Review:  Michael Eric Dyson Lecture – “United States of Amnesia”


[Dominquez Hills, CA ]   On May 8, 2019 close to 200 came out to hear prophetic words delivered by lecturer and sociologist Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.  Urban Issues Forum through their Mervyn Dymally Institute hosted the event as part of their distinguished lecture series.  The event was held at California State University Dominguez Hills.


The video (AUDIO ONLY) clip has been divided into 2 clips.

CLIP 1 (I hour 38 min.)

 

Clip 2 (13 min)


Dyson is a gifted orator who weaves through the experiences of African-American culture.   He is unapologetic in his retort and covered the spectrum from politics to Hip-Hop, through the founding of the United States as well as the presidency of Barack Obama and the disgraceful performance of Donald Trump as president.

“President Obama hosted a meeting at the White House were ten African-American leaders had assembled.  Tom Joyner voiced concern that I was writing a book on the president and belted out his displeasure fearful the book would be too critical.  The book had not even been released so I remarked……are you Nostradamus?”  Michael Eric Dyson

The lecture titled, “American States of Amnesia” was two hours and those in attendance were not disappointed as Dyson offered a wide range of analysis.  He spoke about the genius of Nipsey Hussle and the cross-country plane ride they shared, which allowed him to appreciate his gift.  He ventured into territory that many avoid due; to its complexity; such as explaining Thomas Jefferson’s contradiction and his subsequent love-interest; Sally Hemmings.  He shared his experiences and friendship with Michelle and Barack Obama, knowing them since 1998.  Like many African-Americans he shared the pride of seeing them become America’s first family.  As proud as he was, he had to admit frustration regarding various policy issues.  In doing so, he emphasized with the predicament Obama was in as while his achievement was historic, he was shackled with an environment that crippled many of the projects he truly wanted to initiate.

I was somewhat disappointed when I read Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” by the way she mentioned her relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  It was sad.  I applaud her for being able to sell 10 million books but to through Rev. Wright under the bus?  Michael Eric Dyson.

Dyson was his usual spirited self and left the audience with thoughts to ponder.  His critique of Donald Trump was scathing.  Here is a sampling:

  • In speaking about our founding fathers, specifically Thomas Jefferson in comparing intelligence with Donald Trump Dyson stated, “He (Trump) is proud to be unmolested by enlightenment!”
  • “He (Trump) is allergic to intelligence!”
  • “He (Trump) sees a book and runs…….event his own!”
  • “He (Trump) refuses to read the briefings his advisor’s give him!”
  • “He (Trump) is mad that the dude who had the job before him was just smoother with it!”

“All of us are proud of Michele and Barack but I’ll be honest with you, we thought Michele would help Barack be blacker…..instead it appears Barack has made her whiter by the way she interacts with the black community.”  Michael Eric Dyson

“Donald Trump can never get over Obama’s genius.  As sad as it is he is nothing more than an ignorant Neanderthal” Michael Eric Dyson

More on Obama

Some folk (those who opposed him) were just mad that a brother had that type of intelligence and was in control and Obama “wasn’t apologizing for it.”

“He walked out of Air-Force One like Fifty Cents was playing in the background!”

“I wish I could have been Obama’s anger-translator…..just for a day!  I wish Obama would have come out of the White House with a skullcap, flashing a gold-grill and some Magic Johnson socks on his way to pick up his paper.”  


Dr. Anthony Samaad is managing director of Urban Issues Forum.  They operate the Mervyn M. Dymally African-American Political & Economic Institute at California State University Dominquez Hills.