Did Tavis Smiley Pimp Minority Neighborhoods for Wells Fargo?
On Melissa Harris’ MSNBC Sunday show, more allegations were hurled at talk show host and seminar speaker, Tavis Smiley for being a charlatan. Charges stem from accusations as far back as 2009 when it was discovered that Wells Fargo Bank was targeting minority buyers for sub-prime loans. The lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General, claimed Wells Fargo used sponsorship of wealth seminars like Tavis’ to encourage African-Americans to buy toxic mortgage deals from Wells.
Although, Tavis claims to have severed all ties with the bank, he still remains suspect among many African-American journalists, hosts and pundits. His recent poverty tour with Cornell West discussing the causes and possible solutions to ending poverty in the U.S., faded just as it started. The tone of the promotion itself resembled the poverty-pimping attitude of many rappers today. It’s as though they are exploiting the hardships of others for their own personal gain.
I also felt there was something a bit off about Tavis. He just has the personality of someone you shouldn’t trust. I could be wrong, but it seems to be the general consensus, at least among some journalistic circles. Time will tell if he proves us wrong.