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August 28th, 2013
10:20 PM ET

Tavis Smiley on the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington: "It was a great day, there is no doubt about it, but..."

On the heels of Wednesday's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, "Piers Morgan Live" invited Tavis Smiley to offer his perspective on today's ceremony as well as Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech.

"It was a great day, there is no doubt about it," Smiley exclaimed. "But, Dr. King, in his life talked about the triple threat - the three evils - of racism, poverty and militarism. I said the other day if you're not going to talk about racism, poverty and militarism then why stand where Martin stood if you're trying to do justice to his legacy."

Smiley questioned our celebration of Dr. King while looking ahead to possible action in Syria:

"Are we going to honor Dr. King today in Washington with our words and then dishonor him tomorrow or in the days to come in Syria with our deeds?"

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Tavis Smiley as he explains what he saw in Barack Obama's speech, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Terry

    Mr.Smily, on occasion I watch your television program. Unfortunately tonight you touched a nerve within me that I think has to be addressed. You complain how little we have come since MLK's speech. It continually infuriates me that when someone with some sort of popularity from our race seems to think that we are the only ones that cannot be racist! Yet I see it every day on our streets and in our malls etc. where those of us who have made something of ourselves look down upon those especially of our own race if they do not act or behave the way that we do. It is not up to whity or any other race to drag us out of the situation that we have been dealt. Do you not think that the extremely rich white folks do not look down upon other white folks? Even though I am not well-off, I go to work every day and do my job as best as I can so I do not join the ranks of the unemployed. I did not find the easy way to buy my first pair or any other pair of air Jordans etc. but rather work for it and saved. Those that want to get out of the projects badly enough will find the right way to get out and not take the easy way of selling drugs etc. for a quick buck! The NAACP and those other groups and people left MLK when they found out about the drugs and all the women he was sleeping with on the side, plus his friendliness with certain Caucasian politicians etc. As far as you go Ms. Jones what have you done for your community lately? I really don't know how you stay on television other than they have to have one of us tokens on each one of their channels or programs at least once a day! As I was not around when MLK made his speech I cannot relate to the time or the problems related to them, but my mother and grandmother have told me numerous stories of what they had to go through and I have watched and read material about and by MLK. They told me I had the same opportunities as the other kids around me regardless of their color, and it was not until my third grade that I actually had any white children with me or around me and because we were from the same social economical backgrounds, I never found one bad thing to say about my friends even all these years later. I guess what I'm trying to say by summing it up is that you can look around you and see what is right from wrong without your parents having to explain it after you are about 7 years old and even though the road may seem tough compared to someone else of a different color at least you're doing it whatever it is on your own! No excuses

    August 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bonnie

    Smiley should take Pres. Clinton's advice to the heirs of Dr. King to stop whining and complaining and stand shoulder to shoulder to achieve progress. If Smiley is truly upset about the plight of African-Americans, he should take a leaf from Dr. King's book and start a grassroots movement. Riding around on a poverty bus for a few days and selling books isn't a movement. Smiley gets the media coverage, but the true carriers of Dr. King's flame don't seek the spotlight.

    August 29, 2013 at 9:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
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