Journalist/activist says the show will go on, though.
“You can’t go through an entire primary process and refuse to talk to black and brown voters,” he continued. “It’s unconscionable, it’s untenable, it’s unthinkable and no one should be elected president in 2008, in the most multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial America ever and, in the process, ignore and ditch those voters. If you’re not going to talk to all of America then you don’t deserve to be president of all of America.”
Ever the quite polite “Black Kronkite,” Smiley’s demeanor always appears to be gentlemanly and gracious, but he was obviously disappointed in the actions of some of the Republican candidates and spoke in a frank manner throughout our conversation.
“I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, female, Republican or Democrat. That applies to everybody. I think America is going to look very hard at what these Republican candidates are saying to black and brown America by refusing to show up and address their issues.”
A historic moment is what the debate is being touted as. What would make a person miss out of being a positive part of history? We don’t know, and neither does Mr. Smiley.
“Their motivations? I don’t know why they’re not going to be there, but I do know that, by them not showing up, it’s a missed opportunity. You can’t continue to say that you can’t get black and brown’s attention and that you can’t get their eyes focused on you and then, when a legitimate platform is offered to you, you choose not to show up!” EURweb