Harry Belafonte can fix the debt crisis!

The Harry Belafonte documentary "Sing Your Song" premieres Oct. 17 on HBO.

American icon Harry Belafonte sat before journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Thursday to promote his HBO documentary, “Sing Your Song,” a film reflecting on his Hollywood career and activism.

The eloquent 84-year-old spoke at length on his drive to make headlines beyond his work in entertainment, shedding light on aiding humanity at large. So as a lifelong activist who has affected change in Washington, D.C., for decades, critics couldn’t help but wonder: What would Belafonte say to politicians regarding the current debt crisis?

“What would I say?” Belafonte pondered. “I think they need to make it very simple and very precise and concise. My question would be to the Congress and to the President and to a lot of institutions in the United States of power, ‘What happened to moral truth? What happened to moral courage? Why has it been so eliminated from our DNA? Why is it so unattainable in our current social quest and where we go?’

“I understand the game of politics,” he asserted. “I’ve been at it for 70 years — oh, wow. But politics without moral purpose, really, more often than not, winds up as tyranny, and I think the more we capitulate to what is practical, what is more easily achieved in the face of what may be more difficult to do but necessary, I think is where we sit.”

But Belafonte had strong words for those in power beyond their failure to solve the nation’s fiscal woes — with the President taking the brunt of his criticism.

“Barack Obama and his mission has failed because it has lacked a certain kind of moral courage, a certain kind of moral vision that we are in need of,” Belafonte said. “This does not make him a stand-alone, however, and there is still a lot of opportunity for that corner to be turned. … When he said, ‘Yes, we can,’ it may have been politically clever. He never defined for us what he was saying. So those of us who felt that we needed change filled in that space with our own images of what we thought he meant only to find out we are all disappointed because none of those things have been satisfied.”

Belafonte’s solution: Demand more from our government.

“In a lifetime where I have been a political social activist, it is what we made the government do, not what the government did voluntarily,” he says. “It was what we made happen in the time of America in the ’50s and ’60s, even before then, when the nation decided to go to war against fascism, et cetera, et cetera. I think, if anything, what the artists should be doing and what the world at large should be doing should be a campaign to make [Obama enact change].”

 

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…