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

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…