When I heard the controversial and heated comments about President Obama that were made by my respected colleague Michael Eric Dyson, I felt like a 2nd grader running outside to see the fight between two middle school kids. Both Barack and Michael are men I've grown to appreciate, and I love them for their strengths as well as their imperfections. Michael was the reason I became a public scholar during graduate school, as I would watch the words flow out of him like an MC in the booth dropping his hottest album. The man is good, damn good.
Barack Obama needs to listen to the words of Michael Eric Dyson. In fact, he should give Dyson as much, or more respect than he gives me or any other black public intellectual in America. Dr. Dyson, no matter how you perceive his critique of President Obama, represents a form of insight that you are not going to find in politics, the pulpit or anywhere else. At the same time, I will confess that his words may also come from an impure place that lies within the darkest part of our souls. In other words, Dyson, Tavis, Barack, Jesse and every other ambitious man in America is always going to be tempted by the "Demon of Playerhaterology". Men are naturally competitive, and no man likes to be disrespected. Obama, as a condition for his employment, is often asked to disrespect other leaders across America who represent the essence of meaningful black thought. That's going to create a long list of enemies.
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