Sunday, September 08, 2013

An Open Letter to Tavis Smiley

Dear Tavis Smiley:

This letter is long overdue. I want to say that I have been an admirer of you and what you have stood for in the Black community for as long as I can remember. I was a huge admirer of the annual State of the Black Union Addresses in which you created as a venue to get our voices and issues heard nationally and politically. On that show, you created a forum/platform that showcased African-centered scholars and Black political elite who otherwise were rarely, if ever featured in mainstream media outlets. I want to say that I have always appreciated your outspokenness and your willingness to speak the truth to us, whether we liked it or not. You always understood that WE NEEDED IT!  I appreciate you being the exact image of a strong, intelligent, dignified, educated, articulate, business owning Black man that so many Black women all over the country instill in their sons to be like as they grow into men.

I want to also say thank you for continuing to be a leader and not a follower. I am very disappointed at the negative reactions/retaliations you have received for merely doing what is supposed to be done with any elected political official and this includes president of the United States, which is to present your community and/or political itemized agenda.  Since Obama has been president, the Jewish community, the Hispanic/Latino community, and the Homosexual community have all done just this and without any negative backlash. The president heard their agenda and he acted on them. However, when you and Dr. West attempted to push one of the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s agenda concerning the poor in our nation, you both received ugly and unwarranted backlash from the Black community at large as well as from some of the same so-called Civil Rights leaders who were regulars at you union addresses.

I was really bothered by the way you unceremoniously left the Tom Joyner Morning Show. I hated hearing about the negative backlash you received on that show all because many of his listeners felt that you were not being fair to the president because you offered him the very same challenges that those previously mentioned racial/ethnic groups offered him. I want to say that I believe in what you are doing. I am disappointed in the hypocrisy and what appears to be this purposeful choice in the black community to treat the president like a beloved celebrity instead of the President of the United States.

I will close by saying keep up the good work. You were there helping, encouraging, and educating in the black community long before this president and you will be here long after this presidency is over.  Thank you for not saying, “To hell with this!”  If you have, I don't blame you.

A longtime admirer and supporter.


Marico Rivers, MSW-LCDC

Sunday, September 01, 2013


In light of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, DC, I just have to send an open letter to make a rap music request to Urban-Rap/ Hip-Hop Dee-Jays, Rap Radio Station Owners, and Radio Stations with a rap format/playlist.

To Whom It May Concern:

I have a request. I have listened to particular rap songs that are in constant rotation at your radio station (s) for a while now and I would like to make a rap music request if I may. Your current rap music rotation has become very stale over the years. Since we are now living in the days where “equality for all” has been placed at the top of everyone’s political, sexual, and racial agenda, I think my request should be a simple one to take into consideration. I am always hearing rap songs that contain violence aimed at African-Americans and racial slurs like Nigger/Nigga being spewed all over your airwaves morning, noon, and night in the city where I currently reside. My song request is simple. My song request is all about equality and/or equal treatment for all racial and ethnic groups in this country.
 Would you mind playing rap songs and/or RnB songs that contain guest appearances by rappers on them that violently attack Jews, Whites, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Italians, and Homosexuals? I am kind of burned out on Nigger this and Nigga that. I would love to hear something new like, “Faggot this or Faggot that. How about “Kyke this or Kyke that? Maybe a song or two that promotes selling drugs and/or shooting and robbing people of other races and ethnicities. How about a song that spews other hateful and racist words like, Spik, Faggots, Wet-Back, Chinks, Slant-eyed Gook, “Crackers,” and W.O.Ps.?   
I am pretty sure that you have songs like this lying around somewhere at the radio station. You just have to because it would be the equal and fair thing to do, right? Maybe the first place in the station where you can look is under the pile of music CDs with a note attached to it that reads, “Songs that should never be played for fear of offending and degrading any racial and ethnic group that’s not African-American.” I just know that you and/or your rap station are not about being biased in your playlist. I just know that you and/or your rap station (s) are incapable of promoting inequality on any level. I guess what I am trying to say is that I would like to hear more diversity in your playlist. I would like to hear more of a variety of racial/ethnic attacks being played at the rap station. You seem to be very comfortable with playing songs or at least allowing rap songs to be played at the station (s) that contain lyrics that violently attack Black people and refer to them by racial slurs. You also appear to be very open to playing rap songs that use derogatory and demeaning adjectives to describe the female gender within that particular race.

I will be listening for my song request on the air.
Rico Rivers
Rico Rivers
Dallas, TX