Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West and Wal-Mart done gone and pissed off some “community leaders.”
According to a press release from Project Islamic HOPE’s Najee Ali, a coalition of Los Angeles, clergy, civil rights, Wal-Mart associates and community leaders are accusing the PBS talk show host of hypocrisy and being a pawn of the Wal-Mart corporation.
To make their point, said community leaders and Ali are headed straight for the belly of the beast, so to speak. They are planning a protest rally against Smiley, West and Wal-Mart outside of Smiley’s headquarters on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles on September 11.
And why do these community leaders have a problem with Smiley, West and Wal-Mart?
Apparently it was triggered by Smiley and Dr. West’s announcement that they’re headed out next week to the presidential battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida to highlight the issue of poverty in America.
Ali’s press release says this is very hypocritical of Smiley and West when the Wal-Mart corporation continues to be a major sponsor of Smiley’s PBS show and other projects he has led with West. Specifically, Wal-Mart continues to be anti -union, refuses to pay a living wage or provide affordable health care to its employees.
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“Wal-Mart is a billion dollar corporation. They should be able to offer a better medical package for their associates and a living wage. The involvement of corporations like Wal-Mart in Tavis Smiley’s own PBS show is troublesome,” says Ali. “Wal-Mart is one of the major sponsors of his show. Therefore, Wal-Mart plays a major role in sustaining Smiley’s popularity. If Smiley and West want to address poverty shouldn’t they involve Wal-Mart in the conversation and hold them accountable as well?”
“Smiley and West have never spoken out against the policies of Wal-Mart against its own employees, most importantly, its denial of a living wage and affordable healthcare,” Ali continues. “Tavis Smiley continues to be a significant pawn for corporate interests, to the detriment of the black community, while at the same time trying to undermine President Obama’s re-election campaign in key battleground states. While Smiley and West just talk about poverty President Obama is responsible for health care reform. One of the greatest accomplishments for those in poverty in our nation’s history. If Smiley and West want to hold President Obama accountable then we have the right to hold them accountable as well. We have to speak out against Smiley and West when they work with Wal-Mart and other corporations that continually oppress the Black working class and other Americans.”
A community rally and action against PBS Talk show host Tavis Smiley, Cornell West and Wal-Mart:
Date: Tuesday Sept 11, 2012
Where: Tavis Smiley office 4434 Crenshaw Blvd. 90043
(Crenshaw and Vernon Ave )
Contact: Project Islamic HOPE
(323) 275 8219 or [email protected]