…….Chris Rock on “The Tavis Smiley Show” joking with Tavis about Smiley’s annual “The State of The Black Union” gatherings?
I also liked Dyson’s response two days later (March 9), which I’ve posted below.
Tavis: Michael Eric Dyson is a distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania and the host of his own syndicated radio program. He is the author of a number of notable books, including one last year on Hurricane Katrina. His latest book is called “Debating Race,â€ a collection of memorable encounters and conversations about matters of race in America. Michael Eric Dyson, it’s always nice to see you, sir.
Michael Eric Dyson: Always good to see you, man.
Tavis: I don’t know you do it. Fourteen books in fourteen years. You’re cranking out a book every year.
Dyson: Well, you know, I’m just trying to stay on my game and trying to take the requisite time it takes to construct a book, as you know, having sold so many, to put the requisite effort into it to make sure that it’s clean and articulate and to make sure that it’s certainly representative (laughter) –
Tavis: – (Laughter) That sounded sort of Biden-esque, clean and articulate.
Dyson: And who knew that, when we talk about the influence of hip-hop culture on the culture, that Joe Biden, the senator, would have been influenced by “you’re so fresh and so clean?â€
Tavis: (Laughter) Now there you go. I’m glad you went there because, two nights ago on this program, Chris Rock, comedian extraordinaire –
Dyson: – yes.
Tavis: – was on this program a couple of nights ago and your name just happened to come up.
Dyson: I see.
Tavis: Would you like to see this clip?
Dyson: Yeah, with him and the woman I owe child support to (laughter).
Tavis: (Laughter) Roll the Chris Rock clip from two nights ago on this program.Â Â
[PLAYS CLIP YOU JUST WATCHED 🙂 ]
Tavis: So what do you think of that, Mike Dyson?
Dyson: Well, you know, how you’re living, Biggie Smalls, in mansions and Benz and giving ends to my friends and it feels stupendous, tremendous cream. Blink a dollar and a dream. Well, you know what? Chris can rock it. I’m just trying to Michael Dysonize my thing, brother, you know (laughter).
Tavis: (Laughter) On a serious note, though, do you ever get concerned that your profound intellect gets taken less seriously because of your style, because of your flow, because of the way you choose to do what you do?
Dyson: Of course, but that’s the dilemma of Black culture at large.
Dyson: The point is that, if you have style and substance merged together in a seamless package, people always question the integrity of the fusion. So what we have to do is think ahead of time. We have to think anticipatorily. We have to look toward the future like Jesus did. “One day hopefully I’m going to rise. Got to go through some death right now. It’s going to be kind of funky and fowl and nefarious, but ultimately the triumph will be mine.”
So you have to have enough confidence in your skills and abilities that God gave you that the world might catch up twenty years later. You know what? In the midst of all that stuff, he was dropping some signs. I don’t have time to let people check it out now. The people who get it, they get it. I think I speak clearly and hopefully lucidly enough that they get that.
But people in the academy are always suspicious of people who are able to speak beyond jargon, beyond obscure discourse and dialog and language, to say something meaningful in five minutes that somebody out there in the world can actually understand. I don’t apologize for that. I got a PhD from Princeton not to please other critics, but to speak the truth to power in as lucid a fashion as possible.
By the way, Dyson announced on the program that he was leaving his Syndication One weekday radio show.