Dr. Boyce and Wilmer Leon: Was Tom Joyner Wrong to Reference Tavis and Cornel’s Sexuality?

In a recent article expressing his frustration with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, Tom Joyner spoke to his belief that West and Smiley had directly created the environment under which men like Mark Halperin felt comfortable referring to President Obama as a D*ck.  Joyner then made matters quite personal by referring to Cornel as Tavis’ “side piece,” seemingly making reference to  his sexuality.

Was Tom off-base to discuss the matter in a way that detracts from the issues?  Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Wilmer Leon from Howard University discuss the matter in this video.






  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iris-Boyd/611306703 Iris Boyd

    What?  I read Joyner’s piece and I that’s not how I interpreted that phrase.  When he said “side piece” I don’t think that he meant it in a literal sense but metaphorically.  Maybe you should ask him what he meant.

    • Goldie G

      I agree, Boyce so called educated as he is, continues to interject his crap. 

  • blackgirl

    Why does Dr Boyce continue to jump in the middle of this mess.  I swear he is on messy man.

    • blackgirl

      one messy man.

  • Marie7207

    I think he meant sidekick. Stop the drama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

    Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley all make their money from corporate sponsorship, so why all this drama with Tom trying to destroy Tavis and Cornell’s careers when these men did not go after him, is typical nigga behavior…Why the hell is Joyner acting like a little b**ch, saying that he will never work again with Tavis and Cornell? My parents always said never say never, because the creative force will make a liar out of you…Joyner you’re about to be made a liar and will have to eat some of these nasty things you’re saying about black men who had your back, helped to make your show national and this is how you will act? What the hell has Obama ever done for you? We’re once again allowing some outsider whom most of you knew nothing about before 2008, has not done anything for you since getting into the WH, but will allow this person to split your relationships with family and friends, unbelieveable…

    • stopthstupidity

      You are a nut, and you don’t have a job.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

        Like you right? You only wish, keep your negative energy to yourself…When you work for yourself and cut your own paycheck, you could do as you please, including researching the policies and bills that this propaganda media and WH is not informing the public about, because they benefit from the blood money paid to them to disseminate mis-information to the public…The unofficial fourth branch of the US government the media, is the most dangerous and powerful than the other three, since they can convince most people to do things to themselves and others not in their best interest…

    • Meanchick

      Wow. Obama has done quite a bit if you bothered to check on that. Your moniker is at odds with the posts you make. Shaka Zulu was a proud African Warrior Chief who fought to protect ALL of his people and his culture. You seem to tear down women and spit acid at our President, with no actual facts to support anything you say. Mr. Obama is no outsider and for those of us who bother to read the news and keep up with politics, we knew who Mr. Obama was  WAY BEFORE he ran for President! I don’t understand what you mean by splitting our family/friend relationships? You’re all over the place, firing randomly and not making a clear point. How did Mr. Obama enter into this thread? Propaganda sir is what you contribute. I’m trying to understand you, but I don’t think you understand yourself. Using the ‘N’ word and calling someone a ‘B?’ You are no Shaka Zulu and I’m wondering if you are indeed a black person at all?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iris-Boyd/611306703 Iris Boyd

        Thank You Meanchick, you have said what I have been wanting to say to this character for a while now. 

        Not only Shaka Zulu was an proud Warrior Chief, his mother, Nandi was a proud warrior princess who fought slave-traders in 19th century Africa and SHE RAISED HER SON TO BE A LEADER AND A WARRIOR. In fact, when Shaka became King, he established an all-female regiment in her memory.

      • http://www.perspectives-anotherwaytoview.blogspot.com Carolyn Moon

        Shaka Zulu also killed many of his people in cruel ways and is an example of how leaders are corrupted by power or the fear of losing it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

        I know who my name sake is, that ‘s the express reason why I chose the name, so no I don’t need the history lesson…I exercise what is called critical thinking, something black people seemed to have lost more of as a result of this African American president, and are willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure this man and his family live a more comfortable life than themselves…I lived in the Chicago area and knew about Obama and how he tried to create a riff between Bobby Rush, former Black Panther Party founding member, who’s now serving in congress, the black female he ran against and split the black vote with funding from whites and Jews from the Northside, who did not want a strong black voice representative and this was over ten years before he showed up on the national scene, so yes i’m well aware of him being a user and divisive in the black community, he’s always used as the spoiler, so save the fawning and stop looking at his brown skin and instead look at his policies…Are we better off now that we were before Obama sat in the WH? I don’t see any difference between him and Bush, the only difference is an African American is pushing the same policies that a white man would not have been able to get away with…Obama entered into the riff between Joyner and Smiley, because we have two boughie black men fighting over a negro who’s only using both of them to keep his name relevant in the public forum, while not supporting anyone of them…Joyner is willing to give free airtime to Obama while Obama is paying for his airtime on white mainstream media, don’t take my word for it look it up yourself…Anytime a grown man will squeal and complain like a kid on a playground who’s toy was taken from him, then he’s acting like a little b**ch…Smiley and West never said anything negative about Joyner, they instead spoke of the issues pertaining to Obama and how his policies has affected black people, this is more than the usual leading blacks who are going along to get along, so that they will continue to be invited to the WH…I hate to say I told you so, but in the next 2-5 years all you kool aid sippers will be wishing you never heard the name Obama as the black people on the Southside of Chicago are feeling right now…

  • Beverly

    What business is it of ours. If Joyner, Smiley and West are having or have had some kind of  feud let them solve their own conflict. We all have a voice of opinion, whether to agree or disagree, it’s an opinion. I see this as blowing off a little steam, it can happen in the best of Family, you have something on your mind just say it and move on…

    • Meanchick

      It is our business Beverly. The people in this discussion are leaders in our community. We need to always make it our business that we stick together and if we have to tear one down, build them back up as well. Open dialogue is the best way to voice concerns and hopefully understand one another. “Closing the Curtains” and minding our own business is the real problem. It takes the whole village Miss Beverly.

      • Bevwshngtn

        You may your point. Now it’s time to move on….

  • Evern Williams

    Stay out of this boyce watson this is not your battle you are all over the place …

  • silvafaux

    Proverbs has a very old but wise saying THINK TWICE SPEAK ONCE. Men of all colors kinds and creeds would be smart to remember that.  Wisdom. 

  • Franceskive

    I think Tom Joyner is wrong on so many levels, and Dr. Boyce has a right like all of us to voice his opinion.  Do not forget Uncle Tom.. I mean Tm Joyner supported Walmart over a young lady that could be any of our sisters, daughters or niece, that was abused in their store.  Far as policies why is Tom, Al and Warren among others giving, President Obama a pass on dealing with important issues in our communities???  Why are you and I giving him a pass??  Just because he looks like us does not mean he is for us or  maybe the zionist won’t let him help us!

    • http://twitter.com/ddiamond61 Dawn N. McKenzie

      What do you mean he supported Walmart, how?

    • http://twitter.com/ddiamond61 Dawn N. McKenzie

       Doesn’t Walmart sponsor Tavis?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iris-Boyd/611306703 Iris Boyd

        Yes and McDonalds, Nationwide, Wells Fargo…. The corporate list goes on and on and on. He has also done things for them that caused a lot of problems for the African American Community but Tavis ignores that fact and still go on with is hypocritical tirades against the president.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

          And all of the same companies supported Tom Joyner, so what is your point? They all take corporate money so they will dance to whomever is playing the tune…When that black female in Missouri, Heather Ellis was assaulted by Walmart’s employees and Boyce Watkins tried to get support and put out the information to the public on Joyner’s show, and he was rushed him off the air, that was the last time I listened full time to Joyner’s program…He did not want to create a riff with his sponsors and were more concern about them, than preventing this black sister from doing jail time, that showed me he did not give a damn about black people and only wanted his money to keep flowing…

  • http://twitter.com/ddiamond61 Dawn N. McKenzie

    Yes Dr. Boyce it seems as though you are transitioning to messy.  Tavis clearly does not warrant this much attention.  If he and Cornel  are gay, lovers, sidepieces so what, who cares – already speculated/rumored years ago about Tavis’s sexuality.  It is clear Tavis abhors President Obama and is seeking people to join his bandwagon of hate against our President because he felt slighted and continues to disrespect out President and orchestrated the black divisiveness against our President. Look at Tavis’s track record.  Johnson fired him, Tom has fired him, what is wrong with this brother?  Tavis in my opinion is wrong and delusional and should shut the hell up. He does not intellectually compare to President Obama and he needs to get off his high horse.  He is angry because he is not a a sign in President Obama’s equation and seeing how messy he is, President Obama knew what was best and that was to keep those haters out of his sphere.

    • Brook

      Actually, I read that Tom asked Tavis to come back to the TJMS and Tavis turned him down.  That’s one reason that Tom is pissed off at him.  

    • doc t

      Is it more important, to see if what a person is saying, is true or not, than to say ,shut the hell up! because u may disagree with them? If the president has kept his campaign promises, an his words , then u r right. If not we all should hold him, an any politician accountable.less address the issues, not attack, the messenger!!! Is the president keeping the same policies as the last president? give to the rich , take from the working class, an the working  poor,an to us to tighten our belts,while he gives billions to the rich! don’t misunderstand me I have nothing against the rich, I am spiritually rich ! I thank my God for his grace!!!  lets hold each other accountable , responsible, an  transparent !!! this is what the president said himself, is that the the truth?  so let find out if he is keeping his word!!!   or is it the same policies new face???  its an old saying, look at the kings advisors an the direction the kings takes, peace or war!!!   

  • http://www.perspectives-anotherwaytoview.blogspot.com Carolyn Moon

    Thanks Dr. Watkins for these videos and the topics you cover.  There was another blog site that addressed this issue and I, too, was amazed that the onus of all this vitriolic and racist onslaught against the President was placed on the shoulders of Dr. West and Tavis Smiley.  These attacks began before he was elected and my comment stated this fact.

    It was rather puzzling that many of the comments made on those sites seemed to overlook that fact.  I admire and respect that we have a black family in the White House and symbolically his Presidency has inspired quite a few of our youth, however, he must be accountable to ALL the citizens of the USA.  I’ve watched him meet with the Latinos for those issues that are unique to them and Asians and LGBT groups, however, when it comes to black folks he espouses the “trickle down” theory.  What he does for everyone will help us and he should know better.  There is some detachment there and with every appointee my trust in him wanes and I fear that in 2012 I will again be voting for the lesser of the two evils.  He’s got the crooks head of crucial powerful positions that caused the Wall Street meltdown and he provided no guidelines for them.  The auto industry was saved and he had all kinds of ultimatums and hoops they had to jump through for their bailout and they paid the government back and started hiring again.    He’s allowed the Republicans to block many of his appointees who were described as progressive and consumer oriented.  I’m addressing the failure of the President to place Elizabeth Warren in a powerful position to pose checks and balances on Wall Street. BTW:  Bush and Clinton could find more qualified blacks to head departments in the gov’t and the White House power group. He didn’t fight for Van Jones and the young man of color who was qualified to be his press secretary and overlooked. He left in frustration.  You have to be a graduate of an Ivy League College  in order to be considered by the President and we all know that it takes more than academic acumen to assist in running the various systems of our gov’t. Many who can espouse theory have a problem operationalizing it. I just don’t know what to make of it.

    Many of us are disappointed but the mudslinging and name calling should cease and the
    issues addressed in a substantive way without threats of “snatching black cards” from
    our leaders and citizenry.

    • Msophieqg

      You are example of how black people keep each other down. All other nationalities have infighting but they never throw their own people under the bus because they disagree with them. As for voting for the lesser of two evils wake up and cut off the chains. Black people destroy themselves everyone else just sit back and watch the show. Black people can’t stand to see other black people succed unless they can be a part of it. Born a slave will die a slave

      • http://www.perspectives-anotherwaytoview.blogspot.com Carolyn Moon

        Slaves are folks who follow rote fashion and don’t think for themselves or are afraid to because their minds are in chains constructed by the person or people they are following.  They also have no power or means to care for themselves or to live independently.

        It’s obvious that you didn’t read my post well nor understand it.  For you see the President is realizing what the previous ones learned during their terms.  They are merely figureheads and it behooves them to place people in powerful positions to aid carrying out the promises made during their campaigns.  You don’t put people in charge of finance, military etc. who’ve been aligned with those who are against your basic principles and created the mayhem he inherited when he took office..  Which is what the President did and despite that he’s accomplished quite a bit.
        I applaud that but he’s not above criticism when warranted and can still be supported by those of us who want him to do well but not forget about the “least of these”.  And NO…you can’t have my black card!

        • Msophieqg

          Sorry I misunderstood you. I am just tired of black people going against each other and trying to sabotage what little success some of us achieve by continually being critical without offering assistance. I want us to be able to disagree with each other but still help and support each other. It just appears to me that when we disagree with someone like us it sounds like it comes from a place of hate, but a white person can say the same thing and we disagree but with kindness and understanding. I just want us to recognize how we treat each other. I do believe we should be able to disagree with one another but make sure it is for the right reasons. All of this comes from my personal experience. Ex: friend purchased a home I knew she could not afford gave her free advice and assistance on purchasing something smaller and cheaper white guy told her I don’t know what I’m talking about( he is a finance officer in a bank, I have my own cleaning company) she listened to him lost the house messed up her credit and came back to me for help because he would not help her( he got his commission) but I still allowed her and her children to move in one of my rentals and she has been there for seven months and only paid rent twice late both times. Some people say I should not help her but I will not punish her children because she is broken. I hope they will learn from being in my presence. I do not need to destroy their mother to prove I am right I think she already realize it just ashamed to say it.

          • http://www.perspectives-anotherwaytoview.blogspot.com Carolyn Moon

            I understand your frustration and many of us wrestle with how can one encourage the President to remember his promises but not be lumped in with those who have more sinister reasons behind their criticisms.  Many of them are made up and have no validity but are racist in nature and some are coupled with individual personal anxieties/ailments that they project onto the President.

            I think your concern and assistance with the young mother you cited is a good thing and shows grace.  You have a valid point that we should be able to disagree and not be disagreeable with each other.  Having said that, we still have to hold folks accountable in an instructive manner when their actions cause harm or hardship to others.

            Peace and blessings….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZBJCWPQD5NRVCOAGLGLDFHEQAA WhoCares

    Tom Joyner needs to grow up! I for one am not someone who disregards opinions because they differ from my own- that’s immaturity. All black people don’t share the same experiences nor do we have the same politics! Tom joyner is a millionaire and has done an outstanding job in his field HOWEVER, he nor Jesse, Al, Dr. Boyce and others speak a sole black voice. Tavis has his stance and fan base just like all the others. They have different positions on the playing field. Why fight in someone else’s ring? I read and listen to them all. I won’t allow Tom’s rants to sway me. Everyone has their own assignment Tom has his Tavis has his. If Tom behaves this way, it’s safe to say he was NEVER a friend of Tavis’