Let me start this post with the disclaimer that I have long not been a fan of Steve Harvey. For those that may not know of him; he is a so-called ‘King of Comedy’, actor, writer, nationally syndicated radio host and television game show host (Family Feud).
Recently, it was brought to my attention that he referred to a couple of black men (Dr. Cornell West and Tavis Smiley) as Uncle Tom’s for the stance that they have taken with regard to President Obama. It is this type of ignorant thinking that will continue to divide the black community. The fact that these two men have a different viewpoint as it relates to the first African-American President of the United States is their God given right. Who is Mr. Harvey or anyone else to demean them in such a way based simply on their desire to speak out against and/or not support President Obama?
Mr. Harvey then went on to encourage his listeners to bring it to his attention others whom are to be identified as Uncle Tom’s based on their non-support of President Obama, so that they can be pointed out to the masses. Really now!
The fact that any black man or woman chooses to support anyone other than Barack Obama does not give Mr. Harvey or anyone else carte blanche to vilify them. Personally, I give less than a rat’s @$$ that Mr. Harvey would encourage his listeners to tell him that I will not be voting for the incumbent come November. If they are as shallow and inept as you Mr. Harvey, it only goes to show that the phenomena of group think and monolithic thinking is alive and well amongst the masses that call themselves a fan of yours.
Why can’t others have a different point of view than the majority of blacks without being labeled a sellout or being called an Uncle Tom? Mr. Harvey appears to be no different than those that are non-black who do not see the president as he sees him. I would be interested to hear him call them out of their names. Then again, Mr. Harvey is too much of a coward to do such a thing considering that the person that signs his paycheck probably are not persons of color and he would have too much to lose if he were to bite the hand that feeds him. And since Mr. Harvey likes seeing himself on television; to be critical of the non-blacks that allow him to host ‘Family Fued’ would be detrimental to his continued hosting of said program.
Many know what my stance is with regard to who I will be voting for on November 6th and asks me, “”How can I?” Explaining my choice is not a necessity, because it was never a question that I was asked in 2008. Matter of fact, I will take credit for helping others see the light since I was way ahead of the curve in February 2007 when I stated then that Mr. Obama would be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. While many people that look like me was on the Hilary Clinton bandwagon and even questioned his qualifications to be President, I saw something in him the summer of 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts; a person with a great deal of potential.
So without hesitation, I rode the Obama train through the 2008 election cycle based on finding him to be the best candidate at the time. I do not share that same sentiment in 2012 and that’s just me, but that does not gives someone the right to call me an Uncle Tom or to try and vilify me for the decision that I have come to. As a black man, if disagreeing with the black community with regard to the choice of who I support for President is an issue in 2012, then I guess that we have not really overcame at all.
I am often asked to defend how Republicans feel about black people, but I counter that by saying that it is no different than the way Democrats treat us. It all boils down to perception and the reality you want to hold onto. My vote for a Republican to serve as President of the United States in 2012 will be no different than my support in 2010 of a Republican to serve as Governor of Michigan; I simply will be voting for the person that I find to be the best person for the job. That is my right; my choice and it is not for anyone to be critical of me by resorting to name calling and/or tactics of vilification based solely on them not agreeing with my decision/choice.
So for those of you that read this post and find it necessary to acquiesce to the small-mindedness of Mr. Harvey, go right ahead. I am far from an Uncle Tom and only answer appropriately to my neices and nephews as ‘Uncle Eric’.