This man is about to rock Gary

Michael Eric Dyson to bring fire and humor to the Gary Crusader’s 55th Anniversary Gala

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By Erick Johnson, Gary Crusader

Hillary is white privilege so if she gets to the White House, she will do more for Blacks than that Black President.

If this is offensive, stop reading this article. Let’s be honest. If you’re fed up with America, then you will applaud Michael Eric Dyson. Many people love him, but perhaps a lot more hate him. With his explosive views, he can turn a friend into an enemy within minutes. He can either insult you or inspire you. He is a Georgetown college professor by trade, but Black and white citizens around the country have come to know Dyson as a fearless critic who’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

Michael-Eric-Dyson-Savoy-Pro-Cover-StoryIn the Black community, he is a brother who has been known to keep it real, especially when it comes to President Barack Obama. For years, Dyson hasn’t held back in telling people how he feels about race, politics and the nation’s 44th Black president. When a politician says something he doesn’t like, look out! His mouth has gotten him into trouble, but his blunt honesty has earned Dyson a reputation as a sharpshooter who can shock, anger or even uplift with remarks on important issues. With so many social issues in America unaddressed, many Blacks find Dyson’s candidness liberating. Then there is the funny side of Dyson, who can easily flip a serious conversation with a joke that keeps many laughing for a while.

It’s a brand of entertainment and honesty that made Dyson the life of the party at the Chicago Crusader’s 75th Anniversary last June at the swank new Chicago Loews Hotel. This scholar and national commentator put his stamp on an unforgettable evening.

The Gary Crusader didn’t have to search far for a keynote speaker at it’s upcoming 55th Anniversary gala. In September, Dyson invited himself back to the Midwest. So there. Gary residents, watch out. Dyson is bringing his whip. He aims to inform and light up the gala, which will be held June 3 at the B. Coleman Aviation hangar at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

The bash is shaping up to be one of the most exciting events to hit Gary in recent memory. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is repeating her role as honorary chair of the event, whose theme is “55 years of Honoring Our Past and Crusading for Our Future.”

As for entertainment, Dyson is bound to add a fresh dose of spice to the event. At the Chicago Crusader’s 75th Anniversary, Dyson ignited the crowd with his controversial remarks while leading the 500 guests in singing soulful Rhythm and Blues classics from the 70s. He received a thunderous standing ovation after his speech.

Named as one of the 50 most inspiring Blacks in America by Essence magazine, Dyson has masters and doctorate degrees from Princeton University. In addition to teaching at Brown, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, Dyson has appeared on nearly every major media outlet, including NBC’s Today Show, FOX’s O’Reilly Factor, ABC’s Nightline, The Tavis Smiley Show and Real Time with Bill Maher. Dyson is also a former political analyst for MSNBC and former host of The Michael Eric Dyson Show on NPR.

51gSNuasUnL._UY250_Dyson is also a prolific, award-winning author. His first book on Martin Luther King Jr., I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr., is viewed as a significant contribution to King’s radical legacy as a civil rights leader. Another one of Dyson’s books, Malcolm X: The Myth and meaning of Black America, was named one of the most important Black books of the 20th Century. His book, the New York Times best-selling April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr’s Death and How it Changed America, has been hailed by The Washington Post as “an excellent sociological primer on institutionalized racism in America.”

The biggest part of Dyson’s legacy is his courage to speak out on controversial issues in the Black community. They are detailed in other books that Dyson has written. They include Is Bill Cosby Right:? Or has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?, Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture, Pride: The Seven Deadly Sins and Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.

51ED-n-6XqL._SX329_BO1204203200_At the Gary Crusader gala, Dyson will autograph his newest book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America. The book is bound to provoke and stir up debate. While the book praises President Barack Obama for his leadership, Dyson blasts the president for his failure to address the needs and interests of Black Americans.

Dyson’s new book addresses the protests in Ferguson to the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, to the controversy over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. But the book’s main focus is how Obama has changed and struggled in a hostile racial climate during his presidency.

It’s a thought-provoking book that’s generating a lot of buzz among scholars and political analysts. The book has also thrust Dyson in the national spotlight once again for shedding light on a subject that few want to talk about. Since the book’s release in January, Dyson has crisscrossed the country to speak at colleges including Hampton University, a historical Black university in Virginia.

As Blacks continue to lag behind in wealth and unemployment, civil rights leaders and the nation’s Black clergy have questioned Obama’s legacy and commitment to minorities. Dyson has joined the debate and criticized the president for the way he addresses race issues, particularly, the Black male. Since Obama took office in 2008, many Black leaders have been careful not to criticize the president out of respect for the Black community.

148529Not Dyson. In his book, Dyson notes how Obama’s blank responses to the acquittal of white police officers in New York clashed with civil rights leaders, including the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr.

Before he became president, Dyson said many Black leaders viewed Obama with suspicion. They also questioned Obama’s electability after Congressman Bobby Rush defeated him in the 2000 election for the first district seat.

In his book, Dyson also addresses concerns about whether Obama is “Black enough” to be fully embraced by his own people.

Dyson devotes a long section in his book where he examines Obama’s claim that, “Hey, under my presidency, like most Americans, Black people are doing better.”

9780465017645_p0_v2_s192x300In his book and in interviews, Dyson has said something that many are not willing to admit: that Blacks are not doing well under Obama, not as well as the White House would have many to believe. And when it comes to addressing racial problems, Dyson believes Obama is a master at skirting the issue. In fairness, Dyson notes the racism Obama has faced by political conservatives since he came to Washington nearly eight years ago. His cool demeanor in tough debates has earned him high marks.

Despite the criticism, Dyson believes that Obama is an extraordinary leader whose remarkable humility has kept him grounded in the Oval Office. However, while Obama’s neutral stance on race relations may have kept him afloat as the nation’s president, Dyson believes this has done considerable damage to his own people.

As the presidential election nears, Dyson believes Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton could do more for Black people than Obama. While Obama was faced with what author James Baldwin called the “burden of representation” for Black leaders, Clinton could address unemployment, mortgage default rates among Black homeowners and racial issues without the pressure of being held accountable as a white leader.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I agree with most of Professor Dyson’s analysis on the presumptive issues for black Americans. Wish I could be there. Hotep

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