I hate to give this show a bad grade, due to my previous respect for its host, Mr. Smith. For the past year and a half my daily routine has included tuning in to watch Quite Frankly. I especially enjoy the Back Page Panel segment. It has been obvious that Mr. Smith has always searched for opinions from leaders in the African American community. I have even commented to my wife, how much I respect him for his passive stand against racism in the media. From black professors and journalists to black athletes, almost all have had insightful and interesting opinions. A week or two ago an episode included Stephen A. Smith stating numerous times how racist the media and the average person are toward African Americans. His point was not wrong or out of context, just unnecesary. I felt that his previous strategy for righting the wrongs of racism was more effective. That is just a matter of opinion, and although dissapointed I continued to watch and enjoy the show. However, the program that ran on January 8th is an entirely different matter. The debate began about the political legacy of Muhammed Ali, and then spun off to a debate about the Nation of Islam and other radical Black right's groups. One of the guests stated that the Nation of Islam stood for white genocide and was as racist as the society they were fighting against. He concluded that in order to defeat racism you cannot fight fire with fire but must use passive peaceful methods, as Dr. King used. Mr. Smith angrily said you must fight fire with fire and then enticed the other black guests to back him up. I cannot believe that he was meaning to support the methods used by the Nation of Islam but he definately made it sound that way. Later in the show he also insinuated that Dr. Martin Luther King was innefective due to his peaceful methods. Not only were his comments ridiculous and uncalled for, they were completely uninformed and ignorant; a word I have never before found to apply to Mr. Smith. Throughout history great men such as Gandhi and Dr. King have found the only productive way to defeat racism and hate is to resist peacefully. This method not only draws support from your own communtiy but from the opposite side as well, which is the key to success. While one will never agree completely with the totality of another's viewpoints, the host of a television program must be able to maintain some degree of impartiality on a topic of such volatility. I am afraid that many a young black man who admire Mr. Smith will take his comments and run with them to a place that can only end in tragedy and heartache. Unfortunately, they may have the same effect on young white men, whom he has undoubtedly angered. While I will never be able to watch the show again, I do hope that Mr. Smith will realize his mistake and once again have the positive impact he is capable of.
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