|Cornell West and Tavis Smiley's latest venture: The Rich and the Rest of Us. Photo/CD Brown.|
|Tavis Smiley (standing) and Dr. Cornel West lecture at Georgetown University. Photo/CD Brown.|
Said Tavis Smiley, "Women and children have fallen faster into poverty than anybody else."
Smiley, along with West, are calling for a White House conference to discuss the issue of poverty.
"Great presidents are not born, they have to be pushed into their greatness", Smiley said. "There is no FDR without A. Phillip Randolph pushing him. There is no Abraham Lincoln without Frederick Douglas pushing him. There is no LBJ without MLK pushing him."
Smiley and West say they aren't bashing the president, but if something isn't done to 'push' Barack Obama, "or whoever is to come, then this country will never, ever come to true terms with the least among us."
"22% of our precious children live in poverty in the richest nation of the world. That is a moral obscenity", said West.
The president wasn't the only person being held to task. The two took on institutions of racism that have perpetuated the systematic processes of poverty in America.
"We got the new Jim Crow out there", said West. "We got the prison industrial complex out there. We got trigger happy police out there. We got racial discrimination in the workplace out there."
West and Smiley's book tour continues in these areas.
You can watch a podcast of the lecture here.
For more info, visit. www.therichandtherestofus.com.
Video: Smiley, West show love for Dick Gregory.