September 18, 2009, - 12:04 pm

Lawsuit of the Year: Banks Used “Trusted Black” Tavis Smiley to Pimp Blacks on Subprime Loans

By Debbie Schlussel

I have mixed feelings about Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s lawsuit, which alleges that Wells Fargo & Co. used “respected” Blacks, Tavis Smiley and Kelvin Boston to lure Blacks to obtain high-risk, subprime loans.


Liberal Black Activist Tavis Smiley Pimped Black America on Subprime Loans

On the one hand, it’s enlightening.  Smiley, a hypocritical liberal, who blames Republicans and conservatives for everything (including the subprime loan mess and the bad economy), is shown for the charlatan he really is (a hypocrite and a fraud) . . . and the person who is somewhat at fault. This is the same guy who hosts annual “State of the Black Union” symposiums. Hmmm . . . maybe he should change that to “Pimping the Black Union.”

On the other hand, no-one put a gun to anyone’s head, forcing them to invest in real estate they couldn’t afford and for which they didn’t have the cash.  Ethnic marketing is a way of life, and it’s smart business.  Though in this case it is quite sleazy, dishonest, and predatory, I don’t see how that’s illegal.  You wouldn’t market gefilte fish and menorahs to Muslims.  And you market subprime loans to people with bad credit.  Those people tend to be urban and minorities.

Still, I find it interesting that the blame is being placed with Wells Fargo and not with Smiley and the Black media, which sold their people down this river in exchange for enriching themselves.

Here are some of the chintzy details, as laid out by The Washington Independent’s Mary Kane:

As the housing market began booming in mid-2000, Wells Fargo & Co. teamed up with prominent African American commentator and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley and financial author Kelvin Boston, the host of “Moneywise,” a multicultural financial affairs show, to host something called “Wealth Building” seminars in black neighborhoods.

Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere. After Hurricane Katrina, Smiley also emphasized the importance of building assets and wealth, saying those who had done so were able to leave New Orleans, while people with nothing had to stay behind, Boston said.

“My spiel was the financial planning process, how you want to be able to save and invest for the future, and to have a plan of action,” Boston said. “Then Tavis talked about his experiences with the banks, and how people should be thinking about some real estate.” . . .

The free, day-long events were heavily advertised in the black media, and launched in eight cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Richmond, Va., and San Francisco. . . .

“According to a former Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employee, one of these ‘Wealth Building’ seminars held in Maryland was planned for an audience that would be virtually all African American,” the suit said. . . .

The former employee, who is white, was scheduled to speak at the seminar, but was told by a manager that she was “too white,” and that only black employees could make presentations, the suit said.

Read the whole thing.  And remember all of this the next time you see Smiley on “Meet the Press” or any of  his other frequent media forums telling us how everyone is oppressing or insensitive to Black America.

Tell it to your mirror, Tavis.

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6 Responses

I think you mean “how that’s NOT illegal”.

Kirk on September 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Wow, Smiley selling out “His People” to greedy white bankers. Shouldn’t he be called an Uncle Tom? Darn, I forgot, Uncle Tom is only used to refer to black conservatives.

Jarhead on September 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

The real isssue in this is – personal responsibility. Once again, it was not our fault- it is someone elses. If the only reason they entered into a sub-prime loan is because they will believe anything another black person in a suit tells them, they deserve what they get.

eloopd on September 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for posting this article. Many info I got here.Keep writing

John on May 20, 2010 at 3:12 am

Those people tend to be urban and minorities.

jersey on May 26, 2010 at 3:25 am

Recently I saw this clown and his fellow idiot Cornball West on The O’Reily Factor with loofa boy. Oreally took them to task about the mess that the country is in. As usual these racist morons would hear none of it. I had to go back and reread this article to highlight how much of a fake Tavis Unsmiley really is. It’s people like him, Cornball, the CBC, Jesse(hymitown)Jackson and Revrun not so Sharpton that give blacks a bad name.

ken b on October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

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