement strategy helped Elder expound upon the life story of his father - the subject of the book - rather than immediately "get in to it" - losing the value of his father as a proxy for what he (Elder) has learned that should be of value to other Black males who need a personal ethic.
This post is NOT an assessment of "Who Won". My goal is to acknowledge that clearly Tavis Smiley prepared for the debate and used his skills that he had amassed from having hundreds of guests sitting in the chair.
Now - to be clear - I still recall the elderly, White, Progressive-Fundamentalist, song writing couple that Smiley had on his show a few months ago - being allowed to fire off a string of ideological viewpoints - to the delight of Smiley, as well as Smiley being pleased by the talking points made by Progressive-Fundamentalist economist Robert Reich. I am NOT saying that Tavis Smiley has expanded beyond his own leftwing ideological proclivities by any means.
IF ONLY he could center upon "REALITY" as it stands today and then use this as a framework for interviewing any guest with a POLITICAL/IDEOLOGICAL bent. The very same skill that was effective at accentuating the story of Larry Elder's father - would ALSO force a more "agreeable Progressive" (from the vantage point of Tavis Smiley's world view" - to acknowledge that their theories have compelled "The Least Of These" to INVEST THEIR VALUABLES over many long decades and thus they are not merely a third party,"disconnected, altruistic" observers willing to HELP - they have, instead, RECEIVED from "The Least of These" the fruits of their organizing effort - the two valuables of:
- Their CONFIDENCE that through the Progressive Channel their DEVELOPMENT HOPES would be addressed
- Their VOTES/VOICES delivered into the American Political Domain
The pairing of the two - coupled with the limited development of the "UN-Least of These" coalition is the "Dark Matter" issue that should be debated along with the more popular claim that "AMERICA has less CLASS MOBILITY than does most other Industrialized Nation".
With this INDICTMENT - Mr Smiley never has to PUT HIMSELF ON TRIAL - as to what he and Professor West has done with the valuables they collected as they made promises to the people upon entering the "Progressive Elevator" after they pressed the "Up" button and then the bell rang. .